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L.A. Hall

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Life is a game, I write to you as a fellow player...

Life is a game that comprises many other games: reality, society, culture, community, family, and so on. The prioritization of these games depends on the individual. The exception to the rule is that we all, by being born, by being human, have signed an agreement with reality; an agreement we may forget about in time, but are bound to; an agreement to keep ourselves alive. BUT, the 'board', per-say, of society's game -- the construct -- has gotten bigger than reality's board. More than half our planet's people live in cities, they say; a perfect example. And so, to -- now we're gettin' real deep with this metaphor -- make a move in the game of reality, let's say, find permanent shelter; you can't just go out into the woods and build a friggin' cabin, because that's illegal and in time you'll get yourself arrested. So in order to lock down permanent, secure shelter, you've got to do what? Pay for it, and to pay for it, you've got to get your hands on some money. Now you can either earn it or steal it; but either way it's the same move in the game of reality: find permanent shelter. If you want to make sure you're shelter is secure, you don't want the cops barging in your door and arresting you for thievery or extortion or whatever you'd have to do to steal money to buy permanent shelter. Instead you decide to get a job and you earn the money to pay for secure shelter. So what I mean when I say "the board" of society is bigger than the board of reality is that you can't just go out into the woods and sustain yourself. Eventually, people will find you and tell you to leave, and if you don't listen to those people, eventually they will come with guns and threaten you and you will have to leave -- all because human excess has diminished our capability to appreciate nature, and to use natural resources effectively and efficiently. We are on the wrong course.

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      Jan 5 2013: I think society is a very powerful illusion with very real incentives and punishments that directly affect the human condition. You cannot grab an axe (in MOST places), retreat into the woods and build a cabin. A lot of America's woodlands are conserved. And why is that? Why do we feel the need to fence in little caches of nature? Because we know ourselves, our past, and this mutant vehicle of progress we ride well enough to see that we have destroyed it before, and surely will again unchecked. So we check ourselves. Overpopulation is the biggest problem, and there's nothing we can do about it. The economy of life on our planet is becoming way out of whack, and we forget that it all comes from nature. If man kills the wolf and the deer thrive, eating the mountain away, they will be left with nothing and die too. And then the mountain will be bare and void of life, and we will have nothing to take from it. And we will die. The game of reality is what destroys minds. Its what would make men with guns come after me after I moved into the forest and call me a squatter. In the game of reality, I could kill them and protect my territory, but this would be a crime, and in the game of reality, more men with more guns would come and call me a murderer, and these men would grab me and throw me in a small concrete room with metal bars. But in the game of society, I squatted (which is against the law), killed two police officers, and then went to jail. But there is such a disconnect between these two narratives. And most people are forced to explain and express their life through the conduit of society's game, when they're living and experiencing reality. "Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals." -- Oscar Wilde

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