Sunday, April 21, 2013

Is the Power to Convince Bad?

This will be an incomplete post because I am tired. I just did not want to lose this information. I remembered this idea that I forgot weeks ago, when I was reading a review about a new television show that caught my interest called Defiance. I came to realize that all reviews are an attempt to impose one's opinion on others. They do not merely supply raw data but also interpretation. I had an interesting thought about a world where that was not possible. I am currently trying to understand what that world would be like to determine whether the power to control opinion is an inefficiency in human communication.

Update: I decided that this power is definitely not an inefficiency.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Certainty and Truth

So, I was sitting at my computer writing some code and talking to myself about unrelated things. And randomly, one of the unrelated things I was saying brought this idea to light. I cannot be sure of what exactly I was thinking, since the better part of my mind was devoted to the code I was dealing with, but somehow, the word "truthfully" substituted in my mind for "certainly."

And that caused me to pause and consider the sentence. I thought, is that the wrong word? How did this mistake occur?

I came to conclude that in fact certainty and truth are interchangable. Truth is a certainty. Furthermore, and this was the real interesting part. Certainty is a truth!

Think about it. Think about any particular idea of which you are completely certain. Is that a true idea? Is it reflected in the language of the external universe? In fact, it certainly is.

And if it is not, if someone is certain of an idea that is not true, then the certainty is an illusion. Conversely, if a true idea is not certain, then its truth is an illusion. If no one (all entities must be included in this argument) can be sure of an idea's certainty, then no one can be sure of an idea's truth. In the case where certainty cannot be achieved, I urge everyone to default to false! The alternative involves creating the illusion of certainty for an idea that may not be true. This, to me, is worse than simply being uncertain.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Eliminating Higher Levels of Inheritance

Imagine that red were the only color in the entire world. Everything you saw were some shade and luminosity of red. Would the world forget the meaning of color? Would then color simply mean, "redness?" I believe this is true.

Now imagine the same situation, but instead of eliminating color, eliminate red, green, and blue. Only color exists. Does red then still have a meaning? No, it does not; but it still exists, and it is still beautiful, more beautiful, arguably, than it would have ever been were it simply reduced to "redness." Color is so much more beautiful than any of its elements.

We should not be colorblind. Black and white become so boring. We should be "colorsblind." What is red to me, besides a feature of something more beautiful that we call color? Red should not even exist, because it is ugly except where it is simply a part of color.

Enlightenment means to lose awareness of the mundane and to appreciate fully everything that is greater.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I have a Dream, and I had a dream.

I just had this really weird dream about becoming a zombie and convincing the government not to kill all the zombies. There were some really interesting ideas in this dream. For instance, I was able to talk to the officer in charge of exterminating the zombies in my area, and I argued that he did not check his targets. If a zombie happened to look like him, he would shoot anyway. He argued he always checked his targets, and he pointed at his soldiers, noting the differences in colors between their uniforms. I had not noticed that before.

I asked him why he shot the zombies, and the answer became clearer and clearer that he shot the zombies because he was afraid of them. I told him I was afraid of him as well and that there was no reason to shoot zombies. Then the carnage stopped, and all the zombies were able to return to their lives before the outbreak, albeit this time as members of the undead.

This dream has disturbed me, however, and I will be taking down all my posts temporarily until I can figure out what it means. That's a strange reason for taking down a lot of blog articles, but they were strange blog articles and a strange dream. If you were following my blogs (and I don't think anyone really was.) But if you were, I apologize for the inconvenience. Figure out who I am, contact me, and I will send you a copy for your records.

Ethnocentrism: a problem of classification

A Nation... is a group of persons united by a common error about their ancestry and a common dislike of their neighbors
                           Karl Deutsch, Nationality and Its Alternatives, 1969

I had this weird thought yesterday. I had been thinking about my recent post and how a certain claim of ethnocentrism can merely be evaluated as a distaste for irrationality. I began to think about all the racists in this world and whether they unknowingly fall into the same trap, believing that some myth of heritage defines them as an identity separate from the greater universe. I thought about the real life white supremacists. Do they hate black people because of some mistaken idea they have about their own heritage? What defines a white person that makes him or her exclusively separate from a black person?

