January 18th, 2012

(no subject)

SOPA Strike

I'm sure you'll run across this yourself at some point (25 million wikipedia hits a day after all), but just wanted to point it out for some of the non-Americans too.

I don't think the Google black line on their logo will do much, but wikipedia being dark should have some people take notice. Whether it will get people to take action is a different problem, as we've seen before. But it seems to be a much more relevant and directed kind of protest at least.

Here's a summary of the issue.

Climate Change: Follow the money behind global warming denial

It always seemed to me that it was just too easy for corporate interests, especially big oil, to promote denial and skepticism about global warming. In this day of easy access to information on the internet, I could quickly look up the funding of scientists who were publishing studies that refuted climate change theories, and I found that they almost always were receiving substantial money from big oil. Somehow companies were succeeding in "buying" this issue, but how? In the past corporate interests, even backed by tons of capital, could not always convince the public to go along with them. What was different in this case?

The more I looked into this the more it became clear. First let me say that my next sentence is NOT about those who are fiscally conservative due to a well reasoned understanding of economics, and its not about those who are socially conservative because that is where their morals and ideals led them - I fully respect those groups. But there is a group of "conservatives" who seem to be inflexible, less insightful, and powerfully driven by a need for certainty and cognitive closure in their world. This group also seems to be overly concerned about a big brother-like takeover by government. It is the latter group that easily falls prey to the PR campaigns of corporate interests who push the idea that global warming is a massive unknown that is not certain, cannot be described in black/white terms, and may need government intervention. These ideas push the buttons of the underlying conservative psychology of this subgroup and makes them seek out the comfort of denial.

Again, I am not putting down conservatives who come to their leanings through rational means and are otherwise flexible and open in their beliefs. But there are many on the right who seem dependent on needs for predictability and certainty, and this group does not seem to want to consider the entire issue of climate change, nor the way that corporate interests are manipulating things. There is much more about this issue at two of my blogs: Conservative Psychology and The Climate Change Journal
Sri Yantra

One man may not stand alone against the hurricane.

By which I mean to say: we are a society evolved to deal with causes of catastrophe bigger than any individual can withstand - from volcano, tsunami, earthquake, and fire; as individual units we have significantly less power-over-events than we do as some form of collective.

Outside context problems give us nascent awarenesses of how much shit we could find ourselves in, at any given moment, and without even that moment's notice.

How the collective is led and run is the business of government: economics plays a major role in this, but is not sufficient. Inalienable rights, like personhood, equality before the law, moderated freedom of speech (whether this be by custom or even officially where custom has evidently failed) etc & etc blah-de-blah make up most of the rest of the package. But my point is this: with a truly conservative (in the old-fashioned "High Tory" sense) perspective, accepting that a collective has to exist, what do you conserve?

Experts in leadership don't always have the qualities of good administrators, or even good policy-makers. (I'm being kind here.)

I define myself pretty much as a High Tory. In some respects, that puts me to the left of the Labour Party. I believe that there are limits of propriety, but also good old-fashioned dirty fun has to have a reasonably private place. In my world, everything is judged on a case-by-case basis, with some reference to first principles but with circumstances becoming a significant variable that influences each judgement too. This is, to me, the only principle that works properly for government and law.

Each man in his castle: and to each their allotted estate.

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