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Book-shops and Learning

26 June 2016

[aka Re-visiting the Eslite Book-store]

Back to the place I began reading, for a day, before I leave Taipei, and leave reading again.

I now see why this book-store was so conducive before: the selection is amazing. A normal, rather large library in itself is of almost no organizational use. It’s good for the purpose of research, as it can provide written source sources, but that’s it. It doesn’t offer a general education in any way. It’s a mess of information, like the Internet, except more out-dated and disorganized (physical organization hits it’s limit compared to searchable digital organization). The book-store, though sufficiently large for any human, just provides a a few shelves for world history or Western philosophy. The selection top notch: top publishers, highly regarded, highly readable, organizations of knowledge: A Little History of the World, Sapiens, What is Cultural History?, Social Class in the 21st Century (Pelican) – that’s what I’ve got next to me at the moment.

This kind of organization, a well-selected library is quite a different experience from Wikipedia too. Wikipedia doesn’t organize information in the way that people can. People can organize the same information into infinite ways and mediums. For Wikipedia, though not restricted, the format is quite standard. If I look at the history of the world article, it’s likely chronologically and spatially ordered somewhat, leading to separate histories of each country. The small topics chosen by Harari in Sapiens to describe the history of the world through ideas like science and empire of the industrial-research-technology complex just doesn’t fit Wikipedia’s format. The mapping of knowledge, the gaining of wisdom, seems entirely dependent on the way information is organized. That is, after all, what artists do: manipulate information (via material [non-digital and digital]).

This better explains my first experience with books here. I found the Western Philosophy section and the readings must have organized my mind because the selection was so damn good. I [can only] imagine few people [in the world] that [may have] began reading with Bacon, Montaigne, Wittgenstein, Russell, in that order. Perhaps western philosophy initially lead me in the wrong directions; it being merely an intellectual history, but it was a start.

Now, I feel I can peruse the entire library, though I still choose to stick to culture (cultural theory and maybe cultural history) and those finer gems: highly readable, uniquely organized writings. But I don’t feel there’s much use. [Written] Organization is for the weak. Its detail will always be lossy and of low-quality. It’s best to stay skeptic: all written history is false and all philosophy is bullshit. Now, with only a map, go out and consume and alter the world!

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Love and Equality

11 February 2016

Played with, or was played by a girl. What should I have done different? Should I have left her alone to talk with her friends through Facebook? Bring her water, ask if everything is okay, then leave? Yeah, probably. She would have been fine. Now there’s the possibility I messed with our friendly relationship. We’ll see tomorrow.

Turns out I really suck at foreplay. Or, I have at least a little self-control, and decided not to do anything, which translates into being stuck, three-quarters-in-control one-quarter-play, allowing her to touch my face, never going beyond, and me only touching to hold her back. I could have at least practiced some play, at least show that I can play, so that she’d back off.

Perhaps my non-commitment in life shows in relationships, and even in foreplay. I stay reserved, stoic, romantic. It’s probably appears very unromantic.

If I had money, was just traveling, would it be the same? No. I really wouldn’t care for the person as much. I’d be interested in work, critical theory, helping people. I was caught (stuck) with this girl, because I really like her. I could have played much better if I didn’t have my financial constraints.

By I like her I mean she’s a good person. Good, being that undefinable adjective used by Plato. She’s good in the greatest sense of that word, and that’s worth being around. Sometimes the rationality is just that simple. It’s worth being around good people, and helping them.

The reason she’s stuck here is because of financial constraints. A seemingly male domination. When I saw what her boyfriend said, which he had previously and equally disgustingly said to his sister, I was as appalled as when I saw what my dad said to his servants in India. This feeling is almost the source [of driving force] of my life.

She’s much better, enjoys creativity, work, and fun; Her freedom is constrained. I adapted and socialized so much since I’ve been in Yilan, appreciating their simple and cheap lifestyle. Perhaps it’s the critical part of me that attracts me. Knight helps a slave, to increase he freedom of another person. A simple rationality, despite my philosophic recent past. There’s a potential that is lost, in her, in humans alike. And it is simply constrained by systems, economic or social, no different. It is unequal.

God, she is the most beautiful girl I’ve met (maybe exaggerrated by current feelings). She has it all.

The critical part is interesting though. How can a human be stuck with another human, without some kind of relationship, and when that relationship is dominant on one side, isn’t it effectively inequality? When does it become dominant?* Did it start with domination? Don’t males play male-dominating dating games with girls? What does an equal relationship look like? Aren’t friends equals? Hence the difficulty of friends in relationships.

Is it as simple as treating animals? Training females (and other slaves) like pets?

Females can get jobs, so why not break and go with old friends, take a break, work elsewhere when one needs money.

In this case, there is a long relationship, something that I do not have experience of, so very likely, I cannot empirically understand.

I guess I will keep escaping inequality, and conversely, keep striving for equality.

Perhaps this is why artists create so many things about love: because they get a strong feeling and have the desire to express it. My love seems to be more like Plato’s, which I haven’t read, but simply, a love for those undefinable traits: equality, freedom, good.

I don’t need a romantic (in the normative sense) human relationship to evoke that feeling, I’ve get enough of that from my nomadic lifestyle.
But it’s nice to know that romantic human relationships can evoke that feeling.

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The City is More

08 January 2016

Neighborhood in City: Adds more complex[?] community, more political* (decision-making at a higher level), larger problems, more complex problems, more distraction, more diversity? (not really, for Taiwan), more shared economy, more people (can use media), more social? (more shallow?), less materially creative. – a thought during my three months in Taipei

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