Population Expansion, New unhappiness, New fulfillment

by phil on Friday Mar 28, 2003 1:07 PM
Phil's Articles

What is happening? Like, WTF? I mean, some 4%-6% portion of Americans have ADD, that's the thing. On the one hand, people from other countries go, "haha, those dumb-ass hypochondriac Americans, always with problems" Okaaaay, some truth to that. Others would say, "no, really, these people have some fricking problems" Okay, some truth here to. And others would say, "we have more information, therefore we can identify problems better, faster." Some truth there too.

But, I compare with this with the old tradition of arranged marriages vs. romantic "true love" American-style marriage. Arranged marriages were necessary at the time because the only thing you needed was a mate. It was more important that you reproduced than whether you and your spouse were "compatible." Fortunately, and this is corroborated by psychologists, we can supposedly invent ways to love someone. So, if I were forced to marry another person, I would make myself "compatible" to that person in order make the relationship stay smooth while we're xeroxing our DNA.

So, why has forced-compatibility been replaced with free-compatibility? Why do Americans get to "shop" around? Well, probably because it's evolutionarily better. Women who shop around put pressure on men to make themselves more attractive. And vice-versa. The pressure becomes a significant motivation in life. "How am I supposed to get a good girl if I can't afford a nice house in San Diego." The man then works his butt off at a corporation, thereby contributing to the increasing order of information in the world. Women, do similar things. "Jenny, you should go to a university so that you can find a good man."

So how does this relate to ADD?! Well, the more simple things get taken care of, the more somehow, we develop new problems to be satisfied. Since having sex in America is not as big of a problem, finding your "soul mate" has become a new problem. Romance, so I've been taught, was invented in the 1500s in the Renaissance. "Invented?? What do you mean invented? I thought romance was eternal, lasting, sacred." The more problems we fix, the more we come up with new problems.

Okay, a somewhat long twisted road to a only semi-interesting common sense conclusion.

But, it became interesting when I thought about myself and I thought about other people. To put it simply, I'm just not satisfied with normal things like football and a 9-to-5 job. Maybe, before, people who weren't satisfied killed themselves off or just got bored, and natural selection knocked them out anyways. But now that science is allowing more people to survive, even the most discontent get a ticket to life. What does that result in? Well, because it takes a lot to get people satisfied, you all of a sudden have people trying to "find their niche" or "discover their passion." Everytime I think, "man, what is that one special thing that I could do that will make me happy." I then pause, and start to feel a little bit guilty. "Am I a whimp?" I start to think. I can't help but wonder whether my DNA would have survived 10,000 years ago when all there was to do was hunt-and-gather. But then I think, okay, singularity, future, change, evolution, okay, maybe there's something to my discontent. My discontent has forced me to find more deeper and meaningful things to do in life. Instead of just satisfying my stomach, I've come to "need" things like the Internet, intellectual conversations, artistic musings, "true love," etc.

I also came to this similar conclusion when I was watching the movie Life and Debt. I was sitting there for two hours, being bludgeoned with depressing perspectives on people living in Jamaica. But when I think back on it, I go, okay, what was so depressing about it? The fact that they couldn't travel to the US? The fact that tourists there are richer than they are? The fact that they had to throw away their milk every year? Despite all of that, I was thinking, they're all alive. And most of their problems are because they have more people. But more people isn't the problem. Over-population is only a problem for economists. Tell a woman whose baby dies young or who is told by the state that she can't procreate that it's to "curb over-population." These people had clothing, they had food, they had TV, they had instruments, and they had enough to purchase pot, and such. The same percentage of people that are unhappy there, I bet, are the same percentage of people unhappy in America. Everywhere you go, discontentment and suffering pervades.

Human relativity, we all know that. If you start with a million bucks and slowly chip away his net worth over the course of your life, you'll feel more unhappy than a person that started with ten thousand and addded ten g's every year to his net worth. Man wasn't built with any absolute happiness system. If he was, then eating, sleeping, and having sex would be enough to make everybody content, and nobody would do anything. No grand economic capitalistic schemes would be produced, no innovation would be produced, no weapons of mass destruction produced, and therefore the next civilization over that had all of that, would surely plink the other off the planet.

But, why must man destroy each other in the first place? To be continued...

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