Seven Day; Ice Cream Day. The day when I ‘hawg’ tabs, which I have done, but it took a while for some to finish their cognitive “rise”.
I noted one article [Link] that linked epilepsy and religion. It wasn’t a very definitive or instructive article but the association got me to think about how advertising is related to religion.
Most religions are about making conditions better. Most of them are long term games where if you subscribe to the religion (with money and time and substance,) then things will be good after you discorporate. And if you don’t, they will be bad.
Some of them say if you associate with them now, you’ll be better soon. Cured of disease or given money.
So they are rather like advertising. Promises with no enforceable guarantee. And they are after the same humans, the ones who don’t want some form of reliable proof.
There is some evidence that both a in hard times. The number of people who regularly attend the services of organized religion (and pour money into their coffers,) has gone down by about a third in the last twenty years or so.
This is evidently not so much a wholesale epidemic of rationality and skepticism as a disillusionment with the whole miasma of organization.
Similarly, I saw an article [Link] entitled “‘People aren’t spending’: stores close doors in ‘oversaturated’ US retail market” this morning. Notably, it was in the Guardian, which is a related bit that I will try to comment on, and dealt with how the big chain stores: Macy’s; Sears; Penny’s; are shuttering stores in large figures this year.
Coincidence? I have to wonder. In both instances could it be that the constraints of organization are impositions people don’t want any more? Sure, part of it is the internet, offering anytime access. Either of stores that sell similar goods but are bit, rather than brick, built, but part of it is space-time. Maybe.
Churches spent the last twenty years or so getting bigger. But they needed a lot of people to attend services (and plump down money,) to stay afloat, so if they were successful, and they were, then the little churches went away from being too small.
This is basically why humans have organization in the first place. Back when we were all Hunter-Gatherers living in social organizations – bands – of 25-50 people, we lived on a bit of a knife edge. If our band was hit by a bad illness and ten people died, the band fell apart. Too many lost hands and skills and roles.
So we got more organized: tribes, then chiefdoms, and then nation-states. The organization as a whole was more survivable but now people didn’t know each other and they couldn’t make decisions about their own lives. And not too long on they had to give up being mobile and adopted agriculture and bigotry and tyranny. Or perhaps I should say unrequited tyranny. And people, the few who refused to adapt, were either killed by the majority (or its instrumentality,) or they went and hid from the organized lifestyle.
That’s sorta how America came to be. Nice Failed Attempt. Or attempts?
Anyway, when the churches and the unspecialized stores get bigger, their numbers go down. When I was a boy growing up there was a Sears store in every town. Might only be a catalog store where all you could do was order and receive but it was there. Similarly there were lots of little churches, a couple in every neighborhood. And everyone attended. Because of the other-than-organized benefits.
Nowadays it’s an hour’s drive on a divided highway to the nearest Sears store, which is going away. Yes, we have a local Sears store in Greater Metropolitan Arab but I have only been in it when FD SCP wants a new washer/dryer or freezer. And that’s because they’re the only reputable merchant of such in town. I consider it notable that they only sell touchable goods. That is, stuff you won’t buy out of a catalog or on-line. You have to touch it first. Appliances, lawn mowers, tools. All trustworthy. No clothes or such.
In a way, churches and stores seem to be compromised by being in the middle. There are goods and religious services available on the web which is at once both local and more concentrated – a few server farms and distribution centers who knows where. But it’s also the unavailable and unadapting. I used to have a neighbor, now discorporate, who was RC. He went to mass on Saturday night and in the next town where there was an RC church. I asked him once whether he was RC because of when he could go to services or the other way about. He was wise enough not to weaken our friendship by answering.
So there are signs that the churches (organized religion) and stores have overextended themselves – too restricted in space-time. Far away and seldom open. Part of it may be what they offer: too restricted; too inflexible.
Or it may just be that cat videos and freedom from sales tax is enough for most people?
But I have noted hopeful signs of rationality increasing. Recently, the last year, there have sprung up advertisements (commercials in the main,) that pretend to be news interviews. Usually these are folks selling some emotional service such as house refinancing and alarm systems. Horribly, evilly wrong and false. But they also seem now, in the last few weeks to be receding. So is this a case of people seeing through their Snidely Subterfuge that scrams evil and sham and fraud? An increase, probably temporary, of rational skepticism, or a response to egregious political prevarication and false facts that have burned many?
The World Wonders.