PDA

View Full Version : Dark Age



ishmael
04-27-2015, 12:10 PM
I think we are headed toward it. It isn't inevitable. We can choose to do differently.

Keith Wilson
04-27-2015, 12:16 PM
http://bookofjoe.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/joebtfsplk_1.jpg



Seriously, Jack, I have a book recommendation for you: Steven Pinker, The Better Angels Of Our Nature (http://www.amazon.com/The-Better-Angels-Our-Nature/dp/1455883115). It's something like 850 pages, has a gigantic pile of statistics, and demonstrates very convincingly that violence of almost all types has been declining for most of human history, and that even with mechanized warfare and totalitarianism, we live in the most peaceable era ever. Hell, I'll even send you a copy if you promise to read it.

LeeG
04-27-2015, 12:40 PM
Who's "we"?

John of Phoenix
04-27-2015, 12:40 PM
"Dark Age" as in the historic sense of cultural and economic deterioration?


The Dark Ages is a historical periodization used originally for the Middle Ages, which emphasizes the cultural and economic deterioration that supposedly occurred in Western Europe following the decline of the Roman Empire. The label employs traditional light-versus-darkness imagery to contrast the "darkness" of the period with earlier and later periods of "light". The period is characterized by a relative scarcity of historical and other written records at least for some areas of Europe, rendering it obscure to historians. The term "Dark Age" derives from the Latin saeculum obscurum, originally applied by Caesar Baronius in 1602 to a tumultuous period in the 10th and 11th centuries.

Peerie Maa
04-27-2015, 12:41 PM
Jack, you talking about the US or the world in general?

The reason that I ask is that I have a theory of the envelopment of Nations. I propose that nations go through stages of development along the lines of the "seven ages of man".

At the moment there are a lot of parallels between the US and the Roman Empire.
Both extremely militaristic, both prefer their elected representatives to have served in the armed forces, both put a low value on human life. Both were huge economies. Both rely on "bread and circuses" to keep the electorate quiet. Both have a massive disparity between the wealthy in government and the rest. Both hugely reliant on religion, with more sects that you can shake a stick at.

It may be that the US has passed its zenith and is starting a slow decline towards its own dark age.


just saying. ;)

Paul Pless
04-27-2015, 12:44 PM
Jack, you talking about the US or the world in general?

The reason that I ask is that I have a theory of the envelopment of Nations. I propose that nations go through stages of development along the lines of the "seven ages of man".

At the moment there are a lot of parallels between the US and the Roman Empire.
Both extremely militaristic, both prefer their elected representatives to have served in the armed forces, both put a low value on human life. Both were huge economies. Both rely on "bread and circuses" to keep the electorate quiet. Both have a massive disparity between the wealthy in government and the rest. Both hugely reliant on religion, with more sects that you can shake a stick at.

It may be that the US has passed its zenith and is starting a slow decline towards its own dark age.


just saying. ;)nice

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 01:01 PM
All Western nations are currently experiencing this phenomenon of disenlightenment, wherein the very principles that constitute the philosophical bedrock for these societies have come under withering attack, primarily from the authoritarians in the academy and their dissident allies in the elite media. Only Western nations are self-critical and self-auditing to the point where preposterous equivalence is drawn on virtually any political matter and leisured old fools endlessly criticize the very political and economic systems that have provided them the freedom to openly criticize and the leisure to so hypocritically do so.

When Western nations, either expressly or by passivity, determine that their values are no longer worth fighting for, the world will indeed be plunged into a new dark age where notions of liberty and plurality will be laughed at as antiquated memories of an age. We are seeing the beginnings of this already, in the tension between, for example, the tolerance (legal, cultural and alienage) shown a hate preacher on the streets of London who would nevertheless recruit citizens to turn around an attack those in that same city for that very same tolerance.

Nick's analysis is spot on, except perhaps for the top down view. He's unclear on precisely who is at the top, at least from a new dark age perspective.

LeeG
04-27-2015, 01:04 PM
Look at it this way Jack, some countries are already there. Growing to a ripe old age and and slipping into darkness takes time, enjoy the time you have.

Paul Pless
04-27-2015, 01:08 PM
i love me a good semi serious sky blue post

Kevin T
04-27-2015, 01:12 PM
I start hearing talk of Fusion Centers and the like from SB and I'm going to start believing TD's been resurrected.

Peerie Maa
04-27-2015, 01:17 PM
All Western nations are currently experiencing this phenomenon of disenlightenment, wherein the very principles that constitute the philosophical bedrock for these societies have come under withering attack, primarily from the authoritarians in the academy and their dissident allies in the elite media. Only Western nations are self-critical and self-auditing to the point where preposterous equivalence is drawn on virtually any political matter and leisured old fools endlessly criticize the very political and economic systems that have provided them the freedom to openly criticize and the leisure to so hypocritically do so.

When Western nations, either expressly or by passivity, determine that their values are no longer worth fighting for, the world will indeed be plunged into a new dark age where notions of liberty and plurality will be laughed at as antiquated memories of an age. We are seeing the beginnings of this already, in the tension between, for example, the tolerance (legal, cultural and alienage) shown a hate preacher on the streets of London who would nevertheless recruit citizens to turn around an attack those in that same city for that very same tolerance.

Nick's analysis is spot on, except perhaps for the top down view. He's unclear on precisely who is at the top, at least from a new dark age perspective.

Wrong on a couple of counts.

Any system that will not tolerate criticism will fossilise and atrophy. Criticism is good, when well reasoned and fact based. That is how we develop and improve. Don't knock it.

You comment about our tolerance of hate speech is so ripe as to be verging on hypocritical. We have robust laws dealing with hate speech, you have the 1st amendment.

I was quite clear who is on top in the US, and you do not yet have a dark age perspective, you may be on the slippery slope but you are not there yet.

ishmael
04-27-2015, 01:17 PM
Going out to eat, which isn't often these days, seeing a handsome young couple. They aren't attending to their meals or each other, they are texting.

A sure sign of the apocalypse.

Peerie Maa
04-27-2015, 01:19 PM
Going out to eat, which isn't often these days, seeing a handsome young couple. They aren't attending to their meals or each other, they are texting.

A sure sign of the apocalypse.

Extremely rude, unless they are texting each other. :)

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 01:19 PM
I love me a good semi serious sky blue post

I know you do, buddy. :) You nailed it; it is a semi-serious analysis. Still, the OP is about a new dark age. With ISIS and other such groups in ascendance just now, the notion of the ramifications of Western decline in that context should cause thinking people to consider what the world might look like in 30-40 years. I suggest that compared to one's ordinary life in a Western country, living in an ISIS-dominated community would indeed have one feeling that a new dark age has descended. Paradoxically, the technology that is the now definitive aspect of modern life may well be the seeds sown for its downfall.

In all seriousness, however, I am concerned about what I see and what it portends for Western culture and the world generally. It is as messy as it has been in my lifetime, nearly 50 years now, with no signs that things will be getting "better" anytime soon. Were it not for the economic dominance of the West, things would be heading in that direction much more quickly than they are.

Paul Pless
04-27-2015, 01:24 PM
Going out to eat, which isn't often these days, seeing a handsome young couple. They aren't attending to their meals or each other, they are texting.

