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Fragmentation vs Wholeness: Why ur lonely & insecure in USA

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jamesbond
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Post by jamesbond » November 17th, 2009, 5:45 am

I agree that the public school system in the US is a joke! Send your kids to a private school or do home schooling. I went to a catholic grade school and then a public high school and the difference was frighting! The kids in my catholic grade school were polite, nice and easy to get along with. The kids in my public high school were mean, unfriendly and hated any new comers to the area. Not to mention the drop out rate for some public high schools in US cities is 50%!

Avoid the US public school system like the plague! LOL :D

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Post by momopi » November 17th, 2009, 6:17 pm

When I grew in the US as a kid, my fondest memories were mostly outdoor activities. I spent a considerable amount of time fishing, and my cousins taught me how to shoot his .22 rifle and took me on trips for small game hunting. Every year, my elementary school would have a field trip to the mountains where we stayed in cabins and got to learn how to collect acorns, row a canoe, build a camp fire, and various boyscout kind of stuff.

In secondary school we had an archer range and some students even got to raise hogs. Here in Irvine, we had a Wild Animal Safari that you could drive through (closed in 1984):
http://www.yesterland.com/lioncountry.html

Image


Moving forward to 2009, today the Safari park is in ruins, the Santa Ana River where I fished as a youth is mostly closed to public access. The archery range at local schools are closed, county fairs have to import animals from elsewhere, and most of the local outdoor gun ranges near here have closed.

To add salt to injury, when I drove all the way to an outdoor range in Chino Hills, I'm forced to use the friggin pistol range for my muzzle loader rifle, because the rifle range is now closed to the public -- the police had taken it over because they lost their own outdoor rifle range. >_<

I heard that local elementary schools no longer send kids on camping trips now due to cost and liability reasons. It's really sad. If I had kids today, I'd have to pay to send them on summer camps, and I probably can't give them their first .22 rifle as a birthday gift anymore.

===

Jamesbond: absolutely! I'd choose private Catholic schools over public schools these days.

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Post by Winston » November 18th, 2009, 10:57 pm

My dad admits that he now sees truth in my essays. Referring to this latest one, "Fragmentation vs. Wholeness" he said:
Dear Win,

I feel you have some good points. When I was in US long enough, I could not see your points. But, after staying out of US for a while, I started to realize the other side of US.
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Post by Winston » November 19th, 2009, 4:39 am

One important point I'd like to add to this essay:

Its not that other countries have to do anything in particular to make people feel connected and whole. They dont have to. People are NATURALLY whole and connected to one another. The difference is that most countries ALLOW the natural wholeness and connectedness of human beings to take place, whereas somehow the USA doesnt. Instead, America engineers its people to think that they are individuals who are segregated from each other and that "no one cares about you; only you can take care of yourself; its every man for himself" under the name of individualism. In other words, America divides its people, fragments them, and makes them feel empty on the inside, so they will be weak, controllable and over-consume to fill that emptiness that they dont even consciously recognize. Its not a jurisdictional control, more like a psychological form of control, which the public is unaware of.

I've added the above point already and revised the essay by inserting more key points. The new version is now updated at the top of the thread.

I've added quotes from both Grunt and SaturdayNightSpecial. Kudos to them for their excellent and insightful quotes.
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On the deliberate "engineering" of fragmentation

Post by Shokkers » November 20th, 2009, 4:19 pm

"Instead, America engineers its people to think that they are selfish individuals in competition with one another who are segregated by their "individual freedom". And it's beaten into them that "no one cares about you; only you can take care of yourself; it's every man for himself" under the name of individualism. In other words, America divides its people, fragments them, and makes them feel empty on the inside, so they will be weak, controllable and over-consume to fill that emptiness that they don't even consciously recognize."

Can you give an example of this?
Because I don't see this. I do see where Americans compete with each other, and I think it's a shame, but I really doubt that we're the only culture that does that. But I've never felt 'engineered' to feel selfish, empty or whatever. The gnomes of Madison Avenue obviously broadcast the message that "You Need More Stuff Or You're Not A Success" but that's meant to sell things, not segregate people.
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Post by DiscoPro_Joe » November 20th, 2009, 5:51 pm

Interesting essay Winston...although I'll have to disagree with the part about individualism causing social fragmentation.

