jump-y

November 5, 2021
There's no question of things getting better.
Things are one way or they are another way; 'better' is how we see them, Archie says, and I don't personally, very much; though sometimes he makes them seem not so bad after all--no, that's wrong, too: he knows not 'seems'. Things do not *seem*, on the one hand, they *are*; and on the other hand, bad is not what they can *be*. They can be green, or square, or Japanese, loud, fatal, waterproof or vanilla-flavoured; and the same for actions, which can be *disapproved* of, or comical, unexpected, saddening or good television, variously, depending on who frowns, laughs, jumps, weeps or wouldn't have missed it for the world. Things and actions, you understand, can have any number of real and verifiable properties. But good and bad, better and worse, these are not real properties of things, they are just expressions of our feelings about them.
Dotty in Tom Stoppard's play "Jumpers"
I admit the play didn't quite live up to my hopes. For obvious reasons it reminded me strongly of Monty Python's Professor of Logic skit, which came out a year or two after, but I'm not sure if the skit parodies the play or if they are both mirroring some British Academician tropes or a specific source.

Definitely some tie-ins with this kind of moral relativism and my concerns about how so much "reasoning" and signaling we do is about "I'm on team for this" or "I'm on team against this". Like that feeling is considered the most crucial thing. And I've been led to believe that having a feeling about something is the only thing that stirs us to action - we can't really think our way into action, only emotion provides the critical impetus. (Though we might have a subjective emotion that has us strongly support objective rationality.)

To try and reconcile the possible lack of good and bad as objective absolutes along with our overwhelming dependency on having strong for/against preferences to provide (possibly the entirety of) motif force for our actions, we are quickly forced to the question "what is the point of it all, anyway?" - like, existentially. For me the answer is to support the creation of creative, categorical novelty in the universe - to help humanity become something and create things - and types of things - that otherwise couldn't exist in this corner of the universe.
You're looking like a million bucks, without the million. How close are you to the million? Forty thousand?
William Ferguson, in "No More Shaves"

Robots are mechanical men. They walk around, they set the table and don't say nothin'. They bring you your underwear and they put you to bed. They take out a cigar and smoke cigars. They stand there and watch you. Mechanical men. Christ, they wash windows, shovel snow, give you a cigar, put out the lights, and then they wave good night.
Larry Green, in "No More Shaves"
("No More Shaves" is a collection of illustrated stories from elders collected in the zine The Duplex Planet.)

(SPOILER: wow, Legos, Nintendo, *and* Transformers - the biggest hits of the 80s and 90s!)
added a Gelaskins to my new Macbook, and then an Apple sticker on the side for Alien Bill to ponder.