lateblt (lateblt) wrote,

Some things never change

"Old man, look at my life. I'm a lot like you were..."
-- "Old Man", Neil Young

"What do you see when you see this world, old man?" the young man asked. "How do you feel about all the changes which have taken place?"

"I see no changes," the old man said.

"How can you see no changes? People are living differently. People are living lifestyles which they've never lived before, they're cherishing values which they've never held before, they're thinking ideas which they've never thought before."

"They are following their internal visions. Whatever group is the most popular and powerful gets to demand that everyone else adopt their values and live the way they expect everyone to live. It was the same way when I was your age. Some things never change."

Everybody wants something. No matter who you are, you have desires, because every human being is nothing but a bundle of constant desires. At every moment of every day of every life, every human being wants something, and that desire never stops until a person dies. Until then, every moment is spent wanting something, even if it is not something which the person can articulate in words.

These desires are fundamentally irrational. There is no mathematical formula or scientific experiment which any person could use to objectively prove that what they want is better than what anyone else wants. But in people's own minds, their desires make perfect sense to them, and they are convinced that what they want is better than what other people want.

People try to pass off their beliefs as rational. They will claim that their values improve the world in some measurable way, that there are objective metrics which prove that their values improve things, but this is all a smokescreen. If someone could do a study which proved the opposite, that people's values actually create harm, people would not say "Well, my goodness, it looks like my values were wrong all along. Okay then, I'll adopt different values." People already know what they want, and they will make any data they generate suit their desires, filtering out anything which might not serve their cause.

Discussions and debates are pointless, because people's desires are fundamentally irrational, and thus they cannot be resolved with reasoned debates. At the core, people want what they want, and what they want will not change. Some things never change.

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