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Archive for February, 2011

As much as we’d hate it, we’re still products of society, either we like it or not. And, as mr. Fromm so nicely states in the foreword of his „Fear of Freedom” –  To understand the dynamics of social processes means to understand the dynamics of the psychological processes, happening in the individual, as much as to understand the individual, we must look at him in the context of the culture that has created him.

And, as you, my dear readers, are from the high-IQ end of society, then you’ll surely agree that although, indeed, we are surrounded by idiots, the culture (and i’m aiming global here) isn’t as bad as it could’ve been. For one, i have friends in every continent except Africa, (And antarctica, but that doesn’t count anyway) – due to the marvelous cognitive space the Internet has created, and I, as a produce of the western civilization, am proud to be a citizen of the European Union –which, just as Kant predicted, is an union of governments, formed for and by the citizens of those governments, as to improve our qualities of life, and, in mr. Kant’s opinion, to fulfil the natural laws of society, which i am happy to abide by. In short, because i’m not a pretencious bastard, and as this essay cannot possibly account for all specific cases and accidents, it’s much better, much more comfortable to live now, than it was, say, 100 years ago.

We’ve gained so much freedom from, say, everything – religious beliefs, freedom of speech, economical freedom, political freedom (i’m, again, speaking about the western civilization here, as it is a culture which has produced me, and, quite likely, as you are reading this, you as well) – basically, if you want to do something, you can do it, while it doesn’t interfere with the rights of anyone else. We live in a truly „do-it-yourself” enviroment, in which (theorethically, and in many cases, practically) you can become anything you’d want yourself to be, it just takes one crazy idea, some talent and a quite lare amount of work.

Yet, a lot of people from my generation (as far as i’ve seen and been connected with) instead choose to ignore the opportunities, handed to them by this truly marvelous age and, instead, whine about their own inability to achieve anything, or, really – to do their duties, even those, which would be prudent to do, for their own well-being. The plethora of opportunities is offset by the lack of willpower; the rallying cry is to raise the fist up, as a sign or rebellion, to do things better than those before us, to fix what is broken, and to improve upon the rest, yet, we are not able to build upon this rebellious desire, the fist becomes tired, dissapointed and jaded – and chooses inactivity, extreme emotionality and other unproductive means of expression – it becomes mentally impotent as an acting agent. And those who fall in such a depressive (or sometimes, overtly childlish) state are not the worst of men; indeed, those who should be worried about their lives and their abilities to achieve anything are, for the most part, blissfully ignorant, happy, and blatantly arrogant about their lifestyle. It is, in my humble opinion, worrying that those people who, in other ages, would surely be in the center of attention and viewed as educated, intelligent and talented people, who would be acting as the voice of their age, as the voice of progress (in every sense of the word; i’m not using this just to represent technical achievements) are often in a terrible lack of willpower and with little or no faith in their own abilities.( I’m pretty sure that this is not just a local problem, which could be solved locally, here in Latvia, but if it is so, feel free to argue against my position. )

In the worst case of events, it seems as if we are sliding back, towards a position where democracy will no longer be possible, due to a lack of honest leaders, and some tyrant or another shall take a position of power again – because there just might be no one to oppose said leader – and it is obvious that something must be done for this not to happen.

The rise of the Emo

The Emo subculture, that has become a popular trend in the modern youth, started with a nice idea that everyone should be able to express their feelings and that the agents of such expression should not be afraid of any negative repercussions, which is, in itself, a nice idea, (again, in my humble opinion) unknowingly to the authors of the Emo subculture itself, supported by the works of K.G. Jung, E. Fromm and other psychoanalysts which recommended spontaneous acts of love and emotion as a cure for the ever-increasing pressure upon men, in the wake of the rising negative freedoms we are experiencing. The downside is, that it turned itself in the completely opposite way, becoming what it is now. But there are people which i call the unseen emo’s. They don’t wear the pink/black clothes, or listen to whatever is popular in the emo-scene, yet, still are overtly concerned about their feelings, and how people don’t understand them; it seems that whining about problems is, for such people, more important than solving them. Let’s be reallistic (although the painchilds shall never accept this definition) They are nothing but attention whores, people whose feelings have overcome their rational reasoning abilities, who are but slaves to their own emotions and who want everyone to know and care about what they can’t do, and why everything (and i apologize for the unnnecessary rudeness here) sucks harder than an underage Thailandian prostitute.

