Monday, November 21, 2011

Why I Have Trouble Following the Narrative of Current Events

"[T]he contents of the Book had been crafted and refined over many centuries to be nonsensical, maddening, and pointless[...] It was a maze without an exit, an equation that after weeks of toil reduced to 2=3. Much harder to memorize and to answer questions about were writings that almost but did not quite make sense; that had internal logic, but only up to a point. Such things cropped up naturally in the mathic world from time to time—after all, not everyone had what it took to be a Saunt. [...] [I]f [these writings] were found to be the right kind of awful, [they were] made even more so, and folded into later and more wicked editions of the Book. To complete your sentence and be granted permission to walk out of your cell, you had to master them just as thoroughly as, say, a student of quantum mechanics must know group theory. The punishment lay in knowing that you were putting all of that effort into letting a kind of intellectual poison inflitrate your brain to its very roots."
--from Anathem, by Neal Stephenson. [I am so loving this book so far.]

Oh, ain't I so smart and above it all. But then again, consider that I'm the guy who finds that following the bullshit narrative, even if it's just to complain about it, can still be more stimulating than the soul-crushing branch of science work where I landed myself. I mean, for god's sake, don't ask me anything about group theory.


Schmutzie said...

See, now normally if one of my friends says something about soul-crushing anything, ...relationship,job, addiction...I'm right there to remind them that they are free to do whatever they want to do, and how we only have one life to live so why waste valuable life doing something that's soul-crushing? and maybe I challenge them a little to take control and be the masters of their respective domains, ...but I don't have to tell you all of that shit because I know you already know it. Paycheck-only jobs should not be able to crush our souls K. We do them because we have to feed our families maybe, and god knows there are plenty of under-employed fuckers out there at the moment feeling the same way. Human nature I guess, as long as we keep an eye open for any opportunity that may come along. Ya just never know when that's going to happen, although it's been my experience that the arrive unexpectedly, and I think the old saying..."Better to be prepared for an opportunity that doesn't come, than to be unprepared for one that does." I have confidence in you my friend. You have what it takes...up here. (tap tap tap)

Keifus said...

Yeah, soul-numbing, soul-sacrificing, I'm all too used to those things in most of those departments. (And how they might weigh up against "valuable life" is more ambiguous.) Soul-crushing, however, is new in the last year or two. It sucks.

These last couple months of layoff-but-still-working have added to the general stress. If they offer me my old job back after all, I pray to Jebus I'm in a position to tell 'em to just go fuck themselves.

Thanks, Smutty.