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Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

The Radical Catalyst

john-bunyan-open-air-preachingA recent article discussed how a radical Saudi writer named Abdullah Mohammad Al Dawood spoke about how men should molest women to keep that home. Anyone with any shred of decency can understand how molesting anyone (not only women) can’t possibly be a good thing in anyone’s eyes, human or God alike. When we read about these kinds of things we might assume the world is a terrible place or getting worse but in many cases this is actually the opposite of what is happening.

Whenever progressive ideas start to spread the first thing that happens is that the ideas start to get push back. When people believe their ideas and perceptions of the world are being threatened they will lash out in any way possible to maintain their perception of the universe. The pushing of progressive ideas will bring corruption or out dated individuals to the surface.

These outdated individuals will slowly become more radical in an attempt to hold on to their views. While this increase of radicalization is bad, it also accelerates the demise of their views. As people with outdated views become more radical, they isolate themselves. While their extremism might give them momentary fame, it will ultimately end with rejection. Extremism only holds when the extreme view is actually what the majority of people want. Further, if the person in question moves from merely speaking ideas to criminal activity, this could result in an almost complete and perfect credibility loss for the radical.

It is important to remember that a lot of humans don’t really have the faculty to change their core views. A human is completely capable of going to their grave believing the world is flat, but this capability does not make them any more correct. In these situations we must work around these radicals until either they die, fall in to obscurity, or change their views. If we focus on changing the world around radicals, instead of trying to change them directly, they will either change or die unaccomplished.

Tribal Politics

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Imagine for a moment that you are a part of an ancient hunter gathering tribe. For the last while food has been abundant but recently there has been a decline. A fellow tribe member emerges and proclaims that the tribe must start moving if it is to survive. The current leader rejects the idea and says moving is too risky and that what is going on right now is just a phase. This was the start of the first political parties revolving around the question should we stay or should we go?

In the above scenario you could start to imagine what arguments would take place and what people might start to believe. It not unrealistic to imagine that one side might actually consider the other side evil. If they are aware of all the same knowledge as you, then clearly the other side is just trying to kill everybody.

We like to think we are so advanced but when it comes to politics, we are still cave men. We allow choices to be made out of ignorance and we do not properly experiment. Since each side is against failure when either side makes a mistake, instead of admitting it, they come up with excuses. Our media on politics revolves around different types of biases to justify a particular point of view instead of what actually is correct. Much of it revolves around hyperbole, socialism is communism, and capitalism is the robber barons. We don’t care what actually works, we care about what makes us feel right. Further, if we have any enemy that actually does something correct politically, it is very easy for everything they do to be demonized.

It is no surprise that in the USA, or in most countries for that matter, you have a sharp line down the middle. In the USA the two sides are Conservative and Liberal. When you really boil these two sides down you come back to say the same basic question, should we stay or should we go? In the past this was one of the most important questions there was because the answer to it could mean life or death. Aggressive conflict over this question, even if resulting in death, would of been preferential to tribe survival.

Should we stay or should we go is still a valid question and it requires both sides. In order for us to have a superior evolution in human politics we need a couple things to be changed. First, we need to disregard absolutes, there are none. Secondly, we need to build better models and systems of analysis that can deal with the complexities of human behavior and better report on the consequences of applied regulation. Lastly, we need to realize that what is right might be variable based on the situation.

Indirect Manslaughter

love2012One of the easiest ways that we as architects can shape the best possible future for ourselves is to figure out the things that indirectly kill people. Whether we like it or not every action we do could potentially kill someone. How responsible we are for death is linked to how many “hops” there are to an event. If you do an action which causes a series of 15 connected events that leads to someone dying, you can’t really be held responsible. You also can’t be held responsible if you’re not really aware that what you’re doing is killing people. If you are aware that an action is killing someone, you are responsible.

Recently there has been a lot of commotion over gay marriage, particularly in the states. On one side of the issue you will have Christians who recite scripture saying and believing that this issue can lead to the downfall of civilization. On the other side of the issue you have people requesting equality. Generally I would not waste my time talking about civil issues because I believe most civil issues get resolved democratically. That said, I believe this is a special case scenario that can be utilized to show how lack of moral objectivity can lead to the death of humans.

So the church by not supporting homosexual marriage is by proxy not supporting homosexual monogamy and therefore is contributing to death by proliferating HIV.

