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Trivial Pursuit

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cripes
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Posted 06/06/10 - 7:33 AM:
Subject: Trivial Pursuit
Is trivial thought and conversation a survival technique? Is it a method of avoiding confrontation and therefore the avoidance of perceived danger - An adaptation?

I've always wondered what people gain by trivia, and why they engage in it. I've often been frustrated by the practice. However, with the understanding now of everything we do is for purpose, I'm thinking people benefit from a trivial perspective.

Many of the most popular forums and social networking sites around the internet are mostly loaded with trivial dialogue. Do you suspect this is due to lack of education?
Thinker13
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Posted 06/06/10 - 9:42 AM:

cripes wrote:
Is trivial thought and conversation a survival technique? Is it a method of avoiding confrontation and therefore the avoidance of perceived danger - An adaptation?

I've always wondered what people gain by trivia, and why they engage in it. I've often been frustrated by the practice. However, with the understanding now of everything we do is for purpose, I'm thinking people benefit from a trivial perspective.

Many of the most popular forums and social networking sites around the internet are mostly loaded with trivial dialogue. Do you suspect this is due to lack of education?


Hi Cripes. Warm welcome to The Couch!

Having seen a few of your posts it seems that you think more in a Darwinian way. I am not suggesting that it is right or wrong but just preparing a ground for conversation. I will try to give you a few views about the same, but using something which is not necessarily grounded in natural selection.

Is there a purpose in everything we do?

Then, what could be the ultimate purpose?

IMHO, the ultimate purpose is to be happy. You may call it by thousand names. You may say that it is to attain joy, bliss or ecstasy. You may say that it is to attain everlasting happiness but the fact remains same. That is, all of us, want happiness without a single moment of unhappiness.

Now how do we try to achieve it is an entirely different affair.

What seems trivial to you is not necessarily trivial for those who are engajed in it. It is your wisdom which guides you to do something to gain happiness. Wiser you are lesser will be things which will not seem trivial to you. With ultimate wisdom, though, everything seems trivial or you may say nothing seems trivial.

If you wonder only on one thing, that is, "Why am I engrossed in the current pursuit?"; "Why am I doing what I am doing?"; then you may know that it is because you are working for your happiness as per your education, as per your own wisdom and hence you judge some other pursuits as trivial or important.

I know that I have not tried to answer your question precisely, from Darwinian stance, still I have tried to express some of my views. Do let me know what you make of it.


Thank you
cripes
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Posted 06/06/10 - 10:37 AM:

Hi Thinker13!

Your post is much more Darwinian than you may guess. It isn't possible to be anything else.

The ultimate purpose to anything we do is the advancement of our species, like it or not, believe it or not. The fact that some may be correct in their thoughts and actions may be a different issue, but thats why there are so many of us - to ensure species survival. And thats why we're so diverse as a species. Natural selection is 'hit or miss' so success is in the numbers.
Thinker13
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Posted 06/06/10 - 11:34 AM:

cripes wrote:
Hi Thinker13!

Your post is much more Darwinian than you may guess. It isn't possible to be anything else.


Indeed it is. Just to be on a safer side I wanted to present my own view. In fact yearning for pleasure seems to be there for survival but the idea that joy and bliss is our true nature and therefore we crave for it has been there since too long.

The ultimate purpose to anything we do is the advancement of our species, like it or not, believe it or not.



If you have already made your mind on this then there is no questioning in fact. Then what is left there is, just filling the gap in our reasoning. The gap is: to know about the details of this process, that is, to know how trivial pursuits further the survival of the species. Truly speaking, for me- first comes 'me', the individual and then the species and hence my joy is most important.


The fact that some may be correct in their thoughts and actions may be a different issue, but thats why there are so many of us - to ensure species survival. And thats why we're so diverse as a species. Natural selection is 'hit or miss' so success is in the numbers.



That is what you mean by 'trivial'. You are the measure of everything. When you asked about the triviality thing it was so only as per your valuation. For someone engajed in the trivial pursuits, they may not be trivial at all, again then, even if they are trivial from their standard why are they engajed in them, which in turn asks about the pleasure they are trying to derive from their pursuits. Just a few views.


Thank you
cripes
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Posted 06/06/10 - 11:56 AM:

My main point from the beginning, Thinker13, is that trivia is not trivial at all. Sorry if I hadn't made that clear.
Thinker13
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Posted 06/06/10 - 12:20 PM:

cripes wrote:
My main point from the beginning, Thinker13, is that trivia is not trivial at all. Sorry if I hadn't made that clear.


