Die Leiden Des jugendlich CafeProz – Chapter 4, De Luxe Or Pyramids

Wednesday… 10:41 am, get there 11 minutes late (could be a *lot* worse).

“I’m taking you to somebody’s house, ok?” She says.

Hmmm…..somebody’s house? I wonder… Not for
long because oh heavens! she looks good. A mid-leg,
strait, sky blue, summer dress, golden skin,
and.. cute starfish ear rings (also sky blue…
well a tad more towards turquoise…but who cares?)
She looks as fresh as the rain on a hot summer day.
Continue reading

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Basic Universal Principles – Core Axioms

Being a work in progress, this list and organization of this list is bound to be updated as I write the articles supporting it. It is also bound to refer directly or indirectly to existing and well documented body of studies or school of thoughts. Hence, I do not claim them to be original per se (incidentally, not unlike what is described below ) .

Note that what follows immediately below, is necessarily more opaque than some would want (including me).  Fortunately, it will quickly be followed by articles that I expect the reader will find light hearted and easy to follow (in comparison).

Axioms

  1. All things are existential and functional variations of everything else.  This is NOT a statement of connectedness. Rather it is a statement of similarity.
  2. All things exist as a change in state relative to something else.
  3. The degree and nature of change is a direct reflection of the influence of opposing forces.
  4. Changes are aimed at conserving/establishing/re-establishing some degree of equilibrium.

Corollary  Principles

  1. Since all things are and work in a similar fashion, isolating similarities is extremely useful and powerful.  Solutions in one area maybe portable to another area and understanding of one phenomenon help understand another whether such phenomena seem related or not.

Propositions:

On the true nature of things (See Iguanas are Us)

  1. All beings/systems act completely logically and predictably with respect to properly understood circumstances.
  2. Circumstances can be divided in 2 broad categories: a) internal/internalized constraints (i.e. true nature) b) external stress
  3. The relative strength/weight/importance of individual constraints characteristics will vary in function of stress (see Axioms 2, 3)
  4. The higher priority constraints (what is commonly referred to as true/essential nature) at any given time are put in evidence when the system is under higher stress situations.
  5. Desired outcome/behaviors can be induced by playing to those constraints under the right stress situation

On the true nature of our activities

  1. Societies, cultures, companies and individual act in similar ways (see axioms 1)
  2. All of what we do consists in either investing or protecting an investment
  3. Models used to manage financial investment strategies are suitable for understanding / predicting human behavior (see Corollary 1)

(To be Continued…. )


Note: This is article is part of the series “Basic Universal Principles” for more information click here.

Basic Universal Princples – Intro

Gang violence, Immigration, The role of the government in the economy, Education,  Moral decline, Couple relationships,  Privacy issues, Substance abuse, Population growth control and Unemployment  are all topics that are generally not part of the same discussion. Yet, I contented, they are all related.  Their solutions, or at least tools enabling more fruitful national and transnational discussion are also related.

In this series i try to explore and summarize in  a few sentences (Basic Principles) what I think best describes everything is in the world or how everything works in the world.

I know, tall order. But hopefully the outcome will be useful enough to help model complex situation effectively and simple enough to be conveyed to a large audience.

As a result topics which might seem intractable and  viscerally doomed can be put in a context that can show both: what’s happening and what can possibly be a way out.

Big “Caveat”: In no way, this should be construed as a search for “THE TRUTH”. This is only an attempt to find “THE TOOLS” to handle what surrounds us.

NEXT UP: Core Axioms

Challenge to Personal Virtues: What is Evil?

Here is my challenge: Is there any situation where the following definition does not apply?

1) Evil is to indulge in excess into what comes to us the easiest (or just easily)
2) The effort required to overcome Evil IS Good

Note that I am not attempting to define Good or Goodness. Also I am not trying to define Evil in the context of society. Just on a personal level when the main concern is nobody else but oneself and one’s own values.

For example: cheating on a spouse is a valid situation as long as the merits of the decision are solely based on the motives, drives, “morality” and decisions of the individual. As a result a valid question would be “Am I violating my own vows”. An invalid question would be “Will my spouse be hurt”.

The reason for the distinction is that involves principles of relativity and makes definitions more complex.

I have previously made some comments such as “Satan is Us”.  Which a rough equivalent to: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing“.  For a while that was satisfying.

In talking to more religiously minded people I realized that the belief in some overarching plan either from God or Satan is so strong that my original statement does not make a difference in positioning the personal **practical** implication on Evil.

Originally my contention was that no matter your belief in the existence of such overarching plans/forces or not, it would not change what you are to do in order to live a reasonably non Evil life.  But given the skepticism I faced, I thought I should dig a bit deeper and at least come up with a clearer definition of what I thought evil was on a *Personal* level.  So… there you have it.

Any takers?

Science and Religion

Do words like “Intelligent Design” or “Faith in God” make you condescendingly smile or get your eyes rolling? Read-on.

