We survive not on instinct, but on knowledge.

J Diary Entry

Tuesday, 21 March, 1995

Good day.  Woke up early and got in to work early.  Worked hard nearly all day.  Stayed until 7pm talking to Cav.  Talked about all the usual stuff and walked down Collins Street together.  Cav explained dual sexuality to me in the context of Tessa (from work).  He and I disagree about Tessa in that he thinks she’s sex on legs, I think the opposite.  Cav said that with someone she respected, she’d be demure and the stereotype of submissive femininity.  With someone who was a bit, say, rough trade, she’d be more expressive.  When I re-read this, it sounds dreadful.  Very off-hand and demeaning.  I suppose though, that they are terms no more or less cruel than people everywhere use to discuss their peers.  I should try to be better though.

I told Cav I was reading more Genet and “Candide” by Voltaire.  He seemed kinda impressed and said “There you go J.  You’re getting an education without even going to University.”  If only I could remember and gain a deeper understanding of all this stuff I read – the collected gold of centuries of literary mining.

I sometimes think about the consequences of a collapse of organized society, all the knowledge that would be lost in only a generation or two.  Nuclear physics (perhaps not such a terrible loss), advanced surgery, computer programming.  It would take only one generation of illiterates to obliterate it all.  It makes me think that we walk a very high and narrow path.  We survive not on instinct, but on knowledge.

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