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A New Dark Age

Ages ago, there were the dark ages, and that’s no trick.
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Adopt and spread the premise that what one immediately considers to be a situation upon correct evaluation truly defines the response to that situation, and that anything beyond that is merely some kind of a trick.

All techniques, technologies, skills, ways of doing things that require teaching and learning, or discovery or invention, come under the umbrella or hatstand of ‘a trick’. If it’s not what was obvious, and you end up having to do something else other than the obvious, then it’s just a trick. If what you do in a situation is to follow the obvious response, then there’s no trick, it’s perfectly natural.

Before long, every technique or skill or way, will be mistrusted, as merely some kind of trick, and therefore not natural, and will be dismissed. Soon, we’ll have no progress whatsoever, and no intellectual mobility, and things will stay as they are for a very long time. This is perfectly natural, and for other than that to occur must be some kind of trick.

Ian Tindale, Jan 01 2016


       Will this put magicians and slight of hand artists out of work and on unemployment ? IF everything is a trick, than magic shows will be dull and sleep inducing to the audience.
popbottle, Jan 01 2016

       I seem to recall that in the Original Star Trek shows, Dr. McCoy referred to the 20th Century as the Dark Ages, because medical technology had improved so much during the next three fictional centuries.   

       Moral: Any age is a Dark Age, relatively speaking.
Vernon, Jan 01 2016

       This idea was popular in the 1920s; see, for example, D. H. Lawrence, but also Mikhail Tukhachevsky (as recorded by Rémy Roure under the pseudonym Pierre Fervacque).   

       Different individuals had variations on it, of course.   

       Tukhachevsky was frank about wanting a return to barbarism, and came close to achieving this goal while commanding the Red Army circa 1920. (The funny thing about him is that he wasn't really a Communist at all - or, at least, not a Marxist). Compare the "barbarian warlord" fantasy in Jim Morrison's poetry.   

       Lawrence, on the other hand, wanted to continue enjoying at least some of the benefits of such "tricks", and proposed that a sub-human underclass should be maintained in servitude to provide them for such proper humans as himself.   

       Henry Miller meanwhile reasoned that, if almost everything was a trick, then there was nothing wrong with "tricks" in the sense of outright cruel fraud and exploitation, provided that they were played by the cool on the uncool and not the other way around. Compare Jean Genet.   

       Anyway, I would say "widely known to exist".
pertinax, Jan 01 2016

       What [pertinax] said,There's tricks and there are tricks.
wjt, Jan 01 2016

       In the US there are religious fundamentalists called Amish who follow this program and do not embrace technological advancement. They ride around in hand-built buggies pulled by horses, and live in hand-built homes, and sit in hand-built chairs. Their culture is one of non-violence and non-retaliation, in contrast to the barbarian idea, and the general impression is that they are content to mind their own business.
LimpNotes, Jan 01 2016

       I'm pretty sure Dark Ages should also mean time spent being dead in addition to losses of culture or power outages during primetime television.
guncandy, Jan 01 2016

       We spend more time dead than we spend time alive.
LimpNotes, Jan 01 2016

       Maybe, who knows. One of the existential panics is that we are condemned to live an infinite number of lives in many different torturous states far beyond our control. Another is that we will never live again and there will be nothing for all eternity. Enjoy a free and masturbatory internet in this one, unless you think it will have some effect on the next one.
guncandy, Jan 01 2016

       //who knows.//

I do. And I challenge any to prove me wrong.
LimpNotes, Jan 01 2016

       You dont spend any time dead, you dont exist when youre dead.
guncandy, Jan 01 2016

       Same difference, I spend more time not existing than I spend existing... I just don't know about it. I'm pretty sure existence doesn't stop because I do, for that would make existence dependent on me, which would make me something like a god. So either I'm a god and existence stops when I do, or I am not god, and existence persists after I die. I accept the later.
LimpNotes, Jan 01 2016

       Maybe youre confused with sleep. You definitely can spend more time sleeping than waking, but once you're dead you're not spending any more time.
guncandy, Jan 01 2016

       So time stops when I die?
LimpNotes, Jan 01 2016

       NO, but you do.
guncandy, Jan 01 2016

       So if time is split into two parts, the part where I exist, and the part where I don't exist, which is longer?
LimpNotes, Jan 01 2016

       There's no question about that. But you're not spending any time dead like in a waiting room. You're not there and there is no waiting room.
guncandy, Jan 01 2016

       Trick or treat?.... And if you were facing the prospect of Lymes disease you could stupidly say 'tick or treat?'
xenzag, Jan 01 2016

       // So time stops when I die ? ... NO, but you do //   

       Actually, you can't prove that. The extreme solipsist position ("I am the only real object; everything else is an illusion, or a creation of my consciousness") is - philosophically speaking - logically irrefutable.   

       // But you're not spending any time dead like in a waiting room. You're not there and there is no waiting room. //   

       Very Rosencranz and Guildenstern ... remember, no rhetoric.
8th of 7, Jan 01 2016

       Well, I said at first "maybe, who knows". I don't know what happens. He just made the challenge and I made the obvious argument. I don't know though. Maybe nothing that exists can actually be destroyed and when we die we linger for all eternity in some indescribable half-life. Maybe time is like in that book by Wells The New Accelerator that if we take an large dose of stimulant we can speed up relative to our environment, but dying is like gaining massive acceleration and we time travel back into our own lives with slightly larger penises.
guncandy, Jan 01 2016

