Ijon Tichy - point of view
This section contains my views and thoughts concerning general and specific issues, expressed in the form of single sentences or paragraphs. Their order is completely random and they are not meant to make a coherent whole. Polish and English versions may vary in content.
It seems hardly anything funny or amusing comes to my mind when I think English...
Cut off from the news, a Spaniard could think the Orange Revolution is a Ukrainian equivalent of Tomatina. But how come there are so many oranges in Ukraine?
- What's the second most popular word in Poland?
- The Pope.
- What's the word that Poles use most frequently then?
- I can't tell you.
- Because it's dirty.
As L. G. Alexander put it in his Longman English Grammar, "the order of words is essential to the meaning of a sentence". Do remember this and see how nasty a change in word order can be:
1. It was fucking great!
2. It was great fucking! (12th March 2008)
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Having thrown millions of victims into the abyss of disagreements, divisions, dogmas, greed and gratuitous atrocities since its dawn, humanity is still incapable of settling the differences, and yet it dreams of encountering alien civilisations. Hopefully it does not happen as long as humans remain humans - otherwise hundredfold multiplied vermin of sects, prophets, antiprophets, messiahs, redeemers and Elvis Presley would crawl out from everywhere.
Although cybernetically society as a whole constitutes a unit of complexity far greater than that represented by the brain of a single person, only individuals can come up with outstanding inventions. Thus technical efficiency of the former is smaller than that of the latter. Society never creates anything ingenious - only mere, arbitrary conventions, habits and prejudices. Being then an inferior system, society should never impose its judgements on individuals as long as they do not threaten the integrity of others.
Just use the finger of imagination and keep pushing the hands of the ultimate clock forward a million times faster than its normal pace to see the growing trees suddenly explode like atomic bombs, freeze for a while and disappear. See the planets smudging their orbits, follow the third one and do your best to make out just a single detail from the mayhem of squirming life. Roughly within half an hour, an individual appears, flings around and vanishes. With billions of them involved in seemingly purposeless, speedy toing and froing, you cannot guess a single aim of their actions - the details are lost in the chaos of perspective.
Now imagine your lifespan has been squeezed into a tiny day of a mosquito - what can you see?
Music is a great invention that allows to create infinite number of combinations using limited number of elements.
Upon the failure to answer the question about the very nature of consciousness, perhaps we should consider relevance of the question itself. We will never understand consciousness as long as it is perceived as a separate, standalone being or process within our bodies.
Eternal life, sought by all sorts of believers, would be a disaster regardless of the pleasant expectations. Virtually all major human pleasures are body-oriented - how can people change so drastically, immediately forgetting earthly joys and plunging themselves into a totally alien, vague and monotonous activity (or just a state) which is supposed to please them forever?
North Korean authorities are in fact a bunch of fucking idiots putting all their efforts into maintaining the grotesque, monstrous fairy tale in the real world. And real world, populated with real humans, does not allow fairy tales. The country is like a huge, rusty and failing machine controlled by an army of staff crowded around it, where each worker, equipped with a screwdriver, controls a few screws. It does not matter whether the machine is effective - its only purpose is to stay in one piece. And last. At all costs.
Being aware of technically priceless value of existence you have been given between the infinity of the past and the future, it takes great courage to extinguish the fire of your own life on purpose. You stumble over consciousness, stubborn remnants of treacherous hope and remorse for the pain that would be inflicted on those who care. It is much easier to kill it gradually, flame by flame, so that control is lost at a certain point and Nature alone does what you were afraid to do.
Lost on the paper meadow of flowers cut out by your dreams and coloured by your heart, I dared to seek mine among those of the brightest shade and tallest stem. The biggest one read "for my dear parents" and that was all I'd managed to see before I woke up and found myself curled up on the cold asylum floor covered with a thousand pieces of dirty, crumpled paper. Ever woke up from a nightmare to find yourself in a worse one?
Sometimes dreams come true indeed - too bad if it's the one called nightmare. Nightmare is a raging fear freed from the shackles of consciousness.
By nature, onlookers are usually those who don't dare to participate.
As an old saying has it, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The rest is statistics - that is, the number of potentially keen beholders.
Reality is no computer game or program - there's neither extra life to spare nor undo button. It should be obvious for everyone, but I doubt it is.
Roughly half of art has grown from the seeds of lust sown by the thoughtless evolution. This is the Ladder of Nature, where more elaborate forms are made of, and thus dependent on, more primitive entities.
Art and Science are the flowers. Mankind is the stem. The root is life. And the earth it feeds on is... just our Earth. Respect it - don't uproot yourself.
The winter rose is still there. Afraid of its poisonous thorns, I keep away despite the feeling of its petals brought by a sudden gust of memories. Never again shall the thorns cut a wound open. It's the rose I abhor for its thorns, equally adoring it for its fresh, green leaves and the red crown of petals that once, for a precious moment, enjoyed my eyes.
Talking about one's own illnesses in public is anything but an example of good taste.
"If I tread the rose beds myself, it is still my loss, but at least my will." (29th September 2005)
If people understood their God, they would cease to worship it - that's why most religions use the magic formula of god's inscrutable will.
Mind is a field of continuous battle between Reason and Feeling. As the former enjoys its supremacy for most of the time, the latter has its successful moments as well. Sparse as they are, their depth nearly balances their rare occurrence. If a dream, being one of the most irrational phenomena, proves to be an actual prediction just within a few weeks, days or even hours, Reason has no choice but to give in. Its major rebuttal, the claim of an ordinary coincidence, seems to fall flat on its face due to a simple fact - all those dreams had something in common. Odd as this may appear, the suspicion of something vague that might exist and keep escaping all kinds of methodological scrutiny is not a harsh blow dealt to Reason - it is pleased to experience such a phenomenon in the otherwise barren world.
The fairy popular idea of eleven dimensions appears to be far fetched (to say the least), which doesn't help the credibility of the theory proclaiming it. On second thought however, the concept of all matter being at the basic level a mass of featureless point objects, swarming within the framework of chaotic microscale, does seem to be a suspicious simplification for mathematical purposes.
Maintaining the balance between an open mind and obedience to raw scientific methodology is both a challenge and necessity.
Anything that seems reasonable, purposeful and potentially viable, does so only within a limited scope. Why care for the environment, if the world as we know it will cease to exist, ending up as a smouldering hell? Why give in to love, if it is nature's yet another clever trick built in the framework of terrestrial life?
This kind of questions should be asked just occasionally to keep humanity's often sky-high self-esteem literally down-to-earth. On the other hand, obsessive philosophical wrestling with subjects out of proportion to human dimensions is an utter waste of time.
Psychology is a neverending attempt at assigning discrete categories to infinitely varied patterns of behaviour. (29th May 2007)
Intelligent Design is merely a religious philosophy and as such is no alternative to darwinism which - despite its naturally speculative nature - conforms to scientific methodology. Besides, given all the flaws of the human body and its susceptibility to an overwhelmingly long list of illnesses, the word "intelligent" is perhaps not the best choice. Assuming there was deliberate and conscious action behind our creation, it must have been driven by malice, carelessness or stupidy. Don't ridicule that God of yours any further. (12th March 2008)
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