Leaderboard

Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/20/2018 in all areas

  1. To that I can reply with a whole heart, Amen, Brother
    1 point
  2. Carol, Actually, that's one area where I think Alex went off the rails. He tries to gotcha this by saying he presents the views of others and these ideas came from others, but I think he knows he's dancing on graves when he talks about mass shootings in general. I don't like him when he does that. It's a fine line because the deep state actually executes false flags where they kill real people. They have done this for decades. So it's good that people like Alex grab hold of such events and dig. But when they get too zealous and too far speculative before they have a reasonable factual foundation and start blaming folks left and right to a wide audience, it get messy and they lose credibility. The fact is, I don't like when anybody dances on the graves of kids or other victims of mass shootings. All they're doing is cashing in on the hot-side emotions of the public to draw attention to propaganda. The dancers, the public and propagandists, have to stop and realize that most people--both sides--want to live in a safe and peaceful country. And nobody likes dead kids. Nobody. I don't expect them to stop anytime soon, though. So I do what I can control. I make sure my own house is in order--whether the issue is power, rights or protection--and demand the same from those I interact with. And in my form of social living, it all starts and ends with reason and freedom. Michael
    1 point
  3. "...if there weren't any guns to be free of..." is quite a Utopian fallacy. Guns won't simply disappear, since when law-abiding people will hand their guns over, by their nature, criminals and killers won't. Outlawing them will just drive the market for weapons underground - for the right price anyone will continue to have access, without even the present background checks.
    1 point
  4. The Sublime, always fun! But so complicated in explanation. (e.g. the Tate site). And amazing, the associations you can pick up in a word. The man said it above, it doesn't exist in nature, it is all in our heads. But more to the point, can the Sublime exist in the art -of- Nature? In the hands of a master, of course, overpowering (etc., etc.) emotions will be evoked by such-n-such a grand subject, stylized with great talent. If the artist's motivation was inspired by notions of "the Sublime", well that's fine. In the end, there are exultant/terrifying themes presented in the work ... and then, in our heads. We need to steer out of Kant's reach and retake the Sublime as the significant, personal and real emotional cause it is, I think. "I have found it necessary to de-mystify the Sublime in order to raise it" - Kant might have said. (He didn't and wouldn't).
    1 point
  5. The following link goes to RCP Video. Clapper: "A Good Thing" If FBI Had Someone "Observing" Russian Interactions With Trump Campaign You can even see this creep saying it. But go to the link. I don't feel like embedding his sorry ass here. As Rush Limbaugh asked earlier today, if the Russians were really the target, why didn't they put a spy in the Hillary Clinton campaign? Her collusion with the Russians to influence the presidential election is amply documented and getting more and more documented every day. And, of course, if we extend the logic of Clapper, President Trump will be fully justified in using US law enforcement and intelligence agencies to spy the hell out of the opposition party in the next election because that would be a "good thing." Disgusting... Michael
    1 point
  6. Wow. That is strange. The Greek and Roman gods were sort of like the super heroes in Marvel Comics. So going retro gaga is a good thing if it breaks the habit of bowing to the modern 'gods." Or tithing. Or pretty nuns wearing habits and going to waste.
    1 point
  7. Michael wrote: Then can come the payoff based on that. When you can pull off transcendence from your own volition and not just from normal growth, man, is it a great feeling. end quote Well said. Though I am leery of the word transcendence if it relates to mystics or over emotional people, who with tears in their eyes, thank Zeus for the sunset, a good life, an A on a test, good genes, or “The Star Spangled Banner.”
