Home > Critical Thinking, Dystopia, Reason, Skepticism > Questions to Ponder Over: 01

Questions to Ponder Over: 01

Another series..

I often think up questions that have no easy answers, and this is one of them-

Throughout most of human history, people had a defined and fairly unchanged existence. Even the changes caused by civilization and industrialization were in many respects glacial and superficial compared to what we are have experienced since ww2.

People born after ww2, in the west and prosperous east, are the first cohort of people born to not experience large scale wars, famine, anarchy and many other ills of the past. They are also the first to have a lifestyle and technology that has not stressed their body, essentially slowing down the aging process. Look at pictures of 60 year olds from past eras, and now..

It is very likely that inexpensive medical technology will allow many to live longer and less dependent lives in their old age. The generations born after 1970 might be even more luckier in that respect. Events in the last decade have also helped destroy many prevalent dogmas, by destroying them with the light of reality. For Luddites and naysayers: Could you have predicted the events of the last 150 (or especially the last 70 years) based on all of human history till then.

However the course of technological developments, human behavior and chance has created scenarios that we have no precedent for. These include reliable and accessible contraception, women in the workforce, unstable jobs, unstable relationships, legalism, biased laws, adverse demographic profiles and a whole host of other issues.

If we had pre-ww2 technology, people could have somehow muddled through these contradictions. But that is not the case. There is no way back .. and therefore the real is- what is the way forward? I have my own views on this subject, but I would like to hear from my readers.

A lot of the problems and pathologies of our times are not due to technological progress, but the inability of human culture to accommodate it. Remember that human culture is largely based on concepts and ways created in an age unlike the one we live in.

I am trying to get you to think about and answer a simple question:

How do you ensure that most human beings are not disillusioned with the life they have and continue to play nice?

We live in system that is much more complex than our old social and cultural ways can handle. However it will collapse without active involvement. The complexity of this system, previously unheard possibilities combined with human behavior if it fails also ensured that there are no real survivors, and the process can be drawn out over a generation. The status quo cannot hold, but what can replace it?

An example: What will keep most men motivated to work themselves to death, when they have no advantage in doing so. The current dating and marriage markets are fucked. Kids have no social pressures to care for you in your old age. Your competence or ability in your job have no correlation with rewards, or any occupational security. Most people are a paycheck or two away from a downward spiral. The “elite”, whom many of you look upto, are busy sucking you dry with the active help of your elected officials.

While some of these conditions were present through most of history in feudal societies, they did not have the irreversible complexity, myriad possibilities, technology and communications that we now have. It also helped that they had very basic needs and simple supply chains, with high fertility rates. You see the problem..

Put another way, why would most men live an old fashioned married life of quiet desperation, unhappiness and misery now that there is no motivation to go through the whole career, marriage, kids, society sham.

  1. rightsaidfred
    January 8, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    How do you ensure that most human beings are not disillusioned with the life they have and continue to play nice?

    Society consists of setting up institutions and convincing people to participate in those institutions. Our entertainment, sports, and leisure institutions are doing well, our institution of marriage not so well. Maybe we should mandate that one can’t participate in sports, entertainment, or leisure unless you are married and have produced children.

    • P Ray
      February 5, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      Not sure how you think that is going to work,
      women get a lot of ideas who to have sex with from sports, entertainment or leisure.
      That is how they can “hold out for Prince Charming” even when pushing 80 years old.

      Unless you mean, cut men off.
      Good luck with your “ideal” society if that’s the case.

    • March 23, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      How stupid… You think that would make shit better? It’s bad enough specific corporation jobs won’t hire men unless they are married. You really think that’ll send a message? If anything it sways more folks away…

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