notes 4 today: 2016-12-09 (Absolute Power Corrupts?; White Supremacy Overstated?; Dreaming Waking Sequencing; Immanent Critique Despite No Imminent Critique of Passive Podcast Listening)

title: Absolute Power Corrupts?

In contrast to the saying “absolute power corrupts absolutely”, I think there would be more counter-examples than examples of this phenomenon happening but for history’s inability to grasp all of the past. More often then not there were men and women who stood at the brink of great power and nobly walked away from it. These un-famous people would not be recalled when doing a tally to find principles such as “power corrupts”, but I think they are a great lesson that there isn’t an inevitability that we will always be sought to be dominated over, and that there are many more unknown and unspoken heroes than we could possibly count. The human will towards domination is not endemic, it is merely cultural, especially in western culture which has seen itself rise, but it is failing as we speak, perhaps giving more credence to the idea put forth here. The pronoia more often than not overwhelms and puts forth a flood of decency rather than allowing paranoia to surface and spur one on to despotism, for lust of power and fear of others.


title: White Supremacy Overstated? (meme)

0008 - Pride, Nationalism, or Supremacy.jpg

Note on meme: I understand that this is a controversial meme and runs in the face of so many of the fears (and I myself am a white male, so am I perhaps under-sensitized to the threat? Quite possibly!). However, I do feel the fears are stoked by other fascistic tending groups, that for lack of a better word I will call “political correctness fascists”. Evidence of their power are my reservations in even posting this timely meme. It is true that just one white supremacist armed with a gun is a threat to many many lives, as has been proven, and I abhor the weapon/culture more than the misguided person who was able to access it. But all things considered, their “white supremacy” culture isn’t so grand and so mobile yet to persuade the other 99.9% voters of Trump—only a minority of whom might even have “white pride”—in to the radical stance of white supremacy. They are an economically poor and impotent group unless their foes, and those that would use them as a ruse, keep giving them negative empowerment, negative attention, and galvanize more to join them. This certainly will happen if there is a great antagonistic force to meet the people who come out to support Trump’s inauguration.


title: Dreaming Waking Sequencing

A phenomenon worth noting for its implications on the very foundations of how temporality is understood is the confused causal/consequential ordering of dreams and immediate waking. When I have dreams I remember really well, I am actually in the dream experiencing it fully in a way comparable to my waking conscious usually only when I awake what appears to be soon after the time of my entering that level of consciousness in the dream. To put it differently, the dreams that I only get conscious access to as they unfold (rather than just mere remembering of the dream) are the dreams that will end temporally close to my becoming awake, often because of some external stimuli such as a noise from outside my apartment. It seems that for me to be consciously experiencing in my dream, it must be determined by something happening in the future (backwards influencing causality). There are other explanations such as I was already starting to wake up during the dream, and the fully awake state was already emerging, or criticisms that there isn’t banal causality anyways and there is more of a holism about this and all scenarios than a mere forward or backward causality. But being an intuitive type really trying to get at the honest fabric of the Universe, the former explanation does not feel particularly right, and the criticism, albeit possibly true, is perhaps too vaguely formulated.


title: Immanent Critique Despite No Imminent Critique of Passive Podcast Listening

Podcasts specifically—but all radio shows and extrapolating to large in vivo forums where it is not culturally expected for responses to be made to a speaker—put a person’s critical faculties at bay because of the very structure of the one-way communication. The dynamic is akin in many regards to deterrence theory (and also somehow similar to the dream-wake disordering mentioned in the note above), whereby the lack of an ability to follow through with the critical action puts to rest even the generation of the critical precursors in thought: one does not gather arrows when the bow is broke. People listen very passively, and allow the speaker to wiggle deeply in to their enduring thinking processes. Later on they will be propagating the ideas, saying to a friend “I forgot where I heard, but…”. The scientist in me (that has wiggled in to me) has the hypothesis that a brain scan would show different or less brain activity in a person who has on earbuds listening to a podcast versus a person who has on earbuds and is listening to a phone call where a potential vocal reply is lurking in their call’s future.

Radio and podcast listeners are generally very open to new ideas and thoughts anyways, which is why they are seeking the thoughts and ideas of others to begin with, but I think ultimately they allow themselves to be many more degrees open than they would be comfortable with, without any say in the matter. Education can stray in to miseducation easily enough.

