Friday, May 17, 2013

475: The Art Not toBe an Egoist 40

Ever been to a supermarket? Of course you have. Nothings special about that. But haven't you never wondered about what you see there?

A lane of 10 meters long, one side 5 shelves reaching  about 2 meter high…and on the shelves only potato chips or soft drinks  in all kinds and colors.

Isn't is amazing that we experience this as normal? For every tongue in town there is a special flavor available. For every need or desire you can buy a product.

Because of the complexity of the system you as an individual only can be a prisoner of the system and go with the flow. 

And as we have seen, those who think that they are controlling the system, the bankers, lawyers, investors and so on, only control their own bits and pieces.

The myth we live in is something like this: Economic growth is what brings prosperity. Growth is only created by consumption. Therefor let's stimulate consumption and thus ensure our prosperity.

Nowhere in this myth there is talk about the earth, that it is just one globe, limited in its resources. If you realize that, you also have to realize that the basic axioms of our present economics  is complete lunacy.

But yet this is how our brain works, tho the number of people who see this problem is increasing. However, in general we keep believing in consumerism.

It is amazing to see how our sense of entitlement changes with the changing of our circumstances. Possessing a car was really awesome some 60 or 70 years ago. Today? Of course everybody is entitled to have a car.

But does all this material prosperity also contribute to our happiness? Haven't you ever noticed?  You win a price or get a new car. You really feel overjoyed, but after a while, maybe a month or a year, you feel again like you always feel.

When you have reached a certain level in life, increase of material possessions does not increase our general feeling of happiness. Nevertheless, obtaining, buying something is quite a different feeling from possessing it.

A lot of things we buy, we don't really need, but if we only would buy what we really need our economy would collapse.

This has led to the situation that our economy does not delivers what we need to live a good and rewarding life, but it has developed a system of creating needs, 

promising us that exactly that will lead to that life we long for.We live in a needs creating society, not in a needs fulfilling society.

The irony of it all is, that this is the result of how we are wired at the moment. There is that magic drive in us to feel special and the word that belongs to it is STATUS.

In fact , status is the key why our economy operates as it operates, tho it does not increase the general happiness of people.

And here we also have the weak spot. Already kids learn that Nike sneakers are "better" (for their status) than sneakers from Walmart or ALDI.

Why can't we step back? Put a hold to this advertised needs that we do not have? The answer is simple: loss aversion. We don't want to loose, what we have.

Take this: 
A: you offer your workers an increase in salary of 2% while inflation is 4% or 
B: a reduction in salary of 2%  while prices rise 0%.

The majority choose for option A. It shows how we have real problems with changing the system, we are  in now. 

It takes a lot of courage to bring forward another view, take a step back, but a lot of groups and organisations already do.

