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Semiformalishmaybe

Compatibilities with Modern Society

I'm feeling pretty ill today; it started late last night with a fairly usual want-to-die migraine, which I wish I haven't needed to learn to just bear. It got worse though, and I didn't get a lot of sleep (disgusting details omitted). I managed to get sleep around 05:00 and woke up feeling moderately better around 11:00. Still feeling dizzy and nauseous, but I decided I really needed to leave the apartment even if I pass out somewhere public; getting stir-crazy and at least need to be around strangers, plus I don't feel like cooking (once I am sure I can keep food down). On the train into the city proper, I read part of a paper on ongoing legal struggles between Boy Scouts of America and some bit of property they've been renting from the city that the city's been trying to evict them from. When I was younger, I was a Boy Scout, and now I find myself almost universally rooting against them. I'm partly bothered by their strongly pro-patriotic stances, partly bothered by their pro-religious leanings, and partly bothered by their anti-homosexual stances. These add up to more than a full-bothered; I think of the organisation as malign and would like it to either fix all three of these or close up shop entirely. The basic structure is sound, but BSA is a breeding ground for religious conservativism.

It's still a bit jarring for me to think about this stance given that I once was happy to be a scout (runs in the family, and it was great to go camping with my father and uncle when I was younger in that context). I suppose BSA has become a bit more conservative over time (maybe? when I was younger I may have been too young to judge), but I've also since developed in ways that make me see harm where once I saw none. I've changed a lot over the years, reinventing myself several times (and probably losing a lot of naturalness each time). I'd probably say I'm unrecognisably different by now, but I might lack the perspective to say that for sure.

Anyhow, at Mugshots now, and the ginger ale seems to be helping a bit with the nausea. Finally went through the trouble of manually entering track info for the modern classical music I bought so I can sensibly rip it, and am much enjoying the sound.

For awhile, I've been thinking about (might write more elegantly on this later) intellectually mature political/social philosophy, and how it makes certain kinds of idealism impossible. This isn't related to any particular arguments; it's always coming up. People who hold political ideals that are not realistic, not sustainable, or fail to recognise basic facts (like the power politics that underlie all politics) easily rail against things that are necessary, ignoring that were their principles to be put into action, society would fail in significant ways. Consider, for example, someone who doesn't recognise that some amount of coercion is necessary in society; people are forced to obey laws, and this cannot be optional. Or consider someone who claims that morality and law must be entirely separate, obliterating our only source of law (even as one might reasonably be concerned over specificity). Or consider someone who takes such a strong stance against indoctrination that it omits the potential for proper parenting and educatio. Such a person could make a very pretty, idealistic argument against the necessary, taking a stance that would destroy society as we know it, and somehow consider themself to be taking the high ground. The only thing more irritating would be those who never take stances on contentious issues because everything workable looks bad to them, yet criticise all real stances.

An understanding of power politics and a proper tension between what works and one's ideals is necessarily part of any perspective worth listening to. I think I'm going to punt on specific commentary on this (was meaning to go into it, but at some time I'll just have a more detailed commentary on the topic rather than the specifics): Batman, Vigilantism, and the State. It's relevant to what I'm talking about here; the commitment to the state that we have first becomes nuanced and eventually fails when the state becomes ill-functioning enough (either generally or situationally). The contours of human nature, useful repression, and the state are tricky, particularly as they bend to accomodate each other to a certain extent.

This music really is fantastic.

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