belief

I am looking for a new field of employment. A second or third or fourth career. I took an online occupational proficiency exam and found much to my surprise that I should be looking for employment as a philosopher. I have not seen many job descriptions in this category on Monster or CareerBuilder. The closest descriptions seem to be gardener or exterminator – at opposite ends of the spectrum. Both have attending toxic exposure hazards. I suppose that for the practicing philosopher there are toxic ideas that can also be hazardous. I hope they don’t give the same tests in our public educational system, or place much importance on the results.

I believe that things are not as neatly categorized in the field of real life, that our brains attend on the fly to what we have learned is important and attempt to screen out what has been determined as unimportant, unknowable or otherwise irrelevant to the moment at hand. Thusly, we are often mistaken, sold a bum steer and a lifetime supply of magic beans. Or sometimes we spend a good deal of time gaming the system, if we find some combination of attention and inattention that seems to work. But we are no closer to it than planting magic beans.  A bit more comfortable, tho. And comfort, unchallenged, settles us deeper into our niche, further removed from the statistical aberrations of shocks and random influences that are all too real.

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driver’s ed

To convince myself that there is something different, I am going to compare two situations. Though I am thinking now that there is nothing similar about these two situations. Who knows, maybe I am just stacking the deck in favor of a fore-drawn conclusion.

Before the accident, when I would drive along in my car, isolated from the street, I would find myself making judgements about people I had never met. Constantly. It was not something I could control. I would see a person and immediately either like them or not. More often I would notice some particular characteristic that annoyed me. A man’s toupee. He was wearing a rug and there was something about it that made him look like Howdy Doody. Even though ‘ol Howdy didn’t have a rug himself, I don’t think. Just carved wooden hair. One piece construction. The bare amount of detail.

This would only occupy my mind for a few seconds, but the feeling of being annoyed, that something wasn’t right with the world, would remain. And these feelings would sometimes build throughout the day, or sometimes get canceled out by seeing a small child with eyes the size of the world riding in a stroller or the glimpse of some unknown animal through the corner of my eye as I drove past the woods.

So some neurons talk to other neurons in their morse code by firing bullets at each other. Bim bam boom. Very important and immediate and as soon as enough of them start firing to some familiar tune, it is recognized as something at a higher level in the hierarchy, yet still just assembled or re-assembled in the moment. Some are less insistent, shooting BB’s at one another. The tune is fainter. It takes the wings of 100 butterflies beating at the same time to sound like a bird. So which is it? And there are times like this morning, after the pain medicine, when they shoot soggy spitballs at each other. A slower messier thwacking. More diffuse. And for this reason, I hated SUV’s and people driving SUV’s. I was driving an SUV as well.