JLB Member Skype #19 – George Orwell’s 1984 (20-May-2018)

Is 1984 really set in the future/past, or is it a story about the eternal present? Is there an objective truth, an immutable reality outside of the mind? To what was Orwell referring when he spoke about fake bombs and fake wars? Do we have any reason to fear Big Brother?

Thank heavens for Chad628, whose presence saved this call. He and I were joined — via the magic of technology and post-production editing — by narrator Frank Muller, whose audiobook rendition of 1984 can be found here.

Our call dropped about halfway through, so this podcast is structured something like: Call Pt 2 -> Call Pt 1 -> Call Pt 2. This will make more sense once you have begun listening.

Participants

Chad628 (eleventh appearance on the MSC)

Audio

Preceding Warmup Thread

Here. Literally zero comments prior to the call. My fault for only publishing it a couple of days before the call.

Clips used in post-production

Frank Muller’s 1984 audiobook. Available here.

Swedish Chef clip. Here.

Wag the Dog (1997) scene. Here.

Eurythmics track ‘doubleplusgood’. Here.

Orwell’s ‘Why I Write’

Here.


Production notes

Recorded 20-May-2018; Released 21-May-2018.

Released to public on 20-Aug-2019 via Mailing List.


 

12 thoughts on “JLB Member Skype #19 – George Orwell’s 1984 (20-May-2018)

  • 22-May-2018 at 11:15 pm
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    Great talk!

    Lol @ around 40 minutes when JLB said “like a heat seeking missile” to describe a missile. Did I remember that right?

    What about that stuff I said before? I dont know if you replied. I said that objective reality doesn’t exist and that objective reality isnt exactly 100% real, its actually the result of group think. I thought some of the 1984 passages you guys discussed aligned and reinforced what I had said, about how I was seeing reality.

    Outside of man there is nothing.

    Without human consciousness nothing exists

    • 23-May-2018 at 9:58 am
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      Look, ma! A heat-seeking missile!

      Yes, this is an official story ‘heat seeking missile’. Trolololol.

      As for objective vs subjective interpretations of reality, this is something which it will take me a long time to properly explicate my own views about.

      I suppose I am trying to do it in piecemeal fashion. Such a difficult concept to explore via mere words.

  • 23-May-2018 at 11:19 am
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    It is interesting to me to imagine feeling a sense of satisfaction from the idea of ‘hypocrites’ getting some sort of judgement or comeuppance.
    This idea has been broached before, in a separate thread, and I still fail to grasp it.
    It was mentioned in the Orwell call, so I’ll bring it up again here.

    In this context, it was stated that a ‘hypocrite’ was, in essence, someone who doesn’t live his life in accordance with his stated values.
    I previously asked the question of differentiating between stated values, and internal values… because, it is not evident that these two things are the same… in anyone.

    As JLB has observed, people act, lie, pretend, etc., constantly, in order to ‘fit in’ to society. So it would follow that many of these ‘actors’ would ‘state’ things (even values), all the time, that aren’t necessarily in accordance with their true, inner values.

    In fact, I’d argue, that despite what anyone says… how they actually behave and live their lives, is the most accurate representation of their true values.
    This would, in reality, make it virtually impossible for a given person not to be living in accordance of his/her true values.
    It would follow that it is impossible for there to be such a thing as a hypocrite, in regards to ‘living by values’.

    Now, if we want to go down the path of whether it is “good” or “bad” to be lying to people about our stated values, we certainly can. We have already discussed “lies”, however, and determined that they can’t be assumed to be bad in all cases (or any?).
    If TPWRTS can lie, and justify it as for our own good, than we certainly can forgive a person for lying about their true values, in order to “fit in” or to make things easier on others.
    Again, this would lead to no judgement, or comeuppance, in regards to the values question.

    • 25-May-2018 at 2:48 pm
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      I'm glad you posted these comments. I have been reflecting on them for the past day or two.

      I don't wish 'comeuppance' upon the hypocrites, and if I come across that way, perhaps I need to truly reconsider what I believe to be my honest thoughts on the matter. No, I do not believe I want to see the hypocrites punished (by the Kosmos or otherwise, now or in the 'future'), but if that is how my words are interpreted, then maybe deep down I do wish harm on the hypocrites, even if I do not consciously acknowledge it.