Is it purely behavior? In that case, black people who behave like white people ought to be considered white. But I have found this is not usually the case --- especially when the black person in question holds tightly onto a competing racial definition. By that I mean, most black people who act white do not consider themselves to be white, which one might imagine is a part of white culture. If no white people considered themselves to be white, the culture would have no framework. But let's say for the sake of argument that a black person both considers himself to be a white person and behaves that way. Would most white people think he is white? I think not. In this way, it can be said that race is not an "ethnicity" at all! It is far stupider than that.

Is it purely appearance?  In that case, a black person who happens to look exactly like a white person would be a white person. In this case, we can tell the person is "black" because both parents are "black." At first, this explanation seems very sound. If two black people gave birth to a red-headed, blue-eyed daughter, it would be front page news: "Black Couple Give Birth to White Baby!" However, the answer is a little trickier than that. For example, we have all seen white people who act black, and people consider them to be white-black people, which is different than white people. These people might even face persecution from white people! So, appearance is a much bigger factor than culture. Yet even that explanation falls short. Would a Brazilian who looks exactly like a Scientologist also be a Scientologist? (I fear the day that Scientology might actually have its own inbred characteristics.)

Or, is it some myth about heritage? In that case, anyone who can "prove" their relatedness to this mythology can claim membership in the group. This explanation actually makes a lot more sense than the other two. The answer is that it is pure culture, which means that ethnocentrism is actually an affiliation with an irrational set of rules. Let's say I am a white man, but I am able to convince the black community that since my ancestors were West African, I share in their current and past oppression. I even love fried chicken! I think this would ultimately make a white man a black man, if he could convince other black people that he shares in their mythological history. The history does not even have to be true, and of course, it almost never is.

Ethnocentrism is intrinsically a problem of classification. Culture obscures the inter-relatedness of all people through mythological group history, and these cultures blossom into fully functional, hateful and exclusive races. They have little to do with behavior, except that rules, even irrational ones, tend to create behavioral conformity. And appearance certainly does not explain what it means to be white. (Or else what are Jews and Armenians?) Culture is really the only explanation for all of this bloodshed, economic and social persecution, and outright egotistical stupidity. Culture doing what culture does best.

So how about we celebrate the multiplicity of these irrational entities? Or not.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The origin of "anti-Semitism"

I posted this on wikipedia, but I am pretty sure that it will be deleted:


In order to fully understand the origin of the term, "anti-Semitism," one must become familiar with the origin of its root term, "Semitism." Etymologically speaking, the term Semite extends from a Biblical reading of history in which the eldest son of Noah, Shem, left decendendants who would inhabit the Mediterranean. Though most historians consider Shem, Abraham, and Noah to be mythological, in the story, Noah temporally precedes Abraham. Jews define themselves as the group decending from Abraham, who while living contemporaneously with Noah for a period of about 60 years, enters the story long after Noah's generation.

So, according to the Bible, Shem beget descendents who did not beget Abraham. In fact, in Genesis 10 and 11, the Bible lists all 5 mythological children of Shem and 9 subsequent generations from his children. After 9 generations, Abraham has still not been born.

To understand why Germans would later refer to the Jewish people as, "Semites," one must understand that the Jews themselves gave themselves this definition from their religious texts. The term is one that stems from a mythological figure in Jewish religious works. As a whole, this sort of Biblical racial mythology greatly resembles the raceology of the early 20th century. These two philosophies, which could be defined as tribalism and raceology, complemented each other, and so members from each school of thought were able to use some of the terms from the other.

In reality, the term "anti-Semitism" can be evaluated as being similar to a term like, "anti-Aryanism." The parallel can be brought one step further by considering the origin of the term, "Aryan," which derives from a Sanskrit word meaning "noble." In fact, Hindus, Bengals, and Italians can all be considered "Aryans," even though the term has become exclusively associated with the Nazis.


Some of my other posts might evoke the term, "anti-Semitism," so I want any potential readers to know exactly what they are saying and what history they give life to when they use such a term.

Edit: It took less than 5 minutes for someone to delete this from wikipedia. I called him a racist, but I think he already knows and definitely does not care. Or maybe he's an idiot. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.