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bySunday, September 27, 2020Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash Bad feelings that emerge from a discovery process can cause us to arrive at premature conclusions due to their unpleasantness, often because they arise from a disappointing, or even nasty, surprise. Bad feelings are curiosity killers, and force us into creating single stories about a person’s character, or to create prejudices that dampen a will for future inquiry – they evaporate all desire for disclosing further knowledge about another. These feelings produce an “ugh field”: an absolute horizon of curiosity that we avoid venturing past or enduring, even though the limit of information has not yet been reached. The only reason that we truly stop asking the question of another: “Who are you?”, is that we have decided on an answer, we have degraded inquiry with certainty, the ultimate death; we have quenched the burning desire to know anything more by arriving at a terrible and ultimate conclusion. This not only places the limit on our own curiosity, but on the potential of the other to become – a terminus as final as the death of possibility or being itself.
byThursday, September 24, 2020I experienced my first end-of-history illusion when I was eight years old. I was filled with a sense of dread, straggling up the Buttle Street Hill, lugging a 365 entry daybook of fables and poems on the way home from school, thinking that I had nothing more to say. I mean, seriously, what if I couldn’t think of anything else to say? It had nothing to do with having something interesting or valuable to say, I wasn’t yet exposed to the notion that I could even be an interesting or valuable person, but that there was literally nothing left for me to say. I’d used it all up – everything that I could think of had been said and I was literally feeling emptied of things to talk about. It was quite a dramatic existential anxiety for an eight year old, who only ever wanted to be an author, to experience.