Emails I hate getting

1. Penis enlargement pills (one was called Megadik, which was mildly funny)

2. Random word generator emails – I don’t understand this properly, but they seem to be sentences or attempts at sentences, in a very crude fashion which doesn’t say anything.

3. Chain mails that have a ‘blessing’ modus ponens, and a ‘curse’ modus tollens.

4. Requests for a war-torn African aristocrat asking for your bank account because a deceased uncle/father owns millions.

5. Emails from go-betweens representing another person – so annoying!

When crowd mentality goes too far

I should do a longer post on this, but this is just a really short one. This topic deserves MUCH more detail. I’m not a psychologist, so I must admit of poverty to contribution.

THe herd instinct, the atttitude of the masses. They evoke group feelings, I could give the obvious examples of ‘Germany’ during the early 20thC, but that’s done to death (no pun intended). So, here are examples of when public sentiment becomes ridiculous and goes too far:

1. Princess Diana  – It was tragic that the Princess of Wales died, and especially in the circumstances, okay, maybe Elton’s song was apt, but that was 10 years ago! There is such a thing as too much sentiment. A more appropriate response is looking back at it as a sad part of history. Okay, more

2. Reality TV – Big Brother, singing contests. People want violence and conflict just short of death. Ever seen that film ‘The Running Man’? We are nearly going there…

3. Moral panics – there is a HUGE body of sociological data on this. It’s QED sound.

Sinistre

P.S. I should be doing more of the posts around this time now; as D and M are not too well right now.

The material dialectic of boredom and death…or another day, in your terms.

The contradiction of human existence is that we both are susceptable to both incredible monotony, and death. Both complete opposites, yet, perhaps seem the same in a sense. How are they opposite? you may ask. I answer; monotony is very much a part of life, it is very much being alive, yet, it feels like death itself, although we don’t really have a clue about what death is like, although it may involve After Forever and Epica as the soundtrack.

I’ve finally started getting things into play, it is taking longer than I expected, but it is nonetheless coming along. I’ve been drafting some ideas for some philosophical projects; the more original of them involves a thesis in aesthetics that straddles between Kant, Aristotle, ethics and psychology.

Another big project I have in mind is to ask the question ‘what is rationality?’ – however, if I have to go into the Sleeping Beauty paradox and the nature of probability, I’m going to jump out of that faster than a cold shower!! Probability in philosophy scares me; I’ve tried to read Carnap – and I was plunged in a language of set theory and logic that I was just not knowledgeable about. Despite that, I think the point of being a good philosopher is that you are taken to very uncomfortable and difficult places.

If that is what philosophy is about, then my life is a good background experience for philosophy.

Sinistre

Owen Wilson’s suicide attempt?

Disclaimer

The fact that I, Sinistre am authoring this post does not mean I endorse celebrity culture nor glorify it; despite Michael putting Tarot videos on the blog all the time, this blog tries to be as serious as possible.

In context

Last night (or whenever Monday night was), I was visiting some old friends from the past, and I heard on the radio, that Owen Wilson was in hospital. I thought to myself, ‘oh, that’s sad’, I suspected something of a mental crisis immediately, but I suspended my own judgement over it being prejudicial.

I later found out, through random hyperlinks being bolstered, that Owen Wilson’s hospitalisation was related to a suicide attempt; and thus begins my serious part…

Suicide; life

What is suicide? Suicide is the willing termination of one’s life. The term one may question is life; namely, insomuch as ‘what is life?’ (and consequently, what is death/what does it mean to be dead). I could go in some biological root and ask the question of what is life. But I am going to make an ambiguous use of the word and refer to what most people use the word as.

Life is one’s way of going about things, it relates to where people want to go; life seems, not so much that something can be described in terms of the present, but the future, their future, their intentions, their hopes, feelings, projects and all such investments. We talk of a ‘way of life’, very often, a way that people go about their physical duration, but a way of life is so much more than a physical endurance. We are so much more than the biological and physical processes that explain us. We are emotionally complex, or emotionally simple, we have goals and mental imagery; some of which is belief-forming about the future, a state of affairs which have not yet obtained. Many people feel their very lives at risk when they are to feel ‘their way of life’ at challenge.

So many people want to explain human behaviour in naturalistic terms, or, if I may say in different words, through the language of science, and evolution. The caricature everyone has of evolution is that the purpose of life is to procreate; all we really want to do is have sex and, secondly, survive to prolong the familial or genetic line. Dawkins is right, that us humans, if we are to assume the Darwinian narrative is true, want to go beyond this simplistic dual goal existence. We want to think for ourselves, we want to create things not of our loin, but of our minds; technology, philosophy, art; these are the great products of the human mind. We can escape the programming of our being, or, perhaps, a weaker assertion, we can put more things in us than just screwing and killing. Do I like this naturalistic story? I don’t feel comfortable with it.

Our many projects in life, can fail; our many aspirations and beliefs falter. These can have a terrific impact upon our self-image. Sometimes we invest so much in an end, that when we learn that end cannot obtain, we feel there is no reason for living anymore. There has been some speculation about ‘why’ Mr. Wilson did what he did. Many will say (as I have heard regarding other people, and which I may admit of myself) things like ‘why would he want to hurt himself? Wilson’s a great actor, he’s a funny man and has brightened the lives of so many people with his comedy and sentimental and very loveable chararacters. Some of the moments when I was ill took a break for a brief two hours when I went to see films like ‘Wedding Crashers’ or ‘Zoolander’, I laughed at their humour, I smiled, I was temporarily taken out of my bleak existence and transported into a laughter-driven story. As I went back to my real world, to my life, I felt a little better that I could take a trip away, just for a short while. But the reasons we may give for a person to act can never be their own; their intentionality is key to the nature of their actions; their preference and motivational set are fundamentally important.

Concluding remarks

One of the reasons I am so interested in social science is because I am interested in people; I want to, above all, understand them. My ineptitude with others and my own self is always a boundary I want to break down. It is the reason my name is Sinistre, always in cognito.

I close with a few questions; rhetorical, if you may. If you were asked to describe your life, what would you say? In the greatest of sensitivity and honesty, with sincerity and clear judgement, what can be said of your life? What is your reason for being? What way of life do you hold on to? What will happen if you lose it?

We at noumenal realm are thinking of you, Owen; and all the others who feel they are at life’s window ledge.

Sinistre