Cameras Installed for Your Security

This is just a little thing I saw this week at my university.  Some of this may come off as pseudo-conspiracy theory and I have no solution to that, this is just something that I am astounded by.

In the library of my university recently security cameras have been installed, “for your security,” claims the full announcement.  This just begs the question since when was my security at issue in a library?  This library can only be accessed on the second floor of a building, any sort of “security threats” that could come in would be caught on the cameras on the ground floor first or come in through the window; which the library cameras are not going to catch on film.

I personally have never felt insecure in this library, there is only one way out of this library which has the detectors like in all stores to prevent books from being stolen (I also do not really feel that books being stolen is a security threat, let us be honest here), the fact that the library cannot be accessed unless someone goes up some stairs or in an elevator, the place being a library, none of these seem to indicate there would be a need for security cameras to protect my security, or the security of any of the other students.

This is the part where I do not go on a rant about Big Brother, you were worried weren’t you?

No, no do not worry Big Brother will not have a role in this.  But, I will ask the question: why in the world is a university wasting the resources on these cameras when they seem so utterly useless; this does lead to the question of what in the world sort of use does the university find in them too of course.  The prior I can at least complain about, the latter I will let others deal with for now.

I have no answers, maybe one day I will be able to come back to these questions and figure out what is going on, but for now I am just an unknowing undergrad who worries sometimes about my life.

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Random Thoughts

This is more of a rough draft of some ideas than an actually thought out argument for or against anything, so let us explore my thought process.  The question of the day is: why I’m so angry.

Lack of life, this is why I’m so angry.  Too much rot and gray amalgam.  Too much fear, too much similarity.  I’m beginning to finally understand the pain Nietzsche felt when he smelled this world, it is absolutely putrid.

It’s also a tiny world on top of being rotten.  The little box in which everyone seems tow ant to live is simply too small to thrive i.  No one can be larger than life with a ceiling; no one can be larger than life without roots either.  The current box has both a ceiling and floor, with only a microscopic separation betwixt. Many have access to the entire globe anymore yet the worlds are only getting smaller.

It is possible to be on the other side of the globe in hours, yet most of those hours are spent in boxes, literally.  We (mostly the western world, since that is where I am from) can travel the world but we’re more comfortable in front of a screen that never moves.  We could meet people from nearly any country in the world yet we know more about a handful of movie stars.

Why am I so angry? So many possibilities, all of it wasted.  It seems that no one sees these possibilities either.  The preference is to sit and rot away at a desk.  I just don’t get it.

 

Well, there you have it.  Just a random piece written in a class that was a waste of my time more than anything.  Maybe someone will be brought to thought with this.

The Experience Machine

In class last week the, seemingly famous, thought experience about the “Experience Machine” was discussed.  I’m not going to go into the history of the experiment itself; you can look that up yourself.  The general idea of the machine is that there is this computer made into which you can program any and every possible human experience.  Someone can go ahead and basically pick from a menu any experience that they want to have and then “plug into” the machine and have those experiences.  This machine makes it possible to program an entire life of experiences into it and while experiencing these things one’s body is just sitting in the physical world not moving at all.  After getting this sort of machine the question is: would you plug into the machine to live your life attached to a computer?  Generally people say no, but that is not what I am interested in.

I am most interested in the “why” people generally say no to plugging into the machine.

I propose the idea that generally people say no to plugging into this machine because people want to attempt to leave something to “pass-down,” i.e. a form of immortality.  I am not saying anything that has a value of “good” or “bad” just something which will be remembered and known after one dies.   Leaving something behind after one dies is a sort of “victory” over life because a person becomes in a way immortal; which pretty much every one wishes for because no one wants to let go of life and “lose.”  A place that this is discussed more in-depth is Plato’s dialogue Phaedo, an online version found by simply searching for it on Google. (I do not have permissions so I have no direct links) The important part is when Socrates begins his speech on love, but read the entirety, it is good for you.

This want for immortality is what leads people to not wanting to plug into the experience machine even if they can program all of the pleasant experiences that they want into it.  No one can leave anything behind in that machine.  The example used in class was writing a novel.  In the machine one can experience writing a novel, but no novel is actually, physically written.  People would generally prefer to actually have the novel though instead of just experiencing it.  It lets someone have a sort of “victory” over life which is the natural want of most people, animals and plants even.

Why the U.S. Will Never Be Original

The U.S.-Canada too probably- will never actually have original thought. There may be original ideas, or original technologies but there will be not ever be fundamentally new thought in the U.S  No philosophical “break-through” which will change how we view the world or consider our place in the world or how to function as humans.  This simply will not happen in the U.S. anymore.  It probably will not happen anywhere in the Western World at this point, but Europe still has a much bigger chance than the U.S.

Now, to explain why I think this since I cannot just make an unqualified claim like above without something:

The reason the U.S. will not ever create original thought is because of our opinions of activity and time.  In the U.S. a person should not ever be found alone and just sitting, one has to always be doing something, some sort of physical movement or something that could be seen as “progress”: smoking, walking somewhere, writing, reading, driving, talking to someone else, playing video games something just something to occupy your mind and body.  It is impossible to find people in the U.S. just observing the world in a park or sitting in a bar alone just pondering the world (it’s nearly impossible to find this anywhere now with smartphones overall too).  This lack of relaxation; lack of being “okay” to be by oneself, take slow strolls or just sit somewhere quiet and alone is one of the main differences between the U.S. and Europe that makes it impossible for the U.S. to create original thought.

In Europe, on the other hand, (or at least the parts of it I have experienced) it is still acceptable for one to take slow strolls, take one’s own time, sit in a bar or restaurant alone, sit on a park bench and observe the world, sit with friends for hours on end discussing whatever happens to come up in conversation.  It is acceptable for one to simply take time to think about everything and anything.  This is where original thought can, and most likely will, come from.  Just taking some alone time to walk and think about something is where new ideas come from, new ideas then are planted and can grow into new ways to see the world or even entirely new world.  These thoughts are, probably quite often, entirely superfluous though for someone from the U.S.

To make sure I am clear: I am not saying the U.S. will not and cannot create anything new, there are plenty new technologies, tools and things that come out of the U.S.  That is what the U.S. is good at-creating things, not thought.  In the U.S. since we are so busy running around, being busy and doing things the only sort of ideas that could be thought of would be “how to I make more money out of this,” “how do I make this better/faster,” overall: “how do I get more done?” these are questions you can ponder relatively quickly.  It is more of the idea of improving the wheel, or using it in new places; not reinventing or entirely removing the wheel from the world.  In order to make new thought one must be able to get rid of the wheel entirely: that takes time and a lot of thought which simply is not socially acceptable in the U.S.  but, so far, seems to still be acceptable in the parts of Europe I have seen.

As such, fundamentally new, original, unique and different thought simply will not be created in the U.S.  in the U.S. people are too busy improving upon everything to actually make something new.  It is sort of like constantly adding onto a house instead of tearing it all the way down and rebuilding the foundation first.  In Europe it is still socially acceptable for a person to take the time to think (hence, tear down the “house” of current thought), whereas that is and requires superfluous thought by U.S. standards.  That superfluous-ness is what is needed to get “out of the box” though to create something fundamentally new.