• Jack Cummins
    989
    I am asking about whether we can begin to think and act differently when we are confronted by the greatest disasters. The question is one which exists on a personal and collective level. But I wish to begin the exploration by framing it within the context of the current pandemic, but with awareness that the area of discussion is much wider.

    I have been reading 'The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World After an Apocalypse,' by Lewis Dartnell (2014), in which he suggested that the people of the world would cope very badly if faced with a global disaster, including a pandemic He stated, 'People living in developed nations have become disconnected from the process of the civilisation that supports them,' and that, 'Our survival skills have atrophied to the point where humanity would be incapable of sustaining itself if the life-support system of modern civilisation failed, if food no longer magically appeared on shop shelves, or clothes on hangers.'

    However, I do believe that the obstacle, beyond the creation of a vaccine which addresses mutant strains of the virus, is one which will require human beings to think and act differently, and this includes meeting all the other problems, especially poverty, in the aftermath. It will involve a whole new way of thinking, and most probably a way of rising above the individualist ethic which has been central to maintaining capitalist, consumer materialism.

    The whole pandemic and other disasters bring us to confront uncertainty and call for us to be at our most resourceful. On a positive note, Ian Scoones and Andy Stirling,(2020),in, 'The Politics of Uncertainty (Pathways to Sustainability)', say that, 'The implications of uncertainty are so profound that they challenge existing hegemonic frameworks and institutions, and drive imaginations of a post-capitalist, sustainable future..'

    I wish to ask whether we can we can change our thinking, in the face of disasters and uncertainty, in order to survive physically and psychologically? Each of us experiences different kinds of 'disasters' and we have all experienced the pandemic uniquely, amidst the other variables of our lives.

    I believe that embracing uncertainty is a starting point. However, I wonder is it too weak ss a guiding force for bringing the changes in thinking needed for coping, and for practical changes to address disaster, personally and collectively. Of course, when we are in difficult circumstances we draw upon all philosophies, but I am wondering about how may we construct a philosophy for disasters? I do believe that we change through experiencing obstacles and a philosophy for disasters may draw upon the idea of resilience as a foundation.

  • Jack Cummins
    989
    I am sorry if anyone has been reading this and been unable to do so, because I have been editing it, trying to capture what I am trying to say and ask. I am aware that it is very far from perfect, but would we need a forum at all if our ideas emerged fully, without flaws and in need of consolidation?
  • 8livesleft
    125
    I believe that embracing uncertainty is a starting point.Jack Cummins

    I definitely believe this must be at the core of planning and prevention. So, given that there's too much uncertainty, what are the things we can do to survive? That means going back to basics - going back to the community level, ensuring that each community can survive independently with regards to food/water/shelter/medical needs etc...when such disasters strike.

    On an individual level, it means having to connect with your community. No man is an island and each individual has something to contribute to the success of the whole. That must be the mentality moving forward.

    Throughout history, we've seen megacities rise and fall and the simple truth is that they're simply not sustainable or adaptable. Cities are built on specific conditions. Remove/change/alter those conditions and the city will fall. So far, all modern society has been built towards making cities bigger and bigger with little regard to what made them big in the first place.

    So, the thinking must change. Focus on building communities. Govern them so that population growth matches the capacity of the area but create more communities for expansion - again only if the environment can accept the expansion.
  • Jack Cummins
    989

    You say that 'the thinking must change,' and of course you are right but the question is whether it is too late? The problem is that all this uncertainty has arisen when, previously, for many everything was too certain. There was no planning for a pandemic on this scale.

    I realise that you are from the Phillipines and probably your society is more community orientated. In England, as I said to you in the thread on human nature, it is easy for people to become isolated, especially if they are not living with family. I think that this has become more acute as a result of the pandemic, and, in a way, the rules of social distancing are reinforcing isolation. Of course, it is important that the virus is not to be spread, but this is making the community spirit fragment altogether. Many are critical of English people amidst the pandemic, for not adhering to rules. The way in which rules have been broken may be because policies have not looked at the problem of how the community is fragmenting. The whole emphasis is on the individual who is becoming unwell mentally or drinking too much, but the social contexts are not being explored fully. Of course people need to avoid potential situations to prevent the spread of the virus but the danger is that people become more self-control, ignoring the needs of others.

    As no planning was made for this pandemic, perhaps all that we can hope for is that, through learning from the present, there will be more planning for future disasters. I remember having a conversation with a friend in the summer, in which I said that I hoped that the whole experience of Covid_19 would change us all for the better in some ways. My friend said that by Christmas people would have forgotten about it completely and have gone back to their usual routines and behaviour. At the time, none of us knew that the whole problem would be much worse rather than better at Christmas and beyond. We still do not know what is going to happen and I believe that we are going to be changed, and have to change, by what is happening.
  • 8livesleft
    125
    You say that 'the thinking must change,' and of course you are right but the question is whether it is too late?Jack Cummins

    Well, clearly, it is too late for this disaster but then this will not be the last disaster. Climate change, extreme weather, volcanoes, earthquakes, droughts, and some stray asteroid - can all upend humanity.

