Wednesday, December 21, 2011

All Hail the Invisible Hand!

The Great Metaphor for the collective actions of humanity in the absence of aggression.

That's the though I had when I read this passage of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell (p. 241, hardcover):
In mythology, whenever the Unmoved Mover, the Mighty Living One, holds the center of attention, there is a miraculous spontaneity about the shaping of the universe. The elements condense and move into play of their own accord, or at the Creator's slightest word: the portions of the self-shattering cosmic egg go to their stations without aid.
I like my words better, this is quite a ways into the book - the preceding 240 pages make sense of the weird sounding stuff. The rest of the paragraph is certainly true of people's understandings of each other's thoughts and actions throughout history, but I'm completely down with these first couple sentences.

...And, since I started this during family time, naturally I can't finish it. It's time to attend to the needs of my loved ones.

Hey! Solstice! 11:30 PM tonight (CST)

Very nice article here.

Are your robes clean?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I said this on FaceBook

Libertarianism is the philosophy that all bullying is wrong. A thought I had while listening to Porc Therapy.

It works better on Facebook. I wanted the link in there, though.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A wonderful tribute to Lysander Spooner

It's called "A Toast to Lysander Spooner". There's other good stuff on that page that explain 'our' perspective as well.

Well, crud. I tried to post the audio directly, but it doesn't seem to work.

Havel outlives Kim

in years anyway. Havel beat him in value produced for humanity as well.

I was thinking about why they ousted Havel. I think I'll have something to say, later.

Lynx schminx.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The trouble with

football analogies is that there's no clock in this game. And no boundaries to the field - the stands, the locker room, the parking lot and the road from your house to the field are all in bounds.

But it would certainly be unwise to completely ignore your point, Mr. Callahan - you've earned your bona fides [link to a pdf of his book there]. The theory has to explain the anomalies.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hey! It's Bill of Rights Day!

Highest Law of the Land, ya'll!

[No, not rap. Actually the radio's playing the sappiest collection of holiday songs (not Christmas Carols) you ever heard. Probably why my inner Gangsta Rappa has taken over my keyboard.]

Thursday, December 08, 2011

A Philosophy everyone should know: True Epicureanism

Diogenes of Aonoanda (say that five times fast):
Having already reached the sunset of my life (being almost on the verge of departure from the world on account of old age), I wanted, before being overtaken by death, to compose a fine anthem to celebrate the fullness of pleasure and so to help now those who are well-constituted. Now, if only one person or two or three or four or five or six or any larger number you choose, sir, provided that it is not very large, were in a bad predicament, I should address them individually and do all in my power to give them the best advice. But, as I have said before, the majority of people suffer from a common disease, as in a plague, with their false notions about things, and their number is increasing (for in mutual emulation they catch the disease from one another, like sheep) moreover, it is right to help also generations to come (for they too belong to us, though they are still unborn) and, besides, love of humanity prompts us to aid also the foreigners who come here. Now, since the remedies of the inscription reach a larger number of people, I wished to use this stoa to advertise publicly the medicines that bring salvation. These medicines we have put fully to the test; for we have dispelled the fears that grip us without justification, and, as for pains, those that are groundless we have completely excised, while those that are natural we have reduced to an absolute minimum, making their magnitude minute.
A stoa is a grand porch. I don't think this one produced any Stoics.

I got a couple issues with this guy

This guy.

Though I agree with the core of his argument that the compromise between the right and left ain't gonna get you anything you want and(/or) that half the centrists just aren't paying attention and shouldn't even vote. He didn't say that, I did.

The anti-partisan story is a seductive myth, and a dangerous one. Those who represent themselves as standing in the center have their own partialities. Many people who call themselves nonpartisan or independent actually lean left or right but for one reason or another resist coming out of the closet as Democrats or Republicans. Some people who tell pollsters that they’re independents don’t follow politics closely or care about it enough to risk taking sides. They’re hardly model citizens.

Besides this muddled middle, there are centrists by conviction, who can be just as ideological as people to their right and left. Moderation has its zealots, so convinced of their righteousness that they ignore the probable consequences of their actions. And these days, some fanatics of moderation seem to be afflicted by a strange combination of blindness and amnesia that has made them likely to do harm even to the values they profess.
The fanatics of the center wave away ... concerns. They believe so deeply in the spirit of compromise that their commitment to it is uncompromising. Every time Republicans move to the right, Democrats are supposed to be willing to find common ground by moving further to the right, too. Civic virtue positively requires it.
I appreciate him making that point.

What I disagree with is Starr's assumption that a few more government programs will solve all our problems. As long as they're lefty programs, not righty ones.

The trouble with left, right and center is that they all accept the legitimacy of cops sticking guns in people's faces to make them obey, whether they agree or not. The extremists on either end are more aware that that's what they're doing when they vote for a welfare or warfare program - it's just that they've got to get those dumb-ass/evil bastards on the other side to pony-up for what's right!

The centrists don't see that. Their way grows all ways.

A whole bunch of stuff has gotten in the way of me posting

(if that's proper English). The kids are getting bigger and taking longer turns on the computer is probably the biggest thing. So I get on at 10:00 after dealing with more mundane matters for several hours (or watching TV or reading a book), and by the time I've worked up an opinion on something I'm too tired to think of anything worth saying.

I bought all the Heroes DVDs and watched three seasons' worth. I stopped because I'm ahead of the rest of the family.

Read a bunch of Jung. My dreams are running scared. Working on Joseph Campbell, and I felt the need to take a detour into Elaine Pagels. I'm also enjoying a book about Pythagoras.

I see all of the latter as follow-ups to Jung. Jung doesn't say everything that's important in psychology (nor do I feel that he was always right), but I'm definitely finding him worthy of my time.