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saintinhell
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:19 am
Posts: 1426
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:11 am 
 

So we have briefly drifted to education, have we?? :lol: I fully agree, the passion to learn is gone...look, it is not mandatory that you have to like each and every subject you study, but it puzzles me that people could not be passionate about anything at all, that is just not human. :lol: Then again, it is because education is now seen as a means to upward mobility...there was none to be had in much of Asia for a long time because of misguided (or was it really misguided?? :P) egalitarian policies, so probably those who took to education at all did so because of the craving to acquire knowledge. But it is still a strange phenomenon...in the wake of cutting-edge technological progress, we ourselves are becoming lazy when it comes to polishing and perfecting our own "human" skills - everything is seen through the prism of "What's In It For Me".

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Woolie_Wool
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 6:56 pm
Posts: 1640
Location: Far beyond the prophecy of tyrant guardians
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:47 am 
 

Everything in all of history has been seen through the prism of "What's in it for me?" by the people who experienced it. That's the way human beings work.

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saintinhell
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:19 am
Posts: 1426
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:22 am 
 

While that's true - referring to Woolie Wool - earlier, the idea of deriving satisfaction or pleasure from learning was also valuable, something that satisfactorily answered the question "What's in it for me". Now, as caspian put it, the quest for the almighty dollar reigns supreme and all intangible gains are worthless.

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ksbluesfan
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:08 pm
Posts: 208
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:15 am 
 

Don't confuse the situation in bloated old world leaders with the whole world. Nations rise and fall. The US probably is fighting the decline right now, but countries like India and China are rising rapidly.

A major problem in the Western nations is the growing distance between the "haves" and "have nots". The "haves" are progressing at an unprecedented rate. The "have nots" are enjoying the fruits of progress, but they aren't doing their part to keep up. In a free society, you can't force people to keep up.

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SwedxSimon
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 5:25 am
Posts: 13
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:02 pm 
 

My position is that we should keep all the technology, but simply change our way we relate to it. Remember, you're as much of a body as you're a brain. Don't just passivly live through other peoples lives by watching TV and talk about celeberties (or even made up characters) through the internet. Those parts of life should be nothing but a parenthesis, if even that. Go out in the real world, spend your time on real activities and experience your own dramas.

Also, we need to become more aware of how humans work and what actually makes us happy. Disire and need are two very different things. Here's a pretty interesting article with some facts about happiness http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0, ... _1,00.html
and some quotes from it:

''When two American psychologists studied hundreds of students and focused on the top 10% "very happy" people, they found they spent the least time alone and the most time socialising. Psychologists know that increasing the number of social contacts a miserable person has is the best way of cheering them up. When Jean-Paul Sartre wrote "hell is other people", the arch-pessimist of existentialist angst was wrong.''

''Modern humans, stuck with an ancient brain, are like rats on a wheel. We can't stop running, because we're always looking over our shoulders and comparing our achievements with our neighbours'. At 20, we think we'd be happy with a house and a car. But if we get them, we start dreaming of a second home in Italy and a turbo-charged four-wheel-drive. This is called the "hedonic treadmill" by happiness scholars. It causes us to rapidly and inevitably adapt to good things by taking them for granted. The more possessions and accomplishments we have, the more we need to boost our level of happiness.''

''The brain systems for liking and wanting are separate. Wanting involves two ancient regions — the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens — that communicate using the chemical dopamine to form the brain's reward system. They are involved in anticipating the pleasure of eating and in addiction to drugs. A rat will press a bar repeatedly, ignoring sexually available partners, to receive electrical stimulation of the "wanting" parts of the brain. But having received brain stimulation, the rat eats more but shows no sign of enjoying the food it craved. In humans, a drug like nicotine produces much craving but little pleasure. "The things that you desire are not the things that you end up liking. The mechanisms of desire are insatiable. There are things that we really like and tire of less quickly — having good friends, the beauty of the natural world, spirituality. But our economic system plays into the psychology of wanting, and the psychology of liking gets drowned out."
(As for the spirituality part, you can reach ''spiritual'' heights even if you are aware of that they are merely chemical reactions in in the brain.)

