December 30, 2017
Author: Bianca Yang
A friend recently asked me if an entertainment-based economy had long-term potential. I avoided answering the question, mainly because I felt considerations about human capacity for entertainment were more interesting. But I think we basically live in such an economy. Most people would rather not work in resource-based industries like mining and manufacturing, etc., and prefer to work in service industries like tech, travel, and healthcare. All the service-based industries operate on a need to capture our attention for long, uninterrupted periods of time. Tech is largely advertising supported, which is just another way of saying that it is a race to keep us occupied on certain platforms for as long as possible. The subscription side of tech operates in basically the same way, because every platform needs you to find enough value in spending time on the tool to maintain the subscription. Travel companies want you to travel more and with more luxury. Healthcare wants you to subscribe to more drugs and more treatments for longer periods of time. Some of these concepts may be better spelled out in Phishing for Phools.
I started thinking about this concept entertainment-based society again today, and did a quick google search to see if someone more intelligent had pondered this thought. One of the results brought me to a resource-based economy website. I still don’t understand this New Age reworking of society, but its promise to remove us from the currently dysfunctional system is beautifully tempting. I am sick of jerkfaces who think that ideas like this are too idyllic to be realized. Those are the people who prefer the current system because of the incentives they have to stay within it. Those are the people who fear change because their perspective is too short-term. Life is inherently hard. Life is inherently flawed. But surely there is a way to create a society that is more fulfilling for the participants. Cut the 9-5 idiocy, the advertising-based industries, the toxic and constant phishing, all the temptations of modern life that have removed us from the beauty around us.
Change is an internal mechanism. We create emotions within ourselves and allow them to manifest in our daily interactions. Our pain and suffering is a result of our dissatisfaction with the inequities of the world. Anger can be righteous. But how can we become convinced that we are in the right? How can we identify which battles are ours to be fought? We do not have infinite powers. Meditation and yoga can help realign our thoughts and help us manage the daily ebbs and flows of our difficult lives. We should avoid temptation and avoid placing ourselves in environments which will cause us unpleasantness. Let us cultivate righteousness and cleanliness within ourselves, that we may one day cultivate goodness around ourselves.