• Mayor of Simpleton
    620
    In societies that exalt youth, like ours, the elderly fall mostly into the second category. They are dispensable, if not a nuisance that is relegated to mortuaries such as nursing homes. A highly visible role in the current pandemic crisis.David Mo

    This might be a curious notion, but as someone who is not youth or elderly, it occurred to me that neither the youth or the elderly really have much direct influence in my daily life.

    Indeed there are a few older folks who require some assistance or are simply crossing my paths and proximity, but it is not as if they are so present in the section of society I tend to navigate.

    The same goes for the youth. Other than the kids of my neighbors, I'm actually only aware of them, but have little or no interaction with them, and the younger guys playing baseball in the same league where I play (I'm currently 55 and the average age of the league is 24 - is that still youth?) I tend to have little or no contact with the youth.

    Oddly enough, I'm not a nostalgic person. I tend to look toward newer technologies as positive, my radio station of choice tend to feature new music that is actually outside of the mainstream and more toward the current avant-garde (if such a thing really exists).

    Do societies really exalt youth or is it the feature within society that one chooses to focus upon?

    Here's another question...

    Is this notion of the elderly being dispensable and a possible nuisance a universal thing or simply an aspect within specific nation states?

    Something tells me that in Japan or Korea where notions of the value of the elderly are quite different than the notions of value within say the USA.

    I've basically shut down many aspect of my life in respect for freedom. Not just my own freedom, but the freedom of others. From my perspective the highest freedom of all is the freedom to live. If one respects that freedom one cannot place lower level freedoms above the greatest freedom and claim to to value freedom.

    Perhaps in nations like the USA there just isn't a debate or clear distinction between freedom and what might well be selfishness? (Ayn Rand just snarled!)

    Perhaps old folks are simply viewed a bad commodities, so in the ever important morals of economics in the USA they are of little or no value; thus it's better to cut one's losses?

    Does age imply wisdom?
    Does youth imply innovation?

    Anyway...

    Even perhaps too explicit I recommend "Torching the Dusties" in Margaret Atwood's Nine Wicked Tales.David Mo

    This would be quite interesting. I also know there was a short film made about this, but I cannot seem to find it anywhere.

    It has a 'Logan's Run' or 'Half a Life' (Star Trek: The Next Generation) feel to it, but with the modern trend to dark dystopian film technique in the mix. Indeed interesting...



    Until then, some nonsense: (This song refers to historic events from the 60s, misremembered by an unreliable narrator)




    I remember the year I went to camp
    I heard about some lady named Selma and some blacks
    Somebody put their fingers in the president's ears
    And it wasn't too much later they came out with Johnson's wax
    I remember the book depository where they crowned the king of Cuba
    That's all I can think of, but I'm sure there's something else
    Way down inside me, I can feel it coming back

    Purple toupee will show the way when summer brings you down
    (Purple toupee when summer brings you down)
    Purple toupee and gold lamé will turn your brain around
    (Purple toupee and gold lamé)

    Chinese people were fighting in the park
    We tried to help them fight, no one appreciated that
    Martin X was mad when they outlawed bell bottoms
    Ten years later they were sharing the same cell
    I shouted out, "Free the Expo '67!"
    'Til they stepped on my hair and they told me I was fat
    Now I'm very big, I'm a big, important man
    And the only thing that's different is underneath my hat

    Purple toupee will show the way when summer brings you down
    (Purple toupee when summer brings you down)
    Purple toupee and gold lamé will turn your brain around
    (Purple toupee and gold lamé)

    Purple toupee is here to stay
    After the hair has gone away
    The purple brigade is marching from the grave

    La la la la la la la
    La la la la la la la la
    La la la
    We're on some kind of mission
    We have an obligation
    We have to wear toupees
  • magritte
    73
    I don't believe that old age is the age of wisdom, but a progressive advance towards stupidity. This is was Socrates' feeling -despite Plato's version- according Xenophon. This is why he provoked is own death in his famous trial. It is an heterodox consistent version.David Mo

