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Naked Truth

I was in the midst of reading "Forbidden Knowledge: From Prometheus to Pornography" by Roger Shattuck, but I loaned it away.  I'm now enmeshed in China Mieville's second book, "The Scar" (thanks for the surprise present N.)  I am loving it.  I have to get Iron Council after I finish this one.

I am more than a bit stressed out about my apartment situation.  I'm going to B-lo on Friday, so I need to get it rented by Thursday, or I am going to end up paying a whole lot in August.  Not how I want to start the last month of summer; broke.  Send good rental karma this week please!

I had a fantastic weekend.  Running around chinatown with L., wangch61 and mrshellion, fun movies, pissy dvd players, and near misses with beached belugas.  Good mexican gourmet, some darts (which I still suck at, kudos misterpardonme) and a great breakfast down at riverside park. I have decided before the summer is out, i will try a marshmallow flavored coolata from Dunkin Donuts.  Not that I think marshmallow flavored coffee will be particularly delish, but I am CURIOUS goddammit! Last night I made fried rainbow trout with carrot/crab stuffing, garlic smashed potatoes, and swiss chard with dill/carrot/lemongrass sauce and fresh green apples.  The chard was my Iron Chef challenge for the evening, and I think I met it pretty well. 

Not unlike a few other people on my friend's list, I am having a hard time keeping the flames of hatred I always have glowing in the back of my mind well coked in light of the past few weeks.  Maybe a content paradigm shift will not be the worst thing ever to happen to this little ramble of a blog.

Where was I?  Oh, right, books, and how they relate back to reality.


Shattuck's book has me re-evaluating my outlook on knowledge, in a way I am not completely comfortable with.

I have always worked under the assumption that all information is good.  Information allows people to make decisions.  It allows for intelligent decisions to be made.  Information is the heart's blood of my world.  What am I really, except a glib encyclopedia of useless information?

Shattuck introduces the paradox of Pandora's box into a modern context.   What if there are things we are just better off not knowing, as individuals, or a society?  One of my other favorite books, The Years of Rice and Salt, plays the scenario of nuclear arms and technology being developed by a benevolent society of enlightened folks, rather than a semi-despotic national government.  How would that change the world?  For that matter, what would have happened if nuclear power had been harnessed under a period of totalitarian global domination, rather than some fractional global political scape?  The likleyhood is nuclear power would have been more of a drive than nuclear weapons.  How would that have changed the world for the better?  I'd rather be speaking German and driving a car running a fuel cell or electric motor (because power would have been such a different issue) than worrying about peak oil every time I hear about OPEC's antics.

Information, may, ultimately, set us free, but it damns us at the same time.  In our society particularly, information control is so regulated.  There are spin doctors spinning the dog waggers - how do you sift what is real and what is not?  How do you verify the veracity of your data, if not with your own eyes?  Information in our world does not set us free - it becomes another issue of dominance and control. 

I realize this is a reactionatory and paranoid outlook on government and corporate intervention in the discovery of information.  However, time and again, this has shown itself to be a problem.  I'd prefer nobody knowing a thing to a small select group knowing a thing, and being able to use that to exert control over/exploit the ignorant.  Information only sets us free when it is shared.

I guess, in theory, this is why I am against the idea of patents.  I understand the fundamentals and history of their evolution in modern law, but when I read about things like this recent move by Microsoft, it really churns my stomach,  Citing ownership of part of a language?  Where will the madness end?  Intellectual Property Rights is to corporate culture what most major religious tracts are to fundamentalist cults.

I've long proclaimed my lack of hope for the system, and advocated a "soft reset" as the only hope of a POSSIBILITY of things working out on the next iteration.  The cynical part of me believes even this to be folly.  The hope on one end of the scale is that by reducing knowledge, people will be forced to rely on each other more, and life life more in the now, rather than the pursuit of tomorrow's gains.  The flip side is that technology will move along rapidly, so much so that it changes the fundamental pillars of our species.  At that point, we will have pushed past a horizon in our history as a communal biological life form, and will amalgamate into some new thing - not entirely human, though I am sure we will continue to call ourselves that for years to come.

