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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Third World Problems


Warning: long thread.

---

I've been debating with myself whether or not to write this thread.

I want to gather my thoughts and I want to stop avoiding the issue, so here it goes.

I worry about the future all the time. It depresses me that there is no hope.

For some time I thought it was just me, but I’m pretty sure it’s a generational thing.

---

A lot of what I’m going to talk about is very local, so I don’t want to spend so much time explaining history. I find it frustrating that people think they know a lot about the Middle East, when they actually don’t.

Anyway ... Long story short:

2011 – Protests / Revolution
2012 – Elections / Muslim Brotherhood
2013 – More Protest / Military coup

Years 2011-12 where a time of hope and freedom like nothing I’ve seen during my lifetime, and every year since 2013 is the opposite of that. It might seem strange that I would call the time of the Muslim Brotherhood rule a time of “freedom”, but that was the case despite everything. Their government was extremely unpopular and they had no actual power (most “deep state” institutes despised them and worked against them, or at least did nothing to aid them). Maybe that state was never sustainable, but I wish it would’ve resulted in a less extreme settling point (look up: Tunisia’s revolution, and their story with the Brotherhood.)

Now it’s like the complete opposite. The whole country’s future is in the hands of a single person. Everyone capable of leaving the country has already done it. I’m living on a sinking ship, and I know it, and I know it wouldn’t change, and there is nothing anyone can do to change it. But it isn’t just that. It’s a lot more than that, it’s having faith in something, some things, and then losing faith in everything.

I looked a lot for some documentary or some article on the phenomena I know are real, but there’s very little international interest in Egypt these days, actually there’s almost none. And you can’t do it from inside Egypt, obviously.

It seems like everyone just accepted that 2011 was just a mistake, a glitch, a lie definitely, and moved on. I’m pretty sure that given what went on in Syria, most people worldwide re-wrote the history of what happened in Egypt in 2011. No one ever existed in the Arab world it seems, aside from people with bombs and people with guns, everyone else is a footnote … if anything.

For me, I was never pro-Revolution to begin with, but I feel like every passing year I miss it, because I feel more and more connected to the dream of it and the spirit of it, more than any other ugly thing in this country, or the forces that control its future, from the inside and from the outside.

I will never care enough or feel connected enough to be politically active, but at least I know what I believe in.

---

I watched a documentary last night, by Aljezeera called “In Seven Years”. It was talking about the loss that a lot of my generation have gone through after the complete failure of the revolution. And it annoys me that I have to resort to Aljezeera to even find anything discussing this, but I guess I can’t be picky, since no one else seems to care anyway.

The documentary was about how some people lost their faith in god after all the events of the last seven years, and how others have joined terrorists. Aside from the annoying false equivalence between atheism and terrorism, which is pretty common anyway, I found it very sympathetic to the atheists, which isn’t very common. And it wasn’t the first time I’ve heard stories like that, but the first time they were presented in a “dramatic way” I guess, oddly enough, by a very pro-Islamist channel.

I don’t feel sympathy for the people who went to Syria post-2013, but at the same time, the reasons they give hurt me a lot, because it’s about questions I’ve been asking myself for years.

Why was the government so ruthless when it attacked the Islamists? Why did they kill so many non-violent people? Why is torturing people in prison considered okay now, by everyone, including the West? And why does almost no one care about that?

I do understand what the film was getting at though (and yes, I know it's propaganda). I didn't lose faith in God because of the revolution. But I do relate to the feeling a lot. And the events of 2013 got me to question a lot of things, the meaning of morality in general, and whether it meant anything to say something like “murder is wrong”, or whether anyone actually believed in that, or if it was just something people said. And I know what that means, because I hated the Islamists so much, that during the moment in 2013, I felt nothing for the innocent people who were killed. I had zero sympathy for them, regardless of whether or not they were violent. The only thing that mattered was that they were Islamists and they were bad, and I thought that as a country, people would be able to move past that, that you could have some of what the 25th jan revolution was about still be accomplished (some semblance of freedom and human rights), but I was so wrong. You can’t be selective when it comes to human life, and still retain a healthy sense of morality.

---

In seven years, I also lost faith in many things, in humanity, in the future, in any form of morality. I’ve also lost faith in the wisdom of the West – but that’s a whole different topic.

I don’t think I will ever leave the country. I am very resistant to change in my personal life, and I have a very strong belief that the world is generally hostile and intolerant.

I hate that I feel afraid even writing this, even though no one will read and no one will care, because it just shows how deep the fear goes (*). And if there is no hope or justice in the world at large, why should I expect, or even care, for any, in my personal life?

I want to get over this inexplicable nostalgia and move on. I want to stop looking up videos and songs from 2011. I want to stop thinking that things could've gone differently. I want to stop wondering if there is hope, because there isn't, and stop following political events altogether.


---

I’m not going to post this in S&C. I’m posting it in “Secondary disorders”, because it’s not about politics, it’s about trauma and depression.

---

(*) Please tag, don't quote. I'm too paranoid, I might remove the whole thread later.

Ma 'alena
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 12:00 AM
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Developing World is the correct term (not Third World) as we all live on one world

While you SCREAM at your woman, there's a man, wishing he could talk softly in her ear...

While you HUMILIATE, OFFEND, & INSULT her,
there's a man flirting with her, & reminding her, how wonderful she is.

