Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Love and Generations

Different generations have had different ideas of - and experiences with - love.

The World War II generation started their matches with love at first sight, and remained with one another their whole life. Their matches produced wholesome family existence. Love initiated; responsibility maintained; and the result was a generation that was in every way a success.

The baby boomers dreamed about love, but they were more into themselves. Being into themselves, they later decided that love was about such things as "seeking external validation," which they decided was wrong, as one was to validate - and love - oneself. This may have been the case for them; but it is not universal human reality. Love is not about what you feel about yourself but about what you feel about the other person. As baby boomers were branded with generational narcissism, any number of people started claiming that love, which has been one of their ideals, was narcissistic as well. This was a completely wrongful conclusion. Once again, love is not about what you feel about yourself. It is about what you feel about the other person.

For Generation X, love was a completely inappropriate ideal. They wanted no such thing. They wanted careers; they wanted a working society; they wanted stability and structure. In their view, love was a distraction; according to some, even something that was in violation of social peace. Not only did they not want love, but they thought that it was a bad thing. Unfortunately many of their attitudes have found a way to express themselves in society.

By the time my generation came along, love was under attack from all directions. Disappointed baby boomers, cynical-minded Gen-Xers, vicious feminists, predatory lawyers, New Age psychologists, you name it. Whatever matches were made, were under a lot of attack and under a lot of disadvantage. The people who were most interested in love were in one or another bind. This of course reinforced the false claim that something was wrong with love, or with wanting to love and be loved.

The millenials appear to be of quite intense temperament. As teenagers, they pioneered the emo movement; and for them love is very much an appropriate pursuit. Maybe the mistakes of baby boomers and gen-Xers can be forgotten, and love can again blossom. Not everyone will want it, and that is to be expected. But those who do want it should be able to have it.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Compassion and Righteousness

One argument that I have heard in recent communications is that in the past the immigrants assimilated into the countries to which they come, whereas now they do not.

I state in response that there are miles to go between not assimilating and having ill will.

I did not assimilate anywhere. However I have no ill will either to America, where I lived for a long time, or to Australia, where I reside at this time. I have found amazing qualities in any number of people in both countries; and I wish well both to them and to the countries in which they live.

If somebody actually does have ill will – as I did when I was younger – then that should be confronted. If a person actually has ill will toward the country in which he resides, then he should be given a choice: Either be loyal to the country or go elsewhere. I see no reason at all for America or Australia to support people who want to bomb them or the people who go around gang-raping girls; and I am all in favor of action to either deport or jail such people.

Not all immigrants are created alike. I would like now to make distinction between people who do not assimilate and people who actually have ill will. I never assimilated; but I do not have ill will either toward America or toward Australia. Whereas there are any number of Muslims who have ill will toward both. These people should be given a choice: Either be loyal to the country in which they live, or else leave the country.

My parents have assimilated into America, and both of them have lived fairly decent lives. I did not assimilate anywhere, but I have made all sorts of contributions. There is the room for people like them, and there is the room for people like me. Whereas there is absolutely no room for people who actually bear ill will. If someone thinks that America is the Great Satan or anything of the sort, then he should not be in America.

When I was living in California and making good money in the software industry, I started reading Ward Churchill as a result of going to a bookstore. What I read made me hate myself, and it made me hate the Western Civilization, in which I at the time inhabited quite a comfortable place. I realized later that I made a wrong choice. There are all sorts of good things that have come out of the Western civilization; and it is wrong to bear ill will toward it while inhabiting a place in it.

Any civilization – Western or otherwise – has the right to get rid of people who bear it ill will. I used to bear ill will to the Western civilization, but I do not do now. I had all sorts of experiences, some of them quite painful, to realize that it is important to have good will toward the places in which one risides. Ward Churchill was right to teach compassion for his people. He was wrong to claim that the Western civilization is sociopathic or evil.

I have found good people in all sorts of unexpected places. I used to have contempt for the people who are regarded as “rednecks”; but the more I dealt with those people the more I got respect for them. There are all sorts of things that all sorts of people do wrong. I realized all sorts of wrong in my character. And that gave me compassion to all sorts of other people.

