Why So Serious?

Responding to so-called banter

Back to Catalog

Recently I have been accused of being too serious and of not being serious enough. Usually both accusations are the same because what they mean is that I am not serious about what they want to be serious about.

It is difficult to respond to being called too serious because if you take it seriously and attempt to answer it then that only proves that are you are too serious and can't take a joke but if you ignore it and move on then that means you haven't got any answer.

I know it's hard to believe but I do have a sense of humour, obviously, but trying to argue that is only going to look like pleading so I'll step over the gaslighting that I don't have a sense of humour and own up to my seriousness.

People who are devoted to a narrow field, to a value, can be intimidating especially if you don't have such a value, and so to escape from this intimidation it is easier to dismiss them as ridiculous.

Of course it would be dishonest if I pretended this was just about devotion as such, it's mostly about looking down on the kind of things I am interested in to make their objects of devotion look greater. I am sometimes guilty of this too, because it is too convenient not to do.

What's wrong with it? Fundementally it is a levelling down force. It is a universalism and like every universalism it assumes that human beings are more or less the same, equal, a hidden egalitarianism which rejects every jealously guarded value.

The problem with common values for everyone, is that these common values become subject to the tragedy of the commons. Anything which tries to be everything for everyone will end up being nothing for no one. Do one thing and do it well, loonix philosophy.

The criticism about what I am interested in amounts to nothing more than advocation for common values, which of course happen to be their values. I for one am happy to pursue mine for they are mine and maybe of a small group, nor would I wish it any other way, and I can still understand other people's values even though I may not feel them.

There is a kind of malady of cynicism affecting many bright minds, whiling away the hours in hollow mockery and in the shrill laughter of children at those who try to create value rather than just destroy.

By Otaking, or The Good Student