While you HURT your woman,
there's a man wishing he could show her love

While you make your woman CRY,
there's a man stealing smiles from her.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 02:07 AM
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Interesting post. I don't know much about your country, despite having visited, other than what I have been told: oppresive regime, do not go. But since it's about trauma and depression, and not politics, I wonder if it is possible for you to identify less with your country's political fate. Not entirely, just enough to help you lead a happier life. For a lot of people who are concerned with politics (me included), there has to be a time when your mind is very politically engaged and a time when you give yourself a break, otherwise we would just crumble under the emotional burden. Taking the time out to focus on other things in your life - family, friends, your home, your non-political interests and hobbies, even funny pictures online etc. (not all of these necessarily) is a form of self-care and allows you to return to your political thoughts with more calm (and sometimes more determination). Think about it this way: when you're in the trenches, you can't just think of the trenches. Sometimes you need to think of folks back home, or football games with your friend, or the lake you liked to swim in.

Leonard Cohen (Bird on a Wire): I have tried in my own way to be free
Mrs Hudson (BBC Sherlock): Sherlock! The mess you've made!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 03:14 AM
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I think the reason people don't seem to care about their governments torturing people is because Humans aren't good at processing events that aren't directly effecting them in the present moment (and sometimes even then,) and that they have no idea how to change. Problem solving is difficult so people deal with problems as they come up much of the time to avoid using up mental resources.

The goverment's job generally is to create an illusion that people have control to avoid revolution, while at the same time giving people very little control.

I think many people now are living in a constant state of existential horror and another form of horror which maybe the term epistemological horror could describe and other horrors. But if you talk about the problems in the world someone will, quite derisively, look down on you for doing so, and tell you to ignore them.

Kind of makes me want to paint a scene which conveys all of the horror with someone recoiling from it and and another person telling them in a smug way to just ignore it, stop complaining, everything is fine, questioning is stupid, the majority is always right, that's just chaos etc.

People actually really hate 'thinking people' they think that people like this look down on others (and they often do - tribalism is inherent to all Humans,) and they see no value in contemplation unless you're creating solutions (which is not always obvious in the short term, but at any rate most often won't.) It's certainly true that a lot of the personality traits and thought processes associated with contemplation will create more harm than good in most individuals and on a wider level impact the group negatively. Especially if the individual is also high in neuroticism. Living in your head + negative rumination is one of the worst combinations for the group and individual short of being incredibly low in agreeableness. You have to constantly demonstrate some kind of worth in the material world in order to appease the group.

Most people don't have the capacity to think about ideas and/or dislike doing so. It requires mental effort and often a cost to the individual. Some people are very innately focused on the here and now and tune out everything else on autopilot, some people choose not to think about things because they believe it will make them personally unhappy and they have no control so why bother? Some people choose not to because they don't want to make themself an outcast, and then there's this where information can change you fundamentally and that's terrifying to a person with an ego (as is contemplating the various ways your brain can be hacked):

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/hM3k...rains-to-think

Quote:
Opening the Door to Bigotry:

I place a high value on not discriminating against sentient beings on the basis of artifacts of the birth lottery. I’ve also observed that people who come to believe that there are significant differences between the sexes/races/whatevers on average begin to discriminate against all individuals of the disadvantaged sex/race/whatever, even when they were only persuaded by scientific results they believed to be accurate and were reluctant to accept that conclusion. I have watched this happen to smart people more than once. Furthermore, I have never met (or read the writings of) any person who believed in fundamental differences between the whatevers and who was not also to some degree a bigot.

One specific and relatively common version of this are people who believe that women have a lower standard deviation on measures of IQ than men. This belief is not incompatible with believing that any particular woman might be astonishingly intelligent, but these people all seem to have a great deal of trouble applying the latter to any particular woman. There may be exceptions, but I haven’t met them. Based on all the evidence I have, I’ve made a conscious decision to avoid seeking out information on sex differences in intelligence and other, similar kinds of research. I might be able to resist my brain’s attempts to change what I value, but I’m not willing to take that risk; not yet, not with the brain I have right now.

If you know of other ways in which a person’s brain might stealthily alter their utility function, please describe them in the comments.
Quote:
If you proceed anyway...
If the big red button labelled “DO NOT TOUCH!” is still irresistible, if your desire to know demands you endure any danger and accept any consequences, then you should still think really, really hard before continuing. But I’m quite confident that a sizable chunk of the Less Wrong crowd will not be deterred, and so I have a final few pieces of advice.

...
[*]Just don’t do it. It’s not worth it. And if I found out, I’d have to figure out where you live, track you down, and kill you.

Just kidding! That would be impossibly ridiculous.
Indeed

The internet is actually a huge threat to governments and people trying to live out 'ignorance is bliss' that's why.. Well everything right now lol (but on topic: government censoring of the internet and people choosing not to care.) The desire to protect yourself or order (society structures,) from information is pretty intense. Certain kinds of information that promote social cohesion to the majority are encouraged (and these vary per regime of course.)

I think what people like about revolution is that it reminds people that they can act outside of a status quo.

