Oh, yeah, Happy Presidents Day, by the way

It’s Monday morning, again—a fact for which surely we must all have cause to celebrate.

I’m beginning this blog post sitting at the train station instead of at the bus stop, in the fashion in which I always used to write it, waiting for the second train of the day*.  I feel quite weird and tense, almost anxious, interloping back into my old venue.  I worry that I’m going to be taking someone’s seat at the station by taking the seat I always used to take, or taking someone’s newly usual seat on the train by—hopefully—taking the seat I always prefer to take.

I don’t like things that disrupt my routines, and by extension and logical coherence, I don’t like to disrupt other people’s routines.  I also feel nervous about possible social interactions, e.g., someone saying something equivalent to “long time, no see,” and asking where I’ve been and what happened.  Thankfully, I’ve never been publicly sociable, so there’s no real precedent for anyone to say much, but it’s not impossible.

The base of my right thumb is really acting up today (and it was yesterday) and that’s frustrating because I have been doing my blog posts on my laptop—as I am doing this one—and that definitely gives my thumb comparative rest.  Also, I’ve done something to irritate my right shoulder rather badly, probably the supraspinatus and/or related structures, and raising my arm laterally (aka abducting it), even a little, is quite painful.

It’s frustrating to have all these new pains occurring.  They distract me from my usual, chronic back pain, with which I’m at least familiar.  Unfortunately, they don’t make it go away; they just add to it and sap the energy I usually have to be able to deal with it.

I’m not sure what to write about today, which is somewhat ironic given that I’ve written over three hundred words so far.  Perhaps this is my writing equivalent of small talk?  I’ve never been very good at doing small talk in real time, or at least in being able to understand the point, or endure it when nearly anyone is doing it.  But maybe this is my version of that, and maybe other people find it just as mind-numbing as usual small talk is for me.  In my ethical defense, though, I will say that no one is socially pressured** to read my blogs.  No one corners anyone at a party or in an office or whatever and shoves a computer or phone or tablet under that person’s face and insists that the person read this blog.

Do they?  Has that happened to anyone out there?  If it has, I want to extend my thanks to the person who did that to you—they’re really helping me out!

I’m kidding.  That would be a horrible thing, and I would feel guilty-by-proxy for their deeds.  Or, rather, not “guilty”—since one cannot even in principle actually be guilty or responsible for the deeds of other minds that one has not forced or otherwise caused them to commit—but I would feel chagrined, embarrassed, and just generally bad.

That raises a little tangent point I would like to emphasize:  No person, human or otherwise, can be held morally culpable for the deeds of others, especially for the deeds of the dead, because one cannot be morally culpable for anything over which one did not have even the possibility of control***.  This is why the insanity defense exists in criminal law, for instance, and in this case, the law in neither a ass nor a idiot.  You won’t find me all too often praising the law and its general practices, so enjoy that little aberration.  In most cases, I come not to praise the law but to bury it.

Well, no, burying the law would probably be a mistake.  Even a somewhat dysfunctional legal system is probably better than no laws at all.  Indeed, I suspect that, were the governments of the world to be suddenly abolished and all their power stripped completely away—perhaps as a practical joke or experiment done by immensely powerful extraterrestrials—after a period of horrible violence and instability, with mass starvation, disease, and infrastructure collapse, new systems of laws would come into place.  Even in places where there is gang rule, the gangs (as the previous term suggests) tend to institute “rules” of their own.  It just happens.  It’s an evolutionarily and game theoretically stable strategy, and it works for tyrants as well as for egalitarians.

One big trouble is that the individual people who want to set up and control governments are rarely the ones best suited to do so.  It would probably be better for us, in general, only to elect to our higher offices individuals who saw government—legislative, executive, judicial, what have you—as an unpleasant but necessary chore, like cleaning toilets, mopping floors, or mucking out horse stalls, rather than as a personally desirable thing to do, a means by which to achieve social status and the like.

Becoming president, in particular, should be done almost like jury duty.  No one who wants to do the job, for personal reasons, should probably be allowed to do it.

Perhaps we could arrange it so that no one could be nominated by anyone in their family or whom they knew personally, but could only be nominated by other people, people to whom they were not beholden and who were not beholden to them.  States could each go through a mass nomination process, by which a certain minimum number of people are suggested by those around them, and then strangers look into their character and nature and a public debate among people in general takes place, pro and con, but in which the nominated people cannot take part.

Then, at some point, a state holds a vote among nominated candidates, and the top twenty (or whatever) candidates are then put again before a public debate, in which, again, they cannot participate.  Only others can promote or detract from them, stating their qualifications and shortcomings.  Then, there would be a newer vote, and the recipient of the most votes would be that state’s candidate.

Then their would be a nationwide equivalent to select the office-holder.  No one would be allowed to refuse the job except based on legitimate and confirmed severe health difficulties.  But that would probably all shake out in the initial nomination and election process.  I suppose, to make it worthwhile, it would be best to have slightly longer terms of office, maybe with the new term overlapping the previous, so the new incomer could learn from the predecessor.  And only one term would be allowed****.

Anyway, that’s all silly fantasy stuff, so don’t worry about it.  I’m just tired and mentally unstable.  I really don’t think I can do this very much longer.  By “do this” I mean “exist on this planet”, not “write this blog”, though the former subsumes the latter.  Unfortunately, as far as I know, there’s no one coming to take me back to my home-world, or to the mother ship, or whatever, so I’ll need to figure out some other way.

I’m working on it.

hollywood train

*The irony of the bus-to-train schedule I’ve been doing recently is that it actually all but forces me to get up a little later than I used to, because the buses simply don’t start to arrive as early as trains do.

**Except by me, within my blog, of course.  But that’s a very nebulous kind of social pressure, and comes from someone who, while not anti-social, is surely dis-social.  I’m not sociopathic by any means, but I am “patho-social”, i.e., there seems to be some dysfunction in my ability to socialize, even with people I like.  It’s not pleasant.

***Thus, the notion of “original sin”, for instance, is pure ethical bullshit.

****This makes me imagine another contrafactual scenario, in which candidates for office hold an anti-debate, in which each one is required to denigrate themselves and their own party and give convincing reasons why the other party’s candidate is better, to argue with the other against themselves and their party’s positions.  It would at least be amusing.

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