There is good reason for the focus of FoolQuest.com upon social engineering (as in political science, not information security) not towards the usual sweeping practical objectives, but to reform and improve all that is so destructive, frustrating and alienating even in the more intimate mechanics of social life in every walk of life.
To begin with, it's not just singles who suffer, left out: The affiliation, however genial, of neighborhood parents with little else in common, is often fallow ground for any deeper connection. And matching couples, demands compatibility by a factor of four. Alas that we have fallen prey to an heteronymous dependency upon the stifling behaviorally structured environments of school and employment, to provide propinquity for forging close and enduring friendships: convenient proximity, repeated unplanned interaction, and a setting for unguarded moments to confide in one another.
Hence clichéd social, romantic and career advice typically centers upon recourse to even more arbitrary behavioral structure, such as facilitated by hanging out at the same bars, discos or gyms etc., interminably, or joining and subordinating oneself to various clubs or undertaking the drudgery of volunteer work.
But in the alternative, reliance upon spontaneity alone, is futile without actual habits and aptitude of spontaneity. For autonomous intrinsically motivated interaction to provide the same and actually better social opportunity, the participants must be responsible and indeed intrinsically motivated to continually reengage one another of their own accord, and to network and exchange social support, all even without behavioral structure of schedule or proximity for regular chance reencounter. Exactly such scarce initiative, the lost social skill set of autonomy fallen so out of fashion and into such disrepair, is especially crucial, reciprocally, for sustaining any forward momentum, interpersonally. Too long domesticated, then without any routine provided us, we degenerate into such passive, confused and mistrustful sheeple adrift!
beginning of the state or condition of
attachment which is
an ongoing, remembered or anticipated and even yearned for state of
hence according to Self-Determination Theory, secure
characterized by attention and responsiveness to one another's needs when
turning toward one another to obtain comfort and care. Indeed, prime features
autonomy include initiative being: the
motivation of enterprise
and determination that affords any capacity to
In our time, never truer spoken are the immortal words of Simone Weil: “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” For increasingly, we find ourselves living, as is so often said, in an attention economy, wherein demand vastly outstrips supply. Bypassing means talking past one another, in blithe unaware reciprocal failure of communication. Indeed, ours is a monological world, so populated with people who scarcely even hear the themselves think, much what they themselves say, let alone what anyone else says. Stimulus struggle which is the continual striving to obtain and maintain the optimum degree and kind of stimulation, including social stimulation, from the environment, for staving off boredom and loneliness, respectively. Personal happiness may therefore depend largely upon reciprocally optimal and productive exchange of attention, in best sustainable quantity, quality, type and suitability to the needs of participants engaged therein.
Engagement, visceral or intellectual, elicits the intrinsic motivation of perseverance and concentration. Underserved stimulus needs of nurture for intelligence via optimal reciprocal engagement include steady positive emotional support, exploration and fun, active participation, sensory stimulation, with opportunity for social interaction, freedom from undue pressure and dystress though suffused with a degree of pleasurable intensity or: eustress, with varied selection and alternatives of successive novel challenges neither too easy and boring nor too difficult and frustrating, promoting lifelong growth in a broad range of skills and interests, intellectual, physical, aesthetic, social and emotional.
loneliness is the wont of intimacy. Hence, when mass anxiety fails to challenge our very way of life or to trouble the powers that be, and thus individual dystress fails to evoke sympathetic feeling and therefore mutual aid, and if none any longer shall rally to the alarm sounded, then such only will signal vulnerability to predation and exploitation, merely endangering others as well as oneself.
"A bore is a man who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.”
In a study by a group of psychologists from the University of Arizona and Washington University in St. Louis, it was discovered that the happiest participants as determined by personality and wellbeing assessments, spent 25 percent less time alone and 70 percent more time talking than the unhappiest participants. The happiest participants also had twice as many substantive conversations and one-third as much small talk as the unhappiest participants. Sad or unhappy people may tend not be in any mood for serious conversations, preferring to keep things light and cheery. The study suggest that happy lives are social and conversationally deep, rather than either solitary, superficial, or both at once.
The intelligent and sensitive are indeed therefore at greater risk of painful loneliness. And yet, we remain in the minority, even amongst the lonely. The lonely, by and large tending towards inept and uncaring misanthropic superficiality, eager marks for all of that popularity snake oil, seemingly reach consensus upon two fundamentals: Firstly, that loneliness is awful, just the worst thing. Second, that at all times, we must keep all conversation light! And the irony entirely escapes them all. The very notion even to question such cretin norms of heteronomy that have served them all so extremely poorly, simply never occurs.
After all, what are the situational forces of routine status quo, except the immediacy of readily available or even unavoidable human interaction? All those hucksters and self help gurus want is your money: If no hyped up guide, course or book achieves whatever earnestly desired life transformation, and blaming yourself certainly won't help, then perhaps what is wonting is the quality of intentional human interaction. Interpersonal connection is a factor of engagement in substantive conversation and/or meaningful endeavor. First, change the discussion! Indeed, in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “Great minds discuss ideas. Mediocre minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
Happy people thrive, are more creative and productive, earn more money, attract more friends, enjoy better relationships, and even stay healthier and outlive less happy peers. Happy people are sociable, extroverited and known to reach out, Talk More Seriously and make less small talk, exert effort in order to actively make things happen, attentively pursue new understandings, choose creative activities, seek new achievements, and thereby uplift their own thoughts and emotions, even improving their circumstances by centering their lives around whatever pleases them most. In the words of John Mason Good: “Happiness consists in activity. It is a running stream, not a stagnant pool.”
Stimulus struggle is the ongoing effort to obtain and maintain the optimum degree and kind of stimulation, including social stimulation, from the environment, for staving off boredom and loneliness, respectively. We are all motivated by appetites for social stimuli and interaction, and suffer in any deprivation thereof. Only engagement in high levels of interaction and truly egalitarian cooperation illicit equally high levels of sociability while curtailing antisocial misconduct and rejection. Everything else we've been told about how to function socially is a lie, propaganda obfuscation of the scam of heteronomy to a social minefield contrived to the advantage only only vested interests of cronies.
The truth is that activity and objectives supportive towards substantive conversation expressive of higher-order thinking with depth of knowledge and meaningful relevance, must all be varied and novel yet well-suited to personality, practiced diligently and successfully in a continued stream not of ever more willfully optimistic propaganda, but of actual fresh positive experience so as to reasonably outweigh the lucid survival adapted vigilance of negativity bias. Schedule and routine must also be flexible in order to avoid getting into a rut.
Indeed, speaking of thriving amid more serious and substantive conversation, it has long been observed how gifted students amongst their own true gifted peers, suddenly and mysteriously no longer require the great and dubious boon of socialization! In short, perhaps in whatever social context, it might be not only better and wiser, but arguably perhaps even healthier and more natural, actually to study and emulate gifted interaction, then deliberately taken as the new model for an intentional social functionality, in order thereby to improve and enrich life and autonomy support for all, than endlessly conniving and heteronymously bullying to make such a shining great favor of such relentlessly flagrant conditionality and peer pressure "providing structure" aimed only at dumbing down our best and brightest.
Elisa cites "Colangelo [who] suggests that “meeting the cognitive needs of gifted students often simultaneously meets their social-emotional needs. Or put another way (and I believe this could be extrapolated to also apply to gifted adults [indeed, why not to everyone, Elisa?]), if we are challenged intellectually, it’s highly likely that gifted adults will result in broader emotional satisfaction and be surrounded by a peer group. Those of us who are gifted know that ‘meeting [engaging] our cognitive needs’ is a high bar; however, if Colangelo is correct than he has also provided gifted adults with a roadmap for finding fulfillment."
It turns out that staying in high spirits is a actually hard work! But then, happy people are known to place an extremely high priority upon happiness. Happiness is well known first to require the absence of excessive suffering. Pleasurable and displeasurable emotion though so often viewed as opposite poles on the same continuum, are actually supported by separate though related neurological architecture. It is also often observed how people so often tend to respond more strongly aversively to negative emotion, than by attraction to take action in response to positive emotions. This might account for the prevailing predominance of intimidation and lost opportunity. A less labor intensive and demanding individual disposition to happiness might conceivably operate by natural tendencies for excitation to negative emotions to deflate more quickly and excitation to positive emotions to deflate more slowly. But your mileage may vary!
--Action, power and initiative!
Additionally, in order to get more out of life and give the most in return, for gifted, intelligent creative personalities to best relate and fully and richly meet the need for communication in order to overcome the sad, painful frustration of boredom and loneliness, exactly such volitional or intentional activity cannot merely be solitary, but must also constitute social activity or most intensely: actual substantive cooperation and actual collaboration. After all, volitional or Intentional activity is often characterized by contact and recognition between individuals.
As according to Aristotle, happiness is contingent upon the exercise but also the communication of the meaningful values of imagination, free will, personal choice, independence, competence and achievement, together with connection, self awareness and conscience informed by rationality. Moreover, happiness is not merely and actively experienced, but interactive expression and response, affiliation and shared enthusiasm. That is why even the journey of ongoing strategic discourse in earnest seeking happiness, can already be so involving and uplifting.
Heaven is an imagined condition of plenty of whatever has been most scarce in any given life experience. And Heaven on Earth would be any thriving association wherein individual needs are routinely fulfilled rather than frustrated.
Communities vary in so far as the very nature of the association and relationship between people differs, with resultant fulfillment and frustration.
Out there in TV land our heroes struggle and contend but ultimately unite in the face of adversity, while here in the real world we languish and despair under a veritable epidemic of bored and lonely alienation. Many hit TV dramas pander and mock us, serving up vicarious experience not merely of stimulating adventure and discovery, but in some context of profoundly close relationships or situations that so many of us are very badly missing. Indeed, It is the simulated freedom, challenge and achievement in mastery and competence, together with social connection, that explains the addictiveness of multiplayer videogames for so many. And all such realization should be received as a call to action for urgent actual lifestyle changes. True life drama must either advance or falter. After all, how would our heroic avatars, our role models, rise to the challenge?
FoolQuest.com strives at recruitment of prospective co-founders, whether for serious undertakings or just for fun, with integrity to accept responsibility for ones actions, enjoying pride in accomplishment, intrinsically self-motivated, risk tolerant, curious, creative, problem solving, honest and capable of exchanging the most frank and brutal criticism and sportsmanlike controversy, even however heated, while maintaining cross-functional task interdependent reciprocity, coordination and assistance, healthy quid pro quo and undiminished respect for one another, honest acceptance, pursuit of happiness by volitional or intentional interaction as engenders susceptibility and stimulation of thought to euphoric exaltation of lively and spontaneous creativity; seeking together the challenge and stimulation of relevant worthwhile and demanding goals put forth and yearning to take command and control of our own lives.
Stimulus struggle is the ongoing effort to obtain and maintain the optimum degree and kind of stimulation, including social stimulation, from the environment, for staving off boredom and loneliness, respectively.
Opportunities such as they are, that typical consumers readily respond to, consist in any part of the at least howsoever ostensibly self achievable and in any other part of howsoever at least ostensibly guaranteed provisions. Indeed, so often as we are all left to own devices whenever it really matters, successful entrepreneurs tend towards solitary self reliance, reluctant to delegate, and therefore stressfully overworked. Because, by contrast, the vast uncertainly of teambuilding and real cooperative investigation is always daunting. But how else can entrepreneurship serve as a creative outlet, given that to begin with, Creativity Should be Social, because creativity is a gregarious mode of expression rather than a reclusive practice of contemplation?
Indeed, great entrepreneurs recognize not only that they must play to their strengths but to recruit for complementary strengths and skills beyond their own. Twice exceptionality is lifelong social and career learning disability among gifted underachievers. Twice exceptionality is the ongoing product of lifelong asynchronous development. The cause may be a somewhat rebelliously stunned apathetic bored and lonely deficiency of executive function including poor memory and low organizational skills, even entirely due to severe underarousal. Fully active responsiveness mat be only such as arising only to howsoever valued high standards of social support towards the grievously undersupplied stimulus of true pleasurable, engaging and meaningful opportunity.
No one is lazy doing whatever they themselves experience as worthwhile. engagement, creative tension, remains more than merely productive means to whatever end, indeed, an intrinsic motivation, a fundamental human need not only for uplifting occupation but for truly satisfying human interaction at all.
That is why FoolQuest.com remains dedicated, first and foremost, to systematic and concerted cultivation of exactly such optimally pleasurable, engaging and meaningful interaction so essential to human flourishing. And what could be better?
Success with anything at stake, will depend upon intense interdisciplinary creativity and cooperation and upon a variety of activities each with the full support especially of anyone more advanced therein, Dialectic in planning so as to break up tasks into more manageable parts, and due recognition of effort. It will therefore be crucial also for collaborating participants be chivalrous, helpful and sociable in sharing and accepting introductions and contacts towards networking, recruitment and teambuilding. Even quite without social status to enhance another's social standing passively by association, then, better by far and without desperate sycophancy, true friends and allies will still make no secret of mutual respect and real assistance. -And all entirely without demeaning and fawning sycophancy or empty patronizingly marshmallowing either.
Allies must consult regularly, proactively attuning to one another's interests, promote and network for one another continually, and engage mutual defense in conflict and tough times. In continual substantiation of ongoing reciprocal promotion and positioning, reciprocally, true partners always makes their mutual admiration, backing and approbation evident for all to know, by rising to every opportunity to be seen fully endorsing and assisting one another's initiatives, sharing glowing introductions and integrating interpersonal networks and resources, visibly and actively backing one another's plays and looking out for one another's best interests. This is the kind of team that team players will be drawn to join in and feel empowered. As Oliver Cromwell put it, not only to strike while the iron is hot, but to keep striking until the iron heats up. To set groundwork and make opportunity.
Whereas unfriendly non communication and evasive squeamish keeping of social distance is one among many untrustworthy signs of mistrust, reservation, and dishonest devious noncooperation, or in terms of game theory: defection, exploitative non-reciprocation.
To be fair, however, one major problem is that most commonly the result of the introduction of any valuable contact to what turns out to be a passive and unresponsive generally unreliable contact, let alone anyone actively worse, is that it will instantly reflect poorly upon you with the valuable contact, bringing summary estrangement of the valuable contact, much to the indifference of the cavalier unreliable contact. - a therefore perhaps even somewhat misdirected tit-for-tat, with the well meaning intermediary squeeze played in the crossfire! And no one wants to end up in that position. Nevertheless, excessive caginess protecting contacts is like holding cards close to the vest and never playing them. Moreover, if only possible, any number of prior good introductions may help to soften the detrimental impression made by any single bad introduction.
Relationships and networking remain crucial because all vocation involves human interaction. Other people control resources, opportunities and information. We are continually shaped by the people we spend time with. An opportunity will always be predicated upon connection to another person. Diverse acquaintances provide wider intelligence for finding opportunity. And Success or failure pivot upon lifelong learning and ongoing information management, not stockpiling inert knowledge. People and conversation, network intelligence, are crucial current information resource. Your network is more expansive than you can know, a resource never fully leveraged except by the exchange of introduction into second and third degree connections. Relationships untended by conversation, collaboration and networking, that strengthen attachments, instead will only weaken. A portion of income must therefore ever be dedicated to petty cash and expenses thereof.
So, there you are, a wannabe, an aspiring entrepreneur, eager for engaging challenge and even whatever legwork to help bring opportunity to fruition. And some fateful meeting and forging of alliance has oh so dramatically opened the door for you to position yourself, reach out and take action. So, exactly why has such a prime unripe plum fallen into your lap, oh Grasshopper? Why not anyone more qualified and accomplished? Is it perhaps because you have the initiative, gumption, vision and determination to work on spec? Or might it also be because grand ideas and golden opportunities also fall into the minds and the hands of vastly unworthy knaves and cretins, supremely unreliable contacts, only responsive while they still shortsightedly want something from you, whatever that might be or why, villains or idiots, hunter-killers of all they profess to promote, only laying in wait to exploit, waste the time and erode all hope of any so naive, unwarily open and well meaning?
Beware! As a rule, rational individuals of honor ought simply to apprise one another where they stand and just talk over whatever their problems and prioritize obvious common interests. Alas, such is not always the case.
Six drivers of trusting engagement are sense of caring, of respect, from being valued, honesty and fairness, openness, input, involvement for all in decisions and autonomy support, assistance towards growth in competence and achievement, over all meaningful purpose, all together with trust which is confidence in the Ethics of another to consider the interests of others before taking action. The productive influence of collegial support, improves morale, efficacy, performance and engagement, and tends to be reciprocated in a virtuous cycle that, alas, only one egregious non-reciprocator in a crucial role to task interdependency, can quickly erode and utterly destroy. Strife amongst partners is a common problem in wanna-be start-up ventures, that reliably frightens away talent and capital.
How then, might exactly such critical vulnerability best be addressed?
