I think the most salient element of my life has been being too ahead for my age and place. Not in every realm, surely not in most realms, nor it seems even some or more of my own realms… But indeed, I was very mature for my age, very young and was in a neighborhood and upbringing that nurtured thinking.
Let me restate: that nurtured thinking better in comparison to the rest of the country. I grew up in Fairfax County, one of the absolute richest in the U.S.
I had no idea of this until recently and I took it all for granted.
I must also state that I, because of my gifts for art and thinking, in being too ahead in this way, paid the price and devolved to some extent. To the point where people thought of me as a real asshole. My own echo-chamber I can see now, was the enemy to some good extent.
In the more recent part of my life, the echo-chamber grew a personality trait of a maladaptive, misanthropic vision for humanity as insulation against the anti-intellectual onslaught I wasn’t ready for. This began in high school as my mother’s death became for the first time a real possibility in my mind. It is easy to let oneself adapt to their surroundings through pure defense, when seeing the other point of view, no matter how base you might consider it to be, is an effective deterrent and can even unravel problems.
It was my parents who taught me to think.
Far different a thing to teach one how to think, the most important thing for children aside from the how, is just to think at all.
When I say thinking, I do not mean picking up a book once a day, or any isolated bourgeois cocktail party equivalent–but nothing less than at least a regular and habitual, genuine interest in ideas and their implications that at least takes up a significant part of every day.
In my family, and I would later find almost solely in houses of what I’m finding in looking back, Jewish people I knew. There were stories read to us, and thinking about those stories was verbalized and debated. Later, verbal arguments and verbal politics were conversations of my youth where Greek traditions of the oral sort were actually practiced. I remember being excited to get up and talk ideas over coffee with a best friend’s mom, or the night before, a party where big ideas passed like water and honey.
In these days, thinking, genuine 19th century poetic style interest in ideas, is a rarity. This is a sad fact.
Later in life I would find and have found in virtually every other part of the country I’ve been to, to be a stock inventory of the rank-in-file life of passive consumerism; something I railed at ever since age 14. I found in the duration of my life, that my initial conclusions about consumerism and its corporate stranglehold on especially the American public–were real. Actually real.
Virtually every other part of the country is riddled with people that can remain in one place for a very long time and enjoy their “lives” and be fine. Who don’t need more than a TV, media driven entertainment, and enough to eat and breed. But it’s real. All too real a tragedy. But it’s always been this way and perhaps would always be if technology wasn’t exponential in growth, which it is, forcing the mind millennium to grow into a zygote. At least. The first signs of these first bouts with European level unemployment rates is the infancy of a far more massive 3rd world existence in the North Western Hemisphere.
The future is still driven by entrepreneurs that are too few. The web has still not caught on in the individual-basis of decentralization. Right now, were seeing polarization of political parties which has divided the country inside mass sized echo worlds. Due to the fact that the individual and individual group can achieve a pure homeostasis inside a self-media driven echo chamber will catch on and on and on and grow and grow until first, we see the landscape of suburbia begin to take an even stronger urban character. Then, we will hear of another rise of cults…then, states might be bringing up their rights, though this may already be a moot point. I mean, why do we need to congregate by means of states when our electronics can be functional anywhere. Zombie movies perhaps mark the first unconsious public realization that we are no longer contained by national borders, and now the ground we walk on is itself back to the medevil view of rolling decentralized hills and embankments, vague fuedal territories and maybe even how the Native Americans viewed the land as the land eternal.
We can’t see over the hills, there is just too much information.