Author Topic: Nowhere  (Read 2499 times)

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Nowhere
« on: June 22, 2013, 06:40:07 am »
I used to be an anarcho-syndicalist.
...Then I realized that people in general couldn't be trusted enough to do that.
Ultimately, government is a great advance over the whole raiding banditry thing...And unlike the raiding bandits, one may actually get positive benefit from the government.  We have a lot more order and get a lot more shit done this way. 

...Plus, I was coming to see that the issue isn't politics. 
Or rather that politics is a far too narrow way of looking at the problem.

The issue is, to paraphase Jeshua Bin Joseph, that we don't love one another.
Not enough.
We look at society as some sort of zero-sum game.
We PLAY all sorts of zero-sum games, yeah one winner, at least one loser.

 The thing is though? Human culture and technology is the antithesis of the zero-sum game We all are standing on the shoulders of someone else, and they are standing on shoulders.  In fact it's shoulders all the way down to where we see one guy learning to make a fire.

When one sees zero-sum behaviors, one sees con-artists, corporate raiders, job exporters...parasites who make many others less wealthy so that they might be more wealthy.
Or miners who take profits and leave behind heavy-metals poisoning, drillers who dump toxic sludge, plant operations directors who turn the pollution control equipment off on cloudy days.

A friend of mine said "This world is a cathedral, and we run around smearing feces on the frescoes."

...And this is supposed to be good? 
Short-term profit for long-term loss?

We train kids in competitive zero-sum games, when thinking in zero-sum ways may be antithetic to our broader social interests, whether as a country, a group, or even a bonded pair.  Try having a marriage with someone who thinks that if you win, they lose.
We're all in this together.  We live or die as a species, dammit.  No man , or woman, or any other gender is an island.

Something else?  Think about this:
Put together people like me who depend on meds for the ability to be happy.  Add in the people who use ANY substance compulsively-this includes food and legal chemicals.  Then throw in all the plethora of behavioral addictions.
Maybe even including the addiction to getting more wealth...

You have a majority of society that's medicating unhappiness in some way.

Nobody's articulating alternatives anymore, it seems.  I'd like a more loving, just, sane, and sustainable society, but I don't know how to get us there.
And I'm tired.  Really tired.
Just survival is so fucking hard, you know this, you're there.  This shit isn't easy.

But I think it starts with loving people.
I think it starts with recognizing that each of us has more beauty in us, more worth, that we could be caring for each other, instead of letting one another fall.
That if we stopped treating people like human toilet tissue, it wouldn't matter what political system we had.
That if we started realizing this is no zero-sum game, that we are all in this together...

...Nah.  Not gonna happen here.

« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 06:44:10 am by hylierandom, A.D.D. »
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Re: Nowhere
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2013, 12:47:24 pm »

Reminds me of this Zizek quote and a feeling I often have. Have you read "The Revolution of Everyday Life" by Vanaigem ?
He talks in there about the difficulty of raising one's eyes to one's neighbors and engaging them as an equal human being. It has become easy for us to revert to neutral relationships that are ultimately empty and complicit with the very state of affairs that depresses us.

I think it may be prudent to get our selves together first. This seems to require observation of our immediate environment as well as our selves. I'm reading about Rinzai, Zizek, and The Situationists at the moment for this purpose.

After we have gotten ourselves together a satisfactory amount, then we can also start to do things for others that are constructive. Work with Food Not Bombs. Hold a Really Really Free Market. Do what strikes your fancy.
I would still consider myself an anarchist generally in terms of the "never lead, never obey" stuff though the entire realm of interperson organization is something I am still unsure of. But I don't think you need a big thesis statement about getting society to some goal to do some good for people and for yourself.
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Re: Nowhere
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2013, 02:14:16 pm »
I think an important thing to consider in this is the fact that we routinely put sociopaths in positions of power. CEOs, politicians, even religious leaders: people who are unrepentant dicks tend to do well in the system we've created because they are willing to shit on whoever they need to to get what they want, and as long as all of the nice guys are playing by nice guy rules this will always be the case.

