Time is running short. Less productive writing/reading-wise than I wished. I’m just going to write down some ideas in a numbered list. If there is any interest in me expanding any of these ideas, will gladly do so in a follow-up.
Conflicts and the attention we spend on them
- Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development : the model suggests a linearity in life, that we ‘solve’ these conflicts. For myself, the existential crisis is never really solved. It just comes back in swells.
- Life is about attention. To quote DFW, ‘ It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience.’ On a related note to the previous point, which conflicts should we pay attention to? There are internal ones about ourselves, our fears and hopes, and there are external ones, about our place in society, and about the current state of society.
- External conflicts interest me less because I realize my well-being in particular my happiness does not rely on much of it? A lot of is also outside of my control, as opposed to internal conflicts?
- On a related note to (2), in today’s information inundation, we need to be wary of how our attention is used. If social scientists are right, and that our attention is a lot more valuable than our presence, then we must be very careful of how we spend our time depleting that valuable resource.
- Making decisions/judgments is about processing information. As long as media sources have financial interests and key demographics, they will be susceptible to selective reporting. You can’t just choose a good news source. We need to choose diverse news sources and learn to analyze for ourselves.
- Many people live happy enough lives by keeping their range of concerns relatively small a la Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. What are the perceived benefits of ‘solving’ some of these conflicts?
- Does the advent of Google Hangout/Facebook/Snapchat actually make friendships more or less deep? It promotes skin-deep interactions not even conversations but it allows that over great distances. Does it promote more acquaintances whose minute details you may know and less friends whom you can talk to?
- Being Chinese is part of me. Does and how does that play into my relationships?
- What is our relationship with time, meaning time in our already lived life? How does our memory of our past affect our lives? Does one’s short-term, long-term memory capacity actually affect one’s personality?
- In particular on the previous point, how does our memory of our past thoughts and emotions affect our well-being today?