I've been living in the lovely city of Chongqing for almost a year now. My 32nd birthday is less than two weeks from now, and most of my 15-20 friends have accepted my invitation to my party at a nice "KTV" karaoke place! This will be the first time since my 16th birthday that I've celebrated my birthday with even one friend.

Throughout the last year, I've shared some of my individualist ideas with most of my friends, and most of them agree with me about the ideas and are very receptive. (For example, "You live for you...I live for me...each of us is special with unique needs...no one can know you and understand your needs better than you can...and we should come together so that each of us can have our own unique personal needs well-met.")

Did I mention that I've acquired a greater number of friends here, and have developed more genuine friendships here than in all my 31 years of life in America combined?

In the U.S., I spent all those 31 years in the Midwest/Bible Belt, where the local culture often discourages individualism. And America didn't become socially fragmented (to a large extent) until the last few decades, in spite of the fact that much of the U.S. has been very individualistic for more than 200 years.

I think the biggest cause of the social fragmentation in America is this: the U.S. dollar became the world's official reserve currency in 1944, and resulted in the spectacular rise of American suburbia beginning around 1950. Because of this world-currency privilege, a majority of the country's population can afford to live in their own nice houses far from the city center, and can afford to drive a personal vehicle every place they go (often many miles every day). This creates isolation physically and socially.

Next, the American media (mainstream news, local news, TV shows, and movies) is overwhelmingly negative and often focuses on the bad things a few people do. Most Americans watch this every day. They become paranoid toward strangers, and are afraid to make new friends outside their established, closed clique (if they have one). This creates isolation psychologically, inspirationally, and socially.

And finally, there's the issue of the insanely-processed chemical poisons that Americans ingest every few hours, which they actually think is food. The nutritional deficiencies and excess toxins cause mental problems. Combine this with all the prescription and nonprescription chemical drugs they take every day, which they actually think makes them healthy. All this stuff results in numerous physiological and psychological disorders that exacerbate the widespread social isolation of America.

But here's the good news: when the U.S. dollar collapses in the next few years, these sickening trends in America should start to reverse themselves. Perhaps after 2020, Americans will become somewhat decent again...while playing catch-up with the rest of the world, I might add. :?

That's my take on this topic, at least. In the next month or two, I'll update everyone here about my wonderful life in the wonderful world of wonderland (outside the USA matrix)! :)

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Post by momopi » November 20th, 2009, 7:46 pm

IMO social fragmentation in the US started when people left small rural towns and migrated toward urban centers. The suburbs is actually an attempt to re-create some elements of small rural communities through cul-de-sac's. This is quite ironic since urban layout put emphasis on connected grids, versus suburban cul-de-sac put emphasis on being disconnected from through traffic. So you have connected grids with fragmented communities, and disconnected cul-de-sac's in attempt to connect the people living within.

The latest development trend is gated communities with HOA's, where members of the community would socialize within the HOA pool, park, tennis court, club house, gym, etc. Some work and others don't. At my friend's HOA they have movie nights at the club house and everyone brings snacks and drinks to socialize. At my HOA, I'd find one startled topless girl sunbathing, because she thought nobody else actually use the pool.

As for the argument over individualism, one should also ask if you'd accept the opposite collectivism, in which conformity is valued over the one or self. If you dislike individualism and conformity where it doesn't benefit you, and support it where it's of benefit to you, then that's egoism (egotism?) where you elevate self-interest above ideological stance. But that's just strictly speaking, the world isn't black and white and the Amish won't drive cars, but would ride in them if you drove.

