Monday, March 16, 2009

Conan, what is best in life?

I often sit around having existential thoughts. What is life? What's the point of it? Why are we so capable of dreaming of so much more than we'll ever have or ever see? What, if anything, comes next? If I could choose another life, anything I could dream of, what would I pick?

I've decided that this world is actually pretty fantastic. We can dream, and in doing so, we can get a glimpse of everything that could ever be. You can't have 25 different careers, but you can imagine them. You can't be a superhero but you can dream it, write it, watch a movie about it, read a book about it and play one in a video game and then be ready for the next dream. We see other people's dreams (through various forums of media) and they can act as a basis for more of our own.

Surely this is the greatest thing in the universe. We come with our own movie studio in our heads. It's like someone asked us what we wanted the universe to be like and we said, "I don't know, give me a little taste of everything."

I confess! I play a lot of games. Read a lot of books. Watch a lot of movies. Some would say this is "throwing my life away". Au contraire! I would say it's making the very best use of the very best part of it: the dreaming part. This explains a lot about me. I like to do things that give further fuel for my dreams; I don't like to do things that don't. People have told me I should travel more, get out more, that sort of thing. Why? My dreams don't involve France. I don't think that would change very much if I went there. They don't really involve dance clubs, either. Not That There's Anything Wrong With That. I'm just sayin', it's not fuel for my dreams, hence, I'm not interested. I don't want to go somewhere just for the sake of saying I've been or do something just for the sake of saying I've done it. Life is not a collectors game for me; it's a chance to dream. Time not spent dreaming or finding the fuel for dreams is time wasted.

The glorious part is how we always strive to make our dreams reality, in some small way. Not just technologically but socially and culturally, too. Surely we owe every advancement, every improvement to someone who spent enough time dreaming.

I can't seem to get enough of it. (Disclaimer: I am not a hermit. My best dreams involve other people!)

[completely unrelated, self-indulgent self-analysis follows]

I've also been thinking about the mind and memory. My memory is odd. Some things I can remember easily, some things I forget in an instant. I remember how to play as the "Core" from Total Annihilation, a game I haven't played in probably 8 years, but I can't recall my mom's birthday. I think I recognize the pattern...

I believe the mind trains itself to handle memory based on how you like to think.

I like to form, let's say, strategies. Strategies for planning my time, strategies for going to work, strategies for writing blogs, strategies for playing games, strategies for conversation. I don't favor the more concrete form of thinking that requires specific details to function. So I am terrible at remembering birthdays. Dates rarely fit into any of my strategies. I will remember YOU, as in your mannerisms and personality even though I probably forgot your name about 5 seconds after you told me. Your personality is important for future strategies but your name? That I can live without. So off it goes, to wherever it is irrelevant information goes. (Although if I'm specifically trying to make friends, remembering your name would be important to that strategy.) I think this explains why I can remember, in great detail, the type of person my next door neighbor was in 1984, but I've forgotten to return my Netflix video for like 6 days in a row. One is an important factor in a social strategy, the other is just a specific detail of day to day life and thus has a hard time holding a spot in any active part of my brain.

Sometimes I wish I had access to a second brain. I need a basis for comparison.

This part of the blog had nothing to do with anything, I've just been meaning to write it down (not that I kept forgetting, just that I had other things I wanted to do more....)