4 July, 2014

Happy Fourth, everyone! You should probably give a shit, as this is the establishment of your cultural identity we’re talking about. And in this culture, we celebrate with explosives! Great news for everyone who wants to avoid boredom, which is, as it turns out, a lot of people.

A new study has specifically confirmed this.

I personally find the results perfectly fine. It might surprise a utilitarian materialist who thinks avoiding pain is everything, but intelligent people know better. It’s just pain. People are fine with it, at least they are when they control it, as it doesn’t disempower them.

But you do need to understand why this is important to them. The utilitarian mind thinks that people are molded by pleasure and pain, which is what makes them rational and controllable… wait, can’t say that. I didn’t mean controllable, I meant peaceful and cooperative and good to others without having to be controlled. Yeah, that’s it.

If power is what we’re after, and not just power for the sake of avoiding pain but power for its own sake, then we’re going to be locked in conflict forever. They hate that idea.

But I don’t. Hey, at least we won’t get bored.

Go to any shop floor, military unit, retail location, most businesses or places where people are in the process of creating and maintaining something of serious value. You’ll find, particularly out of management which has real responsibility for it, a loathing for doing nothing. And you know why: there’s always something you can do.

You can always find a way to improve the situation, change it to your advantage. When you’re ultimately responsible, sitting still is a waste of the most valuable commodity on this earth, TIME. This is probably why men find inaction more uncomfortable than women. They could be doing a million things to improve their situation, to invest their time and other resources. They could be exercising, talking to people and creating or strengthening networks, washing their car or their ass so they look less unkempt, laundry, yard work, anything really. “Entertainment,” not usually the simplest idea to grasp, frequently consists of playing games or listening to stories or interacting with people in a way that lightens the mood and relaxes people, creating all sorts of benefits.

About the worst thing people can do is sit in a damn chair.

Not that thinking is a bad thing, not at all. Most people should do a hell of a lot more of it. But I find I think best with music on, pacing the room. I think I could focus for fifteen minutes sitting in a quiet room without leaving a chair, but not much longer. And if someone told me, “don’t leave this chair,” of course I’m going to want to leave the chair. Because fuck you.

I’m not the only one who has that issue, either. This is America.

 

Our distaste for wasting time has built some awesome shit, from turkey jerky to lunar modules. It’s a flawed, borderline retarded country with a deeply flawed ideological perspective and a huge propensity to fuck up its own shit because it refuses to understand what the long term means. But it’s fun and it’s ours and we’ve solved problems other cultures walked around with for centuries.

Enjoy the holiday, kids.

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