Answer: Rather than finally crumbling in dejection from protracted neglect, abuse and failure, ever striking while the iron is hot, effective Entrepreneurs need to learn how to fail as quickly as possible and then recover or move on, especially after defeat veritably snatched from the jaws of victory by controlling knaves and fools that'd rather keep all of nothing than take part in something. Therefore, the appropriate Transactional Antithesis, in order to preserve group cohesion by anticipating and confronting the near certainty of defection one way or another at some point down the line (probably on the part of whomever has by then or even most early on has come on board and built themselves up as the most centrally indispensible and crucially irreplaceable) proverbially pulling the metaphorical rug out from under us all by dragging their feet and passive-aggressively letting everyone else down, until it becomes onerous and impossible to cover for them anymore. This eventuality is to be addressed by simply asking for the commitment from all participants to confront and accept any such defection ever arising, to declare a vacancy due to absenteeism (that is to say: by an effective undeclared resignation for all intents and purposes), in order then metaphorically regrouping back at the proverbial drawing board to salvage, indeed, even to completely revise and redefine the venture as required or desired, even those grand designs abandoned by such megalomaniac defectors.
As a result of such a pact, any malignant Narcissistic passive-aggressive and cowardly would be defector will think twice about proverbially marching off in a funk and taking all their metaphorical marbles home with them, as they come to understand they cannot thereby destroy the entire venture and dash all hope, and that the only result will be to lock themselves outside in the cold looking into the warmth of a still thriving venture even back to square one, better off and stronger without them.
Obviously, business ethics is desperately important to all commerce. Therefore economics being as it is, typically an amoral and descriptive science towards practical application, and not any field of ethics, so often stands accused of depraved indifference, indeed admitting no values save those of greed and crass materialism. But how can this be? For in truth the indifference of economics is only scientific detachment towards the reality of whatever commerce actually transacted. Actually, most generally, the principles of economics pertain in whatever economy with whatever currency in play. It is even possible to calculate income sacrificed for the sake of other meaningful values even such as including lifestyle preference and altruism. Indeed, ever between all involved, all effort of interaction comes at some price of whatever kind, reflective of whatever sort of interchangeable market exchange supply and demand, often however entirely independent of authentic utility, the value whereof both of the unique satisfaction of innate and inalienable individual needs and due recognition thereby, that autonomy so struggles to reclaim and reassert.
Collaboration is an exchange of efforts, and shared success often depends upon respect and value. What often so badly undermines trust before anything can even begin, is how, no matter what and how much is at stake, respect and value for ones work often actually diminishes and declines with the all too crucial good will and generosity of spirit to give of oneself and to labor free of upfront charge on spec in brave hopes one way or another of future gain or shared success. Even unpaid interns expect a substantial interaction with others in order to learn from them. And even lawyers routinely working on contingency for percentage of future awards in court or settlements out of court, must be naturally wary of howsoever poorly motivated, timid, halfhearted or ambivalent prospective clients. And conversely, the flip side of the same problem: artificial scarcity, market value even fraudulently raised by deliberately choking supply, especially manipulation being subject to withholdance after getting sucked in by whatever promises, encouraged expectations and false hope into whatever personal investment of time and effort. Conniving bullies feel little need to respect any value which by any means they can undermine and stifle before it can even come to market, and seeking to wipe the books by howsoever first denigrating whatever they intend to steal or embezzle.
Because what people do tend to value and defend, comes from only their own suffering travail, investment and sacrifice, often bringing profound difficulty in letting loose of the past resulting even in cavalier indifference towards the future. And that is precisely why, emotionally at least, all participants must be vested and no one exploited, neglected or dismissed. People won't eat shit for long while working on spec! Abuse can only lead to talent flight, team disintegration and public ridicule. Indeed, just as sincere contributions must be consistently honored, valued and above all, logistically supported, contra wise with all fraudulently and manipulative withholdance of value, of promised and expected contribution and effort, of vital cooperation and recognition, no less reliably dashed, quickly and decisively. Therefore, it will always be important to create and share records, for everyone to continually Cc: all partners and stakeholders, to keep records, distribute minutes and updates of ongoing work product, conversation and interaction.
Ideally, substantial and intimidating contractual penalties should accrue for typical endless procrastination and passive sabotage wasting another's time in disregard of well anticipated task interdependencies and reliance upon agreements made in light thereof. But that is not always practical. Then again, if only in protest as a vote of no confidence or censure, an offender might actually find themselves billed by the hour on behalf of each of those others who wasted their time and effort placing reliance upon such empty promises for reciprocal effort in lieu of short term monetary payment. In any case, there must be some balance of matching and complementary individual sweat equity among participants. Collaboration must always be reciprocated, as a point of honor before all involved, watchful and vocal with all cross-purpose or ambivalence to the contrary, confronted openly.
Indeed, aside, obviously, from expanding opportunity and vastly improving chances of success, not to mention the crucial importance and creativity of interdisciplinary cooperation, multiple concurrent even if related and interlocking projects are an excellent way to press each participant also to invest of themselves by contribution of effort towards collective endeavors beyond whatever their own solitary division of labor amounting to more than whatever their own preexisting endeavors alone. Even demands merely of token reciprocity may help to reveal the true collaborators and expose the cagey, distant and untrustworthy bent howsoever only upon the manipulation and exploitation of involvement and enthusiasm on the part of others without task interdependent reciprocity. -in short: of wasting our precious time and zeal with typical and ubiquitous empty grandstanding and passive-aggressive betrayal, instead spotting the temperamentally unreliable that much sooner for effective risk management, harm reduction and damage control.
Virtues in practice
No news is good news! Whatever is worst in real life is the more ideal for drama. And audiences just eat it all up.
Entropy dictates that destruction will always arise more easily and readily than construction, and that flaws and glitches more easily and more often obviate beneficial features than uncommonly beneficial features actually ameliorate detrimental or even dangerous flaws and glitches. In accordance thereto, pessimistic explanatory style is the explanation of detrimental outcomes and problems as howsoever systemically integral, situation normal, stable and ongoing, perhaps as due to a racket (all pretense to the contrary not withstanding, actually serving only an elite of cronies), even all therefore beyond personal control, and positive outcomes as incident specific and "lucky," reproducible if at all, only with considerable diligence.
What is the nature and function of virtue? Suffice for the moment, that virtues are not rules but motivation and values, an adherence to guiding moral principles in character and action demanding aptitudes of autonomous critical thinking rather that acquiescence into behavioral structured heteronymous obedience. But any attempt at recapitulation of thousands of years of controversy upon competing and all too often cross-purposed notions of virtue, well exceeds the scope of this work. Instead, let immediate focus of discourse herein remain restricted to consideration upon the more immediately salient question: Why, as one might imagine, would which practicable virtues shared, better and more greatly abet happiness and success, living ones best? - that is, aside from autonomous intrinsic motivation of integrity, and that therefore bad faith is dystressful... After all, haven't we all seen, for salient example, morality, kindness and honesty, if anything and all too often, actually punished in life? Answer: Indeed, that just isn't fair, is it? Certainly one virtue of justice and Menschlichkeit in particular deserving of cardinal accolade, would be trustworthy reciprocity and cooperation in all relationship and attachment.
Surely trustworthy reciprocity and cooperation are most desirable in the promotion of authentic wellbeing and any desired success. Because autonomous individuals relate positively to one another in any suitable environment wherein to exercise free choice and develop skills. For such are the motivating intrinsic needs of authentic wellbeing and self-esteem. Areté is indeed an individual achievement in autonomy. And yet, is arête most readily achieved in solitude? Or is not the attainment of arête in truth interdependent? For such is the social psychology, the transmissible culture, of arête, of mastery, meaningful purpose and optimal value maximization in all endeavor together. And for that matter, doesn't it make more sense for the gifted to play to their strengths of gifted interaction, than for the gifted instead to be prevailed upon to embrace mediocrity, dumb down and conform, often so ineptly at that?
Well deserved intrinsically fulfilling experience cultivates virtue and progress, whereas, not just any unearned lucky break being cause for celebration, but distinctly undeserved reward, as in the ill gotten advantages achieved by cronies, foster evil and ruin. Expectations may be influenced Empirically by experience and observation. The Expectancy theory of Victor Vroom posits that cognitive decision or free choice to behavior or action is contingent upon expected outcomes, the desirability whereof for the individual, called: valence. And effort-to-performance expectations and performance-to-outcome expectations, together with outcome valence, determine degree of motivation, optimistic hope or powerless despair.
Indeed, more optimal stimulus struggle has been found to require, among other things, and to reiterate, neither Zen cessation nor motivational conditioning nor any other snake oil indoctrination to contentment in making do, but first and foremost, in order to overcome negativity bias, engagement in enjoyable and meaningful interaction to begin with, with no less than a five to one ratio in favor of positive experiences, even in the form of frequent small positive acts. And honestly responsive positive acts can be more than merely demonstrative positive strokes, however Transactionally authentic. Positive acts can be genuinely helpful, even as shall be seen, crucial not only for autonomy support, but practical in actually addressing vitally important task interdependencies.
“What is happiness?” asks Nietzsche, answering: “The feeling that power increases - that resistance is being overcome.” And that is why, in the words of Arthur H. Vandenberg: “It is less important to redistribute wealth than it is to redistribute opportunity.” Because of our social needs, greater happiness often accrues from helping others; while for the recipient is promoted cheerful optimism regarding the future of the relationship or endeavor. And all that is required is for each to do their part, not merely in so far as solitary division of labor, but all importantly, reciprocal assistance, for resultant ongoing exchange of frequent positive acts, however small, in a continuous stream of fresh reciprocally positive experiences thereof, reliably outweighing negativity bias.
Thus in context of relationship, reassuringly dependable response to outreach is so prized, and any failure thereof, such a crisis. While in context of frivolity and play, real fun comes in steady and engaging streams of pleasurable distraction or encouraging stimuli, with fewer boring frustrations. And people socializing supply that for one another, when inhibition is lowered in what seems a secure and convivial social environment, bringing out all that is genuine via elicitation of the Positive Transference and feelings of acceptance that tempts unguarded vulnerability, thereby, alas, producing a prime target rich environment for bullies, unless even amid the creativity of sportsmanlike controversy and the the free exchange of criticism, bullying is simply not tolerated but ferreted out and shamefully exposed, no matter how covert and devious.
And likewise in context of collaboration, whether substantively Entrepreneurial or entirely creative, is individual initiative best encouraged by interest and follow up from others, and reliable fulfillment of task interdependencies enriches social environment and best assures enhanced productivity thereby buoying hopes of shared success. All just the reverse of heteronymous individual submission to the community, it will be determined collective commitment to autonomy support that assures any measure of cooperation and fairness. Reciprocal altruism between distinct individual parties in no way resembles simple and often oppressively amoral enforcement of heteronymous collective loyalty or consensus. Division of labor amongst various specialists is common in any any larger venture or endeavor, but substantive collaboration and cooperation often entails mutual assistance addressing cross-functional task interdependency of crucial specialized parts of another's otherwise specialized tasks or roles therein.
All too few social groups ever actually evolve to that most productive stage of high functioning autonomy wherein their capacity, range, and depth of personal relations expand to true interdependence for action independently, in subgroups, or in the larger group, each one's roles and authorities dynamically adjusting to the changing needs of the group and each other, interdependent in personal relations and problem solving in the realm of task functions as ever may arise, with an overall objective of productivity through problem solving with sustained time and effort. Self assured, the need for group approval is past. All are highly engaged, both task oriented and highly people oriented. Morale is high. The task function becomes genuine problem solving, leading toward optimal solutions and optimum group development with support for experimentation in solving problems and an emphasis upon desired achievement.
Competition and conflict are never truly quelled by restriction to non-threatening topics of conversation. Trust is never forged by dependence upon heteronymous structure of patterned behavior, but by active acknowledgment of all participant's contributions, community building and maintenance, and resolution of issues as may arise.
In order to be sustained in practice, values must be reinforced, kept both in view and within reach. Heteronymous false values are typically promulgated by heavy indoctrination and conditionality, whereas the striving for true human values is awakened by sheer temptation in the form of autonomy support and the Capability Approach together with the sociability that remains alert to opportunity to include others, especially those who seem left out, socially, in activities and conversations, let alone substantive cooperation and intensive networking of life opportunity. Or as Oliver Cromwell put it, not only to strike while the iron is hot, but to keep striking until the iron heats up. To set groundwork and make opportunity.
Surely trustworthy reciprocity and cooperation, even close collaboration, are most desirable in the promotion of authentic well being and life advancement. Because autonomous individuals relate positively to one another in any suitable environment wherein to exercise free choice and develop skills. For such are the motivating intrinsic needs of authentic well being and self-esteem.
When decisions regarding endeavors beyond solitary well formed planning with only individual resources and ability, are entrusted in due course to whomever the people with whatever specific knowledge, expertise, capacity or responsibility to make such decisions, the individuals who make these decisions experience authority, capability and autonomy. But barring extreme self sufficiency from that point forward, only if their decisions are respected and seriously followed through by others. Such cooperation is often structured hierarchically unless considered as envisaged here on FoolQuest.com, reciprocally among equals, or then again, even imagined as remaining largely unstructured, spontaneous cooperation. But realistically, the latter dubious Anarchism may be dismissed as pipedreaming wherein the intention and striving characteristic of autonomy are despised in very principle as in Not-Doing and the irresponsibly indifferent Behaviorist heteronomy to situation.
Indeed, having anyone you can count on is essential to happiness, and reciprocally, self worth comes in no small part from being counted on by others. Domineering status and toadying are the antisocial counterfeit. Fulfilling collaboration far more demanding.
Hence, clearly optimal as any sort of wider or global condition satisfactory to individual happiness, nurturing and web of tangible reciprocal social support just such as by which ever at all possibly any conceivable collective all are for one and each, remains among the strongest known predictors of individual success.
Situationaly, precisely such intentional community holds the promise of addressing hither to underserved opportunity, utility, practicably, user support, social support, modeling (sensemaking by seeing and doing as and among others), confidence in mastery (competence) and fun of unprecedented entrepreneurial collaboration, with interaction producing the engaging and sensible daily necessity thereof to begin with.
And so, as far as moderate and even minimal necessary expectations go, it may be well opined that in the exchange of assistance and good turns, key always is to be extra helpful simply in order to accumulate and maintain a surplus in favors owed, by cheerfully giving more than expected, thereby preserving a comfortable margin in excess of whatever assistance one will foreseeable need to call upon in return. (But who's counting?)
Yeah, verily, the parable unfolds of the hereafter as eternal recapitulation of life's reoccurring game theory puzzle of cooperative good will, wherein identically in both Heaven and Hell, all are seated together about a vast, grand and opulent banquette table heaped and loaded with sumptuous feast, but the elbows of each diner are immobilized by rigid casts and splints strangely fitted with gleaming stainless winnowing forks longer than their arms!
However, whereas the malignant and suspicious denizens of the pit suffer, consumed with frustration, starve and vex, unable to crane those weird ungainly adamantine trenchant pokers back into the bitter emptiness of their own greedy gullets, the cheery, carefree and guileless good natured souls on high, hale and hearty, happy and sassy, carouse convivially making mad and merry sport of gorging one another with those crazy six foot long forks!
(The Sadists would only feed each other at all if they could rob others, starving, and force them to watch, and the Masochists would only allow themselves to be fed food liberally spiced with gall Meanwhile, back on Earth, cooperative souls continue wandering like Diogenes in search of one another, while conniving jealous angry serial bullies flock together with ease to scheme and thwart us.)
Indeed, just to drive home the point, for our artistic and entrepreneurial purposes, let our metaphorical feast consist of a massive heap of colorful construction blocks in a gigantic toy store, all for constructing our dream castles, thereby more explicitly putting the crucial concrete practicality of cooperative task interdependency at stake as a function of autonomy and respect, even beyond the intangible universally intrinsic value of love alone.
Compartmentalization simply must not be tolerated. Indeed, according to Semyon D. Savransky's Triz theory of inventive problem solving, only pioneering discoveries are more rare and precious than innovative cross-disciplinary solutions, knowledge, skills and techniques imported from one discipline into another.
All solitary division of labor must often take secondary priority to a more relevant priority of effort and creativity, namely: mutual assistance and task interdependency as functions of autonomy and respect.
Optimally, the entire venture must revolve around you, every time you need something, face a problem, or recognize an opportunity; and likewise, reciprocally, the entire venture must revolve around each participant in turn, any time at all, they need something, face a problem, or recognize an opportunity.
Moreover, such is little more than vested interest and job description.
Indeed, any consequent responsibility, commitment or undertaking must be considered as legitimately authoritative without qualification in summary pursuant requests for assistance and as regarding interdependent tasks or input of other participants.
From the beginning, nothing is more crucial than each participant simply holding up their end of the conversation. Too many promising ideas stall, reduced to pipedream, simply by unilateral if not reciprocal inertia. Merely sustaining interaction by keeping appointments, returning phone calls and answering emails and online posts, all on a timely, indeed daily, basis, is the first crucial necessity, especially all from scratch.
