Ever wonder what is your purpose in life?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jay H, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    andy, I'm not trying to single you out, I just want to elaborate a little on this because it seems like a lot of people think the same way.

    I don't think your 'purpose' is to be a projectionist...I think your purpose is to be satisfied and happy with who you are. For you, being a projectionist fulfills this satisfaction. So it's not so much the projectionist being your purpose in life, it's being a projectionist that satisfies you, which allows you to fulfill your purpose (i.e. being at peace with yourself).

    Being at peace is what everyones 'purpose' is. Everyone has to deal with death eventually, so we all work hard to reach a point where we are at peace with the world...we come to this "It's ok to die" mentality. It's like preparing yourself for death. As morbid as it sounds, and not to say that we want to die right away, but that is definitely what we strive for...Peace!

    Just like with kids and a family, if these things make you happy and at peace with yourself, then you are fulfilling your purpose in life. What I think is bad (which I've alluded to this whole thread) is doing something that you THINK is a purpose because you're afraid.

    If your family and kids really put you at peace with yourself, then yes, this is your purpose, but I really do believe that a LOT of people have kids and families because they are afraid of death. Their families give them a sense of mortality that (somehow) means life goes on after their death.

    drobbins, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but when you say you couldn't think of anything worse than dying alone, it sounds like what I just described. You fear (while you're alive) that, if you were alone, that your eventual death wouldn't mean anything because nothing would 'live on' after you're gone. What that says is, you'd live your entire life in fear of death and never would be at peace with yourself. I could be totally wrong, but I do know a lot of people who live their lives this way.

    For these people, having a family to stop that fear is just hiding what they really do fear. They may not die alone, but I can't imagine they'd die in 'peace' as well. They were never ready to die because they were too afraid of life.
     
  2. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Again, you seem to be asserting that intelligence -- rocket-science intelligence -- has arisen solely in service to our species's survival. (I learned that in the ALOT thread. [​IMG]) predators are one thing, but asteroids and alien invasions are quite another. Adaptation is reactive, not proactive. "Survival of the fittest" fully explains the rise of intelligence to cope with predators, because predators were encountered on a normal basis. Extinction-level asteroid impacts, however, have not occurred even once in all of human existence. So our current ability (to the extent it exists) to mitigate an extinction-level asteroid impact could not have arisen through the process of survival of the fittest.

    In order for a species to adapt to "nature's challenges", the challenges must actually be faced. Dinosaurs faced a handful of extinction-level asteroid impacts, and not once did they develop a space program to deal with the challenge. We, on the other hand, have developed a space program (Hey! Stop snickering!) in the complete absence of any actual challenge of nature I can think of.

    To cite a future potential species-sparing application of rocket-science intelligence as evidence that said intelligence has arisen in order to meet the heretofore un-introduced challenge of nature is, I believe, specious.

    I contrarily assert that our intelligence far exceeds the level sufficient to "meet nature's challenges", and that its capacity requires some other explanation.

    Unfortunately, I'm not intelligent enough to figure out why I'm so damn intelligent. [​IMG]
     
  3. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    I'm with Brian. "Survival" may have required a combination of evolutionary genetic changes and an increase in intelligence that may or may not be genetic. However, somewhere around the time intelligence evolved to the point of self-awareness and intelligent communication, the thinking process evolved from one of instinctual thought on the situation at hand to the evolution of thought passed on from generation to generation. This has absolutely nothing to do with survival and everything to do with the ability to analyze previous situations as referenced by others and use them to solve problems that are at hand or even problems in the future that one may not have encountered yet. We didn't start a space program because we may need it for "survival" one day and we didn't invent calculus because it may help with firing rockets in the distant future (although some had ballistic uses, even back in Newton's time). We did these things not for survival, but for growth in human knowledge. Now the fact that much technical knowledge has arisen from weaponry and warfare may lead some to believe "survival" was a component of that knowledge and that may be true, but that only explains a small portion of the knowledge gained.
     
  4. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    Guess I need to expand on this more!

    I look at life as a gift. When I said "dieing alone" was referring to dieing with out anybody noticing or caring. I know that my life will have had very minimal impact on history as a whole, but by having a family I have shared that gift with others.
    Families are not for everyone. If someone doesn't want a wife & kids, I would strongly advise - don't do it. I personaly feel my life would not be complete with out a family.
    I am one out of 5 children. My older sister is married but wants nothing to do with kids. She has been very sucessful in high tech R&D.
    My brother has never had a meaningful relationship that I know of and live alone.
    I have another sister that is married with a child
    My youngest sister studies gurillas in Africa. She has been with the same guy now for 20 years and has no intention of marring as far as I know.
    They are all content in the life that they have chosen.
     