''Comparing patients in a day-surgery waiting room with music and art on the walls against one with no music and plain white walls, Clow found that the art and music patients had lower heart-rates, blood pressure and cortisol, and needed less sedation before their surgery.''

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invoked
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:54 pm
Posts: 1709
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:51 pm 
 

I used to have the typical rebellious attitude, that "all modern life is meaningless". However, now I've come to realize that it's not so hard to reject the materialism, superficiality, and hedonism of our age. I'm far from achieving my own idea of perfection in body, mind, and spirit, but I've found life much more enjoyable when I stopped watching TV, buying garbage, eating crap, and destroying my body with substances.

I don't really care about getting the highest-paying job anymore, a huge house, fancy cars, and big TV's do not appeal to me. I'd only need enough money to support a family in modest accommodations, and to be able to provide for the education of my child(ren). My only conflict is that I don't want stuff, but I do want to travel. Ugh.
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ReigningChaos
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 7:36 pm
Posts: 339
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:54 pm 
 

Woolie_Wool's long post does an excellent job of showing that (at least in the West) people are much better off materially than they ever have been. Some people's lives will always suck, but now they are fewer, and their lives more tolerable.

If this reads like an incoherent stream of consciousness, I'm sorry.

The biggest drawback to modernity is the psychological toll it takes on a person. Our psyches evolved in environments exponentially different from our modern habitat, and because of humanity's unique capacity for cultural growth, our environment has changed at a pace our race has a very difficult time keeping up with. We have an instinctive desire to acquire knowledge. Despite all the [probably true] testimonies in this thread about people not caring about education, formal education does not have a monopoly on knowledge. We are just inquisitive beings. We have now reached a point where we have the technology to discover more about the universe than has ever been known. We also have centuries of discovery to look back upon. Humanity has accumulated a vast store of knowledge, and now we've reached a critical point. Our desire to learn about the world and to ascertain the truth is clashing with other psychological needs. The most obvious example of these "other needs" are the ones met by religion. As religious dogma crumbles from the scrutiny of rational and empirical investigation, faith too, crumbles. For some, this simply means living with a watered down version of their faith; for others, faith is abandoned all together. However, in a very small, very vocal minority, faith fights back. Fundamentalism rears its ugly head.

Once religion is gone, a void becomes present. I don't think it was until the existentialist movement of the 20th century that people began discussing this void freely. How many people are really satisfied with their lives? Who knows the anguish of the workman who whittles away his time in some trivial task, little more than a single bolt in a machine so large the whole cannot be seen from his perspective.

There is no "one size fits all" solution to the problems of modernity. Whether that is a bad thing is not for me to say. The responsibility lies with individuals to find meaning in their lives, and no one should allow anyone else to tell them what it is.
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BM_DM
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Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:47 am
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:37 pm 
 

SwedxSimon wrote:
''When two American psychologists...

Didn't the alarm bells start ringing at this point?

SwedxSimon wrote:
...studied hundreds of students and focused on the top 10% "very happy" people, they found they spent the least time alone and the most time socialising. Psychologists know that increasing the number of social contacts a miserable person has is the best way of cheering them up".

Or perhaps it's the best way of propagating the unquestioning hive mind, satisfied with the bread and circuses of contemporary consumer culture?

It sure as hell didn't cheer me up having to engage in any context that I wasn't getting paid for with the gaggle of slack-jawed, asinine, corporate-drones-in-waiting that it was my misfortune to have to taught (not psychology, I should hasten to add) at an undergraduate level in the early '90s. One of the reasons that I walked away from teaching was that I saw garnered so little pleasure from my engagement with them.

SwedxSimon wrote:
When Jean-Paul Sartre wrote "hell is other people", the arch-pessimist of existentialist angst was wrong.''

With the devastating and implacable force of a carefully-crafted line of deductive reasoning like this, who wouldn't be convinced that Sartre was wrong? What was I thinking all these years?

Psychology's status as an academic discipline is a tear-inducing giggle-fest to me. It's horseshit.
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BM_DM
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Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:47 am
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:58 pm 
 

ReigningChaos wrote:
Who knows the anguish of the workman who whittles away his time in some trivial task, little more than a single bolt in a machine so large the whole cannot be seen from his perspective.

Well, one thinker certainly springs to mind (see '9. Contradiction between the Productive Forces and the Form of Intercourse' and beyond).

