Mr Spock was always a character i felt a little sorry for – half human, with all the foibles, emotions and feelings that comes with it; and half Vulcan… always seeking the rational, logical and unemotional path – he must have cursed his parents, (when he was in a human frame of mind, that is).
It didn’t help that he was in the wrong job – the perfect choice to pursue an ongoing mission in deep space would seem to be a rational, logical, and ultimately emotionless mind, but there’s good reason that job always goes to a computer. (Although before you board your starship, you might want to check that the rationality and lack of emotion aren’t going to permit your pilot to soulessly execute a secret program that will ultimately result in the death of all onboard, and that the mission can’t be summarily brought to a halt by the simple expedient of unplugging the damn thing… we’ve all seen the films!) So, whilst the above qualities may be ideal for a solid-state, all-powerful starship brain, they’re rather less well suited to being a crew member.
This was Spock’s downfall – bung him in a box, wired up to the dilithium crystals and warp drive, and he’d be as happy as Larry – but stick him in a jumpsuit, surrounded by frail, emotional human beings and the poor guy was like a fish out of water. Faced by a typical situation, he’d raise that enigmatic eyebrow and protest… “Illogical”, thus revealing the fundamental flaw in his understanding of human beings – almost everything about us is, completely, illogical. Whether it’s the scrapes we get into in stellar space or the daily daftness of our ordinary earthly lives, we are nothing if not hopelessly illogical.
Yet, for some unknown reason, we try – like so many earthbound Spocks – to make even the most illogical aspects of life make some sort of sense. This is a mistake – what we should do is accept that many, many things about our lives will never fit into a neat and tidy box, and will never, ever, make any sort of sense.
Let’s take sl as an example. So often we find ourselves trying to justify why we’ve succumbed to its charms; we come up with excuses as to why we get so caught up with the drama and conflict that it spawns; we try to explain away the investment in time and money and energy that we pour into it; and, we’ll argue until we’re blue in the face, our own particular rationale that supports just why we’re so enamoured with it…
“It’s not a game!”, we protest: “It’s a virtual world”; “It’s a shared creative space”; “It’s a community platform”; “A melting pot of ideas, cultures and artistry”; “A family”… and yet, it’s really just a cartoon chatroom. Even then, do we really need to work so hard to justify ourselves? What earthly reason do we need that there must be some sort of logical connection that says it’s OK to be caught up in sl?
Perhaps it’s because we find it so hard to accept that something as esoteric as a virtual world can have such a formative and tangible impact on the way in which we conduct our real lives – but that doesn’t mean we have to have some sort of empirical, demonstrable – and above all – rational reason for it to affect us in that way. We’re not trying to impress Mr Spock here with our atypical inhumanity – at the end of the day, what’s wrong with simply accepting that’s the way it is with sl? No reasoning, no logic, no explanations… it’s just the way that it is.
We all know that the monster under the bed isn’t really there – yet no amount of logical argument, explaining away or commonsense is going to make a blind bit of difference – the monster may not be real, but the fear that its scaly, clawed hand is going to scrabble out from unter that bed and grab our leg is as real and as tangible as anything that we know really exists. Similarly, simply because something may only exist in a virtual sense does not necessarily mean it cannot be tangibly real to us – no matter what logic says – it’s just not that straightforward. Logic may insist that the monster under the bed, or the virtual world, cannot be real in any sense of the word, our minds however, say otherwise.
Mr Spock would not be impressed, but then, he’s only half-human.
As for us fully humans, why try to reason things out? – i don’t particularly care why sl should have the hold over me that it does – but then again, i’ve always been completely illogical!
It’s funny how I find myself
In love with you
If I could buy my reasoning
I’d pay to lose
One half won’t do
No Doubt – It’s My Life