Amerika the Bodacious

Zarg. I was listening to a History Extra podcast about the Suez Canal debacle of 1956 (?) in gym this morning and I came to a rather startling revelation:

The Charlottesville Massacre was typical of Amerika – two (or more) sides balanced on a heated razor edge when a Bogosaurus with a Gimme Cap bursts on the scene. 

I will humor myself that anyone actually reading this blot can figure out what a Bogosaurus is. 

Ongoing Unpleasantness

One day. Back to gym. And the news seems full of grrr brrr about the to-do in Charlottesburg over the week out.

The morning podcast was an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” supposedly about peace. It wandered about the topic but did poorly. The discussants were all academics and they did a poor job. It always amazes me how heated academics (and some bogs) can get about things that are purely subjective and immeasurable. 

So with that preparation, I set to consider the current unpeace over the matter of memorials to Confederates.

I have to admit to being of divided opinion on this matter. Not, per se, over the statues, but over the question of the war itself and its role in our society.

The matter of human chattel slavery – the “peculiar institution” – cannot be dissected out. It is one of the great evils of humanity. Admittedly it is a knee in a curve of whether any human can own – as in property – any other life form? This is itself indissectable since half (or more) of the cells that make up each and every one of us is not a component of the human body. Our bodily tenants are greater in number than we are, each and every one. We studiously avoid the question of whether it is just and fair and humane to discorporate any life, much less those that inhabit our bodies that we liberally dose with antibacterial soaps and antibacterial medications – inside and outside. It is this denial of the matter of the life ecology that brands all of us who have one opinion or another of human abortion as bigots and shirkers.

Some inadvertent executions are unavoidable but I see no great rush to embrace Jainism, myself included. 

So how can we be expected to get along with other humans? Biological arrogance aside we are imbued with instincts, characterized by “Us-Them”, that assure we shall be ugly and mean and violent to each other.

I have to admit that things were different when I was growing up. John Singleton Mosby was as large a television “star” as Francis Marion or Zorro. I was an adolescent in high schule when the centennial of the war was observed. And “people of color” either participated or hid. It is not without note of pride that during this period my high schule was integrated – and much to our benefit and joy. I know no one I attended with, including myself, who did not benefit personally from this diversity. 

I recall considerable friction on the Campus of the Black Warrior when some of the Greek houses would celebrate their spring dances in Confederate imitation. The complaints and outrage were more about greek arrogance and hubris than adoration of a slave holding society.

America has always been about slave holding in some form or other, not all called such. Early immigrants signed away their freedom for years – indenture – to come to the “New World.” Factory and mining companies endebted their workers to a life of lost freedom – owing one’s soul to the company store. I went to schule with “Mill Kids” whose parents were so encumbered and only by the destruction of the cotton mill system were the children saved from such. Today’s capitalists have gone to the opposite extreme, renting workers for the minimum of pay and duration with no obligation for the life force expended. Slavery is not just chains; it is also failure to care.

I had to study the war, both as history and as military phenomena. This started in grade schule and continued through the War College. I highly recommend it as a means to appreciate how incompetent we humans are. The public schule bits were like fruit cake – mediocre baked goods ruined by tasteless, nasty nuggets of life. The military bits were better reading but a nastier lesson. Our public schules seem incapable of imparting any reality except that of the enslavement of the young, with their mental abuse included. Our military schules at least are a bit more forthcoming of the realities, partly to prevent their repeat, and if a repeat is necessary to minimize the reinvention of mistakes. The latter is much more optimistic of the intelligence and rationality of humans than the former.

For a species that is supposed to be wise, we seem unable to not do harm to others. That, to me, is the merit of these memorials. Not to commemorate past false glories but to remind us of the evil that we wrought and that we should not do it again. Yes, their sight is unpleasant to some; it should be unpleasant to all. But we should not dispose of these for that reason; no, rather we should retain them to remind us what not to do.

Yard Work

Seven Day. And since this is a day for hawgin’ tabs, I might as well blot a few.