    On what basis can you accept Xenophon's word over Plato's? Most likely they were both just stories to create opposing Socrates portraits that suited each writer, pro and ad hominem. Think a bit, if Soc was a decrepit old buzzard, then what was the attraction that he had for the majority of philosophers of his time and at least for some of the common citizens of Athens? He was convicted for crimes against the state not for being old.
  • magritte
    73
    I could come up with a strong argument that the greatest problems in the world are a consequence of having sex and children. The entire environmental crisis and the dying of Earth's ecosystems can be strongly attributed to unregulated human over-population.
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    620

    I'm curious... I get the having children, but why the having sex bit?
    Children are not a necessary outcome of sex.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.3k
    What your daimon was doing was defending the senatorial power against imperial attacks.David Mo

    That was his day job. It didn't end well. He lost his crown, so to speak, as well as his hands it's said. But he certainly remained active until the end.
  • David Mo
    895
    how do we get to a modern day standard of measure for 'old age' then subsequently figure out is it a blessing or a curse?Mayor of Simpleton

    I would say that the criteria for considering a man old is more flexible today. But if ancient Greece was a set of cities at continuous war with each other and with the Persians, our dominant culture rates men and women according to their economic value. We have seen this perfectly when in the current pandemic crisis measures to prevent deaths (of mostly old people) were confronted with the "economy".
    Therefore, we could say that the date set to consider someone an old man - with all the indetermination you want - starts around the end of their productive activity. And he is definitely considered old when he needs to become physically dependent on others. In between there are different degrees of old age.
  • David Mo
    895
    Does age imply wisdom?
    Does youth imply innovation?
    Mayor of Simpleton
    I don't think so. Old age means a stiffening of neural connections. How can it mean "wisdom"? It seems contradictory. The myth of the "wisdom" of the elderly rests on a strict patriarchal society that has not existed for a long time. The value of the elderly has plummeted in societies with dismembered families. Including the new Chinese or Korean societies.

    I believe that those of us who still value the elderly do so in the name of emotional values. But this kind of value is in disuse in our society of advanced capitalism. We should look at why.

    I don't think "rational selfishness", Ayn Rand, etc. are the causes, but the ultimate symptoms of a social illness.
  • David Mo
    895
    On what basis can you accept Xenophon's word over Plato's?magritte

    Because Plato builds a Socrates to suit him. He is a fictional character, more than the real Socrates. The difference between Plato and Xenophon is usually settled by reproaching Xenophon for his "coarseness". A philosopher always has an advantage over a military man... among philosophers. But lately voices have appeared in favour of Xenophon. Perhaps it was not so simple. Perhaps he was not as biased as Plato.

    In any case, the vision that Xenophon gives of Socrates seems coherent to me. Plato is not. He is much more intelligent. But that doesn't mean that he is much more faithful to his master. (Was he really his disciple? He doesn't seem to be among the favourites).

    On what basis can you accept Xenophon's word over Plato's?magritte

    Jenophon does not say that he was a "decrepit buzzard" but that he was alarmed to see the first signs of decline in old age in himself and did not want to go that far. That is why he provoked his judges until he was sentenced to death.

    No. He was not condemned for being old. I did not say that.
  • David Mo
    895
    It didn't end well.Ciceronianus the White

    No. He underestimated Mark Antony's brutality or preferred to defy death.
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    620
    We have seen this perfectly when in the current pandemic crisis measures to prevent deaths (of mostly old people) were confronted with the "economy".
    Therefore, we could say that the date set to consider someone an old man - with all the indetermination you want - starts around the end of their productive activity. And he is definitely considered old when he needs to become physically dependent on others.
    David Mo

    This is very interesting.

    Question that immediate hit me are:

    - How do we define productivity?

    - At what point can we consider a youth to be productive?

    I don't mean her/his assumed potential productivity, but the current active productivity.

    Another question:

    How do we define dependency?

    The point here might well be, the youth are as dependent upon others (parents and community - not only in terms of economic and physical dependency, but also for education) and we are only speculating there is a potential of productivity.

    As to the older folks, we are only speculating that they cannot have any more or drastically reduced active (or potential) productivity. Also there is an assumption that their current rate of 'productivity' out weighs their age (so to say); any current or past contributions (measured and not measured) justify the value of their existence (possibly placing the continuation of this existence into question).

    - Does older age imply uselessness?
    - Does youth imply usefulness?

