Nazi alert and other people's reactions
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26-01-2013, 11:22 AM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
ok. makes sense. Now WTF is ghost on about.

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.

You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.
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26-01-2013, 11:30 AM (This post was last modified: 26-01-2013 11:48 AM by Luminon.)
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(26-01-2013 11:22 AM)Xinoftruden Wrote:  ok. makes sense. Now WTF is ghost on about.
Well, he kept disagreeing with me and all that time I was trying to find out why. I refuse to believe people just disagree for no reason, I believe we all can agree if we come clear about our reasons.

I see it now, he had some unclear definitions of things. And in his world things are mostly black and white, full of absolutes, which is not like things are in reality. So I pointed that out and included some fun reference to Star Wars and I got myself a cup of hemlock.
As I said, we all have our weak spots. Matt seems to me a good guy with a too vague definition of goodness. Questioning the vagueness of definition isn't questioning his goodness.

We sometimes take things personally for no reason. For example in my class of politology, I gave a presentation on the lobbyist groups and there was some small discussion on politics. I mentioned I was at an anti-government demonstration, on which we had some police brutality. Then the teacher said "I'll show you how a revolution looks like." Something in his voice made me really offended, as if I was too young and stupid to know what a demonstration and police brutality means. I felt a pang of anger and just barely controlled myself. It was a well-disguised spasm of inferiority complex. Then I realized he just meant to show some Youtube video from that very city square 23 years ago, he was actually interested and wanted to contribute. You see how our brains fuck with us.

If you claim there are nuances to principles, there are no nuances to getting arrested or shot for disobeying the power.
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27-01-2013, 02:21 PM (This post was last modified: 27-01-2013 02:56 PM by Zat.)
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
Luminon, I would have never gone to this thread but for noticing your name.

After your responding to my crying-the-wilderness thread ("Proposal for a New Social Contract") I wanted to know what you had to say -- and I was very impressed.

First of all, your command of English is excellent, considering you are still a student in the Czech Republic. (I am from Hungary, BTW.)

Second, You are very clear about your ideas and express them with a lively language, often delightfully funny.

Third, I recognized my own lines at least a dozen times in your OP (I am a retired Theoretical Physicist who always insisted on solving human problems with the scientific method).

Fourth, I have been battling with your lawyer (and his kind) for decades to get the most obvious and simple ideas through their brain, without much success.

Finally, I have not read the rest of the thread yet, but I will, and I am almost sure I know what kind of responses you received.

I hope I am wrong.

PS.

I have scanned the thread -- I have to say, Luminon, you have the patience of a saint or a Chinese executioner (I read this line onece and liked it.)

Quoting from my all-time favourite science fiction novel: "Kazohinia" by Sandor Szathmary:

"I told him about Plato's state, Saint Thomas Aquinas's principles of the divine universality of the outcome of labour, the common work of the
Cathari and the Hussites, Fourier's phalansteries, Thomas More's Utopia, Proudhon's people's bank, Louis Blanc's national workshops, Robert
Owen's social manufacturing plants, the communal states of the Dominicans and Jesuits in South America, and finally I came to
scientific socialism and the latest theories, to the plans of Marx, Lenin, Bakunin, Bernstein, Kropotkin, Kautsky and Plekhanov, and to
technocracy and the democratic socialism of the Fabian Society, Wells and the Webbs. I spoke of the work theory of mercantilism and
physiocracy, of the liberalism of Adam Smith, and of the trade unions; nor did I fail to mention the ideas that had not materialized, such as
Georgism, syndicalism and anarchism.

For his life he could not understand how it was possible to imagine so many things concerning such a simple thing as life."
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27-01-2013, 07:18 PM (This post was last modified: 27-01-2013 07:27 PM by Peterkin.)
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
People who are deeply invested in the status quo are usually reluctant to consider anything different. If their minds are totally closed, no approach will work.
Sometimes, they just think you're floating a crackpot idea and will counter it with crackpot objections, but once you've overcome those (and it's a good idea to have a glib reply ready for each of the standard objections - then move right on), there may be some way to reach them.

I'll suggest a JM Barrie play, The Admirable Crichton - quite good in the cinematic version - or maybe the Verne classic, Mysterious Island. Really, any shipwreck or pioneer or wilderness survival story illustrates how a resource-based economy works. ("Oh, sure, that's okay if you have half a dozen people and no wealth...." or "Yeah, people can co-operate in an emergency, but once the flood's over, they turn into ravening beasts...." ) Most people have some kind of mental block to the fact that resource economy and mutualism were the human norm far longer than money-based, top-down systems, and continue to operate alongside, and underneath, the monetized economy, which would sink without that support - and that they themselves participate in that sub-economy every time they help a cousin move or babysit for the neighbours. You could even point out that modern industrial societies work in spite of the 'job-creators' - just as most of us have observed the Dilbert principle in our work-places: that projects get done in spite of managers.