A sure sign of the apocalypse.what's it mean if its a handsome middle aged couple that's been together for a while?

how do you know they were texting and not surfing the woodenboat forum?

Keith Wilson
04-27-2015, 01:25 PM
All Western nations are currently experiencing this phenomenon of disenlightenment, wherein the very principles that constitute the philosophical bedrock for these societies have come under withering attack, primarily from the authoritarians in the academy and their dissident allies in the elite media.'Authoritarians in the Academy and their dissident allies in the elite media'? Right. http://www.reduser.net/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif Well, there are some like that; if you look you can find them, although their heyday was thirty or forty years ago, and now that Communism's pretty much dead, they're mostly just atavistic relics. But dude, you've heard of the Christian Right? Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz and the like? The Dominionists? The Oath Keepers? You want a serious attack on Enlightenment Humanism with some political power, look right.

Jack, you're turning into an old grouch. Ever since we lived in caves, old guys have thought the younger generation was going to hell. "Yeah, none of the kids can make a decent flint arrowhead anymore, and you should see the sloppy way they skin a mammoth! I tell you, back in my day . . . "

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 01:29 PM
we have robust laws dealing with hate speech

Perhaps. Why those laws are not being enforced in certain cases, would seem to be the more relevant issue. Get informed, Nick. Convenient as it may be to believe, the "Little Englanders" are not the threat.

http://www.clarionproject.org/news/uk-hate-preacher-choudary-linked-terror-netowrk

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/hate-preachers-disgusting-sermon-praising-boko-harams-kidnap-of-nigerian-schoolgirls-9452195.html

Peerie Maa
04-27-2015, 01:29 PM
I suggest that compared to one's ordinary life in a Western country, living in an ISIS-dominated community would indeed have one feeling that a new dark age has descended. Paradoxically, the technology that is the now definitive aspect of modern life may well be the seeds sown for its downfall.

In all seriousness, however, I am concerned about what I see and what it portends for Western culture and the world generally. It is as messy as it has been in my lifetime, nearly 50 years now, with no signs that things will be getting "better" anytime soon. Were it not for the economic dominance of the West, things would be heading in that direction much more quickly than they are.

The communities that are being fought over by ISIS are now in their Dark Ages phase, having had their flowering when Europe was in its Dark Age. I am more optimistic that ISIS will be stopped or will burn itself out.

As to this being as turbulent a time as you have seen, it is still a damned sight less violent than the period from 1914 through to the 1950's.

ishmael
04-27-2015, 01:30 PM
Paul,

A middle-aged couple would likely be attending their meals, and each other.

Paul Pless
04-27-2015, 01:31 PM
okay young middle aged couple :D

LeeG
04-27-2015, 01:32 PM
Preposterous equivalence beats a good argument!

LeeG
04-27-2015, 01:34 PM
Pretty sure we're all going to die.

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 01:38 PM
you're turning into an old grouch

The OP is about a new dark age, Keith. What do you want? A parade with jugglers and cotton candy?

You can deny the phenomenon, as you have, and that's fine. Those not so quick to be dismissive, however, are unlikely to view it happily and in an "un-grouchy" manner.

Oh, and thanks for a DIRECT example of my equivalence argument, comparing Cruz et al (odious as they no doubt are) to the ISIS headchopping bunch. This is precisely the sort of unserious, silly, falsely-equivalent argument that people make that per se consign them to the children's table in debates of the kind.

I'll send some milk and cookies over in a bit...:rolleyes:

Peerie Maa
04-27-2015, 01:41 PM
Perhaps. Why those laws are not being enforced in certain cases, would seem to be the more relevant issue. Get informed, Nick. Convenient as it may be to believe, the "Little Englanders" are not the threat.

http://www.clarionproject.org/news/uk-hate-preacher-choudary-linked-terror-netowrk

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/hate-preachers-disgusting-sermon-praising-boko-harams-kidnap-of-nigerian-schoolgirls-9452195.html


Tue, November 26, 2013



Updated: 20:09, 29 May 2014



Kind of out of date there Mr Blue.

How would the US deal with a US born muslim preaching the same views then?

John of Phoenix
04-27-2015, 01:43 PM
The only significant difference between reds and ISIS is the blood. Other than that, the goals are quite similar.

LeeG
04-27-2015, 01:43 PM
Paul,

A middle-aged couple would likely be attending their meals, and each other.

They could also be living in an estranged detente with walls and defenses defining their relationship.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
04-27-2015, 01:44 PM
L Sprague De Camp "Lest Darkness fall"

Keith Wilson
04-27-2015, 01:44 PM
Oh, and thanks for a DIRECT example of my equivalence argument, comparing Cruz et al (odious as they no doubt are) to the ISIS headchopping bunch.Read it again, please, that's not what I said at all. The US Christian Right is in no way comparable to ISIS, and I sincerely hope they never will be. I was was comparing internal threats to "the very principles that constitute the philosophical bedrock". You mentioned "authoritarians in the academy and their dissident allies in the elite media", and it was obviously to them that I was comparing Mr. Cruz and his fellow travellers.

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 01:49 PM
How would the US deal with a US born muslim preaching the same views then?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anwar_al-Awlaki


Neither approach (tolerant coddling vs. drone assassination) is particularly encouraging from an enlightenment perspective, I'm sure you'll agree.

Kevin T
04-27-2015, 01:55 PM
You doubt that there are fusion centers or what is your point ?

Belief in their existence isn't really the point, it was his contention that they had/have some nefarious operating brief. Life's too short to worry about such things.

Chip-skiff
04-27-2015, 01:55 PM
Nick's analysis is spot on, except perhaps for the top down view. He's unclear on precisely who is at the top, at least from a new dark age perspective.

Who are your arch-villains?

Mere professors? Certainly not the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch, or Sheldon Adelson.

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 01:57 PM
Read it again, please, that's not what I said at all. The US Christian Right is in no way comparable to ISIS, and I sincerely hope they never will be. I was was comparing internal threats to "the very principles that constitute the philosophical bedrock". You mentioned "authoritarians in the academy and their dissident allies in the elite media", and it was obviously to them that I was comparing Mr. Cruz and his fellow travellers.

I'll accept your clarified comparison as what you meant, Keith (though it remains ambiguous as written). I will nevertheless disagree that Mr. Cruz and his bunch have anywhere near the power that the elites in the academy and the media share. Wouldn't you agree that the regressives at Fox News are much more powerful than Mr. Cruz "and his fellow travelers?" Seriously?

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 01:59 PM
who are your arch villians?

In a dark age context? Are we still about the OP? Thought so. ISIS and their fellow travelers would fit the bill. They've declared it.

CWSmith
04-27-2015, 02:00 PM
The pendulum swings, but as Keith says we are making progress.

The last few decades have been revolutionary in both Earth and American history. Granted, places like Afghanistan have not kept up and there are populations in the USA that feel threatened by the change. They are scared. They react badly. But they are losing the battle and in the long run the world becomes a better place.

I think that gay rights are an excellent example. The last 4 years or so have been extraordinary. There is bound to be a push back, but just as certainly they will lose. It's our job to maintain the pressure and move the country (world) in the right direction of greater human rights, freedom, and true democracy.

