AuthorTopic: Happy pig society  (Read 3036 times)

Offline Fenixor

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Happy pig society
« on: October 24, 2015, 01:47:26 PM »
Is it better to be an unhappy human than a happy pig; better to be Sokrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied?



I started thinking of this old philosophical question when I was pondering if it’s better to tell or not to tell people of impending doom, ongoing collapse. First my thought was that it’s better not to tell them because it was painful for me to go through the five stages of grief, and because there is little they can do about it anyway. But then I realized that we actually live in a “happy pig society” where people have chosen ignorance over wisdom, regarding our resource dilemma, in order to stay happy. From what I can tell this has done us no good. So in the end, I guess, it’s better to be unhappy but wise rather than happy but foolish. I'm interest in what other people on the forum think of this.

Offline RE

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Re: Happy pig society
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2015, 02:16:14 PM »
Is it better to be an unhappy human than a happy pig; better to be Sokrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied?

I started thinking of this old philosophical question when I was pondering if it’s better to tell or not to tell people of impending doom, ongoing collapse. First my thought was that it’s better not to tell them because it was painful for me to go through the five stages of grief, and because there is little they can do about it anyway. But then I realized that we actually live in a “happy pig society” where people have chosen ignorance over wisdom, regarding our resource dilemma, in order to stay happy. From what I can tell this has done us no good. So in the end, I guess, it’s better to be unhappy but wise rather than happy but foolish. I'm interest in what other people on the forum think of this.

Well, I think once you choose to run a blog concerned with these issues. you have made the decision it is better to try and wake people up from their stupor.  Of course I have also run into any number of bloggers who spend a couple of years at this and then burn out from doing it also.  The seeming hopelessness of the task and making any kind of significant difference eventually frustrates them, and they turn inward just concerned with their own lives and how they will handle the changes as they arrive.

I myself don't buy into the Kubler-Ross 5 Stages of Grief thing, because I'm not grieving over it.  It's like grieving over the fact you get old and die eventually.  What is the point in grieving over that?  There is nothing you can do to stop getting old and dieing.  You can however make an effort to not die so soon if staying alive is important to you.  Grieving won't help you do that, taking proactive measures will.

So in this case, you don't grieve about it, you diagnose the problems and symptoms, and then you decide what to do about it.  For a blogger, the thing to do is to blog and inform people.  If you take pride in doing that and occassionally meet a few people who write you an email and say "thanks, you really helped me understand is going on", you don't get burned out.  Little Victories, one at a time.

RE
« Last Edit: October 24, 2015, 02:18:33 PM by RE »
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Offline Fenixor

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Re: Happy pig society
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2015, 02:23:03 PM »
I wish it was that simple, but in pure logical terms you are correct. I do keep on trying to reach people and have found it to be easier to suggest "better ways" of doing things than simply pointing out what's wrong since most can't handle it, tune out, or tell me Im a pessimist.

Offline Eddie

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Re: Happy pig society
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2015, 02:55:47 PM »
Doom denial is best understood in terms of human psychology, imho.

Most people, for one thing, feel basically very powerless to change anything. Not the CO2 build-up. Not the rise of neocon politics. Not the exploding population. Not the endless wars.

And ESPECIALLY not their own behavior, which of course they could change, but prefer not to, because change is hard, and takes work, and maybe involves giving up certain comforts provided by living in the world of BAU.

So it's extremely seductive to just enjoy the largesse of the current unsustainable system rather than do much of anything else. It's very much like the band playing on, and people dancing and drinking while the ship, which has holed itself on an iceberg, takes on water.

To face reality, one has to somehow become empowered to make changes, and then make a plan and work the plan. It's hard as hell, frankly, for most of us, and we have to keep going, often for a  long time, while others who take the easy road seem to be doing just fine, not being affected much. It eventually does result in a kind of fatigue.

« Last Edit: October 24, 2015, 03:09:00 PM by Eddie »
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Offline RE

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Re: Happy pig society
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2015, 03:07:24 PM »
I wish it was that simple, but in pure logical terms you are correct. I do keep on trying to reach people and have found it to be easier to suggest "better ways" of doing things than simply pointing out what's wrong since most can't handle it, tune out, or tell me Im a pessimist.

I get real tired real fast with people who just point out problems without trying to come up with solutions for those problems, or just pitch out "negative waves" to shoot holes in whatever you propose without having a better idea themselves.  The Diner has a few Negative Waves people.

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Offline Fenixor

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Re: Happy pig society
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2015, 03:43:24 PM »
I get real tired real fast with people who just point out problems without trying to come up with solutions for those problems, 
RE

Yes of course, wasn't trying to send out negative waves, I studied philosophy and that's why I brought it up. I often give suggestions, a bit too much maybe for my family's liking since it's things like "don't invest in a car when there is public transport and only 15 min to work", "lets build a pond" or "let's not buy christmas gifts but make our own" because it's basically the opposite to what they feel like, haha

Offline RE

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Re: Happy pig society
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2015, 03:55:11 PM »
I get real tired real fast with people who just point out problems without trying to come up with solutions for those problems, 
RE

Yes of course, wasn't trying to send out negative waves, I studied philosophy and that's why I brought it up. I often give suggestions, a bit too much maybe for my family's liking since it's things like "don't invest in a car when there is public transport and only 15 min to work", "lets build a pond" or "let's not buy christmas gifts but make our own" because it's basically the opposite to what they feel like, haha
I didn't think you were sending out Negative Waves.  I was agreeing with you.

