Well, to spite getting a stomach flu, I did get some work done on the book this past week. Because I'm laying out specific blocks on time for uninterrupted work, I've begun to move more quickly. I'm not getting more writing finished, but I'm getting more started, by which I mean that I get a first, rough draft of something out on paper (up on the screen?) and move on to the next rather than lingering on it and agonizing over it. I might have to make more passes (I doubt it) but even if that's true, I have more to make passes on, yes?
I've also been pleased to keep finding pieces of my writing that can be refitted and become useful in the book as it's currently shaping up.
Here's a little bit of what I'm working on, out of context and without introduction:
A sample bit
So that first theory is the kind of thing people are, more or
less, going to openly admit to believing (even if their actions and
reaction contradict it. For example: a person might assert that we
are simply the descendants of ape-like creatures modified through
natural selection, but they will also claim that weakness does not
justify domination of the weak, or that theft is wrong for the
person stealing). Even given
these kind of inconsistencies, the explicit admission of the “Animals
who waste a lot of energy” theory is going to affect the way people
think about and treat each other, art, and the rest of reality.
This second theory runs in the
opposite direction. What I mean is that the “Tiny gods” theory
I'm about to outline is mainly shown by implication
through actions and conversation. So what I'm describing here as this
theory is what you get working backwards from the behavior of people,
rather than forwards from the explicit theory itself.
The idea here is that
human beings create meaning for themselves; that everything is
pointless until we point it somewhere. The theory says that
man is the top of the heap or the center of the universe; that his
impulses, desires, emotions, thoughts, etc. do not have a proper goal
or context beyond themselves, but are just there
be pursued and satisfied. This notion is expressed by such phrases as
the common YouTube refrain, “If you don't like it, don't watch it,”
and the more general, “Everyone is entitled to their opinion.”
What these two phrases imply when taken together is “Everyone's
thoughts and feelings about anything are of equal, unassailable
value. So, don't try to argue against anything someone else likes or
dislikes.” Which in turn implies that things are given meaning by
human beings, that the very act of feeling or thinking something
makes it as important as anything else thought or felt. (Amusingly
enough these refrains are also used to assert that your opinion and
feelings, when they disapprove of something, are worthless to
say there's no accounting for taste. Now they're saying that taste is
the unassailable arbiter of action and judgment; the sacrosanct
director of lives; i.e. taste is a god. And, since the opinion (the
taste) is yours, you
are a god.
This notion, just like the first one, makes it impossible to give
a reason why we should make things. Again, we are left with
what we do and nothing else, because the only “should” is the one
we invent, and it’s only as strong as our whim to keep it going.