Tag Archives: philosophy

The Prisoner’s Dilemma

Hey everyone! It’s me, Gatsby, the inmate cat. Here I am in the window, but can I ever go outside to see what’s what like a normal kitty? Noooo. I’m trapped in here forever, cuddled in a blanket like a baby, cooed at like some infant, when I’d really like to be prowling around killing things and stuff.

And it’s not some secret either. Nope. I make my desire for freedom known, often at 2am, by yowling loudly about it. I don’t expect anyone to read my mind. Mommy believes we have a tacit agreement of some sort in which she will feed me and keep me safe and warm, while I continue to be ferociously adorable. But when did I agree to this? I don’t recall signing anything.

Down the hall is another kitty, a gorgeous calico girl who gets to roam around, exploring the laundry room, mailbox area, parking lot, and garden out front. We could have such fun together if only I could escape from this prison.

Actually, I confess I did run out for a second last week when Mommy had her arms full of packages, but I got so scared I scampered right back in.

I’m gonna try again though cuz I’m a brave and fierce beast. RAWR! 🐯

My Favorite Books

My favorite books are whatever I’m in the mood for that’s great at the time. It can be an intellectual book, such as The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, full of history and philosophy. It might be a series of offbeat mysteries with engaging POV characters, such as those written by Lawrence Sanders. There are times I’m craving romance, but it has to be well-written (and I’m very picky now) ~ Jennifer Crusie is tops for contemporaries. There are several authors I enjoy in the Regency category, and I’ll try new ones if the blurb and first page seem compelling. Sometimes I want to read short stories, and my faves are by Ray Carver and Haruki Murakami. And of course I need a foray into poetry once in a while ~ love Robert Frost, even now. And I will read a well-regarded animal story. Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien was amazing, and Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery was incredible.

I don’t generally read books about politics, history, health, celebrities, science unless animal related, sci-fi, horror (Stephen King exception), or religion. I have read some of these in the past however.

Basically I like what I like. 😀

~*~

Prompt from Sarah

FPQ14: The Psychopath’s Reply

Fandango sez…

“This week’s provocative question asks about how we perceive the world in which we live. There is a philosophical and psychological concept called qualia, which states that our surroundings can only be observed through the filter of our senses and the ruminations of our minds.

“Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, or the perceived redness of an evening sky. In other words, everything you know, everything you’ve touched, seen, and smelled, has been filtered through any number of physiological and cognitive processes. And that brings me to this week’s question:

“Do you believe that anyone can really experience anything objectively? Why or why not?”

I believe there are very few things we can experience objectively, due to the reasons stated above. In fact, I can think of only one thing: pain. Not emotional pain, but pure physical pain. This doesn’t mean that we all experience pain the same or have equal tolerances to various levels, but the sudden onslaught of pain is almost impossible to filter unless you’re James Bond. And I’m not talking about how we remember the pain weeks later as we’re discussing it, but the actual moment of the event. That.

I read a pretty cool (and horrible) murder mystery once about how an artist felt he was failing to capture the emotion he needed in his art, that everything was fake, until he stumbled upon the idea that pain was the only pure, real feeling. So, he began kidnapping and torturing women to make more honest art. The hero, his son, kept hearing these weird moans from his father’s studio, so he kept all the windows tightly shut even in summer, a habit that persisted into adulthood.

Well, that’s what I remember reading anyway. It was a long time ago. 😀

One-Line Wednesday

One bite at a time.

Bird by bird.

Focus.

These are my mantras for when I get overwhelmed with the idea of finishing my novel and all my other works in progress.

Just do the next thing.

Last weekend I completed the task of integrating everything I wrote during November for Ghosted into my main document. Most of that has been edited. Now I need to edit the rest of it. Then I have to write the last third of the novel. After that, I plan on finishing every other story I have started and saved.

One sentence at a time. 🙂

~*~

One-Line Wednesday

V4L Challenge 19

💖Quotes on Lurve 💖

Quotes are all from Goodreads.

V4L Challenge 12

Do Aminals Feel Love?

Match dot com strikes again!

