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What is wrong with modern life

sushi

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discuss.

why are we so unhappy despite of better technology and abundance?
 

lightfire

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Was the purpose of better and abundant technology supposed to make us happy? It was supposed to make things easier or convenient. Not sure if that's supposed to make us happy or not. Depends what you use it for?
 

Cognisant

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Humans are machines designed (evolved) for survival, paradoxically we thrive on adversity, without exposure to filth our immue systems become weak and turn on our own bodies (not being exposed to sickness can make us sick), without having to fight the force of gravity our muscles atrophy and our bones become brittle.

There's nothing wrong with technology, the problem is that we're not designed to be happy, we're designed to succeed in a world that's trying to kill us.
 

Animekitty

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we're designed to succeed in a world that's trying to kill us.
Over a million years of exposure to environmental conditioning, the brain has been able to form a regulatory system where brain waves bouncing around inside it lead to intelligent behavior rather than the disintegration of the regulatory mechanism/memory modification process.
 

Happy

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I’m not unhappy
 

Blarraun

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People might be unhappy if they don't grow or seek out challenges.

It's their issue to make their life happy, instead of expecting the environment to force them to be happy or provide threats to have them overcome and become satisfactory as narrative.

Maybe nowadays it's easier to subsist depressed and miserable, whereas in the past depressed people would just die or fall into trouble catastrophic enough to keep them occupied and not thinking about their happiness.


Scrubs think 1900s were hard mode, in fact it's more hardcore to up the difficulty when easy mode is available.
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

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Because they commit to speculation and conjectures without doing any real empirical research.
 

Cognisant

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Generally yes, unless there's two of them in which case it's a three way and therefore not gay.
 

onesteptwostep

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Personally I think the industrial revolution and the capitalism project has run its course. We've basically covered all the primitive needs of humans.. we at least in the developed world. I think people will begin to look outwards to the outside of their own society to find meaning in life, such as going to undeveloped areas to help develop it and such.

I've also been taught to think that humanity has two ways of looking at life, at least in secular terms, which is through the Enlightenment heritage, which is to basically look at life through the lens of reason and the industrial might, or through the Romanticist heritage, which is to look at humanity through the lens of primitive instinct such as through Will, art, nature, wonder, and the like. These twin cultural epochs in human history have their course- such as the Enlightenment in the 17th century and the Romanticist period which followed, like through the philosophical angle of the German idealists or the poets like Goethe or Lord Byron. I think in this day in age the Enlightenment heritage has take a hold of humanity more, with its technological prowess. Events like the 4th industrial revolution will help advance this epoch in history, but since this history is more like a wave, a Romanticist period I think will follow. People would try and return to be human more. I guess that's why people like Jordan Peterson is popular- he draws from people who have a more irrational understanding of humanity, such as Carl Jung.


As for the problems of 'modern life', like I said I think capitalism has run its course... so there will obviously be a transition stage in which people will be able to enjoy their leisure more. Events such as the 4th industrial revolution I think will help in that aspect.
 

Cognisant

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Events like the 4th industrial revolution will help advance this epoch in history, but since this history is more like a wave, a Romanticist period I think will follow.
Absolutely I think we're in a new renaissance, now is a great time to be an artist of any kind, even if your art is making kitchen cabinets the demand for bespoke things has never been higher.
 

moody

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There's nothing wrong with technology, the problem is that we're not designed to be happy, we're designed to succeed in a world that's trying to kill us.
I don't necessarily think the world is designed only to kill us. You're not wrong, but I think it's more like natural boundaries. This "world" also pretty much created us (evolutionary speaking, and we literally have to eat things from the earth to live), and we die and then our lives got back to a blank drawing board. The only problem with technology is that we look at it as a short cut to solving our own happiness, I think. Humans just like to problem solve because of our brains, and I guess we all figure the more "work' we make easier, then the happier we can be, right? Trying to simplify it like that doesn't really solve anything. There's probably even a "happiness for dummies" book out there. (...is there???)

