Just a wise man’s thought about our ever-changing lifes:
“Jetzt sind die guten alten Zeiten, nach denen wir uns in zehn Jahren zurücksehnen.” – Peter Ustinov
Just a wise man’s thought about our ever-changing lifes:
“Jetzt sind die guten alten Zeiten, nach denen wir uns in zehn Jahren zurücksehnen.” – Peter Ustinov
Yesterday evening I read some old emails I exchanged with a good friend of mine some weeks ago. We had discussed the fact that sometimes we feel like aliens in our own world. Nothing special about that, I guess most people have experienced this. But when I was sitting in the bus today, I decided to give it a try and provoke that feeling. Curiously, I succeeded. Feeling as a complete stranger in an environment that is so familiar is amazing.
There is however something more I wanted to achieve this time: to become conscious of every single person that was sitting in that bus, to become aware that every person who shared the same place in our space-time continuum as me, was an individual with problems, hopes, dreams and fears. It felt as if I was part of a collective, a hive, where everyone is on himself and yet dependent on and bound to all the others.
I will do it again.
It gave me an all new look on our postmodern world, where everybody feels so left alone. Our world, a place where we need stability now more than ever before. A moment in time in which we reject everything that seems absolute, even moral values. Yet, we desperately seek something that is not relative to give us a hold.
So many people were sitting around me whose names I knew. Mayhap there were people who knew mine. People I have never talked to and probably never will. I don’t dislike them. I simply don’t feel any particular interest in talking to them. I had, for these few seconds though. If only all humans would experience this daily, if it was a part of our very nature, if we walked around and were totally aware of all our fellow beings, peradventure, this world would be much more bearable, for all of us.
But, in the end, humans prefer to stay anonymous. We drown ourselves in the bottomless lake of self-pity for being alone. When it comes down to meeting new people, we prefer the impersonal alternative, where we are nothing more than an avatar and don’t have to leave the safety of our small office at home. The old saying ‘no risk no fun’ gets an all new meaning in this context. Today, most already consider it a risk coming out behind their firewall, stepping out of the front door and talking to real-life people. Nobody wants to leave his VR, where we just feel too comfortable.
The world is waiting to be filled with discussions, opinions, chit-chats. What do we do? We keep leaving it crest-fallen.
It’s a weird day. I don’t really know what keeps my thoughts turning round in circles, without seeming to have a particular goal, they simply do. Perhaps it’s because I’m a bit tired. Not in a physical sense. My soul’s tired, which, in a sense, doesn’t surprise me. Before I see anyone of you making an emergency call and sending an ambulance over to my home: I’m not tired of life in the sense that I’d end it. I’m in a melancholic, nostalgic mood.
Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I went to my elementary school – not because I wanted to, but because I had to: it’s where the polling-station was at the last city election. Going back there, to a place in my village where I haven’t been for some time, a place where after all I passed seven years of my life, including kindergarten, was a literal trip back through time. I suddenly remembered things long forgotten, games I used to play with friends – some of which I have lost sight with over the years – and people I forgot over the years.
Maybe it’s because of university and friends who are spread throughout the whole continent. Mayhap it’s because I know I won’t see some of them ever again, at least not till a class reunion in ten or twenty years. Some of them might decide to go on living in a foreign country and those who return won’t be the same people that left. They won’t be less friendly or have a worse character, they will simply be different. What I wish for in this moment is to have the good ol’times return. I know they won’t. It drives me crazy. I have become a perfect specimen of Pirandello’s theory. And now, after having been aware of it for some time now, I finally begin to accept the wind of change which Gilles noticed some time ago, too.
My circle of friends is changing. To be aware of this, to conciously see how some lose and others gain importance in my life is strange. I don’t want it to happen. I didn’t make it happen. It simply does. And it’s natural, which makes me even more sad. I don’t want the people I have spent so many years and such great moments with to lose importance now. But most of them are gone to universities far away, and even though there’s the possibility of keeping in touch with them via email, IM and VoIP, it’s almost scary how much physical presence still matters in our world where VR has become most important. Everyday life goes on without old friends, sending an email every once in a while doesn’t help in keeping them a part of it. Still it’s interesting that my knot of friends basicly remains the same, I still talk to them regularly, exchange experiences about university or have a talk about god knows what else, although some are hundreds of kilometers away and I won’t see them till Christmas. Even with those who are still here, it’s different than I imagined. There is no sitting around in our once favourite pub, there is no being together with them on Friday afternoons anymore. Some have switched school and have met new people, others have a timetable which allows them to leave school already at 11.30 a.m. on Fridays and they don’t remain in town till 16 o’clock. Some simply have disappeared and I don’t really know where they have gone.
It’s like I already stated before, the world won’t stop turning, no matter what happens. Perchance, the solution to it all is considering all these old friends as inner companions, just as I try to do with her. People that influenced my life could continue to be a part of it in becoming a part of myself. Keeping the good old times in memory may help to confront myself to the future, which, at least for now, is not so uncertain as it was a few months ago. Memories are the most precious thing a human has. It’s the one thing that nobody can take away. Through memories, people long gone can still influence us, in good or bad terms.
