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Thread: Motivation

  1. #21
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hubieg View Post
    First of all, that gives us 1 or two per generation, out of a few billion people, whos name or "invention" we even know. We truly know very little about the person. A little impersonal if you ask me. It is not THEY who are remembered but their creation. How many times have you heard anyone say <insert name here> was a good man (or woman). Nobody is immortal as a person, but through your children multiple generations can say that yes they were a good (or terrible) person.

    The question is can someone say the world is a better place because of them. On the surface the obvious answer with all those you mentioned is yes. Dig deeper and one could make an argument to say no. Take a not so obvious person like Alfred Nobel. His invention of dynamite and the destruction it has been used for (along with the construction) is obviously a two edged sword. The biggest legacy he is known for is the Nobel Prize which he left as a legacy to compensate for the creation of dynamite and the destruction it caused. Again though he is but a handful out of the billions of his generation that left a "thing".

    On the other hand, I go into town and meet someone and they ask are you xxx's kid. I miss him, he did this or that for me (also possibly he did this or that to me). Lastly one could also ask about the tens of thousands of people who created things that nobody even thinks twice about or knows their names for that matter. Refrigeration has changed our world also but can you name the man who invented it without looking it up?
    First, you look too narrowly. It is not one or two per generation out of a few billion people. The number of people whose work stands beyond their own lives for at least a generation or two is much much higher than that. Even the number of people whose work is remembered for more than a couple centuries has a higher percentage. And in the process of making that work, they are known by a far greater number of people than the typical person produces. This can easily lead to them being remembered for the same number of generations, but a much larger pool. Or do you never speak of or remember people who are not directly related to you?

    Second: you're changing the target several times over. You've now made multiple targets: proof that someone was there, that they have a positive impact, and that they be remembered personally as a "good person". Let's just agree that last one in particular is crap, and throw it out--or I can just remind you of biographies and you can concede it. I was challenging the idea that "Our children and the bloodline are the only evidence that we were even here that outlasts us". I understand you're backing it up to TJ's: "That and wanting to leave a good impression, whatever scant trace my existence makes on the course of human development", but the problem is, that still rips your claim apart, especially when you dive into Nobel's legacy with such a judgmental verdict.

    While you may argue that the world would be better off without the contributions of Newton, or Nobel, I'd say "really?" Even looking at the cliche of Nobel's dynamite, the maligning of it is overwrought and disingenuous. He made a tool. People used that tool for constructive and destructive purposes. Any "evil" done with the tool he invented is on the people who did that evil, not Nobel. They made the decision to do it. I reject all forms of "the devil made me do it", including blaming an inventor for what people did with their inventions. Nobel himself was an idiot for feeling guilty about how people chose to misuse dynamite.

    Now, looking at that larger claim though--I've met a ton of shitty people the world would be better off without. Having kids doesn't mean you've made a positive impact on humanity by a looooong shot. The number of people who can claim that are maybe one or two out of billions in a generation. Most people just have kids for ego tripping, and if they're lucky, their kids aren't shitbags. But all the evil done in the world is done by someone's kids. Every murder, every robbery, every rape, every theft, every human harm whether it be on other people or the environment, is because someone made a baby and it grew up to take part in those acts.

    Even the relatively bland masses that don't do major crimes, they're still not likely to be a net positive for human development. That takes doing something that stands the test of time. The primary impact of the common person is to use scarce resources and produce pollution.

    But even if you do have a kid whose work stands the test of time, those are their accomplishments, not yours, just as your ancestors deeds are theirs, not yours.
    People think they understand their own mortality, even when that understanding has just changed.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    First, you look too narrowly. It is not one or two per generation out of a few billion people. The number of people whose work stands beyond their own lives for at least a generation or two is much much higher than that. Even the number of people whose work is remembered for more than a couple centuries has a higher percentage. And in the process of making that work, they are known by a far greater number of people than the typical person produces. This can easily lead to them being remembered for the same number of generations, but a much larger pool. Or do you never speak of or remember people who are not directly related to you?

    Second: you're changing the target several times over. You've now made multiple targets: proof that someone was there, that they have a positive impact, and that they be remembered personally as a "good person". Let's just agree that last one in particular is crap, and throw it out--or I can just remind you of biographies and you can concede it. I was challenging the idea that "Our children and the bloodline are the only evidence that we were even here that outlasts us". I understand you're backing it up to TJ's: "That and wanting to leave a good impression, whatever scant trace my existence makes on the course of human development", but the problem is, that still rips your claim apart, especially when you dive into Nobel's legacy with such a judgmental verdict.

