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Thread: On the merits of being normal

  1. #21
    creator kari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuck View Post
    Problem is the normal state of society is pretty psychotic.
    What kind of psychosis?
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  2. #22
    creator kari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PureViolence View Post
    i prefer to judge people based on how curious / open they are - how brainwashed / offended they get
    if you mean you love normal yet curious people then i totally fucking agree, because probably they learnt before anyone else that no one gives a shit anymore, anyone can be god, there's no more magic to talk about.
    Yes, I think curiosity is a good trait

    I'm not saying that everyone should adhere to the status quo straight away, I'm just saying there is a lot more merit in it than people like to believe.

    The most important things are awareness and agency. It is very different to choose to be x, rather than to be x because it is the path of least resistance. It's the latter that leads people to lead lives of "quiet desperation".
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  3. #23
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kari View Post
    By normal, I mean by subscribing to and following societal traditions, adhering to the status quo.
    Probably like @Sloth, i don't really want to get bugged down in the "what is normal", but I can't help but point out that "status quo" is usually a fantasy/abnormal philosophy in itself. What even is (Australian) status quo? We're a country that's barely been a federation more than 100 years, with main immigration waves of english/irish, chinese, english/irish, greek/italian/european, cambodian/vietnamese/thai, chinese, indian, somalian/mudda-fuckin-everyone. In those 100 or so years, we've had WWI, womens lib I, the great depression, WWII, the baby boomers, end of white australian policy, FUCKING COMPUTERS, womens lib II, hippies, disco, cold-war, legalised divorce and abortion, stagflation and oil crisis, gen X, vietnam and korea, constitutional crisis, labors deal with industry, FUCKING MILLENIALS, iraq war 1, the howard years/sept 11, iraq war 2 (this time its personal), a housing boom with huge non-white immigration and movements to single head households and urban reinvigoration, legalislation of gay marriage, hipsters and apparently a new past time of stabbing PM's in the back. We've been afraid of being invaded by japs, generic-asians, indonesians, chinese, respectively and vaguely.

    Status quo is nonsense. In most conversations its generally a specific group's political statement/self-reference/utter delusion.

    It seems to me that general use-value of tradition is to facilitate large-scale survival of the species. Traditions are time-tested behaviours, passed down from generation to generation. The benefit of adhering to tradition rather than carefully tailoring specific responses to specific circumstances is twofold:

    1) it saves a lot of precious energy that can be partitioned elsewhere, and
    2) it displays allegiance and loyalty to the herd.

    I can't remember exactly where I heard this - perhaps on a Joe Rogan podcast. Basically the guest was saying how there was an evolutionary explanation for racism, xenophobia and tribalism. In the past, it was extremely to risky be introduced to new and foreign tribes & cultures, since they brought with them an influx of unfamiliar pathogens and contagions. Tribes that failed to turn away external cultures risked contamination and ultimately the population dying off. Tribes that were hostile to new influences survived and passed on their aversion.

    Obviously in the modern world, the racism tradition is at best archaic.
    But I think there is a lot of wisdom in other traditions, and we are intuitively drawn towards them because of eons of evolutionary programming. As someone who has always thought being normal was boring, I’m starting to think it’s the most exciting thing, because you’re tapping into something primal and wonderful.

    Unconventionality has its merits and can also be explained within the evolutionary paradigm. I think weirdness, unfamiliarity, novelty, are akin to genetic mutations – new traits that push the boundaries of what is possible. The survival of the species depends on biodiversity, so that entities with favourable genetic mutations to suit shifting environmental pressures may survive and propagate.

    Weird people are either revolutionaries or they are liabilities.
    You're essentially right.

    But there's a couple of nuances in there.

    Traditions are themselves subject to remarkably fast short term evolution cycles.

    We do subconsciously pick them up, both to save conscious thought and effort and to signal group membership. But very few traditions, even though they may continue through an evolutionary chain, truly resemble their "original" forms (keeping in mind, any demarcation of "original" is practically impossible when the evolutionary chain stretches back infinitely).