Let's not get carried away. This isn't bible study, and there are no absolute truths to be gleaned by careful readers of his work, but the fact remains that his extraordinary exegesis of contemporary economic practice and its self-reproducing cultural determination in his own historical moment and its analogous implications for our own times has been largely effaced from today's largely ideology-'free' world.

That doesn't make it any less true to my mind, however.
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wight_ghoul
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 1:44 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:36 pm 
 

Modern life and the anomie that comes with it is very problematic; it's possible to say this is weighed out by the luxuries we (well, some of us) have but that is a pretty superficial way of looking at it. A lot of it just sounds like "we may not be happy or have any meaning to our lives, but at least we have a bunch of shit and live for a long time."

You should expect a lot of opposition to modern life here at least, metal is a largely anti-modern as it is to a notable extent made by an for the people that modernity shits on. If modern life was really that great then metal wouldn't even exist.

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ReigningChaos
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:57 pm 
 

BM_DM wrote:
Psychology's status as an academic discipline is a tear-inducing giggle-fest to me. It's horseshit.


Could you please elaborate on this? Calling the work of Pavlov, Piaget, Chomsky, Pinker, etc... horseshit is a charge worth expanding upon.
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BM_DM
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:47 am
Posts: 65
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:02 pm 
 

ReigningChaos wrote:
BM_DM wrote:
Psychology's status as an academic discipline is a tear-inducing giggle-fest to me. It's horseshit.

Could you please elaborate on this? Calling the work of Pavlov, Piaget, Chomsky, Pinker, etc... horseshit is a charge worth expanding upon.

Firstly, let me decouple Chomsky's political writings (and his linguistic ones, I suppose, if you care) from his other outpourings, as I value the former but couldn't give a rat's ass about the others.

Otherwise, I'm doctrinaire. Being determines consciousness, consciousness doesn't determine being.
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Hanggud
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Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:04 am
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:29 pm 
 

BM_DM wrote:
SwedxSimon wrote:
''When two American psychologists...

Didn't the alarm bells start ringing at this point?

SwedxSimon wrote:
...studied hundreds of students and focused on the top 10% "very happy" people, they found they spent the least time alone and the most time socialising. Psychologists know that increasing the number of social contacts a miserable person has is the best way of cheering them up".

Or perhaps it's the best way of propagating the unquestioning hive mind, satisfied with the bread and circuses of contemporary consumer culture?

It sure as hell didn't cheer me up having to engage in any context that I wasn't getting paid for with the gaggle of slack-jawed, asinine, corporate-drones-in-waiting that it was my misfortune to have to taught (not psychology, I should hasten to add) at an undergraduate level in the early '90s. One of the reasons that I walked away from teaching was that I saw garnered so little pleasure from my engagement with them.

SwedxSimon wrote:
When Jean-Paul Sartre wrote "hell is other people", the arch-pessimist of existentialist angst was wrong.''

With the devastating and implacable force of a carefully-crafted line of deductive reasoning like this, who wouldn't be convinced that Sartre was wrong? What was I thinking all these years?

Psychology's status as an academic discipline is a tear-inducing giggle-fest to me. It's horseshit.


Sure psychologist aren't magical beholders of the ultimate truth, but really, do you alone know better about the human species psyche than professional psychologists? Don't go with the ''badass metalhead who stands above the establishment's awareness'' crap. It's naive, narcissistic and frightfully anti-intellectual. Firstly, that the researches were American psychologists would automatically indicate it being pseudo-psychology is a pseudo-comment itself that hold no ground. And cut the nonsense about them deliberately (as if it were a conspiracy) trying to propagate for
''the unquestioning hive mind satisfied with the bread and circuses of contemporary consumer culture''.

Having many friends usually have little to do with being different per se, but more about having weak social skills (the two are very different things, don't mix them up). In fact, people who are individualistic/eccentric and at the same time have strong social skills are usually seen as more charismatic than socially strong people who easily submits to peer pressure. Of course it makes sense for people with few/no friends to try to blame their unpopularity on their (often non-existent) heroic individualism rather than that they simply fail to understand the complex nature of human social interaction.

