Morality Is Contagious: Draco, Nazism, USA CEOs

Brains learn, that is, become, the examples they see, hear, feel. What brains are exposed to is what they become. So what we decide to be exposed to, or engaged in, is itself a moral choice. [For the meat of this essay, my opinion, see the second part.]

This is in particular true for morality. The word “moral” was coined by the lawyer, Consul, “new man”, progressive, and philosopher Cicero. Cicero was looking for a word originating from Latin that would adequately translate the Greek “Ethikos”. That latter word, in turn related to ethos, the disposition, habitual character, ‘genius’ of a people. So Cicero went for “moris” genitive of mos (same meaning as the Greek ethos; mos is related to a Proto-Indo-European mood, mode, Mut (German for courage), etc.).

Here is an example of a recent degradation of morality:

We Are Headed Back To Middle-Age Inequality, Led By USA CEOs

We Are Headed Back To Middle-Age Inequality, Led By USA CEOs

[Economics Nobel Prize] Paul Krugman relates in “Broken Windows And American Oligarchy” how Chief Executive Officers’ drive to grabbing all the money for themselves, may have come from watching American football stars earn enormous compensation for euphorically bashing their brains in public, while on drugs, wearing pantyhose.

I have long thought, for decades, that it is literally immoral to watch American football (and I liberally despise those who do; this includes family members tight with Obama, I want them to know, lest they are too comfortable).

Instead of re-iterating my venom about this American football horror, complete with latent homosexuality in denial, drug abuse, couch potato spirit, and money for doing nothing good, and everything bad, let me I highly recommend Krugman’s little essay. Let me quote him:

….”it’s all the fault of Monday Night Football.

[A business man’s] story went like this: when games started being televised, the financial rewards to winning teams shot up, and star players began being offered big salaries. And CEOs, who watch a lot of football, noticed — and started saying to themselves, “Why not me?” If salaries were set in any kind of competitive marketplace, that wouldn’t have mattered, but they aren’t — CEOs appoint the committees that decide how much they’re worth, and are restrained only by norms about what seems like too much. Football, so my conversation partner averred, started the breakdown of those norms, and we were off to the races.

By the way, the timing is about right.”

I am happy to see that my psycho interpretation of history is gaining ground. No, ladies and gentlemen, please do not believe that your everyday little activities, down to drinking beer, do not have to do with your highest ideas.

Napoleon, rightly, pointed out that an army marched on its stomach, and Nietzsche, that one thought, with one stomach (something rediscovered by 28 year old Giulia Enders, whom TV networks love to show in detail how pretty she is; she sold already more than one million of her book on the stomach… “with charm).

Krugman was encouraged, he says, by an “interesting post by Vera te Velde on tests of the “broken windows” theory, which says that people are more likely to break social norms if they see other people violating norms, even if there’s no direct connection — you grab handbags if you see graffiti, you litter if you hear people ignoring noise ordinances, etc.. As she notes, there is now overwhelming experimental evidence for that theory. So it’s not crazy to think that CEOs might start violating pay norms because they see quarterbacks getting big checks.”

It helps that Vera is a fellow economist, thus honorable (and same observation as with Giulia). I sent the following comment which Krugman published within minutes (Krugman was in Oxford at the time):

***

ONE IS EITHER MORAL, OR ONE IS NOT SO:

At least, this is what the Ancient Greeks and Romans thought. The very idea of morals recognizes that lack thereof will lead to the contagion of immorality. Thus that immorality propagates like a plague has been recognized for more than 26 centuries. Then the Athenian legislator Draco set-up a legal system which punished most offenses (such as stealing a cabbage) with the death penalty.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draco_(lawgiver)

The notion can be fruitfully used today: minor offenders can be arrested and their DNA can be documented. As big offenders tend to start as small offenders (that’s the point when they become immoral), as they commit a big crime, their DNA collected during their previous small crime will often allow to identify them. Hence the increasingly fast and accurate detection of big crimes nowadays. This is discouraging for would-be big time criminals, so the big time crime rate is plummeting.

However, internationally the effect can play the other way: when states see that aggression by other states is not punished, that immoral behavior is in plain sight, and nobody does anything about it, then immoral states so far rather innocuous tend to join in mayhem. This is why, in the 1930s, war and bad actions by states spread around the planet in a few years.

