Several times in my life I’ve come to the conclusion that many of my interests are oriented around a central concept: that of controlling things in my environment.
Nietzsche called this The Will To Power, and I’ve always rather liked the name. In fact that’s the name of a role-playing-game I made many years ago. Anyway, it’s a very attractive concept to me because it seems to permeate so much of my life.
A few examples:
- Blogging Few things are more ego-centric and will-to-powerish than wanting to be responsible for the spread of ideas — especially if you go through periods where you obsess over visitor statistics. I’m not saying it’s not an overall positive thing for many people, e.g. in my case being focused on spreading understanding and such, but I still can’t shake the feeling that it’s tied to something more sinister. I think you’ll find this same underlying theme in the lives of many big bloggers and writers.
- Guns and Laser Pointers Many think that these are very different animals, but I submit to you that they have a lot in common. Namely, the ability to look at something across the room and affect it. This is why women don’t like laser pointers; they just aren’t wired the same. Placing a little green dot on someone’s house from half a mile away is really just another way to claim that house as your own posession. “Aha! Look at what I’m doing to you from a distance! Now watch me point at the moon!” It’s quite transparent.
- Collecting Information I think the act of hording information about various topics (like this site was designed to do) is another behavior that falls into this class. And if you think about it, people with this affliction don’t ever use anything they horde. They just continue collecting because the stuff that they don’t have is inherantly more valuable than what they already own. Why? Because secretly, the goal is to collect ALL the information. It’s a power thing — through and through.
So I’m not saying this is a bad thing — only that it’s something we should recognize. Once we realize what we’re doing we can more easily control it. Oops.