Like it or not humans are a social animals. As much as some badass metalheads and existentialist philosophers would like to do just fine without others, they probably won't find true fulfillment on their own. Thought patterns based on tribal dynamics is the result of millions of years of evolution, that won't change just because one *wants* it to.

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Woolie_Wool
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 6:56 pm
Posts: 1640
Location: Far beyond the prophecy of tyrant guardians
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:19 am 
 

ReigningChaos wrote:
Woolie_Wool's long post does an excellent job of showing that (at least in the West) people are much better off materially than they ever have been. Some people's lives will always suck, but now they are fewer, and their lives more tolerable.

If this reads like an incoherent stream of consciousness, I'm sorry.

The biggest drawback to modernity is the psychological toll it takes on a person. Our psyches evolved in environments exponentially different from our modern habitat, and because of humanity's unique capacity for cultural growth, our environment has changed at a pace our race has a very difficult time keeping up with. We have an instinctive desire to acquire knowledge. Despite all the [probably true] testimonies in this thread about people not caring about education, formal education does not have a monopoly on knowledge. We are just inquisitive beings. We have now reached a point where we have the technology to discover more about the universe than has ever been known. We also have centuries of discovery to look back upon. Humanity has accumulated a vast store of knowledge, and now we've reached a critical point. Our desire to learn about the world and to ascertain the truth is clashing with other psychological needs. The most obvious example of these "other needs" are the ones met by religion. As religious dogma crumbles from the scrutiny of rational and empirical investigation, faith too, crumbles. For some, this simply means living with a watered down version of their faith; for others, faith is abandoned all together. However, in a very small, very vocal minority, faith fights back. Fundamentalism rears its ugly head.

Once religion is gone, a void becomes present. I don't think it was until the existentialist movement of the 20th century that people began discussing this void freely. How many people are really satisfied with their lives? Who knows the anguish of the workman who whittles away his time in some trivial task, little more than a single bolt in a machine so large the whole cannot be seen from his perspective.

There is no "one size fits all" solution to the problems of modernity. Whether that is a bad thing is not for me to say. The responsibility lies with individuals to find meaning in their lives, and no one should allow anyone else to tell them what it is.


Well, culture is always a work in progress, and today's modernity is tomorrow's antiquity. The US is heading towards de-industrialization as the focus of our economy shifts to services, IT, etc. and business shifts and the Third World picks up the industrial slack, and that will invariably have profound effects on our society and lifestyles.

Of course, human beings are fundamentally the same creatures that lived tens of thousands of years ago in a much different world. The plague of obesity, for instance is partially caused by the human brain being wired for "feast or famine" diets--you either had a lot of food, for instance from a game kill or successful harvest, or little to none. In this case, the sensible option is to gorge yourself while you can get it, because it may be a while before you have significant access to food again. In modern society, a copious amount of food is always available, and this can cause the human eating drive to run completely amok.

Quote:
Modern life and the anomie that comes with it is very problematic; it's possible to say this is weighed out by the luxuries we (well, some of us) have but that is a pretty superficial way of looking at it. A lot of it just sounds like "we may not be happy or have any meaning to our lives, but at least we have a bunch of shit and live for a long time."

The benefits of modern life are far from superficial. Imagine growing up in a pre-modern society. You will never have any hope of advancement in your life. You will do the job your father did and your father's father did, until you die (retirement? Forget it! If you can't work, you die!). You will work obscene hours (60 hour weeks were the norm in the early 20th century, I believe) in dangerous, back-breaking physical labor. You will likely never learn to read, or write, or understand much of the world around you.

From birth, you will be indoctrinated with religious lies with an intensity now only seen in the craziest backwoods redneck families. You will have Christianity and the threat of eternal damnation rammed down your throat. If you ever recant your faith, you will be tortured and executed in a macabre public spectacle. You will never be allowed to question the smallest detail of what you are taught.

The local constables or other keepers of the peace, through the authority of the king, will have total and unchecked power over your life (unless you lived in the United States during the 19th century, but the early US was not exactly the land of the free either, at least not on the local level). If you complain about your lot in life or complain about just about anything, you will be locked into a wooden board for hours while painfully bent over, strapped into a chair and subjected to a primitive form of waterboarding, or otherwise degraded. If you commit a more serious crime, you will be branded, flogged, or have a limb cut off (with a saw, none of this fancy surgery and anaesthesia bullshit), or a combination of those. In a relatively recent era, you will be locked in a cold and barren cell and subjected to starvation and unspeakable diseases from the awful condition of the food and water you do get.