       // when we die we linger for all eternity in some indescribable half-life. //   

       Ah, you've been to Swindon, then ?
8th of 7, Jan 01 2016

       The solipsist position can be disproven by heavy drinking. If all reality is illusion, and the only real thing is the self, then the self cannot be corrupted by these illusions. But heavy drinking to black-out, which causes our bodies to stop registering memories, destroys the perception of self and the body is just running on instinct. So either the self is something totally different than what I think of as the self, or it is also part of the illusion (existential nihilism), or the illusion premise is false. Since we, minus [Ian], are agreeing that the self exists, our only logical conclusion must be that the illusion premise is false. Either that or there is a continuing spirit energy stuff that has no memory or function, that is uncorrupted by heavy drinking, and just sort of sits there, but of course that is highly speculative and can't be proven.
LimpNotes, Jan 01 2016

       Already baked by the introduction of pseudo- philosophy (or even real philosophy) to the halfbakery.
RayfordSteele, Jan 01 2016

       Have a drink [Rayford]. <Holds out a mug, notices the hesitation, pulls it back and takes a swig to prove its not poisoned, and proffers it back out.>
LimpNotes, Jan 01 2016

       Here’s a case in point. Algorithms. Almost always, one will try to do something oneself, then years later, along comes someone else to point out that there’s an algorithm for it. The revelation of the algorithm is a complete surprise, often resulting in a smile if you get it or irritation if you don’t or it’s too complicated to be explained well. Either way, the algorithm is almost always something other than what one thought of, as a way of doing the thing. The first way one thinks of is of course the natural solution. However, it often doesn’t work, or work well, or work well enough. Then along come those smart alec algorithms, and the clever dick people who ‘know them’ (well, carry them around, would be more accurate). An algorithm can beat flat a natural way of doing something, often quicker, more efficient, or just plain actually works. However, nobody thinks of the algorithm first time. It’s a trick. Algorithms are tricks, which, once a person knows, can be played over and over and over — but it’s still a trick.
Ian Tindale, Jan 01 2016

       The obvious is the enemy of the new.
4and20, Jan 01 2016

       [Ian], people are tricks, multi-cellular organisms are tricks pulled off by cells, cells are tricks pulled off by complex molecules; molecules are tricks pulled off by elements, atoms are tricks pulled off by I dont know what. Basically, as I have said on here many times before, There Is Nothing. Everything else is cheap tricks.
pocmloc, Jan 01 2016

       So, [Ian], which part of Wales did you spend Christmas in?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 01 2016

       Seems inevitable, really.
tatterdemalion, Jan 01 2016

       The trick is, an algorithm razor's a tiny fraction of the thing done to purify and amplify so only one ball is being tossed.   

       Nature tends to nearly do the same thing while tossing, bouncing and holding multiple balls to keep everything happy.
wjt, Jan 02 2016

       The idea is based on the premise that language defines reality &, whilst that might be conceptually true, it's not actually true. Ask any politician. They spend their entire lives trying to re-define what is real but, as Enoch Powell said, all political careers end in failure. There are just too many cats to herd.

Defining what is 'obvious' is the stumbling stone. One persons 'obvious' is another persons 'wtf?'. The only way around that is the physical elimination of anyone with a differing opinion. Many have tried to implement that option. All have failed.

That's a cheery way to start the New Year, ain't it!
DrBob, Jan 02 2016

       So, nothing to do with sunbeds?
not_morrison_rm, Jan 02 2016

       Well, if it’s obvious to me, it’s obvious — I don’t care about the other. But to take that further, across a population, if it seems obvious that a thing is a way, then that’s the natural approach. If there’s a better, but occluded way, that nobody seems to stumble upon at first, then that’s obviously not the obvious way. Spending unauthorised time trying to sneakily wheedle out these tricks for benefit against others, and then bringing them into the open, is how technology and science and art and design and most kinds of advancement occur. But — it’s nevertheless a trick.   

       I’m not saying we should avoid those tricks, except in this idea, where I’m saying we should posit them as tricks and let the populace stupidly mistrust them if it’s only a trick after all. Then society collapses. Later.
Ian Tindale, Jan 02 2016

       This idea is not very obvious, if you're having to spend this much time trying, not very successfully, to explain it.
pocmloc, Jan 02 2016

       I obvious it.
Ian Tindale, Jan 02 2016

       "Obvious" is an adjective, not a verb. "I obvious it" is gramatically incorrect.   

       "I make it obvious" is a valid sentence, as is "It is obvious.".
8th of 7, Jan 02 2016

       Let me sentence that again...
RayfordSteele, Jan 02 2016

       It obviates us.
pertinax, Jan 03 2016

       You're doomed, then.
8th of 7, Jan 03 2016

       I've changed my mind about this.   

       The obvious is an illusion, and the tricks, the algorithms, the techniques, the ways of wisdom, the craft, the skill, the style, the ingenuity, the proficiency, the prowess, the mastery, is actually closer to the true and correct and definitive reality. Our first obviousing of a situation, which is usually and often incorrect, inaccurate and inefficient, is perhaps a clue to the inherent transfer function of the human condition, the way it is to be us.   

       However, whilst I've changed my mind about exposing everything as a trick, I think it is valuable to have some sort of calibration or record of our condition. The distance between what we first think of a situation and the skilled seasoned experienced approach to the same situation could represent a profile of human collective beingness. This might come in useful somehow, sometime, for some reason. For example, in the event of a total worldwide nuclear annihilation event, it might be useful to put into perspective a lot of why we said and did what we did and said, in case there's future extraterrestrial archaeologists and in case it matters any at all.
Ian Tindale, May 14 2017

       One persons "skilled seasoned experienced approach" is another's witchcraft. Burn the heretic!
DrBob, May 17 2017

       Aha ! You are a Roman Catholic, and we claim our thirty pieces of silver...
8th of 7, May 17 2017


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