Yay, same wavelength
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
Just a quote, nothing to add. Except: specialization at a degree of losing survival skills is the road to unhealthy dependencies …
I have the exact opposite attitude!
@Neonydos: Program a computer as survival skill that’s interesting. Or were you thinking of other survival skills than the ones in the quote?
@Indinur: The attitude or skills you seem to speak of - like cultivating talent, genuine curiousity and keeping open eyes at what life can offer- at least in my reading, are “hedonistic skills” that can bring hapiness by reconnecting us with true meanings. Unfortunately some of us are brought up with the exact opposed mindsets. I believe in determinism, so that up to a certain point our actions are pre-determined by how we were socialized +brought up and our choices are restricted to a previously set array, give or take an amount of free will.
And so my struggle is somehow the opposite of yours: I struggle to really find 1 passion, and to achieve stability (and a certain amount of money is a measure of that, but not the driver); to actually narrow down a multitude of potentially superficial interests for the sake of one true passion, something that I can really be good at and feel secure about. I’m not saying this is better or worse, I even find myself wanting to just be open and embrace every opportunity, but I easily get frustrated to start things that won’t really get me anywhere, or just do them for the sake of novelty.
However, I believe there can be a balance and that routine/stability/income generation don’t always hinder us from keeping interests alive and being genuinely curious about life, and taking up hobbies etc.
Thank you, particularly for reiterating what Edgeryders in the community have been saying so far: that PASSION really tops MONEY/JOB or whatever source of income. From a research point of view, based on what other Edgeryders are living, do have a look here, and feel free to add points, I’d be curious to see what you think… http://edgeryders.ppa.coe.int/where-edgeryders-dare/mission_case/learning-“new-kind-working-life”
Contemporary survival skills
Noemi: The quote seems to refers to generalist skills as a value of itself - it’s not about survival only, but it will of course also include survival skills (programming isn’t one). … Hmm, but now that you mention it, maybe “using the Internet” counts as a modern-day survival skill, right next to hunting and knowing edible plants
“However, I believe there can be a balance and that routine/stability/income generation don’t always hinder us from keeping interests alive and being genuinely curious about life, and taking up hobbies etc.”
From a tech point of view, that balance of security and progress would be a simple thing to have: production tech is efficient enough to leave us ~5 days a week beyond a dayjob. Yet exaggerated desire for power and wealth (on one side) and for not losing ones current job (“security”, on the other side) led us to such a wasteful economy that regular jobs leave little time for anything else. (Remember discussion about it over yonder at “more money more problems”?)
It’s possible however to ignore these economic demands for a time and still invest in learning, looking around, trying things out etc… I’m doing just that currently, living on very little. For some, like indinur, this strategy already paid off by enabling sufficient income that still leaves time. As for myself, I consider me as “still on the way” to that.
everything we learn, even one that may seem insignificant today, may one day become a winning strategy in any context of survival, both as in a forest or in a closed room with a bomb run by software that we can defuse
I knew someone who was saved in the war because he knew how to use the telegraph, and he was a goatherd…
Mo money mo problems + less time?
This is when I’d really like to see a mission on Time and how we or Edgeryders perceive time. That can also add to explaining differences in worldviews between people like Indinur and people like myself. Or another question, why can some people find winning strategies, and others in the same situation can’t even arrive at trying out strategies?
Again, the response may be that we assign different values to work, productivity, and I would add time (which can be thought of as function of productivity). We are in a hurry to achieve things and perform economically for many reasons : one of which being because our parents and society model told us so. So we do want a job and security- and like to think after we get it we can stop and take a breath, and work on something else, and enjoy our hobbies… like tech persons allegedly do
But perceptions differ. It’s not always about the job/ money (power I can’t really understand) per se, it’s about what they represent, and they represent different things for different people: where I come from these are still societal norms, the desirable social status. I could try to live on very little money and without a “proper” job for more years to come, most of us could physically, but the idea of it is just impossible to conceive. And that;s when I can’t afford to try out strategies and see if they’re winners, like Indinur.
It’s getting late and I’m rambling… so forgive me
You can’t change yourself
Your analysis about time valuation seems correct, but a mission on that would not bring us much further I presume. The root is rather, where do these different value sets come from (which then cause these different strategies of wayfinding in life). You mention it: upbringing and societal norms. Arriving at this point of self-analysis is already a big achievement, in my view. I rarely have such a meta-view of myself …
Now what if we are somehow unhappy with the limitations in life that come from our current value set? Only solution: different value set. Now I’m with you about the idea of determinism, to a large extent at least. I think there is learning from insight and free will, but it’s all too weak to bring up large-scale change in personality. (It’s said it needs 700-900 conscious repetitions for an adult to incorporate something into ones character…). So what, are we captive to our deterministic personality?
A friend of mine has this saying: “You can’t change yourself, but you can expose yourself to circumstances that change you.” Seems like the answer to determinism for me: insight and free will is enough to move yourself to different surroundings. Maybe to a culture with different values, or to an intentional community with a strong and admirable value basis. Being immersed here will change ones own values as desired, being effective after 1-2 years probably. But the key seems to be that it’s an intensive time. Just knowing some cool people will not be sufficient. (However, in my experience some “deep thinker” people can even have that intensive time by living in their own thought world, like when writing a book on a topic they care about. It can pretty much turn values around.)
I would suggest that this procedure really works - compare the brainwashing you discussed above, just that this time, you selected the content you want to get into your brain …
As for the values to learn this way, I personally would want to include learning independence and independent thinking. Being a free spirit, mentally unbound by any cultural or societal norm around, and working on ones own, independent but coherent worldview. Without that independence, there’s no sense of freedom to be found. With that independence, all additional change is simpler as there are no societal norms to hold one back.
((Regarding the mention of “exaggerated desire for power and wealth” in my last post, that was ambiguous, sorry. I meant to say that, on average, the wealthy desire even more money and power (just another word for money …), while the working people desire at least a stable, secure life, and that very much.))
Curiosity and initiative, you’re right not hedonistic.
If I seemed to underestimate pursuits and their potential for long term it was only because I was illustrating why that model doesn’t work for me. I’m overly analytical and really could not take too many, in your words, unpleasant results.
I am aware of the “brainwashing”, and think that our societies become more and more free (or we like to think so). But determinism is the best explanation I found for the differences between our choices and in fact, for those structural limitations that (some) people have. I am the product of the society I live in, at least for now. I want to hope that will change though…