I'll admit it... I like the flute hook in ABBA's song "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A man after midnight)". If I had to pick a ring tone for a cell phone, that would be it. Or it would be a Wong Kar-Wai film song like Baroque (from Chungking Express), Perfidia, or Siboney (both from 2046).
As of the 29th of last month, I am once again a fish owner. I forgot just how amazingly relaxing keeping fish is.
07 Feb 2009 postscript to entry:
While utilitarians, and more broadly, consequentialists might agree, Nietzsche would not, as he expressed an opinion that we owe many of our advances to the effects of suffering, which has urged humankind to become better than we otherwise might be (Beyond Good and Evil p225). This is a train of thought within normative ethics that I have returned to many times, and by now it is becoming quite old. Each time I try to approach it differently and elucidate something new that hadn't been considered before. Viktor Frankl stated a common observation once, that when we stop striving for something at that moment it is most easily obtained.
"...as long as you are pursuing happiness, as the phrase reads, as long as you are aiming at happiness you cannot obtain it. The more you make it a target, the more you miss the aim, and you miss the target." (Interview, South Africa, 1985).What are we working for? We will understand why we work when we stop working.
08 Feb 2009 post-postscript:
Returning to Nietzsche's apparent objection to the goal of making life easier, it is important to reflect that suffering would not lead to achievement were we not urged by the desire to relieve it and make life easier. Suffering is a relative condition, everything has its own threshold. Within existentialism, even the mere fact of existence and personal freedom leads to angst, a form of suffering. So Nietzsche need not be concerned that life would be free from suffering or too easy some day. That day will probably never come. His point, of course, is that we should not forget its important contribution toward shaping who we are. To make life easier one must not be apathetic about the world nor feel one's own actions are inconsequential.