      This is quite possible.

      As a child, I detested hypocrites. I lived in close proximity to some very hypocritical people, and could sense on an innate level that there was something sick about their hypocrisy. To judge and condemn others for one thing or another, and then commit the actions as those already condemned. I knew it was wrong, and I resented those who engaged in it, but I didn't really have anybody else to discuss it with (or simply did not want to discuss it, I'm not sure).

      Now as an adult, I see so much hypocrisy in the ACT realm. People who chastise money while giving up their lives in pursuit of it. People who castigate the 'actors' on TV while they play a role themselves every single day of their judgemental lives. People who lament the perceived actions of TPWRTS while they eat processed junk and sit on their fat asses. Hypocrisy is ubiquitous in this scene. It can be overwhelming to those who are unable or unwilling to numb their own mind to what they are hearing and seeing right in front of them.

      Would I be happier if the rank hypocrites were made to pay for their hypocrisy? If they received some 'comeuppance' (as you put it)? No. I barely ascribe agency to most of these creatures. They demonstrate no more capacity for thinking about their own behaviour than a common pet dog. In fact I would likely take more joy in seeing a misbehaving dog smacked over its nose for excessive barking, than I would take from seeing a hypocritical human get 'comeuppance' — unless that human demonstrated a genuine capacity to learn from its mistakes, which almost none of them seem to do.

      In other words, the logical part of me does not want to see 'comeuppance' for the hypocrites, and if I try to dig into the emotional part of my mind, there too I do not see latent joy in imaginations of 'comeuppance'.

      But again, perhaps I am simply failing to see what is really within me. I will continue to ponder it.

      My thoughts about the omniscience and omnipresence of 'technology' extend well beyond any comeuppance for the hypocrites, mind you. Realising my own failure(s) in my attempts to improve my life was a slap in the face. The Twleve Week Challenge had a profound effect on me: I feel confident in saying that my own hypocrisy quotient has diminished significantly since this time last year. How can I judge TPWRTS for fluoridating my water, If I am going to willing drink alcohol on a semi-regular basis? How can I judge TPWRTS for retarding the masses, if I am not going to methodically improve my own understanding of thinking about thinking (e.g. study and revise the trivium)? How can I judge TPWRTS for recording me through my phone, when I am willing sharing my honest beliefs about controversial topics on a website I myself built and operate?

      My point is that, by considering the omniscience and omnipresence of 'technology', by meditating on this recording of my 'self' which may exist 'online' 'forever', I feel that I have improved as a person, in the sense that I am slower to judge others and more quick to remind myself that I am and always have been my own worst enemy.

      The corollary of this is that I no longer see 'Orwellian surveillance' as a prima facie bad thing. Perhaps I need to believe that something else is watching me, maybe even judging me, to fill in when my 'real' subconscious is failing to keep me motivated. I only have so much time on this earth to do whatever it is that I am going to do, and if I am going to assume agency of my own direction in life, there are certain things (usages of time) which are 'good', and certain usages which are 'bad'. The idea that something is watching and recording no longer fills me with dread, it fills me with hope.

      Maybe something actually does care. Maybe I shouldn't care if anything (or anybody) cares. But my ego is not completely dead yet, and until it is, an external source of observation may be useful to me.

      When Winston and Julia are caught in their special room, there is a telescreen behind the painting. The telescreen merely repeats back to Winston what he says. This reminds me of the scene in Mulholland Drive where the nervous dude goes to speak with the head honcho about the film production problems. The honcho merely lets the nervous guy speak his mind, but the nervous guy seems to believe that he is taking orders from the honcho. Sorry about the muddled use of pronouns, but hopefully you can remember the scene I am talking about. My point here is simply to reflect on how independent Big Brother (or any 'external' 'intelligence') truly is from our own inner thoughts.

      If Big Brother truly wanted me to reach my own goals, would I be against Big Brother?