In the same spirit, the Nazis executed 200,000 handicapped people, starting in October 1939. The idea was not just to see if they could get away with it, but also to habituate the population to general moral depredation: their cooperation would be needed when millions were to be assassinated at their doorstep (an extermination camp such as Dachau was in Munich’s suburbs, and so were many camps next to urban areas; there was an astounding 20,000 Nazi concentration and extermination camps!).

More generally this is why one war does not generally happen alone, and why tolerated international abuse tend to lead to apparently unrelated wars in the same time frame.

Hence a war such as the one in Syria has a general deleterious moral effect for all those who hear about it, or watch it, and learn to tolerate it.

It is no coincidence that Putin decided to invade Ukraine after he saw his domestiques in England saw nothing wrong with their investor, Bachar El Assad, and Obama called off the Franco-American strike against Syria with minutes to spare.

***

IF YOU WANT TO AVOID WAR, EXHIBIT A HIGHER MORALITY:

The lessons of 1930s is that imperial racist aggressions from fascists in Italy, Germany, Japan (and also the USSR, and a few other smaller powers) would not have been allowed to propagate, if Great Britain and the USA had stood with France. Instead, they stood with Hitler, and Mussolini (through various treaties, and investment, combined with an anti-French attitude). Seeing this, the Japanese high command, and Stalin, felt much encouraged (and secondary fascists in Eastern Europe, Portugal, and Spain).

Thus, right now, it is important for democracy to bark in a timely manner. And to show some bite. The fascists of the 1930s really believed (headed by Hitler) that democracy was weak. That impression ought to be dispelled in a timely manner. Lest we want mayhem.

Those who want a better morality long towards love, conversation. Due to their will to goodness, they tend to forget that all which exists is the result of force. The kindest type of force is debate (from the Thirteenth Century French debatre, to beat completely).

However, morality is always imposed by force. Cicero himself, as a Consul, came to that conclusion. In the aftermath of the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy, Cicero, unfortunately (?) executed the five main conspirators without due process. Later, before and after Caesar’s assassination, Cicero tried to use force for the best, in his attempt to save the Republic. First supporting Caesar, and, then, as the most Senior Senator Octavian (against the much more fascist Marc-Antony).

Marcus Antonius had Cicero’s hands and head nailed on the Rostra, for all to see. After Marcus Antonius’ wife had repeatedly stabbed Cicero’s tongue with an hair pin, to extract vengeance from his power of speech.

After such horrors, the path was paved for 2,000 years of plutocracy, and the rise of American football, and how it impresses weak minds, and made greed into the only morality worth having. Meanwhile, just as impressed, by this generalizing degeneracy of morals, the North Korean dictator is piling as many nuclear bombs and intercontinental missiles as he can, while the USA president plays golf, and obsesses about free trade for his wealthy friends.

This requires discipline. So the dictator fed his uncle, who had put him in power, to dogs (some say it is not true; official pictures, though, show that the uncle was definitively not happy, humiliated and uncooperative). Now the young, “Western educated“,  dictator, has been betrayed by the lack of respect of his Defense Minister, and he, as dozens of other North Korean officials, was executed (possibly with anti-aircraft guns, in the presence of many officials).

In such a moral ambiance, who can doubt that the present North Korean dictator will not order the execution of whoever, even millions, perceived to be in his way?

As examples teach, and create minds, one should not forget that plutocracy inside the West causes much more vicious plutocracy out there. But, out there, is much capacity for mayhem, thanks to weapons of mass destruction.

Such weapons of mass destruction do not have to be gross. Canada’s just announced perfidious CO2 targets are an example of mass violence with a hopeful face. In truth, Canada, whose CO2 emissions have constantly augmented in the last few decades, is exactly giving the worst example: it will soon produce 40% of its CO2 emissions from just one province, Alberta, out of greed, producing tar sands oil.

Canada used to be a nation propounding peace. Now it propound CO2 and tar, all over the planet. Canada has become the symbol of greed and mass criminality, triumphing above reason. (And Canadians do not have the excuse of, say, Israel. With ten million square kilometers for a population smaller than Spain, Poland, or California, Canadians cannot claim to be scared and destitute.)

One should expect dictators and plutocrats to pay attention, worldwide, to Canada’s immorality, and triumph of Earth slapping greed. And to be inspired accordingly.

Patrice Ayme’

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39 Responses to “Morality Is Contagious: Draco, Nazism, USA CEOs”

  1. John Rogers Says:

    Thank you for saying so well what I have always thought about the stupidity of American football. I was unfortunate enough to attend both a football-crazed high school and a football-crazed college and could NEVER see the point of any of it.

