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Thread: Modern life is rubbish?

  1. #17
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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikerr View Post
    Modern life is great:

    We(1) have more wealth(2), health(3) and free time to use it than ever before in recent history.



    (1) we, in the western world
    (2) no one dies of starvation due to lack of money
    (3) no major plagues or mass diseases since antibiotics
    I would argue the wealth part is not entirely true,since most people are still trapped in a world of debt and debt repayment,with that dominating their life choices,and those controlling the debt still skimming the cream,so to say.

    Just because the body is nourished does not mean the mind is any better off.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    A little more context in the question would have helped.

    But as others have pointed out, rubbish compared to what, and when, and in what sense?

    Rubbish compared to no real medical knowledge, where all sorts of now hum-drum medical issues were a death sentence, where plaque was rampant, where offending the local Lord meant a brief period of dangling from a tree by your neck .... or far worse. Where infant mortality was a major killer, life expectancy was maybe 40, and where you worked your fingers to the bone unless you were very lucky, where illness or accident probably meant starving to death. Where food was far more primitive, far less plentiful, and there was, shock horror, no spag bol, pizza or chicken tikka. Where you were well-travelled if you ever got more than 5 miles from the hovel you were born in, and where foreign travel probably meant you'd been conscripted into someone's navy or army, and that travel meant a good chance of getting your butt shot off, or sliced off, not a nice room in a nice hotel, not far from the airport, or beach, while you explored the cuisine of yet another foreign country, while perusing your email on a smartphone.

    Or, for that matter, modern life as in on welfare in the UK, as opposed to modetn life in some third-world hellhole where food and medicine are still hard as heck to come by, or running for your life from some rabid African warlord or to get out from under government bombing/shelling in Syria, or living life imposed on Palestinians by an Israeli blockade?

    To be honest, virtually anyone living even a very under-privileged life in the UK is very well off compared to how they'd live in most times in human history in the UK, or even in many places elsewhere in the world, in 2013.

    I really think most of us don't appreciate how comparatively damned lucky we are.

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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I would argue the wealth part is not entirely true,since most people are still trapped in a world of debt and debt repayment,with that dominating their life choices,and those controlling the debt still skimming the cream,so to say.

    Just because the body is nourished does not mean the mind is any better off.
    yup, and if wealth is any indication of a better quality of life , then why is it those with it tend to use it to only profit themselves ?

  6. #20
    Pork & Beans Powerup Phage's Avatar
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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    I really think most of us don't appreciate how comparatively damned lucky we are.
    Which is why people going on about the 'good ol days' or 'if only we could go back to a more natural mode of living', drive me up the wall.
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phage View Post
    Which is why people going on about the 'good ol days' or 'if only we could go back to a more natural mode of living', drive me up the wall.
    Well your obviously not old enough to have experienced losing something irreplaceable or valuable to you yet , if you had you would appreciate what they really mean, instead of mistaking literally for it being everything they'd seen.

    There are many ambiguous things - like culture you grow up with , that you dont tend to notice till its gone ( those born before the 90s will know what I mean ) that also represent a time or period you can never back.

    So it not just practical aspect of living, but the many outside factors ( the heart & soul ) that can influence ,and be taken for granted too .. after all we cant be young , or do whatever it is we always wanted to do forever, times change -and sometimes faster than the weather

    I have probably had 3 - 4 yrs roughly in my life I would call truly great , and the rest mostly as meaningless as being stuck in a class room while being in detention for break..
    Last edited by melon; 14-05-2013 at 04:06 PM.

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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    A little more context in the question would have helped.

    But as others have pointed out, rubbish compared to what, and when, and in what sense?
    Also need a solid definition of "modern", so not just compared to when, but when compared to when.
    From a historical point of view we're not living in the modern age, the modern age spanned from the late middle ages until the mid 20th century, we're currently in what's referred to as the Contemporary age.
    Ok you can say I'm being semantically picky and in some respects I am, however if you want to pose a serious question then you have to put in some serious thought behind it first.
    I'd also like a definition of "rubbish", rubbish is "waste material" or material that is considered valueless or unimportant.
    To which I'd say that "life" has a value you assign to it.

