Looking back at Egypt - before the coup - this would have been a great chance to convince Muslims that violence isn’t their only option.
Just saw that Eddy Shah has said that abused girls can be to blame. This is going to go badly for him, which is a shame because the point he is making - which is the dismissal of the adult’s blame in these situations - is correct. But thanks to most peoples’ notion of free will and understanding of moral responsibility, that blame can’t just disappear. It has to be transferred.
Since Eddy has experienced the trauma of being blamed for this situation, he has no option in today’s society other than to blame the minor. What follows will be the continual, public dehumanization of Eddy Shah until the day he dies. That is a tragedy.
Thank god we won’t be having these debates when politics catches up with math and science, leaving us altogether without the notion of evil/free will.
I just learned about ‘made snana’, a tradition in India wherein the poor believe they can be healed by rolling in the leftovers of upper class food.
I came across someone saying that, so long as it is voluntary, it does no harm.
Are you kidding me.
If you take away only one sentence from this post, it should be that homophobia is a good thing. Because I would rather people who form views without reading thoroughly to be hilariously wrong rather than only a little wrong.
So Russia is getting a lot of attention, for two reasons. They have sheltered Snowden and it is an ugly place for homosexual people. Although perhaps it is just one reason.
After all, is Russia the only homophobic nation on earth? Either that, or there is some other reason that their homophobia is suddenly getting so much attention. It didn’t suddenly come into existence. But I am not interested in excusing the Russian government. Instead, I am going to praise them, not in spite of their homophobic laws but precisely because of them. And in doing so I will either teach a few people what governments are actually meant to do or attract a horde of raging bloggers or both.
I will begin with a simple statement that few would debate: the only mandate of democratic government is to represent and enact the will of the people.
It is not to protect us at any cost. It is not to make us more moral. It is not to fix global warming. It is only those things if the people want it to be those things.
Consequently all anger expressed at the Russian government is either ignorant of how deeply homophobic Russian society is or is intentionally or ignorantly proposing that a government should be attacked for passing immoral laws.
There are countless things I believe need to change in society and government but all of these agendas are secondary to getting this most simple thing right: that we are aware of the kind of government we have and that we have control over it. If you don’t think that comes before every other possible political agenda, you’ve lost the plot.
I am sure there are a few people who intend their criticisms to be for Russia as a whole, but after a while of seeing this I would confidently assert that 90% of the media’s coverage is designed to contrast the Russian government with the US government, as if the crimes of the US government are dim in comparison to how the Russian government treats homosexual people.
This is painfully ironic. There is only one thing that government needs to get right: representation. The rest is the responsibility of society as a whole and can only be dealt with in the inevitably slow process of transforming society. This one thing is the one thing that Putin’s administration is getting right - and getting this one thing wrong is what makes the US government so despicable and dangerous.
While Russia and its government will eventually be transformed, if nothing changes they will eventually be far ahead of the US on every moral issue because the US government has created a culture of shepherding rather than obeying the people.
In response to this in facebook note form my friend Dimentio said, ‘I agree with you to the extent that it’s good for Russia’s government to be following the will of it’s people. But I disagree in that we should still condemn it, and argue against it, in that we might win over Russia’s population through discourse, and influence policy change.’
I didn’t go into my opinion on whether we should condemn Russia as a society so I will do that now. My position is simply that, while I don’t get annoyed every time a friend attacks Russia, I believe condemning an ideological enemy strengthens rather than weakens that ideology.
It is one thing for France to condemn Germany or the UK to condemn the US, but the West condemning China or Russia actually just increases nationalist views. This is because we not only tend to align our views with our own ‘team’ but also form them in contrast to our enemies. You might think that Russia/China vs. the West is a thing of the past but you would be wrong.
What condemning there is to do ideally needs to be done explicitly from a non-nationalist perspective, so if an American or Brit is going to vocally condemn Russia, it has to be explicitly said as a human rather than as a Brit or as an American. There is an extent to which individuals joining the internet chorus of anger accomplishes this. But a Western government condemning Russia accomplishes nothing. Nothing good.
I have been mostly quiet on Nonviolent Communism for a year now. My belief in it has not diminished, but another conviction has gradually taken precedence. I realized today how best to communicate that conviction.
I will start with clarifying that under no circumstances would I like to live under the North Korean regime. If there is one thing that people on almost every side of almost every debate can agree on these days, it is that we would rather not live under the North Korean regime. But there is something priceless that North Korea has been doing for the world during the last few decades, and it is something that we need more of. Much, much more of. In fact, it may be the thing the human race needs most.
That something is Science. Over the last century, the scientific method has come to dominate almost every area of human knowledge, with at least one very notable exception: the organization of human society. The scientific method in this area is often reduced to flippant references to the fall of the Soviet Union: ‘See, Communism didn’t work. Therefore, Global Capitalism.’
There are two glaring fallacies here, and forgive me while I note them (I assure you that the defense of Communism is nothing to do with my main point): firstly, that everything that Communism is and could be was encapsulated in that one system, and secondly, that what such a person thinks of as Communism is the only alternative to a version of Capitalism. If you paid attention to that, you might be thinking that the two fallacies are essentially the same, but there is a crucial difference. The difference is this: the second fallacy is worth debating; the first is not.