    I realise that you are from the Phillipines and probably your society is more community orientated. In England, as I said to you in the thread on human nature, it is easy for people to become isolated, especially if they are not living with family. I think that this has become more acute as a result of the pandemic, and, in a way, the rules of social distancing are reinforcing isolation.Jack Cummins

    I have a theory that the larger and more "advanced" or affluent the city, the easier it is to end up being isolated. Which is counter intuitive, because how can being in a higher population cause us to feel more isolated?

    Well, the reality is that these cities basically provide everything to the individual. So, there is no need to behave or think communally. Food, water, medical, shelter are all available to the individual without needing to establish any kind of connection with their neighbors.

    However, when it comes to the poorer populations, it is still necessary to think communally.

    In both cases, it is very clear that humanity cannot sustain mega-city life. It is poorly equipped to manage any calamity and it takes massive cultural change to get to a level of proficiency that the city can survive and recover. But it is definitely possible.

    Japan has done it countless of times. But again, the culture there has evolved and adapted to calamity being a normal part of life. I don't know who else (among the G7) is as well equipped. 3rd world countries also have highly adaptable cultures because again, there's not much you can take away from those who didn't have much to begin with.
  • 8livesleft
    125
    But this core point of embracing uncertainty is something that every single religion has gotten wrong.

    They missed the truth of why civilizations continuously rise and fall. Sodom, Gomorrah, Mohenjo Dahro, and every other ancient city that was destroyed or abandoned was NOT because of "god's wrath." It was simply because the conditions changed and the massive lumbering giant of a city wasn't able to adapt and adjust fast enough.
  • Jack CumminsAccepted Answer
    989

    Perhaps we are at a critical crossroads on the question of where humanity is going? In a metaphorical sense this may be the day of judgement, and we judge ourselves ultimately.
  • 8livesleft
    125


    In the 200 thousand years of our species' existence, we've gone through many such upheavals. The last major one 70 thousand years ago wiped us out to a point that our population went down to less than 10,000 individuals.

    This current iteration, with a "clear history" that's just over 2,000 years and a possible root of 12,000 years, has so far muddled things so badly that it's only now that we're seeing what really happened. We wasted 2,000 years of preparation. But, as long as there is life, there is hope.

    Unfortunately, the path that mankind chose - culminating to the mega city, is NOT the answer. It is the mistake. The sooner we realize that, the sooner we can start preparations for the next phase, the next calamity.
  • unenlightened
    5.4k
    I suggest that what we are facing in biblical terms is very much a Tower of Babel situation, not apocalypse or judgement day; it's a breakdown of communication. I think it is a psychological defence; communication has become too fast, too universal and ego becomes swamped, and takes refuge from the engulfing mass of others in a fantasy world. In this condition, the majority votes for there not being a problem, and that makes problems unresolvable.

    But actually, the modern science based civilisation has responded rather well to the pandemic, on average. People have changed their behaviour a good deal in a short time, politicians have deployed the war metaphors, and most of us have learned to manage without professional haircuts and foreign holidays. Which is to say that people in general adapt very quickly, but governments do not.

    It has never been the case that survival skills were solitary skills. Social animals are social for their survival and cannot survive as isolated individuals, and it is this simple truth that has been somewhat suppressed by consumer capitalism to the extent that one right wing leader famously claimed 'there is no such thing as society'.

    But of course we depend on each other and always have. There is no going back to the good old days when everyone could knapp their own flint - they never could. And it is communication that lifts the social mentality from the herd mentality. We have had a century of lies and propaganda becoming more prevalent and have almost reached the point where government has become unbelievable which entails that people become ungovernable. People do what they are told to the extent they trust what they are told. The economy runs on trust and good faith - another term of abuse, 'faith' - but call it 'confidence', and it is what preserves the value of money and the whole economy.

    It is easily seen that Covid presents a mere inconvenience to those countries that have the good governance to respond effectively, and that populism is the worst performer, because it relies on fantasies of heroes and so on. Climate change is much more of a problem, but again, if we know the truth, and we know what we have to do, and we organise, it is still resolvable.
  • Jack Cummins
    989

    Yes, I think that the Tower of Babel metaphor is good for explaining the communication problems of this time. We are being swamped and overwhelmed with information. I think that there is probably a lot going on below the surface of the news we are being given and the mass media serves the interests of the wealthy elites. I believe that the majority of people are trying to abide by the rules and the way in which we are being given so much prescriptive guidance is leading to a lot of anger. It is very well for the leaders to keep telling people to stay at home when they are able to relax in the comfort of luxury homes.

