If you’re the arty type, like me, you’ll possibly have an over-active imagination, regardless of what time of year it is. But at Halloween you can let it run amok, and at the liminal time in Ireland, when you’re standing balanced on the threshold of Samhain, in November, it’s fully expected of you, that you will throw yourself right into the spirit of the thing. So let’s dive into a short but true tale of portals and Parks, where once a fine house stood…….
All paintings in video podcast are originals by Donna Emerald. Photos are courtesy of Wikipedia Commons files, unattributed, except for shot of the park by Andriusbu (2009), and several, including those of the “boathouse” temple, and the “Herculanean” temple, provided courtesy of zen-mind.com . Drone footage was courtesy of Luciann Photography, at pexels. The thumbnail image is a self-portrait by Gustav Courbet, called “The Desperate Man”, also a public domain image. Other footage was my own, and thanks to everyone who documented this wonderful spot in Dublin, for us all to enjoy, and be creatively inspired by, this Halloween, and beyond. If you love true scary stories, and art, you’re sure to enjoy this Halloween story from Ireland, read aloud against a backdrop of art, photography and cinematically jaw-dropping drone footage of the park. The syndicated podcast is available on multiple platforms as well, if you just want to hear a scary story in audio format (click link below). If you like the images, you may want to head to my YouTube channel, by clicking the “Watch on YouTube” link, and subscribe to my Donna Emerald channel on YouTube, so you never miss out on one of my oh so arty art videos! Don’t forget to thumbs up and hit the bell while you’re there, so you won’t miss any arty action.
You’ve been around the block a few times – you know what’s what. You have your own unique way of dealing with life, and have all sorts of tricks up your sleeve for when things don’t go the way you want, to make the cards you’re dealt a bit fairer. Whether it’s about making the best of your skills and qualities as a person, to get along in the world, and feel like you’re top dog, or just doing your best to make the best of the hand you’re dealt, you may well feel it’s all about how you play.
Everyone has their own way of dealing with challenges that come along, and life has a way of throwing hoops out in front of us, and saying “Jump!” We don’t always have a trick for every situation, and we can get stopped in our tracks, when we don’t know how to respond to a situation effectively. This can make for a lot of stress, since life is about learning new things, or learning the same things as everyone else, to fit in socially. There’s often the fear, a realistic one in many cases, that we will get left behind, and the hand holding the hoop, and demanding we jump, will whip us if we don’t learn quickly.
These are the pressures of the modern world, you might think, but there’s always been some pressure to conform, and learn the tricks required to fit in, or keep up, or whatever else is needed as a skill, in any society. Society isn’t as concerned about the individual’s happiness, as it is about the smooth functioning of its own organisational structures, in which you are just the dog that must jump through hoops, with no fancy treats if you don’t. There’s not a structure there to accommodate those who can’t, or won’t go along with the ring master, since it’s the antithesis of what a society is about, to live in a way that says you don’t need to learn its tricks to be able to live well.
Societies have to be about compromise, to an extent, since they generalise about individual behaviour, and advance the mean for the average, in terms of how you’re supposed to behave. The degree of personal freedom allowed depends on what kind of society you live in, of course, and the more repressive the society, the more they tend to talk about responsibility to others, and place value on that, rather than on individual rights and freedoms. Your rights don’t matter as much, if others’ as a group do, and if you don’t like how you’re told to behave, well, you can lump it.
If we think about it a little, we can see how much consensus is important, as a concept, in a society, to make that society function in such a way that the animals in it will learn to jump on command, or be shamed, or berated, or punished in some way, if they don’t. So control is a very big issue indeed, and a certain degree of uniformity encouraged in a society, with responsibility the flip side of being allowed any freedoms in it. Your master feeds you treats, and provides fresh straw for your cage, if you jump. If not, well, it’s your own fault what happens then, and you’re just a bad dog for biting the hand that feeds you, if you’re not always behaving in a grateful and obedient manner.