 The Discussion 

[13:23] herman Bergson: Thank you :-))
[13:24] Debbie DJ: thanks herman ...
[13:24] Ciska Riverstone: thanx herman
[13:24] herman Bergson: The floor is yours ..
[13:24] Ciska Riverstone: hi taffy
[13:24] herman Bergson: Hey Taffy..:-)
[13:24] Taffy: sorry I'm late!
[13:24] Debbie DJ: The loss aversion reason is flawed imho. If we carry on consuming, we lose the earth ;(
[13:24] Debbie DJ: Hi Taffy
[13:24] Ciska Riverstone: true debbie
[13:25] herman Bergson: that is the absurdity Debbie....
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:25] herman Bergson: But that is how we are...
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: and that if u have this ur better then others that don't have it
[13:26] herman Bergson: when you win 1000L you say wow ..nice....
[13:26] herman Bergson: when you loose 1000L you feel in deep trouble :-)
[13:26] Debbie DJ: and the status issue is very close to the ethics issue - we think status in the group, results in being admired - and having a good life
[13:27] herman Bergson: Yes Debbie how do we look in the eyes of the other....that drives us
[13:27] herman Bergson: we think , we look in the eyes of the others
[13:27] .: Beertje :.: lol..that's often a whole different thing
[13:27] Debbie DJ: But somehow, status is almost unethical now that it is a consumer brand in itself ;)
[13:28] herman Bergson: the weird thing is....they make us believe that status is important.....and then you wonder who is this "THEY"
[13:29] herman Bergson: then you get to the industries producing products
[13:29] Debbie DJ: Yes... who are THEY? Its actually us - we like lots of glitzy stuff, and hate it when others have it and we dont.
[13:30] herman Bergson: As I said....individually we are a kind of prisoners of our own system
[13:30] Debbie DJ: Yep. We are deluding ourself, while pigging out. on the proceeds of excess. How about greenwashing?
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:31] Debbie DJ: where people pretend that the new product is greener, but ignore the environmental cost of replacement.
[13:31] herman Bergson: What is that? Greenwashing?
[13:31] herman Bergson: your lawn in the washing machine?
[13:31] TaffyTaffy snorts
[13:31] Debbie DJ: ;lol
[13:32] .: Beertje :.: using green soap
[13:32] herman Bergson: oh that...
[13:32] .: Beertje :.: soap
[13:32] Debbie DJ: astro turf washer with 17 cycles, and a filter.
[13:32] herman Bergson: Debbie that is hilarious...
[13:32] herman Bergson: We were told that we had "GREEN" electricity...
[13:32] Taffy: we in the US are now being force to use "green" lightbulbs
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: hehehe
[13:33] herman Bergson: last week a big ad in the newspaper from one of the electricity companies...
[13:33] herman Bergson: green electricity wasn't as green as they had made to believe us..a true confession
[13:34] herman Bergson: green lightbulbs Taffy??
[13:34] Debbie DJ: Just awful herman, and it happens at the highest level. Like how about mining the tar sands - to free america from foreign oil imports?
[13:34] herman Bergson: There goes the red light district :-((
[13:34] Taffy: more efficient lightbulbs...led and such
[13:34] Taffy: haha
[13:34] Debbie DJ:  ✧✩**✩✧ G I G G L E S ✧✩**
[13:34] Debbie DJ: herman
[13:34] .: Beertje :.: doesn't it give strange light?..I think you look all sick under that light
[13:34] herman Bergson: yes
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: have gotten better though
[13:35] herman Bergson: yuk
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: one issue however is that only the real expensive ones are dimmable
[13:35] herman Bergson: The next real step in this world is that we drop this obsession with economical growth
[13:36] Debbie DJ: So, the economy hurtles forward, enriching a few, and providing 20 % of the greedy planet with unsustainable goods, and we are running out. Who will put on the brakes?
[13:36] herman Bergson: Economy can also be based on producing just what you need to live a good and rewarding life
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone: the question will be what a good and rewarding life is and who defines that.
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:37] .: Beertje :.: we have to buy less than we did before
[13:37] herman Bergson: that is not so difficult Ciska.....
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: to get what we need not buy stuff until we cant get into the house orself for all stuff inside
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: you will do it? ;)
[13:38] herman Bergson: You may debate on details but to begin with...
[13:38] Debbie DJ: Good and rewarding should include relaxation time, friends, family - and a chance of survival ;)
[13:38] herman Bergson: no violence what soever....
[13:38] herman Bergson: an equal distribution of resources among all people
[13:38] Debbie DJ: yes herman
[13:39] herman Bergson: the possibility to get as much education as possible
