At Times, I Ponder the Insanity of the World

in psychology •  2 months ago

Many years ago, I was at a self-development/spiritual type of retreat with a friend, and we got into a bit of a philosophical discussion with the presenter during one of the lunch breaks of this 5-day set of workshops.

One of the realities I took away from the encounter was the simply reality that the more a thinking individual capable of fairly rigorous self- and world inquiry learns, the more likely they are to seek solitude.

Skipper
Skipper on lavender

I find that I often seek solitude because I just can't wrap myself around understanding the rampant destructiveness of the Human species.

Of course, that's a pretty nifty generality that covers a million sins, so I'll try to be more specific.

What I don't understand is the segment of the world — which seems alarmingly large — that chooses to turn a blind eye (our outright reject) real working solutions to problems, instead staying eternally mired down in ineffectual "band aid solutions" that ultimate do little but keep us running in place while consuming resources.

The healthcare industry does it. The energy industry does it. Food producers do it.

Yeah, I know. "Follow the money."

Funny how that's an "excuse," in and of itself. 

On one of those random trips around the web, I came across some person's "meme dump" and ended up feeling slightly depressed, both by the general content, as well as by the responses most of these memes had received from a mostly Libertarian/"Freedom"/Anarchist oriented crowd. 

Maples
Japanese maples

Now I'm no "hairy left-wing liberal," but I did come away wanting to ask a "deeper" question of the collection of hecklers:

"How, exactly, is your reality of paradigm threatened by someone creating an actual CURE for cancer, as opposed to our current system of just endlessly TREATING cancer?

Similarily, I don't have some blazing "global warming" axe to grind; I just like to breathe clean air. My lungs like it, OK? I grew up near a coal burning power plant. It was dirty. There was a black film on the side buildings, till it was shut down. Why would anyone "defend" that?

And then there are the eternal "Blame Storms."

Why the heck does so much of the conservative/right leaning narrative revolve around the failures of socialism?

Butterfly
Butterfly resting

Why the heck does so much of the liberal/left leaning narrative revolve around the evils of capitalism?

Remember that old truism: "When you are pointing at someone else, three fingers are pointing back at yourself!"

If your perspective is so effing brilliant, how about you invest some time in convincing me why YOURS "works" rather than why THEIRS "doesn't work."

Much easier to find fault, than to find functional solutions, isn't it?

Which gets near closing this little circle... the depressing thought that so many people don't seem to want "solutions," they just want to have an eternal cycle of arguments with some perceived "enemy." They want to be "riled up, and in a fight" as a full-time (pre)occupation.

"Being right," on an individual ego-based level becomes more important than "right outcomes" that helps as many as possible be a little better off.

It's a very strange world.

How about YOU? What are some of your perceptions of how the world "works?" Is it good, bad, indifferent? Are we, as a species, on the right track? Or on the road to extinction, at our own hand? Leave a comment-- share your experiences-- be part of the conversation!


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(Cheers, @scipio)

I'd tend to agree with you about solitude. As the Mark Twain quote goes, 'The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog'.
As to the ineffectual band-aid solutions, I'd join you in pointing at the healthcare, food and energy industries but there are certainly 2 fingers pointing back at us since it is we ourselves who choose to support them with every penny we spend.

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Money talks! Consumers have constantly shown with their behavior that they prefer the cheapest alternative despite surveys that show the opposite. That's why our food is garbage, our airlines are terrible, our clothing is disposable.

But people are starting to finally come around, and I see change slowly creeping into these fields. I think there is hope for us yet, it just might take a little longer than some would like. Even in energy, I see more and more people putting solar panels up, and more and more wind projects coming online.

Now healthcare, on the other hand.... eesh.

shudder

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I am not sure exactly when it happened, but it seems to me that somewhere along the way we were told that the optimal thing was to have the BIGGEST pile of toys, rather than the BEST. Terms such as "planned obsolescence became part of our cultural narrative; "success" was measured not by actual accomplishment and the resulting happiness...but simply by our capacity to build an ever larger bank balance.

It all strikes me as WAY out of balance.

Your sentiments are shared! The feeling the sheeple turn away from the difficult and hard truths has led me to live a more independent lifestyle.

""How, exactly, is your reality of paradigm threatened by someone creating an actual CURE for cancer, as opposed to our current system of just endlessly TREATING cancer?" - because it's never about solving problems, but making them less horrible over and over again. It's about profit and growth over ppl .

That said I don't buy into the notion that all the ills of the world are due to corrupt reptilian religious leader plotting world domination... Rather the culture has grown too fast and with feedback to a point where many well intending ppl end up taking part in destructive systems because well, they might not know any better.

Good post.