A core concept in Christianity is the idea of monogamy. Monogamy has actual biological benefits that extend far beyond simple religious ideals. Monogamy decreases STDs, birth rates, and also contributes to having a proper framework in place for raising children. Monogamous relationships are by no means exclusive to Christianity but Christianity plays a role in supporting monogamy. From a general Christian perspective there is little difference between a homosexual who is monogamous and a homosexual that is promiscuous. So if you happen to be a homosexual looking for religious guidance you will quickly discover that if you cannot repress your homosexuality, you will be considered purely evil. What I mean by this is that to a lot of conservative Christians you will have no redeeming characteristics until you “free” yourself of homosexuality. This is hypocritical of course because Christian don’t do this with other types of sins, homosexuality is treated like leprosy.

A certain percentage of these homosexuals will be compelled to become promiscuous because a large group of people indirectly tell them it doesn’t matter. This promiscuity leads to all kinds of terrible things including the proliferation of HIV. So the church by not supporting homosexual marriage is by proxy not supporting homosexual monogamy and therefore is contributing to death by proliferating HIV. This is not the first time the Church has taken actions that contribute to the death of humans. The Catholic church has refused to send condoms to Africa before believing that doing so is promoting premarital sex but completely ignoring the fact that many Africans are not Catholic. In this way the Catholic church attempts to push their ideological views on other humans by allowing them to die.

I want to make it perfectly clear that I think homosexuals are perfectly capable of monogamy without any religious intervention. However, the reality is that humans draw strength from social groups and can also be devastated by social groups that reject them. If homosexuals were allowed to be both married and part of the church they would have a support group that they might not otherwise have and this in turn would contribute to better humans behavior such as monogamy.

While I am picking on the Church, this same idea can be applied to anything that needs moral direction. Humanity is the most important thing humans have. If we give up humanity for perceived morality, it is not actual morality.

Rejecting Purism

November 11, 2012 1 comment

Humans tend to be in a constant need to inject purity in to everything. Whether it is is politics or religion, we want everything to be pure. All political systems are susceptible to corruption and people driven by their selfishness will figure out ways to abuse any system that is put in place whether it is a free market system or a social system. Free market idealists will believe that freedom can be achieved through inequality since people have more potential in either direction. Extreme socialists believe freedom is obtained through equalization where if we equalize resources, everyone will have more freedom to pursue other things things which will almost always be some form of artistic or intellectual en devour. The reality is that both systems have significant draw backs and we have enough history to come to this conclusion. With pure free market policies you can get slavery of different varieties and with socialism you can get long waiting times and technical stagnation.

We cannot and should not as a race accept purism because we as a race are not pure and nothing we create is perfect because we are in a constant state of evolution. This concept has been expressed negatively by religions by demeaning humans through illustrating our many imperfections. However, our imperfections should not be seen, necessarily, as wholly negative. Recognizable negative traits represent things the human race can improve on. Purism makes us accept imperfect political systems and believe in fallacies to justify a world of perfection.

Nature is completely perfect it and we must go out of our way to protect it or we have enough right now and can achieve perfect economic equalization through distribution are both common purist beliefs. Every one of these purist ideals and many more revolve around this idea that perfection exists some where in the world. The need to believe in purity even affects our relationships and we will put our relationships into harms way because we want to believe a particular relationship is perfect and impervious to outside influence.

Purity is what we are seeking with Elolight and not where we are at or what we have.

We’re New At This

October 27, 2012 2 comments

When it comes to the economy, technology, and government the human race is relatively new to this. People will regularly make claims about certain policies working or not working but the reality is that on many issues there are so many variables involved that we can’t really know for 100% certainty if something worked or, more importantly, if something worked for the reasons we think it did.

Consider for a moment that a hundred years ago we didn’t have flight. We are facing problems today that humanity has simply never encountered before because we didn’t have the technology. Globalization is happening and we are really only scratching the surface. Flight is only one major change, more recently we have had the technological communication revolution (the internet) and fundamental changes in production because of automation.

With all of these things being relatively new it is really hard for anyone or any economist to really make perfect predictions for the future. We simply don’t have enough information yet. In 200-300 years humanity will have a trove of data to dig through regarding policies and the economic implications of those policies but right now all we can really do is make best guess scenarios. No one likes to think of themselves as being experimented on but that is actually the reality of what is going on right now.

In exchange for being able to witness some of the most fundamental changes in human history we pay for it by, unfortunately, being the test subjects of figuring out how all this is going to work out. It is important for us to recognize this because, as I have stated in other posts, it is very easy for us to be hyperbolic and make knee jerk reactions to things. We really are in one of the most important times in history. We are the explorers and discoverers of what will work for us moving forward in this new world we are creating for ourselves. Like anything worth doing there are heavy risks involved but I believe the risks, in this instance, are well worth it.

Convincing Ourselves

October 26, 2012 5 comments

One of the biggest revelations I have ever had in life was that I was capable of being wrong. Not only can I be wrong, I can even be wrong about things I am sure about. Many of us might say that we could recognize when we are wrong or change our minds if we are proven wrong, but the reality is, most of us can’t.

