wheels in motion

Any time you categorically, mercilessly, and aggressively attack an idea, a belief, an ideology, a natural behavior… things of that nature… you are setting wheels in motion, which are likely to result in unanticipated and severe consequences in the long term.

In all corners of American society, an inability to see the consequences of acting primitively… an inability to understand that we all have to live with each other… an inability to see one another as equally human(and equally dangerous) is what has been most concerning for me over the past 25 years, as I’ve learned from observation, contemplation, and from the many and varied mistakes I’ve made.

the journey

  1. Blind acceptance: As young children, we adopt the beliefs of those around us without thinking.
  2. Cynicism: As young adults, we start to question things.  We find flaws in existing structures and institutions, and quite often give ourselves way too much credit for doing so.
  3. Synthesis: We try to create things; relationships, organizations, systems, and realize it’s actually incredibly difficult.  We begin to understand that achieving anything of significant complexity takes a sizable chunk of our lives to accomplish, if we succeed at all.
  4. Re-evaluation: We see the merits of things we criticized early on in life, having come to appreciate the value of anything working at all.  We realize that every system has strengths and weaknesses, and to remove any particular weakness most likely results in either removing a strength, creating another weakness, or altering the overall system in ways we probably don’t understand.
  5. Sustain.  No amount of beating yourself in the head with your own failure to understand things is ever enough.  As we get older, we tend to think in self-reinforcing circles, which, in some way, is a waste of all the wisdom we’ve accrued thus far.

Never stop fighting your animal weakness; never settle for what you are.  Never stop questioning what you believe, and what you feel.

Never slow down, and never look back.

Canada Goose

I was running along the greenbelt in Columbus yesterday, and encountered a small gaggle of Canada Geese munching on grass beside the river, so I decided to get their take on the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Honestly, we’re not too concerned about it, ” acknowledged the watch goose, looking around nervously as his fellows continued munching.

“If humans get too distressed, perhaps they may stop tending this turf.  It’s quite tasty grass; a bit of a chemical aftertaste to it, but clean, filling, and delicious in general.”

The Goose nodded and added, “Mmm, you really can… yeah, you can fill up on grass here during your seasonal commute quick, much faster than rooting around here and there for wild grasses and plants that taste good.  So, I guess it would be kind of a drag…”

The Goose stared off into the river for a bit, then suddenly continued.

“But we wouldn’t get shot at, or seduced by decoys, so maybe it’s okay if humans die off…”

The guard goose paused and greedily munched down some nearby grass.

“Still, the turf they grow is pretty tasty…  I guess it’d be a bit of a wash, all told…”

cantilever

We tend to think of technology as a line of continuous advancement, up and to the right.

I think of it as a series of beams stacked upon one another, cantilevering up and to the right.  It is not self-supporting; it is dependent on a base of prior art, all of which must be maintained and preserved.

The greater the level of complexity, the more difficult it is to maintain and preserve its craft and science.  For much of the 20th century, this was trivial, but it is becoming more difficult at an ever accelerating pace.

Additionally, for humans, technology has an odd way of empowering our present, while weakening our future.

There are significant benchmarks which serve to show just how strong a nation is, both culturally and materially, such as aerospace production, space programs, and nuclear power, which require powerful cultures to initiate and maintain.

When a culture begins to fail, the signs are not obvious, because it’s far easier to maintain a system than to create one.  The first sign is repeated failures to create new complex systems, masked likely behind a reduced impetus to try.

Do not let your country rely on technology past the point you can culturally sustain, internally.  Use it, with the understanding that it may become inaccessible, but do not build on it.  You must understand your foundation, and you must understand how to maintain your foundation into the future.

automatic

Increasing automation poses various problems to a capitalist economy, but is not really much of a problem for a communist economy.

For capitalists, factory automation increases profits, but, at some point, if there are no jobs, no one can pay for goods made at automated factories, or services provided by computers.  No matter how much productive capital one has, it cannot produce anything for profit.

In a communist world, however, one simply distributes the factory outputs.  There is no problem whatsoever.

The people can work on higher level pursuits, or watch movies, or whatever.

While 20th century technological progress seemed quite suited for capitalism, perhaps we will find that the 21st century is much better suited to communism.

No wars, or subterfuge, or propaganda are really necessary at all for communism to defeat capitalism.

Communism merely had to wait a while, and, perhaps, have time to grow and develop in the culture best suited for it.

I feel like the R sound in the Japanese syllabary is less closely related to the English R(which is voiced), and is more like what an unvoiced “D” would be like, if we had it.

As little actual practice as I have with the Japanese language, I find, after studying it, I avoid saying the English “R” if at all possible.  Not just because it isn’t Japanese, but because it’s actually kind of a pain to voice.  It’s a relief not having to say it.

Again, my knowledge of linguistics in general is exceedingly poor, but it seems like the hard English R doesn’t seem to have much presence in many other languages, either.  Though, oddly enough, English speakers lack smoothly rolled “R” present in many other languages.

I wonder if it’s related?  Also, “syllabary” is perhaps the most difficult word to spell I’ve come across since tripping through the various “I before E, except…” abominations in my school days…

carts and horses

It is economically efficient to force society to adapt to the economy.  The question is, how far can you bend society before it breaks down, and economic efficiency becomes a moot point?

The main counterpoint is, how far can you compromise the efficiency of your nation’s economy for the well-being of your society, before inefficiencies begin to hurt your global influence and power?

“Global” is the problem concept here, and it’s the thorn in the side of every nation that seeks to maintain a healthy society.

Taking the hypothetical case of an isolated nation, which does not depend on trade or defense, and the problems of economic inefficiency largely go away,  if society is healthy(people cooperate with and mostly like each other, and have cohesive, contented life paths that the vast majority of people can enjoy).

Keeping society healthy in rapidly changing times is a monumental task in and of itself, and requires, in human planners, a way of thinking that is both caring and ruthless.

God

God is a feeling.

Everyone has a God vector; it points to different abstractions.

Am I God?

Are the people around me, God?

Is God up in the skies?  Or in the Earth, and air, and trees, and all around and through me?  Does a book describe God?  Or is the writing in the book itself(along a continuum between a literal and figurative interpretation) a God?

Maybe the God feeling is our way of creating a conceptual abstraction of raw, primitive positive emotion, devoid of it’s primal triggers(food, love, safety, belonging, etc).

The net average God vector of a given culture, or an individual, along with its present state, determines its future.

qwiki-pedia

The thing you realize when you discipline yourself and look for other sources of information on random topics, rather than taking the easy way out and following the Wikipedia link, is that Wikipedia, while quick and easy, has a rather profound, maybe even dispiriting lack of depth.

You generally don’t even have to go to page 2 of the search results to find something better.  You can add “site:*.edu" to the search string to make the process a little faster(and get results with no begging or advertisements).

I have been inspired and gotten really excited about various subjects every time I’ve passed on Wikipedia and gone to look for something better.