Monday, 1 August 2011

Why are you Guy Fawkes ?

Not many people will complain for the delay, but I have quite a cool explanations. I was away in Freiburg and I have put up 250 flyers up with printed masks and invitations to join the Anonymous forum
It took me a while to think about the subject of this article. I know that it looks most of the time as I am just writing it on the go, and I am but it is after I spent time thinking and self-reflecting and very rarely on a sudden urge. The ideas were various and I think I should start with simple questions.

  • You take a chair and take out the back-support and armrests, is it still a chair ?
  • There is so much emptiness that under a microscope, two fingers can never touch themselves and yet, why is it so hard to see void ?
  • If you see a bird, and it starts swimming and lays eggs giving birth to fish, is it still a bird?
  • If you'd have to, would you kill a sibling of yours to save two strangers?
  • Is it natural for a person to change sex?
  • If we make a colony on Mars, what will be our definition of a year?
  • If you are like no one else, what is humanity?
  • 47,9 + 32,6 =..... ? You can touch a calculator, but you can't touch the mental process that gave the answer to that question, so what comes first, your mind or your body?
  • You wait. Is that active or passive?
  • I speak French because it is my mother-tongue, yet I made the decision to speak Esperanto to my children. Would Esperanto have been my mother-tongue, would I have made another decision?
  • Yesterday, I saw Santa Claus in an empty street and he told me a secret. Do you think this could be true?

Ok, maybe those are not simple questions and I congratulate you if think they are as you must have accumulated much more knowledge than I ever managed to. I will reformulate by the way the questions at the end of the article I think, just to make sure we are on the same wave.

So let's assume that you and I share a real world, as it is laid out under our eyes. I will ask you by the way not to assume I am too crazy when I say that the world under our eyes might not be it. I just like to nourish some doubts sometimes. I do know the objections to the doubt: 'whether or not it is an illusion or whatever, why does it matter?'. Well, I think I will make a point why doubting sometimes does matter. Maybe it is just that I think we should not ignore our past and recognize that we have been wrong quite a few times so we might as well think we can still be wrong.

But on the reality of our world, let's say that we live in it. As the poet said to the bishop:' Fuck, this hurt – now do you see it's real!'. History did good I think to forget the poet as it was just in profession that he was such, and not in mind.

So the question to ask ourselves after that one should be: why don't we make the world a better place?

Anyway, we live in a world with other people and we abide by the rules we are told by our parents, our friends and by what we see. Of course we do not exactly abide by every rule and we all adapt them to the circumstances and most of the times we act on them without reflecting on them, not even afterwards. We do reflect on negative consequences to some actions and tell ourselves maybe not to repeat them. But rarely does reflection come unto any significant habits of daily life as we take habits for granted. We have to take it for granted. Otherwise, if we applied reasoning on everything, we would probably go crazy rather quickly.

I have though yesterday come to discuss the question of death penalty with someone I had just met. This person had to write an exam where she was to make a defense of death penalty and refused herself to do so. I pointed out that this was as smart as a person in favor of death penalty refusing to write a defense against the death-penalty. Apparently though, the principle against death-penalty is morally superior enough not to be asked such a task when the belief in favor is not. The lack of self-reflection on the matter, the lack of incapacity to find the origins of this sense of moral superiority, was for me the most problematic aspect of her position.

Of course I am against death-penalty, but I do know why and that is why I can do a pretty good defense in favor, as it does not make me doubt my belief. Somehow, I am afraid that Europeans are still capable of extremism as they judge so easily and are incapable of empathy. Empathy for the devil does not mean you support his actions. It only means that you see and understand his point of view and would you be good at empathy, you would see that it is only frustration leading him, as he was only an ignored second son and not because he is inherently evil. 

This latter position is an easy one and truthful as much as the other one, it leads though to no resolution and not possibility for peace.
Anyway, I am going off my intended path. I am just amazed everyday at our capacity for judging individuals when we are so incapable of self-reflection and acting on those few self-reflections. My point from this last anecdote was that I want to try not to get common sense to hit me too often and allow long defenses for any moral arguments. The foundation for my morality is that tomorrow will be better because yesterday was worse. It is just a belief and I want to work towards that belief. I do not want to act good because of a possible punishment after death, or because I am afraid of society's punishment, or worst of all because I do not know why. I have already detailed this in one of my first posts.

