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Video about Ligotti's "The Conspiracy Against the Human Race"
Posted 13 April 2019 - 03:17 PM
I was reading online a guy who said he had a vasectomy after reading that book -- the book made him do it.
- Erowind likes this
Posted 13 April 2019 - 07:19 PM
I would guess there are some potential philosophies out there that people would buy into, and that would permanently alter the course of their lives. Objectivism seems to have grabbed people this way, as has Neoreaction for others.
The stickiness of an idea is dependent on context; what is sticky today may not be tomorrow. But there are some ideas that that seem to endure for generations.
I think the belief in meritocracy and the conflating talent with goodness, or accomplishment with goodness, is one set of examples. Even today there are people who are apologists for Assange, because they can't separate what they perceive to be "good acts" from the person who performed them.
Part of what makes people susceptible to certain philosophies is the fact that they aren't aware of their own beliefs and myths. Claims can be made that plug into these assumptions, which they will buy without question, and then be led down a path to ever more damaging beliefs.
As the Oracle counselled in The Matrix, "Know thyself." That is one of the keys necessary for robust psychological defenses. Properly questioning ones beliefs is another component.
Perhaps in the near future, text synthesis models will produce "alien, aberant philosophies" no human would come up with, that ensnare many unprepared minds, basically turning them into cultists or zombies -- they would be conscious, but find the philosophy speaks to them, personally, and ineluctubly leads them on a path to ruin.
- Erowind likes this
Posted 13 April 2019 - 10:09 PM
For clarities sake, since I honestly wasn't very cognizant last night and probably shouldn't ramble from my bedside. I'm not being an apologist for Assange, although some in that thread were. I genuinely care for the precedent of the case and not his character. I care because how a bad person is treated by the state for a given act will reflect on how a good person is treated by the state for that same act. The reason I'm not entertaining whether he is good or bad is because I don't think it's relevant, not because I can't separate what I perceive as "good acts" from a person's character.
I agree with you that there is a time and place for calling in view someone's character. I disagree with the idea that this is a case where that makes sense. Why? Because this isn't about Assange, I don't care about Assange, it could literally be anyone on the defense and my response would be the same, that is the whole concept of equality under the law. Within the microcosm of this particular case it could be Hitler in the defense for all I care. Because this is about the state and how I believe its judiciary process to be unjust. For whatever Assange, or anyone else is by character, those questions and civilian crimes can be called into question separately in this particular case and the state must be put under focus.
To answer the broader question, when does someone's character matter? It matters to me at least when the person in question is being appointed some power or authority over others. Regardless of the legality of that person's prior actions, I'd want to ensure that they had a good character in order to ensure they will handle their position responsibly. Returning to Assange. It would be unfair and unjust to connect two unrelated crimes in any case, no exception should be made for Assange because some folks don't like him. Seeing me talk about law might come as a shock to some given that I'm an anarchist. But I do still believe in law, just in a more abstract sense. I believe in a people's law, one that applies to everyone equally including the state. That law includes obvious and basic human dignities, something that the state (and the private sector bureaucracy that fuels it) has repeatedly violated. I don't need to list these laws, they are understood by most as wrong. Show a person a burning village then point to the airforce pilot that lit it aflame, it is clear who is abusing their position and is in a position of unjust domination.
Honestly after seeing that Assange doesn't vet how his leaks will affect people (thankyou Outlook for pointing that out) I'm in the camp that he's at best a moron and at worse malicious. Regardless he must be treated fairly and humanly, something I don't trust either the US or UK to do given how they've treated others in the past. Prior to Outlook's comment I was purely neutral on the fellow and that changed today and that's okay. It doesn't change the crux of my argument or diminish it in any way. What does bother me though is how some think any of that matters in relation to the case or that they entertain sensationalism about his midnight skateboarding habits.
Fair trial means not bringing up irrelevant facts or connecting unconnected things. It reminds me of the scene from the movie idiocracy in the court room near the beginning of the film. The main character speaks and the crowd responds by shouting him down because they didn't like how his voice sounded, regardless of what they were accusing him of. The supposed crime is what is in question no? The point of the court is to examine the crime no? How that crime applies to the law no? What does being a bad roomate have to do with any of that? It's entirely unfair and emotionally based. To reverse the situation. If someone clearly murders another person in cold blood but has really nice teeth and is really well spoken and otherwise a pillar of the community do you believe they deserve to be sentenced more amiably than someone who has bad breath, is poorly spoken and otherwise harasses the community in legal ways such as playing loud music when they drive?
In the case of a separate but unrelated crime like with the rape accusation. Even if it is true, it's not relevant to leaking government documents, especially when a case like this likely won't be treated like a normal civilian trial. In any case these would be treated as two separate offenses in any fair jurisdiction and in this case come from completely different jurisdictions. Neither being a bad roommate, nor a rape accusation are relevant. What bothers me the most is how people are more concerned about Assange's character than the character of the state. The state is not accountable, we cannot bring it to trial, yet here we are in arms about the person being targeted by it. The law of republics is meant to be universal and fair, if it's neither of these things it ceases to be law. Why arn't we having that conversation? A conversation that has a much broader scope than Assange, government leaks or journalism in general.
Why does the media focus on skateboarding in the Ecuadorean embassy when it could be focusing on how any precedent set here is a reflection of the state's legal apparatus? Why are we talking about skateboards when we should be talking about mass incarceration? Why are we talking about Assange when we should be talking about the very fundamentals of the law. Why does anyone care? It's insulting, and that's my problem. The priorities of both readers and writers are so warped and misplaced and it really gets under my skin. Conversations about systemic issues never bloody happen even when the subject matter is begging for those conversations to happen. The Assange case is inviting these conversations and yet people are putting the focus of the narrative on the equivalent of journalistic fidget spinners.
Current status: slaving away for the math gods of Pythagoras VII.
Posted 13 April 2019 - 10:43 PM
As to the U.S.'s case against him, I haven't looked at it in detail. Opinions seem to go both ways, that it will have a chilling effect on journalism, setting a precedent that makes it a crime for journalists to use encryption; and, on the other hand, that this won't set a precedent, that the U.S. has every right to prosecute him, and that it is the right thing to do.
Assange's character will figure in to his sentence, if he is convicted. If he can be proven to have done what he did based on a conscientious motive, then he will get a lighter sentence.
However, as I recall, Assange laid out years ago, in a manifesto, that his real goal in founding Wikileaks was to incapacitate governments, by making it more difficult for them to communicate internally -- or something like that, I'd have to read the manifesto again. So, his motive is basically, "Fuck the whole damn system! Burn it all down!"
A second reason why motive and character matter are just as you describe: you don't want to hand over power to someone who will abuse it. The more social credit he accrues, and the more prizes he wins, the more power he has. It's a kind of soft power, but it's still power.
On another matter. I found a really great poetry reading by Ligotti with guitar music:
That's really good background music -- a good find.
Posted 13 April 2019 - 11:49 PM
It's always good to blend your nihilism with your daily dose of Julian Assange.
Posted 19 April 2019 - 03:23 AM
Wow! -- what a great show! I can see why it has a rating of 9.0 on IMDB.
I plan to watch more episodes soon.
The acting, cinematography, script / dialog, story, etc. are beyond your typical "good" TV show. And McConaughey does a superlative job conveying the impression of a brooding genius detective and amateur philosopher. In fact, the acting is so good, I wonder if McConaughey is a little like that in real life.
I have to say, though, that this show isn't the kind I typically watch. I'm not a fan of cop / crime shows, in general, unless they are really good. This one does appear to be really, really good.
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