Friday, 17 May 2013

Dead sharks don't talk.

The first thing I have to do today is write. I decided that a long time ago; that I should write something when I wake up. I can't remember who said it but somebody did. I was cleaning my teeth this morning and thinking of saying that the good thing about brain cancer is that your brain is getting bigger. Imagine that; A disease where you are getting cleverer all the time. I know it is nonsense but my brain has to test out all these theories. I was listening to Damien Hirst on Desert Island Disks this morning and he said something about his work entitled "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living". I had a weird thought the other day. I was specifically trying to imagine what the world would be doing, and specifically my daughter, if I died during an operation to remove my Gall Bladder. It was not the usual fictionalising of the scenario. It was tangibly different. It was genuinely imagining how the world was without me. The more I think on this the more profound it seems. But then my insights into life and people often seem profound. This would be so difficult to try to explain. But I am going to try.

So there is this world full of dynamics - there finished. That is what it feels like. The minute I try to explain it it seems to evaporate.

When I was younger... - What a decidedly obvious and ludicrous thing to say. People say it all the time. It is like when people in shops ask if they can help you and you start telling them about a problem you have and they suddenly realise you are not regurgitating the normal response but are actually engaging them in reality. I do it all the time. It is my way of both suggesting they stop running on the plastic automatic of our culture and of inviting them to think about the uniqueness of their own life and mine. Anyway - when I was younger is stupid because you were hardly likely to have been the same age or older before. But when I was younger I did have what I regard as a profound thought. There were two people and they had a child and another and another and then they had one that was different, one that was profoundly different... it was me. The point about that idea is that being 'me' has always intrigued me. Why am 'I' looking out of these eyes. Why can I see everyone else but I am 'inside' of me. But this is because being human is a thing - a phenomenon - an emergent experience from a complex system. Each one of us (presumably) has the same intangible and weird experience of the difference between being the 'me' that is us and everyone else. Once you get your head round that, so to speak, it does not seem off the trajectory to consider what it is like without you there. What is actually going on when you are not there. How do people feel who took you for granted? It is the same idea of being at your own funeral. But whereas in life you can, and some do - and some psychopathic, or sociopathic to be more pc, gits don't - imagine, or even empathetically simulate, the experience of people around you and particularly, or possibly by some people's definition specifically, the people you love it seems a dependent corollary that you can imagine, or empathise, with how they feel when you are not there. I guess it is becoming clear how difficult it can be for me to explain the ideas I have. I could start with something like emergent behaviour of complex systems and explain that in detail. Some have done it before. It is not my idea. It is a conceptual metaphor or descriptive analogy of a relationship and phenomenon. The idea being that the behaviour of a complex system 'happens' and cannot be predicted by 'knowing' how the system works. Well it needs a little more explanation than that. The thing is (roughly) that starting with Newtonian science we think we can 'understand' the world by the paradigms of 'cause and effect' and 'reductionism'. It is a bit like building a steam engine. Each bit does something that cause something else to happen. Each caused action causes another and by understanding how all the 'reduced' interactions work you can work out how the whole system will behave. There is one small problem with that - it doesn't seem to work in all cases. Whether the problem is in the universe or our limited simulations of reality in our 'brains' is neither here nor there for this discussion but it remains true that some things happen that are unpredictable. This is more than the mistake 'we' have been making for years of thinking that there are things we don't understand because they are too complicated. Chaos theory adequately explains how some things are 'unpredictable' using the conventional paradigms. I could explain all that and then, from there and using those ideas and 'paradigms', explain the next step. But it all seems too much to be dealing with at the moment of trying to explain what I am thinking. So, going back to where I was, the idea of 'being there' after you are dead watching and 'knowing' how it is for people you love when you are dead is a weird and differnt thing from the norm. But I was indulging in it the other day to try to understand how it is for my daughter. Because if there were anything I could do now which would support her when I am not there to do it then I would like to be in a position to do that. Some people think it is down to money and so long as they provide materially for their loved ones that that is all that is needed. They are materialistic and it doesn't make sense to me. I am in danger of rambling now but then that is what I do so live with it. That was decidedly aggressive - Sorry about that.

So I am angry with Damien Hirst for making so much money and leaving me with none.

No comments:

Post a Comment