Author Topic: The political musings of SidewalkCynic.  (Read 793 times)

Asmodean

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The political musings of SidewalkCynic.
« on: January 31, 2019, 12:54:49 PM »
Welcome!

It sounds like you chose somewhat nomadic a life style. I can relate up to a point - I do not want to own the house I live in, because I like the idea of ripping my mailbox out of the ground and moving on with my life, should I so decide.

The Choice of language you use here intrigues me somewhat;
Quote from:
In the Winter of 2000, I had a very stress free job working the night shift at the flop house that I was staying at. And it was then that I recognized that there was a major problem in society. I could not correctly describe it then, but now I describe it as the improper deliberation of reason; and I vowed to myself that I would figure it out. In the a Spring of 2002, I encountered an American Atheist magazine in a library - I had known of American Atheist, but for some reason it did not occur to me to research it on the Internet, which I was fairly versed with using to do somethings back then. Anyway, I attended the Atheists March on Washington, and I was disappointed, because it was not the enlightening experience that would help me understand the social problem that I was recognizing - the atheist attendees seemed to be just as disoriented as the greater population. I then attended an Atheist MeetUp, and again I was disappointed, because all they did was sit around and talk about how stupid and imposing the Christians were. Then I found the atheist forums, and noticed the faulty definition of religion. I could not describe the category error, back then that I have come to learn that it is.
Do you see "improper deliberation of reason" as a social, rather than personal problem? What would be "proper?" Using which set of standards? Is not the apparent "disorientation" of "the masses" an inevitable consequence of freedom of individual choice? If faced with the choice between engineering a better society and maximising personal freedom, which do you lean towards?
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 07:12:29 PM by Tank »
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Bad Penny II

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Re: The politicl musings of SidewalkCynic.
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2019, 01:59:35 PM »
Do you see "improper deliberation of reason" as a social, rather than personal problem?

My personal thought fuck up is of small consequence.
We're heading for a wall, lets do a slight course correction.
There is no wall, the wall is bullshit, it is a creation of people that don't think like us.


What would be "proper?" Using which set of standards?

Working for the continuation of species in the manner we're accustomed to.



Is not the apparent "disorientation" of "the masses" an inevitable consequence of freedom of individual choice?

I don't know, we could have perhaps taught them better.


If faced with the choice between engineering a better society and maximising personal freedom, which do you lean towards?

Engineering, I am on the engineering team aren't I?
Certainty disturbs me


SidewalkCynic

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Re: The politicl musings of SidewalkCynic.
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2019, 03:13:46 PM »
Welcome!
Thank you

It sounds like you chose somewhat nomadic a life style. I can relate up to a point - I do not want to own the house I live in, because I like the idea of ripping my mailbox out of the ground and moving on with my life, should I so decide.
Well, I got tired of living in my home town after six years, and with no ambition to rise up in the hierarchy of any business that I entered.

Do you see "improper deliberation of reason" as a social, rather than personal problem?
I see it as a social problem - the elders are responsible for teaching the young.

What would be "proper?" Using which set of standards?
Dialectics is the system for deliberating reason. I believe it is what lawyers are taught in law school. I believe that the lack of a reliable knowledge classification system is the root of the problem, and that the installation of a reliable classification system and its derivative(s) is the solution, and inevitable.

Is not the apparent "disorientation" of "the masses" an inevitable consequence of freedom of individual choice?
Only, because of the lack of a reliable dialectics has allowed for a considerable amount of irrational thinking and promotion of the subsequent ideas.

If faced with the choice between engineering a better society and maximising personal freedom, which do you lean towards?
Excellent question - you are the first person who has recognized the impending dilemma that my arguments lead to. 8) It is a dilemma that I have been contemplating since I recognized the strict order that a reliable knowledge classification system will impose on society.

I believe that the engineering of a better society will probably maximise personal freedom in ways that most people do not understand. The chaos of plural-secular communities is not maximised freedom for those who seek order and reasoned thought.
If there were a god, then it would have revealed itself to me. There has never been anything more important in the history of Mankind than what I am delivering - scientific collation theory for the organization of technology.

