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Ron Paul Revolution!!!!

Discussion in 'News' started by vanfullofretards, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. Spambot5000

    Spambot5000 New Jack

    Joined: Aug 30, 2011 Messages: 86 Likes Received: 7
    “To be Governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be Governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality."
    Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century, 1851.
     
  2. Spambot5000

    Spambot5000 New Jack

    Joined: Aug 30, 2011 Messages: 86 Likes Received: 7
    This is a bizarre statement. In no way did Keynes invent capitalism. He critiqued existing economic thought on capitalism and informed a program for targeted governmental interventionist mechanisms.

    It is also unapparent how you claim to refute libertarians based on the contents of this post. I am interested to hear how you claim to achieve this end.
     
  3. McLovin

    McLovin Senior Member

    Joined: Mar 22, 2008 Messages: 1,963 Likes Received: 79
  4. Spambot5000

    Spambot5000 New Jack

    Joined: Aug 30, 2011 Messages: 86 Likes Received: 7
    That is very similar to a quote from Orwell. Ron Paul's a biter haha
     
  5. Soup forgot his password

    Soup forgot his password Member

    Joined: Jun 9, 2011 Messages: 738 Likes Received: 54
    Oops i could've done a bit of proofreading on that. By "capitalism" i meant to type "Keynesian economics" but I'm sure you could've guessed that from NUMEROUS discussions we've had within Crossfire regarding the many differences between Keynesian and Austrian economics and why it is that we use Keynes' more "optimistic" view of economics than Hayek's "pessimistic" one.


    I've argued with you before on the difference between Keynesian economics and Austrian economics, and I've made pretty clear that I think Peter Schiff and his cohorts of Austrian economists are fucking blowhards who like to pretend they're the only ones who saw the housing bubble forming before it burst. A lot of people did. Schiff does that kind of performance often, saying something obvious, pretending he's a genius for saying it, praising Austrian economics for letting him see it— It's ridiculous. Now I'm going a step further and suggesting that the debate about which one is better, Austrian or Keynesian, is absolutely the wrong debate to have.

    Keynesian economics vs Austrian economics, big government vs small government, Libertarians vs the rest of America— all of that doesn't even matter. Capitalism is a belief that only works if the consumer is rational, devoted to logic, emotionally detached from purchases, and understands what, "Self-interest" means. Nobody does anymore. Nobody. Look at the way we talk, the way we buy, the way we vote, the way we discuss things on the internet. We're a culture solely devoted to an entertainment-industrial-complex. There isn't a company anymore that doesn't rely on absurd entertainment-based commercials for their sales. We've come to accept absurdity as part of our culture. We think of car companies, newspapers , political parties, every company/group in the world as an entertainment brand and we buy into the brands that entertain us.

    It's the difference between George Orwell and Aldus Huxley. It's pretty clear Huxley vision for the future was right, not Orwell. We're not going to kill ourselves with too much authority. We're going to kill ourselves with by turning everything into a burlesque show.

    I can talk about this more when I'm not exhausted from it being 4:42 in the morning, or I can point you to my sources... IE the books I've posted in the Crossfire Book Thread. Or maybe we can do both. Also post your books and stuff in that thread. I know you have a couple.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
  6. Spambot5000

    Spambot5000 New Jack

    Joined: Aug 30, 2011 Messages: 86 Likes Received: 7
    Yo I appreciate the relatively positive tone. Good on you for not being condescending etc. I will absolutely maintain a similar disposition if you do too.

    I wouldn't say that Hayek has a pessimistic view of economics at all. Instead I would say that he has a very solid epistemological perspective which can be used to infer the limitations of the discipline.

    Peter Schiff does crow on a bit about calling the GFC/housing bubble. Ill grant you that. I consider him more of an entertaining speaker than a serious thinker.

