The Makeup of Modern Society

makeupMy perspective on the world has changed a lot over the past decade. When I was younger, I, like most people, believed that the human-produced infrastructures and systems that make up our modern society are nicely designed and solidly built. I had a lot of faith in mainstream medicine, accepted the worldview that was presented to me through the conventional media, thought that kids in the developed world get the best education possible, and was under the impression that there’s a good reason why the norms of our society are like they are. In other words, I trusted the system.

I no longer do, at least not to the extent that I used to. I’ve acknowledged that modern society has a lot of imperfections. The reason I didn’t see these imperfections in the past is that they are not easy to spot for an untrained eye, seeing as they are covered by a thick layer of makeup in the form of conventional wisdom, fallacious belief systems, dogma, chemicals, and modern innovations, technology, and infrastructure. As I’ve gradually become more knowledgeable about human evolution, health, medicine, and evolutionary science, I’ve unconsciously removed some of this makeup, and I’ve gotten a glimpse of what lies underneath it.

Let me tell you: our modern society doesn’t look as pretty without makeup as it does with it. On the surface, things look pretty good; however, when the exterior layers come off, a hidden ugliness is revealed. I know that’s pretty grim statement, but it’s the only one I can make if I am to be completely honest. I’ve had to acknowledge that mainstream medicine has many imperfections and flaws; that conventional media doesn’t necessarily paint a correct picture of the world; that our educational system could have been a lot better than it currently is; and that the norms of our society in some instances act like straitjackets that hinder people from realizing their full potential.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has acknowledged these things. However, there are also probably some people out there who perceive these statements as wacky and “alternative”. These individuals are in the same boat as I was in when I was younger; at the time when I obediently conformed to the norms of society.

Perhaps needless to say, not every section of our modern society is covered in pastules; however, some definitely are. Perhaps it’s time we try to eliminate the root problems that have driven the development of these inflamed spots, as opposed to covering the spots up with foundation?

If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes accepted as truth

The above sentence has been circulating in my head for quite some time now. I feel it perfectly describes why our modern society has so many lesions. The more I learn about science, biology, and the workings of the human body, the clearer it becomes to me that much of what we as a society hold true about health, medicine, fitness, and life in general is flawed or straight out incorrect.

I think the primary reason why we as a society believe that many of the myths and untruths that circulate in our world are not myths and untruths, but rather legitimate and valid ideas and notions, is that they’ve been repeated so many times that we’ve eventually come to believe they are true. For example, the idea that cereal grains and cow’s milk are an essential part of the human diet is so ingrained into the public’s mind that a lot of people simply accept it as true.

We humans have created various infrastructures and systems that form the foundation of our society and shape our daily lives. Throughout this process, we’ve gradually lost touch with nature. We’ve forgotten that nature has its own way of doing things, and that it’s not us humans who created the rules of the world. The rules of nature are absolute; they can’t easily be revised. Despite this, we humans frequently try to breach them and live according to norms and laws that don’t align with those of the natural world. Often, we do this unconsciously, as we don’t pay attention to what nature is trying to tell us.

We often forget that our species, Homo sapiens, has only been present on this planet for a very, very small portion of the billions of years it has been around. We also sometimes forget that it’s not we humans who decide how the deep processes that shape our world works. We have the ability to create massive buildings, design advanced technology, and otherwise transform our environment; however, we can’t change the basic rules of nature.

To illustrate this, let’s briefly talk a little about nutrition, a topic I’m particularly interested in. One of the things about nutrition that appeals to me is that it’s not something that finds its origin in the human mind. We humans have created various words and systems that help us make sense of how the foods that we eat are composed and affect our health; however, it’s not us who shaped the composition of plants and animals or the interactions that take place between various organisms and substances that are a part of the natural world.

This is something that seems to elude some people. They forget to look at how things work in nature, how we’ve evolved, and how our diet has changed over the most recent millennia. This is to their detriment, as it means that they lose sight of reality. They base their understanding of nutrition, health, and life solely on principles that conform to general beliefs we humans have about how the world works, not on the principles of evolution and nature.

This is unfortunate, because the former principles are a lot less sturdy than the latter ones. They are not as valid nor as factual. There are many reasons why this is the case. First of all, we humans have various biases and preconceived notions and often let other desires than our desire for truth guide our behavior and conquests. Second, we make mistakes, don’t always understand how the world really works, and  misinterpret things.