Tank

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Re: The politicl musings of SidewalkCynic.
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2019, 03:41:36 PM »
Asmo, I think you have found your soul mate  ;D
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
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Asmodean

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Re: The politicl musings of SidewalkCynic.
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2019, 08:58:02 AM »
...the elders are responsible for teaching the young.
I agree to a point. I think the most important thing to teach someone, is how to learn. A large part of it is recognising the quality of information one may be tempted to build on. Young children will by necessity tend to believe their authority figures. Not having learned to approach information skeptically, they may continue to do so their whole life. Recognising that a piece of information may be a steaming pile of horse manure and disregarding that possibility, however… That's where the belowmentioned personal freedom comes in.

Quote
I believe that the lack of a reliable knowledge classification system is the root of the problem, and that the installation of a reliable classification system and its derivative(s) is the solution, and inevitable.
Hmm… I think such systems exist, but their use in individual decision-making cannot be enforced through education, law or by any other means I can think of.. Below, you describe dialectics as being preferable to irrational thinking, and I agree, as I suppose do most "upstanding" people. Reality, however, begs to differ, and you cannot really force someone to arrive at an informed decision contrary to their wishes and preconceptions through the merits of the opposing argument. Certainly, a person who values intellectual integrity, and possibly even filters incoming information and their own knowledge alike through a skeptical lens, may be more likely to do so, but then there is the issue of value judgements. They are tricky that way, as it may be nearly impossible for one side to see the other's model of society as superior to their own preconceptions. The realm of is and is not is relatively straight-forward. The realm of ought and ought not - less so.

I suppose this is my overly-verbose way of asking, what do you see as a reasonable end to implementing a unified system for classification of knowledge? To what degree can one be implemented? After all, the Scientific Method has been with us for generations, and yet… The many Ken Hams of our day and age don't hold it in too high a regard. Logic has been with us longer still, and yet an increasing number of ever-vocal individuals call for considering emotional arguments ahead of logical ones.

Quote
Only, because of the lack of a reliable dialectics has allowed for a considerable amount of irrational thinking and promotion of the subsequent ideas.
I wanted to address this as a separate point, but one thing led to another, and I sort of covered the bulk of it above. I do like what you suggest, but I disagree with it being the solution to the problem at hand. Will reasoned discourse improve the situation? Yes. To what degree..?

I wonder if at the end of the day, the best we can do is confront irrationality with reason and knowledge when we see it. That, or make a futile attempt at thought policing. You see, you can make a law that states that an idea is so wrong as not to deserve its place in the sun… And underground it goes, and there it festers, takes root and makes babies. You have not proposed fighting ideas through law, but I wonder; will not introducing the unifying framework you suggest serve to paint over the rot, rather than treat it, in much the same way as in my example?

Quote
Excellent question - you are the first person who has recognized the impending dilemma that my arguments lead to. 8) It is a dilemma that I have been contemplating since I recognized the strict order that a reliable knowledge classification system will impose on society.
Yeah... This is kind of what I do these days, somewhat heavily on personal freedom side. (NOT an An-Cap or anything of the sort. I'm coming from the perspective of Liberty - a Millsian sort of philosophy)

Quote
I believe that the engineering of a better society will probably maximise personal freedom in ways that most people do not understand. The chaos of plural-secular communities is not maximised freedom for those who seek order and reasoned thought.
As long as you engineer such a society without depriving me of my freedom to make bad choices, to just be plain wrong... Can you, though? How? I suppose I can do better for context;

When I say "maximising freedom for the individual," this refers to the degree of imposed control the larger society has over that individual's choices, opinions, values, etc. When you start engineering a society, you limit that freedom. Maybe at some point, you engineer it more towards increased freedom, but you cannot grant me freedom which you have not previously taken away. At least, that's how I see it, so I struggle with the logic of "engineering of a better society will probably maximise personal freedom," unless you suggest that we re-grant freedom to the individuals that they were previously denied?
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 09:17:54 AM by Asmodean »
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Asmodean

