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We live/die so fast, (in cosmic time) does anything really matter?

+4 votes
What the hell does it really matter what we believe or do in this lifetime. We are basically dust pretty soon, so Anarchy or any other lifestyle or belief seems to be a mute point in the big picture.
asked Aug 26, 2013 by anonymous
Your existential angst is no match for my kung fu.
the way i see it :

everything matters....and nothing matters.
perhaps a more pertinent question: 'does anything really matter' to you?
if my life did not matter to me, then i would seriously question whether and why to go on living.

i do still find joy in my life, and that is all the "meaning" i need.

what kind of "meaning" are you talking about? and who does it apply to? are you concerned about your "legacy", or what others will think of your life? i know a great many people have very strong feelings about that, but i personally have none. when i am gone, i am gone. maybe some will miss me, and think of me fondly. or harshly. it doesn't matter, i will be irrelevant.  (yeah, i know, i already am).

edit: i guess i injected the word "meaning" (after reading rice boy's answer), i don't see it in the original question.

4 Answers

+7 votes
I don't think there's an inherent meaning in anything, so any answer to this question is bound to be subjective. Or at least bound to point out this subjectivity.

Speaking of subjectivity, time is relative. The length of a human life is literally the longest thing you will ever experience. In the context of this expanse of time being the sum of your entire existence, maybe things might seem more urgent or meaningful - or maybe not.

I guess the only factual answer to this question is "it depends on who you're asking", or, on how much that person values their existence.

If you were to ask me, I'd say that the destruction of the planet (as a distant concept) matters less to me than my immediate fulfillment, happiness, self-actualization, and so on.

(Also: "moot" point!)
answered Aug 27, 2013 by Rice Boy (10,100 points)
+4 votes
The dominant culture is taking the only known planet able to support life and wildness and turning it into a desert-graveyard. I know my loved ones will certainly die of old age at some point, does this mean I do nothing when the colonizer culture tries to violently destroy them? Fuck no, I fight back tooth and nail. Do you have no self-worth or care for anyone or anything that you would struggle for? Do you not care even about your own dignity or self-determination?
answered Aug 27, 2013 by AutumnLeavesCascade (9,010 points)
+3 votes
its really a question of perspective and what you value in the world.  Is the 'big picture' really that important to you?-  all of those things that are totally out of your control? People experience time on a 'human' scale - mornings, afternoons, nights, instants, days, seasons, years, etc. but not really on the scale of universes unfolding.  So the question i think is 'do you value your own life?' and really only you can answer that question.  The anxiety of the big picture really only makes sense to me if your life is not worth living -  the existential idea is really just your actual lived experience projected forwards (mostly) and backwards in time.  so if its meaningless in 'real time', its usually looks meaningless in 'universal time'.

Theres probably also something to say about how this type of existential crisis and measuring on such inhuman scales is produced in no less so by the massifying ethos of our time - to think of everything in terms of intangible elements (populations, nation-states, identities, etc.), but i cant say much more on that right now
answered Aug 27, 2013 by jingles (2,220 points)
jingles i bet my balls from all the planet you cant find 1 person who understood the jiberish u said.speak english?
@death to hypocrites, wanna cum work for my PR office right now? i think you smart and we work together

" to think of everything in terms of intangible elements (populations, nation-states, identities, etc.)"

i like that...

" i bet my balls from all the planet"

i like that too.... or i might if i knew what the fuck it meant!

–2 votes
Maybe you can't achieve what you want because you die before, but you can give us a revolutionary legacy.

Maybe we won't live/die so fast (in cosmic time) in the future. Have you seen the progress in sciences? Medicine, biology, biotechnology, etc. could break that presupposition.

These sciences can only be really neutral in anarchy, so they serve us without classes, I think it's worth it. With this becomes more knowledge, pleasure, simulations, etc.
answered Dec 4, 2015 by Whask (330 points)

a. I'm talking about anarchoprimitivism since I said I wouldn't like to live in a commune of this type.

b. I'm not defining science as the desire to "know more", but since we have curiosity, this leads us to science.

c. "Wanting to know more" leads to "modern science and technology".

I see in Zerzan's quote a compliment to ignorance.

"Whask, so now you're equating really-true-knowing with scientific methods? oh boy..."

Not really, science is progressive so we can say it has his "provisional truths", but I consider this method very important to know as precisely as possible.

No, it's not eurocentric, it's a method, it doesn't matter if it originated in Europa, Asia, Africa, Oceania, America or in other galaxy, it has the same validity.

