Sunday, October 28, 2012

The God of the Machine- The Sunday Collage

Today during breakfast, I had an inspired moment. These moments come when someone else sparks something, my mind immediately wanders, and I stumble onto a philosophical truth. This morning's thought occurred as another person was telling me about a forklift accident.

We've only got 10 days left until the national insanity is over. So let's start here...

Currently there are nine recognized types of intelligence. Here's a test to confirm what you probably already know or suspect. For the record, I score highest in intra personal intelligence followed closely by interpersonal intelligence. That means that I can process my own thoughts and emotions pretty well- including the emotions of those folks that I am in contact with. There are seven other types of intelligence and quite honestly, I'm not sure that I possess much if any, of the other types. Two out of nine. A typical score for me.

Writers and philosophers share those traits. Go figure.

The sub heading on my blog is a quote from the 1943 book, "The God of the Machine." It essentially states that mostly, all of the harm in the world has been done via the well intentioned acts of others. The "God of the Machine" and then some 15 years later, "Atlas Shrugged" help define the boundaries of current libertarian thought. Both books also spell out quite accurately- what happens when government interferes with the lives, liberty, and freedom of it's citizens.  You can download the God of the Machine for free on the internet. Here's the Cliff Notes version of "Atlas Shrugged."

We all have to make choices and decisions about our lives. Nobody makes a decision thinking at the time that they are making it- that it is a mistake. It is only after a decision is made and it goes wonderfully well or woefully bad- that we are able to reflect back on it. Our memory of these choices and decisions is what gives us wisdom and maturity. Real wisdom can also help us to distinguish decisions which were uniquely situational. Choices that may have had a different outcome because the circumstances were different.

It is a complete and utter disaster when we make a bad decision and suffer the consequences, plot corrective action, and then make the very same mistake all over again.

We did it in 1929. And nearly 80 years later, we did the very same thing. The economic meltdown of 2008 was a preventable disaster with a historical precedent. It begs the question. How could we have been so remarkably stupid? Sometimes we are out right lied to and deceived. That happened with the 1913 Federal Reserve Act. So this time around- not only did we make the same mistake- but we have doubled down on the damage by wasting an additional 6 trillion dollars we don't have. So mostly...

We forget. We forget who the villains are. But mostly we forget who we are. We do all sorts of things intending to help others when in fact- we are not helping them at all. We make the same mistakes over and over again. We don't think our decisions through. But mostly we don't learn from our mistakes. Oh sure, we bullshit ourselves and say that we do- but we really don't. Or we think the mistake that we made once was isolated- and somehow not our fault- perhaps just some freakishly bad luck.

In our world it seems that it is no longer honorable to be a student while many think they are qualified to be teachers. Never have I seen so many people- so self deluded. People practicing contempt prior to investigation- launching attacks because in their minds- all of the evidence is in. The issue was decided long ago. I am right and you are wrong. I wish I could tell you that I was above all of that insanity. Unfortunately for about 46 years, I practiced all of the self delusion that a person can lay hands on. One day in 2007, the universe just kind of ground me up and spit me out.

Somehow I think, human beings should have more evolutionary capacity than plankton. We keep getting a few things wrong and we keep repeating the same mistakes. We are about to do it again. I am getting comfortable with that process. I have listened to a lifetime worth of vitriol directed by one group of people practicing contempt prior to investigation- ridiculing an equally armed group of people yelling back. I have to get ok with the idea that millions upon millions of people are entitled to make the same mistake over and over again, dutifully believing that they are doing the right thing. Just like last time. One day, there will come some painful reckoning when the universe spits all of that out and we will define a whole new system of governance.

So I think mostly- people are trying to be good. They do a lot of damage in the process. I think that's necessary.  I don't think anybody wakes up and says, "ya know, I think I'll go to work today and wreck the forklift. That sounds like a lot of fun." But mistakes, and more importantly the consequences, are how we learn not to repeat them.

I just wish when it came to politics- we could learn a little faster than plankton. Maybe increase our speed to full ahead glacial.


Anonymous said...

When I was younger, I knew all, but now that I'm older, I know fuck all (it's a strange thing that as I get older, the only thing I do know for certain is that I know nothing; hell, in another 20 years or so, I'll probably be the most self-aware idiot around). But getting back to your blog post, Brian, I put the blame for a lot of the crap which afflicts us as a society squarely on the shoulders of Mister Rogers. Him and his "you are special" song. What a pile of leftist crap (hey, Mister Rogers, if everyone is special, then nobody is special, got it? All you manage to accomplish is the creation of a society full of kids, half of whom are brain dead to begin with, who grow up into adults with huge but fragile egos). One a slightly more serious note, I believe that the real reason the house is crumbling around us is because the foundation upon which it rests is shit. In other words, society sucks because the monetary base upon which it functions is debt-based, fractional reserve fiat. Some may say that it's love that makes the world go around (and love is a fine thing), but I say it's money. A poisonous monetary base, consequently, a fucked-up society (you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear, baby, any more that you can construct the Taj Mahal from manure). Man oh man, are we screwed. A nation of poor, ignorant, desperate, hopeful bastards who can't get any traction because they're playing off each other (the blind leading the blind) and because they can't see the clever trap laid out for them by the pricks at the top who are gaming the system. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Damn, I love being a crusty old bastard.

Anonymous said...

whoever said it was right. Youth is wasted on the young. Too late smart is the bane of mankind.