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Nicholas Chen thursday, september 30, 2021


School being in session seems to change time itself, which now flows in hour-long increments marked by the streets flooding with bikes carrying students to their next classes. Even when I'm finished with classes, this hourly event event when the bike circles fill and students file in and out of the library leaves the aftertaste of school on everything.

I'm reminded of the distinction made between Societies of Discipline and Societies of Control. Societies of Discipline control individual behavior by making restrictions in time in space (e.g. by requiring factory workers to be in the factory at certain hours, etc. etc.), while Societies of Control allow free movement but assert control through more direct, often computerized means.

The shift from normal school (Society of Discipline) to online school (Society of Control) back to normal school (Society of Discipline) has vividly illustrated the difference between the two. Tentatively, I'd say I say I prefer in person.

we live in a society
philosophy deleuze

Epistemology vs Aesthetics/Ethics

An epistemological frame of mind concerns itself with truth and how to find truth. It values intelligence, as the trait that measures an individual's ability to discover truths.
An aesthetic/ethical frame of mind concerns itself with beauty and values. It cares not about the ability of the individual, but their conviction - how strongly they believe in the values they've subordinated themselves to.
In the real world, it looks like the aesthetic frame of mind matters more. How much conviction someone has in their values affects their motivations for truths, with the result that we're functionally much smarter when working on things we care about, and probe unfathomable depths of stupidity when doing things we don't care about.

Feeling Good

I follow this guy on twitter (nick-cammarata) that tweets about happiness a lot, and a common theme seems to be noticing what well being is, and imagining what the highest well being feels like.
Whether or not intelligence exists is a question for psychiatrists and their critics to fight over. My position is that it doesn't really matter, and that how much somebody cares about their work is far better approximation of how much value they provide than their intelligence.
I feel pretty good right now, so I want to write down how it feels, so I can feel this way more often.
I'm borrowing heavily from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Repair here, obviously.
I feel open to the future. I feel that there is meaning in this world, even if I don't know what it is currently, and it may be impossible to pin it down with words. I feel that the bad things that happen in this world do not lead to the conclusion that the world is a bad place. I feel ok not being able to explain everything. I feel I have something valuable to offer to others, I feel others have something valuable to offer to me. Change seems possible, albeit slow, and slowness feels OK.
Right now I'm listening to Something About Us by Daft Punk, which might have something to do with how I'm feeling. What if words aren't enough to express a certain feeling? What if it's only the conjunction of words, images, videos and music, combined not in a determinate order like a moving picture or video, but presented indeterminately, in some form resembling a moodboard? That's the thesis behind synesthesia (a project I'm working on that will be closely integrated with exegesis).