Tuesday, March 12, 2013

taxonomy of humanity


Imagination and Fact

There are fiction people and non-fiction people. Non-fiction people prefer their information to be actionable, with clear relevance and direct application. Fiction people prefer their information to be inspirational, evoking new images and experiences. Although I have lately bought more of the second than the first, I am solidly a fiction man. I have had lengthy spells of nearly exclusive non-fiction consumption, in the form of news magazines (e.g., The Economist), history (e.g., Colour), biography (e.g., God's Call Girl) , and analysis (e.g., The Tell-Tale Brain); but I have found that fiction (e.g., Time's Arrow), gives me much more insight into the world around me. Non-fiction gives you a bicycle pump, fiction gives you a map.

Objects and Experiences

There are Art people and Travel people. Art people spend their money on beautiful and inspiring objects. Travel people spend their money on experiences. Art people attend to their day-to-day environment, striving to make each moment unique and meaningful. Travel people seek new perspectives on life, viewing each situation from the standpoint of another. Art people live in the moment, which they seek to transcend; Travel people live in their memories, and in their anticipation of their next adventure. I admire the Art people, but history suggests I am a Travel person.

Leavers and Stayers

There are stay-to-the-end-of-the-party people and don't-to-be-the-last-to-leave-the-party people. I'm a stayer. I do try to be sensitive to the desires of our host, but I don't like to stop when I am enjoying myself. If things are getting crazy, well, to my thinking, the whole point of a party is a change from the normal. Crazy is not the time to leave. It's like leaving the opera before the fat lady sings. I make an exception in cases of impending violence or destruction. No, Karaoke is not covered by these exceptions.

Hard and Candy Asses

There are end-of-the-world people and not-end-of-the-world people. In my experience, most people are not-end-of-the-world people, meaning they do not want to be around when the comet extinguishes all life, or global warming fries the last mammal. Me, I reckon human life will eventually come to an end, and I think humans are the only ones who care much when it comes to an end, and after human life comes to an end none of human history will be of any significance at all, so wouldn't it be a privilege to know how it ended? You may not like how it ended, but you would have the satisfaction of knowing with certainty. I'm not a nihilist. I believe life is meaningful; but only to the living. I have no desire to pro-actively end the world during my existence, just as I have no desire to end a party simply because I must go home. I'm a finisher. I prefer to see the end. Not-end-of-the-world people have their heads in the sand.



If you prefer less introspective fare, my other blog is for the more practical and professionally-minded reader

No comments:

Post a Comment