Friday 26 January 2024

Reality sucks

Trevor Watkins 26/1/24

The only thing for sure is that you are here, that you are alive, that this world is full of wonders.

- Spinoza

Reality is the state of things as they actually exist. 

Reality determines the future and explains the present. 

Faith, hopes, dreams, good intentions are all mere commentary. 

Reality is the truth, the red pill, harsh and uncaring. 

The truth is based on unequivocal evidence. Evidence is based on thorough investigation. 

Reality is persistent, consistent, repeatable, predictable, and provisional.

To identify what is real you must use reason, logic,  insight, and a healthy dose of scepticism. The scientific method provides a useful guide.


You, your past, your experiences, your free will

your parents, your ancestors

your hard assets, gold, land, resources

your age, gender, height, weight, location

death, disease, disaster

government, rules, taxes

the world, other people, other places, other things, the universe

your uniqueness, individuality, and occasional stupidity


spontaneous order


your future

your children

your hopes, dreams, earnings, achievements, stories

Love and conflict




your nationality, race, skin colour

your IQ

your relationships


ideologies (capitalism, communism, socialism)

imagination, perception


promises, contracts

your bank balance and possessions


anything dependent on others


things that are too good to be true

Why is this important? 

Because your survival depends on it. In the past, only our ancestors who understood the very real difference between a lion and a buck survived and bred. But reacting to every rustle in the grass as though it was a lion was not a good survival strategy either. You had to know what was real and not real. 

Nowadays our existence is based almost entirely on what science has revealed. Our food, health, energy, communication, transport – all based on reality, not wishful thinking.

And yet, outside of science, we live in a demon-haunted world, as Carl Sagan famously said.

The world is dominated by regimes that reject reality. China’s government still espouses the frequently failed Marxist ideology, as does our South African regime. Muslim countries persist with unworkable religious ideologies. Much of Europe cannot reconcile their socialist tendencies with the reality of budget deficits. And many Western countries are flirting with truly insane “woke” policies and ideologies that reject reality. 

How do we change our South African reality?

Like an alcoholic we must first accept our reality before we can hope to change it. 

Some South African realities

We are bound to a failed and unworkable ideology

Our finances and institutions are at the point of collapse, 

Most of our polity is corrupt.

Half our population is uneducated, underfed, unemployed, untaxed.

Crime is rampant and unpunished.

We live in a pretty country.

The grim reality is that these items are probably unfixable in the short term. Ideologies only change when their supporters die, of old age or in a revolution.  

Unfortunately, our South African reality sucks.


Philosophical questions about the nature of reality or existence or being are considered under the rubric of ontology, which is a major branch of metaphysics in the Western philosophical tradition.

Epistemology is concerned with what can be known or inferred as likely and how, whereby in the modern world emphasis is put on reason, empirical evidence and science as sources and methods to determine or investigate reality.

 Reality is the totality of all things, structures (actual and conceptual), events (past and present) and phenomena, whether observable or not.

"reality is what you can get away with" (Robert Anton Wilson)

Reality is what someone will pay for

if you get paid for it, its real.

Out of all the realities, the reality of everyday life is the most important one since our consciousness requires us to be completely aware and attentive to the experience of everyday life.

philosophical discussions of "reality" often concern the ways in which reality is, or is not, in some way dependent upon (or, to use fashionable jargon, "constructed" out of) mental and cultural factors such as perceptions, beliefs, and other mental states, as well as cultural artifacts, such as religions and political movements, on up to the vague notion of a common cultural world view, or Weltanschauung.

the scientific method can verify that a statement is true based on the observable evidence that a thing exists. Many humans can point to the Rocky Mountains and say that this mountain range exists, and continues to exist even if no one is observing it or making statements about it.

in the nineteenth century by Peter Mark Roget to form the six headings of his Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases. The headings used were the three objective categories of Abstract Relation, Space (including Motion) and Matter and the three subjective categories of Intellect, Feeling and Volition, and he found that under these six headings all the words of the English language, and hence any possible predicate, could be assembled.[22]

Category came into use with Aristotle's essay Categories, in which he discussed univocal and equivocal terms, predication, and ten categories:[37]

Substance, essence (ousia) – examples of primary substance: this man, this horse; secondary substance (species, genera): man, horse

Quantity (poson, how much), discrete or continuous – examples: two cubits long, number, space, (length of) time.

Quality (poion, of what kind or description) – examples: white, black, grammatical, hot, sweet, curved, straight.

Relation (pros ti, toward something) – examples: double, half, large, master, knowledge.

Place (pou, where) – examples: in a marketplace, in the Lyceum

Time (pote, when) – examples: yesterday, last year

Position, posture, attitude (keisthai, to lie) – examples: sitting, lying, standing

State, condition (echein, to have or be) – examples: shod, armed

Action (poiein, to make or do) – examples: to lance, to heat, to cool (something)

Affection, passion (paschein, to suffer or undergo) – examples: to be lanced, to be heated, to be cooled

Reality is the mould that shapes our future. We can only change our future by breaking the mould.

