Categories
Word Press

Post Five – Just a Little Word Press Rant

Something changed on Word Press today. Maybe you haven’t noticed yet. But before I mention it, I have to rant.

I know I am not like most other people, I have a lot of idiosyncrasies. One of them is the Like button on so many websites, including, and especially, on Word Press. If I have set this site up properly, you will not find a Like button. It is not that I don’t care if you like my posts or not, but rather that I have no need for you to tell me if you like them. Since no one yet has mentioned they cannot find the Like button, I am assuming you don’t miss it. The thing is, if you keep coming back to read my posts then I can believe you like something about my writing or the topics I choose to write about. Alternately, someone might disagree with me so violently they come back to see how much I can piss them off this time. That’s okay too. It’s human nature.

Anyway, my reasoning is this. If someone reads something I write, and it inspires them to communicate that to me, they are forced to use the Comment button. This starts a conversation of sorts. Anyone who knows me knows I like to communicate. Likes do not communicate, they just kind of sit there, doing nothing. For me, ultimately, Likes have no use. You might disagree with me on that. Feel free to tell me. I’m willing to talk about it. If enough people want the Like button, I may even turn it back on. But I hope they/you do not want it.

But enough about me. The thing I saw on Word Press today that was different from yesterday is I got a series of Likes that did not even tell me what people were liking. While this feeds right into my position that likes are useless, I wonder how everyone else feels about it. Do you want to know what your readers are liking? Does a Like without an attached comment tell you anything about what it is they are liking? Is such a free-floating Like telling you anything?

Only you can answer that. I am willing to listen if you want to talk about it.

Categories
Ideologies Isms

Post Four – A Comment Worthy of Being a Post

A reply to Owen @ https://r2030.org/2021/03/29/what-is-your-ism-ask-the-dictionary/

Today Jill on Filosofa’s Word directed her readers to the above post. It was a wonderful post, about dictionary meanings of various political isms, so that when people were discussing their beliefs about those isms, they might know what they are talking about in proper terms. Then Owen added some personal comments, discussing his understandings of the isms he took a look at, and stating his feelings towards the same. I thought it a very timely discussion. However, I am not one to praise something just because it is wonderful and timely, which this post was. I have to still be true to myself, and look at its shortcomings while singing it’s virtues. It is for that purpose I left the following comment, slightly altered for clarity:

Dear OWEN,
Your cultural biases show through in your personal notes. I am not going to say you are wrong or right, though you are left of right and right of left (pun) in your personal ideology, if I may say so without rancour.
Liberalism promotes capitalism, but you do not mention this. Capitalism demands wealth inequities, which is not conducive to either peace or the greater good. You may prefer allows over demands, but that is a euphemism. Liberalism puts no controls over capitalists, and capitalism supports wealth for the few, and poverty for the many. I think this needs to be made clear.
Socialism does not in any way stifle innovation. That is a lie perpetuated by capitalists. Even in a socialist society there will be ideas to make improvements on established infrastructures, goods, products, etc. People to the right of socialism have this idea that no one in a socialist society will create innovation. That is what is stifling, the idea only capitalists can innovate. Anyone can do it. People are people no matter what the ism, and people like to improve what is improveable.
Communism as it is practised in the big three, Russia, China, and Cuba, do have totalitarian governments. This is not disputed. Nor have I ever read the Communist Manifesto, it does not interest me. But I cannot imagine anywhere that Communism demands a rulling party or ruling class. The idea behind communism is state ownership of production and distribution, but unfortunately it does not look at how the state itself is developed. Communist states are usually created as we know them by violent revolutions. This allowed the leaders of those revolutions to become totalitarian. But, were communism to be gently applied as an economic system that brought true equality to all people, there would be no reason to destroy democracy. Given the idea that state ownership is better than capitalism, more equitable in every human endeavour, there is no need for totalitarianism. There are more ways than one to gently guide a communist state. They have just never been tried.
Conservatism, or, in America, Republicanism, does not like change. Basically it is a servant of Capitalism, for, like my take on Liberalism, it demands that capitalism be the only way to run the economy, to the total wealth of the capitalists, and the total poverty of the workers, with a bit of room for a middle class that wants to become upper class. Bill Gates is an example of a middle class success story. But in reality, those examples are relatively few. Still, Conservatives want to maintain the status quo, which totally defies understanding by me of how the poor are willing to be dominated by them. But that domination exists, and it is perpetuated by the story that anyone can work their way into wealth–while reality shows they cannot. Most conservatives are quintessential liars!
Fascism, in my mind, should not even be included in a discussion of political systems, as it really has no connection to choice. (Neither does communism as we know it, but communism can be supported by democracy despite all evidence–fascism cannot be supported by democracy despite the fact Mussolini and Hitler both rose to power through democratic processes. Both leaders (sic) ran on platforms of extreme nationalism and extreme racism that spoke to their populations’ hopes and desires. Donald Trump recently tried to copy their successes (sicker) but fortunately just over half of Americans were unwilling to be misled.