    I mean, culture and tradition is the original meme. And it makes sense that a group of self-reinforcing memes which have shown themselves receptive to being picked up by human imitation, are indeed, receptive and predisposed to being picked up by human imitation relative to the total scope of all possible ideas and behaviours.

    One point you are off on though is the evolutionary idea for racism. Not as in there isn't one, that's a whole other kettle of fish (i'd say anyone who has spent any time watching humans can clearly there is a general basis for in/out group behaviour).

    What i mean is that the idea of tribes being better off turning away from external cultures is mistaken. It sounds even plausible when you've got 1 or 2 tribes, but the dynamics of large numbers of populations and tribes results in an effect that supports the tribes that engage and interact, not completely unlike the biological reason we share DNA rather than produce asexually even though people suck. While you open yourself up to contagion and damage and all that, the tribe that does so successfully (and with enough tribes, at least one eventually will) gains an advantage over the others. Their evolutionary adaption rate is greater. And forgive me to simplify history horribly, but that's what we almost universally see. The inward societies practically always stagnate, die, or are wiped out. If not from the invaders and their guns and their germs (because remember, the invaders developed resistance and tech and resources through exposure and interaction), then from their own members who defect to utilize the gains of the new way of life.

    In general, conservative inward looking movements and traditions are the universal losers in the story of history.

    That being said, I think we might mean different things when we say unconventional/normal.

    To me, there is nothing more conventional or normal than most recognized sub-cultures: liberals, conservatives, punks, goths, hipsters, third-wave-pc-identity crowds and yes, even whatever paleo-neo-conservative-alt-right-vitamin-popping-reactionary-struggle-for-control-over-your-anxieties all you kids are doing these days :P All just different sides of the same normal coin.

    Unconventional people (ones who dont care or buy in) are about the only ones worth finding these days.

  4. #24
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    Kari even if you try to adopt normality you'll be doing it in an affected way which would still be weird. Like hipsters intentionally trying to dress unfashionably. The only way you can be normal is if you spend 0 reflection on anything and go through life like a ghost, endlessly repeating patterns that killed you long ago.

  5. #25
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sloth View Post
    Unless you're in a hurry, mismatched socks is a conscious choice that you know will get you attention for being "different".
    You cut me sloth. You cut me real deep just now

  6. #26
    creator kari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACow View Post
    Probably like @Sloth, i don't really want to get bugged down in the "what is normal", but I can't help but point out that "status quo" is usually a fantasy/abnormal philosophy in itself. What even is (Australian) status quo? We're a country that's barely been a federation more than 100 years, with main immigration waves of english/irish, chinese, english/irish, greek/italian/european, cambodian/vietnamese/thai, chinese, indian, somalian/mudda-fuckin-everyone. In those 100 or so years, we've had WWI, womens lib I, the great depression, WWII, the baby boomers, end of white australian policy, FUCKING COMPUTERS, womens lib II, hippies, disco, cold-war, legalised divorce and abortion, stagflation and oil crisis, gen X, vietnam and korea, constitutional crisis, labors deal with industry, FUCKING MILLENIALS, iraq war 1, the howard years/sept 11, iraq war 2 (this time its personal), a housing boom with huge non-white immigration and movements to single head households and urban reinvigoration, legalislation of gay marriage, hipsters and apparently a new past time of stabbing PM's in the back. We've been afraid of being invaded by japs, generic-asians, indonesians, chinese, respectively and vaguely.

    Status quo is nonsense. In most conversations its generally a specific group's political statement/self-reference/utter delusion.



    You're essentially right.

    But there's a couple of nuances in there.

    Traditions are themselves subject to remarkably fast short term evolution cycles.

    We do subconsciously pick them up, both to save conscious thought and effort and to signal group membership. But very few traditions, even though they may continue through an evolutionary chain, truly resemble their "original" forms (keeping in mind, any demarcation of "original" is practically impossible when the evolutionary chain stretches back infinitely).

    I mean, culture and tradition is the original meme. And it makes sense that a group of self-reinforcing memes which have shown themselves receptive to being picked up by human imitation, are indeed, receptive and predisposed to being picked up by human imitation relative to the total scope of all possible ideas and behaviours.

