Thursday, December 15, 2011

Familial Madness (technocratic lives)

Why technocratic? The island's biggest contribution until that time was mainly in the annals of philosophy. Their creation story aside, they worked hard to figure math into philosophy. They thought adding logic, without math, wasn't something that could work. Instead, they worked to figure their actions into functions (simple ones, of course, they had geometry and algebra, thought that was more than enough for the most part). But that was in theory. In reality, living on a rocky island, with a staple of fish (requiring heavy engineering for boats, requiring much time spent philosophizing why fish and the bottom of the sea were so important), with blue skies above, led most of their most famous philosophers (poets too) towards something much more metaphysical.

That ended when they were caught under artillery shells. Hard for any people to stare their entire past down and realize that it was feeble, that it was never made to measure up to something much more tangible that other people were able to turn into complete destruction of themselves. And so it goes, perhaps, but all the survivors of that island immediately accepted the new gods of explosions and industrial death and moved towards trying to learn as much about them as possible. This was a major part of these parents looking at their past as worthless (or, rather, re-appropriating it so that they may use it for their own good, so practicing revisionism and amnesia at the same time) and accepting their own jobs, mocking anything that could not build tangible things in this earth. 
When their son turned to something like making up games, they were more than shocked. To them, though they would never admit this, this act was like desertion at a time of war. They needed as many troops in the frontline learning as much about the industrial machine as was possible. To have one wonder off to create games, or even worse, stories, was unthinkable. It was madness. Have you ever seen a book of stories go up against a 150mm artillery shell? You imagination should suffice in this respect. And though, to them, the other side could afford such desertions (they had won the war, after all), their own side could hardly afford it.

When I asked them about this aspect, they vehemently denied it. After a few fingers of Scotch, the father opened up that it was never about revenge, what could they offer? But about offering oneself as something of value for those in charge. For the powers that be. Just look at the WWII German scientists, he said, and left it at that. Though I didn't understand, I was asked to leave soon after that. But I sense they see safety in having technocratic jobs. Engineers aren't as easily discarded by the oligarchs as artists are.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please comment to add to the discussion. Be kind. But let the democratic ideal lead you. And no spamming!