And later on, as collaboration must begin in earnest, for example, as applicable, nothing can be more important to the inventor, author, programmer, etc., than whatever input required by the MBA, accountant. lobbyist or grant application specialist and their business models or implementation, seeking whatever requisite assistance, capital and resources, and nothing should be more important to the MBA, accountant. lobbyist or grant application specialist, than the needs and vision of the inventor, author, programmer, etc.. And this self same principle often applies no less between any other persons or functions involved. It should be a thrill for all involved when opportunity coalesces, unless there are dramatic conflicting ulterior priorities, unforeseen and unresolved unless forestalled.
Indeed, even the best most ruthless literary criticism need bear in mind authorial vision in turn seeking voice for some conceivable intended audience. Likewise in Entrepreneurial or even grass roots political new venture creation, the only at all possibly more crucially relevant consideration might be market application, amounting likewise to considerate cooperation with prospective investors or other backers as well as, ultimately, whomever the intended end users, consumers or constituent. -such being the domain of whatever appropriate marketers.
Remember: Anyone assisting beyond the range of solitary self activity, is thereby more important than you are! -Reciprocally...
Otherwise, while a well an established corporation might possess the wherewithal to survive self inflicted wounds and endure the drain and recourses to spare for getting the job done at all, a new venture in formation will thereby be well nipped in the bud. Even given all the virtues of pessimistic caution otherwise, all purpose of evasion or withholdance will not merely reduce efficiency or injure morale, but paralyze and then dash any hopeful project that much more quickly and decisively. For no matter advance in connective communication and information technology, the challenge remains to the in depth quality of human interaction with autonomy and respect.
So after all, principled conduct even as reflecting of benevolent character, turns out to be, indeed crucial to the evolutionary balance between competition and cooperation, no less than practical utility and motivating joy at all, because there can be no hope that such will ever be accomplished manipulatively nor in selfish stingy reluctance, passive aggression or aloof self sufficiency on any side of the ongoing transaction. -Nor howsoever in any conceivable cross purpose or conflict of interests.
No chain can be stronger that the weakest link, inevitably whatever, often worse betrayal by whomever had so stridently built themselves up as most centrally and crucially indispensible and irreplaceable, and the inevitable catastrophic discovery whereof presenting the greatest challenge to fluid adaptive cooperation, regrouping to fall back to the proverbial drawing board and salvaging from the wreckage to start anew.
The truth emerges clear and manifest, how for autonomously and respectful freely chosen and independent collaboration outside of often Hellish and alienating institutional structured social environments and preexisting institutions of employment and education that absorb the bulk of human and material resources in society, hence given there are simply no other established resources to fall back upon and no master to lead us, hence the possibility of competition under fair play opening the benefit of honest controversy, then basic reciprocal altruistic impulses may yet channel themselves into advantageous improved individual performance and ability among closely functioning partners, equals in collaboration no less than true friends, with authentic ordinary curiosity towards one another, all at the simple cost of effort in sharing time and attention.
aversion is the timid people-pleasing adamantly defenseless
inhibition of someone constitutionally unable to stand up
for themselves, let alone others, at all to push back when
pushed. Therefore compounding the disastrous human tragedy
aversion is how alliance, in terms, focus and quality
thereof, all in all, is a crucially important facet of relationship
interaction, far beyond the crass and Machiavellian
tunnel vision of an
aversion becomes a profound dimension of
Supportive cooperation including mutual defense as
applicable, is essential to survival at every
level. Even love cannot conquer alliance stillborn as
aversion. Often the conditionality of somewhat cynical alliance, readymade, is an
Indeed, co-validating cliques of
reliably achieve their malignant working cohesion very
easily, simply by
pandering to one another's
Sadism. All the more reason then, why the good fight no
less, is predictably doomed in lone struggle. After all,
is quite distinct from utter self sufficiency. Notably,
does not even trouble to compartmentalize: Emotional needs
and bonds are assayed in no small degree as merely the endorphin warmth
experienced from practicalities of alliance and mutual support.
Power: We all need it, we all want it in order to survive comfortably and to flourish. But power madness and the lust for power are indeed great woes. Cooperation achieves power. But there's the rub, for cooperation often demands frustrating compromise if not submission and the surrender of power outright, worse often in disregard of dissident better judgment. Fortunately, this is not always so. For the individual will to power and happiness is indeed often expressed in cooperation and friendship among autonomously respectful equals, if possible in helping another if only they will be helped and can be, and all the more so in any self sustainable reciprocity and exchange.
Thus, again, are altruistic impulses known to serve to enhance individual performance for each.
Enthusiasm and lofty dedication in the abstract are often somewhat misleading, implying but not actually committing to reciprocity at all. Alas, insecure suspicion and arrogance often insolate the individual from even the friendliest outreach, inspiring distance, defection and even covert obstruction rather than ready cooperation.
While the rest of the book appears to be just more of ever the same motivational snake-oil, Brezsny, Rob. (2005). 'Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.' Berkeley: Frog, Ltd., 2005, pg. 84) quotes programmer Gary Hamilton’s rules for game-playing:
The human evolutionary challenge of tit-for-tat is in building legitimate trust and intelligent autonomous respect essential to any howsoever at all whole hearted intrinsically fulfilling collaborative endeavor together with quick and decisive extrication from any dependence upon unreliable players and undependable bargains therewith, rather than falling back upon simple dominance and kneejerk abuse into the ersatz mediocrity of herd mentality or else complete social disintegration and empty pipedream unless provided resources for the extrinsic motivation of heteronymous punishment and reward systems of humiliating dominance, such as grading and requirements in school, wages at work, conditionality in family, obedience in the military, the lunatic faith and the categorical gung-ho of cult mentality, or just the apathetic heteronymous overjustification effect from the entire phony rat race of interminable popularity contest in what sadly passes for ordinary social life.
Otherwise, not only must each participant put themselves readily at one another's disposal without caginess or reluctance under whatever sort of simmering resentment of contractual coercion, but actually to enjoy it! -Not merely tolerating but actually the maturity for actively seeking the stimulation of creative challenge via functional interaction towards alleviation of boredom and loneliness.
Could this be you? A creative leadership niche, simply by dint of effort and initiative that will be called for, along with the reciprocal support required internally for any chance of success. Individual initiative and experience driving interdependent situational shared leadership in parallel to best Epistemological Methodology, of social attention to acknowledged expertise and capability.
The dream of bringing out the best in one another is indeed powerful, ancient and long frustrated.
But cynicism and frustration aside, hope of even relative and imperfect realization thereof, may still be gleaned in the tenure of human civilization, from extensive experience and observation, often consistent from the sages of old through to the cutting edge of modern science. This much remains clear: Be reliable so that others may count on you. Stay interested. Pay attention to one another! Keep interaction engaging. Make time for one another, but also leave space. Mutual support is crucial. Encourage one another's dreams. Reach out and be willing to follow your passions and likewise seek to be supportive of others in their decisions as well.
Thence let us craft new vision together. As Oliver Cromwell put it, not only to strike while the iron is hot, but to keep striking until the iron heats up. To set groundwork and make opportunity.
For many heads, as they say, are better than one. And indeed, there is also the uplifting personal validation of, together with others, genuinely focusing upon achievement of one's own dreams and goals put forth, and likewise reciprocating. Hence the emphasis upon collaborative creativity, agenda and planning.
Of course, the positive power of negative thinking aside, friendship nevertheless remains a positive value proposition. Indeed, according to Aristotle, some level of friendship can found itself upon pleasure or utility. And why ever not?
Or as we generally expect, similar common interests, concerns and burdens may even be the least of complex and completing factors accounting for how close friends may uniquely relate to and identify with one another, with sympathy for imperfection. Indeed, that not only is convivial company entertaining and cooperation useful, but that true care is actually uplifting.
Indeed, again, according to Aristotle, the truest friendship manifests altruistic concern and even sacrifice for the other's best interests even to the point of good influence, care towards optimal character, the healthiest condition of the personality which is meaning as derived from purposeful active orientation of living towards value and hence the sterling character of ones life as a whole, with morality and integrity of fortitude even to withstand misfortune; indeed, hence the sharing of good conduct through ongoing relationship and the the practice of philosophy which is discourse ever extending one another's moral insight and compass (or, as according to Adam Smith, entirely appropriate enhanced self esteem in reflecting thereupon) being of greatest wholesome satisfaction.
In brief, that truest friendship is actually a reciprocally supportive good influence between rare individuals of sterling character. Better still, however, let us also recognize autonomy as morally indispensable virtues, thus perhaps even reconciling aforesaid ancient ideals with modern views of friendship as equal, private and voluntary.
most ideal networks of
friends somehow together strive towards
all their most cherished
and ideals as above. But how might such lofty ideals
ever inform any realistic and practical minimums
necessary to effectiveness and happiness?
For any purpose under the sun, building true community and optimizing a thriving attention economy may require more expansive involvement than afforded from pointlessly banal hanging out and making idle vapid small talk with mere acquaintance. Friendship denotes co-operative and supportive behavior between two or more individuals. And indeed, just as with productive creativity, sustaining social connection often depends upon the active attentive investment of such fundamental resources as interest, sympathy, time and concerted effort.
Moreover, all the same principles by which pleasure, engagement and meaning drive gratification, all remain applicable in sharing the pursuit of happiness pertaining thereby no less in interaction and relationship.
Happiness requires positive self worth, control and self determination, optimism, security, outgoing expressive extroversion, adaptability, purpose and immediacy. So, is there any recipe for ever at all reliably serving up all of these cherished values? And what might be the required resources?
First of all, vital to the interaction of any productive free collaboration, coordination and task interdependency as ever arises, will always be the cultivation and preservation of reciprocal logistical support by the honest assessment and nurture of the integrity of healthy quid pro quo, assuring that everyone's needs including one's own are met in the exchange of all prompt and diligent vital assistance, all proffered in spirit of generosity and respect received in due appreciation and trust vindicated reciprocally.
Division of labor amongst various specialists is common in any any larger venture or endeavor. But real collaboration and cooperation often entails mutual assistance addressing cross-functional task interdependency of crucial specialized parts of another's otherwise specialized tasks or roles therein.
Passing beyond whatever pathologically insecure extremes of empty, insatiable and pathetic manipulation of Narcissistic supply, into healthy quid pro quo and even genuine reciprocity, one ought ever be positively eager towards nurture and support in assistance to aid and better equip anyone else in any tasks, after all, involved in the very life support towards fruition of one's own vision at all shared by others, and expect no less in return; all only given requisite trust and good will to actually value and even take pleasure in such an accord, and not as any begrudging or reluctant sacrifice.
For honesty remains the best policy.
Of course, on the one hand, purposeful obscurantism, or on the other hand, simply stonewalling and playing stupid in order to deliberately obstruct, must be anathema. Moreover, however, even passive non response due to sheer good faith incomprehension must be explicitly forbidden as well. In case of deadlock due to incomprehension, the uncomprehending party or parties must be obliged to coherently formulate and then to ask questions and to demand whatever explanation or assistance until adequate comprehension is achieved in order to move forward in a timely manner. Reciprocally, all others, especially the uncomprehended party, must make every effort to oblige. After all, never moving beyond whatever is immediately clear to all, means never doing anything challenging, new, different or creative and inventive in problem solving.
In order to
never lie or hide issues because problems will only
escalate. Never hesitate to be truthful and open.
and painful uncertainties. Never prolong mounting
Talk over any signals raising mistrust
or discomfort because ultimately
suffers in the face of nagging doubt or resentment.
For such is the positive and proactive power of negative thinking!
No one should ever be pressured into dishonest bland agreeability and false smiles simply not to rock the boat. Just as we are all fallible and can benefit from criticism, likewise anyone can be a downer simply because of feeling down. And as it turns out, most important in response, is not empty denial, neither reassurance nor consolation, but simply to be heard and understood, even in bearing bad tidings or alarm. Indeed, a word to the wise, effective active listening often pays off. After all, truth ignored doesn't really vanish.
Indeed, far short of paralytic anxiety, simple avoidance and cognitive narrowing or tunnel vision as to constrain ones repertoire of alternative solutions, introverited defensive pessimism only seeks never to raise expectations unduly, in order thereby to consistently reduce disappointment and anticipatory stress thereof, even in rising to seize opportunity. Whereas the Contrarian realistically cautious optimism of extroverited defensive pessimism is the active caution or prudence channeling even the most perpetual anxiety constructively into advance troubleshooting by detecting even catastrophic snares and anticipating even the worst-case scenario of any situation in order thereby to carry out planning so as to minimize losses and damage. Indeed, pessimism may be no more than an attention to such detail that self deceiving foolhardy optimism of determined positivity so blithely glosses over.
For example, any serious and successful investor, however necessarily risk tolerant, never simply relies upon luck, but demands the most rigorously prudent and critical extroverited defensive pessimism in formal business plans outlining the most rigorous risk management.
Sound business plans and proposals must be simple, specific, realistic, complete, sufficient clear detail without bogging down in minutiae, tasks in particular and assignment of responsibilities, in the form of an executive summary plus assumptions and projections followed by any notes and appendices providing whatever elaboration and detail as needed.
Two common and deadly paralytic and heteronymous de-motivators are vagueness and hesitation in the face of the unknown. And the obvious remedies are the clarification of whatever goals put forth and learning from the successful instead of always reinventing the wheel the hard way. Alas, however, all too often vagueness is such that it will not even be immediately clear precisely how to sharpen the focus, nor is whatever learning curve in surmounting the unknown always readily apparent either.
In such common event, autonomy requires actually to make the vague and unknown your friend! But this is only for people who would anticipate not merely tolerating but actually enjoying creative tension, challenge and interaction and hence alleviation of boredom and loneliness thereby accrued, all as entailed in the collaborative exchange of assistance as ever necessary or helpful to whatever common endeavors.
Defensive pessimism and criticality are the singular predicate in support of improved global conditions, crucial for the one who is for all to safeguard and to pursue whatever common best interests most honestly and effectively, nevertheless and nonetheless, to the integrity to remain uniquely individual, at one and true to him/herself.
Experimentally, in good or bad circumstances alike, depressive pessimists demonstrate more prudent realistic judgment and more accurate prediction than optimists, in performance each equal or surpass the median average or norm, but neither tend to perform well in attempting to exchange respective coping strategies.
And clearly, overconfident optimism also risks dangerous illusion under painfully debilitating pressures of suppression and denial of forced cheerfulness from which often accrues inertia and worse, all fortunately preventable, but only so long as determination is yoked together with honesty and respect.
Passive denial sinks even the most modest, banal and straightforward proposition into sheer empty pipedream, whereas honest due diligence ekes barest feasibility study at all even out from the most fantastic overreach. Because objectivity is never a secure foundation, but merely an honest intention of error detection and course correction along the way. -Rigorous business planning towards new venture creation as an exercise in extreme Science Fiction futurological scenario planning and detailed World Building even in predicting and rising to meet new needs themselves yet to arise.
Science Fiction isn’t dying; it’s metastasizing
Towards Eudemonia, authentic wellbeing, fulfillment is achieved by optimal reciprocal engagement, meaningful and pleasurable. For happiness, Epicurus espoused freedom, friendship and thought. All of this is paradoxically weighty stuff, for lightening the heart! But there it is. Indeed: Happy People Talk More Seriously together, freely, and with less small talk. Because otherwise, to quote Olmstead: “After all is said and done, much is said and little is done.” And to quote Benjamin Disraeli: "Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.” Indeed, a key feature of serious conversation is agenda. Moving from the abstract and general, to the concrete and particular, characteristics of agenda are questioning open endedness, the practice of criticism and controversy, strategic planning into expanding collaborative action. Agenda is therefore taboo. In any bureaucracy, especially as in any way influenced by or affiliated to what passes for education, if call to agenda cannot simply be ignored or condemned, they will typically be countered with call for compromise in the name of convention and sensitivity, all amounting to the heteronymous annihilation of all the aforementioned responsible and liberating characteristics of agenda.
Relationship is an attachment arising either from free and coherent even substantive communication, or indeed from common purposeful interaction and endeavor or else from the seduction of play that finds purpose and substance of its own within itself, and from the dignity of social risk with trust, security, ultimately openness in yielding to temptation; all the aforesaid that are the competencies of autonomy, along with organization and congenial social grace to manage and sustain contacts, reciprocally. -
All of that is such anathema and typically obstructed by such drone-like heteronymously arbitrary social acumen, skilled incompetence and cronyism, that everywhere buttresses the tacit institutionalization and twisted value of indeed all the most flagrant insensitivity and ineptitude imaginable, the bad driving out the good, and worse, actingout the destructive evil that is rampant bullying. Indeed, gregariousness and engaging personality may even be reviled as subversive and impertinent to a malagenda of sheer heteronymous group validation in sheer denial of all such profound endemic and pandemic alienation from all true innate and intrinsic drives of human expression and connection. And all to often, the favorite mode of all such denial is willful positivity and keeping it light!
