Alright, confessions first. This isn’t really a proper essay, it’s just an overly long comment I posted to James Howard Kunstler’s excellent blog earlier today. ( http://kunstler.com .) Nevertheless the meat of it consists of things I’ve considered to be true for many decades prior to even discovering Jame’s work , and so I reckon that makes it fair game for blog essay status. Here goes.
Dear James ,
I have avidly read and agreed with most everything you’ve posted on the Internet for many years, and gratefully stipulate that you are right far more often than wrong, and certainly more often than me. I do, however, have one minor criticism to make, because I prefer my heroes to be flawless & if you could just fix this one little item then you would be damned near perfect.
I think we all have a sort of “real live world” model in our head , call it a personal world view alogrithm, with which we manufacture scenarios of ‘what is’ or ‘what happens next?’ or ‘what might I do to fix this or that’ . The raw data fed into this modeler comes from whatever information manages to reach us through the filters of our various senses, plus earlier results produced by the model itself.
Some folk’s models work amazingly well (they’re smart) and others’ run very badly (dumb) but NO ONE’S modeling apparatus dependably produces accurate forecasts every time. Even very smart people can make astoundingly dumb mistakes (e.g. we have Einstein largely to thank for the horror of atomic bombs and their offspring.)
Either way, and in every case, the world views produced by our inner ponderings are delusional. They have no reality outside the confines of our craniums, and even on the inside they’re just a bunch of neurons firing away like some maniacal grand finale of cognitive 4th of July pyrotechnics.
My point is that the real world runs as it runs, and we merely play catch up with the delusions produced by our less-than-perfect world view modeling efforts.
If some folks choose to complacently take the real world as it comes at them , because they know from experience that their ‘internal modeling equipment’ is no damn good & is mistaken or inadequate most of the time , then who are we to ridicule them ? Are they dumb? Are they ‘low-lifes’ ? Are they covered with tatoos and full of controlled substances ? In many cases yes they are , but they are no more delusional than us smart people (as we like to think of ourselves.) It’s just that our delusions (on the average) have proved out to be more ‘real world accurate’ than their delusions.
In the end this fact is just another part of reality , making those people just other elements of the real world that we have little choice but to live in. We should model that to see if there aren’t ways to help them have better delusions, by which I mean to say ; more like mine.