31 votes

How do you deal with the world getting hopeless everyday?

I am an introvert, I hang around online most of the time. But, I've cut off most of the social media in past couple of years, now my online presence is reduced to whatsapp, tildes, youtube and sometimes reddit. I take in news from well respected sources, although most of them are left leaning.

Even after significantly limiting myself from news and social medias I cant help but feel world is getting worse everyday. Climate change, Increasing support for far right politics, increased consumption of fake news/propaganda etc..

I am going through some personal job related issue myself, I don't know what I am working towards. Why the hell should I waste my energy and time if I can't even see a better future? I don't think I am depressed, I am sad and frustrated that I dont have anything to look forward to.

Surely there are people in here who dealt/ dealing with this. How do you cope with this? what do you tell yourself when you see another fuck up from the world?

P.S: English is not my first language.

50 comments

  1. [4]
    CALICO
    Link
    I like this bit from Dan Harmon, when the weight of the world feels especially heavy: Fatalism isn't a very sexy worldview, but I'm a little bit of a Fatalist. That's not a very convenient thing...

    I like this bit from Dan Harmon, when the weight of the world feels especially heavy:

    The knowledge that nothing matters—while accurate—gets you nowhere;
    the planet is dying, the sun is exploding, the universe is cooling, nothing's going to matter.
    The further back you pull, the more that truth will endure. But, when you zoom in on Earth, when you zoom in to a family, when you zoom into a human brain and a childhood and experience, you see all these things that matter. We have this fleeting change to participate in an illusion called: "I love my girlfriend, I love my dog", how is that not better? Knowing the truth which is that nothing matters can actually save you in those moments. Once you get through the terrifying threshold of accepting that then every place is the center of the universe, and every moment is the most important moment, and every thing is the meaning of life.

    Fatalism isn't a very sexy worldview, but I'm a little bit of a Fatalist. That's not a very convenient thing to be when one considers themselves an Optimist.

    Philosophy helps.

    I've found value in both Western and Eastern Philosophies—e.g. Existentialism, Utilitarianism, Humanism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, etc. I read the Eastern Philosophies in a secular way; just because I'm reasonably certain that the only thing that happens after death is that I'll become a skeleton, doesn't mean spiritual traditions have nothing to offer me. They aren't so dissimilar as they might look on the surface, besides.

    In Buddhism, there are the Three Marks of Existence, in essence:

    1. All things are temporary
    2. All things are dukkha (suffering, unhappiness, pain, etc)
    3. all phenomena are without self

    The Four Noble Truths, in essence:

    1. Existence is suffering
    2. The cause of this suffering is desire or attachment
    3. The end of this suffering occurs by eliminating all desire or attachment
    4. The Noble Eightfold Path is how you do that

    The Noble Eightfold Path, in essence:

    1. Right View - actions have consequences
    2. Right Intention - cultivate compassion
    3. Right Speech - don't be mean or divisive
    4. Right Conduct - do no harm
    5. Right Livelihood - live to benefit others
    6. Right Effort - discourage negative emotions, encourage positive emotions
    7. Right Mindfulness - be mindful of ones thoughts, senses, and feelings
    8. Right Concentration - meditate such to promote the above

    Boiled down to this level, I think it's easy to see parallels among many world religions, traditions, and Western Philosophies. Sounds kinda Jesus-y, sounds kinda Humanist.
    This tells me the feelings we cope with aren't new—even if some of our problems are—and we've been thinking about what to do about them for a long time.

    To keep this from getting much longer:

    How do you cope with this?

    I manage my expectations. I try to accept that the current state of the world, is the current state of the world, and that there is little to nothing I can do to change it.
    I respect my mind and my body, by practicing mental hygiene and physical fitness.
    I try to be present in the moment. It's very easy to live life on autopilot.
    I maintain meaningful connections with other people, and I go out of my way to benefit those other than my self.

    The Nationalists may rise, and the ashes may fall, as we sleepwalk into the Anthropocene and the Dusk of Man.
    But until the last day, I make my own meaning and I labor to give more to the world than I take from it.

    29 votes
    1. [2]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      If we're going to get philosophical about it, I am a big fan of David Chapman's work-in-progress on Meaningness. (He has also gotten pretty deep into Buddhism too, on a separate site, but his...

      If we're going to get philosophical about it, I am a big fan of David Chapman's work-in-progress on Meaningness. (He has also gotten pretty deep into Buddhism too, on a separate site, but his science background keeps him from getting too far into spiritual woo.)

      5 votes
      1. CALICO
        Link Parent
        This is new to me, it's going to take me some time to work through it. Thanks for sharing.

        This is new to me, it's going to take me some time to work through it.
        Thanks for sharing.

        3 votes
    2. hackitfast
      Link Parent
      I was literally just sitting here thinking deeply about what OP said and having the same feelings. It is putting me off deeply. This is an incredibly helpful and insightful comment, greatly...

      I was literally just sitting here thinking deeply about what OP said and having the same feelings. It is putting me off deeply.

      This is an incredibly helpful and insightful comment, greatly appreciated.

      4 votes
  2. [3]
    tindall
    Link
    This is why I'm a Capital "L" Leftist, and actively shun "liberal" media sources and activist groups on most issues. Yeah, the world is getting worse, but Leftism - whichever flavor you subscribe...

    This is why I'm a Capital "L" Leftist, and actively shun "liberal" media sources and activist groups on most issues.

    Yeah, the world is getting worse, but Leftism - whichever flavor you subscribe to - provides a conceptual framework for understanding not only why it's getting worse, but also how to actively combat that worsening - through reform, yes, but also through tactics of "gradual revolution", like building parallel power through mutual aid networks and solidifying local power against the federal and global hegemonies that are rapidly emerging. Liberals, on the other hand, limit themselves strictly to reform, and often not of the kind that actually does much.

    I suggest you take a look at some of the explicitly Leftist YouTube channels like Peter Coffin, PhilosophyTube, ThoughtSlime, and ContraPoints, if you're into video essays.

