today i am reminded of the fact that i have always had an escapist relationship to reality. i remember riding in the back of my parents car hoping that aliens would come take me to their planet. after reading the chronicles of narnia i remember pushing through the hanging clothes of my grandmothers armoire looking for a portal. i wondered when i wandered any forest if i would be able to find bag end. could it be somewhere under the ground of this world? then age twelve and thirteen i discovered lsd and mushrooms and began searching around in the inner world of the expanded mind. there was a line of connected electricity to all these explorations that were a lusty search for a reality that was more interesting to me than the one i dealt with everyday. add to this that i was a shy and uncomfortable kid who was always ill at ease around other folks. this same spirit has changed its superficial look but remains with me to this day. i find the usual life unsatisfying. i get restless with the usual choice between lifes little contests (money, tv size, freeway traffic battles) and the boredom of routine. i am still looking for the portals into more interesting worlds. but after being continually disappointed by the 'magical' ones, i now look to this world for escapes into wonder. there is plenty that is true that gives me this adventurous feeling. there is plenty that we dont know that is a rich source for wonder. the more i learn, the richer is my experience of our ignorance. i am glad to see that it seems that science is beginning to assert itself more vociferously into the public sphere. not just passively being used, when convenient, to 'support' some religious claim when it fits and then summarily dismissed as 'just another kind of religion' when it disputes a silly claim. i read a fascinating book some years ago about a conference held at m.i.t. on alien abductions. now i dont believe that little jawas are traveling millions of miles to earth because they are interested in getting a look up our asses. nor do i believe that they could navigate all that space only to blow it in the final mile and crash into new mexico. but people are really motivated about these ideas. that in itself is interesting to me, for example. i understand all too well the impulse to make this world more interesting. a world filled with ghosts, mind reading, gods who smite bad people, alien abduction and government conspiracies is more exciting than one without. but this world is infused with all sorts of more reliable wonders. and pursuit of the reliable ones doesnt have the darker side effect of increasing our gullibility, easy belief, and addiction to simple answers. these things that make a population easy to control.
oh yeah, by the way, in addition to caffiene this was all started by hearing about this guy.