My aggressive journey to say a few words. (AKA) I'll be saying stuff that won't matter to many of you but it'll ALL mean something to me.
my 2 cents worth
Published on August 29, 2005 By wnx_decoy In Philosophy
My English 111 professor assigned reading material for us to read over the weekend. It was an essay (I believe that's what it was) called "Shifting Baselines". In class we had a slight discussion on the issue but we also had to write a journal entry after reading it.
My journal entry goes like this...

When I hear the term "Shifting baselines" I think about the way we accept things like tank tops and flip flops in high schools today but even 12 years ago you would never get away with it. I also think of things like how today people can openly admit to be gay, bisexual, or lesbian where as they would have never gotten away with it just a few years ago. Now don't get me wrong, I like that people can be more open and that you can be more casual in school. One of the great examples in this essay was that scuba divers today go diving and find themselves coming back up with smiles on their faces because of the beauty of the sea life. The part about shifting baselines there is that the older divers know what it used to look like and know how much more beautiful it is now.

Shifting baselines is a nice way of putting a title to the idea of just simply accepting what we have as the norm but only because we accept it as good enough. Mail for example... people used to actually wait days for letters to get to them but now that e-mail is about many people can't stand 10 seconds. In a few months a second may be too long. It all goes back to accepting what is here now as what is right.

Our gas prices have raised greatly over the years and what used to be considered robery (1 dollar a gallon) is now nearly impossible to come across because our baselines shifted with the price. Now two dollars is even a "good" price for many people.

I believe baselines represent how things started out before humans could see it. When the baselines shift it refers to the human impact changing the circumstances. The phrase really does make communicating this thought much easier but it's still just that... a way to cover up the idea with a pretty name.


I made some changes this time (for better or for worse is your opinion) and it's only one person's opinion so please don't get too upset with what I said here if you get the urge to become offended.

Capt. over and out!

on Sep 01, 2005
Bravo! I completely've got a great point and you've supported it well. It sounds like the papers I write about things I actually care about.

That's pretty good, Capt. pretty damn good.

on Sep 06, 2005
You think so, Shaun? That's nice to hear. Now I know you wouldn't lie to me but would you stretch the truth to make me feel good about myself?

Capt. over and out!