    20 votes
    1. [2]
      intuxikated
      Link Parent
      I already follow PhilosophyTube and ContraPoints I will check out others. As someone who has been red pilled by alt right pundits (I think I even posted something over here from one of their...

      I already follow PhilosophyTube and ContraPoints I will check out others. As someone who has been red pilled by alt right pundits (I think I even posted something over here from one of their sympathizers) for sometime, Natalie wynn has been a great help to bring me back to my senses. But their videos only further my concerns regarding the future of the world.

      5 votes
      1. tempestoftruth
        Link Parent
        I can second the recommendation for Peter Coffin, I think he's great! hbomberguy is another person in that sphere whose videos I enjoy, although he does cultural critique too, not just politics....

        I can second the recommendation for Peter Coffin, I think he's great! hbomberguy is another person in that sphere whose videos I enjoy, although he does cultural critique too, not just politics.

        Peter in particular is pretty good about making videos that don't just identify problems without proposing solutions, he usually ends his videos with some sort of "and here's how we should move forward" that is usually a call to action or political organizing.

        2 votes
  3. SuperGracchiBros
    Link
    Getting involved in something is the best way to shake the sense of helplessness. It helps to remember that the people actively fucking the world up are the ones that benefit the most from your...

    Getting involved in something is the best way to shake the sense of helplessness. It helps to remember that the people actively fucking the world up are the ones that benefit the most from your despair.
    It doesn't have to be a political movement, although that is what's needed most right now. Any sort of mutual aid group, like a homeless centre, always needs more volunteers, or donors. Right now, with COVID, it's a bit hard, but when the lockdown lifts in your country its a good time to get involved.

    13 votes
  4. [28]
    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    Decide if any of these things actually impact you/your life. Is climate change going to have a measurable negative effect on you during your lifetime? Unlikely. So do your part (which is minuscule...

    Climate change, Increasing support for far right politics, increased consumption of fake news/propaganda etc..

    Decide if any of these things actually impact you/your life. Is climate change going to have a measurable negative effect on you during your lifetime? Unlikely. So do your part (which is minuscule in the grand scheme), if the conversation comes up encourage others to do the same, otherwise know that as an individual it is utterly out of your hands. Is the consumption of fake news/propaganda by others having a measurable negative effect on you? Unlikely. I don't know any white supremacists, nazis, and barely any conservatives; it's incredibly easy to avoid these groups as they are so small despite media attempt to portray the contrary. Of the conservatives I do know, it's not how they define themselves and we have a mutual agreement to not discuss politics. If you know someone that cannot carry a conversation without these subjects then they're not worth having in your life. Assess the actual value of the individuals you interact with, if it's a net negative say goodbye. You are the person primarily responsible for your own happiness and well-being, it's maintenance just as you would have on a vehicle or home.

    Why the hell should I waste my energy and time if I can't even see a better future? [...] How do you cope with this? what do you tell yourself when you see another fuck up from the world?

    I realize that I have a limited amount of time in this life. There is nothing after it. So I focus solely on maximizing my positive and minimizing my negative impact on those I care about while doing all that I can to achieve as much personal happiness during my lifetime. The future after that does not matter. The general state of the world, the overall slipping level of common sense and intelligence, and any other factor that can be seen when viewing the outside world has so little chance of having any conceivable consequence on you there's little reason to give it a second thought. You have an advantage being alive right now. Either the world at large will act to preserve humanity or they won't, but that decision (or its effects) will be made after you. It'll be the next couple of generations that either herald in a new world order and prosper from it or decide to remain on the same course and head toward extinction. The planet itself doesn't care, another species blipping in and out of existence as millions upon millions have done so already and you won't be here to see the result. So just concentrate on the 60 or so years you have left, make the best of them, and ignore the rest.

    Oh, and while being an introvert makes it difficult to see this, do keep in mind that the online world is not the real one and media thrives on providing bad news, not good.

    10 votes
    1. [25]
      tindall
      Link Parent
      It depends. You say you're planning to live 60 years or so - leading estimates predict significant, long-lasting damage to the Amazon rain forest and other large carbon sequestration biomes, as...

      Is climate change going to have a measurable negative effect on you during your lifetime? Unlikely.

      It depends. You say you're planning to live 60 years or so - leading estimates predict significant, long-lasting damage to the Amazon rain forest and other large carbon sequestration biomes, as well as 0.5 meters (!) of sea level rise, by around 2050. That's only 30 years away. You'll be living in a world with a significantly redrawn map of every coastal city for thirty years, and your children will be living in a world that can't support human life without artificial cooling apparatus starting in their 60s.

      as an individual it is utterly out of your hands

      I don't agree at all. It's true that our individual decisions about what to consume matter little, but individuals and small groups can make a huge difference in policy. If you're into reform, run for office; if not, build mutual aid networks and parallel power, so that even if you can't stop the climate apocalypse you can at least help those around you prepare for it.

      Of the conservatives I do know, it's not how they define themselves and we have a mutual agreement to not discuss politics.

      This, I think, is the crux of the issue I have with this comment. This is coming from a place of privilege that most don't really have. As a trans person, peoples' "politics" tend to define how they interact with me on a day-to-day basis in a way I have zero control over, and this is true for a lot of people to a greater or lesser extent - immigrants, people of color, most LGBTQ+ people, mentally ill people, physically disabled people, etc.

      The state of the world may not matter to you but it matters a hell of a lot to the rest of us.

      16 votes
      1. [14]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        There is a sense in which "there's nothing I can do about it," if you squint a bit, can be interpreted as something other than fatalism: this is mostly not about individual effort. Here is an...

        There is a sense in which "there's nothing I can do about it," if you squint a bit, can be interpreted as something other than fatalism: this is mostly not about individual effort. Here is an imperfect metaphor I like to use.

        Suppose a volcano erupts and lava is flowing towards the town. Going after it with a shovel isn't going to do much. Some much larger action is required. The first priority would be to warn the town. Maybe, with an efficient organization and heavy machinery, the lava might be diverted? This will require leadership, cooperation, and technical expertise.

        By yourself, without hope of collective action, the only rational thing to do is get out of the way. You can't save the town alone.

