Competition year: 2004
About Per Norback
I am found of news. I am reading slowly, trying to understand what is going on. Iraq conflict, fatwa, domestic, welfare, growth, commercials. From the newspaper reader´s point of view the world seems mostly like a painful struggle, an endless fight for even more. Old Schopenhauer smiles at me from his finally rest. "What did I tell you?" Behind another gravestone stands Nietzsche. He is trying to say something, his gigantic moustache moves, but I cannot hear him. The train passes, the signal from the icecream car disturbs me. The media screams to loud. We have reached our goals, we have got everything our ancients ever longed for. Why can´t we be satisfied?
"What are you doing?" Maybe Nietzsche asked that question. What are we doing? What am I doing? Right now I try to think. It´s not easy to think in this noice. It´s not easy to hear own thougts. My inner voice has become weaker. When I´m talking, my words seems very familiar. I have read them or heard them from someone else. Sometimes I feel like an eco. Eco. My words are tired, they have been used many times before. They are not mine - but how about my ideas? Has someone else been thinking my thoughts before me? In the 90´s I began to write down every idea that was new for me when it pop up in my mind. I get a kick from new ideas. The aim of the project was to locate my individual thinking. I was studying at that time. My diary from this inspiring period was more than houndred pages at year. It became a habit to notice my new ideas, so I just continued.
Now I am a bit worried, because the statistics over the last years tells clearly that this millenium my thinking has stagnate. Last year I had only 22 new ideas. Terrifying! This year has not started better. The last thing that I wrote down in the diary (over a week ago) was a metareflexion. "Why am I so delighted in my new ideas? Is an idea better just because it´s new and unique? Of course not. A new idea might be as bad as any commercial slogan. Uniqueness is no granting for quality at all, but it satisfies me in another way. It makes me feel like "myself", which is paradoxically one of the most common and less unique feeling that exists. I think I suffer from the Messias complex. I feel that I am selected to do something important. To save the world or something like that. Many people feel that they are selected to save the world. Not supringsingly - it is the ultimate goal in our modern fairytails. Our action heroes does it - Superman, James Bond, Ninja Turtles, Powerpuff girls - everyone save the world. Why not me? And maybe we prevent each other from doing it just because we all wants to do it." Schopenhauer smiles again.
The Prisoner´s dilemma is no fairytail. It is the great challenge of our time. Imagine that you have comitted a crime together with a friend, and you have been taken by the police. You are being interrogated separately and you are not allowed to talk to each other. The interrogators says that you have to choice either to confess or deny. They let you know that if you both confesses, you will be sent to prison for three years. If one of you confesses and the other denies, then the one that confesses will be put in jail only for one year, and the one that denies will get four years. If you both denies, you cannot be punished for the crime. Then you will be punished for minor crimes (illegal weapon etc) and spend two years each i prison. What are you going to do? Suppose your goal is to spend as little time in prison as possible. The consequences of your decision depends on what your friend is doing. If your friend confesses, it is better for you to do the same. Then you have to spend three years in jail instead of four. Even if your friend denies it is better for you to confess. Then you have to sit one year instead of two. It is rational to confess, whatever your friend is doing. The problem is that if your friend also thinks rationally, the outcome will be the worse in a totally view. Together you have to spend six years in jail.