Beyond that, I must take some umbrage at your statement: “[Fascism] is cause for abject terror for the liberals and progressives, who see this as nothing short of the total demolition of a lifetime of outreach and innovation.” By not assigning this “abject terror” directly to isms like socialism or communism is to imply those isms are willing to go along with it, to not fight against it. I think this is patently wrong, because most politically aware people in this world of 2021 are against fascism, no matter their actual ideology. I purposely did not mention conservatives/republicans, because as they are being practised in many countries today, conservatism is already halfway or more to fascism, and given the opportunity, they will become fascist. Just look at all the bills before state legislatures in America right now that want to restrict or constrict the rights of voters and their ability to cast their ballots. These are definite attempts to kill true democracy. As I understand it, the British Conservatives too are moving in similar directions. If these parties, Republicans and Conservatives, are not stopped immediately, the fate of the human race will lie in anti-human hands.

Another problem I have with your post is your trust in dictionaries. Yes, I said your trust in dictionaries. You stated you believe them to be neutral, and for the most part they are. But look at your definition 4 under communism: communalism.
How that definition was allowed to stand is beyond me, but there it is in black and white. But communalism has nothing to do with communism as a political ideology. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines it as 1. social organization on a communal basis. The Oxford dictionary defines it as 1. a principle of political organization based on federated communes. Your source, Dictionary.com, gives two definitions of concern here:
1. a theory or system of government according to which each commune is virtually an independent state and the nation is merely a federation of such states.
2. the principles or practices of communal ownership.
None of the above definitions come close to communism, and yet your source throws it in unquestioned as a lesser meaning of communism. This cannot be tolerated.

To be fair, all three dictionaries have another definition of communalism, but they are not pertinent to this discussion, therefore I ignored them. As it is, I only use this example to show even dictionaries make mistakes.

But, more importantly, while dictionaries are, to my knowledge, internationally accepted, we have to look at who is producing these dictionaries. They are being written by white Christian males living in democratic nations supporting capitalist economies, using the English language as the overarching method of communication. I am unaware of any dictionary completely and originally written, vetted, and published in any other language without being translated from English. I am not saying they do not exist, I only speak English, English is all I know. But any reference I have ever seen to a dictionary is never to one originally used to define words completely in the language of its creater if that language is not English. This implies bias, unintended I am sure, pretty much unrecognized, but nonetheless, undeniably biased to the underpinnings of English-speaking democratic infrastructures. Dictionaries may seem neutral, but they are not. And they are capable of giving biased definitions. They are only mostly harmless!

Owen, let me say, despite my many objections and hopefully constructive criticisms, I do thank you for this post. I think it was an incredibly good idea, a very much needed idea, but not a perfectly executed idea, for just like the dictionary definitions you used, they have biases written directly into them, and then we have your cultural biases added on top of that. I am not saying what I tried to add is not unbiased by my own biases. You asked where your readers stand on your political spectrum? I am not on it. For starters, I do not believe in government. I consider it to be one of the four worst-ever inventions of humanity, starting right from the earliest form of government existing–in the nuclear family–and reaching on up to the world government we are eventually progressing towards. Second, I believe people telling people what to do and how to live is just inherently wrong. (For your own edification, the other three worst inventions of humanity as argued by me are symbolised in the words god, gold, and guns.) So, those are the things that bias me. This world would be a much better place to be, had those things, and the things they represent, never been invented. But they were. In my mind, our task now as human beings is to evolve beyond them. Only then will we be able to live in true peace and true equality. That world is my dream.

Categories
KARMA

Post Three – To Karma? Or Not to Karma?

IS IT EVEN A QUESTION?

Sixty years ago, the word karma was barely known in that part of the world we call the West. Fifty years ago it was starting to enter European-based cultures. We, the group we, took it from the East, where the concept has pertained almost from the dawn of Eastern civilization. Today, it is one of the most popular concepts throughout the human world. I even, surprisingly to me, read about Karma in a Christian preacher’s sermon. If one is mentioning it from the pulpit, you can bet others are too. Karma is everywhere. If anyone knows if it has spread through other religions or philosophies or ideologies previously untouched by it, please let me know. That too is of interest, at least to me.

But is karma real? Are we to be repaid for whatever harm we do, and are we being rewarded for whatever good we have done? What do you think, or believe?

Or is karma just as I said, a concept that is held by more people in the world than not, but not an actual thing?

