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Thread: Modern life is rubbish?

  1. #33
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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.
    Its a modern way of life that you can have huge paper debt and still afford to live quite well
    - there's no slavery, workhouses or debtors prison anymore, and free healthcare.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkspeed View Post
    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.
    No, I'm not well off, and do have a health condition that I'd have likely died of 50 years ago, but do work and of course more money and free time is better
    - I just don't think times were better in the past in general, too much rose tinted spectacles looking back.
    Last edited by mikerr; 16-05-2013 at 11:04 AM.
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  2. #34
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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
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by mikerr View Post
    Its a modern way of life that you can have huge paper debt and still afford to live quite well
    - there's no slavery, workhouses or debtors prison anymore, and free healthcare.
    You have missed the point. A guilded prison of debt is still one,and so is an illusion of choice as a result of it. You fail to realise people's lives are just as controlled by debt for survival as they were a hundreds of years ago. That is not wealth.

    The people who have any real impact in this world are the top few percent,the same as been the case for the last 1000 years. They can do what they want.

    The wealth you talk off is materialist,which has never been a good indication of whether the mind is better off.

    People still kill each other in droves,and don't mind screwing over their fellow man even now,so on that level has humanity changed that much??
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 16-05-2013 at 01:55 PM.


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  4. #35
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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    No other period in history has an interwebz full of cat videos, so I voted no.

    Yeah things aren't perfect, but my prison of debt has central heating, indoor toilets and space for my lovely family so I'm good.

    Is it just me that was annoyed as hell by the song "I wish I was a punk rocker (with flowers in my hair)"? Now that is nonsense spouted from someone who wasn't actually around in the time she was talking about. I'm sure any punk found with flowers in their hair around our way would have been given a sound and thorough kicking. Almost every line of that song is just plain wrong. If someone can make a hit single with such drivel about a time in recent living memory, how embellished is the distant past?

    I shall now go make a mug of tea using milk (that doesn't contain TB) from the fridge.

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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    The OP mentioned life in general and that includes the whole world,not a small fraction of it.

    Moreover,modern life is what I consider the last generation or so. 40 years ago was hardly modern life IMHO as society has changed massively in the last 10 to 15 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Yeah things aren't perfect, but my prison of debt has central heating, indoor toilets and space for my lovely family so I'm good.
    Maybe,you should look at the original statement instead of sarcastic comments.

    He said we had wealth,yet we are trapped by debt which is no different than it has been for years.

    He said we had wealth,and yet what wealth?? Maybe you need to look at the current financial system which is dependent on debt and cheap disposable labour,and is a massive Ponzi scheme in reality.

    We are at the top of the scheme,so are lucky,but don't preclude that billions are so lucky.

    Peoples life choices and their interractions with each other are still constrained by trying to service this debt throughout the world. That is everywhere from a western european country to a third world country.

    Materalism does not instantly mean happiness or preclude it.

    If materalism is an instant indication of happiness,when you are in your final moments,will you be thinking about how great your home is,or the people you care about in this world??
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 16-05-2013 at 03:35 PM.


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  7. #37
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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    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.
    Well if your theseis is correct, the ultimate problem facing humankind is the sheer growth in our numbers, a problem exacerbated by the general success by humankind in improving agricultural efficiency and medicine, meaning that as a species we live longer and in greater numbers.

    It wouldn't take much to redress that balance - either the worlds population will just grow yo unsustainable proportions and famine or disease will reduce the population, or dwindling energy supplies will cause societies infrastructure to collapse (imagine how well we would cope if there was no electrical power for a month) - or there will be a natural disaster (meteorite, volcanic activity or other geological event) that will have the same effect.

    Whatever it is, it will cull our species dramatically. Of course, that event may not happen until after we have managed to escape from the earth's boundaries - but then, who knows?

    But apart from that, I'd say that in general modern times are progressively better for the majority than say 50, 100, or 200 years ago.
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  9. #38
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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    If that was not the case,when you are in your final moments,will you be thinking about how great your home is,or the people you care about in this world??
    Perhaps the line you quoted was over flippant, I put more thought into the bit about that stupid song about a non existent golden age.

    In my final moments I expect I will be thinking about people, and experiences.

    Most of the experiences I have had would not have been possible 100 years ago, and many of the people I would never have met.

    My wife was born 170 miles away, it isn't really that long ago that people were expected to marry someone from a nearby village. I own many pairs of trousers and many shirts. Clothing and travel are taken for granted, but they are really quite a recent thing thanks to modern wealth. These aren't materialistic trinkets, I'm talking basic life improving stuff that our grandparents struggled with.

    Yeah my bank account is rather negative, but that's just accountancy. Having a fridge is wealth.

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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

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Perhaps the line you quoted was over flippant, I put more thought into the bit about that stupid song about a non existent golden age.

    In my final moments I expect I will be thinking about people, and experiences.

    Most of the experiences I have had would not have been possible 100 years ago, and many of the people I would never have met.

    My wife was born 170 miles away, it isn't really that long ago that people were expected to marry someone from a nearby village. I own many pairs of trousers and many shirts. Clothing and travel are taken for granted, but they are really quite a recent thing thanks to modern wealth. These aren't materialistic trinkets, I'm talking basic life improving stuff that our grandparents struggled with.

    Yeah my bank account is rather negative, but that's just accountancy. Having a fridge is wealth.
    Which again you are calling wealth.Again,I am talking about that. Not about technology,not about anything else,wealth.

    It is not wealth,it is debt and you are still clambering over billions of people who have 1/100 of what you have. Your life choices are still dependent on servicing it,whether it is guilded or not.

    Moreover,wealth does not always equal happiness.

    Some of the the most unhappiest people I have met,have been living here in the UK. Some of the happiest people I have met were living in a village in SL and they have far less.

    Philosophies like Buddhism have been debating this for 1000s of years.

    So,sorry I will have to agree to disagree,on the point we have more wealth now,and we are instantly better due to it.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 16-05-2013 at 04:00 PM.


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  11. #40
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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Which again you are calling wealth. It is not wealth,it is debt.

    Some of the the most unhappiest people I have met,have been living here in the UK. Some of the happiest people I have met were living in a village in SL and they have less.

    So,sorry I will have to agree to disagree.
    That's fine, we can only go by our personal experiences.

    I spent time in a factory on an island in Indonesia in the early 90's. That was very educational, and taught me how fantastically lucky I was to be born in the UK (edit to add: and how much I took for granted, like having gone to school).

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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    That's fine, we can only go by our personal experiences.

    I spent time in a factory on an island in Indonesia in the early 90's. That was very educational, and taught me how fantastically lucky I was to be born in the UK (edit to add: and how much I took for granted, like having gone to school).
    I lived in SL and I know we are lucky and relatively safe here,and people do take what we have for granted.

    However, I also realise being "wealthy" did not mean being happy too.


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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    I am not sure how one can objectively measure happiness, and even if we could, I don't think that personal experience would provide an accurate assessment. People will moan about something in all walks of life, but sometime it's only after you lose something that you realise how important it is to you. Take those unhappy people in the UK, and put them in a village in a developing country and are they going to be happier? Well, I won't say no one is going to be. But I also doubt everyone will be. But if that is the lifestyle one seek, it is definitely easier for someone from the UK to move to a village far away than vice-versa, yet how many who complain would do so (I do know one person who sold all his possessions and lived life as some kind of modern nomad though). In a darker age, people have decided to give their life due to despair or in the hope to provide a better future for the next generation. Of course, this still happens, even within developed countries, but in general people with some material possessions may complain, though that does not mean they are so unhappy that they'd be willing to give it all up for something drastically different (and I am not talking about giving their lives to start a revolution here).

    To me, the quality of human life is *overall* (some individual measures, such as pollution may be far worse) is on an upward trend, with constant up and down cycles along the way. Incidentally, I value choice, and I think that the modern world offer more of it overall. One of my classmate from Japanese class recently gave a speech suggesting that modern society offers too many choices, and that lead to unhappiness (due to the comparisons and "what-if"). That illustrate that people can draw very different things out of the same condition.
    Last edited by TooNice; 16-05-2013 at 05:00 PM.

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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I lived in SL and I know we are lucky and relatively safe here,and people do take what we have for granted.

    However, I also realise being "wealthy" did not mean being happy too.
    Nor does any attachment , whether its food , an old book , beauty , money or even happiness because it means you are attached it and your idea of everything in your " inventory " being yourself.

    And not only that , but that everything in your world reinforces that identity through your association with it.

    So the point in the end is to really have none - or rather to empty the cup of what you are before you can fill it again.

    For most that is simply impossible , so that is why " happiness " is never usually attainable.

    Its rare for someone to be prepared to change like that on whim ( like Teepee did it ) , because they cant bear living a second longer with themselves the way they are or they feel a strong urge towards something , but it does happen .

    The question is whether your aware enough to spot it when it appears ,and have the courage to act upon it when it does...
    Last edited by melon; 16-05-2013 at 06:48 PM.

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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by yamangman View Post
    Well, is it?
    No mate

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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I lived in SL and I know we are lucky and relatively safe here,and people do take what we have for granted.

    However, I also realise being "wealthy" did not mean being happy too.
    I wonder what you consider the opposite of wealth, as we seem to have a lot of common ground and yet aren't agreeing.

    On a recent holiday we went on a family outing to an old iron mine. They had statistics of the sorts of people that worked there and what they did, including the children that hauled a heavy sled of ore through tight crawl spaces by candlelight all day for subsidence wages. Some of them went to church at the weekend in the same clothes they went down the mine in because that is all they had, the "well off" ones had Sunday best clothes as well as the shirt and trousers they always worked in. That would be Victorian England, so not in living memory but in the grand scheme of things really not that long ago.

    Wealth doesn't make you happy, but disease ridden hand to mouth poverty isn't a bag of laughs either.
    For me debt is not the opposite of wealth, because wealth has a corollary of creating life choices.

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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.
    Nonsense. I was looking for a free-ranging debate and I've not been disappointed .
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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Well as others have said rubbish is a relative term.

    It's unlikely that I'd have been able to attend University until it was made reasonably affordable. I studied computer science which would likely not have been available 50 years or so ago.

    A few years ago I took 18 months out to go travelling, covering most of the world - that would be unthinkable for a 'normal' person even 50 years ago.

    Recently my daughter brought home a bug from nursery, from which I developed tonsilitis. The penecillin available to me in my modern life was invaluable.

    I even had to take a break from wearing my contact lenses - which wouldn't have been available 50 years ago - and have allowed me to experience things like scuba diving, surfing, sky diving, triathlon, semi contact martial arts etc.

    Sure, modern life isn't perfect, and you can argue the toss over income vs debt. Most people won't have experienced grinding poverty outside of their cossetted 1st world lives, and don't realise how easy we have it. I'm certainly glad I live now and not 50+ years ago.

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    Re: Modern life is rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    I wonder what you consider the opposite of wealth, as we seem to have a lot of common ground and yet aren't agreeing.

    On a recent holiday we went on a family outing to an old iron mine. They had statistics of the sorts of people that worked there and what they did, including the children that hauled a heavy sled of ore through tight crawl spaces by candlelight all day for subsidence wages. Some of them went to church at the weekend in the same clothes they went down the mine in because that is all they had, the "well off" ones had Sunday best clothes as well as the shirt and trousers they always worked in. That would be Victorian England, so not in living memory but in the grand scheme of things really not that long ago.

    Wealth doesn't make you happy, but disease ridden hand to mouth poverty isn't a bag of laughs either.
    For me debt is not the opposite of wealth, because wealth has a corollary of creating life choices.
    Because,again the wealth we have is mostly debt. It is a vicious circle,dependent on generation of more debt,and the availability of cheap labour and materials.
    It is a Ponzi system as only the people at the top have any real chance of being truly capable of doing whatever they want.
    We have just shifted the most painful parts elsewhere as a temporary fix. Your whole life choices are dependent on servicing this,and it is no different than what people have to do for the last 100 years.

    Ultimately,I am not sure how the current system of wealth is sustainable with over six billion people on the planet,with many wanting to get to the top of triangle.

    Look at what happens when ths system crashed like it does now,and who escapes from it unscathed.

    For instant what if you did a crime and was sentenced to jail,ie,you have no freedom. You could be a Thai jail with 20 people to a room for 5 years,or a large mansion with servants under house arrest for the same time. Most people would choose the latter,but there is one thing which does not change - you still have no freedom.

    Moreover "poverty" is also dependent on the society we live in. Poverty of a cave man might have not been able to start a fire,but now it could be because you only can afford to wear old second hand clothes,etc or having a 15 year old car with 200k on the clock and flaking paint.

    Poverty is not an indication of survival in many countries or cultures.

    In a "richer" country you might earn more,but to be part of such a society you need to spend more anyway,because societal expectations otherwise you are considered a failure of sorts. You are considered poor.

    The reason why immigrants might end doing better in the UK is simply their viewpoint of poor is different from people who lived in the country for more generations. It is not however,an indication that they have a crap,horrible life. The expectations are different.

    Science and altruistic philosophies are among the things which have made life better for people,not the culture of getting into debt.

    People might like ridiculing melon at times,but what he said in post 43 is right.

    Philosophies like Buddhism and indeed a number of recent philosophers have been debating these sorts of things for 1000s of years.

    Moreover,again people also tend to want to talk for poor people,but guess what,just because people are poor does not make them less happier with someone who has 10X more. This is what I got from living somewhere poorer.

    Quote Originally Posted by b0redom View Post
    Sure, modern life isn't perfect, and you can argue the toss over income vs debt.
    Wealth is not an indication modern life is great,as the wealth is just a massive debt we have to pay for one way or another.

    Perhaps,you forget why we are in the current,crap state of affairs which is affecting everyone and will affect the next few generations worldwide.

    Moreover,the OP never said anything about the UK,and I make the assumption it is life in general for the human race.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 17-05-2013 at 02:46 PM.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Pleiades (17-05-2013)

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