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I read an interesting editorial a few back, in which the writer suggested that we lose our ability to feel compassion — and thus our humanity — when we put profit and growth at the TOP of the list of "what is important." Here in the US, the profit motive has been top of the list for... several generations. As a result, we no longer have the old form of free market capitalism that offered opportunities to mom and pop businesses... now we have predatory capitalism that actually suppresses opportunity while a handful of oligarchs run the show and control everything.

I don't know how you expect anyone to respond to a write like that because there's to many variables involved. Getting over three hundred million people in this country to come to censuses would be a fruitless undertaking.

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Sometimes part of my downfall is that I don't explain things well, because I am really not much of a "linear" thinker.

No, getting 300M people to come to consensus would be an exercise in futility. Teaching some kind of mindfulness in which people learn that viewpoints aside from their own don't need to be suppressed or beaten or ridiculed... that might be possible. But I might be too much of an idealist.

My opinions... however far-fetched they might be... have't ever been contingent on others agreeing with me. Sadly, that doesn't hold true for a lot of folks: "They are different from us! Let's KILL them!" (or some milder version of that) seems to often be the prevailing approach.

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Yeah, doesn't surprise me.

Thanks @denmarkguy for this Post. Some really valid points you bring up.

I think the ONE thing that bothers me most about the World and the people in it is the lack of Empathy exhibited by soooo many people., Even good , decent people.

For instance, take some notables. Nancy Reagan and her right wing views were so much against stem cells and the research and utilization of them for so many years until her poor Ronnie developed Alzheimer and then all of the sudden she changed her tune and was a spokesperson for pro- Stem Cells and utilizing them.

Vice president Dick Cheney is another shiny example.Of course he subscribed to certain Beliefs that included a disdain for homosexuality. Then when he found out his daughter was Gay what did he do ?? He changed his tune as well and became a champion for gay people.

I see it everyday...even in my own Family....i.e people having the complete inability to put themselves in someone else's shoes unless they actually get to experience their pain, obstacles, dilemma etc ..etc..first hand.

And make no mistake Empathy and Sympathy can be two different things.

My hard Right wing brother would have Sympathy and give food to a starving gay person if they came up to him in public. And he would do it in a second. But then turn around and shake his head in disgust at his Lifestyle and would not associate himself with that person in any kind of other capacity.

Oh well !! Who knows maybe his 5 yr. old son will turn out to be a drag queen. And then maybe, just maybe we'll see if "a Dick Cheney" suddenly appears lol

@Denmarkguy hello 👋 sir Wow Your picture looks very nice. Is this the flower of your house ??? Just as we talk about flowers, the flowers are natural resources, the main source of the beauty of nature is flowers, the flowers that keep the purity of the innocent mind, the flowers that do not live well, they can kill people, flowers around our house, Office, school, college, enhances beauty everywhere, what do you think ???

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Well, I'll give you that flowers do enhance the world and the experience of life, although this post really wasn't "about flowers."

Much easier to find fault, than to find functional solutions, isn't it?
Which gets near closing this little circle... the depressing thought that so many people don't seem to want "solutions," they just want to have an eternal cycle of arguments with some perceived "enemy."

I realize I take a contrarian bent in most of my replies, and I would just like you to know that it is only because I feel like you appreciate it more than if I were to just echo you :D I have great respect for you and your opinions and most of the time it is just me playing devil's advocate a bit.

That said, let me try and offer an alternative explanation for the behavior you've analyzed here. Hopefully it's just a sad thought and not how you truly feel :)

I will allow that there are many people whose only passion is to hate on the other side. My comment isn't about those people. This is about the (hopefully) majority of arguers who are truly passionate about the issue at hand.

I think the reason why you will often find these people resorting to finding fault instead of offering solutions is because they realize that there are no perfect solutions, and the best strategy to come out ahead is to prove that the other side's alternative is worse than yours. It tints every argument with a negative aura and I hate it just as much as you, but I don't think it's done because the people don't want "solutions." I think it's done because they see the fight as more of an issue of the choice between the lesser of two evils.

I wrote a couple weeks ago that the reason things have ground to a halt when it comes to politics and the national dialogue is because everything is basically a linear tug-of-war. You lose, and a inch of territory goes from your side to the other side. So the most important thing is to preserve the status quo at the very least, because if you can't actually win, then next best thing is to ensure the other side can't either.

In the actual analogy from my post, I likened it to the argument over where to set a thermostat. If you want it warmer and I want it colder, then how on earth can we compromise? Much easier to resort to just saying how bad the warm is rather than the benefits of cold, because even if I don't convince anyone to lower the temperature, at least no one will consider raising it.

Where you and I agree though is that this is all very frustrating and sometimes it's something you just have to walk away from. That's part of the reason I spend time on Steemit instead of reading the news like I was doing a year ago.

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