    I'm not sure I can agree with your latter assessment. Before I can comment seriously, I would first like to know why you are talking about capitalism as a belief rather than an economic or political order? Second, I am interested to hear why you seem to infer that the desire to be entertained is irrational. Third, it might be prudent for you to define rationality as it is a slippery subject. Forth, to return to my previous request for clarification, I am still very unclear how your concern for this problem of an entertainment driven society works as a refutation to libertarianism.
     
  7. Spambot5000

    Spambot5000 New Jack

    Joined: Aug 30, 2011 Messages: 86 Likes Received: 7
    Since I came across this article I have found Chartiers definitional distinctions in the use of the word Capitalism quite useful in application to assessing discussion of political economy, so I thought I would share.

    "There are at least three distinguishable senses of “capitalism”:

    captalism1 an economic system that features personal property rights and voluntary exchanges of goods and services.

    capitalism2 an economic system that features a symbiotic relationship between big business and government.

    capitalism3 rule – of workplaces, society, and (if there is one) the state – by capitalists (that is, by a relatively small number of people who control investable wealth and the means
    of production)"

    Chartier, G., 'Advocates of Freed Markets Should Oppose Capitalism', 2010.


    These distinctions quite astutely shed light on why libertarians and modern liberals talk across each other when talking about capitalism. Generally speaking, capitalism 1 describes the economic order libertarians appeal to with reckless abandon. Yet, when non libertarians encounter this capitalist discourse, it is capitalism 2 and 3 that they interpret as being discussed. Chartier goes on to argue, and I would thoroughly agree, that in fact capitalism 1 is the antithesis of capitalism 2 and 3.
     
  8. Soup forgot his password

    Soup forgot his password Member

    Joined: Jun 9, 2011 Messages: 738 Likes Received: 54
    Changing the font because once you get to a certain word count Arial's a bitch on the eyes


    I'm not against libertarianism, per se. I'm not on some perceived opposing team. Libertarianism is the wrong argument. Who cares about governments and corporations if the people have forgotten what "self-interest" means? How can we vote, buy, do anything politically or economically if we don't even value rational thought? How is a 50 inch tv a good idea? I mean In general, the idea of a 50 inch flatsceen LCD tv with wifi and bluray and 3D glasses, what part of specifically THIS idea seems like it's a worth-while investment? I personally think Keynes and Hayek both would be facepalming it right now at the state of consumerism in America.

    You used the word "epistemological," Which is exactly what I want to talk about. How does Hayek determine what's the truth? How does Keynes determine it? Do either of their epistemologies function in a society of television epistemology? Think about the differences in the way we tell what truth is on TV compared to the printed word. When someone lies in a book you can easily nail them for it, because that's inherently what you do when you read. The medium of the book INSISTS on the reader critically analyzing the text. If there's something you don't understand in a book you CAN'T move ahead in the book.

    Now think about the epistemology of Television. If you don't belive we live in a television-language-based-society, not a text-based one, look no further than what we believe is an acceptable literacy rate. We willingly accept mexican children into our educational system who cannot read or write English. Whether that's the right or wrong thing to do is not the point. The point is that this is a sign that we do NOT rely on books to teach children. We rely on images and other multimedia. We rely on television.

    Television, like books, insists on a certain set of cultural values. Because television is broken down into tiny blocks, there is no time to think about what we just watched. There is also no way to depict thinking on television, so discussing abstract concepts like "capitalism" and "political theory" doesnt work. Episodes must be self-contained, so there cannot be a prerequisite to watching any show. This means that there cannot be educational shows that require any prior understanding of the material. The information on shows is therefore elementary at best and usually useless to people's lives, which is why shows like trivial pursuit have been so popular, because that's all that anyone can do with a mind-full of television. News stations on TV also have a hard time being taken seriously. The fact that they compete against television blocks that are showing entertainment material means news too has to be entertaining.

    I can go on listing examples, but for sake of time I'll jump to my point: A culture that focuses on television more than books does not value seriousness. It values entertainment. It cannot take anything seriously. It only values absurdity. It does not value rationality. It only values show business. That is the ideology of television. The epistemology of television is based on superficial aspects, usually a presenter's character. Compare that to the epistemology of Hayek or Keynes. For anyone else reading this, think about this: Would abraham lincoln, a morbidly disfigured bipolar giant with a screechy voice be elected for president? Of course not. He was elected at a time when people cared about the content of his writing. Today we care more about what president we have more in common with.