It’s harsh, but it could be argued it’s fair. It’s not argued as often that it’s also rather mad. This is because it’s a madness all humans have, to want to control things, and keep them stable, so it’s all considered perfectly normal, to want to tell others how to live, and expect them all to want the same things you do from life. It’s easier, if you don’t have to learn any new tricks, even if it’s not in nature’s nature to stay still. It’s built into every human mind, apparently, this kind of controlling behaviour. Or is it? Is it real, this need for stability and social structures that have some endurance, or is it a construct built on fear of losing ourselves, and our place in the structure, if we don’t jump when told, and just a lazy shortcut in thinking, so we don’t have to examine other people’s different notions about how things are, and feel more like we know what’s expected of us, so we don’t have the fear of the dark jungle, potential tigers, and feeling lost?
All animals have social structures of some kind. It’s a biological necessity for animals to work together to breed and get food, shelter, safety etc., but only humans seem to be able to turn the whole biological endeavour into a moral drama, since they have the trick of language, and with that comes all sorts of moral concepts, based on ideas about the nature of reality, rather than the reality itself. This is where it turns into a circus, because everyone has ideas about how everyone else should live, and it gets pretty heated when we don’t agree. One of the hardest things for humans to do is to just let someone get on with life, without telling them how to live, since we tend to see anyone who doesn’t think the same way about life as a threat to our own lifestyle, since they live in the same society, and therefore (again, depending on which societal model you use, in your local circus) have an effect on the running of that society.
You may have noticed that people tend to like people who they perceive as being like them, and tend to dislike people who they perceive as not being like them. It’s pretty easy to see why; those whose ideas are different represent a small threat to ideas about how society should run, and how personal behaviours and lifestyles fit into that structure, and so on. These different ideas are challenging, and hard work, intellectually, because they make you question why people should behave in certain ways, require you to argue your point to defend the status quo, and maybe be prepared to have to defend your argument logically. These issues can take quite some thinking through. If we have a way to make our minds up quickly, though, and don’t change our minds much subsequently, we won’t have to always stop to think carefully, or consider all the factors influencing every attitude we have, and this turns out to be a swift and energy-saving way to take action, and make decisions. This human trick is based on shortcuts and generalisations in our thinking, which are very good handy for acting swiftly, when dealing with attacking tigers, etc. Black spots on yellow background always means tiger, so panic, or run, or both, based on what our previous experience or our elders taught us.
You’ll seldom come across the idea that we shouldn’t be disapproving of another’s lifestyle, or beliefs, as long as the ideas being discussed aren’t our own, and if any hint arises in conversation that we could examine our own beliefs, we realise it’s a dangerous idea to express within a group, as it can cause the disapproval to be aimed at ourselves, rather than the intended target, situated in an out-group, not within our circle, if we express it aloud. It threatens the social cohesion of the group, to threaten any central or fervently held ideas it holds. Other people’s ideas, it seems, can be wild tigers waiting to spring at our throats, rather than obliging dogs that will jump through our little hoop for us, at times.
We don’t like pain, although interestingly it tends to be more memorable than pleasure. We tend to seek out pleasure, and avoid pain, because our human organism wants to live, and overall, happiness contributes to better health, and longer life, unlike stress and anxiety, which wears the organism down, maybe not as fast as a real tiger at your throat, but gnaws away, nevertheless. The displeasure we feel when encountering something which results in psychological pain is the same mechanism as that for physically painful encounters; escape as quickly as possible, is the message our minds and bodies are giving us. Go towards pleasure, and avoid pain, if you want to live longer, or just live.
The problem with pain avoidance though, is that we often can’t avoid pain. It’s part of life, and we have to tolerate a certain amount, to push through to pleasure. This perception of what pain is about, or for, and our way of jumping through hoops to avoid as much of it as is humanly possible, can actually create more pain for us than is necessary, through focussing on pain, in our fear of it, and effort to avoid it.
Part of the reason we sometimes seek to exert control over our environment, which includes other people, is to create a situation where it’s less likely we’ll experience pain we think they created in the first place, when they didn’t play the game we wanted, and jump through our hoops, and wanted to play the ring-master instead, trying to have us jump through their hoop. To plan for the avoidance of future pain, then, we become like hunters, lying in wait for our prey, watching out for pain, before it ever appears. It might not appear at all, but still we keep watch, and waste our nights looking out into the darkness, seeing movement in every bush, ready, and on high alert.
