The Unbearable Weight of our Nature

Being without the anxiety of becoming. No. 1

It seems that for decades I've been primarily concerned with two things: culture, and human nature. 

For my next several blog posts I want to discuss these subjects with you. What is human nature? How can we answer that question? After that I'd like to explore the conceptual bridge between human nature and human culture, and how they both flow into each other, and more importantly, that they're flexible, that both continue to evolve.  

Globe Hackers aren't utopians, we just think things could be better, things could be different, we believe in the plasticity of human nature and culture. Things change after all, any cursory glance at history tells us that. At the same time, some things never seem to change. There are aspects of our nature that are obviously more fixed. I'm talking about our nature as it naturally is, not our transhumanist potential. And transhumanist potential is not something I would venture to go into. I have my doubts that we can survives as human beings if we go too far in that direction. In this regard I may be dystopian. 

I could say that we strive not to be too naive. We're simply curious people, tinkerers seeking the truth within reality, imaging things we can do to improve our situation, and then doing those things. 

We're all naturally survivalists. We have an instinct to live, but what kind of life will we be able to live? Here many questions of quality and values arise. Those of us inclined to ponder such questions will add to the dialogue and hopefully grow through the process. We'll do more than merely survive. Those of us who do more than merely survive are the lucky ones.

We're not doomsayers. We simply see things for what they are, when we have the opportunity to do so, when our unique circumstances allows our awareness to combine with profound ethical and moral sensibilities that move us towards an authentic and peaceful life with a whole set of evolving values that take into consideration the profound possibilities that lie in our future.

We're all engaged in our global, commercial world, we are receptive to the many messages flowing from our media sources, and we scarcely understand the influence of these messages on our behavior, mood and mentality, so much so, that we are unable to discern the root causes of our discomfort, confusion and stress. We can barely determine what is true and what is false so we capitulate. 

We may be lost in our evolved nature and moved only by the appetites of the beast - our global consumer culture that we think we can't live without. 

I have noticed in the media and on the "webs", so many people talking about their beliefs; people who are proud to believe. It seems that in some segments of our culture we're all want-to-be-believers. We'll give up our common sense and poor our energies into being a good member of a group that only believes. It seems safe there so why not? With all the dangers around us; with all the existential threats bearing down upon us; it's much more comforting simply to believe in something, in anything.  

But wait, I'm not going to go down that road here. Not this time. I have something much better to share with you. I came across this documentary distributed by Journeyman Pictures in the U.K. I think you can learn a lot from this sober, straight forward, and evidence based film about consumer culture. I urge you to watch this and let us know what you think. It's not as alarmist as the title might suggest.

There are some real gems in this documentary. Look out for the "belly of the beast" story, also, what one commenter postulates we can do once we understand our psychology better, and what another commenter describes as the benefits of sustainable design. 

Without further comment I share with you:

Consumed - Is Our Consumer Culture Leading to Disaster?


Steven Cleghorn

Steven is an autodidact, skeptic, raconteur and film producer from America who has been traveling since he was a zygote. He's a producer at The Muse Films Ltd. in Hong Kong and a constantly improving (hopefully) Globe Hacker. He's seeks the company of interesting minds.