Saturday, June 3, 2017

Reptilinear Dust

No, I have not seen the 2006 movie Snakes on a Plane. The picture one gets from this title however, is useful to point to the inadequacy of binary thought.  A certain hysteria can permeate public discourse when both sides only see two options. Some decades ago, an example was the Vietnamese war: you were against the war, or you were for it. Earlier, you were against communism, or you were for it. Major swaths of the 20th century resulted from the logic that the only way to be against fascism was to be for communism. And vv. And it can feel so persuasive, especially if you are young. OF COURSE IT BOILS DOWN TO TWO CHOICES. YOU ARE FOR US OR YOU ARE AGAINST US. WHAT COULD BE SIMPLER?

But the complexity of life, of our interactions and the bloomin buzzin business, means that the fork, the choice between two, is never correct. Wait, can that be right?

The snakes and you. At the physical level binary options take on a different cast. The plane in the movie title, is your own head. The electrifying thought of snakes in close quarters paints a picture, of the ordinary mind, in an extremis which is just the daily, dipped into dayglo paints.