The only possible solution is to remove from society people who've proven that they can't play nice, but a lot of these people are very good at pretending to abide by the rules, the kind of folks who'll smile as they're sticking the dagger in your back, and when the lab does the fingerprint analysis somehow it's your own prints on the handle. Well defined rules are their playground, and they exult in getting their way without breaking the rules (in ways where they can reasonably be caught) and watching the good and the mediocre get caught up in the legal system instead. Am I advocating shooting every CEO in the face? Of course not. But we can't ignore the fact that these people are the equivalent of murderers and thieves, they just kill very slowly, and steal things we do not know the value of until we lose them. To have a functioning society you need the ability to remove or reform people who act in ways that are severely detrimental to the survival of the society. This is different from the "STOMP THEM" response, although that knee-jerk reaction is an instinct we developed to address the issue (it's just an inelegant one).
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Re: Nowhere
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2013, 03:44:13 pm »
If we can figure out the mechanisms of greed and how to short-circuit them, it might be possible to start working on a happier society. The line that stands out to me up there is the "if you win, I lose" reflex that is prevalent in our society; we are absolutely convinced, on some level, that if we give immigrant kids free education and healthcare that it's cutting into our ability to provide for ourselves. We are convinced that there is a shortage of resources, not enough to go around, so we behave competitively, not cooperatively. If you win, I lose.

I don't think this is hardwired into our species in the sense of being an automatic dominant reflex. I think it's a natural reactive behavior that is triggered by our environment, in this case our social environment.
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Re: Nowhere
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2013, 12:59:01 am »
If we can figure out the mechanisms of greed and how to short-circuit them, it might be possible to start working on a happier society. The line that stands out to me up there is the "if you win, I lose" reflex that is prevalent in our society; we are absolutely convinced, on some level, that if we give immigrant kids free education and healthcare that it's cutting into our ability to provide for ourselves. We are convinced that there is a shortage of resources, not enough to go around, so we behave competitively, not cooperatively. If you win, I lose.
Yeah, people don't look at it like I do: Immigrant kids are almost certain to stay here, therefore we want them to be educated enough to be responsible citizens. 
I honestly think some conservatives and libertarians really just...don't want to pay to put anyone's kids through school, TBH. Much less those they see as sort of international carpetbaggers.  Never mind their parents are the ones making the decision.

They don't get the idea that we have a better society if everyone is educated.
That was the driving force behind the movement towards universal compulsory education-to make our entire society a better, saner place.

It seems rather intuitive to me that by creating winners and losers we imply some people are worthless, disposable.  They aren't. We all make it tick over. Even the guy who speaks no English and swabs the toilets. Somebody's gotta swab the toilets.  Or they will all end up looking like mine, which has a strange biofilm blob colonizing it. :eek:

I don't think this is hardwired into our species in the sense of being an automatic dominant reflex. I think it's a natural reactive behavior that is triggered by our environment, in this case our social environment.
Well, I think that we have sort of the potential to co-operate or compete, but our society relentlessly pushes us towards the latter.
 I was told that hunter-gatherers are VERY co-operative people, in a nice way, because they all know their survival depends on the people around them.

http://phys.org/news/2012-01-hunter-gatherers-social-networks-evolution-cooperation.html

Quote
The natural world, red in tooth and claw, has a gentle side. While individuals compete fiercely to ensure the proliferation of their progeny, a few animals, including humans, also cooperate and act altruistically. Researchers have wondered if human social networks are a product of modern lifestyles, or if they could have emerged under the kind of conditions that our distant ancestors faced. This question has been challenging for classic evolutionary theory to explain neatly.

For cooperation to arise, an altruistic act, like sharing food with a non-relative, must have a net benefit for the sharers. Otherwise, purely self-serving individuals would outcompete and eventually replace the selfless. All theoretical explanations for the evolution of cooperation—kin selection, reciprocal altruism, group selection—rely on the existence of some system that allows cooperators to group together with other individuals who tend to share.

Generally, you see competition among us within an overall framework of co-operation.

