Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'm flummoxed by one thing: Must we reduce, or can we somehow...

So, okay, okay.  The world is a complicated place.  Really, really complicated.  Even small segments of the world are, if not complicated, so rich in information, that it seems impossible for us, mere humans, mere alcoholics, mere addicts, to possibly grasp a sliver of reality in full--that is, a full data set for drastically reduced parameters on reality that still measures two things in relation to themselves.  I know, there are models, okay.  Models.  But models are not truth.  The best they allow us to do is to take guesses at possible outcomes.  And they don't tell us about multiple overlapping reasons for one observed instance.

A very recent for instance seen on my walk to the subway.  One person is balanced on a tightrope/sheet that is itself fastened to two relatively distant poles, making his dramatic walk between the poles somewhat alluring.  Why does he do it?  He likely does it to practice.  Okay, but what about an end goal?  Well, he does it, you'd say, to practice for a certain performance.  Okay, so he wants to be able to perform adequately on the tightrope on a certain date, or a succession of dates.  What's his incentive?  What about money?  Yes, partly.  But money is not always the best incentive.  Not as good, as, say, social stature.  That is, money is good: yes, we can trade it for food and lots of other things. But, as the Beatles know, Money Can't Buy You Love.

Except.  Well, maybe it can, in an indirect way.  If combined with enough uniqueness and stature.

Okay, so the dude was balancing himself and walking the tightrope partially for money, right, and then, maybe, to gain a bit of stature.  Also, the path to do that was through a relatively unique activity.  Who does that, right?  At the same time.

At the same time, he was doing it in a community full of unique acts.  Lots of people, all around him, were engaged in a motley blend of unique acts.  What was the common theme?

Well.  Maybe it was that they all belong to a community identified by uniqueness, and they were simply signaling their adherence to community norms.

No, you're right, none of these possibilities exclude the others.  So which one is most right?  Can you tell me?  Because I think if we find the answer to this question, we'll also find an answer to why we drink.

The question is: can we come up with a full-fledged non-negotiable detailed account of this man's behavior that represents the most true possible description, taking it for granted that we have overlapping temporal constraints and that we can zoom in and out of specificity regarding his acts.  Please.  If you have an idea, please tell me.  I want to know.

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