Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The end of human intelligence as we know it (commentary)

Okay, so I was at All Things Christie, and she had a link to this hideously inane concept called RentAPeasant.

This got me thinking...

These people are spending their lives as though they live in a given point in the past, and offer themselves for 'rent' so that other people can vicariously live in that same point. Let's also assume that there is a market for this, and there is also a market for people living in many of the other more memorable points in history (midieval lancers and civil war recreationists, I'm talking to you). Let's further assume that enough people would be employed in this market to reasonably satisfy these markets.

Then let's completely forget about it.

Imagine instead where the human race would be if we appreciated the past, but not be so insanely obsessed with it that we must have Amish people and livestock in our living rooms (Literally--I'm not talking about that weird new Amish reality show on TV). Imagine that these people spending their times re-creating the past would put themselves to use improving the lives of those living in the present (or even maintaining the artefacts that actually came from the past!).

Then, we would more quickly develop technology so that we could all live happier, less stressful lives. Machines would do all the work that nobody really wants to do, and many of our problems will be solved. We wouldn't have to worry about finances, markets, traffic, pollution, and all that other crap that most of us have to worry about. Then we could go on to do the more romantic things in life, like, say...pretend to live in the past!

Of course, this would be in the future, and so the past at that point would be similar to today. (Think of this like playing a really detailed role-playing game, or like the Matrix). Hordes of people not having to worry about their everyday lives would be able to pretend they are living in the past, and as a part of that, will be worrying about their make-believe everyday lives.

Of course, poeple will only be able to enjoy living like we do today if we stop living in the past now (I am assuming that people do not actually enjoy living like we do today, otherwise they would not pretend to live in the past, and if they do enjoy it, they would prefer living in the theoretical future where certain stressors are removed). It is possible that, there being so many old people in developed countries, people who would otherwise work to improve our lives are instead forced to maintain those of our medically-needy, because there are a certain number of jobs that must be filled, and only so much room for people to noodle around like seventeenth-century courtiers.

In fact, it is possible that so many people are 'noodleheading' that there aren't enough people in jobs that will maintain our culture, much less our heritage. By pretending to live in the past, they are indirectly destroying it. Very bad.

Or, you could also get rid of those jackasses who waste our economy with such brain-numbingly aggravating products like closed-source software, brand-name sweatshop-ware, and any of those horrendously-manufactured products you can buy directly from your television.

But this is getting into globalization. I must attend to that at a later date.

Nevertheless, to get back to my point, if you see somebody wasting their life, they are wasting your life, too.

- RG.

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