Again, this might sound ambiguous, but those are not the vein-cutting Emos i’m speaking here. Those people, at the very least, have the courage to look like what they really are (although, it doesn’t make them better people in general) – the case i’m mentioning here are those people who are just pathetic, even without the make-up. There are two paradoxes rising from this situation: 1) Real Emos have more willpower than these pitiful souls 2) Mostly, these people are intelligent and have potential, like i said before – in short, they would have no real reason to worry about anything, as long as they would put a little effort behind their dreams.

The problem in itself

To put things in perspective, from, at the very least, semi-informative position, (and this might not be exactly called academical) i’ve also had a childhood which would be the stuff of nightmares for your normal person. My parents divorced when i was 4, I had a stepfather which beat me on a daily basis, a whole buch of hateful classmates with rich parents, who, let’s just put it this way, weren’t the friendliest kids in the block, and the occasional being-locked-up-in-the-bathroom-overnight-without-dinner-for-some-imagined-or-real-transgression case – the difference between me, and the other people whom i see today is that (guess what) i had NO friends to whine to, no one to tell how shitty i feel, and, truly, NO ONE gave ANY shit about whatever was going on with my life. And on my 16th birthday, my parents gave me a pack of condoms as my birthday gift. The date of the pack was 1988, and they nicely stated that when one of the condoms from this pack proved to be defective, i happened to be born in this world. That’s a polite way to state someone that they were a mistake to start with. It started to get better, and i started to socialize with people only when my stepfather died from cancer; this has led me to love books more than people and to have an empathy level, comparable to that of a well-educated and extremely attractive and polite brick – which is why, right now i have absolutely no qualms of writing this as an example for you. You see, the truly damaged people learn to rely on themselves, because, often, they have no choice. I don’t regret anything, for i’ve learned a lot, and it would take a lot from life to scar me emotionally again. As i had no one to whine to, i had to work things out for myself, such as finishing school – of course, well enough, to get the governmental scholarship, because no one would be able to pay for my education, feed myself, get some love, make a place to call home and whatnot else. And, well, i managed to do these things quite fine. Therefore, i’m confused about why do people with proper families, siblings, caring folk around them, who don’t have to think about what they’ll eat tonight, whine when they just have to force themselves to do a little something (such as writing a research paper due some deadline) for their own good. Instead, they choose solitude and pseudomartyrdom, whining about how they are unable to just do something which, although not pleasant, is needed, and how that cannot be changed. Mostly, when you offer some advice or support, they a) disbelieve you or b) take it as a personal insult. Also, their argumentation is that not everyone can be as strong (sic) as myself. I highly doubt that my abilities as an agent, acting for my own well-being, surpass those of others, in fact, i think that some of these people would do even better than i did, if only they tried. Supposedly, they are confused when tossed in the real world, without their protective shells around them, and it’s hard for them to accept reality from an active position, not from a passive one, when they are nothing but observers, with all the hard decisions made for them – and, of course, the real world is nothing like we imagined in high school. (This calls for a discourse about the impact of overprotective parenting in general, with reasons maybe imbedded in our excessive political correctness and tolerance, which would be a nice theme for another essay, therefore, i shall not analyze them in depth as of now) Basically, the whole problem is like when a really beautiful girl is whining about being too fat, while the fat girls who really should worry, do not even try to be slimmer, except on a grander and more important scale. (and, realy, this is an accurate analogy – except it is neat, and cuddly in the case of girls, because then you can just say a compliment, get a nice hug/kiss back and feel warm and fuzzy inside, while in the case of not wishing to put any effort into anything, it is neither nice, nor tolerable.)

The question to be solved, then, is – how to make a person, whom you care about, but who promptly ignores all rational argumentation, who thinks you don’t understand him emotionally, to start doing something useful? You cannot force anyone to start thinking for himself, and most people don’t want others to suffer – therefore ignorance of the said problem and a „they’ll learn…eventually” position is, in my humble opinion, morally unacceptable. I propose the same thing as every proper psychoanalyst would do – deal with your own unknown desires, by spontaneously expressing them. It is, of course, easier to say than to do, yet, it should be possible to take the affected people for a walk, read them a poem, and honestly ask them to try and express their emotions somehow. (When asked directly, they, most probably, will not be able to tell anything meaningful, will be shy to reveal themselves and most likely, will use this inability to express themselves verbally as another proof of their own mental impotence.) The most important factor in this one (and i have to thank my ex – girlfriends for revealing me this) is – not trying to give any advice, not trying to solve their problems, no – they have to let go somehow, and such people are able to do so, only in peaceful enviroments. (For the people who recognize themselves in this essay: drinking is not an answer, and also isn’t seclusion. Like i said, go for a walk, then try to express yourself in a non-verbal way. For one, i shouted at the trees in a forest, to let my past rage against my stepfather go.) In more ways than others, people rely on self-help books, for if you buy such books, it’s obvious that you cannot help yourself. And going to a psychologist, who gets paid by you, for the hours you spend in his cabinet, is…well, not interested in solving your problems fast enough. Karl Gustav Jung for one, spent hours, days, months building rock towers and palaces, expressing himself in a symbolic way. Septem Sermones ad Mortuos is a recommended piece of literature, because, for one – if you have a problem, most likely, someone has tried to solve it already. And maybe, you can help others solve their problems afterwards. Peace. GL.

