Still busted.

I’ve been indulging my most horrible hobby lately: looking at all the busted things and wondering how to fix them. That obsession’s been at the core of every job I’ve had (at which I was successful, anyway), and even for my writing, because at the core of it, the problem I’ve been trying to fix has been the inherent brokenness of a blank page.

It’s still evil out there. There’s a lot that’s broken.

The more advanced I am in my career(s), the more I’m required to look at the larger picture — not just at the project on which I’m working, but how that project dovetails into the larger puzzle. Nothing can be designed for a pristine laboratory environment. Whatever you build has to be handled by a thousand hands, dragged in the dirt, and put to a hundred uses for which you never planned. Including probably being used for a weapon.

I’m reluctant to turn out even a single paragraph in these circumstances. With so much fear and uncertainty around, people are just looking for a way to appropriate whatever you give them and turn it into a supporting argument for their own attacks and defenses. In times of fear one’s own sense of reality is weakened and people will grab onto anything that can be twisted to provide an illusion of control over one’s environment or support one’s view of the world around, regardless of whether it’s inherently positive or negative, and with no respect whatsoever for that view’s grounding in reality. Or more importantly, lack thereof.

For some reason it’s okay for the world to seem more awful than it actually it is as long as you know it’s just behaving according to the rules. C.f., Murphy, et al.

If you’re reading carefully, you see I’m admitting to being tempted by the same trap, seeing evil everywhere because that’s what I’m focusing on, recognizing evil because I “know” things are evil out there. I’m going to continue to call it an obsession, because that has the necessary connotations of illness. It is, in fact, interfering with my health. And not for the first time.

From where I’m standing, evil is in the bigger picture I find myself forced to consider. We’ve created giant hulking machines out of ourselves, aggregate machines that are as alive as we are, whose goals and interests are not our own, and which are allowed to eat us for their sustenance. A small percentage of ourselves ride them like parasites and predate on them — and thereby us — and that’s as evil as attacking us individually and directly.

And there’s no existing morality that defines good or evil with respect to these aggregates. In that vacuum, people use them without the kindnesses they’d direct even to livestock. They use them as condoms for raping people they’d never have the guts to rape and steal from in person. That level of organizational insulation protects those who profit from guilt, but nothing protects the victim from misery.

If our institutions of governments and religions don’t start addressing the problems of these new life forms, I may have to break down and found one that does.

So I can stop obsessing and allow myself to see a bit more beauty again.


July 18, 2010 · by xalieri · Posted in Everything Else  


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