Thursday, December 5, 2019

On Medium: Why Write Anything Anymore?

Why Write Anything Anymore? This article is about how the internet trivializes all its contents and how something similar happens in large societies, since civilization trivializes the members of its population. So why create content? And why go on living as a stranger?


  1. Hey, guy! Been admiring you from afar in the cyberworld. Awfully interesting stuff you got on here. I'm getting "God Decays" for Christmas, have been on a cosmic horror kick here lately. Sorry this is a bit off topic to your piece, but have you checked out John Vervaeke at all? He's a Professor of Cog. Science at the University of Toronto. His ongoing Meaning Crises Series on Youtube is pretty decent. He talks about the Axial Age, consciousness, language, processing, etc. He's even touched on horror a bit, but he seems disinclined towards cosmicism. He holds Nishitani in high regard. I'm not through viewing his lectures (nor have I read every post here!), so I'm not exactly sure where y'all's material would dovetail (or where it would clash), but the more I go back and forth between the two of ya's, the more I'm convinced an exchange of sorts would benefit the masses. Perhaps view the series and write a critique for all 50 episodes (I'm only half-joking, you write a lot of substantial stuff very quickly!). More seriously, I just figured you might find his ideas interesting. I normally don't post comments, like, anywhere so I hope I didn't come across rude or something.


    1. I'm actually in the process of watching all the videos in Vervaeke's meaning of life series, as part of a philosophy club in Toronto where we meet on the weekends to talk about the videos. I have the gist of his overall view, but I want to wait till I watch all the videos before writing up a response. His video series is indeed very interesting. The best part about it is that, unlike Jordan Peterson, he doesn't seem like a dilettante. He's genuinely interested in spirituality and in scientific naturalism, so the problem is how they can be combined. The phoniness in Peterson's conservatism is apparent from his coyness in addressing questions about his religious views.

      There's a video on YouTube where Vervaeke and Peterson debate their views on the meaning of life, and Peterson comes across as rambling and long-winded. I raise this contrast because scientists who venture into philosophical or religious territory often are dismissive or shallow, because the true nonrational side of their worldview is scientism, which they only presuppose. Lawrence Krauss is another example. Vervaeke doesn't seem scientistic in that way, and his knowledge of philosophy and religion seems deeper than Peterson's. (See, for example, Peterson's dismissive attitude towards "neo-Marxist" postmodernism.)

      One area where I disagree with Vervaeke is with the Daoist flavour of his conception of enlightenment. He says the enlightened person is mentally equipped to conform to the environment, rather than losing a sense of rhythm or flow in anxiety or depression. I'm only about halfway through the series, so I don't yet have his full picture, but that looks like where I'll end up disagreeing. I want to know whether his view of mental health is conservative or radical. Should we conform even to an unhealthy environment or society? I'm looking forward to learning more about his positive view.

      Thanks for reading and for the recommendation.

  2. There is another curse, which I observe with my bad habit of reading youtube comments, instead of appreciating music as it is, people constantly judge something from the perspective of "Oh, it sounds like X + Y + Z" and not even commenting on the qualities and albums itself, as new synthesis, just exercising their recognition of its influences. Internet distributed art certainly in the shadow of its analog predecessors, especially music. This shadow adds up to everything else mentioned, not making artists life easier. And I'm the devil listening to the music on youtube in the first place.

    Do you feel great, when someone mentioning "Oh, you certainty inspired by him and him", without even recognizing your own merits and unique synthesis, your individual sound and your message?!

    1. Yeah, this is another example. I also listen to music on YouTube, which is free (or it comes with the internet connection) so we take it for granted as mere background. Rather than being moved or challenged by the music, we judge it as spoiled consumers, showing off our superficial knowledge in anonymous comments. Then again, some commenters talk about the live performances, which are of course different than listening to music on the computer through YouTube.

      There's a music reviewer on YouTube (his channel is The Needle Drop) who also talks a lot about the context of each new album, the musician's previous output, where the album fits into the genre, and so on, rather than just talking about the songs themselves. There's something odd about art criticism in general (the influence of science-centered rationalism), just as there's something off-putting about art competitions (the intrusion of capitalism). We no longer easily relate to art in an authentic way, because of what John Vervaeke calls "the meaning crisis" (see the above comments with Anonymous).