Tag Archives: social psychology

The skewed search for life’s meaning

2016-08-14_11-09-11When sentient beings search for meaning it often leads to gibberish. Markets and newspapers burgeon with spirituality columns, self-help books and religious cults that claim to tell you the meaning of life. Closer home, your own mainstream religious books claim to have an all-access pass to special meaning found nowhere else.

Extrapolating from religions, caste groups and race identities, individual humans will also find ways to explain whatever they do in the light of their own imagined virtue. Pattern-finding, an innate human faculty, can be employed in the cause of personal gain. We will extract seeming meaning from what appears to us as chaos. Ever watch a television show in a language you didn’t understand? Unable to translate as days pass you become familiar with the characters and a vague plot develops in your head. You find a way to understand what you really don’t mostly through inference. No proof is sought, most of any understanding arrived at is intuited. Literature has a kindred function with its allowance for interpretations, criticism and readings. Sometimes even a single line in a text of art can undergo myriad elucidations.

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Selfie as simulacrum

Selfies. If it wasn’t so profoundly absurd, it could be funny. Preening for preening’s sake, harmless innocuousness, carefree self-indulgence, or is there something more to this unquestioning self-as-centre mass delusion, which has consumed the connected world?
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