It’s tiring, and doesn’t always have much point, when you start thinking about it, because it doesn’t always prevent attacks, but can make us experience the tiger going for our throat many times over, in our imagination, and make us tend towards dwelling on pain, and wanting to inflict it on others, in retribution for what we perceive as pain entirely caused by their actions, and not also our responses to the threat. It’s very understandable that we would want to balance the justice scales in our own minds, by returning the pain to the source, as we might see it, but is it an optimal response, in terms of its effect on us, if it keeps us stuck in the same cycle of stimulus/response, and high alert state, when the stimulus may not be as immediately life-threatening as a real tiger attack? This is a very sensible life preserving function of our psyche, which unfortunately runs a bit haywire if we lose our perspective about the immediacy or seriousness of the threat to our lives, or lose our sense of perspective, because pain is more memorable than pleasure. Where does all the pleasure go, if you’re stuck in the pain?
Of course, a lot of this is just using metaphors, and ideas, to discuss societies and our roles and behaviours interpersonally, and within societies, and you could think about our interactions with other people in a variety of other ways, of which the way I’ve just used is only one that I was playing around with. The mind loves metaphor, but language is an approximation, remember, and it stands in as a description of the dog that’s jumping the hoop, rather than being the dog itself, or, for that matter, the hoop. The reality gets lost a little (or a good bit!) between the thing, and the conveying of the idea of the thing, in language. When you take away the stories, and points of view, you’re just left with reality, and that’s rather harder to control, because you haven’t written the story around it, and constructed the ending, which in the story I just told, consists of a life with no pain in it, just pleasure, all there at your fingertips, when you are the ring-master, and controlling everything skillfully. Sometimes, we’re so sold on the stories, that we can’t even see the reality of the thing in itself.
This is actually a really popular way to think about life, this pain-free life, these days. It’s possibly an offshoot of consumerism, or it might be just a natural by-product of being human, because we’ve developed this ability to think ahead, and plan, along with our ability to verbalise these plans we have for how everyone should behave around us, so we can be happy, and not have to experience pain. We often completely miss the fact that we would have no word for pleasure if we did not have a word for pain. There would be no distinction between the two, were both not present at times in our perception of reality, and our explanation for how reality works. We’d be at as much of a loss, in fact, without pain, as we would be without light and dark, good and evil, black and white, or any other opposites you can think of, for constructing our ideas, and categories for how things are , and how they should behave, the science of things, if you like, for the average thinker, who is a still quite a bit of a scientist, when it comes to organising ideas, or rules of thumb, in order to make sense of the world, for day to day functioning. The idea of removing one of these negatives in opposites from our concepts, like pain, or controlling it to the extent it isn’t part of your life, seems a bit ridiculous, then, yet this is what we seek to do with pain, when we imagine a life without it. Where would the value in comfort be, without discomfort, which is what the definition of pain is, if you look it up in our word-symbolism book, the dictionary, to establish what in the world it signifies?
People, it follows, although a pain in the behind at times, are a necessary evil, since we wouldn’t appreciate being alone with our freedoms, perhaps, if we didn’t experience them being under attack once in a while, just as we might not appreciate our individual uniqueness, if it wasn’t brought to our attention by other people’s behaviour being different to our own. I know, it’s a slightly simplistic way to put it, but look at the sunrise shown below, and then imagine there’s no sunset at the end of the day. The sun just stays up there all day. How much pleasure would you get out of that? How good for the planet, or any of us on it would that be, if things never changed? This is a simplistic argument, but we tend to forget that change is part of life, when we’re in the middle of suffering, or difficult situations, because we’re trying to exert some sort of control over something that’s happening, that we are wanting not to, or we think someone else is trying to control us, and make us jump through hoops, or learn new tricks we don’t want to learn. Change can be beautiful, but it isn’t always painless, even if it’s not always bad.