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Speaking Out Against Upcoming Moments of Silence

Monday morning November 16, 2015 will be the time when across much of the western world the Paris attacks become officiated and legitimized as terrorist attacks by institutional heads on loudspeakers, such as principals and CEOs who feel it is incumbent on them to say something. Some of the more anxious of these “leaders” are right now mulling over what to say so that they are accurate and general enough on their facts, with a degree of compassion, and also inserting some resolution and embodiment of the institution’s core values. The one item that most will be sure to turn to is the age old “Moment of Silence”.

Speaking Out To The Silence, Walking Out?

If the weakly institution I currently find myself in attempts to have a moment of silence Monday—we do not have loudspeakers so the person calling for it would be in vivo—I will be saying the following roughly, if my courage shows up:

“I am not okay with giving silence to these particular victims when our world loudly and uninterruptedly talks right over the thousands of daily victims who succumb to starvation, thousands unjustly killed in traffic accidents, and the thousands killed by gun violence and governmental weapon abuses. I expect to hear a lot more moments of reflective silence on these daily systemic victims before I acquiesce to give silence to one specific, infrequent, and quite honestly misunderstood grouping of victims. One last thing as for prevention, as this event is being called a terrorist attack, I offer the intelligent words of another: The best way to stop terrorism is to stop participating in it.” (I will decide then whether or not to walk out based on the reception, if any, to what I have said; I wanted to also mention something like coral reef bleaching and other ecological disasters but think the audience would then be pushed away)


Contextualizations:

1) There has been such a numbing to normalized violences—perhaps ushered in by two world wars though probably starting earlier—in the human psychological environment, that it is no wonder much of what is truly silenced will never have a moment of reflection for its ceasing to exist. Paris, as with cities in general, is an accretion of human-only systems that silence by slaughtering a wider holistic eco-system. Because humans depend on eco-systems whether they admit it or not, eco-systems far away from cities like Paris need to be subjugated for human needs—mostly food and heating supplies—thus a large impetus for colonialism/imperialism that still goes on de facto through corporatized globalization. People—not to mention animals and other things that would draw sympathy from us—die daily in these places of systematic exploitation and sometimes as the result of a proxy war die in the thousands. France has very bloody hands in this respect with places such as Algeria and Vietnam, but I would not presume to blame the Parisians of Friday night for the atrocities of their forebears. However, by the very fact of their living and employing a city they have inherited and are acutely furthering a proven-deadly system that will naturally give them enemies. Because of the nature of their system, however, their enemies will generally be too weak to ever do anything to them. It’s a one way stream and they are generally the ones on the toilet not in the sewer.

2) This event happened in the backdrop of a Western European theater where Russia is boldly involved, and seems to have plans for corralling in as many countries under it’s domain through use of it’s energy supplies. Russia now has the pretext for an even greater involvement in Syria if it wants, as now they can maybe say they will go and take on ISIS because the United States seems to be helping the organization grow larger (I won’t speculate further on this point…). If an accurate text on the history of this era is ever written, it will certainly find both the events of Russia’s 2015 forays in Syria and this terrorist attack highlighted on a chronology of related events.

3) This was an attack of civilized people on civilized people. They both (or all, not limited to 2) may have very different ideas of civilization and come from different epochal idealizations, but they all share civilization and its attraction to using advanced weaponry. To the extent that religion is involved for some of the individuals, that too is a civilized activity that informs many violent acts. Civilization by its very nature is violent, and so long as it continues, so too unfortunately will violences like these and others that are not seen but are felt by its victims.

4) One penultimate note—and this may just be in the “ranking” of how particularly evil we want to tell ourselves these people are (I’m sure this will inflame anyone who lost anyone in these attacks) —is a curiosity to me that they chose a night time attack in a place where there would certainly be a limited amount of children to no children at all. If you want to see this as an act of war as French President Hollande said it was, then you have to note they weren’t attacking children and were either intentionally or unintentionally doing that, perhaps to avoid damage to their image or perhaps because they are not anti-human, just anti Paris, France, whatever larger enemies they believe they have and are fighting.

5) A final note on November 20: a presumed dichotomy exists in the western mind that I attempted above to shine light on with the vocal rejection of a moment of silence, namely between acceptable and unacceptable victims. The moments of silence are to be for those unacceptable casualties that are supposed to emotionally move westerners as they somehow challenge their core values; acceptable victims, on the other hand, are those overlooked casualties that I spoke of that are not mourned for or considered by any great many people, despite the violent and preventable deaths they have to succumb to. These acceptable victims are rationalized as a cost of doing business, or somehow other kept off of the radar screen so as to not interrupt the smooth flow of operations with “unnecessary” emotions.