Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Dying Days of Liberalism

Suggested reading: The Dying Days of Liberalism:How Orthodoxy, Professionalism, and Unresponsive Politics Finally Doomed a 19th-century Project

I think decadence is ultimately killing political liberalism.  However, social liberalism is still kicking, but its time will come.  It has become too reactive in terms of economics for anything else.  Economic insecurity is the bane of social justice.

At the same time, ravaged by the same decadence, social conservatism appears to be largely extinct.  Political conservatism is still a force, but will meet its final reckoning as well.  It's reactionary impulses cause it to ignore basic economic realities.  Economic insecurity is the bane of tradition.

Donald Trump, a thoroughly decadent public figure, embodies this overall downward trajectory.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Emotional Spin

John Robb offers The Race to Weaponize Empathy to discuss emotional spin as applied to the news (beyond typical marketing).  "[People] see all facts within a social context and that context is identified by the emotional context attached to that fact."  In a fragmented society, people go to a news source to find out how to feel about a particular fact.  Hence, the uproar over "fake news" as the elite do not approve of those particular feelings.

The thought police have become the emotion police, which is much more difficult to control than simple access to information. (Hence, the desperation.  The result?  More fake news.)

But what about outright lies?

Monday, January 09, 2017

Broken

Being no fan of political parties, I enjoy mocking the losers (and winners, too).  As was true four years ago, I find it is more entertaining (to me) to do so in song:

More

If you lose to Donald Trump, you really deserve nothing but mockery.  How anyone can take Democrats for anything but corrupt and incompetent is telling.  For people who told everyone how "smart" they are, they really are not. I also find celebrity arrogance telling. They do not seem to understand their condemnation is an endorsement. I suppose it is all one can expect from people who surround themselves with lackeys and sycophants.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Images

An images may comprise/contain multiple symbols, thus making it something different than the sum of its parts.  Relationships are cause and effect.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Sand

Consciousness is more than a heap of sand.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Back At It

It's been awhile since I've lasted posted but I will be getting back at it soon.  After changing jobs, which may or may not be related (since I am less disgruntled), I have been busy with my new sound lately, which combines punk with jazz themes, which I call "Punk Jazz" (which is really neither).  I've been releasing a song (or more if different versions are involved) a week or so since September, which is pretty darn prolific for me.  The adapters for my guitar pedals broke, so I could no longer produce my usual nonsense, and I actually tried playing for once.

Here's a sample:

In general, the vocals are my first or second attempt at writing the song lyrics, which is sort of like scat but not with the skill.  I really do not have the finger dexterity to do better with stringed instruments, and drums are just too fucking loud (and most drummers are insane), so I produce percussion effects on a synth (which is more about timing than skill).  I can write real music if I try, but it would sound much better if skilled musicians played the parts.  I know how to play multiple instruments, but I am certainly no master at anything.  I have learned DIY for sound engineering.  I suppose I am a song writer and engineer more than anything.

Lately I've had more fun with music than the printed word, but I am beginning to run out of steam (after writing and producing an album's worth of songs in about 8 weeks--the time was better spent than paying much attention to the elections anyway).

Hear more at Drunk And Armed.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Broken

Everything is Broken is one of the better written explanation concerning the massive security contained within pretty much every computing devise, but fails to mention the one method that will protect your data on your computing: pulling the plug.  If you are not connected, you can't be hacked.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Political Nihilism

"Here is the ultimatum of our camp. What can be smashed must be smashed; whatever will stand the blow is sound, what flies into smithereens is rubbish; at any rate, hit out right and left, no harm will or can come of it."

-Dmitri Pisarev
Russian Nihilis
Link

Friday, June 10, 2016

Chinese Propaganda

After a long hiatus...

China says its propaganda just isn’t strong enough caught my eye.  It seems that not enough people in China are believing whatever the Communist Party is pushing these days. I find it amusing that a country that has embraced capitalism (albeit state controlled) is still pushing Marxism at its universities. It is interesting that China had one of the few governments left standing that still refers to "propaganda" when elsewhere the term has a negative context.  I also noted the article said nothing about the impact of so many Chinese being educated abroad.  Does this mean, when their efforts fail, they will prevent students from going to foreign colleges and universities (which was the case right after the Tienanmen Square movement was crushed).

Monday, February 22, 2016

Wither

     An old cliché states "truth is subjective."  Along with greater truth, individual verities must be determined.  At some degree, definitions are externally supplied. The individual must reconcile conflicts between inner and outer values for any hope in finding a place in the larger scheme of existence.  Nobody can do everything.  Powerlessness must be acknowledged and dealt with accordingly.  Most would rather turn a blind eye.  Lacking context, information may be manipulated to ensnare those unwilling or unable to determine its uses.  Gains and loses must be appropriately assessed for accurate conclusions regarding content.  Forced reliance upon interpreters must be resisted on every plane. A mouthpiece for vested interests will always affirm its world view to Maximum Advantage in all Things.  Education does not necessarily equate with intelligence.[1]  Uniformity atrophies the mind.  Discourse is a path to truth ignored when parroting talking heads.  Absent meaninglessness, anything inherently divisive is controlled.  Certain statements are discouraged by stakeholders with something to lose.  An objectionable or even repugnant notion may stimulate thought far greater than the comfortable or agreeable.  Unless overused, agitation techniques employed by propaganda can be very effective.  Excepting fanatics, agitprop campaign failures inoculate against eternal application.  Truth may only be stretched so far.  One must question oneself, or be content with fear and ignorance.  Unfortunately, academia is among the worst places to look for guidance.  Cloistered, pretentious and even parasitic, academia is dogmatic to the extreme of stupidity. Generalization is frowned upon and esteemed less than compartmentalized specialization.   Doctorates are all products.  Linkages remain unseen or are ignored.  The results are incorrect or incomplete notions.  Big money has invaded academic circles, thereby directing its course and encouraging ignorance beyond the unprofitable.  The arrogance is also sickening: academia digs its own grave.  If not for the tragedy of crushing student debt, their increasing irrelevance would be amusing—an indentured servant served less time.



[1] GWB is an easy example.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

One Learns Nothing

One learns nothing by digesting prepackaged data, but the prevalent anti-intellectualism masquerades stagnation as some sort of paradigm shift.  Commercial interests push this mental model as a means to keep consumers passive within a technological bubble.  This bubble, when it does break, will be orders of magnitude worse than simple economic meltdowns as it will be more than a disruption—it will destroy any remaining goodwill toward centralized systems.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Shopping

To suggest we go shopping in response to a national crisis inspires nothing. This nothingness allows societal apathy a foothold. Culture stagnates. The end result is decadence unto civilizational nihilism.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Die

RE: The huge, unexpected ethical question that self-driving cars will have to tackle.  The occupants of the car should die first.  They chose to ride in a self-driving car, so they should have to suffer the consequences of its failure.  As far as how to chose between the occupants of the car (as in who is sacrificed by its failure if there is a choice regarding impact location to the vehicle): the owner(s).