        It's an imperfect metaphor because global warming is caused by humans, but I still think it applies, because large-scale changes like this aren't simply a matter of individual action. I'm not sure that a lot of uncoordinated individual actions would do it either? Construction is not just a bunch of people with hammers.

        This isn't to say you can't do anything on your own. But whatever you do, the goal should be to coordinate with others to scale it up. If you come up with a good technique, it's only going to be significant if you teach many others to do it too.

        If you're serious about climate change and unsatisfied by being on the sidelines, it would make sense to figure out what jobs there are in that area and how to gain the qualifications that will make you a useful person for that kind of work. The rest of us should support their efforts with publicity, funding, and so on, along with a bit of volunteer activity and minor individual actions (like making good buying decisions and voting the right way) that might help if scaled up.

        Also, maybe look into sensible disaster preparedness? It seems useful for all sorts of big problems.

        7 votes
        1. [13]
          tindall
          Link Parent
          This metaphor is beyond imperfect, for exactly the reason you call out: Global warming is caused by capitalism. Hear me out here, please. Capitalism requires infinite growth. That is its defining...

          This metaphor is beyond imperfect, for exactly the reason you call out:

          global warming is caused by humans

          Global warming is caused by capitalism. Hear me out here, please.

          1. Capitalism requires infinite growth. That is its defining feature. Capital begets capital, forever, and the only way to achieve that is indefinite growth.

          2. Resources are finite, and a finite amount of labor is available. This should be fairly self-explanatory.

          3. Therefore capitalism requires labor-saving and labor-multiplying devices (mechanization) and ever-increasing exploitation of the last dregs of finite resources (fracking comes to mind). These are the defining problems of climate change: labor that doesn't need to be mechanized is mechanized, which costs energy, and it is more profitable to continue to exploit fossil fuels than to transition to renewable energy, so we do that, driving up CO2 levels and warming the planet.

          So stopping global warming is simple. Either abandon the economic system that causes it or impose strict regulations to reign it in. We literally only lack the political willpower. As that one Onion article puts it, "Scientists Remind Us Renewable Energy Ready To Go Whenever."

          The rest of us should support their efforts with publicity, funding, and so on, along with a bit of volunteer activity and minor individual actions (like making good buying decisions and voting the right way) that might help if scaled up.

          We each and every one have more of an individual moral imperative than that, as the current trashfire of an election in the US should highlight. Everyone I know voted for Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, and yet the leftmost serious candidate in the general is going to be Joe Biden? It's not enough.

          9 votes
          1. [8]
            skybrian
            Link Parent
            Capitalism is based on and adapts to rules and we could change the rules. It is one of these things where the experts have told us what needs to be done (carbon taxes) but there isn't the...

            Capitalism is based on and adapts to rules and we could change the rules. It is one of these things where the experts have told us what needs to be done (carbon taxes) but there isn't the political will to do it.

            The alternative energy industry is also based on capitalism. Making alternative energy more efficient and increasing scale is really important. These industries need capital too.

            3 votes
            1. [7]
              tindall
              Link Parent
              I agree completely. Capitalism has to be either abandoned, or restrained significantly.

              I agree completely. Capitalism has to be either abandoned, or restrained significantly.

              So stopping global warming is simple. Either abandon the economic system that causes it or impose strict regulations to reign it in. We literally only lack the political willpower. As that one Onion article puts it, "Scientists Remind Us Renewable Energy Ready To Go Whenever."

              2 votes
              1. [6]
                skybrian
                Link Parent
                So that rounds to "change the rules," which will be hard enough. We don't have an emergency backup alternative financial system ready to go.

                So that rounds to "change the rules," which will be hard enough. We don't have an emergency backup alternative financial system ready to go.

                1. [5]
                  tindall
                  Link Parent
                  And thus, because reform or revolution would not be entirely painless or without difficulty, we simply permit the corporate oligarchs to usher in the apocalypse? That seems... unsatisfactory, to...

                  We don't have an emergency backup alternative financial system ready to go.

                  And thus, because reform or revolution would not be entirely painless or without difficulty, we simply permit the corporate oligarchs to usher in the apocalypse? That seems... unsatisfactory, to say the least.

                  2 votes
                  1. [4]
                    skybrian
                    Link Parent
                    This is a weird question, why do you argue like this? I'm in favor of reform and against revolution. I think UBI and a carbon tax would go a long way towards fixing things without starting from...

                    This is a weird question, why do you argue like this? I'm in favor of reform and against revolution. I think UBI and a carbon tax would go a long way towards fixing things without starting from scratch.

                    6 votes
                    1. [3]
                      tindall
                      Link Parent
                      I may have misunderstood: you were arguing against "changing the rules", which covers both reform and revolution, yes?

                      I may have misunderstood: you were arguing against "changing the rules", which covers both reform and revolution, yes?

                      3 votes
                      1. [2]
                        skybrian
                        Link Parent
                        Hmm, when I said changing the rules will be "hard enough," I mean that it is still challenging, but doable, and much easier than starting over. (It's hard for political reasons like winning...

                        Hmm, when I said changing the rules will be "hard enough," I mean that it is still challenging, but doable, and much easier than starting over. (It's hard for political reasons like winning elections, not fundamental reasons.)

                        By contrast, I don't see any feasible way to get to an alternative financial system, which is why I said rounds to "change the rules". I can rule out the other option right away.

                        Sorry about that, I was unclear.

                        3 votes
                        1. tindall
                          Link Parent
                          Oh, that makes more sense. Sorry for misunderstanding :)

                          Oh, that makes more sense. Sorry for misunderstanding :)

                          2 votes
          2. [4]
            cfabbro
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I heard you out and still can't help but conclude that your reasoning is anything but reductive, and relying on post hoc ergo propter hoc faulty logic. If you're going to attempt to blame any...

            Global warming is caused by capitalism. Hear me out here, please.

            I heard you out and still can't help but conclude that your reasoning is anything but reductive, and relying on post hoc ergo propter hoc faulty logic. If you're going to attempt to blame any single thing as the root cause of global warming, which IMO isn't helpful to the begin with, it should be industrialization, since regardless of the political/economic system that could have come to dominate the planet, we would likely still be in the same shitty situation in terms of greenhouse gas emissions due to them all historically trending towards reliance on industrialization, and the mechanization, increased efficiency, and military might that it provided.