As for the hyperbole - yelling "slavery!", "totalitarian" or "fascist!" every twelve minutes, with or without provocation - that's just a conversational tic of our times.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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28-01-2013, 07:54 AM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(27-01-2013 02:21 PM)Zat Wrote:  Luminon, I would have never gone to this thread but for noticing your name.

After your responding to my crying-the-wilderness thread ("Proposal for a New Social Contract") I wanted to know what you had to say -- and I was very impressed.

First of all, your command of English is excellent, considering you are still a student in the Czech Republic. (I am from Hungary, BTW.)

Second, You are very clear about your ideas and express them with a lively language, often delightfully funny.

Third, I recognized my own lines at least a dozen times in your OP (I am a retired Theoretical Physicist who always insisted on solving human problems with the scientific method).

Fourth, I have been battling with your lawyer (and his kind) for decades to get the most obvious and simple ideas through their brain, without much success.
Thank you. I feel like I can't take credit for anything I say, because I merely repeat what I see in nature and society. I notice the patterns, generalize them, apply them elsewhere and put it into words... It's hardly original anymore and wasn't since Jacque Fresco started doing his own crying in the wilderness. Anyone can do and see the same. That's why they say, great minds think alike, there is a unified pattern in the world that they can follow. The last drop was when I noticed that K. H. Borovsky, my countryman and famous journalist from 150 years ago basically wrote the same principles of society and municipality that I noticed. The same need for harmonic preservation vs. development and self-realization, the necessity to be and the necessity to become.

This is what makes me certain we are not just another ideologues who bring another well-intended totalitarian regime. Ideologues (crackpots) are intelligent people with correct ideas. However, they apply these ideas much more broadly than they should be applied. They don't see that if one solution works, it doesn't mean it works everywhere, it's not an absolute solution. If we give a knife to a barbarian, he will successfully open, let's say, some oysters and mussels. He will also try to open a can of food with it, and with some effort he succeeds. Then he will see someone closed-minded and he will try the proven method of opening things... Wink

Which makes me wonder why people aren't able to perceive these patterns. As you say, they have heavily invested into the current system. They may consider this world the best of possible worlds. I think these people can be cured with statistics. Show them the poverty, violence and excess that this system causes and show them that their relative stability is just an anomaly in the system, not a rule and that much of their taxes still goes on weapons to maintain the fragile security.
There are others, who's thinking tends to lean towards absolutes. The false dichotomy of absolute government vs. absolute freedom. I'd say the government is the daddy and the market economy is the mommy and it's time to move out of the basement and have our own life.

In a sense, all of humanity are like "children of one God" (not in any religious sense, but a poetic expression of equality), and in a sense, we are like children. Not that I had any contact with children since I was one myself, so I'd might use some corrections here.

Right now, someone said that this world is like a large evil Disneyland. I couldn't find the author of this quote (thank you!), but I must agree and be inspired. What is it, but one big amusement park? We are hypnotized by the glitter of money, media, sport games and alcohol. With honorable place devoted to Hollywood, the tinsel town. We spend our money running between the merry-go-round of work and fun. We scream with delight and terror on the rollercoaster of personal finance and business, sometimes we're up, sometimes down. Of course, as every evil institution, this evil Disneyland relies on lots and lots of child labor to run and maintain the attractions, working invisible behind the scenes and below the floors of the privileged. The privileged children have mostly no idea about the work, suffering and death of the others. If they knew and saw, they'd be horrified and wanted to help, we're only children, after all. Easy to distract, easy to control, yet innately seeking fairness, capable of empathy in other children, terrified of evil and pain.

Let's say I deal with religious people. Jesus reputedly said, that if you want to enter the Kingdom of God, you have to be like children. Well then, what are children like? Children live in their house where they belong, yet the house does not belong to them. They don't go to work. They play most of the time. They share their toys. They receive clothes and food. They go to school often, preparing for their future life. They help around the house to keep it in order. They don't fight in wars. They don't pay taxes. They don't get paycheck according to worked hours. They don't go to jail. They're punished in a way they can understand.

