‘Despite all my rage…’

‘…I am still just a rat in a cage’ – Smashing Pumpkins, Bullet with Butterfly wings. 

It is still, after all these years, one of my favorite songs. Even if I don’t lace up my sixteen hole doc Martens and step into the mosh-pit anymore… Mostly because that’ll mean a week of ibuprofen and misery afterwards… also lets be completely honest, at the venerable age of thirty nine, anything that may result in hard living happens WAY after my bed time (these days).

Speaking of hard living, enter stage left, Louis CK, comic, ginger and chronic, serial masturbator.

louis ck.jpg

… I’ve wasted a lot of time just being angry at people I don’t know. You know its amazing how nasty we can get as people, depending on the situation. Like most people are okay… as long as they’re okay. But if you put people in certain contexts they just change. Like when I’m in my car I have a different set of values. I am the worst person I can be when I’m behind the wheel, which is when I’m at my most dangerous. When you’re driving that’s when you need to be the most compassionate and responsible of any other time of your life, because you are fucking driving a weapon among WEAPONS. And yet its the worst people get… and I am the worst. 

Continue reading “‘Despite all my rage…’”

Regrets…

‘… I’ve had a few’

positive-thinking

Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse working in palliative care, recorded what she perceived to be the top five regrets of the dying. They were:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Brown, Darren. Happy – why more or less everything is absolutely fine. Penguin Randomhouse. 2016

Continue reading “Regrets…”

Why I can’t have nice things

Its 5am. Joey is standing outside his house on the asphalt, stretching out his spine in anticipation of his run. He selects Outdoor run on his Apple watch, it dutifully starts counting down, 3, 2, 1 and then… it goes dark. What the…  I take a closer look. The whole face of the watch has just popped off and is semi-dangling from the housing. The watch is dead. I stand there, perplexed.

No! Noooooooo!

18bsd9.jpg

Sadly, the first thing I think of is how this has just completely stuffed up my ‘perfect month achievement’ award.

Then I think how sad it is that ‘THAT’ is my first reaction.

I take the watch off, shove it my post box and go running.

Its a good run.

At least I think it is. It feels like one, even if I don’t have any empirical evidence to back up my hunch.

I suppose there are several ways I could interpret this event. Most clear to me is that the god(s)* of quantifiable self, hate me.

*I’m not sure if this a monotheistic god or a polytheistic pantheon so I make allowances for plurality.

Briefly I wonder what I might have done that’s annoyed them. Its a fairly exhaustive list of sins, strikes and misdemeanors…. difficult to narrow it down to just one category. Could be anything.

I imagine Seneca would have taken his Apple watch and smashed it on a rock, just to prove he didn’t need it. (Maybe) Although more likely is that he had previously negatively visualized his Apple watch arbitrarily failing. And so he was mentally prepared for the loss of an achievement award.

Things I should have anticipated.

If only I weren’t The worst Stoic ever… then things would go better for me.

Damn.

Humanity…

… messing up our perfectly conceived political systems for 1.3 million years…

shutterstock_56386615.jpg

Libertarianism is like Leninism: a fascinating, internally consistent political theory with some good underlying points that, regrettably, makes prescriptions about how to run human society that can only work if we replace real messy human beings with frictionless spherical humanoids of uniform density (because it relies on simplifying assumptions about human behavior which are unfortunately wrong). – Unknown 

So the problem is humans? Hmmm… interesting…

Also this may be the fairest criticism of libertarianism I’ve read. But I also think humanities ability to cooperate it one of its greatest dimensions.

 

 

sD.jpgSome  stuff  I’ve written that may vaguely bend towards libertarianism can be found…

HERE

 

Also, taxation is theft.

On Death

Memento, homo … quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris’ (remember human, that you are dust and to dust you will return)

Interacting with a skeletal chassis wrapped in a black cowl and wielding a farming implement of questionable hygiene seems a little dated. (and let’s be honest, somewhat Pratchetty*)

death_discworld_desktop_1024x768_hd-wallpaper-859028.jpg

 

 

 

* look at me, creating an adjective.

Having never experienced death, I’m loathed to hypothesize on how our interaction will play out. I imagine some surprise (on my part) possibly followed by some light Q&A, maybe a pamphlet or laminated brochure being thrust at me, ‘Welcome to the afterlife’. Hopefully I will think of something witty to say, I’d like to make a good first impression. I think that might be situation dependent though, difficult to say something clever if you’ve just died in a suicide bombing and you’re preoccupied with picking drywall screws and bits of pressure cooker out of your skull (well.. what’s left of it)

Continue reading “On Death”

Kill the programmers. Save the world

The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment – Warren Bennis

img_1858.jpg

In anticipation of this event I already have the dog. My wife came with a Basset hound (not a real dog) and while Warren Bennis wasn’t breed specific, I can only deduce from his lack of a caveat, that he never owned a Basset hound. Responsibility is not really their forté. In fact I often find myself both befuddled and amused that such a creature exists. After-all canis familiaris comes from genetically engineering a sub-species of wolf. It casts serious doubt on… well… the mentality of the French for starters.

