The world is dark. People die all the time in horrible and stupid ways, inequalities roam more freely than in a Ramanujan notebook, outrage and partisanship boil everyone's mind and temper to permanent overdrive.

In this context, there is only one solution: tolerifying. When the going gets tough, let's convince ourselves it is in fact a breeze. But despite the obviousness of this advice, one might be lost. How to tolerify? How to ensure that the dark, dark world becomes a place where one can live in peace?

Lost souls, this post is for you. Here are 8 techniques that will ensure a tolerable universe.

  • Positive Thinking. Sure, death, rape, discrimination, exploitation, existential risks and others still exists, but what about the wonders of today? Doctors actually save lives -- although they fail to beat simple algorithms at diagnosis and don't update fast enough; violence goes down -- in first world countries without gun's rights in the constitution; diversity burgeons in Art and Literature and Science -- and sometimes someone not white, male, hetero, cis and rich actually wins a prize! All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.
  • Sarcasm. If you can't beat them, mock them. It makes you smart, and rebellious: instead of following the herd, you soar above them and spread dark humor like holy water.
  • Flooding. Nobody can read every book, listen to every song and every podcast, watch every movie and tv show, play every video game. But you can certainly try! In doing so, everything else will fade and wither. Even the social commentary in what you consume will take on an abstract quality, a reference to other pieces of media, not at all about the "real world".
  • Tiredness. Seeing the world as it is, let alone change it, requires massive amounts of energy. Hence no energy means peace of mind! Common energy drain includes soul-sucking jobs and too many shallow social interactions. But the optimal strategy comes from inside: convincing yourself that you're too tired to do anything. Take every yawn as an excuse to rest; only consume and never create; sleep either too little or too much. You will never have had so little energy in your life!
  • Busyness. Improving the world is all about doing. Something, anything really. However dark the world is, always doing something will keep you from thinking about it. Maybe this meeting or internet comment or outdoor activity is even more important than the rest of the world. It might be the solution. Probably.
  • Philosophy. Every problem has a solution. And solutions come from deep, uninterrupted armchair thinking. Going on in the world might be needed to stir the pot of ideas, but rarely. No, most of the time should be devoted to thinking through every little detail and aspect of the problem. Then, and only then, will you be able to say that the problem is solved.
  • Raging at inequalities with the victims. You're a good person. So when friends vent to you about the discriminations they're victim of, you empathize. You rage with them, condemn everything wrong with this world, and support them. Then you go back to your undiscriminated life, content to know that you care.
  • Writing against tolerification. Last but not least, when all else fail, blame your horrible tendency to tolerify. Such criticism focus your attention and your energy away from the Dark World, and into exactly what you're aiming at -- tolerification. Your rant purify you of the Dark World and your unease at tolerification at once!

A word of warning to conclude: each technique requires a full commitment and permanent usage. If you merely try them and then stop, you might refresh your mind and see with even more detail the Dark World.

Or God forbid, actually do something about it.

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5 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 5:20 AM

Hmm went through 5 out of 8 (not on purpose), and I would say it's the other way around: more details emerge after thorough exploration, and the technique stops working. Although sometimes it is more of a natural lifestyle than a conscious technique.

Yes, I was more thinking about doing them by default than continuously thinking about them. If you actually do the latter, they might indeed stop working.

This post strikes me as broadly outlining some coping mechanisms, and then saying these are bad because people do them instead of actually fixing anything. There's some important nuance there that's lacking, and I suspect this post will do more harm than good by making people feel bad about coping mechanisms / strategies that let them tolerate the world, without helping them do anything else. I mean, the self-dig is sweet and I guess indicates that we're all struggling with this balance together, but still.

(Apologies if this is harsh: I also can't decide if I find the tone more fun-to-read or insulting, and I'm leaning towards 'insulting'. It's a close call though, props for trying something unusual.)

On the contrary, that comment is great! Nothing is more frustrating when posting here to see the karma go down without anyone pointing out what they think is wrong.

I wrote this as an outlet for my frustration with my own coping mechanisms, and thus was pretty tongue in cheek. But I see how a reader could feel attacked or mocked. Maybe this shows that the value of this piece was in writing it, not in someone else than me actually reading it.

8/8 (Serenity)