Friday, April 28, 2023

Nothing really matters


Nothing really matters, anyone can see
Nothing really matters
Nothing really matters to me
Any way the wind blows

--Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody 

"Nothing. The absence of something. The void. The concept of nothingness has been a topic of philosophical debate and scientific inquiry for centuries. But what exactly is nothing?

In everyday language, we often use the word "nothing" to mean the absence of something. For example, if we say "there is nothing in the fridge," we mean that there is no food or drink inside. But this kind of nothing is still something – it's an absence of something tangible.

In a philosophical sense, nothing refers to the absence of everything – the absence of matter, energy, space, time, and even thought. This concept of nothing is much harder to understand because it is beyond our everyday experience.

From a scientific perspective, the concept of nothing is also complicated. Physicists have long studied the properties of empty space, or what they call a vacuum. But even a vacuum is not truly nothing – it contains particles popping in and out of existence and fluctuations in energy. According to quantum mechanics, even in the absence of matter and energy, there is still a level of uncertainty and unpredictability in the universe.

In some cultures, nothing is seen as a positive concept. In Zen Buddhism, for example, nothingness or emptiness is a state of mind that is necessary for enlightenment. In Western culture, however, nothing is often seen as negative – a void that needs to be filled with something.

So, what can we conclude about nothing? It's a complex concept that can be understood in different ways depending on our perspective. Ultimately, it may be impossible to fully comprehend the idea of nothingness because it is beyond our everyday experience. But the pursuit of understanding nothing can lead us to contemplate the mysteries of the universe and the nature of existence itself."


I have always prided myself on being able to write a great deal about nothing. So I challenged an AI Bot to write a blog post about nothing and it literally wrote six paragraphs about nothing. I emphasize "literally." It sounds good. It looks good. But it doesn't really have any substance. Which I suppose is ironic when you write about nothing.

I'm not sure I know how to feel about AI writing. Writing is the one thing I've considered I can do well. Now a bunch of random binary numbers in the cloud can piece together words much better than your average high school junior. And I'm willing to bet many of them are using AI to get around random English essays.

So far though, AI doesn't seem to be able to capture the subtle or the pun. This post about nothing didn't have anything clever to offer (which seems to be my downfall). Because I would have wrapped up this post about nothing just like I am going to:

I have nothing more to say.

Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Smile, damn you Sigmund, smile


I couldn't find any photos of Sigmund Freud smiling and it bothered me. After all, who would want to lay on a couch in front of this man and talk about your dreams about being chased by a giant carrot? The man is constantly scowling. 

I suppose psychoanalysts aren't suppose to show emotion. You can't give clues that something the patient said is significant or you are leading the witness. Wait that is a courtroom where someone is on trial for something that they may or may not feel guilty about. 

Ooooo, a Freudian slip!

Of course I just Googled Freudian slip and found umpteen images of Freud wearing women's underwear. How juvenile. And they all beat me to the pun as usual.

Ironically, the first thing I toyed with majoring in in college was Psychology. I took the obligatory Psych 101 lecture class in my freshman year. It was taught by a professor who looked remarkably like Sigmund Freud. But most of the lectures were by his assistant. Apparently the professor had a drinking problem and could only make it to class to hand out copies of a book he wrote and required for the course. Then he stumbled back to his office and slipped into tenured bliss and bourbon.

I guess like all people who toy with majoring in Psychology, I was hoping it would help me figure out myself. I don't think I would ever have made a good Psychologist (though I can be a decent listener). I just don't think I could have listened to people spouting their problems all day without rolling my eyes and thinking about lunch before looking at my watch and saying, "Well, that's all we have time for today) right in the middle of a major breakthrough.

It's not that I don't care about people's problems. There was a time in my life when I thought I was extremely emphathetic and could figure out how to help people with emotional problems.  I eventually discovered that have the time I was projecting how I would feel on other people and with women, I was an asshole for trying to fix their problems and not just listening.

At least if you are a counselor, you are being paid to be an asshole.

I imagine I have admitted in my blog on many occasions that I have seen counselors in the past. And although they were generally very nice people, I can't say that they did me a lick of good. I in fact felt worse on many occasions because of the debt I was racking up paying someone to listen to me. 

This is not to say that counseling or therapy is good for some people. I, however, have never felt better having spilled the beans (outside of my blog) about my feelings or emotional shortcomings. It's not that I want to hide my feelings, I just want to keep them to myself where they are warm and cozy.

So it is best that I changed my major umpteen times after dabbling in Psychology and settled on Journalism. It may not have been lucrative, but I can crank out 1000 words in about five minutes with very few rewrites.

It may not make Sigmund smile, but I'm quite proud of it.