Why does Movies affect us more than we know? They can enlighten the way we think about ourselves and our future. What many of us know about love and how we should live together we get from Movies and TV-Series. So finally we get a movie like Her, who takes responsibility in awaken our thoughts on the matter. What can it teach us about love and how we should live together in the future? Find out below as my mind wanders on the subject 🙂
Do You Feel Alone? [Is More Love and Companionship the Answer?]
We humans are social creatures by nature. It’s what makes us human. We are made for living together sharing food and stories with each others. Modern brain science shows that it’s hardwired into our brains. It’s makes us feel good when help others. Most of us don’t like being alone and yet our modern world seems designed in many ways to keep us apart. Especially the notion that we should live only with our significant other and maybe some children. Or just alone by ourselves, like how many people do in our big modern cities. And yet, we are designed to live in a small or a large Tribe in so many ways.
Some of us has made it work, to live together with others. Many of rest of us feel very alone in our lives and in our decisions. This become very apparent during Christmas. The guilt and the loneliness we try to smother by consuming ever more stuff. Many of us tries to drown our Social Pain in Alcohol or Drugs. The Mental Care institutes are ever so crowded around the holidays, filled with human tragedy. And it’s going in the wrong direction. We now know that Social Pain is as real to the brain as physical pain. The old myth that we can just shake it of, is no longer valid and truly busted. Thanks to modern science and MRI scans we now know that large parts of our brain are wired to keep us in the social game. So what is the opposite of Social Pain and being alone? Is it Love and Companionship? What can we do to get better at this Social Game?
What do you think?
Decisions, Decisions [Why are we so bad at them?]
Human are also especially bad at making crucial decisions alone. We all need help. The Brain is very prone to make irrational emotional decisions and make up a logical rational explanation long after the decision is made. Sometimes we only have an explanation when we get asked about why we did what we did. We also hold things sacred. And around things we hold sacred, we are especially bad at making informed decisions. Here we all need help. Preferable from people that do think alike to avoid group thinking. This also a reason why we should spend more time together. So that we can be there for each other.
So ask for help the next time you are making a tough decision.
Are you Her? [The past is just a story we tell ourselves]
The movie HER by Spike Jonze is a very fascinating story about love and loneliness. The setting is near future where living together or alone is just as complex or even more so than today. Check out some of the background to the movie here: Spike Jonze Imagines the Future of Intelligence, Mobile Design, Love and Pants in “HER” and The Past is Just a Story We Tell Ourselves. There are many questions that pop into my head during this move. And non get any real answer. They are just for us the Audience to ponder on. The questions I ponder on are:
1. Are we okay with living on our own? [Does just intellectual companionship suffice?]
Yes. We probably are. Intellectual stimuli are something most of us get to little of. It’s something many of us crave more of. Even though some parts of the brain is lazy, other parts can’t resist excitement if feels when getting a proper intellectual dialog going.
Theodore in Her thinks he has found a perfect relationship with the AI called Samantha in the beginning. It’s just a little awkward when he should tell others about it, that might not understand. It’s like Raj in the episode The Beta Test Initiation of Big Bang Theory season 5. Raj has extreme trouble talking to women. So he finds true excitement when he gets an iPhone 5 with Siri and starts a relationship with her. So long as he is alone with Siri it’s fine but it becomes social awkward when they should socialize with other people.
Theodore on the other hand finds out everyone else is doing it too, having a virtual relationship with their AI. I think it could be an interesting companionship for everyone. Especially with those who has trouble forming real world relationships. But her lies also the real danger. Maybe now they have no reason at all to meet real people. With the right mindset it can probably be give us better social skills. And we all need that. Can it be Empathy training for those who need it the most? Yes, as long as it doesn’t replaces all other real world relationships. We need those too. It doesn’t replace them. It just complements them, I think.
We need the physical touch too, that generates oxytocin in our bodies. The brain is to hardwired for interaction with other humans or even other mammals for us to ignore the positive effects of living together. Sharing life and touching each other. So could we live in mental companionship with AI or a true online relationship while getting other social stimuli from other real persons? Like a mix? Probably, but it would be very hard balancing act to conduct. So is it worth giving a try? If we do nothing to conduct our future, we will probably get there soon. Should we?
