Change the World: The Choice discussion

How much life do you have? How much life do you get?

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message 1: by Lewis (new)

Lewis (lewclark) | 32 comments Mod
Working Through the Beauty

Passionately in love with freedom; isolation from necessities of commerce, I’m alone in my room with my words; unemployed some might say, but I employ myself. I don’t wake to sleep through my day in a haze of dread, boredom and drowsiness, no; I wake to live, to fulfil my ambitions and desires. Life is whatever we want it to be and though some of us desire nothing more than servitude and reward; saving our way to a better future through inconsequential and insubstantial gains, I prefer to feel.

I want to feel the daytime caress as the sun calls me to wake through the crack in the curtains; that late morning sunshine as it peeks above the trees through thin, wispy clouds. I want to feel the sweet kiss of the gentle rain as I wander down damp smelling roads in comfortable shoes and bed-rest hair, looking at clouds that hold my million muse drops in big grey sacks. I want to appreciate the sun falling in the afternoon as I lay in a park on the grass cradling a dog-eared tome, watching the shadows fill the page as the sun creeps back below the trees in an orange and purple sky.

You, working all day, five days a week, why don’t you sieve through your days and see how many wonders the trickling hours have left behind. How many sweet scents lie under the aroma of stale coffee and sticky, sweaty keyboards; all yellow from dried skin and time on grey or white plastic. How many of those hours were gloriously yours; free from impending chore? How many moments of your life are worth living? Is this the life you would choose for yourself; working through the beauty?

message 2: by Lewis (new)

Lewis (lewclark) | 32 comments Mod
There was a philosopher called Lafargue who wrote 'The Right to be Lazy' a political pamphlet designed to promote workers to raise up there hands an say no to the shackles of long working hours and capitalist exploitation.
He recommends that people should restrict there working day to three hours.
Now think about this one, if everyone worked three hours a day. This means everyone having a job. There would be more work to go around and we would have more freedom to enjoy life.
Now i understand that there are jobs that need more than three hours work a day. E.g. doctors, builders etc. But there are a hell of a lot of other jobs that do not.
Leisure. Do we get enough of it?

We have a right to free time. Two days a week? Is that enough? Cramped either side by a five day working shift that drains you! It's not good enough. We have a right to more time off. Im not suggesting that Lafargue's idea is perfect or the only one, but he placed a hell of a lot of importance on free time. And so should we. We can change it, its just a choice. A choice between doing what were told and not.

Leisure has led to the finest human achievements. Great works of literature, paintings, music, film. Inventions where scientists enjoy (the key word here) thinking of new ideas that will revolutionise the world. Leisure leaves room for intellectual development, leaves us room to flourish. I don't know about you but even though i am a creative person i don't feel the room or the time to really expound upon my thoughts and impulses.

What do you think?

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

oh man, I had a really cool response typed up but then I realized that I was logged in as the person who owns this computer so, here goes (again. I hate having to type the same things twice.. : )

well, I totally agree. work completely drains us to where, we can never really do anything productive (personally, on a small scale). but the small things matter the most because they are what composes the large things. just imagine how much more peace-full we would all be as a community..everyone would get their needs met. Lennons' 'imagine' is running threw my head as I'm typing this..haha.

I know this will seem a bit far-fetched but consider this-- because we are gettin so techno-logical, we could totally create robots to do the work for us. when people think of robots being enslaved by us humans, we often think of the robots then rebelling and taking over..we can thank the media for that. but, see, if we program them to only work (because they would be creating their mindsets) they would never want to rebel.

if we were given the choice to either follow our dreams or work at a piece of shit job just to get the green, just *imagine* how many more revolutionaries we will see just spring up where we thought it was impossible. of course, everyone would have the choice to do manual labor and all, if you wanted. but now, we would have a choice.

then again, means determine ends so..if we imprison other 'things' to achieve our freedom, we will most likely be imprisoned by something else..

its a weird concept but..think about it.

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

oops, I meant to type that *we* would be creating the robot's mindsets..

message 5: by Lewis (new)

Lewis (lewclark) | 32 comments Mod
Well i agree with you as long as nothing artificial is created. we would of course have to scrap the idea of economics as we know it and work out a way of sharing resources equally.
As we can see from communism etc this doesnt work as people are greedy and theres always someone who thinks they deserve more.
Common manufacturing jobs could be scrapped along with alot of warehousing stuff, just a few people working three hour shifts etc.

