Only the reflection shows my darkness.
Human, All Too Human II
The Wanderer and His Shadow
284 The means to a genuine peace. -No government at present concedes that it maintains an army in order to satisfy occasional desires for conquest; instead, it is supposed to serve the purpose of self-defense. The morality that justifies self-defense is called upon as its advocate. But that means: reserving morality for ourselves and immorality for our neighbor, because he must be thought to be aggressive and imperialistic, if our state has to be thinking about the means of self-defense; moreover, our explanation of why we need an army declares him, who denies his aggressiveness just as much as our state does and for his part, too, supposedly maintains an army only for reasons of self-defense,
I never really like discussing with people; I like to ask questions and give snarky remarks but defending my opinion is not what I like or am good at in a conversation. I know some skeptical people about Covid and vaccination, and though I work with them, I try to ignore that part, knowing that arguing with them is futile. Today I couldn’t help overhearing a conversation where the denier brought up all the things he heard from people on the news and online that put vaccination in a bad light; it boiled over in me, and I more or less told him he’s an egoist that only thinks of himself and that he might mention the people that share his opinion as if that is evidence that he is right, but he forgets to mention all the other, and overwhelming, news outlets and sources that recommend vaccination. It is the typical case of cherry-picking what you want to hear and ignoring what doesn’t fit. Me getting angry doesn’t help, of course, he probably enjoys it, and I have the feeling that he does this all just to be difficult. Most of these vaccine deniers have probably never before had any problems with vaccines, and their argument that it all went so fast is kind of strange; what do we know how fast something like that goes? Suddenly we are all experts?
It is silent where I live
the hills and the trees absorb
all the noise you hear
I know what is going on out there
but also not
Are random clouds, colors and shades
from the sunset you see
not more beautiful
then the reason you see
Does beauty need a reason
You jump up and swiftly swipe your hands where you felt it crawl; a tiny, harmless spider moves away, you wonder why this made you scared. This reaction to spiders and snakes is a classic example of a fear we inherited from our ancient forefathers. It can still be helpful if you find yourself wondering in a tropical jungle, but for most humans living today, in cities and urban areas, this fear of harmless spiders and other small insects is not rational.
Evolution theory plays a significant role in why we religiously look for meaning. One of the main principles of evolution theory is the survival of the fittest. Fittest, or sometimes also called strongest, is somewhat of a mistake made by Darwin. For predators, it can be advantageous to be fit and strong, and the same goes for the gazelle, but most gazelles will probably survive because they are skittish. You could say that most animals’ best survival strategy is to run away at the first sign of danger; even the Lyon will be wise to run away once it knows of the threat a man with a gun can be. Darwin should have called his theory: survival of the scariest.
A perspective, it’s not about us humans.
Scientific theory vs. opinion.
First, something about science: there is often confusion when people read about the “theory” of evolution or the “theory” of gravity; some think it is just an idea of what these scientists have and that it is no problem to disagree with them. This is a common misconception between scientific theories and the theories we all have in our life about mundane subjects. You can have a theory of why milk was spilled on the floor or who was to blame for that car accident, but that is more an opinion you have. A scientist can have opinions, but their theories are tested by others, and till another scientist, using the scientific method1, can prove them wrong, they are treated as the truth.
Anarchy, why not?
First, something about anarchy. When most people think of anarchy, they think of lawlessness and political disorder. In the Standford Encyclopedia of philosophy1, you can read in the introduction: Anarchism is a political theory, which is skeptical of the justification of authority and power, especially political power. Anarchism is usually grounded in moral claims about the importance of individual liberty. Anarchists also offer a positive theory of human flourishing, based upon an ideal of non-coercive consensus building. Anarchism has inspired practical efforts at establishing utopian communities, radical and revolutionary political agendas, and various forms of direct action… At this moment, I am not so interested in the political side of anarchism. There are countless forms of anarchism, sometimes also called libertarianism2, and like with all political tastes, they all claim some unique knowledge on how the world should be organized based on their conception of what the world is.