By contrast, happiness comes in meeting ones needs by capable interaction with responsible others. And this is a very serious matter indeed. As Oliver Cromwell put it, not only to strike while the iron is hot, but to keep striking until the iron heats up. To set groundwork and make opportunity. Whereas, bland small talk is safe because there is no risk, no real self disclosure. There is also often little risk involved in reporting the circumstances, actions and even the ideas of others. All of which accounts for approximately 90% of conversation amongst the lonely. Indeed, in the famous words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “Great minds discuss ideas. Mediocre minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” The Nihilistically attachment disordered amoral a'priori dismissal in very principle, of consciousness and meaning whatsoever, all in favor, instead, of mindless travesty and mimesis that is behavioral structure, intentionally arrested development stifling of all genuine spontaneity, all quasi-legislated under tabooistic bullying mass exhortation to bogus support group etiquette, permanently arrested in small talk and idle chit chat, plus "sharing" as a craven Orwellian euphemism for reciprocal constructivist listening in uncritical bland agreeability, is no remedy for loneliness, but guaranteed perpetuation thereof. Is anywhere else, all recommended practical means and instruction more diametrically taboo from well understood and relevant abstract principle?
In blithe apologetics for the promised spoils of eager conformism, what 'You are not above small talk. Nobody is.' actually delineates, is not the pertinent whole truth of often so toxic social reality, but the benign functions of small talk most ideally, and one might hope, in any moderation and proportion. Even putting aside social skills in construction of smooth routine and dexterous ongoing catalogue of hierarchical social position all as extolled in The Magic of Small Talk, Forbes Magazine makes the case for the interpersonal Importance of small talk, but far from passive aimless lonely boredom bereft of personal identity, even the initial small talk in question strives to relatable sympathy and empathy, while the situational assumption seems to be of how amongst serious people with so much at stake, crucially important matters ever hang in the air, redolent with promise and only ever awaiting some tension-breaking deft opening into new beginnings.
For only in personal disclosure of ideas and assessment does risk of intimacy begin, watching carefully for reaction, sharing any opinions. Only given favorable response, then escalation may ensue. In more profound emotional revelation, there is significant disclosure and fear of rejection and failure, but also unique and indispensible opportunity for individual growth. Peak Communication involves considerable commitment and trust, and no need to hold back.
Beware interminable boring pointlessly belabored superficial small talk, often forced and awkward, only leaving one actually the more depleted, empty and discontent, all urgent need of truly important expression still mute and frustrated.
“A bore is a man who, when you ask him how he is, tells you.” — Bert Leston Taylor
And that is much of why the mentality and etiquette of those bogus support groups is so oppressive: Incessant prattle of endless dustier small talk may serve as denial warding off anxiety from serious matters from consciousness, that will only render the anxious gnawing frustrated loneliness and boredom of small talk the more eerily mysterious.
A cultural feature of individualistic democracy and autonomy along with relative equality and criticality, low-context communication style, perhaps better described rather as low in subtext, is persuasive, even ambitious, eloquently articulate, precise, direct, and specific with little need of reading between the lines, all content and no status relationship dimension, thus also useful in the minimization of cross-cultural misunderstanding.
Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judgment Myers-Briggs Personality Types in particular, tend even to aversive impatience often stymied and exasperated with typical socially validating small talk, favoring instead just cutting to the chase, initiating any conversational substance of ideas.
Psychological visibility: Relationships in public interaction are generally such as behaviorally structured and situationally defined and to one another by social roles and values, heteronymously and impersonally, with latitude constrained therein. But autonomous private close personal relationships and communication, are defined even entirely by their participants even regardless of external circumstances, and informed by their own values. Friendship begins with any glimpse into another's inner life, the reciprocal understanding called: psychological visibility, wherein good conversation the more uplifting, energizes and deepens acquaintance by free flowing investigative personal information exchange, the spark of lively controversy ostensibly on topics of mutual interest and concern, and given equal opportunity to hold forth unreservedly with full and pointed answers and then, likewise, to make inquiry in any depth and attend with undivided concentration. Beyond the interminable shallow Machiavellian popularity contest or marshmallow throwing bogus support, the highly evolved human social intelligence is an appetite returned and fulfilled by the care and personal investment in others of authentic intellectual, emotional, purposeful and imaginative participation in the ongoing and unexpected discovery and progress of human character and relations over time in cultures of participation offering challenge and support for risk taking, deprivation resulting in frustration, emptiness, inadequacy, sadness, malaise, discontent, boredom, anxiety, alienation and anomie.
In 'The Conquest Of Happiness' Bertrand Russell argues that jaded boredom is frequently exacerbated by the very fear of boredom motivating such incessant panicked pleasure seeking and craving for excitement as may characterize just such ostensible hedonism. Be that as it may, Russell however extols a certain endurance of another kind of boredom that he calls “Fruitful Monotony” inspiring quiet reflection amid nature. But is Russell truly advancing a consistently corroborated Empirical Ontology or merely fallen prey to the bias of his own perhaps somewhat Moralistic Axiology? Indeed, aren't people different with different needs and troubles?
Confinement in nagging unfulfilled frustration is often the experience of any gifted individual whose situation howsoever fails to provide an arena for uplifting application of their talents. Depending upon all manner of statistical factors and correlates such as individual stimulus needs, coping, and self-efficacy versus helplessness, patience versus impatience, hope versus despair, procrastination and introspection, gifted underachievers in particular may even however the more flagrantly tend, seemingly by disposition, intelligent and extroveritedly seeking more variety in external stimulation, to be more greatly than others, boredom prone, indeed actually requiring a constant and changing flow of stimulation for optimal arousal and engagement. "Stimulus struggle" seeks engagement in arousing even if nonutilitarian frivolous activity or: play. An optimal level of arousal is highly correlated to intrinsic satisfaction and value, the flexible imagination towards the comparison of fresh perspectives upon experience that is called: perceptual freedom, and peak performance.
Not that boredom isn't actually quite ordinary and prevalent to any dull routine. Boredom, after all, is a luxury of affluence and indifference free and secure from any actual struggle for survival. After all, as Bertrand Russell notes, the opposite of boredom is not specifically eustress or pleasure, but merely excitement without distinction, even such distress as sheer terror or any simple over arousal, because after all, diminishing returns apply even to stimulation.
Which helps explain both the cultivation of even the most grinding monotony to assuage and stave off extreme anxiety, overstimulation or outright dystress, to which boredom may actually come as a relief, and then if not unexpected creativity then the lengths and heights of malignant madness and danger often undertaken even inspired out of sheer boredom.
Boredom is a reactive state to wearingly dull, repetitive, or tedious stimuli or under arousal, distress, distraction, disengagement, the lack of interesting things to see, hear, or do physically and/or intellectually arouse and engage curiosity over time. Boredom is the distress of life inertia. Boredom is an aggravated nervous fatigue, an angst-ridden intrinsic yearning to occupy time with relevant meaningful value.
Boredom is a particular restless and even irritable condition of passivity opposite to optimal arousal and active creativity, anxious and overwhelmed, powerless and yearning for escape, not liking what one is doing but neither knowing what else to do for desperate wont of any better idea; arising, as observed by Otto Fenichel, simply “when we must not do what we want to do, or must do what we do not want to do.”
Indeed there have always been many reasons why it may even be deemed a mistake to strive for ultimately boring inner harmony or tranquility: Heraclites said: "All is fire!" Nature is of clashing forces, and human nature likewise, is of inner conflict and passion. Therefore, true insight is likewise thereof, honestly. And so is engaged creativity that makes even ones own company at all the more interesting and congenial, particularly as in the eustress of scientific curiosity.
Whereas, indeed, the condition of loneliness is entirely distinct from any mere circumstances of solitude or benefit of privacy. Hence, however counter intuitively, and far from maladaptive dysfunction, the benefits of privacy, retreat into high quality solitude, refreshing volitional solitary activities and behaviors, is often actually known to at all ameliorate rather than simply exacerbate sensations of loneliness and boredom.
Similarly, adaptive introverted strategies, Existentially Absurd, Ecclesiastically futile, alienated, desperate and even somewhat standardized recreational stopgaps in lieu of crucial meaningfully relevant engagement, for coping with under stimulating tedium of work, studies or hanging out socially and waiting patiently for an opening to the most empty and banal small talk in order to advance in popularity, by in the meantime eking out any small satisfaction, include fantasy, daydreaming, mental games, self amusement via the cultivation of new interests, appreciation, skills or hobbies, striking up conversation, arbitrary variation in routine tasks and careful observation of incidental environmental detail.
After all, in order to optimize stimulus struggle by prolonging interesting events, intentional activity must be organized towards the relation of actions to objects given whatever aspects of the environment howsoever allowing and supporting whatever particular activities.
A common twice exceptionality, lifelong deadly social and career learning disability among gifted underachievers, ongoing products of lifelong asynchronous development, in even somewhat rebelliously stunned apathetic bored and lonely deficiency of all such executive function including poor memory and low organizational skills, may be entirely due to fully active responsiveness arising only to howsoever valued high standards of pleasurable, engaging and meaningful opportunity.
That is why FoolQuest.com is dedicated, first and foremost, to systematic and concerted cultivation of optimally pleasurable, engaging and meaningful interaction so essential to human flourishing. And what could be better?
Just as boredom may illicit the biological defense which is disassociation, conversely inattention and therefore distraction and disturbance, be it from self-conscious inner emotional turmoil or any bothersome external nuisance alike, all do factor into boredom by undermining interest and involvement. Hence, indeed, one way or another, actually ignoring the problem by attentive Zen mindfulness towards immediate activity and experience and tuning out external static and ego distraction alike, indeed, metaphorically even running away from oneself, has indeed ever been found to help in coping with the lonely grinding urgency of boredom, but much like unto extrinsic motivation or chemical stimulants, surely only temporarily. -For such can never be enough, Existentially...ambivalent because they were thematically angry with others involved in their compromises while being pre-reflectively angry with themselves. The participants non-thematically adopted passive and avoidant stances toward their lives that allowed their boredom to spread to more aspects of their lives. The participants' boredom led them to identity issues because they no longer were actively working toward projects. They felt empty and apathetic because they felt every action led to boredom, and thus action was futile. Preliminary distinctions between the experience of life boredom and depression are considered.
Even transitory boredom may often be regarded as a waste of time or far worse. Indeed, subjective time seems to drag interminably when suffering from boredom because of sheer monotony, the very infrequency of notable events resulting in boredom to begin with.
“Boredom is an emptiness filled with insistence.” — Leo Stein
Boredom is often manifestation of exactly such dissident ennui in passive resistance as might actually stem from the depressive stressed out apathetic alienated lack of interest and self-knowledge of repressed desires under any static situation of manipulative coercion or captivity, unsettled, fidgety, helpless and out of touch even with ones own sense of oppression, likely thereby even overshadowing whatever joys otherwise experienced.
“Boredom: the desire for desires” — Leo Nikoleyevich Tolstoy, ‘Anna Karenina’
Dangerous human error is often attributable to inattentive, stultifying and debilitating boredom and frustration on the job. Indeed, boredom is a contributing factor in however sullen and deadened anger, aggression and worse: thence to all manner of folly and vice.
“A yawn is a silent shout.” — Gilbert K. Chesterton
“the shriek of unused capacities.” — Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March
"Boredom is rage spread thin" — Paul Tillich
“Boredom, after all, is a form of criticism” — Wendell Phillips
Yet exactly such an unhappy and painfully distressful evolutionary trait or response even such as sheer boredom, when seen nonetheless as a quality filter and an individual protest in defense of autonomy and self determination, may nevertheless be valued as useful even if aversive, and recognized as a cry for change rather than blithely pathologized as entirely maladaptive. Indeed, one positive value of boredom is in how transitory frustration from external under stimulation in solitude facilitates inner focus, inner life, imagination and creative play. Whereas, disinterest and boredom likewise in sullen protest but actually as a defense mechanism of heteronomy, is a feature of crimestop, an aspect of doublethink.
in accordance with the Axiology of G. E. Moore, just as pleasure is only the second order desire pursuant to whatever perceived and understood good, likewise avoidance of pain is only the second order fear or aversive desire pursuant to whatever perceived and understood evil, avoidance thereof being first order desire. Desires thus are meaningful, after all.
Therefore, so is living life. Because, if the aversive emotion of boredom is, indeed, to quote Leo Nikoleyevich Tolstoy in ‘Anna Karenina,’ "the desire for desires," then in that case, what could be more meaningful, even than the worst boredom, let alone whatever heights of fulfillment! Indeed, boredom is so intensely value loaded, as to be most greatly meaningful. In the words of Gilbert K. Chesterton: "A yawn is a silent shout." For in the words of Leo Stein: “Boredom is an emptiness filled with insistence.” Death then may end boredom, but addresses none of the outcry of boredom.
Whereas, indeed, the condition of loneliness is entirely distinct from any mere circumstances of solitude or benefit of privacy. Hence, however counter intuitively, and far from maladaptive dysfunction, the benefits of privacy, retreat into high quality solitude, refreshing volitional solitary activities and behaviors, is often actually known to at all ameliorate rather than simply exacerbate sensations of loneliness and boredom, and the connected continuity of grinding consciousness whereof over time.
Lonely people often fall prey to their own wishful thinking and unrealistic expectations, even sheer snake oil everywhere proffered to the vulnerable and unwary. Lonely people craving popularity, may often struggle to keep themselves occupied, drift into unhealthy habits or even addiction of one kind or another, join into dysfunctional social circles or bullying cliques, even gangs and cults, and enter into generally unviable relationships.
Alas and astonishingly, across the socio-political spectrum, no matter the range of ideological perspective upon responsibilities, the authentic wellbeing and thriving that is subjective and individually variable intrinsic reactive happiness to favorable circumstances of doing what one loves for whatever intrinsic value, even the most ambitious meaningful collaboration, autonomy, friendship, freedom and thought, such being the primary focus uniquely of FoolQuest.com, are elsewhere barely even considered if not fearfully taboo from consideration at all, so really dismissed as pipedream for wont of prior foundation or justification! Nor are values of authentic relationship often found at the crux of any practical outreach, as they really need to be.
For to idle and uneventful quiet, solitude may ever at least be at all private and tranquil, beyond sheer boredom alone, loneliness is the distress of being isolated and estranged from others, perhaps even rejected, unseen and unknown, helpless to connect, a painful awareness and important desire not being met, to feel needed, wanted and connected, and a longing not merely to interact at all, but actually however to relate to others, to genuinely react and respond to one another.
Meaning and by implication, engagement, is most noted for assuaging not only boredom but loneliness even during solitude, and solitary pleasure with no one to share it, for most quickly wearing into loneliness. But eventually meaning too yearns for expression and communication, for the most passionate engagement will ever be, of course, with others.
One feels adequate, secure and comforted in friendly company, the more so as love deepens, and especially following protracted absence. For loneliness is dystress in response to whatever kind of separation or isolation. Loneliness and attachment disorder is often a worsening Component of Psychiatric Disorders and conditions, sufferers feeling isolated and alone, just when they need social and emotional support more than ever. Indeed, a common twice exceptionality, lifelong deadly social and career learning disability among gifted underachievers, ongoing products of lifelong asynchronous development, in even somewhat rebelliously stunned apathetic bored and lonely deficiency of all such executive function including poor memory and low organizational skills, may be entirely due to fully active responsiveness arising only to howsoever valued high standards of pleasurable, engaging and meaningful opportunity.
Indeed, loneliness may even accrue simply from values, frustrated yearning and vision of any conceivable way of life howsoever more open and genuine between individuals. -As exhorted by Epicurus, freedom, friendship and thought.
That is why FoolQuest.com is dedicated, first and foremost, to systematic and concerted cultivation of optimally pleasurable, engaging and meaningful interaction so essential to human flourishing and authentic well being or: Eudemonia.
Loneliness, social and emotional isolation, consists of any deficiency or discrepancy between ones own desired versus actually achieved or at all available, quality of social interaction and communication. That is why, so paradoxically, feelings of painful isolation are often actually triggered in the presence of and by interaction with others. Loneliness is the wont of intimacy. The most wretchedly abandoned, confused and damaged, lack even concept of intimacy. Moreover, social support as ever may remain amongst the foremost predicate of capability and success, hence deficiency or mismatch to whatever actual needs, of social support, the very recipe for failure.
Loneliness is entirely distinct from solitude or seclusion even by preference or choice at any given moment. Loneliness, even in a crowd, is an emotion or experience, a powerful hollow feeling of emptiness and isolation, beyond merely the desire for company or human interaction, a sensation of disconnection, cut off, even alienated from others, an experienced difficulty and frustration even in forming meaningful human contact, separate and isolated from the world.
Dutch researcher Jenny de Jong-Gierveld defined loneliness as “a situation experienced by the individual as one where there is an unpleasant or inadmissible lack of (quality of) certain relationships. This includes situations in which a number of existing relationships is smaller than considered desirable or admissible or situations where the intimacy one wishes for has not been realized. Thus, loneliness is seen to involve the manner in which a person experiences and evaluates his or her isolation and lack of communication with other people.”
