entry 13 - survival is meh – and other efficient thoughts
brain log begun
20:24 - Friday - 7.5.21
this entry contains very brief and surface level discussion of suicidal thoughts. it seems polite to warn you.
now that i have a child, i need to be more efficient.
i'm taking care of my child, taking care of myself, and taking care of my community.
i'm still working on a longer brain log entry about the birth of my child; when it's done, i think it might be the closest thing i've written to an 'argumentative essay.'
i don't like arguing viewpoints on the brain log, because i don't see it as my primary purpose – for the brain log or for my life.¹ i want you to know as authentically as you can what thoughts are in my head. i want you to understand my thoughts; you don't need to agree with them, but i want you to perceive where they came from, and by another roll of the dice, how you might think these thoughts yourself.
i'm risking arguing with you, but i do rather fervently believe that our brains are more similar than the predominant cultural tides around us would have us believe.
it's worth noting that there appear to be individual-communal beliefs and collective-cultural beliefs, at least, for me.
is it morally abhorrent to be a billionaire?
i read some argumentative essays that argued 'yes' to that question, and although i think the answer is – in short – 'yes,' i didn't agree with the way these essays argued for that viewpoint. and i don't want to tear down their arguments, or even really refute them, but i want to make more arguments. they seemed like old arguments, which are tired and true and consistent, but i, personally, am hungry for new argumentative flavors.
i still claim that this is not an argumentative essay tonight, but here are some thoughts in my brain:
money seems akin to survival. one's possession of more money translates into one being more likely to survive. in the case of natural disasters, like climate change, the well-resourced do seem more likely to survive with their increased access to private travel, private property, and stockpiled resources.
survival is good
money helps you survive
money is good. get as much as you can.
the point, in my mind anyways, is that trying to oppose the possession of immense monetary wealth by individuals is impossible without
making money irrelevant to survival.
making survival morally neutral instead of good.
survival is meh
money helps you survive
money is meh. whatever, be at peace.
survival is meh is not a popular opinion, but it has become appealing and sensible for me. i'm sure this has something to do with reading david benatar's book 'better never to have been,' which has given voice to thoughts that have been with me my whole life.²
it can be scary to go down this road, because it is suicide-adjacent, and we fear to lose those we love, including ourselves. but of course, the loss of ourselves and our loved ones is inevitable. it may seem strange, but it doesn't feel unusual – in fact i even find it soothing – to remember that even my brand new child will eventually die. this is not good, it is not bad – it's neutral. it's 'meh.'
in the name of efficiency, that's all for now. until next time, don't underthink it.
brain log ended
20:53 - Friday - 7.5.21
1: but can i even help making an argument by this very act of writing? my thoughts are transparent in all of these words, it's inevitable that someone will read them and react to them. i can only control how i think someone might react to my thoughts, which is primarily based on how i react to my thoughts, so i'll never really be able to control what these words do in the minds of the readers. that responsibility lies with you. (back)
2: if you've read this book, you might be wondering at the glaring inconsistency between my professed admiration of this philosophy and the fact that i now have a child. the brief explanation is that acting out one's deeply felt beliefs is harder (for me) than it seems, and the humans around me may be so hurt by the acting out of this philosophy that i would cause more pain to living beings than i am capable of preventing to unborn beings. it's complicated, i'm not a paragon of aligned thoughts and actions – read the book, then we'll talk. (back)