    Somehow, I do believe that we have been on the brink of disaster for some time. Could we have expected to escape some event of an inevitable catastrophic event? Perhaps the Covid_19 virus, initially blamed on China, is nature's wake up call for the way in which overpopulation and industrialisation are damaging the ecology of the planet.

    The one point on which I do wonder is you say that for some countries the pandemic is a 'mere inconvenience' because I am not convinced that we have seen the worst that is to come, and wonder if what we are seeing is only the beginning. Here, I am talking of the possibility of far more mutant strains of the virus and more deadly viruses. Of course, I hope that I am wrong.

    Really, I swing between pessimism and optimism. Part of me thinks that the whole pandemic is going to bring forth so many crises. But, another part of me believes that the disasters may bring opportunities for positive change. Maybe, the reality will be a mixed picture. But, to some extent I think that while the leaders need to take responsibility, we may all have to make changes in order to help others and for the wellbeing of others and for the future of the planet.
  • Jack Cummins
    989

    Perhaps we will see a move away from cities, and smaller less centralised forms of living, as recommend in E F Schumacher's 'Small is Beautiful'.

    The role of money might change in the future too. In the worst possible scenario we may see a greater division between the wealthy and the poor. However, I do wonder if poverty became so great whether money might cease to exist at all. Here, I am thinking that if great numbers became homeless because they could not afford to rethink. This is because it might not be that property was not available but that people could not afford it, so it would have to remain empty, or perhaps other solutions could be found.

    If those in poverty became the majority perhaps we would really see people rising up to overthrow the capitalist system. Or perhaps ways of exchange could take place, such as barter. The only problem with barter is that some vulnerable individuals may not be able to contribute much, so they could still be left out, so economic inequality might not be changed.

    At times, I find that all these areas of thought are rather depressing but I am hoping that there will positive aspects at the other side of potential disasters. I hope that it will not just be more calamities, because at this stage in human evolution, surely humanity could find creative ways of living which involve compassion and less destruction.

    A friend told me that he heard talk of a new higher developed form of human being born, mentioned on some radio programme. I have never heard of this, but it is an interesting idea, because can we just assume that the present human beings are the highest form possible, or whether there could be new mutations?
  • 8livesleft
    125
    If those in poverty became the majority perhaps we would really see people rising up to overthrow the capitalist system. Or perhaps ways of exchange could take place, such as barter. The only problem with barter is that some vulnerable individuals may not be able to contribute much, so they could still be left out, so economic inequality might not be changed.Jack Cummins

    Yeah I've thought about this too. Whether it's capitalism, feudalism, communism, cash or barter - it would still be the same. You would have the ruling elite who control most assets and the mass poor.

    There would be an uprising but as we've seen, things revert back to that formula anyway. Like how the bolsheviks overthrew the Russian monarchy. They ended up with Lenin, Stalin and now Putin.

    I hope that it will not just be more calamities, because at this stage in human evolution, surely humanity could find creative ways of living which involve compassion and less destruction.Jack Cummins

    There are already communities today that live in a cooperative/environmentally stable way. But they're still in the early stages and are very small. We need to see something stable like that but in a population of 10,000. I'm thinking that's the number because that's how many mankind was when it had to rebuild itself to almost 8B after 70k years.

    A friend told me that he heard talk of a new higher developed form of human being born, mentioned on some radio programme. I have never heard of this, but it is an interesting idea, because can we just assume that the present human beings are the highest form possible, or whether there could be new mutations?Jack Cummins

    Yup. Both France and China have super soldier programs already. Wouldn't be surprised if other rich countries are trying to perfect our genetic code to make us more disease resistant.

    But I don't agree with that. We barely know much about these genes to be fiddling about with them. The way I see it, every time we try pushing something forward, we'll inevitably see some other unforseen thing being pulled along with it.
  • Jack Cummins
    989

    So are the new form of human beings being engineered genetically? What are they being programmed to do, or to serve?

    It is a bit worrying. I also know many people who are afraid of the vaccine. Some people are concerned about what the vaccine contains. It is sometimes hard to sort out the facts from the fiction.
  • 8livesleft
    125
    So are the new form of human beings being engineered genetically? What are they being programmed to do, or to serve?Jack Cummins

    As of now China and France are intending to engineer soldiers but I'm not sure what degree of enhancement we're talking about here.

    Some people are concerned about what the vaccine contains. It is sometimes hard to sort out the facts from the fiction.Jack Cummins

    I'm a bit concerned too so I'm thinking of waiting a few months to see what the possible side effects could be.

    But then again, I'm sure your country would only provide the best vaccine. For us, it's likely the vaccine that the officials can make the most money off of. So, it wouldn't exactly be the best quality.
  • Jack Cummins
    989

    Yes, it is rather worrying if your country does not get a quality vaccine. I had not really thought about some countries not getting the best, or trying to make money.

    So the whole idea of creating 'better' human beings is to make them more disease resistant? I don't know if this is even possible because human beings are living systems and will inevitably get sick in some way or another, especially under stress. The danger is that if they are not able to get certain diseases they may just develop new kinds of diseases altogether.

