Polyticks - That field of knowledge which allows the haves to manipulate and embezzle the have nots. From the Greek poly meaning many and ticks meaning small blood sucking insects.
It is not a man's duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support. If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man's shoulders. I must get off him first, that he may pursue his contemplations too.
From Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau
While most of my web chapters can be tucked comfortably in one and only one web ring, Polyticks doesn't fit. The free thought people were generous. My primary thesis is that ancient rigid religious mind patterns must yield to modern scientific and democratic perspectives. Still, I am not ready to bash religion or the religious. In my opinion - covered in Three Models, One Vision - the best spokesman and example for guiding the world away from the rigid autocratic fundamentalist mind set was a preacher man.
When I went to school, I had a cousin who advised going to a major university. He claimed that a small school might give the false promise of companionship. In a small place, one might come to know a larger fraction of the people. However, the big school would have more small communities. If one looks about a big university campus, there will be more people sharing your own interests. If a small school might seem more like home to a first time visitor, a big school yields a truer opportunity to find a real home.
The Web is truly a large university. If one searches, one finds groups of people who think alike. They are familiar. They do not challenge one. One does not feel challenged. This may be a problem.
So perhaps I'm proud Polyticks doesn't belong. The web isn't becoming a place where people from all over the idea come to share ideas. It is becoming a place where many groups of people who think alike clump together. Like finds like. What is new or startling or different is walled out. We are building a plethora of intellectual ghettos.
Makes me itch to break down a few walls. Makes me want to avoid labels. Can't be conservative, liberal, fundamentalist, libertarian, existential, quatrafied, or supercalifagilisticexpialadocious. Gotta cause a little vertigo.
Praise the free thinkers, and listen to the preacher man.
The Occupy Wall Street movement, in these early days, is famous for having not leader and no fixed agenda. My own thought is that such an agenda is necessary if it is to be fulfilled.
While the people supporting the Occupy movement are in general progressives, and the temptation will be to support other progressive issues, representative democracy is really only capable of forcing one issue at a time. That issue needs to be the restoration of balance between the one percent, and the ninety nine.
Occupy Everywhere pushes for such a limited agenda.
I am an atheist, a secular humanist, yet find the vast majority of sincere believers to be good neighbors and decent people. Freedom of religion means they have a right to their beliefs, a right I do not in the least begrudge. However, even if believers are in a majority, they may not use the government to force their beliefs on others. More importantly, failing legal means, there is no secular right under the US Constitution to use harassment, force, or terror to spread the word of God.
Sticks, Stones, Bombs and Bullets When this note was written, the Berlin Wall was newly down, ethnic cleansing was in progress in Bosnia, the federal building was newly down in Oklahoma City, and a lone gunman had just raided two abortion clinics in Boston. With royalty, slavery, Fascism and Communism suppressed by Western Civilization, the most blatant and active remnants of the old agricultural era autocratic authoritarian ethics seemed to be religious. This article stated the problem, but proposed no answers.
Three Models, One Vision sketches initial answers to the problem stated in Sticks, Stones, Bombs and Bullets, above. Just after Three Models, One Vision was posted to the web, two U.S. embassies in Africa were bombed. The US responded with cruise missiles fired into conservative Islamic religious states. The Fourth Turning theory of cyclical history predicts a crisis soon to start. Has it begun? Will the focus be between secular democratic and authoritarian theocratic worldviews?
In This Wicked World: This one is for the Rationalists and Free Thinkers. It explores the difference between dogmatic, philosophical and religious thinking, and the different sorts of questions that can be solved by each mode of thought. It also explores The Fourth Turning's cycle theory. This was originally written for the Fourth Turning's "Cycles of Morality" thread.
Black Champions: Since writing the above articles, I have joined a quite lively set of political debates held on The Fourth Turning web site. I have with mixed success advocated the perspective of Three Models, One Vision, above. Since the time of Waco, Ruby Ridge and Oklahoma City, the domestic violence between the militias and feds has faded. The bulk of America rejected the aggressors on both sides, effectively breaking a potential spiral of violence, at least for the moment. (Would all please cross your fingers before breathing a sigh of relief.) I am coming too see small foreign ethnic, racial and religious explosions such as the Balkans, Somalia and Iraq being a foretaste of things to come. With the Cold War over, foreign aid is no longer stabilizing tyrannies allied with the major cold war factions. Threat of response by one faction is no longer deterring intervention by the other. Economic and ecological difficulties are not uncommon in the Third World, resulting in aggression against assorted minority groups. However, the more convinced I become that this is the shape of the coming crisis, the louder the voices grow crying "this is not our concern."