It is rightful to have compassion for people who are not like oneself. It is wrong to oneself be a bastard. One should be compassionate to people who come from other cultures; it is wrong to be nasty to people who come from one's own. Compassion is meant for everyone. Righteousness is meant for oneself.

Doctrines and Fascism

Just about every doctrine that is out there has found a way to turn bad.

Much hope has been placed in the doctrine of rationalism. And indeed many good things have come out of rationalism – where would we be, for example, without scientists and engineers? However not everything that has come out of rationalism has been right. Many in rationalism believe that anything with feelings is an inferior form of life, and that anything with faith or spiritual experience is crazy. This leads the rationalists to what is often exceptional cruelty and emotional violence, and many people rightfully do not like that state of affairs.

Much hope has been placed in psychology. Then psychology came up with a very real fascism. It decided that some people – sociopaths and narcissists – are evil and can only be evil whatever they do, however hard they work and whatever work they do on themselves. This of course contradicts the most basic reason. If people are responsible for their actions then anyone – including the sociopaths and narcissists – can act rightfully; and if some people cannot act rightfully whatever they do then people are not responsible for their actions.

Much hope has been placed in feminism. Then feminism was taken over by horrible women who have been practicing – and teaching – vicious behavior. Certainly rightful things have come out of feminism; but this is not one of them. A movement that was once a matter of liberation turned into very real fascism. And that has damned what was once a promising movement.

With the New Age, the biggest problem has been the claim that everything that happens to people is their own doing. Some people see this belief as encouraging responsibility; but what it really encourages is cruelty. There are all sorts of things that happen to people that aren't their doing. This attitude excuses one from compassion and ethics. And that likewise damns what was once a promising movement.

All of these attitudes have promised a solution to the cruelty of the conservative arrangement. However many of them have arrived at cruelty exceeding that of conservatism. Christianity offers redemption to everyone, including sociopaths. And that makes Christianity light years ahead of these beliefs. Christianity does demand all sorts of things of people; but it does not damn people as does for example personality psychology. It offers redemption to everyone; and that makes it vastly superior to all of the preceding beliefs.

I am in no way against such things as reason or women's rights. I am however against cruelty and nastiness, and we see both from all of the above. The idea that some people are evil and can only be evil whatever they do can only lead to witch hunts; and that is exactly what we have seen from the believers in such things. In fact, anyone can choose to act rightfully. And it is by affirming this that people can get away from fascism and regain their status as human beings.

Friday, January 27, 2017

France and America: Critic and Doer

The French are known for being whiney. That is because the French culture encourages the intellectual approach; and the people who encourage the intellectual approach will create a bunch of back-seat drivers who know best how to criticize. Whereas Americans encourage the entrepreneurial approach, which creates a bunch of front-seat drivers.

The first know best how to criticize, and the second know best how to do. Of course there is very much a need for both. Critical thinking allows people to make better decisions; and if the critic and the doer work with each other – rather than against one another – better decisions are made and implemented.

Without the attention of the critic, the doer does all sorts of stupid things. This gives the critic all the more to criticize. Eventually the relationship becomes very rankorous, and calls are made on both sides to either terminate the relationship or see the other party as an enemy.

How about putting the back-seat driver into the passenger seat? How about listening to their criticisms and then discerning which ones to throw away and which ones to adopt and use in favor of making better decisions?

America and France can very well have a constructive relationship. The critic needs to make criticisms constructive rather than abusive, and the doer needs to listen to valid criticism. That way better decisions will be made across the board, and both America and France will benefit.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Bringing Sanity to Gender Relations

Different times have different problems and for different reasons. In 1990s, the biggest social problem was a vicious form of feminism that taught women – especially college-educated women – to be malicious, paranoid and mean. The following decade, the biggest social problem was a brutal reaction against feminism – championed by people such as Eminem, Osama Bin Laden and Michael Murphy – that taught men to be brutal to women. Both were vastly in the wrong.