            Now, with that said, I 100% agree with you that strict regulations are going to be required if we want to tackle global warming, and all that we lack to accomplish that seems to be the political will to do so.

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              tindall
              Link Parent
              Right - but it is the incentive structures of liquid and capital wealth accumulation which perpetuate cycles of extraction and short-term optimization, which are not inherently present in, for...

              industrialization, since regardless of the political/economic system that could have come to dominate the planet, we would likely still be in the same shitty situation in terms of greenhouse gas emissions

              Right - but it is the incentive structures of liquid and capital wealth accumulation which perpetuate cycles of extraction and short-term optimization, which are not inherently present in, for instance, state-managed or investment-limited economies.

              It is certainly possible that a centrally-managed system would prefer endless extraction and overcommit to fossil fuels, but it is inevitable that a market investment-based system will do so, given that fossil fuels came first, and until they are short-term less profitable than renewables.

              3 votes
              1. cfabbro
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                IMO it's simply the basic requirements of building and maintaining human civilization that leads to the former, and human nature (laziness, greed, difficultly thinking/planning long term, etc)...

                but it is the incentive structures of liquid and capital wealth accumulation which perpetuate cycles of extraction and short-term optimization

                IMO it's simply the basic requirements of building and maintaining human civilization that leads to the former, and human nature (laziness, greed, difficultly thinking/planning long term, etc) that leads to the latter, and those would likely hold true no matter the economic system we were currently operating under... at least until such time as things either get too bad to allow human civilization to keep functioning as is, or a new technological development occurs to allow otherwise (e.g. the singularity, fusion/free energy, or something else unforeseen). So agree to disagree, I guess. ;)

                1 vote
            2. post_below
              Link Parent
              This leaves out the impact capitalism directly has on the environment. You're completely right that industrialization would eventually get us here regardless of our economic system. But consider...

              This leaves out the impact capitalism directly has on the environment.

              You're completely right that industrialization would eventually get us here regardless of our economic system. But consider how much money the petrocarbon industry has put into manufacturing the climate change "debate", going back decades.

              Consider how hard it is to enact policies to protect the environment when large financial interests strongly oppose expensive regulations and have almost total control over the political system and therefore government. Control they can afford to buy because late stage capitalism includes as a feature the consolidation of wealth at the top.

              Maybe it's not fair to say that unchecked capitalism is completely at fault, but it's the bigger part of the problem.

              3 votes
      2. [10]
        AugustusFerdinand
        Link Parent
        And the number of people that will be impacted by those rising sea levels? 630 million as of 2100 (under worst case scenario) of 8 billion or so we're about to hit (10B if you follow projections...

        It depends. You say you're planning to live 60 years or so - leading estimates predict significant, long-lasting damage to the Amazon rain forest and other large carbon sequestration biomes, as well as 0.5 meters (!) of sea level rise, by around 2050. That's only 30 years away. You'll be living in a world with a significantly redrawn map of every coastal city for thirty years, and your children will be living in a world that can't support human life without artificial cooling apparatus starting in their 60s.

        And the number of people that will be impacted by those rising sea levels? 630 million as of 2100 (under worst case scenario) of 8 billion or so we're about to hit (10B if you follow projections to 2100) or 0.7875% of the population. Less than a percent is "unlikely" by any measure.

        This, I think, is the crux of the issue I have with this comment. This is coming from a place of privilege that most don't really have. As a trans person, peoples' "politics" tend to define how they interact with me on a day-to-day basis in a way I have zero control over, and this is true for a lot of people to a greater or lesser extent - immigrants, people of color, most LGBTQ+ people, mentally ill people, physically disabled people, etc.

        Only a Sith speaks in absolutes, nothing is 100% applicable to everyone all the time, but most people most of the time do have control over this as they have the ability to walk away and not interact with those people. They just make excuses about why they don't or say "it's not easy"...

        The state of the world may not matter to you but it matters a hell of a lot to the rest of us.

        Didn't say it didn't matter.

        4 votes
        1. [9]
          tindall
          Link Parent
          Many of those 630 million will be in the wealthiest and most populous cities in the world. I find it hard to believe that even small parts of Manhattan, San Diego, Washington DC, and Baltimore...

          And the number of people that will be impacted by those rising sea levels? 630 million as of 2100

          Many of those 630 million will be in the wealthiest and most populous cities in the world. I find it hard to believe that even small parts of Manhattan, San Diego, Washington DC, and Baltimore (just to name a few) becoming permanently flooded with seawater won't have massive economic effects on the nation. People will begin to migrate away from the coasts as storms become more common and more deadly, and as wildfire season on the West Coast "closes the loop" such that wildfires are common at all times of year. Major portions of the US are already experiencing significantly increased flooding.

          but most people most of the time do have control over this as they have the ability to walk away and not interact with those people. They just make excuses about why they don't or say "it's not easy"...

          I really want to dig into this, because I really feel like this is something you misunderstand. Politics matters because politics influences policy. I can't "walk away and not interact" with the DMV, the IRS, and my hospital, all of which are giving me a terrible time about my name change, despite the fact that I did everything the "right" way, changed it legally, etc?

          I really try not to bring too much of the college-level women's and gender studies stuff onto Tildes but damn, dude. The idea that people can just "walk away" from their oppression is wild.

          7 votes
          1. [8]
            AugustusFerdinand
            Link Parent
            If they happened overnight, sure. But it won't, it'll happen over the course of nearly a century. Can you point to any natural disasters from 80 years ago that you can directly link to current...

            I find it hard to believe ... permanently flooded with seawater won't have massive economic effects on the nation.

            If they happened overnight, sure. But it won't, it'll happen over the course of nearly a century. Can you point to any natural disasters from 80 years ago that you can directly link to current economic effects? How about 50? 30? 20?

            Politics matters because politics influences policy.

            So we're moving the goalposts from "people's politics" to actual politics now?

