We have traded quality for quantity

We have traded quality for quantity.

I have discovered that I am a ‘morning person’. I mean that my best is available to me in the morning. I seldom make decisions or try to do creative work late in the day. My best creative effort comes in the morning and I thus save for late in the day those tasks that are mechanical and require little of me in the task. From talking with others I conclude that each of us is either a morning or a night person.

I also conclude that we are bipartite creatures with a creative side and a mechanical side. I think that a very fortunate few of us find a way to make a living using our creative side. The Industrial Revolution has slowly diminished our creative self and has replaced it with our mechanical self.

We have slowly morphed into mechanical workers and this has resulted in an atrophying (wasting away) of our creative self. A major part of our life is spent in the work place and since this work place not only requires little creativity it often finds any form of creativity to hinder efficiency. What corporation wants its machines to set around thinking when ‘doing’ is the ‘game’?

A fortunate few keep their creative self on the job but I wonder if even those few tend to lose their creativity; often because the society has become individuals without creativity. Even those who are creative on the job have exchanged that creativity for objects (money). We all sell our time for money. I think the social sciences call this “equivalent values”.

Ours is a commodity economy that has morphed into a commodity society because our education, values, religion, politics, etc. have all become commodities (objects of commerce). We relate to one another as objects in which the exchange of things is the means for establishing the value of a person.

This is a dramatic change from what we started out as a nation. I think that comparing the rugged individual of the frontier and the family farmer of our origin might be a useful means for illuminating how different we are from our origins.

The rugged individual as farmer and as merchant and as social being, wherein each person was a jack-of-all-trades and master of no trade but master of her domain, might be compared with the herd of commodified creatures we have become. We have traded quality for quantity—perhaps this is a good trade but it needs to be understood and given careful consideration.

Over in physcology forum this exact postition is being debated you may want to have a look its title is; Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

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beingandquirckiness.blogspot.com … ntity.html

Nice post, Coberst.

I personally feel like it is a bad trade, and I say this because I feel like we are going against our natural biological inclinations.

For instance look at a professional poker player: They sit there and engage in their job like any other person with a ‘career’, but look at what they’re doing unconsiously all the while… shufflingly chips in piles, twirling them around their fingers, speedstacking, spinning, etc.

This is perhaps a misleading example as it’s not a corporate job persay, but it gets to my point well, which is this: I believe we’re meant to use our creative side with a mechanical side at a near equal level continuously, instead of stressing one or the other for half the day and then switching, or not even switching at all! Or else then you just start to see the emergence of creative ‘bursts’; anytime you try and make your job ‘fun’ is you being creative. Waitresses flip open their pad a special 1 handed way, burger flippers… flip burgers in their own patterns and things, I mean… how do you think marching bands came to be?

It’s funny because we so many people who are operating at the mechanical stream, but hardly any who operate at the creative extreme… when we do, they seem so inherently wrong, so strange because they are juxtaposed against the fabric of society.

some say the only reason we are alive is to be master creators …

creators of reality or a painting. same difference.

I hate when people use other people to help create their own reality. its no fair to the others.

tell your boss that


I agree with the sentiment that people today place unreasonable value in that which they can quantify–money, material gain, efficiency, strength etc.–and even try to apply quantifiable characteristics to that which is, in its very nature, subjective or intangible. This means that society is pressured to become more standardized (so that numbers can fit the reality); creativity is not just lower in supply, but actively suppressed and even subjugated.

However, I don’t think the conflict between ‘quantity’ and ‘quality’ is new, I also doubt that quality hasn’t been endangered before. To me, human history seems loosely cyclical in many respects, especially ones as abstractly philosophical as this. I’m at least somewhat confident that creativity will become more highly prized soon enough.

It is funny however, we supercharge our minds to make them more valuable to others. Pay for the supercharger kit, in the hope of someone wanting to buy the whole car for the engine. Even if they do not like the paint job, or agree with the interior theme.

What is really worth more money? Cars or knowledge?

I think that understanding is equal to meaning. This statement may be too general but I think it represents truth in many or most cases.

I know almost nothing about Zen Buddhism but I am conscious that Zen considers that our habitual consciousness is to look at things mechanically and to freeze that conscious meaning to be reality. When, for some reason, that reality is shattered we are forced to face the nakedness of our existence. Our usual reality is that which we have accepted from our family and immediate society in our journey from childhood through adolescence.

This agreement about reality is like the Midas touch. Reality is the meaning we have agreed to and in so doing that reality becomes concrete. When we agree we limit our individuality–but when we do not agree we isolate our self from our community. Our understanding, our created meaning, is truth for us.

I was raised in a Catholic family and went to Catholic schools where I was taught that it was a sin to “entertain” a thought of doubt. We would sin just by allowing doubt to be “entertained”. As an adult I did entertain such doubt and thus isolated myself from that community. If we do not go through such a maneuver for all our preconditioned realities we never lose the control that childhood reality has over our life.

Webster says empathy is: “the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it” I take this definition to mean that I can through imagination create a milieu (environment) for someone that will allow me to better understand that person. If I am trying to understand a terrorist bomber I might imaginatively place myself in his shoes for the purpose of understanding him.

Let’s try to empathize with the frontier family who is a farmer or small merchant. Such a family must face alone all the tsunamis of everyday existence without help from anyone other than a few neighbors. Such a family has no “safety net” of any kind. There is no insurance, pension, social security, hospital, and no hardware store with all the technology to help when things go wrong. Such a family must reconstruct reality constantly when faced with a reality that they are unprepared for. Such a family must constantly recreate a new reality as reality constantly shakes the foundation of their understanding.

Has anyone thought that the leaders and CEOs want us to turn into happy little do nothing, think nothings? Just get up go to work and consume. Stay in debt up to your eyeballs. This keeps us from ever looking up and around so that we can’t see what they are really doing to us instead of for us as they say. Society may have become this way naturally at first but, don’t you think that it is being pushed in that direction?

CA (Corporate America) has developed a well-honed expertise in motivating the population to behave in a desired manner. Citizens as consumers are ample manifestation of that expertise. CA has accomplished this ability by careful study and implementation of the knowledge of the ways of human behavior. I suspect this same structure applies to most Western democracies.

A democratic form of government is one wherein the citizens have some voice in some policy decisions. The greater the voice of the citizens the better the democracy.

In America we have PMs (policy-makers), DMs (decision-makers) and citizens. The DMs are our elected representatives and are, thus, under some control by the voting citizen. The PMs are the leaders of CA; less than ten thousand individuals, according to those who study such matters. PMs exercise significant control of DMs by controlling the financing of elections.

PMs customize and maintain the dominant ideology in order to control the political behavior of the citizens. This dominant ideology exercises the political control of the citizens in the same fashion as the consuming citizen is controlled by the same dominant ideology.

“Thomas R. Dye, Professor of Political Science at Florida State University, has published a series of books examining who and what institutions actually control and run America. to understand who is making the decisions that affect our lives, we also have to understand how societies structure themselves in general. Why the few always tend to share more power than the many and what this means in terms of both a society’s evolution and our daily lives. they examined the other 11 institutions that exert just as powerful a shaping influence, although somewhat more subtle: The Industrial, Corporations, Utilities and Communications, Banking, Insurance Investment, Mass Media, Law, Education Foundation, Civic and Cultural Organizations, Government, and the Military.”