We all produce and consume stuff and ideas- that’s the modern economy. I’ve tried to avoid the fact that humans are a social animals. But we are and I am.
Erich Fromm said this:
Today we come across an individual who behaves like an automaton, who does not know or understand himself, and the only person that he knows is the person that he is supposed to be, whose meaningless chatter has replaced communicative speech, whose synthetic smile has replaced genuine laughter, and whose sense of dull despair has taken the place of genuine pain. Two statements may be said concerning this individual. One is that he suffers from defects of spontaneity and individuality which may seem to be incurable. At the same time it may be said of him he does not differ essentially from the millions of the rest of us who walk upon this earth.
It’s unnecessary to do things ourselves because we can vicariously feel what people who actually do things feel simply by watching someone else do something on TV or listening to a song. An echo of feelings that aren’t as good but almost count drives entertainment, advertising, and consumption. And it’s safer to say what someone else said or feel what someone else felt because it’s nice to agree with people and have a tribe. It’s easier emotionally and physically. That’s why liberals watch liberal news and people live in neighborhoods with people who look like them.
So much second or third hand information is readily available that it almost seems to be a substitute for doing anything myself. Or thinking anything myself. Research and info gathering mode is something I really have to keep in check; learning’s all well and good, but sometimes it ends up as a means to avoid action.
Creativity and creating are necessary honesty checks.