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Pondering the South African Memesphere – Looking for the Good in Everything

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Tick-tock, Tick-tock

January 23rd, 2008 · Posted by Hugo · 20 Comments

Today is just another day. Just another revolution of the earth about its axis (or another trip of our sun around the earth). Just another meaningless moment in existence, as the earth orbits the sun and the seasons change, as the sun travels with many other stars around our galaxy, as the galaxy meanders purposelessly through the universe. Today is nothing special. Just like every other day.

Today is not just another day. Today is something special. Today is the day that this blog has existed for one. whole. year. One trip around the sun, measured relative to the stars. One trip through the seasons, measured by the angle at which the sun travels through the sky. Today is a day I think back and laugh at some of the things I wrote, cringe at many of the other things, and feel proud about the odd good post hiding in unexpected places amongst the myriad. Today is a day I look to the future of this blog.

Today is something special. Just like every other day.

I’ve finally gone cold turkey and broken my crack addiction: the post-thesis euphoria has worn off, and I’m being productive again. At last my mind has replanted its roots firmly in “reality”, many an embarrassing thought or moment later. (Let’s hope I’m the only one aware of the most embarrassing things.)

This blog has come a long way in just a year. As tempting as it is to delete the past, the past should not be forgotten. Remembering the past helps us look towards the future, a future for which I have high hopes. So where is this blog headed? As usual, only time will tell. However, general strategic and tactical guidelines include reducing the quantity of posts again, likely dropping back to one or two per week, and attempting to maintain a stronger focus and sense of purpose. Most of the time. Even if this purpose remains hidden to the reader. For comic relief, Jess (the jester) might write some fiction.

From the software side, I need to make more significant progress on mengelmoes: this blog needs it. In particular, while I love my regular commenters, I suspect some of the people I wish would take part more actively are frightened away by our typical discussions. This does put quite a damper on certain aspects of this blog’s future. If mengelmoes is ever more than vapourware, it should hopefully allow the participation of multiple communities instead of forcing everyone into one. This should allow this blog to take a more serious stab at becoming what I’ve been hoping it can become.

The aim, the main purpose, remains education, including science education, and battling to make some kind of positive difference in my local community. I’m slowly beginning to realise that world domination can indeed take some time, so let’s start small.

Many dreams have died. Many ideas that could have been great, got lost along the way. Many ideas were simply stupid. May the death of old dreams mark the birth of new dreams.

And may every future instance of a reader disagreeing passionately or becoming hopping mad, be an intentionally provoked reaction. Muhahahahaha!

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20 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ben // Jan 24, 2008 at 4:05 am

    Congrats!

  • 2 gerhard // Jan 24, 2008 at 11:01 am

    yeah , congrats , u lived longer than the average startup :)
    maybe this is a good time to ask people to contribute ideas etc as to which direction to take your bloggieness so you can see what your readers think:)

  • 3 gerhard // Jan 24, 2008 at 11:03 am

    personally , i would like to see a debate every now and then , and less , well, using your definitions of words and more using a agreed apon definition , say something like voting on which dictionary to use … that way you can avoid talking about one thing but your users reading something else , like you definition of ‘modernism’ *G*
    -g

  • 4 Hugo // Jan 24, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    ;-)

    Debates with agreed-upon definitions are tricky without mengelmoes. It would undermine a primary goal/aim of this blog. Who knows, maybe somewhere down the line. However, debate is less interesting to me these days, traditional debate seems particularly pointless. Can we not focus on *practical* stuff? What *practical* stuff would you like to see happen, or would you like to see explained? Arguing about God is particularly uninteresting to me, more interesting is talking about the valuable meanings of interesting bits of the Bible.

    I wish people would ask the questions I want them to ask. Oh well.

    Gerhard, how do you define modernism? (And where did you learn about modernism and post-modernism, for that matter? A philosophy course?)

  • 5 Ben // Jan 25, 2008 at 4:44 am

    Arguing about God is particularly uninteresting to me,

    Ramen.

  • 6 Linda // Jan 25, 2008 at 6:26 am

    Congratulations, Hugo, on surviving a whole year! And I’ve enjoyed your very unique posts.

    “more interesting is talking about the valuable meanings of interesting bits of the Bible.”

    Sounds good to me! :-)

  • 7 Hugo // Jan 25, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Hehehe… Ramen…

    Say, does everyone know (or agree) that “Amen” basically just means “So be it”? (Now I hear the “let’s avoid anything that sounds like theistic language at all costs” crowd say “so why don’t ya just say ‘so be it’ instead, then?” Heathens!)

  • 8 Hugo // Jan 25, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Here’s a question then: what posts were your favourites? (Or what kinds, or why did you like them?)

