Saturday, July 17th, 2010
posted 9:47pm
"The Search For Meaning"
I finally finished The Search for Meaning, a philosophical book thatís an interesting read, though a little hard to get my head around. Dennis Ford covers all forms of thought that have governed us. Starting with Mystic, Philosophic, Scientific, and Post-Modern, he continues with contemporary sources like Pragmatism, Archetypal Psychology, Metaphysics, and Naturalism. I guess thereís a reason itís subtitle: a short history. And he uses it all to show how each mindset invests life with meaning. Like the mystic, who is following Christís example of how to live, or the scientist that disregards meaning for questions like ďHowĒ for the purpose of control. Ford go through each of these, giving examples of how others found meaning.

His work is backed up by other philosophers, artists, and psychologists, as he does a lot of quoting from all sorts of people throughout the ages, from Plato to Blake. But he ties everything together, tearing apart the ideas of meaning and truth.

But in the end Iím almost forced to believe that the very question of the meaning of life is a philosophical trick. When asking it you must question meaning and life, and everything in between. In the end coming up with at best, something subjective. I really think that William James had it right all those years ago, when he said:

How it all turns out Ė whether our lives are meaningful or meaningless Ė may depend on us and on what we add to reality.

If the question of meaning is a trick, then it should be rewritten. It should be: How can I contribute meaningfully to my community? Whatever community you choose to be a part of, Internet community or your own backyard.

And this question of Why? Why should I do this, what is it all for? A tennis player never asks why heís playing tennis in the middle of a competition, only a two year old would, and itís a two year olds question. Why is the sky blue? Sometimes itís just best to be in the moment, and in the end, it just is.

- D

Currently Playing: Champions of Krynn

Thursday, July 8th, 2010
posted 9:53pm
"You Are Not A Gadget"
After reading Levyís Hackers, I was blown away. His last section about the game programmers of the 80s just floored me. So when it ended I had nothing to replace it with. I tried to get into Gibson, Mona Lisa Overdrive is calling to me, but I couldnít whittle away time in fiction. I wanted some meat!

So I turned to philosophy, and got a good way through the next book Iím going to finish, when I found Jaron Lanierís, You Are Not A Gadget. And this thing turns out to be a mixture of philosophy and computers. I was in heaven. I ended up reading the book in about 20 days, and thatís the fastest that Iíve ever read a book in my entire life. I just ate this thing up.

Jaronís book almost seems like a scathing rant against computer culture and where itís going, but he makes a lot of great points. Like how this technology is dehumanizing. He gives the example of kids on Facebook that are all about having tons of friends linked to their profile, but can you really call these people your friends? Are they going to be there for you in your darkest hour? Or how, because the Internet is devaluing everything, weíre headed for a cultural dark age. Iíll make this example: when people are no longer willing to pay for movies, how many AAA movies are going to come out in a year? I see the kids of today Torrenting everything, a 7 Gigabyte movie is nothing. Once these kids grow up, how many will pay? Weíll see. Let me tell you, recording has taken a hit. And everything churned out today seems to come from some kid's studio in his bedroom. We recorded our album in a studio, a real studio, and thereís no way that we could have captured our drum sound using a sampler. The dynamics of that studio are awesome. But as for people that are actually willing to pay for the stuff that people like me work on? I feel times are changing, and it doesnít look like itís for the better.

As for the weather, we seem to be suffering through a heat wave that is terrorizing the east coast, breaking recorders that havenít been broken in 10 years.

God I hate summer - D

Currently Playing: Star Wars Galaxies