In your childhood, you will be beaten and thrashed by your parents or your teachers, if you attend school, which you will likely not, for every possible lapse in behavior. You will get childhood diseases, many of which are now largely extinct, and there will be no medicine and no vaccinations to ease your suffering. From an early age you will be sent to the fields or factory, and will work as long and hard as the adults. At this point, there is a very good chance you will die before your eighteenth birthday.

Perhaps, on the cusp of adulthood, the military will snatch you up by force, and you will be thrown into brutal hand-to-hand or rank-firing combat, or aboard a rickety wooden ship, where you had a chance as good as one in three of dying right there. Should you miraculously survive being wounded, you will beg for sustenance or steal it for the remainder of your life. People will shoo you away and possibly kill you as you attempt to acquire food and clothing, and you will die, forgotten.

Should you survive youth, you will probably be married off to a woman, maybe a stranger. If you don't get along, tough shit--there is no such thing as divorce, and adultery ranges from a serious offense to punishable by death. If you are a homosexual, you will never reveal your sexual identity or indulge your feelings with another man on pain of brutal, violent, and very, very public death, as an example to other "sodomites". You will continue to work, scraping up barely enough money, food, or land (depending on the times and economy you live in) to survive. You will go hungry, you will work through pain and illness, you will pass on your ignorance and superstition to your numerous children. Some of them will die, and you will weep and mourn as you bury several of your own flesh and blood.

If you suffer from mental illness, perhaps they will just kill you, or lock you in an asylum not entirely dissimilar to one of the aforementioned prisons, except with doctors who may "experiment" with you. If you suffer from a bad injury, it will get infected, and you will die over several agonizing days or weeks.

After all this, you will still die young, with maybe forty years behind you. Maybe, if you were righteous enough, you believe that will go to heaven and be Jesus Christ's bitch for all eternity. If not, you will plunge into the lake of fire, where you will be burned, chewed up, violated, skewered, and subjected to tortures that the Spanish Inquisition would be proud of forever and ever and ever. (Of coure, hell doesn't exist, but to a person living in the pre-modern world, it was as real as anything else.)

Is this the life you want?

The world can be a lonely, cruel place, but dismantling modern society is throwing the baby out with the bathwater and oversimplifying an extremely complex aspect of the human condition.

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MikeyC
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:33 am 
 

Woolie_Wool wrote:
(stuff)

Is this the life you want?

The world can be a lonely, cruel place, but dismantling modern society is throwing the baby out with the bathwater and oversimplifying an extremely complex aspect of the human condition.


That is an excellent point. Perhaps people these days who consider life to be too materialistic and spiralling out of control should take a step back and see what life really was like a few hundred years ago. Technology has advanced us in the fact that we have the means to cure some diseases and help us in our daily lives. Of course, there are drawbacks, but as you've clearly stated, the positives outweigh the negatives by far.

So no, that is not the life I want. Like you said, the world is lonely and cruel. I've found that out quickly. But it's not all bad.

I think what makes the early 20th century life simpler is the fact that everyone knew their place early. These days, you can be or do anything, which scares and intimidates people, as they don't knw where they belong. I feel like that, too.

Every era has good and bad qualities that can't compare with modern life. :)
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saintinhell
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:19 am
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:33 am 
 

invoked wrote:
My only conflict is that I don't want stuff, but I do want to travel. Ugh.


rofl :lol: that is my dilemma too, I have bought out of the big middle class dream, it doesn't appeal to me anymore....rather than driving a big, fuel-guzzling car and venting frustration at the traffic on fellow commuters, I would rather bear the rush hour crush of public transport and get to work quicker. It gives me so much 'metal' time as bonus. :lol: A big house would be so hard to maintain, a white elephant in fact :P and having seen ten people live happily within the space of my kitchen, I find even a regular apartment quite opulent as it were. But fuck, I wanna see all the wonderful places in the world..the Pyramids, the Eiffel Tower, Vienna, the African Serengeti..confound it, I haven't even seen Taj Mahal yet and I want to see a wild tiger before they become extinct all that is gonna cost a lot of money. :lol: Oh well, I hope with time these fanciful desires too can be resisted.

