Taiwan morning – arrogant commentary

TUESDAY, 30 MARCH 2004

A Taiwan morning

The morning market paints a rich portrait: ugly dogs, ugly people, the cute faces of young children, beautiful women with anatomically perfect feet, the smell of fish that combines with cabbage and scooter emissions that combine with the sight of a woman in cheap sandals with hips that tighten ever so slightly in her jeans as she leans over to smell the fish …

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According to Leibniz all my “successive states” are already included in my present existence. He also speaks of a hierarchy of “monads” – point-like centers of force. In this fashion atoms form blood, blood is part of the artery which is part of the finger which is part of the hand, which is part of the body.

According to him the soul is the “dominant monad”.

Arrogant commentary

I mentioned yesterday that I see my primary role and function in society as that of Social Commentator. It should be noted of course that this is not a job for which you apply; it is also not a position to which you are appointed. It is a role and function about which you decide whether you are qualified or not. Lastly, I am aware of the fact that this is an arrogant self-appointment: I believe I am qualified for it, and that is good enough.

What does it mean in practice to be a Social Commentator? It means you comment on social and political issues – issues that affect most people in the community like work, lifestyle, family, value and meaning of life, and how the individual defines the value of his or her own life. Most of the time it takes the form of the written word but private conversation is also an important arena for this kind of commentary. People then read what you have written or listen to what you have to say and decide whether or not they want to endorse your view of yourself as a Social Commentator.

However, it is vitally important that you believe in your own qualifications for this role.

It is also imperative that you always maintain your independence of thought. The moment you become dependent on other people’s approval of your commentary, you serve their agenda (unless of course you belong to a political party and your comments are intended to support a particular ideology). If your ideas and opinions are similar to what other people believe or support that is a bonus. Your commentary or position on a certain issue should however never change just because people with whom you had previously shared a view changed their position or reconsidered their opinions.

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