            I can't "walk away and not interact" with the DMV, the IRS, and my hospital, all of which are giving me a terrible time about my name change, despite the fact that I did everything the "right" way, changed it legally, etc?

            As someone that has worked in both government and healthcare, there are procedures in place to prevent gaming the system and change is difficult by design. Like with many laws, policies, and procedures the difficulty undoubtedly annoys those that follow the laws in order to put the maximum barrier in place to stop those that don't. Ne'er-do-wells are persistent little buggers, but can get tripped up on details and so the setup tends to be long. With all that said, and without knowing what you're doing or not doing, I can say from experience that by and large if it's not getting done it likely has little to nothing to do with "people's politics" and everything to do with something not being perfect in your paperwork.

            The idea that people can just "walk away" from their oppression is wild.

            It's less wild than you think and for many it's probably more difficult than I found it to be, so let's just say there's a middle ground where we're both wrong.

            2 votes
            1. [7]
              tindall
              Link Parent
              I lived in Southern California for 11 years. There's nothing there that wasn't shaped by a natural disaster, or series of them. To give just one example: San Diego has grown a great deal because...

              Can you point to any natural disasters from 80 years ago that you can directly link to current economic effects? How about 50? 30? 20?

              I lived in Southern California for 11 years. There's nothing there that wasn't shaped by a natural disaster, or series of them. To give just one example: San Diego has grown a great deal because (relatively rich) La Jolla is part of (relatively poor) San Diego and contributes a great deal to its revenues, which is in turn because the original location of La Jolla was wiped out by sinkholes in the 1860s and they had to retreat slightly northeast, into an area that is both more desireable, by modern standards, and part of the City of San Diego, which was then developed in the 1880s and has since become extremely wealthy.

              The inland parts of San Diego are structured the way they are - large suburban communities with small "downtowns" separated by large stretches of underdeveloped scrubland and connected by freeway - partly because of the frequency of catastrophic fires, which in turn makes large areas of relatively flat (for the area) land cheap. This, combined with the outbreak of the Second World War, lead to massive investment by the federal government in MCAS Miramar / "Fightertown USA", which entirely reshaped the dynamics of the city and its port. This is indirectly responsible for the large volume of soy beans exported from the US to East Asia (because the massive investment by the military in the Port of San Diego's infrastructure made shipping from the West Coast a lot easier in the 80s.)

              I could give similar examples with LA and San Francisco. I am not as familiar with the rest of the country but I imagine that global natural disaster would have much more wide-reaching consequences.

              So we're moving the goalposts from "people's politics" to actual politics now?

              What did you mean by "people's politics" if not the candidates, policies, and social policies they support?

              As someone that has worked in both government and healthcare

              I work in health-tech, friend. It's possible to make these systems not suck, if you want to (due to personal conviction) or are incentivized (due to policy decisions.)

              Like with many laws, policies, and procedures the difficulty undoubtedly annoys those that follow the laws in order to put the maximum barrier in place to stop those that don't.

              And who's that? Whose security is ensured - whose nefarious deeds are prevented - by a nurse deadnaming and misgendering me, and the hospital not having a policy that incentivizes him to stop doing that?

              4 votes
              1. [5]
                AugustusFerdinand
                Link Parent
                Source? Because I can't find anything that states this, not wikipedia, not even La Jolla's historical society. You stated your issue was with... ...in how they interact with you. People aren't...

                which is in turn because the original location of La Jolla was wiped out by sinkholes in the 1860s and they had to retreat slightly northeast, into an area that is both more desireable,

                Source? Because I can't find anything that states this, not wikipedia, not even La Jolla's historical society.

                What did you mean by "people's politics" if not the candidates, policies, and social policies they support?

                You stated your issue was with...

                peoples' "politics"

                ...in how they interact with you. People aren't politicians and don't make policy.

                I work in health-tech, friend. It's possible to make these systems not suck, if you want to (due to personal conviction) or are incentivized (due to policy decisions.)

                So do I. And of course you can, doesn't mean there's any incentive to do so.

                by a nurse deadnaming and misgendering me, and the hospital not having a policy that incentivizes him to stop doing that?

                Congrats, you've encountered an asshole in the wild, it's part of life and no one has a right to never encounter one just as they don't have to put up with them when they do. However to misrepresent my point because it didn't fit some specific encounter you had doesn't invalidate it.

                If you're in healthcare you should know you have the right to choose who provides your treatment, demand a different nurse, inform the management why you're demanding a different nurse, and/or go to a different hospital (also known as walking away). Being in health tech you should also know that the hospital is a business, likely even a for-profit one in practice (if not on paper, example being one of my local "non-profit" hospital systems that has made $1B+ for several consecutive years now in cold hard net profit), and if a business isn't providing the level of service you want, you can take your business elsewhere while letting everyone know why. Which is one of the beautiful things about capitalism, you leaving is money walking out the door, and no matter the personal beliefs that people hold somewhere along the chain of command above that lowly little nurse is someone that values the thousands that you're worth to their bottom line more than their beliefs or that nurse's attitude and will proverbially slap that nurse up side the fucking head or put them in the bread line. I've fired nurses for less.

                1 vote
                1. tindall
                  Link Parent
                  Unless you're incentivized to do so by policy. Which is literally what I suggested. I was taking a single example to represent a large body of lived experience. I can "walk away" from one nurse,...

                  doesn't mean there's any incentive to do so.

                  Unless you're incentivized to do so by policy. Which is literally what I suggested.

                  However to misrepresent my point because it didn't fit some specific encounter you had doesn't invalidate it.

                  I was taking a single example to represent a large body of lived experience. I can "walk away" from one nurse, but I can't refuse to do business with anyone or any business who does transphobic things because transphobia, like racism, is a structural rather than individual issue and thus the structures of society tend to support the oppressor, rather than the oppressed.

                  4 votes
                2. [3]
                  culturedleftfoot
                  Link Parent
                  Huh? Did I miss our new AI overlords or something? Even if everyday people you meet aren't politicians in the halls of power, aren't their opinions, i.e. their politics, supposedly represented in...