We typically only see the parts of our world that are readily apparent to us, failing to spot the parts that are not clearly visible to the naked eye. For example, we’ve largely failed to acknowledge that the workings of the world, including the workings of our bodies, are largely shaped by microscopic organisms that are ubiquitous in our environment. We have paid little to no attention to these critters as we’ve built our world, something that we’re now learning has cost us greatly. The world we’ve manufactured may appear pretty and neat to the naked eye; however, underneath its makeup one can often find damaged ecosystems and pollution.

What’s underneath the makeup?

We humans have a tendency to believe in what we see and hear and accept the status quo. This is somewhat problematic, seeing as that our perceptive and analytical capacities are limited. Moreover, the status quo doesn’t necessarily represent the ideal conditions. One of the things I really like about Pete Evans, who I talked about in a recent article here on the site, is that he thinks outside the box. He has opened his eyes, found a way to remove the makeup of modern society, and set out to eliminate the imperfections he’s spotted.

Unlike a lot of other people, Pete Evans doesn’t try to cover up the imperfections of our society, rather, he tries to eliminate the roots that nourish them. His approach is authentic and grounded. He adheres to the rules of evolution and nature, not the rules of man. He’s not trapped in the tangled web that is the modern medical system. He’s managed to make itself out of that web and has allied up with nature. He seems to have acknowledged that drugs are analogous to makeup. They cover up some of the symptoms of disease, but they tend to do little or nothing about the underlying problems that drive the development of disease.

Most of what I write about here on the site relate to fitness, nutrition, and medicine; hence, it goes without saying that many of the imperfections of modern society that I try to eliminate cover the parts of our world that have to do with the health of our species. What’s important to point out though, is that the health care system is far from the only part of our world that is spotty. If I had focused my gaze on some other part of our world, I’m sure I would have found many imperfections there as well. Moreover, it’s important to acknowledge that our society is not separated into distinct parts. Everything is connected. I firmly believe that we can dramatically improve many aspects of our society by improving our health.

If every person alive was fairly healthy and fit, there would undoubtedly be much less violence, terror, and tragedy in this world. The reason is simple: a person’s health status doesn’t just affect his disease risk and longevity, but also his mood, behavior, and thoughts. Due to the fact that our modern environment is poorly matched with our ancient genetics, a lot of contemporary people are inflamed and in poor health. As a result, their mental health is compromised. We may have more possessions than our distant ancestors, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re happier. Actually, all of the data and information I’ve come across suggest that traditional people are a lot more content with life than the average industrialized human.

The makeup analogy is not just applicable to the appearance of our modern society as a whole, it’s clearly also applicable to the appearance of the modern man, and even more so the modern woman. Via the use of makeup, designer clothes, expensive footwear, and pictures on social media we present ourselves as pretty, happy, and perfect. The reality, however, does rarely match with this public image. Underneath the surface, there’s often inflammation, grief, flaws, and imperfection.

The world looks very different when it’s viewed through evolutionary glasses

The primary reason why my perspective on the world has changed so much over the past decade is that I’ve gradually incorporated more and more evolutionary tools into the toolkit that I use to make sense of life. Let me tell you: the world looks very different when it’s viewed through evolutionary glasses.

There’s both a upside and downside to having a pair of evolutionary glasses. The upside is that one is capable of seeing the world much more clearly than what is possible with no evolutionary assistance. The downside is that one becomes acutely aware of the fact that our society has many blemishes and other imperfections. This is a good thing in the sense that it allows one to spot the problems that exist and develop strategies that can potentially resolve them; however, it can also be taxing, in the sense that one has to acknowledge that our society is not as pretty as it appears at first sight and that we humans are not as intelligent as we think we are.

I don’t claim to have all the answer; however, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that we could greatly benefit from bringing out and using a set of evolutionary tools when we build our society. Perhaps needless to say, I don’t advocate that we tear down everything we’ve built and return to the wild. That’s not going to happen. What I do advocate though, is that we consider the laws of nature and our evolutionary history when we organize our society. If we do, we may find that we become happier, healthier, and more productive as a result.

Picture: Designed by Freepik

Comments

  1. “Mainstream medicine has many imperfections and flaws.” Very true and a good example. One of the reasons we don’t see many positive changes is that people never look beneath the “makeup.” They assume it’s the best possible system because they see the modern, well-equipped hospitals and doctors’ offices, along with a myriad of diagnostic tools, medicines, etc. What they fail to see is that mainstream medicine and pharmaceuticals only treat symptoms of disease without looking for underlying causes. This is well and fine if the body spontaneously heals itself, but mainstream medicine doesn’t offer much help when it doesn’t.

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