Why did I have the idea that if I did a regular blog, I would have something to say? Because I really don’t. But maybe it’s just like locking yourself in a room and forcing yourself to write something, anything. You have to get yourself into a habit. This blog is a cultivation process. If I maintain this site fastidiously, water it every day, one day I will bear fruit. So, come back in a few months if you want to read some stuff that really pops.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to stay engaged, set up enough little activities to justify my existence and give me things to write about. It’s like I have to slap my face every once in a while to get my own attention. And then I tell myself, why did you do that, that was silly. I was already awake. And I go back to sleep.

Today was yet another meeting of the Socrates Cafe. There was no topic du jour, and only five of us, so it fell upon one of us to come up with a topic. This other guy wanted to talk about the meaning of life, or the meaning of religion, or the occult. I always scoff at ideas like the meaning of life, but I suppose you could have an interesting conversation about it, assuming many people would have different ideas. I personally subscribe to meaninglessness, or you decide what it is. Or maybe, now that I actually think about it for a minute, since there is no existence outside of one’s own experience, then the meaning is to have the best possible experience, and thus the meaning of life is maximum happiness.

That would be strange, if that was the meaning of life, because I don’t think we’re designed to have maximum happiness. Happiness is just a carrot designed to get us to do what our genes want us to do. So if you achieve maximum happiness, it means you’re either doing exactly what your genes want, or you’ve been able to beat the system, cheat your way into rewards you biologically haven’t earned. Take Buddha–his body wasn’t designed to be happy with nothing. Or am I confusing happiness with pleasure?

Anyway, that wasn’t what we discussed at the Socrates Cafe. First we talked about my idea, which was, does any person have the ability to change the course of history in the long-term? This is a bit of a peeve of mine because I feel like I am always hearing, when somebody dies, that if they hadn’t lived, we’d still be using telegraphs, or riding horse-drawn carriages, or all the baseball players would be white. When really whoever invented the thing is just a product of history. Well, we concluded that some people are really unimportant in the grand scheme, like Edison, or Pissarro, or even Columbus, but some political leaders have shaped history in some ways, like Hitler or Lincoln. If it wasn’t for Hitler, there may have been no World War 2, no Israel, no overreactions to future “Hitler”s. Or if somebody other than Lincoln was president, maybe there would be no Civil War, we’d have two countries, the powerful Northern states and the backwoods Southern states, and maybe it would be no superpower, no Cold War, or the Soviets would be the only superpower. But if you give it enough time, I bet the alternate realities wouldn’t be too wildly different.

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