Zeno-ness

I’d never heard this particular anecdote about Zeno before. (In all honesty I don’t know very much about the founder of the philosophy I’d most like to… eh… aspire to). As far as I remember pretty much all of Zeno’s writings have been lost… and so whatever we know of him is apocryphal at best, or is commentary on his work by another philosopher in their own work.

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A non extant text called Republic notes that Zeno advocated for the abolishment of civil institutions, including money, temples, law courts and marriage. He also thought genders should dress alike from head to toe and also practice free love. All of this, he believed, were constraints that held us down, and abolishing them would free us to live much simpler lives.

Entry on stoicism, Ethics 101, Boone, Brian, Adams Media, 2017

There are some definite libertarian ideas in there. Probably more of an anarchist than a middle of the road libertarian. I could likely get behind most of them. Except for the abolition of money… I kinda like money.

Stoking my internal Grinch

I feel like I should like Christmas and all the accompanying merriment. But every year it just feels more and more like a dismal chore… something I need a holiday from after I’ve endured it all. I’ve been doing my best to shore up the bulwarks against the Yuletide cheer by… (I think about lying… but really) playing lots of Playstation and reading (when not knee deep in the blood and guts of child rearing… which is actually 80% of my waking day)

While partaking in the obligatory sojourn of consumerism I gifted myself up a weighty hardcover tome on ethics from the bookstore. I’m less enthused about the history of ethics (which is why I never took it as an elective) and more excited by the practical ethical… um… considerations, which this book purports to be a study of. So far I’ve only picked at it… so I’m not sure if its everything it claims to be (when is anything?)

I also bought a book about Existentialism.

The dedication quotes Rudyard Kipling (whom I love)

‘People say that what we’re all seeking is the meaning of life… I think that what we’re really seeking is the experience of being alive’. 

I feel like I’ve been conned some how… like that was a clever consumer psychology deadfall I just walked into…. buying a book based on the quotation of an author I admire But it worked. It also has a picture of Jean Paul Sartre drinking coffee and chain-smoking on the front cover. I imagine him like a French Christopher Hitchens… or maybe a 1930’s Hank Moody (only season one though, we do not speak of the others)

I generally adore… (ergh, I hate this term) Existentialists. So… Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre… Schopenhauer. Although… I don’t think I’d invite any of them over for a dinner party.  (You know, that trope where you invite a selection of dead… and living I suppose, celebrities and imagine impressing them with your gastronomic skillset) I’d likely choose somebody more fun. Like Teddy Roosevelt.

Of course now I’m thinking who else I would invite. Maybe Richard Dawkins… so I could punch him in the head for ruining my life. I use the term ‘ruining’ quite loosely…

I probably wouldn’t punch him.

A book for all and none.

I’m casually re-reading ‘Thus spoke Zarathustra’, which, as it turns out, seems to be working out much better for my internet addled mind than reading it all in one go and then getting irritable and frustrated when it all starts to blur together into a lumpy alphabet soup of meaningless words and chunks of mystery meat. I envy people (that were gifted with concentration spans of more than your average Fantail or Comet) that can devour this sort of literature without having to resort to a piecemeal approach. How nice must it be to be them!

I interpose my exercise in mediocrity (insofar as all reading Nietzsche really does is underscore how stupid I am) with Playstation by pretend hunting hapless elk in a simulacrum western reality where I pick up faux-tuberculous and start to feel bad about my mass-murdering tendencies. I really enjoyed Red Dead Redemption 2… I’ve binge played it to (almost) completion, sacrificing sleep and sociability… and squashing that nagging feeling that I really should be doing something (with my life) that involves just a smattering more vitamin D.

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I don’t think Nietzsche would have approved of Playstation (or indeed of Red Dead). But then again, Nietzsche went insane… probably because of a lack of blowjobs. Wait… that might have been Schopenhauer… I might be conflagerating my disgruntled Germans here. In any event I’m pretty sure blowjobs were frowned upon by the Lutheran Junkers at the time… so certainly we can’t rule it out as a potential cause of dementia.

Continue reading “A book for all and none.”

Burn, burn…

I don’t really have a gripe with Veganism. For the most part I find it quite admirable and I appreciate people that try and live by a code, even if that code is not necessarily my code.

I use the term code quite loosely… since my code is more like ‘a set of guidelines’ (to paraphrase Captain Barbarossa, from Pirates of the Caribbean). I find people that have actual codes, that are non- negotiable, quite intriguing.

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Where Veganism gets a little murky for me is when it is used as a building block in some form superiority argument. ‘I’m a better person because I’m a Vegan and my dietary requirements don’t kill the planet’.

I think what they mean to say is, ‘My dietary requirements kill the planet less‘.

Continue reading “Burn, burn…”

Damn Carpet

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Diogenes used to live in a bathtub. One day a man gave him a carpet. A few days later Diogenes called the man to him again. “Please, take back your carpet.”

“But why, Master?” the man asked. “It is a wonderful carpet and I have given it to you with no strings attached.”

“My happiness was unconditioned by the carpet,” replied Diogenes. “And besides I don’t care to sweep it every day.”

– Paramahansa Yogananda 

[Jo] I really like that Diogenes has all these dogs in this painting. Dogs make me happy. I’m also glad that he’s covering his junk. I’m not entirely sure that was necessarily a given in ancient Greece. Its not that his nakedness would disturb me… Its more a health and safety concern and the fact that an exposed and gently swaying member might present a tempting target for a hungry canis, no matter how familiaris

I’ve realized my mind always gravitates towards the worst case scenario…