Being a human in this day and age got limited. I feel like those kind of questions which were asked once with great reverence, are today barely referenced as conversation starters. People don’t want to go in depth anymore. What scarred me is that the shallowness is not the kind you find at careless teenagers but a deep one, a shallowness rooted in certainty.
We know there is no life after death. No one ever came back, all reports have been debunked a zillion times and currently all culture revolves around a lust of life sentiment feeding a fear of missing out because you only live once.
We know there is no God. Every single attempt to represent God turned out to be a business enterprise. I think right now God has the worst PR problem in history. Not to mention the ubiquity of suffering and injustice which world wide instant communication made known. We’re clearly on an abandoned gem, struggling to survive our peers in a terrible hostile universe.
We know there is no objective truth. Mathematically proven, socially over researched: truth is always relative. Recently we started to learn there are no lies either.
We know right and wrong are political constructs. All ethics eventually got perverted into enforced mass control. History is chock full with reinterpretation and rewriting.
We know there is no soul. Countless MRIs sum up in an impressionist painting of the “soul”, all chemicals and electric currents. No EKG ever picked any other presence than that of a hard working heart.
We know society is as bad as it has always been. There are ten documentaries a week exposing this, amirite. The rulers are as powerful as ever, and their mischief as boring as ever.
So then, what is there to think about? Does a temporary being, a short lived creature holistically aware of itself, despite all its efforts to dull this awareness out, have any business pondering existential or metaphysical questions? Is it fair to ask this of it?
Existence is also known too. The rate of normative behavior is accelerating each decade, revolutionary social spikes are to be found only in dystopia and all non normative behavior tends to be already in the stage of mental illness. Easy is success.
The universe is boring. It only takes mathematical equations to predict what it does. Finding out each equation is not boring, but once found, triviality ensues.
This is probably some effect of advancing tools, or maybe of the increasing density of our civilization, or an effect of our incredibly disturbing loud loneliness. Replacing solitude with noise is a skill.
Yet all this certainty makes us less human. In my opinion the great differentiator which creates the meaning of “human” is our unrelenting running “I don’t know”. The more certainty, the more automation. The more automation, the less attention. The less attention, the less novelty. The less novelty, the shorter the life.
This, dear Marcus, is so scary. I must miss a button or something, because I just can’t begin to live. I can’t. I am alive, hence I am living. And I fear death because it is so unreasonable.
I think we should all fear death. We should. Death sucks. You know why? I know you do Aurelius, because you’re dead, but, oh, all of us nodding philosophically at your wisdom appear to not know. We don’t seem to know that death is permanent.
We fear not beginning to live while we squander our life looking for the start button.
The world’s most valuable commodity is time
Are you kidding me?
I am certain this is false, because no one ever gave me nothin’ for showing up. I gotta do the work, follow up and push through.
As long as you live, keep learning how to live. –Seneca
Damn I hate these quotes. You’d imagine they have some depth but in reality they are tricks of the intellect. I believe Seneca was making fun of future idiots. So it says that I should continuously learn, which is ok I guess, tiresome but ok, but then wait, I should learn only one thing: to live. You all know how to live don’t you? I mean if you didn’t you’d all be zombies browsing medium.
So what would learning how to live mean as a metaphor? It isn’t about breathing, homeostasis or anabolism, right? It is about, here comes the joke: assimilating life recipes made by others!
That is just cruel Seneca! In your time there were no professional content producers and no listicles.
We tend to offer a lot of importance to big issues, and no importance to smaller issues. That means we’re made to withstand adversity, given adversity is grand, yet we’re also made to ignore adversity, given adversity is little.
One can live with urinary infection and depression their whole life.
We go over hardships and never look back.
We go through rough times and never stop and consider what just happened.
We do that, given we’re not meeting big bad wolves.
However we are furless tropical creatures. Do you know why we lack fur? Because our big brains couldn’t stand it. It’s true, we have the most intricate critter detection system, millions of sensors fine tuned to detect the smallest of invaders crawling on our skin.