    That's a rather strange Utilitarian issue, but the implication seem to be there at the moment. Someone needs to ask the question, so why not ask it myself?

    In terms of 'economics'... wow... that's also a question of how one calculates the math and creates priorities of value.

    Indeed younger folks might have more potential value for some things, as in potential length of time in the market place working due to a longer life expectancy or better health leading to more strength or endurance in general - but not absolutely the case), but they do result in a much larger 'carbon foot' print and as the free market expands and the 'spice flows'. There is no indication that this carbon foot print will decrease, in spite of token measures being applied for the sake of publicity; thus making them, the youth... in terms of 'environmental economics' ... the worst thing possible. Long story short... there is not great negative impact upon the earth than having children.

    This isn't really my position on the 'environmental economic' issue, but there are very strong empirical arguments to support this claim. What if we'd measure these economic factors according to this standard rather than the current American Objectivism and the Neoliberal turbo-capitalism perspective?

    - How do we wish to determine usefulness?

    Perhaps it's just me, but to quote Saul Williams:

    "I’m tired of buying into ideas that divorce me from my potential. I’m tired of having my potential explained in terms of money."

    Then there's this:

    7m548q41352a6t5m.jpeg


    'My name is Vincent.

    I tried to get into University and failed.
    I tried to help the impoverished and failed.
    I tried to communicate my inner being to my family and friends and failed.
    I tried to paint and fail to ever sell a painting.

    What was my contribution and value to the greater good of humanity?'
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    620
    I don't think so. Old age means a stiffening of neural connections. How can it mean "wisdom"? It seems contradictory. The myth of the "wisdom" of the elderly rests on a strict patriarchal society that has not existed for a long time. The value of the elderly has plummeted in societies with dismembered families. Including the new Chinese or Korean societies.

    I believe that those of us who still value the elderly do so in the name of emotional values. But this kind of value is in disuse in our society of advanced capitalism. We should look at why.

    I don't think "rational selfishness", Ayn Rand, etc. are the causes, but the ultimate symptoms of a social illness.
    David Mo

    Funny thing here is that we totally agree, yet differ in many aspects. Quite curious...

    I'm curious as to what you see the cause(s) for this shift might well be.

    I have a few ideas as to where that might be coming from and why it has lead to a perspective of 'youth worship' and economics as the foundations of morals. As I see it this far predates Rand and her exploiting a wound that already existed (in the USA, as outside of the USA no one knows who the hell she is... I view that as a good thing myself).

    As any good medical practitioner would say... 'allow the symptoms to guide you, but in the end treat to cause'.

    What are the causes?
    (btw... I never take criticism of political, religious or social issues personally, so there's no need for a 'courtesy bias'. This is a very good exchange of ideas, it's very helpful. Even if we don't quite agree (or in the end agree), this is really nice. Thank you!)
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.3k
    No. He underestimated Mark Antony's brutality or preferred to defy death.David Mo

    I think he knew Antony well, and that his sometimes rather ribald denunciations of Antony in the Senate assured he would die. It's a shame that the future Augustus consented to his death when part of the Second Triumvirate. It's said Augustus regretted his part in it later, when he was sole ruler of Rome.
  • David Mo
    895
    The point here might well be, the youth are as dependent upon others (parents and community - not only in terms of economic and physical dependency, but also for education) and we are only speculating there is a potential of productivity.Mayor of Simpleton

    I also find this conversation interesting.

    When I speak of dependency in the society in which we live, it is of two orders: economic dependency and physical-psychological dependency.

    Both converge in the inability to carry out productive, paid jobs.
    Naturally, the limits of dependency are imprecise and conventional. It cannot be otherwise. Like so many other things in our lives. For example, in the society in which we live, household work is productive but unpaid. This includes domestic work - usually covered by women even in 'advanced' societies such as France or Germany - and grandparents caring for grandchildren (it is very common in certain societies and in times of pandemic).

    Young people have a special status (they are useful even if they are not in paid work) because they represent a medium-term investment. In the same way that a company can pay for some advanced English courses for its executives to improve their performance. Naturally, investing in young people is an overall investment that starts with compulsory education. There is no guarantee that it will be profitable in all cases, but in general.

