Shopping is not the same as buying | Seth’s Blog

Seth Godin, brilliant as always, distinguishes buying from shopping. The latter has more to do with desire, fantasy and pleasure; whilst buying is simply the act of getting of what one needs.

This distinction between desire and needs has been the debate in philosophy for ages. From those who condemned desire as a dangerous futility leading to alienation to those who praised desire as a pure human energy, desire has been the drive of consumerism as an ideology.

For mass consumerism requires mass production and the latter gave birth to injustice, human slavery, economical clash, more class divisions, global warming and the list goes on.

As usual, Seth Godin puts it in simple words and deep thinking. Read its post down below for more food to the mind.

https://seths.blog/2020/12/shopping-is-not-the-same-as-buying/

The writer’s block exists

The idea behind this title is not the block as a block, since one can write whatever comes to their mind. However, the writer’s block exists in terms of creativity and ideas flow.

In philosophy writing, a block can be undone by starting with definition and analysis of the main concept (or concepts). It ensures a depth of the writing without passing by some ramblings found here and there to add more lines/pages. Added to this, and it is the most important part of a philosophical writing ( whether it is an essay or a dissertation or even an explanation of a text) is the questioning part. That’s the real philosophical exercise; otherwise it will be just a presentation.

Then, one can get inspired from other writers or philosophers in case of a philosophical essay. Perhaps quoting some of their paragraphs or even comparing them to other thinkers/philosophers/writers (all depends on the content to be delivered). Not to forget to keep the questioning going.

In conclusion a writer’s block exists in terms of depth and analysis.

The philosophy of the doormat

It is peculiar to put the words philosophy and doormat in one sentence. But the truth of a doormat goes deeper to what meets the eye.

A doormat is a mat placed in a doorway, on which people can wipe their shoes on entering a building. They wipe their shoes from dust, mud and bacteria or viruses brought back from the outside. A doormat is then a cleaning mat; that’s the superficial way to understand what it is. However, a doormat is way beyond its wiping function.

A doormat is the separation between the inside and the outside, the private and the public. At the start, the public meant nature where people used to work or spend their days. If we praise nature now, it was not the case longtime ago. Back then and still to this day, nature was synonymous to dirt, dust and dangerous creatures. Residents in houses with gardens know exactly that definition, a doormat in every doorway, daily swiping the floor from sand and dead leaves, tracking insects and spraying pesticides. The same goes for all the daily hygiene because the idea of nature is dirt. Deodorant smells better than natural body odor.

Humans built culture as opposed to nature. They built a world that stands between nature and them, a world that is a mirror to humans. A doormat separates culture from nature.

Breaking traditions and breaking free

Traditions, what are they for?

Traditions are an endless repetition of an event, a behaviour, an action or just a way of being based on a cultural idea brought to light by society over generations. Repeating is cementing an identity, a cultural heritage and an ideology. Christmas tree, white wedding dress, Sunday family lunch for example and much more are Christian traditions and collective consciousness (to pick this concept from Marx0 perpetuated even by non Christians. It does tell then how religions in general shaped up and influenced our daily life until this present day.

Are traditions bad? Some are and some aren’t. However what is bad about traditions in general is limiting individual freedom. Identity goes deeper and wider than its social characteristics (nationality, race, religion etc.) and it is linked to individual freedom. Not only a background defines a person but this person does, what lessons they learned from their experiences, what they have been through and so on. Therefore, identity and freedom are beyond traditions and repetitions. They are endlessly evolving.

This is why, breaking free and “becoming who you are” to rephrase Nietzsche is to break free from traditions or at least to make the latter work for you and not the other way around.

On minimalistic sketches

Minimalism is everywhere on social media. Suddenly, people realized that abundance is somehow a burden especially in times of lockdown. How many pairs of shoes does one need? It all goes back to the need and desire dilemma. A world based on marketing, desire and compulsion is indeed marketing abundance.

In this perspective, without being completely for minimalism nor against it, I try to draw minimalistic sketches.

It takes such a short time to be done with one uninterrupted line. I loved the exercise. It takes precision, practice and a sharp observation.

Same is required for minimalism in general. It takes precision, experience, practice and a sharp observation in order to look put together.

A blog post by Seth Godin

Seth Godin is beyond any introduction. He is one the most famous and most prolific bloggers out there. I am reblogging his post because, as usual, his posts are accurate and straight to the point.

Dancing with belief

All of us believe things that might be inconsistent, not based on how the real world actually works or not shared by others. That’s what makes us human.

There are some questions we can ask ourselves about our beliefs that might help us create the change we seek:

Is it working?