I remember when I was 7 I freaked out about someone roleplaying that there was a fire on a ship I was on, no one else reacted. This is partly due to a lack of social understanding when someone is joking, coupled with a hyperactive amygdala, but at the same time we are socialised to ignore based on patterns and to react based on the reactions of those around us. If we're not already doing it, you usually learn with age.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

So before I said about the existential horror but I think one form of reaction to the dissatisfaction of now is nostalgia and hauntology (this is largely western focused though.) All of the futures that are now lost:

Quote:
Contemporary writers such as theorist*Mark Fisher*specifically used the concept of hauntology to describe a sense in which contemporary culture is haunted by the "lost futures" of*modernity*which were purportedly cancelled in*postmodernity*and neoliberalism. Hauntology has been described as a "pining for a future that never arrived;"[9]*in contrast to the*nostalgia*and revivalism which dominate postmodernity, hauntological art and culture is typified by a critical foregrounding of the historical and*metaphysical disjunctions of contemporary capitalist culture as well as a "refusal to give up on the desire for the future."[4]*Fisher and others drew attention to the shift into post-Fordist*economies in the late 1970s, which Fisher argues has "gradually and systematically deprived artists of the resources necessary to produce the new."[3]*Hauntology has been used as a critical lens in various forms of media andtheory, including*music,*political theory,*architecture,*Afrofuturism, and*psychoanalysis.[2][4][10][text–source integrity?]
Quote:
According to Mark Fisher, the hauntology movement represents contemporary*electronic music’s “confrontation with a cultural impasse: the failure of the future.”[16]*Hauntological music is identified with British culture,[17]*and was described as an attempt to evoke "a nostalgia for a future that never came to pass, with a vision of a strange, alternate Britain, constituted from the reorder refuse of thepostwar period."[11]*Music journalist*Simon Reynolds*described it as an attempt to construct a "lost utopianism" rooted in visions of a benevolent post-welfare state.[14]*A sense of loss and bereavement is central to the phenomenon, according to theologian Johan Eddebo.[18]

https://dj.dancecult.net/index.php/d...ewFile/378/391

Quote:
At a time of political reaction and restoration, when cultural innovation has stalled and even gone backwards, when “power . . . operates predictively as much as retrospectively” (Eshun 2003: 289), one function of hauntology is to keep insisting that there are futures beyond postmodernity’s terminal time. When the present has given up on the future, we must listen for the relics of the future in the unactivated potentials of the past.
I know this post is a bit:



but this is probably one of the few ways to cope with the present really.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rabidfoxes View Post
Interesting post. I don't know much about your country, despite having visited, other than what I have been told: oppresive regime, do not go. But since it's about trauma and depression, and not politics, I wonder if it is possible for you to identify less with your country's political fate. Not entirely, just enough to help you lead a happier life. For a lot of people who are concerned with politics (me included), there has to be a time when your mind is very politically engaged and a time when you give yourself a break, otherwise we would just crumble under the emotional burden. Taking the time out to focus on other things in your life - family, friends, your home, your non-political interests and hobbies, even funny pictures online etc. (not all of these necessarily) is a form of self-care and allows you to return to your political thoughts with more calm (and sometimes more determination). Think about it this way: when you're in the trenches, you can't just think of the trenches. Sometimes you need to think of folks back home, or football games with your friend, or the lake you liked to swim in.
I understand what you mean … but it’s hard to isolate my personal life from politics. I go through phases ... When I'm not depressed I sometimes forget about it for a while ...

I guess what keeps bringing it up for me is the fact that most of my friends have left the country, and either hate it or have lost all hope in it. And every time another person I know leaves, I am reminded of all the reasons why they make that choice.

I used to feel really angry at them, because – unlike me – most of them were really invested in the revolution. So them leaving or losing faith feels like betrayal. For many it was like being “born again”, almost a religious experience (I guess religiosity and nationalism are sort of similar anyway). I mean look at this song from 2011:

 




(CC's for translation)

And with you nothing is impossible.
The voice of freedom brings us together.
Finally our lives have a meaning.
There is no going back. Our voices are heard.
And the dream is not forbidden anymore.

Hey. Hey Square.
Where have you been all this time?
You brought down the wall. You lit the light.
You gathered around you a broken people.
We were born again.
And a persistent dream has been born.


I used to blame them because even though they knew what they didn’t want, there was never really any agreement on what they wanted the country to become. And they were naďve and had no actual power. Their enthusiasm got on my nerves and annoyed me.

I find it ironic though that I’m practically invested in the fate of a country I never really felt connected to, while a lot of the people who thought of it as home have already abandoned it.

---

Also, I just hate the overall culture now. I’m sick of the nihilism, the self-loathing, and because a lot of people have made the conscious choice to be inhumane, or at least have accepted the inhumane consequences of their choices. No one is naďve anymore, and that sucks, because it means there’s no place for empathy or putting yourself in anyone else’s shoes.

You know you have given up all your human rights when you keep being told the only other option is ISIS or civil war or being refugees or something?

There was a time when the answer to every question or complaint was “At least it’s better than becoming like Syria or Iraq”, until it became a joke and a meme.

To quote a Lebanese song about the futility of nationalism “They made you despair, till you gave away your freedoms for the sake of your country”.

But there’s so much you can accept and give up before the lines start to blur. After all, what is Egypt becoming, in 10 or 20 or 30 years, if not another Syria waiting to explode? Or maybe not, maybe people eventually accept anything. I don't know .. I'm not sure which is worse. I don't want to even think about how uglier the culture can become.

---

I feel like I'm talking about politics, even though I thought I shouldn't. Let me do it anyway ...

an example (I’m practically just venting at this point): a few years ago, an Italian Cambridge student doing research in Egypt was tortured and murdered which lead to a lot of tension between the two countries (it still exists presumably), because some people accused the Egyptian police of doing it (assuming he was “human rights activist” undercover or some ridiculous sh*t). Anyway, there was a clip of the guy’s mom where she said something like “they tortured and murdered him, the way they torture many Egyptians” and that immediately became a quote that people shared and related to.