First, an article [Link] entitled “Should We “Stop Equating ‘Science’ With Truth”?” This article is written by an evolutionary biologist and I found it rather nauseating and unengaging. I suspect this followed directly from the title, which is sickening and perverse.

There may be some substance to this article, but just the title is enough to stop one from reading it. It indicates some dementia but whether it is that of the author or its intended audience, I cannot discern.

Science is NOT about truth. Science is about understanding. Truth is a religionist concept that has been widely appropriated by human organization in an effort to subjugate the members of the organization. The legal aspect of organization is the most obvious in this regard.

Sadly, truth has become a commonly used word, mostly because most of humanity are bogs and bogs tend to be religionist. But it is still a perversion, especially when so-called scientists doing “outreach” use it improperly to try to communicate with bogs. Does this work? Never in my observation. 

While we’re picking on bogs and slave making human organizations, another article [Link] entitled “The science of why eyewitness testimony is often wrong.” Simply put, we humans are constantly rewriting our memories, to use computer jargon, which is in fashion these days. And because of this any human memory more than two picoseconds old is suspect and untrustworthy.

So much for the legal system. So much for eyewitnesses. It’s only redeeming value may be that humans are instinctively dishonest – survival of the fittest and all that – and thus pitted against the group. 

But is the group superior to the individuals that make it up? That’s another question. 

Thirdly, we have a lovely article [Link] entitled “Religious people ‘cling to certain beliefs’ even when they contradict evidence because they are overly emotional and irrational, study claims.”

Seems that religionists are basically bogs – they are overly emotional and irrational. This isn’t news, is it? 

Fact is, that many religionists/bogs are mentally whacked but because they are in the majority, they define the mental modality and this the “sane” of society are the commonly demented.

And we wonder why the human species is on the short road to extinction?

Sit Up and Shut Down

I observe that Gooey has discharged the engineer who raised questions about gender related behaviors and temperaments. [Link]

This is an indication of the rot in the organization. It has its parallel in world history; it’s sometimes called the Catbird Seat Manuever. The classic manifestation is when a government hires too many mercenaries (and fires or can’t get too many citizen soldiers) and the mercenaries take over the country and replace the government because there’s no one to prevent them from doing so. 

And they stay in power until they micturate enough of the former citizens – now serfs – into being willing to discorporate to rid themselves of the tyrants.

But that doesn’t happen in organizations. They just rot away until they fall down, usually with a big surprise for the capitalists who think the organization is “blue chip”.

That’s Gooey. They have now begun to restrict what can be said and discussed and even thought about. This is sometimes called “Shut Up and Sit Down.” It’s really more like the title: sit at attention and wait for the doors to close and the building to collapse. But don’t move.

It’s a natural extension from mercenary strength to technological strength. It’s also a matter of moving from being dynamic to being in denialist stasis. The next step after no talking is no new technology. Oh, they’ll do things that they’ll say is wonderful new technology – sort of like the Edsel motorcar – but it won’t be. It’ll be repackaged beans. With the farts still intact and probably enhanced.

It also happens in government. When I still worked for the Yankee Army in their Lab, we had a manager – second level – who was a “Sit Down and Shut Up” manager. And he had a piece of paper from a management schule to prove it. He may have had some creativity before he went to that schule; he didn’t after. Just direction and obedience.

Happily, his boss was a real STEM. But shortly after I retired they disposed of him. And now the place is a Potemkin Village. Lots of motorized window devices and publicity but no new STEM stuff. 

So be happy. The country is probably entering a new dark age of technology (and other stuff?) stultification and organizations prevarication.

I am happy – to be ORF.

Sundae Query

It occurred to me this morning that the fundamental justification for the “Selfie stick” is that you can’t ask someone else to take a photograph of you?

What does this indicate? That we don’t trust anyone we don’t know, the ultimate in Us-Themism, or that we are afraid of anyone we don’t know, also the ultimate in Us-Themism.

It seems that we have pursued the matter of racism/genderism/… so fully that we must treat everyone else as if they don’t exist.

But isn’t that the same thing? Isn’t the ultimate form of discrimination denying everyone else’s existence? 