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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by melon View Post
    Well your obviously not old enough to experienced losing something irreplaceable to you yet , if you had you would appreciate what they really mean instead of mistaking literally for it being everything they'd seen.
    Older than you by some decades. Unless you've a bus pass hidden away. I've lost more and gained more than you can imagine.
    Not sure where the rest of that sentence is going ?

    Quote Originally Posted by melon View Post
    Then there is also art , culture so on you grow up with that can change too ( those born before the 90s will know what I mean ) that represent a time or times you can not get back.
    The Past is indeed a different country. Not sure where you're going though.

    Quote Originally Posted by melon View Post
    So it not just practical aspect of living but the many outside factors ( the heart & soul ) you can take for granted at that time too.
    Very much ! We are the sum of our memories.

    Quote Originally Posted by melon View Post
    You cant be young , or do whatever it is you always wanted to do forever times change -and sometimes faster than the weather
    A sobering reminder of how transient this all is. But not sure how this relates ?
    I would never argue against the points I think you're making, but not sure how they relate to the OP. These things form a part of the human condition, and that hasn't changed at all. The question implies that modern life is either better or worse than what has gone before.

    The human condition hasn't changed, but the material world is radically different, so naturally I look to a material answer.
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phage View Post
    Older than you by some decades. Unless you've a bus pass hidden away. I've lost more and gained more than you can imagine.
    Not sure where the rest of that sentence is going ?



    The Past is indeed a different country. Not sure where you're going though.



    Very much ! We are the sum of our memories.



    A sobering reminder of how transient this all is. But not sure how this relates ?
    I would never argue against the points I think you're making, but not sure how they relate to the OP. These things form a part of the human condition, and that hasn't changed at all. The question implies that modern life is either better or worse than what has gone before.

    The human condition hasn't changed, but the material world is radically different, so naturally I look to a material answer.
    Some would argue it most certainly has, and that modern lifestyle has something to do with it.

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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by melon View Post
    Some would argue it most certainly has, and that modern lifestyle has something to do with it.
    People continue to suffer in all the ages. I don't think that humanity has changed its essence at all.
    Materially we are far better off. Given freedom of expression and religion there is a strong argument that we spiritually better off as well.
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

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    Anti-Viral Pleiades's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Wonder if OP was just trolling, or (worse) a Blur fan?

    Hehe, yeah it's a bit of a silly question without context and parameters.

    My personal view is that ALL life is rubbish, I hate it. If I was in charge of the Universe it'd be sterile and quiet without all those zillions of crawling, mewling, flying and scampering things whose only purpose is to procreate before expiring LOL

    I concede humanity is materially at its highest state atm and things continue to improve for vast numbers of people around the world; I think this gradual amelioration of the 'human condition' is likely to continue, barring global catastrophe; so I'd rather be born a million years into our future than now, or previously (if that makes sense)...

    ... but of course the whole point is, no-one gets a choice as to when and to whom they're born. I certainly wouldn't have chosen my parents or the wretched life I was handed...
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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikerr View Post
    Modern life is great:

    We(1) have more wealth(2), health(3) and free time to use it than ever before in recent history.



    (1) we, in the western world
    (2) no one dies of starvation due to lack of money
    (3) no major plagues or mass diseases since antibiotics

    More wealth? = Tell that to my bank accounts with the red numbers

    More Health? = Yeah this persistent cough that doctors can't seem to stop really makes me feel healthy

    More free time? = Tell that to the at least 50 people I know that work their assess off every day to pay their bills and feed their families, when they do get any time of they are too tired to enjoy it.

    I don't know you so I can't begin to guess at your financial standing but your post reads like someone who has money, try living life from the side that doesn't.

    Give me 25 years ago any day, wages were better, work weeks were shorter (less hours), things cost less and people appreciated what they had more than they do today.

    I'm teaching my daughter to always be polite, and to help others wherever you can. And judging by some of the pants halfway to their knees, loud mouthed little scroats that hang around outside the local supermarket it seems to me like those are values that are getting harder to find.

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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Clean water and antibiotics have literally changed the world. I'll take modern times thanks.

