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Old 04-04-2010, 10:58 PM
ZenitYerkes's Avatar
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Default An Essay - Simpler.

I have watched Avatar in my return trip from the Spring break (and I shouldn't, now I can feel PAD slightly coming back), and I don't know if anybody else had felt like this, but anytime I go back to reality I just look around and ask myself "Why things cannot be simpler?"

I try to change things, but thousands of people come from the textbooks and politics to stop me with the endless "No, because...". There's something missing here, maybe that simplicity that comes from the absence of legal or abstract barriers that I easily find on Pandora (does anybody else feel like this too?).

So let's try to look for a way things to be simpler.

I rule my logic by the cause-action-reaction theory, so everything has a reason to be and has its consequences; it might not work for some abstract concepts, such as the idea of God that exists without a certain cause; but it's OK for the rest. Now keep that thought in your mind and look around.

Every single brick on the walls that surround you were a plan of an architect and was put by the work a builder; and the computer you're using had to be produced in China and travel all around the world to get in your hands.

Just thinking about every single process that made everything come to the state it's now gives an actual headache.

Let's go to the previous question: Why cannot things be simpler?

Alright, we pick an Occam's razor and cut out the processes and everything we don't need from them in the first place. So, what do we have now?

Let's look at it this way. I kind of know the human needs, they go as follows (I hope there is none missing, people correct me please):
  • Survival or basic needs: food, water, air; refuge for security needs and a group for social and reproductive needs.
  • Intellectual needs: warrantied access to all the information needed, from both oral and written sources.
  • Self-realization needs (took the term from the Maslow pyramid): the most difficult to define, but once the individuals had satisfied all their needs the instinct for helping the others appear, what makes them feel "complete". This instinct also appears at mother-son relationships.
  • Transcendence need: what makes religions appear. Human beings need to feel all their effort has been worth doing and has repercussion in eternity, what connects them to an immortal god or gods.

So let's take out everything apart from that. What do we have?

I believe, a primitive society. A Na'vi clan could fit in the scheme since it's just dedicated to supply all these needs.

Now, what's our scheme instead? A twisted and extremely large society in which every single individual does not count by itself. A distant government needed to control properly all the resources and money used to give the people all sort of products to fill invented needs. An anguishing need to compete and be better than the rest of countries.

I could keep stating things about what's going on today, but in summary, we are afraid to lose. Lose the comfort in which we're today, lose what we've got for trying something new, lose and be at the bottom of progress or society.

That's the risk. If you don't ever take it you will never get out of what's going on around you.

And also, we're completely powerless. Yes, the whole "give the power to the people" thing is not actually real. Try to make a difference and you'll find yourself trapped on a legal spiderweb or under the sight of millions of people, and I'm not talking of you trying to kill somebody. If you try to set up a settlement on the forest they call you hippie and unless you've paid the terrain, they'll bring you jail. If you want to jump and climb up a tree someone would say "Are you stupid or what?". If you believe capitalism is not working, then you're red scum.

We're under such a social and legal pressure that you end up being completely unable to get out of the scheme of getting a 9-5 job and end up with 80 years wondering what's been of your life.

Those two things are missing on that primitive society: people are few and can have actual participation and, well, there could be no prejudges if we imagine it hasn't got historical record or anything from where to take them.

Shall we simplify then our society, now we've found a model?

Answer is no.

Mostly, because it's impossible. People are so used to the apps and the gadgets and all the technological stuff that we can't help keeping going further and further with our motto "The sky is the limit", until we realize we've reached the exosphere and have no air to breathe.

Anyway, I hope someday things could be simpler.
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Last edited by ZenitYerkes; 04-05-2010 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:45 PM
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Very insightful Zenit . I agree with all your points. I believe that just as it has been with other civilizations, so it will be with us. This cannot last forever. Nothing does. Empires rise and fall, civilizations come and go. Will life be simpler. In time, yes, I believe it will be. Sadly, it won't be due to a positive reason. This bubble will burst . What will we do as individuals is up to us.

It is sad that you can't just make a settlement somewhere without being called hippie or being hauled off to jail (especially if you don't own the land). You can't hunt without a license and other regulations. There is so much that you can't do but want to do. Only because of the society that we live in. It is very frustrating.

I think that we need to start (I am speaking to myself here as well) learning survival skills. We will very likely need them in the future, to survive and live.
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:57 PM
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Very insightful post, Zenit.

I am reading a book called "Beyond Civilization" by Daniel Quinn, and he explains how we can think differently to act simpler, more in a tribal pattern.

We need to change how we think about ourselves in relation to the social structures that surround us, particularly with respect to "Authority".

I have found the material on roage.com very helpful in that respect. I am a free sovereign man now, and even police and sheriffs acknowledge it. There are no real "legal" barriers to living a good life. Because "legal" is synonymous with "fictional" and "voluntary".

Anyway, wonderful post, and we will soon see a simpler life emerging from the ashes of the society which is ready to collapse.
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