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Re: The politicl musings of SidewalkCynic.
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2019, 09:54:23 AM »
My personal thought fuck up is of small consequence.
We're heading for a wall, lets do a slight course correction.
There is no wall, the wall is bullshit, it is a creation of people that don't think like us.
I think man-made climate change is factually demonstrable. I also think man-made climate change is a partisan issue in certain circles and parts of the world. Futrher, while I don't think it's a lie, or a global conspiracy of scientifically-minded individuals, I do not consider preventing climate change a necessity, or even my problem. Thus, if I were to cast my vote on the issue of climate change, it would fall in line with that of those who do hold the aforementioned opinions, even though we come from completely different perspectives, and probably hate each other's guts besides. As an individual(ist) I can move in and out of the many "wes" out there as it suits me. My personal thought fuck ups play a part in that, as do my personal thought triumphs.

Quote
Working for the continuation of species in the manner we're accustomed to.
So, no nukes in addition to no climate regulations? Because me, I'm accustomed to being alive and burning fossil fuels like there is no tomorrow.

Quote
I don't know, we could have perhaps taught them better.
I covered this one in my response to SidewalkCynic above. In some ways, perhaps we could indeed.

Quote
Engineering, I am on the engineering team aren't I?
Based on this reply, or your entire HaF personae?
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 11:08:05 AM by Asmodean »
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SidewalkCynic

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Re: The politicl musings of SidewalkCynic.
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2019, 04:39:45 PM »
...the elders are responsible for teaching the young.
I agree to a point. I think the most important thing to teach someone, is how to learn. A large part of it is recognising the quality of information one may be tempted to build on. Young children will by necessity tend to believe their authority figures. Not having learned to approach information skeptically, they may continue to do so their whole life.
And, of course, the problem is with zealot theist parents and hardly much problem with atheist parents - right???

I believe that the lack of a reliable knowledge classification system is the root of the problem, and that the installation of a reliable classification system and its derivative(s) is the solution, and inevitable.
Hmm… I think such systems exist, but their use in individual decision-making cannot be enforced through education, law or by any other means I can think of.. Below, you describe dialectics as being preferable to irrational thinking, and I agree, as I suppose do most "upstanding" people. Reality, however, begs to differ, and you cannot really force someone to arrive at an informed decision contrary to their wishes and preconceptions through the merits of the opposing argument. Certainly, a person who values intellectual integrity, and possibly even filters incoming information and their own knowledge alike through a skeptical lens, may be more likely to do so, but then there is the issue of value judgements. They are tricky that way, as it may be nearly impossible for one side to see the other's model of society as superior to their own preconceptions. The realm of is and is not is relatively straight-forward. The realm of ought and ought not - less so.

I suppose this is my overly-verbose way of asking, what do you see as a reasonable end to implementing a unified system for classification of knowledge? To what degree can one be implemented? After all, the Scientific Method has been with us for generations, and yet… The many Ken Hams of our day and age don't hold it in too high a regard. Logic has been with us longer still, and yet an increasing number of ever-vocal individuals call for considering emotional arguments ahead of logical ones.
I was right - you are only willing to challenge the theists to challenge their doctrine, you're not going to question why atheists believe in an infinite number of rational opinions and values (herding cats). You're not going to question the conjunction of "belief and worship" as a rational conjunction that distinguishes religion from theism. You're not going to question the use of "atheism" to designate an ontological value judgement.

Atheists need to make sure their house is clean, before they continue their intellectual crusade of reason on the theists.

Only, because of the lack of a reliable dialectics has allowed for a considerable amount of irrational thinking and promotion of the subsequent ideas.
I wanted to address this as a separate point, but one thing led to another, and I sort of covered the bulk of it above. I do like what you suggest, but I disagree with it being the solution to the problem at hand. Will reasoned discourse improve the situation? Yes. To what degree..?

I wonder if at the end of the day, the best we can do is confront irrationality with reason and knowledge when we see it. That, or make a futile attempt at thought policing. You see, you can make a law that states that an idea is so wrong as not to deserve its place in the sun… And underground it goes, and there it festers, takes root and makes babies. You have not proposed fighting ideas through law, but I wonder; will not introducing the unifying framework you suggest serve to paint over the rot, rather than treat it, in much the same way as in my example?
A derivitive of the knowledge classification system is a corporate chartering system, which organizes juries - decision making - corporate through all levels of government.

