Kamis, Mei 19, 2016

Hedonism & Fatalism: a mere stupid assessment of my life and some of those around me.

Everybody suffered from their own demon I supposed. But to simplify, everyone’s biggest demon is actually just  “a lack of judgment”, and it applies to any circumstances. In my case it's the disproportional view between past,  present, and future, which manifests in a chronic procrastination. Which I recently suspected, stems from hedonism and fatalism.

The bounded definition of hedonism and fatalism, here, is a simplified one—and I supposed a personally-made one too. Hedonism, I defined as a pursue of immediate pleasure and an avoidance of pain or displeasure.  While fatalism, I abridged as a tenet of “what will be, will be”, that human are helpless at the whims of fate. Both are superficially antagonize each other, but when applied to the practical-everyday life, I find they tend to be complimentary to each other. Both  work as a cycle, one that sometimes traps a person in an addictive sense, and render it’s “victim” in it's powerlessness.

We all pursue happiness in life, and happiness often associated with pleasure.  We might even  define pleasure as a short-term happiness. This habit of seeking pleasure is what gave birth to a hedonistic lifestyle. But after a quick browsing through the Wikipedia and a few articles, it appears that hedonism has paradox on withholding it’s value; that pleasure and happiness are strange phenomena that do not obey normal principles. In that, they cannot be acquired directly, and we often fail to attain pleasures if we deliberately seek them.

I’ll make my own demon as an example: procrastination. When I procrastinate, I avoid pain and displeasure by not doing something unpleasant. But in a long term this will lead me to a bigger and more permanent displeasure: guilt, irresponsible image in front of my peers, and a pressure to get the job done in a relative short of time. So in short, while I busily seek pleasures, I also caused displeasure in the future. Erm, I just realize, I don’t know which came first; the hedonistic-lifestyle that cause my procrastinating-way; or the habit of procrastinate that build an attitude of hedonism. Hmmm.. both might be true.

On the other hand there is this fatalism; the appealing charm of Murphy’s law; the axiom of pre-determination; the one that put fate as the scapegoat instead our bad judgment. Fatalism is the stepping stone towards depression--and in some cases a blind-delusional optimism--, because it offers you nothing but a dead end. On the other hand, I think it is also fair to say that fatalism is a lazy way to draw conclusions. I mean, come on; blame it all to the fate and destiny?

From what I assessed, a habit to seek pleasure, in the end, often coupled with a fatalistic point of view in life. When you approach something in life hedonistically, it will definitely lead you to a chaotic outcome. And when the chaos is in front of you, the quick defend mechanism is to be fatalistic over it. I found this cycle almost everywhere; in many cases and a variety of manifestations. So, to a degree, hedonism and fatalism is what caused a crazy-twirling vortex of life.

What to do about it? Well, many find that a motivational books and spiritual guidance will help you back in track. But basically, one need to realize and analyze the working machine of hedonism and fatalism in order to overcome it. If simple-secondary motivational words or a rigid outline of religious script could help, then it's fine. But when the problem rooted deep inside you, and you are a kind who like to reverse-engineered things and be analytic about it, maybe an existentialist approach toward life will help. Because it offers you a basic notion of responsibility and how to get real. And It will give you a primary understanding of how every person is individually responsible for themselves, for their action, and for their decisions in life. And I'd like to argue, that these are the building block of human happiness as a homo-social. 

I have to admit that I learn this in a hard way at a late age of my life. I grew up in an environment that value vague concepts, such as being compassionate and generous instead of being responsible and honest. I’m not saying that to be compassion and generous is a bad thing, but if you vaguely trying to build life base on compassion and generosity, without putting responsibility and honesty before it, well I guessed it will pull you deeply in a vortex of unhappiness. I assumed it relate--relatively--with the lifestyle of hedonism and fatalism, because both are trying to avoid displeasure, and what is the basic displeasure if not responsibility and honesty. Hmm, I need to point out that I just realize, that a fa├žade of compassion and generosity couldn’t mask your irresponsabilities and bad judgments, no matter how hard you try to screamed it at the world.

It's painful to realize of who you really are, because often time we see our reflection not in glory and beauty, but in ugliness and humility. When the truth is laid bare in front of you, for the sake of permanent happiness, and for the sake of clarity of your life, isn't it better to embrace it fully and make it the first stepping stone toward a better self. 

--after an unpleasant argument with one of the closest and dearest person in my life--

Kamis, Mei 12, 2016

Semprini!

"Who's got a boil on his semprini, then?"

Semprini? What's a semprini? Apparently it's just one of thousands of beautifully designed gaga waga made by none other than the Monty Python's troops. Supposed to be a naughty word they won't uttered at the price of censorship, semprini actually means absolutely nothing. Well of course it was derived from the composer Alberto Semprini's name, but it relatively mean nothing. nada. zilch. zero... This, along with other python's baloney, has become a very lovable and quotable nonsense for us, devoted fans.