    As you say, this is a utilitarian vision of social values. But not just any kind of utilitarianism, but a neo-capitalist (or capitalist, just like that) utilitarianism. We can call it mercantilism.

    Its main consequence is that it is favouring an exacerbated individualism which goes very well for business - for some - but provokes fractures and social violence against those who are considered "parasites" of society. And this is where the perspectives differ. For capital investors in a society, the workers who do not produce what they want are left over. For young sharks, grandparents are out of place. For the fathers of large families, single mothers are a hindrance. Etc.

    Compassion and solidarity are banished to new normality. The triumph of the will of power sounds more than with fascism. Maybe we could talk about a new democratic fascism. Reality is full of such oxymorons.
  • David Mo
    895
    Funny thing here is that we totally agree, yet differ in many aspects. Quite curious...Mayor of Simpleton

    Well, then we don't agree on everything. Fortunately.
  • David Mo
    895
    What was my contribution and value to the greater good of humanity?'Mayor of Simpleton

    Producing things that are now worth money, a mercantilist would say. What could we say against such an implacable logic?
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    620
    I also find this conversation interesting.David Mo

    Good to hear, as it's usually just me.

    When I speak of dependency in the society in which we live, it is of two orders: economic dependency and physical-psychological dependency.David Mo

    OK... I can work with that in this context.

    Both converge in the inability to carry out productive, paid jobs.David Mo

    What if one has reached a point that a paid job is unnecessary, as one has a lifestyle that one can afford in proportional to the amount of accumulated resources over time?

    Naturally, the limits of dependency are imprecise and conventional. It cannot be otherwise. Like so many other things in our lives. For example, in the society in which we live, household work is productive but unpaid. This includes domestic work - usually covered by women even in 'advanced' societies such as France or Germany - and grandparents caring for grandchildren (it is very common in certain societies and in times of pandemic).David Mo

    I would add to this younger folks caring for the older folks... also unpaid, but still of a value.

    The economics here is of the commodity is time instead of currency. As the older have cared in the past for the younger, there seems to be an open 'debt'.

    Perhaps an issue here to ponder might be 'is currency the only commodity of value that matters'?

    Young people have a special status (they are useful even if they are not in paid work) because they represent a medium-term investment. In the same way that a company can pay for some advanced English courses for its executives to improve their performance. Naturally, investing in young people is an overall investment that starts with compulsory education. There is no guarantee that it will be profitable in all cases, but in general.David Mo

    What a beautifully (horrific) accurate depiction of the current American education system. It not only reduces young people to commodities it controls them and directs the limits their 'unlimited freedoms'.

    (On a side note... I find it a point of (evil) genius in 'neo-capitalist utilitarianism' as to why the wealthy elite will fight tooth and nail against free college is that starting off workers with enormous debt is the greatest innovation that 'neo-capitalist utilitarianism' ever came up with resulting in a möbius of freedom where the youth have the absolute freedom to comply. WOW!)

    As you say, this is a utilitarian vision of social values. But not just any kind of utilitarianism, but a neo-capitalist (or capitalist, just like that) utilitarianism. We can call it mercantilism.David Mo

    This is a very good insight, one I rarely see.

    In the USA there is a near cult of Utilitarianism centered around such a mercantilism, often sighting authorities such as Adam Smith... who oddly enough was one of the strongest critics of mercantilism, but was one of the thinkers to 'coin' the term mercantilism, more as a 'pejorative term'.... who viewed this form of economics as a sort of 'rent-seeking', basically meaning they were only seeking to increase one's share of existing wealth without creating new wealth.

    Anyway...

    I often wonder if when this sort of 'mercantilism' is coupled with a notion of meritocracy in the context of a metaphysical worldview (a notion where success is not only earned, but deserved - perhaps by the grace of a higher authority, which on the surface sounds great until one realizes the implication of failure also being deserved - perhaps by the damnation of a higher authority) isn't a part of this 'cause' that may indeed need treatment?

    If this were indeed the case, why would such a notion of 'earned/deserved' not bleed over to health issues... making illness also earned/deserved?

    Jumping ahead of myself...

    This might also shed a bit of light upon why in such a system that instead of healthcare services one has a healthcare industry, but I believe I need to think this one through a bit more to even make this vague notion in to a base hypothesis.