In most cases we define our universe almost entirely by our personal experiences and this is highly dangerous. A series of unfortunate events can lead to you becoming bigoted. If we are slighted by a member of a minority, for instance, on more then one occasion we might shape our entire universe in a different way based on these experiences.

We are vicious about defending our experiences and the opinions we generate from them. We are so aggressive about it, that we will often surround ourselves in people that agree with us just so that we can believe we are right. It’s much easier, and satisfying, to surround ourselves with people that agree with us. We would rather ramble on for hours on end in agreement, not accomplishing anything, then to create purposeful friction which benefits not only ourselves but the entire race as a whole. The examples of this behavior are plentiful; the biggest being religion and politics. Outside of religion and politics you have major and minor social groups that conform to certain ideas or philosophies.

Without compromise, objectivity, introspection, and debate there can be no progress.

Hitler had some bad experiences with some Jewish people and decided it would be better if they didn’t exist. Ayn Rand witnessed the effects of extreme socialism and decided that the complete opposite has to be the answer. Karl Marx witnessed the distress of the proletariat and decided the only way to make everyone happier was through a complete abolishing of free enterprise.  It’s very common for us to be hyperbolic. When something doesn’t work many of us assume the opposite is the answer and we rarely stop to think about the center.

What is at stake is everything. Without compromise, objectivity, introspection, and debate there can be no progress. Elolight will slip away from us.

Socialized Infrastructure

October 12, 2012 3 comments

Working together is a social concept

There is a trend that has been happening for the last 100 years, particularly in the USA. They associated the word “socialism” or more important the term “socialized” with “communism” or “fascism”. The core idea of socialism is people working together to achieve common utilitarian goals. What you have in the USA, in particular, is something called a Social Democracy. A social democracy is different then socialism and most countries of the world have been figuring out the best methods of implementing it.

There is a commonly held belief that the “free market” can solve all problems. If you believe in evolution, we have two billion years of proof, if you don’t, then we have six thousand years of proof that when social concepts are implemented they can accelerate “free market” growth substantially. If the USA truly had a free market ideal, they wouldn’t be united or have the constitution. People working together for a common goal is not a primary capitalistic concept but it may be an accidental consequence. When we look at a jungle for instance, we see a sea of death made up by creatures constantly killing each other with a broad range of quality. To date only one creature has emerged from that entire debacle with the ability to create fire, that would be us. Thanks to anthropology we know that, besides tools, one of our most definitive characteristics which lead us to our ultimate domination was the implementation of socialistic principles like the family unit.

In this regard, the USA used to be one of the most progressive social democracies on the planet. They worked together building a social infrastructure which business could operate and compete on top of because consistency is not a characteristic of the free market; if private organizations were responsible for building road infrastructure, you would get a patch job and the best roads would end up being built around the most profitable companies which in turn would just make them even more profitable and make it almost impossible for new comers to enter this “free market”.

No other creature willfully creates fire

Many business people in the united states who have become successful will believe they were 100% responsible for their success. They will usually discount the roads they used, the police that defended them, or the government regulations that were in place to actually allow them to be competitive. In some cases entire companies would not exist if it was not for the initial research and development done by the government (the internet for example). They will use this 100% belief to justify that everything they have earned belongs to them and the government is stealing it from them with taxes where in actuality the government by means of the socialized infrastructure they built is actually the primary and also most important investor in their company.

They will usually discount the roads they used or the police that defended them.

Despite the USA having a social infrastructures for fire, police, roads, hydro, garbage collection, and military (sure there is more) you still have a large amount of Americans pushing against ideas like Obamacare. You might think that from the liberal leanings of this post that I would support something like Obamacare but you would be wrong. Obamacare is an attempt to implement socialized healthcare in the worst possible way to keep Americans happy who are still being influenced by world war 1 and 2 American propaganda on communism and socialism. Healthcare is a required service, no one chooses to get sick, just like no one chooses to require water to survive. You don’t need a car but you do need healthcare. Healthcare should be a federally run single payer system without private organizations holding your life or death in their hands. As a percentage of GDP the USA spends more on healthcare then any other country who properly implements socialized healthcare. In addition, they claim to have the best health care system in the world yet their population has a shorter life span and higher infant mortality rates then other countries with socialized medicine.

As a Canadian, a lot of other Canadians I talk to (not all) understand why we pay the taxes we do for healthcare. I pay to help those when I am not sick so that if I get sick they pay for me. It’s common sense and co-operation. Sure there may be economic issues that have to be addressed to make it more sustainable over longer periods of time, but there will always be economic issues – you only have one life.

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