The perceived or evaluated insufficiently rewarding quality of existing relationships, therefore fails to buffer from stress. The lonely are restless and often sleep poorly. Loneliness is a threat to life and health.
Worse, none dare call out dystress straightforwardly, for the pride in self reliance engenders a stigma upon loneliness and shame of rebuke for unpopularity even since childhood. For, whereas the familiar community of old was so stifling, the modern world ofttimes seems simply estranged and obdurate!
Rather than trustingly reaching out sociably, lonely people, often long traumatized in whatever hostile insecure upbringing, may tend instead mistrustfully retreat from potential threat. And leave us face it, there is no end of threat, worst of course from bullying, open hostility and abuse outright, but from every sense of pressure conditionality in order to fit in, instead of genuine acceptance or even simple tolerance, the repellant and perpetually frustrating alienated travail of eking out whatever crumbs of emotional sustenance on the social minefield, as do so many others indeed as is increasingly deemed appropriately remedial if not actually even entirely normal and sufficient, amid the vast and phony social wasteland of ever more tedious unfulfilling frustration, the waste of time that engenders only greater aggravation, boredom and loneliness actually in company even than in isolation and solitude. -salt rubbed in the wounds, not any healing balm of comfort.
Furthermore, failure to relate to all manner of seemingly senseless and tediously arbitrary customary interaction, is not uncommon for those who have not been made to feel included, or simply for those who, having undergone positive disintegration and broken the indoctrination of socialization, thence forth evaluate for themselves.
To make things worse, the ordeal may elicit mounting sensation of social inadequacy and incompetence.
Beware interminable boring pointlessly belabored superficial small talk, often forced and awkward, only leaving one actually the more depleted, empty and discontent, all urgent need of truly important expression still mute and frustrated.
Loneliness is the wont of intimacy. Hence, when mass anxiety fails to challenge our very way of life or to trouble the powers that be, and thus individual dystress fails to evoke sympathetic feeling and therefore mutual aid, and if none any longer shall rally to the alarm sounded, then such only will signal vulnerability to predation and exploitation, merely endangering others as well as oneself.
Rightly and responsibly then, do we hesitate to reach out to others in distress of any kind. Because even though need is the motive ever to reach out at all, neediness is only cloying. Because loosing might rub off emotionally and socially! Because excessive burdens of responsibility to others often only drags down a life of promise. Because of compassion burn out. Because unconditional selflessness only invites the sucker's payoff. Because one never knows what desperately manipulative and neurotic pigheaded wretched bully or unfeeling confidence trickster will only bite the hand that feeds them! -And with utter impunity...
Hence, all the more, loss, decline, disappointment, unhappiness, grief and suffering of any kind, so needlessly shameful in society, are all often isolating and lonely in their subjective intensity and hence introversion. Indeed, loneliness is also associated with mortality. Indubitably, loneliness is formative, for some people exactly opposite as for others, motivating some, for example, to incisive empathy whist others to insecure withdrawn babbling egotism, making some more self sufficient and others exactly less so. And so, it will be in loneliness, whether as abiding in actual solitude or even whilst thronging amid the madding crowds, that are all conundrums and struggles of individuality contemplated, confronted and discovered, the separation and distinction of the self from the world beyond, with all personal longings and on whatever ones own terms.
For loneliness is a quality that defies simple objective measurement, even such as the frequency and duration of social interaction, but also of the nature, preference and kind. Loneliness may typically result from the dearth of an engaging social network and activities or interaction towards social integration and/or opportunities for emotional intimacy. Causes of loneliness are, most obviously, bereavement, longing for another absent or unrequited, abandonment, social rejection and abuse, isolation, neglect, not fitting in, discontent, alienation or individual dissatisfaction, reciprocal failure to relate, incompatible values, sheer irrelevance, the unsympathetic helplessness of society in denial before the powerless individual in crisis and tragedy, but also stress, overwork and underutilization of skills and deficiency of stimulating challenge and hope.
The outsider is the reject or unbeliever apart from common activities and purpose. Reciprocally, pandemic alienation and the boredom and despair of wage slaves and students, not even permitted the release of just giving up, is the result of sheer grinding busy work that has has lost all meaningful and satisfying initiative.
The adaptive modes of acquisition include achievement, productive creativity towards fulfillment of desires, even competition, aggression, force or power to simply take whatever one wants, and influence via succorance, reaching out where achievement and aggression are inapplicable, specifically, in solicitation of attention, sympathy, concern, affectionate care and support, to nurturance, the desire to help, reciprocal and complementary to succorance in any healthy give and take. However, without trust and respect, insecure reliance upon threatening and domineering social situations, even however actually unpleasant and stressful, only exacerbates needy codependent frustrated yearnings and bottomless emptiness.
Alas, the social incentives and disincentives so stifling of individual creativity, opinion, controversy and creativity, cheat us all of expression conducive to autonomous interpersonal interest and engagement in return for heteronymous non threatening conditional approval, learned helpless emptiness, boredom and loneliness.
No, loneliness is not resolved by the mere presence of others, marshmallow-throwing touchy-feely encouragement or commiseration on cue, mortification, bullying and scapegoating, nor any other empty social grooming and consensual validation, nor even necessarily by intimate acts, much less any interaction the more superficial or heteronymous. -such as shallow and perfunctory political activism that fabulously promises us each a place at their table, but only really means to say (as in that wonderful line from 'The Last Emperor'): "Join us comrade, or fuck off!" Because volunteerism of any kind will never actually get you anything but someone else's' chores. -Drudgery such as typically does not involve the high levels of interaction and cooperation such as to illicit equally high levels of sociability while curtailing antisocial conduct and rejection.
Rather, loneliness is only ever truly resolved by someone else who relates and responds so as to move you, uniquely, with challenge and variety, compatibly and reciprocally, ever the better to understand one another.
And since emotion finding outlet thus becomes motivation, meaningful common goals put forth or inquiries actively pursued may greatly facilitate the aforesaid resolution of loneliness. Indeed, in substantive co-operative endeavor may the flame of just such affection be most readily be fanned and nurtured. And loneliness is but the starvation thereof.
All of this is precisely why simply hanging out aimlessly or meeting others for recreation and consumption, online or even in real life, striving so determinedly only to relax and seek for oblivion from the grind, is so completely boring, futile and irrelevant ever to finding new beginnings and connection out from the sterile void.
Better dead than mellow!
Indeed, healing loneliness requires more than merely satisfice, making do with ordinary casual social contact, even acquiescence to the safest and dullest small talk, conditionality, towing the line, generally going along to get along, but rather, true investment in others and any genuine and meaningful engagement into their individuality. For the deeper and more intense the longing, the keener the deprivation and frustration. And, to complicate the problem, there are many needs of immediacy that are simply ill served by the abstraction and remoteness of interactivity online. That is why truly engaging interaction online best plays to the highly cerebral strengths of the medium, at which the fundamental electronic tools of the Internet even excel.
The traditional Four Levels of Happiness are laetus: material physical satisfaction and immediate gratification, felix: the ego satisfaction of personal achievement, the Beatitude of contribution making an impact or difference beyond oneself, and lastly, the sublime fullness of goodness, beauty, truth and love, possibly so much as self realization.
And we may hope that the fulfilling involvement of interaction and relationship enters somewhere.
But even the precious pursuit of happiness is never guarantee even of hope and opportunity. All manner of daunting obstacles remain. But perhaps some measure of freedom may yet at all permit the involvement of stimulating intellectual challenge in practice and experience towards better decision making.
As, one way or another, primary needs still tend to call for attention first, even barring immediate threat to physical survival, economic requirements are often experienced as the most palpable barrier to self-actualization or at least freedom and autonomy in modern life. And as a solution, many yearn for recognition of their true potential and best opportunity for fulfillment thereof, via some capable and dedicated mentorship to success and fulfillment in a situation facilitating due compensation.
Alas, the deck is so often stacked against us at every turn. Certainly, there may be readily available general guidance in pursuit of the conventional expectations of others. But assistance towards one's own ends is by far the harder to find and often deficient if not fraudulent outright. Only compromise and snake oil remain ever abundant, barring the most extreme and resolute self reliance indeed.
Hence, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness increasingly are quickly reduced to an ongoing invitation to bang one's metaphorical head against the proverbial wall! And at a certain threshold of sheer frustration, the realization must dawn that compromise has spared no aggravation, nor do increasingly outmoded expectations manifest any greater efficacy than any other inane sycophantic vogueing cargo-cult mimesis of success.
In the end, only truth to oneself is even worth the trouble.
The very norm itself is entirely dysfunctional!
There is severe introversion turning one's back upon the world, there is cliquishness of self isolating peer groups, and bullying often manifests as overt ostracism and shunning against targeted individuals specifically, but there are also more subtle lesser degrees of distance. Indeed the most normal distance between strangers and casual acquaintances is expected to nurture deeper acquaintance and blossoming intimacy and familiarity in due course. It’s a perfectly natural process, but quite unreliable. People can be unfriendly. Having entered into whatever social situation of propinquity, of repeated regular contact, the question remains how to obtain openness and cooperation in advancing any relationship. People are not rational agents of self interest. People are not even driven by sheer Pleasure Principle. Rather, people are driven by perceived vested interest in social integration and standing. To be outgoing and personable, to offer or to elicit value, all this does not help. Humor, insight and intelligence do not help. Care and compassion do not help. Particularly, being interesting does not make friends. Or so goes the prevailing common sense social advice, becoming ever more arcane, ego-dystonic, alienated and alienating. The social context is not a conduit but a barrier between individuals.
Trying to make friends may be the mistake, when the real game is to attain social approval, access and inclusion. Always keep it light and upbeat! Keep opinions to yourself. Follow sports. Make innocuous small talk. Pander to collective identity. Bah, humbug! Conditional acceptance is only another form of rejection. Social success then becomes just another job we hate in pursuit of whatever hoped for eventual pay off or extrinsic reward. Such is conformist mediocrity and heteronomy filtering out inadequacy and excellence without distinction. Engaged Emotional Intelligence and capacity for friendship frequently comes at odds with social intelligence, conformity and sheer tolerance for boredom never rocking the boat. That is the test of loneliness in a crowd. And that is why the advice actually ever fulfils the lowered expectations of shy and withdrawn people, for whom a modicum of distance and passivity is actually congenial.
Pandemic loneliness is often blamed upon the breakdown of traditional close-knit social order. But the historical truth is that humanity could not escape those stifling conditions quickly enough, once the opportunities presented themselves. Alternatively, pandemic loneliness is often blamed upon the architectural illusions of the social network online. But the truth is that Facebook, in all of its runaway popularity, was consciously and deliberately invented as the IT for the previously existing paradigm of colligate social life, absorbed in all of its brutal superficiality. The problem runs deeper, and the true culprit remains, as ever, heteronomy.
Relationship is an involving attachment growing from intrinsically motivating reciprocal engagement. But the recommended process of social outreach is not a facilitator, but instead an arduous, forced, alienated and alienating obstacle course, a social minefield, an extrinsically motivating punishment and reward system as desperately joyless as formal education and employment, and likewise systematically thwarting all that is genuine, spontaneous or reciprocally engaging. Indeed, engagement being the natural beginning involvement growing into relationship privately, is held forth as the furtively hoped for end product of the common sense seeming yet bass-akward and barking mad oppressive recommended standard paradigm of social life and recreation, the punishment and reward system of the social minefield, annihilating all vitality of intrinsic motivation.
It is often recommended to socialize constantly and indiscriminately, in even the dullest interaction with the dullest people. Key to fitting in may be active enthusiasm and validating approval for whatever collective activity, sports, changing location, even eating and drinking with gusto, but not too heavily. The object of social skill, in such dreary undertaking, is a balancing act of approval seeking, upon which the individual will be tolerated or scorned: being out going yet exceedingly cautious to sense when anyone else does not want to talk to you. Moreover, it may be necessary at the same time, not to stand out in any way, to escape notice and blend in, to offend no one and please no one either. In other words, society is seen as essentially inhospitable. Alas, how true. -And the most divisive, in all obsessively conformist demand for harmony in mediocrity. And yet it is also deadly to withdraw, and become a wall flower, never taking initiative to interact. Active validation of status quo is expected. What to do?
Being nice may only be taken advantage of. Worse, curtailing the freedom of one to one interaction, there is the approval or disapproval of third parties. Indeed, even encouraging results one to one, may incur jealousy and third party resentment, thus unpopularity. Particularly, not just palpable awkwardness and anxiety, but even, for example, actually charm and humor to talk to women, entertainingly, is typically fiercely resented. Or an opinion, observation, complaint or criticism aired, that wins the sympathy or approval of one or few, may quickly provoke the ire of the many. All in all, even resounding social success in this mediocre rat race, to paraphrase a Gian Vincenzo Gravina, will boorishly rob one of solitude without providing much in the way of good company.
Which is to say: The very punishment and reward system of socialization process so fervently recommended, simply cannot but stifle intrinsic human social needs, even when it works correctly by its own cretin terms. Yet we are assured that gaining trust and social integration by so precarious, tentative, tedious and onerous a process, will one fine day accrue opportunity for more genuine private relationship. -Much as we are assured that drudgery and conformity are the first step on the road to self realization.
Alas, it's all much the same punishment and reward racket. A racket, after all, is any dishonest scheme or ongoing transaction, all not as it contrives to present itself and as is tacitly accepted or endured by the majority of those involved, but in actuality a scam or fraud, a deceptive practice of coercion and manipulation conducted for the benefit of a few cronies at the expense of the many. Get with the program: The program never fails. You fail the program! The masses will always comply in ever greater effort and diligence jumping through hoops and fighting amongst ourselves for scraps, believing and rationalizing just about anything, all in order to obtain whatever artificial scarcity or bait-and-switch, no matter how plainly contrived.
It is often cited as crucial, how social skills must become instinctive, second nature, habit without deliberation. And there are different reasons: Most often emphasized, sheer information overload in dealing spontaneously with bombarding social stimuli on any conscious level. In the words of Francis 7 in 'Logan's Run': "Thinking slows you down, Logan." But perhaps the greater importance of the process of osmosis, of socialization that none dare call: indoctrination or brainwash, is that conscious perception risks redeeming Existential disgust and alienation. For it is only oppressors, who discourage the masses from thinking. -for our own good, of course!
If sheer obliviousness of anti-intellectuality and desperate emotional repression cannot be cultivated and maintained, then rationalizing heteronomy will be no less crucial. The individual socialized and subsumed into the collective identity, must embrace the ideology of socialization in order to judge others and themselves in constant suspense of anxiety and even hypervigilance, never to achieve positive disintegration and growth into autonomy. And as we shall discover, the slippery apologetics for the ideology of socialization shift ground readily between ideology and pragmatic expedience.
But pragmatic expedience, after all an appeal to extrinsic motivation, is no more genuinely persuasive than the craven ideology of socialization, only given sufficient individual autonomy, simply because, in the first place, interpersonal engagement should not be sought only as the long deferred bored and lonely end product of ever more empty, grinding and superficial extensively networked long term interrelationship, the much glorified subsuming and subjugation of the individual into the body politic, that Hobbes called: 'Leviathan.' Rather, autonomous yet no less and indeed actually all the more truly close knit social embedment actually needs to progress exactly the other way around: Extensively networked long term relationship should branch out as a byproduct from the growth of intrinsically motivating interpersonal engagement into close attachments, itself a byproduct of howsoever meaningful interaction.
Being that engagement is the beginning of the state or condition of attachment which is an ongoing, remembered or anticipated and even yearned for state of engagement, hence according to Self-Determination Theory, secure attachment is characterized by attention and responsiveness to one another's needs when turning toward one another to obtain comfort and care. Indeed, a prime feature of autonomy is the need for meaningful engagement fending off boredom and loneliness. Heteronomy, the ever cagey and calculating enemy of autonomy, is also the active enemy of engagement and attachment, of transparent agenda, of open passion and interest of every kind. Therefore, bullying which is heteronymous, stifles initiative. Indeed, the social skill sets of heteronomy and autonomy are so entirely different. Heteronymous social skills correlate to the guardedness and control of heteronomy in the first place, and not any unmet needs of the individual. And yet the exhortations to sublimation into insipid headgames persist, often seemingly the only game in town, and even purportedly as the means somehow to anything different and not just more of the same.
Even putting aside social skills in construction of smooth routine and dexterous ongoing catalogue of hierarchical social position all as extolled in The Magic of small talk, Forbes Magazine makes the case for the interpersonal Importance of small talk, but far from passive aimless lonely boredom bereft of personal identity, even the initial small talk in question strives to relatable sympathy and empathy, while the situational assumption seems to be of how amongst serious people with so much at stake, crucially important matters ever hang in the air, redolent with promise and only ever awaiting some tension-breaking deft opening into new beginnings.