    Its main consequence is that it is favouring an exacerbated individualism which goes very well for business - for some - but provokes fractures and social violence against those who are considered "parasites" of society. And this is where the perspectives differ. For capital investors in a society, the workers who do not produce what they want are left over. For young sharks, grandparents are out of place. For the fathers of large families, single mothers are a hindrance. Etc.David Mo

    Agreed!

    I also believe that business has been actively marketing nostalgia.

    They create the 'new' that causes disenchantment among those who cannot adapt or comply, so business begins to market a 'new nostalgia' to sell to those who are left out of the cycle. Oddly enough... even for the 'parasites', 'those out of place' and 'the hindrance', they have a new 'flavour' ready and thus continue the cycle... in spite of notions of being outside the cycle, as they sell those notions as well.

    It reminds me of this:



    Mercantilism has come a long way.

    Compassion and solidarity are banished to new normality. The triumph of the will of power sounds more than with fascism. Maybe we could talk about a new democratic fascism. Reality is full of such oxymorons.David Mo

    Indeed.

    I have had major issues dealing with political movements, as it seem all too often that the exacerbated individualism of the self-assumed conservative and self-assumed liberal don't exactly run on a flat line in opposite polarity, but rather, much like the horizon of the earth, run in a slight curve difficult to perceive with the naked eye.

    At times the polarities have gone so far apart from one another they they are being rejoined as the curve closes it's circumference. I look at protests where both the 'hard right' and the 'hard left' find a single point of affinity and focus in a myopic fashion demanding the elimination of a single point of perceived authority. Where it seems like a movement of unity it breaks apart very quickly, as neither side has an answer to replace that point (unjustified?) authority they wish to eliminate and forgetting that they are on opposite ends of the political spectrum; thus the only accord can be dis-accord as other political agendas and messages suddenly are introduced. (examples like: Mouvement des gilets jaunes - 'yellow vests' - beginning in France and now international and Querdenken - a movement in Germany and Austria meaning 'outside the box')

    Anyway...

    I always wished to categorize myself as being somewhat apolitical, but that sort of position seems no longer and option. It seems as if every statement uttered, even if the statement is one of indecision will be labeled by a respective grouping a political in some manner or another.

    Marketing has done quite a good job in killing off dialog, as disagreeing has been marketed as 'your a hater', 'your a loser' or 'failed'.

    The topic of democratic fascism is very intriguing... be it MAGA, WOKE, Bernie Bros, AfD, Extinction Rebellion even Friday's for Future...

    ...oxymorons are so abundant and currently the norm.

    I know this is largely off-topic, but hey... it's your thread. Run with it as you will... as the nice part of this is no matter in which direction it runs a mature dialog is rare.

    Funny thing here is that we totally agree, yet differ in many aspects. Quite curious...
    — Mayor of Simpleton

    Well, then we don't agree on everything. Fortunately.
    David Mo

    ;)

    What was my contribution and value to the greater good of humanity?'
    — Mayor of Simpleton

    Producing things that are now worth money, a mercantilist would say. What could we say against such an implacable logic?
    David Mo

    Well... in the context of that logic, probably nothing.

    I would only suggest that mercantilist indeed 'knows' the monetary value of everything, but that's all it knows. To any value beyond monetary value, the mercantilist in living in complete and utter poverty, but that would be also of no value to them, so I leave them alone as why bother with saying to them:

    'There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.'

    ... unless they can count the money collected for the tickets sales of this performance.

    But maybe I'd say this (then watch them walk away, as if they wasted their time with me):

    “I've never done a single thing I've wanted to in my whole life! I don't know's I've accomplished anything except just get along. I figure out I've made about a quarter of an inch out of a possible hundred rods. Well, maybe you'll carry things on further. I don't know. But I do get a kind of sneaking pleasure of the fact that you knew what you wanted to do and did it. Well, those folks in there will try to bully you, and tame you down. Tell 'em to go to the devil. I'll back you. Take your factory job, if you want to. Don't be scared of the family. No, nor all of Zenith. Nor of yourself, the way I've been. Go ahead, old man! The world if yours!”