Personally I think the industrial revolution and the capitalism project has run its course. We've basically covered all the primitive needs of humans.. we at least in the developed world. I think people will begin to look outwards to the outside of their own society to find meaning in life, such as going to undeveloped areas to help develop it and such.
I often think the same thing...people so often equate "progress" with getting more technologically advanced. In certain professions that's all well and good, but it's not sustainable if we run our mass now-just-about-global societies that way. I'd like another Renisance age to come. A lot of people in the younger generations are yearning for that too. We just have to change the way we look at living so we don't die in the meantime.
 

MayaRefugee

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A gripe I have with modern life is the splintering of tribe/culture/connection. It's so easy to become esoteric and distant from each other in todays world. With ever expanding difference tribes get smaller and smaller, values get more incongruent and something bigger than ourselves becomes harder to identify with. I know diversity is a good thing but at some point I think it makes us all strangers. As an example gone are the days where more often than not neighbors knew each other, gone are the days where we all commune around the same forms of entertainment, etc. I might just be nostalgic but the increase in loneliness and depression in the world to me is indicative of the ease at which we can isolate yet still trick ourselves into thinking we are connecting, how easy it is to become an outsider if you don't do or present yourself in the way orchestrators of pop-culture and advertising influence you into doing. In saying that so much of what passes for connecting today is pseudo-connection, there is no touch, eye-contact, use of the voice is most cases, etc. We connect with ideas we have of others in a remote way rather than an other here in close proximity, we have ample time to check what we are communicating before we communicate it (i.e. there is no onus to answer or speak quickly to avoid awkward silence), there is no threat of a punch in the face if you say the wrong thing to the wrong person, etc. The whole dynamic of being human and part of a collective has been turned on its head and I kind of find this inorganic.
 

Serac

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the more sophisticated technology becomes, the easier it is for the smart to exploit the dumb. E.g. social media – arguably the most soul-sucking, vapid, cesspool of shit ever invented by humankind – where algorithms optimize the content to make the average zombie idiot out there waste as much time as possible.
 

sushi

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the biggest tyranny is the clock.

Imagine the days we had before the clock was invented.
 

Minuend

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What do you think it takes to be happy?

Gaming all day or having an app to make you coffee every morning is not equal to human happiness.

Happiness is more of an emotional thing, and unless we are taught how to appreciate and like the things that could make us happy, we will never be so. Happiness is an idea, is what we delude ourselves to be.
 

moody

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What do you think it takes to be happy?

Gaming all day or having an app to make you coffee every morning is not equal to human happiness.

Happiness is more of an emotional thing, and unless we are taught how to appreciate and like the things that could make us happy, we will never be so. Happiness is an idea, is what we delude ourselves to be.
I don't think happiness is applicable to a fixed state of being. I think we strive for being content, or having something to look forward to the next day. A reason to wake up. I also don't think the same things make us all happy. If an app that makes you coffee makes you happy, then you shouldn't cheapen that.

Relying on things to make you happy....that's when the problems begin. It's just as you said, gaming all day won't make us happy. At the same time, it's also not healthy to rely on a single person or small subset of people to make you happy. It's when we look outwards for things to "fix" our lives before ever looking inwards ourselves that we start deluding ourselves. How can you expect other people to solve your problems if you've not even began troubleshooting yourself? That's a bit lazy, and probably why a generation of people raised to be impaitient are having higher and higher rates of depression. It's the trusting of ourselves to be able to find purpose that allows us to be content. (Of course lives are complicated, so I'm not meaning to discredit anyone's own personal experience...)

Of course, that's just my take on any sort of "formula" for being content. I'm sure there are other self-help books that can say more-or-less the same thing with different words...
 

gilliatt

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Happiness is not to be achieved at the command of some emotional whims. That would be an irrational wish. Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy--joy without penalty or guilt. If a man values destruction, like a sadist or self-torture, like a masochist-or life beyond the grave, like a mystic etc- his alleged happiness is the measure of his success in the service of his own destruction. Irrational whims do not work to bring on happiness.
 

Minuend

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I don't think happiness is applicable to a fixed state of being. I think we strive for being content, or having something to look forward to the next day. A reason to wake up. I also don't think the same things make us all happy. If an app that makes you coffee makes you happy, then you shouldn't cheapen that.