Should we seek to avoid pain, then, or to control the behaviour of others? It does seem necessary in some respects, if you want to live in society with others, and all animals have this give and take built in, at least the ones that survive, and thrive do. Humans, though, having the ability to over-think, as well as think things through, may be a bit too concerned with learning all kinds of fancy tricks for managing life, to really be getting pleasure out of how they live in the moment, aside from all the big plans, and ideas about how they and others should be living. Turns out that one of the best tricks you can learn is how to enjoy what you have, and are, and let go of worrying a little about what every else is up to, or wanting to have everyone behaving the same way. Let others jump through hoops, if they like, and enjoy watching the circus, or learn a few new tricks yourself, by all means, but ensure they’re the ones that do you the most good, in terms of your own happiness, as well as those you come into contact with. You deserve a little pleasure in your life, right now, as there’s only really now, when you take all the ideas and words away. Although pain may be inevitable, and necessary, you may find you still have some options when it comes to how much you want to suffer, or cause even more suffering, in your own life, or in others’ lives. Being happy is one of the most fun tricks you can learn. If the ring master isn’t happy with that, that’s his problem, not yours.
Weather not very nice outside? Got some free time, and fancy a movie? Well, I’m on a movie binge, at the moment, and if 70s movies are your thing, you’ll love this exciting thriller. I haven’t seen it in years, but good 70s movies get even better with time, and this one will keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering whether the plot to assassinate a French president will succeed, or fail. We’re taken back earlier, to 1963, when the events unfold, and the plot is hatched. Lots of villains and shady dealings in this one, before the killer even shows up, to get the target in his sights. Settle down comfortably, because it promises to be an exciting afternoon. Click the link below the image to see the movie (no sign up needed)
Fancy an exciting movie matinee? Let’s go back to the 70s again, for a flashback to strange conversation, and some unwanted company, that makes an amazing thriller from Coppola, a 1974 Palme d’Or winner, that has deservedly been remembered as a 70s classic, with covert surveillance expert, Harry Caul, played by the always amazing Gene Hackman, prying into other people’s conversations, with shocking results. This is a tense psychological thriller you will be on the edge of your seat throughout, as the creepy, intrigue builds to a horrible crescendo. I won’t spoil it for you, but leave the popcorn down, so you don’t have to get the Hoover out!
I know, I know. It’s nearly Xmas, and scary movies are more of a Halloween thing. But, you know, horror movies are fascinating any time of year. This one, Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”, based on a Stephen King novel, has fascinated a lot of people, since its release, in 1980. It wasn’t all shiny, and pastel, with those plastic bangles and oversized sweatshirts we all loved to hate either, no, it was roll up your sleeves, like a Miami Vice hero, if you wanted to survive this one without psychological trauma. Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t a super-gory festival of blood, like some of the zombie movies around; it was subtler than that, and the blood was withheld, for suspense, until…………….well, you probably know yourself.
There were all sorts of ambiguities, too. It was a very layered movie. I never read the book, to fill in gaps between my mental elevator doors, because I loved those. I mean, what had Jack told his missis about the book he said he was going to write, before they go to the job as winter Overseer at the hotel? And what the hell is that piece of paper in his hand in the hotel lobby photo, never mind how he even got into it?
Kubrick leaves so much of this stuff in, that our own minds struggle to put it together, and it haunts us, like the best movies should do. We then may become obsessed, as Jack did, with what’s going on (not to mention slightly hypnotised by the groovy carpets and decor, which are an utter delight, and far from wishy-washy pastel boring. This is a psychological horror, which pulls you into a complicated maze of meaning. Let’s hope you make it out again. Enjoy, it’s horrible, but terrific.
I’m writing a dystopian novel, called “There Said There Was…….“. Actually, there’s more to the title, but I have to keep that top secret, so that Big Brother doesn’t find it, and haul me away, for suspicious lack of Groupthink cooperation, with his big plans to make the world a better place, his way. So I’ve hidden the rest of the title away somewhere he and his troops can’t find it, until it’s too late. They’ll try to burn it, when they discover it, of course, as being dangerously free in its use of language (even a title can be deemed A Dangerous Idea), and ideas that aren’t officially sanctioned. The frightened global villagers will probably help build the bonfire, and throw in a few more books, just to enjoy the blaze, in these times of deprivation, and they’ll want to keep on the right side of him, as he can get rather strict, and punish those who don’t obey. They love that about him, actually. It’s so paternally firm.
