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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Losing Herself To Society


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An online friend decided to stop using Facebook, except for the chat, so that she could concentrate entirely on her University degree. While I encourage her to do what feels more important and beneficial to her, I find it in poor taste that she would sacrifice her social life for a professional life.

We all want to be successful. Right?
We all have hobbies and interests. Humans, since the dawn of age, have spent a meaningful sum of their time, in pursuing their interests, beyond basic daily survival. However, unlike the professional yet enslaved members of modern society, they would not sacrifice their family, friendships, and other interests, in the pursuit of a single goal.

The difference between them and us is clear. Modern society is designed to turn humans into working ants, with each human professionalising in one specific job. That way, the gains are maximised, and each human is used to its' utmost extent.

The problem, however, is that people are not designed to live like ants. Humans are designed to live in leisure, and be social, more than anything else. We are designed to enjoy our family and friends, while spending that little precious time, on the side, so to speak, making things that benefit our lives; being creatively productive.

This means that the modern human is slowly, but surely, turning into a new sort of animal. A useful breed that has many social, psychological, emotional, and personal problems. Never the less, it produces vast amounts of benefit, for their society, in the form of technology.

And this is not moral behavior! To sacrifice any one person for the benefit of others, is to sacrifice the morality of that society. No person should ever sacrifice their needs and wants, for the wants of others; especially, out of fear of being attacked by their society. Negotiation is the only way to find balance between the wants of members in a society. Only negotiation creates a win-win scenario.

Huck must ultimately decide whether he should return Jim back to his master.
Huck must choose between obeying the laws of his society, and support slavery,
or being loyal to his friend, Jim, and help him escape into freedom.
- Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development

It is wrong, but it is happening all around us. Let us say 'No', and aim for freedom, instead of acceptance. In the meanwhile, we can figure out innovative solutions to making money, without sacrificing our natural lifestyle.

Do you have ideas and examples of making money, without sacrificing your social and leisure life? Please, share with us, and comment below!

Read 9 comments.

  1. An online friend decided to stop using Facebook, except for the chat, so
    that she could concentrate entirely on her University degree. While I
    encourage her to do what feels more important and beneficial to her, I
    find it in poor taste that she would sacrifice her social life for a
    professional life.

    It sounds like you're implying that people need Facebook to have a social life, or it's impossible to have a social life unless you're on Facebook. I tried Facebook for a couple weeks last year, but found it very distracting. I got into computers around 1991, when dial-up Bulletin Board Systems were in operation, and most people had never heard of the Internet. I'm no stranger to new tech or of trying new things, but I didn't feel that Facebook was necessary. Indeed, the best times I have socializing were in real life, and I find that when computers are put into play, this takes away incentive for people to meet face to face or even go out of their house. Sometimes I look outside and I wonder what happened to all the children. It's like an episode of the Twilight Zone. I remember when I was a kid, we kids often used something called the outdoors quite frequently, and there were often people walking on sidewalks. I find it eerie sometimes when I walk down main street during daylight hours and don't see anyone else out upon aforementioned sidewalk.

    I do agree with you about the importance of social contact. Admittedly I'm not great at meeting people, never have been. I moved around a lot as a kid, and never got used to long-term friendships, and was always a bit of an oddball. Most of the friends I made came later, through jobs I've had.

    But I do believe that humans are social creatures, and that technology doesn't nurture that aspect of our existence. A friend (a real life one) recently sent me this link in an email:
    Communities Vs. Networks: To Which Do You Belong?

    As for what I inferred by the initial statements in your post, perhaps I misunderstood, and obviously I don't know first-hand details but I'm interested to hear your opinion of my interpretation.

    ReplyDelete
  2. First, that article, while mentioning some interesting social dilemmas, is way too long. :+P I read less than half, before I put it aside. Thanks for sharing, though.


    Networking existed before the Internet. For example, merchants would network. Also, I don't think the Internet is somehow anti-community, because many communities (not networks) do thrive here. So, I would rather look at this issue as a /society versus nature/ issue.


    However, neither am I implying that Facebook, or any other media, is necessary for having a social life. I was only referring to FB in her case, because she doesn't appear to have much of a social life "offline", so to speak.


    Humans are social creatures, as you say, but there is more to that. We don't only require human interaction. We require specific types of interactions. For example, many people replace human companionship and affection, with getting a loving pet, like a dog. :-) And this isn't anything new. Humans are noted for adopting pets in the most wild and tribal of situations (I recall seeing a documentary, where an Amazonian tribe adopted the babies of the monkeys that they hunted - for food, as pets.)


