kossorFor a bloke whose ideal is the city, I seem to have gone the other way at the moment, as ladies like the ones on the left are our closest neighbours. If you discount the mosquitoes that seem to have invaded our cottage.

We spent the better part of an hour yesterday evening hunting down the pests, and when we woke up we were still covered in bites. Well, covered is perhaps an exaggeration, but it certainly itched everywhere.

This morning I was exploring out a running path, and I came across these cow, and they really are our closest neighbours. They certainly make enough noise to be heard. So Christ, I’m living the farm life at the moment. I feel like I should head into town and sit at a café and drink tea just to balance out the bucolic influences.

If I start to wear Wellingtons at all times, all is lost.

***

mooselasagnaSince we’re in Sweden, we’re going really local in our food, and therefore we’re going to have this for dinner. Elk lasagne. Or moose lasagne for you yanks.

Yes, first we’re going to eat them, and then we’re going to try and go and look at them. It seems to be the proper way to go about things.

Eating your tourist traps.

***

I spent this morning thinking about nihilism. Does objective reality exist or not?

That is the question that nihilism says ‘no’ to. It can be epistemological or existential, but it always boils down to that ‘no’, and as such it can in my opinion easily be rejected. Yes, objective reality does exist – but it needn’t be relatable, or even understandable, in human terms. Reality exist outside of human perception, but that reality needn’t be human.

Thing is, humans are limited. We are limited in our senses and in our perceptions. We can only see specific frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum; we can only hear certain frequencies in movements in the air; we can only perceive three dimensions, and our sensory tolerance for touch is limited to a very narrow temperature band. What does it feel like in the centre of the sun? It’s impossible to say.

With all those limitation, we can not really perceive reality as it actually is. But boy do we try. Like, read the coverage of the “discovery” of the Higgs Boson at CERN earlier. You have writers desperately trying to portray that in human terms. It is impossible, but they still try. What they may achieve is a totally irrelevant and flawed analogy that will lead everyone wrong.

So, we impose our perception on reality and either get reality totally wrong, or don’t perceive certain aspects of reality at all, and therefore we don’t think about them. I mean, is an apple actually red or green? Is it even round? Or is the colour and the shape just determined by the limits of human senses?

Nihilism strikes me as sort of militant atheism, busy imposing a negative on nothing. Saying things like “life is meaningless” imposes a label on nothing. The label is a human imposition such as the colour of the apple. The apple is not really green or red except under very narrow conditions, and life has meaning or no-meaning under similarly narrow conditions.

My opinion is that if we accept that our perception is human, not universal, then we can have as much or as little meaning of life as we want. It ceases to become something external. We don’t need a god or creed or a philosophy to grant us the meaning; we can determine it ourselves. Individually.

Scepticism comes in handy as a tool not to be fooled into a Team, sort of like politics where one percent difference in taxation is the end of the world as we know it for one team or the other. It comes in handy as a tool not to be dragged into a religion. Or as a tool not to believe whatever silly thing our flawed perceptions present us with.

And with scepticism we can find a true meaning, that fits within the boundary of being alive and human; of being a citizen on the pale blue dot.

I think that’s a beautiful sentiment that doesn’t require a methodology or chronology of a religion or a philosophy. It’s about being alive, and not being a dick, really.

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