Spoiler: this is not a blog. If you read this, you should know I don’t want to make philosophy, motivational bullshit or any teaching.
These are just thoughts and you are free to agree, not agree, ignore, print it and hang it on your wall or print it and put it on fire. Your choice.
I want to make this clear cause we live in a moment in which it seems that everybody wants to teach others “how to do things”. Literally: “how to wake up feeling less tired”, “how to be a better person at work”, “how to be successful”. I cannot stand it anymore. I give my answers here below respectively: 1. Sleep 2. If you’re an asshole you’ll continue being an asshole 3. Stop thinking about it and just live life normally, as your grandma used to do. She was not thinking about success that much, yet seemed pretty happy.
As a consequence, we are basically at the mercy of other people’s thoughts. We think that ‘cause a Ted Talk said that. We think that cause this other guy said that. Oh my God, can’t we just start thinking back again by ourselves?
So yes, this whole preamble to say that tonight I felt like writing and I decided to do so. With no purpose whatsoever if not that of stimulating other thoughts in other thinking people. I also decided to share this, which I barely do, almost afraid of what people could think. But you know what? lately there are so many, really so many stupid things circulating out there that I thought: “it can’t be that bad if I share some of my thoughts as well”. I suppose I won’t embarrass myself. And if I do, well I won’t die.
So yes, I’ll write.
I woke up this morning at 10, quite late compared to my habit lately. I immediately think “ahi, I lost at least 1 hour of my life now”. Yeah I’m a time optimization freak…I have this kind of obsession about how I use my time, so I try to put every piece of an imaginary puzzle of things to do together. I know…boring. But love it, what can I do. I guess this is normal when you grow up having 12048104 different things to do and your parents constantly telling you “chi fa da sé fa per tre”, meaning basically “get your shit together by yourself”. Actually quite grateful for that.
But ok back to my day: I make coffee, eat my banana and start reading my book (this also being a piece of that puzzle, of course).
I spend the day between one thing and another and I also give myself always a little time to just think. I used to do this much more often when I was an adolescent. I would spend 30 minutes or one hour staring at the ceiling, thinking, visualizing possible futures and getting to conclusions that of course were never real conclusions. I wonder if adolescents of today do that. The very existence of TikTok makes me doubt that. Today’s thought, among others of course that I save you from (there are seriously too many) was about rapidity of thought . And how this is killing (always in my humble opinion) our brains.
There’s this tale about Thales, which also sounds nice (“tale about Thales ahah”), that basically goes like this: Thales (an ancient philosopher) was so busy looking at the sky and wondering, that he ended up falling in a well”. This, for those who don’t understand analogies, wants to indicate how the philosopher was too busy interrogating himself about things “up in the sky” that he didn’t even see what was in between his feet, the well, where he ended up falling.
Well now, let’s make an analogy to this analogy. The Tale of Thales, in today’s time: instead of all of us being philosophers, we are all just regular 21stcentury human beings. Instead of looking at the sky, we are strolling around always looking into our phones. Instead of falling in a well, we fall intellectually. And unfortunately, sometimes we also fall physically: those who fall off huge cliffs and lose their life because of a selfie. Those who are hit by a car as they cross the street without paying attention. What a shame, to die like this. Even worse, those who take lives of others because they cannot keep their hands off their phones while driving. So yes, we miserably fall as well.
What I’m trying to say here is that, like Thales back then was getting detached from reality due to his observation of the far stars, WE are getting more and more detached from reality due to our virtual parallel world. And at least Thales was looking at the sky. We are scrolling and scrolling through useless and intellectually poor content (mostly!).
Ok so this was a first point (and not so much of an epiphany actually, we all knew this in some way). But I still like my analogy of the analogy :D I am writing this as it comes to my mind, kind of James Joyce but with commas. Ok I just compared myself to Joyce, I take it back but you understood what I meant, I hope.
The second point is about the fact that you can be detached from reality, but still capable to think. Look at the philosopher, still using his brain quite a bit. Should have differentiated a little and “look down” once in a while as well, but ok he had a good excuse. What happens today though is different: our intellectual capacities are reduced to a minimum. How? Content is just vomited upon us. I use a strong word because that is how I feel. With all these things on my feed, I get confused just by the process of choosing what I want to elaborate a bit on. Not doing a Master’s thesis, just doing a little freaking elaboration!! but it’s just too much, and as I said in the beginning, way too much of “how to” bullshit.
Moreover, for many people now scrolling through the feed has become a kind of relaxation mode. • Is there an article to read? ****, it’s way too long, let me read the title and get my conclusions out of it. • Is there some content that requires a little bit more of an effort? No, not now…I mean, I have been working all day, I deserve a good dose of amoeba’s scrolling. • Can I learn something new today? Nah…let’s do tomorrow. • Is there a picture of a cute dog? Ohhh let me put me a like. Is there a picture of a nice lady? Let me put a like. Is that an interesting topic I could elab…. Oh look another cute dog! Let me put a like. Of course there are plenty of interesting stuff as well on social media, i know that and internet is AMAZING in that sense, but let’s be honest, what are the topics that are really trending? Taken from the web, among the most used hashtags in 2019 are #fashion , #beautiful , #happy , #cute . Not the highest intellectual ones.
It seems to me that we are going towards the beginning of the era of fast stupidity. We want everything to be fast, we need everything to be fast. Our thoughts as well. And if a thought is fast, most likely it’ll be not thought through, hence it will be stupid. This scares me a little. Really.
There is no conclusion of this. I told you. This is not a blog, it’s my thoughts. And now I feel like chocolate.