I've been thinking more about the philosophy of some of my friends, because we keep having conversations about it. I have known a number of people with .. survivalist tendencies over the years -- people who feel society shall collapse under its own weight, and the best thing to do is to withdraw and watch people and society die. It seems that techies tend to have the tendency to come to this conclusion often when they philosophise, perhaps because a certain kind of techie is well-read enough and embracing of a literate culture (perhaps Judaist culture can be understood to be the most familiar literate culture, with techie culture being another culture that has reached that point) to be near the level of thinking that the beginnings of philosophy are low-hanging fruit for them. The greatest achievement of technology isn't necessarily the electronics itself (although wikis, blogs, and IM/txting all are things that fundamentally alter society), it's more that this pervasive technology is cool enough to draw people to wrap their head around it, and complex enough that it stretches their brain in that wrapping. Geeks are invading philosophy, but they represent iconoclastic barbarians, not a new golden age. Geeks, after all, have the tendencies of an engineer -- if it works, they generally will stick with it, and it's hard for a philosophy not to work when the people intelligent enough to challenge the geeks are so scarce. A massive growth of Libertarianism is an unfortunately common result of this kind of wannabe philosopherism -- it does not examine its origins, its value theory, and if philosophies were icebergs, it would be notable for being the only iceberg without depth. Degenerate philosophy resembles philosophy inside religion -- it fears its origins, fears questions of why, and shapes its adherents against inquiry that may lead them out of it. I've come to the conclusion that although reading philosophy is not, strictly speaking, necessary to create good philosophy, it is a form of therapy for naive ideas one may have that lead to bad philosophy. As a result, I try to push my friends who would be active in the field of philosophy (or political discussions) to read as much as possible, and to chew on the ideas they get.
I wish I were dating an artist again (dating might not be bad period.. it's been about 8 months..) -- I have an idea for an art piece, but it's one of those edgy things and it needs two people to make it. The idea came up at lunch today with a friend.
I've had the song "Run Away" from Monty Python's musical Spamalot stuck in my head recently. The William Tell Overture certainly has lasted the centuries. I suspect almost none of today's pop music will last that long.. I wonder what pieces of music from the 20th century will make it into, say, the 23rd century. Scott Joplin, although belonging to both the 20th and 19th century, probably has a good shot, as does a lot of Jazz. I'll go further and say that the 20th century will be known in the centuries to come as the century of Jazz. It may be that this century's hip-hop will similarly survive.
Don't forget -- Dean Grey Tuesday is tomorrow!
Something I have observed - any song where the word "Freedom" is more than 10% of the words totally sucks. A lot of very bad music has been made like this, sometimes to protest things, mostly to bring pain to people who have taste in music.
And now, some quirky links and news, as usual:
- Want Your Kids to Hate You?
- Better brain morphing would be cool. It probably would not be time-suitable for experimental analysis though...
- Canada urges sanity to the United States and Australia. Of course, the latter two are not listening -- not polluting so much would hurt our economy, and Americans and Aussies have the special ability to breathe and eat money.
- The President of Iran calls for Israel to be moved to Europe, in land that Germany and Austria would cede. He also says the holocaust wasn't so bad. The new president has managed to increase the political isolation of Iran, which is an impressive feat -- Iran was isolated at least partly because it refused to be abused by Europe (primarily England) and the United States for its oil, but this refusal is unfortunately paired with fundamentalism that has gotten some energy from more recent American meddling in the middle east. I find the holocaust games to be infuriating, and at least interpersonally, hearing holocaust denial from someone is one of the few things that can earn them an instant vendetta from me. I am not bothered by religious sentiment, I tolerate nationalism, and may tolerate a certain amount of racism (although it bothers me and guarantees a certain amount of distance) among people I know. Deep and harmful racism and historical revisionism takes this well beyond what I tolerate in my friends, or even in people I will be civil to. These are poisons in society that must be uprooted, and I encourage society to collectively turn its back on and exclude these people from all company. The revisionism issue dealt with, the creation of a second Israel in Europe is completely impractical at this point. The little legitimacy we can connect between people and land lies in people having lived there for awhile. In my opinion, 60 years is sufficient to establish all the claim that people might have to land. The Israelis and the Palestinians have both been there at least that long, and in my eyes, they both thus have (equally) strong claim to the land. Expelling one or the other should not be considered an option. As a matter of history, I feel that it was a mistake to allow the reestablishment of Israel where it is now, but, like the establishment of the United States of America on land swindled and stolen through ethnic cleansing from the Amerindians, too much time has passed, it is a finished matter, and it is too late to turn back the clock. We must forge ahead with progressing humanity, advancing liberal values and achieving peace, doing as little harm as possible but as much as needed to achieve these ends.
- California voters are looking for a new nut as their next governor. Gibson would probably be a lot nuttier than Schwartzenegger.
- I am amused that this is even necessary -- the House of Lords has banned use of evidence gained under torture in British courts. Take that, Blair! Actually, I am amused that Blair being BushJr's ally overseas has a positive effect -- a number of my friends who don't really follow international politics deeply have, as a surprise, shown at least a passing interest in British politics. If this means that the average American intellectual knows only two British political figures, Galloway and Blair, this is still a step forward.
- Lieberman may switch sides, joining BushJr's government despite being a Democrat. No surprise here. Lieberman is a dangerous man.
- 1936 Constitution of the USSR
- jwz doesn't like popular things
- This product had better reach into your mind to prevent you from remembering things.. and destroy all cameras nearby and disable all software that might not make it not work and ...