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  #1  
Old 10-25-2012, 02:25 AM
Tsamsiyu
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Default Always wanting to run... away somewhere

Anyone else have the problem that they can't stand being inside. I started college last January (well I started last fall over a year ago, but withdrew because I didn't want to be so far from family). Every day it just seems like moving from building to building to me. Waiting for the next chance to get out. It's not that I'm doing bad in school, or hate my school, I just don't see it as much but waking up in a relatively rectangular room, going to another big rectangle, then a few more with intermittent breaks, and finally ending up back in the same rectangle.

Even sometimes when I'm lying there with my girlfriend, I just wanna get up and run, because I can't stand feeling so locked up. It just feels like I'm waiting.

Waiting...waiting...waiting.

The sky is grey a lot to here in Ohio, especially in Fall, but I've been feeling this way everyday since day 1. When I walk to class I'll look up at the sky and just wish there was somewhere to go.

I just want to go to somewhere more natural feeling. Endless wilds. Where there's no time limit till I have to go back to my "duties"

I feel like each day I'm kinda just wasting time here in a rectangle.

I don't know how to explain it without saying the same thing over and over again, but I just want out! Out of here!
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"Pardon me, I wanna live in a fantasy"

"I wish I was a sacrifice but somehow still lived on"

It seems like everybody is moving forward. As if there is some final goal they can achieve and get to. I don't get it though. When I look around, it seems like I'm already there, and there is nothing left to do.

"You think you're so clever and classless and free, but you're still ****ing peasants as far as I can see."

I wish I could take just one hour of what I experience out in nature, wrap it in a box, put a bow on it, and start handing out to people

Nature has its own religion; gospel from the land

I know I was born and I know that I'll die; The in between is mine."
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2012, 02:38 AM
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I can definitely understand that feeling at times.

I'd say it's like our instincts are kicking in. No other animal does this to themselves and I suppose it's like a knee jerk reaction. Routine can bring around a sense of familiarity and security but at what cost?

Interestingly, I was overhearing some staff talking yesterday about how the Aboriginal staff in a separate Aboriginal centre often seem disorganised by our western standards as they often dictate what they do by how they feel at the time. For instance they might get up in the middle of a meeting and go out to get some food or walkabout outside for a while. I really love that way of being but unfortunately that kind of behaviour would be frowned on by a lot of organisations because it isn't regulated or seen as proper conduct.

The only suggestion I have for you is maybe taking breaks between classes when you can and just wander around the campus and go where you feel at the time.
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2012, 02:43 AM
Tsamsiyu
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I do try to go on runs everyday, and it is on a nice back path, only problem is it is always the same back. (I do run because I enjoy, but I also do try to run competitively).

But, yeah in my comparative studies class we were discussing the problem with specialization in society.

Before it, people could kind of just do the things the felt like doing, so far as they had enough food, shelter, and water. (Which really didn't take that long, estimates are about 3-5ish hours of work per day in hunter-gatherer societies).

But now, I'm gonna be a mechanical engineer. I'm specializing in it, and that's gonna be my role for a long time to come. It's not that I don't like mechanical engineering, it's just that more than anything I want to go walking through the woods. And that is all really.

So specialization is a bit of a problem in some respects I guess.
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"Pardon me, I wanna live in a fantasy"

"I wish I was a sacrifice but somehow still lived on"

It seems like everybody is moving forward. As if there is some final goal they can achieve and get to. I don't get it though. When I look around, it seems like I'm already there, and there is nothing left to do.

"You think you're so clever and classless and free, but you're still ****ing peasants as far as I can see."

I wish I could take just one hour of what I experience out in nature, wrap it in a box, put a bow on it, and start handing out to people

Nature has its own religion; gospel from the land

I know I was born and I know that I'll die; The in between is mine."
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  #4  
Old 10-25-2012, 05:10 PM
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I have a fair idea of what you mean. Being inside or in an 'inside' outdoor area like a city is enough to make me feel physically sick.

