Control

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I thought I'd just write a few thoughts down and see where it goes. I'm having trouble writing down my thoughts. Apologies if I go too fast. I'm not in the mood to be patient.

First things first. I write a lot. My mother is a bibliophile. I am a scriptophile, I love to write. But I don't publish most of what I write. My graphic novel Javantea's Fate ground to a halt not long after it started, so I started a blog called "Making of JF" hoping to gain readership by writing keywords and drawing interesting things a few days per week. Years later very few pages of Javantea's Fate were finished, but 378 pages of Making of JF were done. That's a huge amount of writing. It was a very tough part of my life, so I'm glad that I have that corpus of writing to show what my mind was thinking. But I didn't post everything I wrote. The House MD episode "Private Lives" discussed a person who wrote down everything she was going through. I didn't do that back in 2001, but I was spending a few hours three days a week on it. I can't do that now because I signed a confidentiality contract with my previous employer and one of our clients. They went to bat for me and I owe them my current happy status but I also think that the past four years of not quite radio silence (comparatively) has warped my mind. Of course my mind was warped before I went to work in infosec, but the secrets I've kept have gnawed at me. It's the whole issue of doublethink straight from 1984. I am holding two contradicting truths to be true at the same time. Operational security is incredibly important, information should be made free. But information is power and with great power comes great responsibility. I am an irresponsible person. I don't believe in control.

Let's talk about control. There are more than a few theories on the human mind that talk about control and I'm not going to do them any justice explaining them right now. Let's say that my friend, let's call him Descartes for now says that human beings are incapable of moving. He's wrong, but let's say I'm so furious that I want to prove to him that human beings are capable of moving. So I tell him, if I am able to walk from my current position to one foot in front of you, then I can move and your statement is false. He replies, but how do you know you're moving and not changing my mind about what's going on? Occam's razor? Nope. Descartes isn't having it. So I think again. I am unable to reach out and touch you right now. If I am able to reach out and touch you, I must be able to move therefore your theory is wrong. Descartes is too smart for that. You can change my mind, so how do I know if you're actually touching me?

In this argument you lose because Descartes is being obstinate. You are right but you'll never convince Descartes. Descartes has the position that nothing is real, so the argument cannot be won. That shouldn't make you unhappy because Descartes has not proved that nothing is real. In fact, he has shown you his cards: he thinks nothing is real so stealing from him should be fine because nothing is real. It's so easy but wait, he won't let you steal from him. There's something wrong. Why won't he? Because Descartes doesn't actually believe that nothing is real. The money in his pocket is real and he is real in his mind. The reason he argued that nothing was real was to confound you. Did he confound you if you were unable to steal his wallet? Yes, you failed to win the argument because you were arguing willingly with a person who was willing to lie to make you lose the argument. He didn't win the argument. Everyone loses the argument when someone is manipulating the argument. Sure Descartes feels really smart but by confounding you he has only shown that he understands how to provoke, but not to actually argue. It may take more or less intelligence to argue, that doesn't matter. What really matters is that everyone lost the argument. If you could convince Descartes that he was wrong, what would you gain? Karma? A way to end arguments? If you conceded that Descartes had a legitimate point and moved on, you would not be much better off either because Occam's razor says that Descartes should be considered wrong until he has supporting evidence. If you have to interact with Descartes everyday or five days a week, you would find a way to minimize your interaction with him.

Trolls write inflammatory messages on Youtube, Reddit, Slashdot, Twitter, 4chan, Usenet, and similar sites and sometimes even major news sites hoping that people will read what they wrote and be incensed to write a scathing response. Some trolls don't even care if anyone responds, if anyone reads their post and is outraged, they have done their job. When all is said and done, the person who is outraged gains nothing and the troll gains nothing. Why do we still feed the trolls? Because if the person who wrote the message wasn't a troll, they might gain something from our scolding. No, they wouldn't, would they?

Where were we? Control. I don't believe in control. "The world is about two things: power and control." So why do we do what we do? I think therefore I am. So why don't I publish everything I write? Usually I am unwilling to write something and leave out something I don't understand. I am unwilling to publish something that including something that might be false. Most of the things I write are complex enough that I have to add multiple things I don't understand. At a certain point I have spent too much time writing and I have to stop and save it. The next day I work on something else. I come back to it weeks later and think: I don't understand this much better than I did when I wrote it and there are a few typos too. I'm not going to publish this any sooner than I'd publish my browser history. I mean, few people read what I write so it's not like I am harming someone by not publishing. I guess I'm harming myself by not publishing. What would happen if I published everything I ever wrote? It would take time indexing it all so that people could read just one or two. Perhaps I could put a simple search. That's a function that I've been meaning to add to my blogs. Nevermind, I guess I do have a simple search for my blogs. Oh wait, it doesn't work for AI3, Brasil, Mexico, Europe, or J4va. But it does work for Javantea's Fate, Cell, AltSci Concepts, and Japan. I mean 4 out of 9 isn't bad, right? I'll eventually get to unifying all these blogs one of these days.

Here's my most insightful comment for the day:

"A mind has the tendency not to understand itself." --Javantea

A quote from the past that I reread today that at least partially disagrees with the previous statement:

"TRUE! --nervous --very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses --not destroyed --not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story." - -- Edgar Allen Poe "The Tell-Tale Heart"
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