“They killed him as if he was an Egyptian” …

 


Because that was essentially the crime (assuming they did it). It’s a sign of stupidity, not of evil. They misjudged the value - not of a life, unqualified; but the life of a foreigner’s life (of the wrong type anyway) and thought they would get away with it.

And there’s not even just one person I can blame for this sense of being worthless, or a single entity or part of the culture. At least if Mubarak never resigned, people would still be blaming him for everything. Now it’s just like, people have tried, and apparently that’s what we deserve, military rule or the Islamists. I want to hate everyone, but I can't because I also feel sorry for them (in a detached way).

---

I remember watching a documentary a while ago about Jews of Egypt (it came out in 2012, and was sympathetic towards them, sort of “reminiscing the time we were more tolerant”). Anyway, I remember one old Jewish man they were interviewing (who’s still in Egypt) was talking about their exodus in the 1960s, and when asked about whether or not he liked Um Kalthoum (which was kind of an iconic singer at the time), said something like “I was more into French music, and didn’t really like her. And ironically all the Jews I knew who loved Um Kalthoum left, and I stayed”.

That made me cry for some reason, because I feel the same way maybe.

I don’t have numbers but I’m pretty sure there’s a “middle class exodus” from the country, in the past 5 years or so. And I feel more connected to individual people who leave and never come back (no matter how much they love Um Kalthoum) - than to the country as a whole.

---

I keep wondering where people find the energy or the courage to just pick up and leave?

I have no motivation to do that. Not in a time when the world's so hostile to immigrants. I just don't see the point. I believe that people are fundamentally cruel.

Every time I try to even imagine myself as a "skilled worker" in another country, I just feel like throwing up.

I'm not sure why. It seems as much a death sentence as just staying here. Maybe because I feel like I'd be just as stressed and depressed because I'd be so worried about failing 24/7 ? Also, it's not like there's some place I dream of being in. All the world is ugly. Some places are just drenched in makeup I think.

I don't believe in universal human rights. I think the idea is a joke. I believe that your rights are determined by the color of your passport, among other things. But there are no universal rights, not even the right to life. That makes me sad, but not angry. I feel morally empty inside, because I judge no one. I just emotionally dislike most people.

---

That was long. I'd rather vent here than to other Egyptians who because I'm always too embarrassed to admit that I still can't get over this stuff.

I'm pretty sure that most of this is probably just me projecting my personal depression on a larger scale. It's scary, because I'm too depressed to tell the difference between stuff that matters and just emotional masturbation I guess. It's all mixed up in my head ...

Ma 'alena
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Developing World is the correct term (not Third World) as we all live on one world
I could never use that term. It's just too fake. Maybe it applies to some countries, just not mine.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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I think the reason people don't seem to care about their governments torturing people is because Humans aren't good at processing events that aren't directly effecting them in the present moment (and sometimes even then,) and that they have no idea how to change. Problem solving is difficult so people deal with problems as they come up much of the time to avoid using up mental resources.
The goverment's job generally is to create an illusion that people have control to avoid revolution, while at the same time giving people very little control.
Or it can convince them that they don’t know what’s good for them. Let daddy take care of everything.
Quote:
I think many people now are living in a constant state of existential horror and another form of horror which maybe the term epistemological horror could describe and other horrors. But if you talk about the problems in the world someone will, quite derisively, look down on you for doing so, and tell you to ignore them.
Kind of makes me want to paint a scene which conveys all of the horror with someone recoiling from it and and another person telling them in a smug way to just ignore it, stop complaining, everything is fine, questioning is stupid, the majority is always right, that's just chaos etc.
I often feel ashamed of the things that make me upset.
I don’t feel safe complaining about anything, even anonymously.
I’m so used to rephrasing my thoughts and emotions to fit in, I’m no longer able to connect to that core. I sometimes wonder if there’s any reality to my existence. Like, when someone asks me why are you upset? I’m always shocked by how I cannot really tell the difference between a truthful answer and an easy lie. They both feel the same.
Quote:
People actually really hate 'thinking people' they think that people like this look down on others (and they often do - tribalism is inherent to all Humans,) and they see no value in contemplation unless you're creating solutions (which is not always obvious in the short term, but at any rate most often won't.) It's certainly true that a lot of the personality traits and thought processes associated with contemplation will create more harm than good in most individuals and on a wider level impact the group negatively. Especially if the individual is also high in neuroticism. Living in your head + negative rumination is one of the worst combinations for the group and individual short of being incredibly low in agreeableness. You have to constantly demonstrate some kind of worth in the material world in order to appease the group.
Rumination and daydreaming. I feel like every passing year, I spend more of my time there. At one point I’ll probably stop noticing the real world around me.

BTW, you often mention the "big five" (isn't that what they're called) when you analyze other people. Do you ever wonder if that classification itself colors how you see people? Just a random thought. I'm not sure why I never got interested in personality types.

Quote:
Most people don't have the capacity to think about ideas and/or dislike doing so. It requires mental effort and often a cost to the individual. Some people are very innately focused on the here and now and tune out everything else on autopilot, some people choose not to think about things because they believe it will make them personally unhappy and they have no control so why bother?
I think if you feel trapped enough, your brain will automatically go over all the possible reasons why you could be miserable. It’s like trying to figure out a puzzle or come up with a meaningful narrative.

You also end up thinking too much about things that only marginally affect you, because why not? what else is there to do?

I think people only ignore problems when they can afford it (there’s some other thing that can make them happy).

