From @ClintJCL: Idealism unattached to practicality is a useless daydream, man.

From @ClintJCL:

Idealism unattached to practicality is a useless daydream, man.

That would apply to the previous post if the following did not:

1) I didn’t learn anything from the thought exercise
2) I didn’t get any satisfaction from writing that blog post
3) It wasn’t part of a larger, more overarching topic (or topics) which are what is my personal definition of utopia and how can I get from where I currently am to that place, or more productively, recognize what attributes of that place are in where I currently am and make myself happier by enjoying those attributes
4) It wasn’t part of a larger thought experience which is the question of where the intersection of representative democracy where the representatives are the ones interested in the topic at hand, direct democracy, communism, and technology is. I will be fascinated to see how the Chinese take advantage of the internet and computer technology to make their communist system work better and more efficiently, and I think this sort of thought experiment is worthwhile in it’s own right.

I would also comment that if one is sufficiently nihilist, everything is useless and pointless – and yet, here we are with time on our hands, so let us strive for the simple joy of striving, and think because it beats the alternative. IMHO.

4 Responses to “From @ClintJCL: Idealism unattached to practicality is a useless daydream, man.”

  1. sheer_panic Says:

    Also, if a daydream helps one while away a few minutes in a enjoyable way, it’s not useless, because it’s use is the exercise of daydreaming itself. You hardly insult me by calling me a dreamer. ;-)

  2. ClintJCL Says:

    Actually — all the things you want the world to be could never, ever happen if everyone spent their time dreaming instead of actually doing something practical about it.

    Your 2 forces (wanting positive change, dreaming about it excessively on a meta level rather than dealing with the actual details) are actually pushing you in opposite directions.

    If you want the world to magically become some magical place, dreaming about it — unless those dreams result in a practical solution that gets implemented — is a waste of time.]

    You’ve said that the solution is out there, we just aren’t implementing it. But every time someone talks head-in-the-clouds about “This is how it should be” without actually coming up with a real solution (“how it should be” being the final step, but no description of the steps required to get to that point) … They are actually wasting time that could be otherwise used.

    You only get finite time. In a sense, anything you do that is not actively working torward one’s goals is a waste of time. Of course.. some of us like wasting our time. But to say “this time was valuable because i enjoyed it”… well… you could say the same thing about doing nitrous oxide. But nobody would be buying it.

    Now I may be in a glass house throwing stones with all this….. but meditation alone without action is just mental masturbation.

  3. ClintJCL Says:

    p.s. as for “you hardly insult me…” … Insulting isn’t my purpose here.

  4. sheer_panic Says:

    Well, sooner or later I’m going to take some action. If you are saying there’s no point in *just* thinking about the positive change I want, I agree with you. But, speaking as one who’s done everything from building electric cars to recording albums, I think I can make a case for me as someone who does from time to time take some action.

    I can’t really figure out what the right action is to take aside from writing about the problem when the problem is our screwed up system of resource distribution. It’s way too big, and way too ingrained into everything we do, and I’m way too small. It’s easy to point out the flaws, it’s easy to design a better system.. it’s really difficult to figure out a transition plan that gets you from the current system to a better system without all sorts situations in which the cure is temporarily much worse than the disease. However, I do have hope that if I let it run as a background process long enough – and these ‘mental masturbation’ sessions are a chance to keep that background process spinning – eventually something will pop out. And if it never does.. well. as long as I’m having fun, right?

    I also have seen zero proof that I only get finite time. You can choose to assume that if you want, however assuming a worst-case-scenereo in the absence of any proof seems a way to be unhappy to me, and I’d rather not be unhappy today.

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