Wandered Thoughts


I was reading this article about a substance called Bitrex, a bitter flavoring used to make household chemicals taste inedible. The article went on to describe how the substance itself is non toxic, but it could be weaponized to render food supplies inedible. For some reason this fact has been stuck in my head ever since. Something about perfectly good food being made inedible by a non toxic substance creates a circular logic in my mind that I can’t quite get out of: the food is presumably still edible aside from the taste, but unable to be eaten because of the taste. Is that a waste or is it a clever economy of resources? If someone lacked the ability to taste, would they still be able to eat it? This feels like something out of mythology: a modern day Tantalus surrounded by food and unable to eat it. What a world is this.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Veterans lately. Over the weekend I read a script about two generations of veterans, one from Vietnam and one from Afghanistan, struggling to come to terms with their personal battles. It has stuck with me. As someone who has never been in combat and, if I’m lucky, never will, this is an aspect of life that I will never truly understand. I regret that a little bit- it always seems to me that it is the gap between those who Know and those of us who will Never Understand is a source of unnecessary fear and struggle. 

Now that I’ve had a week to acclimate to the new work that I’m doing at my job, I’ve found my mind wandering in the course of the day. Most often it wanders back into my memory and I find myself thinking of people and places that I haven’t seen in years- many of which are gone now. In my mind, I see them now as I saw them then, but in this physical world I will never see them again. How strange it is for things to exist and not exist at the same time. If, as Schroedinger posits, a cat in a box may be both alive and dead until observed, then how do we account for the strange life of the observation itself. What is the state of a cat, observed alive and now dead? Where are these places that now exist only in my mind? Who are these people, now gone, who speak to me in my memories? If these people exist in me, then how do I exist in the minds of others? Who am I outside of myself? It is no wonder that we should worry about what other people think of us: it is the spark of ourselves that lives without us, and that will live when we are gone. 

Heavy stuff for a Tuesday morning. I guess this is what happens when I have too much time to let my mind wander. 

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on October 18, 2016.

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