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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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Another new post of mine on /.

But have you given thought to the slippery slope?

Those "powers" will be in place for the next White House occupant.


I've said this for years and no one ever believes it. They believe the liberal claptrap that only Republicans ever violate our rights and the principles of this nation. NO SUCH THING IS TRUE. ALL politicians seek to conserve power to themselves, to attract power to themselves, to serve themselves. It is simply that the liberals have a better sounding pile of claptrap to sell. The end result is always the same: every weakening of our system in favor of statism over the individual results in an opening to further weaken it by the next opportunistic self-aggrandizing set of idiots.

The liberals are anti-porn for the political correctness angle from their feminist branch. The conservatives are anti-porn from the moral correctness angle from their fundamentalist branch. BOTH sides have horribly anti-freedom ideas that have great amounts in common and they all boil down to them, the politically avaricious, being in power and us being with none. And they do it by selling us fear. Fear of terrorism, fear of sexism, fear of immorality, fear of racism, fear, fear, fear. Above all, they sell us a way to avoid taking responsibility for our lives. They sell us guilt. They sell us the idea that the world is full of evil things, that we caused it all, and that if we just hand over the power to them, they will hide our guilt, at least until the next time they need to use it against us.

Global warming, pornography, tobacco, crime, hunger, terrorism, etc. You name it, everything brought to you in the way of rule by crisis and fear thereof is a an evil lie and myth wrapped in convenient facts and seasoned with half-truths from someone else's point of view.

They sell us temporary absolution and enable self-denial.

We don't take care of our kids, teach them about sex and death and the world, and we let the state raise them in the public schools. We let the television raise them at home. And we encourage each other to believe that we do the best job possible under impossible conditions with their tacit cooperation. We simply find scapegoats de jure to blame for it not actually working right. We clap ourselves on the back saying the spate of Internet predators is someone else's fault and not that we have handed off our nation to a Lord of the Flies existance. All in the name of we the people not holding on to the responsibility that goes with the power of individual will and self determination and they the avaricious gaining the power, for if you will not accept the responsibility, you will not hold the power with which it goes.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Yet another /. post of mine...

That's what we're becoming. So totally wrapped up in the idea that we have some sort of "right" to exist that after engaging in hundreds of years of logical scientific inquiry, finding mountains of evidence that the planet's weather is dynamic, vibrant, and above all fickle, that there are regular up and down periods of cold and hot, we then turn a blind eye to it and against everything we just spent all that time digging up, and proclaim that the world should always have been exactly as it was on June 17, 1931, in Passaic, NJ or something to that effect, and that we must move Heaven and Earth to make it stay that way.

Of course, I'm sure the ancestors of the present day people thought that as they watched the Earth begin to thaw from the last ice age, and the oceans rose to cover the continental shelves and give rise to the planet-wide myths about a globe covering flood. Except, they didn't have scientific evidence in huge piles of books showing that this sort of thing happens all the time regardless of what the bipedal monkeys are up to.

It has been warmer than this in the past. Much warmer. It has been colder than this in the past. Much colder. We know this for a fact. We know that this happens with or without our activities. And we know that there is NOTHING we can do at our present technological level about it. So why do we insist that we are the ones causing it when for over half a million years it happened several times and we've only had this supposedly evil technology for only less than

.0003 of that time?

Because the global warming is real and there are people in this world and always have been who want the masses to hand over power over their lives to them. And so they trot out to us a false premise, that we are totally responsible for an actually natural occurence in the long span of planetary history, and another one that they can save us from ourselves if only we give them the reigns of power. Seems like the phoney-baloney oil crisis that never happened in the 70s, the phoney-baloney global starvation crisis that never happened in the 60s, the phoney-baloney Communist scare of the 50s that was horsehockey, and ten million other crises.

It seems on the surface that we are supremely full of ourselves and yet in truth we are terribly dubious, completely without hope, and utterly given to embracing our own fallibility. There is no faith in ourselves in this idea that we caused global warming and still none in the idea that we can stop it. Only false hollow beliefs put forth to enrich the power of others.

Have faith in our progress and our natures that we are not so bad as we would think and as others would posit. We have greatness unknown and unmatched simply waiting to be explored. Once we dreamed of exploring the universe and doing so in style and comfort where now we dream simply of returning to primitive conditions lest Mother Earth shrug us off in anger over our insolence. Mother Earth is a nonentity and the physics of the world merely uncaring and indifferent to us. We cannot make the world stay in steady state, we can only live around it, and we are supremely capable of doing it. It was never of question if we can, but if we will.

There are problems with how we treat the environment, but growing the power of the state over the power of the individual, regressing to dreary primitive states, embracing inanities like hemp and bio diesel, and forgetting all the wonderous things we've thought up in the past to overcome each problem in turn, is to turn our back on being human, and all the best things about that. We can solve the problems and there need be no doom and gloom, and the solutions need not involve handing more power over to those who have far too much already and not nearly the wisdom to know what to properly do with it.

The world will shrug. We will move with it.

Monday, April 02, 2007

More evidence that our reasoning is seriously fucked up

(Solicitor General Paul) Clement also argued that the appeals court was correct in holding that aliens outside the United States have no rights under the U.S. Constitution.


And yet, when you go to a foreign nation where the age of consent is different and lower, if you have sex with someone of the proper age of consent in that jurisdiction, the fact that you are an American citizen means in the eyes of the US government, that you are bound by American laws and NOT the laws of the nation wherein the conduct at issue occurred.

In other words, American citizens are chattel, owned by the US government and beholden to it no matter where those citizens travel. Foreign citizens are chattel whenever captured. The ONLY difference: the US Constitution is held not to apply to them. Let me repeat, the ONLY difference between US and THEM is the federal government's whimsical interpretation of the moment as to whether the US Constitution applies to you or not.

THIS is why Guantanamo is BAD.

This is coming from a conservative Republican mind you.

Astronomy Picture of the Day