the lights were moving
when I entered the tunnel
it was dark
I am still looking for a subject I can put my teeth in and write about. Today I had another idea; it cam while I was making a fancy molding. I do this on a milling machine, for these complicated moldings, you have to use several differently shaped cutters and figure out when and how to use them. It can be challenging which one to use first, and we have almost 100 different cutters, but it is not always clear if we have the one we need. Knowing this, you can do this job in different ways; you can try to figure out precisely which ones to use and in what order and make sure you have all the cutters. This takes a lot of preparation, and the end result is not guaranteed; there are almost always surprises down the road. I usually work by finding one cutter that cuts out one part of the shape I need and then look for the next cutter when I am done with the first. This is committing to a road without knowing where it leads.
I held my lid down
for so long
that the pressure almost
so I let it go
to get some fresh air
There is no God
in a heartless world
I will take your hope
so I can buy mine
says the modern nihilist
I like to listen to podcasts, some tech news, scientific news and interviews, gaming, and formula 1. Most of the podcasts I listen to come from America; this is interesting because it gives you an insight into parts of the American psyche. You get this also through movies and series, but that is more filtered and edited; podcasters, and some YouTubers, don’t play a role; it feels more real.
A few trapped seeds
didn’t let go
they don’t know of the ground
it is not there
a few trapped seeds
and they will
Yesterday I watched an excellent documentary about the animals you can find in Africa. I love these documentaries; it takes you away for a while. I noticed one thing, and it is not the first time; almost all the animals look approachable like you can touch them. I know the rhino is dangerous, but they don’t look all that dangerous. But if I look at the lions, and then to our cat, I know that the lion is dangerous, unapproachable, you might say. It’s something in his eyes; you know he will eat you alive if he gets the chance. It reminds me of something.
If truth was a tiny snail
it would be going nowhere
it would be easily missed
and easily killed
and you don’t know why
you have taken one home
I’ve been raised in the Netherlands, and you might know that it is a flat country. I can’t speak for all Dutch people, but I think that most of us get excited when we see hills and mountains. I still do after living between them for 15 years now here in Norway. Don’t get me wrong; we have a beautiful landscape in Holland too, but for me, hills and mountains are always associated with vacation. So, I still like this flowing landscape end I did it to this morning. At one point, somewhere halfway, I noticed a tiny snail slowly going somewhere. I took out my phone to take some pictures, the one you see at the top is one of them. After I saw this first one, I started to notice more that tried to crawl somewhere; I also saw many that were flattened by the wheels of an occasional car that drives by.
Later I took a picture with two signs telling the speed limit is 60. I wondered how fast you could drive if you didn’t want to hit these tiny snails.
If truth is a woman, does that then mean that truth is just beautiful or difficult, fleetingly or any other prejudice a slightly misogynistic man has about woman. If truth is a woman, does it give birth to new truths and untruths? If truth is a woman, does truth then hit that glass ceiling and never reach her full potential. If truth is a woman, do you expect her to fall for you because you treat her as equal, or do you attempt to lure her with your strength, your good looks, your brain, or your money.
Vorausgesetzt, daß die Wahrheit ein Weib ist — , wie? (Friedrich Nietzsche, 1885)
This is the first sentence of the book Beyond good and evil by Friedrich Nietzsche. I want to use this short text to illustrate how difficult it is to interpret what a philosopher wants to say. Like always, I looked up the different translations to English, and you can see for yourself that even the translators can’t agree what these few words suppose to say when translated to English.
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
Underneath, you can read a quote from Nietzsche about morals. He was an atheist and as such. Nietzsche didn’t believe that the moral rules we should follow came from a God-like figure. Nietzsche almost always approaches his subject from different directions, making it difficult for the casual reader to understand where he is going. Whenever I read Nietzsche in English, I will read one of the more modern translations, but if I quote him a lot, I will fall back on the earlier translations because they are copyright-free. It is always fun to see what the different translater make of the original text. I cannot be the arbiter because my German is not that good, especially compared to scholars that have studied German and philosophy.