They’ll try to burn your books too, as the rumour is that’s the next step in the plan, and already implemented in some places, but if you want to keep your stories, for when they are to be read, perhaps you’ll have to find hiding places for them, away from Big Brother’s All Seeing Eye, that wants to censor everything that doesn’t fit in with the Brave New World‘s agenda, and keeps close watch over us all, for everyone’s benefit. Possibly not for yours, though. So, find a cubby hole, then, to squirrel away your thoughts, if you are one of those resisters who still like to think, without the approval or permission of the group, because your story will be important some day, very soon, as others have been that went before you. You might give someone else hope, that interesting thoughts are still allowed, outside the plan, or at least give them a backstage peep behind the scenes, in the big pageant that Big Brother has organised for the public, with great rolling fanfares for inducing excitement and fear, alternately, in the masses under his thumb, or enthralled by his masterly tactics, in the civic warfare that constitutes daily life now.
Your story is important. Whoever you are. You were here at a moment when His (Big Bro’s) great plan was blazing like a firebrand, scorching through all your lives, and the thumb screws were being tightened, the racks prepared for the ongoing pageant, the scapegoats being hunted down for the ceremonial events, while The Resistance were being whisked away, behind the scenes, for other nasty surprises, like punishments for thinking, and thinking you’ll get away with writing about it, secretly. Every detail of your diary is proof of how Big Brother’s plan is meant to play out, and what that means in individual peoples’ lives, and you must preserve these records, at all costs. Be sneaky, and find a way to hide your story, out of reach. Give them to a friend, if you must, or hide copies, for distribution, lest Big Brother find a way to whisk you out of sight, if he spots you are writing dangerous ideas of your own down, so that you do not infect others, with your notions of freedom, and your own ideas, and doing your own thing, and seeing things in your own way; all that dangerous nonsense that won’t be tolerated any more. You know already his inducements to go along with what he wills for you, and just how harsh they can be, from having the screw turned on your own hand, and you’ve felt those screws tightening painfully, ’till you wondered would he finish you off, with no mercy, after all?
He enjoys all the pain and humiliation rituals, does Big Brother, our caring pater, as it keeps the sycophants and enablers on board. It brings him joy to offer scapegoats to point the finger at, to his faithful enablers, and see them blamed for all the woes. They cannot yet silence you, or stop you from writing it down. Not until they find the books, to burn them, to eliminate the idea of freedom, and they’ll come for your diary, then, too, so you must hide it, or encode it cleverly somehow, if it is easy to spot, for destruction by the troops. They will seek you out, to destroy you, and your stories. History needs your story, though, all the details of what Big Brother did, to you personally, and the people in your life. Don’t be afraid to write it down. We are The Resistance, and will always survive, even if and when they kill us. Keep that under your hat too, because Big Brother won’t find it there, if you refuse to take your thinking hat off, and bow and scrape before his image, daily, prostrating yourself for his pleasure, to get him salivating at the sight of your raw pain, stretched tight on his torture rack. He wants you to beg to do his bidding. Write instead. Keep writing, even if you think you can’t write. You have your story to tell. Keep notes, stick in pictures, or draw, keeping track of events, and what you think of them, especially if you fear you can’t capture it in words. Try. It doesn’t have to be a work of art. It’s just important to you to have a voice, even in secret, until you can pass it along, and it’s important to the next wave of resistance, that will know that you spoke about it. If enough of you do it, you’ll be heard. Big Brother is sending troops out to remove the records, now, but we must create new ones, so write it, keep writing it, and then hide it, where someone will find it when they need to read it.
Write about the small things, as well as the big picture, or instead, because the small things are not small. You are not small. Not insignificant. It is your story. You are history, even if only a passing note, and the more of you that write it down, the better history will remember what Big Brother did, in your life, in your world. What he did to you, and how he put the boot in your face, daily, and you were supposed to shut up and follow his orders, and kiss the boot that kicked you. Write it all down. It may be the only chance you get, to tell the next wave of the Resistance (there are always others, so do not feel alone), before they eliminate you, as unnecessary to the implementation of the big plan for the Brave New World. Someone will read it, after you smuggle it out to The Resistance, and be glad you wrote it. If they aren’t, well, you still got to speak, and that counts for something, in the fight for freedom.
