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caspian
Wanderer of the Wastes

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
Posts: 6119
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:03 am 
 

Perhaps it's just me, but I've noticed more and more that Primitivism, or some sort of generational nostalgia, or whatever you want to call it is getting more and more popular- not just among the metal populace and other 'fringes or respectable society', if you will, but also among people in general. The usual complaints from the elder generation aside, people in many different walks of life seem to be having an increasing amount of nostalgia for simpler, older times, whether they were born in it or not.

Honestly, I find most complaints about today's society to be completely ungrounded, and it seems like most people pine for some sort of golden age that never existed. One common age people think was something of a golden era, (in Australia, anyway), is the 50's- but the idea of having no computers- or many other comforts, much stricter laws regarding almost anything you care to name, the ominous threat of some Nuclear Holocaust (not to mention Pop Music that's FAR worse then anything today) and the lack of free speech in general.. well it's terrible.

And on it goes. Obviously the 1950's isn't the only time people yearn for, but no other age is as good as this one either. Sure, 2000 years ago there may have been more forests and pretty scenery, but other tribes could come along and chop your head off, you would have no teeth left by the time you're 20, you'd die when you where 40, etc etc. It seems to me to be fairly obvious that modern life is the best it's ever been, and it's best to enjoy it.

Furthermore, the idea that people are getting stupider seems crazy as well. There are those who talk about TV and other media controlling people's lives- sure, there's an aspect of that, but the level of control, in my opinion, is much lesser then it was before. Today the media may manage to whip up a bit of controversy about some moral outrage or what have you- but these days, the controversy will typically end with some courtcase and maybe a few angry words. 400 years ago, some sort of 'moral outrage' would have ended in a few people, or a whole race/subculture getting executed in a way (witch huntings, lynchings etc). Also, people are more educated then ever before- at least if we're basing 'education' on literacy rates. Because people don't have to worry about getting food/avoiding the plague/avoiding the other tribe, they're actually able to learn about stuff. (Not to say that everyone does want to 'learn about stuff', though.)

So! Modern life is good. People are smarter then they ever have been. here's hoping someone will disagree with some of my comments, otherwise this post will have been quite unnecessary.

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Thorgrim_Honkronte
Imperius Rexxz

Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 4:40 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:06 am 
 

Good points, although I really don't think modern life styles are under rated, in fact I would think most people living in industrialized nations at least will say they'd rather be living the way they are now than to give up all of the comforts which the society brings them. There are some things that I'd like to see changed about how we live our lives though. We've come a long way as a species and I'd really hate to see it all be thrown away by our carelessness.
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saintinhell
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:19 am
Posts: 1426
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:26 am 
 

Since India has been - what -40-50 years behind the West :P I have seen in my relatively short existence both the old and the new. I approve of all the modern technological developments; they have certainly made life better for us. On the other hand, it is we who are now making life difficult for ourselves. The amount of greed and insecurity that I see these days makes me concerned that civil wars and/or revolutions are never too far away. Notwithstanding Iraq, the world is by and large tired of external wars, so the ordinary civilian seems to be retaliating by becoming intolerant and violent.

Caring, compassion, sympathy might well be vices in today's society..if you are not rude, inhuman, greedy and in-your-face, you are FAIL. This attitude, combined with the corporate world's flawed belief that their employees are indefatigable beyond any limits, is a potent recipe for disaster. And I fear we have already trod too far down this path to retrace our steps.

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caspian
Wanderer of the Wastes

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
Posts: 6119
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:35 am 
 

saintinhell wrote:
Caring, compassion, sympathy might well be vices in today's society..if you are not rude, inhuman, greedy and in-your-face, you are FAIL. This attitude, combined with the corporate world's flawed belief that their employees are indefatigable beyond any limits, is a potent recipe for disaster. And I fear we have already trod too far down this path to retrace our steps.


I will admit that the 'invention' of the multinational corporation was a huge disaster. Honestly though, I think Caring, Compassion and Sympathy are still highly valued traits, but sure, I'd concede that greed- or the almighty quest for the dollar- has gotten out of hand.

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LindisfarneAnno793
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:09 am
Posts: 447
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:58 am 
 

caspian wrote:
[Opening post]


You make some very interesting points. Indeed, I will admit that there have been times when I have yearned for a simpler life in a time that is long gone, but these have been fanciful thoughts and nothing more - certainly not complaints about today. As you have said, life in the present day is far better than life, say, 500 years ago, or even 50 years ago. Even this, though, depends on where you live, what your socioeconomic status is, and what have you. In some parts of the world, the threat of having some other tribe come along and chop your head off is still pretty present.

