Friday, August 17, 2007

Playing Scrabble online with my mom now, her last move was 'tits', what's the world coming to?

Thinking about where I'm at with respect to where I was last year this time, before being so seriously interfered with. Some things are better, some worse. The worse are more obtrusive, the better, I think, more enduring. On the whole, I should probably be grateful for being interfered with, and, obscenely rational little creature that I am, on the whole, I am. Have an interestingly altered, broadened perspective; sweet, sad bird's still alive; I call it a win.

Given that I continue to think things could easily be a whole lot better, not just for myself, but for others, I'm pretty down. The others in question disagree with that assessment apparently, have the utmost respect for their disagreement. Gives me something to think about.

I think actual respect for others' opinions is something most people don't understand remotely well enough to actually practice. Mostly what's managed in the name of respect is a benign, uncomprehending tolerance. That's not what I mean at all. Trying to understand others' reasons for what they think, seeing the weight of those reasons, letting them play a role in one's own thinking- this is a very worthwhile and fruitful endeavor, I think. Of course, unlike what people mostly do, it doesn't entail respect for most everybody's opinions. So many things people think without reasons, only causes. Hard to see how one could respect that, except maybe in the way one might respect a wolverine. All our opinions come down to this wolverine point eventually, of course, find it nicer if getting there involves a bit of a trip.

Got another sms from T while walking with Peretz in the woods, her plane had been delayed by twenty minutes. Text messaging, like sudoku, provides a beautifully powerful metaphor for some distinctive aspects of my immediate cultural environs, funny to think about it. Walking along alone, little device beeps, little message appears, respond using astonishingly primitive user interface, get back to walking alone.

The sense of the technological primitivism of our time that one gets by using contrastingly usable technologies can be quite striking, Google v. online library catalog, bash shell v. dos, TiVo v. vcr, easy to come up with examples, pile up enough, you get terrifying visions of our being crippled by our own stupidity, tantalizing hints of what could be. It's quite interesting to think about.

Lord, I do go on a bit, don't I?

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