Posts Tagged ‘Information’

Golden Rule Reassessed

August 14, 2016

The so-called “Golden Rule” is never to do to others what one would not like others to do to oneself. Or variation thereof. It implicitly, and naively, assumes people don’t like to suffer, or to inflict pain and extermination onto everybody. It also assumes that right and wrong are sharply defined, like night and day (that is literally the root of the religion known as Manichaeism) Thus the Golden Rule is inapplicable: history, Christianism, Islamism are full of people, or even a “God” who is a glutton for pain, punishment, suffering, even when applied to oneself, not just others.

Buddhism is different that way. It just as naively assumes that people want to avoid suffering at all cost. But if we did this, it’s not clear we could exist. Life is full of pains, and that’s alright, because that’s how we pay for it. Actually the best way would be to absorb a deadly dose of barbiturates, and be done, Marilyn Monroe style.

Thus, fundamentally, Buddhism is so irrelevant, as to be inhuman (whereas Christianism and Islamism are all too human!) Pain and suffering are intrinsically human. Pain and suffering are regulators of the human species. Regulation by pain and suffering is not a necessary consequence of the animal condition. Pain and suffering do not necessarily regulate all species. They do not regulate marmots. When marmots come out of hibernation, the head marmot considers her folk, and how many have died over winter. She wants a group of between 15 and 21 individuals. Say three have died: she asks her consort to make her three little ones. Then she turns on a pheromone to turn him off. 

Humans Are Not Marmots. Agent Of Evolution Such as Human Beings Are Made For Deception, And Destruction, Not Contraception

Humans Are Not Marmots. Agent Of Evolution Such as Human Beings Are Made For Deception, And Destruction, Not Contraception

The dominant female cannot bear more than two to four babies. If she is unable to replenish the colony, all by herself, she makes it so that her consort impregnates another female. Thus marmots are made for the Golden Rule: they regulate their population in a very gentle, specific way. Humans do not regulate their population through fancy birth control, but through mayhem, pain, suffering, deprivation, famine.

Reciprocal perversity, not just reciprocal altruism, is then intrinsic to the human species: this . Higher wisdom consists not in denying reality,  but in circumnavigating it, for the best. We have so much technology, nowadays, the fanciest moral principles can be brought to bear.     

Take an example. The cases of Mr. Assange (an Australian citizen) and Mr. Snowden (an US citizen). Assange and Snowden are the two most prominent whistle-blowers in the world (lanceurs d’alerte, alarm launchers, literally, in French).

Julian Assange revealed that US military forces, using an attack helicopter, had killed journalists, and then fired again and again, on would-be rescuers. One would think that US authorities, were they compatible with the Golden Rule as traditionally interpreted, and the Jesus god Obama talks about all the time, would have tanked Assange for this revelation. After all, a democracy should have armed forces beyond any suspicion. (The military forces of the UK, the US and France went through the Second World War without extremely blatant, shocking war crimes committed, although the Americans were ruthless, the French somewhat vengeful, and both the French and British suffered striking war crimes from Nazi forces in May-June 1940). 

Instead of lauding Assange, the Washington government has gone all out to capture Assange, and had an ex-CIA agent accusing him of unclear activities. The same violent treatment was extended to Edward Snowden, who had the presence of mind to escape to Russia (making Putin a force for the good!) Snowden’s crime was to reveal that the so-called “social networks” and “search engines” of the USA were actually spy networks searching for miscreants. That, in turn, brought many questions, including how much of world public opinion is fabricated deliberately by the US “Deep State”.

Philosophically, it means the Obama administration had it all wrong. At least all wrong, if, and only if, democracy is what it wants to preserve. In democracy, or justice, and democracy is about justice for all, as all, information is the prime ingredient. A really democratic state will never, ever pursue information providers. Whistle-blowers are among the saints of democracy. 

Assange and Snowden made precious gifts to US democracy. In answer, Obama offered We The People a poisoned dish: serving rabid nationalism the frantic fever of blind vengeance, forgetting that revealing crimes against democracy should be rewarded, not punished.

None of this is an accident, it’s a system, white as the driven snow, same as a polar bear on a rampage, and for the same reason. Ask the average democratic voters: they will telly you Hillary Clinton is more “Golden Rule” than her friend and rival, Donald Trump. As Bill Moyers put it, in his essay, “Anatomy of the Deep State“:

“Despite this apparent impotence, President Obama can liquidate American citizens without due processes, detain prisoners indefinitely without charge, conduct dragnet surveillance on the American people without judicial warrant and engage in unprecedented — at least since the McCarthy era — witch hunts against federal employees (the so-called “Insider Threat Program”). Within the United States, this power is characterized by massive displays of intimidating force by militarized federal, state and local law enforcement. Abroad, President Obama can start wars at will and engage in virtually any other activity whatsoever without so much as a by-your-leave from Congress, such as arranging the forced landing of a plane carrying a sovereign head of state over foreign territory.”