    I would have thought it more helpful if people were given the best life conditions to thrive, in order to avoid certain illnesses, rather than be enhanced. However, saying that I know that on one of my ex-tutors has written some books on medical enhancement and at the time I heard of that it did not concern me. It just sounded a bit unusual but now that I am hearing of the idea being put into practice it is a bit disturbing, mainly because we don't know the political interests of those putting the idea into practice.
  • 8livesleft
    125
    So the whole idea of creating 'better' human beings is to make them more disease resistant?Jack Cummins

    So far that, aesthetics for the non-military and strength/endurance/intelligence for the super soldiers.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    66
    It's not even skills. Population density is far too high to sustain people based off small scale agriculture.

    That said, I think people wildly underestimate how redundant supply chains are and how much surplus food the developed world creates, the USA in particular. The US could loose half its agricultural output and still easily feed everyone if it shifted away from livestock and towards staple grains. It could still manage national supply chains on domestic oil alone.

    High rates of myopia in modern urban populations would be a problem in some sort of total collapse scenerio for sure.

    I think I'd be ok. My neighbor has enough cattle on my property to last us years if only we ate it, plenty of deer around, catfish in our pond, and a lot of geese come there. I have hardly any ammunition in the house, but I am pretty sure I could get these geese with my recurve bow. They are stubborn enough that you basically have to kick them out of the way. I could throw some bread down and then get them from 2 feet away. Gardening without running water would be harder, but I actually have rain barrels, I'm just too lazy to use them all the time.

    I had a shit ton of pumpkins by pure accident in my last batch of compost that lived without watering.

    I'd be thriving on an all pumpkin and deer diet until the raiders got me. Maybe I'd get bored enough to finally finish The Phenomenology of Spirit...
  • Jack Cummins
    989

    I have just woken up and read your reply and am just aware of how different your life is to mine. I can't imagine what it is like to be thinking of survival in terms of cattle. I prefer vegetarian food, but seeing your response did make me smile because it was certainly not the sort of response I expected.

    My latest disaster is that the electrics in my room, but not the light have gone wrong. The plug socket is making wiring noises so I dare'nt use. I will have to buy batteries to be able to listen to my music. I phoned my landlord and he is going to get someone to look at it.

    In the grand scheme my moaning makes me realise how a little disaster can seem big. In the meantime I will try to stop feeling sorry for myself and perhaps I will read instead of listening to music.
  • Jack Cummins
    989

    I ended my dialogue with you yesterday evening because I had to phone my landlord because the electric socket on the wall was making noises.

    However, my thoughts on a new transhuman species of soldiers being genetically engineered on the aesthetics of strength, endurance and intelligence is that these three principles are exactly what are needed to cope with disasters. Personally, I wish that I had more of these strengths.

    I also have been thinking that it is also important to think about coping with disaster on a personal level, and I mean this in a positive way. I have edited my title to include 'beyond' because I am trying to consider disasters not as an inevitable end but as something that we can live with and go beyond. This involves going beyond the position of being catastrophic in thinking. This is important in coping in the light of the pandemic and in all difficulties.

    One book which I have read in the last couple of days is 'Resilience: How the Stories we tell become the lives we live' by George Howick. He argues that, 'There is no such thing as an inherently good, or bad event', and that, 'It is the embrace of this principle that will give us the best perspective and mental clarity to achieve the best possible outcome from our situation. ' I have to admit that I often think the worst when a disaster occurs but I do realise that it is our response to a disaster which is so important, because we can be broken by it or we can use it as a positive turning point.
  • 8livesleft
    125
    That sounds scary. That happened to an extension cable of ours. It started making popping noises and causing sparks. Hope your issue was taken care of.

    Anyway, yeah disasters can be considered as natural occurrences. They do indeed have very negative effects but we can prepare for them and recover from them.

    This is the mentality the Japanese have. Their major cities are along the ring of fire. There are many powerful earthquakes and tsunamis.

    That's why when there are disasters, the people remain calm and all seem to know exactly what to do. The stores immediately start giving away blankets, water and the restaurants and bars start packing food. Everyone lines up and waits their turn and then move towards a designated safe zone.

    Damage, injuries and even death is often unavoidable but the chaos is drastically minimized when the citizenry remain calm and orderly. Recovery is also much faster.

    On a side note, it seems to me that they're also no stranger to pandemics since they culturally avoid contact - bowing vs shaking hands, they also leave their shoes outside and wear slippers inside, money is also placed on a little basket so you don't have to touch hands. They also have gods for pandemics that you can invoke by some ritual
  • Athena
    1.1k
    I am asking about whether we can begin to think and act differently when we are confronted by the greatest disasters. The question is one which exists on a personal and collective level. But I wish to begin the exploration by framing it within the context of the current pandemic, but with awareness that the area of discussion is much wider.