What I mean is this: it does not matter whether the word we use is Communism. Again I will reiterate that neither Communism nor another word in place of Communism is my point. But it is important to frame my point within a rejection of the semantics. People on every side of the debate must stop clinging to words: they have become like a football team that you support no matter what. You support them when the manager changes, when new players come in and old players leave. Over the course of your life, you might have watched every part of a football team other than the logo transform into something else, and yet week after week you attend the matches because you are dedicated to the word. Not the players, not even the team in general. Just the word.
So thank God for North Korea, a tangible demonstration of a thing we do not want. So what if they call it Communism!? We know that it is a thing that we do not want, and we should be very grateful that we can know this so certainly. This is the scientific method: you try something and see if the results are desirable. If not, you try something else. If we get many more North Koreas – systems that utterly buck the trend – we might actually find something worth keeping.
And why not!? I do not see a good reason not to break countries into simultaneous experiments. No one seems to be happy with the way things are, and everyone seems to think that this perpetual state of disagreement is inevitable. It is not inevitable: we can, through the power of trial and error, keep trying something new until that desirable thing catches our attention, we see it happening before our eyes, and eventually there are no debates left to be had regarding its practicality and its results.
But we must discard the words. One thing that I know would be much worse than Capitalism is if we were to all try one idea of Communism everywhere right now. The idealists are all so divided that it would signal a final end for every version of the Communist ideal. And the same for every other ideal. Let me be brutally honest with you: if we tried what the Tea Party wants and the results were desirable, I’d be just as happy. Genuinely. This is the power of the scientific method: our sharp disagreements before the experiment cease to matter. It is the only such approach that both has a chance of working and of allowing those who argued for something else to be won over.
We have learned by now that is it the winning over that matters. This is the failure of the ideals thus far: the incredible underestimation of the power of disbelief. We will tolerate incredibly unjust systems if we can only be convinced that nothing else would work. We will tolerate absurd leaps of logic in the justification of our own system if we just accept that the alternatives are impossible or worse. Science is the only response to this – even if you are 100% convinced that the experiment will not work, you do it anyway.
We need political parties separate from left and right. Parties of people who will stop insisting that they know what will work best and instead promote a willingness to put everyone’s ideas to the test. I can imagine that would take a ridiculously long time and I’m not suggesting everyone stops voting for what they believe to be best, but that those of us who would like to see this realized communicate with each other until such a time that we are numbered enough to be heard.
Welcome to the Cawwm Project, where you and I will create an intricate fantasy world from start to finish. Our first world will be tolkienesque with some features predetermined by myself to kick it off, but if it is successful the next world will be entirely decided by you all.
Yes, this will be messy. But note that our finished project will not be treated like Evangelicals treat the Bible, as if one guy wrote it all. We will recognize and celebrate the variety of styles, and where the records conflict, it will be understood to be human error.
How it will work
Once this post reaches 100 notes, a single post will appear on this blog, exactly as below:
The Deities 
2. Associated Quality(s)/Virtue(s)
3. Favored Deeds
4. Disdained Deeds
2. Hard Work, Patience, Persistence
3. Working hard
4. Stealing, Hastiness
These deities will eventually be associated with many other features of our world. For example, they will each be associated with particular elements, which can only happen once the elements have been decided. The blogger who wins this deity nomination will also make these other decisions for their deity.
Note that these deities don’t need to actually exist - they only need to be worshiped by our primary race (to be decided later). We will decide whether these gods actually exist later.
‘’ is the number of deities that will be chosen. Each blogger may only nominate one.
The nominations will all be published at the same time once more than 14 (an arbitrary number) have been submitted. Nominations after that may still win but will be at a disadvantage. The winning nominations will be those with the most notes.
The Cawwm Project will begin once this post gains 100 notes.
Remember this? Reposting this to see if there are more people interested than there were last time.
If the fiscal cliff triggers a crisis that triggers a war that triggers a nuclear armageddon, the Mayans will deserve full credit for their relatively accurate prediction.
I have been voicing my opinion on Facebook for the last few days and have become so angry that it is time for a Tumblr rant lest I utterly renounce my real-life friends and relatives.
I’m sure many of my friends have been outspoken in realms other than Facebook and a few of them have done so there too, but speaking for my general experience over the last few days, ‘Christian’ is now a label I would be ashamed of.
I understand those of you who want to fight for what a word originally meant, but in my opinion this word is becoming too tarnished, too repulsive to be associated to.
It is stunning that a Christian could spend any time arguing for the right of a nation to return violence with violence, i.e that Israel is justified in returning last night’s 10 rockets with 180 rockets. It is also stunning that in reply to this point, Christians continue to argue that America or the UK would do the same. I do not fucking care whether the violence is acceptable when compared to the norm. My point is that you call yourself a Christian and this means nothing. You cannot mean the word in any literal sense. Yes, it was understandable when Israel fired back and it was understandable when the US and the UK went into Iraq - completely ignoring any other motives any of these nations might have had, yes, it was fucking ‘understandable’ when we consider how ignorant the majority of humans still are or have chosen to be to the nature of violence.
Christians can choose to ignore how far back the spiral of violence goes and how futile it is to continue it, but if they do, their claim to the word ‘Christian’ is a joke. I don’t care how you interpret the Bible; you have to be holding it upside-down to come to the conclusion that Jesus would not be rejecting Israel’s violence. But this joke has been repeated seriously so often that there is no longer anyone laughing.
I am exhausted with criticizing oblivious Christians. I’m starting to give up. Is there any hope for the label or is my community unrepresentative of Christians as a whole?