Distraction is the Larger Picture

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9 Responses

  1. Avatar Silver Wolf says:

    At first blush, the fact that so many people are “cutting the cord” would be seen as a good thing. The problem is that people need to fill the void with something. Currently we find ourselves replacing (somewhat) limited, (somewhat) controllable, (somewhat) accountable instruments with a (virtually) unlimited, (virtually) uncontrollable, (virtually) unaccountable set of mediums. Today, it is effortless for the curious and unwary to spelunk the depths of almost any dark impulse.

    I am at a loss as to how to reasonably fix this.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Twitter is the new Soma.

    What makes it so wonderful is that it doesn’t even feel good. Marijuana? Pleasant. Makes you enjoy food more. Make you enjoy sleep more. Makes you enjoy entertainment more. Used in moderation, it can even make hanging out with dear friends more enjoyable.

    Twitter? Nah. It makes you angry. It makes you irritated. It makes you eat food that is over quickly so you can get back to it. It makes it tougher for you to fall asleep. It makes hanging out with dear friends more unpleasant.

    The ultimate drug.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

      counterpoint: it doesn’t feel bad. it’s pretty well established that we like hating things more than we like liking them.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to DensityDuck says:

        Yeah, Twitter does mostly feel good to me too – until it’s over and I realize how much time and energy I’ve wasted and can feel the stress in my joints. Which is the same as booze or pot. So it’s pretty much the same. (In fact marijuana has never felt good to me, though I’m pretty much an outlier on that.)Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

        This irritated me and I’ve been chewing on it for the last day.

        There’s a book out there with an amazing title “To Hate Like This Is To Be Happy Forever”.

        The subtitle explains that it’s about Duke/North Carolina basketball rather than an exploration of endorphin theory so I’m not going to link to Amazon or anything.

        Anyway, the thought that having something to hate can be pleasurable is something I’m down with (Ric Flair in the early 80’s provides an amazing example) but Twitter feels like heroin to this sports-rivalry’s opium, if you know what I mean.

        The Everclear to its wine.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

          And, like magic:


        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

          The problem is that Americans in particular (and modern end-of-history people more generally) don’t have a concept of morality that’s developed much beyond “what feels good is good, what feels bad is bad”. Being angry feels good so it must be good, and people figure that what needs to happen is to channel the anger towards deserving targets in service of worthy causes, and the idea that maybe being angry is bad in itself no matter why you’re angry is a very hard sell, especially when the person’s anger is entirely justified.Report

  3. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    1984 was more about controlling language than about banning books; the idea being that if there were not even any actual words to describe a society other than totalitarian socialism then it would be much easier to perpetuate a totalitarian socialist society. If you want to talk about book bans, go to Fahrenheit 451, where a liberal secular society insisted on the removal of material it found threatening or challenging.

    “This combination of the inability to act with news as entertainment does help explain why Donald Trump’s comments during the 2016 election failed to sink his campaign. ”

    Manure. Donald Trump’s comments failed to sink his campaign because the people who voted for him thought those comments were AWESOME. Anyone whose mind was changed by those words wasn’t going to vote for Trump anyway.Report