Saturday, April 19, 2008

Our Side is Winning: Paradox and Entropy

Kathleen raised an interesting point in response to my post Unmet Needs: The Eligible-Bachelor Paradox. I claimed that my bachelorhood was a result of being more novelty oriented as opposed to stability oriented. She pointed out the failure rate and "other" uncertainties that make married life anything but stable. I suppose my life is rather stable compared to the lives of the "married with children". I can think of no better way to destroy my easy-going lifestyle and fully satiated needs than to strap myself to a bomb and have a few kids.

I was listening to a podcast on the news industry and the point was being made on how it is becoming increasing difficult, almost impossible, to remain profitable. It appears to me that there are economic changes happening beyond the threshold of perception, dynamics we do not have concepts for. We are not asking simple enough questions. Global food prices are skyrocketing and news is unprofitable. How is it with all of our wondrous science and technology we are increasing unable to feed ourselves and keep each other abreast of what is happening? These are basic physiological and social needs.

Isn't the story of progress we are taught supposed to make life easier, fulfill and meet basic needs and ladder up to increasing levels of efficiency and structure.

There is another enterprise that appears to be economically (and socially) infeasible, the American family.

I'm reminded of two songs for the brilliant first and second releases of TMBG.

Don't Don't Don't Let's Start, in which they gleefully sing "No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful. Everybody dies frustrated and sad and that is beautiful."

And They'll Need a Crane
"They'll need a crane, they'll need a crane, to take the house he built for her apart,
to make it break ,it's gonna take, a metal ball hung from a chain".


Kelly Marie said...

I know I am kind of stating the obvious here but there are a lot of reasons why marriage fails and or people just opt out of the whole deal.

People live a lot longer

Decrease of religious influences Marriage is no longer so wrapped in religion

Women work outside the home and develop social and personal achievements out of the home; this gives a sense of autonomy and dangles more options and choices

Divorce is so common that it is less stigmatizing

Staying single is now also less stigmatizing

In the age of Opera-fication, all about me ness the family unit is being lost and I agree financially is almost impossible to maintain.

Thomas Sherman said...


Thanks a remarkably handy list of rationals for living a life of needy selfishness as opposed to principle.

Kelly Marie said...

Well wouldn't that be what
Opra fication is all about?

Do you think that years ago divorce was less common because people had more principals?

Kathleen said...

Working outside the home can't kill a marriage unless something's already broken. Women work for many years before getting married and the dangly bits never change.

My original comment was more that by your own admission, in choosing novelty, you've ended up with the boredom that you were trying to avoid by not going for a certainty that doesn't actually exist.

On the flip side, I didn't want to get married or have a kid, until I met my husband. I made good money, had no debt, an interesting life, sanity and peace of mind when I wanted it. I could travel, paint, read, waste inordinate amounts of time, date, eat out, and buy whatever I wanted. I certainly didn't need marriage. Now I have a two year old, not much left from the list above, and I've never enjoyed life more.

I'm not advocating marriage for anyone. Life is art - messy, part skill/talent, part happy accident - anything can happen. I figure the universe has its own plan - some get married, some have kids, and some remain single, available to repopulate earth in the event of catastrophe.

Kelly Marie said...

None of the factors I listed would single handedly break a marriage.
They are things that in the past 30years have changed.

Divorce was almost taboo in my community on the 1970's. As was women who worked full time outside the home.

I am not quantifying any of it just making observations from my 36 years on this planet.

The idea of accepted family now is very different than when I was a child. Not good nor bad as I will not judge others..but very different and changing all the time.