Right now, the situation is completely crazy. On one side of town, a man goes away to jail for “beating up his wife's fist with his face.” On the other side of town, a man breaks a woman's skull so badly that she needs 40 stitches and walks away with full custody of the child. On one side of town, a man goes to jail and loses his apartment, his job and his reputation for getting drunk and chatting up a 16-year-old. On the other side of town, a man rapes and tortures his daughters since they are 4 and gets to keep them as his children.

I want to bring some sanity to the issue. I want to see things being seen for their true character. There will be disagreements in any relationship. What speaks in favor of – or against – the partners is how they choose to handle it. My former wife was, at her own admission, at her worst behavior when she was with me; but I was never violent or abusive to her, and I still love her.

In one situation with which I am familiar, the woman's former partner did things to her that, in my mind, disqualified him from being with her – such as trying to strangle her. He did wrong things to his son as well, but I did not see them as being grave enough to disqualify him from being a parent. Whereas that woman's partner before her very much did do things that were grave enough to disqualify him from being a parent.

When there are two complementary injustices, the correct solution is for people at the receiving end of the two injustices to get together. Let the men from places where a man goes to jail for beating up his wife's fist with his face get together with women from places where a man breaks a woman's skull and walks away with the children. Bring together the men who are willing to be good to women with women who are willing to be good to men.

There needs to be a reason for men to be good to women, and there needs to be a reason for women to be good to men. Neither man-on-woman violence nor woman-on-man viciousness should be acceptable. Men need to have an incentive to treat their wives right, and women need to have an incentive to treat men rightfully. Nobody should be having to go to jail for an argument. Nobody should be able to get away with breaking his wife's skull.

I have a former classmate who, as a well-paid American manager, got together with a woman from Russia. He says that his relationship is wonderful and has only good things to say about his wife. He says that the situation on college campuses in America has only gotten worse since 1990s, and I see no reason whatsoever why any sane man would be with women educated in such a setting.

Good behavior – both by women toward men and by men toward women – should not only be encouraged but also incentivized. There need to be real-world reasons for both parties to treat one another right. We owe it to our children – both daughters and sons – to improve the social climate so that neither party has to live in brutality or put up with vicious behavior.

The laws – and their enforcement – need to be reworked. There needs to be a sanity brought to this matter. Nobody should be able to get away with breaking a woman's skull. Nobody should have to go to jail for an argument. We need to understand a matter of degrees.

Some conflict in relationships is inevitable. What is not inevitable is brutality; and in this it is a matter of self-control. Men need to learn to keep their fists to themselves, and women need to learn to keep a lid on what comes out of their mouths.

On the first count, I have shown that it is in fact possible. That was a case with a woman who was totally demonized by her ex; but even though she, at her own admission, was at her worst behavior while she was with me, I never got violent with her and I never tried to take away my daughter. Any man is capable of self-control; and if I, as someone who has been portrayed very badly by a number of people on the Internet, can do it, then so can any other man.

Both the vicious feminists and the men who are violent toward women are very gravely in the wrong. And both have perpetrated very grave social injustices. Neither men who are brutal toward women nor women who are vicious toward men are anywhere close to being right. Both are wrong absolutely. And it is wrong that these people should claim leadership of their gender and lead even its better members to be as bad the people as they are themselves.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Rules and Sociopaths

There are any number of people who are in the police – or who think that they are in the police – who justify their nasty treatment of people with whom they deal by claiming that they are “sociopath” - cold, cruel monsters incapable of compassion and conscience.

There are any number of reasons why this is wrong.

First of all, not all rules are created equal. There are any number of rules out there that a conscientious person should legitimately revolt against. If your rule is that you should throw sulfuric acid into a face of a little girl for going to school – or if you should put a chair leg through your woman's eye for arguing with you – or if you should beat your daughter to death and throw her body to the dogs for getting raped – then a conscientious person would be against such a rule. For that matter the founders of America did not follow the rules of the British Empire either. That does not mean that America was founded by sociopaths.

