Friday, 6 April 2012

Antinatalist Burnout: Potential Causes

Is it that antinatalism intrinsically is a theory so depressing, so horrifying that one cannot talk about it for long periods of time without falling into endless despair - unless of course the curse is removed and one simply refuses to engage any longer in this, Our Great Community? Or is it rather, that these mysterious disappearances all over the board have been simply due to personal reasons (from the boss making people grind too hard, to even suicide)? A final explanation I think is that blogs have become obsolete in the antinatalist world; I say this because I do not have a clue in the slightest about what goes on on youtube and such, as being an antisocial person I tend to read more than I watch videos.

The first explanation I think probably depends, as I often say, on the person we're dealing with. Yes, human beings can be quite different from each other, whether by genetics, environment in the womb, or outside of it. And I think it really depends on who you are - how well you'll take antinatalism that is. You may feel enlightened as I did, since I never really planned on passing on my horrible depression to my kids anyway, or crushed as others have, but not enticed by prospect of deluding yourself. But there are two more categories you can divide that further up into: initial pain, and long-term pain. Some people (maybe everyone, I don't particularly know at the moment) can acclimatise after a brief period of collapse after learning of antinatalism, even if said fall was particularly brutal - for others on the other hand, antinatalism may be a constant battle against mind, body and soul voodoo magic, one that ends, either with a complete retreat from a community that shall only bring them pain, or even a delusion injection into the brain. Are most people in the first category of those who feel grief from the antinatalistic revelation? Well, to me it would seem that most humans eventually do adapt to circumstances - even tremendous loss, and antinatalism surely can't be that great of a loss. But then again, tell a person they can bring back the dead, and they surely would, feeling happy from that moment onwards. Loss might be internalised somewhat in our utility value - they say the pain never really goes away, but simply becomes more manageable (the only loss I've felt was the death of a pet - and though I still feel pain at the mention, I don't think it STILL impacts on me now, but I don't really know to be honest if it applies to other people's situations). So perhaps some people, while they CAN cope with the possible hurt caused by negative utilitarianism's implications, are enticed by possible futures where they can pretend it isn't so. And that, could be one possible reason why the community is not so active as it once was. I truly cannot tell. I have no evidence. You should expect that of me already.

As for the second reason, there is definitely a grain of truth somewhere in it, in that, one person's 'disappearance' has already been explained away by this. So could mass workload increases across the board be causing this sudden slump? It's not as unlikely as you might think, possibly because of the recession, though again, I know next to nothing about this. What about other factors that may be holding people back? Well, as far as I can tell, we are not all depressed. In fact, the majority of us most likely aren't, though we may have depressive characteristics in thought - well, OF THE VISIBLE POPULATION THIS IS TRUE. Of those invisible viewers of blogs and such along with anonymous commenters, I am not so sure. Depression not equals suicide and vice versa, but the constant bombardment we often subject ourselves to about the evils of the world, it could be argued (though not by me), have caused suicides. Especially since helping someone might not make the world a better place in the long run (utility goes up, person goes on to murder or worse, have a child and continue the cycle etc.), suicide might seem a valid reaction to this harsh, cruel world (depends on whether you value positive utility or not). So while not depressed, people may still go on to commit suicide and hence leave our tight-knit (sort of) little community. There are also numerous other personal reasons as well, like say moving to a country without internet, or something along those lines.

That "Blogs are becoming obsolete!" suggestion sounds seriously flawed. Sure, there are a LOT of videos on youtube, but there are quite a lot of blog posts as well. Not as many, I'm sure, but so long as I have no evidence to suggest that people are just packing up and leaving in favour of video-sharing sites, I suspect it's not really the case unless people really do hate reading nowadays. You see, there are valid advantages to both mediums, and as long as one is lacking in one regard, people are not going to flock to one or the other (unless they have simply become tired of reading (and particularly commenting on) blogs?). In any case, I can only speculate as to what has caused this sudden decline - or perhaps I have been wrong all along. Maybe there is no decline - maybe this is how things normally are, and I joined at a particular time where there was a significant boom.

In any case, brain wasn't SO soaked in piss today, managed to not ramble. Boring post, I assume, but I did not ramble.  


  1. I'm new to the anti-natalist blogosphere so I can't comment on any possible decline, but I do appreciate your words. I have also decided to try my hand at it. (We'll see for how long.)

  2. As far as I can see it, the AN blogscene was really firing between 2007 and early 2010 when Jim's blog was rocking. He also published his book during that period, and what with Benatar's BNTHB making waves that was the initial 'splash' period. Personally, I think things are just at a quiet plateau level. Jim posts occssionally, Sister Y is quite regular, and I try to keep my own blog going. I know that Shadow is busy with work so hasn't much time for blogging. On the Tubes Inmendham is as prolific as ever, in spite of his personal gloom and mounting weariness (snap to that). And Derived Energy posts good videos (his current one is superb). Not sure what's happened to Diabasis. I may be wrong on this, but I think when he first started blogging, he'd recently lost his religious faith, so may have been experiencing the 'bounce' that comes from that. Maybe the awfulness of reality has sunk in, who knows? What I do find odd is the disappearance of some of the regular commenters: CM, Garrett and so on. Personal reasons such as pressure of work and so forth, I reckon.

    On a more general level, and contrary to propaganda, the truth is not energising. Once you realise you're a DNA borg in an entropic universe it's difficult to motivate yourself to do anything at all. I mean, why bother?

    In more general terms,

  3. That 'In more general terms' was a result of botched cut and paste. Apologies.

    And nice blog, qohelet!

