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Comments to Neuropath by R. Scott Bakker

Submitted by Brian Groome (Jul 04, 2008)

Not quite finished Neuropath but have reached the 'twisty-turny' part which I found a little predictable. I can only hope there's another 'twisty-turny' to be encountered in the remaining 80 pages. The Argument, or debate, about (human) existence, twisting Descartes postulate is cute, and I guess every philosophically bent writer has to have a go at it from time to time. The structures of the human brain are in place for a reason, I would think (oops, there's that Cartesian thing again!). Without them, we would not be what we are, both anabolic and catalytic: both creation and destruction, a composite Krishna and Arjuna, perpetually wrestling for dominance, each attribute gaining ascendance for an occasional epoch, only to be toppled temporarily, if indeed time exists. Take energy and mass away and what do we have? It seems that this current (human) epoch favours the catalytic: nihilism, materialism, neo-conservatism, fundamentalism, the Bush administration and all the subordinate structures, vying for a chance at implementing destruction. The juggernaught of unmitigated greed, ploughing through the human notion of itself, ultimately in preparation for cleaning house on a global scale. We can step back and consider ourselves nothing more than an equivalent to the meteor that sent the dinosaurs packing. But what about music? Mathematics. Something a little deeper here than shed skin or underpants behind the cushions, or ablated bits of brain tissue. Then there's that all-too human bugbear, hope. In the midst of this epoch, how do we treat our disillusionment with hope? One obvious option is nihilism. Too easy! The other is to meet the possible reality of no purpose in the grand cosmic scheme as an opportunity to engage in further development (evolution). Nikos Kazantzakis's epitaph, roughly translated, reads: "I hope for nothing, I fear nothing. I am free." The question, then, is: What are we going to do with our freedom?


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