      Anyway, I appreciate your comments. They have caused me to go back and revisit my own (perceived) sentiments about things.

  • 23-May-2018 at 11:32 am
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    I suppose a more succinct way to say it is, I don’t believe that anyone owes me the truth about their own values.
    So if it appears to me that they aren’t living in accordance with their stated values, it just means that they haven’t been openly honest about their values. Their true values show through in their actions.
    Since I never felt entitled to the knowledge of their true values, I don’t feel offended or the need to call them a hypocrite, simply because they weren’t honest when ‘stating’ them.

  • 23-May-2018 at 12:30 pm
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    I really enjoyed this chat.

    When my children went to school they were encouraged to make sure parents recycled their rubbish, they would report back to the school. These days its gone mad, I can’t imagine what they are telling the children what to report on.

    My experience of most Women is that they are easily lead and will believe, without evidence, almost anything. Also, most women are meaner and more selfish than men, they are distracted by the shinies, the latest fashions and who and what is doing what to who. I don’t understand this, although I think most advertising and magazines are targeted to women. Are we that naive?

    When I use to work in an office, I was surrounded by women, their conversation, to me, was so boring that within a few minutes I would walk away.

    • 25-May-2018 at 2:04 pm
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      The good old 'recycle to help the earth' programming. We received a thick dose of it as schoolkids in the 1990s. These days I wonder if there even is a 'recycling plant' and, to be honest, I haven't bothered to check for myself yet.

      Your comments about females are refreshingly honest and much appreciated. Listening back, I felt that my own thoughts in the call could have been better prefaced/qualified, so I will be interested to see how that part of the call is/was received by others.

      We live in a time and place in which young women are given little incentive to develop themselves as independent, unique beings. They will be given attention and platitudes merely for the fact they are female, and the prettier they are, the worse it will be. Why develop a unique sense of self, a sense of humour, or any other ideal qualities of character, when one can simply wear certain clothes, makeup, perfume, and be treated as special?

      Similar effects can be seen in particularly handsome/attractive men, but there are two key differences:

      1) Very few men are truly handsome/attractive i.e. this is a relatively uncommon phenomenon among men, whereas it is the case for most (if not all) young females today.

      2) Males who are given attention merely for their attractiveness tend to parlay this into other aspects of their identity (successfully or otherwise), whereas women are more likely to allow their appearance to be the crux of their identity — sometimes, apparently, without even realising that they are doing so.

      This is, of course, all merely my opinion, based on anecdotal observation.

      What I am suggesting is that one of the reasons why women today are less inclined towards partaking in the kinds of conversations we see here on this website and other ACT outlets is that, quite simply, they have less reason to care about these kinds of conversations. This is not their fault, and it is not merely the fault of males, either. It is what it is. Based on what I am seeing around me, I predict that things will only get worse in this regard (insofar as I/we may see it as a 'bad' thing, which is another conversation altogether).

      It is quite obvious to me that 'MGTOW' will only grow and grow and grow over the next few years, as more men realise where they really stand in the social (sexual) pecking order. The veil is being lifted from the eyes of many deluded men, who up until this point in time have completely misunderstood the social dynamics at play all around them. In this sense, the typical modern male is in fact more stupid than the typical female, because he has not seen with his own eyes just primitive a man may act in the presence of women. He may have seen it, but he has not seen it, whereas women see it every day of their lives from the time they start growing boobies (if not earlier).

      In 1984, Julia is supposed to be about 27, and by the time she gets intimate with Winston, has been with countless men. She knows the score. Winston tells her that she 'is a rebel from the waist down'. I could write a thesis on that part of the story alone. Some of the people I have met in my relatively short time on this earth…

      WATTBA.

  • 14-June-2018 at 10:17 am
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    Haven’t seen the film. Haven’t listened to the audiobook. Despite my addiction to the medium, for some reason I’ve always found it difficult to listen to fiction. Re-read both this and BNW btw Jan – March. Similar to Chad, I recognized them as foundational pillars to the site, and felt I’m not showing the JLB operation proper respect (nor myself) by relying on my blunt smoking normie self’s recollection of the books.