Secondly, not everyone who revolts against wrongful rules is a sociopath. Certainly there are any number of bastards in the criminal element; but there are also any number of bastards in the legitimate world as well. A person who actually is cold and lacking in conscience would typically find ways to adapt in society. There are many scoundrels in politics, and there are many scoundrels in business. Neither politics nor business are illegitimate pursuits; but genuinely cold and manipulative people have a a way of doing well in both.

Then there is the issue of which rules are legitimate and which ones are illegitimate. I can see many reasons to follow a law that has been voted for by people's representatives. I see much fewer reasons to follow an unofficial rule. If people are told to live the same kind of life, have the same kind of relationships, and have the same personality, then that is incompatible with the concept of liberty. Indeed that is a way of creating an unofficial totalitarianism in countries that are intended to be free. Which means that it is not only the right, but I would say the duty, of anyone who holds liberty dear to not follow such an attempt at unofficial totalitarianism.

Indeed, the concept of a “dangerous individual” is absolutely incompatible with the concept of liberty. This is something that one would expect to see in the Soviet Union. I have heard it stated that the people whom everyone else sees as dangerous are people who are misguidedly idealistic. This idea has not been lost on anyone involved in the social debate, including conservatives. I have heard it said in a Virginia church that “we should be dangerous people for God.”

There was a person on the Internet who kept accusing me of being a sociopath. Then he told a 15-year-old girl that she was mentally defective. I would never dream of saying such a thing to a child. Whatever cruelty and coldness he was accusing me of, he practiced to a far greater degree. I do not know whether or not that person was a sociopath; but I know for certain that I am not one.

In case of people who actually are sociopaths, they appear to have a disconnect between two centers of the brain. If someone is a jerk by nature, he is less of a jerk than someone who choose to be a jerk. And this is what we see in people such as the preceding.

Now there can be any number of reasons why someone would agree – or disagree – with whatever the climate of the place and the time happens to be. Many of the reasons for disagreeing with them are legitimate. If you live in Afghanistan, you should disagree with the practices of the Taliban. If you lived under Nazi Germany or Stalinism, you should have disagreed with them as well. This is in no way limited to these extreme examples.

I have known genuinely kind, compassionate people being branded as sociopaths or psychopaths or narcissists. I have also known absolute scoundrels who rose to high respect in society. What you are as a person has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you accept or do not accept your surrounding way of life. We will see good people who accept, and we will see good people who do not accept. We will see bad people who accept, and we will see bad people who do not accept.

A related claim that I've seen especially in Generation X is that the baby boomers destroyed the society. My response is as follows. Societies change all the time, in all sorts of directions, and for all sorts of reasons. The Victorian society was different from 1920s society, which was different from 1950s society, which was different from 1980s society, which was different from 1990s society, which was different from the society of the last two decades. Maybe the 1950s people thought that their way was going to last forever. They were wrong. No way lasts forever; the world changes all the time for all sorts of reasons. That has always been the case. That always will be the case.

What you are as a person has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not you follow the rules of your place and time. What you are as a person is about what you do for the world. I do not deserve to be called a sociopath, and neither does the person who objects to the Taliban or the person who objects to Third Wave feminism. Some rules are right, and some rules are wrong. It becomes the duty of anyone with conscience to figure out which ones are right and which ones are wrong – and to follow the first while objecting to the second.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Cultural Blossoming and Donald Trump

There are any number of people who see beauty – whether in people or in nature or in art – as being illogical. In fact there is a very high logic for it. Look into things such as fractal geometry and other aspects of advanced mathematics to discover in it a very profound understanding of beauty.

In America, the people’s legitimate longing for beauty has been dealt with through abuse and demonization by wrongful trends in feminism and psychology. Rather than wasting everyone’s time and money by sticking with wrongful theories and wrongful beliefs, a much greater  benefit can be realized by recognizing the rightfulness of this longing and supporting a cultural blossoming.

I do not look back to 1960’s; I look back to 1920s. In 1920s, America became the undisputed leader of the world. That time combined technological and economic advancement with cultural progress. That time produced magnificent architecture and machinery and excellent literature, music and theater. It is the proof before everyone that there is nothing at all incompatible between practicality and the arts.

