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03/11/2012

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Ben

Brilliant blog entry. Forwarded to my Mom, Dad, and brothers.

Ben

Morris Berman was recently interviewed by Nomi Prins on Alternet in a piece titled Why the American Empire Was Destined to Collapse, and there are some parallels between what you discuss and how he perceives obstacles to "solutions" in American culture.

http://www.alternet.org/world/154453/why_the_american_empire_was_destined_to_collapse?page=entire

Usman

So much truth to this that it hurts...

sharonsj

So last night on "Harry's Law" they're talking about a gorilla in a zoo as having an I.Q. of 90. Well, the average human I.Q. is 100, only 10 points higher than a gorilla. I think that says it all.

John Theodorou

I think this phrase always summed our innate optimism and incredible delusion best;

"Don't worry, we've got the bomb!"

Mr. Blookus

This post reminds me of a poster that a guy in my dorm had in his room:

"Those who think they know it all really piss off those of us who do!"

I look forward to your self-assessment regarding the presence of BS on this blog (and relative immunity from?).

Ah, The Heisenturd uncertainly principle...

Personally, everything smells peachy clean here!

John Andersen

Actually, realizing and processing these truths could set one on the road to coming to peace with reality in these United States. It could also enable a person to be content with achievable positive changes in his/her personal life, household, or perhaps neighborhood.

Diogenes

"boatload of bullshit"...in this context, reminds me of:

A story is told of an island somewhere and its inhabitants. The people longed to move to another land where they could have a healthier and better life. The problem was that the practical arts of swimming and sailing had never been developed - or may have been lost long before. For that reason, there were some people who simply refused to think of alternatives to life on the island, whereas others intended to seek a solution to their problems locally, without any thought of crossing the waters. From time to time, some islanders reinvented the arts of swimming and sailing. Also from time to time a student would come up to them, and the following exchange would take place:

"I want to swim to another land."
"For that you have to learn how to swim. Are you ready to learn?"
"Yes, but I want to take with me my ton of cabbages."
"What cabbages?"
"The food I'll need on the other side or wherever it is."
"But what if there's food on the other side?"
"I don't know what you mean. I'm not sure. I have to bring my cabbages with me."
"But you won't be able to swim with a ton of cabbages. It's too much weight."
"Then I can't learn how to swim. You call my cabbages weight. I call them my basic food."
"Suppose this were an allegory and, instead of talking about cabbages we talked about fixed ideas, presuppositions, or certainties?"
"Humm. . . I'm going to bring my cabbages to someone who understands my needs."

(I. Shah, The Sufis - New York: Anchor Books, 1971)

That story appears at the end of "The Tree of Knowledge" by Maturana & Varela (1987). Varela was a favorite of mine - I think he would have enjoyed "untangling bullshit" as metaphor for his life's work.

Thank you Dave - really well done. Looking forward to more.

James

We like to feel good even in our thoughts. My hypothesis is that the limbic system controls the thoughts we can harbor through the release of dopamine and serotonin. If it's not a “happy thought” and it doesn't feel good, it gets canned. The happy thoughts get reinforced in memory with dopamine. Consumers through and through, pick and choose your reality, whatever feels good. Mass delusion and technological suicide, what a way to go. There aren't going to be any rational solutions to our problems, because we refuse to face them.

Glaucus

Great post, Dave. I can't remember where I read it, but there's a theory that the more information there is available, the easier it is to find information that confirms your bias. You'd think the more information available, the more open-minded people would be. Not so apparently.

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