    The anthropological dissection of the homoerotic ritual aspects was well done almost 40 years ago (all that patting of teammates’ butts, getting into the “other team’s end zone”, and the rest of it). http://www.outsports.com/2012/2/1/4052496/football-as-a-homoerotic-ritual-are-players-really-gay

    You also have to admire the loyalty of fans when their team wins (“We kicked ass!” Hmmm, more homoeroticism?) and when the team loses (“THEY blew it.”).

    I would not be surprised to find a high correlation between football rabidness and gun craziness. Maybe somebody’s compensating for something? Oh, and besides the damage to the players, there’s the obscene cost, the sweetheart public financing deals for the stadia of the plutocrat owners and the “non-profit” NFL.

    O tempora, o mores!

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks John! I hope we don’t get labelled “anti-American”, at least on this site, for all this!
      When I saw your comment first, I had lots of things to say, but I was on a train, unable to respond, and now I have a minute to write and not much time…

      One of the aim of all these brutish sports is outright brain smashing. I saw this happen with my nephew. After doing hockey in a quasi professional way, starting at age, ten, he dropped off the knowledge sphere. Something about waking up at 5 am to play hockey… As far as I am concerned, it’s deliberate child abuse.

      In the Bay Area, there are hundreds of millions for new plutocrats stadiums, paid by taxpayers, enjoyed by sport, or, and, TV plutocrats, but not a million or two for a Bay trail… Which should be enjoyed by millions…

  2. ianmillerblog Says:

    The Catiline conspiracy may not be the best example of morality being contagious, but rather immorality flourishing. To keep Catiline out, the plutocrats got in behind Murena and Silanus for the elections, and massive bribes flew. The purist Cato prosecuted Murena, but not Silanus (who, i believe, was some sort of relation). The moralist Cicero defended Murena, despite having previously adopted the moral stand, because he believed a successful prosecution would give Catiline the ammunition he needed. Whatever else you could say about the late republic, morality was thin on the ground, and plutocratic manoeuvring, and forget ethics, was predominant!

    Unfortunately, I suspect modern politics is not much better, other than in being somewhat better dressed up in spin.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      By “morality” I often mean “immorality”. Immorality can be a morality. The best example here is hard core Islam (hahaha)

      I agree with what you say about the catalane conspiracy.

      The Republic was lethally wounded when the last of the Gracchi was assassinated, after being hunted through Rome like a wild beat (although he was a “sacrocanct” tribune, if I am not mistaken)

      It would have taken a miracle to save it. Or a dictator. Sulla, and others, probably thought this. So did Marius.

      Cicero made the mistake of overriding due process for little profit. Pompey did not have the all-embracing vision. Caesar could (perhaps) have succeeded. But he was (rightly) completely focused on defeating Persia and Germania, FIRST. So he did not see his assassination coming. And the assassins were self-deluded plutocrats…

      Octavian was bright, but, ultimately, played by women, a little defeat, and lack of real ambition.

      Restoring the Republic required to destroy the plutocracy. However, the Roman plutocracy survived even the collapse of the empire, and the merger and acquisition by the Franks

      • ianmillerblog Says:

        Yes, as I understand it, both Gracchi brothers were tribunes, and nominally sacrosanct, and I agree that, from then on, the Republic could not be saved. Poor Cicero abandoning a fair trial looked trivial compared with the proscriptions of Sulla (Felix!). My view is Cicero’s big problem was that he wanted to be amongst the plutocrats, but did not know how to do it. He probably would have been a lot better off either being true, or backing Caesar from the outset.

        And I think we are in agreement that the plutocratic politicians of today are little better morally, but perhaps more skilful at keeping their misdeeds less blatantly obvious. No just killing off the opposition.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          We are still at the preparatory stage. Moreover, there was a clash in Rome between plutocrats, and the anti-plutocratic laws which were violated, albeit defended by the Gracchi (and their thousands of determined supporters).

          We don’t have such a conflict because our plutocracy is completely unchained.

          This is not really a reassuring observation. At this point, plutocrats need not kill anybody, they get what they want.

          I do not believe Cicero was a plutocrat. He had great powers, and he abused them at least once. However, he was a philosopher. Maybe Rome’s best philosopher (with Lucretius). In the end, he recognized that Caesar was the best hope there was. And so I still hold. Caesar was so ambitious that, if he had defeated Rome’s, the Republic’s two main enemies, knowing his thirst for ambition, he may very well have continued as some sort of Solon, encouraged by Cicero…

          There were so many bad people to assassinate: Napoleon, Louis XIV, many Czars, the Pitts… Too bad fate fell on Caesar… Knowing Caesar was unarmed, and unaccompanied, and going to war the next day, I can’t believe the conspirators were sincere in any way.