    — Babbit
  • David Mo
    895
    If this were indeed the case, why would such a notion of 'earned/deserved' not bleed over to health issues... making illness also earned/deserved?Mayor of Simpleton
    A sick person is only worth when he produces profits for the health industry. In the medieval cities there were mortuaries ("atriums") where the terminally ill were deposited and left to die. (This is not mentioned in Wikipedia ). Old people homes have become "atriums" to eternity now. Arguing with people who deny that "uneconomic" measures are the solution to the coronavirus pandemic, I have heard more than once: "But they don't die from the coronavirus, but because they were sick". In other words, a double reason to let them die: they were old and they were sick.
    But don't doubt that if a laboratory discovers a vaccine it will sell it to us at three times its real price. Then the coronavirus patients will be valuable.

    I also believe that business has been actively marketing nostalgia.Mayor of Simpleton
    Business sells us dreams: nostalgia, triumph (sexual and economic), security, feeling of power... And it actively associates them with brands. Now, football teams, T-shirts, food are not football teams, T-shirts or food, they are BRANDS. And there are a lot of fans who are able to spend their money and energy to buy an all-terrain vehicle, a mobile phone or trainers that they don't need. And if you tell him that he is making a fool of himself, he will hate you for the rest of his life, because he doesn't buy things anymore, but BRANDS. Heard over the loudspeaker of a supermarket: "If you like brands, we have..." Read in Murakami's novels: all the characters can be identified by the brands of clothes they wear, the car they drive...
    We are at the beginning of the end of capitalism and the dawn of the corporate system. Which will be worse. I am afraid.

    examples like: Mouvement des gilets jaunes - 'yellow vests' -Mayor of Simpleton
    The "gillets jaunes" are not very important. They are the classic outbreaks of social dissatisfaction that can only be expressed by irrational and ephemeral violence. Before they were "anarchists", "Black Block", etc. I think we should look more at the dominant trends that have nothing "left" about them. They are essentially conformists. And I say this with regret because we need a more consistent rebellion.

    I always wished to categorize myself as being somewhat apolitical, but that sort of position seems no longer and option.Mayor of Simpleton
    The "gillets jaunes" are not very important. They are the classic outbreaks of social dissatisfaction that can only be expressed by irrational and ephemeral violence. Before they were "anarchists", "Black Block", etc. Scarecrows. I think we should look more at the dominant trends that have nothing "left" about them. They are essentially conformists. And I say this with regret because we need a more consistent rebellion.

    Go ahead, old man! The world if yours!”
    — Babbit
    Mayor of Simpleton
    It seems to me that Sinclair Lewis was a better social critic than a novelist, but that also has its merit. (I found the dissection of deep America in Main Street very impressive). I haven't read Babbit, but it will have to be done, I suppose.
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    620
    A sick person is only worth when he produces profits for the health industry. In the medieval cities there were mortuaries ("atriums") where the terminally ill were deposited and left to die. (This is not mentioned in Wikipedia ). Old people homes have become "atriums" to eternity now. Arguing with people who deny that "uneconomic" measures are the solution to the coronavirus pandemic, I have heard more than once: "But they don't die from the coronavirus, but because they were sick". In other words, a double reason to let them die: they were old and they were sick.David Mo

    It makes me wonder if the only change that has occurred in recent times is that the pretense of concern for the sick and elderly has been dropped?

    Indeed there are cases in which this concern is genuine, but giving the current perception of economics (especially in the USA) such a pretense is a just an obvious hypocrisy.

    Europe and Asia are heading into this direction as well, but due to the social economic (what of that remains) it delays this sort of 'you are worth what you produce' perception.

    But don't doubt that if a laboratory discovers a vaccine it will sell it to us at three times its real price. Then the coronavirus patients will be valuable.David Mo

    I can check this, as I have quite a few contacts within the field of Pharmaceutical science.

    Their insight regarding the perception of Pharmaceutical companies regarding the use of Hemp have been enlightening. (They know this is going to be a huge cash cow, due to the 'Cult of Hemp' viewing it as the ultimate Panacea. All of the Pharmaceutical companies have advanced (un)official trials in motions due to the pending demand. Indeed it might help in a few circumstances, but in truth they would buy this stuff at a high price even if it is not very effective. Doctors will be under pressure from the 'believers' to prescribe Hemp based medicines whether they are the best option or not.)