In any case, as for a generational nostalgia: I can't say I've observed this in anyone I've had conversations with. In fact, a lot of people I know are oblivious to what life was before they were born; some of them are even quite oblivious to what life is like today, if you know what I mean. They barely see past what happens in their immediate circumstances, and the outside world doesn't concern them at all. Conflict in Africa? OMGWTFLOL where IS Africa?

As for the issue of 'moral outrage' ending in a courtcase and a few angry words - this may often be the case, but consider the backlashes against the Pope's comments about Islam, the Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad, or the teacher who allowed a teddy bear to be named Muhammad? There is clearly still potential in the world for extreme responses to incidents that may or may not have warranted such a response. While my examples all involved Muslims, these are simply the examples most present in my mind - I'm not saying that Muslims and only Muslims have the potential to respond extremely when they are offended. The very fact that they do, though, creates the reasonable possibility that others might also respond similarly in provocative circumstances.

On your statement that modern life is good - yes, humans have reached a stage where life can be very comfortable, convenient, safe, and healthy. Such is certainly the case in Australia (though not all people in Australia have high standards of living). However, I think a more accurate statement is "Modern life might/would/could be good". I agree with you insofar as that humans have great potential for living well in the modern day, and many people do live very well. However, the difference between how humans could live in the modern day and how humans do live in the modern day, is highly variable throughout the world.
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saintinhell
Metalhead

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Posts: 1426
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:17 am 
 

caspian wrote:
Honestly though, I think Caring, Compassion and Sympathy are still highly valued traits, but sure, I'd concede that greed- or the almighty quest for the dollar- has gotten out of hand.


Well, people only pay lip service to those traits...when the time arises to demonstrate it themselves, they wimp out and that's the sad truth. As for the other part of your opening post, Re: Nostalgia, I personally shall have nothing of it....it is a human characteristic to dream about the past, fret about the present and worry about the future. We are never happy with the now and that is where things like discontent, jealousy, greed take root. Having said that, because avenues to satiate said greed were probably fewer say a couple of decades ago even, people were probably nice to each other as of now, at least more so than now.

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MikeyC
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:16 am
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:37 am 
 

caspian wrote:
Sure, 2000 years ago there may have been more forests and pretty scenery, but other tribes could come along and chop your head off, you would have no teeth left by the time you're 20, you'd die when you where 40, etc etc. It seems to me to be fairly obvious that modern life is the best it's ever been, and it's best to enjoy it.


That's an interesting point you made there. There are a lot of people that see this day and age is killing the Earth. I, for one, am one of those people. I just seem to think that the way we are now, we're putting our planet under immeasurable stress.

Having said that, you are correct in saying that we are living in healthier times, in terms of our own health and wellbeing. But that's about it. It's unfortunate we can't compensate them both.

caspian wrote:
Furthermore, the idea that people are getting stupider seems crazy as well. There are those who talk about TV and other media controlling people's lives- sure, there's an aspect of that, but the level of control, in my opinion, is much lesser then it was before.


This is all personal opinion. I do believe people are getting less intelligent (I, myself, am Exhibit A :P). These days, things like the Internet/computers and calculators and other forms of technology are not stimulating our brain. Fifty years ago, using your mind was a part of life, these days, you need to go out of your way to keep your mind active.

Again, just my opinion. :)
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caspian
Wanderer of the Wastes

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
Posts: 6119
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:40 am 
 

Quote:
Well, people only pay lip service to those traits...when the time arises to demonstrate it themselves, they wimp out and that's the sad truth.


Now this also ties in with my originial post. Has there ever been a time when it was anything MORE then lip service? I would personally say no, although admitedly I don't really have any good examples of it.

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UtUmNo1
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 147
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:14 am 
 

I occasionally have feelings of regret for what we have become. But let me explain: I'm currently in a third world country doing my bit to help out where I can. In a moment of reflection, I was pondering the abject poverty that many people in this country suffer, and how little, in monetary terms, it would take to make these people happy. Then it hit me: they are happy. Sure, they don't have all the luxuries I have, but they take a real pleasure in a much simplified existence. They have their families and their children. They are able to provide for their own sustanance. The pressures of their world are far less than mine.

It lead me towards a bit of leftist, hippy epiphany that I really didn't want to experience... why do I struggle for this material existence. What has the government of Australia done to turn us all into a '50" plasma generation'? I strive to achieve in order to gain a better wage in order for what? A bigger television? A new car every three years? I could quite easily survive, well nourished, disease free and provide for my family on less than half of what I earn, yet I want more.