  3. gmax Says:

    You have attacked the influence of brutal sports like American football for years. Maybe it’s catching up, trickling down to businessmen and journalists like Krugman?

    You have said more, that brain bashing was why football and hockey are so popular. But you did not mention it this time

  4. Drew Says:

    May 16, 2015
    You just presented Draco as an example of morality to emulate. Frightening.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      @ Drew:
      If I had, presented Draco’s morality as worth “emulating”, it would be frightening. But I did not. It’s all in your (frightening?) mind.

      It goes without saying that I would rather “emulate” Solon (who changed Draco’s system to something in usage today, in the West and Islamist countries; although Solon kept the death penalty for homicide, as long as the victim’s family agreed).
      PA

      • Drew Says:

        May 16

        “Thus that immorality propagates like a plague has been recognized for more than 26 centuries.

        The notion can be fruitfully used today …”

        First line says they were right. Second line says we can apply that knowledge in a similar way.

        Try as you might to walk it back, those were your words.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          May 16

          @ Drew: Who are those “they” you say I think were right? The entire class of early Western law givers, including Solon (who removed the death penalty for all, but homicide, and then only in special circumstances). The ones, all the way back then, who recognized immorality was contagious, which is the point of the Original Post.

          So I walk back nothing. On the other hand, I think that political correctness aspersion by imputation of statements one in no way made, is, at the very least, not nice.

          • John Rogers Says:

            Patrice

            This is a little off topic, but perhaps interesting.
            Your mention of Solon and the early lawgivers reminded me of the following.

            If you go to the Ceremonial Courtroom in the Federal Courthouse in Washington, DC, the enormous shiny marble wall in back of the bench has bas reliefs of the lawgivers Hammurabi, Moses, Solon and Justinian, the initials of which are HMSJ.

            I understand it is no coincidence they are also the initials of Harold M. Stephens, Jr., the Chief Judge when the courthouse was built, who lobbied for and oversaw its construction, and was reputedly a man of enormous vanity.

            • Patrice Ayme Says:

              Hilarious. Totally. Vanities of American judges know no bounds…

              Justinian, BTW, refurbished the huge body of Roman Law. To his credit, he put an atheist in charge, and instructed him to separate secular law and Christian law. Thus Justinianized law became ever more important in the Middle-Ages as it provided an increasing substrate to the Franks’ Salian law (which, by the Seventh Century, had 65 chapters…). This is how the West’s law was created… (whatever the claims of a huge difference between English and French laws, the claim to that huge difference does not resist close examination: they have the same source, as Franco-Roman law replaced progressively Anglo-Saxon law during the English Middle Ages…)

  5. brodix Says:

    Patrice,

    Still life is a bootstrappping process upward and morality is a cumulative vision of the ideal justice. Yet it remains the illusion all ideals are.

    I recall you said it is ideas which are the real power, not the people expressing them. What you need are ideas to leverage the situation toward a brighter future for humanity. Here is a possible example;
    Some decades ago, there was a movement toward “balancing the budget,” but it went no where, because it was just a slogan the conservatives were using to criticize social welfare programs, yet it did have some popular resonance.
    Now capitalism cannot survive if governments were to balance their budgets, because that would eliminate the public debt that is the basis of most money in circulation. Yet a serious financial crisis is in the offing and the central banks cannot push interest rates below zero and so have no apparent way to kick the can further down the road. This is going to present an opportunity for new ideas to be floated and possibly get widespread attention.