  5. Josh Edens

    Josh Edens Auditioning

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    BrianW and Jeff Gatie:

    I think you guys failed to notice the part when I referred to “other humans” as nature’s challenges. Humans formed societies not just for protection from their predators, but also for protection from each other. Our “rocket-science” intelligence is a product of our life in society. Exactly how it happened I am not going to go into here. I explain this in detail in my book, so get it from your local library if you want.
     
  6. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    Mark

    That’s exactly what I was trying to say, it somehow eluded me, yes it does make me peaceful well it once did, but there’s plenty of other cinema sites to work for, but for now I’m fairly at peace with myself to a degree.
     
  7. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    No I didn't miss it. I fully addressed it with my discussion of military technology vs. full knowledge gained (and you only have to scroll up to see the details; no trip to the library necessary [​IMG] ). Eventually, knowledge became a pursuit in itself, not simply a "means for survival", IMHO. You may disagree, but I certainly did address it with regards to other humans being a challenge of nature (unless we have waged war on another species I don't know of?).
     
  8. Josh Edens

    Josh Edens Auditioning

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    Every bit of knowledge gained granted an advantage to the party that gained it. Because people have always been in competition with each other, they had to seek knowledge to get ahead of their competitors. In other words, humanity has never sought knowledge just for the hell of it, but with the intent to use it to its advantage. Knowledge is power and all that.

    Like I said before, we were forced by nature to study it.
     
  9. Buzz Foster

    Buzz Foster Second Unit

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    Jon, I do love my job. I hate my employer. And I hate that I never seem to get ahead. I hate that a decent house costs a small fortune. I hate that decent cars cost at least $20,000.

    I really hate going to visit family and friends in Dallas and having them wonder if something is wrong because I drive a ten year old Toyota Tacoma instead of some new thing that costs me a huge monthly payment.

    I have allowed myself to get caught up in rampant consumerism at times. It was my choice, but it certainly seems to be a common one, and one that lots of folks make. I'm ready to walk away from all of that. There has to be something more to life than this.
     
  10. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Sorry Josh, not every bit of knowledge ever gained was wholly owned by a "party" who used it against another party in competition. Almost all of the mathematics and physics reasearch in the last 20 years or so has been open to the entire world and is truly a universal effort. That is the only example I really must give, but various medical procedures, practically every book printed, and almost everything you find on the internet is also shared equally (although some "parties" do not allow it to be seen by its citizens, the persons who gain and accumulate the knowledge share it freely).

    Need I go on?
     
  11. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    [Edit: Dang it! Jeff beat me to it. I'm not fulfilling my stated purpose in life. [​IMG]]
     
  12. Josh Edens

    Josh Edens Auditioning

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    No need to go on. I admit that I made an incorrect statement. That's what happens to me when I hurry. Allow me to put it another way. Everyone studies nature to some extent and everyone does it out of necessity. Newborns, kids, and adults, all try to understand their environment. Everyone is compelled to understand their surroundings because everyone understands how it is related to their existence and survival. Call it a natural curiosity.

    Most people become satisfied with their understanding of nature some time in their teens or twenties and cease actively pursuing knowledge. Some people are never satisfied with their understanding of nature and spend their whole lives studying it. They may not feel like their survival is at stake, but they still expect their professions to bring them some money, status, recognition, and authority.

    In short, everyone studies nature for their own benefit. For most people it is to satisfy their curiosity - to build an accurate perception of their surroundings. Scientists are simply more curious than others and they still expect to get paid.
     
  13. Brad Porter

    Brad Porter Screenwriter

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    If I can define individual human "knowledge" as the sum total of all active memes in one's mind, then...

    The evolution of memes in a communicative society is analogous to genetic evolution, although the reproductive cycle is far more accelerated. The latter is influenced solely at the conception and death events for each organism. The former is manipulated constantly with each new mind that the meme must be translated into and with each incongruous meme that it encounters. Copying errors are abundant, so memetic variance is extreme.

    The basic wetware that we all employ as humans to transact our knowledge doesn't vary profoundly from person to person, but the range and quality of "intelligence" contained within each human vessel is profoundly different. The obvious question is why do all humans have big brains yet use them in such disparate ways to know so many useless things?

    In early homo sapiens, the bulk of the active memes were certainly directly related to long term survival (ummm, and fucking, of course) in a competitive and hostile environment (avoid things with sharp teeth, don't eat things that smell bad, etc.) and therefore directly supported genetic propagation of humans with superior abilities to communicate and retain those survival memes. Brains got bigger in successive generations because bigger brains were able to communicate better and remember more useful information and thereby survive to procreate. At some point the brain that everyone was walking around with got big enough to handle just about every obstacle that nature could throw at it and suddenly you couldn't get rid of humans unless you had a really, really, really big rock (or a really, really, really nasty virus). Survival became easier and easier and we began to find other things to occupy our big brains.