It is hard to ge people to change even small things, unless you can convince them that collapse is real and coming soon to a theater near them.  So you do need to put a strong effort into that.

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Offline g

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Re: Happy pig society
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2015, 04:45:56 PM »
Quote
I get real tired real fast with people who just point out problems without trying to come up with solutions for those problems, or just pitch out "negative waves" to shoot holes in whatever you propose without having a better idea themselves.  The Diner has a few Negative Waves people.

Diners who don't agree with you on a topic, or ideas of others you approve of being the precise definition. You have accused me of such on many an occasion.

Think of me as you wish, but again I have to disagree with your convoluted  mad hatter logic.

What gives you the right to think that if you happen to have and idea that one thinks is unworkable and is dismissed as such, that a workable idea has to be presented in order to consider your idea wrong?

For instance you and I have apparently agreed through our postings that the entire world going electric cars is a pipe dream for all sorts of factors, I am making and assumption here on past postings of ours on the topic, perhaps you have changed your mind.

For the sake of argument why would we, in thinking the electric battery car brings about it's own set of problems and will not work for the entire population, have to come up with a solution to the auto problem before we dismiss the electric car as not feasible.??  :icon_scratch:

Dismissing one solution after careful thought and presentation of data why, does in no way put a stigma on the person doing so to have another workable solution.


Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: Happy pig society
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2015, 05:07:35 PM »
In a way we are no different than the ostriches who always talk about the weather but not involving climate change. There is only a difference of degree for most of us in how much we can accept. wheras the people who dont want to know cannot handle a drop in a comfortable lifestyle they now enjoy,  we generally here dont mind a simpler way of life but cannot handle climate change,  methane release,  or full nuclear war as potential realities that would put an end to a lifestyle we are ok with.

We have a common saying of sorts, that people often say after u have led them into a serious discussion, im sure palloy knows it. "So,  now that weve solved all the worlds problems...whats for lunch?/want another beer/want to go riding/play golf/watch football on saturday?" This 'now that weve solved all the worlds problems' saying is a way to subtly scold,  negative sanction u for talking about the taboo topics such as poulation or pollution and also because its pointless to talk of because theres nothing you can do.

I do venture to these subjects because they interest me most, sometimes you meet someone who shares some if not all of your interest. Have conversation that pleases yourself not just humours them. Its also clear that people in professions where they are still very secure do are not interested,  those where they are still ok,  but their dept is downsizing will talk a little,  and those out of work will say things like.."i dont think its going to get any better', or 'the australian economy isnt going to be what it used to be again',  you can then talk about the whole bigger picture.

When it comes to my own family members, what a difference 3 years makes in deciding if what i was saying and doing was stupid or smart.  My crazy old mother was the only one who was supportive, my brother thinks its a smart move since hes as a single guy now converted his garage to a studio unit and rented out his 2 story house for income. My father is now struggling to sell off properties when i argued 3 years ago again and again that the developments needed to be done quickly and sold quickly before the economy got worse and  then stay out of debt. Now market got tight and chinese investors no longer snap up everything, its too late or at least a lot harder. Of course your family are the ones you want to insist about the issue a lot more than others,  but you will probably find that despite an argument,  given some time they will start to see you were right and become more open minded. Also it's  not the case that people are stuck,  theres always things that they can do,  but i wont go into that here.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2015, 05:13:00 PM by Uncle Bob »
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Offline g

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Re: Happy pig society
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2015, 05:12:44 PM »
Quote
I'm interest in what other people on the forum think of this.

Just a hunch on my part Fen, but you have to consider the person, no answer fit's all.

For the great majority, such knowledge could be used as a crutch, a reason for not doing much of anything, and excuse to use as much of what's left while it is still there. All sorts of possible negative reactions to such knowledge.

To a small minority it might instill in them a need for great accomplishment, solutions, the doers of society that solve problems, strive against terrific odds etc.

The happy sad effect or aspect of such knowledge is of absolutely no importance and should not be considered in the equation at all IMO.

A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing to some folks, and a springboard to accomplishment for others. There are no doubt all sorts of grey areas as well.

Offline MKing

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Re: Happy pig society
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2015, 05:57:03 PM »
But then I realized that we actually live in a “happy pig society” where people have chosen ignorance over wisdom, regarding our resource dilemma, in order to stay happy. From what I can tell this has done us no good.