Reality transmutes our present into the future

Reality transmutes your present into the future

A CRT(current reality tree) is a statement of an underlying core problem and the symptoms that arise from it. It maps out a sequence of cause and effect from the core problem to the symptoms. Most of the symptoms will arise from the one core problem or a core conflict. Removing the core problem may well lead to removing each of the symptoms as well.

The view that there is a reality independent of any beliefs, perceptions, etc., is called realism. More specifically, philosophers are given to speaking about "realism about" this and that, such as realism about universals or realism about the external world. Generally, where one can identify any class of object, the existence or essential characteristics of which is said not to depend on perceptions, beliefs, language, or any other human artifact, one can speak of "realism about" that object.

To do full justice to reality, we must engage it from different perspectives. That is the philosophical principle of complementarity.  Frank Wilczek

The truth should always be approached from 2 directions. Trevor Watkins

We suffer more in imagination than in reality. Seneca

your excuse becomes your reality. don't make weak excuses. Trevor Watkins

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.’ Buckminster Fuller - Architect / Designer / Futurist / Author

Turnover is Vanity, Profit is Sanity and Cash is Reality

axioms of science, peer review, double blind, open debate, repeatability, independent verification, falsification, hypothesis, disproof rather than proof, are like consent axioms, universally true.

 If someone perceives something to be true, it is more important than if it is in fact true. 

 Perception acts as a lens through which we view reality.

 In physical terms, reality is the totality of a system, known and unknown.

the state of things as they are, rather than as they are imagined to be:

Objective reality. Objective reality is the “gold standard” or scientific standard for what is real. ...

Subjective reality. ...

Intersubjective reality.

Ultimate reality, as is unaffected by the beliefs or limitations of any finite being.

God, being absolute and infinite, is both the Reality that transcends the cosmos and the Principle that generates it.

spontaneous order is real but seems unlikely

South African reality failures

No money is missing!

No government official is corrupt or will accept a bribe.

Our national police commissioner is not guilty of anything!

Zimbabweans and other Africans cannot wait to get back to their home countries!

Robert Mugabe did not ruin Zimbabwe!

Zenophobia is a myth!

Juju has passed woodwork and has a brain!

Zuma has a Matric, is faithful and has only 1 wife.

The protection of information bill is a figment of our imagination!

Everyone has a job.

Everyone has access to housing!

Our goverment hospitals are the best in the world! Our Matric pass rate is 100% and our maths litracy rates are the best in Africa.

Our education system is superb!

When you phone the police they respond!

Metro police are efficient & friendly & have never assaulted anyone!

Traffic Officers enforce the traffic laws and are praised!

Our Crimial justice system is efficient and has a conviction rate of 95% for murder, rape & robbery!

Our forensic laboratories give results with 3 days and have no backlog and they have the latest equip/facilities at their disposal!

All municipalities function properly!

SABC,Denel and SAA are making enormous profits!

Nobody knows what a service delivery protest is!

Our roads have no potholes!

People take responsibilty for their own upliftment through education!

A “strike” is something you do with a match!

Any Goverment gets voted out if they don`t perform, knowing they “serve” & don`t “rule”!

Affirmative action benefits the poor!

BEE widely benefits the poor & previously disadvantaged groups!

Candidates for goverment & municipal positions are decided on experience, qualifications and merit.

Eskom produces a product, sells it and doesn`t expect it`s customers to pay for its expansion!

Telkom doesn`t have a monopoly over our communication network!

Prisons are not overcrowded.

Vehicles are not taxed at close to 50%, inflating their prices.

Toll road concessions are given only where new road networks need to be built!

The road accident fund actually protects you in the event of an accident!

Petrol/Diesel taxes are used to improve infrastructure!

Personal tax and VAT is reasonable and the necessity of tax is appreciated by everyone.

We have a business friendly environment and enterpreneurs are supported & encouraged, we are the preferred investment destination of the world!

Interest rates are low!

No matter the colour of your skin, your religion or culture, when something is not “Right” or “Correct” we condemn it as one voice!

Apartheid never happened!

White/Black and other races appreciate we where all victims of the apartheid system, some more than others!

The ANC never killed anyone by denying them AIDS treatment!

Our water is not being polluted, especially from mining, people who pollute our environment are promptly arrested!

There is no need for private security companies, ,alarms, electric fences, security gates or Insurance cover!

The ANC only names things they built and paid for!

Woman & Children are really protected!

Sportsmen & Woman are selected on merit, if the team is black, white, mixed, all indian, all coloured, all japanese it doen`t matter, as long as they are South African citizens and we can get to see them use their talent!

Banks pay us for entrusting them with our money!

Productivity is one everyone`s mind, useless,lazy employees are fired!

Land Reform is not necessary, the R54,5 billion that has been recovered has resolved this issue forever!

People are not encouraged to breed like rabbits, social grants are for the weak in our society, not the lazy, babies are not the road to an income!

Our elderly are respected and retire happily, the country appreciates their past contribution by giving offering them a liveable retirement benefit!

Goverment employees respect the electorate when making vehicle purchases to aid them in their task!

Goverment employees don`t arrange parties costing thousands of rands!

Goverment employees live in reasonably priced guest houses and hotels when on essential official business.

Work Cited

Einstein, Albert. “Reality.” Wikipedia, Accessed 6 December 2022.

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