    I have been reading 'The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World After an Apocalypse,' by Lewis Dartnell (2014), in which he suggested that the people of the world would cope very badly if faced with a global disaster, including a pandemic He stated, 'People living in developed nations have become disconnected from the process of the civilisation that supports them,' and that, 'Our survival skills have atrophied to the point where humanity would be incapable of sustaining itself if the life-support system of modern civilisation failed, if food no longer magically appeared on shop shelves, or clothes on hangers.'
    Jack Cummins

    What a perfect way to describe what has happened to the US. The people have become disconnected from the process of the civilization that supports them. Don't believe me? Name 10 principles of democracy. How did we come to have a democracy and make human rights a political concept? Maybe if you are European or British you can answer the questions, but it is highly unlikely a US citizen can do that, and for this reason, I take your thread very seriously. If we do not know history we become disconnected from who we are and I am so excited with this realization sparked by what you said. This is how the US became an Empire of Illusion created by Trump and the US media that has forgotten what freedom of speech has to do with protecting our democracy while they focus on their popularity and making money.

    However, I do believe that the obstacle, beyond the creation of a vaccine which addresses mutant strains of the virus, is one which will require human beings to think and act differently, and this includes meeting all the other problems, especially poverty, in the aftermath. It will involve a whole new way of thinking, and most probably a way of rising above the individualist ethic which has been central to maintaining capitalist, consumer materialism. — Jack

    I am blown away by how far we gone in this process! In past recessions, we have not helped people as we are doing now. We are not doing as well as I think we should because we seem to be stuck in denial, but maybe one day the US will break out of denial and do better.

    The whole pandemic and other disasters bring us to confront uncertainty and call for us to be at our most resourceful. On a positive note, Ian Scoones and Andy Stirling,(2020),in, 'The Politics of Uncertainty (Pathways to Sustainability)', say that, 'The implications of uncertainty are so profound that they challenge existing hegemonic frameworks and institutions, and drive imaginations of a post-capitalist, sustainable future..' — Jack

    That looks like a book to read.

    I wish to ask whether we can we can change our thinking, in the face of disasters and uncertainty, in order to survive physically and psychologically? Each of us experiences different kinds of 'disasters' and we have all experienced the pandemic uniquely, amidst the other variables of our lives. — Jack

    This is a no brainer. I am thrilled by how differently we are going through this economic disaster. I wish we went through every economic disaster so well!. I remember one of our past presidents making war of the victims of the economic disaster created by OPEC embargoing oil to the US, and how we slashed domestic budgets to pour money into military spending and all the lies leadership told the public and the media cooperation in spreading the lies. This time, although another president lied to us and some media was complicit in spreading the lies, some leaders and some media told us the truth in some states and Congress is giving the economic victims money. So much depends on the media and telling the people the truth or lying to them.

    I believe that embracing uncertainty is a starting point. However, I wonder is it too weak ss a guiding force for bringing the changes in thinking needed for coping, and for practical changes to address disaster, personally and collectively. Of course, when we are in difficult circumstances we draw upon all philosophies, but I am wondering about how may we construct a philosophy for disasters? I do believe that we change through experiencing obstacles and a philosophy for disasters may draw upon the idea of resilience as a foundation. — Jack

    I believe basic to our ability to survive disasters is our education, especially education in democracy and it's philosophical foundation. This might include religion, preferably if that includes all religions because they teach the basic human values of good behavior. Information can radically change human consciousness and democracy as a social/political order, is vital to our ability to work together. I think another improvement is to give our economy a democratic order.
  • Athena
    1.1k
    That sounds scary. That happened to an extension cable of ours. It started making popping noises and causing sparks. Hope your issue was taken care of.

    Anyway, yeah disasters can be considered as natural occurrences. They do indeed have very negative effects but we can prepare for them and recover from them.

    This is the mentality the Japanese have. Their major cities are along the ring of fire. There are many powerful earthquakes and tsunamis.

    That's why when there are disasters, the people remain calm and all seem to know exactly what to do. The stores immediately start giving away blankets, water and the restaurants and bars start packing food. Everyone lines up and waits their turn and then move towards a designated safe zone.

    Damage, injuries and even death is often unavoidable but the chaos is drastically minimized when the citizenry remain calm and orderly. Recovery is also much faster.