 

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A winter cold…

It’s warmer that the average February. Only -13 Celsius today.

University is dulling my senses, but i’m trying to be as conscious as possible. My little half brother has serious issues at school. I’m not mad about him, having some problems, because i’ve been there too. I’m pissed about him, being unable to get his senses together, about him, not willing to do something which will cause him a lot of troubles and pain, to save his own goddamn ass. A man needs willpower, goddamnit!

And also, a man needs a woman. A beautiful, heartwarming woman. Sometimes, in the curious and unusual cases, such as my own – a man needs someone who’s as jaded and cynical as myself. But still, manages to be happy and warming at the same time. And me, well…i’ve been through a lot. But, somehow, this winter doesn’t seem as cold as it were. We’re fucked-up people, me and her. Beautifully flawed. I’m paranoid, and so is she. We’re too jaded to trust each other completely, just yet – but we’re enjoying the moment perfectly. We’re too cynical to expect this to work for long…but the time is now, and the night is yet young! I enjoy every second i’m beside her, and, i suppose, she’s one of the few things that keep me sane; she somehow manages to prove that, despite all odds, there is still hope. It’s like a goddamn miracle, in a god-forsaken, fucked-up world, filled with stupid people, crushed dreams, destroyed childhoods and a million of envious, lazy bastards, who’ll never accept themselves, yet will criticize everyone else. I want this to work out, lads. Because i care.

And if you’re reading this, yes, you are beautiful. In every sense of the word. Oh, and i’ll just put your picture here, so that others can see that too. 🙂

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Specialization.

I had a semminar of the philosophy of science. A quote by Robert Heinlein is in place:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein

This is the problem of today, that the higher education provides us mostly with overspecialized experts, without a wider worldview. I’ve uploaded a text, by Philipp Frank which illustrates this problem. If you’re still a student – mostly, of the exact branch – it should help you. Quite a bit. 🙂

Don’t be insects, or i might have to crush you. Wubwub.

 

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Medieval philosophy is awesome. Nicholas Cuseaus and St. Augustine and Aquinas Thomas – seeing how people defined the very concept of will, action and perception, seeing the beginnings of analytical philosophy is beautiful. Yet, when my professor speaks, it’s a true tour de force to understand him properly. Before this course, i thought that i’m a fast speaker – but…yeah. This is…creepy. Sounds about like this: “Willisasecond-leveldesireofteninconflictwiththefirstleveldesires,HarryFrankfurthaswrittenaboutthisandhesees3differentcasesinthisproblem.” Or something of the sort. This…is going to be quite hard.

Picture of the day:

This picture made me create my latest RPG setting. It’s about world-building and creating a society – something between Fallout, Trigun, Pandorum, Rogue Trader and Alien Legacy. Welcome to ESS Victoria. Home of the brave.

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So yah. First and important part: Latest comic, scripted by yours truly, Torquemada & drawn by beautiful and talented Nimloth. Inspired by (!) a RC Cola commercial. (And i must be weird, because i, quite probably, am the only person around who enjoys the soft drink.)

In other news: i suppose, my people-hating days are over. I’m starting to enjoy the little things, you see. Smoking on my balcony, looking at the people, going around, doing their businesses…soothing, calm and whatnot. Enjoyable. Also on the list: I sense myself, not wanting anything. This emotion-less state is awesome. I’d lobotomize myself, if it wouldn’t make me a vegetable. 🙂

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German class…

Is overcrowded. I hope this ends soon, because there are a MILLION people willing to learn it. Hopefully – HOPEFULLY other people drop out after a while. So yeah…

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Economics:

Being tought by a russian guy with a business attitude, and a no-nonsense humour…ahh, the little joys of life.

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