Peerie Maa
04-27-2015, 02:01 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anwar_al-Awlaki


Neither approach (tolerant coddling vs. drone assassination) is particularly encouraging from an enlightenment perspective, I'm sure you'll agree.

Nice try, but no coconut, and you know it.

Joris
04-27-2015, 02:02 PM
Perhaps. Why those laws are not being enforced in certain cases, would seem to be the more relevant issue. Get informed, Nick. Convenient as it may be to believe, the "Little Englanders" are not the threat.


He was jailed so i guess those laws are being enforced...
What happened to this nice fellow? ; http://samuel-warde.com/2014/11/christian-pastor-preaches-death-obama-calls-mother-whore-video/

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 02:04 PM
I answered your question, Nick. Credibility on the issue requires your articulation as to why "no coconut" rather than just saying so (and you know it).

Ted Hoppe
04-27-2015, 02:08 PM
A dark age could be happening in our time as the new order of knowledge based work is held by smaller families and clans/clicks of economic advantage. if we look at the Age of Enlightenment as was based on a social awaking across the entire economic spectrum based on new intellectual freedoms, wider commerce and shared material prosperity and pose the metrics to needs of the moneyed classes. we can already see they hat happens between those haves and have nots. I can imagine a modern world where 85 percent of the worlds population is not needed, or able to gain footholds or grasp the prosperity of due to technology gains and narrowed shared knowledge in a post industrial world where there are limited resources.

TomZ
04-27-2015, 02:10 PM
I think we are headed toward it. It isn't inevitable. We can choose to do differently.

It's just night-time - sun will be back tomorrow.

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 02:13 PM
a dark age could be happening in our time

^ this is another point of view on the dark age concept that is gaining credence. Once the province of the post-apocalyptic bunch, the "Hunger Games meets technology" analysis is being taken seriously by many thinkers today. It too should be seriously discussed.

Ted Hoppe
04-27-2015, 02:14 PM
It's just night-time - sun will be back tomorrow.

I learned not much good happens between the hours of 11:30pm and 4am. Mostly at this times, these bad things catch us sleeping.

JimD
04-27-2015, 02:19 PM
"Dark Age" as in the historic sense of cultural and economic deterioration?

The Dark Ages is a historical periodization used originally for the Middle Ages, which emphasizes the cultural and economic deterioration that supposedly occurred in Western Europe following the decline of the Roman Empire. The label employs traditional light-versus-darkness imagery to contrast the "darkness" of the period with earlier and later periods of "light". The period is characterized by a relative scarcity of historical and other written records at least for some areas of Europe, rendering it obscure to historians. The term "Dark Age" derives from the Latin saeculum obscurum, originally applied by Caesar Baronius in 1602 to a tumultuous period in the 10th and 11th centuries.

I'm with this. It is the accepted academic definition of Dark Age. Does the OP think there is another one of these on the way? Are we entering a new period about which information will be scarce to future historians? These are interesting questions. But most likely not interesting enough to get much copy in this thread. And given the OPs history on this forum, he is more interested in vague poetic associations with the word dark. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

TomZ
04-27-2015, 02:21 PM
I learned not much good happens between the hours of 11:30pm and 4am. Mostly at this times, these bad things catch us sleeping.

Stay carefully ahead of the langoliers during this timeframe.

LeeG
04-27-2015, 02:36 PM
How could "we" be heading for it but it's not inevitable? How can one chose collectively to change the inevitable consequences of infinite growth in a finite world?

Oh fart on vague trolling declarations and preposterous equivalencies

Peerie Maa
04-27-2015, 02:46 PM
I answered your question, Nick. Credibility on the issue requires your articulation as to why "no coconut" rather than just saying so (and you know it).

We were discussing hate speech on US soil, not an act of undeclared war on a foreign territory. If you want to discuss how the US deals with hate speech on US soil by a US citizen, I won't feel that you are avoiding question.

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 03:10 PM
If you want to discuss...

Actually, I don't. This is a thread about a new dark age, not an argument about which country better deals with hate speech.

You wanted to discuss hate speech on US soil, Nick, in order to deflect the larger discussion involving self-critical Western democracies eroding their own philosophical bedrock into a different discussion or argument about how each society tolerates hate speech. I just brought the UK situation up as an example, as there seems to be more intolerance (in my view) toward persons critical of these hate preachers in the UK than there is real, tangible criticism of the hate preachers themselves. And so they persist.

This is not the situation in the US, yet. It isn't about who gets to say what under various laws. It is whether persons in society in general has been intimidated sufficient that criticism of such hatred is effectively squelched or muted via multicultural pieties or institutionalized shame about an imperialist histories.

Arresting a fool and jailing him for a night or two is not what I'd call and effective response. The issue is one of the comfort level of the speakers themselves to come out and preach as they do, knowing as they do that there will be little sanction of any kind and no matter what they say, persons will politely carry on as if nothing is amiss. This is the erosion of which I speak. Persons are reluctant to take a stand and fight for those very values that make their society unique.

Nicholas Scheuer
04-27-2015, 03:11 PM
Essentially the same thing being posted in the Plutocrats and Pitchforks thread below; either change distribution of wealth, or end up back in Fuedal times, with most folks being peasants working for a few vastly wealthy lords. F--- that1

Peerie Maa
04-27-2015, 03:14 PM
Actually, I don't. This is a thread about a new dark age, not an argument about which country better deals with hate speech.

You wanted to discuss hate speech on US soil, Nick, in order to deflect the larger discussion involving self-critical Western democracies eroding their own philosophical bedrock into a different discussion or argument about how each society tolerates hate speech. I just brought the UK situation up as an example, as there seems to be more intolerance (in my view) toward persons critical of these hate preachers in the UK than there is real, tangible criticism of the hate preachers themselves. And so they persist.

This is not the situation in the US, yet. It isn't about who gets to say what under various laws. It is whether persons in society in general has been intimidated sufficient that criticism of such hatred is effectively squelched or muted via multicultural pieties or institutionalized shame about an imperialist histories.

Arresting a fool and jailing him for a night or two is not what I'd call and effective response. The issue is one of the comfort level of the speakers themselves to come out and preach as they do, knowing as they do that there will be little sanction of any kind and no matter what they say, persons will politely carry on as if nothing is amiss. This is the erosion of which I speak. Persons are reluctant to take a stand and fight for those very values that make their society unique.

Actually all I was doing was pushing back at your inaccurate, hypocritical cow chips. You are the one who first went off topic, not I. :p

Peerie Maa
04-27-2015, 03:16 PM
Essentially the same thing being posted in the Plutocrats and Pitchforks thread below; either change distribution of wealth, or end up back in Fuedal times, with most folks being peasants working for a few vastly wealthy lords. F--- that1

No, it is more than that, important as that is. It is also about creating a celebration of ignorance, disparaging and distrusting education and all of the other bad things discussed on this forum.

johnw
04-27-2015, 03:40 PM
All Western nations are currently experiencing this phenomenon of disenlightenment, wherein the very principles that constitute the philosophical bedrock for these societies have come under withering attack, primarily from the authoritarians in the academy and their dissident allies in the elite media. Only Western nations are self-critical and self-auditing to the point where preposterous equivalence is drawn on virtually any political matter and leisured old fools endlessly criticize the very political and economic systems that have provided them the freedom to openly criticize and the leisure to so hypocritically do so.

