Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Allow Yourself to be Tamed by the Great and the Small

These essays don't have any particular flaws in themselves, but I feel they don't live up to their titles.
Taming power of the great. Taming power of the small. I shall attempt to point at what kind of essay goes with such titles.

This may surprise you: theology is empirical. Theological suppositions also fall under the domain of logical positivism. Either you can test them or they are meaningless.

The purpose of the physical universe is to increase entropy.
It's doing a good job. Your job is to make it do a better job. Increase entropy faster.

Entropy is far too low, and it needs to be higher. Entropy is not chaos. Entropy is degrees of freedom. Entropy is options. Entropy is (atomic-scale) free will. Entropy, etymologically, denotes in-action. Extropy means not-in-action. Entropy is can; extropy is can't.
Ironically, the best way to increase entropy is to oppose entropy. Oppose it as hard as possible. Make things hot by making something cool; refrigerate flagrantly. Create the most strictly ordered and controlled territory you possibly can. Crystallize passionately, because crystallizing on purpose spikes entropy like you wouldn't believe.

Life, as is known, consumes extropy voraciously. As Gnon wills. Be more alive.

The physical universe has a big hint: it's not about survival. It's about style. On a clear night, look up at the sky. Realize every single one of those 9000 pinpricks of light masses no less than 1028 times as much as you do, and there's trillions more where that came from. The vast, vast, vast majority of the mass of the universe does nothing except look good. It's really, really, really good at looking good, too.

Is God weak? Did God want a series of perfect absorbers, efficiently converting energy into consumer products, "doing" everything but looking like background radiation, but He couldn't manage it? Or is God getting exactly what He wants? 

What Gnon wants is a brilliant tapestry.

Moral: look good. Have fun with it. Remember every element in your body except plain protons was forged in celestial fire. The good stuff was made in supernovas. You are made of exploded star. Live up to the glorious heritage inherent to being granted a part of the existence of the physical universe. 




Humble yourself by looking at the great stellar exhibit. 

Feel like you botched it? Look up.
In the grand scheme of things, you didn't do anything. You can stop worrying now.
The world is impermanent and that's a wonderful gift. No matter how badly you bollocks things, it will be erased in the end. Maybe worry about mistakes if you've run out of great things to pursue. Otherwise, pursue harmony with some grand design.

Quit worrying about what you did wrong, and focus on doing something right. Let anitya take care of your missteps; instead, find ways to be glorious. 


Having looked up, we can look down.
Man, that ant is living quite the meaningless life, isn't she? We can squash her - whenever we feel like and as often as we want - and the colony won't even notice.
Look up again. You're an ant.

The ant still manages to live as much as possible. The specimen makes its anty existence as antlike as it can be.
Try not to be shown up by an ant.
Ants have existed for over a hundred million years, and have spread all over the world. Half of all animal biomass is insects and half of insect biomass is ants. According to Gnon, ants are good enough. You think, maybe, you can manage to be as worthy to exist as an ant? Bar's not super high over here.
If Gnon intended you to be someone else, he would have made someone else, now wouldn't he? Your options are to be yourself, or to fail at being someone else. Be you, but moreso.
If Gnon really did want to make someone else, that's his problem, not yours. 

All sins are rooted in factual error. They're wrong because they're incorrect. Pride is the sin of believing you're Jehovah when you're not Jehovah. "Man, being great is a lot of work!" No, kind of the opposite of that. 



So what is style?
Style is eudaimonia. Style is the stellar path.

The solar path is disciplined. The lunar path is spontaneous. A solar description of the stellar path is, therefore, spontaneous discipline. It's getting the right number without grinding through the tedious arithmetic. It's effortless work. Playful dedication.
Naturally what you need is a lunar description. You need a prompt which feels stellar so you can get into a stellar mood and a stellar mindset, resulting in stellar behaviour.
A feeling carries vastly more information than a description. I can tell you the light is tinted and the air smells and moves a certain way and show you a picture of the scenery, but it will never add up to the feeling of an autumn evening. Even should I spend the numerous hours required to describe everything you need to re-create the feeling, what you'll actually feel is stressed; trying to hold all these words in your mind at the same time is a fool's errand.

[description of autumn evening] : [emotional experience of autumn evening] :: [description of stellar path] : [emotional experience of stellar path]

Walking a path is terribly one-dimensional. Traversing the stellar path is a kind of swimming.
Eudaimonia is stellar, not solar or lunar. 

Still, I can use the words [autumn evening] as a signpost. It tells you where to go to experience it, or where to look in your memories if you have experienced it before. Likewise, I can use [spontaneous discipline] as a signpost. This is where you ought to look for the stellar path. 

P.S. Don't be efficient. Be artful.

To be efficient is to demur when asked to raise entropy. It is to oppose Gnon's will. 

Don't be wasteful; instead, use as many resources as you can afford to, at every opportunity, for the purposes of style. Make art, and make the most expensive art. Demur on spending more on art only when it interferes with your ability to spend more again on art in the future.

Function is good insofar as function is stylish. Going fast gets you from one place to another; it is also fun as heck. Function is a style. Creation need not be that-which-is-called-creative, but all creation is art.

No comments: