Immortality ~ Not Fame

I have neither time nor inclination to communicate the fullness of my heart in speech, I am resolved to do it in writing, and to print myself out."
~ Joseph Addison

Writing is the most devalued human pastime.

More words written each day than people have thoughts. More people writing than times past combined. Tools cheap, output prolific.

Writing is futile if authors outnumber readers.

And then we have plagiarism by default, and automated in assault.

No matter how original and clever a dash of prose, someone else will think of it. Combinations of words effectively infinite, our limited and parallel experience channels thought along paths well worn.

If we never really forget what’s heard or seen, then every written creation has the smell of thievery even if, like body odour, it’s pure fresh to the author.

Still I must write, as must we all, if only for ourselves. Duplication, oversupply, be damned.

I must write publicly because.. well, I can. I enjoy creating content that’s visible. We all do, in faint hope of fame, maybe, but also simply to share.

Sharing. It’s what we have always done best.

And are we not enchanted by the Internet’s connectivity and community?

If literature is the thoughts of the masters, reading is an enduring resonance with them. Thus inspired, we revel in typing out loud the inner dialog.

A celebration of the mind.


Immediately I concede the whole thing should probably not be public as, ultimately, it contains nothing of value – nothing like a real magazine, for example, with considered opinion, informed articles, profound arguments, incisive viewpoints, entertaining prose .. you get the idea.

SheepOverboard is quite simply one person’s quest to understand self. 

Essays that reflect a world impinged relentless on an enraged infant who emerged from sheltered childhood with textbook utopian views of civilization, then crushed to find society was not a nurturing protective community, but a beast preying cruelly and remorselessly on its progeny, to sustain some vacant game.

Without web publishing the incentive to write at all might dissolve, as it probably would have for every person whoever scribed, dictated, or typed what now comprises the world’s literature in times past. Without this web site, a minnow in an ocean of authoring, writing anything at all is instantly futile.

But for me life would melt into the formlessness of those mannequins around me. It would become an idle meaningless use of space, food, chattels, and time.

A diary, like burned letters or lost manuscripts, would almost certainly accompany those pathetic artefacts to a dumpster at the end of life, soon after the body is similarly disposed.

Immortality, of sorts

My parents and grandparents still loom large in an internal landscape, yet they ceased to exist decades ago. Their contemporaries with whom they shared reality are dead, too. Apart from a government registry entry and some sepia photographs they are in oblivion.

This is a universal lament.

It’s likely we hammer away on plastic alphabets with an inkling of the immortality it might promise. No grandiose dream for us ordinary folk, just a sustaining concept.

Tipler theorizes our descendants will recreate us in a hereafter, having modeled the past. He takes takes flak for flaky physics .. but it’s rather early days to bag each other about how the universe might end.

Well, get your intellectual DNA onto the Internet Archiver, quick.

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