Posts Tagged ‘human stupidity’

the importance of disconnecting

01/19/2012

As written Wednesday night, 1/18 at 11:30 p.m:

unplugI’ve spent the past 54 hours disconnected from the world save via my phone (which is a dumb phone, so no web access, thank JC). Posting a Motivational Monday blog post, I disappeared from the World Wide Web for more than two days, and must say it was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced.

No Facebook + No Twitter + No email = A Little Slice of Heaven

In my limited experience as a feeble human being on this raped planet we call Earth, I have had the good fortune to not always be ultimately reliable upon the internet, search engines, word documents and online porn. It is through this experience that I have come to realize the benefits of disconnecting from the online world. I understand this is not a new concept, but stick with me on this one.

Think of how often you’re texting on your phone when you’re out with friends or family. Think of how often you’re surfing the web on your smart phone for something that can wait til later. Think of how many miscommunications we have via these channels because the receiving end misconstrues a word or phrase, not being party to the intended inflection and body language. We have become slaves to immediate gratification, losing one of the most important (and undervalued) qualities in the world today: patience. In a paraphrased quote from Einstein: “Our technology has exceeded our humanity.” (and that was before the World Wide Web)

microcosms

Straight up: Communication technology, while having its benefits, is virtually destroying our ability to effectively communicate, while simultaneously killing our appreciation for the world around us.

Some examples:

1. A couple years ago I was on a first date when about an hour into it she told me how thankful she was that I hadn’t brought out my phone once. Sad, but true.

2. I have a very good friend who has nearly all of her important conversations with potential partners via text message. Whenever she says, “So I was talking with so-and-so the other day…” my immediate response is “Talking or texting?” It’s nearly always the latter. And she wonders why she gets into a lot of arguments with these people. . .

3. People get into heated arguments on Facebook and then let it carry over into real life when they next see this person. I used to be like this, but I sought help. If you find yourself in similar circumstances currently but are unwilling to change, I have a loaded glock and a full bottle of sleeping pills – take your pick.

4. When I worked a white collar job, I would walk in every day to at least 50+ emails of varying natures. I know people who walk in to many more than that. Information overload and more than half of it is white noise.

5. About a month ago on a freak day in the midst of a Cleveland winter when it was 50 degrees and sunny, a girl was walking across a cross-walk in a major intersection with her phone in front of her face, either texting or surfing the Web. Just as she stepped out, an SUV was accelerating toward the walk and almost hit her. The driver was also on her phone, except talking. The walker called the driver a cunt, and the driver, window down, shouted profanities.

For me, all of this serves as a fruitful definition of insanity.

A final note: My main concern is with communication technology – not necessarily information technology (although I understand the lines between the two are more and more blurred every day). While I think there is still value associated with hard copies of Britannica, one cannot deny the effectiveness of search engines and information sharing on the World Wide Web. And I also understand the value of these kinds of communications in emergency situations – I have no doubt it has saved many lives and helped to avoid harmful situations. But, like anything, when taken to the extreme it can do more harm than good. Another fitting apothegm: “Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should.”

Maybe the next time we’re on our phone, texting or surfing the Web or even talking, we should stop, put technology away, and take in what is around us:

real life

.

when beauty fades

08/18/2011

Dying flowerWhen beauty has faded,

where will you turn?

When beauty has faded,

what fire will burn?

When beauty has faded,

will you remember its core?

When beauty has faded,

will you dig deeper for more?

We put trust in appearance,

in nice shiny things.

We adore accumulation,

and the wealth that it brings.

But is it wealth that it brings,

or misery instead?

For what wealth can be had,

when we all end up dead?

Will that Coach purse come with you,

to the grave six feet under?

Or that beautiful woman,

who tears your heart asunder?

How bout the diamond ring

and the veneer of beauty it brings?

Or that sofa and loveseat,

where you kick up your feet?

Nay, none of it will join you

as you lie ‘neath your engraving.

So what’s the purpose, what’s the point,

of all of these foolish cravings?

We want and we want,

so we can take it for granted.

Because after some time,

we’re no longer enchanted.

For the beauty it fades,

like night into day,

like a harsh stab of pain,

like a cold spring rain.

Nothing will last,

even earth will feed the flames.

So for all this, what can we do,

when we meet with no acclaim?

Well I’ll tell you one thing,

that I know for sure.

When I learn of the answer,

I’ll give you all the grand tour.

embrace the chaos

08/10/2010

Life is suffering. Life is chaos.

If you don’t believe me, check the local headlines. Watch CNN. Drive through the bad part of town. Read a history book. Take a look at your 401k. You may currently be “happy” with your nuclear family, your pampered lifestyle or your 9-5 paycheck, but all it takes is one car accident, one phone call, one house fire or one person saying “I just want to be friends” to ruin all your best laid plans. And it all boils down to control.

just…let…go…

Everybody wants to control their environments. We feel this burning need to have a direct impact on all of our immediate surroundings. We feel that control of our lives equals a measure of success, of esteem, of prestige. We get comfortable when we control things, when things work out as planned.

This is a flawed line of thinking.

Attempting to control our environment is the source of much of what is wrong with we humans as a species, with us as a civilization. We just can’t let go – and I mean really let go – of what we want to control, which is everything. We’re obsessed with status, with perception, with titles, with money, with politics, with the acquisition of knowledge, with Biggest Loser, with Ryan Seacrest, with our own selfish dreams. We’ve gravitated away from the natural order of things and created our own superficial reality that is anything but reality.

