As usual, the blog isn't news. In fact I see I'm repeating my own repetitive redundant redundancies yet again, yet again. And there is nothing I will tell you that you can't find elsewhere; but as I'm talking about nothing you might as well read it here. The lack of originality is largely due to the facts that I am a product of the culture(s) I grew up with, and that I get my information from my senses. I avoid thinking as much as possible. We'll get to why. Nor am I a journalist; second-hand facts are good enough for me. But I do hope I make the observations amusing; we'll get to that too. If you use 'tri-partite crock of abrahamic bullshit' for some reason, do give credit where it's due. I believe in nothing, but society has some moral codes. Doesn't it?

Lily Tomlin is rarely appreciated as a great philosopher. I'll be referencing Turgenev, Chomsky and others here. But none of them has posited any greater a truth than -No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up. Baron Acton himself wasn't saying anything new when he made his observations on the nature of power and corruption. Merely codifying the obvious. Paul Piff has elevated it to science. I cite them all because they said it eloquently and/or accurately and I'm trying to too. But I saw it in myself when I flirted with 1%ishness, I see it all around me in reprehensible behaviors and the nonsense and drivel that disguise and support them and I know the inevitable effects with a scientific certainty. Piff is far from piffle. Those with the power to meaningfully effect positive change won't. Belief in nothing is, honestly, comforting.

If you haven't read Turgenev, you probably shouldn't be (mis)using the term nihilism. It's his, use it like he did. Language evolves but let's try to keep a handle on it; otherwise Feynman's criticism of the humanities might actually mean something. I respect Hedges's journalistic integrity very highly, but he misapplies the term constantly. Climate denialism has nothing to do with nihilism. Israeli propaganda has nothing to do with nihilism. Valuing humans based on the amount they take from society and the biosphere as opposed to their contribution isn't nihilism. Iff one is looking for descriptive terms for these behaviors one can less adversely impact the integrity of discourse by being specific and forthright. Avaricious dishonesty, racism and motivated reasoning describe those phenomena; nihilism does not. Nihilism is the belief in nothing. It does not motivate behaviors that injure other people or living things. It's closer to Zen buddhism than Randianism. It certainly can lead to accepting those behaviors, which is where it's led me. But it's not possible for nihilism to be an active component in those behaviors. They have nothing to do with nothing. They are all motivated by something. And it will benefit the clarity of conversation to refer to the actual causes: obstreperousness, belief in ethno-religious superiority and greed, for example. Blaming Bazarov for the state of humanity is inappropriate.

I no longer remember with certainty whether it was Suzuki or Turgenev that I read first. It does not, of course, matter. One comfort of truly apprehending the meaninglessness of it all is appreciating the meaninglessness of my own life. So I'm explaining despite the fact I don't expect anyone to listen or care. After all, only the rich matter (in the dominant society currently) and I'm not rich (relatively). Turgenev's nihilist grows out of the petty bourgeois and manages to find something like truth doncha know. And Buddhas seem to be disproportionately princes. Not kings, mind you. While I am certainly a child of privilege, my dinner with David Rockefeller made it quite clear: I'm as NOKD as any. But a princeling perhaps, once upon a time anyway. Why does that matter? I expect the correlation has a little to do with education, a little to do with relative proximity to the downtrodden. I watched my compassion wither first-hand as I gained economic puissance. I can only imagine what it's like for the elite. Actually, I've seen some around my family, I read the research and I do see society; my imaginings probably have a reasonable relation to fact. Membership in the elite and belief in one's superiority to other human beings are very strongly correlated. On the other hand, education and magical thinking are inversely correlated. So I'm fortunate to have a decent education and an understanding of the true price of privilege. But that alone isn't enlightenment. I think another piece is understanding what a purely illusory construct culture is, and all that entails. I don't know if I got more of that from Suzuki or Turgenev, or remotely possibly, figured it our for myself. It might not hurt that I have neglected to procreate, either. Parenthood is a huge obstacle to buddha nature. Why is your family so important? Ah, Tooby, Cosmides and yada. Not for nothing do buddhas tell you to kill your parents. I think they don't generally mean it literally; more about perceiving, acknowledging and breaking patterns. So neither is it coincidental that Shangri-La petered out.

Why not think? O, go ahead if you really want to. Bear in mind that there are more facts available than you can ever possibly assimilate. Thinking is, therefore, a waste of time. Learning would be more useful. Also bear in mind Dunning and Kruger, if you happen to be a Merkin. Or other Westerner, to some degree. A significant portion of your thinking will be incorrect, and if you belong to one of those groups there will be a significant portion of that that you are incapable of identifying. I know I am. So I don't bother. Do it if you must, but please o please, try to refrain from emotional investment in your 'thoughts' and 'beliefs'. Never mind how well documented it is that the majority come from one's environment and limbic system and must then be supported with rationalization, solidifying into 'personality', 'identity' and such. There is nothing sadder than an otherwise well-educated individual denying the human contribution to climate change. Except perhaps Reaganphilia. Or uncritical zionism. That's the kind of crap thinking can lead to.

So, may I suggest you enjoy your fiddlin' while the conflagration consumes Rome? Barring a fundamental change in human psychology (actually, probably animal psychology), the greed is good crowd are going to continue to run the show, and the result will remain shitty for most of the rest of us. So let's try to be good to one another, resist them when we can and keep our senses of humor. Nihilism can help with that. It really is all funny. This silly dance. These self-impressed bald apes. The self-inflicted suffering, the societies engaged in mass-murder and destruction of the biosphere that supports them, the 'thinkers' getting enraptured with illusions that directly damage the future of themselves, their families and their species. I suppose, alternatively, one could be depressed or otherwise go mad. But since it is a tragicomedy, why not choose to laugh?