Skip to content

The Golden Path

A death and a rebirth

a darkness on this earth.

A hollow vacant past

An uncertain future vast.

Demons to vanquish in me,

sins I must foresee.

To keep on the golden path

the only course free of wrath.

Advertisements

Politics, Peers and Hypocrisy

The inconsistency in political opinions is quite astounding. The reality of the world is of course a vastly complex, changing phenomena, particularly the human social world. But that is not really what is going on often. It is not a simple matter of misunderstanding this complexity. It is a matter of knowing ignorance. And it is this, because once we get some momentum with a certain set of opinions that we share with our peers, it is difficult to go against that inertia.

The only people free of this are those who don’t try to appease their peers, those who are assertive about their opinions from the beginning, and refuse to let themselves be forced down a never ending train of guilt responses by more and more demanding peers. These people are rare and often are not best suited for political positions though. As they will be too caught up in their own perspective and will have a tendency towards becoming tyrannical.

People on the left and the right both supposedly want pretty much the same things: Peace and social order. But the left will over play certain state interference, such as censorship of “dangerous” opinions, provision of ‘safe spaces’, etc. While the right will over play a different kind of state interference with calling for more police and military physical control. The left wants to control your minds, the right wants to control your bodies. That is the basic dichotomy.

So when they are called upon by specific realities of current events to do something against this standard pattern, you will find them fumbling around, confused and lost. The left struggles desperately to accept the reality of physical control of borders to the extent they will often dream of a global utopia of peace. Nice idea, sure, but fantasising about this ideal doesn’t help us deal with the current reality that is very different. The right, on its part, will struggle desperately when called upon to engage positively in community projects and ideas. For it has convinced itself that pure individualism is adequate, and that people can simply choose their own values and things will work out for the best. This is the old-fashioned liberty often promoted by thinkers around the time the American constitution was drawn up, such as Locke, Paine, Mill, etc.. Once again, a nice idea sure, but in many areas it is not adequate to meet the demands of surrounding reality.

Neither side can change their pattern of thinking, it creates a tension inside themselves that leads to uncertainty and indecision. Something most people are very uncomfortable experiencing. As a philosophical, reflective person, this part may be a lot easier for me. But I cannot claim that philosophy would give practical answers, because practical decisions often require quick and decisive action.

I cannot see a good answer to these hypocritical tendencies currently. The power of patterned thinking and peer reinforcement is strong. The best thing I can suggest is to at least notice and gain better awareness when you are engaging in such a type of bias, so that you may not too fully believe your own hype and rhetoric and act on it disastrously for yourself and others.

Resource for Dopamine Boost

Here is a great link I just found related to the previous post I just completed for anyone looking for some creative ways to increase your dopamine levels in a healthy way:

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/01/20/10-ways-to-increase-dopamine-levels-in-the-brain/

It actually crosses over a lot with what I was just saying in my post, so I am thinking I came across this article before and internalised it, then forgot where I got it from, which I tend to often do.

Fighting Demons

Here are some of my own personal demons I will be striving to fight against in 2018:

  1. Procrastination: I will try to complete the tasks at the forefront of my mind so as not to have them linger there whilst nothing gets done. This will include gaining better awareness of the most urgent and pressing tasks currently facing me.
  2. Alcohol: I will attempt to replace this with a more effective means of finding enjoyment in life, by finding some environment, group or setting I can be comfortable within myself, so that I do not feel required to use alcohol as a fix. For alcohol, despite some benefits for relaxing and sometimes improving creativity in short bursts, in the longer run makes you more selfish and less productive.
  3. Cursing: I will be trying to cut down either on out loud cursing or under my breath, or even just cursing in my mind certain strong profanities. When you make it a reactive habit to engage in this you find you are always seeing the negative in what is around you, and you are creating a negative atmosphere around yourself. It may initially feel good to curse at someone or something, but invariably it will come back to haunt you in some form of karmic response.

Not an easy task, but I guess this is what summarises my resolutions for 2018.

My basic plan for how to achieve it incorporates a use of substitute practices. We all need our dopamine hits in our life. But we can get creative about how we receive them. So, for instance, instead of getting a dopamine hit from a night of drinking, I can replace it with a dopamine hit of exercise. (This is something I had done in the past, but had lost touch with this past year.) Or, another example, instead of relying on feedback of others for how you are doing in certain things, create your own feedback with a wall chart mapping your progress in various tasks and aspects of your life. (A good tactic against procrastination) Or, regarding cursing, channel the vocal energy into more positive outpourings, singing songs aloud, and being better aware of cursing tendencies to stop them at the source before indulging too freely in them, for when you do this latter is when you are relying on it as a dopamine hit.)

