This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.

Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Modernity

Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by no country for old wainds, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. no country for old wainds

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Messages:
    25,217
    Likes Received:
    8,226
    Trophy Points:
    113
    http://www.anus.com/zine/articles/modernity/

    Thoughts? And please, no empty ad hominems or insults with regard to the article's source. On a board for civil discussion such as this, one should tackle ideas, not the people who express them.
     
  2. cthulufhtagn

    cthulufhtagn Went Out for Smokes 13 Years Ago

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Messages:
    7,664
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    south of washington
    An interesting essay, but it fails to adequately define modernity and provide suggestions for a proper way to fight it. I agree with the concepts presented; the world as I see it is pretty much going to shit. However, I see this as part of human nature, the innate willingness to lie, cheat, and steal for our own benefit. Perhaps this is what the author is talking about when s/he refers to a war--it is a war against our own nature, coming to the collective understanding in the hopelessness of a philosophy based on "new and improved". I hate to be so cliché, but I think a line in Fight Club sums it up: "We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives."

    The question remains as to how we can turn it around. The first step, I believe, is to eradicate the archaic and outmoded belief systems which divide us and blur our vision of reality. Only when we all see the world for what it is can we begin to make true progress.

    Needless to say I don't hold out much hope for the future. Enjoy it while it lasts, kiddies.
     
  3. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Messages:
    17,892
    Likes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Hallways of Always
    agreed with cthulufhtagn
     
  4. MasterOLightning

    MasterOLightning Optimator

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    6,815
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicago
    Total disagreement. We complain about how awful things are. Let's go back to 1348. The world was going to shit in that year, when the plague killed half of Europe, and you had no choice but to live in terror. At best you were an aristocrat part of what must have been less than a percent of the population. More likely than not, you lived practically as a slave doing subsistence farming for a lord. Things sucked then. Things sucked for all of recorded history with the exception of maybe part of Roman times and up until 200 or so years ago (Speaking of western history.)

    Today, people live better lives everywhere in the world (except perhaps Africa) than at any other point in time. If anything, things are getting better.

    We're not going to end the world in our lifetimes. The threat of total nuclear war is over. People knew better than to do it in the past, and they won't do it in the future. Environmentally, the sooner we run out of gas and coal the better. Then we'll be forced to use hydro and solar power, which are endlessly renewable, and clean. When we just don't have anymore gas, we'll drive electric cars. It's not so bad. Actually, a retooling of the auto industry would be a huge boost to the economy and create many jobs. Even moving these jobs overseas would create a higher standard of living in foreign countries, enabling them to buy American goods. Trade is good, and there's more trade then ever today. In general, the environment is better than 25 years ago, when regulations began.

    Recycling is a huge waste. The only thing positive that comes out of it is make-work jobs. We might as well put those people to work picking up trash off the street, or paying them to build public works. Ever wonder why bums only pick up aluminum cans, and never carry paper, or plastic? There's no money in the other two. We're never going to run out of trees for paper. Can we run out of corn or potatoes? Hell no. Trees are a crop. If you know anything about economies of scale, you'll realize that recycling plastic is not economically optimal, and also harms the environment. People got fucking brainwashed into thinking it was a good idea. We have plenty of landfills. You know what they do at landfills? Bury the crap, then when it decomposes, burn the methane gas and power homes. People aren't as fucking stupid as they seem.

    If you think about it, our political systems operate at the highest level of efficiency they ever have. It is doubtful that they will get worse. Improvements are made. Back at the turn of the century, when you bought some food, you had no clue what you were getting really. Now, you can generally trust the FDA. Bureaucracies do accomplish many good things, and improve our lives in many ways. The reasons they have standard operating procedures is to help the greatest number of people in the fastest way. Unfortunately it isn't everything to everyone. What else do you expect? Someone to come to your door and make all of your problems go away? I'll take a bureaucratic fuckup once in a while for the almost always adequate services they give. I get my fucking mail every single day, and the garbage gets picked up every week. The cops keep my neighborhood safe. Bureaucracies aren't as bad as people will have you believe.

    I'm tired of ranting. How many of the above things did we have in the not so distant past? Things are drastically better now than during most of human existance, where you slaved away on a farm for your lord. No art, no music, no philosophy, nothing worthwhile came out of that social system. Modernity has led to great technological advances, and the possibility for leisure time. The problem with modernity is only that people fail to use that time appropriately. But look at all that has been done nonetheless. The last 50 years have seen an incredibly rapid increase technology which shows no signs of slowing down. Modernity is good. That's it for now.
     
  5. cthulufhtagn

    cthulufhtagn Went Out for Smokes 13 Years Ago

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Messages:
    7,664
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    south of washington
    No art, music, philosophy, or anything worthwhile came out of the past social system? What about Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Locke, Rousseau; all the great thinkers and philosophers? The scientific advances of the Maya, Arab, and Chinese civilizations, among others? The pyramids? The Bayeux tapestry? Michaelangelo? Bach? The Renaissance? Do not be so quick to dismiss the accomplishments of the past.

    I see your point, and a good point it is, but the issues we face today are vastly different from those faced fifty, a hundred, or a thousand years ago. The monarchs and landlords exploiting and directly controlling their subjects have been replaced by the politicians and CEOs indirectly profiting at the expense of their constituents. The cast is the same; they're just wearing different costumes. Yes, medical science has improved, but there are still millions of people dying of AIDS, malaria and bacterial infections, even millions here in America without healthcare. Yes, I have mail service and garbage collection but there are billions living in poverty around the world, suffering needlessly because humanity as a whole is unwilling to come to a solution.

    Just because things may seem better now on the outside does not mean we should settle for less than we deserve.
     
  6. MasterOLightning

    MasterOLightning Optimator

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    6,815
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicago
    The artists and thinkers of the past mostly came from the privileged classes. I was arguing that the vast majority of the population was incapable of doing something of artistic merit.

    It's not really fair to compare the situation of the working class today to that of long ago. The working class now lives better than the elite of the past.

    It's funny you mention malaria. DDT could have wiped out the disease entirely, but that environmentalist bitch wrote that book that led to it being discontinued. As a result, many people died, but hey, at least we saved some animals, right?
     
  7. cthulufhtagn

    cthulufhtagn Went Out for Smokes 13 Years Ago

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Messages:
    7,664
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    south of washington
    Malaria could also be wiped out by nuking everything between the tropics. Doesn't mean it should be done.

    It is people like you, who insist that everything is a-ok, relax, no need to worry, that are holding us back.
     
  8. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Messages:
    17,892
    Likes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Hallways of Always
    i think, while new inventions have furthered our living conditions and health; a serious problem we now face is this dependence on the things we've created.

    we fool each other into thinking we need this and that, that you can't live without air conditioning and a 2 car garage, when the veritable truth is that a lot of hectic lives running around collecting everything advertised for, would be a lot happier if they had lived a simpler life.
     
  9. MasterOLightning

    MasterOLightning Optimator

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    6,815
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicago
    Show me the proof that society is on the verge of collapse. I do not see it. The world can never be a utopia. There have never been fewer problems.

    Some people are materialistic. Some people are religious tools. Some are hooked on mindless entertainment. These are all the same, basically. Everyone looks for something that gives their life purpose. For most of recorded history, religion was your purpose. Now we just have more options (and all of those other things are better than religion anyway.) These options do complicate things, but I really don't think they are making life worse. It's still possible for one to not be a slave to any of these things. Individuals choose these things. It's their fault for being shallow and willing to be sheep; not the fault of modern times for giving them the option to do so.
     
  10. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Messages:
    17,892
    Likes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Hallways of Always
    I'd agree with that statement...

    I'm just wary of the future being a place which requires all to comply or be removed from "the system"
     
  11. cthulufhtagn

    cthulufhtagn Went Out for Smokes 13 Years Ago

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Messages:
    7,664
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    south of washington
    You say it yourself, people are simply replacing one empty spiritual/emotional addiction with another. Is that really progress?

    I don't even care, I'm arguing for the sake of argument. Life sucks, has always sucked, and will continue to suck. Fuck it.

    edit: master - 1, cthulu - 0
     
  12. MasterOLightning

    MasterOLightning Optimator

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    6,815
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicago
    It is progress in the sense that a greater number of people have the ability to free themselves from these addictions than before.
     
  13. The.Donut

    The.Donut Yep.

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    England
    I think I would agree with pretty much everything that has been said.

    I would agree with Master here when he said "It's still possible for one to not be a slave to any of these things. Individuals choose these things. It's their fault for being shallow and willing to be sheep; not the fault of modern times for giving them the option to do so."
    Unfotunately there seem to be rather a lot of sheep around.

