What do you do?

We learn something by doing it. There is no other way.
---John C. Holt

Ay, there's the rub; one learns what one does in life, what it is that one happens to be doing, usually out of sheer necessity rather than choice (most people do, and many people often have little choice in the matter, either because of lack of opportunities or lack of know-how) instead of learning what it is that one could be learning in order to do what it is that one yearns to be doing (self-actualization) or what it is that one "ought to" be doing.

And so it is that one often does and learns what one “must” or whatever society expects of one---the oligarchy in power or “the invisible hand of the market” (or whatever “society” happens to be, or whatever interest it is that "society" happens to serve depending on the place or the times).

And so "life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans."

And so this is how frustrated aptitudes can be the source of emotional distress, the result of conflict between the need for self-expression and the lack of opportunity to fulfill one’s aptitudes or aspirations.

Does it have to be that way?

Is there any need for Mankind as a species to continue on living in a highly controlled and compartmentalized educative class system?

Do such self-perpetuating mechanisms of society still serve the best interest of the said society and of its members.

Isn’t this the age of information? The “knowledge era”?

It is Tryon Edwars, I think, who observed, that, in his opinion, “the great end of education” should be “to discipline rather than to furnish the mind,” “to train it to the use of its own power.” And so, more than one century later, in this new millennium, in the age of information, ubiquitous computing, and augmented reality, shouldn’t everything else one wishes to learn---beyond a general basic education and the ability to examine and process new knowledge---be as easily accessible to all as just so many tools (a chisel or a hammer) to be picked up and used according to one’s needs.

Without having to go so far as a Matrix-like based reality, in which those with access to the right program can download instantly the ability, say, to “know Kung Fu” or to fly an helicopter in 5 seconds top, we live in a time where cyberspace has, at long last, the capacity to decentralize the information distribution process and liberate education from the snake-oil merchants and the gate keepers of the education industry.

No more red tapes. No more outrageous fees or prohibitive tuitions.

Learn what you need to know when you need it: fast! Easily, freely and efficiently.

Sounds like a futuristic ad?

It shouldn't be.

Aaah but the “information age” is also an “information economy,” and in a world where information and knowledge are power, education is to power what royal jelly is to queen bees in a hive: the super-food of a select few.

The queens are grown from pre-selected larva and they develop more fully because they are fed the undiluted royal jelly (a secretion from glands on the heads of young workers), while the other larva on the other hand---the future drones and workers of the hive---are kept in their place and fed more modestly, in keeping with their drone and worker's "calling."

The irony of it is that, for all the status and privileges associated with their position, the queens, really, have no control over the hive: the social structure of a honeybee colony is so complex and fixed that it is very much like a single organism. The individual bees--- queen, drones and workers alike---are ultimately just simply cells of the organism: they cannot survive on their own! Neither can man!---kings and workers alike. The social structure of the current civilization is so complex and fixed that it too is very much like a single organism. An uncomprehending mindless organism, however, and on a self-destructive path, to which---unknowingly---mankind has indentured itself.

But they say that this is the information age, and that with great knowledge comes great power.

And with great power comes...

Great responsibility?

Will and Desire

Physiologists should think before putting down the instinct of self-preservation as the cardinal instinct of an organic being. A living thing seeks above all to discharge its strength—life itself is will to power; self-preservation is only one of the indirect and most frequent results.
– Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Schopenhauer posited a will to live, in which living things were motivated by sustaining and developing their own lives. Nietzsche instead posited a will to power, a significant point of contrast to Schopenhauer's ideation, in which living things are not just driven by the mere need to stay alive, but in fact by a greater need to wield and use power, to grow, to expend their strength, and, possibly, to subsume other "wills" in the process. Thus, Nietzsche regarded such a "will to live" as secondary to the primary "will to power", and more generally there are varied manifestations of it, two prominent distinctions by Nietzsche are: a "life-denying" modality and a life-"enhancing" or -"affirming" one. Henceforth, he opposed himself to social Darwinism, as he contested the validity of the concept of "adaptation", which he considered a narrow and weak "will to live".
Another particular standpoint of the will to power is that it is a process of expansion and venting of creative energy that Nietzsche argued was the underlying – the "most fundamental fact" – "inner" force of nature.

Question Reality

Caught a movie last night: "The Invasion" - another remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

In this day and age of corporate media consolidation, mass marketing, and the global homogeneous integration of economies and societies around the world, this new take has lost none of the allegorical eerie relevance that the original did, back in the fifties, when the perceived moral, social, and political significance of the movie was affected, then, with concerns over communist totalitarianism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and McCarthyism in the US.

The critics have been pooh-poohing it - but, hey, "don't trust anyone"---or so the tagline of the movie says, perhaps with good reasons.

I find such criticisms - both from the right side and the left side of the political spectrum - actually a reassuring sign for the integrity of the movie, considering the nature of the whole industry, these days. This remake, without being politically-minded per se in its purpose, is of course naturally colored just like its predecessors with the zeitgeist of the times, and it has in it just enough to offend those who, in our times, "know" the "Truth" and wish to create a "better world for all" by extending forcibly their truth to the unbelievers.

To that regard, the movie doesn't take sides. Depending on how one looks at it, and even though such was perhaps not its intended purpose, the film is pretty much an equal opportunity offender: it has enough in it (though just barely - but that's apparently enough) to offend the "United We Stand" neo-conservative "if you are not with us, you are against us" lemmings, on the right, AND the "We are all one" New Thought new age Borg, on the left. No wonder the film ended up being so bizarrely maligned in the overall movie reviews (with an average rating of 4.4/10 on Rotten Tomatoes, and 5.5/10 on Metacritic).

I had made plans to meet with Goldberry at Lounge 12 beforehand, where we stopped for a drink and a quick bite to eat before catching the movie.

Lounge 12!

I like the sound of it.

The name brings images of this:

Or this:

Lounge 12 is really neither of those. No "Restaurant at the End of the Universe" either. For some reason, the name carries such high expectation - which makes it a tough name to live up to. But they do make a wicked martini.

You can go there even though it doesn't exist.

Or can you, now?

As the Total Perspective Vortex will have it, you will be shown "how infinitely small you are," or made to see that you are the most important thing in the universe. And, well, it all does come down to a matter of perspective, I suppose.

It might depend on what kind of a day you had...or what kind of a drink.