0026 - A Better Better Place - 2018.04.02



Something I once mentioned in an episode of my podcast with my brother was the purpose of parenting.

I argued that the whole purpose of parenting was not to create a neat and well-behaved child, but rather to create a functional adult. A parent who browbeats their offspring into perfect angels who are seen and not heard is doing those children a profound disservice if they do so via neuroses that will impede their independence decades hence.

Which is to say, human beings are not merely human beings, but human becomings and human doings. It is essential not merely to take stock of one's actions and internal states, but also to chart where you're going and what sort of person your actions are turning you into.


0026 - 2167/07/05/18:19 - Lee Caldavera's apartment, living room
LC: I dunno, when I think of "making the world a better place", I think of doctors and inventors and artists and engineers. People that shape the future out of the past.
Zoa: Okay, so do you want to become a doctor or an artist?
LC: I don't think I'm cut out for that sort of thing.
Zoa: Well, sure, not at the moment, but I'm given to understand you organic beings have the ability to change yourselves around. You have neuroplasticity and whatnot. Your potential is unlimited, more or less.
LC: So... I can only make the world a better place by changing what I am?
Zoa: Everything changes over time, Lee, whether you want it to or not, and that includes yourself. You might as well choose the thing that you want Lee Caldavera to become, or something else will choose it for you.
LC: Well hell, look at my life. I'm a perpetually-depressed shut-in who thinks that assigning star-ratings to cartoons constitutes contributing to the world. Maybe something else should choose what I become.
Zoa: Ooh, I'm something else!
LC: I already know what you want me to become.
Zoa: You can stimulate both your genitals and the economy! How is that not making the world a better place?