[13:39] Taffy: as long as greed exists, we will not distribute
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: yes sure
[13:39] herman Bergson: a general care for the health of the individual
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:39] Debbie DJ: and no big fat status crap... like 300 mph ferraris
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: yes we need to share
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: with those that don't have instead of keeping all for ourselves
[13:40] herman Bergson: Is it really so difficult to make up such a list....
[13:40] herman Bergson: But I know...
[13:40] herman Bergson: reality is different...
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: but just because i have an S3 and a SSD drive i don't feel any better then others, i got them cause i have use for them,
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: for ex the ssd made my laptop a more then 3 times faster machine then when i bought it
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: starts in 10 sek instead of 15 minutes
[13:40] Debbie DJ: I was once told the golden rule of science by a corporate science director - He who has the gold makes the rules.
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: better then buying a complete new machine
[13:41] herman Bergson: the intellecual level on this globe still runs from medieval to 21st century scientific
[13:41] Taffy: nods at Debbie
[13:41] Ciska Riverstone: yes debbie - and thats why a lot of good things get not done and a good of lesser important get ;)
[13:41] herman Bergson: That Debbie is the arrogance of the rich...
[13:41] herman Bergson: who lack social empathy
[13:42] Debbie DJ: Yes herman, and they use that power to their own ends... and we enjoy the stufff...
[13:42] Debbie DJ: so - who will put the brakes on?
[13:42] herman Bergson: that is the point....
[13:42] herman Bergson: we are doing now by saying what we say...
[13:43] herman Bergson: it gets published in the blog....
[13:43] Debbie DJ: lol....
[13:43] herman Bergson: some may read it gets into other minds...
[13:43] Debbie DJ: i wish i shared your optimism.
[13:43] herman Bergson: no no...realism....
[13:43] herman Bergson: I don't talk of changes in 5 years...
[13:43] Debbie DJ: Nothing is slowing down.
[13:43] herman Bergson: I think of changes in 500 years...
[13:44] Taffy: once enough people believe we can/should/will share, it will happen
[13:44] herman Bergson: at the moment the idiots really realize that we only have one planet to plunder
[13:44] Debbie DJ: in the time since Kyoto - no -one has reduced emissions in any given year...
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: no
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: the Kyoto protocol was a strike in the air
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: nothing have happened
[13:45] herman Bergson: no...because the emission issue became an economical could make money with emission right s and so on...
[13:45] Debbie DJ: the last drops of oil are being squeezed from the ocean depths, and ripped from the tar sands
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: US dont wanna follow it a t all cause then they cant consume as they want
[13:45] herman Bergson: one big NONSENSE factory
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: those damn emission rights
[13:45] Debbie DJ: and we are fracking the farmlands to get the natural gas.
[13:46] Debbie DJ: this is all bad stuff. Has anyone managed to stop or reduce these actions?
[13:46] herman Bergson: We have a saying...
[13:46] herman Bergson: Eventually the wall will turn the ship...
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: and in the process poison it with toxic chemicals that i don't know why are needed in the process at all
[13:47] Debbie DJ: Yep herman - it will be the wall.
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: fracking is about using pressure so why these chemicals?
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: dont know what chemicals though need to check how this process really works
[13:47] Debbie DJ: bejita - its also about using up the gas.
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: ah that too
[13:47] herman Bergson: Debbie....our shortcoming is that we are inclined to look only within the bounderies of a personal lifetime...
[13:47] Debbie DJ: Look for the movie Gasland on youtube.
[13:48] herman Bergson: But I am wondering what will be there in a hundred yeard after my death
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:48] Debbie DJ: Hey herman - things that happen now are more relevant to me than those that happen when im dead.
[13:48] Debbie DJ:  ✧✩**✩✧ G I G G L E S ✧✩**
[13:48] Debbie DJ: yeah
[13:48] herman Bergson: no no...
[13:49] herman Bergson: that is not what I mean...
[13:49] herman Bergson: I mean..what is happening now shapes the world for the future
[13:49] herman Bergson: and yes can see only the based things...
