23 March 2017

Random observations for March 2017

I don't feel much concern about someday becoming a "burden on society".  Society has been a hell of a burden on me.

o o o o o

The progressive side, the pro-freedom side, the rational side -- it wins in the long run.  Otherwise the Dark Ages would never have ended.

o o o o o

People in groups are almost always stupider than those same persons as individuals.  Our instincts easily express themselves quickly and in mob action -- they evolved that way -- but introspection and contemplation are always and inherently individual, inward states.  They can never be shared, much less collective.

o o o o o

Freedom really is one of the most important things in life.  Never let the enemy take away that word.  They've twisted it to mean the "freedom" of the economically powerful to dominate everyone else without government "interference".  That isn't freedom.

o o o o o

Almost always -- where there is no victim, there is no crime.

o o o o o

The range of human cultures that exists (or has existed) is only a very narrow part of the full spectrum of human cultures that could exist.

o o o o o

When I wrote this post, I wanted a picture to use at the top as I often do, so I did an image search on the word "angel".  One thing that struck me about the results was the amount of artwork depicting pregnant angels.  I guess there's always some new kink out there.  (Out of curiosity I just now did the same search and didn't find nearly as much such imagery.  Maybe it was a 2013 thing.)

o o o o o

Given that the universe contains billions of galaxies, with each galaxy consisting of billions of stars, and each star likely having several planets -- there's a good chance that, somewhere out there, there are beings far more malignant than the Nazis.

o o o o o

The Good Samaritan is a well-known Bible story, but many people today miss its real point.  The Samaritans were a people despised by the Hebrews of the time, and the point was that an individual can be a good person even if he comes from a group you hate.  If the parable were being composed today, for an audience of American conservatives, the "good person" would have been a Muslim or gay; for an audience of American liberals, an Israeli or a white South African.

[For previous random observations, see here.]

9 Comments:

Anonymous A. Kriek said...

White South Africans?

I haven't seen any liberal protests against White South Africans in over two decades. I haven't seen any protests since the end of apartheid.

Just how did white South Africans come to mind?

23 March, 2017 14:15  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

But many liberals would still be a bit jarred to see a member of that group presented as a model of humaneness -- which fits the way the Samaritan would have been perceived in Biblical times.

23 March, 2017 18:31  
Blogger Ahab said...

If the human race has produced so many monstrous groups, I'm sure that another sentient race could do so as well. Let's hope the space Nazis never find our planet.

23 March, 2017 18:53  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Actually, I read this yesterday ... and you alwayz bring up some good food for thought in these little clips (observations), even others I read you posted. As far as other beings in the universe ... some folks believe in super external entities in the heaven's, Gods, or whatever that love and watch over us I guess, perhaps aliens came down to Earth and mixed with other apes, biologically engineering humans as a sort of offspring, which makes us instinctually look to the sky for a protector ... people think much, eh?, I could go on. I actually believe, that there are other things out there that may resemble life forms here on Earth, even animals like us or others ... whether or not they're superior as far as knowledge , accomplishments, science or whatever? ... who knows? I mean ... in sci- fi flix, they alwayz portray alien life as superior to us, technologically and otherwise ... but I also wonder, if there could be some, that are not as advanced as we may be ... alot more basic, and may not even have explored space as we have yet? I also wonder what kind of creatures/ animals some planets may have ... or if they have something, that Earth has never even produced as of yet? ... the various conditions of other planets, and what can evolve if anything from such? As for mob violence ... not the best thing about us, but look at why we have had to resort to these things too.

24 March, 2017 09:33  
Blogger Pinku-Sensei said...

"People in groups are almost always stupider than those same persons as individuals."

A friend of mine and I came up with this formula 35 years ago. The IQ of a group of people is equal to the lowest IQ of anyone in the group divided by the number of people. In other words, mobs are really stupid.

"Given that the universe contains billions of galaxies, with each galaxy consisting of billions of stars, and each star likely having several planets -- there's a good chance that, somewhere out there, there are beings far more malignant than the Nazis."

Niven's Known Space has three of them, the Thrintun, the Kzinti, and the Pak, in decreasing order of nastiness. Of course, it helps that the Thrintun are extinct, the Kzinti are impatient, and the Pak live a long way away from Earth. Be happy that the Puppeteers are such cowards; they have the potential to be the fourth.

24 March, 2017 16:37  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Ahab: Thus, great thinkers such as Stephen Hawking and Jared Diamond fervently oppose efforts to signal our existence to hypothetical aliens. They know what the risks are.

Ranch: Well, they haven't found us yet. The genomes of humans and other apes have been exhaustively studied and compared, and the (tiny) differences look like just what we would expect from ordinary evolution -- not a trace of anything "alien" or suggesting genetic engineering.

As for how bizarre life on another planet might be, consider the arthropod realm (insects, spiders, centipedes, and suchlike) and remember that aliens might well be even more different, since they would have no common ancestry with us at all.

Pinku: My candidate for the most terrifying evil aliens in fiction would be the Master Race from William Barton's novel When Heaven Fell, which I really ought to review here one of these days. No implausible deus ex machina there, just the horror of struggling to survive under utterly ruthless alien domination with no hope that it can ever be defeated.

24 March, 2017 18:48  
Blogger W. Hackwhacker said...

Permission to cite one of these on Sunday?

25 March, 2017 07:45  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Hackwhacker: Please do. I'm always OK with people quoting my material, so long as they give credit (link back). Thanks.

25 March, 2017 10:13  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

"They've twisted it to mean the "freedom" of the economically powerful to dominate everyone else without government "interference"."

If, by the word "they," you mean the entire Conservative project in this country since at the latest, 1828, when John C. Calhoun published his "South Carolina Exposition and Protest," setting the country on the path to the civil war.

25 March, 2017 11:50  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home