Breaks in Our Chain

in Reflections4 months ago

There is a lot of complexity in life - lots of little details that we should to pay attention to, but can't, because we just don't have the bandwidth. As a result, we miss something here, another thing over there, and pretty soon, we have gaps all over. Micro breaks in the supply chain that feeds our lives, and our lives become filled with unintended consequences.


While humans can be resilient and adaptable, the systems we create are fragile. Unlike nature, that has no opinion and just builds and destroys as the need requires, we decide that somethings are more important than others, some things worth holding onto, even if it isn't in our best interest to do so. This means that when we build, we will favor some aspects over others, and when we consume, we will pay attention to some parts, more than others. On top of this, with limited bandwidth and increasing complexity, we are increasing the distance and lagging further behind.

But, it isn't just what we do as individuals that break our chains, it is everything piled on top of everything else. While our economy is a shambles by design, the environment, the food supply, industries and a million other things that affect us, are also broken too. Part of the reason for this is that we are driven by incentive, which means where the incentive offers the return we are after, we will shift our attention there. It really is basic economics of supply and demand.

But at the personal level, we are also broken, because while we are "all" rational actors (in our own mind), we tend not to act in our real self-interest, but rather on an opinion of what we think is in our own self-interest. This means that we will design our lives to get more of what we want, even if what we want means that we are worse off. And, then we will justify the course of action, by diverting our attention away from the real problems, so we don't have to face them.

You know how curvy women post images and quotes about how they love their body, comparing it to Marilyn Monroe's size 16? That is great that they are happy, but they are also missing some details, like sizes change.


Marilyn's "Size 12" in 1945 was 36-24-34. Today, a size 12 is 38.5-30.5-41. That is a significant difference. And her waist size is a size 4 UK, her height makes her a small, and her weight puts her in the extra small category. Does Marilyn still qualify as "curvy" in today's culture?

I bring this up as it is a visual disconnect from what people say, and what they do, with that gap between making an impact on their actions, as well as their opinions about themselves, and their health. We can believe something to be true, without it actually being true, and it can be detrimental to our wellbeing. Much like those Facebook influencers who post inspirational quotes and images about how happy they are, only to be chronically depressed and suicide not too long after. These things are an overcompensation for reality, actively avoiding seeing what links in the chain are broken, thereby not having to repair them.

It takes time to get out of sync, it takes time to repair problems. But, we live in an on-demand culture, where people don't have the time to invest into improvement, just into consumption. But more than that, having everything at our fingertips makes us impatient and worse, entitled, because we expect to get what we want, when we want it. We expect to be able to eat our cake, have it too, sell it for a profit, and have no negative consequences.

And this entitlement and impatience has other effects, especially since we are also encouraged to consume, and we have any content we desire at our fingertips. For instance, I brought up with a friend the other day the possibility that the increase in sex crimes could be linked to the on-demand culture, where people expect to get what they want, when they want it. And then, layer in that we are less community conscious, socially responsible and increasingly disconnected from each other, seeing relationships as transactional, and lots of parts of the chain are broken, resulting in unintended consequences.

And this is largely driven by those incentives to maximize profits at any cost, because in order to do so, it encourages manipulation of the system, manipulation of the target market, manipulation of demand to favor one action over another, in an ecosystem where competitors are doing the same. Societal wellbeing doesn't factor into the business models, at all.

Advertisers aren't selling ideals. What they are doing is tapping into our insecurities, or feeding our opinions of ourselves in order to sell their product. Their goal is to increase profits of a company, regardless of whether it is in the best interest of the buyer or not, because that is what they are incentivized to do. And their customer is incentivized to pay attention to the advertisement, because that takes their attention so they don't have to face the reality of themselves.

If we look at personal wellbeing as a supply chain of resources and activities, what we would likely find is that there are a lot of holes that are decreasing efficiency, and reducing effectiveness. But, the incentive to ignore these deficiencies is seemingly higher than the cost of keeping them.

However, broken links lead to more broken links and problems cascade, fractalling out into the landscape of our lives, disrupting the environment needed for our wellbeing at an increasing rate. It is just like breaking nature's food chain, where even a small change can have large unintended consequences down the line, even though we didn't know what effect the change would have in the future.