    “Weird” “crazy in the head” “warped mind” “black sheep” “why do you have to be so difficult?” type of normie. But a normie nonetheless.

    That said, I’m still not as enamored with either book – or TPWRTS – as JLB and perhaps a few others in the ACT realm might be after drawing parallels betwixt them and the world as we know it now. 1984 is definitely a better read, and this comment, while long, is not polished. But if I don’t ship it, it’ll forever remain dusty in Google Doc Draft. So here are some of my thoughts. To be cont’d I’m sure.

    re: Spaghetti Man – one trend that seems to be prevalent in the stand up comedy world, is that top talent (and i’m sure other less prominent comics who may have unpasteurized sets) no longer travel the college circuit. From Jerry Seinfeld to Chris Rock to many others, the climate is apparently so sensitive now that students with a ‘trigger’ finger attend acts for the sole purpose of screaming out, disrupting the show, and accusing the entertainers of myriad transgressions, bigotry, et al. what a towering shame as this i’m sure will continue to bleed into the rest of the live clubs around the world.

    ****”venomous attacks on the doctrine of the party…so exaggerated and perverse that a child should have been able to see through it”****

    Lately i’m starting to notice normies bemused at the back and forth between Trump and Kim Jong Un, even subtly mocking the charade. But god forbid you suggest – in lieu of their jovial banter – that it’s really all theater. That would undermine the legitimacy of the ‘free’ world…our sovereignty as a nation! What of all our military and territorial conquests if this is all scripted? What of all the elitely educated insider pundits presenting these geopolitical sagas as something to fret about?

    Might require psychological recalibration of a kind.

    “…to control your face. do what everyone else was doing is an instinctive reaction”

    how many normies would be more open to some of the topics such as media fakery if they weren’t so worried about social ostracism? I’d like to think a sizeable percentage more than who presently are.

    what chad said with creativity / innovation. this is true for a small percentage of companies that might, in their early phases, embark on ambitious projects. but the tendency I see – especially when they go public – is to have more predictability and periodicity for quarterly earnings. the founder(s) by that point have usually given up sizable control to larger stakeholders. top that with a public that isn’t very creative and usually doesn’t clamor much for the unconventional…and a rigid hierarchy of automatons usually emerges.

    once you have a market accepted ‘product x / service y’, everything becomes commoditized and heads toward the lowest common denominator, focusing primarily on the chief objective – ‘maximizing shareholder value.’ the most creative resource needs are usually not the inventive use of raw materials, but how to effectively deal with other humans in customer service. even then, despite the outlier stories of a Danny Meyer or Tony Hseih…most firms farm out these divisions to developing countries and bury their contact us options deep within the sitemap.

    *Anecdotal / tangential… when i used to sell and manage web development projects, on the design side, clients often asked me for something ‘original’ ‘not cookie cutter.’ yet when i delivered what i considered to be inspiring high fidelity creative…virtually every single person / business who claimed to want ‘something different’ thought it was too ‘weird’ ‘avant garde’ ‘edgy’….‘i guess i just want something more traditional’ ‘give me what xyz (competitor) has, but with my logo.’

    And the high concept drafts would be butchered… and I’d often wind up losing money on the outsourced work as I’d be willing to pay more upfront for a better looking portfolio.

    the proles will copy or quote sonorous speeches from Steve Jobs or the social media personality du jour, but ultimately want to look and act like everyone else : /

    “when memory failed and written records were falsified”

    I know this wasn’t central to the discussion, but I recently came across a ‘Mandela’ that cannot be dismissed as a simple pronunciation or spelling issue. To those here in the US over the age of 25 – I’d love for you to chime in. I vividly remember Ed McMahon of Tonight Show fame being a spokesperson / endorser of Publisher’s Clearing House. Outside of C3PO’s alleged silver shin bone, i just can’t assign this to collective misremembering. I’ve asked several people (none in the ACT scene who know what ME is) in the last few weeks and all of them said ‘Publisher’s Clearing House’

