Saturday, April 30, 2005

Short Subject

The following story illustrates another aspect of the deliberate confusion of ideas.

"When I was little, my older brother would tease me, and when I told him my feelings were hurt, he would come back with, 'You're too sensitive!'"

The rejoinder, besides being a categorical denial of wrongdoing, is constructed in such a way as to raise self-doubt and confusion in the listener. The injured party in the story is left wondering what just happened, and doubting their own version of reality in favor of some external norm that they do not measure up to. If this statement did not generate a confusion of ideas, the natural response to, "You're too sensitive" would be, "How do you know?"

Life is full of these mental traps. They are, in a way, the thought equivalent to optical illusions, taking our minds down paths that are actually logical dead ends.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

What’s the sound of one hand clapping?

No, What’s the name of the guy on second base. This is also my favorite simple example of confusion of ideas. Clapping is defined as two objects, brought together rapidly, usually to produce a noise. Hands can clap. I can clap you in irons, or I can clap you on the shoulder, or I can clap cymbals together. I cannot, if my life depended on it, sit around and contemplate semantic nonsense until my brain rots. I’d rather make love to a cactus. There is no higher consciousness to be obtained by mentally masturbating. Eventually, you might allow yourself to be convinced that there is, if you invest enough time in it.

Student: “I don’t get it!”
Teacher: “Keep trying.”
Student (thinking to self) “There must be something wrong with me. Why can’t I get it?”

These Yogis or Sufis or Baba-yagas or whatever they want to call themselves would chase me away rapidly, loudly proclaiming me to be hopeless.

Teacher: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”
I: “Who wants to know?”
Teacher: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”
I: “If you don’t know, why should I tell you? Maybe you’re not supposed to know.”
Teacher: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”
I: “If a deaf mime sings in the shower, and there’s no one around to hear, is he still a mime?”
Teacher: “Get out!”

Don’t get me wrong. I find a lot of benefit in meditation. I meditate upon lines of poetry, the sayings of Confucius, quantum physics, Einstein’s declaration that God wouldn’t play dice with the universe. I stare out over the beauty of a lake or ocean, and let my mind and body relax. I just don’t let someone tell me to think myself stupid.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Station Break

I interrupt the usual flow of ideas for this special bulletin. Pope Benedict the meaningless Roman numeral has set a new papal record for pinning my bullshit meter all the way to the right. In a speech yesterday, he referred to “Europe’s Christian roots.” Europe’s roots are pagan. They will always be pagan, no matter how much history intervenes. Christianity did not “take root” in Europe, it was forced upon it by the simple expedient of periodically slaughtering any group that refused to adopt it. Christianity’s roots are in the Middle East. Beyond the fact that Ye-shua /Iasus/Jesus was born and lived there, Christianity came to Europe through Byzantium, which is now ironically the Islamic nation of Turkey. No amount of wishful thinking or revisionist history will change these facts except in the minds of the hypnotized. I now return you to your regularly scheduled blogs.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Confusion of Ideas 101, class1

What do I mean by “confusion of ideas”? The premise is simple. You, and I, and everyone who was born after about 10,000 B.C. (B.C.E. if you’re picky, but the date is arbitrary anyway, so it really doesn’t matter) has been subjected to a deliberate attempt at mental confusion since birth. In most cases, this attempt is highly successful. The purpose of this confusion is to create a non-critical mind; one that is not very capable at employing critical thinking to solve problems, and one that completely lacks confidence in its own ability to make good judgments. Such a mind is superstitious, and susceptible to persuasion to a far greater degree than a self-confident, critical mind would be. Hell, the tools of persuasion one uses on a superstitious mind need not be provably real.

What possible motive could there be for this? Also simple. A leader requires followers. In and elitist society, one is elevated upon the backs of the less fortunate; the more backs, the better. This holds true no matter what guise the relationship takes. In sales, it is known as the principle of leverage. In the capitalist business structure at large, it produces the gulf between the few high-salaried positions at the top, and the many more moderate incomes of the workers who actually produce the marketable product. It is also the mechanism responsible for turning the government of the CCCP into a privileged class. For every person that rises above the median of wealth and privilege, about 10 to 30 must sink below the median, depending on the economic wealth of the region. The higher one rises, the more numerous must be those below median to provide support. Ultimately, another several tiers are created, sinking below the poverty line. If we all possessed equal potential as leaders, the reward for leadership would not be as great. There are many mechanisms in place to create barriers to entry into the elite class, but in my opinion, the primary and most fundamental barrier is the confusion of ideas, and the social acceptance thereof.

