I dare do all that may become a blog; Who dares do more, is none

Hello, good morning, and welcome to another Thursday, which makes it time for another edition of my ever-popular “traditional” blog post on this 6th day of October in 2022 AD/CE.  I hope you’re all doing as well as is physically possible.

Of course, if there is only one universe, not a multiverse, and the “many worlds” description of quantum mechanics is not literally right, then there is only one way that things are and thus only one way that things could be, and so it’s true that everyone is always doing as well—and doing as poorly—as it’s possible for them to be doing.  I’m not sure that’s comforting, but it doesn’t tend to have much impact on daily life, so unless you find the question interesting in and of itself, as I do, I wouldn’t let it worry you.  Try not to think about it.

I’m disappointed to have to report to you all that I have not extended my fast, despite my hopes and intentions yesterday.  I was more affected by my immediately preceding illness, which was mainly GI-related, than I had really recognized, and by mid-day I was not only thoroughly wiped out, but I was also getting dizzy and giddy and loopy, as well as other related adjectives.

At times it was kind of amusing and even a bit fun—certainly I was less stressed out by things than usual, once I got to the loopy stage—but my mental clarity was not good, I was very tired, and I was in slight danger of passing out from standing up too quickly.  That has happened to me before, one time earning me a mild concussion, so I prefer to avoid it.  As it was, I had to drink water, since I knew I was already a bit dehydrated, and it wouldn’t be too safe to do without.

It’s odd for me to think why I care about being overly dehydrated when I frankly don’t even like myself, let alone care about my personal health in the long term.  I think it’s mainly because I don’t want anything to interfere with my mental acuity disproportionately.  The one thing I have in this world is being smart-ish, and I don’t like things that interfere with that, certainly not in an acute fashion.

It’s not comparative intelligence that matters to me; I don’t need to feel like I’m the smartest person in the room or anything.  In fact, I tend to enjoy myself much more when I’m with people who are smarter than I am than otherwise.  Those are the situations in which one can learn something new, in which one can be challenged and can grow, and that’s always fun.

This was always Dr. Doom’s biggest failing, to my mind, the insecurity that required him to demand that his was the greatest intellect in the universe.  Well, in the Marvel Universe, he may well be a contender for the smartest human, but come on, there are beings like the Stranger, and Eon, and all those living computers of Xandar, or whatever that was.

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there—which means it must be in the potentially much larger set of places that can’t be described as “here” or “there”, which will depend on how we define “here” and “there”.  But I’m not going to go into that right now; it’s beside the point*.

Still, being able to do what I do mentally, and to do it well, to understand interesting concepts and ideas, to learn new things, to accomplish mental tasks quickly—these are some of my few remaining joys, and they are mainly without detrimental consequences, unlike eating too much or any more troubling potential bad habit, most of which don’t appeal to me in the slightest.  So I don’t particularly like having them impaired, especially on a day-to-day basis, at work, when I have tasks to accomplish upon which others have come to rely.

Perhaps if I were able simply to be away for a retreat of some kind, or have no assumed responsibilities, it wouldn’t matter if I were too wiped out from being sick before fasting, but as it is, right now, it’s not an acceptable trade off.

I did, however, keep up my fast until well after sundown, so it was a good full 24+ hours.  And I did feel some benefits, I think, or I talked myself into thinking I felt them.  But, since the benefits are psychological ones anyway, talking oneself into them is the same as actually getting them, at least up to a point, so I guess it doesn’t matter.  It’s a bit like courage—acting as if one is brave, in a real danger situation, is actually being brave, which is not to be confused with being fearless.  Fearlessness is pathological; fear is a superpower, to quote or at least to paraphrase the 12th Doctor**.

All right, well, I think that’s enough talk about nothing whatsoever for today.  I mean to try to do another video soon, one that I’ll keep shorter than the last one by starting my timer before I start recording, but I’m not sure what subject I’ll address.  Maybe I’ll talk about some of the pitfalls of listening too closely to the philosophical interpretations of brilliant people, from Bohr and Heisenberg to Hume and Popper and so on.

I think admiring smart people and considering smart arguments is both fun and useful, but controlled and directed iconoclasm is essential to avoid getting caught up in personality cults and related cognitive biases and fallacies.  The people we admire are all just flesh and blood and bone, and they are all finite.  Not one of them has authority over anything in the natural world.  It’s easy enough to speak as if one has authority, but saying it doesn’t make it so.

Maybe I’ve just said enough about that to make my point.  I doubt it.  We’ll see.  In the meantime, I hope you are all having a good week, maybe even better than you would have expected, and that you are as happy and healthy as you’re able to be, and not just in the way I mentioned earlier.



*Get it?

**Series 8, episode 4, “Listen”.  One of the best episodes of Nu-Who, in my opinion.  Though, if you only get to watch one episode at all, I would probably recommend the one that got me interested, which is Series 9, episode 11, “Heaven Sent”.  It is possibly the best hour of TV I have ever watched, though that is specific to me and to my interests and proclivities.  Anyway, having seen clips from it on YouTube, thinking it looked interesting, and then deciding to find a place where I could watch it (which I did), all led me to decide that, yes, I need to watch Doctor Who, at least the new ones.  So, I went back to Series 1, Episode 1 (“Rose”) and watched the whole of new Doctor Who as far as it has gone.  Later this month we will have the 60th anniversary special, in which the brilliant 13th Doctor regenerates into Ncuti Gatwa’s 14th Doctor.  It’s one of the few things to which I am looking forward.

scared is a superpower

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