As a concept it is good but like you say there is morality involved and we need to be sure that the things we are creating are not going to be harmed because we created intelligence. It has to be completly algorithmic with no mind attached.
Although saying this they still havent come up with anything from the turing test or the chinese room theory to work out how to make ai yet neway.

Thanks for the post rosmeri it was insightful, you have a good heart and a ready mind, exactly the opposite of what most people seem to employ in there everyday reality :D lew x

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

oh yeah, artificial-ness creating more artificial-ness is a simply frightening, not to mention disturbing, idea. I would not support that in any way..just imagine, 900 robots sitting in a complete techno-lab, sittin there, cracking jokes in whatever the fuck robot-humor is, while creating little-mini robots to serve them..ugh. haha. this is my nightmare.

yeah, it would be totally beauty-full if we all started sharing resources - equally. communism would have worked out if it weren't for that one guy who wanted more green. but I don't think greed it a part of human nature. out of fear and laziness, our ancestors started to say that it was human nature to have greed, lust, envy etc. the only thing that creates that is just having a human body and any number of discomfort. but, it is not apart of our genetics. (sorry, I tend to rant in this subject cause many people don't live up to their full potential because of so-called 'human nature')

I was thinking about this cool quote today and thought I should share it- 'what would you do if you knew you could not fail'. the author is unknown..I don't know, typing this made me think of that. : )

did you read In Praise of Idleness? it kinda remind me of that. Russel is fuckin genius!

by the way, thank you for inviting me to this group...its really interesting and talks about things the average american wouldn't enjoy talking about..if I even tried discussing this, they would prob just blink and walk away..haha.

message 7: by Lewis (new)

Lewis (lewclark) | 32 comments Mod
Haha i agree with you about the whole human nature thing, i think its just a poor excuse not to live up to potential. Were so happy with out 'scientific' explanations for things, but all they do is encourage the idea that its a dog-eat-dog world with no true altruism or kindness. We all need to be philosophers.
I think people assume that just because Plato is set up on a pedestal as a kind of genius and descartes was a fantastic mathematician, mill was a political activist and kant, sartre and camus were all intellectuals this means there goals and aims are unatainable; there ways of thinking are too different and elevted from our own.
But there not. Look at socrates, he is sometimes referred to as wise, but he wasnt ignorant enough to think that. We all have a long way to go, a lot of self improvement to make. Life is a journey, and we need to choose between what is easy and what is right (as Dumbledore says hehe.
That quote reminds me of a song i wrote: 'If you could just stop the world what would you do today?'.

I dont think we are all innatley greedy. Im more inclined to take the Bill Hicks point of view and suggest that all people are innatley good but there are powers beyond there control that force them to become something they are not. It's a kind of environmental psychology. If we start to change our environment, and change its motivations, we start to change the way that most people think. Because sadly enough most people are weak, they are scared of individuality because it pits them up against a world that is very frightening and over assuming.

I havent read Bertrand's book but i've heard about it, there's so much great philosophy out there and he's another one who wants us to redefine our conceptions, which are, sadly, innatley flawed (as Aristotle would say).

Lew x

message 8: by Lewis (new)

Lewis (lewclark) | 32 comments Mod
This is my conception of people and Individuality:

I don’t think people are weak as such, I think many of them choose to be weak by viewing ‘individuality’ as a kind of dead and scornful concept because it doesn’t reinforce the way they view their life and surroundings. Now I find this very understandable, mainly because this choice was made at an age where being individual was a very hard thing to do, the age where were growing up and understanding ourselves, and the last thing we need is for other people to laugh at us for understanding it all wrong. The root of this conformity resides within the early years of school education, from an impressionable age were shown that being yourself is nothing but trouble to add to the already scary concept of living among people you don’t know in a place that's at first unfamiliar.
‘Being yourself’, this concept in itself is perverse because at the age where you are becoming yourself you’re actually learning to be someone else, you’re not anyone yet, you will be that's for sure, but you don’t know who to be and its generally easier to be who everyone else is, at least until you reach a better age to decide.
As time goes by you become a different somebody else, and at a certain point many of us strive to attain a different kind of norm, the idea of ‘being different’ has become cool, you could be a Goth, a Chav, an Emo, a Skater and a number of other ‘different’ things. That generally is the extent to which individuality is utilised, and the concept itself has been turned into something generic, to be in any-one of these ‘different’ groups is not to be normal (whatever that is) but it comes with its own badge of honour that is upheld by a group of other ‘different’ people, all of which prescribe to the same values in clothes, music, taste etc. Now when all of these people have chosen their own brand of differentness, is the mass of the few really normal anymore?
It’s those real individual’s who’ve got no-one to polish their badge, that walk the gauntlet of social death every day that define what being normal is really about, even if one sense of the word is distorted (that it is indeed the norm, or the majority in society). That small fraction who gave the big ‘fuck you to what you think’ and said ‘here’s what I think’, (which as far as I’m concerned is human nature, to be subjective and experience life from your own point of view) are those who face persecution by the banal elite of the world, and they’re the people who have the strength to stand up against it, in the name of all that's original and what can be seen by a few as true individuality.

