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Thoughts 2.0

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The Puppet Master
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The Puppet Master...is now pulling the strings

« on: 02 December, 2013, 05:57:45 pm »

The purpose here, I think, is going to be to try and just get all the thoughts out of my head and written down somewhere.  It's been a serious year of ups and downs for me, and as a result, I'm left feeling seriously lost and confused, although I guess that is just symptomatic of being a millennial.

I guess I'll begin with just a sort of general summary of what's going on.

I think the single biggest thing weighing on me is my lack of professional success, so I'll touch on that first.  There's a sort of duality in my perception to this issue.  I'm simultaneously furious with the previous generations and the system that was set up for us, as well as deeply disappointed in myself and suffering from serious issues with my sense of self-worth.  Growing up, we were told that the world was full of opportunity, and that we could achieve anything we set our eyes on.  We were told that our futures were secure if we went to college and got a degree.  I don't know whether or not they really believed what they were telling us or not, but coming out of college these days, it's plain to see that they were egregiously wrong about it.  There is far less opportunity and security than we were fooled into expecting, and it is mostly the fault of the greed and poor planning of the generations that came before us.  The actions, particularly of the wealthy portions of these past generations, led to an economy which is extremely unfriendly to the young, and which has left many of us unemployed or underemployed, and then our elders become indignant and call us entitled or lazy when we actually express our disappointment that things aren't how we were told they would be, through no fault of our own.  I am sure I'm not alone in this, but I've been unemployed for 7 months, unable to even get a job at a grocery store or similar places.  In fact, I've sent out hundreds of applications and gotten zero interviews, which leads me to my poor sense of self-worth.   I went to one of the top public universities in the world, particularly well known for its engineering programs.  My program, specifically, was ranked #2 in the country for most of the time I was there.  I took additional coursework to round out my education more.  I joined several large student organizations, and served as an executive for two years for two different organizations.  I found a position in a lab that yielded a co-authorship on a publication.  And yet, nobody wants to hire me.  What was the point of doing any of it?  Apparently $25,000 in debt and not being able to afford living away from home anymore.

I think I'm done with that for now, but I'll touch on it again in a later post.

Additionally, my personal life has pretty much taken a nose-dive as well.  I was dumped by my boyfriend of nearly 3 years in September, which, when I was already so down on myself about my lack of success.  I was absolutely torn apart.  I'd spent all year helping him find a realtor, go see condos with her, and then once he bought it, I helped get everything prepared, move all of his furniture, offer input on design and new furniture.  It was nice, because helping him gave me something to do with all the time I had because of unemployment.  We did everything together.  We were that couple.  The one all your friends looked to as stable.  My life was built around it.  And now it's gone.  The worst part is that pretty much all of our friends are mutual, so we see each other often.  I really want to be able to be friends, because he's still the one person that knows me better than anyone.  My feelings are really like a roller coaster.  Sometimes we're cool with each other and can talk and have a good time, and then other times seeing him makes it feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest and I have to go home and cry myself to sleep.  Additionally, a lot of my friends are moving away, either for work, or because they can't afford living in town anymore, so my support group is dwindling.  On top of that, my relationships with my family are kind of strained because this inexplicable distance that just grew between us while I was in school, so I can't turn there for support either.  So, my health just isn't as good as it was, probably because of stress, but I was sick for basically the month of October.  I'm sure my increased drinking isn't doing me any favors, either.

I'll get more into detail later on about some of these things, as well, but I just wanted to get out a sort of basic explanation.

I'm also not looking forward to winter, at all.  I usually get seasonal affective disorder to some extent, and I'm already feeling down, so I just know that's not going to be fun.

If you have any questions or comments before the next time I post, feel free and I'll respond.
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NPC Overlord Nikoleis
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« Reply #1 on: 03 December, 2013, 12:44:02 am »

You have no idea how I can understand you... the first paragraph is almost exactly the same thing I would say, except of course for the suicide attempt I went though (hint: don't try, it's overrated anyway). As for the second... let's say that I never engaged in a relationship in my life and I am happy with that, so I can't relate to you on that matter specifically, yet I can feel your pain. Yet I see a mistake that I want to correct with a big history lesson. Bear with me for a moment.

