Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Degrees of Radian

It's looking rather unlikely that I'll have even close to enough people to teach the Roguelike class. I'm disappointed.

I just finished with volume two of Mao. I find it interesting that in his December 1940 writing, On Policy, he changes the aims of the Chinese Communist Party towards what Social Democratic parties tend to push for (i.e. a mixed-market). I suspect this was part of his idea of revolution-in-stages (he spoke of what he called "New Democracy" as a prerequisite for later revolution(s)). I wonder how a temporary Social Democracy differs in practice from one that would be permanent.

I find it interesting when people try to argue that abuse is a legitimate strategy in multiplayer games, and whine when abuses are closed.

Also, some yahoos apparently sent death threats to a pizza chain in Texas for accepting Mexican pesos. Why? I suspect this is more of the cultural struggle for the American south - a number of people are upset at cultural-social change as population dynamics mean people who embody some part of culture that's connected with American traditions become minorities in some areas. It's understandable (although extreme and unacceptable). Part of this is related to immigration, part of it due to difference in birth rates tied to economic and cultural factors. I remember in Columbus sometimes the campus preachers would attempt to make people angry by bragging that because evangelists have huge families (I think Brother Jed had six daughters), they would simply outbreed the liberals (who, according to statistics, tend to have much smaller families) and have their way in the end. This is another form of that. Is it really a problem? It depends on what culture one identifies with, how cultures will change over time, whether one identifies with one's ethnic heritage and wants to preserve it, and possibly a few other factors.

Personally, I only have a mild impression of Latin American culture - that it's overwhelmingly Catholic, more religious than America/Europe, and less tied to Enlightenment ideals. I might be wrong on the latter two points. If I am not, then I prefer American/European culture, and would not like to see any diminishment of Enlightenment/Secular values in this country or anywhere. High birth rates in general are worrying to me, regardless of the parentage, and I would both like to see population controls and would not like to see a culture/society that fails to regulate such things (through law or tradition) come in through open doors into societies that do and overwhelm what I see as good sense. That said, I'm not very strongly tied to European/American society in some other areas (beyond low birth rate, enlightenment heritage/values, etc), and wouldn't shed a tear over mixing or replacement of those aspects of American culture. I suspect (hope) that at some point the birth rate difference will diminish (as ideally the Catholic church loses influence and economics improve in South/Central America), and admire the socialist tendencies I see in South America (if we see those changes coming in, that would be fantastic). I might also simply be ignorant/wrong about these aspects of Latin American culture. Oh, and for my ethnic heritage? I don't care a bit about that kind of thing. Joking aside, I don't identify as particularly scottish or german, and the idea of loyalty to a race has always struck me as a bit suspect. In the end, we're all the same species. Cultures are what matter, and I see nothing wrong with seeking both to change the culture one is in and judging other cultures, both based on what one wants for the world.

Oh, and let me add a final clarification: death threats for this kind of thing are very far out of bounds, by my book.


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