Cogito, ergo sum.

– Rene Descartes

I think, therefore I am. When Descartes set forth this statement he was working off his premise that one should doubt everything until it is firmly established. He ended up being certain of only one thing which is encapsulated on the above statement. Little did he know his statement would become a philosophical reference point and that he would one day end up blog-quotable.

Ayn Rand turned his statement on its head in the 20th century saying “I am, therefore I think.” It was her contention that for man as a rational being thinking is a moral imperative. The areas of logic and rationality should not be subsumed to the forces emotion and passion. Capitalism was posited as the only just economic system because in its true state you get what you earn. Money is then not an end unto itself but it is also the representation of the value of ones work product. It is also a representation of what one has achieved.

This is why so many lottery winners wind up unhappy once the initial euphoria wears off. Being the product of blind luck rather than skill their money is not a representation of their value. They did not create wealth through production or an achievement of some sort. They simply collected the wealth created by others through no skill of their own. Many have reported feeling like frauds and ending up both rejected by those in their new economic status and resented by those in their old.

Henry Ford, on the other hand, had a genuine reason to be proud. His achievement was the product of his thought. Although the cars produced on the assembly line were put together by other hands, the initial idea, the risk, and the investment were all done by him. Without his mind that first factory would not exist.

This is also why pure hedonism doesn’t work. Hedonism is the pursuit of happiness through direct means, but it is actually a by-product. Happiness is not sustained by an end product like a trophy or money, it is a product of overcoming challenges and the achievement of vicotories, whether those victories come in economics, politics, or sport.

Hell, it even comes in the field of sexual relations which is why I am totally averse to the idea of prostitution and I’m not really comfortable in titty bars. If I score I don’t want it to be because I paid cash for a ticket, I want it to be because I talked a good game. We all want the six points but I also want to remember how I kicked ass to reach the endzone.

8 Responses to “Thinking”

  1. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    I have to disagree with you on the sexual relations thing. I am a firm believer of get your pussy however you can. If you are a big fat nasty dude and you gotta throw some cash around to avoid internet porn then so be it. Or If you are a dude with the gift of gab then run your game. I think it is kind of like hunting. You can use a rock, a stick, a bow and arrow, a gun, traps or just poison the local watering hole either way it is still meat on the table…….You might not want to eat the meat from the poisoned animals though!

  2. rae says:

    If you ever win the lotto and feel like a fraud-then you can give me all your money and I’ll “put you to work” so you can feel like you earned it. I’ll just take a 30% fee for the work I did to help you feel like you contributed to society. I’m nice like that.

  3. Mexigogue says:

    This dude I used to hang with named Tyrone used to fantasize about becoming a big rap star and then coming back home and flashing money and his ride in front of people who had hassled him and beat him up. I’m like #1 you should be spending your time and money on other things and #2 no matter how much $$$ you make that doesn’t erase the fact that they beat you up!

  4. guy in the UNLV jacketg says:

    I wish Tyrone would roll up like that. the first thing I would say to him would be “remember that time I kicked your ass on Mexi’s porch? Those sparks were really flying when I busted you over the head with the chair, Man those were the days. By the way can I borrow $100 I am kind of light right now”

  5. Mexigogue says:

    Tyrone had blood streaming all down his head. He insisted on going into Quality Dairy on the way home. When we walked in there everybody stared at him and he said really loud “I CAN’T BELIEVE I FELL FROM THE 3RD STORY ALL THE WAY INTO THE BASEMENT!”

  6. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    That sounds better than “Just got my ass kicedk by the guy in the UNLV jacket”

  7. Mexigogue says:

    One time when we were teenagers Tyrone was talking trash to this guy on the bus. We got off at the guy’s bus stop so Tyrone could fight him. The dude tells his little brother to go knock on this door. Little dude bangs and like 5 other dudes stream out. I got that fight or flight response and I know damn well I can count. So about two blocks later I’ve outrun everybody in sight and it’s just then that I remember that Tyrone is too heavyset to run. Bad time for him.

    Just as they finished kicking his ass they start to walk away. Tryone shouts “Its ain’t over yet!” (just to be funny I suppose) so they run back over and whoops his ass some more.

    And that’s why I don’t talk a whole lot when I don’t know people.

  8. Phelps says:

    It’s funny that the first thing I thought was, “hell yeah, come back so we can jack your ass and get our share.”