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Doublethinking 1985

By Billy | June 27, 2011

Usually I sit down to the other side of with some idea of what I will be writing. (I never know what I will title the post until it is finished. I learned that writing poetry.) Today I have absolutely no idea. I’ve been busy. Actually busy. I’ve been writing, singing, playing, hurting, searching, finding, forgetting, dreaming, writing, failing, trying, trying over, and learning. I’ve been doing nothing. I’ve been doing everything. Blah blah blah. I don’t feel like following this string so I shan’t.

I believe firmly in that apostrophe between the ‘n’ and ‘t’ in the word shan’t. I am mostly sure it is incorrect according to standard on every side of the Atlantic ocean, but I believe it belongs.

In fact, I believe a lot of things that don’t belong. I learned this past week that a large chunk of my beliefs fall into what George Orwell (I actually had to look that up because Orson Welles was the only name to come to mind. I read Animal Farm and 1984 this past week.) calls doublethink. For those of you unfamiliar with doublethink, don’t worry. It’s a mostly paradoxical concept that can be interpreted in as many ways as a Zen koan or as the Zohar. That means that the more you feel giddy andstupid thinking about it, the closer you are to understanding it. Doublethink is integral to keeping people downtrodden in the dystopian London scene created in 1984, but it is Enlightenment across the globe. I wish I had to read 1984 for a class, especially a class full of people who disagreed with what I’m about to say, but I mostly liked the dystopia Orwell created. I may love Big Brother more than most of the people in the book. That doesn’t stop me from hating Big Brother and genuinely believing that I, personally, would be Robin Hood or Zoro or V or Tyler Durden or Guy Fawkes or Rorschach or some other masked lunatic with the personal goal to assassinate the name and force behind him.

Where was I? Doublethink. Doublethink in the book is using logic correctly when it serves you and using it fallaciously when it serves you. (Using anything to serve you fallaciously is fun, as a matter of fact.) It is telling yourself things are better now than they were yesterday, and forgetting yesterday and making it true. It happens to be exactly what the silly catch phrase under “Rumbelow: A combination of meaningless syllables” at the top of this page means. Things are not what they seem, nor are they otherwise.

I am a doublethinker. I practice it, I invest in it, I thrive in it. I think it wonderful, important, and fun. But if you press me about it, I will acknowledge to you honestly that it’s useless and I don’t adhere to it. It is perhaps the most frustrating thing in the world because you cannot beat it. It is the least frustrating thing in the world because it is softer and more yielding than water. I hope you understand how delicious this is to me.

Some of my exercises in doublethink are these:

The moon is not and has never been a rock smaller than the Earth that is relatively near the Earth in galactic proportions. In fact, the Moon is just a hole in the black velvet up there. If you watch long enough, you might see an eyeball watching down, or even straight up to the Blue Sky that exists behind the velvet. We can’t see the rest of the Blue Sky, of course, until the velvet fades. The moon is not a reflection of the sun, it is bright because the sun behind the curtain is bright.

Lightning freezes time. I don’t know why I think this, but I am fairly certain of it.

Since I’ve been a kid I’ve been certain I can move things with my mind like Luke Skywalker or Matilda. My latest reasoning for not being able to display this power is because I only want to do it when I don’t want to move. If The Force enables people to move things without their standing up, I am certain it would take more effort than actually standing up would do. If I am too lazy to even stand up, than I am genuinely too lazy to actualize my Jedi powers in that moment, and thus am unable to use The Force. It may be as easy as standing up, getting the plate, putting it on the table, and then convincing everyone else around, (and then myself) that all I did was think the plate towards the table and it did it — or even better that the plate was already there.

Rainbows, I’m pretty sure, are magical also.  I don’t know what they do, but something good happens because of them. I have lately been trying to move myself just such that the rainbow lands on my house. My feet do this without me trying.

One time this past week, I noticed someone who hadn’t been there just a moment before. It also happened as I made a decision to continue my path instead of turning around, which I had been contemplating doing. I believe that my decision altered the course of the universe enough that this new person needed to be created to make everything turn out the way things were going. This person and their entire history was created in an instant because of my decision to continue walking. This is obvious to me. I have thought at some times that I could have been created 10 seconds ago and made to believe that “days ago” existed, when really it hadn’t. Either I was created by someone else continuing on instead of changing their mind, or the entire universe was created 10 seconds ago and we were all programmed to believe in a past. Those scenarios are exactly the same thing. In fact, we could be writing and reading this blog post together in a primordial time before we exist, and our rememberance of doing this is actually just calculation from before, being uploaded.  But I don’t believe we are just calculations getting happened right now. My fingers don’t tell me so. It doesn’t matter because it’s all the same. It is the difference between 1+3 and 2+2.

Another thing. 2+2… in 1984 this very example came up. The protagonist, who I could argue for a while is the antagonist, doesn’t want to believe that 2+2 can be 5. One time I had a dream where a car rolled smoothly despite having square wheels, and I stopped believing in 2+2=4 and only 4.  I don’t think this has ever come up as a problem where I’ve had to actually apply my belief that 1 doesn’t always equal 1, except during that frustrating period of my life where I believed that I the only reason I was created was because I had thought myself into existence. Descartes knew he existed because he could think and there needed to be a thinker, but I found this a brash jump in philosophical reasoning, since I’ve had dreams where 1=0, so in the Dreamer Scenario, it might be possible that our supposed math is off.


Why do I do these things? Why have I spent more than a couple minutes thinking about whether that woman was created because of a choice I made? How does that help me, how do I benefit from a ludacris belief? Because it doesn’t matter. Because I enjoy it. Because it’s the same to me one way or another. Because it makes me feel like I live in a magical place. A lot of my always-thinking friends think it’s a waste of time to believe in magic (or gods) or The Force, but I frankly think it’s a waste of time to fight any feelings you have of such beliefs. Are these beliefs socially constructed? Probably. Would I believe in The Force if I’d never seen Star Wars? Nope, probably not. Would you believe in 2+2=4 if you were raised by wolves? Nope, probably not.

You might want to tell me that The Force doesn’t exist whether you believe in it or not, but 2+2=4 whether you believe in it or not. I beg to differ. I think the only thing that exists is our thoughts, and since you can’t make me think otherwise, that will be the case (at least as far as I’m concerned). Reality exists whether I choose to believe in it or not? Well if I don’t choose to believe in it, I don’t much care if it cares or not.


Topics: Philosophy, This is my life | Comments Off on Doublethinking 1985

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