So should I simply be lucky to have so many memories, saved not only in my mind, but also on pictures and videos? To be honest, I haven’t the feeling it would suffice. The melancholy still hasn’t gone. You may consider it a weakness being a nostalgic, but, thinking about it, I’m proud of being one. No memory will ever lose importance, no good friend will ever be forgotten. And even if it’s hard confronting myself to the fact that life goes on without having them around every day, it is in fact this difficulty that proves me how important these people were, and still are.
I ought to take it by the words of Frank Sinatra: you’ll never walk alone. But the fragrance of chrysanthemum has almost completely gone.
I am an atheist. And i will bet on one thing: if there really is a god watching us: well then there is a big chance he is laughing his arse off most of the time.
Many things are done and thaught in his name. Where he chooses silence, his interpreters choose to inflate the silence until it says what they want it to say. I am not saying the concept of god is a bad one. I am saying it is a tool, a tool for manipulation. It serves a purpose, it rassembles people, it is: collectivity.
Our real freedom consists in the simple fact that we may choose to believe what we want to. Ultimately you define your own rules, noone can see in your head can they in all cases not if you believe in freedom.
Fate is a very elaborated concept to say: i guess there are things i could have done differently, but i choose not to put the blame on myself. Which is a valid argument, there is no point to destroy yourself for the past, the future lies ahead; although one must not make the mistake and confound “fate” with “fear to act”. The comparison with the chess board is an interesting one, it does provides us with the dilemma of two meanings that are not really clashing but which constrain the outcome oft the game to a conclusion that seems to be unavoidable.
However as i tried to point out earlier this involves the faith in three conceptions, fate, god and freedom.
I say this: i believe in freedom, and believing in freedom makes me wonder about the other two. Freedom does make god obsolete indead, who needs spiritual guidance the moment he is a free man to choose ? I claim that god is living in the heads of many people, and it is a good thing too, but it should not lead them to wonder about their own freedom, for it is the only thing we have left and it is the only thing we ever had.
This is more than certainly a very controversal statement, i would like to add that it represents my current philosophy and state of mind, it is not in any way objectif; but it does represent a different point of view than the one posted below and is meant to be complementary. I do hope that i offended noone.
Are we nothing more than the figures in a chess set where all the moves and the end are already set?
God gave us the free will. The possibility to choose our own destiny. But then again, God knows everything, and doesn’t that mean we have no free will? If someone knows which decisions we are going to take, do we have another choice but to make exactly those decisions? If we make a wrong decision, who is responsible? The individual, who made the decision, or God, who foresaw this choice and did nothing to prevent it? The church of course keeps telling everyone that we humans alone are responsible for the evil we do.
It’s called the observer effect. It appears in sciences such as quantum physics or sociology. The fact alone of observing changes how the observed behaves.
So is God observing us? The answer may be yes. If it is, He’s manipulating us. In fact, the concept alone of a god changes the very way we perceive the world. A lot of wars wouldn’t have been waged if not for a holy cause, and a lot of children in Africa e.g. wouldn’t be helped if not by sisters.
Or is He chilling somewhere on the other side of the universe and doesn’t care about this small world? Every believer would say that’s heresy. Accusing God of not caring about us. But does He? He knows which choices every single human is going to make now and in a hundred years, and yet He doesn’t prevent us from doing evil. He gave us the free will. A liberty we don’t really have as the future is already known to God and therefore is static. We don’t have any influence on it. So is He responsible for the father leaving his wife and children, for the teenager driving while (s)he’s drunk and risking his own life and that of others? Is He responsible because He foresaw these situations already when He created us? Is He responsible because He is the only one who could have prevented it?
It’s a computer program that’s programed to output a random number, but the program’s been limited to a single number. Take x = random(0), x being the decision to make. The command random() would provoke the output of a random number, but the fact of adding a 0 reduces the possible outputs of this command to a single one: o.
We could make every decision we wanted to make, but the fact that someone already knew the future answer would force us, unconciously, to make exactly that choice.
The only way out would be that there were no God, so no one would know the future. Then, we could shape it freely. But then again, if there were no God, we wouldn’t even exist, would we? So the solution would be not to believe in a greater being. And who would help the children in Africa? We need the concept of a god, and we have the free will to decide whether to believe in such a being or not. And we’re not ready yet to deny him.
Checkmate. But who wins?
