Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Jokes and violence

Today I would like to post an example of a good joke, by my taste of course, and taken from xkcd of course.
(click to enlarge it)

It's funny mostly because peace, life and progress are considered good itself by our whole culture, but they're boring when achieved, and also static - social roles are given and hard to change. During wartime and other crises there are great losses, but also great (social and financial) gains. What I'm trying to say is maybe we like action (violence) so much not only because the feeling of danger keeps us from boredom, but also it brings us hope of radical changes (i.e. us becoming the wealthy, happy and loved, which most of us - by definition - are not).

At least I find this kind of motivation in myself - one of the biggest pleasures of gaming for me was to start as nothing and become everything.
Compared to that, life is slow and boring as we have little power over what we are (or at least I say we do). So today I'm not nostalgic of any certain game, I'm nostalgic of a certain world built with dreams. Also note that this great progress I had with games (and remember that strategy was my favourite genre) often involved finding solution to many social, financial and government problems and creating a happy city/nation/universe. But the hope of radical changes I mentioned before (connected with violence, crises and all the movies about them) is a selfish one: we dream for the social order to shake so that we wind up on top.

It has probably been a tiresome read, but it was an enjoyable write. As a piece of wisdom for today my thought of lately (I highly doubt if it's original, might be a movie or famous person quote that I subconciously remembered, so if you recognize it, let me know):

Manipulating opinions is quite easy, I'm doing it right now.


  1. Love the comic, and it wasn't too tiresome of a read. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Manipulating opinions is certainly easy, I agree. I like your view on gaming...

  3. I love the comic. and also your story. we haven't had a good world war in a while (not sure if good or bad thing). But the thing i like about is that it does bring a whole country together.

  4. Hhaa great comic! Hit me back at:

  5. i love the comic... really got you thinking a little

  6. I never understand these comics.

  7. I think you're referring to the Utility concept

    people will strive for the greatest happiness with the least sacrifices, conquering other has countries, putting them into hard labour while the winning party lives off them, is what i'm getting at and it actually is common and popular in the past, but is really unethical nowadays

  8. Interesting post. I would agree that war does shake up society and makes big changes in social-economic structures. Today the wealth of world is flowing increasingly to richest and the shaft between rich and poor starts to be alerting, even in western countries.
    I don't hope war, but it may be seen within this century if nothing is done for these problems...

  9. perception will keep changing depending on generations tho

  10. @A Ch M: I've given utilitarianism some thoughts a while back, but never in a country-limited vision. I think that the general idea of good=maximal happiness for maximal amount of beings is great, but not applicable to real life (not only because the difficulty in finding common way of happiness, but also due to my personal belief that even happy, but pointless life is something wrong; and all our lives are pointless in that - my - belief system, which would be too hard to explain here in all its aspects).
    This taught me to be more clear when I speak as 'we' and by that mean society, often ironically.

    @Alan and Noock: remember that the gain from war is available basically only to the most selfish, ruthless individual with a 'player' attitude. That's the main reason why war can't be perceived as something good, but I agree that the poor, but selfish and ruthless player-wannabes are amassing and it may lead to some dramatic events within the next fifty years.

    @All of you: thanks for your comments :)