Monday, September 20, 2010

The Necessity of Contingency

"The truth about the world, he said, is that anything is possible. Had you not seen it all from birth and thereby bled it of its strangeness it would appear to you for what it is, a hat trick in a medicine show, a fevered dream, a trance bepopulate with chimeras having neither analogue nor precedent, an itinerant carnival, a migratory tentshow whose ultimate destination after many a pitch in many a mudded field is unspeakable and calamitous beyond reckoning.

The universe is no narrow thing and the order within it is not constrained by any latitude in its conception to repeat what exists in one part in any other part. Even in this world more things exist without our knowledge than with it and the order in creation which you see is that which you have put there, like a string in a maze, so that you shall not lose your way. For existence has its own order and that no man's mind can compass, that mind itself being but a fact among others."

-- Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy


Steve said...

Excellent book, but brutal.

Perhaps hyper-chaos needs better PR. One could stress the positive aspects of unlimited possibility & creativity. Very good things can happen! (There just won't be any reason for them, unfortunately.)

Allen said...

Blood Meridian, definitely on my top 10 list.

I also liked "No Country for Old Men". Though, about 90% of the book made it into the movie - which was nearly as good.

On the other hand, I didn't make it very far with "All the Pretty Horses". But I've heard good things about "The Road", so that's on my "To Read" list.

As for PR, I reckon it's pointless to try to convert anyone to this view...since even if they were convinced, there would be no reason for that.

However, that assumes that I have any choice in the matter. Why do I argue for this view? There is no reason, I just do.

All metaphysical theories have issues.

As Bertrand Russell said: "The most logically consistent theories are unbelievable and the most believable theories are inconsistent."

Though, for myself, I can't believe an inconsistent theory.

And based on what I've learned so far any final theory is going to have to be pretty unbelievable, since the evidence that has to be explained is pretty unbelievable.

That anything exists at all strikes me as quite bizarre.

Steve said...

I read All the Pretty Horses and The Crossing, but at that point I had no interest in reading the 3rd border trilogy novel.

I liked "The Road", however.