    What does all this mean? I don’t know. ‘Merging Timelines’ ‘CERN modifying the structure of reality’ … or perhaps some Ministry of History – changing memories via modifying elements in the digital and physical realm? I’ve zero skin in any of these theories nor think any have much to go on. But what if someone has “unmistakeable documentary proof of the falsification of a historical fact”? does anyone on this site have such proof of something? would be very interesting to inspect.

    could Mandela Effect be a result of “elaborately equipped studios”? rewriting text and faking photographs?” idk, but this one in particular (ed mcmahon / publisher’s clearing house) i’m having trouble ignoring.

    in the book it seems like the history hoax had a specific agenda in mind…that of buttressing the Party. In History Hoax ‘2018’, what to make of the relatively recent (documented) timeline? is the sentiment here that it’s also supporting a larger agenda? Curious to read others’ perspectives.

    also curious as to why it’s presented as so terrifying. most people don’t read much about history – be it human (ev bio / anthropology etc.) or even their own country. so how much of what happened in the past governs their decisions / frameworks in the present? irrespective of whether history is a lie…so long as they believe they have a purpose from some outside entity “everything happens for a reason” “god had a plan” et al… how much would a tacit admission or widespread ‘awakening’ to history – lacking primary source documentation – matter? I’m certainly not attempting to trivialize this matter, but i really don’t think there’d be sweeping changes to life – or human conduct – as we know it. But please share where / why i’m mistaken. I still feel I have horse blinders on Tucson.

    “by 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now” — it continues to blow my mind how few people can really grasp some of the things we discuss here. I know there are plenty in this scene – here and on other platforms – who are further along / more sophisticated than me – but i still ‘get’ most of what everyone is saying on topic x or y- whether i agree with them or not. Even if just for thought experiments / hypotheticals, people of all walks – simply cannot connect dots as i assume they should be able to based on their capacities in other areas.

    For example, it didn’t take me that long to go from a ‘space junkie’ to a ‘space heckler’ of a kind. What choice did i have if i’m going to look at myself in the mirror with any intellectual integrity.

    Wherever the yellow brick road winds up…so be it.

    i agree that women are more deferential to the status quo, but i’ve heard far too many male ‘slogan swallowers’ to weigh the metaphor heavily toward the fairer gender.

    that said, a few weeks ago – a new, late 20s / early 30s female bartender at a local lounge / pub – despite having some playful banter when she saw me reading – sharply disagreed when i mentioned how today’s generation – rebellious as they purport to be – still largely believe in the general narratives of what they see on TV. when she pressed further, i used Space X as an example and showed her some of the pics i had from Cape Canaveral.

    “the masses back then believed in the moon landings because they saw it on tv…and not much has changed. Space X launches a rocket and all the educated, tech savvy millennials eat it up.”

    she started eyeball rolling with the ‘please tell me you’re not one of those people who don’t think we went to the moon’ . …

    then she mentioned moon rocks… i couldn’t help but pull out more photos from Kennedy Space Center. so she raised her voice in a quasi friendly, disparaging tone… “umm…scientific evidence!” as though that somehow deflated my comments in any way. i chuckled – realizing the irony of how she was proving my point – and let her be.

    I’m feeling more and more like an alien on my own planet : P

    ‘it was not the man’s brain that was speaking; it was his larynx. the stuff that was coming out of him consisted of words, but it was not speech in the true sense; it was noise uttered in unconsciousness, like the quacking of a duck.”

    Dinner tables across America : )

    “why should one feel it to be intolerable unless one had some kind of ancestral memory that things had once been different”

    How many groups hold onto a utopian past? Stoic philosophy, for example. Regardless of primary sources, circa 200 years ago, at some point this human wisdom was aggregated and/or experienced by those who wrote and published this material, no? A lot of ‘african american’ friends of mine – past and present – have held this notion that ‘our people were once kings.’

    even if there were kingdoms in ‘ancient egypt / africa’ – i highly doubt many of its citizens shared the throne(s).

    “primitive patriotism”

    how many flag waving normies have actually read the Declaration of Independence or (insert country X’s) Constitution? How many proles who claim ‘America is the greatest country in the world’ – if asked – could even tell you who the top brass of their state legislature is…let alone the Senators of their State. Not many, that’s how many.

