Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Human Beings: The Most Complex Creatures on the Planet?

Isn’t it funny what we, as human beings, do to amuse ourselves and entertain ourselves as this thing we call Life happens? I mean, I know people say it all the time, but we must be really complex beings.

Just look at us – we’re not happy just to live and breathe and blink and swallow and do all the other remarkable things our bodies can do. We’re not happy just to be. No, we have to have education and careers, spouses and children, hobbies, interests, talents and skills, friends, enemies, pets, clubs, music, sport… I could go on forever. I could, but I won’t. And it’s got to the point now where it’s not enough for us to have different things to occupy us; now we’re training animals and hunting down human “freaks” to perform for us.

Granted, there are some people who can sit for hours and be entertained by absolutely nothing. I, among many others, watch Oprah Winfrey every day religiously, for example. Another fine example would a good friend of mine who, as multifaceted as he is, comes up with startlingly absurd games such as the one he plays with his friend involving two entirely unrelated words and Wikipedia.

“So...we'll both be sitting in front of our computers on and one person says one really random word and the other says a completely unrelated one - take ‘salmon’ and ‘communism’ for example - and the aim of the game is to start off at ‘salmon’ on Wikipedia and click on the blue words on each page that link you to another page, and find your way to ‘communism’.”

You get my point.

I just think it’s fascinating how creatures as wondrously made as we are can be so simple-minded. Take it in likeness to a graphical calculator. These calculators have the ability to do outrageously difficult sums, plot charts and solve simultaneous equations faster and more accurately than Albert Einstein probably could, yet they can still be, and are, used to work out things like how many 5’s go into 15. Of course, this may be down to how remarkably uneducated humans can behave, but you get the idea.

I have a new flatmate (which makes him sound much like a new pet, only I would never call my rabbit Jamie and this one happens to be a male person), and it amazes me what mundane conversations and tasks can keep us both occupied for hours at times. Today, for example, we sat and talked about the price of ice cream for about ten minutes – it doesn’t sound a long time, but you give it a try, and you’ll see. About a week ago, I watched as Jamie sat and stared at a picture of, and talked about, the new iPod for at least twenty minutes. We sit and stare at a particular lightbulb for hours, arguing over who’s job it should be to buy a new one and who will install it (for safety’s sake, anything electrical should be Jamie’s responsibility, every time), or who’s turn it is to go grocery shopping, or Spaghetti Junction aka the corner of the room where all our wires coagulate.

Anyway, it’s time for me to go and do something productive. I can’t decide which one sounds more exciting, to be honest - hitting a tennis ball against a wall, or rearranging my sock drawer.


sherin said...

"Spaghetti Junction aka the corner of the room where all our wires coagulate"

HAHAHAH. daz funny!! tsk. you should get organized hayley!

actually I've kinda got a spaghetti junction in my room too...and its not in a corner so it's literally a junction...

yours should be called like.. Spaghetti cul-de-sac :P i dont make dorky comments, really. xoxo

sue spiers said...

Hey Hayley, not a good idea to talk about your flat mate and then send your parents your link!!
Apart from that you've done a good job with your writing, keep up the good work.M.u.m.

Ling Fung said...

I think this is much better than the previous two. Clearer structure, clearer theme, and the whole article does flow. Well done!

I think you can make it better, by trying to explore why people actually do these. In the intro u raise the question, and throughout the piece you give examples and analyse how 'meaningless' things are, and eventually end on a note suggesting that writing this piece of artcile is another meaningless thing; but you still leave that question of 'why' here.

Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

uugh! Thank you for posting this :) really helpful. I'm doing an art project about how complex humans are, but there arent much articles in the internet that get my point. yours is the closest so far!