Monday, 8 October 2018

A letter from Spain – and Sweden

Yes, back in our village of La Fresneda after a 1500 mile (2400 Km) journey taking in Bolton, Belfast, Dublin and a string of delightful towns in France. I have worked briefly in Belfast before, but this was Margaret’s first visit and, with the very definite exception of the city hall, we both found the city to have many fine buildings, though their locations were often marred by overbearing modern constructions. The famous Crown public house was as good as ever and we even managed to grab one of the many secret snugs that are part of its ornate architecture. It was however expensive, understaffed and beset by tourists – like us. We straddled the border with the South for some time and distance but, unable to answer the ‘Irish question’ just then (we did later after a few pints) proceeded to Dublin where I tackled the more amenable task of roofing my son’s large shed.

In that city we had a good night out at a local pub witnessing the Dubliners at their most abandoned. A bacchanalian scene fuelled by the second (yes second) night of Dave and Rachel’s wedding celebration apparently, plus lashing of alcohol of course. At one point Dave took the microphone from the professional DJ. He joked as confidently as a Frank Sinatra, then sang with the force of a Frankie Vaughan.  Meanwhile his five-year-old daughter rushed aimlessly around the vast bar in her bridesmaid dress and a much older and much larger lady roamed around predating lecherously on younger men.

As usual the good ship Oscar Wilde took us to Cherbourg, a dull crossing with very few passengers aboard – though I did meet a young man who professed to be the son of Martin McGuiness who told me that he was returning from a meeting with Jeremy Corbyn, “your future prime minister who will immediately unify Ireland as soon as he gains power without a gun being fired”. No wait, that was on the trip to Belfast. How the mind can play tricks – and so back to my previous blog on the brain. There I introduced the concept of ‘aporia’ and what follows is a comment from a good friend of mine from Sweden who explains it all so much better.

 Your stories remind us that no absolute truths exist. The premise is wrong, i.e. that our brain is first and lastly logical and just a little emotional like the scum on the sea’s waves. Actually, it’s the other way around. This state of our mind has fostered reams of ridicule and we are ourselves delighted in making fun of our brain’s shortcomings. The latest proof of this is Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking Fast and Slow. After having read it there is just one comment: “so what?”

If we didn’t have any biases, cognitive dissonances or emotions, we would be a completely different animal. Or why not a robot as we are slowly approaching a robot like state of mind from being stereotyped by social media (internet).  Forget biological evolution, which has been overtaken by technological evolution, which is so fast and unpredictable that we have lost control of it. “Earth, we got a problem.”

So why are there no absolute or universal truths? If there had been they would since a long time ago been thought out. We have had to do with our own laws, manmade like time, before and after, limits, endlessness, eternity, etc. just to cope with life.

It is said that libido is the ultimate drive for life, for animals as well as for mankind. Not so, this is where we differ. Our lust to hang on to life and live (long after we lost our libido and money) is our curiosity, to see what’s around the corner (to be transformed to the fly on the wall).
Not knowing anything, just being suspended in the air and revelling in the unfolding of world events that is true happiness. Happiness through aporism. QED!

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