Saturday, June 20, 2009


To what extent can we control who we are?

Some would say that who we are is completely under our control, and that we (and perhaps some God or equivalent) are the only people who can truly observe it. And that to know another person is impossible.

But if we define a personality as something that can't be observed, then what's the point? If I can't possibly know, then why should I care? What good does it do us to think so hard about ourselves except to inform our actions? We are what we do, what we say, what we present to the world. Nothing more. Anything else is just an exercise we perform that informs our actions. The only value in considering this is to understand how it works, that we might predict actions in the future. Stopping at 'knowing a person' is stupid. Knowing how a person works and thinks should be information to be used (for your gain or theirs or someone else's). 'Who we are' means 'what do people know about us'.

How, then, can we control the message? If who we are is what people see, then we can easily lose control of who we are. Telling lies, we can change who we are, but at the risk of being found out and losing credibility. Misunderstanding, rumour and malice can all change the story and we might not even know it. Left unattended, a false rumour becomes truth, and if that rumour reaches someone before you do, there might be no hope for you. Because like it or not, you are what people think you are, and if you don't like it, you have to do everything in your power to change it.

It does you no good to claim a high moral ground and pretend you don't care what people think. You do, and you should. So next time you want to take a look at yourself, try to do it from someone else's perspective.

Monday, June 1, 2009


I'm at home writing this. My new home. So new, i'm on stolen wifi, since I don't have internet installed yet. I've only been here 8 nights, but it's my home now.

Last night I got back here about 2 in the morning, locked the door, brushed my teeth, drank some water and turned out all them lights. Then climbed the stairs in the dark and felt for the doorhandle to my room. As I touched it I felt at home in a way that I've never felt outside of my parents' house. It didn't matter that there's next to no furniture downstairs or that we don't have a fridge yet. It didn't matter that I've not been here long enough to connect a phone or the internet. It didn't even matter that when prompted that very same day, it took me 5 seconds to remember the address.

It doesn't matter that this place isn't finished yet, because it's mine (at least, in part) and I get to have a say in how it ends up.