This year has been deeply disappointing. We see the most vulnerable human instincts being manipulated and harvested. We see sociopaths grasping unprecedented power, policemen enforcing immoral orders and hatred held up as truth. It wouldn’t be hard to slide into dejection and to conclude that the human race simply isn’t fit for progress.
And yet we must continue forward. Fundamentally this is about being true to ourselves, caring about the good, and not selling out to barbarians.
I’ve made a number of posts dealing with the mayhem this year, and I think with good cause. Certain things need to be condemned. But I think that moment is coming to an end. The world may be racing toward darkness, but my job (and yours too) is to build something better, not to stand around weeping. Continue reading “What’s Coming At Us”
The ad hominem fallacy is a tool for winning an argument, based not upon the facts, but by attacking the person arguing against you. In other words, personal attacks are used to distract everyone from the actual facts.
If done successfully, the opponents and observers will focus only on the failings (real or imagined) of the person being attacked, and uncritically accept the conclusion of the person launching the attack. Continue reading “Fallacy #6: Ad Hominem”
Bitcoin, as wonderful as it is, is second in importance to the culture of Bitcoin… a culture spawned by myriad believers in a new and better model of human organization. And it is by the sharing of that new vision that the world will actually be improved.
And so I’d like you to know about a cause that’s deserving of your sats. Paralelni Polis – the primary hub of this new model of life – is going out of its way to spread the benevolence of our new culture. They deserve your support.
So, please send them some sats. Healing the world is up to us, and this is precisely the sort of thing that will do it.
Money wasn’t always our enemy, of course; I’m old enough that I knew people who were alive before it was weaponized. But modern money – dollars, euros and so on – are so destructive that they’re threatening not just individuals, but Western civilization itself.
If that sounds a bit over the top, please read on. Before we’re done I think I’ll convince you otherwise.
I call fiat currency a weapon of mass destruction because it has caused far more widespread damage than chemical weapons ever have, and has assuredly destroyed more human potential than nuclear weapons. The nuke destroys horrifyingly but rarely; fiat money destroys minute by minute, day by day, over multiple decades and in shocking proportions. Continue reading “Money Is A Weapon of Mass Destruction”
The loaded question fallacy is an attempt to win an argument by starting it with a question or statement that contains a false or misleading assumption. The usual example of this (and one that makes the trick easy to understand) is this question:
Have you stopped beating your wife?
Whether you answer yes or no, you’re admitting that you’ve beaten beaten her in the past; that is pre-supposed by the question itself.
So, this fallacy is really just a dirty trick, although it’s usually wrapped in something like justice-seeking. Continue reading “Fallacy #5: The Loaded Question”
There’s a lot to feel uncertain about in this world. Making things worse, more or less all the large things in it are arranged to reap from your uncertainty. Advertising is an obvious example (reaping from insufficiencies that are implanted then filled with their products), but governments function similarly and even a lot of relationships revolve around insecurity-matching.
Needless to say, insecurity feels bad, and it is certainly no aid to good decision-making. Thus it’s clearly in our self-interest to fix it. Continue reading “Self-Generated Certainty”
The appeal to authority fallacy (also called argument from authority) is a very simple one, but it can be tricky to deal with. This fallacy says that we should not believe things just because people with authority say they’re right. Typically, the fallacy appears like this:
Person A: XYZ is happening, and the world is in great danger because of it.
Person B: Why in the world would I believe XYZ is happening? I see no evidence.
Person A: Ha! The New York Times, the Harvard Review, the Counsel of Churches and scientific consensus have all said it’s happening!
And here’s another common use: Continue reading “Fallacy #4: Appeal To Authority”
The modern world will allow you to join any of a thousand collectives, but it will punish you for standing on your own, as a self-willed entity. People who commit this crime understand that they are outlaws in the present world. And if at first they don’t understand that, the world makes sure they know.
The world as it is, then, is the enemy of will. This is nothing new, of course, governments have been at war against will since they began: How else can you get people to blindly obey you, to hand over half their income, and to thank you for it? People who possess a full and active will must be convinced to do things, and governments couldn’t function if they had to do that. Continue reading “The War Against Will”
The questionable cause fallacy (also called causal fallacy or false cause) is a very common error, and one that is used to sway a lot of minds. This fallacy says that because two things appear together, one was caused by the other.
The questionable cause works very well for things people are prepared to believe or eager to believe… things they are already leaning toward or that will match feelings they already have.
It works like this:
A group of people has been oppressed or abused over a long period of time. Then, some promoter comes along who says, “Look, there is something about all the people who oppress you: They all have X.” Whereupon the oppressed agree. The promoter goes on, “You see, X is the problem, we must eliminate it!”
The questionable cause fallacy says that since one thing is seen with another, it is responsible for the other. That’s wrong, of course; because they appear together doesn’t mean one causes the other. For example:
Continue reading “Fallacy #3: Questionable Cause”
Much of the world is holding its breath, waiting for the outcome of tomorrow’s US election. And even though I see politics as the sad relic of the Bronze Age, this election may have some serious consequences, and so I think it’s worth a few brief comments.
My first concern is simply that all my readers stay safe. In all likelihood there will be violence following this one. If Mr. Trump wins, the street troops of the left will do what they’ve been doing this year, and perhaps more so. They are, after all, facing a dead end. If their perennial strongholds (NY, NJ, IL, CA and others) aren’t massively bailed out, and fast, their political machines will collapse.
I don’t expect very much violence immediately following a Biden win. Granted, there could be some (there are always a few actual crazies around, and I do tend to be optimistic), but I’ve never known disappointed conservatives to riot, and the militia guys tend to head to a sheriff’s department, seeking to be deputized. The threat of violence from the right would be if the Blues are seen to steal the election. If that happens clearly enough, all bets are off.
(My preference, of course, would be for good people to drop out of the status quo, and to use their energies building something better and less corruptible.)
All that said, caution is warranted.
Continue reading “What To Remember While Holding Your Breath”