We see now in the White House a brilliant businessman with excellent taste, who has commissioned some of America’s most beautiful buildings. It may very well be possible at this time to recreate the spirit that made America great.

Trump has been accused of narcissism by personality psychology. The problem with this definition is that it would pathologize most of the world’s greatest contributors. If it is narcisssistic to seek great success – or if it is narcissistic to have original ideas – then everyone who’s had great success, and everyone who’s had original ideas, is a narcissist. Which means that the world in general  - and America in particular – owes most of what it has to such people. To pathologize what made your nation great is a wrong done to your nation. And with Donald Trump as president, it may be possible to go to significant lengths to correct this wrong.

As for his wife, she is the refutation of Third Wave feminism. She is a woman who is far smarter than most American feminists, and is also fashionable and attractive. For many years third wave feminists claimed monopoly on intelligence in women. They obviously haven’t met many women from Eastern Europe. Here is someone who is a real-life refutation of that horrible trend.

One refutes a malignant trend in psychology, and the other refutes a malignant trend in feminism. Between them together it may just be possible to discredit both enough that cultural blossoming can take place. This will do far more for America than anything that has ever been done by either movement; and it will be a way to make America great – and beautiful – again.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Positive Thinking, Analytical Thinking, and the Arts

There are any number of people out there who believe in positive thinking. I have extensive experience in the computer industry, and when you are a programmer you cannot afford to practice positive thinking. You have to think analytically. You have to anticipate anything that can go wrong with the product. You think positive, you fail to anticipate problems, you create a product that does not work.

Positive thinking was quite popular in the baby boom generation, but is largely sneered upon in Generation X. As a gen-X acquaintance of mine said on the internet, "Fucking optimists." You talk to these people about positive thinking, they think you're an idiot. They tend to be a fairly analytical bunch; and many of them have had success in the fields requiring analytical thinking, such as the computer industry. That is because, once again, that industry requires analytical thinking; and people who tend to analytical thinking are suited to the profession.

Positive thinking can in fact work as advertised at times. If you are positive, you are more likely to "win friends and influence people" than you are if you are negative. It is an attitude you want in salesmen; but it is not an attitude you want in engineers. People who think in different ways will not usually get along; however they need one another. The engineer needs to market his product. The salesman needs a product to sell.

Of course analytical thinking can go wrong as well. One place where it completely fails to apply is in man-woman relationships. The person becomes perfectionistic to the point of only seeing the flaws in the partner while failing to recognize the partner's good qualities. This makes everyone miserable, including himself. He becomes a nitpicker; a controller. He keeps picking on whatever he sees as being wrong with the partner - however good the partner may be - while failing to see the good in her. He creates a hell for the partner and for himself.

I once knew a man with engineering and military background who would make his wife spend 6 hours a day cleaning the house and would come at her with fists whenever he found a speck of dust on the floor. This is misapplication of thinking, and it worked against his best interests. A speck of dust on the floor will not kill your family. Abusive behavior stands to destroy it. And of course, in the end, it did.

Another misapplication of analytical thinking is in culture and the arts. These fields do not require analytical thinking; they are about producing things of beauty. When Jewel came up with a book of beautiful poetry, she was savaged by gen-X media. In fact her work was far better than anything that these people produced. Quite simply, such people should not be in the arts business at all. They should stick to things that they're good at - things such as programming - and leave the arts for people who actually produce things of beauty.

When I attended an avant garde poetry reading with a magnificent visual artist, she told me, "I hope you never write that way." I do not. She was my inspiration, not them. I ended up writing a poetry book for her that made me - and her - the talk of DC. There were many people who attacked her work; but it was far better than anything that any of them have produced themselves, and I dare say it was the most beautiful work that has ever been produced by a woman.

Different endeavors require different kinds of thinking. It works to be positive in sales, but not in engineering. It works to be analytical in developing software, but not in running relationships or in producing art. By all means be positive to your clients, and by all means be analytical when developing software. But do not go around nitpicking at your partner, and don't go around turning culture and arts into cold cynical abominations. Keep to fields such as programming and leave the arts to people who have interest in producing things of beauty.