Why do you think we’ve had so many counter-cultural movements since the 50’s? A great starting point could be the Beat Generation, moving forward with the Hippies and now it’s moved onto us, the Gen X-ers and Y-ers. I often hear older folks saying “It’s a different generation” about us 20-somethings. (this quote normally takes place after commiserating over the supposed degradation of our morals and inhibitions in direct regard to sex, drugs and living with our parents long after our welcome has worn out). We don’t have any term or symbol to wholly personify our counter-culture and disillusion, except maybe Fight Club and a wide variety of contraceptives.

A big part of this disillusionment is education. As more and more people acquire a quality education from kindergarten through college, and as the world population continues to increase, AND as more conveniences and amenities arise to make our lives easier and us lazier, more people will begin to question the status quo. More people will realize that the way things are aren’t the way they should be.

As much as we may try, controlling our environments will never fully work, and people are slowly beginning to understand this. And so long as we try to wrestle control from unforeseen circumstances and various inevitabilities, we will never be truly happy. Control creates a false sense of security and blinds us to the world beyond that control. By letting go of what we expect to be there every day, we get a nice wide angle perspective on our surroundings. We’ll see things we’ve never seen. Experience things we’ve never experienced.

the first law of motion

The best martial artists will teach that you should never try to muscle your opponent, but rather use their movements against them. If they push, you pull, always using their own momentum against them. You never try to control your opponent, you let them defeat themselves by taking advantage of their inertia. Same goes for life. Don’t try to muscle it to your will. Roll with it 🙂

I feel as if Western civilization is rising toward a crescendo in its evolutionary process. We’ve become so materialistic, so disillusioned, so obsessed with the white-wedding concept of Western culture that we’ve lost our way, and we’re finally starting to realize it. A new counter-culture is starting to emerge, and I’m very excited to see what form it will take as it evolves and gains momentum.

So for now, live wild, live free, and stay imperfect.

And embrace the beautiful chaos that is life.

see you in hell

05/14/2010

Have we reached the pinnacle of our existence?

Think about it: We’ve explored the entirety of our lands here on earth. We’ve populated anything and everything that’s above water – and it’s probably only a matter of time before we start on what’s below the waterline. We’re running out of room and we’ve got nowhere to go. The world population is the highest it’s ever been and it’s only going to get bigger. Thomas Malthus had it right.

And if you ask me, we’re all a bunch of shit bags. We treat the earth like crap, not to mention one another. We construct monstrous, overindulgent structures to prove how mighty we are, utilizing precious resources that can never be replenished. We create and use amenities we don’t need. We crave power over land, animals and people to justify our existence.

All in the name of self-indulgence. All in the name of what’s convenient.

And don’t think you’re innocent. Hell, we’re all guilty just by our mere existence, not to mention the cars we drive, the planes we fly, the cigarettes we smoke and the desk you’re sitting at right now. We destroy our natural habitats and give nothing in return. If we drive a car, we’re guilty. If we smoke a cigarette, we’re guilty. If we take long showers, we’re guilty. If we keep the heat in our home turned higher than it needs to be to survive, we’re guilty.

humanity is a virus

Look at HIV. One cell gets infected, but the virus doesn’t stop there. It keeps going until it’s infected every single cell it possibly can. It goes and goes until the host is dead. And the host’s death doesn’t do the virus any good – it doesn’t know any better. It dies too. It fed too strongly. It drank too deep. And it has to pay the price. The only difference between us and that virus is that we have the ability to reason, and this makes us all the more guilty.

A video to demonstrate my point (don’t mind the subtitles):

We’ve exploited what we’ve been given, destroyed what we’ve been blessed with. And it’s just a matter of convenience. We ask ourselves, “How can we make this bigger and better?” Or “How can we make this easier?”

Instead of adapting like the rest of the creatures on this planet, we steamroll.

twenty-twelve

If 2012 has to happen to bring the earth back to its natural state, so be it. If by my death, and yours, the earth will be saved, then that’s the way it has to be. We need the earth – it doesn’t need us. And don’t think we deserve to live simply because some of us are good, decent people. It takes more than helping an old lady across the street or donating to a capital campaign to build wind turbines and solar panels to protect this world. Human benevolence is a start from a sociological perspective, but it’s too late in the game to be enough.

and the home of the brave

If you’re an American and your ancestors came from Europe, you need to just shut up and rub your scalp for good luck. We acquired this country by genocide, built it with slave labor and developed it with the sweat equity of Europe’s poor and dispossessed (courtesy of mediahohoho). Do we pay for the sins of our fathers? Someone has to, because they sure as hell didn’t.

In following with that, are people inherently good? That has yet to be proven, in my eyes. Maybe so, but even if you’re a good person, chances are that while this world has been getting shit on, you stand by and do nothing. “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crises, maintain their neutrality.”

the will to act

Now this is the part where I have a call to action. As one voice we will rise up. As one people we will call to account the sins of our generation. United, we will shake the very foundations of this world! We will initiate change in the socio-political structure. Not just in thought but in deed. We will speak to the hearts and minds of anybody who will listen. And they. will. listen. Or they will face the wrath of a thousand screaming souls and be broken on the wheel for their arrogance and failure to act.

But alas, I’m a raindrop in a thunderstorm. A pebble tossed into the water that will NOT create a wave.

Or will I? Can we take action together? – Now? Not tomorrow. Not when you’ve rounded that bend or crossed that threshold. Now.

But as of yesterday, I’m one of the guilty. And so are you. Our actions henceforth must atone for that. Not for sins in regard to a religious entity, but rather for sins in regard to the earth. What can you do to contribute? Minorly. Majorly. You pick. But it eventually has to be majorly. It eventually has to be life-altering.

Otherwise, I’ll see you in hell.