Ok. Trivia is not trivial from your viewpoint. You just want to explore how this helps, in the long run, the advancement of species. Right?


libertygrl
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Posted 06/06/10 - 12:48 PM:

in my view, trivia is just another mode of exploration, of leaving no stone unturned.

personally i don't believe that everything is survival-driven. that which is not driven by the desire to survive may be driven by the desire to explore. thumb up
cripes
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Posted 06/06/10 - 1:25 PM:

Why does one explore? If I were lost in a dark strange place the first thing I would need to do is explore my surroundings and options in order to familiarize myself with the area so I could adapt. I think when we explore our thoughts and emotions we are essentially doing the same thing.
Thinker13
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Posted 06/06/10 - 1:45 PM:

cripes wrote:
Why does one explore?


I can answer a variation of the same question, though, in doing so, I do not suggest that it answers the original one.


Why do I explore?

I explore because I enjoy doing so. I explore because I love it. I explore because it gives me happiness. It gives me some feeling of accomplishment. It soothes some corners of my mind. In total I explore for being happy, for avoiding pain so that pleasure could be attained so that I may remain happy forever. It is my nature to explore and it is my nature to crave for happiness.


Thank you
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Posted 06/06/10 - 1:50 PM:

Thinker13 wrote:
I explore because I enjoy doing so.

thumb up

cripes wrote:
Why does one explore? If I were lost in a dark strange place the first thing I would need to do is explore my surroundings and options in order to familiarize myself with the area so I could adapt. I think when we explore our thoughts and emotions we are essentially doing the same thing.

do you believe creating art is strictly for adaptation?
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Posted 06/06/10 - 2:12 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

thumb up


do you believe creating art is strictly for adaptation?
I think art is like a religion in that it calls people into groups and offers them something to have a mutual interest in. However, as we've seen, art does not group people like religion does. Grouping into religion provides benefits such as feelings of safety, security, co-existence in real time while requiring sacrifice and art less so if at all. People have more of a stake in religion than in art. Other than exchanging views and sharing temporary emotional sways with art such as literature, painting, dancing, theater, sculpting and such, with the exception of popular music among young people, art is less efficient.

OTOH with the exception of those artist who contribute to their particular groupings such as religion or politics or business the artist themselves are no different than you and I in that they are just as confused and lied to regarding life and express that in their art. Good art evokes questions in the individual in order to try help us make sense of things in abstract ways.

So yes, I do believe art is a social adaptation similar to religion.


Edited by cripes on 06/06/10 - 2:40 PM
cripes
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Posted 06/06/10 - 2:20 PM:

Thinker13 wrote:


I can answer a variation of the same question, though, in doing so, I do not suggest that it answers the original one.


Why do I explore?

I explore because I enjoy doing so. I explore because I love it. I explore because it gives me happiness. It gives me some feeling of accomplishment. It soothes some corners of my mind. In total I explore for being happy, for avoiding pain so that pleasure could be attained so that I may remain happy forever. It is my nature to explore and it is my nature to crave for happiness.


Thank you
I have no reason to doubt you.

Children also seem to love exploring. The question is why? Why is it so fun and enjoyable to explore? Because its good for us. Exploring satisfies our need and want to exist in our surroundings.

Why does intimacy and sex feel good? So we'll do it. Its how we reproduce.
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Posted 06/08/10 - 9:06 AM:

cripes wrote:
IChildren also seem to love exploring. The question is why? Why is it so fun and enjoyable to explore? Because its good for us. Exploring satisfies our need and want to exist in our surroundings.

not everything that feels good is good for us. cocaine is one of many examples of self-destructive tendencies that people indulge strictly for enjoyment.
cripes wrote:
Why does intimacy and sex feel good? So we'll do it. Its how we reproduce.

this is where i believe evolutionary theory leads people astray. it suggests that anything we *can* do is because we *must* have some evolutionary imperative to do so. "i like having sex, therefore it must be good for me, therefore it must further my survival. this is not actually how the universe works in my view." some things occur randomly, spontaneously, and without evolutionary imperative. would you agree cripes? or do you believe that everything has an evolutionary imperative?

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Posted 06/08/10 - 10:51 AM:

libertygrl wrote:
this is where i believe evolutionary theory leads people astray. it suggests that anything we *can* do is because we *must* have some evolutionary imperative to do so. "i like having sex, therefore it must be good for me, therefore it must further my survival. this is not actually how the universe works in my view." some things occur randomly, spontaneously, and without evolutionary imperative. would you agree cripes? or do you believe that everything has an evolutionary imperative?




