Dealing with Loneliness, Landlords, Luddites, and My Love for My Fellow Humans

Feeling better overall more or less. About the only issues I have now are that I am still kind of afraid to socialize in person.  So I spend much of my time alone.  I have gotten to where I can’t stand talking to people in person for fear of them becoming angry and rude.  And it’s causing me stress.  I know I’ll have to just fight through it because I have to get my lease renewed within the next few weeks.  I always hate this process.  I have to fill out tons of paper work reporting on what I do and don’t earn money and whether or not I have a job or investment funds.  I haven’t had a regular job since 2012 and I haven’t been cured of my schizophrenia.  Until I get cured that isn’t going to change.  And of course, they need information from my bank.  And my bank is always a a pain about giving out that information.

Since the only thing that has changed about my finances or condition in the last several years is the cost of living adjustments I get from Social Security,  I honestly don’t see why I can’t do some of this nonsense online. I mean, it’s 2019 already.  Why should I have to fill out reams of forums that probably no one is going to read when we have the tech and science to do it online or at least by certified mail?  I was filling out my tax forums online over ten years ago.  I was paying for laundry at my college on a chipped card twenty years ago.  We have developed cars that can drive themselves better than any human.  The U.S. government recently demanded that NASA get American astronauts back on the moon by 2024, and they don’t care if they have to use private companies to do so.  About the only things I probably can’t buy online these days are firearms and street drugs.  And I probably could do both if I didn’t care about breaking the law.  I swear some things I have do deal with on a day to day basis is truly obsolete and out of touch with modern reality.  And it can be frustrating.

I know some people will think I’m overreacting.  Maybe I am.  But, I’ve lived in my current complex for twelve years.  Most of this information hasn’t changed any since the day I moved in.  I’m frustrated with how much of what I have to deal with is just hap hazard in organization and I have to deal with several different agencies, none of whom are in communication with each other.  It doesn’t have to be this much of a headache.  And do not give me this “well, suck it up because we’ve always done it this way.”  Well, we didn’t used to let women or minorities or anyone who didn’t own property vote either.  We used to believe kings and emperors were gods.  Things change.  Societies evolve.  Bad ideas die and end up on the ash heap of history, exactly where they belong.  It’s only a matter of time before much of social security’s paper work goes online or even automatic.  When I applied for Social Security Disability Insurance back in 2006, I did all that paper work online.  And that was thirteen years ago.  A lot has changed since then, though you wouldn’t know it looking at some institutions and people.

Of course having mental illness where I’m paranoid and irritable some times only makes things worse.  I do not enjoy interacting with my land lord.  I do not enjoy interacting with my social security man.  I fear dealing with authority figures.  I have had mostly bad experiences with authority ever since grade school.  I have rarely been helped by anyone in authority.  Most times I’ve had to rely on family or myself.  Besides, most times anyone in authority cared to talk to me was to threaten me and tell me what a screw up I was.  Happened at school.  Happened in the work place.  And it happens when I deal with Social Security and my land lord.  There has to be easier ways.  And don’t give me this “toughen up buttercup” nonsense.

If all our species ever did was toughen up and not try to improve anything, we’d either be living in caves still or would likely be extinct.  I am not a misanthrope, never have been.  I don’t hate my fellow humans.  I don’t want to hate my fellow humans.  Sure, the sometimes rude and stupid actions of my peers weighs heavy on my conscious and I fear for the future of my species.  But if I sound like I’m harsh and demanding of my fellow humans, it’s because I love humans.  I am a fan of mankind.  I hate those questions that ask ‘what is your spiritual animal’, as if it can’t be another human.  I have see the cool things we are capable of.  I have seen the kindness and compassion we extend to each other and the lower species.  I see it every day.  That’s why when I see arrogance, stupidity, rudeness, and violence towards other people and nature, it makes me sad.  Every time I see that, I think ‘those people are not living up to their potential.’  We can solve our problems.  Hell, we’ve been solving problems for many thousands of years.  You wouldn’t know it listening to some people, but those attitudes don’t matter.  And we can continue solving problems for millions of years as long as we don’t allow ourselves to become short sighted and clinging to old ways when they no longer serve their intended propose.

