Author Topic: Don't worry, be Finnish!  (Read 1400 times)

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Offline XB-70 Valkyrie

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2019, 10:49:32 AM »
As I grow older, I grow more cynical in some ways; in so many respects, it seems that life (Business, politics, academia, every organization) is NOTHING but corruption, cronyism, and dick waving. Sometimes, it seems that all of our institutions exist to facilitate rape--literal rape in the case of fraternities, the Hollywood-industrial complex, the Boy Scouts, the Catholic church, etc; and figurative rape in any mega corporation you could care to name: banks, insurance industry, big pharma, big oil, etc.

OTOH, I too have come to embrace buddhist and stoic principles, and have in fact been fascinated by these world-views ever since I was an adolescent, decades before meditation and yoga became fashionalbe. I  guess once you realize it's all bullshit, you can relax, smell the roses and enjoy life. I actually greatly enjoy my job (At times), writing, research, spending time with my wife, vacations, wine, music, etc. Clininging to circumstances, and possessions, and longing for permanance are the causes of suffering, not desire per se. Worrying about others' opinions (and really, what are they worth???) is another road to suffering.

My father in law (a tough old bastard in some ways) had a gem of wisdom: "Are you paying my salary? No? Can you kick my ass? No? Then I don't give a **** what you think!"

Here are a great set of principles from filmmaker Werner Herzog:

Always take the initiative.
There is nothing wrong with spending a night in jail if it means getting the shot you need.
Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey.
Never wallow in your troubles; despair must be kept private and brief.
Learn to live with your mistakes.
Expand your knowledge and understanding of music and literature, old and modern.
That roll of unexposed celluloid you have in your hand might be the last in existence, so do something impressive with it.
There is never an excuse not to finish a film.
Carry bolt cutters everywhere.
Thwart institutional cowardice.
Ask for forgiveness, not permission.
Take your fate into your own hands.
Learn to read the inner essence of a landscape.
Ignite the fire within and explore unknown territory.
Walk straight ahead, never detour.
Manoeuvre and mislead, but always deliver.
Don't be fearful of rejection.
Develop your own voice.
Day one is the point of no return.
A badge of honor is to fail a film theory class.
Chance is the lifeblood of cinema.
Guerrilla tactics are best.
Take revenge if need be.
Get used to the bear behind you.





« Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 10:57:56 AM by XB-70 Valkyrie »
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2019, 11:20:01 AM »

     Is there a country I can move to where it's against the law to conflate philosophy with therapy? It reminds me of "I love classical music, it's so sooooooothing".
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Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2019, 11:23:23 AM »
And who, in your view, is conflating philosophy with therapy?

Offline drogulus

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2019, 11:55:10 AM »
And who, in your view, is conflating philosophy with therapy?

     When the term philosophy comes up in a discussion it's either preceded or followed by discussion about therapy or wisdom traditions. It sometimes seems this is the only aspect that interests people, as though the whole enterprise and not just a part of it was devoted to the Meaning Of Life. To be fair, one philosopher I respect wrote a book called The Meaning Of Life, but I think it was supposed to be a joke.
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Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2019, 12:04:36 PM »
When I mentioned my "personal philosophy" I did not mean Philosophy with a capital 'P.' It is neither philosophy proper, nor therapy, but my outlook on life. I'm one that thinks that most of what the traditional philosophers thought about has been made moot by the various fields of science.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2019, 12:20:28 PM »
Did we suppose we are immune to
Life?
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nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2019, 12:21:26 PM »
OTOH, I too have come to embrace buddhist and stoic principles, and have in fact been fascinated by these world-views ever since I was an adolescent, decades before meditation and yoga became fashionalbe. I  guess once you realize it's all bullshit, you can relax, smell the roses and enjoy life. I actually greatly enjoy my job (At times), writing, research, spending time with my wife, vacations, wine, music, etc. Clininging to circumstances, and possessions, and longing for permanance are the causes of suffering, not desire per se. Worrying about others' opinions (and really, what are they worth???) is another road to suffering.

Sounds like a lot of clinging to this notion that you're oh-so smarter than the rest of us. Doesn't sound so zen.  :laugh:

And what about the incessant complaining about where you live, one of the most beautiful places on earth. I guess all of the early texts in which the Buddha complained about having to live in east India were lost.  :laugh:

Offline North Star

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2019, 12:31:59 PM »
Finland was a Swedish duchy back in the day, wasn't it?
Yes, from 1300s or earlier until 1809, although the borders of what was under Swedish / Russian rule moved a few times in that period. I'm not sure how well Finland did in happiness studies at the time, though. ;)


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Offline JBS

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2019, 01:06:27 PM »
     When the term philosophy comes up in a discussion it's either preceded or followed by discussion about therapy or wisdom traditions. It sometimes seems this is the only aspect that interests people, as though the whole enterprise and not just a part of it was devoted to the Meaning Of Life. To be fair, one philosopher I respect wrote a book called The Meaning Of Life, but I think it was supposed to be a joke.

When the Greeks started philosophy, they had two goals: to find out what the world around them was like, and to find out how to live satisfactorily.  The first became natural science (in 18th century terminology, science was "natural philosophy").  The second became philosophy as we know it. The Greeks wanted to know how to live a good life. Of course that requires deciding what exactly the good life is before anything else.