Relying on things to make you happy....that's when the problems begin. It's just as you said, gaming all day won't make us happy. At the same time, it's also not healthy to rely on a single person or small subset of people to make you happy. It's when we look outwards for things to "fix" our lives before ever looking inwards ourselves that we start deluding ourselves. How can you expect other people to solve your problems if you've not even began troubleshooting yourself? That's a bit lazy, and probably why a generation of people raised to be impaitient are having higher and higher rates of depression. It's the trusting of ourselves to be able to find purpose that allows us to be content. (Of course lives are complicated, so I'm not meaning to discredit anyone's own personal experience...)
just wanted to +1 on your post
 

CatGoddess

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Huh, I was actually assigned a paper on this topic (I'm in this "IB" program that has a rather perfunctory, pseudo-philosophical course as a prerequisite). Each person in the class was given a different topic, and mine was "how can an individual find happiness?". I found it ironic, at first, that she'd give a paper on happiness to someone who's been on-and-off depressed (clinically, but not usually severely) for years and whom nobody would proclaim a "happy" person, but then I decided to run with it.

I basically wrote that it's her own job to figure out her own happiness, and that the same applies to everyone else too. It's subjective, so you gotta look outside of what everyone else tells you will make you happy (lots of money and "success", as a large portion of the population claims) and puzzle out what actually makes you happy. I was pleasantly surprised to find I got an A for pretty much saying "do your own goddamn assignment".

But, anyways, general thread topic. Frederick Turner's frontier thesis is an interesting take on it; maybe the opening of space colonization in the (hopefully near) future will give people a healthy escape from class divisions/sucky expectations/pressures in society.

Hmm. Excessive materialism comes to mind. Not the buying itself perse, but people's belief that buying more stuff, no matter how useful or actually wanted, equates to happiness. Maybe it does for some people, but it's not for everyone. Cue edgy Wasteland (TS Elliot) quotes. I guess that's more in line with what I was originally saying.

*Appears out of nowhere, pretends she was there all along, thinks of self as a sneaky bastard even though only half of that's true*
 

Serac

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if you inject a rat's brain with a few shots of dopamine, it too will be given a notion of "happiness" – some physiological state it will keep pursuing all of its waking hours. The only difference between the rat and a human is that by means of our imagination and general lack of clarity, we've made up this lofty concept of "happiness" that we keep discussing and telling stories about, but which no one ever reaches because it doesn't really exist.

my personal goal is not happiness but being free from fear of discomfort, and being free from the instinct to escape pain and misery. But maybe that's a viable definition of "happiness", so I dunno – maybe it's all subjective like people have pointed out
 

Rook

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Events like the 4th industrial revolution will help advance this epoch in history, but since this history is more like a wave, a Romanticist period I think will follow.
Absolutely I think we're in a new renaissance, now is a great time to be an artist of any kind, even if your art is making kitchen cabinets the demand for bespoke things has never been higher.
Yup... people making lots of money these days by offering old-world skills, more refined crafts. Fuck, do u know how few free lance builders there are here? and you know how highly plumbers are paid?

In some ways, i think a lot of people through modern society have been forced into positions where they feel no passion for their work. Boredom, depression, addictions.
 

Rook

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my personal goal is not happiness but being free from fear of discomfort, and being free from the instinct to escape pain and misery. But maybe that's a viable definition of "happiness", so I dunno – maybe it's all subjective like people have pointed out
Hmmm your goals are pretty much what Im attempting to do in my life, along with always searching for creative stimuli.
 

Emmanuele

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Marie-Henri Beyle: In the Middle Ages hearts were tempered by the presence of danger, and therein, unless I am mistaken, lies another cause of the astonishing superiority of the men of the sixteenth century. …

Love is a delicious flower, but one must have the courage to go and pick it on the edge of a frightful precipice. Besides ridicule, love has always staring it in the face, the desperate plight of being deserted by the loved one, and in her place only a dead blank for all the rest of one’s life.

Civilisation would be perfect, if it could continue the delicate pleasures of the nineteenth century with a more frequent presence of danger.