For only in personal disclosure of ideas and assessment does risk of intimacy begin, watching carefully for reaction, sharing any opinions. Only given favorable response, then escalation may ensue. In more profound emotional revelation, there is significant disclosure and fear of rejection and failure, but also unique and indispensible opportunity for individual growth. Peak Communication involves considerable commitment and trust, and no need to hold back.
To quote Socrates: "'The unexamined life is not worth the living, for the human being." -And not just in entirely Phenomenal inner private refection, but particularly, by way of the Dialectic together. - friends, freedom and thought as espoused by Epicurus. Indeed, Happy People Talk More Seriously, and make less small talk. And surely that does require an enviable situation of secure social network embedment and good friendships.
Otherwise, if social success really does come so cautiously cagy and disingenuously, by never making waves and keeping conversation light, then it should come as little wonder how, just as the rich can be as monumentally unhappy as the most desperately impoverished, that the popular are so often as lonely and miserable as the most socially isolated and alone.
The sheer toadying duplicity (a stance only appropriate in clear conflict against a threatening foe) will become increasingly demoralizing and alienating to anyone but a complete schemer, Malignant Narcissism or outright sociopath. Social life has increasingly become ever more cowardly and paranoid, oppressively akin to working undercover penetrating hostile territory, furtively ever searching out fellow secret heretics or deviants! -even when whatever heresy or deviance, as it were, turns out to be in the majority, as with all manner of taboo socially awkward yet entirely normal drives and opinions, etc.. Indeed, no thanks to mounting social pressures and sheer bullying, even the most capricious and petty abuse of power, it ever more often becomes exactly that: All too often, social life today, so toxic and cold, really does amount to a tenuous experience of working behind enemy lines!
Purpose defeating: The alienating superficial common sense advice on social outreach simply does not actually work, or at least it can't without the prevailing approved techniques on how to fit in socially. But together, the latter exhortations to such drearily endless discipline, for all intents and purposes typically oppressive punishment and reward systems no less than as in school or employment, likewise explicitly contradict both ancient wisdom and the latest scientific findings about living in happiness or having any fun. For while an intrinsic motive such as of the latter, is one that finds both its source and its reward in its own exercise for its own sake even life long, whatever extrinsic motivation as of situational expedience as in the former tends to be short term, ending in discouraged ennui of boredom, distress and loneliness, indeed even the suppression of whatever if any intrinsic motivation because of overjustification effect. And so, in truth, the extrinsic Behavioral motivator of expedience remains something of a red herring.
Otherwise with all the whimsical romance of post nasal drip, the real appeal, if any whatsoever, of all such vapid meat puppetry as extolled by the likes of Popular Prick, is to the hostility of sheer Malignant Narcissism, insecure, desperate and voracious for validation from others, constantly. -hence the extroverited behavior from introverited drives. Lacking full adult emotional development, the Malignant Narcissist self-servingly crafts a false persona by imitating the thoughts and actions of others. Like all self-made men, he worships his creator! "The narcissist seeks to be admired for his ability to integrate and ingratiate himself without the efforts commensurate with such an undertaking." [''How to Recognize a Narcissist']
Hence only because the Narcissist simply lacks sufficient intrinsically motivating genuine interest, the narcissists expertise and ability generally turns out insubstantial when probed, his intellectual grasp as simplistic as his empathy is weak. Indeed, after all, Popular Prick prides himself as the expert on shallowness!
Not surprisingly, then, the core dispute is over reciprocal irrelevance, given such distinctly different motivating stimulus needs and incompatible values. The authentic true human burning issues all such cynically dogged pragmatism promulgated by the likes of Popular Prick tends so blithely to sidestep -being so simplistically ingrained with the cynicism of Nihilistic value destruction, fails to relate, missing the point entirely, all pass beyond tactical efficacy into the field of intrinsic values informing objectives to begin with. Thus, even given consummate social skills and every manipulative advantage, all such brazen empathic failure is just vulgar and even ends in real insipid stupidity. For along with the requisite sensitivity even much to care, the poor wretched malignant Narcissist so often lacks the insight and interest at all, even to imagine the many splendored, varied and frankly more human needs, drives and preferences that so differently motivate others, much less howsoever cogently advise pursuant thereto, failing to grasp how demoralizing and ego-dissyntonic the tried and true methods of the malignant Narcissist are to anyone except other malignant Narcissists who would probably never consider seeking anyone else's advice in the first place!
Emphatically no, Popular Prick's tactics seem only entirely suitably motivating for his fellow malignant Narcissists, indeed, who have probably already mastered them already anyhow. Bullshit self-help hucksters are typically ignorant and indifferent to the actual needs and circumstances of others, often complex and varied.
Even assuming for the sake of argument, the efficacy of advice such as that of Popular Prick, then well may one ask: Even given the sheer triviality and stupidity, nevertheless as matter of practical expedient, why so onerous? Because of the intensely shallow and therefore lonely -even in a crowd, exhaustive time and attention required for something so painfully boring and repugnant, effectively locking out more fulfilling engagement. Not that a popular prick could relate, but then, they never can.
It's not just singles who suffer, left out: The affiliation, however genial, of neighborhood parents with little else in common, is often fallow ground for any deeper connection. And matching couples, demands compatibility by a factor of four. Alas that we have fallen prey to an heteronymous dependency upon the stifling behaviorally structured environments of school and employment, to provide propinquity for forging close and enduring friendships: convenient proximity, repeated unplanned interaction, and a setting for unguarded moments to confide in one another. Indeed, the reason travelling is typically so ineffective forging new connections, is because chance contact is consistently superficial, transient, and its unlikely that they will be living anywhere near you or that you'll ever encounter them again.
Worse, there is all manner of pathology, so easy to get sucked into, the more so given boredom and loneliness. Worse still, all manner of factors conspire to make the worst of humanity most omnipresent and readily available, while keeping the best out of view and out of reach.
In the words of Wolfgang Goethe: “Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least” - particularly applicable to people who only waste ones time. But like the tasks before us, the passersby settling into ones orbit, are often fairly trivial. And urgency is all too often more bourn of time sensitivity than of long term importance. How awful then the tyranny of propinquity without opportunity or bereft of motive mindful to be any more proactive.
Alas then, how clichéd social advice typically centers upon recourse to even more arbitrary behavioral structure, such as facilitated by hanging out at the same bars, discos or gyms etc., interminably, or joining and subordinating oneself to various clubs, registering for classes or undertaking the drudgery of volunteer work. But in the alternative, reliance upon spontaneity alone, is futile without actual habits of spontaneity. For autonomous intrinsically motivated interaction to provide the same and actually better social opportunity, the participants must be responsible and indeed intrinsically motivated to continually reengage one another of their own accord, and to network and exchange social support, all even without behavioral structure of schedule or proximity for regular chance reencounter. Exactly such scarce initiative, the lost social skill set of autonomy fallen so out of fashion and into such disrepair, is especially crucial, reciprocally, for sustaining any forward momentum, interpersonally. Too long domesticated, then without any routine provided us, we degenerate into such passive, confused and mistrustful sheeple adrift!
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characterized by attention and responsiveness to one another's needs when
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Therefore poor people, just lacking privacy, tend to have greater Residential Propinquity and therefore more relationship connections because of high population densities, residentially, communally and at work, as well as reliance upon public facilities. Interesting. But the happiness and quality of relationships and social embedment even amongst the poor, varies widely. After all, sheer proximity, and random lowest hanging fruit of low quality connections generally remaining distant, only wastes time, increases boredom and isolation. -To paraphrase a Gian Vincenzo Gravina, boorishly robbing one of solitude without providing much way of good company.
Alas, even those fairly proximate, may remain busy, disinterred, confused, inhibited, or just dull. Worse, the most readily available may be not merely a little needy, but actually fairly predatory. For especially in relative isolation, propinquity is the often the origin of dysfunction and exploitation. Indeed, all to often, the most readily propinquitous actually may be hostile intruders systematically driving out all others, bullies in one's life, indeed all the more dangerous amongst the poor, pressed together so bereft of privacy. Desirable friends are seldom discovered amid simply the most readily proximate and available people. All in all, proximity and thereby: propinquity effect, being the tendency to form relationships with those whom they encounter frequently, can be to disastrous, often resulting in social destiny by default, either for wont of other opportunity of by lack of any greater initiative, opportune spontaneity and/or proactive strategy.
Hanging out interminably, lurking, actually, relies upon the cultivation of seemingly innocuous proximity and propinquity. If only proximity and propinquity could be better controlled, directed and constrained, to selectively qualified leads for better prospects. Indeed, limiting proximity and propinquity selectively, is a common group strategy of self appointed gatekeepers, exploitative relational bullies and cockblockers, maintaining proximity and hijacking propinquity by whatever means necessary.
Much self-help material is premised upon assumptions of crucial access to social circles or else cursory and simplistic advice how to gain or build said. The most cogent and relevant criticisms in rebuttal to all of the above seemingly sensible strategy of those networking gurus, are first of all, of the most blithe oversimplification, promotional puff more than viable instruction, indeed that it is all so extremely advanced, labor and time intensive, and most every element of this process as outlined, is all so much easier said than done, no matter the investment of time and focus, especially starting from scratch in relative naive isolation. What then, for the rest of us (at least pending the dawning of advanced automated Sociometry)? Social support as ever may remain amongst the foremost predicate of capability and success, hence deficiency or mismatch to whatever actual needs, of social support, the very recipe for failure.
All such above exercise of Community Skills is just prevailing superficial and simplistic common sense advice for meeting new people in order to locate and cement new contacts, social and professional. But once again, the real situation comes to light under application of pessimistic explanatory style: Barring functional social embedment, most commonly available social life often tends to be joylessly competitive, insecure, not a passage but a filter, not a conduit but an obstacle course, a calculated discouraging waste of time, a bastion of vested interest if not a minefield of exploitation and bullying outright. All therefore leave us face the ugly truth: it simply does not work because it cannot work, instrumentality equals zero: there is no relationship between performance and outcome, nor is it any fun but completely senseless, no matter how personable and gregarious one may be. Because that's the least of what it's all really about at all.
In the words of Coco Chanel: "Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door."
Don't chat up beautiful women, because no matter how slick you start out, you'll still end up a babbling idiot. (Chances are better by joining in her group to chat up her less attractive friends, while ignoring her completely! Your mileage may vary.) Don't show interest or flirt and hope they'll come over, because they won't. Don't compliment their looks. (Common interests may be at all better appreciated.) Unless you're actually a good dancer, don't dance. You'll only come off spastic! -And it gets worse with age. Don't be be nice, because women prefer manipulative and abusive assholes. And having a dorky given name is no help either.
The problem to begin with, even in setting out to cultivate new relationships or to maintain existing ones, is that, increasingly, such simply is not the game that anyone else is playing. New people interact superficially if at all. They do not bond. Attachment fails more often than not. They often don't really warm up to strangers, and often effectively lack the autonomous executive function to follow up systematically, even in opportunity for promising connections and greater happiness. Insiders tend to be closed off, while outsiders become depressive and withdrawn. And many people are simply overworked. Excessive obligations often tends to suck up human resources leaving desperate exhaustion and alienation in their wake. Communities disintegrate and neighbors are barely if at all acquainted. Depressive and increasingly discouraged passivity rubs off and propagates within social networks as the sheer credibly gap of community at all widens. Initiative has atrophied and learned helplessness prevails. And this significantly undermines all hopes of any effective alliance in the face of whatever of life's adversity.
Beyond all pretensions endemic to runaway evolution and engorged cerebrality, we are still only pack mammals after all. But does that mean all detail of information content exchange, including whatever personal depth of meaning, is all mere trifling nuance and decorative embellishment to crucial interaction on the animal gut level of emotion as salient to all exactly the same social politics, struggle, dominance and submission, just as among any other primates? -Indeed, how every expression tickles others, always reflects upon each individual and determines the persuasiveness, individual standing, position, leverage and influence! And there's the rub:
For, while to remember that we are pack mammals is all fine and good, to forget that we are sapient, means the abandonment of rational persuasion as ineffectual and futile, and hence the surrenders of any hope of seeking the truth for soundly crafting plans and cooperating in considered action, of Epistemological Methodology towards any salient agenda.
Also, the incessant demands of arbitrary social politics must inevitably come into irreconcilable conflict with the six core polemically purposeful and authentic dramatic motivations of dialogue, because preoccupation with effectiveness of social manipulation, endless social grooming and approval seeking, together quickly become all consuming and debilitating, soon to devolve, subvert and defeat all effort at ever conveying any honest and intelligent thoughts, feelings and values, let alone planning and acting thereupon together.
But let's not be pigheaded: Not all compromise is moral compromise. Compromise is often essential, constructive and consummately skilled. But even in any seemingly sensible acknowledgment towards the exigency of compromise with an imperfect world, the advocates of such conventional and normative paradigms of learning and embracing social skills, the veritable champions of heteronomy, all quite fail to appreciate how Faustian a tradeoff they often exhort, how alienating and demoralizing for the intelligent and sensitive, any simplistic reduction of whatever human outreach to any uninspired patient systematic procedure, a meaningless unfulfilling lonely boring alienating and dullardly chore, even excluding the most abusive and destructively dishonest manipulation.
“False happiness renders men stern and proud, and that happiness is never communicated. True happiness renders them kind and sensible, and that happiness is always shared.”
Not selling out, just buying in: Isolated loners are often very ordinary and normal. In social life much as economically and career wise, it's not just any clearly disadvantaged luzers, but indeed, so many of our best and brightest, even actually the most sociable and gregarious, that are failing or underachieving, falling into obscurity and isolation. And many of those who are better socially integrated, much as do the more affluent and secure, can tend to look down on those less successful, forgetting both whatever fortuitous advantages and all the uncritically committed sacrifice that together fuel acceptance into upward mobility, so often more by relentless social climbing than by excellence in any competitive open market on whatever proverbial level playing field.
If we could do it, they grumble so heteronymously, then why should those slackers be exempt? In other words: Ya gotta put in your time / pay your dues. "Service guarantees franchise!" Well, you can have it.
Therefore, let us all pause for a moment to recognize those among us who demonstrate such adequate and indeed superlative social aptitude and natural grace, transcendent of the woes endured by the rest of us typical well meaning but inept nebbishes. For few of us can be so blessed as our most socially adroit. Indeed, many have had to rise to the challenge nevertheless. Therefore, particularly, let us acknowledge the consummate conformists, and all that they have sacrificed deep inside, simply in order to adapt and survive. We whiners and luzers, who have fallen so far short of the bar that you have set, do, nevertheless, rise to salute you and your fortitude!
Indeed, Socrates famously grumbled how expedience would be the death of us all, indeed, fatal terminus to those unexamined lives not worth the living, or else protracted and futile slow death from sheer meaningless unfulfilled lonely boredom even amid the thronging crowds.
Functional and relevant relationship, even in the most transitory sense of immediate interaction let alone lasting attachment, remains oppressively impossible from the sheer cargo cult mimesis that is mere social intelligence into increasingly arbitrary behavioral structure.
Rather, genuine relationship first arises, rather than somehow culminating later on, either by reciprocal engagement in free and coherent, even substantive, communication, exploration, and interaction, indeed from common purposeful endeavor and interaction, or else from the seduction of play and the dignity of social risk with trust, security, ultimately openness in yielding to temptation, all the aforesaid that are the competencies of autonomy, along with organization and congenial social grace to manage and sustain contacts, reciprocally. Rather, genuine relationship, free and deepening exchange, tacitly agenda driven and transparent. -All that is such anathema and typically obstructed by such drone-like heteronymously arbitrary social acumen, skilled incompetence and cronyism, that everywhere buttresses the tacit institutionalization and twisted value of all the most flagrant insensitivity and ineptitude imaginable, the bad driving out the good, and worse, actingout the destructive evil that is rampant bullying.
Indeed, gregariousness and engaging personality may even be reviled as subversive and impertinent to a malagenda of sheer heteronymous group validation in sheer denial of all such profound endemic and pandemic alienation from the innate and intrinsic drives of human expression and connection.
Alas, it's all much the same punishment and reward racket. A racket, after all, is any dishonest scheme or ongoing transaction, all not as it contrives to present itself and as is tacitly accepted or endured by the majority of those involved, but in actuality a scam or fraud, a deceptive practice of coercion and manipulation conducted for the benefit of a few cronies at the expense of the many. The masses will always comply in ever greater effort and diligence jumping through hoops and fighting amongst ourselves for scraps, believing and rationalizing just about anything, all in order to obtain whatever artificial scarcity or bait-and-switch, no matter how plainly contrived. But when it all finally comes crashing down with nothing to show for it all, only the depression and despair of alienation with the futility of the entire meaningless exercise, remains.