Book Bullying

This one is out of train. After ending the last blot I shifted over to reading eMail, which is a rather depressing thing. Too many ads and such these days. One such was from the Barnes and Ignoble folks who were pushing “back-to-school reading”. I presume this is what they think the parents of bairns going back to primary and secondary schule should be buying from them for the bairns to read and become educated. The Arab Tribune, aka Gossip Stercus, recently published a back-to-schule issue that included similar materials.

This took me back to my own days in the schules of Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. And my reading assignments.

Pure Cow Stercus. Patties. Common in the fields that then had not been paved over with houses and (now) decaying stores. 

That was a bit too much flow. 

When we were kids there were still fields, inhabited either by cows or cotton. We stayed away from the latter because the boll husks were nasty wicked sharp. We played in the former because we could have stercus flinging contests. It was educational. We learned that the more you worked cow stercus, the more aromatic it became. And we learned the embarrassment of being hose down by parent in the back yard.

But the start referred to the books we were assigned to read in schule. Absolute utter odiferous bowel solids. 

There may have been a time when those books were popular and entertaining. But once they became “literature” all the enjoyment was strained or distilled or bleached out of them. At least for me.

Writing is a rather special form of communication. It is problematic and risky. When we talk to someone we have communication when the two (or more) people convey their mutual understanding of the information.

Not so with books. Books are a shot in the dark. And as with most shots, they miss. And thus the imposition of a mandatory read of a book that misses is at the least bullying and at the most torture.

I do not recall a single assigned book in schule, public and college, that was communication. They were all somewhere between bullying and torture. The only except was in seventh grade when some science fiction story, cleverly hidden under a Saturday Evening Post copyright (that you founding grandfather!) was included and not assigned because the “teacher” thought it inappropriate.

I read it anyway. And it was the only thing I read in schule that year I enjoyed and appreciated.

Not to say I didn’t read a lot. And good stuff. Just none of it assigned.

Seems a fit description of what is wrong with public education, doesn’t it? 

I sorrow for the bairns, still being bullied by the educational (???????????) instrumentality after all these years. No wonder they are alienated by schule.

And no more educated than I. But I do wonder how effective they will be.

Legal War

While at gym, which was pleasantly sparse, I had occasion to listen to an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” dealing with war. The panel of talking (un)heads was composed of folks who labeled themselves as philosophers.

Normally I am well inclined to listen to philosophers – the real ones, not the religionist noisemongers who pretend to be such – since they have nothing to offer but rationality. But this morning their arguments rang poorly and absent of tone.

The panel kept trying to talk in terms of “just” war and “fairness”. The problem is that this is utter rubbish (the odoriferous kind) in everyday discussion, much less in discussing war. It was only with the greatest of derision that von Clausewitz was mentioned and then he was shrouded (as in burial shroud) as a philosopher.

Let me be clear, “fairness” and “justice” are completely arbitrary terms. There is no objectivity to them. They are also terms that have been appropriated by the law advocates, mostly to prop up their own brutal alternative to Hobbesism. What is meant by justice is exacting some horrendous, arbitrary, and often excessive penalty for violating some law, which is itself totally arbitrary and made-up. The legal instrumentality is only cosmetically interested in the concerns of the citizenry but assume the mantle of providing them justice and fairness as a means of controlling that citizenry and thus assuring their own continuance.

The basic premise of law is fundamentally biased towards the organization. Back when we were hunter-gatherers in small organizations (25-50 folks,) this bias was balanced by the close human ties inherent to such a network. But in the context of civilization and nation-states, law is unbridled and tyrannical without balance or counter.

On which note, the whole idea of “just” war is itself biased and unbalanced. It is fundamentally based in religionist dogma. The idea of just war was developed when Christianity was becoming the christianist organization, and reflects that process. It also continues – and legitimizes? – the concept of religious freedom as freedom to persecute those who do not belong to your denomination/belief group. This not only puts a premium on organization but fully legitimizes slaughter and tyranny against everyone for merely believing differently.

Consider the justness of roasting Bruno.