Sunday, November 13, 2011

I'm as free as a rock, and this is good

How does the world reproduce? How does now become a different now and why does it become this rather than that? However else one describes the process, I think it helps to understand it as action, incredibly complex action that takes a lot of doing. A rock from 1990 needed to do a lot to become whatever it has become in 2011. The action that needs doing is existing. Whatever it is that rocks are doing is essentially the same as what humans are doing so that if you say rocks are determined, you're saying humans are determined and if you say rocks are free, humans are free. Which word is better to describe existing, or acts of existence, freedom or determinism? This is a matter of taste.

The real question, after we get past the false dichotomy, is how the manner of existing of humans differs from that of anything else. If there's a difference worth mentioning, it's that our visual abilities have us at a certain distance from world, withdrawn to some limited extent from its gravity, where our relatively isolated brain-ish ecosystem creates freaky colorful frog-birds with an armpit obsessed's weird is what I'm saying. Our brains can reduce the incredible complexity of an apple to the number "1" and put the world together in a peculiarly human way, call it realism, stemming from evolutionary processes. And in this visual world, we have reach and we have power but we've lost a lot. Everything "looks" determined. From another "view," in our bodies, we feel free. Our non- or pre-visual selves are far more connected with world, whereas the human way of seeing is world-historically exceptional and whatever it has to say about freedom/determinism has no effect on the way existence happens, or the way world does. We just are, and we are in the same way as rocks, with only differences of degree, not kind, between us. To the rocks I say, kanpai!

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