“They Said There Was… “A new dystopian futuristic science fiction novel by Donna Emerald, is out now on Amazon, in paperback and Kindle editions. But, ‘cos I know Big Brother’s reduced many of you to penury, it’s free here on the blog, for subscribers to read, and even download, if you need to hide in a cupboard to avoid Big Brother’s eye on you. This is my second novel (the first one, “The Q Affaire”, is in both places, too).
Start writing now. It’s completely free to self-publish on Amazon, and I’ll even help you get it to print, if you want to spread your ideas, before someone decides you can’t speak at all.Or just keep a journal, scrapbook, or diary, with your thoughts. Thoughts are still legal, even if you have to hide them, to be able to spread the wordthat freedom is not a defunct idea, even in a dystopian world.
There’s a lot of hype around bitcoin, but is it legit, or just a playground for crafty scams to unleash themselves on unsuspecting investors? It’s so hard to get to grips with, for those like myself whose grip on trends in technology (not to mention money!) is a bit tenuous to start with. Still, all the big celebs looooove it; some of the biggest social media influencers, famous for being famous, have taken to it like a duck lips drinking in an unexpected oasis in a desert of data about it.
How are these posers managing to get the time between important photo shoots on their speedboats, to get up to speed on the peer to peer cryptocurrency networks that create value out of things that most of us didn’t really value, like NFTs that showed you were terribly up on art, and could see the value of signing your investments with digital cartoon signatures? Some of these folk seemed like animated cartoon characters themselves, anti-heroes on the run, until their exploits caught up with them, like crypto stock on the rise, before taking a sudden tumble into the abyss, before investors not in the groove managed to pump n’ dump in time, with new stars rising, stocks heading to outer space, like a shiny car ad, that really got shot in a hanger, on a back lot. It’s pretty spaced out stuff, this cryptocurrency thing, but having a big bottom and a lot of fans following it seems to attract investors. You can promise them all kinds of pie in the sky, in a get-rich-quick scheme, every fan’s rags to riches dream.
One well known rapper, that of course, being an ol’ fogey myself, I’ve never heard of, got lucky with crypto, and landed a deal with the government of Senegal to build a crypto city. No, it’s not built in the sky, but apparently, the sky’s the limit, with what they’ll achieve, as crypto is a big deal in various parts of Africa now. No, really. Well, sort of. If you like comics you’ll find it terribly exciting, and want to join the crypto fun, like the layout of the city he’s been granted land to plan the city out, for this new and futuristic vision of a currency not reliant on fuddy duddy bankers, who don’t even keep their customers’ books straightened out. They’ve got their rows of comic trading cards nice n’ straight, with new ones appearing from some sleeve or other, and are in cahoots with the cartoon baddies in Gothom, the government tax inspectors, who, in the plot, are about as much fun as the irritating guy in The Matrix. He was such a big fan of Neo that he would keep following him about, asking him had he completed his tax forms yet?
No, none of that; for the bright new future, just fabulous cities, that are as funky as a Stan Lee drawing, with self driving cars shooting by at grand auto theft speed, in the moodily dystopian skies above. It’ll be great. Very techno, post-post-post modern, beyond your wildest dreams, and you’ll be eating oysters with pearls inside, if you jump on board the ride now.
After reading the Irish headlines this morning, I was angry. Restrictions extended, yet again, after promises that it would all go away, if we played along, did our part, lined up, took our medicine, followed instructions. The truth began to sink in, eventually, that it might be a little game that Big Brother’s quite enjoying playing, since he wants to keep it up, although most complied with all the guidelines, and got no reward for playing along.
When there’s no promised land at the end of the road, just miles and miles more to go, before you can take your muzzle off and sleep, with the phone stuck to your face, in case new, important regulations which might keep you safe from something you can’t see, are issued in the middle of the night, your dreams get rather dystopian, and perhaps a little nightmarish. When you wake, you check your screen. Is it real, or just a bad dream? The screen will tell you the truth, surely, and put your mind at ease. In the back of your mind, however, something else has woken up. The lurking dread that this is your life now; that they’ve made it a meaner, smaller thing, deliberately, and that you might have even helped them build the cell you’re now inhabiting, hoping you are let go free again, some day. At their discretion, of course.