                  People aren't politicians and don't make policy.

                  Huh? Did I miss our new AI overlords or something? Even if everyday people you meet aren't politicians in the halls of power, aren't their opinions, i.e. their politics, supposedly represented in a democracy?

                  2 votes
                  1. [2]
                    AugustusFerdinand
                    Link Parent
                    "People" are the people, pedantry will get you nowhere. By definition they're represented, in reality we all well know they are not.

                    "People" are the people, pedantry will get you nowhere.

                    By definition they're represented, in reality we all well know they are not.

                    2 votes
                    1. culturedleftfoot
                      Link Parent
                      Far from being pedantic, my point was that political discourse, like any other aspect of culture, reflects the society from which it springs, and thus necessarily the people. How representative it...

                      Far from being pedantic, my point was that political discourse, like any other aspect of culture, reflects the society from which it springs, and thus necessarily the people. How representative it is of the majority within any given example is up for debate but to divorce political policy wholesale from the sentiments of the populace, as your quote does, is misguided at best.

                      1 vote
              2. skybrian
                Link Parent
                That's fascinating. I had no idea that California fires had such a big effect that far back in history. I wouldn't mind reading more.

                That's fascinating. I had no idea that California fires had such a big effect that far back in history. I wouldn't mind reading more.

                1 vote
    2. [2]
      intuxikated
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      It is very discomforting for me to accept this, I wish there been other ways. I'm jealous of the mid 20th century young people, they saw fall of authoritarian regimes around the world, they saw...

      Decide if any of these things actually impact you/your life. Is climate change going to have a measurable negative effect on you during your lifetime? Unlikely. So do your part (which is minuscule in the grand scheme), if the conversation comes up encourage others to do the same, otherwise know that as an individual it is utterly out of your hands.

      It is very discomforting for me to accept this, I wish there been other ways. I'm jealous of the mid 20th century young people, they saw fall of authoritarian regimes around the world, they saw people landing on moon, they saw segregation laws getting outlawed.. they didn't have to care about climate change crisis,etc... It must have been nice to be able to think you can make a change.

      If you know someone that cannot carry a conversation without these subjects then they're not worth having in your life. Assess the actual value of the individuals you interact with.

      My dad is a conservative, conservative is a bit gentle for his world views. He have regressive views about the world, for example he supports a bill which have religious discrimination (CAA). He constantly berates about how the left parties let the "Muslims" taking over the country (he is a Hindu). whenever I say something progressive ( I try not to but sometimes it just spills out) he would try to brainwash me with his regressive views for hours. I cant just stop talking to him or abandon him, he had done so much for me, he saved up money for my education etc.. he is not a bad father. I am trying to work something out with him, but it is hard to talk to him.

      3 votes
      1. AugustusFerdinand
        Link Parent
        Born to late to discover the world, born too early to travel the stars. [Emphasis mine] Then you've done precisely what I do. You've assessed your father's actual value and determined that he's...

        Born to late to discover the world, born too early to travel the stars.

        My dad is a conservative, conservative is a bit gentle for his world views. He have regressive views about the world, for example he supports a bill which have religious discrimination (CAA). He constantly berates about how the left parties let the "Muslims" taking over the country (he is a Hindu). whenever I say something progressive ( I try not to but sometimes it just spills out) he would try to brainwash me with his regressive views for hours. I cant just stop talking to him or abandon him, he had done so much for me, he saved up money for my education etc.. he is not a bad father. I am trying to work something out with him, but it is hard to talk to him.

        [Emphasis mine]

        Then you've done precisely what I do. You've assessed your father's actual value and determined that he's worth remaining in your life despite ideological differences. Add in Indian family dynamics and it becomes more difficult to find a common ground. My suggestion would be if you don't wish to invite the confrontation between your views and those of your father then learn to change the subject. Pivoting a conversation away from one topic and onto another is a skill that you'd likely find extremely valuable. An easy starter method is to cut the conversation off by seeming like you weren't listening to what they were saying and asking a simple, but open ended question. Ask about something they like, a hobby, sports, or (the easiest one) if they're hungry. Food almost always shuts people up and gets them on the discussion of what to eat, where to get it, which is best, etc.

        4 votes
  5. [3]
    JackA
    Link
    I highly recommend you read Factfulness by Hans Rosling, it's a statistician explaining in great detail how despite all the negativity you hear day in and day out the world is rapidly improving in...

    I highly recommend you read Factfulness by Hans Rosling, it's a statistician explaining in great detail how despite all the negativity you hear day in and day out the world is rapidly improving in almost every aspect. It was the only thing out of all the bullshit self help books that actually let me start being happy instead of worrying about the world. I keep myself informed with the going ons in politics but I don't let it consume me, focus only on what you can change and you'll be a happier person. If you really think you can specifically change something really important go for it, but nobody can change everything. The effort you'll expend trying to know and fix everything will spread you too thin to have a fufilling life.

    9 votes
    1. cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      RIP. He genuinely changed my perspective from that of being a hopeless pessimist to that of a wary optimist, so I wholeheartedly second the recommendation, @intuxikated. And to start you off, here...

      Hans Rosling

      RIP. He genuinely changed my perspective from that of being a hopeless pessimist to that of a wary optimist, so I wholeheartedly second the recommendation, @intuxikated. And to start you off, here is the 'In Memoriam' playlist of his TED Talks, if you want to get a taste of what Mr. Rosling can offer you before diving into his book:
      https://www.ted.com/playlists/474/the_best_hans_rosling_talks_yo

      3 votes
    2. intuxikated
      Link Parent
      Thank you... I will check it out.

      Thank you... I will check it out.

      1 vote
  6. [2]
    Rocket_Man
    Link
    I try and think of ways I can help solve the problems. For example the problem of litter, I picked up litter around my local library on earth day and wanted while somewhat depressing it was nice...

    I try and think of ways I can help solve the problems. For example the problem of litter, I picked up litter around my local library on earth day and wanted while somewhat depressing it was nice to do. I thought about creating an app that divides areas up and assigns them to individuals to clean once a month or however often they'd like to participate. That way as long as people cared, areas could be kept clean while distributing the effort. I know programming and could work on this, but my point is that just the act of thinking about a potential solution is how I deal with the news of the world being in a bad state.

