The Pudlothon: Ecce Jacek

The Pudlothon is a thread devoted to all things Pudlo. This is the place where I will post my random thoughts immediately as they occur so that they may be known to the entire IF community without unnecessary delay. That explains the title, but what about the subtitle? For those of you not versed in St John’s Gospel, Ecce Jacek is a riff on Pilate bringing Jesus out with his crown of thorns for the Jews to see and saying to them: “Ecce Homo!” Behold the man! I am asking you thus to Behold the Jacek, to see me at my most honest, naked, suffering and vulnerable. I am evidently comparing myself to Christ. Am I a blaspheming clown, or the Real Thing? You be the judge.




If you doubt me now, you do so at your own peril.


I have a billionaire friend who’s terrified of falling in love because he thinks women are attracted not to him but to his money. Apparently he thinks there’s an essential ‘I’ which exists independently of his wealth, which he considers an accidental attribute, a detached garage of the mansion of the Self. But what if women are attracted to his good looks? After all, his looks are just as accidental as his inherited fortune. His intelligence? His charm? Where do the attributes end and the ‘I’ begin?

If being a billionaire is ruining his love life, there’s a simple solution…

Yeah. Stop worring about love.

Even a poor man attracts women not with his innermost Self, but by accidental attributes, such as good looks or intelligence. So where does the Self begin and is it possible to love an abstract Self?

When you’re poor you think if only you had money you’d be happy. When you’re rich you’re convinced your wealth is making you miserable. The conclusion is that neither love nor wealth can make you happy. It can only make you unhappy in new and hopefully interesting ways.

5 Reasons Money Can Buy Happiness

Of course not. If this “abstract Self” is unobservable by others, to them it may as well not exist.

There is the perception that personality, your particular quirks, are unique and immutable – even if accidental. And a woman who loves something you uniquely possess won’t stop loving you, unlike the woman who loves you for your wealth or beauty, who could at any time leave you for someone richer or more dashing.

That is the perception. It’s false, of course, but fear and insecurity do not need to be rooted in reality to thrive.



Now making people like New Coke, that’d be something.

What, you mean like Soylent Coke?

EDIT - Wow, completely misread your use of the verb “like”. Sorry about that.

Soylent Coke is a game I would play.

Oh, I don’t know… the twist would be completely spoiled by now.

Unless Soylent Coke WASN’t people.

Could be Pepsi.

It could be that the drink is marketed to cannibals as containing (consenting) people. You’re a corporate spy working for the rival drinks company Meati MAX, that uses dog meat, and you’re sent to steal Soylent Cola’s recipes. The twist is, Soylent Cola actually uses soya to cut costs.

That idea’s too good to go to waste, surely.

It may be my second-favorite random fact that, in the book Soylent Green was based on, this was true. Soylent steaks were veggieburgers.

(My first-favorite random fact would be the secret origin of Just a Gigolo.)

Oh there’s plenty more where that came from. I’ll add it to the growing collection of ideas that I probably wont substantiate.

It makes sense, it’s a lot more efficient to grow soya than meat (including people).

That’s the Francis Moore Lappe doctrine. However, it’s only demonstrably true if you’re growing meat fed on soy (and other grains). Fortunately, cows can eat grass - and in fact they’re healthier when they do. Perennial grasses, unlike grains and soy, can be grown sustainably, and they will flourish in places where soy can’t.

I would point out that this ‘abstract self’ is also unobservable by the self. You have contradictory thoughts, I’m sure. Which one is ‘you’? Thoughts aren’t actually signed nor is their origin in your ‘soul’ vs. your baser desires, verified. Thus, the abstract self does not actually verifiably exist. All we have are a bunch of thoughts and behaviours performed by a bunch of social beings, most of whom were culturally taught to obsess over what is the essential seed of their own behaviours, and to attempt to locate that seed in some mythological way.

If you can’t even locate your ‘self’ within your own head (and I know you can’t), then how do you expect someone completely outside your brain to love you based on that ‘self’ that is a mystery even to you? Loving people ‘for who they are’ is a myth; what you actually do is the only thing that matters in love, and the minute you stop doing whatever it is you did that made you loved, you will no longer be so loved, regardless of what was promised.


That may be the case, but so long as it remains cheaper to fatten cattle on soy and grains, then agrobusinesses will continue to do so. While soya and grains undoubtedly do not flourish everywhere- where they do flourish they are more efficient to grow than to use the land for cattle, as you can get several times more food per square mile from plant matter.

Numerical identity does play a role, though. Even if you do come to love someone because of what that person does, you usually don’t come to love everyone who does the same things. So, though you love someone, not because he or she is the one unique individual that he or she is, but because he or she is the kind of person he or she is, the object of your love still is that one individual (though the reason or cause for the love is not that individuals uniqueness but his or her be the right kind of person).

Sometimes however, it seems to me, love is not based so much on what the beloved does as on what the loving subject does (or thinks); at least I guess that this is so in many cases of non-erotic love: parents often do not love their children because the children are particularly sweet but because they themselves take such care of them and always have.

And, indeed, if one’s love for a particular person is a kind of behaviour, and if that behaviour has been rather erratically reinforced by the person one loves, we should expect it to be quite resistent to both negative reinforcement and extinction, so that you keep loving people long after they ceased to be the kind of people that made you love them. – I’m afraid that this is not seldom for the worse of the lover.

Thankfully, you don’t have to buy it from them.

“Efficient” is a funny word. If you pump the soil full of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and repeatedly purge the soil of all competing life, depleting its nutrients and sending them as toxic runoff into the Earth’s oceans, you can grow soy and grains very cheaply with a minimal amount of labor. On the other hand, if you allow a complete self-sufficient biome to coexist with your “crops,” you’ll get a lot less food for human use, but you’ll get more complete utilization of the water and solar energy that the land receives. Plus, it won’t die when the oil runs out.