• Kazuma
    26
    1) Inventions and the problem of novelty

    New technology is in constant development. There are people who actively try to come up with new ideas and create new things. The key question is why. Is it only because they can? Since technological development has an impact on lives of everyone within the society and even on those outside of it, answering the question nowadays seems more relevant than ever.

    2) Work and the paradox of philosophy at the workplace

    Each individual has a certain outlook on the world and therefore has certain philosophical ideas. In the workplace those ideas are repressed and the individual works under circumstances which were created by someone with different philosophical ideas.

    Let's say a man works in a factory where he creates components for new computers. He would never want to create a new computer himself, but in the workplace he must adapt certain kind of ignorance or quit the job. He is aware of the fact that the components will be used for a new computer, so he has a certain responsibility for the end result. Now, whether he cares about what he does or not, his ignorance - and the lack of critique of the philosophical idea that wanted to create a new computer in the first place - combined with ignorance of his co-workers creates what are the potential problems for society. End results of what they create cannot be fully foreseen, which makes it a gamble. His personal philosophical ideas are at odds with ideas of the company he works for. Therefore majority of changes and inventions are made by very few people who have the opportunity to make an impact with their ideas. Those who don't oppose those ideas, simply accept them. Which in the end means that the vast majority of our population will just use what they're given (e.g. They may have not thought about using social media, but since they're there, they may as well use them. Because they were given the option to do so and because it was promoted as novelty).

    3) Philosophy as the basis of every change

    If we were to look at the situation with the factory worker from intellectual point of view, his behaviour would be utterly implausible. Not only he, individually, does not oppose the ideas that might in the end lead to something that he cannot be sure about, he also, in his sleepiness, helps to make the ideas, which he doesn't stand for, to have an impact on the whole society.
  • Gooseone
    107
    There's lot's of philosophic thinking going on ...in elitist specialized social circles...
    Somewhere the idea that wisdom should have a practical side got lost I guess.

    (Not to imply that everyone should be a philosopher king or anything).

    And concerning example #2, I feel a great deal of what could be deemed "dumb behaviour" is because people feel forced to comply a lot of the time, what's the use of being aware of that all the time? Yet never being aware of it is unlikely to improve things also.
  • Nils Loc
    821
    My bed and my sleep have been monetized by titanic productivity.

    The earth is actually a horde of Dragon's gold and you have to rent a space (a coin) to sleep on, all the while feeling anxiety of being eaten up in the process. Dragons don't eat gold, they eat people.

    Just say no to Dragon gold, of which nearly everything is turned.

    Make your clothes out of coins, be the gold that the Dragon values, and you'll be fine.
  • Bitter Crank
    9.3k
    Let's say a man works in a factory where he creates components for new computers. He would never want to create a new computer himself, but in the workplace he must adapt certain kind of ignorance or quit the job.Kazuma

    Our man working in the factory is subject to alienated labor. Whatever he makes as a worker in the factory, be it computers or condoms, belongs to the owner of the factory who determines what will be made, how it will be made, what the wholesale price will be, how much the workers will get paid, what he will do with the profits of the factory, and so on.

    Alienation of labor cuts the worker off from the goods he makes, and relieves him of any necessity (or even the point) of thinking about the products his workplace produces. (He doesn't need to think about it because his thoughts on the matter are irrelevant.)

    What the alienated worker needs to think about is how to change his relationship to production, from being an unthinking cog in the works, to directing the works himself (along with his fellow workers). Maybe they will continue to produce computers when the workers are in charge, maybe not. They need to think more deeply about this than the owners of capitalism have--which is to say, barely grazed the surface of the question.

    "Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it" Karl Marx said. What the worker needs to delve into is how to humanize work and it's products, rather than to continue in an alienated and alienating regime.

    IN a capitalist economy, the primary reason for technological innovation has to do with earning profit from manufacturing or from service. Innovative (not necessarily better) products are continuously needed to replace products which are presently being consumed. Style drives clothing purchases, for instance, among a large portion of the market. One can not be seen in clothes that represent last season's discards. Similarly, one is encouraged to think that one needs the latest smart phone. In fact, for most people, the $10 Trac Phone (which makes and receives calls) will be perfectly serviceable. Or, the $100 smart phone will serve where a $10 Tracphone will not.

    The 'consumer' also needs to think about products, and whether they need to exist. Does one really need a smart light bulb? 99.999% of the population have no real need for a smart lightbulb, let alone a house full of smart lightbulbs, smart stoves, smart refrigerators, smart furnaces, smart rugs, smart toilets, and smart vacuum cleaners. Much of what we consumers buy has very little potential for increasing our sense of happiness.
  • Kazuma
    26
    Alienation of labor cuts the worker off from the goods he makes, and relieves him of any necessity (or even the point) of thinking about the products his workplace produces. (He doesn't need to think about it because his thoughts on the matter are irrelevant.)Bitter Crank

    It does not relieve him of thinking. He, himself, decided not to think. Regardless of any circumstances, it is his decision. His thoughts may be irrelevant only to the one he works for because they know he isn't going to revolt against them, even though he has different view on society and on his work.

    What the alienated worker needs to think about is how to change his relationship to production, from being an unthinking cog in the works, to directing the works himself (along with his fellow workers). Maybe they will continue to produce computers when the workers are in charge, maybe not. They need to think more deeply about this than the owners of capitalism have--which is to say, barely grazed the surface of the question.Bitter Crank

    The word they is the key problem here. It, again, assumes that someone will take charge and his ideas will be the ones upon which the decision is make. It would just reverse the situation in which our worker was and put someone else in that situation instead.

    I suggest, they can no longer be a collective. They have to split and go each their own way.

    "Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it" Karl Marx said. What the worker needs to delve into is how to humanize work and it's products, rather than to continue in an alienated and alienating regime.Bitter Crank

    No, philosophers have not only interpreted the world. It is the lack of philosophical thinking in other people that didn't allow them to use philosophy to make changes. Ideology does not help as it only creates a different situation in which people, again, don't use philosophical thinking.

    IN a capitalist economy, the primary reason for technological innovation has to do with earning profit from manufacturing or from service. Innovative (not necessarily better) products are continuously needed to replace products which are presently being consumed. Style drives clothing purchases, for instance, among a large portion of the market. One can not be seen in clothes that represent last season's discards. Similarly, one is encouraged to think that one needs the latest smart phone. In fact, for most people, the $10 Trac Phone (which makes and receives calls) will be perfectly serviceable. Or, the $100 smart phone will serve where a $10 Tracphone will not.

    The 'consumer' also needs to think about products, and whether they need to exist. Does one really need a smart light bulb? 99.999% of the population have no real need for a smart lightbulb, let alone a house full of smart lightbulbs, smart stoves, smart refrigerators, smart furnaces, smart rugs, smart toilets, and smart vacuum cleaners. Much of what we consumers buy has very little potential for increasing our sense of happiness.
    Bitter Crank

    I agree with the description of the capitalist economy and with the fact that we may not need things that are being constantly created. However, happiness cannot be the goal of it. I'd suggest we don't need those things, because they have a potential to change and shape our society in ways we can't fully predict and therefore it's a gamble.
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