Friday, January 26, 2007


I've long felt that one of the major risks to this world's future is laziness. Laziness fuelled by hedonism. I guess I'm old enough to start harkening back to simpler better days. On one hand, I think the present is incredible. Wonderful. Spectacular. I wouldn't want to live in the past, even if I could. However, I do have concerns about people today. So many ills today sseem to stem from peoples' bad decisions, mis-education, lack of interest and intellectual curiosity. There seems to be a romanticisation of laziness, stupidness, uninformedness, populism, sensationalism, entertainment-ism. And this last one is either the consequence or cause of the deeper issue. TV and even newspapers no longer just present pure news. It's gotta be news-tainment. Evidently under the premise that no one would watch just news anymore. If so, that's sad. Is it true? If so, why? Have the media outlets morphed public behavior to cause this, or did they simply react? Will people truly not watch the morning news just to get informed, rather than the talk-show format spoon-feeding of tidbits of news hidden inside huge lumps of sugary sensationalized, nearly fictionalized human-interest drivel. The kind of crap that is, and should be forgotten by the next day. The kind of thing which can be traced to absolutely no subsequent change in our world or our lives. Truly a waste of time. So much goes on in this world today - there's actually too much information to digest. Yet instead of going after at least the most important pieces, we numb our minds with this drivel. Thereby sorely uninformed, we can only outsource our thinking and decision making. we form our opinions not on facts and analysis, bur on the opinions of others - either based on the consensus views of those close to us (whether or not they have any greater qualification than ourselves) or on the words of some celebrity we choose. And here again media steps right up to serve us talking heads we recognize. Doesn't matter whether they're informed or intelligent or logical. Just matters that we "like" them and that they're famous. Rather than choosing our thought-leaders based on skill, we substitute celebrity. They must be smart, if they're so well known, right? That's asinine. It's laziness. The idea that either we have no impact and thus should just disengage ... or that issues are too complicated and there's too much information for us to digest, and thus we should just follow others. This creates a huge vaccuum, and invites popularity-seekers to step up and "lead" by drowning us with their self-edifying blather based not on facts or analysis either, but just one their "opinions" and "beliefs" and what they've heard. These talking heads are no more qualified than anyone else. We could all form uninformed opinions and then go prostelize. and there's a component of this that sources from the vast growth in individualism in the last 100 years. I theorize that, once people's basic needs no longer took all their time to satisfy, they lost the desire to have the security of being part of something larger, be it a community, a society, a nation, a religion, a party, a famliy, a team, an army. And so sinc ewe had no desire to belong, we had no motivation to fit in - to comply with the rules and standards and expectations of the group. Individualism, in itself, is a good thing. People should be free to discover and pursue their own interests as long as it doesn't negatively impact others. But when individualism leads the individual to act only out of self-interest irrespective of the impact on any greater group or future period, only stopping when physically checked, they become deleterious to their own world unawares.

So, what do we do about it, smarty pants? What's the right answer?

That's a good one. And it'll have to wait till next time.

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