I was just wondering why there is so much apathy in the world. When were the children in us killed? I do think that we are more insensible than we used to be, but we just love to lie to ourselves about it so we do not have to find the root of this problem. Of course, for example, death has become a great taboo and could be the example of the scared souls we have become, except that sending our dying off to places we do not deal with it is not sensible at all. Students in U.K.went down in the streets and the same day their tuitions fees tripled and they did not get angry. We care for our children, and yet we are fully aware that we will leave them worse off. We leave them to be kids for a while and then we tell them the dreams of youth are gone.

I am just wondering why we cannot ask for world peace anymore. Why do we have to still have weapon production when history proves that you do not need weapons to win a war? Why does starvation exist when we can travel the world faster than Earth can spin on itself? Why do we think that corruption is not surprising anymore and why are we cynics about it when it is so easy to have a political conscience. I do not really know yet. I am trying to work it out.

I will say this. I do believe that social movements changed the world for the best every time they appeared. I do want to learn from history and I will use our Christian heritage as leverage for making people feel guilty about the way they have let things go. I have joined Anonymous, which is not about anonymity as much as it is about asking for real change for a better world. If you believe blindly the mainstream media about Anonymous being only about hacking, then you are a mediocre human being blindly accepting serfdom. The hacking is the destructive ( though not physically hurting anyone, as it is a motto of the social movement) part of movement, but if the bullseye were the CIA, the FBI, other armed forces and a lot of military contractors, I am asking you this: Why have so far only eight people aged in their teens been arrested?

Teenagers, let's put an end to this myth, do not have the capacity to do serious hacking. Police just arrest people who have put out their voice to say that they want change and the ones who did not do it discreetly got publicly arrested. Adults could have been arrested in this investigation as well, but the point of the arrests were to morally pressure the whole social movement. You say the soviet union put a bad name to communism, I will ask you please to think what the future generations will think of us! Yes I am allowed to say such things, but I am not allowed to act on my believes.

Of course, I am just hoping now that out of our civilization’s ashes will come a better one. We are having increasing military budgets, declining energy productions (hence rise in food cost), and we are raging wars we cannot win. We have a deadlocked political system consenting to the owners of means of productions. We have a systemic growing unemployment with a decreasing redistribution of wealth. And we all have a delusion of grandeur, individuals, but a society that is worse off as a whole, thinking that we can survive this great historical recipe for disaster.

I just like to think about the old questions because they do not cost a thing:

  • Is an object one object of the assembly of many?

  • Is the universe a tiny thing in emptiness, or so big that we do not get it?

  • Is any being revealed by its appearance, or the idea of it?

  • Can liberty exist independently from necessity?

  • Which is more important: reason or passion?

  • Is Culture emancipation from Nature?

  • Can Time last forever?

  • Has everybody got a unique self or is the self similar to everybody?

  • Are we bodies limited in a time-space coordinate or minds imagining the world, the history and that might be immortal?

  • What is the difference between being passive or active?

  • Is a human being’s existence the result of a series of causes or the new start of a series of consequences?

  • Can a lonely individual express objective truth?


Ashkuff said...

For the record, if we ever set up a colony on mars, our definition of a year wouldn't necessarily change very much. I bet we'd just keep the current terrestrial time metric, come up with a second martian time metric, and complain about inconvenient conversion formulae. Kind of like Centigrade vs. Farenheit, or Kilometers vs Miles. Just my two cents.

--- Ashkuff | | How to venture out of “armchair” scholarship, and into action? One anthropologist tackles occultism, violence, and more! He gets spooked and roughed up a lot.

george kosmo said...

That's true that we tend to keep our ethno-centric ways, but farenheit and miles tend to disappear. The NASA scientists and engineers ( especially engineers) use more and more the metric system. It is just a question on relativity and the mysteries of time.
It is also true that anyone born and raise on mars would prefer to have its birthday twice more often than they would normally do, so no much complain there.
On time perception though, as it is an interesting subject, I would direct everybody to both the RSAnimte of Dr. Zimbardo on the Time and the foratv discussion by Lara Borodotsky.

( thanks for the comment)