    1 point
  8. Robert, I didn't address this. Sorry. Having shaped some of my own core emotional responses and pulled myself out of some dark. dark places, I think it starts with realizing your own limitations. (I am using the editorial "you," so I mean "one" or "we" or "person in general" or "reader," etc., not you Robert, although I don't exclude you from the human race covered by this "you." So "you" actually means "you" Robert and everyone else... whew! I think I finally nailed it. ) The question is, will you be able to shape all of your emotional responses? No. You can shape some, not all. Law of identity and all. It's just the way humans are. Next is what I call recognizing and being cool with the limits of human size. Humans cannot see the universe from a God's eye view. We see things from a human size, whether looking at the big picture (galaxies, etc.) or the micro picture (subparticles on down). If we do not invent instruments to bring these views to a size humans can process through human senses, we simply don't perceive them. And that means there's a lot out there that we don't know because, by our very nature, we can't know it. At least not yet. For an easy (albeit clunky) example, a fish doesn't perceive what life is flying above treetops like birds. Its very nature limits its perception. So, to a fish, that does not exist. (I can do a better metaphor than that, but I'm pulling these thoughts out of my brain from off the top of my head. Some might say from where the sun doesn't shine. ) There are people out there who can't stand accepting this state. They have "factual" (meaning dogmatic in this case) answers to questions like: is the universe finite or infinite? The correct answer is: Damned if I know. One day if I ever I get to the edge of the universe and see it, I'll tell you about it. And if I have an instrument with me, I'll take a pictures of the universe's borderlands on the way to the edge. Until then, I must go to my death knowing that there are questions I know how to ask, but not how to answer. Thank goodness I have imagination to answer them, but that's all I've got for these cases until I evolve other sense organs or new mental capacities, or grow to the size of a gazillion galaxies, or something like that. And I don't think my lifespan will permit that radical of a change in who and what I am. That part is beyond my control. (Rand calls this "the given" although I don't think she ever framed it the way I just did. ) The good news is there are many things I do know how to answer and many things I can control. Now we get to other people. Who really knows what goes on in the head of someone else? And how on earth do you control those little suckers called humans (especially women humans )? That's a big subject, but you asked about controlling your own emotions to forge your own transcendence, so to speak. And that's part of it. But I'll have to give you the short answer. You deal with what you can know for sure and what you can control. You can learn about yourself (from observation and from others) and know your own subjective perspective (you are the only one who can know that). And, as for control, you can control your own volition. You can even use it to create new neural pathways and neural networks while letting old ones atrophy. This includes emotions. Not all, but a lot. And you extend the courtesy (and I would say metaphysical imperative) of letting others do the same for their own lives according to their own volition, not according to what you want them to do. The implications of this is you will not be accepted by everyone (regardless of the reason--it's their decision, not yours) and you will run across people ranging from assholes to wonderful folks. And even then, an asshole might be carrying a cross too heavy to bear, but hiding it from everyone so the asshole part is an act to cover real pain. You can only learn this if they open up and tell you and you can't control that. They control it. The best you can do is offer conditions for them to open up, whether by being a true friend or whether by covert manipulation (if you favor the dark side). What are the signals you can detect from others that guarantee they will accept you with goodwill and strive for the same kind of transcendence you seek? There are a bunch of signals that arose over evolution (which is one of the things that got me studying neuroscience and psychology). And, of course, people can tell you they are in sync with you. But, that by itself with no further input, well... we know what that's worth, don't we? I'm meandering too much here. But I keep seeing the heartbreak of Johnson in the opening post and I feel for him. I know his pain and something inside me responds to it like anyone does to a cry of distress of a similar being. I want to tell him to forgive himself and just accept that he loved one person and got another. And without damning her as a subhuman psychopath. Rejection hurts regardless of the reason. There is no need for comeuppance during the phase of letting the hurt run its course. Having gone through something similar, I want to tell him that indirectly blaming and punishing the other for my own lack of perception and hardheadedness in refusing to recognize reality only prolonged my pain. Oh well... But how do you guarantee you will never be hurt like that? Well... it's reality check time. There are no guarantees. In Brazil, they say the one thing you can do to ensure you will die is be born. And that's just the way it is. Everything else comes with context. Including being hurt. For acting within different contexts, there's a procedure called the OODA loop (observe, orient, decide, act) to tip situations you don't control in your favor. I don't know if you know about this, but anyway, for the benefit of the reader, here is a nutshell explanation. This process was created by an Air Force dude, John Boyd, for fighting battles. Later people applied it to all kinds of areas where humans engage with each other (business, lawsuits, etc.), and even out in