It ought to be possible to augment a thousandfold the pleasures of private life by exposing it frequently to danger. I do not speak only of military danger. I would have this danger present at every instant, in every shape, and threatening all the interests of existence, such as formed the essence of life in the Middle Ages. (On Love, 1822)

Giacomo Leopardi: And the same with everything that disgusts us. Thus, if you have been frightened by a dangerous experience, your heart aches to think about it. You do not have the strength to dwell upon that thought, moment, incident, proximity to death, etc., but you don’t have the strength to drive it away, either; indeed, whether you want to or not, you still have to catch a glimpse of it. …

Rather, I would say that the unknown gives us more pain than the known and, since that object frightens us or saddens us or makes us shudder, we do not know how to leave it alone. And even if it disgusts us, we still find a certain desire to put it into some perspective so that we can understand it better.

Perhaps also, and so I believe, it comes from a love of the extraordinary, and the natural hatred of monotony and boredom that is innate in all men, and if an object presents itself that breaks this monotony and steps out of the common run of things, however much more burdensome it seems to us than boredom (but perhaps, at that moment, we do not notice or think about this), we still find a certain pleasure in the shock and agitation that the fleeting glimpse of that object produces in us. (Zibaldone, 89-90)
 

sushi

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there is no decline in danger, there are always psychopaths lurking among us.

Plus poverty and uncertainty is the substitute of lack of meals and water in the past.
 

Kakariki

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In order to deal with this question, it is useful to compare modern life with primitive life. Modern society characterizes itself by its extreme individualism. The members of a primitive society are part of a cohesive whole. The rituals, religion, art, science, beliefs and knowledge are not strictly distinguished, but are intertwined in one common culture. The African masks which impressed European artists at the beginning of the previous century were often not recognized as “art” by those tribes themselves. [SUP]1[/SUP]

Art as independent entity went hand in hand with the separation from religion, the separation of science from philosophy and religion. I believe that this is inevitable as a society grows more complex. The division of labour demands from the leading individuals in a certain field to professionalize in such manner that their activity can hardly be followed by the amateur. In mathematics this development is perhaps the most extreme. A mathematician who is specialized in a certain domain can often not even read of the work of a colleague who concerns himself with another domain of mathematics. [SUP]2[/SUP]

Given that art had separated itself from religion, a homogenous culture was increasingly lost. In this freedom from not only religion but also from a commonly shared culture, the individual artist could choose his own language, material, to express himself, so that his creation became totally incomprehensible for the public.

In art the noblest feelings –of brotherhood, compassion– are communicated. But if in modern society the art that is produced no longer strengthens and consoles its members, then the experience of such feelings will become increasingly rare in their lives. The individual can no longer rejoice in being part of a greater whole, but will rightly feel himself isolated, as there no longer is a shared and genuine culture. I believe that this is one of the fundamental problems of modern life.

In absence of art that can be digested by the members of the modern society, it is replaced by entertainment, this fast-food nourishment, which desensitizes nearly everyone in modern society.

Ton de Leeuw said:
The never ceasing and hardly avoidable musical idiocy to which we are exposed today can only have a stupefying and blunting effect on the human mind. Music is nourishment for the human organism. Even before birth many millions of babies are already conditioned from day to day by the musical poverty that is poured out non-stop by a comparable number of loudspeakers. Here we find the musical counterpart of the increasing pollution seen in other areas of life.
I have no idea how this monster, the stupid mass entertainment, can be defeated. Individuals who are resistant to it have zero impact.

[SUP]1 [/SUP]
By far the most music ever produced by mortal man never had expressivity as its purpose. Music had been made to exorcise spirits, to symbolize the order of the universe, to bring man into harmony with his surroundings, for the pure joy evoked by the movements of dance, to sing the praises of God, to pray, to work better, to calm animals and children, and to honour kings. The making of music to convey one’s own personal emotions arose only at a time when the artist could feel that he was the centre of the world, in which there was only one form of servitude, namely to himself. This enslavement to oneself has given rise to immoderate overestimation of the self and to pathological conditions.