'I just want to go walking through the woods'

Man, I see you! This runs through my head pretty much all day every day. Pa'li Makto made a good suggestion with finding time between lectures to go for a wander. Is your university in a city or in the country? Perhaps what you need is a few days or a week to go somewhere new and remote and just have an explore. Get lost, be confused, get rained on, it's great
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theorist View Post
I just want to go to somewhere more natural feeling. Endless wilds. Where there's no time limit till I have to go back to my "duties"
Theorist,

You've already done two important things: you've identified where you are, and you've identified where you want to be. Now it's just a matter of connecting the dots. Is there a way you can make exploring "endless wilds" your "duty?"

To answer your first question, yes, sometimes I can't stand being inside because it makes me feel trapt and suffocated. Where you and I differ, however, is that your admiration for the outdoors is a passion, a hunger with a sense of great urgency... and mine isn't. In this aspect I envy you terribly. Not everyone will hear their calling so clearly... so I recommend you listen to it.
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2012, 04:30 PM
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You have to go through some things - see it as a means to an end. You can do what you like if you're in a position to, but not so easily if you have nothing. Perhaps you should look at your course and/or future plans and see if those match up with what you want to do or not?
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2012, 04:37 PM
Tsamsiyu
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hmm... well, I do like my courses, and I do want to be in automotive engineering, and I do want to do automotive engineering that helps the environment, and it is a practical means to sustaining myself.

But, I want to be out there. In the jungle, the mountains, the plains savanah, all of it. But I don't know how to make that my duty in a way that I can reasonably sustain myself I guess.
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"Pardon me, I wanna live in a fantasy"

"I wish I was a sacrifice but somehow still lived on"

It seems like everybody is moving forward. As if there is some final goal they can achieve and get to. I don't get it though. When I look around, it seems like I'm already there, and there is nothing left to do.

"You think you're so clever and classless and free, but you're still ****ing peasants as far as I can see."

I wish I could take just one hour of what I experience out in nature, wrap it in a box, put a bow on it, and start handing out to people

Nature has its own religion; gospel from the land

I know I was born and I know that I'll die; The in between is mine."
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  #8  
Old 01-14-2013, 05:55 PM
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I definitely can relate. Especially once you have been out for a while, it incites a longing. I was there at least two times. Once it was in Colorado - endless landscapes just a few meters behind the campus. Mountains, miles without people, streams and creeks and vast areas of sagebush. And then back to the lecture halls - not so nice, but the outdoors was close enough still. The other time I was in South Aftica doing a geological mapping - 4 weeks fulltime outdoors in a savannah with just sheep, springbok and snakes as a company for most of the day. It felt like freedom, even during the nights in a small farmhouse. But coming back sucks - being back in the university and spending so much time indoors is a downer. Recently I have gotten a new job, now I even have to work in the city and not on the outskirts anymore, that means more boxes to get into - busses, trains, subways to get from my home box to my office box to stare in a computer box. This is depressing and even going outdoors is not the same as going outdoors in Colorado or Africa. There are no endless landscapes here, you cannot go for a single mile without bumping into a person, a road, a railway track or a house - or at least cultivated monocropped land.
What sucks is that I really hoped that I could do something different. I studied and now made my PhD in an ecological science. But what do we do? Put soil and water and organisms in little bottles in the lab and then observe it there. Not much getting outside. And those few jobs in that field that really are inspiring and involve being outdoors a lot are a) very few and b) usually very much time-limited. I may get one of them for some weeks sometimes, but then its back to boxes. This frustrates me, but that is science... and thanks to a lack in good science jobs, it is not even really possible to find a job easily that is in a location that would at least allow some more being outdoors in really wide spaces, because basically I cannot really choose the job, but rather have to take one of the few offers there are. Right here it is not too bad - there are the Alps within an hour's drive and near my home there is a small little forest and a stream that I can visit, but still I miss those wild and wide spaces and I feel like I am loosing the "energy" that these places gave me the longer I stay in the concrete jungle here...
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2013, 02:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theorist View Post
But now, I'm gonna be a mechanical engineer. I'm specializing in it, and that's gonna be my role for a long time to come. It's not that I don't like mechanical engineering, it's just that more than anything I want to go walking through the woods. And that is all really.