    Now look at our educational system. Teachers are trying to compete with entertainment and are forced to sacrifice academic lesson plans just to keep their student's attention. Since when does EVERYTHING have to be entertainment?

    Think about commercials too. The last time an advertisement focused on the key points of a product was the early 1900's. A great documentary on this is "The Century of Self." We dont sell products by the merit of the product. We sell products by what we percieve is a problem with the consumer. In other words we've gone from product research to "market" research. This has gone on so long that nobody remembers a time before this and has grown to accept the absurdity in advertising.

    Now think about the society we live in. People still smoke. We have entire cities built around the car. We somehow think computers are cheaper than books. We've reached a point where almost everything on the shelf in every store has little real practical value.

    It's hard then for a visual-image-based society like this one to return to a time when we discussed abstract concepts like capitalism. Capitalism is a metaphor, that like many metaphors, were created and exist solely in the printed word. If we were to lose the printed word completely we'd lose capitalism completely, because only a mind focused on reading can comprehend it. You cannot explain capitalism in pictures or oral tradition without it losing most of its meaning. Just like you cannot show thinking on television. By "belief" I mean it's an economic theory, an abstract concept that can only be perceived and understood in the mind. We are a culture who's lost most of our use for Books, and therefore we lost most of Books' metaphors. We are not a society of readers writing dissertations on and studying the meaning of other abstract concepts like "freedom" and "self-interest."
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
  9. McLovin

    McLovin Senior Member

    Joined: Mar 22, 2008 Messages: 1,963 Likes Received: 79
    ^ Reminds me of that movie "Idiocracy" with Luke Wilson. This might be irrelevant but are you familiar with the various forms of intelligence as far as how we learn? http://www.ldpride.net/learningstyles.MI.htm




    Haha right? I think he said it once and then it was immediately publicized. Its printed on Tshirts and so forth.. I researched and found out it was George Orwell who said it.

    Fixed* sort of
    [​IMG]
    I still really like the quote.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
  10. Soup forgot his password

    Soup forgot his password Member

    Joined: Jun 9, 2011 Messages: 738 Likes Received: 54
    Yeah. seen it many, many times. But see how you dont have the capacity to discuss with me what I'm talking about? All you can do is hyperlink a movie. You're lucky that I've seen the movie or have access to the movie otherwise you wouldn't be able to communicate at all. If I asked you to explain what you meant to someone who hasn't seen the movie you probably wouldn't be able to. You better hope nothing happens to movies or internet because if something did you'd lose your ability to speak.


    And what's with the Ron Paul propaganda poster? Shit looks like a counter strike advertisement.
     
  11. McLovin

    McLovin Senior Member

    Joined: Mar 22, 2008 Messages: 1,963 Likes Received: 79
    i understand fully of what you are talking about. ''the exclusive use of telivision contributng to the dumbing down of modern society'' TV vs. Books and/or proper inturpritation of the two yadayada or some shit.. you didn't need to write out an essay to explain that. easy on the insults prick
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  12. Spambot5000

    Spambot5000 New Jack

    Joined: Aug 30, 2011 Messages: 86 Likes Received: 7
    Soup, I appreciate the substantive post. Thanks for putting in the effort, and refraining from using unnecessary insulting language. To the other readers of this thread; take note, this is how Crossfire discussion should be conducted.


    My response will be divided into three parts. First I will outline why the trend towards a decline of abstract thought presented in your argument may not be as clear cut as you imagine. Second I will suggest that a class based analysis is useful in drawing attention to a lower strata of social change that has occurred within the broader, macro, narrative you have presented. Moreover, that it can be used to compliment my first point. Third I will outline why this narrative is not a challenge to either capitalism or libertarianism as it is premised on a weak conception of rationality, and over-states the degree to which abstract thought must be engaged in towards the operation of a capitalist system.