Competition exists and is imposed on you in any major human society. Even in small Amazon hunter-gatherer tribes, people compete for scarce resources and sexual partners. Sexual competition exists simply because some people are better looking and more desirable than others. I recently completed an ebook project for a restaurant owner who wanted to publish a cook book. The restaurant owner is a very nice guy and he feeds 80-100 hungry kids at local charity 6 days a week. He also sponsors the US Olympic volleyball team, and many former Olympic athletes volunteered to model for him in his cook book. If you're wondering "what?", consider the main audience of recipe books is women, and good looking men attracts women. So here's a couple sample pages from the book's center-fold section:

Image
Image
Image

It feeds on women's desire to find... that tall, dark, handsome Adonis packed with lean muscle, in their kitchen.

Just as men wants this in their bedroom:

Image

The rest, are just hypocrites who think it's only OK for them to have high standards, but not OK when other people have them.

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Re: Fragmentation vs Wholeness: What we r engineered not to

Post by globetrotter » November 20th, 2009, 9:55 pm

Winston wrote:For some reason(s), America has this vibe and environment that makes one feel fragmented, disconnected and insecure inside. Something tries to make you feel unworthy and inadequate, and you are always on the verge of slipping into a state of depression and emptiness. It’s as if some empty void was always behind you and you feared getting lost into it. It probably comes from the cultural environment and collective energy of the population. One can postulate all sorts of reasons for this, from the independent lifestyle and attitude, to a conspiracy by the elite to divide the population to squell any uprising against their power, etc. but the bottom line is that there is an inherent sense of disconnectedness in America.
This is not a mystery.

The competitiveness of the USA, the constant state of aggression that everyone lives in, causes people to emit stress hormones and pheromones.

Too many people, too little space, bad traffic jams, not enough money to go around, results in everyone being stressed out. Like rats in a maze with too little space and not enough cheese. This is causing the massive obesity of Americans.

The genetically modified food, air and water supply make the situation worse.

It has gotten to the point where it is impossible to avoid it - you cannot breath air from somewhere else, and what is "organic" food in the US is plain and simply "Food" in other nations. In fact, normal cafe food in, for example Mexico, is better for you than Oregon Certified Organic food in the USA.

Whenever I return to the USA, within 12 hours my entire body begins to tense up. All of my muscles from my toes to my scalp become tense and they just tighten more and more with time until in 8 weeks I am a rigid tense mess. When I leave the USA gradually over a period of 6 weeks this muscle tension (sometimes referred to as Body Armor in Reichian Massage Therapy) dissolves until I become a normal, healthy, relaxed and sane individual.

Perhaps some people are genetically predisposed to this awareness, perhaps it is those who are "sensitive". For whatever reason it is real for me and I build my life around keeping relaxed and sane.

Thus I spend as little time in America as possible.

As someone here posted, the "Why" is irrelevant. The "What", "How", "Where" and "Who" are all that matter. Dissecting this is futile, solving it by moving overseas is not.

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Post by ladislav » November 21st, 2009, 4:38 am

But who do you think ' engineered' America to be fragmented? I think it just developed to be that way. The fragmented model is what made America progress in some ways. People are not shackled by the lowest common denominator of a group and can think and dream for themselves. Also, there are no parents and huge extended families to be a burden on your freedom and resources as in other countries. The negative flip side of it is the lonely fragmentation, the positive is that you have a lot of freedoms to dream to be what you want to be. And you can leave and few people will miss you.
I am curious why women in America want a 'dark'man and do not swoop down on all these Mexican laborers that come to the US in millions. And in a traditionally WASP built society why is the obsession with 'dark'? And how dark is dark?
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Post by Grunt » November 21st, 2009, 5:02 am

The CIA openly admits to fomenting feminism as a way to separate mother from husbands via work, allow children to be indoctrinated by the school system, and to add to the tax base.

Again, the entire f***ed up system was engineered to create a nation of socially retarded lunatics. Lets not forget, deranged lunatics make the best soldiers, right?

Its *all* by design.

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Re: On the deliberate "engineering" of fragmentati

Post by Winston » November 21st, 2009, 6:47 am

Shokkers wrote:"Instead, America engineers its people to think that they are selfish individuals in competition with one another who are segregated by their "individual freedom". And it's beaten into them that "no one cares about you; only you can take care of yourself; it's every man for himself" under the name of individualism. In other words, America divides its people, fragments them, and makes them feel empty on the inside, so they will be weak, controllable and over-consume to fill that emptiness that they don't even consciously recognize."