Checking what happened in the scientific community after Darwin, it would be fair to say that scientists as a whole went from being most probably theists to most probably atheists.  Basically, science replaced God or made it obsolete.  Why? and why would that make sense? There are only 2 ways I explain that:
1) they had used the bible as a mere natural history book and then no longer (in which case they should have been a bit more careful and the point is moot).
2) they had used the claimed “facts” of the bible as prop for their faith… when that prop was gone, well that faith was also gone and was put in something more reliable: Science.

In the latter case, which is suspect was more probable, faith then, was just a means to quell the disquieting nature of deep unanswered or unanswerable questions and it still is. Science won,  not because it was objectively true, but because objectivity provides a sense of satisfaction, and interestingly enough that is exactly what traditional religion provides to whose who believe: Satisfactory answers.

Science also aims at satisfying its believers.  Being by definition, a work in progress, what is is true today does not need to be true tomorrow, but scientists have faith that it will eventually provide the right (and satisfactory) answers through application  and refinement of the scientific method.

It is not my contention that all scientist worship science.  There is a (quantum) difference between trusting a particular process and having faith, meaning religious faith, in it.  The way I tell is considering the effect, purpose and result of that trust.

Whenever scientific conclusions are the basis for  determining the meaning and/or purpose of life (or lack thereof) it is most definitely an act of “religious” faith.  It constitutes ultimate belief in a notion/system in/to which one entrusts one’s own intrinsic value (or lack thereof) with no other guarantee than that faith itself. In that, the scientific method is the opiate of the elites… and science is their God.

Such people are no better or worse than the most naive of the fervent faithful in traditional religions.  To that effect I suspect that most skeptics fall in that category of pseudo-religious, having exchanged superstitions, ready-to-consume beliefs and imaginary friends for the more rigorous analysis of hard data paradise or scientific nirvana. To those, one might, while reading their stinging rebuttal and vehement rebuke of biblical or other religious belief, condescendingly smile or roll one’s eyes…

Why Abraham Matters

You say Abraham, and you get “faith”… father of faith and father of faiths (plural).

Well, Abraham got me thinking and concerned…  Not because of the eventual so called “extremism” that sometimes occurs… but because the simple act of faith.  Let’s face it. God has (per biblical accounts) asked people to do some pretty violent things by faith in the past.  Aren’t we just happy that God no longer asks for that level of violence? Well, is it really the case? I find little evidence that God will not ask the same things nowadays

Let’s put ourselves back in Abraham’s family’s shoes….They did not know about Abraham’s intentions the day he was to sacrifice his son.  Let’s now imagine that somebody followed him to the mountain and see what he is about to do…. How would that person react? How would you react?

Now fast forward to the present.  Let’s say that somebody is about to carry out such an act in the name of God.  How should we react? Granted, the act was not carried out. However, we don’t know in advance is God’s plan. In addition, there is plenty evidence of God going either way, in terms of killings. So what should we do or think?

I would surmise that any sane person would attempt to prevent the act to be executed. And therein lies my first problem: a stated act of faith can look every bit as crazy as any abject act of senseless (senseless for whom?) religious violence to any body who is not privy to God’s intention. Problem? I don’t know how to make the difference between who is obeying to God and who is just a loony with a predilection for mass murder?

I say people of faith can be very dangerous bunch.

Luckily most people of faith would probably not carry an act that is clearly way out of certain range.  The reason? I would say, lack of faith.  They would not believe that God would ask them to carry such an egregious act. In fact their faith would be curtailed by reason.  It is clear that Abraham was not comfortable with sacrificing his son. The order did seem unreasonable to him. Yet his faith was able to get him over the hurdle.

In summary, if you have enough faith there is no act that you could not perform. That is the more faith, the more extreme the acts can be. (That’s why I am very afraid of people of faith, having access to weapons).

Nonetheless, as I mentioned in the very first sentence, extremism is not my main concern… 😀
Instead what has called my attention is the very fact that God would play with Abraham’s feeling just to test him. To the secular individuals out there, that in itself does not seem very loving or caring.  I would think that life is hard enough and Satan interested enough, as to provide ample means to test one’s faith without having to recourse to this kind of mental torture (Notice how Abraham lies to the Pharoh to save his butt, yet is ready to sacrifice his Son).  In fact the whole story sounds a bit grotesque… it feels crude and primitive.  A bit like the many folktales of proving “true love” by making one’s lover jump through fire hoops.

Really, can one imagine God telling Abraham; “Abby, Abby ma man, don’t hurt d child, a was a just kidding bro!”

Travel is fatal to prejudice…. Might it also be to Love?

Coming back home, being the only one having gotten the benefit of extensive travel  can prove to be an issue…

First, we have the general Socrates’ Cave effect: For as much as travel gets you closer to former strangers, it can distance you from your home environment. For home wherever it is, means shared values as much as shared prejudices….

Second, we have  intimate repercussions: Love hopefully implies respect and esteem… How does one esteem that which one might no longer share?

It seems clear that enlightenment requires a much greater reflection and sense of self than one might originally imagine.  Otherwise one might be forced to choose between the enjoyment its full benefits  and avoiding feeling alienated from loved ones or ones that could be loved.

Traveler beware!