Of course, it all sounds easy written down, but it is far from being so. The isolated lifestyle I currently lead makes dopamine hits hard to find. And I tend to feel unable to be myself amongst others, hence I get no dopamine hits when around others. For I very rarely feel comfortable to be myself in these circumstances, always putting on a mask. Still it is nice to have formulated some of my difficulties in this basic form, for it makes it easier to keep sight of, and gives me some confidence that my “problems” are regular human problems and not indicative of there being anything wrong with me specifically.

 

 

Rant about Censorship, Technology, Mainstream Media, etc

There is nothing in this world more pathetic than the leftist political bias proliferated by the mainstream media and by most governments, particularly here in Europe. I cannot get information on statistics about weather this December in the UK without them finding some spin in which December was actually quite a warm December, when they put it in the context of some arbitrary number of years, namely, averaging back specifically to the 80’s, which were known for being particularly extremely cold winters. All to brainwash people with their global warming agenda. And neglecting to mention the statistic I just found now after laborious searching showing it was actually colder this last December than the previous four Decembers at least, and by a significant margin. So sick of having to deal with this crap everywhere, just give me the plain fucking statistics! Not your dumb one-sided narrow minded moral vision of what you want those statistics to mean in the bigger picture.

This is one of the main reasons I want to get out of Europe. The European Union is turning Europe into something resembling what Hitler would have liked, a national socialist bloc. Controlling thought, controlling ideas, controlling every aspect of life from cradle to the grave. The next inevitable step is a drastic cut down and control of immigration, because we let it get way out of control, or some other more violent right-wing reaction. Europeans do goodery has turned it into a barren womb patrolled by flimsy guards. A place full of diseased people, crippled people, old people, no vitality, no youth besides an ungrateful loud-mouthed selection of technology dependent autistically screeching attention deficient clockwork orange potentiates.

The moralising will continue, and the truth more and more is forced to fit in line with this moral vision. Anything counter to this moral vision is to be swept under the carpet and censored, for nanny government must protect us from harsh realities. A cold winter is a sign of global warming if we just put it in certain convenient parameters. Global warming is proved by everything we do, and we should feel guilty of all the black CO2 dirt we are putting into the atmosphere. A constant guilt that can never be redeemed, a sin for which there is no penitence, but to carry on along the treadmill of lowering emissions. While China, India and the new economic powerhouses bludgeon their way ahead polluting the world with no thoughts for such weak minded moralising. Our governments have us under the thumb, for they have funded us from day one and now we must forever pay homage to them. Even agree to their lies to make them feel better about their policies.

This must end, it simply must end. The behemoth debt-ridden governments of the West need to be cut down to size. I am not going to lie to feed your over inflated ego, and I am not going to buy any of your brainwashing. If you want a fight, you have found someone who will happily die before submitting to the undignified conclusion you have planned for humanity. Mass servitude, hooked up to technology, spreading memes, mindlessly and relentlessly like an ant colony. Continued moral degeneracy and corruption. Continued fake moral virtue signalling. Continued decay of community. To the point where there is no community left, no civilisation, no true moral virtue. For we will have forgotten how to practice it, lost away in ancient musty tomes, too slow in its release of a dopamine hit for our flashy social network meme dependent minds.

Being Reasonable

Thinking and reassessing is an often long and arduous process. But the benefit of it is that when you get to a conclusion you have something new to bring to the table, you are not just following a predictable, habitual, mindless pattern. I have been thinking a lot this past month since my last post, for I think it very well summed up my current view on things. But of course there are, as always, areas of these ideas I need to work further on. It all seems to come back to the fundamental philosophical questions that Plato grappled with all those millennia ago. How can I provide reasonable grounds for my opinions? How in general can we be reasonable? How can we have accurate knowledge of the reality surrounding us? What kind of knowledge is it? And is it limited in certain ways?