[SUP]2[/SUP] Here lies perhaps a clue why the great philosopher, always extremely rare and a true miracle, has not appeared for such a long period of time. The philosopher views everything from the highest, most general point of view, while simultaneously being initiated in art and science. The fortune of fulfilling this precondition, being initiated in art and science, is exceedingly rare in our period of time.

Appendix: Review of two modern artworks

Ton de Leeuw said:
The genuine innovation in music can no longer be based primarily on aesthetic principles, but must be of a spiritual nature, in the broad sense of the word, as the only possible counterpart to our materialistically oriented society.
The artist freed himself conclusively from any social servitude and delivered a soliloquy. A tendency arose to overwhelm the listener, to make him defenseless.
In the Netherlands there was the premiere of an oratorio which is, in my opinion, probably the most significant work of art that has appeared in the recent years of Western classical music. The composer, Gubaidulina, said that while in her previous works she had mainly been fascinated with sound, in this work On Love and Hatred (Über Liebe und Hass), she shares with us her investigations concerning the problem of the ever-increasing hatred in our world.

Not only does it transmit feelings of brotherhood and benevolence, it inspires the listeners to purify their life and to love but what is holy. The composer praises the Dutch public for its capacity of distinguishing what is good from what is bad. In the same country however, there will be a monumental project of music on the other side of the moral spectrum. I’m talking about the largest ever performance of aus LICHT by Stockhausen.

The megalomania of this event is used to flaunt with: angel choirs singing in procession 7 different languages, a string quartet performs in 4 helicopters in flight, with loudspeakers sound will be discharged from 8 different sides on the public, etc. One performance lasts 3 days – the moments of rest between the three separated acts are necessary for us, humans, but are actually a begrudgingly offered compromise from the composer who wishes to impose a bizarre quasi-spiritual state of mind on his public. It is a cult of the ego.

The composer Stockhausen tries to mislead with claxons and bombast those who seek to flee from the emptiness of a materialistic society. But in it, the listener will find only the inane glorification of the I. The falsity of this pseudo-spirituality reveals itself most clearly when it’s compared with the genuine religiosity of the music of Gubaidulina. In Gubaidulina we find humility and rest.
 

CatGoddess

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Some people claim everyone looks for a partner who's intelligent, attractive, and emotionally stable, but that at most you can only get 2 out of the 3. I'm not going to start arguing about whether or not that's true, but I think that the same thing applies here: you can only have 2 out of the trifecta of self-consciousness (sapience, introspection, whatever you want to call it), happiness, and giving a shit.

For example, if I am aware of my unfortunate litany of mental disorders and the problems they cause, and give a shit about them, I will not be happy because I will be trying to fix them or drag myself out of them. If I stop giving a shit and become resigned to living my life with these disorders, I can be both self-aware and satisfied. However, I will be apathetic.

Similarly, if I am cognizant (no pun intended) of DEATH and give a shit about it I will be terrified and sad and spurred to research life-extension. If I live life in a narcotic-induced blissed-out cloud, I won't be aware of death and can thus avoid both unhappiness and apathy.

It also seems like a fair portion of people believe deep down that, if they work hard enough, they'll get everything they want in life, but that's not necessarily true. So reality can be extremely disappointing.

Here's an interesting article about my generation: https://www.salon.com/2018/02/10/why-millennials-are-making-memes-about-wanting-to-die/

I can't speak for whether its rationale is accurate or not.
 

Serac

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@CatGoddess I think buddhism is all about achieving happiness despite knowing that everything is going to shit and disinitegrates, but I forget the details of it. Come to think of it, I should re-read some of that stuff.
 

lightfire

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I'm thinking technology has made us unhappier and probably ruined lives just as much as it has made lives easier. Too much going on, no one communicates properly anymore, and all the abnormal layers of complexities that arise from that. Feel like a hypocrite typing this on a forum, but still lol. I am speaking of myself too.

Makes myself wish I was born during a simpler time. Every time I visit relatives India and its like a blast from the past. Like I took a time machine that went back 1000 years. Its probably not a good thing but I noticed one thing: access to power and the internet is unreliable but life carries on whether the power is there or not. I think there's a certain strength in that and I've grown to appreciate that.
 