...Then again, you can find co-operation down to the unicellular level:
Quote
Organisms are inherently competitive, yet cooperation is widespread. Genes cooperate in genomes; cells cooperate in tissues; individuals cooperate in societies. Animal societies, in which collective action emerges from cooperation among individuals, represent extreme social complexity. Such societies are not only common in insects, mammals, and birds, but exist even in simple species like amoebas
http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/cooperation-conflict-and-the-evolution-of-complex-13236526

I'm not really sure how to short-circuit greed because I'm not greedy.  I don't enjoy "getting the better" of someone.  When I won at things in school, I felt both good "I won!" and bad "I made _______ feel bad by winning."  I was told I was supposed to be proud of myself for winning.  I was proud to get my smartness acknowledged, but I hated to put others in second place.  Lose-lose.

...Now I'm told I should be ashamed of myself because I'm not well-off...well, that's the whole pre-programmed "social voice" in my head saying that.  I have to keep telling it to fuck off.

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Re: Nowhere
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2013, 01:15:52 am »
(edited out vid, it made me want to barf)

Reminds me of this Zizek quote and a feeling I often have. Have you read "The Revolution of Everyday Life" by Vanaigem ?
He talks in there about the difficulty of raising one's eyes to one's neighbors and engaging them as an equal human being. It has become easy for us to revert to neutral relationships that are ultimately empty and complicit with the very state of affairs that depresses us.

I think it may be prudent to get our selves together first. This seems to require observation of our immediate environment as well as our selves. I'm reading about Rinzai, Zizek, and The Situationists at the moment for this purpose.

After we have gotten ourselves together a satisfactory amount, then we can also start to do things for others that are constructive. Work with Food Not Bombs. Hold a Really Really Free Market. Do what strikes your fancy.
I would still consider myself an anarchist generally in terms of the "never lead, never obey" stuff though the entire realm of interperson organization is something I am still unsure of. But I don't think you need a big thesis statement about getting society to some goal to do some good for people and for yourself.

Right on...no, you don't need to intellectualize doing good, and thanks for the reference-I will read that book tonight.
I was a FnB 'er some time ago, the group fell apart...then a completely separate FnB group formed up.
However...
It is now illegal to feed homeless people in Houston if you don't have a licensed kitchen, and a violation carries a $1k fine per instance.  :argh!:
It's sick, but true.
When I feel crappy, I  will go to grocery stores and buy stuff for the food-bank barrels, it helps.
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Re: Nowhere
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2013, 01:25:34 am »
I love that whole "You should feel bad for not having a career and making seven figures. You are worthless because you make less than Donald Trump. For shame, you parasite." Usually (from my experience here in Georgia) coming from people who have houses and cars they can't afford, kids they can't afford to take care of or just don't care about, and more debt than I've ever dreamt of.

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Re: Nowhere
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2013, 02:12:20 am »
I love that whole "You should feel bad for not having a career and making seven figures. You are worthless because you make less than Donald Trump. For shame, you parasite." Usually (from my experience here in Georgia) coming from people who have houses and cars they can't afford, kids they can't afford to take care of or just don't care about, and more debt than I've ever dreamt of.

Eat a bag of dicks.

If I had the money they do, I'd have a lot more fun with it and it would look a LOT weirder and probably involve a lot of other weird people and ART, because ART is fucking cool, and spirituality, and sex, and kink and LOVE and generosity and JOY...

They dream in beige...
They worry about what the neighbors think... :roll:

I believe in loving my neighbor, but I DON'T feel that includes an obligation not to shock and appall them.  If they are offended they really need to get out more. :lol:

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Re: Nowhere
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2013, 08:36:08 pm »
I love that whole "You should feel bad for not having a career and making seven figures. You are worthless because you make less than Donald Trump. For shame, you parasite." Usually (from my experience here in Georgia) coming from people who have houses and cars they can't afford, kids they can't afford to take care of or just don't care about, and more debt than I've ever dreamt of.

Eat a bag of dicks.