    So now go back to that idea being floated at the time, that the president should be given the “line item veto.” This would never actually happen, as it would completely gut congress’s power of writing the budget.
    The problem is that they don’t actually budget in the first place. To budget is to set one’s priorities and then draw the line at what can be afforded.
    What congress does though, is put together these enormous bills, adding enough goodies to get enough legislators to vote for them and then the president can only pass or veto it in whole. Which has the unspoken effect of vastly overspending and creating all that public debt to grease the wheels of capitalism.
    So my idea would be to have the government actually budget!
    The legislature would break these bills into all their various items and then each legislator would assign a percentage value to each item and then reassemble them in order of preference. Then the president would draw the line as to what would be funded.
    An excellent slogan would be to quote Harry Truman, “The buck stops here.”
    This way, not only isn’t the power of setting the priorities in the budget not taken away from congress, but power would be spread more broadly among its members and not as concentrated at the top.
    Then the president would have sole responsibility to overspend and it would likely not be that politically incumbent on him to do so. Not to mention there would be to little support for items not making the cut to warrent overriding the president.
    The result would be a decline in Federal spending, but then this would be used as a lever to make banking a local, communal and largely public function, with money being viewed a a community voucher system and not personal property. A medium, much like a road system. Then local communities would be better equipped to fund their own needs and not be dependent on and further empowering the central government.
    Then more value would be stored in stronger communities and healthier environments and less as promises in banks.
    Now obviously this is an idea that would be furiously rejected by all the powers that be, but if it could be broadly disseminated in the coming strife, before those powers gain control of the narrative again, it would serve as a wakeup call and reminder that the game is rigged in its very construction and maybe, in a few decades, serve as an idea to be taken seriously.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      One of the commenters on this site, Partha from India, a professional economist, would strongly disagree with balancing the budget. So do I. Balancing is only important if one wants to reimburse, or, rather, look as if one wanted to reimburse, investors…

      BTW, balancing is still an obsession among USA “Republicans”. Except for their pet projects…

      The banking system is fractional reserve, public-private. Your proposal would not change that. Just lower Federal spending, hence make the USA more private-capitalist, thus, more plutocratic.

      • brodix Says:

        Patrice,
        What drains public wealth into private hands is using public debt to back the monetary system. Yes, it is a public-private system, with the responsibilities being public and the rewards being private.
        Yes, balancing the budget is a conservative issue, but that is why it makes a useful tool to convince all those conservative masses to convert the financial system into a public utility, where the rewards are public as well.
        There was a time when banks issued their own currency and were responsible for sustaining its value and reaped the rewards of providing the community with an effective system of exchange. Now that we have the Federal reserve system, the responsibility has been made public, so either we go back to making banking a fully private function, or we move forward and make it a fully public function.
        You should check out Ellen Brown and the Public Banking Institute;
        http://www.publicbankinginstitute.org/our_story
        Having Keynesian economists say we should just run government debt through the roof, because governments issue their own money is a privateer’s dream. Then eventually the public has to sell all its assets, roads, services, parks, etc. to those investors holding the liens on this debt. When you start to see toll booths on every road you drive, you will understand.

        • brodix Says:

          Never forget; There are no free lunches. Eventually the books balance, one way or another.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          I have written hundreds of pages about this. Especially in 2008/09/10. The public is not ready to understand any of this. The main attack should be on the involvement of banks in derivatives

          • brodix Says:

            Patrice,

            Which is why they need to be freed by subterfuge, just as they are controlled by subterfuge.

            In the horse racing business, derivatives are otherwise known as pari-mutual wagering. A useful occupation for excess money, but best kept in perspective as gambling. Thus the need to distinguish between banking as a public utility and finance as risk management.
            There will always be public and private aspects of society, much as in a house, there are public areas and private areas. When the pendulum swings too far in one direction, eventually it will swing back the other direction.
            The fact is that as creatures of nature, man has an inherent and fundamental appetite for risk and trying to eliminate it completely is one more way the books get unbalanced and cause unexpected side effects.

            • Patrice Ayme Says:

              Derivative trading is not pari-mutuel, because it is publicly funded (thanks to QE and the fractional reserve system).

              I do NOT at all believe in “subterfuge”.

              Middle French subterfuge (14C.) or directly from Medieval Latin subterfugium “an evasion,” from Latin subterfugere “to evade, escape, flee by stealth,” from subter “beneath, below;” in compounds “secretly”

              Direct democracy is about direct debate. Our leaders are not just evil, they are stupid, because there is no debate and the bad ideas have not been exterminated by the good ones… (This, BTW, answers, contradicts, and objects too, to what Eugen was saying…)

  6. brodix Says:

    Patrice,
    “because it is publicly funded”
    Lol. Pretty much the entire state of Maryland is publicly funded, especially the race horses. Where do you think those rich Arabs who own all the favorites in the Preakness get that money and who protects them?

    The problem with “direct debate” is there is lots of heat and not so much light. More an issue of physics and complexity, than IQ.

    Let me rephrase that; not subterfuge, but a careful application of logic.