The raging panic triggered by some harmless bug, or worse some cold blooded creature, one which finds itself, by mistake, in contact with our skin, well that raging panic is a zero tolerance reaction. However we have not evolved this sense into our societies.
Because we do not love each other. We are not a single humanity glued together by the absurdity and beauty of our existence. We don’t love each other and because of that we don’t want to share a greater skin, the skin of the body of the world.
We rip through it.
Hence we never detect the small critters. The worlds we build deal with the big issues and are systematically taken down by small issues: the handful of naturally occurring sociopaths that end up leading us into killing each other, the natural envy that tears all communities apart eventually, the normal insecurity that opens our souls to the merciless whims of the powerful.
Where are our zero tolerance reactions when we need them?
All the small things no one has time for. “I ain’t got no time for that”. There are wolves and dragons out there. Better watch out.
In the meantime, our children get ready to pay our debt, and we don’t care. We care too little. We don’t care enough to stick to our guns. To be over sensitive. To kill the critters in a fit of rage and manic haze.
How can you just go on? Don’t you feel the slime dripping on your skin? The slime of forbidden reality? The millions of tickling insects of the exploitation that’s using you? How can you be so numb? Why do you go on and act every day following your script and shutting me up because I am a bore?
And yet you mercilessly kill a poor ant which the wind has blown on your shoulder, disgusted that your’re wiping your fingers off the dead ant’s guts on that grass which looks up at you in big awe of your impossibly quiet ignorance.
you don’t get to [place human emotional craving here]
It is the new way of emotional punishing: crush their oxytocin levels by openly reflective reverse empathy.
Who the fuck gave you power over what I get to? Your weird crappy prescription morality? Your obvious logical superiority?
And gawd is this popular! The younger you are the more you get to imprison people in your fucked up social sharing emotional mirrors amplifying you puny little starved hatred.
Hate is better than the moral patronizing of a permanent mutiny mob.
Power in numbers, speaking for the many, amplifying opinion, all powerful weapons. I have no idea why would people think that a weapon taken from the hand of the oppressor becomes a red pill blessing in the hand of the revolutionary, when a weapon will never change purpose with a change in ownership. Weapons are the artistic expression of power and their core message is vulnerable exposure.
Amplifying what people get to and what people don’t get to is pulling the propaganda trigger. Propaganda is a weapon that fires with mentalities.
The warriors of the good today are the generals of evil tomorrow. Who tells you what you get to today, allows what you will get to tomorrow.
Are you fighting on the side of the obvious good? Be better.
What if the world stops appropriating the american way?
The american way, the american dream, the american identity is a culture of freedom, cowboys, feet raised on the desk, cigar and whiskey, brash dreaming and freedom to build fences, the cult of the property, pioneers, innovation and competition as social medicine, the English language as a lingua franca, the music and movies, the global corporate propaganda about high profile values, like choice, rebellion, democracy, individualism, the damn flag itself as a branding item of this planet.
The american identity is lubricated into no friction appropriation, in every corner of the world. In renewed democracies, in poor countries, in developing nations, in rich countries with systemic tidal forces of population import, in the east as the white man, in the west as the prototypical Yankee or the lone ranger.
A culture built on top of the melting pot, a culture which is constructed, and serves as the sealed cover that helps the pressure build in the pot, a culture pushed relentlessly to be appropriated as a means of cultural conquest, the true empire based on promoting the U.S.A. brand’s unique selling proposition:
Earth’s most advanced nation, army and economy
Which we know is a story, like any USP, but we still want it to be true. Except for the army part, which compensates the inflated nation concept.
How to respond to this invitation to appropriation and what role does identity politics have in geopolitical strategies?
I am a pro american, pro-european citizen of an E.U. member state. I voted for a close relationship with the U.S. whenever I was presented with the chance to do so. For my country the unrestrained mingling of the US influencers with how we run the place is a good thing, a thing keeping us infused in checks against the other brand: the Russian world domination vanity. So this is in no way an anti american idea. It is a valid dilemma on this joke:
— OMG, the Russians went to the Moon and they painted it red! — No worries, the Americans went there too and wrote Coca-Cola on it.
