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system-hater
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PostSubject: Artificial Activities   Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:29 pm

Hello gents and lassies. My recent work. enjoy.

In this discussion, we will explore how the activities we pursue in advanced society are in fact meaningless; not to imply that they do not serve a function or a purpose, but that they lack substance to substantiate anything actually meaningful to an individual life. As human beings we have a natural affinity to give meaning to life and to create. However, modern society has designed our pathways for us to create, preventing any REAL creativity to take place.

The term "artificial activity" can be misconstrued in various ways so we will dismantle it to be clear. Artificial simply means something false or unnatural. And an activity is merely that which either challenges us intellectually or physically, or, allows us to be occupied and busy for long periods of time. So, from these components we formulate the definition of an artificial activity, which is-ANY activity that is given to us, presented to us or designed for us to pursue, AND of which we ourselves did not create. Interpreting this definition we should understand, that when pursuing an activity we have the desire to give it meaning. And even though most of the activities we pursue have not been invented by our own creativity, we may still attribute meaning to them, as is our propensity. This natural propensity to give something meaning we will not argue against, what we will argue against is the meaninglessness associated in the activities themselves. We will also convey how this meaninglessness instigates negative feelings and poor self-esteem. Much of these attests to negative feelings involve the psychology of an artificial activity and how it affects our state of mind.

To begin, we observe that in advanced society many people devote their lives to careers or other jobs to which they either HAVE to do or find some level of genuine fulfillment towards. It is highly advocated by society that careers differ from jobs. How we are taught to understand this difference is simply that, jobs are less meaningful than careers. So a job is something we NEED to do in order to live in society and support ourselves physiologically, (food, water, shelter), and a career is something we pursue out of personal interest and/or special achievement. But this distinction made by society is rather skewed and misguiding to say the least. The truth is, jobs and careers are equivalent to each other, and if they do retain some degree of difference it is simply based on emphasis, or on how important society teaches us to view them. So a job as a doctor would probably be more important than a job as a janitor only because a doctor is more trained and educated, but the activities both function the same, they produce desired results, contribute to the system, and occupy an individual for a long period of time. Being trained in a profession that is deemed more valued by society doesn’t make it anymore significant than its subordinate counterparts, other than, as stated-emphasis. Of course careers are more important to society because they contribute more efficiently and desirably and lesser professions are devalued because they don’t contribute as strongly as careers.

Now since we are taught to perceive careers to be more valuable than jobs we attribute more meaning to careers and consider them to enhance the quality of life and make us “better” people. After all, when we succeed in a career we are given much more praise, wealth and monetary acquisition. But this stands to reason how a career or job, give no veritable importance because whatever we achieve from them, monetary or otherwise, we did not create, we only achieved. Therefore meaning cannot be present. When we simply USE an activity to create, it only serves a purpose not a meaning, hence its artificial nature.

Let us extrapolate more adequately from the following historical figures: Bobby Fischer, Mohammad Ali and Ray Charles. Bobby Fischer was a chess prodigy, Mohammad Ali a boxing legend, and Ray Charles a piano playing wizard. Now when we observe these people we can immediately agree that they were “naturally” born to do the things they did, considering how well they did them. But we should not be so eager to presume this notion of “born” ability based on what dazzles us. Moreover, we must be open to more sensible logic before we make such conclusions. We do not negate that these people were highly gifted and talented, because they obviously were, but IF they had not been exposed to their activities of pursuit they very well would have been legends at something else entirely. So if the game of chess never existed, Bobby Fischer would have been a prodigy at another bored game, and if the sport of boxing never existed Mohammad Ali would have mastered another sport, and if the piano had never been invented, Ray Charles would have glorified another musical instrument. (Keep in mind we do not devalue their lives as great people, we only make examples of their activities being artificial).

In advanced society, a child grows into a world where all of their biological needs are taken care of, (food, water, shelter), now when we do not have to worry about these needs, as human beings we NEED something to invest our skills and talents into. So when the child grows older he will learn that not only are his biological needs cared for, but also his needs to fulfill his creativity and talent. Advanced society simply designs all of our activities for us; we can only select what we wish to be creative in. This restriction to “selecting” instead of “discovering” our talents renders any activity we do meaningless. So these people of legend did not care about their career pursuits as children, only when they were EXPOSED to them did they find enjoyment in it. So as a child Bobby Fischer didn’t care about chess until he was exposed to it, selected it as his activity of interest and excelled. As a child Mohammed Ali didn’t care about boxing until he was exposed to it, selected it as his activity of interest and excelled. And as a child Ray Charles didn’t care about playing the piano until he was exposed to it, selected it as his activity of interest and excelled.