Can you give an example of this?
Because I don't see this. I do see where Americans compete with each other, and I think it's a shame, but I really doubt that we're the only culture that does that. But I've never felt 'engineered' to feel selfish, empty or whatever. The gnomes of Madison Avenue obviously broadcast the message that "You Need More Stuff Or You're Not A Success" but that's meant to sell things, not segregate people.
Well sure. Haven't you heard your peers tell you or each other, "You've got to take care of yourself. Only you can. No one else will." or "You shouldn't need people. That's weak and codependent." And also "You are number one, you've got to do what's best for you."(which is used as an excuse to dump men like used clothes) They even say that on shows like Oprah and Dr. Phil. It's common to beat that into people. It's part of the culture. How can you not see that?

It's also implied by actions and behavior too. When you are around selfish people who are disconnected, you slowly adopt their ways.

How else do you explain why I feel so insecure in America but not in other countries? It is NOT my imagination. I can tell you that.
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Post by Winston » November 21st, 2009, 6:54 am

That's wonderful news DiscoproJoe!

I agree with everything you said about the causes of fragmentation in America. As to individualism though, I meant that it contributes to fragmentation, not that it is the only cause of it. But of course it depends on what you mean by individualism. There IS the teaching in the US that you have to take care of yourself and that you are number one and that it goes for everyone. Such a teaching implies that there is no connection between people and that we are all separate. You see what I mean? But the universe does not exist that way. Everything is interdependent.

Peter Joseph, founder of the revolutionary Zeitgeist Movement, in his transformative film Zeitgeist Addendum, summed up the interconnectedness concept very well:

"There is no such thing as independence in nature. The whole of nature is a unified system of interdependent variables, each a cause and reaction, existing only as a concentrated whole."

But anyhow Joe, the bottom line is that in China, you actually FEEL GOOD about yourself, and accepted for who you are, right? That's what's most important. In dysfunctional CA I never felt accepted or allowed to be myself or allowed to be anything for that matter.
Last edited by Winston on November 21st, 2009, 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by globetrotter » November 21st, 2009, 7:52 am

ladislav wrote:But who do you think ' engineered' America to be fragmented? I think it just developed to be that way. The fragmented model is what made America progress in some ways. People are not shackled by the lowest common denominator of a group and can think and dream for themselves.
c

Yes but if all societal organizations are pointed one direction the energy required to swim up stream is exhausting.

Feminism is a subset of Communism/Socialism. It began by a group of rich Upper West Side housewives who met at home to bitch that their 10,000 square foot multi-million dollar apartments in The Dakota were the equivalent of Auschwitz. Someone should have called them on their BS in 1964 and told them that they were insane. The results of Feminism read like a checklist of Frankfurt School/Gramscian/Alinsky's Rules For Radicals.

You sell women on Equality and Workplace Acceptance, they flood the job market in 1970, wages drop, there is no non-working spouse to take up the slack during times of hardship both incomes become essential, the price of all assets - houses, autos, college education - rise, and credit card growth explodes. In 1970 there was almost no revolving CC debt in the USA as those who used CC's were business men. The first CC was Carte Blanche, then Diners Club - both were for big city expense account male executives to use. Putting women to work and giving them credit cards increased consumer spending.

Unfortunately this ponzi scheme cannot last forever and it crashed last year.

I think it is just that the Elites - those worth more than $20million USD, Professors, Educators, MSM execs - just think that it is best for society and they put their money behind it.

We can waste time trying to figure out why, try to fix the disaster that is America, or we can be happy.

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Re: On the deliberate "engineering" of fragmentati

Post by Shokkers » November 21st, 2009, 7:55 am

Winston wrote:
Shokkers wrote:"Instead, America engineers its people to think that they are selfish individuals in competition with one another who are segregated by their "individual freedom". And it's beaten into them that "no one cares about you; only you can take care of yourself; it's every man for himself" under the name of individualism. In other words, America divides its people, fragments them, and makes them feel empty on the inside, so they will be weak, controllable and over-consume to fill that emptiness that they don't even consciously recognize."