    Business sells us dreams: nostalgia, triumph (sexual and economic), security, feeling of power... And it actively associates them with brands. Now, football teams, T-shirts, food are not football teams, T-shirts or food, they are BRANDS. And there are a lot of fans who are able to spend their money and energy to buy an all-terrain vehicle, a mobile phone or trainers that they don't need. And if you tell him that he is making a fool of himself, he will hate you for the rest of his life, because he doesn't buy things anymore, but BRANDS. Heard over the loudspeaker of a supermarket: "If you like brands, we have..." Read in Murakami's novels: all the characters can be identified by the brands of clothes they wear, the car they drive...
    We are at the beginning of the end of capitalism and the dawn of the corporate system. Which will be worse. I am afraid.
    David Mo

    I fully agree.

    I've had issue with younger folks pointing our that if everyone is wearing 'exclusive brands', there is nothing exclusive about it anymore.

    Then again, back in my day (an actual catalysis for me to pursue philosophy), there were a group of young girls all dressed up like their idol Madonna. When asked why they all dress this way, in the midst of a lot of giggles, snarks and 'it's likes... the concluding statement was "we all dress the same to express our individuality'.

    This is nothing new, but it did catch my eye at the age of 16.

    I had no answers, but was only aware of the phenomena and had questions. Nearly 40 years later I'm at the same place with the only different being the fashions have changed, I have more information and collected data, but basically I have the same unanswered questions and in truth... I wonder why I should bother being concerned.

    In any event I have a feeling this uncomfortable comfort of conformity to the unnecessary might be why Murakami never wins a Nobel Prize. (My wife is a huge fan of his work, so I get her take on them as well as listening to the audio books.)

    I think we should look more at the dominant trends that have nothing "left" about them. They are essentially conformists. And I say this with regret because we need a more consistent rebellion.David Mo

    Agreed!

    No only a consistent rebellion, but a coherent one as well.

    Every time I see such a protest (a herd) all I can do is hear this song in my head:

    "Come on aboard, I promise you you won't hurt the horse
    We treat him well, we feed him well
    There's lots of room for you on the bandwagon
    The road may be rough, the weather may forget us

    But won't we all parade around and sing our songs
    A magic kingdom, open-armed
    Greet us hello, bravo, name in lights
    Passing on the word to fellow passengers and players, passing in
    Until you're tired looking at all the flags
    And all the banners waving
    This is some parade, yesiree Bob
    Could we have known?
    Yesiree Bob, could we have known?
    Look at all the flags and all the banners waving
    Open up our arms, a magic kingdom, open-armed and greet us all"



    I also wonder how much money the guy who made the official 'Occupy Wall Street' t-shirt made?

    It seems to me that Sinclair Lewis was a better social critic than a novelist, but that also has its merit. (I found the dissection of deep America in Main Street very impressive). I haven't read Babbit, but it will have to be done, I suppose.David Mo

    A part of me doubts you need to read it. From what I can glean from your posts you're probably aren't really the target audience.

    As you an tell I'm not really a 'good writer'. Not that this matters, but it does paint a context I'm dyslexic. The condition results in (now) occasional 'word salads' resulting in reading becoming a difficult task. The condition wasn't diagnosed until I was 20. How on earth I graduated High School and made it into my 3rd years at a University is a beyond me.

    I'm not that well read and unfortunately haven't developed good reading habits. (unlike my wife who usually has 4 books going at the same time... ironically in respect to my dyslexia, our apartment looks like a library)

    Audio books and the internet have been my best supports. The internet phenomena of opening multiple windows and reading a bunch of things in short segments simultaneously seem to allow me more time and the ability to read a greater volume before my brain goes to mixing word salads. (I suppose that would qualify me to be an internet Troll?)

    No matter... it's part of me and I'm used to it.

    You strike me as someone who is well read and not only reads , but retains what is read with the ability to apply critical thinking. Thus my curiosity about your notions.

    If I might ask you...

    - Seeing that we are probably at the beginning of this capitalist expansion, where do you believe it is heading in the future (near or distance)?

