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Dreamspirit

Is wishing to go back to a simpler, more elegant time anti-objectivist

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As a young girl, I have always wished that I lived in a simpler time with less counter culture, crudeness, complicated rules, stupid ideas for movies/books/tv shows, inflation, and dishonesty/lack of moral character. But then again there are many disadvantages to living back in time too, such as the irrationality/dogma, social conformity, lack of opportunity and technology etc. I don't know about everyone else, but it kind of bothers me to not have my money going to something that is tangible such as internet phone service and the technological transformations are a little depressing in a way (there are advantages to them of course). It's not that I want to control achievement or greatness, just wish that I lived in a simpler time, full of glamour and prestige, but without the complicated technology and culture.

Just like the Great Gatsby, that's the kind of culture I would like to live in, without the irrationality of the past.

Edited by Dreamspirit

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As a young girl, I have always wished that I lived in a simpler time with less counter culture, crudeness, complicated rules, stupid ideas for movies/books/tv shows, inflation, and dishonesty/lack of moral character. But then again there are many disadvantages to living back in time too, such as the irrationality/dogma, social conformity, lack of opportunity and technology etc. I don't know about everyone else, but it kind of bothers me to not have my money going to something that is tangible such as internet phone service and the technological transformations are a little depressing in a way (there are advantages to them of course). It's not that I want to control achievement or greatness, just wish that I lived in a simpler time, full of glamour and prestige, but without the complicated technology and culture.

Just like the Great Gatsby, that's the kind of culture I would like to live in, without the irrationality of the past.

Well, what you actually are wishing for, in that case, is to be a very wealthy individual in a prior age (for example the 1920s or 30s). The vast majority of lives in history have had essentially no glamour and prestige. Technological advance, for example the advent of the Internet, does not produce a culture dominated by stupidity or crudeness. Rather, the culture of the age may in part be shaped by these technologies, but it is always the people themselves who create this culture. If you have a society dominated by rational people, you will have a rational culture regardless of the technological state of the world.

While there may be no connection between technology and culture per se, this does not preclude the possibility that one might enjoy a previous era's culture more than that of today. One may even have been happier if one had lived in those times (though I don't see why one should spend much time on such thoughts). I think it is important not to confuse an admiration for the better parts of a previous era (for example, in my own case, I wish a jacket and tie was more standard dress for men rather than the "stained t-shirt and holey blue jeans" standard for younger people today--I love wearing a sport coat and a bow tie when it is a reasonable temperature outside), and a desire to go back to that era in all ways. Yes, I would love to have people dress more like they did in the early and mid-Twentieth Century. But that doesn't mean I want to give up the conveniences of modern life to do so. Rather, what I really want is to change modern culture to better emulate the specific features of the previous era that I enjoy. Now, if you really wish your milk was delivered by a man with a truck, that you could never look up any information online, that diseases like smallpox, measles, and polio ravaged people's lives on a regular basis, then that probably would[i/] be un-Objectivist (it would be trading small values--better customer service, styles of dress, etc. for greater values--knowledge, health).

We can admire parts of the culture of the past and wish to recreate those elements in the modern day, but it doesn't require turning back the march of progress to do it.

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Well, what you actually are wishing for, in that case, is to be a very wealthy individual in a prior age (for example the 1920s or 30s). The vast majority of lives in history have had essentially no glamour and prestige. Technological advance, for example the advent of the Internet, does not produce a culture dominated by stupidity or crudeness. Rather, the culture of the age may in part be shaped by these technologies, but it is always the people themselves who create this culture. If you have a society dominated by rational people, you will have a rational culture regardless of the technological state of the world.

While there may be no connection between technology and culture per se, this does not preclude the possibility that one might enjoy a previous era's culture more than that of today. One may even have been happier if one had lived in those times (though I don't see why one should spend much time on such thoughts). I think it is important not to confuse an admiration for the better parts of a previous era (for example, in my own case, I wish a jacket and tie was more standard dress for men rather than the "stained t-shirt and holey blue jeans" standard for younger people today--I love wearing a sport coat and a bow tie when it is a reasonable temperature outside), and a desire to go back to that era in all ways. Yes, I would love to have people dress more like they did in the early and mid-Twentieth Century. But that doesn't mean I want to give up the conveniences of modern life to do so. Rather, what I really want is to change modern culture to better emulate the specific features of the previous era that I enjoy. Now, if you really wish your milk was delivered by a man with a truck, that you could never look up any information online, that diseases like smallpox, measles, and polio ravaged people's lives on a regular basis, then that probably would[i/] be un-Objectivist (it would be trading small values--better customer service, styles of dress, etc. for greater values--knowledge, health).