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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkspeed View Post
    More wealth? = Tell that to my bank accounts with the red numbers

    More Health? = Yeah this persistent cough that doctors can't seem to stop really makes me feel healthy

    More free time? = Tell that to the at least 50 people I know that work their assess off every day to pay their bills and feed their families, when they do get any time of they are too tired to enjoy it.

    I don't know you so I can't begin to guess at your financial standing but your post reads like someone who has money, try living life from the side that doesn't.

    Give me 25 years ago any day, wages were better, work weeks were shorter (less hours), things cost less and people appreciated what they had more than they do today.

    I'm teaching my daughter to always be polite, and to help others wherever you can. And judging by some of the pants halfway to their knees, loud mouthed little scroats that hang around outside the local supermarket it seems to me like those are values that are getting harder to find.
    But don't you think you're being a bit selective with that "25 years ago"?

    And even for 25 years ago, some things are better now than 25 years ago. For a start, medical capabilities. And no, before anyone says it, not everything has improved in medical terms, but a lot has, and one example of that would be that I lost both parents to a medical condition that, these days, they probably would have survived.

    We also don't have to go back that far to find rationing still in place, and a bit further to wartime. I lost a lot of relatives in that. And most people would get a shock at things they take for granted being fairly recent innovations. For instance, until 1969, you couldn't vote until you were 21, and check out the restrictions on the franchise prior to, say, the 1918 Representation of the People Act, or the extent to which property ownership was a prerequisite for being able to vote.

    Also, it was only my grandfathers era when, in so many places, anyone actually owning a car was an event. My granddad buying one caused kids from streets around to come round for a look, because, hey, us inner city folk didn't have things like cars - they were for rich folk.

    Is everything perfect today! Hell, no.

    But when we compare compare working hours and conditions with 25 years ago, compare them as well with 50 years ago, or 150 years ago. How many people here take indoor lavatories and central heating for granted? How many remember twin-tub washing machines or the old hand-wound mangle? No condenser tumble driers or microwave ovens in years past. There is so much we take for granted compared to our own relatively recent past, both in material things and "rights" that certainly weren't rights until fairly recently, and many parts of the world don't have accessible hospitals for lethal conditions, never mind cosmetic surgery or IVF. Also, the pension plan used to be having loads of kids in the hope that some would survive long enough to care for you when you needed it .... and the way the welfare system is going, we're headed back to that again, too.

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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleiades View Post
    Wonder if OP was just trolling, or (worse) a Blur fan?

    Hehe, yeah it's a bit of a silly question without context and parameters.

    My personal view is that ALL life is rubbish, I hate it. If I was in charge of the Universe it'd be sterile and quiet without all those zillions of crawling, mewling, flying and scampering things whose only purpose is to procreate before expiring LOL

    I concede humanity is materially at its highest state atm and things continue to improve for vast numbers of people around the world; I think this gradual amelioration of the 'human condition' is likely to continue, barring global catastrophe; so I'd rather be born a million years into our future than now, or previously (if that makes sense)...

    ... but of course the whole point is, no-one gets a choice as to when and to whom they're born. I certainly wouldn't have chosen my parents or the wretched life I was handed...
    Just listened to this great interview ( more like a pot induced chat ) with Grant Morrison & Kevin Smith - skip to 3/4 of way through to hear Grants thoughts on life that start with an early trip he made to Katmandu..

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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    But don't you think you're being a bit selective with that "25 years ago"?

    And even for 25 years ago, some things are better now than 25 years ago. For a start, medical capabilities. And no, before anyone says it, not everything has improved in medical terms, but a lot has, and one example of that would be that I lost both parents to a medical condition that, these days, they probably would have survived.

    We also don't have to go back that far to find rationing still in place, and a bit further to wartime. I lost a lot of relatives in that. And most people would get a shock at things they take for granted being fairly recent innovations. For instance, until 1969, you couldn't vote until you were 21, and check out the restrictions on the franchise prior to, say, the 1918 Representation of the People Act, or the extent to which property ownership was a prerequisite for being able to vote.

    Also, it was only my grandfathers era when, in so many places, anyone actually owning a car was an event. My granddad buying one caused kids from streets around to come round for a look, because, hey, us inner city folk didn't have things like cars - they were for rich folk.

    Is everything perfect today! Hell, no.

