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Thursday, October 22, 2009

So our next topic of conversation

This video was left on SD

It is long and you can watch it all if you want to (if you have not already) but I am really more interest in talking about time 9:45 onwards.

You all know I am not a conspiratorialist, and yet as Deb reminded us during the discussion on child (shall we say) injuries, our thoughts and sense of damages on any given subject are highly influenced by the degree to which others in society weigh their significance.

If society is nudging us towards a "world community", is this a problem?

Even if this causes Americans to lose some national identity (and you all know I tend to think of myself as a "patriot" in the traditional sense of the word), does the loss of this part actually matter?

What battles are worth sacrificing to win a war?

But what is the war?

Some manifolds just piss me off...l and yet I have to admit they exist.

Some people's morality filters are just broken and need "readjustment" ;-)



Thai said...

Just to get the comments emailed

Regards my friends

Street Dog said...

*removes tri-cornered tin foil hat*

Consolidated power always augments the inherent potential for corruption in all people. Too much power in the hands of a few, not good.

Corporate consolidation (M&A's)--> oligarchies, monopolies

Political consolidation --> dictators, tyrants, statism

Some centralization of power serves a purpose, but liberty requires that localized power maintain some degree of strength.
Human diversity in values, religion, ambition, and culture means that a sense of community and cooperation breakdown when disparate groups on the diversity continuum are forced to conform under a more globalized power structure rather than localized, freer communities. Perhaps in the distant future humanity may become more homogeneous and we can have the United Planets of the Milky Way (联合行星乳白色方式). But in the long run we are all dead (poor Keynes).

"What battles are worth sacrificing to win a war?"

Depends on whom you ask. A chessmaster will sacrifice the Queen if need be. History is full of pyrrhic victories. This question gives me a headache and insomnia. Can you spare an Ambien?

The only manifold that ever pissed me off was a faulty intake manifold on a '67 Corvette I helped a friend restore long ago.

Yes, we need a Ministry for the Readjustment of Morality.

Debra said...

You make me laugh, Street Dog, although I find your comments a little elliptical for little ole Fido me. (When I am not a dog, I am a cat...)
I found this video bewilderingly disjointed, and not a little pompous to boot.
And... apocalyptic, like what I said on Sudden Debt.
Lots of what was said about Barack could be said about... George, and... of course that Granddaddy of wishy-washyness, William, for whom I have no respect. Our political problem (common to France, of course..) is the unchecked rise of presidential power which no one seems to care diddly shit about...
Kind of funny to hear the rabid Republicans sounding like... the rabid Democrats.
And.. THE ORACLES !!! I am blown away by the oracles in our midst.
But... this is what you get when people start fantasizing about... the global conspiracy.
One of the best-known twentieth century dictators who gave in to that fantasy was... Adolph. And we know what he was like, right ???
Now, excuse me, it's time I reread "Small is Beautiful" by E. F. Schumacher. One of the best books of the twentieth century...

Street Dog said...

That's funny Debra, I happen to be reading "The Bigger the Better" by Samantha Schoech. All my friends in Texas recommended it. Didn't make the NYT best seller list though. Oh well.*

*disclaimer: the above in NO WAY implies an insensitive attitude about body image issues.

Thai said...

Great comment Street Dog!

I couldn't agree more... I guess I might have a nit-picky disagreement with the notion that localized communities are freer, (I think I would say they are place we feel more comfortable/identify with) but I agree with the basic jist.

In fact, as I read your comment, I have to wonder if you are as much of a nihilist as I?

... I am officially putting everyone on notice that I might be able to hand over my Troll's nihilistic/clown hat to someone who seems far more articulate on these matters than I.

Whew, so great to finally be able to pass that torch off!

Now I can get serious and become an absolutist ;-)

And "yes" Deb, wasn't the crow piece wonderful?

I love Krulwich. Indeed, I would make him make him president of the world if I could.

And give him lots of power ;-)

Debra said...

Careful Thai, about handing over your Troll/clown/nihilist cap, as "the bigger" just happens to be about... women's breasts, not world communities.
Are you a ... GIRL, Street Dog ?
Is my female hegemony on this blog being challenged ? (Probably not, but I'm still curious...)

Dink said...

I only watched part 1 of 14, is any new info brought up in the other 13 parts? Like who is in charge of the New World Order group? I doubt it.

Because there is no such central power. Its so similar to the religion/evolution dilemma. One side sees complexity and assumes it must be the intentional work of a mastermind. The other side sees a chaotic mess of individual, selfish agents trying to survive wherever they landed on the Sugarscape grid. Both result in similar patterns (oddly enough), but the first seems robust while the second seems fragile. Which it is. And that is scary. Which it is (imho).

"This question gives me a headache and insomnia. Can you spare an Ambien?"

No gateway drugs for Street Dog, s/he wants to go straight to Thai's Perceptual Walkabout ;)

"Our political problem (common to France, of course..) is the unchecked rise of presidential power which no one seems to care diddly shit about..."