    “i understand HOW..i do not understand WHY”

    Still don’t : /

    “perhaps a lunatic was a minority of one”

    Amen

    “small sums were paid out. the winners of the big prizes were non existent persons.”

    Lottery was one of several things early on that made me question the legitimacy / fairness of the system. i once loved to gamble, and found it so hypocritical of the state that they made all forms of betting illegal (though changing now across the land) yet had a monopoly on the numbers racket. With all profits allegedly allocated to ‘education.’ what a joke.

    “70 years ago”

    Not a big deal, but such an expression necessarily implies a past and a present, no?

    “nothing exists except through human consciousness.”

    Similar to the ‘if a tree falls in a forest, and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?’
    I think when I die, the world will continue on. When asleep…cabs are still honking on the streets. But this can be recorded and verified. I suppose it would require a human to listen, but i think we’re splitting hairs at this point.

    *one question that popped into my mind. Orwell was and still is considered one of the greatest writers / novelists – not just in the UK – but in the Western world. Yet couldn’t he easily have been derided as some conspiracy cook?

    **** “earth is the center and everything goes around it”**

    ok, but the party never claims they created the material realm. hence why all the shenanigans? to keep the wheels of industry turning? to make more widgets? Still seems like an unfulfilling raison d’etre.

    *stars can be as far or as close as we want’

    Relativity!

    “100s of times”

    I get wanting to fuck her, but surprised Winston would fall in love with Julia. Inverse correlation with any emotional attachment to women I know who’ve had double / triple / quadruple digits in their orifices.

    What was more important was that sexual privation induced hysteria, which was desirable because it could be transformed into war fever and leader worship.

    There was a direct, intimate connection between chastity and political orthodoxy.

    Will have to revisit but has anyone read ‘Think and Grow Rich? A whole chapter is dedicated to the transmutation of sex energy.

    ***If The Party has all this power, essentially becoming the universe itself, why the need to provide regular outlets for human anger / emotion? Why not just manipulate their emotions BNW style?

    Some other quotes from the book I liked:

    “Often she was ready to accept the official mythology, simply because the difference between truth and falsehood did not seem important to her”

    “In a way the worldview of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them. By lack of understanding they remained sane.”

    “But at any rate, one thing was certain. The conspiracy that he had dreamed of did exist and he had reached the outer edges of it.”

    “They can make you say anything, but they can’t make you believe it. They can’t get inside of you.”

    “At present nothing is possible except to extend the area of sanity little by little”

    “The fighting, when there is any, takes place on the vague frontiers whose whereabouts the average man can only guess at, or round the Floating Fortresses which guard strategic spots on the sea lanes.”

    “Utter high sounding generalities”

    Will add another comment after I re-read: The Theory And Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism – which is probably my favorite part of the book.

    JLB – surprised you haven’t posted / mentioned Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged since I’ve heard you mention objectivist logic on several occasions. Perhaps you have and I missed it, but will those be in the pipeline for Season 2 of MSC?

  • 18-October-2018 at 7:41 am
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    Great audio, I have begun to read 1984 for a second time and it is amazing how many bombshells I missed from the first time.

    Have you ever seen the show Westworld? It is a great show and deals a lot with will, freedom, good /evil, and existentialism.

    • 18-October-2018 at 8:15 am
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      My wife and I just finished reading 1984 again.
      Man…what a depressing book!
      😉

      • 19-October-2018 at 11:30 am
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        If you could elaborate on this, I would dearly love to hear/read more.

    • 19-October-2018 at 11:33 am
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      Thank you very much for the kind words. Yes, there are truths in the book which are easily missed by those who have not yet developed eyes to see. I missed a lot of it on my first reading, too.

      I have not seen Westworld but I have heard a lot about it. Hopefully one day I will be able to get into the habit of watching TV shows like that, because I think there is money to be made by the smart man who can intellectually/philosophically analyse the themes and ideas explored by some shows, and Westworld seems like a prime example.

      Right now, however, I struggle to sit and watch passive media like films and TV shows. I used to watch hours a day. Now I wonder how people can do it. Well, intelligent people, anyway.

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