I am told by an esotericist about a special kind of livingness, a special mode of perceiving the world, that a child has. It is a mode of total focus on whatever we're doing, that is totally important at the moment. It is a time when we feel more alive than we ever were. We forget it soon of course, the television, school and parents get us out of it quickly. But I believe recently I had glimpses of this state again. A stimulus of being in touch with the world, being in a stimulating environment, such a delightful meaning and purpose, compared to which money and property is nothing (but an instrument). And it can only resurface in an environment that is simple and allows us to focus without too many mundane distractions. And this intense livingness in simplicity, doing exactly what we're meant to do, what is the best we could do, is better than any kind of standardized mass entertainment that the Disneyland can offer.
All these lawyers are concerned with whether one has a hypothetical chance to try every attraction in Disneyland and call it freedom, but nobody is truly free if he is not free to discover the one thing he does best. And for this new kind of livingness it is worthy to shut down the bizarre circus-like decorations (that Tim Kring is so fond of), dismantle and rebuild the Disneyland into something entirely different. It is very diffcult to explain and convey the experience, but when people get a hint of it, they will always want more of it.

I know it's not exactly to the topic, but I had this thought a long time and had to write it down somewhere. Thoughts want someone to say them, or they move on to someone else Smile


(27-01-2013 02:21 PM)Zat Wrote:  I have scanned the thread -- I have to say, Luminon, you have the patience of a saint or a Chinese executioner (I read this line onece and liked it.)
I'm not an Unitarian, but I'm a lot like them. There is a saying, arguing with a Unitarian Universalist is like mud-wrestling with a pig, you'll see the pig actually likes it Big Grin

(27-01-2013 02:21 PM)Zat Wrote:  Quoting from my all-time favourite science fiction novel: "Kazohinia" by Sandor Szathmary:

"I told him about Plato's state, Saint Thomas Aquinas's principles of the divine universality of the outcome of labour, the common work of the
Cathari and the Hussites, Fourier's phalansteries, Thomas More's Utopia, Proudhon's people's bank, Louis Blanc's national workshops, Robert
Owen's social manufacturing plants, the communal states of the Dominicans and Jesuits in South America, and finally I came to
scientific socialism and the latest theories, to the plans of Marx, Lenin, Bakunin, Bernstein, Kropotkin, Kautsky and Plekhanov, and to
technocracy and the democratic socialism of the Fabian Society, Wells and the Webbs. I spoke of the work theory of mercantilism and
physiocracy, of the liberalism of Adam Smith, and of the trade unions; nor did I fail to mention the ideas that had not materialized, such as
Georgism, syndicalism and anarchism.
This looks like a book I'd love to read. I thoroughly enjoyed Huxley's Brave new world, but also on a more serious note Ursula LeGuin's Ecumen series and similar works, each a sociologic study.
However, it seems there is no available digital English version of the book. Looks like the digital buccaneers have some reserves in the cultural department Smile

If you claim there are nuances to principles, there are no nuances to getting arrested or shot for disobeying the power.
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28-01-2013, 12:54 PM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2013 01:53 PM by Zat.)
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
Quote:This is what makes me certain we are not just another ideologues who bring another well-intended totalitarian regime.

This is the hardest to convince people about. They have lived ALL their lives under some ideology, one kind or another, and they just can not conceive of an ideologyless existence. More precisely: they see it as a choice between ideology and chaos (a total lack of convictions). If you have any convictions, you are an idealogue, by definition.

If it were possible to make them try to approach the social arena as an engineering problem, they might see that it all boils down to common sense and basic arithmatic. However, social engineering has a bad name due to misuse over history, so don't even try to mention it.

Quote:Which makes me wonder why people aren't able to perceive these patterns. As you say, they have heavily invested into the current system. They may consider this world the best of possible worlds. I think these people can be cured with statistics.

Believe me, I tried it and tried it and tried till the cows came home, without any effect. We are so jaded with statistics that numbers don't mean anything to anyone any more. You may cite the ten million children starving to death every year and they yawn. You may mention the thousands of nuclear missiles on hair trigger alert aimed at their children and they don't think that something horrible is happening and some new thinking is required. You may mention climate change and the looming catastrophe and they say: shit happens! You may mention the UN report according to which 90% of our resources is WASTED on non-productive activities (mostly related to money) and they will tell you that you can't exist without money, so what is your problem? Not all of them, not all the time, but nobody (almost nobody) seems to realize that something drastically new is required because trying the same old thing(s) that never worked before, won't save our collective asses.

Quote:There are others, who's thinking tends to lean towards absolutes. The false dichotomy of absolute government vs. absolute freedom.