    While you may argue that the world would be better off without the contributions of Newton, or Nobel, I'd say "really?" Even looking at the cliche of Nobel's dynamite, the maligning of it is overwrought and disingenuous. He made a tool. People used that tool for constructive and destructive purposes. Any "evil" done with the tool he invented is on the people who did that evil, not Nobel. They made the decision to do it. I reject all forms of "the devil made me do it", including blaming an inventor for what people did with their inventions. Nobel himself was an idiot for feeling guilty about how people chose to misuse dynamite.

    Now, looking at that larger claim though--I've met a ton of shitty people the world would be better off without. Having kids doesn't mean you've made a positive impact on humanity by a looooong shot. The number of people who can claim that are maybe one or two out of billions in a generation. Most people just have kids for ego tripping, and if they're lucky, their kids aren't shitbags. But all the evil done in the world is done by someone's kids. Every murder, every robbery, every rape, every theft, every human harm whether it be on other people or the environment, is because someone made a baby and it grew up to take part in those acts.

    Even the relatively bland masses that don't do major crimes, they're still not likely to be a net positive for human development. That takes doing something that stands the test of time. The primary impact of the common person is to use scarce resources and produce pollution.

    But even if you do have a kid whose work stands the test of time, those are their accomplishments, not yours, just as your ancestors deeds are theirs, not yours.
    I am not taking anything away from your argument. I am however pointing out that even by someones mere existence (birth) and interaction with society, EVERYONE leaves a legacy through their children.There are countless combinations possible. There are many many ways that you and I affect the progress of society (by "progress" I men its change, good, bad or seemingly indifferent) by mere birth and existence. Its hard to argue what could have been by mere fact of ones failure to have been conceived. One could go so far as to argue that Hitler was able to create such atrocities because the mother of his would be assassin had a headache on a particular night. I know that is a real stretch but it is not an impossible one.

    The simple fact that a child is added to this world changes its course. It may be in an imperceptible way or it may be in a spectacular way. Either way bringing them into this world has effected the course of civilization. This change can either be as you indicated by that one spectacular discovery or it can be somewhere in the culmination of a blood line. Take a child out of the blood line of one of the people you mentioned, and that person now potentially ceases to exist, or goes into a different profession, or becomes destructive history has changed its course. We cannot even fathom what that change could have been. Even if you had a crystal ball and could see the future of said child and you didnt like it. What you cannot see is what would have been had that child not existed.

    One could even take this a step further and argue that even if said child contributes absolutely nothing to this world (an impossibility), they have still contributed their genetics to their ancestors and in turn society as a whole. Whos to say that unborn child didnt carry a gene mutation that was resistant to some form of cancer or disease. There is now zero chance of that gene being propagated. In the case of the original poster, what if that child had merely been raised by someone else. Again this is not something anyone will ever know. However something moved her to raise her child, call it whatever you will. She can now propagate her experiences into society via that child in addition to her genes.

    I dont want to play God. The human civilization cant even understand our own existence let alone those things that could've been or might be. For those who do not raise a child there is a 99.999999999% chance that upon their death, society will not even remember they existed after 10 years. For those that do at least there is some evidence that they did exist at one time. Yes you can mention some big names but stop and think how many in this world lived and died in the lifetime of those big names. I would argue that those nameless people put together contributed more overall to society than that one big name person.

  3. #23
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hubieg View Post
    I am not taking anything away from your argument. I am however pointing out that even by someones mere existence (birth) and interaction with society, EVERYONE leaves a legacy through their children.There are countless combinations possible. There are many many ways that you and I affect the progress of society (by "progress" I men its change, good, bad or seemingly indifferent) by mere birth and existence. Its hard to argue what could have been by mere fact of ones failure to have been conceived. One could go so far as to argue that Hitler was able to create such atrocities because the mother of his would be assassin had a headache on a particular night. I know that is a real stretch but it is not an impossible one.