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BM_DM
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:47 am
Posts: 65
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:10 am 
 

Hanggud wrote:
Firstly, that the researches were American psychologists would automatically indicate it being pseudo-psychology is a pseudo-comment

It's the fact that they're psychologists that makes me queasy, not their nationality. Nevertheless, thanks for all the ad hominems.

The authors of this robust study were doubtless PhDs in psychology.

A discipline that wants to crown some of its proponents as intellectual titans, and denounce others as charlatans is in the business of peddling more or less refined grades of snake oil.
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wight_ghoul
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 1:44 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 2:28 pm 
 

Woolie_Wool wrote:
Is this the life you want?

Yes, bad things could happen in the 'olden days.' Quality/quantity of life issues to me remain superficial when compared to the problem of meaning vs. anomie in one's life.

Woolie_Wool wrote:
Modern Western civilization is the only thing that could have allowed metal to exist...

But without modern civilization metal would never have reason to exist... let's not give it too much credit.

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Woolie_Wool
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 6:56 pm
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Location: Far beyond the prophecy of tyrant guardians
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:19 pm 
 

wight_ghoul wrote:
Woolie_Wool wrote:
Is this the life you want?

Yes, bad things could happen in the 'olden days.' Quality/quantity of life issues to me remain superficial when compared to the problem of meaning vs. anomie in one's life.


This is absurd on its very face. Are you seriously suggesting that anomie is worse than dying a drawn-out, painful death at a young age in a world where you have no hope of advancement, no rights, and people dying all around you? Are you mentally ill?

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wight_ghoul
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:28 am 
 

Woolie_Wool wrote:
This is absurd on its very face. Are you seriously suggesting that anomie is worse than dying a drawn-out, painful death at a young age in a world where you have no hope of advancement, no rights, and people dying all around you?

More or less, although you're arguing your own dichotomy more than mine. Most of the issues are kind of irrelevant to the comparison; having no rights, hope of advancement (etc.) don't matter if you don't even realize you're missing out and are perfectly content with your lot in life. I'm thinking more along the lines of Berger's nomos/anomie model here.

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Woolie_Wool
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:03 pm 
 

wight_ghoul wrote:
Woolie_Wool wrote:
This is absurd on its very face. Are you seriously suggesting that anomie is worse than dying a drawn-out, painful death at a young age in a world where you have no hope of advancement, no rights, and people dying all around you?

More or less, although you're arguing your own dichotomy more than mine. Most of the issues are kind of irrelevant to the comparison; having no rights, hope of advancement (etc.) don't matter if you don't even realize you're missing out and are perfectly content with your lot in life. I'm thinking more along the lines of Berger's nomos/anomie model here.


So you think someone's suffering is unimportant if the person doesn't know of any other life? Suffering, pain, oppression, and death are real, not abstractions. Anything that minimizes those four things is greatly preferred by normal people over the alternative. Yeah, I'm sure the Egyptians who slaved away in quarries to build the pyramids for decades while the pharaoh enjoyed the greatest opulence and splendor available in 2,000 B.C. must have been perfectly happy and not at all resentful of their great king, right?

Somehow, I doubt it. And if you showed America to these ancient Egyptians and gave them a chance to go there, I guarantee they would be ex-ancient Egyptians. Probably even more tempting than the material wealth, better health, and long life would be the most underrated aspect of all in modern life: self-determination.

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wight_ghoul
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:29 pm 
 

What are you comparing exactly? Being a slave in Egypt vs. being an average middle class American citizen?

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greysnow
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:01 am
Posts: 378
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:01 am 
 

I second Woolie_Wool on all counts here.

I have always been skeptical about metal fans' fascination with anti-modernism. It certainly has its entertainment value, somewhat akin to reading a fantasy novel. But when a person starts seriously buying into it they need to have their head examined.

First of all, the vista presented to us of pre-modern times in metal lyrics and imagery is mostly ridiculous stuff, straight out of comic-book fantasy or B-grade fantasy movies. Brave warriors riding down mountainsides, brave warriors carousing in mead halls, brave warriors standing on a hill in the middle of the woods and shaking their fists at the sky, my ass. It doesn't get any geekier. It's great entertainment (I love Manowar, I love Abbath's I), but you have to take it for what it is or be laughed at by every serious person.