    To an extent I agree with you regarding the limitations on knowledge transmission in television media. Documentary series seem to represent the peak density of complexity and knowledge presented within a mainstream format. Yet, they do not come close to matching the depth to which text based learning can achieve. Yet, the difference is largely the audience to which a documentary series and a scholarly book appeal. Mainstream modern media represents an attempt to engage a mass market not historically achievable. In this sense, the lowered general tone of media to which you comment, I would suggest, is a factor of mass consumption on a level previously unknown. The audience has increased by an enormous factor, this drives the aggregate tone down, yet within this the amount and quality of scholarly literature continues to increase. Furthermore, certainly other forms of non-text based media are also exploding in accessibility. Academic Earth, Ted Talks etc, are forms of non-text based modern media that attempt to engage their viewers/listeners to a degree of depth largely unseen on television. This is due to the significant reduction in the cost of media production in recent times, which allows greater targeting of commercial media production. Due to a growing shift towards complexity in methods of service provision, media providers can now diversify from traditional user-pays, or free-content advertisement-funded models due to increased capacity to reach global specialised markets. Despite my distaste for these people, I would also alert you to the abundance of youtube channel (pseudo) philosophers who wax lyrical about anything and everything they can think of. While it does not address the problem of cognition you have noted in relation to the delivery of knowledge via A/V, this level of communication is absolutely modern media based, it represents forms of abstract discussion that would not occur if it weren't for modern technology - television included - and the media it has enabled. In this way it would be premature to lament the decline (death even?) of abstract thought, as abstract thought has shifted, diversified, and become accessible to many who have been traditionally excluded from it.


    This point leads me to return to what I see as the central flaw in this narrative; your assessment is overly focussed on macro trends which leads you to ignores the meso and micro elements which contribute to and confuse this issue. This is exemplified by employing the concept of social class within this narrative. Generally I tend to avoid class based analysis as I feel it can easily lead to speaking in absurd generalities, however I think in this case your argument is begging for it. Employing class, here, can divide between those who have eschewed text based media and those who haven't. Those in modern western societies who are tertiary educated do not fit so well within your narrative as they have maintained a strong link to text, and by both absolute and relative accounts greater numbers of people in the western world are now tertiary educated. This represents a broadening of the base of engagement with abstract ideals from a historical elite to an increasing social norm. As a provisional step to this last point, employing class here can also mark a sharp divide between those who have traditionally had a greater level of literacy and thus access to text. Literacy has always been strongest amongst the upper classes as they have both seen value in education and had the means to achieve it. Moreover, class draws attention to those societal segments who have historically engaged in abstract thought and discussion and continue to into the present. Marxian thinkers have long recognised the difficulty in engaging the proletariat in abstract thought. A central element to their movement is to engage the working class in abstract thought in so far as it is necessary for them to recognise their lot within a broader hierarchy of power, and, subsequently, act in order to design a more favourable outcome. In this sense, your lament is is the same as theirs and is likely to be one which is ahistorical rather than bound to the modern age; it is a desire to engage a broader base of people in the discussion of loftier ideals. Yet, when looking at this issue dispassionately, I think it is apparent that this is quietly being achieved.


    As I understand your argument is that libertarianism as a relevant concept is challenged by a decline in rational thought which you infer to be, at least to some degree, mutually exclusive of the desire to be entertained. Moreover, you suggest that capitalism is an idea which can only be achieved where rational thought - by your unknown definition – is prevalent. I do not agree with either of these assertions. I asked you to define rationality in my previous post as I feel it is a difficult issue and holds the potential to cause confusion between us on this issue. I would hold that the general definition of the word is something akin to acting sensibly in accordance with reason. However, I find this definition unsatisfying as it prompts the question; acting sensibly according to whom? Who decides what is in ones rational interest? I would suggest that this can only meaningfully be a subjective decision. If it is not, irrationality becomes a weapon to which anyone with little knowledge of another's context may employ against others in the service of their own ends. I feel that the way in which you have appealed to rationality in your post contains this problem. As an example, if I wish to buy a car, yet I also wish to be entertained, surely it is conceivable that I can make some form of trade-off between the quality of the car and my level of entertainment without being considered irrational. Even if I have only communicated my interest to you in buying a car, without stating my interest in entertainment, how is it just to judge my choice as irrational without knowing the depth of my decision making process? To avoid this trap, I would instead define rationality as acting in accordance with ones subjective interests. For myself and others who appeal to the methodological individualist tradition, this is a stronger approach to understanding rationality.