Furthermore, we notice a pattern emerge. When we are given an activity from something else and devote all our talents and skills into it we find that whatever we achieve from it we need more and more of. This desire to continuously succeed and win may subject us to negative feelings. We may become hedonistic and have a sense of discontentment. There are an abundance of directions in society that one can take their lives and because they have these “options” of choosing whatever they want to pursue, they may feel frustrated because they themselves did not create these “options” and whatever career or job they decide upon, they will simply have to adhere to the rules and offerings of those particular careers or jobs. This is why many people spend a greater portion of their lives working one profession after another, or why some college students feel dissatisfied with their “majors” and change them over and over again. Because we want to express our true creativity and when we are forced to pick a pathway given to us by society it becomes nothing more than a way to contribute to the system and accomplish what everyone else accomplishes. Thus feelings of defeatism and emptiness develop. This is also why some students perform poorly in their academic pursuits, fail classes, disregard homework, procrastinate etc. Not that they are mentally impaired or incapable in any way, but that they lack motivation due to the fact they could care less about these pursuits. They didn’t create them, they didn’t even think about them at all before society and other people in their lives pressured or influenced them to. (In addition, working in jobs and pursuing careers is primarily based on following orders, policies and doing what you are supposed to do at all times, which builds up more inner stress and worthlessness because we cannot create, only obey). And the people who accomplish vastly are the ones who sincerely convince themselves that serving the system is good; they entrust their futures based on society’s foundations and believe that what they are doing is in fact meaningful and great, hence their ability to succeed so impressively.

However, whatever the reason, call it natural selection, biology or genetics, some people ARE in fact more gifted and talented than others. People like Bobby Fischer, Mohammed Ali and Ray Charles were exceptional and clearly more capable than the average person, and it can be agreed upon that they probably did not suffer from many feelings of frustration, BECAUSE they succeeded so consistently. Although, it was obvious that they were never satisfied. Mohammed Ali strived always to be the best competitor, Bobby Fischer strived to always become more formidable, and Ray Charles needed more and more fame and status. When we can never be satisfied we can never pull ourselves away from our activities and eventually our entire lives have been donated to them for no reason other than to gain the desired results society has taught us to gain from them. This is the meaninglessness that surfaces. Before careers existed all we invested our time and creativity into were things that mattered, which was the natural world, each other and anything else. We were free to create and discover as we pleased and that made our lives much more fruitful and vital. But our activities in advanced society have been manufactured to the point of systematic production, so now we can no longer discover, we can only contribute and produce so that the machine of mass consumption can function and in return we get praise, status and whatever other petty acquisition comes our way. Also, if these achievements really were sufficiently meaningful to us, we would pursue a career for a small amount of time and than desist all effort completely and just be happy and peaceful until we died. Our feverish need to constantly succeed proves that these superficial achievements and activities are meaningless and what we excel at are never enough for us to feel satisfied or be happy.

Also we compute that professions harm our relationships and cause them to be unstable. If we didn’t need to worry about becoming a doctor or a lawyer we could spend much more time caring about each other and learning and discovering one another’s character. The consequence of artificial activities destroys and disrupts human bond and connection. Which is why many people literally spend their entire lives alone or why the male and female genders are intractably separated from each other and isolated. Society forces us to base our relationships upon our success and what we achieve in our careers, thus our contact and intimacy with each other suffers greatly as a result.

Reading, working on computers, listening to music, watching television, playing video games, these activities in leisure also constitute our need to be occupied because our natural needs (food, water, shelter) are taken care of. So much of our lives revolve around not only grand pursuits such as careers and jobs but smaller more minute preoccupations that allow us to be active in SOMETHING. We feel empty and always bored because we are not creating or discovering, only being servile and using other diminutive, pointless activities to fill the space in between which could explain some causes for depression or mental weariness and even violence.

So in conclusion our individual liberty is null and void due to these activities laid out for us and our creativity cannot be fulfilled, only used for production. Further pursuit of such activities will most certainly render us more mechanic and deepen the void inside of us, propelling us to compensate for it by finding more artificial activities to engross ourselves into.
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PostSubject: Re: Artificial Activities   Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:40 am

Thanks for posting, I'm sympathetic to this theme, reading to follow soon...
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PostSubject: Re: Artificial Activities   Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:02 am

do you consider meaningless the same as irrelevant? i've recently come to think of a lot of activities as irrelevant or as mere distractions but i wouldn't exactly have used the term meaningless because as you say, people will create the meaning, and i have no qualms about that per se. but i do think that more damage is committed when we burdem ourselves with unnecessary issues or that we are being distracted from neglect.
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PostSubject: Re: Artificial Activities   Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:29 pm

Ouroboros wrote:
do you consider meaningless the same as irrelevant?

I don't think so. I would assume that a word such as "irrelevant" would be structured more as a technical term for anything pertaing to conversation, situations or any other "immediate" area of human daily life. The word "meaning" suffuses a much more "deeper" level of human life and illustrates a better understanding of it. These two words share some similarities but not entirly equivalent.

Quote :
i've recently come to think of a lot of activities as irrelevant or as mere distractions but i wouldn't exactly have used the term meaningless because as you say, people will create the meaning, and i have no qualms about that per se.

well, as i expounded in the essay, we have a "natural" inclination to attribute meaning to ANYTHING we do, this is the human condition, and i do not deny it, however, when that particular THING that we are doing, has not been built or constructed by our own creativity, the "true meaning" cannot be present, only the meaning we are able to give it, in accordance with what it is.

