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Thread: Shangri-La

  1. #1

    Default Shangri-La

    What about the concept of Shangri-La?

    I'm thinking not just of the legend from the pseudo-utopian novel which was adapted to screen in Lost Horizon but a wider concept, it featured in Red Dwarf a UK sci fi series as a specially tailored environment in which all residents would have their every imaginable whim and desire satisfied but from which they could never leave (the AI which ran the environment needed the residents prescence to survive itself).

    So if paradise was objectively a prison would you want paradise or prefer a freedom typified by hardship, desperation and destitution? Why? If you answer in favour of either how does it correspond with your lived reality?

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    It sounds somewhat like the dilemma of The Matrix as well -- freedom but hardship, vs comfort but enslavement.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    It sounds somewhat like the dilemma of The Matrix as well -- freedom but hardship, vs comfort but enslavement.
    I was thinking that it sounds like Brave New World as well or the very old Soylent Green. Blissful Ignorance or Informed Struggle.

    Not being into a bland lifestyle, and seeing some type of a learning process in everything I experience, ill or good, I would definitely not choose the Shangrila in your context Lark. But then the INTP apparently values freedom of thought above all else??
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
    — Richard P. Feynman

    "Never tell a person a thing is impossible. G*d/the Universe may have been waiting all this time for someone ignorant enough of the impossibility to do just that thing."
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    It sounds somewhat like the dilemma of The Matrix as well -- freedom but hardship, vs comfort but enslavement.
    It is too! You know that's a great example of it which I'd not thought to mention.

    I listened to a philosopher discussing the idea of singularities in which humans could secure immortality through advances in technology but in which they could likewise create an artificial environment with a sembalence of mortality because of the psychological or existential necessity. Its kind of the Matrix sans machine enemy.

    The interesting thing was that he suggested it did not matter if life was some how holographic or artificial because it would experienced and feel the same. He's a virtual reality theorist I think.

    Although the thing about the Matrix and the deals that the informants or traitors struck was that anything they where given in exchange for co-operation could be taken away because it was granted by a higher power, that perhaps attributes a capricious too human character to the machines but the agents at least did behave like this.

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    I find that if I am in place of comfort, I became uneasy and dissatisfied.
    I need some sort of challenge in order to be happy.
    Change and growth, not stagnancy.

    Change isn't fun all the time, and is sometimes painful, and maybe I wish for comfort ... but not unending comfort.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    I was thinking that it sounds like Brave New World as well or the very old Soylent Green. Blissful Ignorance or Informed Struggle.

    Not being into a bland lifestyle, and seeing some type of a learning process in everything I experience, ill or good, I would definitely not choose the Shangrila in your context Lark. But then the INTP apparently values freedom of thought above all else??
    Perhaps it would be closer to BNW than any other example and the contrasting of blissful ignorance with informed struggle is an interesting one too. Good dichotomy.

    The episode of RD was interesting because the crew of the Red Dwarf when they first enter the facility are totally pleased, they think its an answer to their prayers and for a time forget they meant to do anyting else, then they realise they where meaning to simply refuel and travel on and then realise they arent free to leave. It makes me think if they had either forgotten their original mission or never realised they wherent free to leave if they would have been content.

    The thing about Red Dwarf too is that it features a crew on a derelict hulk of a craft travelling aimlessly, in one series they are looking for earth, in another they are looking for the vessel itself but mainly the story is one which repeatedly revisits the issue of monotony, boredom, confinement, shortages in food (the ships android does things like cook space parasites or louses and serve them to the one remaining living human in curries) and escapism (there's about half a dozen virtual reality or artificial environment programme episodes, even dream sequences).

    To me if it had been me in that situation and I had reached the Utopia facility I'd have thought seriously about whether leaving it/escaping the AI was the best idea. Then again when I think about it the dilemma could have been better typified as adventure vs. creature comforts and on a really practical level could relate to simple things like how you spend your day, what you get up and do with your free time for instance.

  7. #7
    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Perhaps it would be closer to BNW than any other example and the contrasting of blissful ignorance with informed struggle is an interesting one too. Good dichotomy.

    The episode of RD was interesting because the crew of the Red Dwarf when they first enter the facility are totally pleased, they think its an answer to their prayers and for a time forget they meant to do anyting else, then they realise they where meaning to simply refuel and travel on and then realise they arent free to leave. It makes me think if they had either forgotten their original mission or never realised they wherent free to leave if they would have been content.