I will accept a simple yes, no, or even a maybe. But if anyone wants or cares to elaborate on any the 5 Ws and an H, I actually want to hear that too. Nan, Jill, if you (or anyone) care to reblog this for your readers, please do. Being a new blog, few will read this post here. The larger the audience we can reach, the better the results. Thanks to everyone in advance.

I will tell you my thoughts and ideas in a future post. Hopefully I will have a large enough response to gain some real insight into karma, and human belief, or acceptance.

Categories
Stabbing Spree

Post Two – Silent Night

Yesterday, March 27, 2021, one woman was killed and six other people were wounded in an unprovoked stabbing spree inside and outside of the Lynn Valley Library in North Vancouver, suburb of Vancouver, BC, Canada. Police report the wounded do not have life-threatening injuries. A suspect I will not name is under arrest for second degree murder. He was treated for self-inflicted injuries, police also report. Few other details are available at this time.

Categories
Uncategorized

POST ZERO – THE FUTURE OF COVID-19

I’ve been thinking. Dangerous idea, I know. But I’ve been thinking, what are the possible future outcomes of the Covid-19 pandemic. Following are only a few possibilities:

1) Presumably the best possible outcome is that the vaccines will work, everyone in the world will get one, and without the viruses able to find welcoming environments in which to grow and multiply, they will mutate into harmless viruses, and either disappear completely, or turn into something mutually beneficial to everyone concerned. That is the dream outcome. In time, face masks and social distancing can be dispensed with.

2) The vaccines work, but not everyone in the world will get one. The anti-vaxxers will give the bugs homes to grow and mutate further, possibly becoming more and more dangerous, more and more fatal. Eventually, anyone without a natural or human-made resistance will be infected, and hopefully become immune, or they will die of their own stubbornness. Not a great outcome, but not one we can prevent from happening. Vaccines are a choice.

2a) Hopefully, the viruses will mutate into something harmless or beneficial. But as long as they can find humans to infect, that will be unlikely. The fear here is that the viruses will themselves mutate into something immune to the vaccines–superbugs, and we will have to start all over again. Face masks and social distancing will become a forever fact of life. Not a desired outcome, but one we can learn to cope with.

3) No matter how good the vaccines are, or how well face masks and social distancing work, there are too many of us who choose to care only about themselves, and nothing changes from what we have right now. Those of us who follow medical guidelines will have to do so with even more care and caution. Anyone not wearing a mask or not social distancing, and obviously, not getting vaccinated, will let the Covid-19 viruses and the increasingly greater numbers of variants gain a permanent foothold. My fear here is that those who do care about others will suddenly turn on those who visually are seen to be dangerous to everyone else, and especially in certain jurisdictions, will feel it is their right to protect themselves in any way necessary.

3a) The converse become equally true, that non-maskers, non-distancers, and non-vaxxers will see those who do care about others as dangers to their survival, and not wait to see who might harm them, but retaliate before the fact. We already see that happening in many areas if life, where fear causes people to defend themselves from perceived dangers, and laws allow them to do harm first, and possibly have regrets later. This is not conducive to human survival.

4) The Covid-19 viruses find ways to infect other species, specifically nammalian species. I do not know what the percentages of our protein sources are, but I can guess a huge number of our proteins come from eating beef, pork, mutton, etc., as well as fowl. Probably not even fish and other creatures of the sea may not remain immune to Covid-19 and other harmful viruses and bacteria. Mutation is a two-way street. They can be life-sustaining, and they can be life-destroying. If we do not stop dangerous viruses from running rampant at our earliest opportunities, everything, including humanity is at risk, directly or indirectly.

5) Something completely unforeseen happens. If I could imagine it, I would tell you. But I can imagine that something unimaginable can happen. Any one factor or influence could change what Covid-19 presently is into something that we have never seen before on this world. And that is my biggest fear of all.

So, what can we do to protect ourselves, our way of life, and possibly all life on earth. We do not want to resort to forcing everyone to get a vaccine, it is too early to even know if they will work long-term. Usually we take our time, testing new medications for ten or twenty years before allowing them to be used. Because the Covid-19 threat is so dangerous, we have barely tested our present vaccines at all. They could be just as dangerous as the virus. Or, they could be the perfect solutions to all those who get them! Anything is possible, but likely the real outcome will be somewhere between those extremes. Covid-19 will become just another flu. That is probably the best we can hope for. We know viruses mutate quickly, we have to be prepared for that.

But the more we can convince anti-vaxxers that the more people that get vaccinated, the better the final outcome will be, even if face masks and social distancing become permanent features of life on earth, it is better to be safe than sorry. What is done cannot be undone, and that is as sure as anything in the realm of life.