As an actual expert on at least a few of the important hydrocarbon resources of this planet, to what ignorance are you referring? That of the malthusians, who in their rush to convince people the world is ending do a horrible job of counting available resource? Certainly I am quite comfortable with all measurements of hydrocarbons available to humanity, not only those that have been found and measured, but those that have not. When compared to the amount consumed, and the amount expected to be consumed over at least this century, I then must ask, what exactly do you consider a "dilemma"?

Some people are claiming peak oil has already happened, and the natural consequence of that is here in the States we have outstanding gasoline prices again. Some people are proclaiming peak oil is around the corner (again) and yet I just found a reference for the 24 trillion barrels of oil the world has in place, and we have used but 1.2T.

And certainly you can't be referring to natural gas because those estimates of availability are even higher than that of oil. Certainly you can't be referring to nuclear fuels, based purely on the resource estimates of uranium from Deffeyes and Hubbert themselves.

So…what resource dilemma? Phosphates? Helium (one of the few elements that can actually LEAVE the planet)?

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Offline RE

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Re: Happy pig society
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2015, 06:50:43 PM »
What gives you the right to think that if you happen to have and idea that one thinks is unworkable and is dismissed as such, that a workable idea has to be presented in order to consider your idea wrong?

That is an inalienable right given to me by God.

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Offline Palloy

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Re: Happy pig society
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2015, 11:32:07 PM »
To stave off "doomer depression", you have to have a separate outlet for positive emotions.  For me it is walking in my forest with the dog, with my camera in my pocket in case I see something special, and carrying a pair of loppers so I can snip off vines, weeds, and low branches which can poke you in the eye.  I do an hour every day, more when the weather is cooler, and over the years the impassable jungle has been slowly turned into a proper forest that you can search for food.  It'll never be finished, of course, but that doesn't matter.

Given that the collapse of industrial civilisation is going to take decades to reach its new equilibrium point, planning to try and survive and make it to the new world is a bit hard.  Far better to feel comfortable with meeting your end when it comes - there are monumental forces at work here, none of which we can control.

I was put to the test on that yesterday, when on my walk I bent down to snip something, and a pain shot through my chest which could not be ignored.  And it didn't go away.  I could have gone straight back to the house and rung for an ambulance, but I hate hospitals and I definitely don't want to die in one.  I'd really rather die in the forest and be dismantled by the ants - just part of the Great Nutrient Cycle.

So I pressed on slowly and finished my hour, got back home still feeling lousy, and had a lie down, much to the bemusement of the dog and the cat.  But you can't just lie there checking if you're having a heart attack all day, so I got up, had a coffee and a cigarette, and set about my regular playtime on the computer.  By mid-afternoon, and the third beer, I noticed that the pain had gone.

Even better, when I woke up this morning I wasn't dead, and was ready to do it all again.
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Offline RE

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Re: Happy pig society
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2015, 11:37:39 PM »
To stave off "doomer depression", you have to have a separate outlet for positive emotions.  For me it is walking in my forest with the dog, with my camera in my pocket in case I see something special, and carrying a pair of loppers so I can snip off vines, weeds, and low branches which can poke you in the eye.  I do an hour every day, more when the weather is cooler, and over the years the impassable jungle has been slowly turned into a proper forest that you can search for food.  It'll never be finished, of course, but that doesn't matter.

Given that the collapse of industrial civilisation is going to take decades to reach its new equilibrium point, planning to try and survive and make it to the new world is a bit hard.  Far better to feel comfortable with meeting your end when it comes - there are monumental forces at work here, none of which we can control.

I was put to the test on that yesterday, when on my walk I bent down to snip something, and a pain shot through my chest which could not be ignored.  And it didn't go away.  I could have gone straight back to the house and rung for an ambulance, but I hate hospitals and I definitely don't want to die in one.  I'd really rather die in the forest and be dismantled by the ants - just part of the Great Nutrient Cycle.

So I pressed on slowly and finished my hour, got back home still feeling lousy, and had a lie down, much to the bemusement of the dog and the cat.  But you can't just lie there checking if you're having a heart attack all day, so I got up, had a coffee and a cigarette, and set about my regular playtime on the computer.  By mid-afternoon, and the third beer, I noticed that the pain had gone.

Even better, when I woke up this morning I wasn't dead, and was ready to do it all again.

Sounds a lot like my days.  We have a lot in common.  Except the pets.  No pets here for me to leave in the lurch when I croak.

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Offline Fenixor

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Re: Happy pig society
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2015, 04:27:01 AM »
Well, I think it is a false dichotomy but sometimes I get into more philosophical questions just to start an interesting discussion. It's ironic but first I studied philosophy but found it too vague, then I studied anthropology and also found it lacking answers, finally I turned to ecology which provided answers but then realized that it's people we have to change not natural systems. So while some fields can tell us how things are others may be needed to flesh out what we ought to do. A bit of both is useful to understand the whole. Sometimes its good to reflect on fundamental values otherwise all our actions may in the end do more harm than good. Perhaps I am a bit too sensitive over certain things, like the loss of so many wonderful species, but then I go outside to live in the now in nature and I feel better again. Also the reason I left the city. Thanks for your honest and interesting answers.

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