Is, "I didn't know" a good excuse?

  • I didn't know smoking was bad.
  • I didn't know obesity was dangerous.
  • I didn't know rape was wrong.
  • I didn't know it would harm society.
  • I didn't know where it would lead.

But with so much complexity, so many independencies, so many differing views, conflicting science, adherence to cultures and wants to have desires fulfilled, "I didn't know" becomes an excuse, because there is far too much to know, and our attention is so often taken away from what matters, to something that doesn't, because it is incentivized to be so. It makes money for the supplier, and buys avoidance for the consumer. And all of these things cascade into a raging waterfall, that falls off the cliff, into the abyss.

All that will be left at the bottom, is broken links.

[ Gen1: Hive ]


I don't know why you always have to pick on fat people in your posts. I'm so offended! :) I work out every day and I eat well and I doubt I will ever meet the metrics that they say I should be be healthy. I have a feeling if I did, I would look sickly and people would be more worried about me than they are now. I'm just giving you a hard time though. My wife does a really good job of helping me let go of stuff that I normally would hold onto. She gauges the value or worth in things differently than I do and it's good that she does. It helps me let go of things more easily.

I don't know why you always have to pick on fat people in your posts. I'm so offended! :)

You are an easy target ;D
It is because it is on my mind most days for myself. I don't want to be "comfortable in my own skin" when I know my skin isn't good for me. Who is it good for?

She gauges the value or worth in things differently than I do and it's good that she does. It helps me let go of things more easily.

This is very important. You are lucky in your relationship I think.

After working out 4 or 5 days a week for a couple of years now and not really seeing a difference in my weight, I have decided to not let it bug me as much. At least I am healthy on the inside.

It is indeed a rollercoaster no matter what you do, but even more so when we strap ourselves in and let the ride take us where it goes. The tracks will lead to places we don’t want to be if they are shaped by convenience, superficial materialism, fake lifestyle status and entitlement.

The good news is we have a choice. We have so much information at our fingertips and a powerful brain to use when we awake it from its routine-based slumber.

I think dialogue like this, online and in person, between people striving to better themselves and constantly learn, is a key. Eventually wisdom will pile up after a string of unfortunate decisions and bad outcomes. If we share our wisdom and surround ourselves with folks actively working towards the goal of true happiness, we can save each other those wisdom building mistakes but benefit from the lesson anyhow.

While I do love the shift from ignoring mental issues and personal well-being and a scarcity based economy, we may have swung too far into entitlement and found new flaws in ourselves while big business twists the screws like they did before unions protected individuals as a collective. Now, I see many unions as entitlement by committee and a profit being grifted from that virtue signal by another part of the system that evolved to take advantage.

Mindfulness balanced with education can be a tough equation but worth pursuing for more control over success and happiness.

The tracks will lead to places we don’t want to be if they are shaped by convenience, superficial materialism, fake lifestyle status and entitlement.

But, this is living! This is what we need to aspire to...

I feel that one of the drivers of "the population is too big" is that the large percentage of the population who won't make it, are those who probably haven't done that much for humanity so far. The consumers.

The problem I have with the "mindfulness" approach (the media driven one), is that it has become another consumable, but not actually addressing real changes in most people. Quoting Gandhi and the Buddha, doesn't mean making the change for greater wellbeing, or becoming more community-minded. It is the equivalent of changing a profile picture to a flag color to signal solidarity. It does nothing much.

However, this doesn't mean that there isn't value in building and encouraging mindfulness, it just means that only a fraction of those who believe they are practicing it, are actually practicing it. The majority, have just put on a black dress, looked in the mirror, and decided they have lost weight.