I believe that the engineering of a better society will probably maximise personal freedom in ways that most people do not understand. The chaos of plural-secular communities is not maximised freedom for those who seek order and reasoned thought.
As long as you engineer such a society without depriving me of my freedom to make bad choices, to just be plain wrong... Can you, though? How? I suppose I can do better for context;

When I say "maximising freedom for the individual," this refers to the degree of imposed control the larger society has over that individual's choices, opinions, values, etc. When you start engineering a society, you limit that freedom. Maybe at some point, you engineer it more towards increased freedom, but you cannot grant me freedom which you have not previously taken away. At least, that's how I see it, so I struggle with the logic of "engineering of a better society will probably maximise personal freedom," unless you suggest that we re-grant freedom to the individuals that they were previously denied?
I do not believe there is one single unified social system. I believe that there are, at least, six rational schools of thought, maybe as many as 36; but I doubt if they are independently different - more than likely the six schools of thought have six factions, each.
If there were a god, then it would have revealed itself to me. There has never been anything more important in the history of Mankind than what I am delivering - scientific collation theory for the organization of technology.

Asmodean

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Re: The politicl musings of SidewalkCynic.
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2019, 05:10:33 PM »
Quote
And, of course, the problem is with zealot theist parents and hardly much problem with atheist parents - right???
Any-one willing to make an emotional argument in stead of a rational one. Any-one willing to "tow the party line" without questioning or worse - knowing it to be fallacious or even false. That's who I'm talking about. Since the whole Atheism+ disaster... No, Atheists can be as bad as theists, and much worse than the best of them in some respects. After all, you do not have to believe in god to rely on faith rather than scepticism and your own ability to not sell your knowledge for more than it's worth, metaphorically speaking. Look no further than the notorious (By now, notoriously-irrelevant, really) Steve Shives for an example of what I mean. EDIT: Also, there we have a wannabe-social-engineer if ever I saw one.

Quote
I was right - you are only willing to challenge the theists to challenge their doctrine, you're not going to question why atheists believe in an infinite number of rational opinions and values (herding cats). You're not going to question the conjunction of "belief and worship" as a rational conjunction that distinguishes religion from theism. You're not going to question the use of "atheism" to designate an ontological value judgement.

Atheists need to make sure their house is clean, before they continue their intellectual crusade of reason on the theists.
Well, as I said above, I was not talking about Atheists and/or Theists and/or Deists specifically. In this discussion, I don't really care which gods, if any, a person believes in. Finding truth in faith is a symptom, not a cause. I couldn't care less if it's faith in Allah or Feminism.

As for hypocrisy... Nah. Yes, if you want to tell someone to clean their house, yours ought to be in order. Otherwise, why would they listen? If you only want to point out that their place reeks of vomit, however... What does it matter in that case if yours reeks of sewage?

What does Atheism mean? A lack of positive belief in gods. Perhaps even a positive belief in the lack of gods. We need not have anything else that unites us. To an individualist like myself, that is acceptable. We can band together and fall apart when our interests align and diverge.

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A derivitive of the knowledge classification system is a corporate chartering system, which organizes juries - decision making - corporate through all levels of government.
Yes, ok. But am I still voting for said government, or are you proposing a technocracy/oligarchy of sorts? In the former case, why would I, the voter, place my trust in that system?

Quote
I do not believe there is one single unified social system. I believe that there are, at least, six rational schools of thought, maybe as many as 36; but I doubt if they are independently different - more than likely the six schools of thought have six factions, each.
Perhaps, but this does not even begin to address the problem of maximising personal freedom vs engineering a better society.
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Icarus

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Re: The politicl musings of SidewalkCynic.
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2019, 06:26:24 PM »
Wow,  you two have overloaded my rapidly petrifying brain.

I suspect that we had better get Silver to join the conversation because she knows much about how the brain functions and about the chemistry that influences our behavior, and our learning capacity.   

