Virtue depends on one’s orientation. Success depends on what one is trying to do. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Orientation. One’s bearings. From orient meaning east. From oriri meaning to rise. The same root as origin. Back in the day, people would want to have their houses face the sun to get the most light. At night, we use electricity.
Where I’m from, the sun sets in the direction of China. I have to always remind myself that the language I’m using isn’t mine. What for me is the west, this language compels to call The East. In my tongue, the sun is born then goes to its cradle to rest.
Machiavelli was trying to figure out how to govern. So virtue for him was to become machiavellian. I am trying to have something written so I won’t miss a day. Virtue for me is to write anything. Beware of those doling out prescriptions on how to live a virtuous life. One has to find one out for oneself.
It all goes back to the sun. We are all residues of its formation anyway. If Jupiter had the mass of all the other planets, it still wouldn’t be enough. But were it eighty times more massive, the planet named after the god of sky could have been a star.
As for Earthlings, we do not see in ultraviolet. We burn our skin if we stay in the sun for too long. Enough for today.
It was a stable time, the Dark Ages. People knew where their lanes were. Not saying it was a good time. Only saying I wouldn’t know if I were in one.
It took a pandemic to wake people up. Labor shortages allowed workers to see themselves as having value. Not discounting the fact that plagues select for the least congenial. For centuries people looked at each other as would God his children. After half the population died for no good reason, each man for himself.
Matteo Guidicelli married Sarah Geronimo yesterday. The bride’s parents weren’t informed. They did not approve of the groom. Bride’s nmom came to the venue anyway. The groom later punched the person suspected of leaking the information. It was all over the news today.
Are these two pieces of information related to each other? Not at all. Until somebody decided to write one after the other. In the context of this writing, they are now. Next to each other, in this, whatever this is.
That words contain thoughts is fascinating. One could put thoughts side by side using words to give birth to different other thoughts. We do this all the time and we don’t even notice.
No the groom did not punch the bride. He punched somebody else.
It’s the new day two. (From last round’s days two to four.)
The One With The Memorial Service aired on March 2003. Mr. Zuckerberg released the first version of Facebook a year later. Good ideas are obvious and cheap. Going at it is where it’s at.
There are two sides to interacting with social media. Otherwise spur-of-the-moment thoughts become calcified when published. Writing is taking a stand after all. This introduces extra friction to changing one’s mind.
Before feeds, people had to have intent to visit another person’s page to know what’s up. Success of algorithmic curation to best serve ads flipped this convention. People trade agency for ease. It has become creepy and stalker-ish to do that which is more analogous to what people do offline. Or what people used to.
One could hypothesize that changes online infect expectations during in-person interactions as well. People grasp their opinions tighter. As if by instinct, one knows that the feed would try to get a rise out of oneself to keep oneself hooked. It is easy to conflate arguments for its own sake to commitments to a position. Safe spaces for spirited discussions narrow.
Progress is change. To be better is to change for the better. If you were living in the Dark Ages, would you have known? There has to be a better way to do social media. Meanwhile, I don’t have to if I don’t want to. Enough for today.
It’s day one again.
Nescafe GOLD. One teaspoon of soluble coffee granules. Two hundred milliliter tea cup. Fill one-third of cup with hot water. Drink as one would hard liquor. Bottom’s up.
It’s hard to come up with something to write every day. The most one could do sometimes is to go back and say the same things over again. Like a broken record player. Like nature.
One could be terse. Concise statements of what happened. Like how ancient Assyrians used to word things on clay tablets of old. “I destroyed the ziggurat of Susa. I smashed its shining copper horns.”
I drank a third-of-a-cup of coffee.
I had a vague plan to stop drinking coffee starting on New Year’s Day 2020. The idea was to post Days Until I Last Had Coffee on Facebook everyday. The moment I realized I had that plan, I was at the sink, rinsing a tea cup. It was too late.
On the one hand, it’s a relief not needing to reactivate Facebook. In fact, the whole idea is very questionable. I only realize this now, and I have more to say about it.
Tomorrow. Enough for today.
Nothing is new. We only repeat thoughts better people already said in better ways. There seems to be no point. Except this time, we exist. All the things that include us never happened before. After us, they will never happen again.
No matter how similar our perspective is to everybody else’s, it is at least a bit different enough to be unique. That is like the essence of being a person. One has a body and one can only see from one’s body at any moment, paying attention to things one at a time. No one has nor will ever again experience our own experience now in exactly the same manner.
I said I will write something each day. One would hope that one could come up with something that has a semblance of originality while doing it. But what is original? We already concede that everything is a mix and match of earlier stuff. Most of the available difference comes only from us being different in a different time.
I’m pretty sure there’s already a way more elegant telling of this thought somewhere, but this one is mine. Enough for today.
Beauty is that which makes its bearer the most forgettable possible for something still remembered. So much so that looking at something that has beauty feels as if one is always looking at it for the first time.
This view is of course guided by the concept of averageness. Around the same time as the episode, I remember articles like this one going around the internet. It turns out that the average of most people’s faces make the most attractive face.
But why is that? Intuition says that beauty is easy on the eyes. Looking at beauty doesn’t take much effort. And yet we also talk of its rarity. Of being worth a second look. We can’t get enough. We stare. How can something be both average and rare?
Being sloppy with words this way creates confusion of course. By average we only mean the mean in mathematical sense. And by rare we mean infrequent. Those two concepts are not opposites. Most things are more or less than their average such that being average is in fact rare.
Because standing out is remarkable, those that do are easy to remember. Meanwhile, brains take for granted and forget those that blend in the background. By being the average of most things, beauty has both qualities. For being infrequent, it stands out. Yet once the brain spends precious attention on something else, beauty is set aside with ease.
Enough for today.
Because I said I’d rewrite everything, I will rewrite today’s entry even if I already composed it in the app.
This entry will not sound like me at all for the same reason English words have funny spelling. The printing press brought along with ink on paper quirks that became the standard. Using apps that prescribe a certain way a writing homogenizes thought somehow. Take for example automatic reply suggestions. Or a certain grammar correction tool whose name this editor marks as an adverb. What happens after humanity delegates most communication to robots?
Of course, most the these technologies are cool. Constraints breeding complaints could be the natural cause of this conservative take. Or it could be the awareness of not needing to dumb down writing for a non-existing audience anyway. Or one simply couldn’t help but insist there is beauty in the complicated some of the time.
To be fair, fighting this tool ironically made producing words faster. Narrowing down choices shortens the time to decide which word to use. But that is because one soon finds oneself out of options. This method does not help in making the writing more concise though. Since adverbs are not allowed, the tool forces the writer to express the same thought in a roundabout way. Also, the lack of passive voice requires specifying a doer in every sentence. In cases when this is not necessary but done anyway, the words become tedious to read.
So, this is the end. Frankly, after rewriting everything, I do not know where I would go from here. But I refuse to think about that now. I’ll figure something out tomorrow. Enough for today.