Joined: 14 Feb 04
This Take 2
The way I see it, globalisation will lead to an levelling of living and working conditions around the globe. In the third world, conditions will improve because their wages will increase, in the first world, conditions will decrease because wages and conditions will have to drop to remain competititve against cheap imported products. However this should also be accompanied by a reduction in prices to third world levels. That way, if we are to believe the capitalist dream, the whole planet can go on forever in some mad consumer paradise.
To me, it sounds like the same house of cards that has just collapsed in the finance markets. We just don't have the planetary resources to maintain a 4 or 5% growth every year till Kingdom come. You don't have to be a tree hugger to see that.
People are unhappy because they're starting to find out they've been conned. For generations the daily montage of advertising has been telling them that they need to have more money, more goods, fancier houses etc.etc in order to be happy. They now have all these wonderful products, but have to face rising interest rates on their huge mortgages and the multiple credit cards they maxxed out to buy the 80" Plasma TV, the dishwasher, the swimming pool and the new car (which they can't drive far because of rising cost of fuel).
The worry that they won't be able to meet their rising expenses prevents them from enjoying the fruits of their spending as they slowly realise that the "never never" they bought all this stuff on is actually finite. They have everything the man on TV said they need to make their lives "perfect", yet they feel cheated and dissatisfied because they don't feel "happy". They have forgotten what it is that brings "happiness".
What has also been lost is the knowledge that happiness is fleeting, you have to have the "downs" so you can appreciate the the "ups". Society is fragmenting from the bottom up, only one generation ago, the whole family sat and watched one TV, a generation before that they sat and listened to the one radio and before that they played and sang around the one piano. All thes communal activities allowed time for family bonding and discussion, these bonding moments sometimes produced that warm fuzzy feeling of love, closeness and belonging that we call happiness.
In 2008, Mum is watching one channel in the living room, Dad is in the den on the computer, daughter is in her own room either watching her TV or on her own computer and the son is in the rumpus room, playing Playstation and listening to his iPod at the same time. A lot of the time they don't even say "Goodnight" to each other when they go to bed. The members of the family know something is missing but can't quite put their finger on what it is because they "have everything".
I'm reminded of a quote by Stuart Cloete from a book called "The Abductors". The heroine has been kidnapped and sold into a brothel. The Madam is telling her what her duties will be (like it or not) and finishes up "It's a good enough life and you can be happy here. Afterall, What is happiness ?"
It doesn't take much imagination to see there's more than one analogy that can be applied to today's world from the heroine's predicament and the old Madam's words.
Joined: 21 Nov 03
People are unhappy because they're starting to find out they've been conned.
<--- Already knew that... ;)
(But please keep your voice down, you might wake someone out of denial.)
It may not be 1984 but George Orwell sure did see the future . . .
©2023 University of California
SETI@home and Astropulse are funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and donations from SETI@home volunteers. AstroPulse is funded in part by the NSF through grant AST-0307956.