A huge need for less. Turn it off! Tune you on
'ENOUGH', that’s the title of an interesting book that I read in Samaipata, a –pretty– pretty small village in Bolivia six years ago during a very enjoyable and beautiful backpacking journey. I guess that title could have many sequels today, most probably not so many as ‘Harry Potter’, but definitely a couple more at least.
It tells nothing actually. Nothing that an average smart guy doesn’t know, and nothing that a wise one doesn’t do. As you can be processing the big pink elephant in the room here is that society is overfilled with lack of wisdom, but with abundance of unconsciousness.
The book tells about the giant mechanism of consumption. And how that so simple and silly act has become the quintessential aspiration for a huge part of human beings. Not only the ones that have a medium-size wallet, but as well as for the ones that switch their minds to "aspiration mode". They want to get the motorbike, the car, or the boat –sometimes all together–, and once there, like a mechanical stair, once they reach the "higher step" –a step that involved a big sacrifice– the object become less and less appreciated, so they feel back again in disadvantage when they compare to others.
But they’re not alone in the equation; when you have multitudes fighting –actually a not very imprecise word– to get useless objects, has to be multitudes making –and managing, and marketing the creation of– those useless objects. So between those two sides, we have one of the most pathetic equation of all mankind times: a most than colossal, mammoth, and shameless system of consumerism. Consumerism as the ultimate goal of every empty head automaton.
Let’s leave aside consumerism of goods, and let’s focus in consumerism of visual stimulus. Essentially they are the same thing: the need to fill the inner emptiness with noise. Overdosis of stimulus is no longer some metaphor, but daily routine for any regular citizen –that’s the idea behind curtains; to keep you as a "regular" thing–.
I found out quite recently that the big trouble is not only in kids and teenagers hands, it is in same way, even worst on parents ones. A big wave has guzzled any trace of clarity. I see my neighbour placing a screen in front of her child on daily basis, in order to make it easy for her. Maybe she can get more minutes of tranquility, but that fragile being, will definitely suffer some –or lots of– not desirable consequences. "Mobile artifacts made life easier for parents" would recognize some tutor, well, I would say you are taking the so called 'fast lane', and that path contains high doses of ulterior –now hidden– costs. Sooner or later you'll pay. And your child too. //
Long life to hard sciences. Because you don’t need a life right?
Physics, mathematics, coding, engineering, and economics are the most sacred subjects today. Every educational institution that intends to be the place where educate those generations of future leaders of the most innovating and rich companies, must honour and grant a privilege to those.
Every country is aspiring to be a world leader around knowledge and technology development. Every three year politicians, the academic world, and the mainstream media awaits for the results of the ‘Programme for International Student Assessment’ (PISA) report. To be listed in the top five means like you are awesome, really, is like you have won the soccer world championship.
Winners and losers.
Who is a winner? Well, it depend which actor are you in this soap opera. For instance; if you are the government’s chairman of a constant pushing and neurotic society like South Korea or Singapore, you will be absolutely delightful with that, since you have another issue to boasts.
Let’s imagine you are the minister of education: fantastic! But you’ll feel the pressure on your shoulders next month, because now you have to keep that honor. Would be a disgrace if not, and if that happens, some heads will roll.
Finally if you are a boy or a girl, most probably you has been pushed since your mom gave you to birth. Your studies and professional career are top priority (above than actually having a life, for that, you should wait for later, let’s say… short before dead if you are lucky) and it will be accepted nothing but ‘A’ grades. And doesn’t matter if you got the first position in PISA report –that’s the expectation on you–, you should keep studying, harder actually, because there is always someone behind you looking after your place. Remember little tiger: this is an ultra competitive world.
So all this circus show is represented in order to improve the chances of every generation on their climbing into some not so exciting but very well paid job. Yes, you will need tons of money to pay for your tiny apartment mortgage in the downtown, and for cosmetic surgery, a cancer treatment later, one or two psychiatrist, ugly but expensive cloth, and a big car, because mom taught you how to make her proud of you, but not even a single word about fulfilment or wisdom.
Soft sciences like sociology, psychology, anthropology and linguistic, helps to use the other part of your brain, and most important, your heart. Empathy, for instance, is a very very exotic word in so many campus around the most elitist universities. Don’t forget Art, one of the most rewarding and undervalued subjects. That’s explain the reason behind the big lobby trying to remove from colleges any subject that does not represent tangible ways to improve efficiency and production. It’s about money. And power, their final goal is to get an army of super efficient automatons. //