Quote:
Some people choose not to because they don't want to make themself an outcast, and then there's this where information can change you fundamentally and that's terrifying to a person with an ego (as is contemplating the various ways your brain can be hacked):

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/hM3k...rains-to-think
Indeed
You’re making me curious again about your other thread : P
The only time I felt the “do not touch” red button thing was when I was reading about atheism, uh, 15 years ago or something?
I don’t think I’ve experienced that feeling since, not in an intense way anyway.
I’m pretty sure my brain is hacked and bursting with worms and malware though. I just let too much garbage inside. I’m not sure why I do it. I guess it’s entertaining sometimes. And I no longer care about the Truth about anything as much as I once did. I don’t mind being emotionally manipulated sometimes, assuming I get to enjoy the drama.
Quote:
The internet is actually a huge threat to governments and people trying to live out 'ignorance is bliss' that's why.. Well everything right now lol (but on topic: government censoring of the internet and people choosing not to care.) The desire to protect yourself or order (society structures,) from information is pretty intense. Certain kinds of information that promote social cohesion to the majority are encouraged (and these vary per regime of course.)
Spreading “fake news” is a common crime these days. I think they’ve even made it a crime to “spread negative atmosphere” or something ridiculous like that. I don’t even know. There was one person I kept seeing in my newsfeed that news outlets was saying she was arrested because she complained about being sexually harassed or something.

I watched her video. It was mostly just f* people, f* the police, f* this country. The most benign thing you can imagine being posted by someone venting on FB (in portrait mode :S ).

I sort of felt embarrassed for her. The headlines made her seem like she was a brave activist or something. : /

Quote:
I think what people like about revolution is that it reminds people that they can act outside of a status quo.

I remember when I was 7 I freaked out about someone roleplaying that there was a fire on a ship I was on, no one else reacted. This is partly due to a lack of social understanding when someone is joking, coupled with a hyperactive amygdala, but at the same time we are socialised to ignore based on patterns and to react based on the reactions of those around us. If we're not already doing it, you usually learn with age.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

So before I said about the existential horror but I think one form of reaction to the dissatisfaction of now is nostalgia and hauntology (this is largely western focused though.) All of the futures that are now lost:
My nostalgia is probably more symbolic than anything else. Though I’m not really sure of what.

Interesting. I'm not sure if I understood it, but something about time ... I'm too sleepy. Sorry, lol. Not the right time for watching a philosophy video. The art looked cool though. I didn't know what it was called. Today I learned that it's called ... something (I forgot what it was, lol).

I subscribed to the channel though. I sort of like that stuff when I'm more awake ... sometimes.

Quote:
I know this post is a bit:



but this is probably one of the few ways to cope with the present really.
Yeah, well definitely better than politics :'D

---

Note to self: I need to go sleep and forget I ever started this thread.

Ma 'alena
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 03:42 PM
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even though new zealand is a very stable wonderland, of course there are political/ideological problems. i think that's why people hate vegans so much, because they had their nice utopia as long as they don't think about those certain facts. ideology can make utopia out of **** or **** out of utopia. i'm a bit ashamed of being upset by the vystopia. maybe in a similar way you're ashamed? not sure. there are things that have become fairly clear to me that i'm quite ashamed of - one being that i'm a minority in a few major ways, despite being a (supposedly) privileged white male. and the second, being basically disabled, when i look at my life and what i have been capable of career-wise and socially, i feel like i am on the same level as someone with a moderate disability - and people have treated me like that quite often. just an outsider, mockable, kind of sub-person. even my friend very recently instigated an argument about eating meat, told me i need to eat some meat, sent me a photo of a dead pig. idk how i'm meant to operate in this environment. i can't just drop all the ideology, though my religion suggests that would be the best. should people purposefully forget facts which make them upset? i don't want to drop an eyes-open ideology for something about ignoring and forgetting. more awareness seems better than less.

anyway yeah, physical world is never going to match up with ideology, therefore there will be suffering. most people are more into the real world than virtual ones. sometimes i think it would be better to just know about what you can see in your immediate environment. we're not well evolved for thinking about big abstract things, we get caught up in them. not really sure what is real or if there is an actual way to define what is real.

anyway, oops, not third world problems.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Myosr View Post

I often feel ashamed of the things that make me upset.
I don’t feel safe complaining about anything, even anonymously.
I’m so used to rephrasing my thoughts and emotions to fit in, I’m no longer able to connect to that core. I sometimes wonder if there’s any reality to my existence. Like, when someone asks me why are you upset? I’m always shocked by how I cannot really tell the difference between a truthful answer and an easy lie. They both feel the same.
I think I have difficulty pinpointing all the reasons I'm down now or feeling negative these days. Often there's a general state of being that's layered on top of things anyway.

I don't like to complain too much about things that I'm not planning on changing because it annoys other people when you don't take their advice, and talking about certain things here makes me uncomfortable anyway. I'll do it in posts sometimes if I think it will fade into the background, but I really don't like making threads often.

Quote:
Rumination and daydreaming. I feel like every passing year, I spend more of my time there. At one point I’ll probably stop noticing the real world around me.

BTW, you often mention the "big five" (isn't that what they're called) when you analyze other people. Do you ever wonder if that classification itself colors how you see people? Just a random thought. I'm not sure why I never got interested in personality types.
I have to actively force myself to be present when I leave the house otherwise I'm not fully present most of the time.

Yeah I think a few of the traits in particular do a pretty good job of describing people in a general sense, and it probably does to some extent but mostly it just created language for stuff I already noticed a lot.

