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  1. #1
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Default Because Everyone Else Does It

    Hello everyone, I haven't been here much since I made my Si-Fe checklist, and that's a good thing, but today I have on my mind the topic of doing things because everyone else is doing them, and whether that is right or wrong.

    One question to ponder might be this: could Winston have been happy in 1984 if he had simply given up his struggle to be an individual and acted like everyone else? Perhaps this is what happened in the end of the novel, but I don't think it was meant to be a positive thing.

    It certainly relates to the way I see life right now, though. I look at the world and I see 1984. Very little seems to actually make sense; I constantly find that people don't care about what they do and do not know, or ever really being able to explain the true purposes behind their actions beyond 'that is just what is done.' Things everyone takes for granted in life, I do not, and never have. They go to church, school, college, they get married, they get involved in the world of the news and politics, they partake in the entertainment culture has to offer like sports, clubs, bars, etc., and they don't ever really bat an eye or wonder if there was some other way to live that was, in my mind at least, more to the point.

    We all have things we want out of life. Why don't we take the most direct course in obtaining those things? We go to school, for instance, and we learn many things about many subjects that we will ultimately forget and never use. Just one example, but there are many. That always bothered me, though. I always wanted to break away from this and do my own individual thing where I wouldn't be subject to the random, chaotic thoughts and agendas of other people. Furthermore, of course, I felt that other people would also be best off to do the same--but they don't, they just do what everyone else does without thinking about it.

    At this stage in my life, however, I'm starting to believe that the most "to the point" way to succeed in whatever your desire is is actually to pretty much do what everyone else is doing, simply because to try to break apart means isolation, and it is pretty much impossible to do anything significant on your own. For this reason, as an example, I am beginning to think I need to return to college. Previously, and still, I saw college as a stupid way to go and get your head filled with big useless ideas and waste a lot of time in a classroom sitting around with your nose in books while you could be out there actually doing something. Unfortunately, however true that is, it is simply what everyone else does, especially people of my intelligence level and upbringing. It becomes apparent, from this standpoint, that going back to college is probably the most effective way to get what I want--friends, relationships, eventually a family and growing influence in the community--even though I feel very little intrinsic motivation to do any of it.

    I just don't want to be alone. And guess what? There is literally nothing else out there. Apart from other people, I am nobody. To blatantly disregard the context of my culture would remove me and render me so isolated that I have utterly no resources. I realize that culture can feel like a prison, but it's a prison where outside the prison is absolute blankness rather than some utopia where everything happens the way I think it should and everything everyone does makes sense.

    After all, did Winston ever stand a chance? Did he only ever make himself miserable with his rebellion? His criminal romance with Julia was like a fleeting dream that was over before it began, and wound up in a broken heart and torture at the hands of society, torture until the rebellion was crushed out of him. We arrogantly yell that we are stronger, that we are willing to suffer for our ideals and will never be broken, but in the end, are we really so important?

    The bullet is going through my brain...

    I concede that this is not absolute, and how could it be? There isn't one culture to follow--there are many, and sometimes things conflict and you get to choose which one you agree with more. There are levels of following society, but what I had been striving for was an absolute 0 level where I did not follow at all, and that is impossible (except with suicide, which is what you learn is the rational endpoint of this line of thought). However much I hate to say it, I am going to have to let society do some of my thinking for me and try to embrace those things which I can't explain rationally, remembering that "the point" is practicality, not truth. There is no truth. Like, fucking literally.

    Last point, from an MBTI standpoint I guess this is what happens when you have inferior extroverted judgment. When I was younger, I was happier because I didn't question things as much. I embraced what people told me "should" be. I took care of Ti, Ne, Si, and Fe all fairly well. As I began to think more and more, I slowly began to decide that Si and Fe were unimportant, superficial, and most of all, not nearly as BIG as I would want them to be. With Ti and Ne, I can come up with very grand things that seem to elevate me to larger than life levels. What is so impressive about cleaning the bathroom, or making chit-chat with someone? In the end, though, that's not the way a good portion of people see things, not by a long stretch.

