I started to read Hooked right after I finished 1984. The perfect order of things...
Because 1984 is about the loss of Self... First loss of thinking (real thinking) and then loss of a sense that you are an individual and what you thing matters, and then a sudden reversal of the natural order: that living matters more than your Self... so when living is threatened you give up your self.
The path to becoming a zombie: in the book.
So let's see what is the path of becoming a zombie in reality.
If and when you are that somewhere is better than here, something is better than this, and you can lose out... you have already lost your Self.
I am not talking about a fleeting thought or a fleeting sensation: when you become that... fostered by social media, the press, the hook... that is what I am talking about.
The course I bought to deal with this issue, to learn to address the people who have a self, and allow them to self-select was both perfect and imperfect:
The course taught to find out what people complain about, what is their biggest pain.
But you can have a big pain and no self... No need to have a self to complain. A machine can complain, a zombie can complain.
Complaining is often a sign of FOMO... the fear of missing out on something that others seem to have.
Just like you don't fully enjoy being on social media when things are said to be happening, or going to an event, or meeting new people... unless, of course you get high or drunk... which only shows that there is no Self to enjoy what is.
The extreme desire to get out of where you are at, whether you consider it a ditch, a hole, a stuck state, or whether you consider yourself being locked out of something good... or you consider yourself locked into something bad or just plain ordinary boring... the desire to get out of it is also FOMO.
As long as you are not able to settle down, look around, and find the beauty, find the fun, find the things to be curious about, you are still run by FOMO... the other place, where things are good, fun, interesting, where other people are.
The question you should ask yourself: do I have a Self?
I am intent on preaching to the choir, and expand their selfhood... Much like as if in Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 I would preach to book lovers and readers.
I didn't just accidentally drag Fahrenheit 451 into this conversation: incidentally reading, reading books, fosters self, fosters thinking, and fights the tide of our times, the birth of the zombie future.
I doubt that I can hold back the tide indefinitely, but just like Noah... I can build an arc and take the ones that will enjoy the 40 days in a boat... and then repopulate the Earth.
A handful, by my estimation.
Because whatever the hook is, getting rich, getting laid, getting counted, trying different things... if you can't get the hook out and return to simple living, you'll carry that insatiable hunger to the new humanity, so I can't take you.
I was looking for an old recipe on a Hungarian website... and I was struck by how deep this FOMO goes... thousands upon thousands fancy and fancier recipes for everything.
The fancier the more it is toxic...
Yeah... one of the ways to have FOMO is to want fancy, different food... The tried and true is no longer good enough.
You may not know how to cook... or you cook from recipes that are not from your culture.
I always go back to the Mongols... the "normal" Mongol, meaning someone who didn't have a cook, but cooked for himself, kept on cooking the traditional meals the traditional way... so in that society only the rich got stupider and stupider from eating fancy foreign stuff.
But today a wider and wider swath of society can afford to eat like royalty... and become dumber.
Chinese eating beef and bread.
Japanese eating all kinds of land grown stuff...
Exotic fruits, exotic vegetables, hybrids and stuff.
And even that pepper is non-existent in the winter... just like in Hungary...
I have to muscle test every piece in a bin of onions... one is good the other isn't...
Your brain stops functioning well before your body notices...
Is it planned? Is it intentional?
Or the powers that be noticed that it is easy to lower 99% of humanity to a no-self zombie state by fostering the kind of eating most people are doing?
I don't know.
But my prediction is that Noah's bark will not take too many people... because, as the cartoon says: "It's going to be lonely at the bottom too."
Only a tiny group will remain who can choose to be unaffected, and pursue selfhood, diligently. They will be, if that is even possible, the seed of a new humanity, human beings. After the flood.
They read. They cook. They think. They grow.
It takes a lot of Self...