Civilization is not falling apart regardless of what our rulers and doom porn peddlers in the media want us to believe.  It’s going through a transition that is even greater than the Industrial Revolution or even Agrarian Revolutions of the past.  We are living through transition to a different type of civilization.  What will it be on the other side?  Don’t know.  But we didn’t know when what would happen when be built the first steam engines or planted the first seeds of wheat and rice or domesticated the first farm animals either.  We are living in a critical turning point in history, we are not living in the end of days type things.  We can make this transition.  It’s just that outdated institutions and obsolete ways of doing things will make the transition more of a headache than it needs to be.  The biggest thing we are lacking right now is not morality or decency, it’s original ways of thinking and new ideas.

Keeping Myself Company and Thoughts On The Future

Haven’t had much to report for the last few days.  Been getting out of my apartment a little again.  Spent a few hours out the other day because of maintenance work.  I still don’t socialize much in person as it’s just too big of a drain dealing with rude and irritable people most of the time.  Sadly it seems like most people I deal with are in foul moods more often than not.  This is regardless of whether it is online or in person interactions.  It’s times like this that make me glad I can keep myself company for days at a time if necessary.  I have too many problems with my mental illness to be dealing with anger and rudeness from others.

I’m starting to sleep during the days again.  But if I want to avoid people that seems the way to be.  Let me rephrase that, I don’t want to avoid people at all.  I just want to avoid rude, hateful, and stupid people.  I find it sad that we as a civilization had almost godlike powers to get in touch with people all over the world that we would otherwise never met and we squander it tearing other people apart and subdividing ourselves.  I would love to see people stop this madness but I imagine that’s a pipe dream.  I actually think some people want to be angry and miserable.  I think some people do not want to be happy.  I hope I am wrong but I look at their actions and have to wonder.

As I have been spending much more time alone the last several weeks I have been preforming some mental exercises in an attempt to just let my mind wander and think.  One thing I think about is what will future generations in future centuries condemn us in the early 21st century for.  People today readily condemn past generations and civilizations for their attitudes toward slavery, women’s rights, religious zealotry, bigoted attitudes, and general ignorance.  Maybe future generations will curse us for being too sensitive about what others say about us, maybe they’ll hate us for not reigning in our industrial pollution, maybe they’ll hate us for subdividing ourselves into factions and digital tribes, they may hate us for eating meat, they may hate us for medicating our children who don’t like school, maybe they’ll think us too narrow minded and hypocritical, maybe they’ll hate us for waging wars, maybe they’ll hate our general distrust of science, maybe they’ll think we are religious zealots.  In short, we don’t know.  We are not as enlightened as we like to pride ourselves on.  We as a species have come a long way since we started out as hunter gathers in forgotten antiquity, let alone since we started building villages and cities.  But if we think that we, in 2018, are the pinnacle of human wisdom and culture, then we are so sadly mistaken.  We can do much better than we currently are.  And, guess what, we will do much better in the years, decades, and centuries ahead providing we don’t destroy ourselves in some short sighted stupid fit of collective insanity.  We are on our way to achieving some really super cool things within the next several decades, let alone in the far future.  Sure the ride is rough getting there.  There are times I have my doubts about my fellow man.  But the fact is that most advances are discovered by a tiny fraction of the human race.  The rest of us are along for the ride.  We can follow, try but fail miserably to stop change, or get out of the way.  Change is coming.  Change is inevitable no matter how much we snipe at each other in our social interactions.  The world is a cool place in spite what the news man tells us.  If it bleeds it leads because that is what our species developed to notice first.  It was a brilliant survival strategy when we were Stone Age hunters but it’s causing us unnecessary grief and anguish in the Information Age.  Part of me would love to stick around to an old age for no other reason to see negative fools and naysayers proven wrong and I can laugh at their fear and hate.

Why I Am Grateful For Tech And Science Advances

Just a few days ago I was chatting with one of the older residents in my complex and the subject of technology and scientific advances came up.  He made the statement to the effect that ‘besides making people easier to monitor, manipulate, and kill, tech advances have done little for the betterment of humanity.’  I wanted to laugh at this short sighted statement. How forgetful and often ungrateful we can be.  I’ve alluded to tech advances by and large improving things for people in previous posts.  In one I made the parallel between what technologies we in 2015 take for granted and what various U.S. presidents didn’t have (i.e. Jefferson not having railroads, Lincoln not having electric lights or telephones, FDR never having a credit card, JFK never having a microwave oven, etc.).  And these were things I just came up with at a moment’s notice.