If I had the money they do, I'd have a lot more fun with it and it would look a LOT weirder and probably involve a lot of other weird people and ART, because ART is fucking cool, and spirituality, and sex, and kink and LOVE and generosity and JOY...

They dream in beige...
They worry about what the neighbors think... :roll:

I believe in loving my neighbor, but I DON'T feel that includes an obligation not to shock and appall them.  If they are offended they really need to get out more. :lol:

If the people who love me didn't occasionally shock me I would question their love...

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Re: Nowhere
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2013, 08:18:48 am »
I love that whole "You should feel bad for not having a career and making seven figures. You are worthless because you make less than Donald Trump. For shame, you parasite." Usually (from my experience here in Georgia) coming from people who have houses and cars they can't afford, kids they can't afford to take care of or just don't care about, and more debt than I've ever dreamt of.

Eat a bag of dicks.

The Trumps of this world are the parasites I thought :)
People like the ones you describe from Georgia are everywhere - they seem to be convinced that this is the only way to behave that is meaningful, i really want to understand why... I'll have to try and be friends with my neighbours and ask them, it seems.

I used to be an anarcho-syndicalist.
...Then I realized that people in general couldn't be trusted enough to do that.
Ultimately, government is a great advance over the whole raiding banditry thing...And unlike the raiding bandits, one may actually get positive benefit from the government.  We have a lot more order and get a lot more shit done this way. 

...Plus, I was coming to see that the issue isn't politics. 
Or rather that politics is a far too narrow way of looking at the problem.

The issue is, to paraphase Jeshua Bin Joseph, that we don't love one another.
Not enough.
We look at society as some sort of zero-sum game.
We PLAY all sorts of zero-sum games, yeah one winner, at least one loser.

 The thing is though? Human culture and technology is the antithesis of the zero-sum game We all are standing on the shoulders of someone else, and they are standing on shoulders.  In fact it's shoulders all the way down to where we see one guy learning to make a fire.

Here I feel compelled to say how much there should be more science at schools, two more extra school years just for science  :lulz: :lulz:
 especially this new kind of science, where there isn't one mind proving one small theorem, but a lot of minds proving one really difficult theorem (I thought I read of a such a "cooperatively proved" theorem recently but I can't find anything at the moment....did I dream this??) anyway

When one sees zero-sum behaviors, one sees con-artists, corporate raiders, job exporters...parasites who make many others less wealthy so that they might be more wealthy.
Or miners who take profits and leave behind heavy-metals poisoning, drillers who dump toxic sludge, plant operations directors who turn the pollution control equipment off on cloudy days.

A friend of mine said "This world is a cathedral, and we run around smearing feces on the frescoes."

...And this is supposed to be good? 
Short-term profit for long-term loss?

We train kids in competitive zero-sum games, when thinking in zero-sum ways may be antithetic to our broader social interests, whether as a country, a group, or even a bonded pair.  Try having a marriage with someone who thinks that if you win, they lose.
We're all in this together.  We live or die as a species, dammit.  No man , or woman, or any other gender is an island.

Something else?  Think about this:
Put together people like me who depend on meds for the ability to be happy.  Add in the people who use ANY substance compulsively-this includes food and legal chemicals.  Then throw in all the plethora of behavioral addictions.
Maybe even including the addiction to getting more wealth...

You have a majority of society that's medicating unhappiness in some way.

Nobody's articulating alternatives anymore, it seems.  I'd like a more loving, just, sane, and sustainable society, but I don't know how to get us there.
And I'm tired.  Really tired.
Just survival is so fucking hard, you know this, you're there.  This shit isn't easy.

But I think it starts with loving people.
I think it starts with recognizing that each of us has more beauty in us, more worth, that we could be caring for each other, instead of letting one another fall.
That if we stopped treating people like human toilet tissue, it wouldn't matter what political system we had.
That if we started realizing this is no zero-sum game, that we are all in this together...

...Nah.  Not gonna happen here.



