Monomythical - Literature Notes


#literaturenotes See [[ Monomythical (Newsletter) ]]

24: Monasteries

  • Surrogate activities are unsatisfying hobbies because of working towards superficial goals. Term from Ted Kaczynski.

    We’re so obsessively focused on getting through a normal day-to-day that we can’t even see how much we’ve lost. Even now, I’m typing this while trying to figure out which daybed to order for my living room and whether to enroll my new cat in kitten kindergarten. Kaczynski would call these ==”surrogate activities”: hobbies that work toward artificial goals, but are ultimately unsatisfying.==

  • We’ve been using surrogate activities to cope with the pandemic, but if we continue with this (lack of knowledge work), we’ll end up degrading. How so? ==Our creative work as a civilization may decline permanently==, and we’ll be too used to loss to even notice/care.

==Knowledge work== regards us from high upon Maslow’s hierarchy over the crook of its bespectacled nose; it’s easy to miss right now, in light of more pressing basic needs (food, income, where to live, daily mood). But the ==volume and quality of our creative output has undeniably declined this year==: a warning that, left unchecked, could lead to civilizational backslide.

We’re making things, but the things we make don’t further our collective knowledge and skills.

We’ve constructed fragile, tattered lean-to’s of surrogate activities to distract ourselves from the raging destruction outside, but if we continue to stay here, ==there will be nothing left to come back to.==

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