If your belief is working for you, if it’s helping you navigate a crazy world and find solace, and if it’s not hurting anyone else, it’s doing what it’s supposed to do. Often, beliefs are about finding human connection and a way to tell ourselves about our place in the world, not as an accurate predictive insight as to what’s actually happening. And beliefs are almost always about community, about being part of something.

Is it helpful?

Air traffic controllers and meteorologists rarely believe that the earth is flat. It’s a belief that would get in the way of being competent at their work. If your beliefs are getting in the way of your work, of your health or the health of those around you, or of your ability to be a contributing citizen, it might be worth examining why you have them and how they got there. Did you decide to have these beliefs or did someone with an agenda that doesn’t match yours promote them?

Is it true? 

True in the sense that it’s falsifiable, verifiable, testable and predictive. Falsifiable means that the belief is specific enough that something contrary to the belief could be discovered (“there are no orange swans” is a falsifiable belief, because all we need to do is find one orange swan). It’s not necessary for a belief to be scientifically true, in fact, it undermines the very nature of belief to require evidence. Once there’s evidence, then whatever is true is true, whether or not you believe it.

Do you need it to be true?

Which means that much of what we do to somehow prove our beliefs are true is wasted time and effort. If a belief is helping you make your way through the world, if it acts as a placebo and a balm and a rubric, then that’s sufficient. The problems occur when some people use our beliefs to manipulate us, when they prevent us from accomplishing our goals or contributing to the well being of those around us.

What would change your mind?

If we decide that our belief is actually true, we owe it to ourselves to be clear about what would have to happen for us to realize that it’s not. One of the frustrating things about conspiracies and modern memes is that as soon as they’re examined or contradicted, they’re simply replaced with a new variation. It’s one thing to change beliefs because the scientific method shows us a more clear view of what’s happening, it’s totally different to retreat to ever more unrelated stories in the face of reality. Sometimes, it’s easier for people to amend their belief with one more layer of insulation than it is to acknowledge how the world is likely to work.

Is the world’s population living better than ever before?

The World Economic Forum in Davos in January, more than usual, prompted a spirited round of elite-bashing, which has now become the trendy political posture on both the right and left. On one side, US President Trump and Fox News hosts slam the out-of-touch establishment that, according to them, has run things into the ground. […]

Is the world’s population living better than ever before?

The IG Yoga

There is nothing wrong with the Instagram Yoga; and by IG Yoga I mean all yoga sites on social media. Yoga here is displayed from a marketing perspective; hence the images of difficult postures, fit bodies, fancy outfits and sometimes music. This is understood and widely accepted because jobs have turned into the online world mainly.

However, the IG Yoga is, in its majority, a continuation of the western perception of yoga, which is different from the eastern one.

So what is the “western yoga”?

Simply put, yoga in the West is seen solely as Hatha Yoga, a workout with many physical and mental benefits. This is the reason why it is taught in gyms for example as part of group classes. The aim is the posture or asanas as a path to the mental benefits.

In India, yoga is taught is ashrams or in specialized institutes. There, it is not about types of yoga but schools of yoga. Yoga, which means union, is the path of enlightenment and connection with all types of life. Hatha Yoga is one branch out of six which are the following:

Raja: with meditation as the main focus

Karma: path of service, of self-transcending action

Bhakti: devotion

Jnana; development of the intellect through the study of the texts.

Tantra: the most esoteric of all branches and widely misunderstood, it is about consecrated sexuality. Tantra is not porn.

Apart from some hints and tips about meditation, where are the rest of the branches on social media?

Weight loss misconception

Photo by Freepik.com

Weight loss is always trendy. Experts speak about fat loss (and not weight loss).

Fat is a stored energy. The increase of the body fat percentage is a symptom or an indicator of an underlying cause.

The underlying cause is simply the non utilisation of energy which ended up being stored.

In other words, the real underlying cause is a weak muscle.

Therefore, instead of preaching weight loss (or fat loss) which is everywhere on social media, the focus should be on muscle strengthening.

Pump that muscle and let it take care of body fat.

Muscles are the anti ageing (or ageing gracefully) weapon!

Creativity’s backup

Self-expression is one click away. Anyone can show up to their beliefs, ideas and crafts.

Talents are overpraised and overrated.

There’s no such thing as a talent. There is potential to be cultivated.

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. However the beholder doesn’t see the backstage tremendous effort.

A great result requires a great work!

It’s not about finding a passion then starting to work on it. It’s about doing everything (or almost everything) passionately. It’s about showing up every single day.

Procrastination is the fear of failing.

Only hard work is the creativity’s backup.