Oh yes, the most popular dirty word in the US today is "government". It is supposed to be our government. Elected by us, free to participate in it, staffed by human beings just as we are, having a mandate (the constitution) to carry out and protect. So what is wrong with that?

Yes, of course governments are corrupted, not by the power they have but by the bastards holding the money bags and bribing, blackmailing, obstructing, paralizing, using as their own private source of income and influence. Governments are not-by-nature-corrupt -- they are corrupt because we, the citizens allow them to be corrupted, by our laziness, refusing to participate actively in the democratic process, other than casting a vote once every 2-4 years, even if we bother to do even that.

There are a number of popular misconceptions that are almost impossible to make people examine, so deeply ingrained they are (heavily spread and supported by the powers that be).

Here are a few:
- Governments are inefficient, corrupt, useless, dangerous -- the enemy #1
- People would starve to death without money.
- People would not make an effort, unless they are 'motivated' by hunger, poverty, insecurity and competition.
- People do not know how to intelligently organize a large project (in spite of counter examples like world wars, moon landing, etc).
- Human nature prevents us from co-operating in intelligent, scientific ways.
- Any effort to organize all of society into a well-functioning unit is TOTALITARIANISM!
- It is impossible to base a social organization (government, economics, etc) on basic principles, logic and simple arithmetic.

Quote:This looks like a book I'd love to read. I thoroughly enjoyed Huxley's Brave new world, but also on a more serious note Ursula LeGuin's Ecumen series and similar works, each a sociologic study.

The reason I consider Kazohinia the most important book I have ever read is the following: It was the first book that convinced me, that all the world's problems are both artificial and unsolvable. Life is so incredibly simple that we could do it extremely well, with a millionth of the energy exerted now, if that is what we in fact wanted.

As Zatamon (my hero) said when Gulliver told him about the different political and economic systems: "Does it matter in what system you are sick?"

The solutions to mankind's problems are so obvious and so simple that the only reason they don't get solved, millennia after millennia, is the fact that nobody wants to solve them. Not the leaders and not
their supporters.

This knowledge liberated my mind from the compulsion of trying to figure out what would work. I had my answer: nothing would work with our species at this moment of evolutionary development.

If you PM me an email address, I can email you a zippeed file with the English translation. Sorry, but I do not have a link any more.
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28-01-2013, 02:03 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
When I learned about the Czech national renaissance, the rise of nationalism, I was taught about one thing. The Austro-Hungarian empire was a relatively modern, legal state.
However, it failed because of a total lack of mutuality. Nobody was willing to endorse and include anything but his own. Those who were on top, did nothing for those at the bottom. The majority never did anything for a minority and the minority never submitted to majority. And everyone were trying extremely hard not to be a minority, at all costs.
This took an extreme form with the rise of nationalism. Nationalists loved their nation and hated the other nations. They called themselves patriots.

Yet I doubt so. I'd say there were little or no patriots in the whole Europe. A nationalist who is a patriot towards his nation only and hates and fears the other nations is a barbarian. If he was truly a patriot, he would know that other nations would never permit his nation to rise and develop, out of fear that this nation might in turn oppress them, which was a very justified fear in all the decades of Austrian empire and later. Although my nation is seen as small, weak and harmless, it once ruled the Europe and in 19th century had a nasty history of conflicts with Germans in the borderlands. Previously a non-differentiated ethnic German and Czech populations lived together. With nationalism, they started to make difference between one another and this went into power struggle over money, offices and eventually the land and self-determination. I believe today we face a shift from practical patriotism towards a cultural patriotism, we've had the fun with our otherness and now the young generation hopefully puts it away and both go on the net speaking English.

Who wants to be a true patriot, must understand the game theory. If a nationalist oppresses any other nation, preventively or not, that nation will in turn sabotage and oppress his own nation. Therefore a true patriot benefits his nation by benefiting the other nations. One can not celebrate his own nation's worth without sincerely wishing and celebrating the other nations' worth. There is no other way, either patriotism means to support and celebrate everyone's patriotism, or we're only barbarians. But then the universal patriotism, the applied understanding of the prisoner's dilemma is essentially a universal brotherhood.

