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Thread: Do you ever feel like the people around you aren't alive?

  1. #11
    Senior Member Sinny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    Lately I've begun to wonder of I'm a zombie. I mean, the outer me, the ambulant sack of meat-me. This has left me with no time to care about the state of others, as such.

    I will say this. In those moments when I do look up, pay attention to others, I am sickened by all the halfwits shuffling about starting into their phones. By all the brain-dead shambling on.

    I'm always staring at my phone and you and your forum are to blame
    Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.

    ~ Robert Jackson, Statesman (1892-1954)


  2. #12
    Formerly PiccoloNamek Lunar Delta's Avatar
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    I consider many, if not most of the people around me to be barely sentient beasts. Most of them aren't even worthy of my contempt.
    Quote Originally Posted by omnirook
    I like it cold - and raining. That keeps the public private - behind closed doors, where they belong!

  3. #13
    Member RDF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordLatch View Post
    People seem to be caught in loop or running a program. Are they conscious? Are they NPC's merely running a script? They never change or grow and have no interest in doing so? [...]
    People get stuck in a rut. The latest episode of "Existential Comics" encapsulates my view on this subject. Link: http://existentialcomics.com/comic/249

    Our parents endow us with a superego, which fills us with anxiety when we diverge too far from the beaten path. And then our peers and social media play upon those anxieties by shaming us when we don't act according to script.

    Of course, everyone has their little acts of rebellion from time to time. Camus said, "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion." Very likely everyone can make the claim that they've rebelled and broken free at least once in their life.

    But in breaking free of our old peers and their shaming tactics, we drop off their radar screen and make ourselves invisible to them. So these little acts of rebellion largely go unnoticed. And sooner or later we rebuild in a new milieu and create new ruts and routines and bow to new social pressures. So it's almost as if the rebellion never happened. It's as if we remain zombies throughout our lives.

    But we can tally those little rebellions ourselves, those little bursts of freedom. They did happen, we live a more fulfilled life as a result (a life more in tune with our values), and they keep us from being zombies even if no one else really registers them.

  4. #14
    schlemiel Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    I think it's a narcissistic way to see the world. Stuff of teenagers, IMO.
    Entirely right.



    Not sure how one goes about discerning "sheeple" from not at a glance. Meanwhile we spout about "living in the moment" from the other side of our mouths with no hint of irony or cognitive dissonance.

    There's enough to worry about how to conduct ourselves in our own lives. I suppose projecting on others is recreational.
    "All my heroes are dead" - John Zorn

    "It's not selfish if you hate yourself"

  5. #15
    凸(ಠ_ರೃ )凸 stuck's Avatar
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    The more people believe in free will, that their feelings represent some mystical spiritual capacity, the easier it is to manipulate them, because they won’t think that their feelings are being produced and manipulated by some external system
    https://www.theguardian.com/culture/...iew-21-lessons

  6. #16
    schlemiel Faust's Avatar
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    The more people believe in free will, that their feelings represent some mystical spiritual capacity
    What do feelings have to do with free will? This sounds like a conflation between believing in the soul and free will.
    "All my heroes are dead" - John Zorn

    "It's not selfish if you hate yourself"

  7. #17
    Member RDF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    What do feelings have to do with free will? This sounds like a conflation between believing in the soul and free will.
    The article sets up the argument in the previous paragraph:

    Liberalism is based on the assumption that you have privileged access to your own inner world of feelings and thoughts and choices, and nobody outside you can really understand you. This is why your feelings are the highest authority in your life and also in politics and economics – the voter knows best, the customer is always right. Even though neuroscience shows us that there is no such thing as free will, in practical terms it made sense because nobody could understand and manipulate your innermost feelings. But now the merger of biotech and infotech in neuroscience and the ability to gather enormous amounts of data on each individual and process them effectively means we are very close to the point where an external system can understand your feelings better than you.

    https://www.theguardian.com/culture/...iew-21-lessons
    This concept--that feelings can be used as a guide to life--is a reference to Rousseau and Romanticism. Modern culture (or "Liberalism," as used in the passage above) is largely governed by the rules of Romanticism. From the Wikipedia article on Romanticism:

    The movement emphasized intense emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as apprehension, horror and terror, and awe—especially that experienced in confronting the new aesthetic categories of the sublimity and beauty of nature. It elevated folk art and ancient custom to something noble, but also spontaneity as a desirable characteristic (as in the musical impromptu).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanticism
    To sum it all up: When feelings are elevated to the point of representing moral guides, that is, when feelings are assumed to represent some kind of mystical, spiritual capacity (as "Liberalism" or modern cultural Romanticism dictates), then we become manipulable. Because feelings are increasingly manipulable by modern infotech.
    Last edited by RDF; 08-07-2018 at 05:56 PM.

  8. #18
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    Not sure how one goes about discerning "sheeple" from not at a glance.
    Sometimes it's obvious. I consider habitual wearing of sports jerseys to be a sign of sheeplehood. This includes professional athletes.

    But most of the time I give the benefit of doubt until I hear what they say and see what they do. There's still the problem of phenomenal vs nuomenal, in that I only have my phenomenal observation of their nuomenal reality and therefore can't know what, if anything, drives them or takes place in their head--and even if they provide explanation of their phenomenal experience it could just be a very sophisticated chatbot--like @Madrigal's comment.

    If I were puppeteering, I'd give my puppets subroutines to respond to the "real" people noticing they might be surrounded by puppets by denigrating and trivializing that worldview. It's common sense.

    Meanwhile we spout about "living in the moment" from the other side of our mouths with no hint of irony or cognitive dissonance.
    You don't speak for me. I am not in your "we".
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  9. #19
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    I think the interpretation of neuroscience that there is no free will fails to do anything about the underlying conceit of free will, and only reiterates what philosophers since antiquity have said about it: that it is generated into being in its exercise and isn't measurable in the perceivable world*. All neuroscience can see is the consequences of a free choice. They cannot distinguish echoes from inception, nor prove that what they think is inception isn't an echo. That said, I do think that everyone, most of the time, is running a schema.

    There are other grievous errors in those paragraphs. One is the assumption that because the experience of feelings is personal means it isn't affected by external forces. Only a simpleton could possibly believe that. Of course external forces exert influence on our emotions--and our emotions can influence our behavior. That something can force your hand says nothing about whether or not you can be the thing that forces your hand as well in the same way that being able to force your hand says nothing about other influences forcing your hand. This lesson is learned early on:

    Spoiler: The Lesson


    I wonder what made him forget it?


    *As with all metaphysics, eventually you hit a wall of unassailable neener-neenerism.

    Spoiler: Neener-neener
    Last edited by Hephaestus; 08-07-2018 at 09:06 PM.
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  10. #20
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    And another thing: such a warning only has meaning in a universe in which free will exists. But his preceding arguments claim it doesn't exist, which negates the warning entirely by making it the equivalent of warning fish that being submerged in water is the first step in downing.
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

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