    But when we compare compare working hours and conditions with 25 years ago, compare them as well with 50 years ago, or 150 years ago. How many people here take indoor lavatories and central heating for granted? How many remember twin-tub washing machines or the old hand-wound mangle? No condenser tumble driers or microwave ovens in years past. There is so much we take for granted compared to our own relatively recent past, both in material things and "rights" that certainly weren't rights until fairly recently, and many parts of the world don't have accessible hospitals for lethal conditions, never mind cosmetic surgery or IVF. Also, the pension plan used to be having loads of kids in the hope that some would survive long enough to care for you when you needed it .... and the way the welfare system is going, we're headed back to that again, too.
    Materially we're (superficially) better off. But the economy is a ticking timebomb on borrowed time. Stagnant/declining wages are being crushed by an inflating economy refusing to grow in step, and have been for some time. Jobs have been exported to the East en mass. Government has failed to consider economic policy changes in light of the reality that the practical utility of employment is slowly becoming superfluous as our countries export and automate jobs unproductive here, leaving less and less work available with an ever growing immigrant population. So people are being crippled by an economy that practically requires crippling debt to even get into a decent job market (which will probably collapse just as you get your degree, oh well, 'just' retrain) and/or have any kind of modern living standards. Buying your own home is way out of reach for the vast majority of young people. And even a simple thing like driving is rapidly becoming extortionate. What's worse is we have a global carbon casino industry playing chicken with a climate freight train which threatens to destroy human civilisation, serious non-carbon energy research and investment basically died in the 70's, renewals are a big joke, and so energy security has never been worse. And politicians all over the West have been dancing on the carcases of civil liberties for a decade now. So we wont be leaving our children with a better life than we, ourselves had. Yeah, we have lots of new-flanged tech gizmos to distract us from the awful state of affairs and the pending train wreck, but we're not really better off, are we? The train wreck is still coming. It's only a matter of when the accumulation of political and economic incompetence destroys everything we've built.

    Cynical? Perhaps. But that's the way things are.
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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    The fundamental problem with Humanity is it thinks it can improve its situation by changing itself materially to acquire happiness.

    On a superficial level this is true because if you have the money , there are some things you can do you otherwise cant ( fly to space ), affording better options for the same things such as getting better healthcare.

    But the problem is none of these big changes we expected back in the 60s really happened, we've not revolutioned life much at all , we're not smarter or living healthier or doing anything much better just inventing more ways of doing it.

    My point is the same fundamental flaws of thinking the answer is outside us , is the same because it drives business, which in turn drives the greed that has killed innovation and expression and only isolated us from ourselves even more at its expense.

    Why so ? because its causes us to believe the answer is always somewhere else in something we can create , or recreate ,instead of ourselves , and with creation comes the risk of becoming part of that creation or dream itself, rather than than the person outside it who can walk away or detach themselves.

    This is very important because if you cant remember what you were before that creation or what you did to cause it you end up forgetting yourself and being unaware of the threat - its like driving down the highway on a nice day until you forget you are on a road that is only going one way.

    Perhaps technically if we were to stop our power struggles and didnt feel the need to control each other at every opportunity it might , but as everything we do now is designed to do the opposite and compete it has only made as more dependent and paranoid instead.

    Any great promise of some Utopia , or big cure for humanity is about as laughable as the governments who enforce these ideas sitting in their ivory towers and bunkers , because they are the most paranoid of all.

    As they say , the bigger they are , the harder they fall - which is why they have to work so hard in making us believe what they cant themselves. They already know living these ideals they insist are better for us are rubbish because they have only lead to giving us less freedom instead. ( they are the living proof of it ) otherwise they would not be where they are.

    This position of convenience only allows them to distance themselves further and disconnect themselves from the very problems they created and needed to resolve in order to liberate themselves ( lets call it feeling good ) but as they do not want to sacrifice any of their own power to do that - or rather cant - they have no choice now but to take more away from us instead.

    And take , and take and take until they will eventually have to resort to more direct physical ways to enforce it again.

    We are going backwards not forward - and its only the illusion of time and our linear thinking that convinces us otherwise.
    Last edited by melon; 16-05-2013 at 09:50 AM.

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