A writer who codes.
972 words

Systemic Systems

Is it reductive to imagine the world would be a better place if people understood that much of what they thought, did, and want doesn’t matter? That it’s okay for us energetic few who feel compelled to output paragraphs of our own ideas into a world that really doesn't care about them to take a break and enjoy what few joys we do have? Of course, some of us just don't get it, and that by claiming being happy with our own situations in the world is enough, we are actively gatekeeping against those who aren't. What a pity it is to be anyone who thinks their happiness matters more than anyone else's. Perhaps they're part of the unhappiest gaggle of Americans in three decades and painfully unaware of the world around them?

The truth is, we’re all stuck in systems. Regardless of what we call them, there is no escape from order out of our control, whether that be natural or man made. Your position in life is dictated by a system you try to follow. Each level of consciousness, from quantum particles to societies follows systems of increasing complexity. The weather is a damn system outside of our comprehension, and still some people think what they do matters. I think I just accidentally convinced myself that free will doesn’t exist?

I’ve been reading a lot of Michael Crichton recently. I loved him as a kid, and still have regular fond memories of his stories like a good book will do. It was yesterday, finishing The Lost World, that I realized Ian Malcom has a point. We are constrained by group behavior, and even those of us who try so desperately to flee it really just end up moving to another more comfortable system. Think about the current American political dichotomy. Since the end of the 90’s the American political consciousness has been consistently splitting itself farther and farther apart as the momentum of discourse has increasingly made even the most minute disagreements cantankerous for the average American to contemplate. Of course, the most unbearable pain is chronic, and given the choice of internalized discord or comfort amongst people you may not have once seen as your allies, the average man or woman will switch systems. Unless you’re a vixen for pain, I bet even you have found yourself surrounded by strange allies these past few years. You might even like this change. It highlights the “problematics” you never saw before. How crazy must’ve been when you found out that one of those people had lived in your community? I

See, what pisses me off is the lack of respect you walnuts have for anything and anyone that doesn’t fit your cookie-cutter worldview. The utter disillusionment you have with the system. There is no system! There are one million-billion-trillion different little things that you could define as a system--and that’s an vast underestimate.

To paraphrase Tim Urban: Wouldn’t you do what they’re doing if you were in their shoes?

Hello, {first_name}

I've been thinking a lot about how much we don't know. I've never sat down and tested if the sky is actually blue. Sure, I see it, but I also see inferior mirages on a hot summer's day, and I know the road isn't really wavy. We live each day under the presumptions other people have told us, never actually testing what we perceive because, naturally, we are trustful creatures. Unfortunately, these past few years, I can't really find a reason to trust anything I can't test. Which, during a pandemic is very little. Still, I know that I like to breathe, and to see the sun set over water. I like pink clouds, and I like when my code compiles. I like knowing my work actually works, and through that I've found enough satisfaction to survive while maintaining a very suspicious attitude to anything I hear presented in the news (or by anyone for that matter).

You really shouldn't trust the news--especially if you're American. American journalistic programs, based on my personal experiences in one, are no longer designed to teach students how to find the truth. They preach how future journalists should lie and abuse their privilege as trusted sources for the "greater good".

As any freshman ethics class student knows, the definition of the "greater good" is as convoluted as it comes. So you can imagine the stress I feel seeing this country rip itself apart in an emotional rampage, fueled with questionable stories and obfuscated data. Is there a solution? Not unless we can go back to an environment devoid of this whole interconnectedness. Populations need separation and intellectual diversity to survive. Let me be clear, what that population looks like, who they love, and what genitalia they have don't matter. It's because our culture's homogenization of thought into two camps across this country (or more if you don't care about fitting in anywhere) is a sign of a sure path to extinction. Not as a species, but as a society. A society won't last this divided with itself, and being completely disrespectful to the core of any healthy debate doesn't help.

The American experiment was designed to foster intellectual diversity. You can see it in our strong free speech laws, our core belief in religious tolerance. It is the very fact that people are nothing more than ideas which have shaped the past 200 years of American development, and the side effects of human advancement, rights, and freedom the world over. Paltry plays to reduce us all to superficial identitarian categories puts that self-evident truth in jeopardy. And, for anyone who disagrees with me: When's the last time you only defined yourself through superficial characteristics? Sex, gender, race, sexual orientation? Why, if you are not only defined by superficial categories, do you think other people should be?