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Jiff Slater
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01 Dec 2020
 

The pervasiveness of microabrasions
16 November 2020

**DRAFT – Last Updated 2020-11-16**

The human body has multiple mechanisms to stay adaptable in the ever-changing present.  At the cellular level, there’s an evolving protection against the constant marching battery of micro-organisms.  This protection keeps you alive.  At the macro level, there’s your own personal drive to survive.  These two halves come together to form a cohesive whole – you.

However, these adaptions only work to keep you alive, in an acceptable homeostasis of which the bar is rather low.  Fed regularly?  Check.  Have a shelter?  Check.  Got a job?  Check.  Feel fulfilled?  …  There’s a class of constant onslaughts that we’re not well-adapted for – or you could say we’ve adapted to them inadequently – maladaptations.

These minor antagonists can’t usually be used to propel you into a better place, rather, they’re constantly sanding away your drive to become fulfilled.  Daily unpleasantries you dismiss or accept; an over-extended caffeine habit; a day-ending nightcap; a small lack in regularly activity; less sleep than usual; or a chair that isn’t a good fit.  Truth is, most of our day-to-day activity is structured around the same interactions with the world around us in order to nurse a homeostatic environment.

Due to our maladaptions, we either deny (recognise and reject) or accept (merge with our definition of the world) the things that slowly erode the internal concept of fulfillment – day after day, the concept of a satisfactory life reduces to the idea of a simple, monotonous, manual life of labour where the rewards are self-evident (no introspection or reflection required) and real.

While the idea of disconnecting from it all may sound pleasant, it would onyl be a travesty of the modern life that we’re capable of.  We’re Thinkers, constantly creating abstractions out of language out of language out of language.  Modern computer programming is all about collaboratively editing a shared mental model or map of how a computer works at a specific level of abstraction.  There’s no emotion here even though it’s methological and expressive.  But at the end of the day, every computer engineering knows that a compiler (also an abstraction) will take the inputs and optimise them away for better execution in the more accurate computer model.

For modern language – the maxims of “if it bleeds, it reads” and “emotion deserves promotion” seem to be interwoven into all common watering holes.  This modern way of writing seems to cut through carefully built abstractions which help to promote a shared understanding of the world and antagonise people into a reactive state.  There’s no value here: no deeper meaning, no verbalisation that can define (label) the angst.