June 30, 2014 by Liberty
There was a time in history where people never had time to get ahead. The average human would have had to work all-day long just to survive the day. Even with all that work to survive, they’d be lucky to make it to our typical middle age.
Back when the average person was in trapped in that life. It’s hard to expect more of them. They spent virtually no time worrying about improving the world around them beyond their closest connections. They didn’t have time to introspect about why they did what they did. Over time though, those same individuals seeking survival found time they were able to develop technology that allowed them to have some free time.
That extra free time was able to do something amazing though. That free time was able to compound itself continuously. When people gained an extra couple hours in their day, they had time to think about how to gain more time and create a better life. Power came to those that thought. One simple idea could make an individual the most powerful person around. Not everyone benefits from that though.
Centralized societal structures are powerful through force and manipulation. They are not necessarily better or smarter. They’re just the ones willing and able to deal the most damage. When a new idea is introduced, their power is put in jeopardy.
Something as simple as the invention of a fishing net could completely flip the societal structure upside down. Imagine if one man were able to bring enough fish to feed his whole tribe everyday. If the fishing net were never revealed, that man would be the most protected and powerful man in town. No tribal leader could eliminate him without risking their own power.
To stay in power, centralized societal structures need to limit and control innovation.
That’s not a particularly easy thing to do. Stopping thought is absolutely impossible. While many religions and structures have encouraged people to become bodies without brains, it just never happens. The average person is always thinking anyway. Simple and powerful ideas are born every second of the day.
Even if people chose to try and comply with orders not to think, they couldn’t actually achieve it with anything important. This can be seen with the, “Don’t think of a purple elephant” example. The only way to stop someone from thinking about something is to completely eliminate it from their life.
What’s worse is that innovation compounds on itself. Now that a fisherman has a net that can feed the tribe. The tribe will be able to eliminate virtually every hunter’s job. That’s going to free their minds for innovation as well. Those hunters may have time to invent better hunting techniques that free even more people’s time. Of course, none of this would have happened if they never had time to think in the first place.
While centralized structures can usually handle innovation, it’s unpredictable.
In America Today
Turn on the news and you’ll see the centralized solution to excessive innovation. You’ll hear stories about politicians. The politicians will speak the same cliche’s that have been said for the last 100 years. You’ll then hear stories about murderers and rapists. Maybe after that you’ll see a story about some celebrity doing something stupid. Of course, none of that offers you any meaningful direction.
Then, you can turn on any average television show. You’ll see gorgeous people everywhere. You’ll probably see 6-pack abs and women wearing enough makeup to make a clown jealous. They’ll talk about murderers, or make thoughtless jokes. Again, this has nothing to do with anything important.
Even if you turn on public broadcasting, all you’ll get is “documentaries” with just enough information to make you feel smart but way too little information to teach you something.
Put down the remote. Maybe you can find a magazine. Soon you’ll be buried in stories and ads suggesting that the only way to be worthy is by losing weight and buying these products.
Instead of a magazine you might want to try a best selling book. Well, then you’ll be told a fascinating tale that is about as deep in meaning as the average television show. Again, it’s filled with cliche’s you’ve been told all your life.
Yes… I can’t leave out video games. Look at the war mongering in virtually every highly advertised video game there is. A person playing a war game or GTA or anything like that isn’t going to invent something positive for society. It’s just another distraction.
So… forget about the media. That’s a lost cause. Maybe you should go on Facebook instead? Talking to friends is important. Unfortunately, where does everyone that you know spend most of their time? On the media… So instead of getting a well written rehashing of the same old ideas, you get a poorly written one.
All of this is a distraction. None of it has any value for society. They’re the fluctuations of life. There is absolutely no important innovation that can be created while surrounded by these inconsequentials.
While stopping thought completely isn’t possible, it is possible to distract people from the creation of new ideas.
I’m writing this article for myself more than anyone else. I find myself occupied by these same inconsequentials. I spend hours perfecting my diet and workout to lose a couple extra pounds of body fat when I’m already in prime health. Every time I see a person with better abs than my own I fall back into wasting hours of my life pointlessly thinking and worrying about it.
I do this, of course, at the cost of everything else in my life. The worst part of all of this is that I will never reach my goal because it will always be increasing. More importantly, as I get older, my body will get old and less capable of living up to that ideal physique. Despite that, I spend time working on my temporary body instead of my ideas that will last forever.
Many of my ideas are shaky. Many of them are based on biases I built years ago. While my body won’t be around forever, those shaky ideas will permanently mark me in history as shaky. Now… I’m not saying that anyone should sacrifice their life for their legacy but 50 years from now but I think I’ll be a whole lot happier knowing I created something that will outlast my body that’s falling apart.
Keep track of what’s important in your life.