  4. Multiple and multifaceted factors come into play in regard to the frequency of antinatal bloggers posting their thoughts. The same goes for many of us commentators/lurkers. Right now, I'm in temporary lurker mode... so I'm still breathing, Karl ;) I'm just looking for my groove. Y'know, that comfortably numb state of mind? Honestly, it's difficult to read the thoughts of others when they mirror some of your own dark, innermost fears. It's not that the thought of the human race dying out that is depressing to me, no not at all! In fact, I feel energized every time I think about it! Righteous anger, directed at the collective human species is one of those things that keeps my fire lit. Unfortunately, as expressed by Tommy Lee Jones' character, White, from The Sunset Limited, my anger is testament to my "good days". Sometimes... those good days can be few and far between and my silent introverted self takes hold once again.

    So, I've been distracting myself with work. I don't love my job, but I also don't completely abhor it... at least that's what I tell myself. I move, I read, I ruminate. Time spent with the animals with whom I share my life is also something that pleasantly distracts. Like Jim, I've lost several furry and one feathered friend over these past few years. So I've got plenty of emotional wounds and earthly callouses built over those wounds as a result. Still, in the end I always have to ask myself... why am I still here? Why do I continue to allow this world to control and torment me? Is it because I care about the friends I have, who are still trapped here, who might miss me when I'm gone? Yeah, that's part of it anyway. But the real reason I'm still here... the monster that I just don't like to face head on, well, it's name is Fear. That is why I remain. I imagine that is why most of us continue on as DNA meat puppets. We fear that final, headlong and inevitable leap into the abyss. We far that - as bad as things are now, they can only get worse. And who can argue with that?! The universe demonstrates the harshness of that reality in everything we see, smell, taste, touch, and hear. In this universe, we are hollow shapes and empty words that just dangle in senseless articulation within a howling void. "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the teacher. "Everything is meaningless, and all is vanity! A chasing after the wind."

    Yes, it's The Fear that keeps me locked in my cage of flesh. There is also a tiny, almost invisible spark within that I can sense sometimes. I don't think it's myself, and I know it isn't DNA. It can't be a coping mechanism of the DNA, because it gently urges me to leave the ways of this world, and ultimately, to leave the world itself behind. It's the thing that led me to become vegan, to embrace my individuality, and to respect other individuals as well. It's a thing that is not conducive to the build up of a society, because it outright rejects social norms and hierarchy. It reassures me that: Anything that cannot endure forever cannot possibly be real. Now THAT is a comforting thought. To know that we are all an illusion... a dream (or rather, nightmare). If in some final and unknown moment that exists outside of our time and space, we are given a freely made choice to endure or fade from all memory... I can honestly say that I do not know what choice I would make. I suppose it all depends on the Asker itself. Is the Asker of the question really worth my attention? If so, and the Asker is in fact, the force that some might refer to as "God", then personally, I would embrace it. I yearn for it. If there is no fundamental truth to Gnosis, then it truly is all emptiness to me. Regardless, I would relish watching this universe and everything in it become utterly annihilated.

  5. Garrett, great to see you around, buddy. Absolutely beautiful piece. I can only endorse everything you say in the second and third paragraphs. Yes, hanging around out of fear, loathing it all and yet lacking the will to say the final goodbye. As for the Gnosis, yes also. One of the reasons religion will always survive, no matter how much science reveals our marionette-like nature, is the desperate hope that lurking behind the curtain is an all-loving deity who can, through ways and means inaccessible to humans, somehow redeem and justify this abbatoir of a universe.

    But that deity seems all but inconceivable when we contemplate stories like the one an anonymous commenter brought up on my blog yesterday. Take a look if you can handle it: a bear tortured to the point of suicide by humans.

    This demonstrates to me the fundamental evil of our shitty species and the hell that is this planet.

    "I would relish watching this universe and everything in it become utterly annihilated."

    I'll raise a glass to that.

  6. "Is it that antinatalism intrinsically is a theory so depressing, so horrifying that one cannot talk about it for long periods of time without falling into endless despair"


  7. I guess for me, "what else is there to say?" is the answer to this post (Not that I'm telling you to shut up. On the contrary, keep writing if you feel compelled.).

    Delving deeply in this stuff is just a way for life to get really, really surreal and I'm afraid human minds can't handle it. We, unfortunately, are denizens of the real world where others' thoughts and actions are a million miles away usually.

  8. EO Heim, yeah I understand thinking "what else is there to say?", since I've asked myself that a lot of times before (it's probably the main reason why I write about suicide and my own life despite my deep interests in these subjects). Still, I think if fledgling antinatalists are looking for some support in their beliefs, then I should keep things 'warm' for them as it were, since I don't want them coming to an empty blogosphere and feeling despondent. Antinatalism for me, as well as being a moral conclusion, has also become something of a hobby. I like to share my hobby with others and get other people to share in it.

    As for human minds not being able to handle it, I'm not sure about that. I guess I'm just so used to it that it no longer appears surreal to me, it just seems real, though I suppose initially it did seem sort of as if reality was 'broken' to me. The lack of relation to the outside world I suppose is another good reason why people might quit this - they want to be normal again.

    Thanks for the comments everyone, you've helped me see things a little more clearly.

  9. Once one has committed to not having children, what's really left to be said except for living the life we have. Just lurking as I do on these sites for too long, makes me feel I've disappeared down the rabbit hole. No one can subject themself to that much pessimism, and not feel completely alienated from life. It's nice, though, that there is a strong bond between all the 'usual suspects' here.... Karl, Shadow, Sister Y, Jim, and many others. It's too bad I didn't get involved sooner....

    Brian L