It lead me to ask; have we lost sight of what we are striving for and are we much better off now that every whim is catered for with material wealth for all?

Am I happier than the poor people of the developing world? I doubt it.


Last edited by UtUmNo1 on Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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caspian
Wanderer of the Wastes

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
Posts: 6119
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:20 am 
 

Quote:
caspian wrote:
Furthermore, the idea that people are getting stupider seems crazy as well. There are those who talk about TV and other media controlling people's lives- sure, there's an aspect of that, but the level of control, in my opinion, is much lesser then it was before.


This is all personal opinion. I do believe people are getting less intelligent (I, myself, am Exhibit A :P). These days, things like the Internet/computers and calculators and other forms of technology are not stimulating our brain. Fifty years ago, using your mind was a part of life, these days, you need to go out of your way to keep your mind active.


But on the other hand, things like the internet/computers/calculators have enabled people to do stuff that was previously out of reach from, well, everyone. I personally think the internet has plenty of avenues of brain stimulation- sure, it's mainly an avenue of porn- but in general it has a vast amount of information on anything you care to name.

Also: Did people really use their minds more 50 years ago? It's unlikely. The vast majority of people were probably like most of us these days- work, come home, have a few beers and watch TV or listen to the wireless. I imagine the proportion of thinkers/non thinkers has remained fairly static, and the invention of computers (and everything that comes along with it) just means that it's easier to stimulate your min.

UtUmNo1 has a good point as well, but it's not necessarily valid. it seems like while people in a poorer country may be more content in good times, I imagine they're a lot more depressed when famine/plague/war/whatever comes along. Almost in a bipolar existence, if you will.

Also: No need to keep going on about 'this is my opinion'. We know it's your opinion, as you are the one who is typing it ;)

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saintinhell
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:19 am
Posts: 1426
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:50 am 
 

* Loud applause for UtUmNo1's post*

I know exactly what you are talking about, mate and you got it absolutely right. Generalizations are dangerous but so far as I have observed, poor people are far more contented, more unselfish and more helpful of and to each other. This does not mean to say "Right, they should just stay poor and happy." But it reflects on how much the lust for money has degraded our thinking and contorted our idea of what is happiness. I also believe many third world countries - mine in particular - have held together only because the poor are unthinkably tolerant of their suffering and by brashly flashing our newly gotten 'wealth', we are testing the limits of their tolerance..which, in the long run, could prove very dangerous.

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saintinhell
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:19 am
Posts: 1426
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:57 am 
 

caspian wrote:
Quote:
Well, people only pay lip service to those traits...when the time arises to demonstrate it themselves, they wimp out and that's the sad truth.


Now this also ties in with my originial post. Has there ever been a time when it was anything MORE then lip service? I would personally say no, although admitedly I don't really have any good examples of it.


If you ask old-timers in my country, yes. Now, I agree nostalgia can help paint a more fanciful picture of the days gone by than real, but...let's take simple things:

* It used to be a given to stand patiently in queue for the bus.

* It used to be a given - if you were young and strong - to offer your seat to elderly people while travelling by public transport.

*And as such, refusing help in small but significant ways -like pushing the wheelchair for an invalid - was out of the question.

I don't think all this was achieved by societal pressure or coercion, I think people took a little more time earlier to tell kids in clear terms what's right and what's not. Corruption was also less widespread, so kids weren't disillusioned until they were adult and worldly-wise. Today, kids know all the answers and so have a zillion questions about doing that which was SUPPOSED to be right. They also know already how to break the rules. Are we building a world of smart, brave, intelligent criminals??? Who knows, but I hope not.

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AurvandiL
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:22 am
Posts: 1000
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:26 am 
 

UtUmNo1 wrote:
Good post


Consumerism, my friend. It has made us what we are. I am not going to lose time quoting Fight Club, but indeed, Palanhiuk has a point, and so do you.
But why do people want more and more things, and more often? Production is also an issue: objects of mass comsumption are now made to last no more than, as you said, some 2 or 3 years.

____


About modern life: yes, we do complain, saying it'd have been better whenever. Oh, I have a good health, I can eat when I want (more or less), sleep under a roof etc.
But many things have gone wrong..
slightly off-topic: wanting this modern life (safe, ""healthy"", and comsumerist) for everybody is hypocrite. At such a rate, the planet would not follow. 6 or 7 billions of people living like in the USA? Good ol' earth wouldn't last a week. Look at emerging China.
Economic forces need the "less advanced" ones to pursue their more-and-more goal.

