Maxims, rules of thumb and other observations on human cognition and sociocultural affectations

This will be added to on an irregular basis...
  • What is said to humans directly is received with skepticism and considered with dubiousness while that which is heard in passing, especially that which most conforms to their mentality or prejudices, is readily believed.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive latency between exposure to new information or experiences and the ability to think dispassionately and intellectually about it.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive spectrum starting with the moment of exposure to new information or experiences and ending with some point at which the thing is effectively "in the past" for them.
  • This cognitive spectrum is linked to the emotional process often referred to as shock, anger, denial and acceptance.
  • The more and faster information or experiences are presented to people and the closer the quarters and the lesser the distance between people, the more their early reactions in the passionate emotional stage are reflected back to them in the manner of responses to those reactions from others in light of those responses.
  • The more outrages which are suffered without sufficient time to allow emotional bleed-off, the farther the bar for subsequent reaction and outrage are pushed, and the more further events must progress before reaction and outrage.
  • It is possible for serious detriments to eventually sit below this threshold for long enough for their damaging effects to build and multiply until their entire society undergoes some reactive convulsion.
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Friday, June 30, 2006

Internet Dickery

Is Internet Dickery a justification for requiring people to strap on a stun-gun circuit attached to their PC before posting online? Most days, the Internet certainly makes you think so, doesn't it?

Of course, the worse dickery to me is in the abject hypocrisy of the embracing of the blogging phenomena by people who abuse the shorthand "tl/dr" which means "too long/didn't read" everywhere else, and often enough in replies to blogs be they Blogger or Live Journal.

One wonders what will become of mankind when in the modern western world attention spans have shortned to less than those of a chihuahua on amphetamine at Starbucks when to actually think and then act on that ability by communicating what one knows has become a target for idiot dickery and insults. When the mere ability to think is regarded by the shallow and superficial as showing off, and the conveyance of one's intelligence is regarded as subtle bragging, then something has clearly gone wrong.

Of course, we knew that years ago. I guess the Internet is just good at reminding one that thinking, speaking, writing, and other endeavors requiring any sort of intellectual labor are ill regarded these days and that brainless thoughtless gliding through life is celebrated.

Oh well.

If anyone in my huge readership of two or four people are paying attention, you will have noticed that I've replaced the Emo Philips banner with an RHCE quiz. Why? Well certainly not because I like Emo any less. Emo Philips I mean. Emo music I detest. The reason is that I intend to have Linux+ certification by the first of August, LPIC I certification by the first of September, and LPIC II certification by the first of October. By the first of December I intend to have RHCE and by spring of the following year, RHCA. Ambitious for me, less so for some, more than for others. In the middle of all that I also intend to get Network+ and Security+ and maybe A+ along the way.

One needs goals I think even if we don't reach them. The true goals are the journey to the goals we make up for the journey.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

In the name of the environment and saving mankind, mankind negates what makes it special: democracy and free will

At what point did the energy efficiency movement abandon the principles of a democratic republic that power flows from the people to government and not the other way around, and that government exists for mutual needs in concert with individual rights?

Taxes are now accepted as a way of *forcing* other people to do what we want now? Not by me.

It is the job of the technologists to come up with solutions to problems, the job of businessmen to find what will sell, the job of social-public writers to convince people of free will to make changes, but it is not the job of any one group of people to get the government to impose its police powers on the people to force them into compliance with a given set of ideas.

Even less so when those ideas are on the level of faith and beyond discussion or argument which much of the energy efficiency sector's behavior demonstrates and has since the sixties. It comes down to: "Earth will die if people don't do as we say, don't argue, do what we say."

This flies in the face of rational scientific exploration never mind democracy. History has many times heard the argument that doing/not doing X will result in Y hence our solution Z must be implemented or catastrophe will result. None of them ever ends well.

To demonstrate the ramifications of this insistance on abuse of governance to force specific economic and political beliefs, what do you think would happen when the tax suddenly nuclear skyrockets the cost of doing business for cable, satellite, phone, electrical, and other utilities' field services?

Will a simple five minute truck roll costing $200 be worth it to you? Put *your* money where *your* mouth is. If you truly believe a milage tax is okay, start adding a little extra to your utility bills today. Do it at the store too because everything came by truck. And tip everyone you do anything with because they'll be paying more.

I have faith in science and human tendency to come through in the end. I will not be cowed by nonsense pop-environmentalism and fear of catastrophe into giving up on that. We heard dire warnings in the 70s that were supposed to have finished us off by the 90s. I call bs on this and am confident that mankind will overcome.

I think it sets a new standard in irony that arrogant anthrocentrism is leading towards saving humanity by annhilating democracy and free will without which humans are no different than an internal combustion engine.