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Do we care?

by kcurie Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 05:15:46 PM EST

Sorry .. but do we care?

Really Do we care about the state of the world...? about the real state of the world... I am not talking about the rich world, or about the lack of oil, or private cars..but about the other not-so capitalistic world...

Caring means worrying about global warming  and the rest of humankind. Thanks to Gore and IPCC we hear about global warming..and probably because it will affect us... but what about other people? Do we worry, not in the western sense of making them "richer", but in the sense of knowing if their lives are worthwhile.. in other words, do we care about if other human beings have food and sanitation secured???

Yes that's all...Anthropology taught long time ago that cultures need humans, so they need safe and clean food and water to thrive.. (given that most of the people can get shelter and money is mostly paper) easily... but I do not hear about it...

Even when the UN report of the Millennium goal is already out for 2007.. I did not hear a word.. anywhere.

Follow me please.


Yes.. it is true... I had to find that the UN had already issued the report of 2007 for the MIllenium goals thanks to a comment in a weird news somewhere lost in the internets.. I just do not know how I bumped into it yet..

And everything is there... everything...

http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/pdf/mdg2007.pdf

You could fill weeks of news in the networks.. in the radio .. you could fill hundreds of pages in newspapers..

But nothing.. not a blip.. zero.. really zero...

Maybe I have been out.. maybe I have not read enough newspapers? No.. I do read.. and nothing... seriously nothing..

It is XXXXX (sorry.. I should not use these words)

Maybe.. if I would get the "real news" I would know.. like I know now, that the number of people with unsecure food supply... sorry I meant .. IN HUNGER has reached an all time low... it has climbed down the 900 million... and as the population increases the ratio is even smaller. Compare the 12% now with the 25% 16 yars ago.

On the other hand the situation regarding sanitation is as bad as ever.. or worst... 1.6 billion people to reach the Millenium goals... more than 2 billion people now without sanitation...

I do not care about schooling, if you are a dogon or a dowayo.. believe you do not need it to have a great life... but no sanitation!!! They can disapear at any moment...

But let's face it..maybe we just do not care... and maybe it is not the media fault. Maybe it is our myth fault.

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Good grief kcurie. This diary meshes nearly half a dozen of ET-themes (EThemes?) into one: media, personal involvement, development aid, the millennium goals, mythology.

I don't care about the "we" too much. I care. I know others care. That is sufficient. How big should the group of others, the "we", be? I don't know, but estimating on the overwhelming amount of what is being attempted, the world already has critical mass to care. Of course it could use more weight, but that's another point.

The media is, largely if not wholly, a business. It cares only about caring when it can generate money to tell people to care. Based on a recent ET discussion, it seems plausible to say that the American press is falling into a positive feedback loop to breed journalists coming from high milieus, (sub)consciously feeding and strengthening the narrative that Neoliberal ideology is the be-all and end-all, France sucks and the new Jaguar RX-ROAR 3.5 with chrome underbelly is new toy to have. Perhaps they care to care, but I doubt so.

I don't care about the media unless I care to be informed. And here lies the great boon of the internet: I no longer need the media to inform me on their fickle, slow drip basis. This morning I sat down, wondering if I could free money from development aid organisations in the Netherlands. Now I have five contacts I need to write to. The media didn't do that, nor did it provide me with the spur to start looking. The spur comes from within, you either have it or you don't.

Some people don't care, or care only about themselves, but need to belief that they care to make their life worthwhile. That's fine as long as it does not infringe my attempts to care, together with others.

Who cares about the media to care? I sure don't anymore.

Perhaps I'm rambling. Going away now....

by Nomad on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 05:49:44 PM EST
One of your best ever... and that's saying alot.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 04:32:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anthropology taught long time ago that cultures need humans, so they need safe and clean food and water to thrive..

What do you mean?

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 05:07:00 AM EST
A short way to say that human beings make culture adn that they need to be at least healthy mos tof the time and exist to make..

A completley obvious thing.. I know.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 06:31:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would rephrase it if I were you.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 08:13:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, obviously.

An interesting point in the global climate change dicussions is how terrible it will be when the sea rises and washes away Bangladesh. But right now apparently everything in Bangladesh is just fine. Does anybody really worry about third world countries getting washed away, or is it only London and NYC and Tokyo that are problems?

by asdf on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 08:40:35 AM EST
I would say taht only the big cities are the problem.. it seems...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 09:37:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are 3 editorial comments.. what doe sitmean? I do not see them...

SOmeone can explain?

