The other day I wrote a post which introduced implicit bias, which is usually used in connection with racial bias (humans have an unconscious, automatic bias against other humans who are a different color). In fact, I was taken aback when I heard the term "implicit bias" on the radio this morning.
And the reason I write stuff like that is because that stuff is visible in "Flatland" every day. In the last few days, two white police officers killed two black people for no good reason. At the end of the day, that was implicit bias. Then a guy—presumably a black guy—shot and killed five (presumably) white police officers in Dallas in retaliation for recent police shootings. (I don't have the details).
OK, that's the kind of shit that happens in Flatland. What happens on DOTE is that I do my best to explain the kind of shit that happens in Flatland. Is that fucking clear?
You can do one of two things. You can mindlessly exist in Flatland and suffer the inevitable consequences, or you can read this blog to get a clue about what's going on out there. Your received clue, if you are capable of getting it, doesn't change a god-damned thing—Flatland is the human condition—but it might make your inevitable suffering easier to bear. It is the only solace I can offer you on this human-dominated planet,
Do you know what 7 billion humans on this planet means as opposed to, say, 1 billion humans? It means there is 7 times the destruction and foolishness that you get from only 1 billion humans. (I'm assuming a linear function; one could argue that each additional human adds exponentially to the amount of stupid destructive mischief it is possible to achieve.)
The other day I wrote about poor human risk assessment, and included student debt slavery as an example. (If you put literally millions and millions of young people at risk, what kind of society are you going to have?)
I am disappointed—I shouldn't be—that readers of this blog basically had nothing to say about that subject. To me, that silence looks an awful lot like bad news filtering. If you read here, you should know what "bad news filtering" is at this point. I've talked about cognitive filtering many, many times before. Of course, your familiarity with the concept doesn't guarantee that you aren't subject to it.
Still, that student debt thing—many typical Flatland behaviors are involved—is outrageous, isn't it? And that outrage is getting more outrageous, especially because college costs keep going up for all the reasons Jim mentioned in his comments on that post. (More and more college administrators paying themselves like corporate CEOs.)
And yet, only a few people had anything to say about the evil student debt thing, the associated risks, etc. Maybe if you had $35,000 in student debt you would have said something.
Hmmm ... I'm going to let Jim explain my personal view of all this.
@all: It's really very simple. Dave writes this blog, for free, with very little encouragement here, and absolutely nothing in the way of outside recognition. His typical reward is to get silence and/or grief, but still, he writes it to further clarify his thoughts and to communicate them with others. Put yourself in his shoes - you don't think this would be a deeply frustrating thing to do?
Jim has enough empathy to understand how deeply frustrating it is for me to write this blog. Well, I am the one who is deeply frustrated for exactly the reasons Jim stated.
And by the way, Lidia, groveling is not required. Suppose somebody gives you $5 every day for no reason at all. Would you eventually start insulting that person, as Lidia insulted me? You know what? Most people would indeed start making fun of the giver because being given a gift for no reason makes humans deeply uncomfortable. (Doing so violates reciprocity.)
If humans require fair exchange, DOTE readers, with some notable exceptions, have not kept up their end of the bargain. But what do I want?
As I have said in the past, I want responses to what I write—agree, disagree, more info, off-topic, I don't give a shit—which indicate that you are alive and kicking. Because when you no longer have the ability to respond to (or mourn) all this horrific Flatland bullshit, you are effectively dead. And in that case, why would you even be reading here? What are you doing? Looking for reasons to be depressed? If you are, reading just about any internet website will do.
I had hoped to turn DOTE into a very, very small corner of the world where people seeking and achieving clarity could gather together and talk about all this destructive Flatland shit and, in so doing, rise above it. Share absurd stories—did you see this one?—laugh or cry. That was clearly too much to hope for.
Is that deeply frustrating for me? Of course it is. I am not a masochist, I hope, but only a masochist would continue to write this blog.