    On a side note, it seems to me that they're also no stranger to pandemics since they culturally avoid contact - bowing vs shaking hands, they also leave their shoes outside and wear slippers inside, money is also placed on a little basket so you don't have to touch hands. They also have gods for pandemics that you can invoke by some ritual
    8livesleft

    Do you know of a book that explains the Japanese way? On the public broadcasting channel, I have seen how well organized Japanese neighborhoods are and this includes working together to keep children safe. I think knowledge of the Japanese could be a huge improvement for the US. The US has held some pretty ugly notions of humanity and why the elite are more deserving and how the US is superior to the rest of the world. This is embarrassing and US citizens need to work on this problem. We are still denying our homeless shelter, stability, water, and sanitation even though we have the technology to do better and instead of being reasonable about this, we drive them away because we want to protect our middle-class standard of living. In my community, we are doing better but we serve only a small percentage of those who need a safe place to sleep, and we not even protecting all the children but put them on a waiting list and leave them with no safety. This mentality is prevailing even during the pandemic. Good luck USA if the pandemic continues or another disaster strikes. We are not doing as well as we need to. Our mentality is still ugly.
  • Jack Cummins
    989


    I am writing a joint reply because it seems most appropriate because I just had a scare that my mother had Covid_19. I got a phone call this evening, but fortunately a test was done very promptly and she was negative, but until I got the call I was in a panic. But I told my flatmates that I might have to self-isolate because I saw my mum a few days ago and one of them said that I had better go and be with her. I could not believe the ignorance of this. But of course it is a big relief that she has a chest infection rather than the virus.

    However, I did go into disaster mode. I would also be meant to self-isolate if she had it because I saw her 3 days ago. This would be extremely difficult in shared accommodation. The policy makers do not realise how difficult all the rules and regulations are difficult to practice in settings such as accommodation with shared facilities. I know that the level of the virus has escalated in London in spite of lockdown. I wonder if this is because many people are in cramped, overcrowded living arrangements. I was able to distance far better until everyone was told to stay at home, because I found private corners.

    Anyway, I am trying to rise above potential disasters and hoping that an electrician will come to look at my socket. The landlord said he does not know if anyone can come during lockdown but that could be 2 months or more. I will get a lot of reading done if I am not able to use any electrical items in my room. I am having to charge my phone in the kitchen and will have to buy batteries to listen to CDs.

    I hope that future posts are not about me wallowing in my own disasters as if people log into this site for the first time and see this out of context they will think the thread is about moaning. Of course, I don't object if people do share their experiences of disaster because philosophy is about real life rather than pure theory. It may be about trying to juggle the two together creatively.
  • Jack Cummins
    989
    I just saw an article on my phone saying that scientists have noticed that the world is spinning faster than it has ever done in 50 years in 2021. The last time it was spinning this fast was in 1937, so I am wondering if this will have any implications for our energy vibrations and experience. Perhaps it may make the experience of the pandemic seem slightly shorter.
  • 8livesleft
    125
    Do you know of a book that explains the Japanese way?Athena

    Unfortunately, no. Everything I know about them is based on our visits. I used to work for a company that did a lot of business in Japan.

    Don't get me wrong, they can also be complete animals (as in the WWII, and there's still crime and everything, and this whole dolphin and whale slaughter ritual they have) and sometimes they can get rowdy and racist when they're drunk but as soon as an authority figure sees what's happening, they immediately fall in line and make a very loud apology and express their shame.

    On our last trip, we saw a man lying on the sidewalk. There were two police officers "guarding" him. I didn't know what it was then we found out that the man had too much to drink and had passed out. The police were protecting him. Wow.

    So, their culture is simply about doing what's right. They have this Code of bushido or this code of honor that exemplifies loyalty, honor, righteousness. It got lost somewhere in the war but upon losing, they went back to this code and completely went away from war becoming more pacifist - I'm assuming it's from the Buddhist influence. They also have the Shinto Religion - many gods for all sorts of things (mainly nature).

    Interestingly, Christianity was introduced but then it was largely met with hostility and was completely banned by government. Christians had to worship in secret caves and such. But of course it's all open now but you don't see Japanese flocking to it since they already have a very strong sense of cultural identity.

    Good luck USA if the pandemic continues or another disaster strikes. We are not doing as well as we need to. Our mentality is still ugly.Athena

    It's like that in many places where you have such divided politics and the division itself has become part of the culture - Democrat, Republican, for example. Any kind of division is an obstacle. And that gap appears to be quite large and so, needs a lot of bridging. But bridging will be difficult if you have whole populations actively or violently trying to tear those bridges down.
  • 8livesleft
    125
    But of course it is a big relief that she has a chest infection rather than the virus.Jack Cummins

    That's great news! Well, you're not gonna believe this but upon testing, my mom apparently has antibodies, which means she already got it but nobody knew. She was asymptomatic. Definitely relieved as well as shocked since she only stayed in her apartment. We're thinking it might be from some delivery - you have to be diligent and wipe down those packages with disinfectant. We're probably being paranoid but the last thing we want is to have to spend time in some local hospital or triage unit - both really unlivable.

    Of course, I don't object if people do share their experiences of disaster because philosophy is about real life rather than pure theory.Jack Cummins

    I think this pandemic is showing all of us that we are all in the same boat. This isolates us, yes. But it also proves that we're all one people dealing with this thing. This virus is giving everybody problems no matter where you are, no matter what class you're in.

