Another Friday has rolled around and that means, Rory, aka A Guy Called Bloke, has another Friday Four.
The Friday Four
1] Does modern life give us more freedom or less freedom than in the past?
Modern life gives us more freedom than in the past, but that doesn’t mean we are free. Or maybe there is as much freedom, but time has shifted where the burdens (non-freedoms) are at now. Ways we are freer now are having running water indoors; indoor plumbing; heating sources other than chopping wood; food sources are a trip to the grocery store; our motorized vehicles can take us across across the country in a matter of days, or hours in a plane; we have portable phones that fit in the palm of our hands; instant communication to anywhere in the world electronically. To me, part of freedom is one’s mobility, and all of the above give us mobility. Of course I’m not speaking for every human on the planet, only the humans within my scope of knowledge and experience.
Where we are less free is in the way laws, regulations, enforcement, etc. has steadily increased. Not only that, the overlords have increasingly sophisticated methods of monitoring each and every one of us. If you don’t believe that, watch one or both of the movies on Edward Snow (one a documentary with Snow himself and one a fictionalized movie with Joseph Gordon Leavitt). We fight wars with drones now, which can be considered more freedom, but this brings up the question, freedom to do what?
2] How do we know that our life as we live it, is actually our own life and that we are not trapped in an imaginary world of our own making?
Pinch yourself and see if it hurts. I’m being facetious, but the physicality of our lives is what confirms they are real. There are schools of thought that believe a virtual world is real enough. I see Word Press as a virtual world in many ways. A virtual world can be very intellectually satisfying, and sometimes satisfying — vs some other thing not so good — is enough.
3] How do you think we should measure the successes of our life? Is it the things we do day in day out? Is it purely a number crunching exercise as to how long we actually live on the planet? Or is it something else?
Rory, this is a tough one. Success is such a vast term and it would be presumptuous to try to say how others should measure it. For me, being successful is being able to function in the world in a way that makes it possible for me to count on having food, clothing, and shelter. Success is being able to keep my questioning and creative spirits alive in myself and not only alive but to actively nourish these things within myself. Building connecting threads of genuine human connection with others is success to me, and that isn’t always easy, as it means consciously shutting my ego down at times, as egos can be overpowering to the more gentle among us.
4] We hear and read people who make claim to living an ordinary life. What is exactly that anyway? I mean if we request for others to define ‘normal’, then surely we should also ask others to define an ordinary life?
Sorry, unanswerable, Rory. I know what an ordinary life is for me (see #3), but ordinary is an individual thing, not a group thing. We may end up sharing many/most attributes with some/many others, but don’t assume that those common attributes are always positive ones.