17 Nov 2000 decklin   » (Master)

Aren't we all...

I've realized that I'm much younger than I thought. Not because of committing another stupid blunder, but because I've failed to fully grok something that I "knew" in an intellectual sense. And this is it: people will believe that any sort of metaphysical-sounding bullshit is intelligent.

Maybe a week or so ago, someone (I've forgotten the name, my apologies) posted a link to Peter Suber's Nomic page (as a snippy but well-deserved jab at the Debian voting process), which I read with great interest (unlike most of what happens on -vote, but back to the point). I wrote a paper for my economics course based on comparing a memetic view of economic modeling and Nomic. And it was complete bullocks. I made vague generalizations, swept theory under the rug, and filled up pages with "look at me, I'm smart" circumlocutions. The whole thing vaguely made me want to vomit, but I am cursed with a inability to fill blank space on a deadline and I tend to take what I can get. So I go to class today, and not only was the paper handed back to me with a perfect grade, but the majority of the lecture was based on stuff I said. It's depressing.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, a friend of mine wrote some very interesting literary stuff in her online diary (elsewhere). I hadn't had a real discussion with her in a while, and she's one of the few people left these days who seems to actually care about this stuff, so I just went off on how I saw A Clockwork Orange and associated things through Barth and Snow Crash and my own (lack of) religion and whatnot. I tried to be honest, because I rarely have the chance to, even (especially) to myself, but it still felt far too dense and wrapped up in metaphysical indirection (or perhaps $20 vocabulary). And in responding she flattered me just enough to really get my goat. She says I treat here like she's more intelligent than she is, but I feel like it's closer to treating her like she's dumb enough not to see through me.

The third thing that got me thinking about this topic was an article forwarded to alt.music.jungle by Lee Stoiser. I know, unfortunately, that there are very few if any people here who feel the same kind of connection to this culture that I do, so I can't imagine anyone will experience the same sort of disgust watching someone ripping into it for the sake of their own mental masturbation. But I read it and I said to myself, "This is what you are doing, however much it's exaggerated. And you should be ashamed." I know that it's the content pissing me off as much as the form, but still.

Maybe I'm developing an ____-complex? (oh, fill in the blank yourself, you know who I mean.)

Been listening to: Outkast, Pet Shop Boys, Seba. Some things are still good...

Elsewhere

It was a day for clipping and saving. argent wrote:

The problem is: the Internet is overflowing like a septic tank full of rotting condoms, and every day more and more people standing there with their finger in the dike are realising that the thing on the other side isn't the sea.

The horrid thing is, it's true. Not necessarily of any specific place, even -- of everywhere. But I still feel guilty. At any rate, his presence will be missed.

Then I read the school's newspaper today and found out that someone I "knew", but didn't actually know, died. And I remembered when I was still in high school and he showed me around the place, and how impressed I was with the spirit and individuality that he was able to maintain. I said to myself, "there must be something good about this place if he can thrive like that, if it hasn't burned him out the way my milquetoast suburban town has done to me." I decided to come here, but I never found an excuse to talk to him, never went out to the place he lived off campus, or anything. I didn't see him around very often, but every time I felt that I should have thanked him. And I feel guilty.

It's funny how what you do, and what you don't do, are often flip sides of the same cowardice.

"Once you hear music, it's gone, in the air. You can never listen to it again."

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