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UtUmNo1
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 147
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:14 am 
 

I wish I had caught all my previous typos...

To elaborate slightly on my referencing the Australian Government: it would be a cold day in hell before I ever voted for a left of centre party but there are aspects to left social policy that does draw me in. Those familiar with Australian politics would be cognisant of the previous government's emphasis on the market economy and the increase in personal wealth. In fact, it was one of their campaign issues; that we Australians are better of now than we have ever been before. That's all well and good, but, even though being a Howard fan, I feel in retrospect that we really lost sight of what makes people happy. It's not always about the economy all the time.

For those who read The Latham Diaries, I like his ideas on building social capital and wealth in communities. Recent experiences in my life like those I have briefly touched on above have me re-examining what I want.

I think I might go for an LCD with surround sound....

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AurvandiL
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:22 am
Posts: 1000
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:17 am 
 

UtUmNo1 wrote:
I think I might go for an LCD with surround sound....


How sad is that :(

Hell, I hate Howard. Rat-faced devious wannabee-american. You got the picture.

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UtUmNo1
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 147
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:38 am 
 

Please take my last comment as black humour as was the intent behind it.

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AurvandiL
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:22 am
Posts: 1000
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:47 am 
 

Ahah, I know. Not that dumb :)

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LindisfarneAnno793
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:09 am
Posts: 447
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:49 am 
 

UtUmNo1 wrote:
In a moment of reflection, I was pondering the abject poverty that many people in this country suffer, and how little, in monetary terms, it would take to make these people happy. Then it hit me: they are happy. Sure, they don't have all the luxuries I have, but they take a real pleasure in a much simplified existence. They have their families and their children. They are able to provide for their own sustanance. The pressures of their world are far less than mine.

...

It lead me to ask; have we lost sight of what we are striving for and are we much better off now that every whim is catered for with material wealth for all?

Am I happier than the poor people of the developing world? I doubt it.


I appreciate what you said in this post, especially the parts that I've quoted. It reminds me of a favourite quote of mine:

If all our happiness is bound up entirely in our personal circumstances it is difficult not to demand of life more than it has to give.
- Bertrand Russell
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caspian
Wanderer of the Wastes

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
Posts: 6119
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:54 am 
 

AurvandiL wrote:
UtUmNo1 wrote:
I think I might go for an LCD with surround sound....


How sad is that :(

Hell, I hate Howard. Rat-faced devious wannabee-american. You got the picture.


I'm not a Howard fan, but it always annoys me when people who clearly don't have much of an idea about foreign politics (Unless if Aurvandil is a keen student of australian politics, which I very much doubt he is) still voice their clearly uninformed opinion.

Speaking of materalism (I sense an epic derailing here, but whatever), I think most people are aware of their lack of contentment. however, it's deeply ingrained. Would I like to consider myself a non-materialist? Well, yes, but I know I'm not- I like my guitar, my computer and my plasma TV, and I'd be upset if I lost them.

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AurvandiL
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:22 am
Posts: 1000
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:57 am 
 

I have lived in Australia for a year and a half, and my parents had frequent contacts with members of the government. I am thus not completely ignorant.

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oneyoudontknow
Cum insantientibus furere necesse est.

Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 6:25 pm
Posts: 5347
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:18 am 
 

caspian wrote:
So! Modern life is good. People are smarter then they ever have been. here's hoping someone will disagree with some of my comments, otherwise this post will have been quite unnecessary.

No... period.

Modern life is good. It is good for the 'elite' of mankind that has the ressources to live a life our ancestory would have dreamed of. There is no place unexplored on this planet, except for some obscure caes in Africa in which the horror of all diseases is dwelling, would a teacher have remarked on this statement, and furthermore there is also none that that has not gone through a change due to mankind.

Let it be a nuclear bomb and the radioactive fallout that has polluted the entire planet and so on and so forth. Good is subjective. We in the West live good, tell this those people who have to suffer from the trade-barriers WE imüpose on them, because we have the powers to do so. IWF and worldband are the tools of the Neoliberals who rise at the beginning of the 20th century to create their utopic world of 'free markets'. Our ressources are dwindling and a lot of people(s) on this planet are suffering from the pollutants of the industry; look at Africa for instance and what effect the oil-production has on the communities in respect to respitorial diseases.

I could go on this way...

People are smarter... do NOT make me comment this...