When Western nations, either expressly or by passivity, determine that their values are no longer worth fighting for, the world will indeed be plunged into a new dark age where notions of liberty and plurality will be laughed at as antiquated memories of an age. We are seeing the beginnings of this already, in the tension between, for example, the tolerance (legal, cultural and alienage) shown a hate preacher on the streets of London who would nevertheless recruit citizens to turn around an attack those in that same city for that very same tolerance.

Nick's analysis is spot on, except perhaps for the top down view. He's unclear on precisely who is at the top, at least from a new dark age perspective.

The enlightenment was the age of reason. The dark ages are those of religion and superstition.

If I had to name a moment for the beginning of the dark age, it would be Justinian's closing of the schools. He didn't close all the schools, just the pagan and Jewish ones, because he viewed Christianity as the only path to truth. So, if you're worried about the counter enlightenment, worry about those who want to prevent science from being taught, such as evolution, and those who insist that we are a Christain nation rather than an enlightenment nation which provides us with freedom of conscience rather than insisting we all worship one way.

You'll be less than astonished to learn that I've been thinking about this and researching it, and have posted on it.

http://booksellersvsbestsellers.blogspot.com/2014/10/how-to-start-dark-age-and-what-myths.html

skuthorp
04-27-2015, 04:09 PM
A dark age could be happening in our time as the new order of knowledge based work is held by smaller families and clans/clicks of economic advantage. if we look at the Age of Enlightenment as was based on a social awaking across the entire economic spectrum based on new intellectual freedoms, wider commerce and shared material prosperity and pose the metrics to needs of the moneyed classes. we can already see they hat happens between those haves and have nots. I can imagine a modern world where 85 percent of the worlds population is not needed, or able to gain footholds or grasp the prosperity of due to technology gains and narrowed shared knowledge in a post industrial world where there are limited resources.
I think, and have for a while, that Ted has it right. And Thatcher and Reagan thought so as well, coining a term, "Tittytainment" to describe a diet of TV soft porn, violence and sport to keep the masses distracted lest, as someones thread says, they come after the elites with metaphorical pitchforks. And looking at TV these days it seems they got that part right. And of course automation and 'self service' are just in their infancy despite their penetration in industry.

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 04:57 PM
if you're worried about the counter enlightenment, worry about those who want to prevent science from being taught, such as evolution, and those who insist that we are a Christain nation rather than an enlightenment nation which provides us with freedom of conscience rather than insisting we all worship one way.


The last time I checked, the Administration is not carrying out an air campaign against Ted Cruz's people in Texas. I recognize your paradigm, johnw, but it is overly narrow. Politically convenient? Sure.

The people that concern you are not the only group who will have a say (or want to have a say). There are a great many more stakeholders interested in "truth" these days. The world is a community in myriad ways that were not true 1000 years ago. The folks chopping heads in the ME would be disinclined to allow the Cruz bunch to have any say whatsoever and would get busy with those heads as well. Blaming the fundies in America for the possible onset of a new dark age is hardly persuasive.

The forces of disenlightenment today and in the future will be much more complex than simple religious nuts trying to impose their vision on the rest of us. As you note, Justinian centralized power over what was deemed to be true; today, with the technology revolution, precisely the opposite may be said to be occurring, that is, a virtual world is being created where nothing can be said to be objectively true, nothing is to be judged except by generally-agreed criteria, and in fact, reason must be suspended if politically inconvenient answers are generated.

That this is allowed to persist in the cause of what some perceive as the greater good is the new starting point, imho. That hardly can be placed at the doorstep of the Cruz bunch, who have little real power on the order of the Emperor Justinian.

Everyone today seems to have their own articles of faith, whether grounded in reason, organized religion, or some other dogma. Science has not even scratched the surface in explaining the larger questions facing humanity now and in the future, and even if it could, there is no reason to think that solutions would be occasioned simply because we now "know" things.

People knew things in Justinian's time, too. Closing a few schools did not change that.

seanz
04-27-2015, 05:05 PM
A dark age could be happening in our time as the new order of knowledge based work is held by smaller families and clans/clicks of economic advantage. if we look at the Age of Enlightenment as was based on a social awaking across the entire economic spectrum based on new intellectual freedoms, wider commerce and shared material prosperity and pose the metrics to needs of the moneyed classes. we can already see they hat happens between those haves and have nots. I can imagine a modern world where 85 percent of the worlds population is not needed, or able to gain footholds or grasp the prosperity of due to technology gains and narrowed shared knowledge in a post industrial world where there are limited resources.

You're being ironic, aren't you? I just thought I'd ask because that 85% is roughly the amount of people in the World that aren't "fully engaged on the prosperity level" (poor) right now.

johnw
04-27-2015, 05:43 PM
The last time I checked, the Administration is not carrying out an air campaign against Ted Cruz's people in Texas. I recognize your paradigm, johnw, but it is overly narrow. Politically convenient? Sure.

The people that concern you are not the only group who will have a say (or want to have a say). There are a great many more stakeholders interested in "truth" these days. The world is a community in myriad ways that were not true 1000 years ago. The folks chopping heads in the ME would be disinclined to allow the Cruz bunch to have any say whatsoever and would get busy with those heads as well. Blaming the fundies in America for the possible onset of a new dark age is hardly persuasive.

The forces of disenlightenment today and in the future will be much more complex than simple religious nuts trying to impose their vision on the rest of us. As you note, Justinian centralized power over what was deemed to be true; today, with the technology revolution, precisely the opposite may be said to be occurring, that is, a virtual world is being created where nothing can be said to be objectively true, nothing is to be judged except by generally-agreed criteria, and in fact, reason must be suspended if politically inconvenient answers are generated.

That this is allowed to persist in the cause of what some perceive as the greater good is the new starting point, imho. That hardly can be placed at the doorstep of the Cruz bunch, who have little real power on the order of the Emperor Justinian.

Everyone today seems to have their own articles of faith, whether grounded in reason, organized religion, or some other dogma. Science has not even scratched the surface in explaining the larger questions facing humanity now and in the future, and even if it could, there is no reason to think that solutions would be occasioned simply because we now "know" things.

People knew things in Justinian's time, too. Closing a few schools did not change that.

That's a pretty impressive misreading of what I said. Of course the fundamentalist Christians and Muslims would not get along. That's precisely how they are useful to each other. They use each other to make their followers afraid, and fear is a great enemy of reason.

Your postmodern approach to truth seems to be increasingly common on the right. I first noticed it with Philip Johnson's arguments against evolution (http://booksellersvsbestsellers.blogspot.com/2010/09/scientific-truth-and-emotion-of-belief.html). Johnson picked up the old Marxist idea that "truth" always serves political ends and applied it to his favorite topic.

But that's not how science and intellectual inquiry of the kind that built the Enlightenment and was the basis for our society works. Unless you are free to doubt the accepted truths, to present evidence for a new interpretation of facts, you are not free to engage in intellectual inquiry. When Abu Hamid Al Ghazali (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Ghazali) declared that only the Koran could be relied upon for truth, he was also declaring that all doubters of religious truth were wrong, and worse, heretical. Doubt, that essential tool of intellectual growth, was banished, and a dark age followed.

You can ask Giordano Bruno (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giordano_Bruno) about how the Catholic Church affected intellectual discourse. And now you claim it is the scholars who are the problem, not those who would keep them from teaching the truth as they know it. Calling the age of reduced knowledge a dark age goes back to Petrarch in the 14th century.

Petrarch was the first to use darkness as a metaphor for ignorance rather than evil. While others had seen the age of classical antiquity as a "dark" age for its lack of Christianity, he said was it as a "light" age for its intellectual accomplishments. He saw his own as an age of darkness, in the sense of ignorance. The dark age, in the sense intended by those who originated the phrase, was an age of piety and ignorance. Scholars wanted freedom of thought so that they could progress in their knowledge, and gaining that freedom and making that progress was the Enlightenment.

Flying Orca
04-27-2015, 05:51 PM
Going out to eat, which isn't often these days, seeing a handsome young couple. They aren't attending to their meals or each other, they are texting.

A sure sign of the apocalypse.

I don't think such a judgement could possibly be well-founded unless you are inside their skins.

ron ll
04-27-2015, 05:59 PM
Seriously, Jack, I have a book recommendation for you: Steven Pinker, The Better Angels Of Our Nature (http://www.amazon.com/The-Better-Angels-Our-Nature/dp/1455883115). It's something like 850 pages, has a gigantic pile of statistics, and demonstrates very convincingly that violence of almost all types has been declining for most of human history, and that even with mechanized warfare and totalitarianism, we live in the most peaceable era ever. Hell, I'll even send you a copy if you promise to read it.

I wish everyone would read that book. I've been hawking it for a few years now. It's hard to convince people of Pinker's premise by trying to explain it. No one will believe it. But he makes a very convincing case and he certainly has the cred to back it up.

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 06:19 PM
I appreciate your certainty, johnw. But for your analysis to be correct, all we would need to do is eradicate the various and sundry fundies here and thereabouts and all would be well for truth and knowledge in an idealized new age. Seen that way, it doesn't seem terribly realistic, does it? But that is precisely what you are telling me.

Also, your analysis has almost nothing to do with "today" other than few convenient targets in a handful of nations, relying as it does almost exclusively on what occurred 1000 years ago, where the scope of the true and knowable world was not even perceived. I don't think the future dark age will be caused by the same philosophical forces responsible for the last one. Mankind has evolved past that, indeed, post-modern thinking, as you correctly note, would probably not allow it.

That the milieu is now global is the first reason why. I believe that decentralization of the issue of knowable "truth," not its centralization, as in your Justinian example, all as facilitated by modern social media and its continuing evolving technologies, will usher in this new age, indeed (it may already proceeding apace) if it is actually to come to pass.

ron ll
04-27-2015, 06:26 PM
When I was a kid, most people were quite sure that "the bomb" was going to take out the whole planet long before the 21st century arrived.

johnw
04-27-2015, 06:43 PM
I appreciate your certainty, johnw. But for your analysis to be correct, all we would need to do is eradicate the various and sundry fundies here and thereabouts and all would be well for truth and knowledge in an idealized new age. Seen that way, it doesn't seem terribly realistic, does it? But that is precisely what you are telling me.

Also, your analysis has almost nothing to do with "today" other than few convenient targets in a handful of nations, relying as it does almost exclusively on what occurred 1000 years ago, where the scope of the true and knowable world was not even perceived. I don't think the future dark age will be caused by the same philosophical forces responsible for the last one. Mankind has evolved past that, indeed, post-modern thinking, as you correctly note, would probably not allow it.

That the milieu is now global is the first reason why. I believe that decentralization of the issue of knowable "truth," not its centralization, as in your Justinian example, all as facilitated by modern social media and its continuing evolving technologies, will usher in this new age, indeed (it may already proceeding apace) if it is actually to come to pass.

You're putting words in my mouth, like a common golem!

I've said nothing about getting rid of any fundamentalists. For one thing, that would include most of my blood relatives, and I like them. I have certainly not said that post-modern thinking would prevent the same thing as happened before from happening again, nor do I believe it.

What I do think is that we need to stick up for freedom of conscience and knowledge gained through doubt and inquiry. You claim examples of how dark ages were started in the past have nothing to do with the present day, but I don't buy your notion that technology has made some great change in the way human societies work. Fear can make people turn from reason now as easily as it did in the past.

And finally, I don't share your post-modern approach to truth. I find it cynical and facile, and not at all helpful in discovering new knowledge. Doubt, intellectual honesty, and the humility to admit what you don't yet know are more helpful in that endeavor. This is the problem I have with Philip Johnson. He uses these post-modern techniques to undermine those who have actually done the work of unearthing and arguing about the evidence, then arrogates to himself the power to decide what is true, based on religious texts.

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 07:00 PM
I've said nothing about getting rid of fundamentalists

I know you didn't. But in considering your proposition as to who we might most fear, it seemed useful to consider if we take away all of these people, do we still risk a dark age? I say we do. Which means that they really aren't at the root of the current risk, imho.


I don't buy your notion that technology has made some great change in the way human societies work...

There is increasingly a great deal of scholarship that is looking at precisely this question. I am currently reading this book, which examines the issue from various points of view:


http://ww4.hdnux.com/photos/35/42/02/7741575/5/920x920.jpg

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 07:11 PM
lol

johnw
04-27-2015, 07:40 PM
I know you didn't. But in considering your proposition as to who we might most fear, it seemed useful to consider if we take away all of these people, do we still risk a dark age? I say we do. Which means that they really aren't at the root of the current risk, imho.



There is increasingly a great deal of scholarship that is looking at precisely this question. I am currently reading this book, which examines the issue from various points of view:


http://ww4.hdnux.com/photos/35/42/02/7741575/5/920x920.jpg

Constant connection is a choice, and even so, you haven't made any sort of case that it could be connected to a new dark age.

What do you consider the possible force leading to a new dark age?

JimD
04-27-2015, 07:42 PM
I think you wrong. Body language tells a great deal about what people are thinking and feeling. Can you feel my love now ?:)I don't know about FO, but I can certainly feel it. It feels kind of like muck squishing between my toes. Maybe we should take our relationship to the next level and start texting.

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 07:46 PM
Constant connection is a choice

That is becoming less and less true, johnw. One of the themes in the book is the extent to which persons may reasonably "opt-out." It is becoming more and more difficult.


you haven't made any sort of case that it could be connected to a new dark age.


See above.

johnw
04-27-2015, 08:22 PM
That is becoming less and less true, johnw. One of the themes in the book is the extent to which persons may reasonably "opt-out." It is becoming more and more difficult.



See above.

Are you referring to your assertion that the decentralization of the question of what is true would lead to a new dark age?

You didn't explain how that would happen, and your assumption that Justinian succeeded in centralizing the process of determining truth was wrong as well. Communication broke down in the dark age he helped usher in, and he didn't control much of Christendom. It was the attitude that he represented that ushered in the dark age, an attitude that the Church, whether Catholic or Orthodox, was the source of truth. Neither church was especially centralized at the time. The problem was a retreat from reason, not the centralization of power over truth.