"i cannot see how your 'organized anarchy' could, in fact, be anarchistic, since modern tech/sci is thoroughly based in historical hierarchy, division (socially/intellectually/ecocidally), colonization, slavery, etc. to brush off this cruel, violent history (often written in gloating manner at having done so) is to perpetuate the notion that some eggs (most often brown eggs) get to be broken in order to make this dystopian omelet of yours. those 'eggs' can be found in the jungles of the amazon and in the shitty factories, mines, service jobs; the displacement and genocide of whole peoples and different ways of living. yech!"

Since I know about anarchy I know it can be organized, for example, with assemblies and direct democracy, I'm not proposing what you say (which isn't anarchy).

The critique of technology and science that you are doing here, has to be with the mode of production, since this can be solved in anarchocommunism or anarchocollectivism where you can really decide regarding to job.


This was the CNT (Confederación Nacional del Trabajo) in Spain working with industrial technology, it's compatible with anarchy (or I don't see why not).

Answering ricksantorum666:

1. I accept this, the problem with experimentation with animals.

2. That's because markets force us to live like that, a problem of capitalism.

3. Yes, but isn't this how the whole world advances? For example, when the first MRI machines were made and used, the images were not very good for multiple reasons (poor signal, weak RF gradients, inhomogeneities in the magnetic field, various artifacts that sometimes mimicked pathology, etc.). Tackling each and every one of those problems resulted in more problems, more solutions, and so on, until we reached the unbelievably beautiful images we are now capable of acquiring. If Google Glass is another MRI machine, then I am pretty sure quite a few people will make their living for a while trying to solve its problems. (Quoted from a radiologist).

4. Technology and science can help us to manage resources more efficiently too, to the extreme of working for us (for example robot Baxter), they allow us to do the same work in less time, this is a way how they can help us to live more freely, medicine can also help us to be healthy, etc.

"[...] there would be no need for video games and internet."

And what if I wanted to use and develop them? I wouldn't see any slavery in a video game which is made in an artist way, like there are games done for their own enjoyment by indie developers.

I answered what I mean by organized before. "Anarchy is the highest expression of order" from Elisée Reclus. I like this quote.

"LOL, considering that history is composed of slavery and despotic misery, why not fight against history?! The industrial revolution brought about perhaps the most miserable conditions that ever existed throughout mankind! 

uggghhh...thirst for knowledge?? This gives me a headache.....we are all curious about things, and a commune that suppressed this is not one i would want to be a part of...but the "thirst for knowledge" is some academic, western bourgiousie horseshit"

Because slavery and despotic misery is just a stage of history, I don't think the problem in the industrial revolution was the machines themselves, but how the production mode is structured, thus lowering the welfare of workers.

We are all curious about things as you say, I don't see why "thirst for knowledge is some academic, western bourgiousie horseshit, this has nothing to do with the working class or the bourgeoisie, call it how you want.

As you see, you associate the evils of technology and science to their own root, while I associate them with capitalism and his social structure.

I want to free software, not removing all software, I want to have renewable energy, not living in a cave.



@Whask: taking JZ's verbiage,'The hunter-gatherer people could see a bent blade of grass and tell you eight things about what it meant. '

how is understanding a bent blade of grass 8 different ways ignorance? it seems pretty well clued in on one's world. the quest to 'know what a star is' may most definitely be seen as a western preoccupation since it presupposes a 'thing-it-itself,' does it not? this is naught but a spook.

just because this preoccupation, and nearly every axiom entailed in it, has gone global doesn't mean it's ceased to be eurocentric. this is like polishing the turd of colonialism and calling it 'ecotourism' and saying they're unrelated. they most definitely are. i see it daily.

at any rate, you seem impervious to critiques of technoscience, its origins in western thought, values and power, as well as its inherent ecocidal/sociocidal/suicidal consequences. i'll just say i have no desire to live in a high-tech mass society and i'll fight it in every way i'm able.

i don't even see the need to continue this conversation at the moment, the things that Whask are talking about are clearly motivated by ideological tenents of anarcho-syndicalism, " I don't think the problem in the industrial revolution was the machines themselves, but how the production mode is structured, thus lowering the welfare of workers.".....even though the use of the machines were inherently harmful to the bodies of the workers and DANGEROUS. The conversation will ultimately go no where, i don't see any room in the techo-science world Whask is trying to promote for any other type of living thing besides humans.

and how absurd, that we've gone past the "stage" of despotic misery!

or to get back to the original question (which i somehow revived, and then forgot why!)...

why does any of it - how we look at things, and why we look at them in a certain way - matter?

perhaps the OP meant to allude to this type of discussion above about science/technology (or any other way of interpreting or understanding or creating meaning about what we encounter and experience in our lives)...