    However, memes which directly support survival are a very small (and growing smaller) subset of the total memes in circulation today. Although all memes must compete with one another for long term mindspace, the selection criteria for those memes isn't readily reducible to just "survival" or "competition with other humans" these days. I'd observe that titillation seems to be a primary advantage for memes in 21st century brains.

    So I agree with Josh that trafficking in more and better memes leads to an advantage in whatever competitive environment one is engaged in ("Knowledge is power"), but I would never suggest that every meme leads to an advantage ("Every bit of knowledge gained granted an advantage to the party that gained it.")

    After all, I've got the lyrics to "Muskrat Love" in my head and they're doing me no damn good at all. [​IMG]

    Edit: And now that I see Josh's post which was posted while I was typing, I see that I can't hang him up with his quote any longer. I would suggest that my (long-winded) interpretation of his last post would be that modern minds seek and accommodate memes that interest them. In the absence of daily life or death decisions, memes regarding "nature" no longer provide as much interest as memes regarding "Star Wars" or "fashion". Social competition is a much stronger influence on meme retention than is the organism's survival to reproductive age.

    Brad
     
  14. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I also think a lot of people follow a set pattern that they think they are supposed to follow (according to nature)...and by the time they are in their 20's and 30's, they are lost in life because that's where 'nature' seems to stop...or at least when it starts to really slow down.

    I know a lot of people who graduated high school, got married, had kids, and now are in their early 30's & 40's and wondering "What now?" - They fell into this "I have to do these things because that's human nature" mindset and now that they've accomplished that, they either don't know what to do with themselves, or they start looking to do the things they should have done years ago (but put off).

    That's why there are so many people that go through mid life crisis's (I think that spelling is correct [​IMG]).

    Why does it seem like nature and the pursuit of knowledge are so separated? You have the young housewife who is stuck at home with the kids thinking "I should have done more with my life" and on the other end, you have the highly successful business man who is sitting in his penthouse (alone) and thinking "Why didn't I ever find the time to meet someone?".
     
  15. Josh Edens

    Josh Edens Auditioning

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    MarkHastings, just wanted to tell you that I've enjoyed your posts. Thanks for sharing.

    Edited to add that I've enjoyed everyone's posts on this subject, not just Mark's. I know, I know. It's lame of me to say that, so I'll just shut up now.
     
  16. RobLe

    RobLe Stunt Coordinator

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    A few years back I was pondering what the purpose of my life was. Somebody told me this, "I think that a purpose of everybody's life is to touch others. Our lives are governed by our experiences and every single person we meet has an effect on us, whether it be big or small. If at some point you made at least one person happy, then I think you have done something absolutely wonderful with your life. You have changed that person." For the most part, I have adopted that as my own thinking on the subject.
     
  17. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I'm kind of like that too... like my HT, at first, I had to get the best and latest, then it simmers, and now it's like "does it work?" [​IMG] Sometimes I feel the happy people are those that are content with what they have rather than those who want it all yet have none.

    I'm very content with my small home, even though I paid an arm and a leg for it. I am happy that I can afford a quiver of nice bikes and can go on big mountain trips. Myself, I can't say I am ready to walk away from it all, but it has certainly crossed my mind a lot recently. Not that I think I'll ever stop biking/hiking/kayaking, but just the pressure of having to work to afford the tiny little house I have, etc. Living in a tent keeps sounding nicer every day.

    Jay
     
  18. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    "I have allowed myself to get caught up in rampant consumerism at times. It was my choice, but it certainly seems to be a common one, and one that lots of folks make. I'm ready to walk away from all of that. There has to be something more to life than this."


    Years ago I got in the habit of going through my stuff every year and getting rid of some stuff I dont need or havent used.


    "They fell into this "I have to do these things because that's human nature"

    Ive never felt the need to follow along those lines. I decided at a very young age I wouldnt marry. And Ive seen many guys I knew, met whatever divorced and working 2 or even 3 jobs to support children. As far back as my teens with everyone parents around me divorcing, I was conscious of it and said "no thanks, not for me".

    Ive never understood why a relationship HAS to lead to marriage. Theres nothing more certain to fuck up a good relationship than marriage. 2 friends of mine dated their G/Fs for 10 years, got married and were divorced a year later. In one case theres a kid who the mother was more than happy to use against the father to make his life miserable.
     
  19. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    If they are saying what now they are as dumb as they come. I cant fricken wait to get rid of my kids,i've had them long enough. If i'm that business man in my penthouse i will have at least 1 or 2 young things keeping me busy.
     
  20. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    LMAO! [​IMG]

    Whenever people ask me about wanting kids, I tell them that I want to adopt a cute 18 year old. [​IMG]
     

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