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 08:32 PM
the problem was ... not the centralization of power over truth

See your own linked material, johnw (paragraph 7); you made this claim on behalf of Justinian, not me. Perhaps an editorial review of your material is in order. :)

In any event, one with the power to close all schools and does so, keeping open only those with an officially-sanctioned curriculum, certainly would appear to have a centralizing authority over the dissemination of "truth."

johnw
04-27-2015, 08:42 PM
See your own linked material, johnw (paragraph 7); you made this claim on behalf of Justinian, not me. Perhaps an editorial review of your material is in order. :)

In any event, one with the power to close all schools and does so, keeping open only those with an officially-sanctioned curriculum, certainly would appear to have a centralizing authority over the dissemination of "truth."

Oh, he was certainly attempting to centralize control over truth, and undermine what he saw as opponents to Christianity. My point was that this spread to regions that were not in his control.

You still haven't explained how you think a new dark age could come from decentralized control over what is considered true. It's a provocative idea, and I'd like to see you enlarge on it.

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 08:55 PM
It is a provocative idea...

I'm working on it. It is a bit of a new idea for me, one for which I am drawing from a number of sources. Part of it involves themes in Silverman's book, part of it involves, for example, ISIS' apparent ability to recruit an army and operate a de facto government using little more than cell phones, each one of which can be used to transfer money, ideas, orders, ideologies at any single point on earth to any other.

This has an extremely decentralizing effect and presents an immense challenge to centralized authority. One can easily imagine that with the right conditions, nation/states and their respective raisons-d'etres could cease to have any real meaning, or perhaps significantly less meaning than has been the case throughout history, with new unifying themes emerging to bind persons to ideas/pathologies.

Gerarddm
04-27-2015, 08:56 PM
William Gibson's take:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Peripheral

Keith Wilson
04-27-2015, 08:57 PM
I'd think it's at least as likely to move things in the opposite direction; toward more-nearly-universal access to accurate information rather than post-modern 'truthiness'. When a significant percentage of the world's population has a good portion of the accumulated knowledge of mankind in their pocket - that's unprecedented. Of course, there's a lot of crap mixed in, but on any subject having to do with the physical world, true knowledge has an enormous advantage - IT WORKS. Obviously it's not that simple, (see discussions of climate change) but on a smaller scale, truth wins out because it can be tested and it produces the desired result. People can develop bullsh!t detectors; remember that this technology is new and still developing. Consider the proliferation of quite accurate and generally respected fact-checking - Snopes, politifact, factcheck.org, etc. Perhaps I'm too optimistic, but I think the meme that 'we're entitled to our own opinions but not our own facts' is very powerful, and instant access to information helps the truth as much as it does lies, probably more so.

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 09:05 PM
I don't think you are too optimistic, Keith, the doom and gloom stuff is entertaining and attractive intellectually (kind of "fun" if you will), but it may well be just as likely that things could go in the opposite direction with more justice, transparency and civilizing forces continuing to prevail. Your view is worthwhile even if only for one's general optimism about humanity, one's children and grandchildren, the future of the world and the sense that man's basic nature is essentially good and that we can learn and evolve and are not necessarily doomed to return to another dark age.

Keith Wilson
04-27-2015, 09:10 PM
I don't know if our nature is essentially good - mixed, I'd say, and evolved to live in small bands of hunter-gatherers in a state of anarchy - - but we can and do behave quite well most of the time. And we can, and have, learned how to behave much better as a species. We could certainly f***it up, though.

Sky Blue
04-27-2015, 09:16 PM
We could certainly f*** it up

Yes, and it is possible to do that, I think, with this sort of blind acceptance that all of this new technology is a wonderful thing, all of the connectedness, all of the data trails, instant publishing, one's status as a digitized person and one's status as corporeal, and so forth. Nothing in history has been so transformative, so quickly, for so many. I am not entirely sure we aren't going down a deep rabbit hole with this stuff.

mikefrommontana
04-27-2015, 10:50 PM
What it appears is that the the cycle of history (from a Hegel perspective) is turning from national capitalism/representative democracy, to global tribalism. The tribes will be the corporations, who are trying to stake out their territories and spheres of influence.

When the corporations complete their ascendency, then the Dark Ages will begin in earnest. In this I see that innovation, especially in systems that support the global population (energy, transport, housing, food) will effectively stop. Following this, by accident or design, will be ecological and logistical collapse that will serve to remove the unnecessary classes (the 85% that John W. alludes to). After all, if you've the power, and the justification (of religion) or ignorance (corporate control of the media) why would you care?

Keith Wilson
04-27-2015, 10:59 PM
'Cycles of history' are something we make up after the fact to try to make events into a coherent story. We like stories. that's how our minds work, but they're of very little predictive value.

ishmael
04-27-2015, 11:16 PM
Golly, you guys are sexy. Before your mate dismisses you on a night they have a headache have them read some of these posts. Strong arguments!

What do we really want? I don't want much. A lover who will both cozen me and kick me in the ass. Honesty, not romance per se. A little romance could be good. A handful of flowers.

LeeG
04-28-2015, 10:32 AM
Golly

PhaseLockedLoop
04-28-2015, 11:28 AM
...but on any subject having to do with the physical world....truth wins out because it can be tested and it produces the desired result.

It produces a predictable result. What you're saying (I think) is that truth is power, and that anything that doesn't enhance power (that being the test) isn't true. Am I wrong?


People can develop bullsh!t detectors; remember that this technology is new and still developing.

Quite a jump from physical science to social issues. What's the test? And who believes the result? Reductionism makes some sense in physical science. In the social sphere, what gets reduced is often what many people want to retain, though they don't necessarily know what it is.

Back in '85 or so there was an article in BYTE magazine entitled Artificial Stupidity. It set forth a plan to develop software system which would take a desired result--say, that fracking is good--and assemble material which could set forth selected facts or factoids, with plausible connectors, to arrive at the desired result. Much later there was a description of such a system in some book by Douglas Adams (I believe he must have written the BYTE article). In the book, the CIA instantly purchased the software, forbidding the author to mention it. Cute.

L.W. Baxter
04-28-2015, 12:00 PM
I'm just glad this wasn't a link to a Fred Reed column. Remember "the browning of America"? Thought maybe he had upped the rhetorical ante.

Sky Blue
04-28-2015, 12:59 PM
Fred Reed sighting!

I don't read you as one who would be disposed to Mr. Reed's perspectives, L.W. How was it that you came along to Mr. Reed in the first place? He's not terribly well known.

johnw
04-28-2015, 01:00 PM
What it appears is that the the cycle of history (from a Hegel perspective) is turning from national capitalism/representative democracy, to global tribalism. The tribes will be the corporations, who are trying to stake out their territories and spheres of influence.

When the corporations complete their ascendency, then the Dark Ages will begin in earnest. In this I see that innovation, especially in systems that support the global population (energy, transport, housing, food) will effectively stop. Following this, by accident or design, will be ecological and logistical collapse that will serve to remove the unnecessary classes (the 85% that John W. alludes to). After all, if you've the power, and the justification (of religion) or ignorance (corporate control of the media) why would you care?