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@Serac Hmm, I'm not that familiar with Buddhism. I mean, every American nowadays has a vague idea of what it is because of hipster philosopher-wannabes, but I haven't read up on the actual tenets of its philosophy. I've always gotten the impression that it took the apathetic route out, though (i.e. you have consciousness and happiness, but not the third) through acceptance of your condition...?

Here's a question, though: Is there something wrong with modern life? The past is tinged with nostalgia, hell, two years ago back before my friend went to college is a time I look at with rose-tinted glasses even though it probably wasn't as perfect as I remember it to be. And none of us have lived back in primitive days, so how do we know they were happy? But I doubt people were happy with life during either world war, or the (american) great depression, or that medieval peasants were happy during the time of the black plague.

Maybe today's individualism simply makes it less taboo to express the existential angst and unhappiness with life that have always been there.

And maybe the real question is what's wrong with life in general, regardless of time period.

...

I see why people accuse me of cynicism.
 

lightfire

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Not implying people before technology were happier (don't get me started on British imperialist damages in India and across the world). I was impressed at how life didn't stop when the power went out over there. Where as over here, a power line gets cut and suddenly everyone wants to kill themselves from boredom. It was an appreciation of how there is a significant difference in adaptability. It made me wonder what growing up would have been like without technology/internet access/power, what kind of activities, life and practical skills, social skills, and things would I have been taught, rather than sitting in front of a computer typing reports or playing games.

1st world countries are structured that the illusion of happiness revolves around distraction by technology, internet access, and unlimited electricity. Where other countries who have limited to no supply, have found other means of distracting themselves. People tend to pity or look down on people in 3rd world countries, but maybe they are closer to finding the meaning of happiness than the richest, famous, and most technologically advanced of people.
 

Cognisant

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People tend to pity or look down on people in 3rd world countries, but maybe they are closer to finding the meaning of happiness than the richest, famous, and most technologically advanced of people.
Having visited several 3rd world countries (well two, but still, and I've been to some really derro parts of Australia) the impression I get is that they aren't any happier, they just don't have as much time to bitch.

It's awful, I think everybody deserves ample bitching time, it makes life worth living, I mean even if we're all inherently miserable despite our circumstances due to the cruel necessity of human nature in a Darwinistic paradigm at least we can enjoy being miserable together, because y'know misery loves company.

And maybe the real question is what's wrong with life in general, regardless of time period.
As I said at the start people just aren't designed to be happy, suppose there's this online game where everyone designs a creature and we put these creatures in a simulated world and we watch to see which ones survive/thrive and which ones die out. One of if not thee most essential traits such a creature could have is that it never stops trying to improve its circumstances. I doesn't just eat until its full then wait around until it gets hungry again, it doesn't seek shelter only when shelter is required. No it goes out there and makes allies, builds an army, founds an empire, conquers the entire world then contacts its creator and bitches that "this world is too small".

Such is the nature of humanity.
 

CatGoddess

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I was thinking lately that it sure would be nice if life actually were a nightmare because then I'd wake up eventually to something better. And then I realized that that's basically just the Christian conception of the afterlife.

But, yeah, I agree with you @Cognisant. I think maybe the absurdist way out is to try to improve your circumstances and yourself anyways, despite knowing that it's kinda futile and that you can't be permanently happy. I try to do that, but that doesn't mean I always succeed.
 

travelnjones

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Wisdom is slow and modern life is fast is a bit of a problem. You need a couple of seasons to understand some things. I am thinking of some of the radio broadcasts that Glenn Gould did in his north series and Walden.
 

crippli

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Isn't this more about relativity. So if the baseline is technology and abundance. For sure your are in for a challenge if the goal is still to find happyness.

So I think the premise here is faulty. Happiness is achieved. That one doesn't realise it is more a product of something else.
 

MayaRefugee

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Isn't this more about relativity. So if the baseline is technology and abundance. For sure your are in for a challenge if the goal is still to find happyness.

