Archive for January 2nd, 2023

You can’t always get what you want.  –  Mick Jagger

People would be a lot happier if they could truly learn the difference between “I want” and “I reasonably expect to get in the actual world that exists”.  Corollary: “Follow your dreams” is text for a Hallmark card or a poster on a ’70s teenager’s wall, not serious life advice for adults with a realistic view of the world.  Like most people, I started out as more emotional than rational; unlike most, I learned to actually become rational rather than merely convincing myself that my irrational wants, desires, “dreams”, etc were not only actually rational, but that I “deserved” to get what I wanted and had the “right” to use violence, either directly or by the State acting on my behalf.  I wasn’t able to accomplish this due to some superhuman cognitive capacity or divinely-granted moral superiority, but rather because childishness ideas about “fairness” were ground out of me by the world at a fairly early age, and when I was 13 I realized that I had to adapt or die.  If anything, my pragmatism was the result of a disability rather than a superior ability:  I was absolutely unable to deceive myself in order to conform to either square society or “normal” nerd society, so I had to find the only strategy that ever could’ve worked for a brain like mine.

January second has always been an important day in my life; over the years, a number of life-changing events have happened on the date or very soon thereafter.  So over the last decade, it has gradually developed into a day when I think about the Big Picture.  Coincidentally, this song was only about a decade old when I recognized the wisdom in it; if you don’t really dig what I’m trying to tell you, perhaps Mick can make it a bit more clear.

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