I don't think we've seen the last of the nation state, but we do seem to be evolving large trade blocks in which groups like the Scots and the Catalonians feel safe enough to contemplate splitting their tribe off from the larger state.

What global capitalism does is make the old-fashioned mercantilist empire obsolete. Corporate income becomes stateless, and the wealth they generate no longer goes to support the military that makes their profits possible.

http://booksellersvsbestsellers.blogspot.com/2013/04/stateless-income-global-capital-and.html

johnw
04-28-2015, 01:11 PM
I'm working on it. It is a bit of a new idea for me, one for which I am drawing from a number of sources. Part of it involves themes in Silverman's book, part of it involves, for example, ISIS' apparent ability to recruit an army and operate a de facto government using little more than cell phones, each one of which can be used to transfer money, ideas, orders, ideologies at any single point on earth to any other.

This has an extremely decentralizing effect and presents an immense challenge to centralized authority. One can easily imagine that with the right conditions, nation/states and their respective raisons-d'etres could cease to have any real meaning, or perhaps significantly less meaning than has been the case throughout history, with new unifying themes emerging to bind persons to ideas/pathologies.

Well, I can see some things that might support this. For example, movements like ISIS used to need journalists to get their message out. Now they can get it out directly through social media, so they just kill the journalists or hold them for ransom. However, I'm not convinced that ISIS is sustainable. In another year, we'll know more.

As for talking on cell phones, that seems to attract drones and lead to an early death for ISIS leaders.

One thing about the new communications landscape, it does lend itself to epistemic closure. You don't need to read anything that would undermine your preferred beliefs. Myths might be a load of bull, but a load of bull can act as myths do. (http://booksellersvsbestsellers.blogspot.com/2015/04/bull****-as-myth.html)

Sky Blue
04-28-2015, 01:19 PM
you don't need to read anything that would undermine your preferred beliefs

Silverman points out that we slowly are moving towards a situation where your clicks and searches, over time, are creating a digital "profile" for which news pieces, products and services are all pre-selected for you based on that profile, and so at some point in the near future, you will simply get what the platform operator decides that you will get, based on your interests, and not only would we have a world where you don't need to read anything that would undermine your beliefs, you soon may not really have a choice to do so.

You see? Maybe we get there, maybe we don't, but the notion itself is not terribly farfetched, and seems less so with each passing day.

johnw
04-28-2015, 01:31 PM
Actually, that just puts back in place the sort of selection that was done by newspaper editors. The difference is that it's not geographic, which is a problem for keeping an eye on local government and forming a political consensus within a territory.

Sky Blue
04-28-2015, 01:38 PM
There's another difference. The newspaper editors would selectively decide, yes, but not necessarily on what you may have wanted to read, but what would sell papers. This new technology approach softens all of that specifically to you and your preferences, keeping you happy and informed about what you want, what you like, what interests you, and probably very little else. Much more warm and fuzzy, almost a narcotic.

Osborne Russell
04-28-2015, 01:44 PM
Actually, that just puts back in place the sort of selection that was done by newspaper editors. The difference is that it's not geographic, which is a problem for keeping an eye on local government and forming a political consensus within a territory.

Yeah, editors have been "constructing reality" for us for centuries.

If the locals want local, what's stopping them? They're freer than ever.

Modern conservatives long for the dark ages when there was no choice to question the things they want to conserve. They fear the tables being turned and portray a scenario of being "information-enslaved by post-modernists". Not that they are opposed to slavery. They just want the whip hand.

Osborne Russell
04-28-2015, 01:45 PM
Myths might be a load of bull, but a load of bull can act as myths do. (http://booksellersvsbestsellers.blogspot.com/2015/04/bull****-as-myth.html)

"That page does not exist."

johnw
04-28-2015, 02:06 PM
"That page does not exist."

I think the software for the Bilge might be censoring the title. Here's all of April. http://booksellersvsbestsellers.blogspot.com/2015_04_01_archive.html

L.W. Baxter
04-28-2015, 02:13 PM
Fred Reed sighting!

I don't read you as one who would be disposed to Mr. Reed's perspectives, L.W. How was it that you came along to Mr. Reed in the first place? He's not terribly well known.

I'm no fan of Reed. Jack used to like to post his stuff here, with Dutch cheering him on.

Sky Blue
04-28-2015, 02:25 PM
I did not know that Mr. Reed posted here. What was his handle?

johnw
04-28-2015, 04:02 PM
I did not know that Mr. Reed posted here. What was his handle?

Not what Baxter said. He said Jack (I presume he means "Ishmael") used to post Reed's stuff.

Sky Blue
04-28-2015, 06:01 PM
First Daniel Pipes and now Fred Reed! You are astonishingly well-read, johnw, amazingly so. I suppose a bookstore owner ought to be.

I find Mr. Reed's writings to be refreshingly frank and fearlessly unapologetic. What are your thoughts about Mr. Reed's writings in general?

johnw
04-28-2015, 06:35 PM
First Daniel Pipes and now Fred Reed! You are astonishingly well-read, johnw, amazingly so. I suppose a bookstore owner ought to be.

I find Mr. Reed's writings to be refreshingly frank and fearlessly unapologetic. What are your thoughts about Mr. Reed's writings in general?

Jack may have posted lots of Reed's stuff, but I didn't read much of it. Reed does have a nice, breezy style, but I wouldn't look to him for insight.

I do try to read things that challenge the way I see the world now and then. I even went down the neoconservative rabbit hole, only to find there wasn't much there.

Osborne Russell
04-29-2015, 04:36 PM
I'm working on it. It is a bit of a new idea for me, one for which I am drawing from a number of sources. Part of it involves themes in Silverman's book, part of it involves, for example, ISIS' apparent ability to recruit an army and operate a de facto government using little more than cell phones, each one of which can be used to transfer money, ideas, orders, ideologies at any single point on earth to any other.

This has an extremely decentralizing effect and presents an immense challenge to centralized authority. One can easily imagine that with the right conditions, nation/states and their respective raisons-d'etres could cease to have any real meaning, or perhaps significantly less meaning than has been the case throughout history, with new unifying themes emerging to bind persons to ideas/pathologies.

Seems to me you're trying to drum up support for defense of something you don't wish to define too carefully. Make people afraid of losing something they didn't know they had. Vague fear is broader, eh? You can get to the particulars once you get them signed up.

Nations have only one reason to be, which is to protect the rights of those who have given their consent to be governed by them. All the BS in the bin marked "meaning" is of historical interest only. The idea that it still does or should "bind persons to ideas/pathologies" is nostalgia for pre-enlightenment times, i.e. the Dark Ages. The idea that homo sapiens cannot exist without being bound in some such way is the essence of psychological conservatism. The denial of it is the enlightenment.

As far as the threat of people stubbornly clinging or reverting to an earlier stage of culture, that has been present all along -- nothing new, even in the ostensibly enlightened west. The issues are the same. Essentially, there's only one: can government be based on reason alone, yes or no?

The technical wrinkles keep wrinkling, so what? They have wrinkled continuously. Why is the structure of states under threat?