  • 9 gerhard // Jan 25, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    well first of modernism isnt the main mode of thought applied anymore , the phillosophies mostly applies these days , as far as i understand it is both late modernism and Neo-existentialism or post-postmodernism.
    so however much you want to complain about modernistic thinking , most of the time the actual term doesnt apply … modermism is a cultural movement , a collection of ideas and priciples roughly labled as modernism the one core principle is the rejection of tradition to form what would become a new tradition… if you wanted to sum it up , then see it as “one way, one truth, one city, no institutionalised thought” …
    so yeah , you are right its a shit mode of thought …
    then u got postmodernism … which is moderism just with the ‘anything’ goes angle.. its not as percieved a return to tradition ..

    which is equality as stupid … and is still prominent in the ‘modern capitalist’ societies :)

    now for the neo-existentialism and post post modernism …

    you seated for this one ?
    ….
    both are concerned with the shallowness of modernism and postmodernism they solve the problem differently but i guess one could sum it up as … a return to value judgement? which is great except for the difficulty to assigning value..

    anyway .. i have more to type, but i have to work … so for now i will stop here ..

    btw , what valuable meanings of interesting bits of the Bible? what about discussing the interesting implications of picking and choosing what to follow from the bible instead?

  • 10 Hugo // Jan 25, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Ya mean like picking and choosing what websites you’re going to read? You have to either read the whole internet, or not! You can’t go and be picky-choosy, that’d give you the wrong idea of teh intahwebs!!1!

    Thanks, I’ll reduce my talk of “modernism” and “post-modernism” to a bare minimum. I’ll try to use more specific words to describe what I’m on about. (For the record here, with “post-modernism”, I don’t mean “anything goes”, I just mean an awareness of the problems of modernistic thinking.)

  • 11 gerhard // Jan 25, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    lol, i dont understand the websites anal-agy.
    We’re not talking about picking and choosing between different topics .. we are talking about picking and choosing what of a philosophy you want and maintaining that you are part of the original philosophy … its like saying .. i’m not a racist i just hate whites :P

    for the record , i read your use of post-modernism as ‘return to traditionalism’ … a return to innocence if you will …

    you know what might be fun … is if you research some more modern cultural movements and tell us about the value of them…

  • 12 Hugo // Jan 25, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Want another analogy? Hmm… maybe something from science…? Something like “The Origin of Species”, which I bet isn’t completely correct, being the first work on the topic. Now I tell you: “You gotta choose, all or nothing! You can’t pick and choose the good bits of Darwin’s book, and ignore the incorrect bits.”

    The thing that irritates me is that we’re probably not arguing about the same thing. Quite a pain, and I don’t know how to fix it. I suggest we just stop silly debates and focus on more useful stuff, eh?

    And yes, that would be fun, but that’s not important to me right now.

  • 13 Wendy // Jan 25, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    Congrats Hugo! Wow, a whole year. Can’t wait for what’s to come :)

  • 14 gerhard // Jan 27, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    hugo , i know it sounds like i am saying choose all or nothing. but let me respond with this analogy. i dislike only really clinging onto one or two concepts from origin of species and then call yourself a dawinist/evolutionist/insertrelated lable. it looks like clinging to something so that you can still be ‘part of it’. Its masarcistic. like some current chrstains scientists / schools /universities /people trying to cling to science but saying ‘adapatation not evolution’ on the one extream?
    or saying… i believe in the wisdom of jesus and the existence of deityish entiry/being, I only know of jesus via the many figurative interprtation of the bible, which is a work of many men over a long period who kept on whiping out as much history and science as they could to back this work, which is inspired by/sometimes word of this deityish entiry/being via either mind control/force or some inherant memory/wisdom in man, but so are the other countless ‘mind control/force or some inherant memory/wisdom in man’ attempts of this deity, so .. ehm .. which i guess are inspired by this dietyish thing aswell .. which i guess means theirs obtuse ‘spriritual leaders/action heros’ have wisdom as well… so i can pick and choose any interprtation from there too and add it to my own philosophy too … and then there is science and i can pick and from there tooo ….
    but i’m still a christain… really …and i’m still sane *really looks around because he suddenly sees something wrong with the world because suddenly i am not really christain*
    wait , i hear there are multiple differnent pagans cults back when there was no christanity on which christainity some is based on … hold on … most of my sudden ‘questionablity’ seems solved because there are some similarities.. a return to innocence before all this baggade … they must be right … but wait its not christianity … but hold on … it has some of the ideas … so we’ll just call it christain … see … i’m christain … and so are the pagans now…. god will be so proud.