I  can't say how much I agree with this post!!! Yet I find myself sometimes not giving a shit anymore - especially with people who do not want to play cooperatively, or people who just assume I don't want to play cooperatively and that what appears as me trying to cooperate must be a trick. or something. and when i directly express my intentions, to some people that is highly suspicious. So yeah, really, I am running out of options for my part of influencing the part of society that is directly around me, and I find myself giving less of a fuck as time goes by. I hate this. 
But then I try to remember to say to myself - if you behave to them in the way you think is good and direct and open and cooperative, maybe at least a little bit, some of them, will be like this back, maybe they will recognise life is easier like this and everyone wins. And this small win-win situation is maybe worth it.
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Re: Nowhere
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2013, 11:41:22 pm »

....I find myself sometimes not giving a shit anymore - especially with people who do not want to play cooperatively, or people who just assume I don't want to play cooperatively and that what appears as me trying to cooperate must be a trick. or something. and when i directly express my intentions, to some people that is highly suspicious.

There is that.   :sad:
But then I try to remember to say to myself - if you behave to them in the way you think is good and direct and open and cooperative, maybe at least a little bit, some of them, will be like this back, maybe they will recognise life is easier like this and everyone wins. And this small win-win situation is maybe worth it.

I try to behave with my own tangled concepts of love, compassion and honor...and do this regardless of what others do.  If it's about them, I'm in less control of myself, if that makes any sense?
That having been said, once someone proves themselves a threat to my wellbeing, I'd very much rather them go away.
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Re: Nowhere
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2013, 09:44:00 pm »

....I find myself sometimes not giving a shit anymore - especially with people who do not want to play cooperatively, or people who just assume I don't want to play cooperatively and that what appears as me trying to cooperate must be a trick. or something. and when i directly express my intentions, to some people that is highly suspicious.

There is that.   :sad:
But then I try to remember to say to myself - if you behave to them in the way you think is good and direct and open and cooperative, maybe at least a little bit, some of them, will be like this back, maybe they will recognise life is easier like this and everyone wins. And this small win-win situation is maybe worth it.

I try to behave with my own tangled concepts of love, compassion and honor...and do this regardless of what others do.  If it's about them, I'm in less control of myself, if that makes any sense?

that makes a lot of sense... but i fail in the communication part. it can be so frustrating when my attempts to understand the other(s) and be understood are too often met with such disbelief and sometimes agression. I guess this is just not the way most humans communicate, but i just can't (with a mix of maybe i don't want to?) play along or often even understand stupid games where someone is supposed to win, and i rarely get hints and side information and it sure is really hard for me to shut the fuck up about it sometimes. 
i still have to learn to accept the communication methods of others i guess :(
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Re: Nowhere
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2013, 11:40:07 pm »
Greed is hardwired. From back when we were amoebas. The game is set up that way. Always has been. The smart way to sell it would not be to "short circuit greed" I can't imagine this ever being possible. What I think needs to happen is more to promote sharing as the ultimate act of greed.

When the world is better for everyone, it's better for you.

If we eliminated hunger and poverty, you'd be safer walking down the street at night

If we educated everyone, there'd be more scientists working on life extension technologies to keep you alive and healthy for longer

If we gave everyone a house there'd be less untidy vagrants cluttering up the sidewalk

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Re: Nowhere
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2013, 01:31:48 am »
Greed is hardwired. From back when we were amoebas. The game is set up that way. Always has been. The smart way to sell it would not be to "short circuit greed" I can't imagine this ever being possible. What I think needs to happen is more to promote sharing as the ultimate act of greed.

When the world is better for everyone, it's better for you.

If we eliminated hunger and poverty, you'd be safer walking down the street at night

If we educated everyone, there'd be more scientists working on life extension technologies to keep you alive and healthy for longer

If we gave everyone a house there'd be less untidy vagrants cluttering up the sidewalk

Right. Enlightened selfishness.
Why do I try to help people?  I want to live in a world where those who need help are helped.
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Re: Nowhere
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2017, 04:04:15 pm »
Left/hylierandom isn't on the kopyleft thread, either. Is there any way we can harass more people to do that thing? Even if it's "never republish my shit, assholes" it would be helpful to have the reference after folks wander off.
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