    Human society has become anti-community ever since the age of industrialism. Moving to the cities, spending most of the day in factories and shops, away from family and friends, has done this to us. So, it's no surprise, at all, for online social networking to have become popular. It is simply technology filling-in the gap that our society had made. My friend in this here article is only on FB, because there's literally nobody around; just as you described it. I can sympathize, because I'm more from her generation, than from yours.


    Although, at least as a younger kid, I did enjoy all that "playing outside" that doesn't quite exist anymore. :=P

    ReplyDelete
  3. You made some good points. I remember a while back reading something to the effect that it was cars and other forms of mass transportation that sparked the separation of families. I see your other point about industrialization and how people make their living has changed things. And of course I can't say what would be the best in the long-run for your friend. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hehe cars being a new thing seems so ancient, somehow. The hippie part of me detests the fact that everything is paved with cement, and the terrible effect roads have on animals and people (vis-a-vis deaths.)


    I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed how transportation became a tool for the regular separation and utilization of people, and the detrimental affects it has on us all, as individuals, families, and as a society.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I read years ago in a magazine some article that blamed Edison for causing insomnia for a lot of people. What with lights being at night, and then second and third shifts that followed, which... I'm sure you know, can disrupt a person's circadian rhythm.


    Feel free to check out my site sometime, Assaf (it's in my Disqus profile). I'm always(usually) interested in different points of view, or comments from people that are good at filling in "gaps." :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yeah, I remember hearing of that too. It's one of those arguments about science and morality, whether they relate, should be together, and what not. I actually do think that science and morality should go together, rather than separately. Science, and technology, have done a lot of damage!


    Andy, share your site here. :-) And write a few words about it! Us online folk got to fend for each other, and support the cause, eh.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What an encompassing introduction, Andy! :-D Fascinating.


    I went into blogging and authoring, and hell - even chatting about these topics regularly, because I've received positive feedback, as well. It feels so good, and seems so right, that doing something that is interesting to me would be beneficial to other folk. Obviously, I also enjoy the sense of community and friendship online, through these activities. :)


    I found your story ideas attractive, but the writing style didn't suit my taste. Maybe more editing and polishing would really produce a more attractive product. I always re-do everything I write or record, many times over, to make sure it is as best as I can make it - at the time. Sort of like a sculptor, working layer by layer, refining and improving their work.


    I'm an advocate of Open Source software, and hardware, too. I had my years of using Linux. I like the business model of offering products and content for free, but requesting reimbursement or payment for following services. It makes a lot of sense for intellectual products. I dislike & disagree with the whole notion of "intellectual property".

    ReplyDelete
  8. I found your story ideas attractive, but the writing style didn't suit
    my taste. Maybe more editing and polishing would really produce a more
    attractive product. I always re-do everything I write or record, many
    times over, to make sure it is as best as I can make it - at the time.
    Sort of like a sculptor, working layer by layer, refining and improving
    their work.

    Thanks for reading, and the feedback, Assaf. :)

    Yes, I think there's more I can do in the way of polishing, editing, and "sculpting". I don't know which of my stories you read; these are the last two I've worked on and I consider them the most polished:

    William and Mary
    The Magic Brain

    I've had so many distractions the last last couple months to properly continue making improvements, but that is my plan. :)

    So your feedback is well-received. :) It's nice to now have confirmation of how they may appear to unbiased readers. Thanks again. :)

    Obviously, I also enjoy the sense of community and friendship online, through these activities. :)

    The biggest thing that keeps me going.

    I'm an advocate of Open Source software, and hardware, too. I had my
    years of using Linux. I like the business model of offering products and
    content for free, but requesting reimbursement or payment for following
    services. It makes a lot of sense for intellectual products. I dislike
    & disagree with the whole notion of "intellectual property".

    I switched to Linux ten years ago.


    As for business models, it seems we're on similar pages. I do think that anyone with a product or service should have the right to choose how he or she makes it available and under what terms. In turn, consumers still hold most of the power and if they don't like those terms, can choose to decline doing business with an individual or company.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I read The Problematic 6000 and Mount Solation. Those two had the most attractive premises.

    It's ridiculous that any person would create a meta-item, such as digital content, or just verbal content, and insist that it is "theirs". As if words and symbols can be owned. The whole digital pirating scene, and how successful and popular it is, is evidence of how badly the notion of Intellectual Property doesn't work.

    Without the policing of fascist organizations, such as the state's patent body, no one would ever be able to sustain this. Even better, seeing how the Chinese are bluntly copying from others, and doing so successfully - becoming a huge market for hobbyists online (eBay, DX, etc'), is even more righteous. :-D

    I gain much satisfaction from going against fascists, without becoming a martyr.

    ReplyDelete

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