August 22, 2020The State of Nature
As an 11-year-old human, I bit the pieces out of a Peanut-butter and Jelly sandwich to make a handgun. My dad laughed uproariously while my mother smiled with resignation. A year or so later, he gave me a .410 shotgun. He pulled over to the side of the road and pulled it out of the trunk to surprise me. I had accrued 12 years to my existence when this happened.
At the time, I was happy. Happy to be a part, happy to see him happy, wonderous at the notion of what was in the trunk of the car. British human beings call a car an auto and an auto's trunk a boot. It's all so confusing.
The upgrade to a .410 is a .20 gauge, then you get the proper .12 gauge then what my dad called an elephant gun, the .10 gauge. The first time I shot a .20 gauge (a double-barrel) I fell on my rear-end, having accidentally pulled the triggers for both barrels at once. At the time, we were standing next to a pond, a small, steady body of water.
Puddles, ponds, lakes and oceans. This is what defines civilizations - distinction and growth. Trunk, boot, car, auto - for civilization to work, humans need these types of agreed-upon classifications.
The world feels very dark right now. It isn't just my own circumstances, there's a dark pall encasing humanity; where there once was hope, despair now dominates. Still, we all have agency.
We all have the ability to impact the systems within which we exist. Soldiers marching across a bridge will break stride as the potential for in-stride steps to cause the bridge to break apart exists. It has actually happened.
Generally, I consider the evil-vs-good dichotomy false - a choice between two impractical abstractions. In the state of nature, abstractions don't exist. There is no purity, good, evil nor perfect; there's only what survives and succeeds.
Prior to humanity's discovery of agriculture, there was only nature. Our ancestors hid in caves during the night and ran long distances to conquer prey during the day; said prey typically became exhausted long before our upright-forefathers.
It is argued that humanity's upright disposition allowed for better heat-dissipation such that we were able to travel further distances with limited resources; we were better able to maximize the use of energy or power across our biological system. As such, we could chase prey a distance that would cause it to collapse, then kill it and drag it back to our social unit.
We aren't ancient, fierce predators due to our capacity to fight or kill. We are the apex because fortune smiled upon us; we adapted in specific ways such that a semi-intelligent being became possible. In the group-smoothing of a rock to weapon, rhythm was found, begetting music, dance, language, philosophy, and the impossibly difficult abstractions of "something" and "nothing".
The state of nature will always reign. Given humanity's collective arrogance, nature has the capacity to replace our grace and beauty with it's own. And in fairness, nature's grace and beauty is pretty significant, mountains, valleys, oceans, beaches and all.
Still, the abstraction of the state of nature (chaos) against human intellect's goal (order) is worthy of defense. Ideally in the end, humanity chooses order over chaos.
July 1, 2020but they end as you expect
The roof of the adjacent structure was apparently just fiberglass and immediately gave way under Andy's weight. He just disappeared, falling two stories, his fall broken by some shelves and an attempt to duck and roll.
I ran down as he limped out of the structure. I was still holding his rapier. I grabbed his arm and flung it over my shoulder to help him walk then we found Amity and Christy. Due to his injury, we wouldn't be able to climb back over the fence. I already had my rapier holstered but now I holstered his. We walked toward the pool to the main entrance.
When we eventually got back to the apartment, several of us helped wash the wound in the bathtub, below a gaping hole in the ceiling caused by a pipe that burst several weeks prior.
In the journey, my favorite moment came as we walked through the lobby. We came to the front desk where, surprisingly, two employees where still attending the desk. Andy, limping by, bid them to "Have a good night." They did not reply.
For the bulk of my life, Andy and our social unit were the nexus of my identity. I invested significantly in what I thought was our collective fate. It was only later that I realized they apparently had no interest nor intent with my fate. It, to my discredit, impacted me too greatly.
The universe is not ordered. Mathematics is an invention, not a discovery.
I still believe however, that the group is greater than the individual and empathizing with the unknown is superior to antagonizing it.
Sociopaths are limited by their lack of empathy.