Aging. Decay. A birthday.
The day your body was birthed.
The day you ceased to be contained within another
The earth orbits the sun.
The pattern of information that is a person has staved off entropy,
So we celebrate.
Some are over joyed,
a party where you’re unquestionably the centre of attention.
Some are terrified,
a tangible sign that death is one year closer.
And some just don’t give a damn,
a day like any other.
The date may be arbitrary,
but all holidays are.
We need them,
they help us live.
They help us carve meaning into an uncaring cosmos.
The modern feast day.
But which do we celebrate,
the past or the future?
The accomplishments that have passed,
or the ones to come?
The distance from birth,
or the approach of death?
The decision to do evil.
The inevitable violent act.
Science has shown this debate is done
Freewill is a figment of the mind
Society needs it
Law needs it
So we assume something,
Something that what we know to be false
Responsibility can’t exist without it
Law can’t exist without it.
Is a man evil or is an act evil?
How many evil deeds before you call them evil?
How many evil deeds can you forgive?
A child is abused;
poor family, little education, little community supports
No safety net
They grow up, they learn about pain, they learn about cruelty.
A child is cared for;
happy family, good schooling, nice neighbourhood
Idyllic suburban life
They grow up, they learn to fit in, they learn to be liked.
One of them had a genetic anomaly,
a brief hiccup of nature
It inhibits a minute chemical in the brain
It inhibits empathy
It leads to violence
Do we hold the child accountable for this?
If not this, why the rest?
The child has no control over their parents.
They didn’t choose to be born.
They don’t choose how they’re raised
Does it matter which child?
Does understanding this change anything?
It’s what you struggle against
Hating racism, hating sexism, hating greed
It gives you purpose
Be cautious though,
your hate defines you
It binds you
Your opposite is as much a part of you as your ‘true’ self
Choose wisely or it will become your foil
It will carve itself into your soul
You will require it,
for without it you’ll have no purpose
And a human without purpose is a waste
One in twenty. Five out of a hundred.
Eris’ number. The mostly all knowing, the fairly powerful, and the not giving a fuck at all, Goddess of Chaos. She who brought disorder to the universe. The queen bitch of Discordianism.
Disorder; the chance of failure. Chaos.
This is what allowed evolution to happen. Without failed mutations we wouldn’t exist. The failed adaptations.
Countless beings who were the opposite of “fittest”, who were not selected; they were our sacrificial lambs.
You cannot learn without first learning you’re mistaken and you cannot grow stronger without feeling your weaknesses.
Failure is what makes us great. Extinction is what created us.
A toast to those dead, deformed creatures, may we never forget their failures. Their failures, our successes.
One in twenty.
Old age will kill after 80-100 years. Ideally we’d live until then.
Grow and learn for 20 years, work and produce for 45/50 years, retire, rest for 20/30. That first 20 years, it’s when you become you. Twenty years out of a hundred.
That first fifth of your life is when the plastic parts of your brain form the framework of all future thoughts. Religion, language, culture; it’s the foundation of a psyche. It shapes your perceptions and how you process the things you learn about the world.
And yet it’s when you have the least control. The world is acting upon you. Your circumstances are not your choice. Parents, citizenship, economic status, community, it’s all foisted on you. All is not misery though. Once you become conscious; once you start reflecting on why you believe what you believe, then you get internal control.
So nothing is locked in stone, you can certainly rebel against any of those, but you’re never free of them. Every decision you make is because of them, even if those decisions are to oppose them. It never goes away.
That first fifth.
The twenty years.
One in twenty.
That’s roughly the unemployment required for our economy to function. If more people get employed, then there’s a shortage of labour. This makes it harder for employers to find employees. 5% of our population must be unemployed. We call them lazy, deadbeat, a drain on society. We require them.
With unemployment above 5%, it creates competition amongst labour. The workers must then compete for jobs. Employers have more power. If it’s below 5%, they lose that power. Workers can demand more rights. Employers cannot threaten unemployment . Labour becomes strong.
One in twenty.
Let’s say, for sake of argument, that you agree with me. What does that mean? For you to make a statement like that, how much of me do you have to agree with? No two people will ever be able to communicate perfectly so it’s clearly impossible to agree with anyone completely. I’m not wishing to get pedantic here; I’m not arguing against the concept of agreement. The opposite is actually what I’m driving at.
When do you stop ‘liking’ someone due to them making statements that you disagree with? When does the good outweigh the bad? Our memory is a fickle thing, it’s very easy to remember anger. If you’re reasonable and someone close to you offends you, you’ll let them explain themselves. You’ll talk and learn about why they said what they said. Our media has brought humans far closer together but we still maintain the same number of ‘close’ relationships. So we’re exposed to more people, more opinions, but not actually to the full viewpoints of those people. It makes it very easy to see the bad in them. To only see what angers you.
To ignore the weight of that 95% and only look at 5%.