The world politics continues to present itself as a duopoly, while we all know it really is an oligopoly filled with souls sold to the devil and hard choices and many odd friends. But to the market made of people’s motivation the duopoly of Russian Federation and U.S.A. is a good enough communication plan.
If this sounds a bit simplistic, it is. To quote Nassim Taleb, which is just as right logically even though he supports Trump raising doubts on his personality:
It is as irrational to reject all conspiracy theories as it is to accept them.
Therefore my dilemma on identity politics is valid as for centuries countries used cultural infection as a means to control the market share of people’s motivation.
How will the containment of culture inside identity groups face the larger game played far beyond the daily life of people?
Will the policing of fiction, such as the current problem with Lionel Shriver’s speech, be of any good while specialized communicators construct propaganda and shove crafted desirable identities into societies by means of a zillion channels, from advertising to PR, from lobby to patronage of arts, from trade to market consolidation effects?
I have never ever seen a human of this color. Never. Not in the movies, not on the streets, not in cartoons even. Not even Casper, the friendly ghost, had this color. To me, there is no such thing as white people.
I have seen white cats. White owls. White dogs. White rats. White foxes. White bears. But never, ever have I seen a white human. Not even the albinos are white. So where are all the whites, that make the white supremacy?
I am born within privilege. A lot of it. I am male, I had educated parents, I have a good genetic makeup with enough diversity so that I am generally healthy, and have a pretty much symmetrical look, good skin, nice teeth and all. I have had enough shit in my life to get that masculine rugged gaze and some white hairs which help me get an interesting look. But I am not white. I am a shade of brown most of the time, even in the winter. In the summer my skin gets darker, and my eyes get lighter. Yet, I have been yellow, a yellowish red, when jaundice tinted my bloodstream. Being sick, I have spent months inside and turned, at best in a pale gray yellow shape of myself. But, I am not and have never been white.
I live in a racist country, one where racism is so ingrained in society that absolutely no one even understands the term. The main target of our racism is a group of browner people, gypsies. But it is common for folk to feel sorry for black people for their blackness, especially for pretty black girls. Genuine sorry, as if the black went away there would be some miracle cure. It is common for a black man to be considered naturally dirty, as if you could get stained with their blackness. I wonder, when we discuss open borders, do we consider that waves upon waves of people who are insensitive to topics such as race, sexuality or sex will get to thicken the many layers of resistance in cultures who struggled for decades to beat the diseases of racism, discrimination and bigotry?
I wonder, who designated these weird labels on “races” as accurate? White, yellow, red, black … they are nowhere to be found. So far brown appears to be the only universal shade I keep seeing. I’ve seen brown Chinese, brown Americans, brown Romanians, brown Russians, brown African-Americans, brown Rwandans, brown Egyptians.
Listen my black brother, I think that as long as I am “white” and you are “black”, I win. The Sun is white, the day is white, milk is white, flower is white, sugar is white. Sure, lots of exotic and mystical things are black, but you wont win this war with special tricks. Some sugar is brown, but I only use it for coffee. The good sugar, the white processed one, goes to make the sweet stuff, the cookies I so enjoy. Do you see the pattern? In the racial justice war simply using the term white is like giving a check mate to all other players.
White is a great political power idea, invented by the invading nations who stumbled on various technological discoveries when their time came. Like those before them who wielded empires because they stumbled on other technological discoveries, there is nothing particularly special about some European nations who “conquered” the entire world. It is pure luck. But, by the power of sheer serendipity, we had the audacity to take captive the notion of whiteness and we got you all enslaved forever. Nothing simpler.
As long as some population is white, all the other inhabitants of the planet will loose the racial war. And they will also loose the political benefits. Oh, and the white always wins the economical game, because the white are special, and you agree without even knowing. Listen to my words, if you care for justice to guard the truth that all people are created equal: banish this color label from your vocabulary, because white is everything there is, all rolled into one. You can’t win against the white at a conceptual level. The white will engulf you. If you call me white, I have power over you.
