|12-14-2011, 06:39 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2010
What is it like to live without labels?
I am wondering what it would be like to live without labels?
(This doesn't necessarily have to mean EVERYTHING, just certain things that don't matter as much.)
|12-14-2011, 09:12 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2010
Basically, I'm wondering would it would be like to stop using labels:
(Putting ppl in a box and calling them "friend" "girlfriend" "family", "idiot" "cool dude" etc.)
I think it would be unsettling for me.
--If you want to get the gist of what I'm saying, read this article that Steve wrote about label-free relationships.
Intimacy Abundance and Label-Free Relationships
UPDATE: I think labels , at some level, just cause more problems. When I was younger, people would either assume you were an religious person, or an atheist. The reason I thought that was lame tho, was because in reality, both labels were too narrow and limiting. Sometimes labels just aren't descriptive enough. In reality, there are no labels. Labeling is a thing we humans do, it has nothing to do with divinity.
I'm not saying all labels are wrong. What I am saying is, I should just start seeing people as people, instead of "idiot" or "smart person"; "PD spiritual person/guru" or "unelightened moron". Now, of course, maybe this just has to do with judgement. If I see people who have negative qualities, I try to not be best friends with them because I need supportive people in my life; yet at the same time, it would be wise for me not to judge them and to just accept them as they are.
I've noticed that in the past, I used to hate being labeled by other people. But the thing was, I was labeling others in my mind.
Last edited by cheesedip1; 12-14-2011 at 10:00 PM.
|12-15-2011, 03:40 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2011
Labels are objects of convenience. Like money, they provide an easy way to get something done.
But they do not work well with things that have many shades of grey. Indeed, in your example of "religious"or "atheist", labels tempt people to treat continuous, multi-variate concepts as discrete, uni-variate concepts. It is in these situations where labels should be either relinquished or loosened in favour of a more descriptive utility.
Labels work well with discrete, uni-variate concepts. For example:
"Hot" and "cold"
"Up" and "down"
"Rich" and "poor" (assuming the type of prosperity is defined)
EDIT: Forgot to answer the question. Living without labels will allow you to gain a more holistic (albeit less efficient) perspective of people.
|12-15-2011, 04:07 AM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2011
When the context is clearly defined, it can be discrete.
Understand that virtually everything can be made continuous. It is only through careful definition that entities can remain discrete.
If you want to make everything continuous, then we should probably throw away most of the labels, or at least stop labelling people.
Mathematically, in a continuous distribution we can usually introduce "cut-off" points, where we say that beyond that cut-off point something that is cold becomes hot. It is still quite tricky with people because people do not submit readily to quantitative measurements.
EDIT: An added difficulty arises where people derive different definitions about a label due to inductive reasoning.
EDIT 2: After some introspection, I concluded that it is indeed difficult to pin down discrete concepts. Acting is right; those dichotomies aren't really dichotomies.
Last edited by Rimuel; 12-15-2011 at 05:00 AM.
|12-15-2011, 04:16 AM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Down the infinite rabbit hole
It's disorienting, and it's impossible to communicate with other people.
I've experienced the whole "existential crisis" thing where reality kind of falls to bits and you realise that nothing is what it appears to be and you see all the labels for what they are, even down to the most basic level. It's a life changing thing to see and experience that, but in that state, when you can't remember words or labels, etc., it becomes very difficult to communicate.
I think this is why things like ashrams and contemplative monasteries evolved, where you can go to let your reality fall apart and still have food and shelter and be safe until things sort themselves out and you learn to navigate and communicate again (or by different means, or from different perspectives; whatever).
It also explains the habit of mystics to become hermits. You live as basically as possible, where you don't have to communicate or get along with other people or navigate the material world in any but the most basic of ways.
|12-16-2011, 01:05 AM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2011
Labels can also be very misleading, which leads to inaccuracies and incongruencies in our perception of people.
One job advertisement states that the person should be "detail-oriented". Another ad demands a more "big-picture oriented" person. This is a problem because the two options are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
For me, I am more "big-picture oriented", but I am also very "detail-oriented". I am known to be a hair-splitter. For me it more of which comes first. I need to see the big picture first, and then I will fondle with the details. When dealing with the second part I am as meticulous as can be.
Psychometric tests ask you whether you prefer "abstract" or "concrete" details. In this case the distinction between abstract and concrete is usually not very clear. Is the color red an abstract entity? But we can see it, so it can be considered concrete, no?
Maybe it's just me who can't grasp the distinction, but I think dichotomous labels such as these sometimes have unclear meanings, and it's best to either always refine the meaning so that others know exactly what you're talking about before labelling people with the labels, or to avoid it in such situations. A more descriptive alternative may be more clearly understood.
When we label people as an -insert adjective here- person, and he proves us wrong, we can sometimes feel that feeling of not "knowing" who a person really is.
Yet labels have practical value; it shortens the number of words we need to describe people, which smoothens face-to-face conversations. It's easy to remember. It's readily applicable to any human.
Hence care needs to be taken before we decide to use a cookie-cutter phrase for describing a person's identity.
Last edited by Rimuel; 12-16-2011 at 01:08 AM.
|12-16-2011, 02:03 PM||#14 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
|12-16-2011, 05:51 PM||#15 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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