Science, Baby

Scientists have a tendency, and don’t tell me they don’t, to reduce the world to their sphere of knowledge. This tendency isn’t confined to scientists, of course, so scientists are no different than anyone else in this respect. The difference is that scientists claim to know. Yes, they do sometimes know, in the pure sense of the word, but their knowledge is bounded, just like everyone else’s. They act and speak within the sphere of their own knowledge.
I have no problem with a scientist who does that while being aware of the boundaries of his own knowledge, but I believe that most scientists don’t think that way. Some scientists would say: those are not real scientists! Well, yeah. They are humans, and thus subjective beings, and they, just like everyone else, act within the boundaries of their beliefs. That these beliefs are supported by objective evidence is neither her nor there, since this evidence is always limited. Limited, if not by the views of the scientists themselves, then by the limits of human perception and the possibilities of measurement.
Many scientists claim that nothing cannot be measured. Maybe they are even right, but the fat lady hasn’t sung on that note yet. Even if they were right, we can be sure that the human race is a damned long way from that point. A damned long way, I mean, like, millennia. So we should be careful about making decisions based upon the evidence that scientists give us.
Okay, some evidence is better than none, right? I am not so sure about that. It seems to me that, when we are talking about a world which has evolved over billions of years, we should be very careful about making decisions based on limited evidence from the last few hundred years, or, in some cases, the last few decades, or even the last few months. Whoa, baby, just a second there.
Let us assume that everything can be measured, that everything can be observed. And understood. That is perhaps the catch, no? Even if we assume that everything can be observed, can we assume that it will be properly understood? Infinite variables, quantified one against another? Fuck it, let us assume that every single thing can be implicitly known and understood (I know, the idea itself is absurd, but let’s just try). So, science has observed, measured, and understood everything. That’s the wet dream of science, isn’t it? Quantify it all, God help us; yeah, that God in which I don’t believe. Alright, so, we know it all. Now what?
I said I’d define ‘nature’. Hah, I lied. Nature is undefinable, by my definition. Nature is everything that happens, including the production of ‘synthetics’ by human beings. There is no way to produce things that are ‘unnatural’, unless you’re into the occult. I dare you to produce a devil. A real, bonafide, evil devil which will eat my soul (don’t have one, but that’s beside the point). Even if you did manage it, it’d be a natural product. Nothing, and I mean nothing, occurs outside of nature. A smart-ass would say: so nothing is unnatural? Yep. Nothing is the only thing that is unnatural. The only thing that can’t possibly be is nothing. There has never been, and never will be, nothing. There has always been something. Well, maybe someday science will prove me wrong, but by then I’ll be long dead (eons, baby), having been and still being something.
That sounds like religion, doesn’t it? An undying soul. Bit it’s not my soul that will never die, it’s the sub-atomic particles I am made of, and sub-sub-atomic particles, and the sub-sub-sub . . . They aren’t particles anymore at all, but rather the material of which something consists. Of which everything consists. I am convinced that we, as humans, will never know what we consist of at the most basic level. We are prisoners of the limits of our understanding.
In fact, I agree with the scientists. I truly believe that everything is measurable. But I don’t think we can measure it, no matter how deep we delve. We are limited by our biology, and we will never, ever get to the bottom of it all. And that’s the way of it. That’s natural, just as natural as the fact that we will never stop trying.
How will you scientist ever quantify my drunken thoughts? How will you capture the way I feel? How will you quantify the drunken idiots that I hear outside my window at this moment, down at the corner bar?
You never will. You wouldn’t want to. But these are the things that make up our daily lives. The feeling I have when I roll a cigarette, when I go take a God damned piss. Well, the time will come when they’ll investigate even that, but do you think that’ll help them?
Nah. They’ll just get lost in details, like they always have. It’s the human condition, detailing, categorizing . . . that’s the secrets of our ascendence. But there’s a limit to that. I believe we are pretty near the end of that road. Shit, I feel sorry for humanity, because I honestly don’t see how we can get over that hurdle. The scientists are just a logical step in our progress. They can’t help themselves. The question is whether we can progress beyond that phase. I doubt it very much, but, of course, I am just as much a victim of my times as anyone else. I can’t see the future, I can only extrapolate.
So, I imagine a future in which science has taken over. Science is your government, science is . . . God. The song I am hearing now, Candela, from Buena Vista Social Club, is long forgotten. Lovely horns and guitar. Science reigns, a science which has, long since, quantified these rhythms and melodies (Hellstrøm takes a short break to chew the dried algae bar lying before him, because that is all, all that is left to him). Beautiful new world, ain’t it?
Rationalization. That’s what science will be about. They won’t give a fuck what you think, because they’ve already quantified your thoughts. Tell me of a time when, ultimately, those in power didn’t make use of such knowledge. Humans aren’t stupid; well, not completely.
I’ll tell you something that gets on my nerves. I have wireless headphones. I go into the fucking kitchen, and I get disconnected from my music. It comes and goes. Y’know, I’m a technical person, I gotta deal with computers and technical shit the whole day at work, I solve technical problems every fucking day. And here I am now, wishing that my wireless headphones would simply work. ’So this is science,‘ I say to myself. ’Ain’t no wonder people have no faith in it, it only works half the time, if at all. Perhaps there is yet hope that the scientists will not take over…‘

Terrible Beast

There is this terrible beast. It stays up late at night and drinks rum. Tsk, tsk. It writes silly stuff. Sometimes it writes funny stuff, or cynical stuff. Occasionally it writes pathetic stuff. Once in a great while it writes good stuff (well, that is what it flatters itself). It knows better, but it drinks rum anyway. If it would just stick to wine, things would be better, but, well, it doesn’t. It wouldn’t be a beast if it did what was good for it, would it now?
Listening to Battle March Medley from the Pogues, by the by.


Peanuts, Walnuts. Almonds. They taste wonderful with wine. But, okay, what I really wanted was to ruminate on the meaning of the word nuts, and why it has several meanings. I’m going nuts, for example. Or: nuts to you. What in hell does that mean?
Google yields: Confucius say, man who sticks penis in peanut butter jar is fucking nuts. Har har, very ‘fucking’ amusing. Well.
‘Nuts to you’ = fuck off, I suppose, the association being between men’s ‘nuts’ (balls, or testicles, if you want the scientific word for it) and fucking. I associate that with the German du kannst mich mal, which means, more or less, ‘you can do me.’ That is not, however, meant in a positive sense, but rather like saying ‘fuck you’ in English. Fuck me, fuck you, fuck it all . . . egads, slowly but surely I am losing any sense of the big picture here. There is no literal equivalent to ‘nuts to you’ in German, since the Germans call testicles Eier (eggs) in everyday language. There we get phrases like die Eier schaukeln lassen (to let the eggs swing), which means to take it easy or be lazy, or du gehst mir auf die Eier (you’re getting on my eggs), which means you’re a pain in the ass. Languages are hell.
I’m going nuts. You drive me nuts. You’re off your nut. How in hell do such phrases come in to being? Well, actually, it’s simple, I suppose. Your ‘nut’ is your head, a shell with a kernel: your brain, if you happen to have one. And, if it doesn’t function normally, like mine, people say you’re off your nut.
On the other hand we have the phrase, ‘it was all nuts to me.’ This does not mean that everything seemed crazy, but rather that everything was good, as in perfect, just the thing, yummy . . . like a bowl of nuts. And why, for Christ’s sake, are the nuts in ‘nuts and bolts’ called nuts?
By the by, listening to Raspizdyay, from Leningrad. That has nothing to do with nuts. At least I believe so… for all I know Raspizdyay is Russian for balls, eggs, nuts, what have you.