Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Another entry in the Public Address Medical Journal

419 Responses

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  • Rich Lock,

    I find our very existence's utter meaninglessness to be really rather liberating and I'm sorry, Danielle, that it depresses you.

    Prescisely! If there is no ultimate point to our existence (or at least not one that we are ever going to be able to discern), then we are entirely free to create a meaning to our individual existences that suits ourselves.

    C'mon Danielle, life is yours for the taking! Jump up and grab it with both hands! Or, if you prefer, stay on the couch and watch TV! the choice is yours, and only yours! Forge your own destiny!

    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law! Be the best you can be!

    God, the freedom! I'm getting high on the possibilities! I think I need a lie-down.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Well, recent estimates suggest that the planet's CO2 levels will decrease to the point where photosynthesis is no longer possible within 600 million years, so there might be the chance for another Green Party to emerge. So I guess we should appreciate the one we've already got.

    Will Kedgley still be there in 600 million years?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    I wouldn't put it past her.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    I find

    our very existence's utter meaninglessness

    to be really rather liberating and I'm sorry, Danielle, that it depresses you.

    I tend to agree. Nothing would depress me more than the possibility that it was all part of a cosmic plan and that some god was behind it all. Which one? If I back the wrong horse is my soul confined to eternal damnation?

    I read The God Delusion recently and found it quite liberating.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    Jack, I like your refinement to our seeming meaninglessness, hippy drivel or not.

    We are our own gods...

    [Beware, slippery slope ahead...]

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    We are our own gods...

    In a discussion involving the Greens and evolutionary psychologists, this couldn't have been put any better really.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    But why did the big bang happen?

    Once nothing realised it was there...

    quote>music is just some weird evolutionary button-pressing, like we're all 'hardwired' to like it,</quote>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q49Bs0Gp7OU

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    annoying hippy drivel

    God, the freedom! I'm getting high on the possibilities!

    Russell, I need to report a nest of hippies in PAS. They've infiltrated, and they're taking over. (Also, I've had a moment of clarity: I think I might have to include myself in their number. Christ.)

    Nothing would depress me more than the possibility that it was all part of a cosmic plan and that some god was behind it all.

    Oh no no no, that *would* really suck, I agree.

    Look. My brain wants there to be meaning; yet there is obviously no external source of meaning. These two things are incompatible, and it's just like that Star Trek episode where Kirk talks the floating robot into a paradox and it blows up.

    Argh. I think I'm going to do some ironing and listen to Public Enemy.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    We are our own gods...

    When do I get the power to smite mine enemies with plagues of boils?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I'll try that again.

    But why did the big bang happen?

    Once nothing realised it was there...

    music is just some weird evolutionary button-pressing, like we're all 'hardwired' to like it,

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Russell, I need to report a nest of hippies in PAS. They've infiltrated, and they're taking over.

    Tee Hee.
    Shall I post more Grateful Dead clips?

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Look. My brain wants there to be meaning; yet there is obviously no external source of meaning. These two things are incompatible

    Oh no they're not. It's what Jameson calls the meaningless materiality of the body and nature versus the meaning-endowment of history and of the social. We produce the meaning, it doesn't need to be validated by immanent and absolute laws of the universe for it to be, well, valid.

    For a dung beetle its little ball of shit is the most meaningful thing in the world, and the beetle isn't wrong.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    So go on, make your life meaningful.
    (I know this sounds like annoying hippy drivel, but I do actually believe this.)

    Well, then....

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    Man, I am so having a Lost marathon this weekend ...

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Existence isn't meaningless. It's just that there's no external source of meaning. Things only have meaning and force insofar as we give it to them. So go on, make your life meaningful.

    Quite. The idea of meaninglessness is itself meaningless.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Old hippie alert: there's a for-a-short-time-only clip of Neil Young tearing up Glastonbury last weekend with an epic version of 'Keep On Rockin' in the Free World' in today's Hard News.

    The bloody BBC keeps removing all its coverage from YouTube so I had to put it up myself. Be quick.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    The idea of meaninglessness is itself meaningless.

    Oh, a pox on all of you mature self-actualised beings, and your calm acceptance of everything. A pox, I say! :)

    (However, in my new incarnation as a postmodern hippy dungbeetle, I have this little ball of shit over here I'll be working on, with Giovanni's blessing.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Old hippie alert: there's a for-a-short-time-only clip of Neil Young tearing up Glastonbury last weekend with an epic version of 'Keep On Rockin' in the Free World' in today's Hard News.

    Link whore.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    in my new incarnation as a postmodern hippy dungbeetle,

    Fantastic band name, The Postmodern Hippy Dungbeetles.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    I had to put it up myself

    as a demonstration of the importance of context.

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    The Postmodern Hippy Dungbeetle.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Heard interesting talk last week on meaning of meaning by philosophy professor from Beijing.
    Later made pilgrimage to dugongs in Sydney aquarium Philosophically problematic - should these endangered wild animals be in zoo for fish?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Oops link doesn't seem to work. Here's another

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Where'd my capacity to engage on these matters go I wonder? I did the basic theological training via Catholic schooling and the metaphysics at uni and yet... I've so little to add.

    Existence isn't meaningless. It's just that there's no external source of meaning.

    I'm not all that opposed to this conceptulisation although the "no external" validation might be too narrowly defined for me (though I'm guessing you mean no deity?) I'd not disagree with this, I simply don't know, but does that mean none, or rather just no supernatural? What about the meaning of our lives validated by others? My kids validate me, I think. I know that's very local and personal, so how about global recognition of the humanity of Nelson Mandela? I rewatched Gandhi recently, I understand the meaning of his life as being both his commitment to his principles but also the political change he achieved. Is that external validation?

    Or is that what you mean in the next sentence when you say:

    Things only have meaning and force insofar as we give it to them

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I rewatched Gandhi recently, I understand the meaning of his life as being both his commitment to his principles but also the political change he achieved. Is that external validation?

    It's internal to the human race, but rarely if ever a property of the individual in absolute isolation. 'The meaning endowment of history and the social' works for me.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

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