Monthly Archives: July 2019
The Systemopedia’s Principles (7/28/19 Draft)
Following is the latest draft of the Systemopedia’s core Principles. I want this statement of principles to be as brief as possible, while also including essential points. Your feedback is welcome.
The Systemopedia is based on these principles:
— Our institutions, our culture, and ourselves as individuals are woven together into a global, self-perpetuating social system, “the System.” Everything is connected.
— The System’s primary purpose is to encourage everyone to climb social ladders, look down on those below, and look up to those above.
— The System teaches individuals, organizations, and nations to dominate or submit — by accumulating status, wealth, and/or power at the expense of others. It cultivates envy, resentment and disrespect, and undermines self-empowerment and mutual support.
— Individuals reinforce the System when they are excessively selfish, materialistic, domineering, individualistic, and/or competitive.
— Transforming the System will involve establishing a new purpose of our global society, such as: to serve the common good of all humanity, the environment, and life itself.
— Massive, nonviolent, grassroots movements focused on achievable objectives can help achieve that goal.
— Face-to-face communities whose members set aside time to support each other with unlearning oppressive conditioning and nurturing self-improvement can help grow those movements.
— Improving national policies is critical. With healthy patriotism, each nation can focus on its own interests while cooperating with other nations to help each other do the same.
— Transformation in one country alone is difficult if not impossible. “Americans for Humanity” offers an example of how to move toward global transformation.
— We can respect legitimate authority, honor our highest ideals and best traditions, recognize everyone’s dignity and humanity, and learn how to more profoundly:
— respect ourselves and each other;
— oppose efforts to dominate others due to one of their identities;
— nurture partnerships;
— appreciate the awesome beauty of the Creation and the power of the Creator, and;
— cultivate humility and acknowledge mistakes.
— When the government has created or reinforced social, racial, or economic injustice, we can use the government to reverse those actions and establish fairness.
— We can avoid scapegoating and demonizing. No one element controls the System. We are all responsible.
— With evolutionary revolution, we can build on the best qualities of the current system and eventually transform it — that is, implement structural reforms that change its appearance and character.
— Reforms undertaken within the framework of a clear commitment to principles such as these can contribute to long-lasting systemic transformation, but work that is only focused on the compassionate reform of one element of the System can also be helpful.
Once Again, the System Wins and the Democrats Lose
The Democrrats should have opened the Mueller hearing (months ago) with an expert counsel posing questions for 30 minutes to highlight the key points in Mueller’s report. That could have provided a clear, concise, compelling narrative that would have been devastating to Trump. But no. They chose to give all of their politicians face time on national television (in disjointed five-minute segments) to help them get re-elected. First things first. So the most compelling testimony happened in the last hour of a seven-hour hearing (which dragged on and on, losing most of the audience and the hearing’s impact).
As I discussed in “Democrats, Border Walls, and Social Polarization,” the Democrats acted in a similar manner with regard to the government shutdown over border-wall funding and the Kavanagh hearings. Maneuvering for re-ellection was primary then as well.
The System teaches everyone to climb social ladders and look down on those below and look up to those above. The goal is to boost egos and accumulate status, power, and/or money. Congress is a near-perfect example. Unfortunately, the System has conditioned all of us.
Originally posted here.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on White Privilege
Click to watch (2:43)
Today in Youngstown, OH, a woman asked: "This is an area that, across all demographics, has been depressed because of the loss of industry and the opioid crisis. What do you have to say to people in this area about so-called white privilege?"
Here's what I answered: pic.twitter.com/M8Ld5yjVE6
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) July 12, 2019
Why Trump May Win
Trump’s Electoral College Edge Could Grow in 2020, Rewarding Polarizing Campaign
Re-election looks plausible even with a bigger loss in the national popular vote.
The Myth That Busing Failed
Very clear, important history.
The Myth That Busing Failed, The Daily 29-minute podcast interview with Nikole Hannah-Jones (see It Was Never About Busing, Nikole Hannah-Jones).
Kara Swisher interviews Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Discusses his THE DOUGLASS PLAN: A Comprehensive Investment in the Empowerment of Black America and his critique of the “left-right spectrum.”
“Humility and Rationality”
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011, 512 Pages
Controlling emotions, instincts, intuitions, and biases is like riding an elephant. As Jonathan Haidt wrote: “The emotional tail wags the rational dog.” In his magnum opus, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman sums up decades of research and urges readers to strengthen “slow thinking” to better manage “fast thinking.” Rationality demands discipline, practice, and effort, but over-confident, we often fail. A humble understanding of why and how we don’t always choose the most rational action can help us be better human beings.
Kahneman argues that humans
often need help to make more accurate judgments and better decisions, and in some cases policies and institutions can provide that help. The assumption that agents are rational provides the intellectual foundation for the libertarian approach to public policy: do not interfere with the individual’s right to choose, unless the choices harm others. For behavioral economists, however, freedom has a cost, which is borne by individuals who make bad choices, and by society that feels obligated to help him. The decision of whether or not to protect individuals against their mistakes, therefore, presents a dilemma.
Whether to require motorcyclists to wear helmets is an example. Requiring everyone to get health insurance is another.
Social-change activists have much to learn from Kahneman’s work, which calls for a commitment to overcome the arrogance that interferes with learning from mistakes. No wonder pride has been considered the number-one sin, and humility the number-one virtue.
Democrats Shouldn’t Be So Certain About Abortion
Democrats Shouldn’t Be So Certain About Abortion, Michael Wear
Tribute to Albert Camus by Jean-Paul Sartre
Tribute to Albert Camus by Jean-Paul Sartre
Written after his death at the age of 46 in a car accident, in a vehicle driven by his publisher, who lost control of the car.