It's when this starts to get "intellectualized" that people earnestly begin deceiving themselves. Not only are all the things that Woolie_Wool listed in his extensive reality check true, but people are also mistaken about the contentment thing. The smaller and the more archaic a community, the more vigorously is social control exercised over its members. Your life will consist mainly of duties only. There is no dichotomy of law vs. mores. If you behave socially inappropriately (and you will not get to be the one to judge that), you will be censored harshly, in some cases banned to survive on your own in a decidedly unfriendly and uncaring world without a social security network or even a decent hospital in sight, or even killed (think adultery). Fuck, even an innocent wank might get you into trouble, depending on the time and culture. To live a contented life in such an atmosphere requires a completely bigoted, narrow-horizon ultraconservative utter dumbfuck of a person, and that's exactly what most of our glorious ancestors were.
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Human666
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 11:59 am
Posts: 366
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:14 pm 
 

Woolie_Wool wrote:
(read the Bible, no really, the book of Leviticus. Notice what it commands the Hebrews to do to conquered tribes. It tells the Hebrews to KILL THEM ALL, including their children and their livestock, except for the virgin girls, whom they were expected to take as sex slaves. How fucked up is that?)


Dude, the bible is a groundless book. Don't refer it as historical book :)

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SigurdOrSiegfried
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:25 am
Posts: 65
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:11 pm 
 

The Book of Levicticus may be true or untrue, but it shows us the mindset of people in those times.
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Singularity
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun May 07, 2006 10:17 pm
Posts: 397
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:08 pm 
 

BM_DM wrote:
Hanggud wrote:
Firstly, that the researches were American psychologists would automatically indicate it being pseudo-psychology is a pseudo-comment

It's the fact that they're psychologists that makes me queasy, not their nationality. Nevertheless, thanks for all the ad hominems.

The authors of this robust study were doubtless PhDs in psychology.

A discipline that wants to crown some of its proponents as intellectual titans, and denounce others as charlatans is in the business of peddling more or less refined grades of snake oil.


Can you provide clear reasons and well-documented evidence to support the claim that psychology as a serious academic discipline is completely unworthy of any merit?
Just don't point to isolated instances of an established opinion that was later proved false or some theory that was completely reversed after further studies. I am saying this because I can easily describe some parallel situations in the hard sciences like Physics where scientists have had held on to incorrect explanations for centuries.

I do admit however that I am extremely sceptical of findings that get published in non-scientific magazines, especially the ones that make dramatic, far-reaching generalizations about human nature. Unfortunately given the sensational nature of these conclusions, they are likely to get more attention from the public rather than a more serious publication that is narrow in scope, more technical in language and makes more modest claims. The topic in question here, one regarding "happiness" is a good example of what I am saying. Happiness is extremely subjective, poorly defined term and no serious scientific inference can be made based on asking people if they are just "happy". Surely, the concept of a happy life
is itself not some static ideal lasting throughout one's lifetime.
However, if you are forming opinions on the discipline based on such popular articles, then they are sure to be deeply flawed.

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Morrigan
Crone of War

Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2002 7:27 am
Posts: 9624
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:00 pm 
 

Woolie_Wool wrote:
Yeah, I'm sure the Egyptians who slaved away in quarries to build the pyramids for decades while the pharaoh enjoyed the greatest opulence and splendor available in 2,000 B.C. must have been perfectly happy and not at all resentful of their great king, right?

Nitpick: the Egyptians who built the pyramids were workers, not slaves. They were paid. :) Not that they had the great modern work conditions or anything, but by the standards of the time they were treated fairly well.

Quote:
Somehow, I doubt it. And if you showed America to these ancient Egyptians and gave them a chance to go there, I guarantee they would be ex-ancient Egyptians. Probably even more tempting than the material wealth, better health, and long life would be the most underrated aspect of all in modern life: self-determination.

You can't possibly know that. It's easy to make that kind of assumption, but do not underestimate the loyalty and attachment of people to their culture, their tribe, their gods and their community. Not everyone values self-determination like we do, even today.

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