    7 votes
    1. hungariantoast
      Link Parent
      This is a great idea and a very effective way to distribute effort. Please build this! A lot of OpenStreetMap organizations use a tool called Tasking Manager (source) to divide an area into...

      I thought about creating an app that divides areas up and assigns them to individuals to clean

      This is a great idea and a very effective way to distribute effort. Please build this!

      A lot of OpenStreetMap organizations use a tool called Tasking Manager (source) to divide an area into smaller chunks, which can then be worked on by individuals in an organized way. It makes tackling larger mapping projects much easier and efficient. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team currently has a bunch of open tasks for COVID-19, if you want to see it working in action.

      Taking a similar approach for your app is a great idea. You might want to check out the source code and documentation for Tasking Manager to get a better idea of how it works. It seems to me like your app could use a lot of its ideas and features.

      6 votes
  7. mrbig
    Link
    Quoting myself: Change is frequently accompanied by apparent step backs. Napoleon became emperor after the French Revolution. The Brazilian Military Dictatorship followed the progressive João...

    Quoting myself:

    Change is frequently accompanied by apparent step backs. Napoleon became emperor after the French Revolution. The Brazilian Military Dictatorship followed the progressive João Goulart. Salvador Allende had the same fate in Chile. The atrocities of the Nazi rule were one the main motivations for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    One should be cautious to extrapolate from their own personal impressions to ascertain what’s going to happen next, because you may be drawing conclusions from a very limited time period.

    Yes, everything can go to shit, but that’s not guaranteed (and in the case of global warming I’m not talking about avoiding it, but mitigating its social effects. I think you misinterpreted that aspect of my previous comment).

    From a historical standpoint, I believe humankind will probably improve in the next 100 years, both socially and politically. This is not to say that we are fine and dandy, but Universal Human Rights do exist. In most civilized world, democracy replaced absolutism, slavery is illegal, children are educated instead of explored for labor, women have more freedom than 50 years ago and being gay is not a death sentence. We also have plumbing, antibiotics, and modern medicine.

    We must improve these in a number of ways, but we are doing a bunch of things better and it is quite possible that we’ll continue to do so

    4 votes
  8. Flashynuff
    Link
    I joined up with my local DSA chapter. Sure, it has its flaws, but it's the united states' biggest socialist org and it tends to take a big tent approach to coalition building so it's not...

    I joined up with my local DSA chapter. Sure, it has its flaws, but it's the united states' biggest socialist org and it tends to take a big tent approach to coalition building so it's not constantly splintering as much as other left groups usually do. The people I've met through it help me remember that there can be a better world if we fight for it, and that no matter how bad it gets we'll be there for each other.

    3 votes
  9. [4]
    ohyran
    Link
    My logic is that the act of doing something needs to be as pleasurable as the finished object you're doing. Also when I feel like crap I always think of my personal favourite hero/villain: Thomas...

    My logic is that the act of doing something needs to be as pleasurable as the finished object you're doing.

    Also when I feel like crap I always think of my personal favourite hero/villain:
    Thomas Midgley Jr .
    Thomas was one of those people who where motivated to help others, like many of a practical, technical mindset he saw problems and wanted to apply his knowledge to improve the lives of everyone around him.
    He is also one of the singular humans credited with killing the most number of humans ever, and with the most negative impact on our planet.

    His first invention was to help car engines from "knocking" and breaking up. Making them safer for all: so he invented leaded gasoline which is seen as one of the biggest factors in early global warming, smog and smog related deaths in large cities. (he was also kinda full of himself at times and drank a bit of leaded gasoline to "prove" it was safe - this is part of what landed him in a wheelchair later on)
    Now his first invention had some criticism, that would later become even bigger as we know, but undeterred he saw another horrible thing he wanted to fix. In many large cities families and especially children died sudden deaths, in their sleep, due to unsafe running engines in their home to keep their fridges going. Thousands died from these things yearly and he wanted to fix that: so he invented freon in fridges! It was safe, no carbon monoxide deaths, and the numbers of people who died from that dropped almost instantly.
    The uptick in freon usage is seen as one of the largest early starts to breaking up the ozone layer causing global warming. The deaths that was caused by global warming are still rising as wars, famines and more are caused by it.

    But Thomas had one more invention in him that would land him in the history books, of sorts. This invention was actually without horrible repercussions sort of... See later in life he got Polio, some claim that it was exasperated by drinking leaded gasoline (I have no idea, but it ties in nicely) and being bound to a wheelchair at times he needed to get up from bed, and he didn't want to rely on others to help him:
    So he invented a pulley system with which a person in a wheel chair could hoist themselves up from bed and in to their chair - an invention that is still used today (if somewhat modernized and modified)! It has made life better for thousands and thousands of people who can be more independent in their daily lives.

    While testing it though, Thomas managed to get entangled in the ropes and by mistake hung himself in them at the age of 55 landing him in lists of "inventors killed by their own inventions".

    Now this sounds kinda grim right? But it's not. Thomas to me encapsules the best and the worst in humanity. Our inquisitive nature and tendency for short-term solutions makes us capable of incredible fuck-ups with horrid repurcussions. At the same time our empathy, hardwired in to us, pushes us to try to make solutions for all. The faster the action the less time our right supramarginal gyrus part in our brain don't have time to catch up, to connect our empathy in to the options available. The effort to de-humanize others is so great that it takes basically either isolation from them, a cult like system of brain washing, or an entire societies grand effort to be able to keep it up. And even then the effects are so shaky that they can be broken by meeting one single other human of the group you need to de-humanize.

    And no matter HOW crap the past is, as with Thomas, we always have the hope that NEXT time it will be better!
    ... and in the end, its often our smallest inventions and creations that has the best effects overall... even if they kill us.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      intuxikated
      Link Parent
      That's an interesting take on him. Also how did you connect existential crisis with this story? My brain does not work like that, when I get into these kind of situations I will completely freeze...

