There’s no new way to go

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Starfucker – Mystery Cloud

Everybody should do in their lifetime, sometime, two things. One is to consider death. To observe scowls and skeletons and to wonder what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up. Ever. That is a very gloomy thing for contemplation, but it’s like manure. Just as manure fertilizes the plants and so on, so the contemplation of death and the acceptance of death is very highly generative for creating life. You’ll get wonderful things out of that.

Our brains create algorithms for every action or process. When we repeat something, we just reach back to a pre-written formula and read the script. That’s why we use less cognitive capacity when playing video games than sleeping. That’s why we can groggily follow a routine after we wake up but before we’re conscious of the world around us.

Unexpected changes to the world mean we have adjust — revisit the algorithm and either tamper with the code or write a new one for the new situation. That’s why it’s easier to pick up new habits when the rest of your life is in flux. If you want to quit smoking, just move. Your brain gets in algorithm-writing mode and lets you input new data (such as, “I don’t smoke cigarettes”) with less of a fuss. It’s stressful and exhilarating.

Today, after I dropped Goon off at the place she’s crashing, I put my headphones in. They are HiFiMan re-0s. To distinguish left from right earbud, they have a tiny letter engraved on them, but unless there is blaring lighting, I can’t make it out. A week ago I snuck into a Popular and used a sharpie to draw a big red dot on the right earbud, but I’ve since rubbed it off. It was 1 a.m., so I blindly shoved the earbuds in and started driving back home.

It’s surprising how a little thing like hearing the left-panned audio in your right ear can disorient you. I felt upside down. I felt like I was spinning counterclockwise. I felt lost.


Note: My roommate says the name Starfucker is a reference to anal sex. I don’t like that. It feels crude. I like to think the name refers to sexual intercourse with literal stars. I like to imagine human genitalia rubbing against nuclear-fissioning plasma. This note carries no real significance, but, well, you read it anyway.

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