So, yes, wisdom traditions come up naturally when discussing philosophy because that's what philosophy originally was: the wisdom tradition of GrecoRoman culture.

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2019, 02:50:31 PM »
Sounds like my experience on this web site. :)
  8)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2019, 03:02:12 PM »
     Is there a country I can move to where it's against the law to conflate philosophy with therapy? It reminds me of "I love classical music, it's so sooooooothing".

I know little of academic philosophy but weren't the stoics like Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius trying to help people to live better lives? Even Spinoza, one of the most 'mathematical' of all philosophers, seems to have had a similar motive. Isn't it in more recent times (last 300 years?) that Philosophy became increasing divorced from practical applications to people's lives? I'm happy to be shot down here but at least this thread is providing a welcome distraction from Brexit.

PS JBS, I've just noticed, has expressed this more eloquently that I have.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 03:04:02 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline drogulus

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2019, 03:16:06 PM »
When the Greeks started philosophy, they had two goals: to find out what the world around them was like, and to find out how to live satisfactorily.  The first became natural science (in 18th century terminology, science was "natural philosophy").  The second became philosophy as we know it. The Greeks wanted to know how to live a good life. Of course that requires deciding what exactly the good life is before anything else.

So, yes, wisdom traditions come up naturally when discussing philosophy because that's what philosophy originally was: the wisdom tradition of GrecoRoman culture.

     I don't think philosophy is ever a wisdom tradition. It's a critical tradition. The Greeks were among the first people to question the certitudes of their own culture and habits of thought. From then until now it has been closely allied to mathematics, science, language and logic. It's more concerned with investigating the means by which knowledge is derived, for example what it means to have a good life, than it is the answer to what a good life is. Philosophy as I describe it is essential to my good life. That's what I use to attack wisdom.
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Offline XB-70 Valkyrie

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2019, 04:14:13 PM »
Don't know who it was, Seneca or Marcus Aurelius I think, but one or more of the great philosophers opined that philosophy is ultimately worthless if it does not lead men to lead better lives and to happiness.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 04:17:14 PM by XB-70 Valkyrie »
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2019, 04:38:26 PM »
Don't know who it was, Seneca or Marcus Aurelius I think, but one or more of the great philosophers opined that philosophy is ultimately worthless if it does not lead men to lead better lives and to happiness.

     Very few people are capable of better lives and happiness through philosophy. It's a skill and aptitude, most people can be happy without it, and that's a good thing.
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Offline Marc

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2019, 11:32:02 PM »
The Dutch are VERY happy. Top 10 happy people since decades, AFAIK.

That's probably why. since the days of Pim Fortuyn, they are voting so furiously for ANGRY political parties, who insist that things in the Netherlands have grown extremely bad and keep getting worse.
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2019, 01:11:34 AM »
If I lived in Finland I'd either be on pills or preparing to move elsewhere. Prolonged bleak weather makes me depressive.  :)

As for philosophy, the word literally means "love for wisdom". Using it to attack wisdom is self-defeating.  ;D

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Online Jo498

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2019, 01:25:47 AM »
In the ancient world philosophy as critical striving for knowledge and as a kind of behavioral therapy for attaining wisdom were usually seen as two sides of a coin. Martha Nussbaum wrote a book (mainly on the Stoics, I think), titled "The therapy of desire". For the Platonic Socrates, leading a good life is inseparable from attaining real knowledge (getting out of the cave). And this is similar for the whole Platonic tradition, neo-Platonism, including the later Christian variants. (Boethius' book is called Consolatio Philosophiae, after all...)
Depending on the school the connection will not be as tight. The good life and happiness in the somewhat detached way we nowadays mainly associate with the stoics and buddhism tended to become more important in Hellenism. For the skeptics and Epicureans these practical aspects clearly take precedence over knowledge and also for the later stoics (like Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius who after all are our main sources on stoicism, there are but fragments of the "older Stoics" like Chrysippos) they dominate. But the connection is nevertheless there. Lucretius' materialism is supposed to take away fear of death (or possibly hell/underworld) by the insight that the soul is just made of finer atoms and will perish.
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Offline 71 dB

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2019, 05:39:08 AM »
If I lived in Finland I'd either be on pills or preparing to move elsewhere. Prolonged bleak weather makes me depressive.  :)

The weather can get damn bleak at times in Finland (e.g. November/Decemcer when there's no snow yet, but the days are getting very short), but sometimes it can be very beautiful (according to tourists who visit Finland): The "endless" days of midsummer in Finland are the opposite of bleak and in the winter it can be very beautiful, like Narnia, when there's lots of snow everywhere to give more light.
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Offline 71 dB

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2019, 05:47:21 AM »
Finland was a Swedish duchy back in the day, wasn't it?

Kind of how Brits in America...
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2019, 06:04:19 AM »
If I lived in Finland I'd either be on pills or preparing to move elsewhere. Prolonged bleak weather makes me depressive.  :)

As for philosophy, the word literally means "love for wisdom". Using it to attack wisdom is self-defeating.  ;D



     Philosophy is self critical. In order to know what to think you have to know how to think. Attacking received wisdom was the job of philosophy from the beginning.
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