i dont care what ppl think of me

Show me somebody that has said that (the title of this post) and I’ll show you a liar.

Everyone cares about others think about them. If you don’t, then you’re a legit sociopath.

In fact, concern for what other people think is the cornerstone of civilization. We wear the clothes we wear because of this. Observe and obey laws. We have fucking language because of this!

But people say these things because they want to shield off their empathy, and by wearing the “i dont care what people think” badge, they believe they’re fooling you. Yet clearly they do care, because they tell you all the time. Obviously they want you to think something about them.

Unfortunately the human psyche just can’t shut off its concern for others, and the ego can’t lock out its concern for what others think of it. Our whole sense of self is based upon our relations to others.

Of course I’m not saying that we should be paralyzed by fear over other’s opinions. Perhaps a more accurate statement would be “I am who I am”, and coming to terms with the fact that it’s impossible to please everybody.

I think that’s a more honest assessment.

what is truth?

Obviously I’m going through a Bart D Ehrman phase. It’s not because I agree with him most of the time or that I find him a master debater (sorry, had to say it). It’s because he’s the only public intellectual that I can think of at the top of my head that has a genuine passion for teaching.

Because Ehrman’s area of expertise is the Bible, specifically the New Testament and early Christianity, people naturally have strong opinions about the subject. Some people, specifically atheists but a few Christians aren’t exempt, like to use this subject as a way to “trigger” their opponents.

This is a fad on YouTube. The “Intellectual Dark Web” (IDW), or guys that found fame on the internet during the “alt-Right” hay day (people like Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, etc.) perfected the science of “triggering” (also known as “owning the libs”) and many online personalities have attempted to emulate it, including leftists with varying degrees of success. It’s a way of weaponizing information.

This phenomenon is not exclusive to discussions on the Bible, religion, and politics, but even movies and fucking geography!

Because “owning the line” is currency on YouTube, this has led to many quaks pretending to be experts littering the platform and distracting us away from those trying to present information in good faith.

Just because an opinion triggers someone, that doesn’t give it more credence. But that appears to be sound logic in some circles. Even if the opinion is true, if presented in a way that’s designed to give offense, that doesn’t make the one with the opinion more noble or virtuous…it makes you an asshole.

Thankfully my man Ehrman avoids that.

tf is narcissism?

“Narcissistic personality disorder” is HOT right now. I think it’s surpassed “borderline personality disorder” as the cool thing to have.

In all seriousness though, I think there’s been a turn in the psychological community. “Pop psychology” has turned disorders into badges of honor, or an identity, to the point where individuals no longer concern themselves with improvement and instead use their “disorder” as an excuse to continue shitty behavior then expect society to deal with it.

Of course, I’m speaking from personal experience. Obviously I’m an insane person that’s maladapted to society and require the services of doctors and therapists to help me. That has been the case since I was a teenager. When I first started seeking medical attention for my behavioral ailments, psychiatrists and therapists were in a mad dash to “diagnose” me into a neat category. Now, 93 years later, they don’t give a shit about that. It doesn’t matter. They just want to make sure that I don’t jump into traffic whenever I’m out in the public. That’s the important thing.

Anyways, personal anecdote aside, I’m fascinated by narcissism and the nature of mental disorders. I won’t get into that because it’s a lot of armchair philosophizing on my part, but is the prevalence of “narcissism” and “narcissistic personality disorder” a reflection of societal shifts?

I reckon that “narcissism” and “narcissistic personality disorder” are not synonymous, but I do think they share a link with the rise of radical individualism and consumer culture.

I’m not a psychologist. Thank god. But I can say with near certainty that I’ve been blessed with having not one, but two people very close to me have NPD. Crazy people have a tendency to attract other crazy people. Go figure. (I may say more about this at another time)

One was charismatic and the other a complete fucking moron, but they shared this commonality: when most people have an interaction with somebody, say someone they just met, all sorts of assumptions are being made. Most of these assumptions, by both parties, are not expressed and are usually rationalized as being just ASSUMPTIONS. Nothing more. There’s a wall of rationality between perception and reality, and most people are good at distinguishing between the two. A narcissist, at least the ones I’ve met, don’t have that ability.