Fossil fuels are a good example.  How many fewer people would have died, how much less impact would the environment have faced, how much less time would have been wasted if petroleum had not been the primary fuel of choice for combustion engines?  We sure as hell wouldn't be in Iraq right now, but then again, we might not even be here at all, without plastics and international travel moving the way they did.  You can't assume that parallel technological advancements would result in the same end products.

I'm in a hopeless muddle philosophically.  I blame the ozone layer.  That, or the fact that I have slept better in the past three weeks than I have in the last ten years, and that I have slept more in the past 72 hours than I have over any weekend at all in about the same amount of time.

It scares me a little - what will I become without my madness?  Stay tuned.



new frankandeddie for you to sink er fang..er..teeth into.

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
timaeusdaspirge
Jul. 25th, 2005 04:43 pm (UTC)
man, i have got to meet this girly girl of yours, who so quickly began altering your outlook on life, the universe, and everything
delascabezas
Jul. 25th, 2005 04:46 pm (UTC)
heh
well, it is a fairly interactive thing - we are both challenging a lot of each other's longstanding preceptions and ideas, as well as fulfilling aspects of life never thought fulfillable on a regular basis.
timaeusdaspirge
Jul. 25th, 2005 04:47 pm (UTC)
Re: heh
hey man, didnt mean to imply a one-way street here, just my desire to gawk
delascabezas
Jul. 25th, 2005 04:48 pm (UTC)
well
i am in buffalo this weekend next - are you planning on going to the blackout party?
timaeusdaspirge
Jul. 25th, 2005 04:49 pm (UTC)
Re: well
i havent really evaluated my schedule lately - just going on the assumption that i'm ass-deep in alligators. when is it again?
delascabezas
Jul. 25th, 2005 05:02 pm (UTC)
um
the 20th
timaeusdaspirge
Jul. 25th, 2005 05:03 pm (UTC)
Re: um
wow, you're booked until midway thru next month? i thought i was busy
delascabezas
Jul. 25th, 2005 05:06 pm (UTC)
actually
i was thinking of next friday (not this one) maybe doing another meli melo run. that could be a good opportunity.
prettykate
Jul. 25th, 2005 04:54 pm (UTC)
Me too! She sounds great!
timaeusdaspirge
Jul. 25th, 2005 04:55 pm (UTC)
really, i just want to make sure she actually exists. don't tell b that, tho. frankly, i find it hard to believe in someone who doesn't get referenced by their lj-username
delascabezas
Jul. 25th, 2005 05:01 pm (UTC)
ha
though she doesn't directly participate in this madness (yet) she does read it. hell, she did her homework on me pretty early on _through_ this little electronic asylum. she both knows of you from my stories, as well as your little snarks here my friend.
timaeusdaspirge
Jul. 25th, 2005 05:02 pm (UTC)
Re: ha
oi gavalt, if all she has to go on is snarks and stories, i'm gonna have an uphill battle on my hands :-p
delascabezas
Jul. 25th, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC)
well
no more so than usual
delascabezas
Jul. 25th, 2005 04:57 pm (UTC)
hehheh
i'll see what i can do about it =)
thrownoverbored
Jul. 25th, 2005 04:43 pm (UTC)
i am *this* close to abandoning and starting up again someplace where nobody will find me. so so so so so so so sick of stupid people. (not you, of course. nevar!)
delascabezas
Jul. 25th, 2005 04:45 pm (UTC)
heh
hermitage solves the problems for you, but rarely for your offspring, or their childnren - see "the village" if ya don't believe me =)
thrownoverbored
Jul. 25th, 2005 05:12 pm (UTC)
Re: heh
that movie creeped me out. mostly because Adrien Brody was a retard in it, and you know I kind of have that fetish (see: my obsession with Giovanni Ribisi, the movies The Other Sister and Charly, etc.)

i meant an online disappearance. Think i can fake my own (online) death?

delascabezas
Jul. 25th, 2005 05:18 pm (UTC)
oic
yeah, you could do that - it is pretty easy actually.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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delascabezas
The Son of the last of a long line of thinkers.
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