So I think the premise here is faulty. Happiness is achieved. That one doesn't realise it is more a product of something else.
If you consider what our biology has a preference for e.g. movement, exercise, physical contact, immediate results, open spaces, etc. and consider how technology has reshaped what is natural to us you could argue that what we naturally are and were for millennia has been forced to adapt to something unnatural and unbecoming to our biology. I'm trying to say we are like fish taken from our natural waters and put into different water less conducive to our needs and biological preferences - waters less conducive to the attainment of happiness as organisms with this particular biology.

We don't have to exercise to get food, threats can lurk around every corner, you can spend hours each day where the view of your environment extends no further than your cubicle, we can keep the sun on all day if we want to, we can bombard our brains with artificial light, threats can reach you 24hrs a day, etc.

If you consider the physical and psychological impact of living how we do vs how we used to there seems to be a good argument as to why happiness/health/balance/satisfaction/contentment is a lot harder to find or atleast a different enterprise in these new waters we find ourselves in.
 

crippli

disturbed
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Isn't this more about relativity. So if the baseline is technology and abundance. For sure your are in for a challenge if the goal is still to find happyness.

So I think the premise here is faulty. Happiness is achieved. That one doesn't realise it is more a product of something else.
If you consider what our biology has a preference for e.g. movement, exercise, physical contact, immediate results, open spaces, etc. and consider how technology has reshaped what is natural to us you could argue that what we naturally are and were for millennia has been forced to adapt to something unnatural and unbecoming to our biology. I'm trying to say we are like fish taken from our natural waters and put into different water less conducive to our needs and biological preferences - waters less conducive to the attainment of happiness as organisms with this particular biology.

We don't have to exercise to get food, threats can lurk around every corner, you can spend hours each day where the view of your environment extends no further than your cubicle, we can keep the sun on all day if we want to, we can bombard our brains with artificial light, threats can reach you 24hrs a day, etc.

If you consider the physical and psychological impact of living how we do vs how we used to there seems to be a good argument as to why happiness/health/balance/satisfaction/contentment is a lot harder to find or atleast a different enterprise in these new waters we find ourselves in.
What's restricting you from acting out your biology?

Are you saying technology is to blame?

And therefor technology makes you not happy?
 

MayaRefugee

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Nothings restricting me, I'm just saying a way of living that was once necessity and the norm has been hijacked by advances in technology and that what has been made obsolete are perhaps the very things that keeps our organism "happy".

Childhood obesity, device addiction, reduced sense of community, sedentary lifestyles, etc - technology factors into the prevalence of these and helps sustain them, whether that justifies "blame" is a subjective thing. What I'm saying is these types of things would have been harder to engage in and still survive prior to advances in modern technology, kind of like we are designed to be analog but are living in a digital world.
 

crippli

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I think the last 2000 years have been a bit of a religious bondage experience, so more a perversity then necessity.

I'm not saying you are wrong. It's just impossible to say how we today would have acted out a 100 years ago. Or the big change with fire some 400 000 years ago.

Personally I quite like the change. But a bit of a claustrophobic feeling of being in an unrestricted rabbit farm, with no thought as to how to feed all the offspring.


Fertility is not prioritised by nature/biology. It's more the top level. When everything else is in order. At least for a while.
 

CatGoddess

Active Member
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Yeah, collectivism is (obviously) only beneficial to the majority, and, I mean, good for the majority, I guess, but I don't tend to like/care about/prioritize the same things as most people. (cue hipster memes) But yeah, personally I'm happy that the power of communal culture and family have diminished. Family's just a group of people you got dice-rolled for you at birth and sometimes those people are horrible. I'd hate to be even more artificially tied to such people, as was the case in the past.
 

Niclmaki

Disturber of the Peace
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I think a lack of well thought out personal philosophies is the biggest issue.

Religion, and religious convictions are being ever pushed out and that leaves a vague hole for a lot of people.

“Yeah, I’m a good person, and am for the good!” Is what a person may say. But they’ve not thought about what exactly that may mean.

They could also come from the other way and say they only do things for the fear of the consequences of NOT doing a thing or following a specific “society approved life path”.



As has already been said a few times, I think “happiness” is a poor goal to aim for. (If you take this seriously, you get Soma, and A. Huxley’s Brave New World) Try contentedness, or interest in Things. Or even just being engaged in lifes experiences.
 
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