Workers are fucked by the corporations and exploited until they cannot take it anymore; see what has happened and is happening at Renaut. The media lies to us, distortes our views, makes us believe things that are not true... I have just ended my subscription to a newspaper I have read for a lot of years, because they have lied... I have currently a lawsuit going on against my government; an constitutional complaint. Why? Because I have to... Our freedom here in Germany at stake, is attacked by its government and it is their attempt to spy on every citizen, read our e-mails and so on; because there could be terrorists. These are good times? Everything is changing for the worse and there is one song that reflects quite well how people start to think on what is going on around here:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=mQVtg0wIw6s

Quote:
Hello "Verfassungsschutz" [The german Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution]
Here I am.
Do you already have me written down in your records?
No? Then you should hurry.
Because you can not miss me.
I may look pretty harmless
That's why you don't recognize me

But some day I will shoot at you with a rifle in my hand
Yes some day I will have to shoot at you, because this is my country, too

And you don't have to think: "The community is so complicated"
because there are only a few that regulate what happens

And some day I will shoot at them with a rifle in my hand
Yes some day I will have to shoot at them, because this is my country, too

And some day I'll have to shoot at you
Because I don't have any other choice
Some day I'll have to shoot at you
That's sad but true
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BM_DM
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Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:47 am
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:00 pm 
 

UtUmNo1 wrote:
[they...] take a real pleasure in a much simplified existence.... I strive to achieve in order to gain a better wage in order for what? A bigger television? A new car every three years? I could quite easily survive, well nourished, disease free and provide for my family on less than half of what I earn, yet I want more.

You should apply for membership at this club. It's free.

No-one who has left the cave is going to think it is a particularly great idea to go back inside, but we should neither consider that we 'need', nor should we aspire to own, all the gaudy baubles of late capitalism to live a better life. Instead, it is up to each individual to develop a hybrid model that suits them by determining how the benefits that contemporary life has brought the developed world (besides education and health care -- for us Europeans, anyway) can augment their own life without enslaving them. When the object dominates the subject, the subject is no longer in control of his or her own destiny.

For my part: I am a director of an international corporation*. Most of my peers drive around large lumps of expensive metal made in Germany. I don't have a driving license, and use public transport. Most of their homes are shrines to consumer electronics. I don't have a TV. I do, however, have an iPod, and it greatly enhances my working life and I am glad to have it. Two small examples, but anyone who has ever tried to simplify their life should be able to empathise to some extent.

For any number of personal, political, and ethical reasons, less is definitely more.

*I can see the contradiction here, of course. Indirectly, everyone's employer contributes to the stranglehold that the World Bank, IMF has on the average global citizen's economic prospects. I would just like to say that I work in an ethical industry (publishing), and that I don't organise arms fairs, exploit children, kick puppies, etc. as part of my job.
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deathcorpse
Super Cres at Best

Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 5:48 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:13 pm 
 

I think what happens is that once you get a little bit older; people become nostalgic. Society points and uses that nostalgia to make money all across the board. Whatever was popular 20 years ago becomes popular present day. This is just how trends work. This goes from something as suttle as what someone wears for shoes to how bands from 20 years ago can still make livings, to cable channels dedicated to shows, to furniture design, onward.

As far as people becoming more primitive, I guess it depends on what you use to quantify "progression". Progress in technology, obviously yes; progress in becoming a higher level more intelligent human race? Nope. Maybe we are more intelligent on the surface (quicker/faster, etc) but not overall. The same issues 2000 years ago face us. Perhaps we are just a little bit farther along, but not that much really. Maybe as a race we are getting over a little bit of the whole internal struggles, but I think though in order to have a progressed outer world state, the whole race most go inward first and come to terms with some sort of self-realization awareness and then it can be implemented to the outside world. Since this isn't on everyone's agenda; it might never happen.

IMO, I think that the whole internal struggle IS the issue. Most people want to forget about it or sweep it under the rug, but how long can we all go with that sort of state of being before some idiot in power wants to blow up this planet? How much longer can we all just stare at the TV and watch world/local news and not be negatively affected? For me at least, I have come to terms with my higher and lower self, realize I am a human being, realize that there are certain things I have to accept about myself as a human (being in a physical body and being apart of the animal kingdom). We are not a highly developed race of being at this point at all. We have tried to weed out killing for food and basically cut out the whole animalistic hunt (except for chasing the opposite sex and eating meat..for some they have tried to cut both of those out and become 100% in spirit while on this earth) and are trying to deny (with the help of organized religion in the forefront) the lower self. Is that truly being progressive?

