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Thread: Unequal Desires

  1. #1
    schlemiel Faust's Avatar
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    Unequal Desires

    Do you meticulously determine which of your desires are valuable and worthy, and which are too foolish or unimportant? Or is this determined intuitively?

    I suppose we could owe it to this here civilization and its discontents for suggestibility to suppressing choice desires whether bloodthirsty, lusty or noble. But I begin to wonder if desires I have are really my own, rooted in some base "want". Perhaps I only believe I want something out of some feat of mental gymnastics (i.e. rationalization) when nothing is really there.

    This poses a problem when re-evaluating direction and priorities because the first instinct, now at least, is to plan for long-term circumstances. This is informed by immediate, tangible desires but projected and gambled on means to an end. Conjuring up a connection between your feelings and something in abstract is, I would imagine, error-prone. Then again, in their purest form desires as I see them are rather static. It seems pretty "real" to have the capacity to desire something before being critically aware of the payoff (e.g. sex, food). Making the distinction between the more animalistic desire and the rationalized desire devised to lead to an expected neurological payoff, I wonder if the former as been more successful at achieving future gains in informing our planning. I could be dead wrong about many things in my life, but the self-contained pursuits which are ends in themselves ("in the present moment", to borrow from the buddhist pov) I don't think have been miscalculations or irrational, for the most part, but often begin spontaneously.

    I apologize for being all over the place here but it's difficult to discuss coherently. Searching through desires, let alone musing about a strategy, is mostly confusing and dizzying.
    Last edited by Faust; 12-16-2015 at 02:46 AM.
    "All my heroes are dead" - John Zorn

    "It's not selfish if you hate yourself"

  2. #2
    Utisz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    This poses a problem when re-evaluating direction and priorities because the first instinct, now at least, is to plan for long-term circumstances. This is informed by immediate, tangible desires but projected and gambled on means to an end
    There are studies on this under, e.g., hyperbolic discounting.

    A large number of subsequent experiments have confirmed that spontaneous preferences by both human and nonhuman subjects follow a hyperbolic curve rather than the conventional, "exponential" curve that would produce consistent choice over time. For instance, when offered the choice between $50 now and $100 a year from now, many people will choose the immediate $50. However, given the choice between $50 in five years or $100 in six years almost everyone will choose $100 in six years, even though that is the same choice seen at five years' greater distance.
    (... without looking into details right now ... those findings could well be horseshit or in need of a double coat of qualification)

  3. #3
    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    desires are silly. They're mostly just the aftermath of our projections. We think that our desire will bring us happiness or whatever other positive feeling...without realizing that it is not the object of the desire that we're really after, but the emotional payoff.

    While society has programmed many of us to suppress sexual or murderous desires, it doesn't mean that we're sheeple, necessarily. Certainly some are...but ultimately a society that embraces desire is one that embraces unconsciousness. And, as you're surely aware, those invested in consumerism definitely have a stake in maintaining our dedication to our desires as worthwhile things.

    In Buddhism, desire is basically a form of suffering. It is preferable to pursue rational objectives on a provisional basis, pending insight that would instruct one upon a wiser path.

    I suppose one could take the Buddhist approach intuitively or with excessive and meticulous rationalization, and arrive at positive outcomes both ways. I think pursuing objectives on a provisional basis is key...it allows you to alter course easily enough, while maintaining a basic general progression toward improvement of one's lot.
    ...the origin of emotional sickness lay in people’s belief that they were their personalities...
    "The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong." ~Carl Jung

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    igKnight Hephaestus's Avatar
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    I want to want what I want to want, but my wants are wanting. Instead, I want what I want, and I don't want to, because that means I don't want what I want to want. Therefore, even wanting to want what I want to want is wanting what I don't want to want.
    --Mention of these things is so taboo, they aren't even allowed a name for the prohibition. It is just not done.

  5. #5
    schlemiel Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robcore
    We think that our desire will bring us happiness or whatever other positive feeling...without realizing that it is not the object of the desire that we're really after, but the emotional payoff.
    I would give ourselves more credit. Even though it's not a quality intrinsic to the objects we chase, the objects are still necessary to that end.

    Quote Originally Posted by Utisz View Post
    There are studies on this under, e.g., hyperbolic discounting.



    (... without looking into details right now ... those findings could well be horseshit or in need of a double coat of qualification)
    Still, pretty damn interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing.
    "All my heroes are dead" - John Zorn

    "It's not selfish if you hate yourself"

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