Sunday, March 06, 2011

No commodious building

What's around the corner? Life, as Thomas Hobbes wrote, is brutal and short.

But Hobbes' Leviathan was profoundly depressing, and we have no choice but to rebuild Christchurch. The whole country must help pay, regardless of financial circumstances.
No, no, no, Deborah: Hobbes is describing the natural state of man - before government, before society. It's like this:
"Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of Warre, where every man is Enemy to every man; the same is consequent to the time, wherein men live without other security, than what their own strength, and their own invention shall furnish them withall. In such condition, there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving, and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short
How do we get out of this mess? It says here: "The only escape is by entering into contracts with each other—mutually beneficial agreements to surrender our individual interests in order to achieve the advantages of security that only a social existence can provide." Deborah may find that profoundly depressing but we call it society.

Anyway, going forward:
Anyway, as right-wing blogger Cactus Kate wrote, ultimately capitalism will rebuild Christchurch

Than capitalism can pay for it. Why should we give up our coffee and cigarettes if capitalism is going to do the work? Anyway, would we not be depriving hard-working baristas and dairy-owning mums and dads of their rightful income, if we were to adopt this socialist policy of abandoning our usual consumption and instead giving the money to deprived people? The only escape for Deborah is in the stars:

Suppose a space shuttle pilot did pour all his energy into catching up with the speed of light. He'd fail, but his energy must go somewhere - it gets squeezed into mass, or matter, and viewed from outside, the solid mass of the shuttle starts to grow and the shuttle swells.

So mass can become energy, and energy mass, and the speed of light, squared, is the link.

I think you can see where this is going.
As a matter of fact, no; I think Deborah needs to read books more carefully - but where this is going is another matter, or mass. Here is where this is going:
The theory of relativity - energy pouring into a moving object creates mass - can be reversed. Mass never disappears, it becomes energy.

So it is with people. Their energy pours out, becomes matter, and eventually goes on to become energy in, I like to think, someone else.

Nobody ever really dies.
Oh. Is that all there is? All we need to do is reverse the theory of relativity and then we will achieve immortality. Can capitalism do this? Do we still need to go without coffee?

I think we should be told.


Lyndon said...

I think at some point Michael Cullen described Rodney Hide as a walking Hobbesian state of nature. Apt in policy and physical terms. I was impressed with that one.

Lyndon said...

And of course the other thing is that Hobbes makes this description as part of his case for absolute monarchy.

Anonymous said...

Christ on a Bike Deborah