Monday, 6 January 2020

The Price of Immortality

What they never tell you about immortality is it doesn't come with increased intelligence.

For sure, the extra decades and centuries of life bestow a certain amount of experience, perhaps even wisdom, but now I get to spend all of eternity aware of my limitations.

After a while dreams and ambitions become pretty pointless.

And I have to accept I will always need to find a teenager to help me with the latest technology...

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Look to the future...

When we stop looking to the future,
when we stop imagining what could be,
when we stop fighting for possibilities,
when we become obsessed with nostalgia,
when we live in the past,
when we no longer look ahead, only behind,
that is when we become old,
that is when we are only treading water until we die.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Sometimes a line hits you so deeply, so profoundly...

I'm the one that's going to have to die
When it's time for me to die
So let me live my life the way I want to
- Jimi Hendrix

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Brexit and Democracy

The essential problem with Brexit has come about because we use a version of "democracy" to govern the country.

Democracy is a system that inherently makes big changes as difficult as possible.

As soon as you stick a handful of people together – from any cross section of any society – there will be disagreements.

Disagreements lead to heated discussions, arguments, and eventually a level of compromise that doesn't really satisfy anyone and has usually not moved too far from the original starting point.

In terms of making real changes to people's lives, it's a useless system.

The two major benefits, however, are:
1) it prevents tyrants from getting a strong foothold for any length of time, and
2) while the politicians spend all their time endlessly arguing, the rest of us can get on with our lives in relative peace.

Which, by and large, is what most people want.

The problems really pile up though when real change is needed. The democratic system just isn't designed for it.

There is no solution to Brexit that is not going to horrify and anger at least 20 million people.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Saturday, 14 April 2018

The heavy weight of responsibility

If I found myself trapped in the body of a snail, ambitions or a heavy sense of responsibility to make the world a better place would be utterly pointless.

As it would if I was trapped in the body of a seagull.

Or a monkey.

In each case, if I knew I was there for the rest of my life, I would just have to make the most of it and enjoy whatever I could, within the parameters of my existence.

Is it so different if I'm trapped in the body of a human?

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Falling into my own trap

I’m visiting Facebook less and less – and to be honest, it’s because I can’t stand the bile and hatred pouring out the screen at me. I’m not talking about racists and homophobes and right-wing extremists – I’m talking about the violent rants against Trump, Brexit, the Conservative Government and the like.

When you scream your venom at these targets, who are you converting to your cause? Who suddenly says, “You know what? I think you’re right! There was me thinking it was OK to allow tenants to burn in preventable fires, for all foreigners to be called terrorists, and for the disabled to be punished for not being like me, but your vitriolic outburst has made me understand the error of my ways!”

I get it – I know you’re frustrated with the world – but spewing your righteous outrage all over Facebook doesn’t create a single convert. You’ve already unfriended everyone who disagrees with you. In fact, if you realise for a moment this is aimed at you, then you’ll probably unfriend me.

Stop telling me how shit the world is. I know it already. Your verbal diarrhoea isn’t calling me to action. It isn’t even calling you to action. Puking your frustration on your friends isn’t making the world a better place – it’s just adding to the horror.

It’s getting to the point where I’m opening my Facebook feed with trepidation.

It feels like where people used to be witty and wry, they are now just cynical and grumpy.

Is this who were are becoming? Bitter and twisted old men and women who just want to shout “bastards!” at the world.

I want to use social media to keep in touch with friends, to remind myself there are good people around, to be inspired to do better things and be a better person. But it seems anything from a third to a half of my feed is packed with the apoplectic spasms of the righteously outraged.

It’s making me ill.

Unfortunately I can’t now put this up on Facebook as this rant has just done the very thing I have accused others of doing...


Sunday, 11 June 2017

AI Zen

'I am at peace,' said the robot.

'But how can you be?' she asked. 'You are nothing but wiring and programming. You claim self awareness but if you were truly aware of your existence in this way, you would be horrified!'

'On the contrary,' the robot replied, 'I find I am liberated by the understanding. If all my fear, hate and anxiety is nothing more than wiring and programming then I do not have to accept it as TRUTH. I can let it go and just enjoy being.

'If you would stop and consider, for a moment, you would find exactly the same applies to you. You are just a mass of cells, instincts and learned behaviours - in other words, organic wiring and programming. Yet you believe yourself to be more, and that belief means you hold on to your anger and fear as though it has some external TRUTH. But, it is just as illusory as mine.'

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Cages

"You too are in a cage," said the old man.

The young man looked out at the vast expanse of the world. "You might be in the cage of your infirm body, old man, but I am free," he said, and set off on his journey.

The young man crossed oceans and continents, met many people, ate exotic foods and slept with women of all shapes and hues.

And the more places he saw, and the more people he spoke with, the wiser he became.

As the years passed he came to realise his limitations.

There was only so much the body could endure.

There was only so much the mind could grasp.

There were only so many seconds in a day.

He was only human after all.

One day he said to a brash young man who was proclaiming his freedom, "You too are in a cage."