    Capitalism, as defined as a form of social order premised on free exchange, contractual arrangements and property rights, does not require each of its participants to engage in in substantive thought about its broader operation for it to operate succesfully. Only that the majority of its participants sees greater benefit to participating peacefully within it in accordance with their own interests. This has largely been the history of analysis of capitalism; it has been in operation long prior to scholars being able to articulate its workings. Hayek writes more generally on this issue, arguing that society can benefit from certain arrangements by way of evolutionary social fitness without necessarily fully understanding what it is doing that is so beneficial. In relation to your assertion that self-interest is an abstract concept difficult to grasp, I would suggest that this is a radical over-statement of its complexity. Acting in ones self interest is entirely intuitive, in fact, this is what makes a capitalist order so robust. It does not require a broader understanding of the general good, simply a desire to appeal to ones own good, in order to operate. “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” I'm sure you need no attribution for that quote.

    Peace
     
  13. Soup forgot his password

    Soup forgot his password Member

    Joined: Jun 9, 2011 Messages: 738 Likes Received: 54
    Once again, McLovin, the point is somewhat lost on you. I'm not insulting you. I'm not saying you don’t have the capacity to understand. I'm just saying you don't understand. Things can’t be summarized into a sentence. There is no way to condense that essay into a single sentence. So yes, I do have to write an entire essay, just as Spambot has to write out an entire essay to refute it. That’s how communication works.



    Spambot, I'll concede to you that the DVR may have changed the way we watch TV, but the content being watched are still just TV shows. Every TV show still has to work on a broadcast network so the information is still the same. It would be interesting to see a TV series that’s, “Made for On Demand,” and if that significantly differs from broadcast television.

    And I’ll concede that the Internet may allow for more communication, more ideas, and more information than television, but is that information truly better? Even on TED they have TV-like limitations for each lecture. Each presenter has about 14 minutes to speak and show images in hopes of persuading everyone that their idea is important, but ask yourself, what are they using to persuade you with? Are you receiving complete information in those 14 minutes? I would argue no, of course not. At most a TED presenter can cite an excerpt from their whole work alongside a video clip from a whole film, but there is still no way for a presenter to condense years of information into a 14-minute lecture. In fact 14 minutes is hardly a lecture at all. I think TED itself might concede this point as they prefer the term, “TED talks.” In the end all that has been accomplished is a waste of 14 minutes that could’ve been spent reading the book, which you would have to do anyway.

    TED is not for learning. It’s entertainment. It’s designed for the “casual learner,” someone who can’t be bothered to pick up a book, but if they learn something while watching a TV show, then it’s fine. My point is this: Thinking takes time. There is no way to "condense" information into a 14-minute YouTube video or a 30-minute TV show. The television and the Internet present an ideology of "speed," but you're not getting MORE information faster, you're just getting fragmented information thrown at you. The television has changed the very definition of "information" to "bits of data." What does that even mean, "bits of data,” And does it really have the same connotation as “information?”