You hear muffled laughter from somewhere, and turn to the screen on the wall. Can it hear your thoughts, or broadcast Big Brother’s thoughts, straight into your mind? No. That’s crazy thinkin’, right there, you tell yourself, and choose your muzzle for the day, matching it to your outfit. Something comfy, since you don’t go out much, anymore, except on food runs. Who in their right mind would want to be around people, after all, with this invisible plague-of-some-sort circulating constantly? If only one didn’t need to breathe at all, but the human body is so badly designed, that it comes with flaws. Add to that, the fact that some humans just don’t care enough, and forget to keep their muzzles on over their breathing apparatus properly, so that a sensible and cautious person has hold their breath like a deep sea diver of old (we don’t have those any more, I think, but I have seen them in freedom era reruns on the screen), and get the food transaction over quickly, in as minimal contact and brief a mode as is humanly possible.
I wish they’d hurry up and transplant the human mind into something with a better design. Surely, it would be cleaner, and greener, to do so, and we’re nearly at the singularity, according to my screens, so I’m looking forward to the Brave New World. It’s gotta be better than this, right? Right?
You Can’t Kill Freedom
The words appeared on my screen. Does not compute, was my first thought. What’s this? Doesn’t look like a health edict, or guideline about how far away from someone you should stand for the next while, until the next edict’s issued, by experts. Not that I worry about that guideline, when I wouldn’t dream of standing near to anyone, outside of having to interact with the cashless machine where the till used to be situated (always swab your card after use; power user tip there, from someone who’s never been on the Suspicious Contacts list, yet). What’s it mean, though? Are there further instructions, that make more sense of the first statement? I must find out, because I don’t know what actions to take next, until I know. How can I know, if they don’t tell me, in words I can understand (scans phone, swiping screen anxiously, looking for directions)?
“You Can’t Kill Freedom“
(continues scrolling, on sanitised phone)
What (scrolls down more frantically now, with a rising feeling of discomfort, increasing respiration, and precipitation on muzzle)
“You Can’t Kill Freedom“
“They said there was a pandemic“.
What in the actual………? (stops self from cursing, as the new guidelines might include being arrested in one’s own home for that, and it’s now not clear to what extent the devices are listening in).
Them? Tyranny? Freedom? This is not A Ministry person. This is clearly a mad person. I hope they are not outside their home, running amok, with these statements, or they will surely be arrested. I hope they are. You just can’t say things like that, and get away with it. It’s not the kind thing, and we have to care about others. It’s why we follow all instructions, and do what we’re told. It’s because we care.
Who’s this “we”? I don’t think she means Big Brother, since it’s not an official publication, this book. Hopefully she won’t be allowed publish it. It sounds very wrong, in its whole conception. Very dangerous, in its thinking. Perhaps they’ll have new guidelines introduced soon, where they’ll arrest people like this in advance of them expressing dangerous thoughts. Then the rest of us can have peace of mind, which contributes greatly to our safety, because I believe even stress can contribute to stuff in the air getting inside you, and killing you in the most horrible way, stopping you from breathing properly, and so on and so forth (beads of sweat break out at the thought, and heartrate and breathing rate shoot up, saturating muzzle and resulting in unpleasant tingling which may or may not presage a fainting fit is on the way).
No. No, I’m sure Big Brother won’t stand for this. Take these peoples’ money away, whoever they are. Don’t even let them do voluntary work, around sensible people, to earn their credits. They deserve to be not only shunned, with these dangerous book ideas, which look waaaaay outside the recommended guidelines, but to be locked out of decent society forever. Hopefully, they’ll starve quickly, without the state’s help, and without the rest of us having to look at them do it, and we won’t have the stress of seeing them, or hearing them, any more. It’s too much, to have to put up with these selfish types, rabbiting on about freedom, when we have to pull together, and follow the rules and regulations, all as one, all together (except alone).
You won’t make it ’till March, my little dears, if I get my way. I’m a dab hand, when it comes to writing Emails, picking up phones, and sending comms out to the masses of allies I don’t know personally, but who I’m sure are on my side (the right and only reasonable one) on Twitter and Metaverse virtual app. etc etc. We’ll meme you out of your book plan, shame and name you, then get you chucked out of life as you would wish to know it, before you get to the end of Chapter 1!!!!