    I hope people can see that reality and start to focus on our commonalities instead of our differences.
  • Jack Cummins
    989

    I think that you make a really good point in saying how the pandemic is a situation in which we are all affected. I think on that level it can raise awareness and bring wisdom. As you say, let's hope that people can 'start to focus on our commonalities instead of our differences.'
  • Athena
    1.1k
    I am writing a joint reply because it seems most appropriate because I just had a scare that my mother had Covid_19. I got a phone call this evening, but fortunately a test was done very promptly and she was negative, but until I got the call I was in a panic. But I told my flatmates that I might have to self-isolate because I saw my mum a few days ago and one of them said that I had better go and be with her. I could not believe the ignorance of this. But of course it is a big relief that she has a chest infection rather than the virus.

    However, I did go into disaster mode. I would also be meant to self-isolate if she had it because I saw her 3 days ago. This would be extremely difficult in shared accommodation. The policy makers do not realise how difficult all the rules and regulations are difficult to practice in settings such as accommodation with shared facilities. I know that the level of the virus has escalated in London in spite of lockdown. I wonder if this is because many people are in cramped, overcrowded living arrangements. I was able to distance far better until everyone was told to stay at home, because I found private corners.

    Anyway, I am trying to rise above potential disasters and hoping that an electrician will come to look at my socket. The landlord said he does not know if anyone can come during lockdown but that could be 2 months or more. I will get a lot of reading done if I am not able to use any electrical items in my room. I am having to charge my phone in the kitchen and will have to buy batteries to listen to CDs.

    I hope that future posts are not about me wallowing in my own disasters as if people log into this site for the first time and see this out of context they will think the thread is about moaning. Of course, I don't object if people do share their experiences of disaster because philosophy is about real life rather than pure theory. It may be about trying to juggle the two together creatively.
    17 hours ago
    Jack Cummins
    799
    I just saw an article on my phone saying that scientists have noticed that the world is spinning faster than it has ever done in 50 years in 2021. The last time it was spinning this fast was in 1937, so I am wondering if this will have any implications for our energy vibrations and experience. Perhaps it may make the experience of the pandemic seem slightly shorter.
    Jack Cummins

    My daughter and granddaughter have high-risk jobs. They have been in the same space with infected people. My daughter was sharing an office with an infected co-worker so she has been in quarantine this past week. That means everyone, where she works, has been overloaded with work with two people missing.

    Actually, I am kind of holding my breath because I am waiting for a phone call. If I do not get a phone call by 10 a.m. I tested negative. It is not because of my family that I am being tested, but it is required before I do a stress test to check my heart, and I can't drink coffee today :grimace: That is a serious problem! I depend on coffee to get through the day.

    My granddaughter's daughter is living with a caregiver and there will be emotional ramifications to this. My granddaughter's son was living with the same caregiver but did not do well there so he returned home and is old enough to care for himself but I don't think he is doing his school work as he should. A lot of children just are not doing their school work but fortunately, the daughter living with a caregiver is doing school work beyond her grade. She gets along perfectly with her care giver and loves being her teacher's favorite student. So there are some children who are excelling in school and that has to make getting through the pandemic easier for them. They are busy doing something they need to do and can be satisfied with their progress. Instead of every day being as the day before and no progress.

    And yes, Jack, if philosophy is not about our everyday experiences, then what purpose does it have? Some threads in the forum are so philosophically purest, so dependent on having a good understanding of something in a book, that I totally avoid them. They are meaningless to me. I want philosophy that applies to be my struggles. It is philosophy that helped me keep my sanity when times were rough.
  • Jack Cummins
    989

    Yes, life is too stressful. Even though I am so relieved that my mum was negative for Covid_19 I have not recovered really from all the anxiety of yesterday.

    I do agree with not being able to drink coffee is awful, worse than not being able to play music really. I think coffee is the elixir for philosophy. I remember when I was at work if something really awful happened other staff members knew that I needed a coffee in order to think clearly.

    I would say that philosophy loses its meaning when it becomes too detached from our life experiences and that is probably why I started this post about disasters. I don't understand why people want to engage in discussions which are more like word games.

    The most ancient philosophers asked big questions but they were also engaged with the issues of day to day existence. Some people might choose to ignore this thread because there is a thread on Coronavirus already, but I am concerned about what the situation we are being thrown into. I think that we are being pushed in directions we never expected, and it requires a whole new way of seeing and existing.
  • Athena
    1.1k
    Yes, life is too stressful. Even though I am so relieved that my mum was negative for Covid_19 I have not recovered really from all the anxiety of yesterday.

    I do agree with not being able to drink coffee is awful, worse than not being able to play music really. I think coffee is the elixir for philosophy. I remember when I was at work if something really awful happened other staff members knew that I needed a coffee in order to think clearly.

    I would say that philosophy loses its meaning when it becomes too detached from our life experiences and that is probably why I started this post about disasters. I don't understand why people want to engage in discussions which are more like word games.

