Pseudo-Intellectual musings by a pseudo-intellectual person.
Meandering the Metaverse
Published on March 9, 2004 By PoetPhilosopher In Philosophy
The chisel does not think when striking the marble. It does not ponder it's existence. It does not ponder it's purpose; the moral right or wrong of the carving. The chisel is simply a tool in the hands of the artist, an instrument. The artist must place the chisel carefully, deliberately. And yet, the artist, who has been commissioned by the wealthy collector, does not have true freedom either. In a sense the artist is the tool of the employer.

We dehumanize the weapon, for it is simply a tool. But is the solider not an instrument of the army? And is an army not an instrument of a government, which is an instrument of a specific philosophy?

So here you sit, blogging away on your keyboard.

Have you stopped to think who controls the tool which is YOU?

And for what purpose?

Replies encouraged.

Poet is listening to: Tool - Useful Idiot

Comments (Page 1)
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on Mar 09, 2004
I control me! No, I know what you're getting at though. I work for social services, so I am a tool for them. But I (maybe) don't follow all the rules to the letter unless they are pretty important, so I am working them back for my own advantage. I didn't say that. You didn't see me, OK?!

I blog because I want to get replies and talk to others. If they don't reply then I suppose I feel controlled by that? I feel the need to write an article asking what I did wrong...

I work because I have to. I pay taxes because I have to. But I do both of these for a reason, so am I being a "tool" for this?


on Mar 09, 2004
Good, good... especially the bit about the army, although I wish I'd read this before I'd finished my last blog. I could have used this..

on Mar 09, 2004
Superpsych. You are thinking in your own terms. This is what I am attempting to get beyond. Does the chisel have any knowledge of the sculptor? Does it even have a frame of reference? A context? It is not a perfect analogy because the chisel cannot think, so it may be better to consider the sculptor.

Perhaps you are here on JoeUser as an instrument of Stardock. Afterall, if the site is commercial, the goal to produce advertising revenue, by increasing the size of the community, by encouraging blogging - you are in essence, a "free" employee.

This is only one example, but rather provocative to think about - and it hits home more than my hypothetical examples.

In your line of social work, it might be accurate to say - you are a tool of societal stability, no ?

You work to pay for goods - your pay is set by the market and the price of goods is set by the market. Hmmm. Some questions there. And indeed your desire for goods can be manipulated wouldn't you agree?
on Mar 09, 2004
I was expecting an article about the band Tool....too bad...

on Mar 09, 2004
Very much so. I like things which have pretty pictures on the packets!

No, seriously, I see what you're saying. In that case, doesn't everything we do just come down to being a tool for someone or something? If I eat, then I am a tool for the shop that I bought it from, and the company that manufactured it. Unless I eat my grown veg? Am I tool then?

In social work, we are essentially tools of the clients. There are so many policies and procedures protecting them. When they say "Jump!", we, predictably say "How high, when, and how often?". We can try to impose our own rules, but it often can end up looking like abuse.

Am I a tool by breathing or sleeping?

on Mar 09, 2004
I am, therefore I blog.
I am the tool of my family. I am their example ( both good and bad ), I am their provider of their wants, needs, and desires. I demonstrate what they can be, as well as what they never want to be.
I am a tool of my community, both icon and blight.
I am the tool of any and all that I contact( if I am the right tool for them is another question ).

Damn, I feel like a well worn socket set, missing a few pieces.
Thanks for the introspection.
on Mar 09, 2004
On Tool... I will just say my favorite track is Faap de Oiad - because it gives me goosebumps. Or it did the first time I listened to it. EOM on that subj.

It may be accurate to say - we are all each a tiny cog in the machine of capitalism. For so much of what we do - from dead-end-jobs, to two hour commutes in stop-and-go traffic.

Which is not to say there are moments when we become "noble instruments" much like the part of the iceberg which is floating on top of the water. I think when Dynosoar talks about "all that I contact" - it is getting there. Along the lines of - how can I make this interation worthwhile.
on Mar 10, 2004
I was expecting an article about the band Tool....too bad...


that's funny... my friends call people Tools, if they are being idiotic. This blog wasn't what I was expecting either....
on Mar 11, 2004
NickyG - You may be closer to my point than you realise. Heheh.

BTW. I love that expression. Is it considered "old school" ?
on Mar 12, 2004
I don't know if it is old school or not, but from what I know from my friends and myself, it's perpetuating some idea that leads others into thinking that they are just a complete idiot. After looking at the above, I would agree that it would coincicide with your point quite nicely.
on Mar 12, 2004
Poet... i'm sure you've mentioned it before, but refresh my memory... do you believe in God?
on Mar 12, 2004
on a completely unrelated note, (hence the 2nd reply), what about homeless people? are they just tools in the bottom of the box that never get used?

what if the sculptor is working for himself, creating something for himself? is he still a tool for someone else, or some other entity?

doesn't perspective come into play here to a certain extent? aren't we only 'tools' so much as we allow ourselves to think we are?

here's a spinoff:

what is freedom?
on Mar 12, 2004
>>You are thinking in your own terms. This is what I am attempting to get beyond. Does the chisel have any
>>knowledge of the sculptor? Does it even have a frame of reference? A context?

Dang, Poet went on all Budhist Koan on us. What are you trying to do, enlighten us or something? It's good, though, I like it. I'm not going to attempt an answer. For now I think it would be more mind expanding just to ponder it.

>>what about homeless people? are they just tools in the bottom of the box that never get used?

Maybe, amongst other things, they are God's tool for testing our reactions, like Lazarus at the rich man's gate. Even though they may not obviously be contributing/doing anything their very presence causes actions and reactions.
on Mar 12, 2004
Imajinit. I am a "practicing atheist", but I believe in God in concept, and I believe that others truely believe. I also enjoy paradoxical thinking. But that is another blog.

Homeless people. That is a funny analogy, but to think they are not being used.. well some would disagree with that !

A sculptor working for himself - maybe you have hit upon something. Are there rare instances where an action is "pure and good" in that it is not the result of some outside influence? It seems pretty self-centered though doesn't it ? But maybe that is the point. Self motivation.

As far as perspective - I would say it is something like the opposite. And I am going to switch to "instrument" because tool has a negative connotation I think.

The most useful instrument is one that doesn't know it is an instrument. It performs the will of the one wielding the instrument without thought, consideration, without moral judgement.

So.. the very act of realizing you are a tool - or can be a tool, makes you LESS of a tool, because you are concious of how other people might use you and you can contrast that with your own *internal* motivations (your sculptor example). Which is not to say it isn't enjoyable or useful to be a tool sometimes. Sometimes, the intents align.

Freedom - is an illusion, but you already knew that
on Mar 12, 2004

In regards to the homeless you have a very interesting perspective. I like it a lot. I that vein...

Perhaps they are an outlet for other's compassion ?

A barometer of the how much we care about each other in society ?

Perhaps they act to reign in our self-oriented motives of consumption ?

Just a couple ideas.

Hopefully WiseFawn will chime in.
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