Quote :
but i do think that more damage is committed when we burdem ourselves with unnecessary issues or that we are being distracted from neglect.

More damage than we will ever comprehend.
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PostSubject: Re: Artificial Activities   Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:38 pm

system-hater wrote:
I don't think so. I would assume that a word such as "irrelevant" would be structured more as a technical term for anything pertaing to conversation, situations or any other "immediate" area of human daily life. The word "meaning" suffuses a much more "deeper" level of human life and illustrates a better understanding of it. These two words share some similarities but not entirly equivalent.

what exactly do you mean by "deeper?" is "deeper" more important than relevance?

relevance doesn't just simply relate to immediate areas of human life, i believe it relates to the fundamental areas of life. health for example, any activity which is beneficial to ones health, the sustenance of their vital spirit is a relevant activity, so, hiking is a more relevant activity than gaming and so on. now they might both have an argument for which is more meaningful, as people like to justify their actions, but these arguments are irrelevant.

Quote :
well, as i expounded in the essay, we have a "natural" inclination to attribute meaning to ANYTHING we do, this is the human condition, and i do not deny it, however, when that particular THING that we are doing, has not been built or constructed by our own creativity, the "true meaning" cannot be present, only the meaning we are able to give it, in accordance with what it is.


true meaning? isn't this like dissecting a corpse to find a soul?

i don't know. it sounds as if you're over-complicating the situation here. creating too high a standard. idealist maybe. tell me what things you do which are wholly constructed of your creativity? are you talking about art and music playing for example?
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PostSubject: Re: Artificial Activities   Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:38 pm

Quote :
what exactly do you mean by "deeper?" is "deeper" more important than relevance?

What i should extrapolate from the meaning of "deeper" would be an insight or an observation to human nature itself. In other words, what we are inherently and intrinsically. A "deeper" level of human life was simply meant to convey the true spirit of humanity, seperate from what it is merely "associated" with by the external world, as what the word "relevent" can correlate to.

Quote :
relevance doesn't just simply relate to immediate areas of human life, i believe it relates to the fundamental areas of life. health for example, any activity which is beneficial to ones health, the sustenance of their vital spirit is a relevant activity, so, hiking is a more relevant activity than gaming and so on. now they might both have an argument for which is more meaningful, as people like to justify their actions, but these arguments are irrelevant.

I believe you are over-analysing the word "relevence" in conjunction with the word "meaning". First of all, i simply stated that "meaning" is more "accurate" to portray who and what we are and how we link meaning to the things we do because "meaning" is what we seek in everything. Relevance is what we seek in our daily lives. Now if you would like to take the word "relevance" and modify it to fit a broader spectrum of human nature than i suppose that's possible, but that was not the direction i took it initially. The word "meaning" allows us to perfect our understanding of the environment around us.


Quote :
true meaning? isn't this like dissecting a corpse to find a soul?

What? That's silly. Why would you believe that you could discover a soul by spliting apart a rigid corpse? Unless you contemplate and endear on some level that a "spirit" somehow lies dormant to a biological construct and than escapes once its breached than i would love to hear a rational explaination to how that would be feasible, If a soul does exist that is. And if it does, what would it be? Some aspects of human life can only be "observed" as possibilities, others can be explained, such as meaning and how its innate in humanity, and how relevence is innate in human activity.

Quote :
i don't know. it sounds as if you're over-complicating the situation here. creating too high a standard. idealist maybe.

There is nothing complicating about understanding that when something is GIVEN to you, (something you did not create) it can only serve a function, but real meaning lies within creativity unaffected by any other source of artificiallity. Primitive troglodytes painted on walls, thousands of years ago. this proves that they sought "meaning" in life, hence its innate power, and they were influenced, not by anything artificial, but by nature in all of its forms. They lived under no "opressive" regime of mass production and thier choices in life, they made in accordance with thier own volition, not a system's.

Quote :
tell me what things you do which are wholly constructed of your creativity? are you talking about art and music playing for example?

This question is difficult to answer due to the reason that ALL of our activities to "stimulate" our creativity are designed for us by society. ART, MUSIC-activities GIVEN to us by society. There are not many ways for us to create UNINFLUENCED. however, i believe that true creativity may be had through ostrasizing oneself from advanced society and living in the wild. The wilderness i believe holds many free opportunities to create soley by individual tendency. But deforestation will eventually wipe out the earths forests and jungles, so living autonomously would be difficult in the end.
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PostSubject: Re: Artificial Activities   Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:00 am

What is the role of God in anarchy? There is the problem that everything is free and nothing is free; and that everything is nothing... and so on.

We can sometimes approach the secondary as primary, this happens with time-travel movies, one has a little distance with the society. It also happens with foreign travel, and LSD trips.

It is a daily battle for survival, to think otherwise would be denial; luxury is diversion from the volatility and risk at every moment of life.

Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Never mind that, can he forget the tricks he already knows?

There never was a feral time for us. Homo erectus already used fire before Homo sapiens appeared.

A ballance of in-put and out-put could create a totally given society that could be satisfying for all it's members?
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