Because most social outreach has degenerated into such a meaningless chore not a pleasure, predicated upon pretense rather than expression, lonely boredom and routine rather than creative reciprocal engagement, aloof restraint rather than flirtation, conditionality rather than curiosity, disordered indifference rather than attachment, controlling snobbery rather than egalitarian hospitality, and situationally: the quailing heteronymizing decidophobia of humiliation and faux pas rather than the rugged and autonomous dignity of risk in the quest for acceptance and understanding. Intrinsic motivation is first aroused only then to be systematically thwarted, punished, conditioned out, heteronymously bullied, sublimated, suppressed and unfulfilled all in hopes of whatever extrinsic rewards that are long if ever in coming. What is there at all even conceivably any less playful or gregarious?
Such is the great treasure that is socialization. -It's all for you own good, dear! And they ask why intelligent people are so often alienated and unhappy! As with most anyone, our needs remain unmet.
Alienation, estranged emotional disassociation and consequent depression, can be so disorienting and even paranoid as to bring on nausea and rage, or perhaps more often, the desperate defense of sheer denial. Alienation is the even surreal situation wherein the individual can no longer discern meaningful value or relevantly useful propose in any feature or contents of an inexplicably hostile or indifferent surrounding environment; in the words of Jean Baker Miller: “inability to find ways of organizing society for human ends.”
For happiness, the challenges of social life, as with any other personal responsibility, ought to fall within individual power, resources and capability. Engagement in social interaction should be available, bully proof, reasonably transparent, actually welcome, varied, stimulating, diverting, valuable, substantive and fulfilling, leading via growing acquaintance almost as a matter of course, to longer term interpersonal attachments. Whereas, alienation is a product of frustration with daunting social challenges in the navigation of ever more senselessly dystressful and barren social mazes and minefields into ever more vast and boring robotic social wastelands.
Capitalist crass consumer materialism makes for such an easy and popular target. After all, in order to market goods, services, and especially recreation, all with precious little distinction, advertisement panders to sublimation via mystique of association to every desire, not only with social status and popularity, or even basic id drives as greed, gluttony and lust, to luxury and soothing comfort where joy is already forgotten, but frequently to such human needs as the exaltation of freedom, the warmth of friendship and even the peaceful satisfaction of quiet reflection which is indeed a practice of thought and intellect, the ego. But in truth, all the aforesaid is more instructive than it is actually malignant. For is anyone nowadays really deceived anymore by advertising cliché? In truth, as the saying goes: "Money is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master."
The worse satisfice and far more destructive, remains the rat race of social skilling in pursuit of heteronymous social success, that has so poisonously tabooed all true fulfillment and human flourishing, keeping genuine happiness even out of mind as well as out of reach and readily dismissed as pipedream for wont of prior foundation or justification. And in order to be sustained in practice, values must be reinforced, kept both in view and within reach. Heteronymous false values are typically promulgated by heavy indoctrination, but the striving for true human values is awakened by sheer temptation in the form of autonomy support and the Capability Approach.
Behaviorist social skilling dumbing down and lowered expectation appropriately to such eviscerated social environments and hostile conditions, offer no remedy pertinent to genuine individual needs, but only deepen despair. It has even been suggested that the successful and congenial conduct of modern social life already requires, not just electronic communication facilities, but real computational power and extensive data, an unmet need, the market gap, to be addressed by advanced automated Sociometry.
Indeed all of the preceding also applies politically, as political powerlessness: helplessness to influence government, political meaninglessness: wherein political decisions seem unclear and unpredictable, political normlessness: the individual perception that norms or rules intended to govern political relations have broken down, and that departures from prescribed behavior are common, political isolation: individual rejection of political norms and goals put forth, that are widely held and shared by others.
For alienation is the process of becoming a stranger, increasingly powerless and foreign to the very world in which one exists, often in a changing world even engendering nostalgia for any mythic past of harmony and contentment.
Alienation is estrangement, division, fragmentation of social bonds and community, or distancing of people from each other, or of people from whatever is important or meaningful to them, even from comprehension and objective reality or of an individual from their own sense of self, dissociation and inner conflict, all inevitable within any superficial and depersonalized society.
Among the many dimensions of alienation including powerlessness, meaningless Nihilism, normlessness (anomie), social isolation, cultural estrangement and self-estrangement amid an increasingly surreal incomprehensibly hostile environment or situation, the twisted ostensible motivation of Masochistically feigned mercy is no honest excuse for the adaptively sycophantic appeasement of faceless abusers of power, that in no way resembles genuine sympathetic compassion for individuals one can actually relate to, a legitimate and redeeming purpose, nor likewise even sound rationality. In the aftermath of Zen futile Nihilistic value destruction, skills of amoral social intelligence quickly become little more than the foulest mockery and perversion of meaningful and genuine humane sensitivity and wisdom.
Indeed, Beware Skilled Incompetence, the consequent dishonestly heteronymous adaptation by gutless executives marshalling information Inductively, and thereby manipulatively avoiding any relevant productive outcome of conflict on any level from controversy and never changing the course of action, fixed malagenda under predisposition to heteronymous Cohesion-Norms of Groupthink team traps of Stockholm Syndrome (to whatever degree)! Exactly thus, whether directly by overbearing power and authority or more deviously by consensus manipulation, and often with the aid of negative stereotypes of outsiders, are dissenters and opposing views never properly argued with, but merely ignored under tacit rationalization of group invulnerability, evidence to the contrary minimized and trivialized, that decisions made by the group cannot be "made-wrong."
Alienation, then, is the personal, pervasive and permanent condition in which individuals find themselves at utter cross purposes with, and dominated by, destructive forces and user-hostile institutions of our own creation, driven by their own Monopolistic agendas, confronting the individual as overbearing, loveless, conditional, bullying, entrenched, threatening and manipulative alien powers amid the demoralization of society.
Such high hopes are vested in progress in the field of advanced automated Sociometry in reversing pandemic alienation, precisely because what is actu1ally so sorely needed is the formation of ones own serviceably helpful social circles or peer groups in order to facilitate optimal extended networking and quality compatible introductions, rather than drifting into isolation or falling in with dysfunction and bullying exploitation. But the true pervasively heteronymous anti-intellectual tabooed open secret root cause of the problem remains painfully irrelevant recreational small talk so bereft of all motivation and purpose of autonomy.
Actual human motivation is often neither from intrinsic arousal in whatever the doing for its own sake, nor even merely extrinsic for whatever hoped for payoff. Hence, people by in large are neither just impulsive nor are they opportunistic and/or cautious rational agents, all to often just conservative in their actions and decisions, often most compellingly motivated as it may turn out, by such as will be found in whatever their perception of vested interest, of which even the ongoing self justification, however deranged and hypocritical, that is called: Existential Validation, is only an aspect. Vested interest is whatever personal stake or special interest in protecting or promoting that whereof derives howsoever perceived personal benefit or advantage. Even what little that passes for moral restrictions at all, may largely reflect the individual vested interest in whatever social order that in turn at all both intimidates and protects said individual by whatever much the same credible threat. People often become motivated only by buying into indoctrination, by internalizing extrinsic motivators, one way or another into whatever particular investment of sacrifice. And people are notoriously reluctant to let loose of past sacrifice invested, no matter how clearly in vein. Otherwise, should indoctrination and sublimation fail, coercion alone accrues alienation and depression. And this is why faith is so prized: Because it promotes the heteronymous illusion of belonging.
Whatever is ever truly invested in the individual may reflect what is vested in said individual by others. Woody Allen opined that “Eighty percent of success is showing up." But it helps, first, to be invited. Indeed, in the words of Arthur H. Vandenberg: “It is less important to redistribute wealth than it is to redistribute opportunity.” In particular, in a truly functional circle of friends, networking by others on behalf of an individual ideally best and most straightforwardly serves the interests, preferences, needs and desires of said individual in true and abiding autonomy supportive respect.
Alas more often, within the attachment disorder of exploitative cliques as much as with self help gurus or any other racket, there arises considerable moral hazard, being: circumstances in which one party, with impunity, insulated from risk, is prone to act on another's behalf expending whatever that other's resources, tangible or intangible, in advance of entirely any other agenda than simply the best interests, preference, needs and desires of the individual ostensibly served. And the individual so exploited, in rationalizing cognitive dissonance often simply makes do actually because of their own fearful prior investment of sacrifice and vested interest accrued. Thus are individuals so often manipulatively deceived, brought together or wedged apart for various scheming exploitative advantage of sly amoral self serving sociopathic relational bullies, hypocritical gang stalking predatory cockblockers and worse.
And aside, for good or ill, from networking within whatever fateful social embedment, there remain whatever readily available alienating and lonely avenues of futile outreach that truly only exist for whatever socially institutionalized ulterior agendas and rackets. These boring senseless routines so impoverished of intrinsic motivation, with nothing truly engaging, so bereft not only of meaning and purpose on the one hand, but also of any spontaneous playful fun in the other, are amongst the most punishing of life's chores and most insidious of indoctrination and lessons of heteronomy. Indeed, according to H.-G. Gadamer’s ”philosophical hermeneutics” 5.Gadamer, H-G.: ”Der Begriff des Spiels” in ”Wahrheit und Metode” vol. I. 1960., play is the key category through which human beings are brought on terms with the world and to mutual understanding. Therefore it can only follow that anhedonic alienation and estrangement with situation become inevitable in any way of life both so purposeless and so utterly stultified of any sense of play.
Indeed, even if one does actually meet new people, it's often a waste of time. Whatever hoped for purpose in meeting them will typically not be accomplished. Consider the utter cross purpose of any standard bureaucratic ambush: Ever been inveigled into attending a meeting by means of complete lies as to whatever agenda or purpose of said meeting? Why, I have even had the unfortunate acquaintance of a manipulative bully both so desperately lonely and so consumed with controlling jealousy, that he would organize disastrous get-togethers by inviting, pleading and wheedling each person on an entirely different bait-and-switch false pretext, and going to great pains in order to thwart networking between them, let alone that we might actually compare notes! Granted that such may be an extreme case, but when was the last time you where wooed rather than bamboozled and extorted, and could really feel that others actually drew collective strength and sought to build personal advantage and value from better connecting and empowering you, first?
Employment is a sore travail wherein the most incompatible people are pressed together against their will. School is an heteronymously cliquish paranoid and standardized behaviorally structured stultified and stimulus impoverished environment populated by perpetually cagey students ever consumed with the scholastic rat race and the perpetually Sophomoric social pecking order, hence ever terrified of association with the unpopular. Volunteerism is for some else's chores. -Drudgery such as typically does not involve the high levels of interaction and cooperation such as to illicit equally high levels of sociability while curtailing antisocial conduct and rejection. Indeed, even grassroots political activism does not facilitate genuine political representation and input into policy. Conditionality is the order of the day: "Join us comrade, or fuck off!" Indeed, take a seat at their table, but never order off menu.
And recreation is no less standardized, behaviorally structured and stultified. Indeed, the sheer restrictive and trivializing irrelevancy of online dating, just for prime example, typically exacerbates human superficiality. And night life presents a similar predatory business model to that of the casino, though likewise flashy bright and noisy, nevertheless also deliberately stimulus impoverished environment situationally contrived to dazzle, ensnare and then thwart the exploited mark. Upon entering a casino, a simple consideration of the vested interests of the casino owner will explain why the patron cannot readily profit from gambling. Upon entering a bar or dance club, likewise a consideration of the various social and economic stake holders and vested interests in play, will explain why the physical environment is similarly over stimulating while the social environment is so under stimulating, as well as the difficulty in achieving whatever extrinsic payoff in hoped for connections, in no less of a zero sum game than Poker and far less fair. For men, success rates typical to night life are abysmal low. In the classic prisoner's dilemma that is the battle of the sexes, women tentatively building confidence are seldom more daring than to bask in a little attention from would be suitors often in fierce and even dangerous cutthroat competition.
Few people are ever completely joined in or completely dropped out. Rather, there is a vast range of degree. Opportunity, such as it will be, depends upon tacit agenda actually defined by attachment as cemented by the stakes vested by people in one another. Networking facility and social success like any other opportunity in society or credible threat in protection of ones own standing, remains a factor of the stakes and the trust that others will place in whichever particular individual. And the timidity of heteronomy is a desperation vested only in the social order and to the exclusion of individual attachment and respect, risk taken in friendship and vested in talent, with trust placed in content of character.
So, is there any practical alternative approach? Dare one declare: To Hell with proximity and propinquity, interpersonal networking, and the entire rat race of those utter tools! If social life really has become so much like operating behind enemy lines, then:
What about actually going underground?
Clandestine HUMINT asset recruiting so vital in spycraft and espionage reality, with all the vast resource and connection of the intelligence community brought to bear, is also a favorite staple of spy fiction deep intrigues. From the first season of 'The Avengers' before the character was developed into the even somewhat fancifully iconic archetypical English gentleman, paragon of unflappable grace, demeanor, aplomb and dry wit, a more roguish and even at all more believable secret agent John Steed, with even something of the air of a charming and affable con artist, would traverse the English countryside cultivating all manner of his own specialist personal intelligence assets, maintaining existing working relationships and scouting new talent: interpersonal networking and canvassing, preliminary research culminating in the howsoever systematic initiation of direct contact with whatever target group of individuals.
This, of course, is how he would end up in long term Platonic partnerships with leather clad aristocratic lady martial artists. (No sex please, we're British!) Remember, this is 60's television.
But returning to reality, even the most personable of individuals often struggle in sheer exasperation to meet new people, forge relationships and break isolation. And all too often, social exclusion and abusive bullying and backbiting replete with all manner devious covert relational hostility easily rivaling the most labyrinthine intrigues of espionage, real or fictional, often renders all social outreach effort even the more futile and unpleasant.
And so to employ an at all parallel stock dramatic situation, what about a criminal wanted by the law, a fugitive, persecuted untouchable pariah or spy trapped behind enemy lines, daring not to show themselves in public in order to socialize and network for whatever needed connections and resources? How can one effectively research, spot and reach out privately, to desired relationship prospects? Indeed, what can we learn from confidence tricksters and serial killers, so expertly targeting vulnerable victims and so readily connecting with enthusiastic cohorts? Or indeed from all manner furtive sexual deviants seeking one another in the bad old days of darkest intolerance and taboo? Or more prosaically, is there anything applicable for adaptation in order to ferret out the proverbial unmet fried or the place where one is needed, from the methods of corporate headhunters in pursuit of passive candidates, intelligence gathering in order to identify and then woo qualified personnel even such as who are not actively job hunting and seeking attention at that time? Alas, unlike so much else malignant nonsense, heteronomy and snake oil, the subversive notion in very thought towards strategy in attempt at bypassing a racket so obviously unworkably standardized by design, is a realm of question actually deemed indecent, indiscreet, awkward and squeamish taboo; indeed: "unspylike." (No, really!) And what experience could ever be more surreal and alienating then that?
Unhappiness results from suffering, deprivation, frustration and fear or anxiety. Causes of unhappiness and misery include wrong doing, foolishness, unthinking poor judgment, mistreatment, cruelty, abuse of power, misfortune, stress, boredom and loneliness.
And learned helplessness is passive behavior produced by exposure to unavoidable aversive events, unpleasant experiences. When anyone perceives, correctly or incorrectly, that they have no control over their life, understandably often may give up trying, thus entering deep depression.
Passivity, depression, learned helplessness, giving up and refusal to try, may all help assuage mounting anxiety at the prospect of risk, great or small. But such coping strategy is to take refuge in ever deepening depression, even to the point suicidal despair. Simply giving up typically provides some stress relief in the short term, while exacerbating excruciating despair in the long term.
Naturally, the unhappy are more easily manipulated because, readily, the unhappy individual is well motivated to seek consolation and relief from the pain thereof. -to feel better, to be consoled, to be reaffirmed, to feel whole and complete. As ever, marketing often strives to confuse and inveigle the consumer in to compensation for genuine underserved needs, via the elicitation of positive associations and mystique, seldom actually substantiated in whatever goods or services. For such is the shameless peddling of false hope!
Hence, it becomes fairly simple for actual punishment and reward systems subtext only ever signaling the same dire lack of sufficiently engaging intrinsic value and eliciting overjustification effect, thereby to demoralize and control the ways and means by which the unhappy individual seeks comfort, consolation and respite. Thence, what will become more convenient than, one way or another, to market whatever the most readily available false hope instead of whatever they are really missing, but have been discouraged? All, however, to persistent futility. For what can be the point?
Alas, many people can never even conceive of questioning whatever the prevalent superficial common wisdom, no matter how consistently it ever fails them in practice, emphasizing a mythology detailing some or other prescribed mechanics of prospecting for connections in utter disregard of every purpose, sense or meaning motivating outreach to begin with, the incessant demands of arbitrary social politics inevitably coming into irreconcilable conflict with the six core polemically purposeful and authentic dramatic motivations of dialogue.
In practice, often friendship grows from acquaintance in any given context, by extending the boundaries by involving the other person in other interpersonal or social contexts. Nevertheless, obviously there must be far more to it. Otherwise, loneliness would be vastly uncommon.