Our world is in a constant state of flux*. Which I’m largely appreciative of, since for the most part, I am quite partial to a bit of impermanence. It keeps things interesting. And for as long as anyone can remember, futurists, carnival psychics, weathermen, Delorean aficionados and more recently economists have tried to forecast tomorrow.

Back to the future.jpg

* My proclivity is to add capacitor here. I marvel at my ability to resist the urge.  

When I was a toddler I fell out of the wash basket I was using as coracle and smashed my head into the galvanized post of the clothes line. The result was a nifty scar (not unlike Harry Potter). The blunt force trauma however to my third eye (and surrounds) was less endearing and unfortunately debilitating. It meant I was never able access my chakra’s and my ability to predict the future has, as a result, been severely impaired. (Basically zero) Although you could argue that this makes me just like everyone else. Apparently its this amazing commonality that we all share. Regardless of race, gender, political ideology or fiber intake… one of those great egalitarian forces at play.

I can however still make some assumptions about the future and then hypothesize. Which is not unlike mental masturbation. You can practice it on your own and it’s relatively fun.. but really the payoff is short lived and its mortifying if you’re ever caught with your pants down. We still do it though. Some of us daily and routinely. Hypothesize I mean. We suppose things. And then take steps to combat something that hasn’t happened yet. And potentially may never happen.

The opposite of this is mindfulness (I think). It’s something I’ve been trying to cultivate recently. But it’s really hard. Especially since the future seems quite exciting and potentially somewhat comforting to us. Somewhere out there in the future there is a version of us that is, hopefully, better than what we are now. Although why this should be of solace to us is a little worrisome. Doesn’t that mean that the current version of us is less than optimal? Or even defective somehow? Why do I plan on being better at some future yet undetermined date? What’s wrong with me right now? (besides the obvious I mean)

In any event, while you’re sitting in your little corporate cubicle farm, ready to minimize your Facebook tab at a moments notice, you are failing to grasp the grim reality of your situation…

Office space.jpg

Right now, somewhere, someone is writing code meant to replace you in your job. They don’t hate you. (well… they might) This is just the way of things…. and the sooner you realize you are basically an inefficient, time-wasting meat sack with a heartbeat the better off you’ll be.

This machine is guaranteed to be way better at your job than you. No more coming in late,  no more smoke breaks. No more sniffing glue or blow off the toilet seat during lunch. No more browsing Pornhub or tweaking your manufactured Instagram life during office hours. In fact, lets be honest, if you weren’t around the company would probably save A LOT of money. And the work would actually get done! Why wouldn’t they want to replace you with a machine? I suppose if you were REALLY good looking they might keep you around. But ugly people are screwed, efficiency all the way.

Lately I’ve been endearing myself to the other parents in the toddler birthday scene. ‘Hopefully you’re not planning on steering your son or daughter to take up medicine?’ I mention offhandedly. This makes the other adults clustered in the defensive bulwark shift uncomfortably and avoid eye contact. They sense Jo is about to launch into a soliloquy but none of them want to be the one to set him off on his tirade.

Backyard bbq.jpg

‘It’s like wanting your child to become an alchemist. You’re being an irresponsible parent’, I continue, ‘in the future all surgery will be done by robots. Insanely more accurate than your inefficient son or daughter with their shaky hands and opioid addiction problems’. ‘Medicine as we know it will no longer exist. We will still need plumbers though. And probably electricians. Infinitely better career choices in my opinion’. (I channel my inner Mike Rowe here)

Going forward I think we have two survival choices. (There may be more, but at the moment my binary brain can only think of two) You can turn yourself into a highly specialized freelancer or you can become an entrepreneur. Neither of these can (as far as I can tell) be easily or cheaply replicated by a machine. And there should (theoretically) always be a demand for both.

Or you can make so much money now that you won’t have to worry about the future. That is also an option.

I’m making the assumption that the machines don’t rise up and kill us all first. After all how many programmers do you think there are right now, sitting in their y-fronts drinking Red bull and mucking about with AI. One of them is sure to get it right one these days. Nevermind the terrorists! We should be rounding up the programmers!

If we act now we can…

  1. Stop the technological advance and save millions of jobs.
  2. Stop the unemployed starving masses rising up and murdering the all the 2%ers.
  3. Preserve the status quo. (it seems pretty okay at the moment imo)
  4. and… Potentially save humanity

Now we just have to debate whether humanity is worth saving…

 

 

 

levelup

This post is just one of many collated under the auspicious (or perhaps suspicious) quasi-ideological and deeply idiosyncratic category of Fundamental Joey-ism(tm). All rights reserved. All wrongs and green, wobbly things sent back. Find more…

HERE