In light of the overwhelming mystery that constitutes reality, I do want to openly express some awe at the fact that society functions at all.

I mean, look around your neighbourhood. We just put up with all this.

Pulled out of a womb? Sure. Check. Two-legged creatures stuck to a blue-green ball hurtling through an endless void? Whatever you say. Oh, I’m getting larger… LIGHT, SOUND, MOVEMENT, GRAVITY… move and talk this way and maybe one of those people will let me make some copies of myself in a pleasurable way… get rid of that gnawing feeling by shoving some of that colourful stuff in the hole in the front of my face… care deeply about what other people think about me! Argue with other people! Start a blog and voice opinions and experience pleasurable feelings when certain lines of text are written underneath the opinions! Put on multi-coloured fabrics and stand in straight lines. Take them off and go home. Lie down and disappear for 30% of the time and feel better upon reappearing. Speak in deeply-affected tone of voice while moving arms and hands just like so… applause! If only everyone felt exactly the same way about this! Those are the bad people and the bad ideas, try to get rid of them. Watch all fellow creatures slowly cease movement and stand around quietly in dark fabrics and straight lines while they are placed in the ground. Go home and forget about it. Make some more of them. They’re going to love this.

Throughout my entire life–not just in the past year–I have always been dumbfounded that society functions so normally. That whole swaths of people go to and from their jobs, wishing each other a nice weekend, not particularly affected for the better or the worse by this symphony of incomprehensibility. I personally have always felt very strongly.

I didn’t say that I’ve always felt very strongly one way or the other–I’ve just always felt strongly about… all this. There have scarcely been any moments at all in my life that my affectation has let up.


4 Responses to “Familiarity”

  1. wabasso Says:

    Some thoughts:

    1) You and I happen to live in a relatively small societal bubble that enables us to ponder these things. That doesn’t make them less absurd, but it helps explain why so many other people on earth are easily distracted most of the time.

    2) My overall thoughts on the matter are unformed. Your post provoked them though and at the moment I propose that we’re in a relatively primitive societal state. We are stuck in between survival and whatever is next, be that a utopia, distopia, war with aliens, etc.

    3) Can you even imagine a configuration that isn’t absurd? What universe can you design in your head where its sentient inhabitants aren’t asking “Why?” all the time?

  2. 1) Oh yes, I understand that. But on the other hand, we are typical citizens of the first world in many respects. And most of these typical people are not affected similarly. So my incredulity stands.

    2) You’ve reminded me that we really are living in the middle of here and there. If you look at the whole history of the cosmos, and then look at how much has changed within just the 10 or so years that we’ve known each other… it raises some serious questions. This is totally unlike how it was, and it is totally unlike how it will be.

    3) Not really. There might be one: but how can I imagine a fundamentally different reality, considering that I have to build all my thoughts out of this one? That’s something I think about a lot; I intend to talk about that sometime.

    I suppose if there were a universe much like this–but where God spoke to people on earth at a regular time and place, and gave them strict but vague instructions–people would not ask why. They would not know the answers, but they would be comfortable knowing that somebody knows, and that they have a job to do.

    Kind of like in the Old Testament.

  3. wabasso Says:

    Or in a dictatorship. Or as a mother to child.

  4. Well you asked about a *different universe*, so I posited the one described in the Old Testament (which is this one + some changes). Dictatorships and Motherhood, however, are just distracting situations in this universe.

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