Tuesday 4 August 2020

Motivation misdirection (more on why we are such cowards)

A major reason why modern people are such cowards (compared with all previous generations) is that they lack strong motivation - this is ultimately because they lack religion; and proximately because the actual primary motivations that modern people do have are feak and weeble.

We are officially supposed to be motivated by artifical, false, incoherent, changeable, and distant concerns. That is what is permitted and encouraged; and any other concerns we might have that are personal, based on experience and common sense - are demonised and (increasingly) punished.

Modern motivations are feak and weeble because they are misdirected: deliberately. What I mean by this is that our precise, primary natural and spontaneous motivations; are culturally-misdirected into vague, secondhand abstractions.

Take for example the three things that are this week supposed to motivate the people of the world: 1. the birdemic, 2. antiracism and 3. CO2-related global/ climate/ warming/ change...

1. Pretty-much everything we know about the threat of global pandemic is abstract, statistical and via the mass media; concerning people we don't know, don't care about - and maybe don't exist. We are supposed to be concerned not by the actual risks to our health but acting to keep 'other people' safe. And this is not something that lasts a few days or weeks, but the New Normal. In essence, we are supposed to be motivated in our moment-to-moment actions, now and forever, by our desire to contribute to better data summaries, and the blanket approval of the media/ government.

2. Antiracism. Everybody is supposed to care passionately about some incident that is supposed to have happened in the USA. We know nothing about this except what comes via the mass media; and we have been told what this is supposed to mean, and what we are supposed to do about it. In sum, the supposedly major ethical principle of our lives is that unknown strangers in foreign countries who are (apparently in as many ways as possible) defined as qualitatively different from ourselves (yet, somehow, simultaneously identical...); must matter more to each of us than people who we know and love - our relations, friends and neighbours. 

3. The 'environmentalism' of change/ warming/ climate/ global/ carbon... Again personal knowledge and experience counts for nothing. We are instead told to care only about the average concentration of a chemical, assertions about what is has happened thousands of miles away and hundreds of years ago. We must believe the truth and accuracy of statements linking remote causes with distant effects, mathematical theories about the future, socio-economic hypotheses about what 'must' be done - and we are expected to feel all this as an overwhelmingly urgent imperative.

In sum, we are cowards because we cannot genuinely and strongly and personally be motivated by unnatural, artificial abstractions; and these unnatural, artificial abstractions are the only ones officially allowed us.

Thus abstraction doth make cowards of us all...


Jacob Gittes said...

I believe it is possible to filter out, over time, those extraneous, abstract, garbage motivations. But it takes a lot of work to focus on one's immediate relationships with family, friends, and actual neighbors, and even more: one's relationship with God.

Then, the local world around you can start to shine and glimmer with new life.
That's my goal: to focus on the local and the real.
And reject the nonsense.
It is very difficult, because most people are lost in the abstract nonsense, and when you interact with them, that comes out.

On a side note, there is resistance: I sent into a sporting goods store yesterday, and the employees themselves wore no masks, nor did I. Another gentleman did, though. He could easily go to the state AG's web page for reporting non-compliance. Snitches everywhere, rooting out non-compliance with the abstract motivations.

Ron Tomlinson said...

Yes. Regarding 'abstract motivations' I like BC's definition of abstract, meaning far from from ourselves, far from our persons, and nothing to do with building material.


>We are instead told to care only about the average concentration of a chemical

It's worse than that. They haven't even specified a target ppm of CO2. I guess because they're too cowardly themselves.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for another brilliant breakdown of...well, the world's collective nervous breakdown.

Aside from the feak and weeble causes you've listed, I find that most Western people are so profoundly self-absorbed that they're unable to genuinely care about any higher cause...and cowardice is a symptom of that selfishness.

Wearing a mask is an easy way for people to feel like they're doing some sort of good deed...but then the way they react toward someone not wearing one reveals how altruistic they really are.

S.K. Orr said...

Bruce, an excellent summation of the Triumvirate of Distractions.