Whereas indeed solitary futility is actually the single core value embraced and extolled of the Zen, in the alternative, any true solution to loneliness must instead address the inextricable discontent of sheer Existential pointlessness by the exchange of attention as only possible given engagement in the reciprocal stimulus of meaningful content, expression and attention.
Because, even putting aside the most ruthlessly cynical how-to's of exploitative social climbing and frantically networking the cold and vast in actual practice and for all purposes and intents punishment and reward system of acquaintance (likewise subtext only ever signaling the same dire lack of sufficiently engaging intrinsic value and thereby eliciting overjustification effect) amid all of the failed and trivializingly superficial commonsense advice towards overcoming loneliness, suitable enough only for simple and moderate shyness or uncomplicated social anxiety, of where to hang out, flexibility, lowered expectation, making do with whatever company can be had, however empty, quiet patient perseverance in order to come off more cool, staying active however arbitrarily and likewise organizing one's schedule, who to keep in touch, how to strike up conversation, and even screwing up the courage to confide one's woes, only rarely does the sense of sheer futility and the frustrated quest for intrinsically meaningful and engaging value enter as an aspect of loneliness or frustrated motivation, alas unless in the context of the most dauntingly senseless religious proselytizing.
Alas, even where the motivating quest for meaning and value is howsoever attended to, in relation to loneliness or not, and even with the sense of crisis so well deserved, nowhere does the abstract ever seem to connect to any strategic application or action agenda. After all, practical advice is typically divorced from abstract principle as a matter of pervasive taboo.
Substantive change demands not only a healthy discontent, even however restless, but conviction that it is in what we do, the context and content thereof and how we interact that we need some point to it, and very much for it's own sake and in the doing thereof as an essential and indispensable pressing human need or core value, rather than strictly optional or auxiliary, some mere ornamental crowning touch, let alone pragmatically superfluous or actually impractical.
To overcome alienation, the values of intrinsic motivation must first be reclaimed from the clutches of systematic bait and switch of sublimation. Escape from alienated dependency upon social institutions requires nothing less than the wherewithal to organize and fully immersively engage and interact in meaningful pleasurabe interaction, even cooperation and collaboration.
No, it is not interminably hanging out for small talk that needs or deserves to be given any sort of a chance. Indeed, really giving anyone any chance at all, requires honest attention, genuine interest and sympathy, relative true intimacy that may likely to demand relative privacy in opposition to expectations of brainless and conformist hanging out. Individual freedom and security in any broader social contexts in order to ever really give anyone any chance, will never be achieved so long as doing nothing in particular remains so consuming and exacting a pursuit. Not everyone really has the passion for that bizarre sport.
Indeed, people first of all simply need to be. Therefore, greater true civility and vastly relaxed and simplified norms must come to the defense of even however incidental casual expression of identity. Only then will average people ever finally discover personal resources to spare for cultivating real talent and passionate genuine interests.
Indeed, the inadequacy of ordinary sheer social ineptitude can scarcely be any more daunting and baffling than, to the contrary, the despair that is transmitted from highly skilled Incompetence in adept compliance with every expectation. -oppression propagating among the oppressed!
Perhaps we might imagine that in some bygone era, what once was agreeable to one's fellow human beings was simply that one shared their burden, that they might reciprocate. It still is, except that the burden now a days, rather than actually relating to one another, is the miserable compliant embrace of alienation in a milieu wherein veritably by design, no one's needs can ever be met.
Boredom is resolved only by anything interesting enough to sustain attention. While love and happiness are supplied from someone from whom to exchange needed attention and engaging stimuli, that is, anyone who adequately relate to one another. -And loneliness is the absence all thereof, empty of meaning, sheer pointless futility and utter irrelevance.
Indeed, the active psychiatrically Nihilistic engagement in loneliness even within social interaction, is boredom perpetuated under the noxious scam of boring people relying upon others likewise confused, helpless and not paying enough attention ever even to notice or care that no one is really paying attention to one another, repressed into sheer indifference beyond any sheer bother to relate.
But surely, what we all really need to share is in the fundamental exercise of freedom being nothing less than the perceptive and intelligent quest for any effective struggle to overcome alienation and loneliness, to connect in order to mount any resistance, making every reasonable effort to improve our lives, rather than endemic blithe rationalization, bogus support group ethos marshmallow-throwing and co-validation wallowing in denial and unaware incompetent accommodation thereof.
Indeed, given food, shelter, medicine and even entertainment, what else still remains more important to real progress than human connection of stimulus and attention in whatever expression and cultivation of our talents?
Because it is not enough that what passes for education and the dreary employment the end thereof, are both behaviorally structured and standardized, therefore so must be the bulk of the leisure consumption and comfort for which they are the Faustian price. Alas, for all too many, the necessary cost of recreation, typically consumer standardized, the desperate effort and struggle to recover, on ones own time and expense, from the debilitating learned helpless sheer exhaustion, fear and loathing of exactly the ever so vigorously marketed dubious practical and Existential guarantees they all swear by, namely their family lives, schooling and job careers that they lead, has become the Narcissistic superficial mimesis and introverited oblivion of sheer cognitive, emotional and social disassociation, living death, pointless and awkward "hanging out," banal small talk, fake fun, leaving little room for true immersive passion, trust, care and involvement in any experience of anything or anyone else or much of any deeply personal value.
Instead, only joyless unfulfilling toxic fear-based co-validation and satisfice in the embrace of superficial relations and oppressive conditionality, painfully corseted and closeted even out in the open! with determined satisfice committed to the profound alienation of networking only under whatever terms and purpose defined by unstated and uncritical consensus agenda, as proverbial cogs in the metaphorical machine and entrenchment in lives not much worth the living. -Making do with standardized in terror of being left out entirely and going nowhere at all, and worse still, of rejection, hostility, exposure and real danger to oneself and ones loved ones, of worse exploitation, even harsher abuse and life threatening decline. Lastly, determined inner life satisfice, consisting of whatever lonely individual resources and coping methods, however, weird, freakish, outré and bizarre outright or however dull, boring, downright ordinary, bland and banal.
And all such culminating in the very dread of hope itself, lest the temptation to risk may somehow ever jeopardize all so hard won in meek complacency and surrender. Even the inability otherwise to relate at all! In brief, all of the crushingly heavy and somber Existential responsibilities of heteronomy.
For, to quote George Orwell:
Such phobia of meaningful involvement and engagement also goes a long way in explaining the common and vulgar preference for the distance of empty idle gossip and groupthink over the Epistemologically and Methodologically penetrating discovery of interview and investigation yielding real knowledge.
According to Tom Hodgkinson, founder of the Idler magazine: "With a very few exceptions the world of jobs is characterized by stifling boredom, grinding tedium, poverty, petty jealousies, sexual harassment, loneliness, deranged co-workers, bullying bosses, seething resentment, illness, exploitation, stress, helplessness, hellish commutes, humiliation, depression, appalling ethics, physical fatigue and mental exhaustion."
Alas, however, suffering
travail does not end at work or
school. Unlike the
alienated and futile
struggle to relax endemic to what is called:
recreation and the
further aggravation and desperation of prospecting and dating, any joy in leisure and
dalliance for either their own sake, need also partake in idle
unconcern with outcome to take care of itself. -Otherwise, yet
another chore at best, if not at the very worst: an abyss of cynical strife and deep
"The way of the idler is a chaotic one," writes Hodgkinson. "He attempts to escape from programmes, theories, formal spiritual practice, order, discipline… The idler's desire is to live with no rules, or only rules that have been invented by himself." And exactly that is a tremendous risk; sacrifice, great lonely effort, endurance and endless struggle from which the average person tends to flee. Indeed, just as Oscar Wilde said, doing nothing is hard work!
Indeed, in solitary idleness and contemplation is often the larger part of cogitation, pondering and processing culminating in planning towards productive work only at the end. The same is often true of interpersonal free exchange and collaborative brainstorming, likewise to culminate only much later on in any organized cooperation.
As a matter of Professional Ethics, a doctor such as a Psychotherapist, much as an attorney or an accountant, works only for the client or patient, with no ambiguity on that score. By way of example for purposes of illustration, an inner conflicted patient in Psychotherapy may get to the root of and overcome even actually criminal compulsions. On the other hand, the patient may instead come to a personal realization that in their heart of hearts they simply consider the law intolerably unjust, overcome false guilt, and rededicate themselves more wholeheartedly and effectively to a life of crime.
Indeed, the Professional Ethics of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy often stands accused of even depraved amorality precisely because Psychotherapy must never take sides, except in service to the patient. But when instead conformity or compliance are allowed to enter as desiderata, as indeed such are the sole treatment criteria as they are in Behavior Modification, conflict of interests is intrinsic and manifest.
And the same problem looms large over any conceivable social skills remediation in any treatment, consultancy, mentorship, counseling, educational or even howsoever parenting context whatsoever, ever pressing the tabooed saliently fundamental question:
'Motility' or 'impulse formation' are the names given for the process of deferred gratification beginning from desire or aversion, into follow through in planning and preparation towards an outcome of effective response and success. But the motility or impulse formation of human attachment and bonding is generally not as good as it might be, conceivably, between true rational agents endowed also with empathy. Instead, we have what are called: "social skills" for predicting and responding to the prevailing willfully reciprocal nebbish mental incompetence in outreach and bonding, and all manner of perfectly confusing and insane prevailing expectations.
Forget the popular kids! The skills of friendship and those of popularity are frequently at odds. My friends tend to be folks who just can't get the telephone out of their ears! The telephone affords safe privacy for one to one communication and interaction. So unless, of course, we have nothing to talk about, nothing of interest or importance to you, even from all that the reader will find here on FoolQuest.com, on my mind, and nothing to offer of myself, then what I need you to do, is to be a big slut, pick up the phone and call me! Well, you'll need to email me first, but is that really any less slutty? Or post to my forums, and help me draw a crowd. I digress, however.
Can there ever be any hope that an experience of real freedom under true acceptance rather than only restrictive and invalidating conditionality, is even possible? For how cynical, alienated and lonely if impossible! Can there even exist or occur any kind of membership and belonging that does not inevitably demand and inflict heteronomy and compromise autonomy? And how can that be? The need for organization and even recourse to any minimum of authority, is manifest. So sheer anarchy is no answer. However, if some is good, it hardly follows that more is better. Indeed, as for the imposition of authority, a sharp curve of diminishing and negative returns applies! A better general answer is that collective membership or social participation reinforces shared values, and as corroborated by repeated observation, said values can be democratic and of autonomy rather than of conformism and heteronomy. Better still, such values as relative equality are sometimes even ever put into practice. But this may all be easier said than done. The key, in turn, can be play, most loosely defined as creativity for its own joy, and common to all mammals. But play alone is not enough, for many obvious motivations both intrinsic and practical. It can't always be playtime because serious considerations must be tended to, and besides, there is all manner of contemplation, expression and relationship that is deep and solemn. Indeed, happy people talk more seriously. But the key can also be creative problem solving, to reiterate: the one uniquely human interaction as observed by Cultural Anthropology to transcend the behavioral predictability of hierarchical dominance.
Are social skills, indeed, anything more than adaptive behavior sets, extrinsically motivated trained seal conditioned responses in pursuit of vested interest under punishment and reward systems? Again, according to meta-study, simple unsophisticated and straightforward social skills training in any one social context, followed somewhat robotically, breaks down completely in transition to the next.
Under those circumstances, the greatest impairment to vaunted social skills, is simply dissidence and autonomy. Hence all the greater appeal of Transactional Analysis striving towards some subversive conduct within dharma. Alas, any of the same old same old, is readily marketed to subversive mystique, nowadays.
“My first experiences of academic friendship made me smile in after years when I looked back on them. But my circle of acquaintances had gradually grown so large that it was only natural new friendships should grow out of it.”
— Georg Brandes
“Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.” — Samuel Butler
“If a man does not
make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find
himself alone. A man
his friendships in constant repair.”
“A true friend is the greatest of all blessings, and that which we take the least care of all to acquire.”
— Francois de La Rochefoucauld
“Friends and acquaintances are the surest passport to fortune.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer
“It's not what you know, but who you know.” — Anon.
Meaning, of course: how connected you are, even for the most rank incompetents and scoundrels, that will be all too often so much more key to success even than the very greatest ability, all too often unrecognized and unrewarded.
And hence, who you can get to know or: make acquaintance. Networking.
Indeed, or, var: “It’s not what you know or who you know, but who you sorta-know.”
Or, var: “It's not who you know, but who knows you!” For: “Celebrity is the advantage of being known to people who we don't know, and who don't know us.” — Nicolas de Chamfort
But just perhaps, exactly as the abuse of power wielded by bullies and self appointed social gatekeepers who are essentially monopolistic, closing ranks in order to obstruct and extort all others via artificial scarcity, and thus promoting mass fear and stifling intimidation, likewise friendship and generosity in helping bring success and popularity to others, the doors one is reputed to open freely for others, especially by making introductions, networking connections and building functional webs of support, is all what actually creates value to generate demand, thus in turn leveraging one's own social capital, reputation, popularity and success.
— Matthew Adams
“If you want happiness for
an hour…take a nap.
— Chinese Proverb.
— Ambrose Bierce
By definition, a social pariah is impoverished and unattractive hence
offering no such tacit bribe of tangible advantage in acquaintance as
any asset of social capital or leverage,
therefore aggravated and with nothing to loose, indeed,
lonely and desperately
motivated to the
expression consisting of sound reasoning and accurate information.
Commentary: Indeed, Sun Tzu observes that if the enemy seeks peace or opens negotiations unexpectedly, they are actually scheming, and that apology and humility likely just a delaying ploy playing for time and respite to regroup. Moreover: "To fail to take the battle to the enemy when your back is to the wall is to perish." For to quote Richard Mitchell: “You can shoot the tiger, or stay out of his way, but you cannot pronounce him a vegetarian.”
Hypocrisy, compassion and cynical tact
“Someday we'll look back on this, laugh nervously, and change the subject.”
“When a stranger identifies you from a friend's description, it's just as well you didn't hear the description.”
“You may live a long while with some people and be on friendly terms with them and never speak openly with them from your soul.”
— Ivan Turgenev
“Don't believe your friends when they ask you to be honest with them. All they really want is to be maintained in the good opinion they have of themselves.”
— Albert Camus
Honest friendship and honor
“We call that person who has lost his father, an orphan; and a widower that man who has lost his wife. But that man who has known the immense unhappiness of losing a friend, by what name do we call him? Here every language is silent and holds its peace in impotence.”
— Joseph Roux
4:8 There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.
4:9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
— Ecclesiastes, King James version
“What makes loneliness an anguish is not that I have no one to share my burden, but this: I have only my own burden to bear.”
— Dag Hammarskjold
4:10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
4:11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
4:12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
— Ecclesiastes, King James version
“No man is useless
while he has a friend.” — Robert
“I think a man only needs one thing in life. He just needs someone to love. If you can't give him that, then give him something to hope for. And if you can't give him that, just give him something to do.”
“The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”
— Allan K. Chalmers
“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”
— Benjamin Disraeli
“The philosophy called individualism is a philosophy of social cooperation and the progressive intensification of the social nexus.”
— Ludwig von Mises
“There is no pleasure to me without communication: there is not so much as a sprightly thought comes into my mind that it does not grieve me to have produced alone, and that I have no one to tell it to.”
— Michel Eyquem De Montaigne
“The greatest compliment that was ever paid to me was when someone asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”
— Henry David Thoreau
“Philosophers, writers, artists, even scientists, not only need encouragement and an audience, they need constant stimulation from other people. It is almost impossible to think without talking. If Defoe had really lived on a desert island, he could not have written Robinson Crusoe, nor would he have wanted to. Take away freedom of speech, and the creative faculties dry up.”
— 'Conversation with a Pacifist' by George Orwell
“You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts...” — Kahlil Gibran
“To picture a truly alienated man, picture a Kafka to whom it had never occurred to write a word.”
— Percy, Walker, 'The Man in the Train', in The Message in the Bottle, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, N.Y., 1975, p. 83.
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
— Anais Nin
“Tell me what company thou keepst, and I'll tell thee what thou art.”
— Miguel de Cervantes
“Anyone can tell you it won't hurt tomorrow. I'm here to listen while it hurts today.”
"The malheureux need nothing else in this world but men capable of paying attention to them. The capability to pay attention to the malheureux is something very rare, very difficult; it's almost a miracle. Almost all those who think they have this capacity, don't. Warmth, the heart's reaching out, pity, all these are not sufficient. [...] Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity."
— Simone Weil
“An understanding friend is better than a therapist; and cheaper too!”
“The best mirror is an old friend.” — George Herbert
“Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.”
— Richard Bach
“One's friends are that part of the human race with which one can be human.”
— George Santayana
“For when two beings who are not friends are near each other there is no meeting, and when friends are far apart there is no separation.”
— Jason Jordan
Copyright 2004 - 2017 Aaron Agassi UNMET FRIEND