I think it is not stretch to say that we have currently hit upon a crisis in answering these questions. And have largely given up on answering, or even trying, to answer them. We have pretty much handed our faculty of reason away, given it to technology and scientific experts to tell us what is best. After numerous failed Utopian visions, numerous short-lived fascist and totalitarian dictatorships, and numerous devastating world wars, we have come to question our own ability to be reasonable. It seems to always terminate either in an unrealistic airy Utopia that loses touch with reality or in a blind servility to an authoritative form of instrumental reason.

Is this where the story of Western culture terminates? Has it reached its logical conclusion? I like to hope not. I like to feel we can find some new firm ground to base our reasoning upon. I like to think I have been working towards such a basis ever since I discovered philosophy. Needless to say I have come a cropper on many dangers along the way. Many emotional preoccupations. Many crises in my outlook. Many times I have doubted our prospects to get out of this hole. But I feel there is a way through it now. I feel recent political upheavals have exposed a new reality to view. They have shown me that unless I am real in my own life and interactions with others then nothing else is worth anything. You can be a logically perfect reasoning being. But if your own emotional life is in turmoil, if you forget to keep these other aspects of your life in balance, then it counts for nothing. An ideal of peace, altruism, cosmopolitanism is not a reasonable ideal. It’s not that the idea itself is unreasonable, the problem is that it is unreasonable to expect yourself to be able to live up to that ideal. You, I, we, are not perfect beings. We need ideas that we can practice and embody in our lives.

A new form of practical reason is what is needed. A new appreciation of what are reasonable expectations on us in our lives. Not unrealistic ideals that we always fall short of, and chase, like a mirage. Like a snake trying to eat its own tail. The seductive power of our abstracting and generalising faculties are dangerous, as they can delude us that we have influence over a wider range of things than we actually do. Just because you can conceptualise or imagine something, doesn’t mean you can embody it or own it in your way of life and being. An ideal you can never reach is only going to lead you down a road of self hatred, despair and depression. It’s the classic trick of Christianity for controlling people, which has actually been honed to an even more extreme and sadistic degree now by atheism and humanism and cosmopolitanism. These are the new source of original sin, for they set us an ideal of action we can never reach and so we are always scurrying around full of guilt, trying to appease ourselves for this, that and the other mistake we make. They tell us to be neutral, objective, placeless. Through trying we don’t succeed, we just come to hate our opinions and emotions as they are not neutral, we come to hate our perspective and reasoning, as it is not objective and we come to hate our self’s, families, homes and communities, because they are not placeless.

I see it now for what it is, and so I defeat it. I undermine its power and grip over me. Intuition tells me we must find a new path of reasonableness, and not an impossible god-like path of objectivity, but a human path of trial and error, learning from mistakes and developing better judgement along the way. We can be reasonable, we just have to keep in touch with our personal reality. The real situation we are heavily intricated within. Forget the moralising temptation of simplistic ideals. Cast aside that emotionally convenient veneer, that short-term fix to an unending long-term problem. Focus on what is reasonable for you, not on what is ideal. We are not gods, but men, women, and children. If you try to be a god, you will only end up becoming a monster.

 

Fast Lies vs Slow Truth

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. Winston Churchill

This is a dangerous truth about human society in general. Truth requires thought and time to reach a reasonable judgement. While someone is going through that slow, considered process the opportunistic will rush to propagate lies and thoughtless convenient fictions that fit in line with their preconceived narratives. This is a much more accurate way to look at the whole fake news phenomena. Not what we have seen where you have a shouting match between right and left wing media trying to demonise and scapegoat news they don’t like with the title fake news. To make people afraid/ridiculed/ashamed to get their news outside of “accepted” sources. As if people are incapable of making judgements about media credibility for themselves. As if news on one side of the divide is flawless and 100% trustworthy and news on the other side is 100% beyond the pale regardless of the content of the articles and news that they share.

I don’t need my media and my government moralising at me about some extreme right wing outlet. I can make my own judgement to not join their agenda, but I can also still see a true story when they share it. The truth is not determined by the source. That would be trust, not truth. Truth is determined by a steady process of evaluating and looking into the evidence provided to build an overall coherent picture of how something is working, regardless of moral and emotional judgements about the people who shared that information. This latter is a standard example of a logical fallacy, its probably, in fact, a standard example of multiple logical fallacies. Lets take a standard case of someone who believes only a few specific sources of news, say, BBC and CNN. This could lead them to be guilty of some of the following fallacies:

  • Argumentum ad populum: If they take these sources as representing what most people think or believe. And these sources do often claim to be speaking for “everyone” or all reasonable people as one of their arguments/justifications for what are in fact opinions that they want us to agree with.
  • Argument from authority: A similar kind of fallacy in this regard. By trying to smear other news, often any news that says something different to them, they are arguing from authority, claiming to be the only authoritative source for your information and news about the world.
  • Ad hominem: I think this one is every poor reasoners favourite fallacy. Attack the character or motive of the person making the argument or presenting the evidence, that way you don’t need to worry about dealing with the argument/evidence. As by whipping up some emotional feeling of dislike or hatred of the person providing the argument/evidence you distract from the issue under consideration. (The British Media and Government engaged heavily in this the other day with their collective faux outrage at Trumps retweets)
  • Argumentum ad baculum: The threat of force to bring about acceptance of your views. A favourite tactic of radical left groups lately with their punch a nazi campaign and ANTIFA in general who try to intimidate people who have different opinions to them with physical force. And in general this is something we have seen in the attack of liberal universities on the free speech of right wing people on campuses. In all these kinds of cases their first move is not to engage in discussion, the first move is to physically intimidate you somehow to influence the view you express. Once again, they seem to imagine we are incapable of avoiding nazi style extremism, but really this is just a cover to label anyone they don’t like in this way, so that they can point at them and begin their argumentative approach of persuasion by use of physical force and intimidation. It applies also to news media who legitimise this kind of approach to discourse by not disavowing such behaviour and often not even reporting on it, or if they report it in the case of CNN, BBC, as I am using them as an example, you can be sure it will be to do a similar thing, of labelling a right wing group in such a way as to dehumanise them, indirectly promoting use of violence against that opinion rather than use of good reasoning.
  • Argumentum ad passiones: Appeal to the emotions of the recipient of the argument/evidence to manipulate them. A real big favourite of mainstream media outlets. Instantiated by examples such as the appeal to fear, the appeal to shame, the appeal to pity, the appeal to ridicule, the appeal to wishful thinking. It’s just too easy to give examples of this. You will often see certain media news talking paternalistically and condescendingly to their audience. This then allows them to better manipulate your emotions in the above ways with whatever “information” they then want you to have a certain opinion on. (The Russia Collusion narrative and the attendant impeachment narrative is one long example of this fallacy, appealing to the wishful thinking of many left wing people and democrats.)

I will leave it at that for now. I basically just searched logical fallacies list, and the first few that came up, right away were perfect examples of the kind of fallacies of poor news reporting that are engaged in all the time. Both in the information they present, the arguments they make and the opinions they want you to have about that information either explicitly or implicitly.

Why do they engage in all of this poor reasoning? It comes back to the quote I started with. It’s a much quicker process to spread information if you do so without thinking about it much. The downside is that you then load all that information with your own emotional prejudices and biases. Just as much as that right wing group spread some false stories about immigrants, based on their emotion about immigrants, the left wing spreads multiple logical fallacies in how they portray that fact to people, based on their emotion about this right wing group. By attacking their character, not their false content, by appealing to emotions of shame of being seen as racist, of pity, for those who are victims of this presumed racism. And by claiming themselves to have special authority in judging other sources of information in this way, as if they are somehow above reproach. If they really wanted to fight fake news they wouldn’t take a little bit of factual information and explode it into a unending stream of logical fallacies that totally undermine the content they were trying to present.

In summary, a good general rule, when all these news outlets of all political persuasions try to throw logical fallacies at you under the guise of “neutral, reasonable news and information”, ask of them not to give you their emotion, not to try and provoke your emotion, but to give you their reasons and appeal to your mind. Ask of them this, and you will soon find you can filter out probably around 95-99% of the news presented to you.

Fake news is not a simple issue of apples and oranges, or apples and bananas for that matter, it is an issue based on the fact that emotion works quicker than reason and instinct tends to trump thought. Slow down the stream of information you take in, filter most of it out, reflect on what all news sources tell you over time, and form a solid coherent conception of truth and reality. Whenever there is an emotional upheaval on twitter or on the mainstream media news, or on the alternative media news, unless it is about real bad events such as murder and deaths and crimes of this nature (and you can determine this to be the case from multiple independent sources quickly) do not join that wave of emotion, question it, and you will most likely find it is engaging in multiple logical fallacies, and it is most likely doing this precisely because there is little to no truthful content in what they are saying.