From an article a friend shared:
Ilardi believes this is due to the fact that the human genome of the Kaluli (as well as all humans) is well adapated to the agrarian, hunter gatherer lifestyle which shaped 99% of people who came before us. Then two hundred years ago, we saw the advent of the modern wetern-industrialized culture which created a “radical, environmental mutation” that has led a mismath between our genes/brains/bodies and modern culture. As Ilardi concludes, “We were never designed for the sedentary, indoor, socially isolated, fast-food laden, sleep-deprived, frenzied pace of modern life.”
Evidence to support this idea comes from a study of 9,500 adults which found that people born near the end of the 20th century were three times more likely to develop depression than those born earlier. A person born in the 1930s was likely to have his or her first depressive episode between the ages of thirty and thirty five. If you were born in 1956, your initial episode occurred between twenty and twenty-five. This phenomenon — the early onset of depression and the greater prevalence of depression in young people — is reflected in a three hundred percent increase in the youth suicide rate in one generation.
When changes of this magnitude occur within a fifty-year period, social forces are clearly at work. Myrna Weissman, epidemiologist of Columbia University, blames such societal factors as an increase in stress, fewer family and community ties, and even nutritional deficiencies. Buddhist psychologist John Wellwood, whom I quote at length, provides his own compelling analysis of depression in our time:
Our materialistic culture helps foster depression. Not only do we lack a living wisdom tradition to guide modern society, but we find it more and more difficult to achieve even the ordinary worldly satisfaction of adult life: finding rewarding work, maintaining an intimate long-term relationship, or imparting a meaningful heritage to our children. Our sense of personal dignity and worth is quite fragile in a society where stable families, close-knit communities, commonly held values, and connection with the earth are increasingly rare. In a society such as ours where the motivating ideal is to “make it” through social status and monetary success, depression is inevitable when people fail to find the imagined pot of gold at rainbow’s end.
Furthermore, many in the psychiatric profession seem determined to view depression as an isolated symptom that can be excised from the psyche with the help of modern technology. The fact that drugs have become the treatment of choice indicates that we as a society do not want to directly face the existential meaning of this pathology. If we believe that depression is primarily physiological and treatable by drugs, we will not confront the ways in which we create it, both as individuals and as a culture. The view that depression is an alien force that descends on the psyche actually interferes with genuine possibilities for healing.
The theme of disconnection lies at the heart of the societal imbalance described by Wellwood. People who are depressed describe themselves as disconnected—from their bodies, their emotions, their spirits—i.e., from their core selves. The roots of this disconnection are to be found not only within the individual, but within society and its institutions.
Sketch of Bioshock Infinite’s Elizabeth, poster girl of the Internet’s Rule 34 – some article on Kotaku about her was pretty much how I came to learn about it – and the reason why porn parodies with ridiculous titles like Biocock Intimate exist. Infinite was a brilliant game, but I just have one question: Where is the Booker DeWitt (Hooker DoIt loool) porn?