Millennial Heroes?: The Fourth Turning proposes that every fourth generation is willing and motivated to work to change the world. The current generation just starting to enter the workplace and college ought to be such a generation, the heirs to the GI "greatest generation." In Generations, they were called a 'civic generation.' In the later The Fourth Turning, they were called a 'hero generation.' A reprise of the above posts, what tasks have we for heroes?
Proving Murphy's Law. Most of these pages are political and philosophical. This one attempts to be scientific. It uses quantum mechanics to generate a theory of psi, psi to generate a theory of quantum mechanics, and ought to give you a new perspective on the universe such-as-it-is. How do single particle interference, electron orbitals, Many Worlds theory, and retrocausal PK relate to cheerleaders? Dogmatic science types might not like it as it deal with psi. Psi fans might not like it as it totally eliminates the role of mind over matter. For folks with an open mind only.
Human Nature: In role playing games, how does one create believable political bad guys that will fight the players? A gaming article which addresses the nature of Good and Evil, and how conflicts start in the real world. If the above two articles focus on the very large scale issues, this one gets down into how decent and God fearing humans come to start slaughtering one another.
The gap between the written Constitution and what the government is actually doing is getting out of hand. Rule of law, anyone? Isn't it time to hold a Constitutional Convention, and get the written law and current practices back in sync?
I didn't intend to do partisan one-sided articles. I would have preferred to give a balanced picture, with pointers to outside sites advocating opposite extreme points of view. However, in digging into the issues of gun control and the Civil War secession crisis, I developed an extreme distaste for Gun Control Incorporated and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I am thus creating the Big Lie Award, given for revisionist history, for blatant disregard for Truth, and for lack of respect for the Constitution. I'm not sure who gets first prize. The SCV show less respect for history and are actively harassing those who propose slavery was an important factor in causing the war. GCI is the greater threat to the Bill of Rights and Rule of Law. Would you care to vote, or to nominate other U.S. centered politically focused web pages for the Big Lie Award?
Recognizing the Battle Flag is my response to a number of southern web sites that claim the Civil War was about state's rights, not slavery. These pages touch upon several interlocked themes, economic, legal, political, and moral. It features quotes dating from early and prewar time frame from both southern and northern perspectives. While there are any number of reasons why people of the time came to fight, and no one theme is sufficient to cover everyone's motives, the theme of slavery dominates all other aspects.
The Right to Keep and Bear Arms: Is it proper to address the meaning of the Second Amendment without leaping whole hog into the gun control debate? This is my spin on the "standard" interpretation of the Second Amendment. The conclusion is roughly that of the liberal academic community, rather than the liberal press. The difference is the academics research the time of the founding fathers, while the press is caught up in now. The founding fathers lived in a world where everyone had a duty to contribute to the common defense. Some now live or wish to live in a world where the government is responsible for security, where the People are no longer expected or allowed to contribute. Unfortunately, no one remembered to rewrite the Constitution...
On Current Campaign Finance : The current system just legalizes special interest bribery. This one isn't profound. I just got mad one night, and typed it in.
On Internet Regulation : Same night. The right to send advertisements isn't free speech. Those profiting from the network ought to provide some kickback into the ISPs and trunk operators who have to pay for infrastructure. Anyway, the attached was a brief fire-off-to-your-senator thing.
Powell's Questions is a piece of Star Trek fiction. In one of my role playing games, we had to decide whether it was proper for the Federation of Planets to use force to pacify a planet in crisis. I had just read Colin Powell's American Journey book, and consolidated his experience from Vietnam to the Gulf War into a short essay on fighting foreign wars.
Dominion is also Star Trek fiction. The guy running the Federation Council game immediately saw that the checklist style criteria for fighting a foreign war is not at all applicable when your country is fighting for its life against a near equal opponent. The next debate was on what to do about the Dominion's attack on the Federation. Joy's response complements Powell's Questions.
Kirk's Heresy is more clearly science fiction. It is an essay on the Prime Directive, one of Gene Roddenberry's idealistic dreams. The essay has nothing to do with current day real world politics, or does it? (The United Nations of current day Earth respects the noninterference principle to the extent of ignoring the planet wide declaration of human rights.)
Mythic Warrior Not Another ambassador to the Federation Council proposed that the prime role of Starfleet was to defend the Federation. Thus, other organizations should perform diplomatic and humanitarian functions. Defense was too important. Ambassador Joy Seven disagreed.