2. How should we then design tomorrows cities and societies? [Are we ready for the cramming?]
We just love living in social tribes. That why so many of us move to, or live in cities. We are just not very good at designing these lives in the city. Up until know most of our living has been without any design thinking. Many of us end up alone in the cities. The “Free Market” takes non of this into consideration when cramming us so close together, yet so separated by walls. And it’s not sustainable either. With every one of us having so many recourses by ourselves, without sharing them.
Let’s design our future cities so that they enables a better social life with more love & empathy and give room for a health life — Michael Sillion
And it’s now a theory, that even the very first cities from ten thousand years ago where only able to survive and flourish, thanks to the invention of beer. With so many people living together without a plan or oversight we are just hellbent on getting in each other’s faces. Alcohol solved some part of that problem by making us more social and tolerant of each other.
Now we know better what makes us tic and what makes us sting each other. It’s a very interesting and social science will continue to evolve us into insights, about how we should live together. With so many of us bunching up, shouldn’t we use our new knowledge to design better ways of living together? I defiantly think we should. We can’t leave it just to chance and the economic forces of a market economy. The life and the future is not about profit. We need to take charge, like some cities all over the world has already done.
Maybe we all need our little cave where we can be alone for a while. But we also need new and better campfires where we can huddle up, share a meal and a conversation. Watch the stars and the moon. Engulf in fantasies about the past and the future together, using our favorite storytelling. And in all the excitement we can play great games and sports together. Sharpening both mind and body. We should even engulf in spiritual and energetic dance together. Thus turning on the Hive-Switch in our minds, binding us ever closer together.
3. What is Love? [Baby don’t hurt me, Baby don’t hurt me, No more]
Love is being someones significant other — Peter Sage
The definition of significant being: Separate from. Different too. Unique.
So total focused unconditional presence is what you should have in mind. Not two half circles that complete each other. It is two whole circles that are attracted to each other. Before you can truly love someone else, you must first find and complete yourself. And it’s also a paradox. As no one is never complete. The journey never ends. So is true love impossible or just slightly improbable? I think it’s something you should always strive towards and never reach.
Don’t be a boat that tries to carry someone. Be a lighthouse and harbour to light their path and provide comfort and understanding.
What we can do to make any relationship better is to make it Active Constructive. When someone close to you give you good news you can choose to respond in enthusiastic positive way. You also should try to keep a positive Losada Ration. More than not you should have positive conversations with your partner.
4. What can we do to change all this? [Let’s get social]
We are now entering a new era of a Social Society. We are just seeing the seeds of this thanks to the Internet and Social Media. This new Society will not come automatically. We need to help creating it, for it to become true. I can easily go in the wrong direction or go away entirely if we are not careful. Indeed some parts of society already are. It’s very interesting to listen to the thoughts of Matthew Liberman, Dov Siedman, Brené Brown and Daniel Goleman all from the RSA podcast. They all have different things to say about Era of Social and Empathy. And yet you can connect the dots between them. It all combines well with what Peter Sage says above about moving into a creative entrepreneurial future together. Go ahead and give one of them a listen 🙂
Hack the Source Code [Create the Future]
We can’t just redo our lives over and over again until we get it right like in movies like Goundhog Day and Source Code. We have to make up for our mistakes along their way. But if we are smart about or actions and learn quickly from our own and others mistakes, we can Hack Life to the better. Listen to what other wise people have to say and hack out our own path through the wilderness. Bring along their tools, and use them in your own way.
So don’t hasten to judge someone else. Try to listen to them and understand them instead.
The best quote from Her the Movie is:
The past is just a Story we tell ourselves — Samantha
Don’t dwell and focus on the past. No good will come from it. Forgive and move on. Because: The Future is also a Story we tell ourselves. It shapes the Path we set out to travel on. Surround yourself with people who are on the same journey and you will be much more likely to get there. We create our own future. If we want more Love in this world we just have to Hack it in a smart way to get it.
Lets hack life for more Love & Empathy!
@LordSillion [Michael Sillion]
Holistic Thinking Ninja
[Images courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures]