So, what could a nice future of humanity look like?
The answer, I think, comes down to a somewhat diluted form of asceticism, perhaps an extract of Buddhism. Although I find the religious portions of Buddhism to be nonsense, there's a lot of interesting Buddhist philosophy that is very insightful. Concerns about impermanence can perhaps wait for another entry -- interesting here is the dynamic of desire and happiness. Again, I am going to possibly dilute -- the actual Buddhist doctrine, I believe, tells us that all desire leads to unhappiness. I think that some desire is important, but do agree that controlling desire can lead to a more enjoyable life. For that reason, there's a certain flavour of asceticism that I advocate. This flavor is summed up as follows:
A person is an ascetic if they intentionally restrict their interactions with the world in order to maintain some sense of simplicity or purity in their life.
I believe that it is very difficult to find contentedness and happiness without adopting something at least as strong as that flavor. What in particular do I worry about? Society as I know it seems to be too busy, too fast moving, and too commercial. It additionally seems to parcel out time as a precious resource. With some people I know, one needs to make an appointment a week in advance just to hang out with them. The lack of spontinaeity (sp?) in such a life seems like it would crush them. Admittedly, once I find work (still unemployed, and now spending lots of time seeking work), it'll impose a degree of schedule on me again, but even when I was in school and also working 40 hours a week, I didn't parcel out my time like that. I simply meter out all free time to myself, don't make hard commitments (even if I lose on some opportunities), and that gives the the flexibility I want. I generally avoid TV and other forms of advertising to keep them from creating new desires in me. This seems to be something humanity has lost, sadly, from my idea above of early humanity -- now there's more of a possibility of being miserable. But with effort, we can become a different kind of creature. This is my idea of the good way to live life..
We keep our lives as loosely planned as possible, avoiding many commitments, and preserving a lot of spontinaeity (sp?). We avoid influences that try to make us want things, like advertisements, religion, patriotism, fannishness, etc. We decide on what values are important to us, and reshape ourselves for pushing those values.
I've always enjoyed the company of much older people. In general, they've managed to find a kind of peace and good lifestyle that a lot of younger people lack. A certain mellowness in one's approach to life. I still want to have an inner fire in pursuit of some things, but keeping the number of those things small, and keeping my life quiet in other areas is quite important to me.
Well, that's all for now... today I have some more job hunting to do, as soon as I can get in touch with Jason.