    The simple fact that a child is added to this world changes its course. It may be in an imperceptible way or it may be in a spectacular way. Either way bringing them into this world has effected the course of civilization. This change can either be as you indicated by that one spectacular discovery or it can be somewhere in the culmination of a blood line. Take a child out of the blood line of one of the people you mentioned, and that person now potentially ceases to exist, or goes into a different profession, or becomes destructive history has changed its course. We cannot even fathom what that change could have been. Even if you had a crystal ball and could see the future of said child and you didnt like it. What you cannot see is what would have been had that child not existed.

    One could even take this a step further and argue that even if said child contributes absolutely nothing to this world (an impossibility), they have still contributed their genetics to their ancestors and in turn society as a whole. Whos to say that unborn child didnt carry a gene mutation that was resistant to some form of cancer or disease. There is now zero chance of that gene being propagated. In the case of the original poster, what if that child had merely been raised by someone else. Again this is not something anyone will ever know. However something moved her to raise her child, call it whatever you will. She can now propagate her experiences into society via that child in addition to her genes.

    I dont want to play God. The human civilization cant even understand our own existence let alone those things that could've been or might be. For those who do not raise a child there is a 99.999999999% chance that upon their death, society will not even remember they existed after 10 years. For those that do at least there is some evidence that they did exist at one time. Yes you can mention some big names but stop and think how many in this world lived and died in the lifetime of those big names. I would argue that those nameless people put together contributed more overall to society than that one big name person.
    I think you watched "It's a Wonderful Life" too many times--I can relate, as when I was growing up, we had to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street" before opening Christmas presents.

    All of the above is a null argument to me. If you can't determine the consequence of someone not having been born, then you can't make any claims that their being born changed anything, let alone lay claim to it as your "legacy".
    People think they understand their own mortality, even when that understanding has just changed.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  4. #24
    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Bitterness and spite. A determination to not let the world and all of you fuckers ever see me accept defeat.

  5. #25
    I like big buts Sir Caveat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pensive_pilgrim View Post
    Bitterness and spite. A determination to not let the world and all of you fuckers ever see me accept defeat.
    Reminds me of this Better Call Saul speech I watched yesterday. Jimmy, who himself has a checkered past, was impressed with this girl. The others on the scholarship committee not so much. She had a shoplifting blemish on her record but is a compelling writer and displays grit. He quotes ABBA

    You hide behind caveats and modifiers. - Lurker

  6. #26
    Senior Member Guess Who's Avatar
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    Big change is coming

  7. #27
    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Caveat View Post
    Reminds me of this Better Call Saul speech I watched yesterday. Jimmy, who himself has a checkered past, was impressed with this girl. The others on the scholarship committee not so much. She had a shoplifting blemish on her record but is a compelling writer and displays grit. He quotes ABBA
    I agree with the general sentiment. If one simply plays by the rules and follows the path set out by authority figures, one will be guided into being a tool to fulfill the inspiration of those with ambition and cunning. That's okay for most people and there's nothing wrong with that, it's just mediocrity. For others it's a shame.

    I have in mind something David Goggins said when he was talking about hell weeks. He said that he would grin like a maniac as much as he could during the worst of the training, because he wanted those instructors, who had presumably been through the same training and found it grueling and difficult, to go home at night in their warm beds and think about the guy who was out there going through that and seeming to enjoy it, and for the instructors to be disturbed by that. That kind of mental resilience.

  8. #28
    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    I think you watched "It's a Wonderful Life" too many times--I can relate, as when I was growing up, we had to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street" before opening Christmas presents.

    All of the above is a null argument to me. If you can't determine the consequence of someone not having been born, then you can't make any claims that their being born changed anything, let alone lay claim to it as your "legacy".
    Actually Im sure I could count how many times ive seen those 2 movies in my 54 years on one hand. To me its just the seemingly random nature of life and its progression, Considering that any other non living system in this world actually degrades over time, one must wonder why that doesnt occur with life in the big picture. Im also NOT saying that we automatically do good by the nature of our birth. Its just different. A problem I have with (my memory of) Its a Wonderful Life, is its not a given that everyone was worse off because he didnt exist. In his case it could just as well that his "contribution to society" was multiple generations into the "future" and he simply had gone through life as just another shmuck.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by pensive_pilgrim View Post
    Bitterness and spite. A determination to not let the world and all of you fuckers ever see me accept defeat.
    WOW, one must wonder if thou doest take this Internet thing a bit TOO seriously :-D

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