Ever Wonder Why Humans Crave the Artificial?

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ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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15 Nov 2015, 11:44 am

One thing that really stands out about our species is we love anything that's artificial and tend to loathe the natural world. We like our air conditioners, heaters, electric lights, gadgets, chlorinated water, synthetic fabrics, to name some examples. What is it in our makeup that alienates us from nature so? We would be better off toughening up and adapting, wouldn't we?



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15 Nov 2015, 11:54 am

Humans tend to be very complacent and habitual creatures who rely on the comforts of modern convenience.

Their electricity bills testify to the fact (damn electricity bills) *grrr



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15 Nov 2015, 12:01 pm

My guess is that we evolved in environments where all the various things we need for survival - fats, sugars, starches, vitamins, salt, water, moderate temperatures, shelter, safety from predators, good hygiene...all were in exceedingly short supply given our physiology. So now that we have them in abundance ("we" meaning first world folk) we still have all those instincts that want to force us to find, gather, run, hide, etc.. And they don't fit so well in a sedentary, agricultural, concentrated social setting. Also explains why people love nightclubs, getting drunk, loud violent movies, guns, being bullies, and all the social structures that replace a connection to Nature with the social equivalent of a Hostess Twinkie.


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15 Nov 2015, 12:16 pm

It was because a more natural life was tough, even for the tough, that we invented all of these things as a way to try to bring more physical comfort and ease to what used to be a very hard life, from earliest man to relatively recently.

We can have these things that make life easier without necessarily losing touch with nature, which is always out there when we want it.

I adore nature, the natural world, animals, but at the same time I'm very grateful for modern conveniences that make life nicer once I get home. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, and I think personally I strike a good balance. I'm not going to be made to feel somehow weak or shameful for simply being glad that I can turn on lights, keep my home warm, and watch movies, when I'm not actually wading through mud documenting birds....


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15 Nov 2015, 12:20 pm

Apparently it's something to do with being more comfortable in comfort.



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15 Nov 2015, 12:27 pm

BirdInFlight wrote:
I'm not going to be made to feel somehow weak or shameful for simply being glad that I can turn on lights, keep my home warm, and watch movies, when I'm not actually wading through mud documenting birds....


My apologies if I implied or explied (what? It could be a word...) that anyone should feel weak or shameful because they aren't having to struggle to survive. By "first world" I was acknowledging that the higher the standard of living, the more people seem to crave the artificial. That is not to say that I think a higher standard of living should be something to be ashamed of, only that the problem doesn't apply to those with nothing. Therefore, the answer must lie in some aspect of how we adapt to not having to struggle to survive.

It would be pretty cool if the energy spent on artificial stuff beyond what is needed for comfort and advancement of humanity could be put into raising the standard of living for all humans...while ensuring we don't overpopulate...and we all get to drive flying cars and use teleportation pads... ;-)


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15 Nov 2015, 12:37 pm

We crave comfort in an uncomfortable world. Not much mystery there.
And we have more ability to create tools to shield us from the world than other creatures.
Not much mystery there.

Humans are a cultural animal. By definition humans survive by creating artifice.

The moment we tamed fire and began cooking food we began to survive by cultural means.



ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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15 Nov 2015, 1:14 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
We crave comfort in an uncomfortable world. Not much mystery there.
And we have more ability to create tools to shield us from the world than other creatures.
Not much mystery there.

Humans are a cultural animal. By definition humans survive by creating artifice.

The moment we tamed fire and began cooking food we began to survive by cultural means.

Is it only uncomfortable because we surround ourselves with artificiality so we are not used to the natural world?



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15 Nov 2015, 1:22 pm

BirdInFlight wrote:
It was because a more natural life was tough, even for the tough, that we invented all of these things as a way to try to bring more physical comfort and ease to what used to be a very hard life, from earliest man to relatively recently.

We can have these things that make life easier without necessarily losing touch with nature, which is always out there when we want it.

I adore nature, the natural world, animals, but at the same time I'm very grateful for modern conveniences that make life nicer once I get home. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, and I think personally I strike a good balance. I'm not going to be made to feel somehow weak or shameful for simply being glad that I can turn on lights, keep my home warm, and watch movies, when I'm not actually wading through mud documenting birds....



This is pretty much my view. But the OP has a valid point: a lot of people are very out of touch with the natural world, and regard it merely as a convenience or a form of 'theme park' to visit in their spare time. They are unaware (or choose to ignore) that the natural world is the source of life on the planet, and as such has to be cherished. The current ecological crisis is the result of this attitude.



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15 Nov 2015, 1:24 pm

This is the question that you are asking "why is it natural for humans to be unnatural"?

Its a self contradictory question.



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15 Nov 2015, 1:49 pm

Hyperborean wrote:
BirdInFlight wrote:
It was because a more natural life was tough, even for the tough, that we invented all of these things as a way to try to bring more physical comfort and ease to what used to be a very hard life, from earliest man to relatively recently.

We can have these things that make life easier without necessarily losing touch with nature, which is always out there when we want it.

