Thursday, October 16, 2008

Going for the sympathy vote?

When I saw this still I assumed it was Photoshopped:

Apparently it wasn't:

I think we are about to find out if there is a point at which schadenfreude becomes too guilty a pleasure.

Update: Just realized what McCain now reminds me of:

After 8 wonderful years of President Chance the Gardener, the Republicans now offer us Ruprecht.


Blogger Unknown said...

"Come along, John. If you behave, I'll unplug the red phone and you can pretend you're telling Putin the nukes are airborne."

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All depends on what you mean by ‘given up’ John.
We’ve had Democratic ‘oversight’ for two years now. We’ve seen the little tatters left of the constitution have gasoline poured on them and the match lit. We’ve seen YOUR money disappear (never mind that small bits of it are still circulating around the drain on the way out). We have U.S. troops waiting in the alley (literally) waiting for you to get uppity. Hope, ‘change’ and belief are all the same thing. Since you seem to have avoided coming to obvious conclusions, I’ve just been lurking in the background. Waiting safely outside the epicenter of the real shit storm that’s about to hit. You could muster some real response, inasmuch as your readers are (mostly) intelligent and can understand that it only requires a small percentage of the population to change the mood of the herd. I’ve heard that cowboys often used their guns to change the direction the cows were heading (more than for Dodge type shoot outs). Sometimes a single shot was enough. ‘Given up’? Nah. Just waiting for something to respond to. Will you be ‘that one’?

See what you think of the following. I’ll continue lurking, waiting without hope.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Until discussions about styles of government, about laws and regulations are based on something real (explained in a moment), all such discussions are actually based on religion, whether or not it seems that way.

Religion, by definition, is based on belief. Currently, nearly all discussions about the role of society, and the roles of people with respect to society, are based on belief. Therefore, for any discussion about ruling ourselves to be rational, all beliefs which taint that process must be eliminated before the discussion starts. There can, of course, be discussions about how to remove belief from a discussion before starting to talk about government, but until the beliefs are set aside, and it is agreed by all participants that they need to identify and instantly reject any argument or statement based on belief, no reality-based discussion can occur.

Thus, the first sacred cow to fall must be the idea that we know what is good for anyone else, in any circumstances. To avoid the corruption of belief, ‘good’ must be as objectively measurable as the results of adding 2+2. If you can’t find a way for a particular subject to be discussed in objectively measurable terms, then you will be discussing religion. If what is labeled good is only a matter of logic, then in the end there will always be agreement. If you honestly try to find such a way to deal with a particular subject, and yet no objective method of approach can be found, it is a sure sign that the topic itself is a belief and not useful in discussing public issues.

What follows from this is that all discussions of regulating another’s behavior, where that behavior does not have any demonstrable consequences external to the individual performing an action, are inherently about belief. Saying that some form of behavior is embarrassing, ‘hurtful’, insulting, etc., is simply talking about your own beliefs and not about reality. You can (and do) choose to be offended or not. Thus the behavior in question cannot itself be the cause of the ‘offense’ and cannot reasonably (rationally) be subjected to control by others.

If humans can just get this one point clear in their minds, the rest will be easy. Where there is no math (logic) for measuring things, there cannot be any legitimate rule or discussions of rules. Any appeal to any force outside oneself is by definition a belief that cannot be demonstrated to have objective meaning. If you believe you have found an issue that can be measured but no one else understands what you are measuring, you have actually just found a belief. Even if some seem to understand the issue the same way as you, unless there is near unanimous agreement that the issue itself is valid (separate to any proposals for how to deal with it), you are still just dealing with belief systems.

Even if everyone agrees that an issue is valid, it may still just represent a shared belief by the group. No math, no issue. The impact of behavior that affects others must be objectively observable and logically measurable, or you are just promoting your brand of authoritarianism.

There is no such thing as collective behavior. People, individually, always chose (or acquiesce in) their own behavior as individuals, or else there could be no group. What the term group really refers to is simply an accounting of the individual actions of individual people and finding that there is little or no variability. Collectivization does not and cannot remove or hide the fact that all actions are still performed by individuals. Until you can move my arms and legs just by thinking about it (like I do), you cannot prove that there is any ‘group nature’. On the other hand, group dynamics are about the manipulation of people’s beliefs.

So, go for it. Find ways to eliminate belief from discussions of public issues and come up with the next form of government. Until you do, there won’t be any real difference between one form of prejudice and another. And government will continue to be a scam, at best.

1:43 PM  
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