It's been about 9 years since I land myself in the absurd island of Monty Python. It began in some time around 2007, when I, out of boredom, bought a pirated dvd of Monty Python & the Holly Grail. What an enlightening experience! After watching Grail, every joke and other comedy entities stand far behind Monty Python. I don't know how to dumb down the reality behind their comedy, but theirs, I have to admit, has absolutely made a groundbreaking in the field of contemporary funniness, and has become a kind of clowning manifesto in our recent culture.

If we were to examine how humor works, it is known that one of the main theory of comedy is the Incongruity Theory. Wikipedia said:"The incongruity theory states that humor is perceived at the moment of realization of incongruity between a concept involved in a certain situation and the real objects thought to be in some relation to the concept." In this sense, we know that in perceiving an incongruent interaction between elements of a joke/humor/comedy; people try to find a kind of a resolution, or a realization of how the relation between the elements worked. In the case of Monty Python, the relation seldom existed. What's more, their humor often created more incongruities and absurdities.

According to Dr. Shockmd--followthislinkplease--the degree of this unresolved-ness is what makes Monty Python distinctively funny. Why I put "distinctively", because in the area of funniness, I find that many people doesn't really enjoy the zany humor of Python's. I used to feel uncomfortable when some people might see me as snobbish when I tell them I enjoyed Monty Python a lot. Because many feels that those who enjoy Monty Python tend to be a pompous little hipsters--and quite frankly, I don't want to be categorizes as hipster--but actually, that's really irrelevant. Dr. Shockmd stated, that there might be reason to why some people could enjoy Python very much and some are just not. He said: "This appreciation of nonsense jokes and cartoons is dependable on personality characteristics. Those with a high level of experience seeking appreciate nonsense humor more." ("nonsense humor refers to Python-like humor).

Okay okay, I might end up stating a snobbish fact after all, but please, contemplate the statement a little bit deeper, and you'll find that Dr. Shockmd's opinion is not snobbish at all. Many people must thought that Monty Python's joke belong to "intelligent"people, while, Dr. Shockmd's theory stated that people who liked Python tend to be more experience-seeking. So it's not a matter of "bigger brain loves Monty Python more", it's those who are experience-seeker, tend to enjoy Monty Python better. What's an experience-seeker, you asked? Dr. Shockmd, said: "Experience seeking involves a search for novel sensations, stimulation and experiences through the mind and senses, through art, travel, music, and the desire to live in an unconventional style." It's the unconventionality that makes unconventional people are so compatible with Monty Python sense of humor. 

But it is interesting to acknowledge that their unconventionality had been a milestone in the fields of today humor. Even though seemingly represent British humor only, Monty Python actually worked in much deeper level. Their works had proven that humor could break the border of culture and nationality, that laughter and witticism is a nature part of human being. And in the spirit of global culture, we, non-western people, may find their humor become more and more familiar. Should it be slapstick, dark humor, absurd gags, or simply just some Englishmen dressing up as old ladies (pepperpots as they called it), many of us couldn't help their rib-tickling charm.
So to all "experience-seeker"out there, try this old chaps gags once in a while. It will really worth your time.

Senin, Mei 02, 2016

after browsing through the technology and science news over the net

"The absence of any noticeable life may be an argument in favour of us being in a simulation.... Like when you're playing an adventure game, and you can see the stars in the background, but you can't ever get there. If it's not a simulation, then maybe we're in a lab and there's some advanced alien civilization that's just watching how we develop, out of curiosity, like mould in a petri dish.... If you look at our current technology level, something strange has to happen to civilizations, and I mean strange in a bad way. ... And it could be that there are a whole lot of dead, one-planet civilizations." -Elon Musk-

On answering our curiosity of whether are we alone in the universe or are we not, I guess at some point we might find our self in doubt: could we be in some short of a simulation in which we could never reach the existence so far away it become mere illusion. But learning from our recent history, human are capable to generate an impressive progression of civilization by proving out this so called illusion into reality, and made it reachable and testable. I supposed being in the optimistic spectrum will be more rewarding, but of course with a healthy portion of skepticism along the way. And after scanning through (fun-browsing) the internet, there are a lot of connective invention that might someday brings human to an unpredictable new level. 
Personally I feel ashamed and humbled that I am not part of those human beings who brings a lot to the progression of civilization, and to the amazing probability of our species' evolution. But to merely anticipate the probability really takes you into a new philosophical areas. It makes the personal troubles of our life seems so much more insignificant and trivial. And in a brighter perspective, it brings a sort of empowerment in thinking that we are worth more than we are today; that perhaps someday we will be liberated into a new developed being, far more advance than our current being. Meh or I supposed I am just a hopeful geek trying to navigate my confidence in a hustle and bustle of contemporary competition :D.