Ask Old Jules: Life 20 years from now, The Source of freedom, Not feeling intelligent, Changes in 2012, Discussing existence

Harper, TX 2010 152

Old Jules, what do you think the world will be like in 20 years time?

Bic lighters and pocket-knives will be coveted, high-tech barter items.

Old Jules, what is the source of freedom?

Solitude

Old Jules, I don’t feel intelligent. How can I fix this?

You might begin by differentiating the way you allow words to guide your intellect. Intelligence is not feeling. Feeling intelligent isn’t possible. Feelings are emotions and thoughts are thoughts. Getting a feeling your classmates take pride in their comprehension is not the same phenomenon as thinking your classmates take pride etc. I’d offer the suggestion you’d think yourself more intelligent if you distinguish clearly in your own mind the difference between feelings and thoughts.

Old Jules, what’s your opinion on the changes 2012 will bring?

I think we have some tough times coming down the pike worldwide. I don’t think it has anything to do with 2012 unless the Coincidence Coordinators just happen to be working overtime on an irony project. Things have been weird for a longish while and the Economics 101 course I took 50 years ago has already proved itself badly flawed squared and cubed, so I’m probably wrong anyway.

Old Jules, who’s up for a rousing discussion about existence?

The problem with discussions about existence is finding a common platform of rhetoric where there’s unanimity of acceptance of some basic premises to serve as a lowest common denominator. Okay, so we all accept thus-and-so and we can go from there to explore all the nuances and possibly arrive at some higher level of premises also involving consensus. No such platform of consensus exists. The reason is that while we’re all confined to the incoming data of our five senses, we each assign different levels of reliability and importance to the types of arriving data and we’ve each a unique set of methods of processing the data once it’s filed and prioritized. A huge chunk of everything each of us believes we know isn’t from direct sensory input observation, but rather from reports of others regarding their observations and the conclusions they reached, then handed down through chains of other reporters who interpreted, prioritized and massaged it all based on their own internal systems. It seems to me the only way to come to any personal conclusion about existence, the meaning and possible purpose of it is to directly observe, look for hints, corner-of-the-eye pieces of evidence we’ve overlooked because they’ve always been there, the hide-behinds of reality. One of those, rarely mentioned, is that everything in this reality we occupy has to sit on the carcass of something else to survive. A harsh, savage reality. An amazingly co-dependent maze. Another is the fact that human life involves a series of interchangeable quests, or our perception of it becomes meaningless and despair reigns. But no sooner does one quest end than another stumbling block appears before us. I surmise that challenge has something to do with the meaning of life. Then there’s the matter of time, lightspeed, brain function, and the limits of sensory input forcing everything into the past. But this has grown lengthy and nobody’s likely to read it anyway. Makes no difference even if they do. Good luck in your quest.

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