Anti Carpe Diem

by phil on Thursday Apr 26, 2007 11:28 PM

"Today is the first day of the rest of your life"
"Live as if this was your last day on earth."

I reject the pervasiveness of those kind of imperatives. To live as if you're going to die tomorrow is to live with an unecessarily heightened sense of urgency, which translates into anxiety, which translates into a false motivation.

Jon Stewart, in his commencement address at The College of William & Mary said "College is something you complete; life is something you experience." I constantly encounter people who treat what they're doing as if it's some pitched battle to end all battles, when only it is some point along an infinite chain of crises representing permanent war.

The idea of permanent war is something that Orwell talked about heavily. Bush is very much an "End of Times man" (as is Tony Blair), living as if we're on the doorsteps of Armageddon. This false sense of urgency is exploited, leading us down rabbit holes.


Philip Dhingra said on April 28, 2007 1:40 PM:

Studies on game theory show that people who believe that they are in infinite games with each other will cooperate more than they will compete. Those who believe that they're in their last encounter will apply a winner-take-all mentality.

Paul said on April 29, 2007 3:32 PM:

Hi Phil,just stumbled onto your site. Looks really interesting. 4 years Blogging! congrats. I've just started, had the urge to Carpe Diem so started blogging around the notion of 'gullibility',and pointing folks to general philosophy stuff so added your url to my site.

Dr Paul Brown said on April 9, 2010 12:03 PM:

I prefer fox holes to rabbit holes. I agree: no need to live life as if there's a gun to your head. Just accept that the gun's there ~ your permanent state of crisis ~ and get on with it. The only time to pay attention to the gun is when the safety catch is off, and the one holding the gun has a tremor.

Nahariya, Israel

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