Take another example: tolerance. Many feel, rightly, that the Golden Rule should include tolerance. Tolerance is necessary to be nice to others. Tolerance goes beyond just being nice to others. It’s about being nice to oneself, be it only by becoming smarter.

Tolerance is, fundamentally, a neurobiological problem. Any brain is a set of neuroglial networks. Any seriously new idea, or new emotion, is a threat against one, or several elements of that set. To welcome the threat requires a deliberate effort. One needs to train oneself to such mental gymnastics, deconstructing, fusioning and rebuilding. Mind. Tolerance is necessary for adopting superior ideas, and feelings, discarding inferior ones.

How does one train for tolerance? One should not be proud of being a citizen of some predigested, mass mental system. Instead one should be ashamed. Instead of following the herd, bleating altogether, one should shout from rooftops: “I am a citizen of the mind“.

The Golden Rule is thus, in part, necessarily, just from the inclusion of tolerance, about building a better mind. And tolerance is not easy to foster (as shown by the local interdiction of “burkini” on some beaches in France. See #tolerance). Tolerance for intolerance is not tolerance, but, potentially, its exact opposite:collaborating with mental fascism. We can see that the traditional Golden Rule is not easy to apply.

The real Golden Rule of humanity is that deeper thinking always works best, in the long run. For all that is the most worth it.  

Patrice Ayme’

No Burning Curiosity, No Morality?

September 18, 2014

What Else Those Who Don’t Want To Hear About Burning Kittens, Don’t Want To Hear About?

A video was linked on Facebook, supposedly showing a burning kitten. Some have clamored for Facebook to withdraw the video. That’s pusillanimous.

For evil to triumph, all what has to happen is for good people not to want to know about it.

What’s next, pusillanimous people? Are you going to censor the expert goring of a lion by a buffalo?

Horn Thru Belly Puts Lion In Orbit

Horn Thru Belly Puts Lion In Orbit

Shall we censor too, this gory violence against big kitty? He was just kindly eating the grounded fellow’s big rump.

(Contrarily to some PC description of that incident had it, there is no way the lion survived: the horn was only stopped by the tough hide after going nearly all the way through the kitty’s belly).

I am afraid all the people who ask for censorship are friends of Big Brother. What’s next, indeed? Each time a monk sets himself on fire, you will censor? What about respecting him enough to hear the case he is trying to make? Yes, showing the act is different from just entering that it happened, as a data point. More emotional content.

If one had shown people being gazed at Auschwitz, should people of upright character have asked Facebook to withdraw the video?

Well, I have news for you: that’s basically what Hitler’s Germans did: they censored everything. Hitler’s Germans did not want to see, they thought it would be immoral to see what was going on, they viewed as immoral those who wanted to show the immoralities.

If the Germans had seen the video of Auschwitz, there would have been no Auschwitz, and no Nazi regime, in a matter of weeks (this means the Allies were derelict in no advertising the extermination camps… But, of course, they had not seen the video, either. The democratic leaders knew the Nazis were evil, but did not guess that they were that evil… they did not want to know, either, as many of the leaders of the West had been accomplices of Nazism, prior).

I would personally love it that all crimes be made into videos, and put on Facebook. Start with the banksters.

For all the naïve, or ill informed, out there, burning a kitten is actually a crime, a prosecuted activity, by law. (Don’t try this at home, you would end in the slammer.)

I do not know where the kitten torture happened, but if the perpetrator could be identified, then he could be prosecuted (say as he crosses a border). Certainly in many EU countries, and in the USA, he could be prosecuted. (Cats and dogs are protected by special laws: however, torturing a mouse or a mole is perfectly legal.)

More than 3,000 people have died from ebola exponentiating: time for adult subjects, people. There is more serious stuff out there than perforated lions and burning kittens.u

Meanwhile Daesh (the so called, self-declared “Caliphate”, also known as ISIS; “Daesh” sounds in Arabic like “crushing under foot” and a period of trouble, so it’s a strongly pejorative propaganda trick which I recommend) has killed thousands of innocents.

Yet some selfish “pacifists” demonstrated in Washington when the top generals of the USA testified in Congress that they may advise the president to send ground troops in Iraq, if the situation changes (the French Republic has already troops on the ground in Kurdistan, fighting Daesh… while keeping a low profile).

Withdrawing that burning kitten video from the Internet will just allow the perpetrator to escape justice more easily. And it would set a very bad precedent.

Namely the precedent that, if it’s criminal, it should be hidden.

I am of the opposite persuasion: no information, no moralization.

BTW, I am also all for full beheading videos of journalists, and good Samaritans, to be shown (after appropriate and strong warnings). It puts the factual, thus correct, light on some religious philosophies.

I am not an ostrich. My ancestors actually ate ostriches. And I cannot understand why ostriches would ask for ever more sand in their eyes. But then again, higher understanding determines who eats what. Or whom.

Patrice Ayme’


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