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What the guy in the video down there says, basically, is that with so many choices available to us, we build very high expectations and they are hardly ever met, let alone exceeded. In relation to the usual perpetuated within this blog, this paradox of choice, where less really is more, is only an affluent problem, a Western one. A problem of too much of a good thing, a paradox.

I suppose that’s good for me, because, otherwise, I couldn’t sit here with my wireless keyboard staring at a 37″ LCD listening to big headphones. Or tell you all about it. The privileges of being white. Louis CK had something on that, once:

What do you do? Apparently the lady friend asked a question in her psych class today – are people depressed for non personal reasons? Nope. None of her classmates could imagine it, either. It could be existential, however. What would you call a perceived human “inflation” where, with exponentially more people being labeled “consumers” and your only attainable purpose seems material? Personal? Existential? Non personal? All of the above?

Which makes ya wonder, as a white person, with existential dilemma…what’s the scientific solution? What if a career move is the only move you can make other than therapy or drugs? What if you can’t find existential meaning in a paycheck and don’t believe it is a “…measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society”? These are the hurdles of whiteness in today’s world.

I suppose religion is the default answer in a lot of cases. I have no answer. Science and religion both offer an explanation of something from nothing, a free lunch, having your cake and eating it, too. Another paradox. Both try to explain everything about everything and therefore, as “reality” is “truth” there should be no real choice in the matter. Does Truth always tow Should. Is the DSM a guide to morality? Do we only accumulate knowledge that coincidentally seems to prove how little we really know? Once the center of the universe, for all we knew, and with all of scientific progress we now know, we are merely mustached monkeys in a barely visible drop of a 14 billion year old ocean which was once “nothing.” That’s not the only paradox, as the only thing with the quality of perfect is “nothing” as it is perfectly, uniformly, 100%, nothing. It took a (literal) quantum fuck-up, some imbalance of “virtual particles”,  to start the chain reaction of imperfection which coalesced into us. Scientifically speaking…

Nothing is perfect. Truth.

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5 Comments

    • If it is rotting, I love it!
    • Posted September 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm
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    Pardon me if I am misunderstanding the direction of conversation regarding depression but…where does chemical fit in?
    Also, in the early 80’s we understood this choice issue very well as exhibited by the modest and uncomplicated, simple lifestyles we lived at the time.

    No? Well that’s not what DEVO taught me “Freedom of choice is what you got, freedom from choice is what you want” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVGINIsLnqU

  1. Clever lyric, there. Isn’t that the appeal of any “–ism” is that it’s all laid out? Then, on the big questions, political or existential, you got your freedom from choice if you are a true believer. Mr. Cleese would say the chemical is the mechanical is not the end explanation. I mean, symptoms can be treated chemically, but isn’t the chemical “problem” a manifestation of a root cause, personal or otherwise? I mean, if the mechanistic “imbalance” was really the root problem, then, wouldn’t there be all kinds of happy joes and janes who, for no personal or existential reasons, started to feel sad all the time?

    Hell even ADHD, isn’t that really just a symptom of information overload that kids are exposed to their entire waking life, except in school where rote recitation is the process and the label of ADHD comes into conversation? I have heard of kids being diagnosed with bipolar, apparently as early as 4, according to this video….

    You know America takes 2/3 of the world’s antipsychotics/depressants? Is that because the choice paradox and materialism and blah blah blah or is it because we all expect happiness 100% of the time or is it because the profit driven pharmaceutical industry, or……..etc? If all this DSM and etc psychology is accurate, and imbalances are responsible, then aren’t there millions of people outside the Western world’s pill bottle that are swarming in ADD, bipolar, depressive states not getting proper treatment? I doubt it.

    • If it is rotting, I love it!
    • Posted September 21, 2012 at 10:19 am
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    What if the brain, much like the rest of the body has times of heath and times of illness. And on the same note measured degrees (which are not truly measurable.) So your brain could at times have a slight touch of the flu (‘cus you got the flu shot so it’s not so bad) and then other times; after visiting a 3rd countries, you get full blown malaria and you are just hoping the toilet and the sink and accessible at the same time? And then there are other illnesses, like diabetes, that once you have it, it is your side kick for life.

    What if all this shifting and changing is occurring in the fissures of the brain and people are trying to “find happiness” with this “mental health unrest” going on. One day you seek happiness and it is there right at your feet = you feel good. But then on a day which you’ve unknowingly contracted mental malaria you try to repeat what you thought brought you happiness and instead you find yourself down the rabbit hole with Alice.

    Why do we treat mental illness as more of a personality trait than a normal illness like the laws that the rest of the body functions under?

    Because we really don’t understand it, we don’t know how to fix it, we don’t know how long the patient will be afflicted with it (remember the 3 day flu – a sickness you can schedule) And beyond all this we don’t even know if there is a solution, let alone an actual illness.

    Here is a consideration – I work with people with mental illness every week. They are the happiest people I’ve ever met. Maybe mental illness is measured by the level of happiness you can get out of just bing. And maybe psychopaths are normal and just merely in touch with their inner animal more so then the rest of us floating around somewhere in the gray trying no to beach ourselves on either shore?

    I don’t know, even after writing all this, I am questioning it’s merit – so instead of erasing it to keep my uncertainty private and un-judged, I’m gonna leave it here for scrutiny.

    • (If i had a name it would go here)
    • Posted October 31, 2012 at 11:36 am
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    hmm some of these thoughts seem pessimistic, I guess that’s where we are different?
    I think that if you limit your choices to what only seems possible or reasonable you limit yourself from what you truly want.
    So I guess what I got from this is that some people make a choice by simply making no choice at all. They just stick with the reasonable boring same choice they’ve been choosing instead of trying a new choice that could be more exciting, and better then they thought possible. I know in your little blog it said the complete opposite, but I know that if you pick a new choice that it can/will be a lot better, perhaps that the optimism or confidence in me. Back to the point, I think that the people that keep picking the same choices might be scared that if they took the opportunity to pick this newer choice that would inevitably end up the same way as the old choice unbeknownst to them that indeed it would not! I guess some people aren’t as brave enough to venture into the unknown. Maybe they’re afraid to risk the change. Possibly they could just be stuck and not know how to get out of their decision but truthfully I think they are just scared OR maybe they just stick with the same choice they’ve been choosing because they like choosing the easy way…
    Anyway that’s just what I was thinking at the time. I guess it’s just the way you think or overthink about think about things. Well this is some mighty fine blogging you do

  2. Go ahead write more of these


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