Friday, December 08, 2006
The Inertia of Indecision, the Pointlessness of Existence
On the surface, things seem chaotic and insane. We stockpile thermonuclear weapons, but are afraid to use nuclear power to free us from Middle East oil and geopolitics. We invest billions of dollars in high tech weaponry and then are afraid to use it or can't use it against our human foes. Kalashnikov invented arguably the most durable assault rifle in modern history obstensibly to protect his people from Nazi aggression only to see his invention used to arm whole populations, destroy whole cultures, and turn children into soldiers in Africa and Columbia. This just goes to show that even though Technology and Science are amoral enterprises, that just about any invention will be subverted for both good and ill despite the inventor's best intentions. But it is not his fault. He made an idea a reality. If people subvert it and turn it into something ugly, then who is to blame? Certainly not the inventor. That's like blaming Darwin for the Jewish Holocaust because the Nazis' perverted Darwinism to their own ends and exterminated any one who they felt weren't worthy of life because they didn't meet arbitrary genetic purity standards. It doesn't matter what we think or how we think the World works, or how we think we work -- the sum is so much greater than the individual parts. Whatever I glimpsed has a plan and it is no plan of any one man, or nation, or culture. Where do I fit in this plan, I have no idea. I seem to be seeing parts of it unfold, and seeing other parts as if they were parts of nightmares. I had no idea of the magnitude of the AK problem throughout the World, or that 7.62mm rounds make most body armor moot without ceramic plates, or that the British were the first Western soldiers to confront and fight child soldiers. Yes, child soldiers, boys and girls who should be playing video games, but instead fight horrifyingly real and surreal urban and jungle firefights for money, food, drugs, and sex.
There is much beauty in the World and there is much ugliness. That is the human condition. Make your contribution to the world, be it a smile, a helping hand, an invention, a thought, an idea. If someone uses it for ill, who's to say that it is really bad? Great suffering leads to great awakenings. Physical existence is a treasure. Enjoy it or not. Think it pointless or not, either view is likely right and wrong at the same time. But don't be indecisive from fear. The people who transform the World are fearless.