Can you give an example of this?
Because I don't see this. I do see where Americans compete with each other, and I think it's a shame, but I really doubt that we're the only culture that does that. But I've never felt 'engineered' to feel selfish, empty or whatever. The gnomes of Madison Avenue obviously broadcast the message that "You Need More Stuff Or You're Not A Success" but that's meant to sell things, not segregate people.
Well sure. Haven't you heard your peers tell you or each other, "You've got to take care of yourself. Only you can. No one else will." or "You shouldn't need people. That's weak and codependent." And also "You are number one, you've got to do what's best for you."(which is used as an excuse to dump men like used clothes) They even say that on shows like Oprah and Dr. Phil. It's common to beat that into people. It's part of the culture. How can you not see that?

How else do you explain why I feel so insecure in America but not in other countries? It is NOT my imagination. I can tell you that.
?????
I think everyone knows on some level that they have to take care of themselves; it doesn't mean that nobody else will take care of them, it's just that nobody else should be obligated to take care of someone else. (Obviously, kids are exempt). I've got friends everywhere that help me when they're asked--and I would obviously help them--but you probably wouldn't stay friends with someone that always needed help. The opposite of independence is parasitism.

I can't explain why you feel insecure in America, only you can, but you've achieved the state you wanted, so everything seems to have worked out for the best.
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Post by Winston » November 21st, 2009, 8:36 am

momopi wrote:IMO social fragmentation in the US started when people left small rural towns and migrated toward urban centers. The suburbs is actually an attempt to re-create some elements of small rural communities through cul-de-sac's. This is quite ironic since urban layout put emphasis on connected grids, versus suburban cul-de-sac put emphasis on being disconnected from through traffic. So you have connected grids with fragmented communities, and disconnected cul-de-sac's in attempt to connect the people living within.

The latest development trend is gated communities with HOA's, where members of the community would socialize within the HOA pool, park, tennis court, club house, gym, etc. Some work and others don't. At my friend's HOA they have movie nights at the club house and everyone brings snacks and drinks to socialize. At my HOA, I'd find one startled topless girl sunbathing, because she thought nobody else actually use the pool.

As for the argument over individualism, one should also ask if you'd accept the opposite collectivism, in which conformity is valued over the one or self. If you dislike individualism and conformity where it doesn't benefit you, and support it where it's of benefit to you, then that's egoism (egotism?) where you elevate self-interest above ideological stance. But that's just strictly speaking, the world isn't black and white and the Amish won't drive cars, but would ride in them if you drove.

Competition exists and is imposed on you in any major human society. Even in small Amazon hunter-gatherer tribes, people compete for scarce resources and sexual partners. Sexual competition exists simply because some people are better looking and more desirable than others.
Of course but you're missing the point. This isn't about geographic fragmentation. It's about PSYCHOLOGICAL fragmentation. In Russia you can find small towns in Siberia that are "isolated" geographically. But when you are in them, do you feel insecure about yourself, all alone and disconnected? Hell no! Why do you think that is?

Why do you think many in the US feel all alone even among friends or in crowded places? Think about that.

Right now I'm sitting alone in my apartment in Angeles City. But do I feel alone? Nope. Cause everything FEELS inherently connected here. Nothing is trying to make me feel insecure or unworthy.

Like most guys, you see things in terms of economics and surface practicalities. You don't see deeper or the bigger picture.

As to individualism, this isn't about that vs. collectivism. In Europe for example, people are connected and independent, but they are also free thinking individuals who are intellectual and informed about other countries. How do you think they achieved that balance? Ever read the book "European Dream" by Jeremy Rifkin? It explains a lot of it.

I think you are looking at the wrong polarities.

Of course competition exists everywhere. No one is disputing that. Everything to some extent exists everywhere. But in DIFFERENT DEGREES. That's where we draw distinctions.
Last edited by Winston on November 21st, 2009, 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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