The age of news.

These are ages of how we determine what is true. The age of religion has passed. The age of science, which came after, has passed. We are firmly in the age of news. It abounds, now, that people argue not as we did in the age of science, based on commonly-held research (“facts”). We live in a post-fact age, a post-science age. It doesn’t matter to people anymore, whether what they’re saying is scientifically true, or true based on commonly-held information. What matters is that someone said it—what makes it true is that a ton of people said it. In the age of religion, those who spoke for god, determined the truth. In the age of science, commonly-held, repeatable, fact-oriented information determined the truth. In the age of news, exposure determines the truth, channels determine the truth. Truth, now, comes about as a result of people following channels. Gone are the days when, in order for a trusted person to continue being trusted, that person had to make sense, logically, scientifically, factually. This is an age in which it is enough, to convince the vast majority of our population, just to keep a straight face and, with a confident-sounding voice, keep repeating the same lies over and over.

Because I want to feel this way.

The only reason I feel the way I do today is because I want to feel this way.  If I choose to be drama-free by not going to facebook, if I choose to feel high by running for an hour, there is only one reason, and it is the best one and a simple one and a tricky one too.  I want to.  I laugh when I see ads for schools offering careers in criminal justice, because to seek a career in criminal justice is to expect that there will be criminals.  Worse, it is to require there to be criminals, otherwise you’re out of a job.  Mere intellectuals argue that to expect a world without crime is naive.  We need less intellectualism in our world and more horse sense.  If your job is to bring criminals to justice, then you need for there to be criminals and you will participate in the world in ways that ensure that remains the case.  Too much of our world is oriented toward disaster response (via which we ensure that disasters continue to occur).  Einstein’s phrase says it most cleanly: “intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them”.  Anyone who thinks that we cannot make this world what we want…and by that I mean make every part of it wonderful…is truly naive.  Our impressions create economies.  Our perceptions create realities.  If you don’t see that that is true it is because you haven’t thought it through.  We should not strive to be progressive.  We should strive to be miraculous.  Everything else is fear-based inefficiency.  Our job is to become unafraid, completely, 100%, absolutely unafraid right now.  I don’t think my job is to be part of the problem.  I don’t think my job is to solve the problem.  I think my job is to create, to play, to feel, to be.  I don’t think there’s anything naive about that.  I think that takes daring, I think it is the result of a great deal of consideration and reflection, I think it is the responsible thing to do.  I think we can try to avoid suffering, as the lazy do.  I think we can accept that life is suffering, as the Buddhists do.  I think we can understand that life isn’t any less-worthwhile spent one way or another…that, essentially, no one is pitiable.  No path is pitiable.  The fearful, the squeamish, the ill-informed are the only people I’ve encountered who think that the world is what it is, separate from us.  We are making this happen.  We are making all of this up.  Our political world, and larger, our cultural world, and larger, the connective world of reality, of the world, is a universal creature dreaming itself up.  We, individual people, are part of this universal creature that is dreaming itself up, that is improvising, that is creating itself over and over, imagining itself and how it could be, and then trying that.  There isn’t a way that things should be.  There isn’t {what god likes} or {what god wants to happen}.  There isn’t {right} or {what I like, what I like absolutely}.  This universe doesn’t know what it likes.  It’s playing, trying to figure that out.  But it doesn’t know already.  It’s planning, and executing that plan, and seeing what it can do.  It’s trying out a new set of wheels, it’s taking itself for a spin.  And only as a result of trying things does there become a sense in which our world likes things to be a certain way.  Sometimes I think I have to start with how the world is, and then decide how to feel about it.  That is not the case.  That leads to confusion.  First, start with how I want to feel (blissful).  Then, feel that way.  Then, and only then, decide what to do in the world.

Price-discriminating monopolists

In Econ as Harold Winter explained price-discriminating monopolists, and cited the Athena theatre as an example of such a monopolist, I was filled with awe. Imagining college students standing in line to see a movie, all on average smarter than the people running the theatre, some of them knowing about price discrimination. This diabolical juxtaposition of power inspires me. To know mathematics. To know psychology. To know history and philosophy. And to apply my knowledge of the world to the world. I want to marry the academic with the cowboy, beyond bookworm and entrepreneur, into dynamic controller, writer, creator.

Power is control over the news…control over people’s access to the truth. I don’t want that kind of power, but I can imagine, in the same form as I usually admire, the power in controlling the fact that no one in particular controls, owning and distributing power, being one who has the leverage to empower others; this, and nothing more selfish, do I consider power. So a pledge : I pledge never to exercise control over others; if that is impossible or meaningless, I pledge never to exercise undue control over them.

“Truth.”—I don’t even know what that means. “Are you religious?” What do you mean by religious? “Do you believe in God?” What do you mean by God? What are your words to you? Make me know what experience corresponds to your words. I don’t answer these questions; I respond with additional questions, the point of all of whom is to urge