I see nothing wrong with maintaining balance and embracing both the higher AND lower self. For me, that's key. I don't think "getting over the lower self" is by ignoring it, denying it and saying you are just "over it". It's something that can't be ignored. We can't get to a higher state of concious with denying what and who we really are; i.e. Ego and physical body. How can people think by going to church and doing hail marys that that's a hot trip to heaven, when it's still ok to kill in the name of their own gods?

That being said; awareness is very important. If we all realized that we all have the same awareness we might be a bit smarter. Who cares about what religion, god, or guru you have. We are all human beings and the only way peace can ever happen is from within. If we are all peaceful within, then perhaps we all can be peaceful once we open our eyes. But I don't think it will ever happen because humans are too territorial and we still have many internal issues to deal with.

I also think that the human race have a bit of a subconcious inferiority complex in that, perhaps we all know something is more advanced out there. We stood on our hind legs (albeit and insert Animal Farm reference here) and took over this Earth. If we keep faking it (i.e. we are the center of the universe), as long as we keep believing we are the kings of the universe :lol: how can we truly progress anyway? Once you are the "king of the hill", how much more higher can you go?

I say, a hell of a lot higher.

EDIT: I think modern life rules by the way. In that it's better.

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ksbluesfan
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:48 pm 
 

I agree with the original post. Too many people forget that things were horrible in the past. They summon up images of a simple farm life where everybody gets along and crime is low, etc. They forget that disease often wiped out millions of people. It was only 90 years ago that the Spanish flu killed 50 million people. They forget that it wasn't long ago that women and black had little or no rights in the USA.

Sure, there are problems today, but the standard of living increases every year. In the distant future, I believe we will be closer to utopia than chaos. That's assuming religious extremism won't turn back the hands of time.

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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:55 pm 
 

MikeyC wrote:
caspian wrote:
Furthermore, the idea that people are getting stupider seems crazy as well. There are those who talk about TV and other media controlling people's lives- sure, there's an aspect of that, but the level of control, in my opinion, is much lesser then it was before.


This is all personal opinion. I do believe people are getting less intelligent (I, myself, am Exhibit A :P). These days, things like the Internet/computers and calculators and other forms of technology are not stimulating our brain. Fifty years ago, using your mind was a part of life, these days, you need to go out of your way to keep your mind active.

Again, just my opinion. :)


I don't know about Australia, but in the U.S., standards of education have plummeted since half a century ago. Texas school systems are absolutely terrible.
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ksbluesfan
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:35 pm 
 

Nahsil wrote:
MikeyC wrote:
caspian wrote:
Furthermore, the idea that people are getting stupider seems crazy as well. There are those who talk about TV and other media controlling people's lives- sure, there's an aspect of that, but the level of control, in my opinion, is much lesser then it was before.


This is all personal opinion. I do believe people are getting less intelligent (I, myself, am Exhibit A :P). These days, things like the Internet/computers and calculators and other forms of technology are not stimulating our brain. Fifty years ago, using your mind was a part of life, these days, you need to go out of your way to keep your mind active.

Again, just my opinion. :)


I don't know about Australia, but in the U.S., standards of education have plummeted since half a century ago. Texas school systems are absolutely terrible.


Nearly 40% of the people in Louisiana in 1900 were illiterate. I'm pretty sure that didn't include blacks. Now about 16% are illiterate in Louisiana. Education isn't where it should be, but it's a lot better than it was 100 years ago.

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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:36 pm 
 

No doubt about that, but we were down, then we went up, now we're back down, even though we're not as far down as we were at one point.
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MikeyC
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:08 pm 
 

Nahsil wrote:
MikeyC wrote:
caspian wrote:
Furthermore, the idea that people are getting stupider seems crazy as well. There are those who talk about TV and other media controlling people's lives- sure, there's an aspect of that, but the level of control, in my opinion, is much lesser then it was before.


This is all personal opinion. I do believe people are getting less intelligent (I, myself, am Exhibit A :P). These days, things like the Internet/computers and calculators and other forms of technology are not stimulating our brain. Fifty years ago, using your mind was a part of life, these days, you need to go out of your way to keep your mind active.

Again, just my opinion. :)


I don't know about Australia, but in the U.S., standards of education have plummeted since half a century ago. Texas school systems are absolutely terrible.


I can't really give an indication of the changes of quality in our schools, simply because I don't know. I will say that Australian schools are not bad, but we are facing a teacher shortage. There are 10 female teachers to 1 male teacher, no exaggeration.

The downward spiral of quality in the schools can't just rest on the teachers/governments either: I went to school and found there are kids that simply do not want to learn and bring everyone else down with them. The teachers were good and they did their best, but a lot of the students are born with fail.