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I think if you feel trapped enough, your brain will automatically go over all the possible reasons why you could be miserable. It’s like trying to figure out a puzzle or come up with a meaningful narrative.

You also end up thinking too much about things that only marginally affect you, because why not? what else is there to do?

I think people only ignore problems when they can afford it (there’s some other thing that can make them happy).
Yeah I agree.


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You’re making me curious again about your other thread : P
The only time I felt the “do not touch” red button thing was when I was reading about atheism, uh, 15 years ago or something?
I don’t think I’ve experienced that feeling since, not in an intense way anyway.
I’m pretty sure my brain is hacked and bursting with worms and malware though. I just let too much garbage inside. I’m not sure why I do it. I guess it’s entertaining sometimes. And I no longer care about the Truth about anything as much as I once did. I don’t mind being emotionally manipulated sometimes, assuming I get to enjoy the drama.
I think it's difficult not to these days, you get a lot of information without even trying just from being online.


Quote:
Spreading “fake news” is a common crime these days. I think they’ve even made it a crime to “spread negative atmosphere” or something ridiculous like that. I don’t even know. There was one person I kept seeing in my newsfeed that news outlets was saying she was arrested because she complained about being sexually harassed or something.

I watched her video. It was mostly just f* people, f* the police, f* this country. The most benign thing you can imagine being posted by someone venting on FB (in portrait mode :S ).

I sort of felt embarrassed for her. The headlines made her seem like she was a brave activist or something. : /
Negative atmosphere sounds really vague :/


Quote:
Interesting. I'm not sure if I understood it, but something about time ... I'm too sleepy. Sorry, lol. Not the right time for watching a philosophy video. The art looked cool though. I didn't know what it was called. Today I learned that it's called ... something (I forgot what it was, lol).

I subscribed to the channel though. I sort of like that stuff when I'm more awake ... sometimes.
Yeah a couple of their videos seemed cool and I liked the editing, seems like they haven't updated their channel in a while now though (several months,) so it may be dead or they're taking a break.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 04:29 AM
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Thanks for the megapost!

The world is hostile to immigrants, but it sounds to me that it matches the country's hostility towards its own people pretty well. I don't think that hope exists in 'winning' or the revolution or a mythical 'human nature'. In that sense, maybe there is no hope. Where it does exist to me (and if it's not hope, then call it whatever - meaning, respite, happiness, etc.) is in the individual people. When such people do their thing and make the world a nicer place, it really doesn't matter to me if they are acting within their 'human nature' or against it, or whether it 'ultimately changes anything'. It does change something for me right then.

Also, human nature is not some joint curse we all carry: two people, faced with poverty, can act in ways that are completely opposite to one another - selfish or selfless, cruel or empathetic. I think that thinking that all 'people are ultimately ____' is a trap. When Agent Smith in The Matrix compares humanity to a virus, it's an excellent scene, because of how shockingly true that statement sounds. At the same time, he is not entirely right and we don't want him to win. Or I didn't.

I agree with you that the world is pretty ugly. The dream place can exist though - but it's not a geographical location. And it exists despite 'the world', not because of it. Or to me it does. Of course, you could say it's survivalist thinking, which I accept. Optimism never did anything for me. I don't think life is a gift. But it sure is an experience.

I think you're right that living elsewhere you would feel equally (or only marginally less) stressed and depressed. It's in the mind to a great degree. But sometimes you cannot spend time tinkering with your mind if you have to fight for your safety or survival, and a move to a safer place can help. I don't know your personal circumstances and so can't tell if you would be better off staying or going.

I did not discuss the politics much in this, because it's not about that, I think. However, I do know the pain of finding yourself on the cusp of a huge change that doesn't deliver on its promise. I was camping out during the first few weeks of the Occupy protests and there was so much expectation. Occupy was no Tahrir square, but I think the sentiment was similar in some ways. What I recall most vividly from that time was a chat with a guy washing the dishes in the kitchen tent. He said he'd been going from one project to another. I couldn't understand it: "But how do you not feel crushed and lose hope in humanity when it all falls apart?". I can understand it now.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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I think I have difficulty pinpointing all the reasons I'm down now or feeling negative these days. Often there's a general state of being that's layered on top of things anyway.
Yeah. the layers make it hard to pinpoint anything. I don't like going to therapists anymore because, well, for many reasons, but one reason is I keep changing how I talk about my problems. I never feel like I can just open up to someone (even a professional), and they'll just know what to look for. I always had the idea that I have to guide them through "relevant" issues. But it's become hard even for me to know what's relevant and what's just symbolic fluff.

I had the impression that you were a lot more analytical when it comes to your issues. But I guess you don't find enough agreement from the external world on your analysis.

Quote:

I don't like to complain too much about things that I'm not planning on changing because it annoys other people when you don't take their advice, and talking about certain things here makes me uncomfortable anyway. I'll do it in posts sometimes if I think it will fade into the background, but I really don't like making threads often.
Hm. Well, I guess it depends on how you view the account.

I sometimes reach a point where saying anything anywhere online makes me uncomfortable. It's hard for me to present myself in a way I don't find cringy. I don't think I've posted anything online using my real name since maybe 2011 or something.

Even little things, I often regret. I had a photo of me on an app. People kept commenting on how I was smiling in the pic, and my mom was like "you look like a girl". I ended up removing it, because I was so uncomfortable.

I had an anonymous account in 2011-2014 and I thought it would be therapeutic to be completely open and have a place where I could just say anything that popped into my mind. I would just ignore that feeling of discomfort.