  2. #2
    reflecting pool Typh0n's Avatar
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    First off, thats all very depressing. Going to college because its the only way to have influence in society? ...

    I dont really accept the idea that we are just follwing the course of things and are defined by other people. Sure, there is a subject-object relation that goes on and whatever we exteriorize or whatever becomes conscious to us is done in relation to something outside ourselves. But theres more to the hulman psyche than what we think in the present moment, its more dynamic than that, there are hidden elements that drive us, that push us to do something new. Its not like our psyche is just a mirror of what goes on outside us, nor is it the other way around, its just more interconnected than that.

  3. #3
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typh0n View Post
    First off, thats all very depressing. Going to college because its the only way to have influence in society? ...
    Imprisonment is depressing, when you think about it. The key to me at this point is staying busy so I don't think about it. There's no way out of this prison.

    I dont really accept the idea that we are just follwing the course of things and are defined by other people. Sure, there is a subject-object relation that goes on and whatever we exteriorize or whatever becomes conscious to us is done in relation to something outside ourselves. But theres more to the hulman psyche than what we think in the present moment, its more dynamic than that, there are hidden elements that drive us, that push us to do something new. Its not like our psyche is just a mirror of what goes on outside us, nor is it the other way around, its just more interconnected than that.
    We can't ever know what is subconscious though, because it is subconscious. We have to have conscious thought, and we have to think in terms of what is practical and what will work. If a large percentage of people are involved in a particular thing, getting involved in that thing is the best way to connect with them and reap the benefits of their company.

  4. #4
    reflecting pool Typh0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    Imprisonment is depressing, when you think about it. The key to me at this point is staying busy so I don't think about it. There's no way out of this prison.
    I never went to college either. I know what you mean...


    We can't ever know what is subconscious though, because it is subconscious. We have to have conscious thought, and we have to think in terms of what is practical and what will work. If a large percentage of people are involved in a particular thing, getting involved in that thing is the best way to connect with them and reap the benefits of their company.
    I guess. Is college the only thing people are involved with, though?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    I concede that this is not absolute, and how could it be? There isn't one culture to follow--there are many, and sometimes things conflict and you get to choose which one you agree with more. There are levels of following society, but what I had been striving for was an absolute 0 level where I did not follow at all, and that is impossible (except with suicide, which is what you learn is the rational endpoint of this line of thought). However much I hate to say it, I am going to have to let society do some of my thinking for me and try to embrace those things which I can't explain rationally, remembering that "the point" is practicality, not truth. There is no truth. Like, fucking literally.
    Look, I'd be the first to say that you dont need to reinvent the wheel, you can depend upon knowledge other than that of your own individual devising or finding and the simplist example of this is perhaps language, no one has a language completely of their own individual invention, it would serve no purpose at all. The survivals of history in the shape of tradition are worthy of appraisal and prove valid a lot of the time, most of the time the people who're most prepared to ditch them at a moments notice havent given it all as much thought as it deserves. This is a logical, rational and thinking process despite how some people would like to frame it as something different to that in order to condemn it all as invalid.

    I'd also say that there certainly is truth, just because its difficult to prove and because a lot of findings can be attacked as more ideology than rigorous scholarship does not mean that there is no truth or relativity is valid.

    Could you imagine that sort of thinking carrying any weight outside of the social sciences or liberal arts academia? It doesnt carry any weight in the natural sciences, it doesnt actually carry any weight among the population at large or the people who uphold it in practice. It couldnt. A lot of its absurd.

  6. #6
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typh0n View Post
    I never went to college either. I know what you mean...

    I guess. Is college the only thing people are involved with, though?
    I actually did, I got a B.S. in education to become a high school science teacher. In the end, though, "high school science teacher" is not who I want to be / doesn't quite fit with my innate personality or predilections.