    The most ancient philosophers asked big questions but they were also engaged with the issues of day to day existence. Some people might choose to ignore this thread because there is a thread on Coronavirus already, but I am concerned about what the situation we are being thrown into. I think that we are being pushed in directions we never expected, and it requires a whole new way of seeing and existing.
    Jack Cummins

    Perfect, you totally get the importance of coffee. :grin:

    And thank you! I am not interested in philosophical discussions that are like word games. They give philosophy a bad reputation and so turn people off they make no attempt to learn of philosophy. That is a shame.

    Whoo, dude! I just googled for a philosophy dealing with disaster and your thread comes up. I wanted the name of a philosopher whose philosophy includes how disasters affect us and tell us how to think through the hard times, but all that is there is your thread. So Jack will you become the expert philosopher everyone turns to for understanding how to cope with disasters or the importance of hard times to our ability to cope with life?

    I do not know exactly how philosophy differs from psychology, and while some philosophers have addressed the importance of history I am not sure if anyone has adequately explained our human experience. Explaining how natural disasters have influenced Japan is a step in the right direction, but in the US we seem to live in denial of how wars and economic crashes shape our human experience. We speak of life going back to normal, but what does that mean for children whose ideas of life and "normal" are forming during covid?

    There is something deeper here. I am not sure what that is. For the people of the God of Abraham, there is the expectation of the last days. Mayans had a calendar and an expectation of cyclical good years and bad years building to a critical moment in time when heaven and earth are one. New Age believers can see all that talk as different points of view of the same thing. We have lived with a notion of what is to come and does that help us cope or hinder us? Is running around without a mask and insisting on gathering at church and relying on God and welcoming the last days, working well with those of us who rely on science? :chin:
  • Athena
    1.1k
    Unfortunately, no. Everything I know about them is based on our visits. I used to work for a company that did a lot of business in Japan.

    Don't get me wrong, they can also be complete animals (as in the WWII, and there's still crime and everything, and this whole dolphin and whale slaughter ritual they have) and sometimes they can get rowdy and racist when they're drunk but as soon as an authority figure sees what's happening, they immediately fall in line and make a very loud apology and express their shame.

    On our last trip, we saw a man lying on the sidewalk. There were two police officers "guarding" him. I didn't know what it was then we found out that the man had too much to drink and had passed out. The police were protecting him. Wow.

    So, their culture is simply about doing what's right. They have this Code of bushido or this code of honor that exemplifies loyalty, honor, righteousness. It got lost somewhere in the war but upon losing, they went back to this code and completely went away from war becoming more pacifist - I'm assuming it's from the Buddhist influence. They also have the Shinto Religion - many gods for all sorts of things (mainly nature).

    Interestingly, Christianity was introduced but then it was largely met with hostility and was completely banned by government. Christians had to worship in secret caves and such. But of course it's all open now but you don't see Japanese flocking to it since they already have a very strong sense of cultural identity.

    It's like that in many places where you have such divided politics and the division itself has become part of the culture - Democrat, Republican, for example. Any kind of division is an obstacle. And that gap appears to be quite large and so, needs a lot of bridging. But bridging will be difficult if you have whole populations actively or violently trying to tear those bridges down.
    8livesleft

    The US also had a standard of horror and it was very much a part of our education. We used heroes from around the world and since the earliest civilizations, to teach every single child how to be a hero.

    We totally understood some people were not as smart as others and they would be laborers while others would go on to the college, but everyone learned of the little boy who saved his town by putting his thumb in the hole in the dam. Everyone has an important part to play and we have lost that notion.
    Doctors doctored for the love of healing and lawyers worked for a love of justice and journalist knew they were defending our democracy. This was the effect of using hero stories and folklore to teach morality and citizenship.

    I am sure this was damaged by the Great Depression and world war. When young ladies began wearing bras and shorts and then became pin-up girls motivating the men to wear uniforms, our society was changed in a fundamental way, and the change was pushed further by WWII and the more advanced technology of that war and the 1958 National Defense Education Act putting the advancement of technology above human values, putting competition above cooperation. Now we have a history of giving our lives for our liberty and we are thinking we will be better off when we surrender our liberty to robots and computers. We are valuing technology more than human values.

    I am sure unless we agree with Thomas Jefferson about the importance of education for a strong and united republic, we will fail. If our education does not return to the set of American values that every child learned, and continues to put technology, and money, above human values, we may not get through the transition that must be made at this time.

    Seriously it should be obvious to everyone that the God of Abraham religions are divisive and leading us to the last days. We may not wear masks, but Israel is ignoring the wisdom of respecting Palestinians and working with them for peace, dragging all of us into wars and possibly the final war. Seeing the world today and believing we are in the last days, could make this the last days. But the Greeks saw life as a fire and that someday the fire would be greater than what is left to consume. Human values and science are very important right now.
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