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

the media, yet again, is to blame for the whole 'dog-eat-dog' encourages selfishness, therfor, giving corporations more money and with that, power..ugh. disgusting, don't you think? it makes me doubt the existence of a government that is *actually* for the people.

oh yeah, I agree with that. I have never really thought of it that way before but, I totally agree.

your quote is really interesting to think about too.. just imagine, playing the stereotypical god for an hour..the world would be rid of all governing or people who feel a need to control -everything-. have you ever met that type of person? yet, I am glad that I know how many goddamn many of them I know cause, now I value liberty. I would have taken it for granted if I was never without it.

oh man, you a like spot on! you should write a book! I can totally agree with you, just imagine if every humanoid was in fresh air daily, with sun on their heads, and books on their walls, loving non-restricting parents, and healthy food in their bellies..the world would be completely different. this is the answer to peace= just change their environment of an individual.

to your second message= yet again, you should write a book. its odd how when we reach a certain age, we all want to be unique but wanting to be unique only makes you the same..haha. if only we all realized that simple truth.. : )

by the way, sorry bout the late response! I always hate it when other people take days to respond yet, here I am, unconsciously emulating them..

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

here is my perception of individuality-
I believe there isn't such a thing as individuality. it is just us being attached to our egos that we created this illusion of being an individual. there is no individuality. there is only the illusion of the ego. we are all one. not just man but, animal, sky, bird and so forth. we are made of the same 'stuff' therfor, we are one. a coin may have 2 sides but, if you separate yourself from the sides you will see in between the sides, the same thing holding it together. it is made of the same. we are the same, brother. just a different face of the spiritual cosmos. yet, duality is nonexistent.

this is my perception of individuality. I *obviously* : ) haven't let go of 'the' 'ego' 'yet' but, hahaha, I'm conscious of it.

message 11: by Lewis (new)

Lewis (lewclark) | 32 comments Mod
Yeah i can agree with that. The idea that were all one can be see in the buddhist teachings (not that im religious but if i had an inclination it would be to these more open minded religions, that don't try to indoctrinate with liturgy and ceremony.)

The thing is we are all one, a touch of the divine experiencing life subjectivly. 'There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream and you are the imagination of yourself...(but people dont want to hear that so 'here's tom with the weather' (Bill Hicks).

Individuality obviously exists but there are so few indiviuals. Individuals are people who are telling us something new, resisting common ideologies and taught thought practices. People who don't believe everything in the newspapers; people who aren't afraid to question something they read in a science book (e.g. evolution - a good topic of conversation?); who don't want to wear what there friends and wearing and buy in to the consumerist dog-eat-dog culture, (which is so far from egalitarian that it would probably make Gandhi's nose bleed and give Karl Marx (not that he's a luminary) heart failure if they were still alive).

How many individuals do you know? How many people will sit down and have a conversation like this with somebody without an agenda to uphold. An agenda they don't know there upholding but are subconsciously representing.
Money is the new god. We worship the things we buy as the things that represent us, as the things that give life meaning in a reductionist, puerile and over indoctrinated world. Where freedom does not recognise necessity (as Hegel said and as Engels uses) let alone the thoughts and feelings that need to be accepted and the atmosphere required for intellectual advancement. As mill says:

‘Society is insipid: It discourages serious discussion, it is only useful to social climbers, while those already at the top could no more than comply with the customs and demands of their is debasing to the intellectual, whose feelings and principles could only be lowered with contact to it’

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