I love this statement; there is so much truth in it. I find it is something that enters the realm of my thought quite often. The fact that at some time in my life the last event will rob me of everything I am, I know, and will render everything I have done useless to my then forgone reality. Between the truths of death of an individual and death of the universe, nihilism seems all too logical.
However, knowing this,I'm in no way a depressed individual. I don't think I could be any happier in my life. Nihilism has given me freedom.
"All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental."
"We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different."
It also perfectly excuses the lazy. And I dont care what stories lazy people tell them selves, until it starts effecting the taxes I pay.
In reality very few people will actually choose to sit around on the dole, particularly as they grow up a bit. I can't prove it of course but it does bring to mind the old theory that the welfare system unwittingly seeded R+D for the UK's creative industry (up through the 80's at least), and which has turned out to become a major UK export.
Granted I can provide a body...
Perhaps not the very devoted, but for the rest, I'm sure they would. Just as they will avail themselves of healthcare services if they get cancer, wear seat belts, avoid flying with dodgy airlines, and a myriad of other ways they seek to avoid death.
Once the certainty of death leaves, people will become a lot less religious. As Woody said, we're looking for distraction, and religion is a good distractor: "don't worry about death, there's this wonderful afterlife."
EDIT: This is more a consideration with respect to "cure for ageing"-type advances, not so much the mind-uploading scenario.
* Insert career choice here.
Even though this sounds like common sense, I only really learned it this year when I started having annoying health issues from working all the time, not working out, and not eating healthy (startup food). Something as simple as enjoying a Sunday in the park would not be possible because of say back pains. And then I realized that it didn't really matter what I did or achieved unless I had my health to enjoy doing it and the rewards from it.
> "I haven't had a frankfurter in, I would say, forty-five years. I don't eat enjoyable foods. I eat for my health."
I admire woody allen, but reading this comment makes me a little sad.
So, not sure about Woody Allen's diet preferences but it seems to me that just taking out the option of eating unhealthy dramatically cuts down on decisions making and mental energy. A single Frankfurter will not alter your health, but if you open up the possibility of eating them you need to wonder - Is one per day OK? what about one per week? If you eat a hamburger does that mean you can't eat a Frankfurter for two days etc. etc.. If Allen is half as neurotic as he seems you can imagine him spending a lot of time deciding what to eat and what not. Just nukeing the option -- will not eat frankfurters, period. -- seems to be a good mental hack.
Yes. I've mentioned this book on HN before, but Mason Currey's Daily Rituals: How Artists Create discusses this point. I wrote more about the book here: http://jseliger.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/daily-rituals-how-a....
I like the food I'm eating more than I used to. Berries now taste as good as ice cream used to. Cranberries taste sweet instead of sour.
Good quality black coffee is better than a latte.
I don't know what woody Allen eats. I expect he enjoys some of it, and is writing for effect.
If he actually doesn't enjoy eating, then that is indeed sad.
But having gone from 'not health' to 'health', at a young age, I'm very, very willing to give up a few modest pleasures to preserve health.
I gag when I think of what I used to eat. I went back to the U.S. last year and found restaurant fare almost universally gross. Within two nights, I decided to move from a hotel room to a family suite just because it had a kitchenette. When I wasn't cooking in my room, I was eating $40+ meals at "decent" places (compare to Australia where food is a lot less pre-processed.)
Anything less than that and I feel bad later that day or the next. Usually bad cooking oils I think.
Many of which are unhealthy or dangerous. Also, I can assure you that after not eating something enjoyable for a long time, the experience is incredible. I was a strict vegetarian for 7 years. When I decided to change that, I walked into a McDonald's (of all places) and ate 10 cheeseburgers. Biting into the first one caused a sensation much like when you realize you're shortly going to sleep with that hot new girl you've been seeing for a while.
IOW, I feel sorry for Woody Allen - he must really miss Frankfurters. Unless he's winding us up and doesn't really think they're enjoyable (it's normally pork too, not kosher, I don't know if he cares). Perhaps he's neurotic enough to fear unhealthy food.
> make me wonder why they don't take better care of themselves (now that they've "made it")
"Taking care" could mean living a bland, boring, ascetic life or exercising, investing time and energy in extending one's life. Either seems unfitting for the lifestyle of people who worked hard to live their dreams and know they will die anyway. They can afford the best medical treatment anyway.
(And now I'm going to get depressed wondering how many on the website don't know what I am talking about because it happened before they were born.)
Very interesting if you're a fan or if the esquire interview piqued your interest.
Thinking about this quote made me realize something:
By definition, anything received as a gift is not achieved whether or not it was received at birth. I think this quote could have been more elegantly stated as "A gift is not an achievement."
Putting it this way seems to change the implications slightly.
His daughters are teenagers now. Considering he started his relationship with de facto stepdaughter Soon-Yi Previn when she was in her late teens, I'm not sure that is the most reassuring way to start an interview.
Does it have to be one or the other, though? A person can control aspects of their life and make themselves successful with hard work and discipline and still have many aspects of their life out of their control (genetics, random occurrences, etc.). I have huge respect for Woody Allen and think he's a genius but I don't really like this quote because it let's people off the hook for their own circumstances which in many instances they can control.
I loved this line.
I'm not sure your rhetoric holds up when the full picture is presented.
Love has its way with people.
He is simply a shitty father and husband, broke a covenant and destroyed a family to satisfy his own needs. That is not ameliorated or erased by making films.
Forget fame, film and money. Tell me how spending 20 years with the same woman and having two kids together and finding great joy and satisfaction in your family is lechery and not love.
I'd probably say the same thing if, at the age of 44, I made a film starring myself as a guy in a relationship with an underage high-school kid. Of course if it were Mariel Hemingway (who was 18 darnit!) my biggest regret might have been not filming steamier sex-scenes...
In his case life imitates / imitated art.
(I only snark on the weekends, sorry.)