Sunday, December 30, 2007

Paula's House of Toast























One of my favourite blogs is called Paula's House Of Toast ... I approach her blog reverentially, she's a wonderful photographer and seems to have a heart of jewelled gold, so i never ever thought I'd even slightly disagree with her about anything until today.

Her blog, titled Kindertotenlied, begins ...

"The Feast of the Holy Innocents reminds us that there is a physics of Good and Evil. In nature, every action has its equal and opposite reaction. The moral calculus may not be exactly the same, but the vectors are identical."

Well yes, sort of. In mechanics, it is useful to think of actions and re-actions. But our Universe isn't simply mechanical and so those naughty physicists have long since introduced the difficult concept of entropy to alarm and confuse us. No, I can't explain entropy easily ... so you'll have to go away and do some work on the subject ... if only out of respect for Paula.

My point, ( Ok, you can't really make clear points whilst foundering in my "fuzzy kind of logic" ) ... where Paula & I might differ, perhaps ... is that I sense that if we did exist in a "moral universe", (and I'm not at all religious), then we'd all be happily dedicated to resisting "moral entropy" ... analytical sociologists want to quantify human conduct but know that individuals can't and don't simply act as vectors, it's only a tendency not a rule ... I really do love the way that our planet's "evolution" seems to be achieving it's complexities as if in opposition to entropy ... but at this point my weary argument drifts off for breakfast ...
Later ...
on reflection, our perspectives don't diverge that much ...
on reflection, they seem almost convergent ...
I'd better take another pill and lie down now. See you later.

2 comments:

Lucy said...

Nothing much to add to your thoughtful and thought provoking response; I'm usually too awestruck by Paula to think too analytically about what she says...
Only I'm always oddly pleased when I 'see' you there!

P. said...

Thanks as always for your kind words and generous reading. I think we may sort of agree about the notion of a "moral universe" -- what I was positing was more descriptive/metaphoric than anything else, more to do with "laws" or descriptors of human behavior than any quasi-newtonian reality. Yes, entropy, yes quantum, but good old simple Sir Isaac seemed to provide what seemed the aptest for how movements toward "good" seem predictably opposed by pushbacks of "evil" by those who wish to maintain their power. It, like most things, is metaphor. Maybe not such a good one.

Peace,

PT