We are talking about romantic love in this post, not love for friends or trains or apple pie with those yummy crumbs on top (mmm pie!). 💖

Humans are animals, and we have defined love as something that at least some humans feel (🚺), so technically the answer is yes. But Rory means “lower” animals, so let’s focus on them. I’m not going to nitpick over the definition of love either. Either it exists or it doesn’t. If you believe it’s only a sciencey thing, made up of chemical type reactions, we can stick with that across the board, from humans to spiders. If you believe it’s a woowoo thing, full of golden stardust and eternal flames and whatnot, we’ll shovel that in the mix. I don’t care. Just be consistent. Why would humans have soul mates and gorillas not? Oh right. God said. It’s in that book. 🙄

So. Back to logic. The higher animals (primates, dogs, cats, pigs, dolphins, yada) feel things, or react to them similarly to us in such ways that it’s fair to say they experience emotional states parallel to ours. We’re talking about fear, anger, and even some advanced concepts such as fair play. Look it up. But many hesitate when it comes to asserting that animals feel love. They’ll say a dog is “loyal” because he’s programmed to be, or a cat stays close only because you feed her. 🐱

But we could say the same about humans then and define away the concept of love altogether. Husband stays because he’s loyal, took vows, is concerned about his reputation, etc. Wife stays because she likes the nice big house and lifestyle. Where is the love? What is love? 💕

If we posit that love between humans (or among for you pervs) is something beyond these cold material things, beyond sexual attraction, then why hesitate when it comes to animals?

Idk! People weird things is my best guess. If you’re wondering whether I answered the question in this jabberish, that’s fair. I hedged. I say if there is a thing we’re defining as love for humans, then all higher animals should not be excluded from the circle. But I am an atheist and, despite my poetry (and even my latest fictional WIP) which can careen into the woo to better illustrate emotions, I don’t believe in souls, soul mates, eternal flames, fate, or anything of that nature.

Watch out for cranky tigers! 🐯

FPQ13: Size Matters

Fandango sez…

“This week’s provocative question asks an age old question that has stumped philosophers across the ages. Interpret this question any way you want.

“Do you believe that size matters? Please explain your response.”

Of course size matters! Please click away from this post if reading something not politically correct will bother you. In fact, I’m kinda done being PC from here on out altogether. YHBW.

Size matters in all kinds of ways. Let’s take people (Americans, specifically): they’re getting much too large aka fat. I’m not talking about what is pleasing to me aesthetically because that’s irrelevant ~ I’m talking health. Our lifespan is declining and health problems are increasing, in part, because people are obese (and so are their beloved pets). Morbidly obese. Size matters.

Going along with this is portion size and total daily caloric input. If you haven’t noticed, it’s been increasing. Bagels are enormous. Cookies are huge. Burgers are double doubles. Drinks are supersized, extra large, or grande. Children don’t go an hour without a snack of some kind. We are not cows! We don’t need to “graze.” We now have a fourth meal if we stay up late. Just cuz we apparently need an extra thousand calories of energy to sit on our butts and play games.

Manufacturers have been adjusting their size charts for decades to keep pace with our flabby selves because they know we will get depressed to see we need a larger size and then not want to spend money.

Forex, I’m still a 4, but the 4 is not a 4. Ooh, what dark magic is this?! I’ll tell you. Over the years, they’ve been slowly increasing the size of the female form that can fit into a 4. I used to be a skinny 4; now I’m (what I consider) a slim to medium 4. Like most women, I’ve gained some weight, though not a lot, in the past 40 years. Yet… still a 4!

Marilyn Monroe was a size 12. People like to crow about this, as if she was some sort of example of a “thick” woman with extra curves. She wasn’t. She was a perfectly proportioned woman with a 36-24-36 body and would wear a size 2 or 4 now. A size 12 today is vastly different from the one MM wore. Size matters!

There are lots of other examples of size making a difference. How about housing? Do you want a studio apartment or a 3000 square foot house? I’d say size matters as far as paychecks, savings accounts, 401K plans, raises, bonuses, taxes, etc. What about pets? Do you want a vicious 10 pound kitty or a sweet 50 pound golden retriever? Size again!

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re waiting for me to talk about the other thing. Especially if you’re a man, since that’s all you ever care about. Fine, I’ll talk about your stupid vehicles. I fucking hate giant SUVs. There I said it. Buy normal cars.