I see this too. I wonder if its because of a group subconscious understanding that governments have grown so ineffective that it does not matter how much power they claim to have, that its just posing...

"I am officially putting everyone on notice that I might be able to hand over my Troll's nihilistic/clown hat"

WHAT? This is an outrage! But then again I would be curious to see what belief you decide to become absolutist on. And whether or not it required Ambien.

Street Dog said...

Debra et al,

I'm a hermaphrodite, so I will challenge ALL hegemonies on this blog. Look, I don't mind borrowing Bozo's cap but now you want to elect me as Grand Nihilist Troll. Nah, Street Dog prefers to operate in the shadows where real power exists. Regardless, Street Dog has a soft spot in the heart for nihilists and theodicists alike.

Yes, the crow piece was nice. I have lived with several beautiful Avians and little about them surprises me. Strange, but it reminds of this clip Elephant Painting.

I am Absolutist in the superiority of Chocolate over Vanilla.

Debra said...

Right on for the shadows, Street Dog.
For me it's the... STREETS.
One of the reasons I gave up on my psychoanalytic practice was to be in the shadows. We are really FREE(ER) in the shadows...
The elephant link was wonderful. But... I would like to learn to think the way the animals do, not... TEACH them to see and think the way I do.
Yes for chocolate EXCEPT... when you MAKE your yoghouts, vanilla works better, chocolate gets all... washed out.

Street Dog said...

Sorry Thai, I hate to hijack your post (Street Dog has no shame) but I couldn't resist posting one of my favorite animal videos. Street Dog, being a predator by nature, can relate to the lions, but on occasion empathizes with the underdog.

Battle at Kruger

Have a nice weekend everyone

Street Dog said...


I figured you might be a Chocolate relativist. It's not that Chocolate fails in some instances. It's that the OTHER ingredients fail to live up to the supremacy of Chocolate. Even if I can't convince you, have you considered that the problem might lie with your tastebuds, not Chocolate?

After decades of careful observation of many species, in a stealthful manner, so as to not contaminate their natural behavior with the scourge of humanity, I have learned to think as animals do. It has become my Zen, if you will. Sadly, the world is not yet ready to receive this knowledge. The knowledge may die with me, unless I meet a deserving apprentice. But my life is nevertheless the better for it.

Thai said...

I hope the little one lives. The bite the crocodile took looked painful.

What a great example of cooperation!

re: hijacking

No such thing on this blog so don't worry. I don't think we have ever stayed on topic for long, though some subjects are obviously more interesting to some than others.

... Indeed, we created the blog so many of us could chat away about whatever we wanted as much as we wanted.

As for sharing your discoveries before you have an apprentice- even better!

You can practice refining your ideas on us while you search for the golden child.

And Deb, I am guessing a woman. A female predator no less. You have a challenger. ;-)

Thai said...

Dink, I thought you might enjoy.

Debra said...

Street Dog, you might want to check out a book by Temple Grandin called "Animals in Translation".
I have reserves on this book, but it is nevertheless VERY VERY interesting, as Temple Grandin is VERY interesting (autism diagnosis aside).

Debra said...

And since it looks like all of us share a certain love and interest in animals, I am recommending WITH NO RESERVE, ALL books still in print by Jim Corbett, Indian born Englishman who gave his name to India's first national park quite some time ago.
And... while I am still very enthusiastic about his riveting accounts of hunting man-eating leopards and tigers, I like even better the quiet man who relates his love of nature, the people of India, and jungle life.
He was a truly great man.
His knowledge of the jungle was SO special that he relates witnessing the encounter between a newborn antilope and a tiger one day. Both... sniffed each other, and the tiger turned and walked away. A... GRACEFUL moment. A far cry from the Battle of Kruger.

Dink said...

"Sadly, the world is not yet ready to receive this knowledge. The knowledge may die with me, unless I meet a deserving apprentice. But my life is nevertheless the better for it."

Share your insights with the street rats!!

"And Deb, I am guessing a woman. A female predator no less. You have a challenger. ;-)"

Interesting! I would put money on "it" being a male. A, B, AB, neither; hmmmm.

Regarding the food coop article- sigh, even the hippies can't cooperate! Thankfully my organic food coop doesn't ask for labor, they just charge the Whole Foods prices. It really is easier.

Just got the latest Sci Am in the mail. This issue is devoted to sustainability. A quick glance through had drawings of high-rise farms and an article about reclaiming phosphorus from urine. Here's to hope...

Debra said...

Hey Thai, the way everyone is hanging out in the erector set corner, my guess is that "it" is a male too.

Thai said...

Actually, I have changed my mind as well.


Street Dog said...

Temple Grandin has some interesting speculative ideas.

I came across the film "India: Kingdom of the Tiger" while I was delving into all things Indian. Corbett's predator/conservationist duality is fascinating.

Dink, I suspect that we won't pre-plan and develop a sustainable agricultural/monetary/energy system with forethought. It seems likely that we will do it the hard way and we will be forced into it in an uncomfortable fashion to some extent. All of us and Hellasious hope not.