    • brodix Says:

      The point about derivative being similar to parimutuel wagering is both are bets on outcomes the better supposedly has no other material interest in.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        I do not understand this sentence. “the better supposedly has no other material interest in.”: what does that mean?

        • brodix Says:

          Patrice,
          Consider the old description of derivatives as taking fire insurance out on your neighbor’s house. It is a position “derived” from or based on something one is not directly invested in. Basically wagering and since someone else has to take the other side of the bet, rather than the house, since most such positions are sold further down the line, pari-mutual wagering.
          The key word of course being “supposedly,” since there is monetary incentive to, in horse racing terms, “fix” the outcome.

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            Well, except the banks and hedge funds, in the end, at the bottom, are playing with public money, gigantically leveraged, and half of it, in “Dark Pools”. One is very far from the above the board description of Pari Mutuel, as defined in France in centuries past….

            And the “fixes” are everywhere. In last resort, just one phone call to the Fed Chairwo/man away… As happened with LTCM… Under Greenspan.

            • brodix Says:

              Patrice,
              All of which makes it a cross between a bubble and a Ponzi scheme. When it does pop, the result will be terrifying and put the elements of fear in seeming control, but it will also wipe the table clean of many belief systems people are currently clinging to.
              They have been kicking this can down the road since Reagan and the next time, their tools are not going to work.
              They can’t seriously push interest rates under zero, when momentum is their desire. The money will all go to ground in hard assets.
              The irony is that as much as they control the rest of society, such as even the presidency, they cannot control their own system of wealth extraction, as it destroys the very economy on which it is based. The cancer kills its host.

            • Patrice Ayme Says:

              It’s all about who gets killed first. Comparative advantage, arbitrage… The desire of those motivated by greed is to trample under foot… That’s the only way momentum interests them…

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Not much light, because people are treated like children watching adults on TV. Adults vote. See today’s (incoming) essay.

      • brodix Says:

        Patrice,

        Then again, you can shine too much light and it has the same effect. People can only hear and see what they can recognize.

  7. brodix Says:

    Patrice,
    They are still just people riding a wave. What matters is the wave.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      On this site, what matters is ideas. Good or bad. Yes, even bad ideas, targeted for destruction (hence my humoring religious fundamentalists who take themselves for god, and hysterical Nazis obsessed by “Jews” below their beds). As I explained, (linear) wave mechanics is too primitive to be very enlightening. The world is not linear, when most interesting.

      • brodix Says:

        Yes, at its most elemental, the wave is a rather boring and basic concept. Obviously the details are far more interesting and there are multitudes of levels between personalities and politics and the most elemental physics, so it does become a matter of deciding which level of emergence is most descriptive of what you want to understand.

        That said, what we are creating here, financially, economically, politically, sociological, religiously, is the most enormous tsunami in human history and when it does crash, no one, not the most wealthy or the newest born, will escape its effects. Then many of those interesting and complex levels of emergence are going to be in the history books.
        Reset.

        • brodix Says:

          And probably most importantly, ecologically.

        • brodix Says:

          Out in the open ocean, it has been recently shown with satellites, that sailers stories of monster, or rogue waves, appearing in otherwise clear weather are true and that every so often various wave patterns will synchronize, creating one enormous wave.
          Now when you consider the various issues building in society, from wars, to social upheaval, refugees, ecological depredation, to the wealthy and powerful seemingly riding above it all, there does appear a looming confluence of forces that will likely feed off one another, creating a period of rather intense historical change. This overall picture is what interests me. Not to depreciate all the many aspects of the world, but to try to sense how they are going to fit together and play off one another, in the coming years, seems the most interesting.

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            The rules of the game are called ideas. Different ideas, different “games”. The “game” is not what matters, but how to go beyond.
            For rogues, see my (de-nestled) comment.

  8. Patrice Ayme Says:

    @ Brodix; As you implicitly point out, and I said, Non Linear waves are more in the realm of the EXPERIENCED, than the theoretical:

    https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/09/19/rogue-waves-2/

    • brodix Says:

      Patrice,

      You make my point for me. There is much about waves, especially the non-linear kind, that we don’t understand. Emergences of extreme order out of seemingly minor chaos.
      As you say, there is tendency to ignore what isn’t explained.
      Yet there is much that is synchronous about these behaviors across many areas. Such as the gravitational attraction of wealth and power, creating feedback loops to magnify it.
      So while the concept of waves does seem simple and boring, it is still elemental to our perception, if not our understanding of nature.
      Understanding has to start with perception.

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