When you think about some basic scientific principles, and you think of just matter and molecules and how the purest form of every element is naturally formed as a solid liquid or gas, does it blow your mind that humans even exist?
I’ll think about this sometimes whenever I watch some kind of demonstration on Youtube that flexes peoples knowledge of physics or chemistry. It still blows my mind. The fact that everything is made up of the same components, and that we are large sentient creatures who can change ourselves and the things around us,, is just the best kind of abstraction to me.
In my creative writing class we have been taught a lot of things about plot and character change, as well as guidelines for using detail or descriptions in scenes, to emphasize whatever point you as the writer are trying to make. One of the most interesting pieces of advice they gave was to “avoid abstractions”, avoid telling your story in a way that is not normally comprehensible and avoid describing things in a way that give no real meaning. An abstraction to them means an attempt of your mind to place all of your individual (sometimes subconscious) associations out, in a story or in the world, for others to try to comprehend.
But I love abstractions. I mostly love the person behind the abstractions, the one that’s trying to get out with their words but hasn’t found their core elements yet… I can tell that they’re just trying to flesh out all of their thoughts and feelings and associations out at once. And while for writing this isn’t considered “good”, and for good reason, I think it just comes from writers not knowing how to deconstruct their complexities in to something that everyone can enjoy.
Going back to how I find humans abstract, there’s a lot that we can deconstruct. So let’s see if I can explain this shit.
So if we took the earliest humans, ones who have no society, no literature, no real thoughts but to survive, we would have the basic human. The neanderthal is a comparatively simple being to modern humans, all they have is a mind and body that can feel chemicals in their brain and is a slave to their literal hunger and need to survive. That, is our base. Not so many great abstractions,, other than their mind and body being extremely complex soft tissue made out of millions of components that somehow miraculously built on each other for millennia,,, but that’s only because there is no conflict of interest in their existence yet and that they have no real knowledge about themselves.
The minute that humans come into conflict they have to create solutions in order to survive, and we are the best at surviving. If one of these early humans had a child, they would build a longer term station for them to live in, they’d find more food for the child as well, and they may even organize with others. The minute that humans come into contact with one another is where great complexities begin, because when they come together they are either able to cooperate and recreate and reshape their environment to their needs, or they kill each other. Often, it’s both.
Human conflict and complex thought process just exponentially increases the longer we do this and the more populous we become. We now work together as a society with distinguished and sometimes subtle rules of behavior, set by the core developers of our societies, that dominate our need for survival more than our hunger or anything else (often because that base hunger instinct can easily be solved if we do follow these rules). This is where layers of personal complexity can build off of, stemming from things like internal conflict of the individual persons’ “place” in the society, the individual being thrown into another set of rules, or an individual trying to change their own society for their version of better. Continuous strife and resolution forces everyone to think deeper and have more to say, the longer we as a species live, the more history we are bound to and the more we will need to overcome. But that’s not a bad thing because it means that we have also overcome so much in the process.
It’s that kind of complexity that I love. It’s the way that people have such individual viewpoints and complications in their own life, that when expressed, turns in to something abstract and literally unreal. Art that does more than to be a picture, literature that serves more than to catalog, and tailored experiences like video games, are all expressions of individual abstractions that could have come from no where else, besides the layers of psychological conflicts and complexities that riddle the human experience.
So yeah humans are the #bestabstraction
What else did you think?