Ask HMF anything

The fact that it will happen, that it’s not optional, that it’s unavoidable and inevitable, is what I have a problem with. That and the fact that you can’t really control when or how it will happen, either. That’s what makes it scary, and even offensive, to me; that there’s no exception to it. I was brought into this world against my will, shown some nice and pretty things to get me to like it, and I’m gonna be take out of it against my will, too. I hate it. I absolutely hate it. It cheapens life, it robs any meaning or purpose from it, for death to be inevitable.

It doesn’t, but in this world you have to behave as thought it does, as though it is. Most people think our species is special or important somehow, that’s why they invented the concept of human rights. And as long as that’s the case, as long as I am forced to go along with this idea in order to be welcomed into a functioning(?) society, I might as well point out the only way that relevance could actually be realized.

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On a planetary scale, sure. At a Universal level though? No, humanity will have negligible impact and almost zero relevance when it’s all said and done.

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You knows it and I knows it. The majority, however… unless we can back it up by controlling the laws off physics themselves, we’ll always be ameba in a giant ocean.

The Total Perspective Vortex is the most savage psychic torture a sentient being can undergo.

When you are put into the Vortex you are given just one momentary glimpse of the entire unimaginable infinity of creation, and somewhere in it a tiny little marker, a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, which says “You are here

The Total Perspective Vortex derives its picture of the whole Universe on the principle of extrapolated matter analyses. Since every piece of matter in the Universe is in some way affected by every other piece of matter in the Universe, it is in theory possible to extrapolate the whole of creation – every sun, every planet, their orbits, their composition and their economic and social history from, say, one small piece of fairy cake.

The man who invented the Total Perspective Vortex did so basically in order to annoy his wife.

Trin Tragula – for that was his name – was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher or, as his wife would have it, an idiot. She would nag him incessantly about the utterly inordinate amount of time he spent staring out into space, or mulling over the mechanics of safety pins, or doing spectrographic analyses of pieces of fairy cake.

“Have some sense of proportion!” she would say, sometimes as often as thirty-eight times in a single day.

And so he built the Total Perspective Vortex, just to show her.

Into one end he plugged the whole of reality as extrapolated from a piece of fairy cake, and into the other end he plugged his wife: so that when he turned it on she haw in one instant the whole infinity of creation and herself in relation to it.

To Trin Tragula’s horror, the shock completely annihilated her brain; but to his satisfaction he realized that he had proved conclusively that if life is going to exist in a Universe of this size, then the one thing it cannot have is a sense of proportion.

From the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Fit the Eighth (The Total Perspective Vortex - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

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zaphod came out alright though :slightly_smiling_face:

the best bit of the second book is marvin and the frogstar tank.

it came across in what you were writing. we’ve chatted about it before, and i don’t think there’s any point litigating it again, but death makes life worth living.

death: the high cost of living is a comic by neil gaiman that sensitively talks about that very subject. give it a go, if’n you fancy. might make you feel a bit better about it all.

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Funny, i personally think its why life is so good. Without death we wouldnt have any value

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i couldn’t agree more.

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Death is why it has no value. Life could be excellent, life could be shitty, it ends the same way either way, and barring an afterlife, you won’t even remember hat was in that life, so why struggle to accomplish anything or feel guilty about how you affect another’s life, when it makes no difference? The idea of life having meaning because it had a limit is an illusion; it is a means for the mind to distract itself from thinking about what death really means in relation the life that leads up to it. Unfortunately, I stopped being able to distract myself with that kind of talk a long time ago.

Not this shit again lmao

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Sorry, worrying about my dog the last few weeks got me again pondering death.

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I don’t particularly think that the meaning of any specific life is intrinsic.

What I do or don’t do with my own life has meaning to me while I’m alive, sure, but once I’m gone, I’m not likely to care much about what I did or didn’t do. What will matter though is the impact I had on other people throughout that life, for good, bad or indifferent.

Here on this forum we talk pretty much daily about things that mean very little. The nuances of a computer game are trivial when compared to things like conflict in Europe, the problems of inflation, women’s right to choose vs. fetus’ right to live, and other grand (in scope) topics. We still have them though. We still come to this page every day and discuss minutiae like what outfit works best for a professional assassin, whether a phone is overpowered, or whether day/night effects will be work in a not-yet released electronic dollhouse. What we say and converse about does matter, even minutely, to the people we talk with.

I have an impact on my kids, my co-workers, and the few people I call my friends in ways that I cannot really imagine and that is the legacy of a life. It may not really matter in the long run, but we still talk about the lives of George Washington, Cleopatra, Hitler, and Julius Caesar long after those people are gone. Their lives weren’t pointless, at least in terms of the impact they had on other people.

We may not all be as well known or have as much impact as history’s “greats”, but we do impact, in a small way at least, those around us that we interact with. It has to be enough to recognize that small contribution I suppose.

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If it’s not intrinsic, then it’s not there. Applying meaning to something that didn’t already have one by the nature of its existence is just a fancy way of saying you made one up and are pretending it’s there. That’s how I’ve always seen it and have yet to come across any take that has convinced me otherwise.

The opposite of intrinsic isn’t nothing. Extrinsic value is still value.

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A make-believe value.

What made you this nihilistic

He’s had a really rough few weeks with his dog.

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But hes always been like this

Not always, just for the last 17 years or so after a rather unfortunate epiphany. It comes back now and then in moments of extreme stress. I become the Sulk.

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I agree.

Since my father has lung cancer, I think about death a lot. Way too much than it’s good for me. And since he will die because of this cancer, I don’t want to even think that his life was meaningless, because it was not. Especially not for me and many people who knew him.

Sorry if I may sound a bit angry. But it annoys me when people say, life is meaningless :see_no_evil:

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all values are “make believe”; that string in the maze thing from earlier.