At one point though, I just started hating it, and all the ignored discomfort came crashing down. So I just deleted the whole thing. I often see my self-expression as childish or dumb or just annoying in retrospect. Not sure if I really believe that.

Quote:
I have to actively force myself to be present when I leave the house otherwise I'm not fully present most of the time.

Yeah I think a few of the traits in particular do a pretty good job of describing people in a general sense, and it probably does to some extent but mostly it just created language for stuff I already noticed a lot.
Hm. I guess for me, I always classified people in my head based on how much similar they are to other people. Mostly though I have like one big category for people who seem socially functional.


Quote:
Yeah I agree.




I think it's difficult not to these days, you get a lot of information without even trying just from being online.




Negative atmosphere sounds really vague :/


Yeah a couple of their videos seemed cool and I liked the editing, seems like they haven't updated their channel in a while now though (several months,) so it may be dead or they're taking a break.
Speaking of YT, and things "best not thought about". Not sure if you know this guy

https://www.youtube.com/user/thephilosophytube/videos

I found him through Contrapoints originally, and he sort of made me question some of my assumptions, since he's more openly far to the left than most. Anyway, he had a video about refugees and it sort of echoed a lot of the issues I was thinking about for some time about the concept of human rights, and how people talked about it. (Though probably NOT in the way he intended, lol.)

Anyway, I think that video was sort of the last straw for me, when it comes a belief that humanity is in anyway ready for "universal human rights" (other than an idea that makes people feel good).

One thing that annoys me about this human rights thing and makes me want to avoid talking about it even though I often think about it is what you said earlier about people saying contemplation is worthless if you have no solutions. I see a problem, and find all solutions unconvincing (whether they're driven by left or right wing ideologies). So I end up just endlessly ruminating. : /

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Myosr View Post
Yeah. the layers make it hard to pinpoint anything. I don't like going to therapists anymore because, well, for many reasons, but one reason is I keep changing how I talk about my problems. I never feel like I can just open up to someone (even a professional), and they'll just know what to look for. I always had the idea that I have to guide them through "relevant" issues. But it's become hard even for me to know what's relevant and what's just symbolic fluff.

I had the impression that you were a lot more analytical when it comes to your issues. But I guess you don't find enough agreement from the external world on your analysis.
mm I spend tons of time analysing stuff, especially my thoughts and feelings, and I'm never 100% satisfied. I have to constantly try to distract my brain from doing that because otherwise I'm basically in third person constantly.

But yeah I agree, I feel like especially knowing how things work here that I'd have to put in a lot of effort to point them in the right direction (most of the work in fact,) and really push. And it's not like I have all the answers myself, but they will absolutely avoid for example diagnosing you with anything here and in many cases treating you. I also think far worse than that they'd more often than not give you some vague common diagnoses to avoid diagnosing you with something that will be more problematic for them, even if it's accurate. That's if you're not paying for it privately anyway. I don't think I can trust them, they don't have the resources. And I did try the social phobia cbt thing already so yeah.

I feel like a lot of people with emotional issues of any kind just get lumped into borderline personality disorder whether it's accurate or not (and that a lot of autistic women are misdiagnosed as that. Because they become emotionally unstable under stress, and because of the gender role expectations that require a lot of women to do stuff that when they are autistic, they really struggle with.) and that for example schizoid PD is basically never treated/diagnosed because well probably something like this psychologist described.

Quote:
Hm. Well, I guess it depends on how you view the account.

I sometimes reach a point where saying anything anywhere online makes me uncomfortable. It's hard for me to present myself in a way I don't find cringy. I don't think I've posted anything online using my real name since maybe 2011 or something.

Even little things, I often regret. I had a photo of me on an app. People kept commenting on how I was smiling in the pic, and my mom was like "you look like a girl". I ended up removing it, because I was so uncomfortable.

I had an anonymous account in 2011-2014 and I thought it would be therapeutic to be completely open and have a place where I could just say anything that popped into my mind. I would just ignore that feeling of discomfort.

At one point though, I just started hating it, and all the ignored discomfort came crashing down. So I just deleted the whole thing. I often see my self-expression as childish or dumb or just annoying in retrospect. Not sure if I really believe that.
Yeah I'll still post stuff but cringe at almost everything, sometimes I go through phases of cringing more than others though for some reason. I'll just sit there and remember something. This is the best thing I've found to describe it lol. Only it's mostly recent stuff that I post online that makes me cringe now as opposed to older memories. Though I've had some of those too.

Quote:
Hm. I guess for me, I always classified people in my head based on how much similar they are to other people. Mostly though I have like one big category for people who seem socially functional.
Hm I think everyone does that to some extent on autopilot.

Quote:
Speaking of YT, and things "best not thought about". Not sure if you know this guy

https://www.youtube.com/user/thephilosophytube/videos

I found him through Contrapoints originally, and he sort of made me question some of my assumptions, since he's more openly far to the left than most. Anyway, he had a video about refugees and it sort of echoed a lot of the issues I was thinking about for some time about the concept of human rights, and how people talked about it. (Though probably NOT in the way he intended, lol.)

Anyway, I think that video was sort of the last straw for me, when it comes a belief that humanity is in anyway ready for "universal human rights" (other than an idea that makes people feel good).

