Optimization continues as I’ve implemented some new caching systems. We’ll see if those help. The website is loading in about 16 seconds on average which is not great in internet terms. But instead of talking about that further I wanted to discuss something random. What could we talk about? I clicked on Random for Wikipedia and got “The Greatest Question“. Alright, I’ll bite.
The plot (spoilers) is something else. Pulling from various genres of things that I’m not fond of. If you are interested it goes as follows:
“Four-year-old Nellie Jarvis witnesses the murder and burial of a girl by a man and his wife, but as she grows older, her memory of the event becomes vague. Nellie goes to live with the poor Hilton family after her parents die, but when John, the eldest son, goes to war, Nellie goes to work for the brutal Cains, who, unknown to her, murdered the girl. After John dies and Mrs. Hilton has a vision of him at the moment of death, the Hiltons, on the verge of selling their farm, go to John’s grave where his ghost advises them to keep it. The next day oil is found on their land. The youngest Hilton son, Jimmie, who loves Nellie, goes to tell her the news and rescues her just as Mrs. Cain, who discovered her husband trying to rape Nellie, is about to murder her because Nellie now remembers them as murderers. The Cains are arrested and Nellie and Jimmie look forward to a happy future.” – AFI
It makes me wonder what the title of the film is about. This movie seems to largely be about death and dying just going off of the spoilers. It makes me wonder if that is the intent. The question of what happens after we die. I’ve talked about it before and I don’t know why people necessarily care. Death itself at this point is more or less an inevitability. If we know what happens after death and find ourselves dissatisfied can we or would we actually try and avoid it? The question of what lies on the other side of death comes across to me as vapid. If only because it is similar to our concerns of where someone is born.
We focus so deeply on things that do not matter. But, you might ask, how do I judge what does and does not matter? That brings me to something I’ve been meaning to talk about for a while now. The notion of “blood being thicker than water.” The idea that our family ties are the most important ties in life. What is most ironic is that it appears that this is a misquote. The full quote is thus “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” (Cracked)
More literally that those ties you make in choice mean much more than those you simply appear into. We all awake one day fully sentient and someone around us, likely a family member, says “These are the most important people in your life!” I can’t argue that I love my family but for most of them I love them because they are wonderful people, not because I feel I must do so. If I was not related to my uncle and I met him I would most certainly become close friends with him. But that is neither here nor there.
We focus so harshly on the things that we do not control, our birth place, our birth blood, and our deaths. These things drive so many people to do so many silly things. Groups of people condemning entire nations hit the epitome of ridiculousness. Telling hundreds of millions of people that they are all evil because in the random crap shoot of life they happened to be born in a certain geographical location.
When we condemn those who are born south of the US border we do so only because they were unfortunate and we were fortunate. Its all so arbitrary and mean spirited. It confuses and confounds me (yes both!)
So really, is that the greatest question? Are the things that drive us to war. Or the things that happen beyond our control really great? I suppose you could argue in the literal sense of vastness then yes. But as a quality judgment I would argue that they are not. They are vapid messes. Trivial little pieces of nonsense that we desire so much we are willing to butcher proverbs just to make them better fit our hunger for vapidness. If there might be a greatest question it will be one of utility I imagine. Understanding that question will allow us to take command of something grand. Something world or even universe changing.
The unified theory of everything. Something on that scale. Not tied down by politics or birth. But a powerful answer to a profound question that will lead us onward to something not unlike godhood. (Perhaps intended)