First order of business

What do you see when you look up at the night sky? Maybe ghosts of stars long dead or a funky little planet trying to make known its existence among the vast backdrop of earth. Do you see the millions and billions of stars out there and ponder your own insignificance or perhaps marvel at your capacity to reason that they are just giant balls of hydrogen and helium. Do you see where this is going, because I don’t. This could be about man’s search for meaning or the composition of binary stars. Cut me some slack please. I’m fickle minded.
“Focus man”, tells me the voice of reason. This was going to be something meaningful. I’ve heard it said that “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.“[1]
I mention this because I feel very strongly on the subject of civilization. And on the subject of voices but that’s for another time.

Civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness.” [2]

“Stop quoting other people you hack”, says the voice again. I choose to ignore it. What would be civilization if we stopped copying each other. After all man’s evolution now is primarily based on memes. I of course am not referring to the photos circulating on the internet with writing below them.

civilization-intellect-demotivational-poster

meme: an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from one person to another in a culture [3]

So are you going to write about memes I hear you ponder. Well, yes and no. Probably. Lets see where this goes. Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett among some others have proposed the idea of dangerous memes. One of the dangerous memes these people talk about is religion. They say that in a pool of ideas the ideas that are most appealing tend to survive. Sure, I would like to survive my own physical death as much as the next bloke and it makes for an appealing idea but at what cost. I’m sure you realize that for an idea to be accepted other competing ideas must be rejected. Shall we cruise through this boulevard of rejected ideas that eternal life displaced. Some people believe that when faced with his own mortality, man becomes nihilistic and depressed. Some on the other hand say that it brings out the best in people. If you knew that you were going to die tomorrow, would you not try to make your last day on this earth as fulfilling as possible?

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” [4]

Banjara fears most an unfulfilled life. A life without meaning. One of the things that gives meaning to my life is ranting against dangerous ideas. Therein lies the rub. Who is to decide which idea is dangerous and which is benign.Common sense I hear you say. Let each man be a judge of which ideas are good and which are evil. Well that’s what has been happening since the dawn of civilization and those that believe it has worked well need only look at the news.What banjara is essentially trying to say is that the state our current civilization is in needs to be carefully studied. While I am not proposing that the spread of ideas be controlled like communism, I do believe that it is in humanity’s best interests that we develop some sort of filters against harmful ideas. How such a thing can be done is beyond my limited intelligence. Hopefully some of you have the answers and are working on it.

 

1. Albert Camus
2. Werner Herzog
3. Merriam-Webster
4. Mark Twain

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