2012-06-14

[General] Making sense of a mess

The world is quite overwhelming to think about.  It gets excessively complicated as soon as you have two or more people involved.  This post is another rambler.

I didn't completely get post-modernism in high school.  I was less cynical about it than others, though, and assumed that it meant something real to them.  I've often enjoyed unambiguous objective views of the world.  Focussing most on what's measurable.  But the perceived world differs widely between people, subjectifying even objective observations when the relative values assigned to the interacting factors differ between observers.  You can agree on the more fundamental facts but let them mean wildly different things between you and someone else.  Such that I stop seeing people as being wrong.

Some situations are too complex for me to say anything is really right about it.  Two people interact and they return with wildly differently reports of the interaction.  A student thinks their professor is a moron, the professor thinks the student is hopeless.  Both think the other is missing the picture because both are, as they're seeing different pictures.  Their history of experience biases what's important to observe and note and value.  Without common experience or perspective, they require at least good will to acknowledge each other's experience as potentially valid even if they conflict.  Truth dissolving into personal resolution of perceived conflicts.

Feelings are a black quagmire, difficult to synchronise.  Something very true for someone can seem like delusion to another.  Honest expression for one can be emotional blackmail for another.   The important concept of consent when entering the emotional space of another (often ignored in film), and its absence constituting emotional violence.   Emotional self-defense and constructions of reality to support it, no less valid than contradictory constructions (unless they prove internally inconsistent, incongruent with internal perceptions?).  Resisting emotional pressure resulting in emotion shaming.  Ideas of propriety in emotion and expression: when it is and isn't appropriate to share, what is right and wrong to share and whether what is shared is simply correct and incorrect, with or without basis.  It feels like even something as fundamental to human experience as the interaction of people on an emotional level, whether it's love or hate (or any more interesting dimensions) is hopelessly complicated, and will usually just result at people talking at tangents to one another, never quite to the point or riding the same line.

And for all the complexity and conflicting truth, how much of it is meaningful?  Especially the part where you try to make them congruent.  Some times you can try to reach an understanding, a mapping between two perspectives to allow productive conversation.  But then you can be reminded that time and effort is so expensive it's priceless.  Taking weeks to or months or years seems insane when you dwell on the possibility of not actually having weeks, months, or years.  Delicacy is too expensive.  A week that is taken is a week that will never come back.  Biding your time for a moment that might never come.


This Coca Cola commercial unintentionally did a wonderful job of demeaning all the considerations and complexity in human interaction for me.   I'm not sure why.  I feel like teaching pupils Carpe diem isn't as effective as unplanned lessons are.  If you want to tell someone something but it's complicated, perhaps just say it anyway.  Perhaps it's unfair to them, but perhaps it's not fair in the way that interactions aren't fair beyond the causal appearance of reality.  I suppose it's best when there aren't any hopes attached, no expectations, with expression.  No pressure.  Does that resolve any of the possible interaction conflicts?  Does it remove the blackmail from emotional blackmail, make pacifist the emotional violence, render unnecessary emotional defense, lift the shame out of having emotion, and render moot academic questions on propriety?

This is vague for no particular reason except that to go into unsolicited detail seems vain and pointless.  If anyone is interested, I can elaborate certain thoughts elsewhere.  (There's a fairly clear thought structure behind it!)  I suppose the point in writing is to articulate my own thoughts and feelings give me future reference.  It's a strange thing to feel indifferent to the potential for an audience, but it's just words, it's not like I'm going to run for political office where coherency is so valuable.

P.S. I feel like Coca Cola did a wonderful thing with that commercial.  Instead of going "So, why are you trading on happy moments to sell your wares," I instead think "Wow, thank you for sharing almost 2 minutes of happiness with me for but a few seconds of brand association, which is fare, as its your big corporate brand that saw fit to please me; now allow me to evaluate your product on its merits and decline you anyway." :)

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I am aeronautical, vanship-style.  I am olympic and mythical.  I rest on my laurels.