I remember we had a teacher who was originally from America, and she stated to us that in the USA, "kids see learning as fun and a new adventure. Here, I'm surrounded by 11-year-olds who think they know everything." Take that as you will. :)
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Thorgrim_Honkronte
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:11 pm 
 

MikeyC wrote:
I remember we had a teacher who was originally from America, and she stated to us that in the USA, "kids see learning as fun and a new adventure. Here, I'm surrounded by 11-year-olds who think they know everything." Take that as you will. :)


:lol: Maybe in some parts of America. In my experience, most school kids don't give a shit about their education.
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MikeyC
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:18 pm 
 

Thorgrim_Honkronte wrote:
MikeyC wrote:
I remember we had a teacher who was originally from America, and she stated to us that in the USA, "kids see learning as fun and a new adventure. Here, I'm surrounded by 11-year-olds who think they know everything." Take that as you will. :)


:lol: Maybe in some parts of America. In my experience, most school kids don't give a shit about their education.


So I guess either 1. Australian and American schools aren't so different or 2. This teacher was lying. Either way, we suck. :lol:
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DrOctavia
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:23 pm 
 

Thorgrim_Honkronte wrote:
In my experience, most school kids don't give a shit about their education.

Certainly seems that way here. Actually, in this province, there are a surprising amount of illiterates among the adult population, although it seems possible that they've flocked from other areas of the country for the prospect of easy money here.
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Thorgrim_Honkronte
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:25 pm 
 

The youth of our countries really take their knowledge for granted. They no longer have the passion to learn, because it isn't seen as something important by them. There is a reason underpriveledged children in 3rd world nations jump for joy when they are given books and a greater opportunity to learn things.

It's a sad fact but I think it's just the nature of people, in general, to do that. If you've lived with certain comforts your whole life, you don't truely see how special they are. At least until it is taken away from you.
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MikeyC
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:26 pm 
 

Thorgrim_Honkronte wrote:
t's a sad fact but I think it's just the nature of people, in general, to do that. If you've lived with certain comforts your whole life, you don't truely see how special they are. At least until it is taken away from you.


That doesn't just apply to education, too. I think that's most of the Western World. ;)
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Thorgrim_Honkronte
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:27 pm 
 

Of course, I didn't mean to word it as if it did only apply to that. If it seemed that way, that wasn't my intention.
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MikeyC
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:30 pm 
 

Thorgrim_Honkronte wrote:
Of course, I didn't mean to word it as if it did only apply to that. If it seemed that way, that wasn't my intention.


Yeah, I know what you meant, mate. And you're right about poorer children jumping at the chance for an education. Because they need an education to have any chance of getting work. Here, no school education can still get you a trade/apprenticeship if you have the money. Overall, I guess kids see a schooling education as less important than they used to.
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DrOctavia
Do Dark Horses Dream of Nightmares?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:36 pm 
 

MikeyC wrote:
Here, no school education can still get you a trade/apprenticeship if you have the money.

Really? Here it still requires a fair bit of schooling before you can even get started, money or not.
MikeyC wrote:
Overall, I guess kids see a schooling education as less important than they used to.

I wish that were the case here, but to me, it seems like the kids really don't give a shit about any kind of education at all, even recreational learning.
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caspian
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:01 pm 
 

Quote:
People are smarter... do NOT make me comment this...

Comment this.

Quote:
Workers are fucked by the corporations and exploited until they cannot take it anymore; see what has happened and is happening at Renaut.

You are aware, right, that in Elizabethian England, the average working day was 12-14 hours per day? The working class has ALWAYS been exploited. And while Africans still get a bad deal done by the large corporations, they aren't getting forced onto slave boats and made to pick cotton or what have you. And while you make a good point about pollution done by the multinationals in Africa, I'd also argue that much of Africa gets better access to heathcare (in various rudimentary forms) and food aid then ever before.

Quote:
The media lies to us, distortes our views, makes us believe things that are not true...

:durr: And this never happened before? Whether it was Punks, Hippies, Communists, Nazis, Witches, Blacks, the media has always been alarmist and has always distorted the truth (and in various cases, lied completely.)

Also:
Quote:
Here, no school education can still get you a trade/apprenticeship if you have the money. Overall, I guess kids see a schooling education as less important than they used to.

You don't need that much money to get a trade/apprenticeship. $2000 dollars here for 4 years at TAFE, which will get you a fully fledged trade. It's a lot of work- but anyone can do it, basically.