[13:49] herman Bergson: but you also can listen to the good sounds...
[13:50] herman Bergson: and thus you cal me an optimist Debbie :-)
[13:50] Debbie DJ: perspective is important here. We have only been using energy this wildly for 100 years, and we have used more than half of the available fuels.
[13:50] herman Bergson: Exactly....
[13:50] Debbie DJ: OK herman, you are an optimist, and thanks for being one. You cheer me up most times.
[13:50] herman Bergson: and every fool can see that..
[13:51] herman Bergson: my pleasure Debbie :-))
[13:51] Debbie DJ: oh yeah> there was denial until recently, and lots of fools still do.
[13:51] Debbie DJ: :))
[13:51] herman Bergson: Sure....
[13:51] herman Bergson: But the number of people who start scratching behind their ears increase
[13:52] Debbie DJ: some fool petrol companies paid to disseminate untruths about peak oil = mobil
[13:52] Taffy: and the more people that become aware, will begin to reflect a change
[13:52] Debbie DJ: And, shamefully, I still daily use petrol to get around.
[13:52] herman Bergson: indeed Taffy!
[13:53] .: Beertje :.: we can start fi by ourselves by trying not to use so much energy
[13:53] herman Bergson: there are two options for the homo sapiens....
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: but we have hardly any alternatives, at least that are affordable
[13:53] herman Bergson: either it is a virus that brings the earth to near destruction
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: but we need to get around cause we need to get to work ect
[13:53] Debbie DJ: Debbie bites lip, and sits quietly, emotionally spent... and out of breath
[13:53] .: Beertje :.: i use my bike...i don't have a car..i use a broom to clean instead of a vacuum cleaner
[13:53] herman Bergson: or it is a smart species living in balance with nature
[13:54] .: Beertje :.: those little things can help
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: i also are fairly close to my work so take the bike when nice weather and then can also take some zones in this Turf game i play
[13:55] Bejiita Imako:
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: we use car sharing here when needed too yes- no own car - works out great
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: also a good thing
[13:55] Debbie DJ: Debbie wants a flying broom and other magic to reduce her consumption...
[13:55] herman Bergson: me too Debbie ^_^
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: hehe that would be cool indeed
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: like in Harry potter
[13:56] .: Beertje :.: we can all reduce consumption if we want
[13:56] .: Beertje :.: it isnt'that hard to do
[13:56] Debbie DJ: I have one thing to say Bejita - 7 B people and 5 electrirc motors each ;)
[13:56] herman Bergson: Ok...let's stick to Beertje's suggestion :-)
[13:57] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:57] Bejiita Imako:
[13:57] herman Bergson: I guess it is time to conclude our discussion :-)
[13:57] herman Bergson: So Thank you all gain for your participation...
[13:58] herman Bergson: Class dismissed :-))
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: thanks everyone - thanx herman
[13:58] Taffy: thank you Herman
[13:58] Debbie DJ: thanks Herman, and sorry I went off... This consumption issue is a core concern to me.
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: have a great day or night
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: some more stuff to think about
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: cu soon all
[13:58] .: Beertje :.: have a goodnight...thank you Herman..great lecture again
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:58] herman Bergson: thank you Beertje
[13:58] Bejiita Imako:
[13:59] herman Bergson: gutta cavat lapidem non vi sed saepe cadendo
[13:59] herman Bergson: which means
[13:59] Debbie DJ: got it
[14:00] Debbie DJ: ty google ;)
[14:00] herman Bergson: that the drop does now hollow the stone by its power but by sdropping often
[14:00] Bejiita Imako: ah
[14:00] Debbie DJ: its a lovely saying, and you are doing a lot of good with your work here.
[14:00] herman Bergson: And I think I am just one of those drops
[14:00] Taffy: there will be more drops
[14:00] Bejiita Imako:
[14:01] Debbie DJ: its just that the destructive capitalism is so huge...
[14:01] Debbie DJ: and we are so out of control.
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: indeed and have such power
[14:01] herman Bergson: Yes Taffy..that is my belief too...I am not the only one...
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: ok cu all, gotta run
[14:01] Debbie DJ: yes... me too. cu tuesday.
[14:01] herman Bergson: By Bejiita :-)
[14:01] Debbie DJ: bye taffy , and by Herman
[14:02] Debbie DJ: *•.¸MwAHh¸.•*
[14:02] Taffy: bye everyone, and thank you Herman for inviting me
[14:02] Taffy: to participate

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