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 09:40:48 AM EST
I hid the subthread about "beings". You can still get to it through your own comment list.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 11:33:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that's what that is - I always wondered why some of the formatting looked a bit off.
by PeWi on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 01:04:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seeing the total lack of feedback the last time I said so, I can tell it isn't very popular to state that "we don't care because we don't have to". The slogan used to be a 1970's pun about the Ma Bell telephone monopoly and I adapted it as a gauge of 'our' gross indifference toward anything that doesn't appear to threaten our standard of living. I mean, if we don't care about the death of over a million iraqis in order to secure the flow of strategic resources how are we going to care about those that don't do anything for us.

Compassion only goes so far in motivating people to act on inequalities, injustice, poverty, hunger ... especially when it is out of sight. We don't act out of charity but out of self-interest, which isn't entirely a bad thing since it is also the basis for our survival and since self-interests converge on similar outcome. We will care more about global warming when the poor of sub-tropical nations attempt to move North to escape misery and death. Until we perceive the ills of others as detrimental to our own well-being we will not care. It is in this context that the redistribution of wealth due to assymetric globalization will change what 'we' care about.

by Fete des fous on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 02:51:34 PM EST
I obviously missed you previously commenting on the issue but I agree.  I face it daily at work, trying to convince others to take up good equality practice and even when I present the business case for it, they still view it as political correctness gone mad, intruding on their autonomy to run things the way they want, and failing to recognise that there are any inequalities in the first place.

As long as they perceive themselves to be unaffected then they do not care about doing the right thing for some undefined, abstract person or group.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 04:28:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But even the most basic stuff.. it is hard toeven worry about the most basic needs of other...

I think that people who ahve a strogn ideology seemt o worry a bit more..

I am wondering why those people who are not particularly fundamentalistic in any issue hardly pay attention to it..

I mena,.. I love talkinjg about soccer.. a lot.. or any other sport... as long as a tenth of this time can be issued to talk about other things...

but noone seem to care... and I am onlya sking about this abstract worry.. i think that's what we can do in our daily life for people who we do not even know... but soemhow it seems that outside the blogosphere people do nto care .. not even in abstract terms...

Much more less to take action...

So you ahve to be implciated, it seems, t worry abstractly.. and that's soemthing I do not like .. because it has to dow ith abstract things.. like our myths.. maybe our myths are changing.. and not for good.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 05:01:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To me this thing links into different personality traits. The debate has been had a number of times about whether brains are hard wired or not, whether individuals have a natural leaning towards being left wing or right wing.

Those who have a tendency towards left wing ideology and beliefs or behaviours, however you want to call it, I suspect are more likely to give a shit about people in Africa or Columbia or inner city london, who live in poverty or have no access to sanitation or enough food or shelter. Even though these people and their lives have no bearing on mine or yours or some other comfortable person.

I do understand what you are saying about the feeling that nobody cares. I feel like that all the time whenever I post something on equality and it drops like a brick. It's something that matters so much to me that I find it hard to see how people can possibly not have an opinion on it. but hey, I'm short sighted on that issue - my pet subject.

There are people, their lives, and social issues that indirectly have an impact on me even if only an abstract one.  The fact that I think it is horribly unfair that so many people go through awful things trying to stay alive and that I can eat my fill and throw away the leftovers and worry about nothing more than having eaten too much wheat.

But I'm at a loss too to know how to engage people on the issues that matter hugely to me, that they may very well agree with me on but there's no passion about the topic for them. It's not a criticism but it is frustrating when you want to get a message out.

Maybe because very often the ones who don't want to engage are the ones who you need to engage because they have some means by which something could be done.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 05:30:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
iI do nto even expect to worry that much.. I more expect some lkidn of general mythology that woudl amke us worry int eh same sense that we like to talk about sports...

id not expect the intensity of sport.. but making it a commont heme.

Of course, there are people very much into it.. worrying and much mroe acting...

So my personal question was a bout the middle-ground.. Why we do not worry more abstractly.. why there is not endency to worry about it?

I am not even asking for other people to feel strongly about it... just that it wold be somehow relevant...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 06:12:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sport and supporting teams, bonds people. It makes them feel good, they have a common purpose of sorts and they belong to something.

Caring about the lives of people you will never have any connection with doesn't do much for self identity or group identity or belonging ...

We barely have a general mythology about climate change.  On the surface, that is quite simple and there is a kind of movement of people who strive to make changes and encourage others to do so.  There's a feel good factor about recycling, or not using plastic bags. something real to you and your life that connects you with the big picture at the same time.

