Monday, 20 December 2010

Once, I watched an interview of two of Inception's cast members, and the interviewer had asked both of them whether they genuinely thought that the concept behind the movie was mind-blowing, or that it was so convoluted and confusing that people wouldn't realise that it doesn't make sense.

He used the phrase 'dazzled by brilliance or baffled by bullshit'. And come to think about it, it isn't easy to distinguish between the two, isn't it? Many great thinkers of today are recognised as pioneers and philosophers way ahead of their time, but at the time many merely believed these people to be crazy. Who are we to say that we are smarter than our ancestors? We don't even know how they built the pyramids.

Adelaide!

Another example that comes to mind is the game of Survivor. A player may make a move that is unconventional, and if it works, it's brilliance, but if it's not, then it's the stupidest move ever. We really do constantly fail to acknowledge that failure is an essential part of life.

Anyway, I found that phrase intriguing and it made me wonder. Is there really a difference between brilliance and bullshit? If you've seen Inception, perhaps you would understand what I mean. It was so confusing that you can really see it as really good or really bad. Maybe there's just a fine line. Or maybe not.

Brilliance. Bullshit.

This is why I would enjoy studying something like philosophy. I still might take it up as a major next year, but who knows. How fun would a subject be when you're being asked to justify an opinion on an issue that seems logical no matter what you say?

Brilliance. Bullshit.

I've started reading Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol. It's still holding my interest so far, but I constantly wonder whether the facts that are used in the books are real. For example, is there really this painting called The Apotheosis of Washington which depicts George Washington being transformed into a god that is in the U.S. Capitol Building? It is those small details that make me wonder how much of the book is false, and how much is true.


I'm still nowhere near deciphering the connections though, unless I flip to the last few pages which I'm reluctant to do. But it is things like these that are targets- did the author take the time to research all these small details to come up with a logical alternative, or did he simply made it all up? Either way, both can be said to be good and bad moves. But as it's a book that needs you to read it while you're wide awake and requires a lot of complicated information to be digested, I'm not sure I'm following everything as closely as I would like (most of the time, I just start falling asleep).

Speaking of sleep, I'm terribly in need of a nap now (woke up really early today for a morning walk), so goodbye!
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