    The thing about Red Dwarf too is that it features a crew on a derelict hulk of a craft travelling aimlessly, in one series they are looking for earth, in another they are looking for the vessel itself but mainly the story is one which repeatedly revisits the issue of monotony, boredom, confinement, shortages in food (the ships android does things like cook space parasites or louses and serve them to the one remaining living human in curries) and escapism (there's about half a dozen virtual reality or artificial environment programme episodes, even dream sequences).

    To me if it had been me in that situation and I had reached the Utopia facility I'd have thought seriously about whether leaving it/escaping the AI was the best idea. Then again when I think about it the dilemma could have been better typified as adventure vs. creature comforts and on a really practical level could relate to simple things like how you spend your day, what you get up and do with your free time for instance.
    This would be a big issue for me and I suspect other NTs - my greatest fear in life is a combination of monotony and boredom! Link that with any dogmatic, parochial type of conditioning and I would consider myself in hell! I would rather NOT be around than endure that for very long. If I wasn't insane to start with It wouldn't be long before I was.

    People look at INTP types and talk about their lack of need for others and their enjoyment of isolation. This is largely true but I think if you dig a little deeper, the thought of there being no-one else with whom to sharpen wits, or to challenge thought and/or share ideas, that would be complete anathema!
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
    — Richard P. Feynman

    "Never tell a person a thing is impossible. G*d/the Universe may have been waiting all this time for someone ignorant enough of the impossibility to do just that thing."
    author unknown

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    The interesting thing was that he suggested it did not matter if life was some how holographic or artificial because it would experienced and feel the same. He's a virtual reality theorist I think.
    Well, essentially our brain is in a black box.

    In terms of our perception of the world, our brain doesn't experience things directly but through sensors. It doesn't matter where the information is coming from in terms of our experience -- whether it is emulated or authentic. It still is the "same nervous impulse" that triggers a particular perception.

    So in terms of our inner experience, no, it doesn't matter.

    I think it does matter in the sense of body survival. If there is a "higher reality" and we are unable to respond to various inputs in a way that protects/nourishes our existence in that higher reality, then we will die regardless of what our brain is perceiving.

    Although the thing about the Matrix and the deals that the informants or traitors struck was that anything they where given in exchange for co-operation could be taken away because it was granted by a higher power, that perhaps attributes a capricious too human character to the machines but the agents at least did behave like this.
    A few thoughts, at the least:
    1. Agents had to interface with humans and thus had to operate more similarly to them in order to facilitate the exchange.
    2. Agents who acted completely inhuman could have shattered the illusion of the Matrix; the whole point was to create a believable human reality that people would be happy within, rather than jarred out of.
    3. It made the story more interesting to us humans watching the movie to have the machine software act in a way that was more understandable to us.


    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    This would be a big issue for me and I suspect other NTs - my greatest fear in life is a combination of monotony and boredom! Link that with any dogmatic, parochial type of conditioning and I would consider myself in hell! I would rather NOT be around than endure that for very long. If I wasn't insane to start with It wouldn't be long before I was.

    People look at INTP types and talk about their lack of need for others and their enjoyment of isolation. This is largely true but I think if you dig a little deeper, the thought of there being no-one else with whom to sharpen wits, or to challenge thought and/or share ideas, that would be complete anathema!

    I totally agree. INTP learns by pinging off things with Ne and bringing the results back inside for Ti to process. I think a common pattern for anxious INTPs is to drop back into a safe protective mode (Si) and then feel completely bored, empty, and unstimulated... and thus that life has no meaning. That is because INTP is not being challenged or given new data with which to work and develop ideas.

    The answer is to brave anxiety and face new situations = new data = new ideas.

    But sorry, this isn't about INTP per se, it's just my personal experience, and it'll be interesting to see what other people have to say about the preference of a paradise state vs hardship.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #9
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    What type was Cypher in the Matrix? "Ignorance is bliss.."

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    . Blank's Avatar
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    Can I choose to smeg off, you smegging smeghead?
    Ti = 19 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fi = 15 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
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    Ni = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Se = 11[][][][][][][][][][][]
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    -----------------
    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

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