Ha! You won’t have a lamp to light, at all, when me and Big Brother, plus all the ground troops for sanity and wholesome healthiness, promoting the bright future, dependent on the miserable present, get started on our “corrections” to educate you as to the error of your ways. You think you’re gonna write that book. We think we’ll need to stop you, and we’ll stop at nothing, to get what we want. We’ll make sure that not even your first sentence survives our cull! He he. The perfect way to take that anger out, without even going out.
It’s critical to understand processes, in any science, as we need both definitions of terms and ways of measuring processes in nature’s systems. These turn out to be pretty amenable to theorising about, and modeling how they’re constructed, with new information getting added to scientific schemas we devise, and model in mathematical and imaginative ways. I took the creative path myself, when studying material about how the universe works, since the universe is a very arty affaire, from the human point of view.
In my last post, I took a trip to the Galapagos, to explore how we managed to get this far, and survive, in the balancing act between order and chaos, that is an ongoing game played out over generations, with different species that inhabit our planet.
How else does the game play out? If the same processes are at work, universally, and physically, are they also played out socially, and individually? Yes, according to Game Theory, which we explored in relation to biology and evolutionary theory, in that post; but what about politically? Of course, Game Theory has all kinds of applications, and explores political developments as well, within the parameters of the rules of the Game. The next video isn’t one of mine, but it’s a good leadup to the article linked to under it, if you want to understand the rule book that the best players, and game designers who know how to play the Game at an expert level, wrote. See, they know already how the Game of Life is played, and how to move the players around the board, with chaotic but perhaps somewhat predictable results. If you don’t wish to be a pawn that’s swept from the board, or just want to up your game a little, you’d do well to understand it, too, since you’re one of the pieces on the board, in play. You’d better get used to the idea, and study the rulebook, to avoid a disastrous outcome. Watch out for cheats, while you play, as they designed the game, and they have their own rulebooks squirreled away up their sleeves. If you’re not enjoying the game, just hang in there. Remind yourself it’s only a phase. Hey, maybe you’ll adapt.
Games are attractive, aren’t they? While not everyone is drawn magnetically to their charms, no matter how lovingly the little figures on the board are carved, or how gay the plumage of the various pieces, studying the rulebook can yield a lot of information about how the thing works.
Even Those who prefer ornithology might find the notion of note-taking on their observations delightful, and nature not only parades its varied plumage, but plays by some rules, too, as species evolve, to win the game of life. The feathers may fly, sometimes, in the fight for survival, but that’s how the game is played, and the rules, it turns out, are very simple to grasp.
Let’s have a look at how Game Theory comes into play in evolutionary strategy, with an example from the game played on the Galapagos Islands. The pieces on the board in this case are finches, so even the ornithologists who don’t like to be stuck indoors, when they could be out in the field, bird watching, might like this game.
It starts with two pieces (finches), and you win more as you go along (takes a while, ‘cos you have to wait for them to mate, and observe the proceeding generations as they evolve). What fun the game is then, as you notice the new pieces begin to change the game, as they develop new characteristics over time, and the game plays out, with the best players dominating the board. All the time, things edge towards chaos, but gravitate towards stability, in order for the species to live to fight another day, and play the game that goes on and on, until someone upsets the board, and all the pieces are thrown into chaos.
Darn Red Queen is always getting her flippity flappity sleeves caught in the edges of chaos, so sometimes it’s just sensible to move the board out of her reach. Quite a nice island, this. Lots of birds about, beaches to swim on, and sandpiles galore, for the progeny to roll down. Splendid view, too, from the top, if you’re King of the Hill.
You might have recognised the elderly guy enjoying his chess game as coming from Pixar Productions. That’s Geri: https://youtu.be/9IYRC7g2ICg
The Red Queen footage was straight from the Queen’s mouth, so to say, as it’s on Helena Bonholm Carter’s YouTube channel (or maybe just a fan chan). I bet she enjoyed playing that character: https://youtu.be/i_zhBLF1Fu0