Feeling Lonely and Disconnected in a Foreign Land? How Buying the Right Chair Can Help You Find Peace of Mind

  Are you dissatisfied with your current job but don’t have the courage to make changes? Whenever you have free time, you go around looking at other people’s Moments and like them like crazy. Your hair is getting less and less, your belly is getting more protruding, and your worries are getting heavier. You are alone Staying awake at night at home, worried that one day you will be “lonely to death” like this?
  What makes our lives turn into what they are now?
  Professor Jin Jueyun, a well-known Korean cultural psychologist, conducted research on this.
  He discovered that the things that shape people’s way of thinking, emotions and desires may be very small and specific, but they eventually gather together to form the current society. For example, the precise time control of trains makes self-discipline and monitoring internalized in the mind; the emergence of the mouse makes people accustomed to multi-tasking, which makes them easily distracted and lacks imagination; for most people with social disabilities, chairs have become a A place of “tolerance and communication”…
After getting on the train, we became unlucky

  I have lived in Germany for 13 years and am currently studying in Japan, so in my daily life I have inadvertently had a lot of ideas about the similarities between Germany and Japan. First of all, the people of both countries are generally very precise. In my experience, the people of both countries are incredibly down-to-earth. Why do people around the world almost blindly trust the products they manufacture?
  Because both countries are “train countries”. In other words, the Germans and Japanese are so precise and practical because of their trains. Of course, this is purely my personal opinion. If you have taken the German Intercity Express and the Japanese Shinkansen, you will understand that they are the top level in the world. In addition, various trains cover almost all parts of the country, so it is not inconvenient even if you don’t have a private car.
  Trains were first successfully manufactured in Britain. However, while British trains are the result of the Industrial Revolution, the transportation revolution in continental Europe is one step ahead of the Industrial Revolution, said German historian Wolfgang Schiffelbusch. . In Germany and Japan, where the industrial revolution started relatively late, trains are a necessary condition for them to become developed countries. The specific content of this condition is time – train time.
  Train times must never be violated, and it is precisely for this reason that the watch manufacturing industry in Germany and Japan is so developed (of course, Swiss clocks are more famous, but Swiss train times should be similar to those in Germany). As the modern concepts of pragmatism and precision, mediated by German and Japanese train times, gradually became a universal value in industrial society, things began to develop in unexpected directions.
  The core ideology of train time is “control”. Train time must be strictly adhered to and predictable, because an error of even a few seconds may cause a major accident. The “train time awareness” that pays attention to control and prediction transfers all train station times to the issue of “standard time” that must be accurately timed. However, standards always belong to the right of the powerful. For example, Greenwich Mean Time in the United Kingdom is the international standard time, and South Korea adopts the standard time of the eastern time zone (i.e. Tokyo time zone) as the national unified time. That is to say, the railway station is the equivalent of the standard time of worship and the cathedral that has the authority behind it. Modern people no longer praise God, but worship the clock hanging at the highest position in the train station.
  Taking train time into your heart is the core of modern education in Germany and Japan. Just like the clock in a Swiss train station that needs to be accurate to the second, everyone’s life should be controlled with discipline and precision. This kind of behavior is tantamount to internalizing what Foucault calls the panopticon used for surveillance and punishment, and calling it “cultivation.”
  Time now becomes the most valuable thing, because the value of a commodity is no longer determined by use value, but by the exchange value measured by the time invested. Therefore, train stations around the world are connected to shopping malls, and Japan’s railway companies simply opened department stores. As time goes by, human consciousness will face unprecedented fatal threats, because people have been domesticated to eat and sleep at fixed times, while humans originally slept when they were sleepy and ate when they were hungry. The current situation is that even if you are not sleepy at all, you have to sleep when the time comes; if you are not hungry at all, you still have to eat when the time comes. Mental illnesses such as obesity, anorexia or insomnia are all mental illnesses that arise from these internal times.
  A larger problem with the ideology of train time is the obsession with straight lines. There is no Euclidean geometric straight line in the natural state, but in order to run faster, the railway must place each station on the shortest connecting straight line, open up the blocked places, and connect the broken places. The problem of South Korea’s four major rivers is also inseparable from this kind of linear coercion.
  When people sit in a train that is speeding in a straight line and look out the window, they can see a panoramic scenery that cannot distinguish between the foreground and the background. This kind of panoramic experience that cannot be focused because it is too fast raises another psychological question: What is important? unimportant? People began to get confused about this issue.
  If you transfer the contradiction of train times to our society, the situation will become even more serious. The collective psychological side effects caused by the world’s fastest LTE and gigabyte speeds simply cannot compare to the side effects of train time. The bigger problem is the “straight-line thinking” of people trying to break through when they are blocked. He has to balance work and rest, and he doesn’t know how to turn flexibly. This is a new mutant virus caused by unprecedented compressed growth in world history, and there is currently no good cure.
  Now we are faced with two choices: Enlightenment? Or slowly reflect on it?
  By the way, I almost forgot to mention that Freud, the psychoanalyst, believed that riding a train can make people become promiscuous, on the grounds that the “bang, bang, bang, bang” vibrations of trains can easily cause sexual excitement. And his colleague, German psychiatrist Karl Abraham, bluntly claimed that “you will have nocturnal emissions the next day after taking a train” because the train was once a huge “vibrator.”
A4 paper and mouse

