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incoherent rambling

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Description: the result of insomnia, abridged.
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Lilli
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« on: February 18, 2010, 15:40:59 PM »

Survival has always been the top priority. (duh) If we survive comfortably, even better. But comfort is a relative term. If we are talking about the ability to survive, measurement is easy: we are alive or we are not.  But the idea of comfort brings with it infitine grey areas. How comfortable? More comfortable than yesterday? More comfortable than the guy next door?

It was the possibility of comfortable survival that first gave rise to human civilization. Man was hungry – man made tools to help hunt for or gather food. Man was wet or cold out in the open - man built shelter. But it wasn’t long before these basics were not enough. Man was lonely – man built cities. Man was lazy – man built factories.

We’ve inhabited every corner of the globe. We have put men on the moon. We have manipulated fruit to be more palatable to our specific taste as consumers of everything we lay eyes on. We write and sign declarations and treaties advocating free speech and freedom of religion and freedom to have your own opinion and make your own decision (as long as it doesn’t go against the grain of mass society, but who ever reads the fineprint)

Individualism is dead. Individualism died as soon as it became clear that we are all in this together. We all deny it. We all want to be our own person and fight against the evil forces of the law-making oppressor. But we all pull our noses up at the bag-lady on the corner and ridicule the ‘greenies’. In light of recent environmental awareness worldwide, we all commend the recycler and the purchaser of energy-saving lightbulbs. But we still laugh at those who march to save the dolphins.

Saving the dolphins is not something an individual will ever be capable of doing. Driving a state of the art low-gas-consuming car, can be an individual ‘contribution’, Notwithstanding that the carbon footprint of the company that designs and manufactures those vehicles rival that of the entire continent of Africa.   

Yip, makes sense to me...
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2010, 21:32:17 PM »

This is uncanny. Shocked Driving home from the salt mine this afternoon I was struck by a very similar thought: Are humans better off as time goes by, and if not, when was the best of times? Was almost-naked ape better off one million years ago?
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Survival has always been the top priority. (duh)

Survival top priority ?.... not so sure. But I will bet on happiness any day. And my reason for this is that suicides happen, and are all but uncommon. Clearly, man can only stand so much unhappiness before he finds survival undesirable. So don't underestimate that "comfort" that you speak of, if it brings happiness.

And freedom - how important is that? Can we be happy in bondage? That's exactly what most are! Well fed budgies in our cage. When considering our progression from the hunter-gatherer lifestyle to one of industrialism, consumerism and instant gratification, I think that we've traded our liberty for those comforts and a  social code of conduct. While slavery is technically dead, we have little choice but abide by the ways of society. Today we spurn a job and etiquette at our peril, and we are sure to pay dearly for any actions that do not resonate well with current social notions. We have no choice but to comply. Slavery indeed - slaves to The Man.

The homeless, hungry child, freshly evicted from a grocery store, might well have been better off living a million years ago.

Society's success should be measured by the happiness of those individuals existing on the fringe of that very society.

ETA : (Incidently, Lilly, "incoherent ramblings" traditionally go into the Philosophy section Wink)

Mintaka
« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 22:51:48 PM by Mintaka » Logged
Tweefo
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2010, 07:05:56 AM »

According to Stephen Hawking, this is the best time, now. "Life was short and brutal" back then. I think I agree with him. 
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st0nes
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mark.widdicombe1
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2010, 07:31:47 AM »

According to Stephen Hawking, this is the best time, now. "Life was short and brutal" back then. I think I agree with him. 
I don't know when "back then" was, but I think my parents had a better quality of life than I do.  My Mom didn't have to go out to work; she looked after the family (during school holidays, that is).  We could afford to take a month-long holiday every year, and my Dad wasn't forced to carry a cellphone and be on call 24 hours a day like I am. We didn't have TV (it hadn't been invented yet) but we didn't miss that (obviously). There was no AIDS, global warming or fear of asteroids landing on our heads, although we did think the Russians might nuke us at any time.  Smoking was thought to be good for you.  I fail to see how our lives now with more stuff available is better than theirs.
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Teleological
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2010, 10:30:51 AM »

According to Stephen Hawking, this is the best time, now. "Life was short and brutal" back then. I think I agree with him. 
To some, life is just longer and brutal now... Maybe non-existence is the best for some.
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2010, 13:24:23 PM »

To some, life is just longer and brutal now...

Yes. Anyone over thirty has her stories about the good ol' days. Roll Eyes

Maybe non-existence is the best for some.

Possibly. God seems happy.

Mintaka
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2010, 20:11:19 PM »

Quote
Possibly. God seems happy.

And if ignorance is bliss then those who believe in Him must be happy too  Grin
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2010, 15:43:16 PM »

Quote from: Mintaka
While slavery is technically dead...


From what I've been able to gather lately, not as much as a lot of us think:
http://socyberty.com/activism/statistics-of-modern-day-slavery/
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