the wild when you're on your own. It's mostly a fighting tool, a weapon, but it can be used as a way to work on transcendence, or work your way through developing a new skill, and so on. The problem is it demands total honesty or it doesn't work. And here is where Objectivism gets in the way unless you see the problem. Rand pushed people toward transcendence. She kept telling folks to focus not on what life is, but on what it can and should be (to use her language). She even set up the goal of her art (to create the perfect man) as a way to show what that future would look like. But to get there, you have to correctly identify what life is. Why? Because, presumably, that is where you are starting from (unless you're a Martian or something. ) This gets really hard when using the OODA loop on your own self to identify and eliminate weaknesses so you can achieve a transcended state. It's so easy to lie to yourself, it's not funny. To illustrate, here's just one problem. We all come with a cognitive bias about our own abilities and importance (Dunning-Kruger effect) and the blast of cortisol in our brains when we get feedback that we aren't so hot is painful. Our brains can't tell the difference between that kind of pain perception and physical pain (both trigger cortisol squirting on the same relevant neurons and that hurts like hell), so it's something we all really really really try to avoid. But if you feed cognitive bias garbage into your OODA loop, you will get garbage back and fail a lot and/or fail mightily. In other words, reality is not forgiving if you do not accept it as it is for input. And as the OODA loop is powerful way of directing action, if you feed garbage into your detection and orientation steps, imagine what you will end up doing. Kaboom in your life. that's what. Observation (detection) mean no "shoulds." When you are in that stage of the process, you have to deal with what is, not what you want something to be. Orientation means no kneejerks. You orient based on what you observe dispassionately, both what is and where you want to go to act, not ingrained habits you have come to believe in. If that means checking a premise for the upteenth time, well, you better check it as best you can. Reality doesn't care if you're right or wrong about how you set yourself up within reality itself. If you succeed or if you get killed, reality if fine with it. Ergh... Look at me preaching... Bah... humbug... Enough... enough, I say! One final thought. Transcendence starts with recognising--to the absolute best you can without mercy or self-pity--your own limitations and potentialities. Then you try--in the same manner--to expand both. That means accepting (1) what you inherited from evolution and (2) what you are able to choose, and even accepting that you need to detect the difference correctly irrespective of any bias or belief. Then can come the payoff based on that. When you can pull off transcendence from your own volition and not just from normal growth, man, is it a great feeling. Michael
    1 point
  9. William, Sure. I went to my orders completed page at Amazon and typed in "conspiracy" just to make this fast. Four books came up, but I have more (I always haunt used book places, too ). I can't list those right off the bat because I have a crap-load of books and I didn't make a separate section for "conspiracy theory" like I did for Rand, writing, Scientology, evil (a few very interesting books ), religion, etc. Here are the 4: Conspiracies and Secret Societies: The Complete Dossier by Brad Steiger and Sherry Steiger The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths by Michael Shermer History Decoded: The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time by Brad Meltzer and Keith Ferrell Demented Agitprop: The Myth and Madness of Agenda 21 Conspiracy Theories by Llewellyn Hinkes-Jones On a related note, I recently went through the audiobook: Secret Societies: Inside the Freemasons, the Yakuza, Skull and Bones, and the World's Most Notorious Secret Organizations by John Lawrence Reynolds. And, if I'm not mistaken, I have the print version called "Shadow People," but I can't seem to find it. This is a VERY GOOD book and it has a slant you would like. I have the following in my Amazon wish list. (sigh... I'll get to them some day--I have a way-too-long wish list up on Amazon ) The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory by Jesse Walker Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History by David Aaronovitch American Conspiracy Theories by Joseph E. Uscinski There are a bunch of others without the "conspiracy" keyword. In fact, I'm trying to remember where I got these titles from. I often look up books in the footnotes of books I am reading and, if I think one is interesting, I try to find it and usually put it on my wish-list if it is for sale at Amazon. I have a Scribd account and I probably have some things separated over there, too. That should do for now. I'm not going to waste a lot of time on this though. I have other priorities right now (creative writing stuff). btw - I just put Suspicious Minds on my wish list. Michael
    1 point
  10. Carol, The problem comes from politicizing a tragedy and blaming people who were not part of that tragedy to prompt feelings of shame and guilt in them--all in order to get them to submit to more and more big government. That, to me, is dancing on the graves of the dead children to promote a political agenda. What's worse, most of the people who do the dancing don't even realize they are holding an outrage party with beer and pretzels in a graveyard. They don't even realize their dance floor--the one they want to show on TV and anywhere they can get an audience--is on top of graves. But, man, when they feel there's an audience looking, do they like to grandstand. So I don't hate them like they tend to hate people like me, but I don't accept unearned shame and guilt from them, either. The shooter killed those children, not me. I do my own share of protecting children. Michael
    0 points