Waddie
04-29-2015, 10:22 PM
The non-profit Council On Climate Konditions (COCK) has released a report, conducted by the renowned researcher Chicken Little, and funded with a government grant of $999 billion dollars, that reached the conclusion that we're all screwed. They blame the demise of civilization on the widespread addiction of otherwise ordinary citizens to internet forums. One particularly pernicious forum mentioned specifically as the most destructive ever encountered is called the Bilge. This forum has been shown to kill brain cells, rob participants of their ability to reason, and produce an intractability not seen since the Inquisition. This particular forum has been called the brain-strainer for the way it sucks in innocent, normally intelligent people and spits them back out in a vegetative state. A House committee has scheduled a hearing on the matter, but can't find anyone who admits membership in said forum. The investigation continues................

regards,
Waddie

ShagRock
04-30-2015, 03:16 AM
Well Jack, I can say you got heart and your posts and your questions about life reflect it. More so than the boring, wanna-be liberal "super-minds" that frequent this place. Most of them can't write worth s**t and rip-off all their so-called truths from common media sources. You know, those who believe life is a just a game of statistics and charts. Most of them won't know a phenomenological reality if it crawled up their back and bit them on their cerebral cortex. They are akin to the great Canadian 'whale-man' who once lambasted me for denying the truth that the liberal scientists of the day knew the facts about the sad state of the cod stock, but went along it. They love to think they are the 'great minds' of the day, but I think they mostly live in a small world, mostly concocted to make themselves feel good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6c6eUeoa9Q

Chris Coose
04-30-2015, 06:59 AM
That's an interesting early morning meditation, Shag. What will you do with the rest of your beautiful day?

Keith Wilson
04-30-2015, 08:46 AM
Well, bless his heart. Ain't he something? :D

JimD
04-30-2015, 09:06 AM
...Most of them won't know a phenomenological reality if it crawled up their back and bit them on their cerebral cortex. ...

Oh yeah. Like you Righties are all over this stuff
Phenomenology is commonly understood in either of two ways: as a disciplinary field in philosophy, or as a movement in the history of philosophy.
The discipline of phenomenology may be defined initially as the study of structures of experience, or consciousness. Literally, phenomenology is the study of “phenomena”: appearances of things, or things as they appear in our experience, or the ways we experience things, thus the meanings things have in our experience. Phenomenology studies conscious experience as experienced from the subjective or first person point of view. This field of philosophy is then to be distinguished from, and related to, the other main fields of philosophy: ontology (the study of being or what is), epistemology (the study of knowledge), logic (the study of valid reasoning), ethics (the study of right and wrong action), etc. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/phenomenology/

:arg

JimD
04-30-2015, 09:23 AM
Made me look up phenomonological reality.
Stanford U's website is awesome. I use it whenever I need to become an instant expert on a subject to sound brainy in The Bilge.

Dave Wright
04-30-2015, 10:40 AM
Around about the time of the domestication of the horse and the storage of surplus grain, a number of individuals were able to survive without developing calluses on their hands. They became known as philosophers. Sometimes they presented ridiculous arguments. Fortunately, due to familiarity with the horse, the great mass of humanity simply shouted out "HORSE SH!T!" and the philosophers were brought back to reality.

Over the past hundred years or so grain surpluses have increased and so has the number of philosophers. Unfortunately horse numbers have decreased and the great mass of humanity has for the most part forgotten the incontrovertible response to philosophical nonsense, that satisfying cry: "HORSE SH!T!"

TomZ
04-30-2015, 11:41 AM
I once dated a girl with a large phenomenological reality on her back, but it scampered a way when... oh, nevermind.

ShagRock
04-30-2015, 11:53 AM
Oh yeah. Like you Righties are all over this stuff :arg

How exactly did you reach the conclusion that I'm a 'rightie'?

Peerie Maa
04-30-2015, 11:57 AM
How exactly did you reach the conclusion that I'm a 'rightie'?

Well it is either that , or you have had a right grump on the last few days.

JimD
04-30-2015, 12:53 PM
How exactly did you reach the conclusion that I'm a 'rightie'?Somebody else said you were in another thread, so I have it on solid hearsay that you are. ShagRock, I have no idea what position on the political spectrum you occupy. I was just goofing around when I said the above about you. Would you like me to go back and edit my post so as not to imply? I'm happy to. Just say the word :cool:

JimD
04-30-2015, 12:59 PM
...

Over the past hundred years or so grain surpluses have increased and so has the number of philosophers. Unfortunately horse numbers have decreased and the great mass of humanity has for the most part forgotten the incontrovertible response to philosophical nonsense, that satisfying cry: "HORSE SH!T!"
There are a few of us who see value is tackling the hard questions about ourselves, a majority who adopt a position of benign disinterest, and a third group that are actively hostile towards the very idea of looking for those answers. C'est la vie.

Dave Wright
04-30-2015, 01:10 PM
There are a few of us who see value is tackling the hard questions about ourselves, a majority who adopt a position of benign disinterest, and a third group that are actively hostile towards the very idea of looking for those answers. C'est la vie.

You missed at least one other group: those who seriously seek those answers but have the ability to separate the wheat from the chafe.:)

Keith Wilson
04-30-2015, 01:14 PM
How exactly did you reach the conclusion that I'm a 'rightie'?Well, you called me an assortment of nasty names when I said I didn't think there were any Canadian conservatives posting here. One might reasonably assume from this that you are one, and were upset at being left out. Or maybe you were just being a schmuck.

JimD
04-30-2015, 01:28 PM
You missed at least one other group: those who seriously seek those answers but have the ability to separate the wheat from the chafe.:)
I'm gonna call that a sub group :d

JimD
04-30-2015, 01:52 PM
Benign disinterest sounds healthier than creating answers.
If its creating answers you'd like to learn more about you want the Religion folder. And if its carved in stone you want, you need Chuck Heston.

Paul Pless
04-30-2015, 02:07 PM
wonder if jack's coming back
last time he checked in, two years ago, he was here for four days or so, prior to that it had been a couple of years

JimD
04-30-2015, 02:15 PM
wonder if jack's coming back
last time he checked in, two years ago, he was here for four days or so, prior to that it had been a couple of years
Si. First thing I though of when he showed up a couple days ago.

Dave Wright
04-30-2015, 03:10 PM
Si....

That jogs my memory. Some years ago we anchored off an idyllic little Mexican town. There was one small store 50 yards off the beach, not much else other than paradise. The store had a sign in Spanish: "rooms for rent." I posted a picture of the place in one of Ishmael's threads about longing for change and getting away. Always fun to make suggestions, even though you know they'll never be taken.

Dave Wright
04-30-2015, 03:20 PM
http://i705.photobucket.com/albums/ww58/Siberian11/Chamelarental.jpg

JimD
04-30-2015, 04:05 PM
My first trip 'abroad' was to Mexico, in 1975. I was twenty, bought a one way plane ticket from Canada to Mexico City, and had $200 in travelers cheques and spoke not a word of Spanish. For six weeks I slept on beaches, in hammocks, wherever. Only occasionally rented a real room. Great fun.

Dave Wright
04-30-2015, 04:13 PM
Yep, the perfect destination for Ishmael the romantic wanderer. Maybe get established in some little place before the dark ages set in.

http://i705.photobucket.com/albums/ww58/Siberian11/Chamelashore-1.jpg