Friday, April 20, 2012

Country versus City, Lifting Weights, Free Will, Armchair Philosophizing

I used to think I wanted to move out of the suburbs and into the city, but now that I work in the city, I think maybe I'd like to move out of the suburbs and into the country. I don't mind interacting a lot with people for my job. It's my job. I interact with all kinds of people, all day long. That's fine. In my personal life, however, I'm starting to find that I need more time alone and with my little family unit.

The houses on the street that I live on are starting to feel too close together. I am a big advocate for community, but don't feel a strong compulsion to partake myself; not in my off time. I don't know if that is hypocritical, or just human. Maybe there's no difference between the two. During my working hours I spend a lot of time watching how society makes its sausage, and the process isn't pretty. Lots of ugly stuff goes into it, and keep your fingers away from the grinders, man.

The country life probably isn't for me either, though. Of all possible living environments, I am probably best designed to be a brain in a jar. If you could somehow rig the jar with mechanical hands that I could type with via brainwaves, all would probably be well.

I've been working out lately. Not 'working out' so much as lifting dumb bells.I've decided to grow enormous biceps. The more I lift, the better I feel. More confident. A man needs a weapon. Having strong allows you to approach your fellow man with equanimity. Not until I began lifting weights did I realize how devious my mind had become. It's survival. Always keep your eye on a man with poor musculature. His weapon is somewhere else.

I just posted the following status update on facebook:
"personal growth is hard, but i know i have to do it. People who refuse to grow only become smaller and emptier. Here's to embracing growth, even when it makes you grimace. The strenuous life is not for timid hearts."
I deleted it not long after, partially because I left the 'l' out of 'only', and partially because I suspected what I said was bullshit. I wonder if it's possile to refuse to grow. Life molds us, and much is predetermined.  I've been keeping track of the Sam Harris/Jerry Coyne versus Russell Blackford/Daniel Dennett debate on free will (blue team versus gold team, I believe is how Russell puts it), and don't know where I come down on all  of it. I am very attached to the notion of free will, but we've got to remain flexible when confronting new and scary ideas. I am certainly more emotionally sympathetic to the compatibilists.

Who wants to live out their life believing one thing at the beginning and sticking with it all the way through to the end? We are transitory things. Our hearts weren't built to remain stationary. No part of us should be static. We are flowers that grow until they are chopped. Even the the prickly flowers get chopped.

Maybe all of that is bullshit too.


Christian Thompson said...

Keep working out Spencer, it becomes more and more interesting as you stick to it. I'm no gym rat, but I have a pair of free weights that I do a handful of sets with. After settling into a routine, you'll be surprised by how much you learn about your body. Plus it's a good free will exercise.

Lodo Grdzak said...

"Keep your eye on the man with poor musculature..." Like that Spence. Great line.

Willie Y said...

It could cost you Spencer, I mean lifting. As your muscles grow your clothing will no longer fit properly. You'll go from comfortable to tight to show off those guns.