Exactly. Universe is too vast to comprehend using a theory of evolution. The human behavior itself is too random for that matter. Species come and go. Civilizations appear and disappear. Universes appear and disappear. From an absolute(indeed imaginary) point of view, there cannot be a theory(or a chain in casuation) which can explain anything, because, everything is cause of everything. Every thing has innumerable causes and that very aspect makes it uncaused.


Thank you
cripes
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Posted 06/08/10 - 11:55 AM:

libertygrl wrote:

not everything that feels good is good for us. cocaine is one of many examples of self-destructive tendencies that people indulge strictly for enjoyment.
First, cocaine is a drug which confuses the senses and manipulates the brain. Also, I never said, in a moral sense, that anything that feels good must be good for us. Some people claim killing feels good, and leaving morality aside, if that is indeed true, the person doing the killing must believe there is something to gain by the act. Too much of that though would of course lead to extinction. When philosophically considering evolutionary theory, I find it helpful to leave morality out of the equation. Morality is a social adaptation, IMO.

libertygrl wrote:
this is where i believe evolutionary theory leads people astray.
I'm shocked! If there is no place to go, one cannot go astray. Though I will admit that I think the idea of a destination, imaginary or not, is a good way to keep the troops moving [forward].
libertygrl wrote:
it suggests that anything we *can* do is because we *must* have some evolutionary imperative to do so. "i like having sex, therefore it must be good for me, therefore it must further my survival. this is not actually how the universe works in my view." some things occur randomly, spontaneously, and without evolutionary imperative. would you agree cripes? or do you believe that everything has an evolutionary imperative?
Evolutionary theory does not address cosmology. Evolutionary Theory is the observation of life.
cripes
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Posted 06/08/10 - 12:02 PM:

Thinker13 wrote:



Exactly. Universe is too vast to comprehend using a theory of evolution. The human behavior itself is too random for that matter. Species come and go. Civilizations appear and disappear. Universes appear and disappear. From an absolute(indeed imaginary) point of view, there cannot be a theory(or a chain in casuation) which can explain anything, because, everything is cause of everything. Every thing has innumerable causes and that very aspect makes it uncaused.


Thank you
Evolution is the observation of life, strictly speaking. The need to want to understand cosmology however is indeed a hunger created through the evolutionary process.

Human behavior is evolutionary and if viewed from that standpoint, is a lot easier to understand.
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Posted 06/10/10 - 10:10 PM:

cripes wrote:
Evolution is the observation of life, strictly speaking. The need to want to understand cosmology however is indeed a hunger created through the evolutionary process.

Human behavior is evolutionary and if viewed from that standpoint, is a lot easier to understand.

do you believe that cosmology follows an evolutionary process?
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Posted 06/11/10 - 2:09 AM:

libertygrl wrote:

do you believe that cosmology follows an evolutionary process?
I haven't a clue.
smokinpristiformis
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Posted 06/11/10 - 2:46 AM:

Recent insights suggest that for a lot of our modern thinking and occupations, we are using parts of our brains that have originally evolved for entirely different purposes. This is quite common in the evolutionary process, so not surprising as such.

So anyway, the structure of our brain is a result of evolution, and it is that structure that allows for typical crazy human occupations and ideas, such as art, games, truth, progress, etc. smiling face These things form part of our culture, which became possible through evolution, but is definitely a major, probably the most important, contributor to human behaviour in its own right.

The extelligence, the wisdom and traditions, the knowledge, the insights transferred from people to people, from generation to generation are key to our behaviour. Culture is almost synonimous to all that. Evolution is not, as such. Although no-one can deny that evolution has defined pretty much that has happened on this planet in the past billion years, the recent advances in thought and the rapid changes in behaviour cannot be attributed to it.
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Posted 06/11/10 - 4:10 AM:

Evolutionary theory is not exclusive to biology. I know its traditional to think it is. Think of evolution as a philosophy. If the term 'evolution' makes one uneasy unless its applied to biology, then use a different word if you like, but that makes little difference.

http://evolution.binghamton.edu/dswilson/
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Posted 06/11/10 - 8:31 AM:

I am aware that there is also evolutionary psychology and such. When accepting the principles of evolution as a given, you can build up a whole lot reasonings with it. This is very interesting an useful.

Not all these reasonings are scientific. Then again, a great majority of the work and reasonings in this world are not scientific, and many of those certainly do have merit as well.
cripes
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Posted 06/11/10 - 2:25 PM:

The following talk, including the q&a is well worth the time for anyone interested in where the conversation regarding evolution has been heading recently.

http://www.uctv.tv/search-details.aspx?showID=16922

Edited by cripes on 06/11/10 - 2:31 PM
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