  It’s all the “rat”’s fault! Of course I’m not talking about a real mouse, but a computer mouse. The reason why society is so difficult to communicate is because of this stuff. The evolutionary process of human consciousness is divided into before using the mouse and after using the mouse. Of course, this is purely my own opinion.
  The thinking of people who are accustomed to using A4 paper and those who are accustomed to using a mouse (A4 thinking – mouse thinking) are fundamentally different. After the invention of movable type printing, A4-style thinking formed over hundreds of years is linear thinking, which means that A4 paper is full of linear logical thinking of deduction and induction. This kind of linear thinking can never be separated from the A4 paper, except when writing a paper, because the paper can use footnotes and endnotes to enter and leave the scope of the A4 paper at any time. University master’s and doctoral degrees pay so much for the right to use footnotes and endnotes as they please.
  The nature of human thinking is “unbridled”. When in a daze, thoughts will wander around. A4 thinking suppresses the creative nature of human thinking. Only geniuses can escape this oppression, while ordinary people’s ideas can only spin around the table. No matter how far a genius’s ideas fly, they can still be taken back. Of course, there are people who let their thoughts fly and never come back at all. Such people are called “madmen.”
  The computer mouse subverts the entire A4-type thinking framework (touching should be regarded as wrapping the mouse with a layer of “skin”). When you click the mouse, your thoughts immediately fly out of the A4 paper. This is illogical and non-linear. What was once only possible for some geniuses can now be done by ordinary people.
  The key feature of mouse-like thinking is multitasking. Each click will skip text and transfer to a completely different media. For example, you can read news, listen to music while checking email, and reply to Twitter messages on the way. Distraction and inattention, long considered psychopathological disorders, are now common thought patterns.
  With the premise of “a desktop with books”, A4-type thinking can be realized, but mouse-type thinking does not require a desktop, or there can even be three or four desktops at the same time. In fact, computer operating system developers want to escape the lack of imagination caused by the “desktop” metaphor, and even want to drop the term “desktop” altogether.
  The generation that has been using Windows since junior high school and has been thinking like a mouse until they are in their thirties is completely different from the generation that has always been thinking like an A4. This is not simply a difference in the use of tools. Different media, different thinking content, and different final forms of existence. It is extremely stupid to criticize mouse thinking for being frivolous. What is the difference between this and insulting others “Why do you look like this?” The most shameless thing in the world is to make excuses for someone else’s appearance.
  The lack of communication in society stems from the difference between A4 thinking and mouse thinking. The essential problem is not political positioning, but “differences in ways of thinking” and “contradictions in the form of existence” that are cloaked in political contradictions and completely incommunicable. This is almost close to a clash of civilizations. The contradictions so cleverly concealed will continue until the day when mouse-like thinking becomes mainstream. Of course, time is on this side.
  But this does not mean that A4 thinking is no longer needed. Just like the advent of flush toilets, toilet paper has not disappeared. On the contrary, the toilet paper should be of higher quality, so that it will not become sticky due to the use of inferior toilet paper, especially in the summer when it is easier to wear sensitive parts. In the contradictory relationship between flush toilets and toilet paper, the way for toilet paper to survive is to become more advanced. Therefore, what I want to say is that in the future, let’s upgrade to a higher-end A4 type of thinking.
Buy a reclining chair