    I also agree with cthulu when he said, "The question remains as to how we can turn it around. The first step, I believe, is to eradicate the archaic and outmoded belief systems which divide us and blur our vision of reality. Only when we all see the world for what it is can we begin to make true progress."
    I believe what is needed is to replace these outdated belief systems, and all forms of beliefs that people derive meaning from, with one that is about achieving real progress for the betterment of mankind. However, I have no idea how we would achieve this.
     
  14. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Messages:
    17,892
    Likes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Hallways of Always
    not all beliefs that people hold are outmoded... some still have relevance. however, thouse that are outmoded and useless i'd agree need to go.
     
  15. Goreripper

    Goreripper Metal as fuck

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2001
    Messages:
    18,845
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Blue Mountains, Australia
    I agree with almost all of your post except what you said here. I don't know what sort of recycling schemes exist in where you like, but all major cities here in Australia have major recycling programs. In fact it's turning into a significant industry which is employing more and more people every year. I'm not sure in what ways recycling plastics hurts the environment as I haven't done the research but I do know that there are certain kinds of plastics that can't actually be reused and some that are now banned from use because they are hazardous. You're right about methane being syphoned off landfills for power production, but not everything in a landfill site decomposes at any significant rate to create methane. Landfill sites are full of all kinds of artificial materials that take centuries to break down. Recycling is only a waste if it isn't done properly.
     
  16. MasterOLightning

    MasterOLightning Optimator

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    6,815
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicago
    ^ You're right to a degree. It does make more sense for large cities to have programs. But in the suburbs, each has its own program, which I'm sure you can understand, is far from efficient. Out of what I was saying, recycling paper is especially harmful to the environment, as the process of extracting colored ink creates byproducts that don't exist in the production of new paper. Recycling plastic is inefficient economically, as it's more expensive to create a new facility or adapt an old one to recycle, than it is to increase production at a currently existing facility. Recycling is like this: Let's cut our production from making 1,000,000x to 998,000x, and then build a separate factory for the excess 2,000. It doesn't make sense. THe two factories would make more pollution then just the one at full scale production. Although those plastic materials don't decompose well, we have more than enough space to handle them.
     
  17. Pessimism

    Pessimism Endemic Vagabond

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Messages:
    10,153
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    SoCal
    sounds like a "life as desire" situation to me

    yes, (im going to refer to your second paragraph) but then when are we able to discern when or which thought process' are to be discredited? especially when we all hold a natural bias - almost all people will generally try to destroy something that threatens their very views of existance. its known that a cornered animal can be the fiercest enemy you face......what makes that different for humans? would you argue a cognisant consciousness, the ability to realize the very things we are trying to understand? we cant even say other living things arent doing this yet! gov and religious organizations will always be bent on overshadowing the "freedoms" of others because the general populace that called for them do not care to keep up with everything else they must immerse themselves in. truly it is hard to even remotely fathom an idea on how to fix this.but i suppose this is why nations are different....i would prefer the company of like minded people myself over most of my fellow countrymen anyday - progress and betterment all differ on who you are talking too
     
  18. prozak

    prozak Cross Inverter

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2002
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    What have they done in the intervening years that's so important or meritorious?
     
  19. speed

    speed Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    5,192
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    48

    Excellent comments. If anyone is interested, Oswald Spengler wrote a once influential book Called The Decline of the West after WWI. In it, he compared the histories of a variety of different cultures and their declines to the West, and concluded we are at the end of our present culture/belief/political structure. Of course, he first thought we would enter a period of what he called Caesarism in which politics would overwhelm money. At the time, he clearly thought the Nazis represented the final end of Western culture. Unfortunately he died in 1936.

    Cthulufhtagn: he thought the great thinkers appeared at the beginning of the culture, the great artists at the middle, and money and decadent civilization finished the cycle. Its a highly interesting mix of history and culture, Nietszche, classical philosophy, math and science, Hegel, and Goethe.

    Its a highly interesting book--in fact I believe Kissinger forced Nixon to read it. I highly recommend everyone to at least read the chapers on the State, and Money.
     
  20. Intoxicator

    Intoxicator Hell On Earth

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Messages:
    1,863
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Hubbard, Ohio
    Everything's relative. Civilizations of the past had their triumphs and failures, as do the civilizations of the present.
     

Share This Page