Thai said...


Thai said...

"we will be forced into it in an uncomfortable fashion to some extent."

Hasn't this always been my point?

The collective is going to do what the collective is going to do and there is nothing you and I can do about it.

And a lot of it I will like, and a lot I won't. And the same goes for you and for everyone else.

And Dink, re: absolutism

I guess when I can look from the (say) the fabric of spacetime back on our point of view, I will get to see all our points of view on an absolutist sense.

But I really have not figured out how to jump outside my current boundaries to get to that manifold yet.

If you get there before me, please share.

And Deb, as for non-erector set issues...

This is hard, my brain gets flushed even needing to think such ways.

Let me see...

I guess my high school-er is convinced my wife and I are spying on his facebook page- lots of drama around this issue- which incidentally is definitely not true for me though it may be true for my wife. Kids have a rather unfair way of painting the "parent unit thing" with a brush stroke. But we can't not cooperate in front of the little ones either or there are other consequences.

Even cooperation can be zero sum ;-)

At least he has not "unfriended" us yet- yikes.

Otherwise nothing but swine flu. Tons and tons of swine flu.

Just once I would really love to hear a patient ask "are you staff at risk caring for me?"

Just once.

Thousands of cases we have seen and not one inquiry.

FYI- many nurses are calling out sick so waits are quite long.

Thai said...

And Street Dog, would you please post a blog post on the following "Corbett's predator/conservationist duality is fascinating."

Thai said...

For fellow fractal travelers

Hope you enjoy as much as I

Thai said...

That is so cool. How did you get the male symbol in text?

Is it a keyboard thing?

Debra said...

Thai, Jim Corbett started out his life, like all jungle boys his age, with a rifle. He vividly talks about the thrill of handling that first rifle, and he was an excellent hunter/predator from day one.
He learned how to imitate the animals, and especially, he learned how to observe them very carefully. He learned to... think like them. (like Temple Grandin, by the way, but... BETTER because Corbett was a humanist, and Temple Grandin is NOT (not her fault, she is moving too far down the line from the humanist tradition...). Corbett moved to cameras (another form and outlet of predation..) because he got really disgusted and riled when the English aristocracy started wholesale slaughtering Indian wildlife to... GET ITS ROCKS OFF. (No apologies intended...)
"The Man Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag" (DON'T hook up with the English telefilm, it is shit... read the book) raises really prickly questions about what domestication is, and the issue is way more complicated than we think.
For the tiger/baby antilope manifold, I will say that... we can rationalize by saying that the tiger wasn't hungry, that it didn't smell fear on the baby antilope, etc etc, but in the long run, we really don't know why that tiger didn't attack that baby.

Dink said...

"we will be forced into it in an uncomfortable fashion to some extent"

Sure, necessity being the mother of invention. But some will realize the necessity earlier than the others. I go off on survivalist benders every couple of weeks, but I manage to settle down before actually freeze-drying anything.

"If you get there before me, please share."

You'll be the first to know! But you've always been the braver one down the rabbit holes so I imagine you'll get there first.

"spying on his facebook page- lots of drama around this issue"

I completely respect the emotional fortitude of parents; they're kind to their offspring despite all sorts of rejection and snarkiness. He'll apologize in a few decades ;)

"Just once. Thousands of cases we have seen and not one inquiry."


Fractal link-

Cool! Neil deGrasse Tyson is always great on The Daily Show. So I go to look something up on Sagan and come across two interesting thing. 1) his widow, Ann Druyan, has been a board member for NORML for over 10 years, and 2) Isaac Asimov said Sagan was one of two people with an intellect greater than his own. The other was/is Marvin Minsky. So I think "Who the %@#$% is Marvin Minsky? Here's a link to his latest AI book . Its all interconnected...

Debra said...

And... have y'all noticed when the talk over there in the jungle is nice, and optimistic, Marcus is nice and optimistic, but when it is like the battle of Kruger, Marcus is, well... like one of those lions... I'm counting he will not notice that I am talking about him in comment number 27 on this blog...
That's all folks.

Thai said...

The approach may have been "wacky" but I was actually trying to make a point.

Remember at some level there has always been this greene/Malthusian subtext on SD which people like Greenie have resented for the restrictions on choice/behavior it implies.

Remember, the problem with getting any kind of agreement on a currency solution to prevent future currency/debt messes is that it must also include all these other issues.

Which gets back to my original point: that unless we all cooperate, no solution will work.

This is not one of those "if we solve these three issues all will be well" kind of things.

Especially when you are talking about something as basic as the unit by which all economic exchange occurs.

What do we want our society to look like?

Thai said...

Yes, Minksy is at MIT and worked with Pinkert/Chomsky, etc... on a range of issues related to AI incl. lingusitics, etc...

The Most Fabulous Objects In The World

  • Hitchhiker's Guide To The Universe trilogy
  • Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Flight of the Conchords
  • Time Bandits