Ignorance of the law does not exempt from compliance with it. Apparently, in the information age, we are more "misinformed". With your text, I remembered that recently, a Colombian singer talked about his temporary retirement because he was "tired" of fame. Words more, words less, he said he was tired of traveling from one country to another, of living in hotels, of daily parties, of eating caviar and champagne for breakfast. What society sells as the ultimate happiness, according to this singer is not: Apparently, people also get tired of eating lobster. Most media or platforms serve to "edit" life: a Photoshop that touches up our not-so-cool, not-so-colorful days. Anyway, as my grandfather used to say: "in the Lord's vineyard there is everything". Greetings

Money doesn't buy happiness, but it can buy lobster. But, an unhappy person is going to be unhappy no matter what they have, but a happy person can become unhappy, when everything in life is a financial struggle. A lot of people take what they have for granted, using it poorly.

This means that we will design our lives to get more of what we want, even if what we want means that we are worse off.

One of the many issues we as humans have is, we focus on wants than Need. Wants are mostly trivial things we can live without but people would rather do it and ignore the aftermath.

Humans really need to focus more on what we need and how to improve our lives positively than focus on wants that may be a cause of problem later.

I believe our wants emanate from things we see in the social media or the outside world, and surprisingly(well! Not surprising) , we feel the need or the urge to follow the trends ignoring the problems attached.

All this can only be amended if only people paid more attention to what they really need to improve themselves and not what they want.
Great to be on your blog again.
Best wishes

Imagine if we knew that in order to have a healthy and clean environment, we needed to invest all we could into clean energy technology for the next ten years, including what people spend on entertainment. I think we would be screwed.

From were I come from, the solution is to teach the kids the right way as they grow up, so the next generation will have the right positive habits. Will this work in changing the world? We do not know yet. But the general idea is that our bad habits and good habits in our generation (1960-1990) are already hard wired, and you need much more energy and a higher cost to change at this level.

The worse it gets, the more expensive to correct. At some point, we just get scrapped and life will start again in its own time, perhaps evolving into something a bit smarter than us. Something that doesn't know better, but kills itself anyway.

If you are a newbie at wherever you are, "I didn't know" might be an excuse, if not, it would sound evil-minded.

if not, it would sound evil-minded.

Exactly. So, people seem to compartmentalize and "act dumb" when it suits them.

I just feel those things that people say are lies. People know that what they are doing is wrong but they decided to do what they have on their mind
They are not being ignorant. They are just being wicked

Ignorance is bliss. But when you know what you are doing is wrong, how does it feel?

In conclusion the world is broken. And those awake to the fact are taking advantage of that and the expense genuinely helping man kind. Because that’s where the incentive for mad profit is. Beautiful write up. A classical case for web2

The mad profits seem never to be in doing the right thing.

With apathy and a refusal to accept one ultimate truth it seems our world is crumbling. Yeah I did not know because we chose to not hear we chose our own views of what is truth and what is real. The way we view things has changed. Norma Jean (Marilyn) may be considered petite rather than curvy today. But out of greed and selfishness we have mega sized the world.

But out of greed and selfishness we have mega sized the world.

And then created industries around making it smaller again - out of greed.

😀@bozz, don't be offended. Maybe @tarazkp is so thin that's why he uses fat people for illustration. Thank God I too I'm thin. I have given birth to 3 kids and I'm not fat. But is it true @bozz that fat people can be inactive? LoL🤣

I think we must have to know about our basic needs and human rights. If we know how to be a strong person than we can overcome every hurdle of life.

I think things like weight are cyclical similar to fashion. They go in and out of season. I think up to 70s, curvy women was the trend. Around 90s, skinny women were popular. Some were even anorexics. From the 2000s to the present, big butts and bigger women are popular. What's funny is if you watch the music video of Baby Got Back, the women depicted there are normal/thin by today's standards. The "big butts" there are small compared to the big butts of today.

As you mentioned, ignorance "I don't know", has become a lingering problem that many people are afraid to face after not putting the consequences of their actions into consideration.

If we look at personal wellbeing as a supply chain of resources and activities, what we would likely find is that there are a lot of holes that are decreasing efficiency, and reducing effectiveness.

I learned I lack delegation. I have started to do that. I know it can often burn up money but sometimes that is better move than trying to do everything yourself. I am sure in near future AI is going to be helping us do that. In fact some people are already using AI in that context.

Better not tell my partner about that distraction stuff... as should would certainly single out Splinterlands as the cause for my distraction to everyday life.