The Madding Crowd

Nice writing prompt from Sarah Elizabeth Moore.

I stand out from the crowd because… I try to avoid the crowd in the first place. With rare exceptions, I make it a point to stay away from the obvious places where there will be masses of people: Disneyland, the malls near holidays, large concert arenas. This is not because I’m a snob; it’s because the feeling of being squashed in with a bunch of bodies and noise makes me feel like I can’t breathe.

Last March, I dumped Facebook and its related products. This makes me a little unusual, though by no means unique ~ plenty of people are getting by just fine without FB. And more are exiting every day. You do not have to be a prisoner of the Zuckerborg. Real friends will stay friends. There are lots of ways to communicate.

I decided in 2017 to stop dating, since all it did was cause me misery. I self-recovered from my depression since quitting and have been doing much better. Both things are a little unusual, I think: giving up romance at age 56 (in 2017) and curing myself of depression sans therapy or medication. I find myself to be happiest when I stay focused narrowly on work, health, family, home, and hobbies, and avoid any expansion sets.

Except for Game of Thrones, I’ve given up TV to read and write. GOT will be finished in April/May, so I imagine I will rarely if ever turn on my television except to do an exercise video. This is unusual ~ most people watch television. And again, it’s not snobbery on my part, but an unfortunate reality of time management. There’s no way I can finish everything I want to do if I’m distracted by the TV. I have a great need to see all my writings completed, not that I expect many sales. That isn’t the point. It’s the satisfaction of completion.

Everyone likes to think they’re special, and I suppose we all have at least something a little bit unusual about us, but with so many people in the world, there are likely others with that “unique” trait or combo of traits. I know there are those who don’t watch TV, who don’t date, who hate crowds, etc. Perhaps my daughters would choose different traits about me to label unique.

This is definitely an eye of the beholder question, and quite an interesting one! 🙂

The Friday Four

A Guy Called Bloke Production

1] Does modern life give us more freedom or less freedom than in the past?

– Obviously more. Just the fact that we’re blogging is testimony to this. Unless you were royalty, in the past your days were spent trying to survive, get enough food and shelter, and avoid being killed. And much of the world still lives this way. The vast majority of the population had no leisure time until fairly recently. Maybe the king, at his whim, would allow a festival, but weekends for play? Vacation time? Arts and recreation? Lol. Most people couldn’t even read let alone write. Don’t whine about being too tied to your phones ~ that’s a choice. Delete some of your social media accounts. You won’t miss them after a week, or less. I’m surviving just fine post-Facebook (deleted with Instagram and Messenger last March).

2] How do we know that our life as we live it, is actually our own life and that we are not trapped in an imaginary world of our own making?

– We don’t. 😜

3] How do you think we should measure the successes of our life? Is it the things we do day in day out? Is it purely a number crunching exercise as to how long we actually live on the planet? Or is it something else?

– I don’t think we should tell other people how to measure their successes, as long as they aren’t hurting others. Some may want to try to cure cancer while others would rather create art. If people want to deprive themselves of pleasure in an attempt to prolong their lives, who cares?

4] We hear and read people who make claim to living an ordinary life. What is exactly that anyway? I mean if we request for others to define ‘normal’, then surely we should also ask others to define an ordinary life?

– Ordinary is something everyone thinks they’re not, ditto average and normal. People love to claim they’re crazy and weird. Outliers. They need to be so damn special. Look at me! I’m not like all the others! O rly? We’re all special? None of us live ordinary lives? Mm hmm.

As for me, I’m one of those one-of-a-kind divorced middle-class older women who likes to read and write and watch Game of Thrones with my cat, quite unlike any other person really. 🙄

Nothing To Write…

I don’t like any of the prompts today;

They don’t inspire me one bit.

Zenith reminds me of an old TV–

Watching Bonanza and chomping chips.

But I don’t wanna write about that,

Or a city skyline, blahhhhh;

Not interested in boring buildings,

Or some drunk hunter in camouflage.

What of a glamorous heretic,

Screaming philosophy in Vera Wang?

Hmm, maybe some other day,

This morning it just ain’t my thing.

Do I even have a [favorite bird]?

Perhaps one that doesn’t caw…

You know how I feel about noise.

And what the fuck is a hoppy daw?