    I call it, integration of ancient cults into a existing concept to maintain that original concepts existance. You know hitler did that too? when they went around the world doing evolutionary research so he could support his concept of uebermench? they went to south america and took skull mesurements of indians and proclaimed they were ancient germans because they shared some of the modern imagery? obviously south americans could never fall withing the ideal of the arien race so they just made the definition more and more obtuse to be able to maintain the ideal. geobles’s ‘not careing if the big things are the same as long as we are distracted by the small things because those need to be the same’ …

    the thing is , we are arguing the same thing. We always are. Our disagreement is the starting point which are two different things. you always start with, god created/is the universe make all your starting assumptions to require there being that concept. I aways start with, there is the universe what is the requirements to maintain a universe.
    i goes one could translate that to the questions from which we draw our starting point. Does order lead to chaos or does chaos lead to order.

  • 15 Hugo // Jan 27, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Gerhard, … *sigh*. I’m going to have to start ignoring you. I’m going to get nowhere if I don’t.

  • 16 Hugo // Jan 28, 2008 at 12:53 am

    Gerhard, I’m curious, did you realise I still regularly attend church, or did that slip past you? I’m also curious where you are and what kind of religion/Christianity you’ve witnessed or been exposed to…? Thanks.

  • 17 gerhard // Jan 28, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    hugo,
    lol, i’m supprised I thought you ignoring me already:) you certainly don’t respond to good points i am bringing up (however harshly i do it) you just respong generally, so ignore me if you want :P i’m just offering my opinion and generally talking kuck.

    look dude , let me ask you where in my world am i not exposed to religion ? every day , every place , almost everything seeths with religion ..
    Our society is so saturated with religious thought, rationalization and decay that we dont actually notice it anymore but we notice the result..
    worst of all is how distasteful all of it is and no one cares.

    what kind of religions /christianity am i exposed to? are you taking experience here? I dont know , most of the experiance has been either first hand or via girlfriends or friends going though certain generally horrible things :P thats not to say its been _all_ bad. But some of the stuff , like someones church covering up molestation in the family because they are being healed via prayer or blaming a girl for her own rape and shit like that or telling a cancer victim to spend their last days praying or telling a small child stone faced that they are going to hell … (all while asking for donations) … or taking it further into a more global sense, even things like fundies tryng to destroy the skeleton of ‘eve’ , or that (just alone) christains whiped out most of our actual history etc… what about current events? like bush and his lets bomb the shit out of mesopotamia ? ever consider how much history and human heratige is being lost just alone there? thank god the mona lisa is in a christain country :)

    i guess the thing is , you go around saying that the ‘cure’ is the ‘cure’ that hasn’t worked for 2000 years and i say it used to be a cure now it’s the disease, so i treat it as such.

  • 18 Hugo // Jan 28, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    I’ve forgotten where you were. Somewhere in South Africa, right? The reason I’m asking is that you get religion, and you get religion. Looking at religion advertised over the Internet gets you easy exposure to the bad kind. I’m wondering if you’ve had any exposure to the good kind at all? And if you say “what good kind?”, then I’d assume “no”.

    South Africa’s religious situation seems a little different to me than that of, say, Europe, and that of America. Do you know what denominations/churches you’ve been exposed to?

    And 2000 years is obviously exaggerating, is it not?

  • 19 gerhard // Jan 28, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    yeah south africa , and like i said , i have experienced in both europe and za :)
    nope , didnt get my experience via the net but via good old fashioned.. people (amandla)!.. I generally don’t cencor myself , and don’t avoid conversation with people about silly things like them having cancer or what it is like to have been outed in place like stellies etc. :)
    I haven’t exactly experianced the sheltered life alot of people here have normally.
    its erie how people here all live within these bubbels of community, think this is because we have so many different cultures all desperately holding onto their culture. they seem to travel mostly in packs :P then again it is said that birds of a feather flock together, its just a pitty that diversity of thought or even understanding isn’t always an actuality in that situation, with the exception of townies who are the definition of multicultural :)

    denominations ? not sure, i guess christain agnostic, luthern , methodist and mormins.
    but then again , according to you, ‘denominations’ don’t matter anyway:) just annoying labels that you don’t want to to use because it goes against early ‘pagan’ christianity. didn’t you say?

    2000years? hehe i was going by what ‘mainstream’ christainity would say?(or generally how joe soap would put it)

    what i would like you to do is respond to this bit and show me why christianity and youself aren’t doing this:

    or saying… i believe in the wisdom of jesus …. i’m christain … and so are the pagans now…. god will be so proud.

    (obviously that exactly but more the idea i am trying highlight )

  • 20 Hugo // Jan 28, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    didn’t you say?

    No I didn’t?

    2000years? hehe i was going by what ‘mainstream’ christainity would say?(or generally how joe soap would put it)

    So you really think Christianity has been a bad influence on the world, for a good 2000 years? Really?

    what i would like you to do is respond to this bit and show me why christianity and youself aren’t doing this:

    I actually often have trouble understanding you. I don’t understand what you want. And I don’t want to waste time arguing with you. What is the point of you and me arguing? What is the aim of the debate here, what are you trying to accomplish?

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