    - Do you view it as inevitable or is it something that is possible correctable (provided it actually needs correction)?

    You don't need to tell me personal notions regarding the elderly or the sick. Oddly enough such personal details are not really the topic, but rather it seems we are involved in perceptions of 'group thinking', as well as the misconceptions that current innovations in public opinions are actually innovations, but rather cycles of older establish social perceptions re-dressing themselves in modern fashion.

    Then again... that might be wrong as well, but if I'm wrong, well... I learn something new.

    Keep the input coming and thanks for making the reflect. (in truth... I think that is the real intention behind philosophy... thanks!)
  • David Mo
    895
    - Seeing that we are probably at the beginning of this capitalist expansion, where do you believe it is heading in the future (near or distance)?

    - Do you view it as inevitable or is it something that is possible correctable (provided it actually needs correction)?
    Mayor of Simpleton

    You ask too much to my prediction skills. Santiago Niño-Becerra, a Spanish economist who appears a lot in the media, sets the climax in 2065. I find that suspiciously accurate. The end of capitalism seems to be a true trend, but trends change unexpectedly in history.

    “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past". I subscribe to this idea. But I believe that, from what I have seen, the conditions are much stricter than an anarchist soul would like. The problem is to specify them. History is not an exact science. And I am not even a historian.
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    620
    You ask too much to my prediction skills. Santiago Niño-Becerra, a Spanish economist who appears a lot in the media, sets the climax in 2065. I find that suspiciously accurate. The end of capitalism seems to be a true trend, but trends change unexpectedly in history.David Mo

    I'll check into this, as I have always been a bit intrigued by futurology. Be it Asimov, Huxley, McLuhan, Roddenberry, Orwell, Philip K Dick, Tesla, Sagan even Ralph Nelson Elliott, it has always intrigued me, even if it hasn't convinced me. Santiago Niño-Becerra is one I have heard of, but so far I haven't found any translations. Considering his prediction lands in the year I'd be 100, certainly considered to be an old man by then, I'm curious as to the outlook.

    Thank for the tip.

    “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past". I subscribe to this idea. But I believe that, from what I have seen, the conditions are much stricter than an anarchist soul would like. The problem is to specify them. History is not an exact science. And I am not even a historian.David Mo

    I quite agree with you here, as I have always thought the 'anarchist soul' views life in circles so small it believes it has seen it all. In the end the 'anarchist soul' has a wonderful plan, regardless of context, granting the exact same measure of unlimited freedom that conforms with the limitations of the anarchists priorities, thus the end of the special case they plead is granting the to masses unlimited freedom to absolutely agree.

    History is unfortunately something that is constantly 'reinvented'. Not in terms of people going back an erasing things or making up events that weren't there before, but I believe our 'temporal directionality' plays a role in this 'reinvention'. (here is just a brain fart, so I apologize in advance)

    We move 'forward' into the future, so the 'present' in which we live always collects new information; thus when these variables are added into the mix of understanding history the interpretation of understanding takes on new meanings... the 'past' becomes something new and different again and again. Not all variables of information have an impact upon the understanding of history we have at a particular moment, as some thing simply do not resonate with our understanding or catch our attention.

    Basically as the foundation upon which we currently stand changes, such changes can indeed effect/affect how we understand the past. (I suppose WOKE would be a horrible example of this phenomena)

    If the fabric of history has it's perceived understanding changed not only by what we discover as empirical evidence in the past, but also due to the current foundations (filters if interpretation) in the present, it's kind of like trying to solve a Rubik's cube that fights back. This makes a scientific approach to the past very difficult, as the premises are in a state of flux. Eventually this flux makes the premises seem to be only a matter of opinion; thus history cannot be a exact science.

    This might explain the ability to have a great tendency toward a consensus of opinion in the sciences and less of a consensus in the 'humanities'.

    Somehow I believe that understanding the difference between 'maps and the terrain' could apply. I've never once experienced that a tornado smears the ink on a map, but it does cause great havoc in the terrain. The adjustments necessary for such a detailed mapping would mean we need the ability to specifically predict the problems of tornadoes (and their unpredictable influences upon the terrain), as the conditions are far more complex than the cartographers can take into consideration.
12Next
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.