  After cleaning up zombie friends and insincere people, I found that there were very few friends left in the chat software. But it really makes no sense for Kim Gap-soo and Yoon Kwang-jun to ignore me. After all, they came to see my miserable life in Tokyo. There is also my friend Kyuhyun who keeps uploading messy text to his Facebook, but is completely insincere and cherishes his words on my chat software. I don’t want a friend like this. As for my wife, she just replies with soulless emojis.
  I think back to when I came to Japan and started learning painting a year ago. Every time I finished painting, I would take photos and send them to acquaintances. I remember that everyone was surprised at the time, especially my young female students who responded enthusiastically. “Wow, that’s great!” “Oh my god, Professor! I’m really surprised!” But now, everyone is silent, and some guys just ignore my text messages. These people are so hateful.
  Being easily angry due to feelings of loneliness and alienation, and being depressed even if the surrounding environment is not as satisfactory as possible, the terrible “senile syndrome” manifested in this way has quietly come to those of us who are over fifty years old. The reason is simple: all my relationships in Japan, a place I don’t know well, have become illusory, and the relationships I maintain in the virtual space through emails and text messages are very superficial.
  Cyberspace, as the name suggests, refers to “simulated space”. Professor Yi-Fu Tuan from the University of Toronto, Canada, a representative figure in phenomenology and humanistic geography, said that the American life of opening the curtains and looking far away when entering a room makes people feel empty precisely because home has not become a “place” but only a ” space”. Home is not a “place to live”, but only a “residence” to stay. This phenomenon is defined as “loss of place”. Apartments in South Korea are the most representative example of “loss of place.”
  No matter how hard we try, smartphone-mediated interaction cannot escape the tragic “loss of place.” No matter how much “hehehe” and “hehehehe” are used, and no matter how gorgeous the various complicated emoticons are, it won’t help, because virtual space can never become a place with specificity of time and space.
  I am far away in a foreign country, holding my mobile phone all day long, hoping that my old friends in my hometown will always miss me. I am suffering from geriatric syndrome caused by the loss of place. But am I the only one like this? of course not. The middle-aged men around me who want to bury their heads in their mobile phones every day as soon as they open their eyes can turn into bad-tempered old men in just a moment. Frequently uploading mountain climbing photos to their circle of friends, hanging out on other people’s Facebook whenever they have free time, and trying their best to like them. Even so, they cannot fill the emptiness caused by the loss of place, because they have lost the specific time and space coordinates of their lives. Therefore, most of the malicious replies online are written by middle-aged men.
  Better buy a chair! Get a comfortable chair where you can lean back a little! Because the chair is the best tool that can give meaning to space. The first thing the modern bourgeoisie did after getting rid of the rule of kings and nobles was to create chairs that belonged only to them. The famous “Chippendale chair” was a chair that was very popular among the middle class in the 18th century. When they sit in the chair, they can confirm that they are the masters of their lives.
  The same is true today. It is said that Steve Jobs of Apple in the United States, who had a bad temper and suffered from interpersonal problems throughout his life, would take a single leather sofa chair designed by Le Corbusier with him wherever he moved. This is no accident. Because Jobs knew all too well the melancholy caused by the loss of place in a virtual space, the “reclining sofa chair” was a kind of salvation for him.
  The chairs we need are by no means the kind of swivel chairs that are designed to eliminate the aura of the person standing in front of you and thereby demonstrate your authority. Nor are they the foldable iron chairs that sit in front of prosecutors or the straight-backed office chairs. It’s not a leatherette three-seater sofa that I unknowingly fell asleep on while watching TV.
  What we need is a “chair with posture” that allows us to slightly support our chin with our hands, as if thinking gracefully, or read a book gracefully while stroking our chin. Because the time you sit in this chair is the time of reflection. Sometimes we can also chat with the person opposite us with a deep expression. It would be best not to sit on such a tasteful chair and play with electronic products such as mobile phones.
  Just like a spoon is used to serve rice and a fork is used to fork food, that is to say, tools affect behavior and consciousness. The consciousness dictated by that comfortable chair to lean back on is “communication and tolerance.”
  One of the things that South Korea, which prides itself on being an IT power, needs to solve right now is to mass-produce reclining chairs that are suitable for our people’s body shapes. Because Koreans generally have short legs, it is really not an easy task to sit on imported chairs designed for long-legged Westerners.
  In short, I think that the reason why middle-aged men in this land fall into the terrible geriatric syndrome prematurely and cannot extricate themselves is because there is no suitable chair to lean back that symbolizes “communication and tolerance”.

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