Sunday, June 3, 2012

Not About Stasis

I used to be obsessed with complexity.  That is, pointing out enough complexity to show people how astute I was without trying to actually do anything with that complexity.

While there's no doubt that things are always extraordinarily complex, often for reasons that we don't have awareness of, there was also a mistake in my methods.

I should have been trying to manage down the complexity into singularly elegant models that function in some way to capture "it" without sacrificing too much rawness.  That is, by finding a way to actually talk about ineffably large and seemingly incomprehensible stuff, we can actually turn a corner make steps forward.  Label assumptions.  Make explicit all manipulations.  Present something that is at first glance evident, but at second glance has multiple, let's say 60,000, layers.  Something that might take years to study.  Without the study so much, or the desire to impress.

What's the take away?  We can drink and fuel ourselves with the delusion that we're in some way aware of much more than what we are aware of, that our innate intelligence is broadly superior, and that we're in tune with what we already need to be to obtain current and possible future desires.  We're not, of course.  But by stepping back we can actually refine our desires, and not just the means to obtain them. We can develop ourselves instead of talking about how developed we already are.  We can strive to figure out, and figure out, and figure out, and figure out.  And stop with all the smug satisfaction.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Well said. Couldn't agree more. It seems the more alcoholic fuel one puts in their body, the more they "believe" they understand about anything. I've been there. It's only in a sober state that you can actually "know" all you need to know and that you don't have to know anything besides yourself and what makes you happy. At least that's what I think.