Have you “seen the light”? It was white, wasn’t it? Or maybe you are one of those having fun thinking of a Black God? End it, God is white. Alanis Morisette played a female God, a white female God. Morgan Freeman played a God all dressed up in white, in a white setting. Had it been black, you’d be put out of the whole movie, you know why? Because white is good, white is up, white is the color of the top of the mountains and white is in the sky, because water!
In the racial war, white has the power of the one concept hard wired into humanity: life. White means everything it means today, before we had the so called white people on this planet. Before Romans, before Europeans, before colonialist empires, before slavery. White means the good thing, even since we were making up this world we’re living in to be filled with dragons. Just realize that by fighting a war against an opponent whose whiteness you confirm and empower you will loose.
Do you think Hollywood is whitewashing movies? We’re all whitewashing the planet, by labeling a minor genetic difference with the greatest metaphor of all: white! There are no white humans in my experience so far. There are only various shades of brown. The greatest problem in cultural shifts is to redefine mentalities. As long as a group of people get the best allegoric description of qualia rolled up into one word, white, I think we’ll be playing an endless and fruitless game of victim-perpetrator.
To be white is something to desire. If the whole racial justice discourse is to do any good, it must reinvent itself into something that changes the idea that any of the people on this Earth are White. The current situation where the establishment, the system, the culture, the power is identified with a group of people who are all thrown under the generic and empowering term of whiteness, is a loosing position for all the equality movements on the planet.
Nobody is really white. Seriously, not even the really pale people, not even those with vines showing beneath their skin, it doesn’t matter how Aryan or Nordic in appearance, you are not white. You may be a very, very, pale hue of brown with yellow shades and some black or red spots and dots. But we all want to be white. The darker we are the whiter we’d like to be. Traditional myths and fairly tales include accurate descriptions of beautiful, special, noble, worthy people who are all white, in “white” countries. No one looks like the heroes and heroines our children dream up to. Because nobody is really white.
I am not “colorblind”. I am simply not white, and I have never seen a white person in my entire life. I will however make an instinctive difference between my hue and the other hues, because this is what was presented to me as a child. This is essential, no matter how much information one accrues in a lifetime, the basic principles laid out by the childhood exposure will never change. Never. They can only emulate change. So imbued in my native education-instilled racism, proud of all my awareness in regard to my race, I do not identify as white, because I simply am true to myself when I look in the mirror. I am not white, but I reap all the benefits all the people who think I am white offer me for free, as if I am some magician who has hypnotized 90% of the planet’s population.
When I’m born I’m black When I grow up I’m even more black When I’m in the sun I’m still black When I’m cold, guess what: I’m black And when I die I’m fucking black too But you: When you are born you’re pink When you grow up you are white When you’re sick, man look at yourself, you’re green When you go in the sun you turn red When you are cold you turn blue And when you die you look purple And you got the fucking nerve to call me colored? — Tongue Forest ft. LaMont Humphrey
It’s gonna take a while for the age of thinkers to come again.
Every success story today is more about accomplishing what we call “wealth creation”, and less about what we call “good creation”.
Sure, maybe you are one who thinks that today is everything, that we are at some peak, unable to fall, or one who dwells passively in the sweet illusion of future prosperity, prosperity brought about by the fresh new princes of the world, or hey, maybe you are one who believes in basic income — to any of which I say, maybe.
I know that wealth creation has been here before.
I also know that the antithesis of wealth versus good is not immediately apparent. It can actually be shocking.
One is inclined to think that wealth is good. Of course, you take the cautionary steps and mention that wealth must be used for good, that wealth is not good by itself, that wealth should be shared to be good, but with all these safety nets on, we generally conclude that wealth is good.
But it ain’t.
Actually, in a social sense wealth is the opposite of good, wealth is evil.
First, wealth is not money! Precisely, wealth is physically fenced matter. Here is a way to explain:
wealth — the last stage of owning, which breaks matter from the universe for the single use of a person.
1) free — keep from none 2) worthy— keep from one 3) earned — keep from some 4) property — keep from many 5) wealth — keep from all
Unlike property, wealth just sits and does nothing much.
Wealth is as useless as a pedestal. Think about it. All that matter below a human only so that one is higher than another …
Wealth is when property becomes used as bricks in a wall. Wealth is like the tomb competition in Egypt, where, for no logical reason, work, time, effort, planning, all got sucked into fencing matter to make a huge pyramid of stone.