The narcissist’s perceptions get projected onto the reality at hand, and they’re not able to tell where their emotions end and where objective reality begins. In my instances, both individuals reacted harshly against being labeled a liar. It was obvious that they had difficulty with the truth, but in their mind, they weren’t lying.

What this has to do with society at large, I don’t know. It’s merely conjecture on my part.

No I will not explain further.

pee pee poo poo

The YouTube algorithm sucks sometimes. When you search certain people, you can’t rid their videos from your recommendations.

Bart D Ehrman, the distinguished James Gray professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is one such person. Not that I hate Ehrman, quite the contrary. The man knows the Bible better than anyone. But I don’t find the subject of “God’s existence” to be particularly interesting.

Nevertheless, I watched him debate this with a professional snake oil salesman named Kyle Butt. The subject they were specifically debating was “God and suffering”. Ehrman’s fans swear up and down that he won the debate, but no one “wins” a debate. Everyone loses (and, sorry to say Christians, but agnostics/atheists have the much easier argument).

But I’m always intrigued by how the “problem of morality” gets tossed around like a hot potato in a debate. Maybe I’ve spent too much time of Twitter and Reddit forums, but it feels that in our political climate that all sides wish to enter into a “post moral” phase where one can gain points by accusing their opponent of “moralizing”. However, I have never once found this to be convincing.

Mostly because it makes no fucking sense. Even if we move past “good and evil”, new social mores become established which sets up a whole other paradigm of morality.

When viewed in this political climate, the Ehrman/Butt debate seems outdated (it took place in 2014). Butt believed that there are objective platonic forms of morality established by God of the Bible, while Ehrman simply took a sublime, “know right/wrong when I see it” approach. Naturally, I agreed with Ehrman (even though I didn’t find it philosophically consistent).

But I think what Ehrman was trying (or should have) focused on was the power of empathy in understanding the conditions of our fellow humans. From my understanding, empathy is a real scientifically falsifiable phenomenon that everyone (except psychopaths) feels. HOWEVER, the power of ideology does everything it can to undermine this.

Ideology can take many forms, from personal, to political, to religious.

In my view, individualist ideology, propagated by consumer culture, is the most prevalent. In fact, it even lays the foundation for current political/religious ideologies. When viewed in this light, it makes sense why online atheists and the Christian Right are suddenly bedfellows: Christians can rest easy knowing that God is invested in their individual lives, and the fate and suffering of everyone else is in His hands. And atheists become unburdened in believing that there’s a moralistic force binding the universe together, and can instead focus on their own truths.

Either way, they don’t have to show concern over the suffering of their fellow humans.

I guess that’s another reason why everyone wants to jump on the “post moral” train.

machismo

I always thought that collectively we had two choices: evolve to a Star Trek-like utopia where poverty, disease, prejudice, and war are eradicated—or take Ted Kaczynski’s advice and shun industrialized civilization altogether.

This middle ground that we’re hellbent on occupying is some bullshit though.

Heaven forbid if I call any of this out, however. Apparently my disdain for consumerism, narcissism, the eradication of public trust, and concern for unprecedented technological advancement on our psyche and relationships is no longer fashionable within Left/Right political framework.

It probably never was tbh

Where am I going with this?

Nowhere.

I’m as directionless as our collective consciousness.

The end

lost in the supermarket

“Ever wanted to do more?” some commercial by a for-profit university asked me.

Actually, I’ve always wanted to do LESS.

I can’t even watch ASMR without some jackass telling me that I’ve got 40lbs of excess shit in my bowels. Is that something I should be worried about? I already spend enough of my life on a toilet.

“Wanna invest in crypto?”

No thanks. Sports betting seems like a lot cooler way to lose money.

“Use my promo code to get one month free at Manscaped.com!”

Since when did men start shaving their balls?

Do people actually find this shit revolutionary or liberating? Any limp dick bastard with enough cash and a camera can convince enough people that some halfassed product manufactured from a sweatshop in Juarez is worth your hard earned money.

So why don’t you try sending some of that money my way?

Download my ebook for $599.99 today! 👍

credo quia absurdum

While I was reading Sigmund Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents, I was introduced to the term credo quia absurdum, translated as “I believe because it is absurd.”

