Monthly Archives: May 2013

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These outdated individuals will slowly become more radical in an attempt to hold on to their views.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 As people with outdated views become more radical, they isolate themselves.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.

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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.