It’s a fan film. Yet another. But not quite. It’s the first Finnish full-length sci-fi parody. It’s an ingenious movie that took seven years of work before it was finished a few weeks ago. It’s an ambitious project. Its goal: to become the most watched Finnish movie ever. It’s been downloaded over 700’000 times within the first days. It’s the end of a movie industrie that doesn’t satisfy the demand of its audience. Have you seen Michael Herbig’s ‘Traumschiff Surprise’? It was crap. It lacked everything which it claimed to be: a good sci-fi parody. It wasn’t even a good popcorn movie. This movie is pure gold. I love it. It’s an inspired parody with so many quotations and cross-references it’s hard work to keep following. It’s hilarious. The special effects are enormous, you wouldn’t think it’s a low-budget near zero-budget movie. (In fact, it took nearly five years to render all the CGI, some frames taking 10 hours to be rendered, using only home computers.)
It’s not only a parody of the series (Star Trek and Babylon 5) themselves, it makes fun of the franchises. Discussions about whether Star Trek or Babylon 5 is the better series can be found all over the internet. In this movie, the evil Trek characters actually fight the good Babylon 5 characters. It’s surprising how much love they put into choosing the characters’ names. Names like Captain Pirk which obviously relates to Captain Kirk, Captain Sherrypie (actually Sheridan) or Dwarf (Worf) show they had quite some ideas.
The film demands a certain amount of knowledge about both franchises. You’ll still understand what it’s all about without ever having heard of Susan Ivanova or Data, but you’ll miss most of the fun.
Watch the teaser, the trailer and then the movie. They even make fun of Bush jr. Oh, and by the way, the movie’s called Star Wreck – In The Pirkinning.
The official site with the free download (BitTorrent or direct download) is here: StarWreck.com. Be sure to download the subtitles, too.
Enjoy the movie.
My fingers do not have that flying and volatile flow that i crave to achieve. Having to write, willing to write, i am set in a thick, heavy way; unable to lift myself up, a grounded plane turning on idle, longing for the heights it will never reach again. The keys all stand still for me, yet i cannot find the perfect moment, for it has been hidden under all that petrification, burried deep down.
Looking back all i can see are lurking shadows, their edges glowing in the unbearable light. Nights dressed in silver, days burning shadow; and yet the perfect state is everything, and yet it is nothing, for it is unreachable. How could the blind see ? The futility of it all is disgusting in it’s simplicity.
Still there is hope and belief, waiting on each turn of the road, disguised once as the devil once as perfection, waiting and beckoning me to alter the dimension of my way, i do not want to falter.
For destiny comes from within, believe in destiny and she will believe in you. Where is the difference between leading and being lead, if your route follows the same path ? It does not matter as long as you keep going, because the moment you stop, will be the moment everything stops, no more turning, not seeking anymore. Ultimately everyone reaches the end of his quest, the real sin of mankind being a tendency to puzzle over what has yet to come, imaginating what never will be, omitting to grasp what there really is. For what we have is not of importance, important is what we shall get.
Thus are we going backwards, reaching forward only to gain more distance, until all there is to see is a blurr; and then, then we can say happily, dreamily: i caught a glimpse of it, now i die a happy man. Happy for having been as far as it was possible to get, further and further away, rejoicing every step, completing the futility of a circle gone backwards, thinking forward and reaching on the outside.
I failed, but i failed along the terms i signed with myself. I failed the way i would have liked it to be; but i failed for me, not for you.
I am looking forward though, with my will to push him on and his skill to make words fly we might succeed in something, something beautifully inept, futile. Yet fulfilling.
I am waiting.
The letters on the keyboard are dancing. Everything turns so fast. Too fast to get a short glimpse at it. The remote control is laughing at me every time I try to take it. The television’s been showing the same program for hours. No use in zapping. It’s the same on every channel.
My buddy-list only shows offline friends. They wouldn’t talk to me anyway. Or I wouldn’t talk to them. My thoughts are too confused, confusing, too obsessed with you.
No one calls me. I’m sitting here. Fighting to keep that little bit of will to live up. No one helps me. Who could see I’m waging war against hopelessness? Who could see I’ve already lost everything? Nothing was so worth fighting for but you. If I still had your number I would call you. Talk with you. A light-minded chat. With the only person I ever cared about. You wouldn’t listen. Just like all the others that left me when I needed them the most.
The letters are dancing. They drive me crazy. Feverish shivering. Boiling hot coffee. It doesn’t help. The world won’t stop turning. Not when someone suffers, not when someone is lucky. Not when you cry. It didn’t even stop the day you lost your wings.
The fragrance of chrysanthemum. Hope. It fades with every air molecul that leaves my lungs. The last memories I have of you. The first time I saw you. The first time you smiled at me. The first time we held each other close. All those days we walked home together. And far away.
But now. Where are you? You’ve been missing for weeks. You went home. Daddy’s little girl. It’s been such a long time. Where is home? Is it still somewhere near? Miles away? At the other end of the world? Where is the family that would never accept their accomplice? I burned your wings.
The world is empty. Yet it doesn’t stand still. I do. If only some more did. Maybe we could prevent the world from turning. Only for a few seconds. And hold our memories an eternal moment longer. And forget the everlasting torment.
The letters are dancing. But here, look. Some of them stand still. The centre of the world. I will never find it again. You will never lead me.