      That's an interesting take on him.

      Also how did you connect existential crisis with this story? My brain does not work like that, when I get into these kind of situations I will completely freeze or find someone to blame or as you said find short term solutions. How does people like you come up with such compassionate solutions to things?

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        ohyran
        Link Parent
        Oh you should work with me in a creative projects! I have three superpowers and skills I take pride in: I love humans. I love them like a labrador love them. The good things they can do are...

        Oh you should work with me in a creative projects! I have three superpowers and skills I take pride in:

        1. I love humans. I love them like a labrador love them. The good things they can do are glorious peaks of herculean labour, the bad things they can do are always petty and small and can be stopped at any point by the tiniest of interventions. In our most selfish we are more like a four year old trying to lie convincingly, betraying our humanity even in acts of attempted cruelty. I smile when I see humans, and I love thinking about them.
        2. My brain has almost no area between "thinky bit" and "speaky bit". I have accepted that I am not the smartest man out there. In fact I think I have come to terms being a bit dumb, but I have always been good at connecting dots and let the stupidity work for me by just letting the roiling vulcano that is my brain barf forward whatever thought it has. Sure it makes me do stupid shit, and tbh I regret not being smarter - but I am very good in a creative setting.
        3. I know that I am loved and trust the people who love me. When I was younger I worried about how I was perceived, thinking if others saw me being weak or less than perfect they would hate me or disown me - but in fact what made them distant from me was the pretence I had to put up between them and me like a wall. When I allowed myself to laugh at how silly a person I really am: I realized that my friends and family loved me and would, after finishing laughing at me falling, pick me up, dust me off and that was that.

        Number 3 was when I met my husband over a decade ago. He really made me accept that I am an ok person, and others think so to - it made me reconnect with my family and friends in a whole new way. I didn't have to hide #2 on the list because even when I said something dumb, I could laugh that off and move away from it. And even though I can, at times feel sad and angry about humans, I can always bounce back - with the help of my friends, to #1 on the list and realize that humanity as a species do dumb shit - we need to laugh at the stupid things we do, try to fix them, and make a future that is as good as we can do it.

        1 vote
        1. intuxikated
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Of all the other insightful comments I got, this I think is the less depressing one. I mean I know other people said the same thing but the wording made it easy to accept thank you.. Also I'd love...

          on the list and realize that humanity as a species do dumb shit - we need to laugh at the stupid things we do, try to fix them, and make a future that is as good as we can do it.

          Of all the other insightful comments I got, this I think is the less depressing one. I mean I know other people said the same thing but the wording made it easy to accept thank you..

          Also I'd love to work with you .. :)

          As for your other comment,

          You are right "extroverted" people can be annoying, like they could have an hour long conversation even over the phone without me saying a single word, but I like them... My point is I have a couple of extroverted friends and they are nice people and they like me. But when subjects like these come up they would get really defensive and instead of listening they would deny everything. They are still struggling to figure out how I can keep myself from being bored without any companionship. They don't like to know that the world is doomed, and they think I am smart (I know.. in my defence the bar is very low ) so they dont particularly like to hear it from me. I don't know other extroverts who would like to hear me rant. :(

          2 votes
  10. ohyran
    Link
    Oh posting one more! Introvert or not - talk to someone AFK. I am the worlds worst introvert myself with my happy go-lucky tendency to swing between melancholy/tiredness and insanely high energy...

    Oh posting one more!

    Introvert or not - talk to someone AFK. I am the worlds worst introvert myself with my happy go-lucky tendency to swing between melancholy/tiredness and insanely high energy and focus and preference for acting out constantly - and what can annoy me with introverted friends that while they need the same level of care as everyone else. The hugs, the presence of another, the safety of knowing that others always have their backs - they can be crap at saying it out loud AND many seem also to slip in to this self-isolation where they also can become obsessed with the idea that no one cares of them. Which is patently, and in my experience, absolutely untrue.

    So give a call or something to one of your friends or family. Someone who is a bit lovey-dovey and too much for you at times and tell them how you feel. Even if us huggy-annoying-bastards are annoying for introverts at time - we often KNOW we are - please use us when you feel down and let us know you think of us and you will hear we think of you. Ask us if you need a bit of personal time, we tend to be up for it.

    Call your favourite extrovert and talk to them is my other advice basically. :)

    3 votes
  11. ubergeek
    Link
    I was stuck in this rut for a while too. What I did, to "fix" it for me was to set goals for myself, and work to accomplish those. Those mattered, to me. I wanted to go wilderness camping, so I...

    I was stuck in this rut for a while too. What I did, to "fix" it for me was to set goals for myself, and work to accomplish those. Those mattered, to me.

    I wanted to go wilderness camping, so I prepared for it, and did it, by myself.

    I wanted to hit a sub-30 minute 5K, so I spent time on it, and did it.

    I wanted to do bike touring, I prepared, and did some.

    A lot of that was alone time, spent in my own head. Especially the sub-30 training, and bike touring. The wilderness camping had so much to do, and I was so exhausted at the end of it, I fell asleep immediately. The bike touring and long runs are just doing cyclic movements, for multiple hours on end, with large portions of it just you, and your thoughts, and eventually you run out thoughts and you think nothing.

    But, those mini-goals created purpose for me. Other goals I've set are larger, but I'm striving for them, because I make them matter to me.

    Don't know if that helps, or is just useless advice? Worked for me, ymmv and all?

    3 votes
  12. Kapps
    Link
    Paraphrasing from the book Man’s Search for Meaning: “Live as if you are living a second time and as if you are about to act as wrong as you did on your first one.” I think the idea is that you...

    Paraphrasing from the book Man’s Search for Meaning:
    “Live as if you are living a second time and as if you are about to act as wrong as you did on your first one.”

    I think the idea is that you realize what is your personal responsibility at this moment. Nobody else is in your unique situation and there is something that life asks of you. What can you do this moment that nobody else will? So then you ask, but what should I do? But by looking at the present as if it already happened once, and as if you were not satisfied with your original action, you realize there is something you can do.

    I’ve just started to try this but I thought you might find it useful too.

    2 votes