There are drawbacks at times but these are often offset by the benefits of advances over previous techs. Sure antibiotics are often over used and can make some people less resistant to future sickness.  But how many people on this planet that are living full, content, and productive lives that would have died if it weren’t for the development of antibiotics to begin with?  Or automobiles?  Who seriously wants to go back to the late 1800s when cities like London and New York where having problems with the stench, diseases, flies, and rodents that resulted from entire lots piled high with horse manure?  I grew up around farming and often worked on my uncle’s farm during the summers.  I can tell you that farm animals like horses, cows, and pigs eat lots of grains and hay.  Since cars don’t eat wheat or hay, that frees up lots of crops to go to humans.  Yeah, I get the whole ethanol being made from corn argument.  But ethanol can be made from switch grass, sugar cane or anything else that ferments.

Another place I’m grateful for tech advances is in the field of medicine and health.  The two anti psychotic medications I’m currently taking weren’t available even in 2010.  And they have fewer side effects and the ones they have are less severe.  My current medications aren’t as bad in terms of promoting weight gain.  One medication I was on several years ago had sore joints and sleepiness as one of the side effects.  But because of the options made available due to advances in medical science I was able to switch to something different and the side effects went away quickly.  As far as the argument that psych meds promote mental health problems, have you looked at the history of mental illness treatments?  Before the 1950s about the only options for someone with my diagnosis were long term hospitalizations and electroshock therapy.  If I were born even in 1920 instead of 1980 with my mental health problems I would have either been long term hospitalization, homeless, or dead.  For the first three years of my mental illness problems I wasn’t on any kind of treatment.  Went through the last two years of public high school and the first year of college dealing with constant paranoia, depression, anxiety, and anger.  I was far more short tempered, argumentative, and paranoid without treatment.  It’s a wonder I didn’t assault one of my classmates or anyone else.

To suggest that modern medical tech advances have made us less healthy and lowered our quality of life is not only false, it’s stupid. Some will argue that we have more cases of cancer now than we did three generations ago.  For starters we have more people and people are living longer now than three generations ago.  In 1900 the average life expectancy even in USA and Western Europe was maybe 50.  Now we in USA complain that life expectancy is ‘only’ in the late 70s when in some places like Japan it’s the lower 80s.  Even in some of the poorer countries in Africa life expectancy is in the late 50s and even early 60s and that is with AIDS pandemics and civil wars. In the early 1900s these same regions life expectancy was in the early 30s.  Cancer is one of those things that the chances of getting go up with age.  My grandfather died of pancreatic cancer but he was 87 years old too.  He also had serious hepatitis during the 1940s.  Had he gotten that in the 1860s instead of the 1940s, he might not have lived past his twenties. What is worse, dying from a stroke at age 70 or dying from chorlea at age 25?

Some my argue that tech advances have led to the breakdown of the traditional family unit.  I know the stats state that divorce rates in many first world nations are at 50 percent or higher.  But traditionally many people were married more than once in their lives.  Men often remarried and had mixed families, not due to divorce, but because their wives dying from childbirth or any number of illnesses.  Women often remarried because of their husbands dying in wars, work related accidents, or illnesses.  If we were to take the numbers there are probably more people making to their 50 year anniversary celebration now than even 60 years ago, again due to more people and better health.  And sometimes men married more than once because they had more than one wife at a time.  Polygamy and not having one mate for life are as old as life itself.  It could be possible that someday, thanks to advances in medical tech, we could be seeing couples have 100th anniversary parties like some people have 60 year anniversary parties now.  What would you get a spouse who has been with you for an entire century?

I could go on but I won’t.  But we are often forgetful and even less than grateful.  I for one am grateful for tech advances.  I would love to see scientists, engineers, researchers, and health care workers get the attention that the media reserves all too often for politicians, musicians, and star athletes.  But that is probably not going to happen simply because bad news sells better than good.  Yet if you are a scientist, engineer, health care worker, researcher, or anyone who works to provide the essentials for modern living, I am thankful for all you men and women.  Keep up the good work.  If you are so inclined to see actual data on advances in health, wealth, and overall well being, check out humanprogress.org.