Shallow Automata

What does shallow automata really mean? Aside from sounding pretty neat, I think it represents a fixation on the lack of depth inherent in automatic responses. Think of the automatic/reflexive urge and where these actions come from. Almost by definition, they aren’t deliberate.

My argument on this, and perhaps this whole blog, is this buried level of attention, depth, and love that can be mined from automatic reason. Such is probably the crux of psychoanalysis, the Freudian slip being a solid example. And as we move further away in proximity and relegate more mental and physical processes to external automatic minds, we might be surprised to discover what other emotions or possibilities lie within.

Don’t mistaken me for one in full embrace of techno-neural ubiquity. My thoughts on these topics serve mainly to entertain a future I am both certain to see and highly suspicious. At bedrock, I believe it is the fate of humankind, and all intelligent life, to fail this test.

Which is another task of this blog: to lay out the foundation of a life spent completely without hope and why that shouldn’t / hasn’t prevented us from pursuing happy, meaningful, lives. A lack of hope, like that of an afterlife, doesn’t preclude moral well being, and especially doesn’t hamper our ability to work toward a better future. If there is going to be a Re-enlightenment, it’ll need to shed the second layer of human ignorance: that of hope being the wellspring of progress, to which it is not. People do not pursue positive change because of hope, or at least that’s not the driving motivator. They do so because perpetual motion is the automata of being. We move forward not for the hope of a better future, but simply because we lack any other choice.

This lack of freewill, that the universe will move as it will, likely towards oblivion, is no cause for defeat. For defeat insinuates an end, which we also hilariously lack. Instead, when faced with a universe devoid of religion, goals, volition, and hope, one should alternatively embrace the river each of us lazily floats down; taking the time to examine passing riverbanks and wild-life, under distant stars that are possibly long dead.

To illustrate, I suggest watching Charles Laughton’s The Night Of The Hunter (1955). Specifically the scene after the kids escape their home, and their adopted father, on a little boat floating pleasantly downstream.

(pulled from here)

Last week, I helped writer James Parker with an event for a publication he edits. In his introduction, James rhetorically asked why we wrote. Not for therapy, he figured, “if it was, I wouldn’t need a therapist.” Instead, he felt that “writing is the act of your words going home,” moving his hand in a follow-through motion. It’s you lining your words up to “hit the target”.

To quote another writer:

“Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in.”

Let this serve as an obligation to us both. More than anything on here, you’ll find speculation and open thinking. I can’t promise any real answers or guidance, only honest commentary and rough type.


– TC