Monday, April 24, 2006

First sentences The Death of Curiosity

Have we survived the death of curiosity? That is to say, without wandering, exploring and erring, do we continue to be-in-the-world? Is our species experiencing a slow braindeath as evolutionary psychic drives are replaced or abandonned like outgrown toys? And replaced with what? Finally, has the synthetic gnosticism of the computer age made our mental existence outmoded?

These are not easy questions, nor are they idle ones. They seem, to me, to be the most important questions that we might ask at this point in our history. Yet we should also remember to ask them in the spirit of play that is so emeshed with curiosity. Po-faced seriousness has no place here. It is part of the negation of curiosity and we await its regeneration. Let us be joking, and serious, but not ironic.

6 comments:

Hiromi said...

Dude -- it's always been that way. The masses are asses.

The Pagan Temple said...

I think we are just overwhlemed by all the negativity, we are becomming both numb and complacent. Think about the Asian tsunami. Most people one hundred years ago would have heard about it a few days or a week or more after the fact, would have expressed some degree of curiosity or sadness about it, and would have went on with their lives, as it would be something they would have difficulty relating to. Now, when something like that happens, we are bombarded with live images of it. Something that drastic and profound will still effect us, but more ordinary things start to take on a sameness, and the overall effect of even tragic occurrences wears off.

Rufus said...

Well, it's sort of a longer argument. My idea is that curiosity requires physical exploration in the world, and I wonder what happens when anything you might be curious about is easily "googled". Are you still curious? Or is there a difference between exploring and accessing?

Rufus said...

In a sense, it's horribly pretentious of me. But, this is exactly the same issue that Nietzsche deals with when he takes on Kant- does metaphysics remove us from the world?

Hiromi said...

I think the internet is fantastic for its information. The problem is, it's much harder to filter out the crap and yet another layer of subjectivity. For instance, since I had no time, I googled Said. But I knew I was reading someone else's take on it, so I'm going to read the original during the summer. And Das Kapital -- I want my own take on it.

Rufus said...

You'll enjoy Said I think. Marx gets much easier about 100 pages in. Those first pages are punishing. I will not hurt your experience with my thoughts on either of them.