September 5th, 2006

Semiformalishmaybe

Friend Correction Network

I was talking earlier today with Jason about being asked to turn my music device down while in Europe, and how the American taboo about asking people to be civil is harmful to society. After making it home, I came to see another aspect of society that's similar in some ways, and equally important. As social animals, we rely on our peers to help us set our worldview. Sometimes this is an import of ideas from those we respect, sometimes feedback softens our views (and sometimes the emotions and "rush" of being more forceful does the opposite). It probably does friends few favours to be "gentle" with them when one disagrees with them, especially when the person involved is troublesome and prone to strange ideas -- this removes one of the basic "feelers" people have built-in on the reasonability of our opinions, both leading them to even more "hard" opinions and possibly pushing one's own opinions further outwards via urges to comprimise or justify family/friends. Feelings of group unity on hard feelings are often a precursor to disaster, and "difficult" family members should be challenged on their difficult areas to keep them within reasonable bounds. The basic concept behond both is that a reluctance to confront leads our society as a whole to be passive-agressive and broken.

Semiformalishmaybe

Friend Correction Network

I was talking earlier today with Jason about being asked to turn my music device down while in Europe, and how the American taboo about asking people to be civil is harmful to society. After making it home, I came to see another aspect of society that's similar in some ways, and equally important. As social animals, we rely on our peers to help us set our worldview. Sometimes this is an import of ideas from those we respect, sometimes feedback softens our views (and sometimes the emotions and "rush" of being more forceful does the opposite). It probably does friends few favours to be "gentle" with them when one disagrees with them, especially when the person involved is troublesome and prone to strange ideas -- this removes one of the basic "feelers" people have built-in on the reasonability of our opinions, both leading them to even more "hard" opinions and possibly pushing one's own opinions further outwards via urges to comprimise or justify family/friends. Feelings of group unity on hard feelings are often a precursor to disaster, and "difficult" family members should be challenged on their difficult areas to keep them within reasonable bounds. The basic concept behond both is that a reluctance to confront leads our society as a whole to be passive-agressive and broken.

Semiformalishmaybe

Unknown Film Festival

An insight -- there's a common criticism of conservatives that they protest sex in films but not violence. The criticism is not in fact based on common values -- there are two problems with it.From conservative positions:

  1. Violence is something that occasionally needs to happen in defense of society, and when it does, it may as well happen in public to disencourage whatever the violence was about. Sex, by contrast, is a private matter, not something to be glorified in films in a way that diminishes its proper context (that is, between married folk).
  2. Desensitisation to violence is a fantasy, and could not be adopted by society without great effort. Lack of sexual mores, by contrast, poses a real threat to the conservative outlook
I don't hold with that conservativism, but that argument against it seems to be broken.

I've been irritated recently at the chutzpah of Americans who complain about some hostages held in Persia around the time of the Islamic revolution, not understanding that the United States (and Britain) held that entire nation hostage, killing many of its leaders and orchestrating fall after fall of its government, all for lucre. The hostage taking should not have happened, but in the greater scheme of things, it's nothing.

Semiformalishmaybe

Unknown Film Festival

An insight -- there's a common criticism of conservatives that they protest sex in films but not violence. The criticism is not in fact based on common values -- there are two problems with it.From conservative positions:

  1. Violence is something that occasionally needs to happen in defense of society, and when it does, it may as well happen in public to disencourage whatever the violence was about. Sex, by contrast, is a private matter, not something to be glorified in films in a way that diminishes its proper context (that is, between married folk).
  2. Desensitisation to violence is a fantasy, and could not be adopted by society without great effort. Lack of sexual mores, by contrast, poses a real threat to the conservative outlook
I don't hold with that conservativism, but that argument against it seems to be broken.

I've been irritated recently at the chutzpah of Americans who complain about some hostages held in Persia around the time of the Islamic revolution, not understanding that the United States (and Britain) held that entire nation hostage, killing many of its leaders and orchestrating fall after fall of its government, all for lucre. The hostage taking should not have happened, but in the greater scheme of things, it's nothing.