From many historical examples, not just the Austrian empire you'll see, that the game theory was ignored or generally misunderstood. By this you can see which politicians are barbarians. If they paint targets on persons, cities and nations, they failed at their exams. We know that politicians are stupid and ignorant.
Frankly, I don't believe in the principle of representation. Stupid voters will elect stupid people, because this is the kind of smartness they can understand. And the politicians then do as they're told by the interest groups.
I am appalled that politicians are allowed into the office without any education on ethics, philosophy, game theory, conflict resolution and so on! Since Socrates went around Athens, asking politicians what is justice, not much changed. We allow our representatives to be stupid. We let them directly into the chair. Ideally, an elected politician should be first sent to another term to a university and be given real world ethical / national problems and conflicts to solve, created by a team of professors and so on. He'd have to prove he can pass these tests and then he'd go into the office. The politician shouldn't be given any answers, he'd have to create his own answers in the mid-term and then the professors would help him to hone these into perfection for the finals... or let him fail.

I think that might help us outlast the years remaining to a non-political system.

If you claim there are nuances to principles, there are no nuances to getting arrested or shot for disobeying the power.
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28-01-2013, 02:36 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
That's almost like asking for people to be trained in child-care before they have babies - unthinkable!
Practical, sensible; would prevent all kinds of childhood ailments and accidents - yet unthinkable.
People tend to confound equality under the law with equal competence and the freedom to pursue happiness with the instant, constant gratification of ad-implanted desires.

There is also the minor but persistent problem of forming unassailable cause-effect links between random contemporaneous observed phenomena (actual and/or apprehended).

I proposed replacing the election process by one like jury duty - that is, short-term service by as many citizens as possible, in configurations that can't be manipulated by any one interest group. This would mean that council members must work toward solving problems as a team with people whose point of view they would not normally hear, that officials would have to live with the results of their decisions, and that no individual or faction could consolidate power.

Here is a synopsis of the only response:
Quote: earmuffs:
The system is crap in theory and I think it would be crap in practicality.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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28-01-2013, 06:06 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(28-01-2013 02:36 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  That's almost like asking for people to be trained in child-care before they have babies - unthinkable!
Practical, sensible; would prevent all kinds of childhood ailments and accidents - yet unthinkable.
People tend to confound equality under the law with equal competence and the freedom to pursue happiness with the instant, constant gratification of ad-implanted desires.

There is also the minor but persistent problem of forming unassailable cause-effect links between random contemporaneous observed phenomena (actual and/or apprehended).

I proposed replacing the election process by one like jury duty - that is, short-term service by as many citizens as possible, in configurations that can't be manipulated by any one interest group. This would mean that council members must work toward solving problems as a team with people whose point of view they would not normally hear, that officials would have to live with the results of their decisions, and that no individual or faction could consolidate power.

Here is a synopsis of the only response:
Quote: earmuffs:
The system is crap in theory and I think it would be crap in practicality.
I'm sorry, I actually forgot. The Count Hans-Adam II. of Liechtenstein actually did away with this kind of political crap. He figured out a system in which there is a minimal government.
What is the greatest part of the state budget? The social expenses. And where are they spent? Mostly in municipal and regional health and care institutions, schools, etc. So why the hell do we have them in the national budget? Why don't the money stay on the regional and municipal level? Let's leave the money where we need them and then fire the almost three hundred idiots that steal them and dumb us down with their elections every couple years or so. Never again we'd have to hear of their arrogance, criminality and idiocy. (I'm freshly after presidential elections that had nothing to do with democracy or decency)

Hans says all direct taxes like income tax should go to the municipalities and regions to finance the social services and so on. The municipalities should be largely autonomous (he loves the Swiss model) and the state should have only about 25 people to handle things like defense, foreign contact and paying off the foreign debts from indirect taxes.
Anyway, the centralized/federal model is an anachronism from times when nations were fresh and might break apart any time, so there was the need for a central institution.
I mean, it's Europe. The 25 guys should handle not just the tiny Liechtenstein, but up to a larger nation like mine, 10 million people, which is the average on European standards.

I like where Hans Adam would take the history. The only thing I don't like in his model is the banking system - he proposes to control the currency value with meticulous metallurgy and dynamic changing of gold content in coins, which is a bit old-fashioned, I think. A worldwide international ban of interest and financial speculation would solve the problem much better and would allow us to keep using credit cards and PayPal.

If you claim there are nuances to principles, there are no nuances to getting arrested or shot for disobeying the power.
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01-02-2013, 09:54 AM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
Funny how one's expectations are often disappointed.

Based on past experience, I expected a lot of arguments with my last post on this thread and -- not a word -- even though I made 'outrageous' claims. Either everybody who read it agreed with me, or they thought it was so far out of the box that no answer was possible (or worth bothering with).

In either case, I think I pretty well covered it, at least from my own perspective.

Since it was only an experiment, no harm done to my ego! Big Grin
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