Ron, good point about them not specifying a target ppm of CO2. This seems similar to how they rarely respond when pressed for a firm definition of "racism," because they know how easy it is to expose the dishonesty and evil behind labeling a man with the term. They want the wiggle room.

Jake, in the rural region in which I live, I've noticed that when I travel to the larger towns/cities, the atmosphere is very Soviet Union-y, with people scolding maskless shoppers and taking photos of them. But in the small town communities, very, very few people wear masks (even though the governor of my state has mandated them for any activities outside the home). And when someone does challenge such a person for not submitting to the muzzle, the rustic's response is usually, "Aw, hell, you're fulla b******t. Mind your own damn bidness." And the badgering stops right there. Many of the folks in my region are what I would call feral, and the SJW types instinctively know this and drop the scolding, just as they know not to tease a wild dog.

Bruce Charlton said...

@SK - While I am pleased to see anyone defying the muzzle - I have to admit that if it is only belligerent-looking young chaps who do it (and I have seen the same here) then it may well be counter-productive since they are only doing so for (what will be construed as, and probably are) selfish reasons.

TonguelessYoungMan said...

@BC - I am assuming SK is an American like myself ("Aw, hell, you're fulla b******t. Mind your own damn bidness" isn't something I imagine a non-American saying) and what he described wouldn't be abnormal behavior for a rural conservative religious American male of any age. In fact, I imagine an older man saying that. (Actually, I have a hard time imagining a young man outside of some rural areas using those words, in that accent.) The "rustic" people I believe he's describing in America tend to be very punchy with their language.

Still, your logic still applies, even if we're talking about a belligerent-sounding middle aged man with an American flag baseball hat, driving a pick up truck on his way to church.

Bruce Charlton said...

@TYM- Yes, SK is a rural American - author of a very well written (mostly autobiographical) blog: https://steepletea.com/

a_probst said...

Feak and weeble, yes.
It's blind mowing.

S.K. Orr said...

Bruce, thank you for your generous remark about my blog.

TYM, as Bruce noted, I am an American, a native Southerner living up on a ridge in the Appalachian mountains.

And I agree with Bruce...a lot of the no-maskers are young and bellicose, using their "rebellion" as grandstanding. Great for the ego. "See how nonconformist I am?" said the chap wearing the Levis jeans and Nike sneakers and clutching his $14 latte' from Starbucks...

But in my region, I've seen a lot of men (and even some women) my age who refuse to put the things on. Tougher times are coming, because even the little local stores here are starting to crack down, putting up signs on their doors that no one will be allowed inside without a face covering (and just when did this transition from "masks" to "coverings" occur, hm?). I gather from listening to people talk that a lot of the grit-teeth obstinate refusal to play the game by these elder folk comes from their horrified witnessing the Confederate monuments and images being desecrated and torn down (and with the enthusiastic endorsement of their so-called leaders, church and government). Most of us, myself included, have great-great grandfathers who fought in that war (my G-G Grandfather was killed at the battle of Atlanta, and I can just imagine what he would say if he saw what Atlanta is now). Many of these folks are at the point where they simply don't care anymore about what the government says or wants. They figure "I might not be able to win, but I can have some fun doing the fighting." And fighting takes on different forms for different people.

TonguelessYoungMan said...

@SK - Thanks for the elaboration. As I said I live in America, but I live in a different America than you do. I live in Las Vegas, Mention. A lot of people here detest the mask, but often for selfish reasons. The first type you mention of course exist, but many are upset that the kinds of seedy business that keep this city going financially are now closed or at least very limited in their business. The Casinos obviously, the bars, strip clubs etc.

My father side of the family are all Anglos and Germans from the northeast, my great (not sure how many "greats") grandfathers fought for the Union. My mother is the daughter of Polish immigrants so perhaps I don't share the same visceral reaction as a native southerner, but years ago when this started I knew it was a sign of things to come, they are already broadening their horizons as to what statues are worth demolishing, as you know.

I'll be reading and perhaps commenting on your blog regularly, I'm sure. I love hearing from trustworthy people about what is going on in different areas of the country than mine. When you take out all the forced diversity you'll find that this nation was already rather diverse.