Robert Važan

Why is the world crazy?

This is not your typical curiosity list. This stuff is deeply disturbing. I put it up here as a stark reminder. I don't want to offend you, but I probably will. You have been warned. I don't want to scare you. I am just documenting reality. If you would rather learn what's new in the royal family, go read one of the billion or so infotainment blogs instead.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy featured a neat cloaking device called somebody else's problem field. You could cover anything with it, a big spacecraft or even a whole mountain, and people would stop seeing it. They wouldn't see the cloaked object even if they were looking directly at it. They could walk over it and still fail to see it. I sometimes feel like half the world is covered with somebody else's problem field. I am now going to try to disturb the field for a while and give you a glimpse of what's underneath.


Rationality was supposed to be the ability to see reality the way it is. Today, being rational means being devoid of emotion and thus of any knowledge that could provoke emotion. Modern rationality requires indifference to reality, which is the exact opposite of what rationality was supposed to be.


Most people believe in supernatural beings. In some countries, it is more than 90% of people. And it's not just some surviving tradition. They actually strongly believe with their whole hearts to the point of denying obvious reality. If you are reading this and wondering what's wrong with that, you are one of them.


It's 21st century and most people in the world live in some sort of authoritarian regime. The lucky people who live in democracies actually live in a system tuned to function just under the threshold of triggering mass outrage. This is commonly justified by saying that nobody has yet thought of anything better.


There's a 5% unexplained difference in pay between men and women (favoring men). There's also a 50% difference in university enrollment (favoring girls) and a 1,000% difference in post-divorce child custody (favoring mothers). For some reason, the 5% difference is a hot topic of gender equality while the 50% difference is (falsely) claimed to be due to natural ability and the 1,000% difference is the natural order of things with the occasional challenger shunned and ridiculed.


Psychiatrists and psychologists cannot tell you how the mind works, not even from 10,000 feet view, not even in a few sentences explaining the basic concepts. They just have no clue. Not even a scratch. And yet psychiatrists can take basic freedoms from you while claiming that your mind doesn't work right. All that while you are fully conscious, scoring high on tests, and proclaiming loudly that you don't need any help. The really scary part about this is that it's not just a theory. I have seen it happen to people I knew.


Ideas and organizations, the products of our minds that were supposed to serve us, have turned against us. Instead of serving, they are now seeking power over people. Invisible to untrained eye, autonomous organizations are behind wars, economic exploitation, and political oppression. Improvement is nowhere in sight. It's actually getting worse over time. It's even possible to construct an organization in such a way that it exploits every member, including its leaders, and yet nobody, not even the leaders, can leave such organization or change its behavior. Organizations gravitate towards this self-serving state over time. Nobody wants to talk about it, because religion is a textbook example of such predatory organization.


Most of the market value of a product consists of fictional properties ascribed to the product. Capitalism is predominantly producing illusions. The economy grew an order of magnitude in labor productivity during the last century and we are still working 40-hour weeks, we spend the best part of the day at work, and we often die before we can retire. We miss time with children while earning money to pay for teachers who hate their job instead of enjoying teaching children ourselves for free.


There are several fatal threats to humanity. Any one of them can kill us. None of them is adequately addressed. Survival of humanity is unlikely. Nobody seems to be worried too much.


Why is this madness happening? It's the somebody else's problem field. When problems are small, people like to talk about them, tinker with them. They like the reassuring feeling of power over these tiny problems, the confidence-boosting success at solving them. When problems are too big, people are overwhelmed by them, too stressed out to even think about them. They feel helpless and depressed. They cannot shoulder the weight for too long. They eventually look away and never look back.

Thus they blind themselves with somebody else's problem field of their own making. One would hope that the problems wouldn't leave people alone and keep bugging them, asking for attention. But people are really good at ignoring things. Even when the experience is painful, they just get used to it. People get used to everything and they are blind to everything they already grew used to.