April 28, 2005

So lately I've been thinking about how everyone has to select (or they find have selected for them) the values that are "axiomatically good", things that are just spending our finite lifespans pursuing, and resist further justification, or make it irrelevant. I don't think most people will have just one.

For a lot of people, that's "kindness"--you can only push the "golden rule" so far, at some point you think you should do nice things even when you're not expecting to get similar treatment back. For other people it's "beauty", or "sports", or "God"--following religion even beyond the threat of hell or the hope of Paradise.

As I've mentioned before, one of my personal axiomatic goods is "interesting". It's more nebulous than some of these concepts, but its pretty definite for me, and a driving force. When I see art, it doesn't matter if it's beautiful and inspiring, more if it's clever or thought-provoking.

That's why I love the web so much, it's a great big cornucopia of stuff that meets my criteria of interesting. And this site is an attempt to capture that, and to post the stuff I find interesting, and sometimes make some of my own.

And things that I don't find interesting...sometimes I have trouble getting behind it. For instance, home ownership wasn't "interesting" to me, and so while I tried to live up to my responsibilities to Mo, and also show appreciation for the things I liked about having a nice comfortable house, some of my efforts were half-hearted, because the whole affair wasn't that "interesting". (And nowadays, I'm realizing that sometimes I resent things that siphon time during the week away from my pursuit of the "interesting".

So I've been mulling this idea for a while, and last night I had an epiphany of sorts...I think this concept of "interesting" is so ingrained in me, it might just explain why I'm so bad at remembering names but so good at remembering aspects of people's lives that they share with me, like jobs or anecdotes. Names usually aren't that "interesting", unless they're distinctive or have a cool backstory they're just tags applied to people, but a career or anecdote usually has details my brain will latch onto. So this whole "interesting" thing seems to be deeply mapped into the day to day functioning of my brain.

Anyway, that was the new thought. I don't think I've rambled about this before, but I'm not sure, it sounds familiar...anyway, what do you readers find to be the "axiomatically goods" of your life?

UKism of the Moment
Iraq War Legality Row 'A Damp Squib', Says Blair. Never heard the phrase "damp squib" before...turns out a squib is firecracker, and/or "A broken firecracker that burns but does not explode". So I guess it's something that seemed to have potential to be metaphorically explosive but will fizzle out instead. Now you know.