We can admire parts of the culture of the past and wish to recreate those elements in the modern day, but it doesn't require turning back the march of progress to do it.

Sometimes I think really what I'm wishing for is a renaissance. I'm seeing all these great improvements in technology, but the culture is quite sad. You have to admit that it is, people have no principles or pride, no self respect, they're just monkey see monkey do.

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What exactly is wrong with counter culture? Counter culture got us here today.

I don't mean that kind of couter culture, I mean stupid counter culture like neo redneckism, hippies, and goths/emos. Perhaps you misunderstood me.

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I don't mean that kind of couter culture, I mean stupid counter culture like neo redneckism, hippies, and goths/emos. Perhaps you misunderstood me.

That's one way to put it. Another way to put it could be "perhaps you weren't clear enough about what you meant by counter culture". :)

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I agree that modern (American) culture is in a pretty sad state. I honestly do not know how prevalent dishonesty, lack of principles and lack of self-respect is, but I can say there isn't all that much I find even interesting or fascinating. Social networking - Facebook in particular - is not something I find to be a place for promoting much of anything substantial in intellectual terms. Hardly a meeting of minds. Movies don't often appeal to me, or at least how 3D movies are a bizarre fad. Fashion style is quite bland, with there being a lack of variety and extreme similarity between what can be found in any particular category. Money is of course an issue (I'd buy a Burberry coat right now if I had $500+), but try clothes shopping to see what kind of lack of variety there is. While you may find one thing that looks nice, everything is extremely similar to that one thing. As far as social rules go, there don't seem to be that many. What I gauge is that there isn't any general progress towards some new kind of revolutionary social standard that focuses on individuality. I only say revolutionary there because things are relatively stagnant with people happy in their spheres of existence. If you ever read Snow Crash, well, that's the idea I'm conveying in this paragraph.

I also would love to live in a 1920s culture. I really do like the fashion of that time period, which was, compared to previous eras, relatively androgynous. I love how that's when Art Deco started to come about. People were so willing to pursue what they wanted that they broke unjust laws preventing them from having alcohol. There's no doubt it was a tumultuous period of time all over the world. Although, I would suspect this kind of culture is just a popularized version. What I do appreciate about the time period is less consumerism (don't jump on me for using this term; I mean a focus on consumption of "stuff" rather than on production AND consumption for individualized use.) The 20s were consumerist to some degree as shown by portrayals in Great Gatsby, but it's not like there was Amazon suggesting books to buy next, buying new video games that you'll grow bored of in 10 hours [ Portal 2, why must you be so short?! ], or wanting to just simply have STUFF.

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I agree that modern (American) culture is in a pretty sad state. I honestly do not know how prevalent dishonesty, lack of principles and lack of self-respect is, but I can say there isn't all that much I find even interesting or fascinating. Social networking - Facebook in particular - is not something I find to be a place for promoting much of anything substantial in intellectual terms. Hardly a meeting of minds. Movies don't often appeal to me, or at least how 3D movies are a bizarre fad. Fashion style is quite bland, with there being a lack of variety and extreme similarity between what can be found in any particular category. Money is of course an issue (I'd buy a Burberry coat right now if I had $500+), but try clothes shopping to see what kind of lack of variety there is. While you may find one thing that looks nice, everything is extremely similar to that one thing. As far as social rules go, there don't seem to be that many. What I gauge is that there isn't any general progress towards some new kind of revolutionary social standard that focuses on individuality. I only say revolutionary there because things are relatively stagnant with people happy in their spheres of existence. If you ever read Snow Crash, well, that's the idea I'm conveying in this paragraph.

I also would love to live in a 1920s culture. I really do like the fashion of that time period, which was, compared to previous eras, relatively androgynous. I love how that's when Art Deco started to come about. People were so willing to pursue what they wanted that they broke unjust laws preventing them from having alcohol. There's no doubt it was a tumultuous period of time all over the world. Although, I would suspect this kind of culture is just a popularized version. What I do appreciate about the time period is less consumerism (don't jump on me for using this term; I mean a focus on consumption of "stuff" rather than on production AND consumption for individualized use.) The 20s were consumerist to some degree as shown by portrayals in Great Gatsby, but it's not like there was Amazon suggesting books to buy next, buying new video games that you'll grow bored of in 10 hours [ Portal 2, why must you be so short?! ], or wanting to just simply have STUFF.

I can sort of agree with most of what you are saying. I only think consumerism is bad when people simply become drones and lose all sense of taste. Really it's not the consumerism that's the problem, but the lack of taste and self control in people.

Edited by Dreamspirit

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