I sponsor a child in Pakistan and he sends me a picture a couple of times a year.  I send him a letter and a postcard every so often.  That's my connection to making it real in my life.  Putting money in a tin or buying a ribbon may make people feel like they have done enough to ignore things for a bit now.  

It's an entirely different thing to actually discuss the issues, talk about where you money went or what these words we use really mean. Poverty, social exclusion, starvation, inequality.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 06:39:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent, really excellent...

A pleasures

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 06:47:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I tend to think that the condition of others, no matter how remote, concretely affects our societies and our economics in particular. Domestically, what you call the business case for reducing inequality if well established. On a greater scale, our quantity of living also results from the plundering of distant wealth (resources or labor force) and it has been so for several centuries. We should be well advised to consider the effect of our policies if for no other reason than because we will run out of distant wealth and the impoverished will go where the wealth is.
by Fete des fous on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 06:58:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can quite clearly see what you see about the impact that these issues have on my life and how this will increase if nothing is done to tackle them.

Many people can't or don't want to see this though.  Policymakers don't get quick wins with developing long term strategies that deal with these things.  So the fallout gets left for successive governments further down the line.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 18th, 2007 at 02:41:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, they get the pressure form the activists..a dn this is good... but tehr eis no second level of players backing it up.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Oct 18th, 2007 at 03:39:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Until we perceive the ills of others as detrimental to our own well-being we will not care.

It would help if people would avoid these sweeping generalizations - clearly lots of people don't care, and many people do. Some people are devoting their lives to helping others in other countries, there are many charities, many NGOs, many campaigning organizations. Not as many as we'd like to see perhaps - but let's avoid the big "we".


Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 04:58:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely.. there is no we...

I was thinking about the middle ground... why there is no worrying in the abstract sense.... why there is not a huge bunch of people who do not feel strongly , who do not act on it.. but are abstractly aware of it...
just like you care generallya bout your distant friends and colleagues

why there is such a disconnect...?

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 06:17:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Well it's no big mystery is it? I assume evolution had a role; those who cared about themselves and those close to them tended to survive. So we're not entirely selfish - co-operation aids survival, but our compassion is primarily directed towards those we live with.

One might even say that the surprise is that so many people do care about those far away - by giving to various charities, etc. It's also relevant that a lot of people do find most of their energy taken up with just getting by, surviving the demands of work, which now affects the middle classes much more, not only in the US. Lots of people do pretty soul-destroying jobs for low wages and fewer benefits.

 

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 06:26:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
low middle class in the US is stuff.. no time specially.. but sport-bonding is socially useful not evolutioanry .. in teh same sense anthropologichal evolution is the relevant onwe.. so I am still wodnerign how we did not come with a general mythology of caring.. of talking... just liek we talk about the weatehr...

i think in the 80's in spain with teh God is love, jesus is your friend bran of catholicism (very similar to buddhism but with a face) the mythology was quite there... suddenly it disappeared...

So I think this mythology has been there.. somehow others put it aside.. so it is mroe evolution of mythology..a lthough I do not like the world evolution since there seems to be purpose.. and as in biological evolution there is no purpose.. just "getting by".

Still I wonder that it is a pity it was lost.. somehow.. or it is not more widspread..and actually only those living this ethically or religious experience care about and act about....

I still do nto know how there are not people caring about but not acting about...

Maybe I expect too much from this kind of post enlightenment :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 06:52:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I disagree. As long as we partake to the outcome we bear the responsability of the policies generating the outcome. I do not know anyone around me who doesn't gets a piece of the outcome. It'd be too easy if giving to charity or other was enough to dissociate oneself from the 'we' that controls policy. Though, I understand that many try this particular trick on a regular basis.
by Fete des fous on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 07:43:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually it's being socially engineered so we don't.

Before you put your tin foil hats on Bohemian Grove is a real place and many accounts have come out about a Cremation of Care ceremony that kicks off each summer's events.

http://www.docudharma.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=1486
Now, I don't care about the religious stuff but the 911 part I found excellent.  Sums up my MIHOP beliefs totally.

Also this morning we have Ellen Degeneres and the dog Nazis at Mutts & Moms.  It's kind of like the Stanford Prison experiement.  Armed with "policy" they empower themselves with absolute power over others, it is purposefully becoming institutionalized into American society.

There is even a website www.cremationofcare.com

by Lasthorseman on Thu Oct 18th, 2007 at 07:16:44 AM EST


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