Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Relevance vs irrelevance

Things that are relevant today may be irrelevant “tomorrow“. The longer our perspective, the more things become irrelevant. Still, Time is only a marker – not a driver – of Change (eg, history, When).

If most things are ultimately irrelevant then What is – or should be – relevant to us? And Why do relevance and irrelevance matter so much to us?

I suppose that the Why question relates to my 2016 blog: The meaning of Life = living a meaningful life. Nevertheless, that blog was about a micro (ie, individual) and not about a macro picture (eg, history).

Answering the Why question should help answering the other questions: How, What, When, Who, Where.

Only some individuals (will) have (had) a lasting impact on history: some good; others bad. Most individuals will however be forgotten in history. Did / does that make the rest of us irrelevant?

About a decade ago, at an alumni event, someone said that me: So, you’re the Leon Oudejans from the old (sic!) audit working papers …….. I just wondered whether I should be flattered – or not.

I doubt that my jobs have had an impact on history – to put it mildly At least, my daughter and son will continue our family name. My writing might also stand a chance to create a legacy.

From a micro perspective, nearly all of us will be irrelevant in human history. However, from a macro perspective, it’s quite unlikely that humans are irrelevant in the Universe.

An example of a micro perspective:

“We might be distinctly lacking in power from the cosmic perspective, and so, in a sense, insignificant. But having such power and such significance wouldn’t make much of a difference anyway. To lament its lack and respond with despair and nihilism is merely a form of narcissism. Most of what matters to us is right here on Earth.”

The conclusion of Nick Hughes in his 2017 Aeon essay: Do we matter in the cosmos?

An example of a macro perspective:

“The universe that surrounds us is vast, and we are so very small. When we reflect on the vastness of the universe, our humdrum cosmic location, and the inevitable future demise of humanity, our lives can seem utterly insignificant. [..] This impression does turn out to be mistaken, but not for the reasons typically assumed. In fact, we might be of immense cosmic significance—though we cannot, at this point, tell whether this is the case.”

An excerpt from the 2013 abstract of Our Cosmic Insignificance by Guy Kahane, Professor of Moral Philosophy.

Hence, the discussion on our (ir-)relevance might (“just”) be another example of a human (philosophical) belief. It’s unlikely that any other lifeform worries about its relevance in space and/or time.

Irrelevant (2022) by P!NK
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-song

You can call me irrelevant, insignificant
You can try to make me small
I’ll be your heretic, you fucking hypocrite
I won’t think of you at all

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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