Where does it start? It starts with the gullibility of young children and our social training to screw around with it. Example: Santa Claus. Harmless mythology, or reinforcement for things to come? If you’re Christian, try to remember when you were really little, and you believed in Santa Claus. Put yourself back into that state of unconditional acceptance if you can. Now try to remember how you felt when you found out that Santa wasn’t real. Disoriented? Disillusioned? Was there some gnawing doubt about your ability to process reality and make competent decisions? Maybe you just felt all squirmy inside and didn’t have a name to put on the feeling. Maybe your intellectual Waterloo was something else, but similar. You were the victim of a confusion of ideas, resulting in self-doubt and uncertainty. This is the unnatural nature of society: in order to create more followers than leaders, leadership qualities must be extinguished.

This is not the essay that I intended to write, but I am still learning the principle of parsimony. If anyone out there is interested, you will have to wait for more.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Dr. Phil is an asshole, (comma)

Dr. Phil is an asshole, in my opinion and among other things, so your lawyers can piss off, Phil.

It amazes me how we have been trained to get defensive when someone challenges our opinions, or when someone states an opinion or lives a lifestyle that is different from our own. You never have to convince me of your opinion, you merely have to convince yourself. The law, by the way, has never been a good dictator of morals, so don’t expect to change anyone by passing laws. I am about to come to the defense of someone who is living a controversial, even inflammatory, lifestyle. This is not the same as defending that lifestyle, but due to the standard confusion of ideas, I have to make that distinction for many who might read this.

Why do I think that Dr. Phil is an asshole? Because he behaved like one. Maybe this shouldn’t surprise me, but my experience is based on the one and only time that I bothered to watch his show. He had a couple on the show, ostensibly to talk about the fact that they were swingers (casual sex, multiple partners). I tuned in just in time to hear him ask (something like) “You would let this guy crawl all over you while your five year old son was asleep upstairs????”

Let me break this down. First, no good psychologist, interested in his patient’s welfare, would ask such a question. A good psychologist might ask, “How would you feel if your son walked into the room, and how would you explain what he would see?” Phil didn’t do that. Phil pandered to the TV audience, reinforcing their own mainstream, self-righteous values. “... crawl all over...”, like an insect or a snake? Nice imagery. Gee, I guess Phil has a problem with this lifestyle and wants to make sure that I do too. Confusion of ideas: “Provide sexual stimulation” becomes “crawl all over you”. Confusion of ideas again: how visually different is it if mom and dad are getting it on, and if mom and someone else are getting it on? I’m not saying that there aren’t more complex problems in the second case, but would Phil ask, “Would you let your husband crawl all over you while your five year old son was asleep upstairs?” Easier to justify perhaps, but no easier to explain to a five year old. Phil is an asshole.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

False start, just pondering.

I knew it. I’m writing because I feel obliged to provide content for this beast. Ok, at least I’m living inside my own head for a change and not succumbing to the endless stream of relentless propaganda and persuasion that is our modern society. It seems like everyone has an opinion, and they are sure that I have to share it or else. I don’t much mind the straightforward approach, but I’m sick of people trying to soften my head up with crap like “Touched by an Angel”. How about, “Douched by a Dryad”? Or, “Slammed by a Succubus”? Hell, “Kicked in the Nuts by a Leprechaun” would suit my taste for imaginary beings more than some lightly veiled advertisement for the Christian church and all its mercenary goodness. Let’s face it folks, there are a lot of losers out there that believe in that crap simply because they are being constantly lied to by social parasites while they try to live their desperate lives, quiet or otherwise.

One of the saddest truths of the human condition is that if you lie repeatedly and with conviction, someone will believe you. Has anyone seen my purple robe? The aliens are coming.

It's going to take me a while to connect the dots for you, but without a relentless confusion of ideas, no one would fall for cult crap like saucer people and Rev. Jim's Kool-Aid solution-solution.


Friday, April 15, 2005

Feed Me! Posted by Hello

Ok, now what?

Having jumped through several hoops to give myself an avatar, I find myself in ownership of a web blog that will sit quietly and guilt me into paying it some attention. Here I can safely vent and be ignored by all but a select few who drop by to read the rantings of yet another narcisistic crackpot. Well, I'm not like that yet, but we will see what effect having my own billboard/pigeon hole has upon me.