The phrase is usually attributed to Tertullian in reference to Christian belief.

However, I have said many times before that the mechanism of religious belief has been franchised out to other forms of belief, specifically in the political realm. This process is exacerbated by constant internet usage.

Naturally, this causes further consternation within civilization because we know intellectually that the internet isn’t real, but our relationship and understanding of the real world is constantly being shaped by it.

When this contradiction is pointed out, there’s an almost violent psychological reaction to it because it undermines our entire understanding of self and society. And to maintain this flawed understanding, we double down on our patently false assumptions.

Therefore this “credo quia absurdum” becomes the de facto mode of political/religious discourse.

THE END 🤷‍♂️

the joker sucks iii: still smokin

As we fall further down the technological abyss, bombarded by competing information and ideas, we struggle to make sense of anything.

With an endless stream of movies, television, videos, and literature, we perceive the world through a dramatic prism, unable to grasp that the universe is impartial to our reasoning.

When confronted with this cognitive dissonance, we double down. And the opportunists in the media are all too happy to entertain our delusions.

In a sense, we are living in the “matrix.”

But perhaps this has always been true, even prior to the Internet. Maybe to live in a cultivated society means to live in a “matrix”, and no one wants to admit this.

Because of this, there rises either futile sentiments of cultural superiority, or need to “break free” from the restraints of society. But they’re both fantasies…fantasies that fuel our collective imagination.

Philosophers and theorists have failed to understand this: “the dramatic progression” that underpins our understanding. This is how nationalists can assert dominance, or how Christians and Marxists share an almost identical eschatological worldview despite being seemingly opposed. We view the world through a dramatic lens, and there are bad actors out there that try to entertain it.

All of this lies in our subconscious, and we may not be able to escape it. Being a part of this human collective is what makes us…human. So maybe the real political objective is not more theory, but to take from Sigmund Freud: we need to “sublimate well”.

Some might argue that’s Machiavellian, or utopian, or Orwellian, or naive, or overly optimistic, over pessimistic, liberal, conservative, or whatever.

With the Kantian blockage…or the inability to perceive the universe in its total, final form…it becomes difficult to understand that multiple truths can simultaneously exist.

Or maybe none of it is true.

It doesn’t matter. Stay pissed off if you choose. The universe goes on.

the joker sucks II: suck with a vengeance

Furthermore, I’m not some postmodern lunatic claiming that real truth doesn’t exist and therefore it’s pointless to speculate on the nature of it.

What I AM saying is that Immanuel Kant was RIGHT. And philosophers from his day onward have been pissed off because of it.

Kant claimed we can’t know things “in themselves”. Meaning we can’t perceive objects and nature in their true form. We can only perceive “phenomena”, or nature though the prism of the human mind. In other words, the human mind is VERY active in shaping our reality.

No one likes this.

And they don’t like it because they know it’s true.

To perceive objects and nature without the human mind would mean to transcend the human mind. OR, ceasing to become human altogether.

As it currently stands, that’s impossible and we run into many metaphysical holes when we try to speculate on that.

Now, that isn’t to say we are “cut off” from external reality. But we are hobbled by our own physical brains. The universe is seemingly infinite, but our brains are finite.

We are like a small hole in the bottom of a beach, where only one grain of sand can pass through at any one moment.

Lame example, I know. But that’s how it feels.

But my larger point is how the Internet affects all of this. Is our logical faculties, rooted in a material brain, designed to handle this shock load?

In our evolutionary development, we developed our facilities to handle immediate needs. Tools and complex communication emerged from this, leading to advanced society and advanced technologies that have seemingly advanced passed our understanding.

I often like to think that art is an unintended byproduct of this development. Literature, drama, paintings, etc. got spat out and reabsorbed back into the machinery. It became an integral part of our language.

Along came the internet and telecommunications where we are bombarded by intellectual work. Now we can’t help but see the archetypal dramatic progression written in the fabric of the universe.

In other words, the internet permits us to live in our own fantasy world….a fantasy that objectively doesn’t exist….it’s a prism on top of a prism.

Are we made to sit behind a computer?

And is it worth tearing the world down because of Jon Gruden’s emails?

These are the questions worth asking.

Ok, BYE ✋