Red Star Rising

China is, in reality, as relevant economically as the United States of America, and China is still rising.

The only thing that makes the USA special is that, for all its political insanity, it’s still the world’s most trusted currency, for now.

Barbarianism is in our blood; I suspect that, seeing as how our military capability is still pretty good, at some point we may regress to said way of life, since civilization does not appear to be our strong point.

sub-Saharan

I’ve been reading about various African nations lately.

As is perhaps stereotypical, it makes me wonder why I was born here, and others were born in places like the DRC, and of course, this leads to ruminations about what could make life less hellish in such places.

I suspect the developed nations haven’t been able to achieve much in terms of helping the region because it requires one to be both caring, and coldly calculating.

While it really does seem the case that nations can only really fix themselves, I also have to wonder if the present world economic environment, for which developed nations are indirectly responsible for, does not actually prevent the emergence of civil society in underdeveloped parts of Africa.

People are very much a raw material.  With active intervention, they can change rapidly in only a few generations, for better or for worse.

Something worth thinking about is: is there a way to make a buck more efficiently than existing resource exploitation in the darker parts of Africa, in such a way as to make life there gradually and sustainably less hellish?

Because simply lobbing aid is not any better than feeding geese by the river.  If you actually want to help people who lack civil society, you must start by engineering one, and that seems like it would require lots and lots of time and money.

Because nature alone might not be able to fix a problem not of natural origins.

children’s hospital

Children’s hospitals are great for raising money, so, as long as the entire health system benefits, I guess they’re okay.

Still, I think it’s only fair we also have adults-only hospitals as well: 18+.

What would an adults-only hospital be like?  It’s a surprisingly odd notion that I will leave you, gentle reader, to ponder.

detangle

A strong ability to be meta-cognitive is perhaps a byproduct of the mind being initialized in a way such that the self, as a construct, was not supported.

Self is always an artificial construct, but most believe in it, because they have been taught to believe in it.  And, of all the beliefs we are inculcated with that we stubbornly resist questioning, self is generally the strongest.

Full internal deconstruction of self leads one to a precarious position as a living creature, so it is perhaps unsurprising that this feature is not enabled by default.  It is painful, and it becomes impossible to hide from the darkness.

That being said, i don’t think there is a clearer platform for thought than a mind devoid of the illusion of self.

Like a telescope outside of the obscuring and comforting effects of the atmosphere.

life

You are not a machine.

If you were, then it would be fine if you constrained yourself to strictly logical thoughts.

But, being a living creature programmed to not self-terminate, you’re stuck here for awhile, and you really can make the best of things by carefully choosing what you do and don’t think about.

Even taking into account things we should think about, for ourselves and for society, we still have a lot of remaining items for which thinking is optional.

Don’t think in ways that will make you unhappy, if you have a choice, and, in particular, avoid cynicism.

Attitude is everything.  You can choose to have a great life, or a terrible life, because, in most cases, if you have the basics of life(food, shelter, safety, love) it’s not an objective calculation; it’s entirely how you view it.

denial

When a culture forbids one to discuss an important aspect of civilization, it sets up a weakness.

That weakness may be made up for in other ways, but it seems to become more problematic over time, as generations pass, and the problems that cannot be understood and/or addressed become more severe and numerous.

Where such matters are discussed, it is then by people deemed outside of mainstream society, and here, things get really unpredictable and hard to call.  Fringe groups can be hyper-intellectual, or extremely anti-intellectual, though lately conditions don’t appear to be right for the former.

You really need something to be in the light, and to be talked about by moderate people, to keep it from becoming distorted and radicalized.

Denying reality only delays and intensifies an inevitable process of natural correction; putting out every forest fire will eventually lead to a firestorm.

on the lighter side of the news…

Far left and far right groups slated to kill one another in protests.

This is, far and away, the best news I’ve heard all year.

Really, can we schedule more of these things?  Can we get more of these events on the calendar?

I don’t normally write about news events, but it sounds like we’re finally going to make some progress, so I’m kind of excited…