notes 4 today: 2015-11-29

Title: Vigilance and Opportunism

Vigilance is constitutive to all life on Earth, yet humans luxuriously have not been in need of the “faculty” (for lack of a better word) of vigilance, perhaps due to our precarious position on top of the food chain. It hasn’t been part of our needs as constructed by civilization, yet because of the lack of vigilance is primarily, arguably, why things go to shit so frequently/easily. Things go awry not necessarily because of our programs, but because we don’t have the life energy that we used to in order to be vigilant watchers and protectors of things in a non-legal bound sense. We exercise vigilance over our HBO and SHOWTIME shows, and sports maybe, but little else draws on this faculty.
Laws aren’t our version of vigilance, they show that we have a lack of vigilance that we have to write down what ought to be, and have some institution set up to monitor what we previously would have monitored as an instinct. We’ve created mediated institutions (an oxy moron?) to interact with our immediate world for us, but then we just have to deal with as many if not more mediations, all while the immediate things in our world that bother us are left unsettled. We have to respect all these legal entities and cultural identities and norms that prevent me from going and tearing down a building that is in danger of imminently collapsing and possibly hurting other people, all because the laws supposedly are going. the rule of law is not without the castration of all of us, as we fecklessly meander through a hollowed out world.

Medicated Civilization

One of civilization’s great “hooks into our flesh” is the amount of chronic diseases it creates that require chronic or at least reoccurring treatment. These unfortunate peoples cling to the medical technologies and stomach their side effects as they believe they are the only defenses available against death sweeping upon them. It’s hard to get mad at people for this sort of reaction, and in fact David Graeber defended civilization against some primitivists because a loved one was only alive because of medical technologies. I don’t know what the answer is for how to respond to people who really are at the brink of death and have put their faith in life support, just as I’m never really sure what to say to people who want my comfort by agreeing with their higher power narrative. What I do feel confident about is that people that viewed medicine as more than just something to fix you once your broke and who embark on a path of preventative medicine reduce greatly or can personally eliminate the need for any interventions that involve “high technology” that is the norm in our world.

As much as we may be said to be an over-medicated society—if the wider domain of medicine that includes preventative medicine is considered—the image changes drastically and we can be said to be gravely under-medicated. It’s no wonder we are so sick when we aren’t taking the real bitter pill, which isn’t a pill at all but bitters (herbal), some exercise, and unprocessed whole foods. The future is bright for pharmaceutical companies because the lack of availability of unprocessed foods, time/space for quality exercise,


Title: Extinctions (poem)

being culturally pessimist is overstated
gotten so low we’re close to clean slated
no exaggeration to fear for all life on earth
truly we are arriving at the death of birth


Title: Survivable Oppression: a recent historical narrative

I’m not particularly fond of it from a critical perspective—I feel like its vague and misses a lot of trees for forests, but one way someone could choose to understand the epoch since WW2 is that humans have devised ways to have wars without destroying all life on Earth. Proxy wars, imperialism akin to pre-WW1 empire building, and other creative exploits that don’t result in all out war have come to give shape to our recent historical trajectory. There is an ongoing hunt for that awkward boundary between oppression that can be globally stomached, and oppression that will result in knee-jerk nuclear war that will end the game all at once. I don’t know if anyone else senses it, but I always sense an immense awkwardity when global leaders convene in public, or even when a solitary global leader makes comments to their constituents about how such-and-such an issue will be handled. Obviously it’s largely bullshitting anyways, but there is this unknown brink that the authority is cognizant of but has no idea how near or far it is.
Instead of destroying the world all at once, it seems that humans have opted for the harder, more tortuous and drawn out road, the one that has us destroying life methodically, letting decadence pile up on top of itself. Governments have realized their potency in causing immediate problems and so they have largely divested (or been divested) in to corporations and let the corporate-hood be the point from which attacks and schemes initiate.
Anyways, it feels a little engineered/contrived, which would make sense as it mirrors basically everything else in the suburban context in which I find myself.

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