So specialization is a bit of a problem in some respects I guess.
I don't see why. Specialisation means doing things better and more efficiently. It means not wasting time on things you hate because someone does those for you in return for currency used to facilitate exchange of goods and services

Some might be nice, yes, but others aren't. With no specialisation, you're limited to a radius of maybe 20 miles unless you want to make a multi-day trip, which would of course then mean creating shelter, gathering supplies, etc. While everyone could probably make attempts at gaining food by whatever method is convenient to them, efficiency overall would be down. and the population in its current state could not be supported. It's only because people are good at what they do and what that thing is varies by person that anyone is able to do anything more than basic subsistence.

I do understand what you mean about wanting to know a bit more about everything, but there's a huge leap of practicality between knowing a little and doing it. I always try to get at least a minor depth of knowledge about a very wide range of things, but that's just interest and I would hate to have to do the vast majority of them - I just find it important to understand how others do.

Quote:
Before it, people could kind of just do the things the felt like doing, so far as they had enough food, shelter, and water. (Which really didn't take that long, estimates are about 3-5ish hours of work per day in hunter-gatherer societies).
It's true, but then there's the question of what else you could do once that was over. Without any specialisation, there's no propagation of innovation and efficiency, which results in stagnation. If techniques must be rediscovered independently, there's no opportunity to build on previous iterations, which is why humanity was static for many thousands of years before the first civilisations. As an example, remember than in the winter, you'd effectively be using all of the day, and there would be no lighting other than a fire to extend the useful range of activity. If you based such a day on no, then yes, it would be significantly more convenient, as in the near-future, 3D printers have the potential to solve a lot of the aforementioned problems of rediscovery, but there still has to be a drive to give back, to merge improvements upstream for others, to take the example of open source. When other people are competitors for the same resources, the same stakes in survival, that suddenly becomes a lot less likely to happen.

Not saying it's impossible as a concept, more that saying "don't specialise" is counterproductive compared to "centralise and automate" to build a base from which a model can be developed in open-source style where accessibility to the same improvements is open to all without the subsistence/competition element.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:58 PM
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A main question with efficiency always is what happens to the gains. In history, mostly the people had not the gains they expected to have. Instead of working less, they just had more stuff - instead of having more time to do nice things, they have a physically less challenging job. Specialization of course increases productivity and development. We would not have many of the things that we have now if it were not for that. Yet that is not so much the point here I think - the point is what makes us happy. Does having all this stuff really makes us happy people? Many many people if asked if they would rather have a bit less money to buy stuff that are made possible by specialization or spend more time without work choose the latter. Yet it is mostly impossible. Why is that? I remember, when I was young, a vacation was 2 or 3 weeks. Now, most people have a week of vacation or even just a weekend. What point is there in having all this stuff if we cannot enjoy it. And then we start to screw over the efficiency gains eventually by increasing the number of flights or miles travelled or waste generated in food production only because we want something fast. Travelling from here to the UK in 3 hours is possible, but it is vastly more wasteful and in that sense inefficient than to travel slowly. I would not want to walk and swim to the UK, certainly not, but my point is that some things are just considered efficient because they save time - yet time is paradoxically something we dont seem to have anymore. In turn we NEED then these ways to travel to be able to travel at all. I find this paradox and somehow miss the real gain in efficiency in all of that...
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:20 AM
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For the most part, yes, for the vast majority of people. There will always be exceptions, but most people have nice things becasue they like them.