    I apologize if I missed your underlying point in your 3rd paragraph but I’ll try responding to it. Yes, today’s college graduates have a higher level of reading and writing than today’s high school graduates. Yes, it does seem as though we have more college graduates today than we did in previous times. If we assume a college education is at least as good as it used to be, we can assume that America is more well read than it has ever been. This just isn’t true. Students who've grown up in an age of television have a harder time getting through schools. Teachers compete with other teachers to make education "fun" and "entertaining" while sacrificing core cirriculums. The undergraduate program across the country has been gutted academically and replaced with job training. The “Liberal arts” are a failing major and widely considered by today’s culture as “a waste of time.” Business management is becoming the most popular degree in the undergrad and graduate programs. Universities like UC Berkeley are cutting classes, reducing the size of the student body, raising tuition fees and spending those fees not on academics, but on campus amenities and sports equipment. Its not that we’re more educated, we’re just becoming lax on what we refer to as a college degree, while turning our academic institutions into trade schools of business management and managers of sports teams.

    You also point out that Karl Marx makes a remark that the lower class is incapable of understanding abstract thought. That’s one man’s opinion on a working class in another country. America in the 17th and 18th centuries were very literate across every class. Like I said, the pamphlet which started the American Revolution was written by the working-classman Thomas Paine. That pamphlet became america’s first best seller—120,000 copies in the first three months, 500,000 in the first year. Compare that to the population of that time, 2.5 million people. The only thing TODAY that comes close to those numbers is the superbowl. And if you read it, it’s not a Dr. Seuss book. If you don’t have what people today would call a “college-level reading comprehension” you can’t understand the text. Anyone with a thumb can turn on the Superbowl.

    In the 17th century we also had 3,000 lyceum lecure halls in the 15 original States. These lectures were were open to everyone of all background. You can think of them as the original TED talks, except they were free to all and weren’t invitation-only to the world’s elite. And think of the arts. Opera houses used to have penny seats for the lower classes. Now the lower classes don’t even care about opera. We were a thinking nation. Now we’re a watching nation.


    Now lets not stipulate a definition for rationality when lexical definition works just fine.
    1. Behavior guided more by conscious reasoning than by experience, and not adversely affected by emotions.
    2. Thinking process that employs logical, objective, and systematic methods in reaching a conclusion or solving a problem.
    3. Person who is not mentally imbalanced or under the sway of overpowering emotions, can draw logical inferences, and is capable of normal mental process of weighing pros and cons of an action, choice, or decision. Opposite of insane. See also Reasonable.

    Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/rational.html#ixzz1zPs8mrg6

    Reason has to do with a logical emotional detachment from the situation. Rationality is not "subjective" self interest. Self-interest is inherently objective.



    I also completely refute your definition of capitalism. “Capitalism, like science and liberal democracy, was an outgrowth of the Enlightenment. Its principal theorists, even its most prosperous practitioners, believed capitalism to be based on the idea that both buyer and seller are sufficiently mature, well informed and reasonable to engage in transactions of mutual self-interest. If greed was taken to be the fuel of the capitalist engine, then surely rationality was the driver. The theory states, in part, that competition in the marketplace requires that the buyer not only knows what is good for him but also what is good. If the seller produces nothing of value, as determined by a rational marketplace, then he loses out. It is the assumption of rationality among buyers that spurs competitors to become winners, and winners to keep on winning. Where it is assumed that a buyer is unable to make rational decisions, laws are passed to invalidate transactions, as, for example, those which prohibit children from making contracts. In America, there even exists in law a requirement that sellers must tell the truth about their products, for if the buyer has no protection from false claims, rational decision-making is seriously impaired.” (“Amusing Ourselves to Death,” Ch. 7 Read more: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B_KUmJa3qEXmSlM3dXZwQ1NvdDQ/edit )



    Actually, the next paragraph after that ties back into my original point so I’ll post that too,

    “Of course, the practice of capitalism has its contradictions. Cartels and monopolies, for example, undermine the theory. But television commercials make hash of it. To take the simplest example: To be rationally considered, any claim--commercial or otherwise--must be made in language. More precisely, it must take the form of a proposition, for that is the universe of discourse from which such words as "true" and "false" come. If that universe of discourse is discarded, then the application of empirical tests, logical analysis or any of the other instruments of reason are impotent. the move away from the use of propositions in commercial advertising began at the end of the nineteenth century. But it was not until the 1950's that the television commercial made linguistic discourse obsolete as the basis for product decisions. By substituting images for claims, the pictorial commercial made emotional appeal, not tests of truth, the basis of consumer decisions. the distance between rationality and advertising is now so wide that it is difficult to remember that there once existed a connection between them. Today, on television commercials, propositions are as scarce as unattractive people. The truth or falsity of an advertiser's claim is simply not an issue. “

