Society's Monsters

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Avatar for Tarazkp
1 year ago

Last night I made a push to get into Champion League 2 for the first time and got within 95 points of making it there, until I pushed too hard. Now today, I am struggling to get a win at all and have dropped all the way back 378 points away again...

That is pretty frustrating. But, that's the game!

I know several people who don't like to play anymore because it is "too stressful", but for me this is a good way to work on something at the same time as playing. Some people watch TV or some shows while playing too, so I guess it is multitasking entertainment. Perhaps our lives have always been driven by entertainment, but I think that these days, there is a bit of a difference in what that entertainment is.

For example, I imagine that back in the day, a person would knit a jumper for function, but they would also spend extra effort in adding a pattern, increasing the difficulty and having "fun" whilst making something useful. Entertainment doesn't have to be useless to be be entertaining and it can produce something that can be value adding also.

But, I reckon that these days, there is far less "practical value" in what we consider entertainment as it is mostly passive consumer activity, not generative. For instance, someone might say they "don't have the time to learn" a value-adding skill or process, yet the same person can consume hours of entertainment on YouTube or similar. Yes, they can be entertained and justify that they are learning something, but this doesn't mean what is learned is useful.

Does everything have to be value-adding? Well, I don't know but I think that the bar for what is considered valuable has come well down, where we now seem to value our "free time" so much that we spend most of it doing nothing of value. It is a funny conflict that we value the freedom we have, yet waste it because it is "free". It is very much like all of those people who win the lottery and flitter it away, isn't it?

I wonder if I could go back to the past and reclaim all the hours that I have wasted not generating something other than a good feeling, how many hours would I rack up? If I could allocate all of those hours to skills I wish I had today, I wonder how many things I could do pretty damn well. I assume a crapload.

While this is all counterfactual as I can't go back, I wonder if I did have those skills now, would I feel better about my life in general or worse, lamenting that I didn't spend enough time doing nothing. And, while it is easy perhaps to think about the start and the end based on today, what different paths would I have taken in my life as I was building those skills and adding some kind of value along the way?

Again, I suspect that things would be quite different in my life and while I don't know if it would be for better or worse, there would likely be far more opportunity. Aren't many complaining about not having enough opportunity in their lives? As they say, sometimes we have to make our own opportunities in this life rather than assuming or expecting that they will be provided for us. But, if we are spending a lot of our time making ourselves feel good in the moment but not necessarily adding any skill or subject of value to our lives, what are our chances of improving our own opportunity?

I kind of feel like the "societal monster" that has the most buffs on our ability life improvement, is our reliance on passive and non-generative entertainment to provide our feelings of contentment, rather than our naturally human creative talents to produce something of value. I know that I have fallen into this trap more than once in my life and will likely get sucked into it more than once again. The consumer animal is highly attractive and the methods developed to pull and keep us engaged, insidious.

Sometimes I wonder how much of what I am doing throughout my days is actually valuable or, is it that I have been fooled into believing it has value, much like the likes on Facebook, the hearts on Instagram, or stars on Twitter. Yes, I am technically earning something, but is it adding to the quality of my life. I feel it is, but that is the problem with being able to apply our own meaning to our world - the feelings can indicate success, even if it is not.

Well, while I have been writing this I have been playing a few games, completed the daily quest and managed to get about 80 points closer to Champion League 2. Was it worth it? If I can make it into C2, I think I would save some time starting in D2, so that would be something - but in the Meta view, it might all be meaningless.

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Avatar for Tarazkp
1 year ago