a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
nil's profile
nil

x 8

stats
following: 11
followed tags: 5
followed domains: 1
badges given: 4 of 8
hubskier for: 3113 days

🚾

recent comments, posts, and shares:
nil  ·  8 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Soon we’ll all be cancelled

Meghan Murphy is "famous" for opposing the existence of transgender people, basically. I would take everything she says with a grain of salt.

Have you ever been cancelled? I had to look it up because I didn't even know what tf it was.

nil  ·  9 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 389th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately"

Shoutout to 102.1 The Edge for saving me from the forces of evil and darkness.

nil  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How to be happy? Most people have it backwards.

Nah, you're good. Don't worry about it.

    That one, concepts like compassion and generosity are in and of themselves virtuous behavior. That two, detachment isn't about separating one from reality but a way to live with it. That three, deeds matter?

You'll find me hard-pressed to disagree here. Stoicism is often presented as a very "practical" philosophy, the problem is in practice everyone has their own idea of "compassion," "generosity," "virtuous behaviour." And in the modern era "Stoic" has turned into a kind of adjective describing someone indifferent to pain and pleasure, kind of not caring, which you're right, isn't what Stoicism is all about.

In order to not be moved by undue influences one would have to exercise self-restraint though, unless you had no urge whatsoever to curse at the person who cut you off in traffic. That is the main goal of insight meditation - develop the mind such that you won't engage in unskillful activity. What you wrote actually reminded me of the David Foster Wallace. There is detachment from simply not caring and there's detachment from deep, penetrating awareness, which can take quite a bit of effort.

The problem is always, what do you do? Would yelling at the person who cut you off maybe help them? Would you honk the horn? Maybe they would think twice, like oh jeez I need to be more careful driving or I could cause an accident? Or would it merely aggravate them and potentially escalate the situation? So in practice all actions have the potential to either be virtuous or cause suffering, and sometimes other people's mindset can affect that. We have a general idea of what is good and bad, but not always. Reading the room is a complex art. As for generosity:

Should you drop everything and dedicate your whole life to the alleviation of suffering? Should you abandon personal ambition and a career to help others? Work in the prisons? That was something I struggled with mightily as a Buddhist. The key statement you make is this.

    Or I love and adore my country, but I need to exercise that love and adoration with detachment so that I am able to see its flaws and protect myself from falling into a jingoistic mindset.

Desiring not to be a jingoist or loving a country is a personal judgment in itself. What flaws you might find where you live might be different from which flaws somebody else finds. American exceptionalism, for example, might be good for the economy. Would you go to war to defend your country? One could argue the most compassionate response is to refrain from killing, always, and not to expose yourself to situations that could get you killed. Another might call you a coward who's okay with fascism spreading.

    Stoicism teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions; the philosophy holds that becoming a clear and unbiased thinker allows one to understand the universal reason (logos).

I don't disagree clear thinking and rationality are possible and desirable, but it becomes difficult outside of formal logic and mathematics. One of my issues studying economics were a lot of my professors would treat their research as absolute, scientific truth, rather than essentially a political argument backed up by data. One study involved arguing government-funded childcare was a disaster as its recipients performed worse on developmental metrics. Rational, correct, but completely ignoring certain "emotional" assumptions being made.

Also,

    The Stoic ethic espouses a deterministic perspective; in regard to those who lack Stoic virtue, Cleanthes once opined that the wicked man is "like a dog tied to a cart, and compelled to go wherever it goes".

Unless Donald Trump gets impaled by a series of micrometeroids I'm not sure fate is working to balance the scales. The emphasis on deterministic fate reminds me of the Greeks, their idea even the Gods couldn't escape the fates, which I disagree with.

nil  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How to be happy? Most people have it backwards.

Stoicism shares a lot of parallels with Buddhism in its approach to detachment and focus on so-called virtuous behaviour. The problem lies in whether or not self-restraint and possibly self-denial is appropriate in all contexts, and to what degree. Rules for life.

My issue with Stoicism is it quickly becomes bent into a kind of tough guy, cold, emotionally detached approach to reality. The notion that "pure judgments" of situations can exist is a stretch. Personal judgments will always cloud reality. The illusion is in the "rational" approach not just being another personal judgment.

The other problem is it is very difficult to truly know what it is or isn't in one's control. I could spend the rest of today writing a song, call a random drummer in a Facebook group, work like a dog, and have a music video out by next Friday that will propel me to international stardom. Is that likely? It's possible. I would argue to desire anything seriously requires a degree of attachment, and potential disappointment and unhappiness. That doesn't mean you shouldn't still do it.

nil  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How to be happy? Most people have it backwards.

Are we really seeking happiness though? I figure even most Buddhists aren't looking for happiness as they are the end of suffering. Personally I seem to strive more for fulfillment, which is even more complex and nebulous of a concept. Happiness is very unstable - I find it more useful to appreciate when it happens rather than actively try to retrain my mind to make it happen. The other thing I noticed is I, and many others, have a sort of infinite capacity to convince ourselves we're content and/or happy doing something when really we aren't and it is the result of external causes (see: his army example).

    Because we focus on the differences, we don’t realise how similar much of his life is to ours: he gets up, gets in the shower, has coffee, gets stuck in traffic, has meetings, etc.

I don't think Mr. West uh... commutes and has "meetings" in the traditional sense.

nil  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: IP 34 Heads to the Ballot (Psilocybin Therapy for Depression/Anxiety)

Seems like a good thing. I will say this though. The effects of these drugs can alleviate depression but usually only does so in the short term. It's just as likely you'll relapse back into it in a few months. Antidepressants are far more effective as a long-term strategy.

I can't take psilocybin because I would probably have a psychotic break at this point.

nil  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The dirty secret behind Ben Shapiro's extraordinary success on Facebook

Fair. George Carlin is the same way. I need comic relief.

It's hard to care when I know there's nothing I can do to change someone's opinion. At best I can focus on those on the fence.

nil  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 1, 2020

Happy Canada Day I'm drink.

When I was a kid I used to be about 4 things: freedom, peace, love, and music.

Now I'm about: capitalism, walled cities, standing armies, and social hierarchy.

Life is good. I work for the man and make lots of money. I recorded a 4 track rock EP complete with associated percussion instruments and crazy bullshit. Stillwaiting to get on stage but that's yolo .Anyway I hope you enjoyed whatever is going on i n your respective areas. Cheers

nil  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 388th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately"

As featured in THUG2.