If you only have a week's holiday, your employer is breaking the law. As for efficiency, if you're talking about flying, then it's actually less of an impact that driving all the way. Remember, an aircraft from the late 20th century will do 40-50 passenger MPG with a load factor of 80% (i.e. 1/5 seats empty), which is significantly less than a modern 787/737/A350. However you get there, you need specialisation - yes, it can enable growth past capacity, but that's another case for a hard population cap. Humanity is not at a stage of development where it can be allowed to reproduce without external checks on the rate because too many people want to do so at a rate above replacement.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
For the most part, yes, for the vast majority of people. There will always be exceptions, but most people have nice things becasue they like them.
And this is why gains in efficiency sadly rarely create a real reduction in total consumption. That way even a stable population of people usually does not decrease its resource consumption by increasing efficiency, but rather are increasing the number of "nice and shiny things" that they describe as standard of living. And the current mythology is that this has to improve and increase all the time. Thats the trap, I think that has to be broken. People see zero-growth as stagnant and bad. But really lets say people would have stuck to the standards of living of the 1960ies, a time that certainly had its luxuries and people probably liked it a lot in respect of comforts. And now lets say people nowadays would have the same standards of living but with efficiency of technology applied to all aspects. So people would for example still rarely fly airplanes, have one TV per household and so on. In that case, efficiency would have had the effect of really reducing total consumption, especially if population growth also would have stopped. But that is not what happened. People instead used these gains in efficiency to fly airplanes for a weekend trip acroiss the country, have two cars and three TVs and computers ,... etc.
Only if we accept that the way we live at the moment is fine and we aim to stay at that level but use the improvements in technology to actually decrease our impact on the planet - only then can improvements in the efficiency of technology actually solve something. That is not to say what standard of living (1960ies? 1980ies? 2012? 1900? 1200? iron age? stone age?) is actually sustainable overall, but thats another topic.

Quote:
If you only have a week's holiday, your employer is breaking the law.[...]Humanity is not at a stage of development where it can be allowed to reproduce without external checks on the rate because too many people want to do so at a rate above replacement.
Its kind of interesting that you are in some way calling for state regulation and control here. Many of your posts are sounding a lot like free-market liberal advocacy.

Quote:
As for efficiency, if you're talking about flying, then it's actually less of an impact that driving all the way. [...] - yes, it can enable growth past capacity, but that's another case for a hard population cap.
The part on flying is certainly true. I do not argue so much that there have not been increases in efficiency compared to other ways of doing so. Though certainly taking a bike from Munich to Berlin is more efficient in terms of energy than any fossil fuel driven mode of travel - but of course it is less efficient in terms of time. Efficiency always has to have a parameter to which it is applied. And presently certainly time is one of the parameters that is most important - this society takes care to improve time-efficiency of any act at the expense of energy in order to increase productivity overall. But maybe thats another point. What I wanted to reply to this is that even though a dingle flight of a single person is more efficient than that person driving a car for the same distance, the overall effect of that increase in efficiency is, by this society, used to increase the numbers of miles travelled per person overall. So lets say as an example if flying takes 50% of the fuel compared to driving a big car as a single person, that translates to a person being able to fly twice as much for the same cost as when that person drives a car - and that is generally what is going to happen. That person will actually fly twice as much and thus not reduce the cost. I don't see how a cap on population would solve that issue at all. An end to population growth certainly is a necessary requirement for sustainability but it is not a sufficient condition for it. There is more to it, namely that consumption has to decrease and this is only possible by a cultural change that destroys the mythology of growth and progress in the sense that people in this culture expect to have permanently increasing standards of living. If that reduction in consumption of resources then comes from effectively used gains in efficiency in production or from decreasing consumer-side consumption is the same then. What will not work is a cap on population coupled with a continued increase of consumption by those people.

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
Its kind of interesting that you are in some way calling for state regulation and control here. Many of your posts are sounding a lot like free-market liberal advocacy.
I think you deserve the non sequitur award for that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
That person will actually fly twice as much and thus not reduce the cost. I don't see how a cap on population would solve that issue at all. An end to population growth certainly is a necessary requirement for sustainability but it is not a sufficient condition for it. There is more to it, namely that consumption has to decrease and this is only possible by a cultural change that destroys the mythology of growth and progress in the sense that people in this culture expect to have permanently increasing standards of living. If that reduction in consumption of resources then comes from effectively used gains in efficiency in production or from decreasing consumer-side consumption is the same then. What will not work is a cap on population coupled with a continued increase of consumption by those people.
This definitely depends on how much the population is reduced and the way in which standards of living increase. If consumption per person doesn't increase (or doesn't increase enough to result in the same amount of consumption as there was before population reduction), we're no more worse off than we are now and have better standards of living. It's not a solution as far as sustainability, but it would make finding a solution far easier.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theorist View Post
I do try to go on runs everyday, and it is on a nice back path, only problem is it is always the same back. (I do run because I enjoy, but I also do try to run competitively).
We all have our ups and down I suppose. I live in a city, but still know the locations of a decent number of nature walks/preserves/parks within walking/driving/longer driving distance.

