Since I often post entries and photos about things I’m doing – like climbing, backpacking, graduating, and making books – one may get the impression that I am a DOER, not a THINKER, which ins’t true at all. It’s just that thoughts are difficult to take photos of and photos look nice on blogs. Some things I have been thinking about lately:
1. Descartes (I think, therefore I am). I helped a woman write a paper on Descartes for her philosophy class this week and by coming up ways to refute his certainty argument and theory of substance dualism, I grew to believe even more strongly that there is no God. This doesn’t mean I’ll stop praying though.
2. Racism – as I was walking down the street the other day, I clutched my purse so it would stop banging against my leg. Just then, a big black man walked past me and looked at me clutching my purse and then at my face, and kept walking. I wanted to chase him down and explain that my purse had been banging against my leg, but I didn’t.
3. Peak oil – The Economist says it’s not true that we’re running out of oil, but if it IS true and the geologists who are asserting that it’s true are right – then we’re pretty fucked. So just like I pray in case I’m wrong that there is no God, I would suggest that you start conserving energy just in case the Economist is wrong. I’ve discussed this with Martin and Aditi and have learned that the best way to conserve (besides buy a hybrid, like I did) is to not drive at all (I also take the casual carpool and BART when I go to the city two days a week, but I don’t have a bike) or drive less – ride a bike when possible, carpool, take public transportation, etc. Also consume less of everything – heating, water, lights, etc. Use cloth grocery bags and recycle the others if you don’t. Also buy locally grown produce instead of stuff imported from afar – a lot of energy is expended transporting it. If you have more suggestions, please let me know!
4. The Meaning of Life – New York Times war correspondent Scott Anderson came to the Grotto last week for lunch and talked about his experiences covering the war in Irak and, several years ago, Darfour. (He, by the way, has a novel out titled Moonlight Hotel.) Anyway, what struck me most about his experiences are how difficult it is to come back to normal life after being in a war zone. He said, like soldiers, it’s difficult to talk to people about your experiences and, as I can imagine, very difficult to listen to other people’s (he didn’t say this, but I thought, “mundane”) concerns after seeing babies’ limbs blown off, etc. Listening to him made me want to go to a war zone and work for the Red Cross. It made me feel like our lives must seem SO mundane, so pointless, in comparison. At the same time, I’m glad I don’t work in a war zone. I’m happy that I have nothing more to worry about than laundry and dishes and whether I fed the cats. What an easy time we live in.
5. Signs of the times. I was thinking yesterday how we associate Tang with the 70s and legwarmers with the 80s. What are some of the things we consume now, that will later remind us of the 00s? (And how will we refer to this decade?). Whether I’ll remember these in the future or not, here are some things that are ubiquitous in my life:
a. Hand sanitizer – everyone’s using it!
b. Blogs – everyone’s got one!
c. Netflix – everyone’s got that, too!
d. Of course, iPods, podcasts, evites and everything Internet-related
e. Digital cameras – everyone’s got one!
f. XM Radio – it’s becoming more popular
g. Hybrids – they’re especially popular in Berkeley
h. Therapy – everyone’s got a therapist – at least out here in CA
i. Anti-depressants – and most of them are on anti-depressants
j. Of course, yoga and pilates
k. Red, white and green tea
What else? I’m all thought out.