I adore nature, the natural world, animals, but at the same time I'm very grateful for modern conveniences that make life nicer once I get home. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, and I think personally I strike a good balance. I'm not going to be made to feel somehow weak or shameful for simply being glad that I can turn on lights, keep my home warm, and watch movies, when I'm not actually wading through mud documenting birds....



This is pretty much my view. But the OP has a valid point: a lot of people are very out of touch with the natural world, and regard it merely as a convenience or a form of 'theme park' to visit in their spare time. They are unaware (or choose to ignore) that the natural world is the source of life on the planet, and as such has to be cherished. The current ecological crisis is the result of this attitude.


For the few hundred years - far more so in the last few decades - we've had two social forces that have twisted human cultures away from nature. One is late-stage capitalism, the other is certain conservative organized religions. Interestingly, they mesh extremely well together as they don't actually compete in most current forms of democracy and theocracy. Both are led by greedy individuals who benefit greatly by convincing us to teach our children said leaders, their organizations and values should be seen as role models. In the process they've necessarily, intentionally separated us from the natural world around us. Disconnected, we turn toward whatever is offered that will give us the same emotional fulfillment and security that nature and its inherent interconnections once provided.


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15 Nov 2015, 2:04 pm

We've evolved from merely adapting to nature to adapting nature to our needs, which include safety and comfort.

Even my dog prefers comfort over non comfort and would choose an air-conditioned room over a non air-conditioned room in high summer. Likewise for heated rooms in the winter. She has no need for gadgets, but she does like her toys. She sometimes sleeps on fluffy pillows, that spoilt beast of mine. :lol:


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15 Nov 2015, 3:23 pm

SilverProteus wrote:
We've evolved from merely adapting to nature to adapting nature to our needs, which include safety and comfort.

Even my dog prefers comfort over non comfort and would choose an air-conditioned room over a non air-conditioned room in high summer. Likewise for heated rooms in the winter. She has no need for gadgets, but she does like her toys. She sometimes sleeps on fluffy pillows, that spoilt beast of mine. :lol:

True, but that's also why some dogs are considered to have various 'behavioral problems' when in reality all they need is to get outside and RUN, CHASE, CATCH, HERD, HUNT, PROTECT THE PACK...


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15 Nov 2015, 3:31 pm

Edenthiel wrote:
SilverProteus wrote:
We've evolved from merely adapting to nature to adapting nature to our needs, which include safety and comfort.

Even my dog prefers comfort over non comfort and would choose an air-conditioned room over a non air-conditioned room in high summer. Likewise for heated rooms in the winter. She has no need for gadgets, but she does like her toys. She sometimes sleeps on fluffy pillows, that spoilt beast of mine. :lol:

True, but that's also why some dogs are considered to have various 'behavioral problems' when in reality all they need is to get outside and RUN, CHASE, CATCH, HERD, HUNT, PROTECT THE PACK...


The only behavioural problem my dog has is separation anxiety, which causes her to spend limited amounts of time outside, far away from her human pack, who are usually indoors. She just likes to feel comfortable and safe when she can, just like any other animal would seek to do.


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15 Nov 2015, 3:37 pm

SilverProteus wrote:
Edenthiel wrote:
SilverProteus wrote:
We've evolved from merely adapting to nature to adapting nature to our needs, which include safety and comfort.

Even my dog prefers comfort over non comfort and would choose an air-conditioned room over a non air-conditioned room in high summer. Likewise for heated rooms in the winter. She has no need for gadgets, but she does like her toys. She sometimes sleeps on fluffy pillows, that spoilt beast of mine. :lol:

True, but that's also why some dogs are considered to have various 'behavioral problems' when in reality all they need is to get outside and RUN, CHASE, CATCH, HERD, HUNT, PROTECT THE PACK...


The only behavioural problem my dog has is separation anxiety, which causes her to spend limited amounts of time outside, far away from her human pack, who are usually indoors. She just likes to feel comfortable and safe when she can, just like any other animal would seek to do.

She sounds like a wonderful friend-animal. :-)


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15 Nov 2015, 6:39 pm

Edenthiel wrote:
SilverProteus wrote:
Edenthiel wrote:
SilverProteus wrote:
We've evolved from merely adapting to nature to adapting nature to our needs, which include safety and comfort.

Even my dog prefers comfort over non comfort and would choose an air-conditioned room over a non air-conditioned room in high summer. Likewise for heated rooms in the winter. She has no need for gadgets, but she does like her toys. She sometimes sleeps on fluffy pillows, that spoilt beast of mine. :lol:

True, but that's also why some dogs are considered to have various 'behavioral problems' when in reality all they need is to get outside and RUN, CHASE, CATCH, HERD, HUNT, PROTECT THE PACK...


The only behavioural problem my dog has is separation anxiety, which causes her to spend limited amounts of time outside, far away from her human pack, who are usually indoors. She just likes to feel comfortable and safe when she can, just like any other animal would seek to do.

She sounds like a wonderful friend-animal. :-)


She is :D


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