    College is just an example, though. I'm doing all sorts of things differently now.. kind of like "picking who I want to be" I suppose. I watch a lot of TV shows that I wouldn't have before, because now I think it is a valid reason to do it because others do. I listen to lots of new music, I took up learning Spanish and playing the guitar, I started going to hiking group meetings, I started keeping my house and self clean, I allow myself to drink or smoke pot if people around me are doing it, I would go out to certain sporting events or maybe even bars if people wanted to and I had nothing better going on... stuff like that. Just being a part of everybody, or at least trying to shine within that framework.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Look, I'd be the first to say that you dont need to reinvent the wheel, you can depend upon knowledge other than that of your own individual devising or finding and the simplist example of this is perhaps language, no one has a language completely of their own individual invention, it would serve no purpose at all. The survivals of history in the shape of tradition are worthy of appraisal and prove valid a lot of the time, most of the time the people who're most prepared to ditch them at a moments notice havent given it all as much thought as it deserves. This is a logical, rational and thinking process despite how some people would like to frame it as something different to that in order to condemn it all as invalid.
    This is why I was into Zen and Zen-related things. It's often referred to as nonconceptual, beyond words. Frankly, though, I have had no luck with that and question its validity.

    I'd also say that there certainly is truth, just because its difficult to prove and because a lot of findings can be attacked as more ideology than rigorous scholarship does not mean that there is no truth or relativity is valid.
    If you ask me, the truth is infinity. Everything exists. Every possible way of looking at things exists. Every possible thing that could happen exists. There is an entire universe where, yes, the meaning of life literally is 42. Beyond beyond beyond beyond beyond x infinity. The scope of the known universe itself is so far beyond our comprehension it is laughable that we would even try to say anything about it, and even that is probably just an infinitesimal speck. The void is infinite. We are severely condemned to the narrowest of contexts. Whatever we think we believe is basically a hilarious joke.



    ^Kinda like that, sorta. We are so proud of ourselves and what we know and we throw our lives into it and take it so seriously... and what we know is incredibly feeble, actually.

    Could you imagine that sort of thinking carrying any weight outside of the social sciences or liberal arts academia? It doesnt carry any weight in the natural sciences, it doesnt actually carry any weight among the population at large or the people who uphold it in practice. It couldnt. A lot of its absurd.
    Eh, it's a personal philosophy. It's like half of the picture. Like I alluded to, this is all about me embracing the Si-Fe half of my personality. Most people don't have this problem. It is possible and extremely common to have the opposite problem - blindly following people to your demise.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I try to pick my battles with this kind of thing. Some things are worth swimming upstream on and some things are not.

    But I also don't really believe I'm important. I'm one of seven billion of my species living right now. There are many more of my kind that have lived before and many more that will live after. If my own grandchildren have some good memories of me when I am gone, I'll feel like I've done alright for myself.

    So I am not obligated to rebel against every little thing in my culture, but neither do I need to comply completely. I just have to be able to survive day to day and still be able to live with myself. But I think college is fun -- the classes, that is, the less useful the better.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  8. #8
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Another Far Side I particularly like and see as relevant...


  9. #9
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'd also say that there certainly is truth, just because its difficult to prove and because a lot of findings can be attacked as more ideology than rigorous scholarship does not mean that there is no truth or relativity is valid.
    Yeah.

    Truth is real, even if it's elusive. If this is just a Matrix, it's so convincing as to not matter. I know what's going to happen if I unpeel a banana, and what it's going to look like inside. It's going to be hotter in July than in January. I'm going to have a birthday every year. Just the fact that there are things that happen that you can successfully predict tells us that there is truth.

    I'd be more suspicious of the existence of truth if we lived in a fairy tale world without any connecting thread of reason between anything.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


    This is not going to go the way you think....

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  10. #10
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Ya but see I'm more talking about like "what is the nature of existence" truth and less "my birthday is October 1st" truth (it is, and I expect a showering of gifts).

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