Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Before I get to far here, I should point out that this is likely to be a bigish post, and (like most) uninteresting. If you'd rather, watch this bit of Louis C.K. on youtube. The bit I was looking for is toward the end, but it's all funny. Anyway, my goal with this post is to write some things down with the hope that I can then move on. We'll see how that goes.

Alright, so my 'why run' question yesterday remains, I think, unanswered. And will continue to. But I've got another answer to throw into the mix: to know what you are capable of. Like in Fight Club: how can you know yourself if you've never been in a fight. I read an article recently about an ultramarathoner talking about how in the middle of a 100 mile run you really get down to a raw state, and he wanted to see what that was like. I wouldn't know, and for now I'm happy to take his word for it. Another lingering issue from yesterday was this striving for a sense of accomplishment. But why should I need to accomplish anything? Most people don't accomplish much, it seems, in any sort of broad sense. Isn't it egotistical of me to think I should be capable of something? Even to say that most people don't accomplish much... I'm pretty much an ass I guess.

Ok, so moving on from 'why run', how about 'why collect dvds/cds?' More to the point, why keep my current collection? It really seems like physical media is on its way out (I'm gonna make a brief divergence here, to avoid making a whole seperate blog post about more pointlessness: when I get information on pieces of paper, it's starting to really feel like a pain. Paper isn't searchable, and it occupies physical space. If that same information was a digital file on my computer, I can search it, worry less about losing it, and probably other benefits as well. Where's my damn e-paper? Don't get me wrong, I like books. But I'm talking about single sheets of paper, or just a couple together. If whatever is on them has any value, I'd rather it be digital.), that perhaps this last round of hd-dvd and blu-ray are the last media wars. Of course, I could be wrong. But either way, the value of the dvds on my shelf is not going up. If I'm hoping to get anything back for them, there's no better time to sell them than now. But how do I decide which to get rid of? Some almost seem to define me. They are the ones that, when I meet new people (which doesn't happen) I make sure they have seen. They are the movies that I quote daily, or easily could. So if I'm going to trim down my dvd collection, where do I draw the line? What if another movie comes along soon, then I'm adding back it... It's basically pointless. Maybe I should just dump all of them, right now, and vow not to buy more. The monk route. But then I've got a sense of loss. Ok, so I back them up to a hard drive first, then sell them. And then I'm breaking copyright laws (I suppose it wouldn't be a first). Am I likely to make more money selling them than it would cost to get a drive big enough to hold them? I give up. I'm not going to fight the inertia of having a collection. I should, though, fight the urge to expand that collection.

So why do I watch so many movies anyway? Mostly I can't remember them, and I don't really enjoy conversing about movies after they are over. I don't try to analyze movies to pick out main themes or anything. I think I have, frequently, just used them to 'get away'. But now here I am talking about how I wish I was accomplishing something, and I'm still watching these damn movies. It's that same inertia as owning a collection, the comfort in a constant, reveling in routine. (While I'm playing word games here... what's the deal with 'casual', 'casualty', and 'causally'? Those are some damn close spellings for fairly different words. Ok, now I'm on a language kick (way to stay focused)... can't we all agree on some global language? I know there's rather a lot of us, but come on, we could really stand some more global unity. Haven't people said that finding evidence of life on another planet would be a great incentive to bring us together globally? I'm ready.)

Of course, some movies I really do like, and enjoy quoting. But again, why? To show off the extent of my worthless movie watching? I've seen more movies than you, and that's an accomplishment? I hope it's not my only one. Maybe I quote movies to try to make you feel inferior about not recognizing the quote. I am, as noted above, kinda an ass. Or maybe I quote movies that I know the people around me will know, so I can share in the joyful laughter of a group of friends. Some sense of belonging?

Another theme I'm noticing here and in some recent posts, aside from accomplishments, is a sense of missing out. If I'm not watching lots of movies, maybe I'll miss a great one. Or not subscribing to enough of, or the right, rss feeds, I'll miss something. I'm supposed to stop and smell the roses, right? Take pleasure in the little things around me? Enjoy what I have, and stop pining for what I don't?

There's no point to wondering, to asking why. There doesn't seem to be an answer, and even if there is, there seems to be no hope of finding it. Like with religion. I need to be more agnostic at a low level. Stop asking why, and just go do. This was, if I recall, one of my original draws to mathematics: there is an answer to be found, and it can be. There's a certain austere definiteness about mathematics that is powerfully attractive, a way out of the mess that is the real world. Ok, sure, I know about the incompleteness theorems and things, but still.

It looks like I've said what I had hoped to say. And it didn't take as long or as much space as I thought. Hopefully I've resolved something here, and can get on with... life? Is that what this is?

Way to go, ending a resolution with a question. FAIL.

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