Property is productive, property advances humans, but wealth is a force of stagnation.
Usually wealth is not real. It resides in illusory beliefs in the value of some things. This is different from property. But for this very specific reason wealth is fenced matter: we keep property out of production so we don’t suddenly see it lose its illusory evaluation.
Not only people act poorly on wealth. Entire countries do too. “Our land”, “our country”, “war” is about preserving unchanged an illusory drawing on a map for fencing matter.
The world has seen times like this before, times of doer’s revolutions. We are, it seems, bound to make the same mistakes, not ideologically, not conceptually, but emotionally.
We suck at evolving beyond the immediate.
But, if wealth is evil, how to still satisfy our innate greed?
Greed. You have it.
Greed masquerades as hunger, but, in reality, we sublimate the primal greed of eating for future hunger, into fine and abstract forms of greed, around the end of childhood.
That moment when greed defined you, it was the loss of your innocence.
Why are we so shy in acknowledging greed? It is not a flaw, it is a survival mechanism and it doesn’t work right in times of abundance.
Greed is so basic that it defines an entire palette of emotions and sentiments.
Pride, the greed for love. Lust, the greed for safety. Vanity, the greed for embraces. Gluttony, the greed for touch.
Why do we shame greed, instead of cultivating it?
It is the same thing we do to our poor ego. Fighting against our ego since Vedic times, with no results.
If “ego fighting” would be a company, it should be Yahoo. When it was a highly valued behemoth, all it did was to suffocate promising businesses, in our case, the “ego fighting”, promising paths for spiritual achievement, gulping on them with teleological arguments, constantly capitalizing on the touted purposelessness of the ego. Do you know why it worked? Because, we are all our egos, we are the purpose, so of course we don’t see it in our subjective damnation of it.
Sickly Ego + Primitive Greed = Hoarding
Back to our revolution. When doers get a revolution you get great things like electricity, mining enterprises, steel mills, mobile work forces, cars, lots of cars and machinery, items made of other items, lots of stagnating progress.
Stagnating progress is the progress that produces wealth.
There are huge opportunities in the times of the revolutions made by doers. But, as opportunity is when luck meets preparation, only a few get to experience the fruits born out of innovation. Then a larger group will enjoy the fruits of access. Then an even larger group will enjoy the fruits of disruption.
Do you know there is no such thing as “industry disruption”? Yes, there is only economic and social disruption, caused by winding down old industries and ramping up new ones.
The disassembly line for whole industries is not disruption, it is leverage.
But the world as a whole, during the revolutions of the doers, halts.
Doers need to sell. To sell, you shout louder than the other doers. To be heard, you make a clearer message. To make the message clearer you make all communication static. Advertising copy becomes political discourse. Nobody wants to “complicate things” and you rise drivel to intellectual achievement.
We have a problem.
The problem is that people cater to stupidity when they lose sight of stupidity.
Take the UK’s vote. Brexit was a bad idea and the people who chose a bad idea clearly are not smart enough to see it was a bad idea. There is no reason to pamper this and cater to stupidity by overarching histories of class inequality in the UK or about the shortcomings of bureaucracy in the EU. The British could have done many other things better than the stupid one they voted for. People who defend the “brexit” voters cater to stupidity.
Why does this matter?
It’s the damn drivel. Drivel as intellectual achievement is when we lose sight of the fact that we’re not bright anymore. And we start to defend stupidity, we start to elevate it to higher levels of awareness, we start to draw lessons from randomness, forgetting our order maker natures.
In my opinion, the Eurosceptic movement or the ascension of nationalist extremism in the US are perfect examples of the sustained sun setting of the mind.
Why do we become chained to stupidity? Because during times of doer revolutions we rejoice practical novelty and in doing so we stifle intellectual novelty. Sure, no one will ever admit to it. Everyone is afraid of being labeled an Intellectual Yet Idiot. During times of doer revolutions we rejoice positive news.
Thinking of problems should be done with a mandatory perma-smile.