Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

cities, humanity and bombs

It's not uncommon for me to wake up to the distant rumbling of machines, construction crews, trains. It doesn't bother me; I feel comforted by it. Somehow growing up in a big city makes you need its sounds and rythms. It is definitely a welcome change from the friendly, quiet, politically correct. bleach-cleansed Silicon Valley suburb where I was holed up until a few months ago.

The grittiness of cities reflects, maybe, the underlying dirt present in this world.

Images of planes flying over Afghanistan. Some of them drop bombs, others, food. "Humanitarian aid," they call it. What is more human? To blast your enemy with a grenade and then give him a band-aid? Or to just kill him outright?

I desperately windows in my apartments. I need a view to look at at night, something to escape from the walls when they close in, as they do sometimes.

Weird. Would I survive in Jail? Probably; human beings can take a lot of pain, much more than they think. We are dividided in two: those who suffer real hardship (think no job, disease, seeing your child die of malnutrition) and those who suffer MTV-CNN-Induced-Suffering Syndrome (think envy for Britney Spear's new outfit, or --a more bening form of the disease maybe-- suffering because other people suffer and you can't do anything about it). Maybe this division will always exist, at least until some nutcase creates a virus to kill us all, or somebody presses the oft-mentioned button (The Button) that will set off world war three.

Either way, the universe won't notice.

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on July 11, 2002 at 9:47 PM

defining suffering

from the let's-spend-some-time-with-the-dictionary dept.

Pain is a physical reaction. You cut your finger, it hurts. Simple.

Suffering, on the other hand, seems to be less physical than psychological. Complicated.

People "suffer" without apparent reason. Rich people get depressed when they should be happy they got tickets to the Opera.

Suffering is more like resistance. It hurts, and I don't like it, therefore I suffer.

The second definition for "suffer" of the Oxford English Dictionary says:

"undergo, experience, or be subjected to pain, loss, grief, defeat, change, etc."

In general terms, then, it seems accurate to define suffering as the degree of resistance to that natural phenomenon we call life.

Read it again: undergo, experience, or be subjected to pain, loss, defeat, change, etc.

The more aware you are of life and its consequences, the more you suffer.

I wonder if somewhere in the planet the word "suffering" has a good connotation, just like in some cultures death is accepted and even celebrated...

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on July 11, 2002 at 5:25 PM

how real is reality?

How much of our world is real? Reality seems to be malleable enough so that it can support (for example) two groups of people where each presumes itself to be the only defender of all that's good and pure, the guardians of peace, etcetera, and that they're willing to go to war and obliterate the other to prove it.

A less trite example: the Peters Projection.

It's an "area accurate" map, as opposed to other maps that might, for example, maintain latitude lines equidistant. All two-dimensional maps will be, by necessity, inaccurate, since we are losing one dimension of information.

We are trained to think that the world is contained in the map, so to speak. We assume (implicitly) the map represents "reality" accurately, somehow, even though when looking at different projections we see how ridiculous this assumption is.

So, how much of our world is real? Probably anything that cannot be argued is real, to begin with. Like death, or life. Or a tree. Now as for the color of the tree.. 

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on July 11, 2002 at 5:01 PM

first post

Ok... let's see...

We pull this lever here... press a button... this is supposed to be really easy...

Now check the gas... Hm. No gas.

Menu confusion...

I suddenly wonder: who invented ping-pong?

No time for that now, must set up weblog. Must post. Must press the button.

Go!

I mean... Post!

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on July 11, 2002 at 4:31 PM

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