Victor, victor, we have a little rule here in America that I think you would appreciate: and that is that you wait seven years before you begin spewing the same shit over again because otherwise people start to catch on.
-Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge
As humans, we have innate natural desires, one of which is the desire to understand our environments and each other. There are some optimistic humans who, in their quest to look at all things imaginatively, forget to deduce what is real and what isn't. It's like if you were to take a bottle of axe body spray and spray it directly up your nose. Perhaps you thought that this would provide a tingly or pleasurable sensation, but now that you know what it does, you can deduce that spraying axe body spray up your nasal cavity is not pleasurable. Now, it would seem that you, my dear Vic, are telling us that if a person deludes himself well enough, he can manage to see both sides optimistically. But it is not objectively the case, as one can harm himself in delusion; like a thrill junky or a madman. However, there are times when delusions such as unconditional love... an affection that demands us not to be actively deductive, are beneficial. So are you a beneficiary?
I don't see anything innocent about preemptively waging wars on whole nations in the name of democracy because religious extremist groups decided to do what religious extremist groups usually do: terrorize. I'm not trying to trivialize 9/11, not at all, but I think by our country trying to perpetually police the entire world instead of concentrating on our own crises first is going to come back on us. I think some of it already has. This "good-intentioned, neighborly officer" role we've been portraying is deceptive (esp since many American businesses, to give an example, have exploited that role to gain the trust of foreign businessmen but have in return polluted their country's political identity, and its people's cultural and racial identity to boot, into a uniformly American one) as we've taken on a huge responsibility as "Superpower USA" that we can't really sustain, which simply illustrates our naivete as a nation. We just have no idea how to prioritize.
We'll learn eventually, but we'd learn sooner if there wasn't so much resistance.
You are projecting your own issues with modern America onto Victor's posts, rather like how a mark gives his life story to a fortune-teller during a session with the crystal ball.
Nowhere in this thread has Victor mentioned any of the issues you mention above.
But look around you and you will find the modern world is alienating.
And it is alienating because it has alienated the imagination.
So it is high time to re-enchant the modern world without losing the values of the Enlightenment.
And you know the answer: Internet and computers will re-enchant this world. Internet is like the magic of our times, a double edged Damocles sword that looks like the Spinozian God.
Global communication may eventually turn the disparate echoes of modern rationality, of the industrial age and modern metropolization into an universal Simmelian grundmotiv.
To desalienate ourselves, we have to know ourselves and realize where our real desires really lie. We used to believe signs, echoes and neons of the global city were objects of desire, just like butterflies were attracted to lampposts. It was the age of Erlebnis. But Internet may cure a few elected ones of the consumerist, meaningless transe of modernity, when they suddenly realize how lonely the modern man is. We have to invent post-modernity, even if we still don't know how it will look.
Global communication is the answer. It's like a magic trick. The Noosphere is the essence of magic, but only a few of us a real magicians.
"A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire
The Noosphere is the essence of magic, but only a few of us a real magicians.
It's not about magic. It's not like magic. It is magic.
Magic calls to the depths. And if you can't swim, you drown.
So better stay dry. Better watch the waves crash on the shore.
We are all tempted to go surfing. We surf the internet. Best to avoid the rip. Best to avoid the undertow.
The waves rise in each of us and on either side lies the rip. Some are already caught and are being swept out to sea. Others catch the wave.
When we see the white tips, we call them white horses. The sea's up. The white horses are galloping, one after the other, to dash themselves on the beach.
We think we are riding the waves. "Charge", we say. But the herd of white horses are galloping together in a never ending charge against fixed bayonets. Against the fixed bayonets of the rocks, the ledges and cliffs. Nothing daunts them, for a horse is most truly a horse when it is galloping with the herd. There is nothing else but the herd, we are part of the herd, thundering towards the beachhead.
Of course the waves take no notice of us, and after a while we don't notice either, for we are no more important than the spray on the waves.