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This is the first "blog" of any kind I've ever had, so it's probably not the greatest...

Just a little snippet about me:

I'd like to consider myself relatively tech-savvy; obviously I use Linux (Arch to be precise; K.I.S.S. FTW), and I enjoy learning new things about computers in general (both software and hardware-related).

This blog is mostly just for whenever I feel like telling the world about my experiences with computers/Linux (or just life in general), or just posting for the hell of it.
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"Scientific imperialism" and the proverbial "death" of art in culture

Posted 09-29-2011 at 04:04 PM by MrCode

Yes, this blog has more or less become my angst dump, at least as of recent. I know I should probably take this someplace other than LQ, but a) I feel somewhat "safe" here, and b) I don't know where I would take it even if I did take it elsewhere.

Anyways…I know this is going to sound depressing/cynical, but this is genuinely what I think is going to happen to art/creativity in the not-too-distant future:

I predict that within probably the next 25-30 years, possibly/probably sooner (when neuroscience is perfected to the level of more-or-less complete understanding of the workings of the human brain), art will be rendered quite useless as a tool for gaining knowledge about oneself, since all will be explainable through psychological/neurological means. It will also cease to be useful as a form of self-therapy: why bother wasting time with "art" or even "personal therapy/counseling" when you can just be reprogrammed on a neural level to be positively stimulated by certain things that used to negatively stimulate you? It will be reduced to a form of nonsense/childsplay; something to be outgrown by the time one reaches adulthood. It will be seen as hedonistic, selfish, and a result of self-delusion (since one is not focusing on the truth, but rather comfortable delusions of "uniqueness" and "creative talent").

It's sad, I know, but as I said, I don't really see things going any other way…the world is just becoming too logical and rational for such "petty, irrational" things as art.

Note that I don't approve of this by any means; I certainly don't look forward to a strictly logical, Vulcan-esque lifestyle, but it seems to me that we're headed in that general direction, and there's little, if anything, we can do to stop it. Call it fatalistic, call it cynical, that's what I believe, and it has a lot to do with why I'm so depressive about free will/determinism, the (lack of) value of creativity, whether artificially-created machines/AI can posess "creativity", etc.

In other words, I've basically lost all hope in seeing potential "beauty" in anything; it can all be "explained away". I no longer believe that there's anything intrinsically "special" about any aspect of our behavior, and that includes creativity. There is very likely a perfectly logical, mechanistic explanation behind the silly illusion we call "creativity". It can be controlled, manipulated to anyone's delight/detriment, and observed in acute detail, "privacy" be damned; we just don't know how yet. There is no intrinsic "value" in anything we do…and I don't see why we should even bother "making" value; it would all just be giving in to self-delusion (remember what I said about everything being explainable through psychology/neuroscience, and how it represents the truth as opposed to "petty folk nonsense"?).

I know, I know, "[I] should write a book or something". How very ironic.
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  1. Old Comment
    I don't see that happening, at least not in the next 25-30 years. My reasoning is pretty simple: we have a **looooong** ways to go to "perfect" complete understanding (give or take a degree of precision) of the workings of the human brain. Sure, this chemical does this, that electrical pulse does that...but what does it all *mean*?

    We can't explain how/why motor proteins do what they could we explain something as complex as a neural pathway? We may be able to someday, but I think that day is a long ways away still.
    Posted 09-29-2011 at 05:31 PM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Creativity is far too complex to be explained away by brain chemistry. What fluctuations in the level of which neurotransmitter caused the difference between Marlowe and Shakespeare, Turner and Constable, Dickens and Austen, Eliot and Pound, Tolkien and Orwell (to name but a few)? You are allowing your low self-esteem to cloud your judgement, MrCode. You're obviously an intelligent young man, but you're wasting that intelligence with this fixation on determinism/reductionism.
    Posted 09-30-2011 at 06:23 AM by brianL brianL is offline


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