Finally, BM_DM's post was epic win, and I agree completely. Also, if you are a director of a large corporation and don't need the money, feel free to send some my way ;)

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NeglectedField
Onwards to Camulodunum!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:08 pm 
 

If you'll excuse me for quoting

Thorgrim_Honkronte wrote:
Good points, although I really don't think modern life styles are under rated, in fact I would think most people living in industrialized nations at least will say they'd rather be living the way they are now than to give up all of the comforts which the society brings them. There are some things that I'd like to see changed about how we live our lives though. We've come a long way as a species and I'd really hate to see it all be thrown away by our carelessness.
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woeoftyrants
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:21 pm 
 

Thorgrim_Honkronte wrote:
The youth of our countries really take their knowledge for granted. They no longer have the passion to learn, because it isn't seen as something important by them. There is a reason underpriveledged children in 3rd world nations jump for joy when they are given books and a greater opportunity to learn things.

It's a sad fact but I think it's just the nature of people, in general, to do that. If you've lived with certain comforts your whole life, you don't truely see how special they are. At least until it is taken away from you.


Great post, I couldn't agree more.

This is tough topic to tackle. On one hand, I'm incredibly grateful for everything I have and for the people in my life. But I know that many people in my age group don't feel the same way and just perceive the things they have as universal, which is certainly not true; and I guess that's what bugs me about most people in my generation.

For instance, I'm going to school to be an English teacher; it's not a high-paying job by any means, but it's what I want to do for the rest of my life. It took me a while to realize how lucky I was to be able to come to college and follow my dreams, and I had this false conception that everyone around me felt the same way.

But then I came to college and realized how many people are so apathetic about being in an institution of higher learning; some of my contemporaries in my Education Foundations class are totally neutral and careless about being future teachers and couldn't care less about failing out of school. It's just like I want to tell them, "This is what you'll be doing for the rest of your life! Don't you give a fuck about it?"

So I would totally agree that many of today's youths are careless about education. A lot of the students around me are just in college to make their parents happy, or to get a degree in a program they're not really interested in (Pre-Med, Nursing, Chemistry, Biology, etc.) just to make a huge salary down the road. It pisses me off, because I feel like such a minority for being genuinely interested in what I'm learning, and constantly wanting to learn more, and having a genuine passion for what I do.

Sorry for the rant.

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Woolie_Wool
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:57 pm 
 

In a more primitive society than we enjoy now, many of us would be dead, especially with all the heterodox social and political viewpoints metalheads tend to have. There were no good old days. People in the past were unhealthier, dirtier, shabbier, more ignorant, more violent, shorter-lived, led like sheep by tyrants who make the worst exaggerations of George W. Bush look saintly, and less educated than people today. Western civilization in 2008 is nowhere near perfect, but it is the best civilization man has ever created.

The ruling class have always misled and used the populace (far more in the past than now because of the appalling ignorance of common people in previous centuries), stronger nations have always brought ruin to whatever weak states end up in their path (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?), there were always elites of people vastly more wealthy than the poor (even in Communist states), and life has always been unfair. In fact, all of these things were much worse in the past.

The freedoms supposedly promised us by the Bill of Rights took until the '60s and '70s to be fully instituted. It was a few short decades ago when you could be fined or imprisoned for distributing pornography, disrespecting the American flag, having anal sex (even between a man and a woman), or being black and not using the "colored" water fountains. People worry about the Patriot act taking away the (non existent; take a closer look at the 4th amendment. It does not say "information" anywhere) right to not be identified by other people as yourself, but they don't remember how recently it was that they had many of the rights that really ARE protected by the Constitution.

Modern Western civilization is the only thing that could have allowed metal to exist, despite the crap spewed out by the mainstream entertainment machine. Other cultures would have strangled rebellious or provocative music of any sort immediately. There are places even today where heavy metal is banned, where not accepting the local religion is punishable by a brutal and horrifying death, and where criticizing the decisions of the government is considered treason.

The civilization of the Vikings makes for great cool factor, but it was a vicious and unforgiving society where the weak, deformed, handicapped, or unorthodox were slaughtered by their own people, where the average person could not expect to live to 40, where what would now be a minor sickness was fatal, where small crimes were punished by branding, amputation, invariably lethal "trials", or revenge murder.

I find it amusing that the people who rail the most against our society or long for a nihilistic warrior past are often people with limited life skills, social skills, survival skills (how many of you know anyone who knows how to support himself in the wilderness? I don't), or physical fitness who likely owe their very lives to our safe, supportive, tolerant, learned Western civilization, the same one that gave us mallcore and Pokemon cards. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Besides, suffering from urban anomie and job frustration is better than burning at the stake.

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