Can anyone really be certain about anything?

I admire those who are certain about their choices, who say: “This is what I want to do, I have found an end-point and everything I do is working towards this.” If I was to say this, I would be a victim of a gross misapprehension of my own thoughts and I can’t help but think this applies to other people as well. But how arrogant is that – how would I know, how would they know without a level of introspection that in the process would stall any further certainty.

But, at least for myself, certainty is a state of not considering all the options. This obviously leads to a condition of continual indecision and as a result I am only able to judge a course of action by what it is not. If I don’t want to do it, I will pursue another option, and so, eventually, by a very uneconomical route, I will reach a conclusion.

Another option is that sometimes you just have to do something. And at that point every option becomes homogenized, “a reduction of difference to absolute indifference, equivalence, interchangeability (what Jean Baudrillard calls ‘implosion’).”1

1. Craig Owens, “The Discourse of Others: Feminists and Postmodernism,” in Hal Foster, ed., The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays in Postmodern Culture (New York: The New Press, 1998), p. 66.

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