    One point you are off on though is the evolutionary idea for racism. Not as in there isn't one, that's a whole other kettle of fish (i'd say anyone who has spent any time watching humans can clearly there is a general basis for in/out group behaviour).

    What i mean is that the idea of tribes being better off turning away from external cultures is mistaken. It sounds even plausible when you've got 1 or 2 tribes, but the dynamics of large numbers of populations and tribes results in an effect that supports the tribes that engage and interact, not completely unlike the biological reason we share DNA rather than produce asexually even though people suck. While you open yourself up to contagion and damage and all that, the tribe that does so successfully (and with enough tribes, at least one eventually will) gains an advantage over the others. Their evolutionary adaption rate is greater. And forgive me to simplify history horribly, but that's what we almost universally see. The inward societies practically always stagnate, die, or are wiped out. If not from the invaders and their guns and their germs (because remember, the invaders developed resistance and tech and resources through exposure and interaction), then from their own members who defect to utilize the gains of the new way of life.

    In general, conservative inward looking movements and traditions are the universal losers in the story of history.

    That being said, I think we might mean different things when we say unconventional/normal.

    To me, there is nothing more conventional or normal than most recognized sub-cultures: liberals, conservatives, punks, goths, hipsters, third-wave-pc-identity crowds and yes, even whatever paleo-neo-conservative-alt-right-vitamin-popping-reactionary-struggle-for-control-over-your-anxieties all you kids are doing these days :P All just different sides of the same normal coin.

    Unconventional people (ones who dont care or buy in) are about the only ones worth finding these days.

    I guess by traditions I mean more stuff like marriage, having kids, religious activity, etc.

    That sounds sensible, didn't think of it, yeah surely the evolutionarily fittest would be the ones that adapted to foreign invasion (those that survived contagion). Maybe there were some groups in which xenophobic behaviour did work to their favour and they just adapted in other ways. Different societies find different ways of surviving. This wiki argues for it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prejud...ry_perspective
    with this study citing that women's fertility correlated with racial bias and fear of sexual coercion
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  7. #27
    No Thank You Blorg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACow View Post
    To me, there is nothing more conventional or normal than most recognized sub-cultures: liberals, conservatives, punks, goths, hipsters, third-wave-pc-identity crowds and yes, even whatever paleo-neo-conservative-alt-right-vitamin-popping-reactionary-struggle-for-control-over-your-anxieties all you kids are doing these days :P All just different sides of the same normal coin.
    Yeah, and I think it's a pretty instantaneous process in which the newest trends become commercialized due to the semi-covert symbiotic relationship between marketers and hipsters. (interpreting 'commercialized' as 'normalized,' since that's what people often mean.)

    As for normality in its typical aesthetic sense ('white picket fence'), I find it boring not because it's normal, but because it's been so overdone in books and movies. I've seen Mad Men and American Beauty and liked them. But I realized that 'normal' hasn't aged well for me when I saw The Shape of Water a few months ago. The whole theme seemed totally exhausted in that movie. Cliche. Time for a new normal imo.

  8. #28
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kari View Post
    I guess by traditions I mean more stuff like marriage, having kids, religious activity, etc.


    ...go see it people if you haven't already :P

  9. #29
    凸(ಠ_ರೃ )凸 stuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kari View Post
    What kind of psychosis?
    I can speak for the culture in the USA only. We don't think ahead very well. Automation and climate change are set to profoundly alter everything in our lives, and we're still hurtling towards the precipice with our foot on the gas pedal.

    "Normal" would be moving to the burbs and having a nuclear family, getting a good job with a pension, being a christian, essentially pretending that the 1950s or 1990s will extend into eternity. However, the economy is eating itself, society is changing. Kids are living with their parents longer, and they're supposed to be the losers and the weird ones. They're the losers for not wanting to have kids of their own. I think it's psychotic.

  10. #30
    凸(ಠ_ರೃ )凸 stuck's Avatar
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    And like clockwork, Facebook sends me this:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-you...56310?mod=e2fb

    A perfectly normal state of affairs, being mined for my clicks from blog rants.

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