11 July 2008

Whining as a Vocation and a Lifelong Avocation

Why do people in affluent countries whine so much? There seems to be a competition between developed nations and semi-developed nations such as Russia, to see whose population can whine the loudest. The epidemic of whining has been commented upon in the US:
"We have sort of become a nation of whiners. You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline," said the former Texas senator. "You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession." __CNN
It is talked about in the UK:
Complaints and the people who make them are often seen as confirmation of the new miserabilism - a condition that led an outburst from Tom Harris MP asking why everyone is so bloody miserable in a world where in the UK at least, we have a lot to be grateful for. __Source
Chronic complaining is becoming an art form in Europe, Japan, South Korea, Canada. Where would the growing army of attorneys, "journalists", activists, "diversity" consultants, pseudo-environmentalists, doomers, and hobby-wankers be without this clamoring culture of complaint? You can understand why the vocational whiners whine. It's their job--they get paid for it! But why do so many people devote so much of their spare time and mental energy to dwelling on the "empty space" in their glass, completely ignoring the abundant liquid sustenance?

It is not that they lack a sense of purpose--not exactly. They have made whining their overriding purpose in life, rather than creating something productive, or solving real world problems. Why would anyone misdirect their precious and limited resource of time to self-fulfilling predictions of doom, harassment, and chronic complaint? Why cannot these avocational doom-wankers find a constructive purpose for their lives?

You have to go deeper, and ask why so many people in the affluent world are not actually "growing up." To understand the answer to that question, you need to understand childhood development better than most current schoolteachers, parents, and child psychologists understand childhood development. Is that possible, you ask? Actually, it is not even difficult. But it will require a lot of reading and objective observation of people--children, adolescents, and adults--in their natural environments. Learn to suspend judgment and try to see what is happening at all levels--social, brain development, psycho-emotional development, and on the level of executive funtion and practical skills.That is largely what this blog is all about. The next level cannot be formed out of the psychologically neotenous baby boomers. And for every generation since them that has been trained in a neotenous and academically lobotomous way, the way out of that morass is oh, so, hard.

Because that is the shortage we are facing: a shortage of well trained and educated humans with self-reliance and a sense of purpose. Not a shortage of energy, food, health care, money, or anything else the media drones on about. We have a shortage of people--particular kinds of people. We have enough whining clones to populate the entire solar system. What we need are purposeful, independent, innovative-to-the-need-at-hand, well trained, and emotionally mature people who are willing to work hard for what they want.

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Blogger Eshenberg said...

Agree,there's only a shortage of people with talent, skills, honesty, morality, intelligence, and a nice personality. Big babies,we have more and more.........:/

Saturday, 12 July, 2008  
Blogger al fin said...

Very good list, Martins: people with talent, skills, honesty, morality, intelligence, and a nice personality.

Throw in purpose, drive, wisdom, perspective, experience, persistence, and competence, and you are beginning to build the foundation for a next level human.

Saturday, 12 July, 2008  
Blogger Ugh said...

I think you need to throw ingratitude on the pile. We are a nation of ingrates. It is one of the things we parents find so hard to accept in our own children - the lack of any semblance of graciousness(most of the time).

As you allude to the baby boomer generation being immature, over-grown children is it any wonder no one seems to appreciate the truly wonderful things we have in this modern world thanks to the kind of people who displayed the character traits you listed out in the final sentence of this piece.

Saturday, 12 July, 2008  
Blogger neil craig said...

What we need is a Foundation producing hundreds of X-Prizes to get those lazy purposeful, independent innovative types off their asses.

This actually makes some sense since none of us are 100% innovative or 100% whiners. It depends on the society we live in, the incentives we get & ultimately the role models we see.

Saturday, 12 July, 2008  
Blogger MooPig said...

I think it is a study in ambient noise. In my time whining started to become more evident when auto makers made car engines more lightweight. Doing so changed the compression rates, along with new gearing. V-8 engines in my youth roared down the line and leaped off the line... Li'l Deuce Coupe, Beach boys?? I get rubber in all four gears.
Today engines are measured in their whine decibel. Now everything sounds like a Honda 90 and its ear-splitting whine down the highway... no?
So, it must be a social change in over all adolescent ambiance.

Saturday, 12 July, 2008  

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