One thing that annoys me about this human rights thing and makes me want to avoid talking about it even though I often think about it is what you said earlier about people saying contemplation is worthless if you have no solutions. I see a problem, and find all solutions unconvincing (whether they're driven by left or right wing ideologies). So I end up just endlessly ruminating. : /
Oh yeah I've heard of him, think I first heard his name contrapoints too lol. I've only watched a couple of his videos though at the moment. I watched this not long ago (you can imagine why that was suggested to me by YT lol.)

But yeah Human rights are kind of a vague and poorly enforced thing, the UN is generally quite useless in this way and then they chose Saudi Arabia be the head of the Human Rights council a few years back too lol. But in all honesty very few countries would make half decent representatives based on actions.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 09:13 AM
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just throwing in support for the thoughtful diatribe from the op, and persephones reply as per usual.

when you get tired of hearing it let me know, ill knock it off. but it makes me happy that you both think like this.

to the op-- im as confused by it as you are. though persephones response is relevant.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
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@rabidfoxes

I don’t know. Individuals put together make groups. And groups live together in countries.

Groups and countries do have a life of their own though. Individuals can’t break out of certain boundaries.

I don’t know. It’s hard to explain.

It’s the same way of saying culture is not simply the collection of different people’s choices.

---

There was a huge fire in the train station a few days ago, and I ended up watching * a lot of videos (well, a few anyway) of people burning alive, and also follow the reaction from other people.

I’m not going to say I’m traumatized because of the videos; that would be stupid. If anything, I actually feel very little. It’s odd though. I mean I know what burnt people look like, I just never saw anyone running and burning at the same time. So that’s a new scene for me. And I think in a sense, it adds up, over years – this is how you learn what is acceptable and what is not. It isn’t according to any moral theory, but according to what happens and people decide to move on. That’s how I decide things are okay or not (societally, or individually, it all follows the same principle).

Also, some people try to look for anything positive or “human” in a very absurdly inhumane circumstance.

So they said this one guy was going around putting the burning people out. Good for him. I just thought it was futile, because it’s just random and ineffective, and it does not reduce suffering on any meaningful scale. I cannot celebrate it, because I'm busy convincing myself it's okay to burn alive.

It sort of reminded me of your post though (he "decided" to act bravely, or whatever).

It's all mixed up in my head. I can't separate the individual from the abstract. I cannot disregard human life in the abstract, and decide for some reason to see value or meaning in any individual life, even my own.

Does that make any sense?

---

I remember a few years ago, I was taking a walk on the first day of the eid. And there was this little girl with her mom sleeping in the street, and the girl was super excited and kept asking me if the park was still open, and if she could come and walk with me. She kept saying her mom promised to take her to the park. And she kept trying to wake her up from under the cardboards. Her mom kept mumbling and telling her to shut up.

Her enthusiasm was so odd to me. I don’t really like kids and they don’t like me either, lol, but I always wonder about that little girl for some reason. How naďve and dumb she had to be to want to go to the park with a stranger at 11 PM, lol. And I’m pretty sure her mom was lying and had no plans of taking her to the park either. And what’s so entertaining about a dirty crowded park anyway?!

I keep wondering how many of her little dreams and expectations would be crushed before she turns into another zombie like her mom, or like me for that matter, lol.

Am I projecting my own zombihood onto that little girl? Probably.

---

Anyway, thanks for your response. I appreciate it.

====

* Now that I think about it though. Maybe that's the only thing I can control. I can decide to never expose myself to that kind of input. It feels like self-deception, but maybe that's not that bad compared to just being sad and depressed ...

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 04:27 PM
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The pleasure is all mine. Apologies for the belated response. I’m very disorganised. Chaos magic seems to be the only way to deal with the mounting number of e-mails and tasks. But I did want to respond.

Individuals make up groups, but groups are less homogenous than they seem. Even if you take a group marching for the revolution, the individuals within it have their own motivations for doing so, their own limits and their own boundaries. The whole thing can fall apart like a house of cards. I’m not saying groups are not dangerous, just that the fact that you belong to different groups throughout your life does not make you faceless, mass produced and incapable of having a mind of your own. I do have great faith in (some) individuals, but I do fear crowds. We’re going in a circle a bit here – you’re saying “but groups”, and I’m saying “but individuals”. It’s both, of course, just depends from which angle you shine your light.

I agree that it might be a good idea not to watch the videos. I used to think that I had a duty to expose myself to as much miserable media as I could, but a healthy activist is better than an ill one. Self-care should come first, and it does not make you selfish. How are you so sure you’re not traumatised by them though? “Feeling very little” is one of the responses to trauma. We distance ourselves to protect ourselves. I’m not saying that you are, necessarily (how would I know?) but I don’t think it’s something you can rule out completely.

When you talk about the guy who was putting out the fires on burning people, yes, true, it maybe doesn’t change anything on any “meaningful scale”. Although, people are talking about him and what happened. And I can’t be the only person who is happy that someone did do something like that, even knowing that in the grand scheme of things it’s a futile action. It wasn’t futile to him. To me, the individual life is not divorced from human life in the abstract, but to a degree it is symbolic of it. Some guy is putting the fires out so there is a strand to humanity that is actually humane. That’s my way of dealing with the lack of meaning, I think. And then if he is set on fire, and everything goes to shxt, well, that doesn’t undo what he’s done. I don’t really care about the bigger picture that much because at that Occupy camp I learned that I can’t change the bigger picture and I can’t live with the anxiety of being helpless. The immediate now and the individual are the levels at which I can function, because I have some kind of limited power to write my own narrative. The future, the country, the society – as soon as I let them be more than context, they grind me into the dirt. Which could maybe be an explanation why you feel the way you do? Idk

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