Welcome to a world where the less you work, the more you earn, because those at the head of banks / governments / lobbies are hardly the one doing anything (they have people for that) and as such, don't fully understand the meaning of earning something. Because of that flaw in our evolution called "Technology", we allowed non revelant people to survive when in a harsher environment those would have been driven out of the grotto to get some mammoth on their own... and most probably failing, taking care of the problem. Then we invented comfort, and those people could rest somewhere while the more competents were hunting. But it was not enough, as they were still outcast.
But then trading happened as groups were able to get to each other more easily, and with that, accumulation of goods. Those who were pariah had an advantage over their friends: they weren't dying as much and thus could amass wealth over a longer perod of time, slowly but surely creating the first nobilities and royalties in the world, using these riches as a way to move the working forces in their interest, starting the fundation of the vain art of showing off. Welcome to Cairo, Babylon, Bahgdad and all those eary civilization, able to afford a wealthy empire because of two inventions: Agriculture... and taxes
Meanwhile, those inventors were devising ways to practice their intellectual might. If mathematics are a thing, litterature and arts were too tools of the sage. But bcause it cost to create, they bcame dependant of the monetary elite and couldn't invent without pleasing their "generous" donator... exploiting once again people without having to do anything.
And we elvolved. Property appeared in the first code of law (not written by a worker, but by a king). From there, money happened to be the next step, in order to be less vulnerable to a loss of goods once again (since laws ensured that the punishments for stealing were harsh enough to avoid your own stock dwinling because of wannabe lazy people - oops, did we just invent thievery on our way? Nope, mery codified it.)
And then countries became aware of their surrounding, horses, navigation, food conservation and language uniformisation helping both for expansion (so you could gather more resources, obviously. Like you didn't have enough in your palace!) but also control (By slowly but surely making people dependant of services you control, because let's face it, you were the one giving order). Meanwhile, some genius saw the problem in Greece and had an ida to resolve the dichotomy between workers and powers. They invented Democracy. Too bad their opponent had another invention of their own labelled corruption, made possible because they were, as usual, the richer, but also now more powerful due to one of their tool meant for expansion: armies.
Soon, there were too many local powers and clashes had to happen. War became more and more common, mostly so you could take over what was in your opponnent's land if you won. But was it the lord that fought on the front line? Not necessarily, obviously. Giving orders from the rear is so gratifying, because it was another proof of your succes. People who were not going to earn anything from this massacre were WILLING to kill each other, so they could potentially earn their share of power with titles that only have a meaning on paper, disconnected from the real meaning of work. It began a trend still followed nowaday of having military being the first benefactor of science improvement, as it was easier to steal from your neighbor than to produce yourself.
Soon, those greedy landlord were swimming in riches and couldn't track all their earning, so they asked for a tool to take care of their wealth. Banks. People paid to take care of money, something that has exactly no practical value whatsoever as long as you don't need it. People paid with their own working tool for a job that create nothing. A money sink of sort, but who care? It's better than managing your own money yourself anyway, right? And so began the parallel activity of estimating the worth of a given good and trying to get the best price you can for it. Speculation at a small scale... for now.
And then war, war never changed. Too much people, not enough resources, so to solve both problems, you had to attack your neighbor one day or another, or be condamned to fall behind and, gasp! Losing political (and by extension monetary) power! because money, as useless as it was, was still revelant because of the relatively rare material used in its fabrication, be it gold or silver. But everything changed when people created a new way to create debt without resorting on metal. Welcome to France, where "assignats", the first paper money, was created! Money that didn't even need to represent something physical, but only the concept of a debt! With this began the big problem of devaluation, as more money meant less value for a given sum the more money was printed. A problem that became apparent way later, as gold was still the marker of finacial power for now.
What did I say about war? Oh yeah, it never change, Fallout was right there from the beginning. Apart for a little detail... because of banks, physical asset were considered resources as much as goods themselves and war tended to do a lot of damage, especially since we invented artillery, so more and more people - and countries - began to accumulate debts. Suddenly, those who had the power, because of their own system, discovered that they were losing grasp of the source of power they accumulated for dozen of centuries. New borderless powers rose after the two world wars as banks began to extend their grasp on everyone and everything. Goods were not enough anymore, evrything was valuable, thnaks to paper. Information, trademarks, ideas, right to work, all those things changed in the last centuries, becoming the new code of law from kings sitting on debts instead of wealth. Both political and monetary powers are currently engaging in a war that will ultimately lead to the total destruction of one side and nowaday, it seems banks are winning... but at what cost? Probably none from their point of view, as they can generate their own wealth at will thanks to worthless paper, freed from every relevancy (especially it's value compared to gold, a major loss from the USA in the economic war.)
What will happen however the day people will realize they are not working to earn something, but instead to inflate the debts of banks who do not care about having a negative overall balance (yes, nowaday most bank have 5x more money than they can physically output on average)? That's a chapter not yet written in History, the chapter where every science fiction author were wrong: it' not robots or martians that are trying to conquer the world, it's the new kings of Bankaria.

So no, it's not the previous generation that made a mistake. It's the entire human race in 500,000 years! ... I do hope taking the time to understand my own rant made your time a little better. If not take a fish and slap me with it, at least it will be funny.
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« Reply #2 on: 04 December, 2013, 01:11:15 am »

I know some of these feels, it cuts real deep.
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