    And to summarize what I said before about Libertarians; It's not that I oppose their ideology. Just as Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny, "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  14. Spambot5000

    Spambot5000 New Jack

    Joined: Aug 30, 2011 Messages: 86 Likes Received: 7
    I don't have time to write a full response to each of the issues I would like to address here. Ill just make a few brief points.

    Re; Tedtalks. My point was that it is designed to reach a far broader audience. If it takes a 15 minute, entertaining, format to engage those who would not have otherwise picked up a book on the subject then it has succeeded; abstract thought now has a broader base. This is symbolic of the broader issue. I do not think that the phenomenon you are describing is a process of the world being dumbed down, instead it is that a vastly wider audience is now engaged - which has perhaps dragged the average quality of media down.

    Re; Rationality. We have had similar problems in our discussions in the past. I maintain here that past a certain depth of discussion the dictionary definition of a word may be rendered useless, or at best a loose reference point. There has been extensive philosophical discussion over the meaning of rationality, and the extent to which rationality is possible. For clarity I stated my position within this debate. You claim that rationality is objectively measurable, yet, I feel, have not been able to articulate satisfactory 'how' and 'why'. In contrast, I am uncertain about the possibility for objective measurement of rationality. In so far as I think this measurement may be possible, I would suggest it would be far more complex than you might imagine. This is as I hold rationality to be subjectively bound and that subjective experience is not fully communicable. I would not deny your perspective, but I ask the courtesy not to deny mine either.

    Following this point, we continue to talk across each other when it comes to the operation of rationality within capitalism. You appeal to capitalism 'working' or 'failing' as if it has an end goal independent of serving a network of subjective interests. I disagree with this. As I have stated, capitalism operated long before it was articulated. It emerged in market places and across trade routes as an order born of free exchange and the mutual acceptance of private property. It was not designed with a goal in mind, but stumbled upon through a long chain of iterative events. That it was later analysed, articulated, and adopted as a policy for economic governance only added to its proliferation. Yet, also confused this original purpose; property, free exchange and the capitalist order which arises from theses elements is a social mechanism which serves peaceful inter-subjective desires. Individual ends are achieved through the means of exchanging goods and services.
     
  15. Soup forgot his password

    Soup forgot his password Member

    Joined: Jun 9, 2011 Messages: 738 Likes Received: 54
    While you think TED reaches a broader audience, this is not true. Books held a monopoly on public discourse in the 17th and 18th century and everyone simply read books. 1 in 3 Americans bought the first best seller in the first year of its publishing. Thats an audience TED only wishes it could attain. Also, the problem we have today where everything NEEDS to be entertaining didn't exist in the 17th and 18th century and therefor we didnt have this need to simplify the entirety of human knowledge into a 14 minute burlesque show and still call it "knowledge." Entertainment doesn't allow for serious disquisition. It doesnt allow for real analysis. It doesn't allow for rational thought. The written word however DOES allow for those things and is the reason why since the age of Plato and Aristotle we've relied on the printed word for all matters regarding serious discourse.

    And I think this might help:

    ir·ra·tion·al   [ih-rash-uh-nl]
    adjective
    1. without the faculty of reason; deprived of reason.
    2. without or deprived of normal mental clarity or sound judgment.
    3. not in accordance with reason; utterly illogical: irrational arguments.
    4. not endowed with the faculty of reason: irrational animals.

    Rational means conscious, objective, logical reasoning. Lets not confuse rationality with irrationality. If you want to argue that people are not capable of rationality, fine, but the word doesn't change definition.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
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