But I can't run. I can walk for miles, and I can do the sort of half walk/half run that people do when they're in a hurry, but a full out sprint? Can't do it.


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Originally Posted by Moco Loco View Post
I think you deserve the non sequitur award for that one.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:05 AM
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Well I am not sure if reducing population as a means to increase standards of living is going to be all that popular. Hehe - thats another things by the way for HNM: In many discussions, you kept saying that reducing energy consumption or therelike is not going to be popular, so people will not want to do it, so it cannot be done, so we need more clean energy - preferrably nuclear. I would say it is as hard or harder to tell people that they can only have increases in standard of living if population decreases, so basically it translates to having only one or no kids as the cost of having new iphonies and flatscreen TVs and moon colonies.

Anyways in a simplified equation,
total Consumption = number of people * average consumption per capita
and that translates into
total Consumption = number of people * (average standard of living / Resource Efficiency)
Thats a very simplified model, I know, but its an approximation.
Now you can think of what to do - the constraints are, that total Consumption may not rise if we want to stop degrading the planet and actually has to decrease if we want to revert some of the changes and slow down degrading processes that already have some inertia. It boils down to reducing population and/or decreasing standard of living and/or increasing the efficiency of the processes that fuel that standard of living. If one of the factors goes in the opposite way, the others have to compensate. The question is what is sustainable on the left side of the equation, theories say that we are in overshoot by a factor of 3-10. Interesting is also that the global average of per capita consumption and standard of living is much less than what we have here in Europe or the US. That means of course that if the millions of people that are below the average want to reach that average at least (not to mention the consumption of Western Countries), either the consumption of the richer countries has to drop drastically or one of the other factors in the equation has to change. In addition to that, I would say that a certain standard of living is only possible if there are enough people to support it, in case of our western culture this is even imperialistic in that our standard of living is maintained to a large degree by the very fact that there are other people that have much less. An iPhone would by far not be as cheap as it is if the people producing it would demand the same kind of payment, health care, vacation, work hours etc as we do in the West - and a price increase in these appliances (e.g. Smartphones, Computers, Laptops, Flatscreen TVs, cars,... etc would all double or triple in price) would in turn equate to a decrease in average standard of living as people would not be able to afford these things as easily as they do now.

So to just say we need less people and then all will be fine is ignoring the complexity of the problem by far.

P.S.: Interestingly just after I wrote this, I listened to a related interview with Paul Ehrlich, the author of the "population bomb" book from some decades ago. It is only 18 minutes, so maybe this may be an interesting piece related to the topic of population.
http://www.ecoshock.org/downloads/ec...lapse_LoFi.mp3
The scientific paper he mentions is to be found here:
Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?
at the Royal Society, it is a peer reviewed article without experimental data or therelike, so it is rather a Review paper, in this case it is filed under "Perspective", meaning that the author is presenting information from a vast number of scientific articles and draws conclusions from their totality.

P.P.S: BACK ON TOPIC - I am just reading a good book. It is called "The long Earth" by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. In it, a simple device is invented that allows people to "step sideways" in the quantum universe and go sequentiall to one of millions of Earths that are without humans. It explores in the form of a novel the desire of many people to get away from this, to run away somewhere. Some people take only one or 5 steps and remain in contact with Datum Earth, others - like the main characters - are going far far away in search of "the silence" that can only be heard or felt when they are far from all these people. I am just beginning to read this but it promises to be really good and I feel it relates to the original topic of this thread...
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Stop terraforming Earth (wordpress)

"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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