Stress and dopamine feed each other in a "positive feedback" cycle.  I am told the the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the Jimminy Cricket part of the brain is supposed to inhibit impulsive behavior by turning off the amygdala.  Dopamine nerve terminals reside in the PFC and are ideally kept in check. But a massive amount of stress induced dopamine flooding the PFC will squash the Cricket, increase risky and impulsive behavior and keep our cortisol elevated.

Cortisol is the anti contentment  hormone.  Riots and insurrections occur.  The social graces are in the toilet and so is informed reasoning.

The problem is that we are not all the same in terms of cranial chemistry.  We'll need to all get on the same page if we are ever to manage social engineering in a useful way.  Useful to whom one may ask.


SidewalkCynic

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Re: The politicl musings of SidewalkCynic.
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2019, 07:14:00 PM »
Yes, ok. But am I still voting for said government, or are you proposing a technocracy/oligarchy of sorts? In the former case, why would I, the voter, place my trust in that system?
Technocracy of sorts.

Quote
I do not believe there is one single unified social system. I believe that there are, at least, six rational schools of thought, maybe as many as 36; but I doubt if they are independently different - more than likely the six schools of thought have six factions, each.
Perhaps, but this does not even begin to address the problem of maximising personal freedom vs engineering a better society.
Well, I think it does - how else can we determine the relativity of personal freedom from social order, if we do not have any control group(s) to compare and determine what people want?
If there were a god, then it would have revealed itself to me. There has never been anything more important in the history of Mankind than what I am delivering - scientific collation theory for the organization of technology.

Bad Penny II

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Re: The politicl musings of SidewalkCynic.
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2019, 01:28:57 PM »
Quote
And, of course, the problem is with zealot theist parents and hardly much problem with atheist parents - right???
Any-one willing to make an emotional argument in stead of a rational one.

We are undeniably emotional beings, most of us, but there's no room for emotional argument?

The emotional are allowed their say in deciding the goals, we hand over the doing to the rational.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 02:30:59 PM by Bad Penny II »
Certainty disturbs me


Asmodean

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Re: The political musings of SidewalkCynic.
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2019, 10:55:39 AM »
There may well be room for emotional argument, depending on what you mean. I put "in stead of" in there with good reason - to oppose "in addition to."

How shall I put it... If you extract your feelings from the argument and it still holds its own, like... Oh, I don't know, making a passionate statement on why the evolutionary model of speciation is correct, then there is certainly room for it. Whether or not it's necessary, however, is debatable.

If, on the other hand, your argument collapses if the feelings expressed therein are ignored... Yeah, I'd say you need a better argument. For example, "rape is disgusting." Remove my personal displeasure. Does my argument still have a leg to stand on? I would argue that it does not, unless you are willing to project onto it claims it does not make. On the other hand, "I find rape disgusting because it hurts people." Remove my fie-fies, and you are still left with the core of the argument; "rape hurts people." We can work with that.

Of course, if you are not making an argument, but rather conveying some personal truth, then there is plenty of room for emotion in it. If you say "rape is disgusting" not in order to convince me of something, but merely to provide a personal perspective... Yeah. Sure. As long as you don't mind if I don't assume it to be a standing truth outside of your individual bubble.

Maybe I chose a poor example, as rape is something very widely agreed upon... Replace with anything you want at will. I was going to use racism, originally, but it's getting hard to find two people of differing perspectives who will even agree on the definition of the word. Just because I cannot resist though,

"That's racist!"
"How so?"
"IT'S NOT MUH JOB TO EDUCATE YOU!!1!1!!11ONE!"
-Argument lost.

vs.

"That's racist!"
"How so?"
"Because it's prejudiced against people of certain skin colors due to…"
-I'm potentially convinced.

or even,

"That's racist!"
"How so?"
"I just think it is"
-Oh. Ok. Beer?

(I hear/see/read the first iteraion of it several times a week. While technically, this is an appeal to authority, that of oneself, in fact, the underlying argument is as thin as "Because I/we/they don't like it." Well, I, we, they is not convinced by it)
« Last Edit: February 08, 2019, 11:24:22 AM by Asmodean »
In Asmo's grey lump,
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