Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I am Legend.

Interpretation. It is key to how we perceive the world that we live in. A specific set of events can occur but two people can walk away with completely different conclusions.

Let me give you a real example. I recently dusted off my brothers copy of Richard Matheson's I am Legend. Having seen the film many years ago I decided that I would definitely read it. I dived in and was hooked pretty much from the start.

Meanwhile I listen to the radio occasionally when at work. I hear Julian Marley is going to have a concert covering his father's songs. I don't think much of it since my feeling is that I'm not that in to Bob Marley. But as I keep being bombarded with the constant radio adverts I start to think that the songs are actually known to me, just that I have yet to make a mental association with the artist. I'm thinking maybe I should actively go and listen to some Marley.

I continue to read I am Legend and find myself unable to put the book down especially as it gets to its exciting climax. The Marley concert passes and is over. I complete the book and notice how it has deviated heavily from what I remember in the film. So I decide to re-watch the film to glean new insight and perhaps have a more complete experience.

I get the film and begin to watch. Early on Will Smith is driving in his car listening to what seems to be a familiar song. Yep it's Bob Marley. In fact there are a total of four Bob Marley tracks featuring in the film and Smith's character sings his songs on more than one occasion. There is also one scene where Smith's character berates another's complete ignorance of Bob Marley and proceeds to play his music. He then goes on to explain the significance of the artist, his lifestyle and philosophy. One of his songs also plays in the end credits to top it all off.

Another scene involves Smith's character arguing with the female lead in the film. She believes that she came just in the nick of time to save Smith's characters life and that everything was happening for a reason. That it was all the will of God. Smith's reply simply is 'There is no God.'

Now this is just a coincidence right? Or is it? Considering that both events occurred in the span of the same two weeks. I leave that up to you to decide. As for me it doesn't really matter. Things happen, the reasons are unknown. Some people choose to believe it's all just coincidence whilst others choose to believe that a divine hand is at play.

Who knows. I'm just going to go listen to some Bob Marley.

1 comment:

  1. You see a car and you ask yourself, "what is the purpose of that car?" You answer that question "the purpose of that car is to get from point A to point B".

    Where does this purpose exist? There's no component in the car where its purpose is written. So the purpose of the car is not in the car. So where did the purpose come from? It came from you. You gave it a purpose. You figured that someone bought the car in order to get from point A to point B, and you assign that to the car as its purpose.

    Take a different example. Ants make ant-hills. You ask yourself, "what is the purpose of the ant-hill?" You answer it "the purpose of the ant-hill is to give shelter to the ant colony."

    Where did that purpose come from? Nowhere in the ant-hill the purpose is written. If take an individual ant, that ant doesn't know that it's helping to make an ant-hill (unlike the guy who bought the car). So where did the purpose come from? It came from you. You saw a optimization process and you gave it a meaning.

    Humans always want to give meaning to everything. It makes sense in evolutionary terms. Thinking that things have purpose helps you to predict things accurately.

    But people hardly ever realize that meaning comes from them, not the outside universe. It takes learning and practice to not believe in ultimate meanings, purposes, destinies and so on. That's not natural to humans.