Saturday 30 December 2023

Nothing is random

The concept that "nothing is random" suggests that every event or occurrence in the universe is interconnected and influenced by various factors, rendering true randomness non-existent. This perspective stems from the belief that all phenomena, even seemingly unpredictable ones, are governed by underlying laws, principles, or causes that may not be immediately apparent. In this view, randomness is merely a limitation of human understanding rather than a fundamental aspect of reality. It suggests that if we possessed complete knowledge of all relevant factors, we could predict and explain every outcome, eliminating the notion of true randomness. Proponents of this idea often argue that seemingly random events are the result of complex interactions between numerous variables or systems, making them deterministic in nature. However, it's worth noting that this viewpoint remains a subject of philosophical debate and may not be universally accepted.

Monday 25 December 2023

The bollocks of tradition

As an adult I've always been rather bemused by the grip that tradition has on people. How important it is to hold those traditions and how disastrous it is perceived if any of them are not met? I just don’t get it.

As a kid I loved Christmas. It was a magical time. Me and my sisters used to get so excited. We were lucky. We had a happy family. My parents could just about make ends meet so we feasted quite well. The house would be full; grandparents, great aunt and uncle and sometimes other relations. Whilst we never always got what we hoped for in the way of presents, we were mostly happy with what we got. That's not to say that there were no anxieties. I've always been an anxious person, so why should Christmas be any different? There were many things to worry about. So much to go wrong. Would Father Christmas be able to get down our chimney? Would the bread man or the milkman deliver? Would the chicken/turkey that had been ordered actually be there to collect? Adult worries that I as a child should not be concerned with. But I was. I see now that these were the seeds sown for my adult hatred of Christmas. disastrous it is perceived if any of them are not met? I just don’t get it.

As an adult I have always found Christmas a horrible time. Far too stressful. Stressful because in earlier years there was an expectation to spend money. Money that I did not have. It has taken me a long time but in the last five to ten years I've managed to extricate myself from all of the nonsense. I celebrate Christmas no more. I'm happy. The sky has not fallen in. The world goes on. disastrous it is perceived if any of them are not met? I just don’t get it.

The true meaning of Christmas, or rather Yule because that is what it really is, has been lost. It was a time of feasting around the winter solstice to get people through the dark cold days. Nothing to do with the christian god at all. The buggers just conveniently hijacked it to help reinforce their bizarre superstitions. disastrous it is perceived if any of them are not met? I just don’t get it.

Superstition and tradition oppress. Getting out of it requires you to think. But if you make the effort you will be happier for it. Go on, set yourself free. disastrous it is perceived if any of them are not met? I just don’t get it.

You might say that you love Christmas, which is fine, but do consider others. Spare a thought for those that find it an unhappy season for whatever reason. Others including your nearest and dearest might not enjoy it as much as you think. Please do not inflict forced jollity onto them. Do you want them to be crying inside?

Wednesday 20 December 2023

Nothing is ever black and white (revisited)

Fundamentalism, political or religious, is the greatest philosophical danger to humankind; there are no one-word answers to the problems that beset our world. There are rarely simple solutions. Life is much more complicated than a tabloid headline. Unfortunately 'public debate' all too often sinks into polarised, lowest common denominator, narrow mindedness. Creating the Promised Land is not as easy as a political sound-bite or any religious teaching might suggest. Economics and indeed life itself are complicated webs.

Just as you don't stop murder by having a death penalty, you don't necessarily improve education by building more schools, or improve health care by employing more doctors; society’s ills can only be resolved by holistic solutions.

Right and wrong are only matters of opinion and not some kind of universal truth. Nothing is ever as easy as it seems, if you only take things at face value and you do not bother scratching below the surface how can you ever understand the true meaning or the true implication of an idea? That's not being glass half empty or pessimistic about things. Life is complicated, and dealing with life is equally complicated.

By way of example take ‘cost saving’, that great mantra of the modern age. The concept of cost-saving is probably a myth. Is it really possible to get something for nothing, or is a cost saving really just shifting the burden elsewhere, or a mixture of the two?

Culture, economics, education, health, law and order and many other aspects of life are so intertwined, so reliant on each other, that if you legislate or change one thing it will usually affect something else. Just like the 'Butterfly Effect', if you make a change in one place, it can reverberate and create change elsewhere; often in unexpected places.

Things are not always as they seem. Nothing is ever black and white. At best there are invariably shades of grey, but mostly things will be multi-coloured multi-faceted and fractal. Life is a rainbow. Look beyond the obvious. The obvious often isn’t.

*This was originally printed on my website