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  • Category Archives Semantics
  • Disability… in Slow Motion

    Pretend intelligence is smartphone quality.  The better quality the smart phone the faster frames per second it can record.  So for example you can do super slow motion shots of people jumping off the diving board with the most expensive phones.  Now bring it back to intelligence, the smarter you are the more information you can process in the same amount of time.  So you could say a smart person trusting their “instinct” is processing a huge amount of information on the fly.

    So what does this have to do with disability?  Well, unlike racial prejudice, disability based prejudice doesn’t go down as much as IQ goes up.  I think this is because disability introduces some additional negativity and fries people’s sacred cows on the griddle.  During the process of encountering a person with a disability, intelligent people are unconsciously thinking things like the below.  It’s kind of like a row of balloons being popped in this OK Go Video.

    • I have innate worth.  A person with a disability really puts to the test the idea that everyone has innate worth which deep down most people know is a lie.  But this person is shoving this lie in your face by showing you a test case of someone who, if innate worth were true, you would think would be worth something.  But in acknowledging this individual’s worthlessness you acknowledge that your worth is based on function and nothing more.  But this is not something you appreciate being shoved in your face.
    • I can express myself in any way I choose and still be accepted.  Individuals with disabilities also test the limits of free expression.  What you find is that just like tan skin is tolerated but only if you’re not a minority, disability is only accepted if it is seen as temporary.  So for example if you have a cast on your arm but are expected to heal people will treat you well but if there is something wrong with you they perceive to be permanent then they won’t.  “You do you” only applies to things that aren’t irreversible (for example a funky hairdo).  As an individual with a disability you understand how life giving conformity is and see through the “be yourself” ruse normal people are never required to.
    • I want to bring children into this world.  Almost everyone becomes a temporary antinatalist (someone who thinks procreating is cruel) when they encounter an individual with a disability.  I always thought “I wish you were never born” was communicated through disability based prejudice (as opposed to race based prejudice which is “I wish you’d die”). Disability reminds people that their life, on balance, could contain way more suffering than joy. And why would you bring anyone into this world if that was what was waiting for them? Of course after the encounter with an individual with a disability ends instead of moving towards antinatalism these people project their negativity on that individual. And why not? Cognitive dissonance is experienced as emotional pain by most people.
    • Medical science can fix people good enough to function as good as new in society.  As an individual with a disability I have gotten this one a few times.  On a diet of seeing shiny new smartphones we’ve been brought up on this narrative that science is going to fix everything which is far from the case.  For both my disability and mental illness I’m basically using treatments that were invented in the 90’s.  And I’m the lucky one, for others there are even less treatment or none at all.
    • God can heal people.  People of faith (particularly Charistmatic Christians) do not like encountering individuals with disabilities because they demonstrate God’s inaction in action.  A question mark is an enemy of most people of faith and a question that gets brought up is, “what does God really promise?”.  If nothing, is the faith really worth it?


  • incarnate

    The deepest truths are not true or false like a Boolean variable, they are incarnated.  This is partly why people get so angry when you are living a life that, by their philosophy, your outcome should be different.  This is why the people conservatives save their worst for are the ones who worked hard, were moral, and still failed miserably.  And this is why the people Christians save their worst for are the ones who sincerely sought God and found nothing or worse (that’s me, read earlier entries for more details).  If these truths were not incarnated, if they were just like math problems where you could derive a simple answer, then there wouldn’t be so much emotion around them.

    Every human is an island, whether you are allowed to believe so or not.  Most philosophies of life are one size fits all but what fits for one person may be the opposite of what fits for another.



  • Religion Counting

    I don’t think it’s fair to count people who are forced to practice their religion in religious censuses or at least break the two figures out.  Of course this would be impossible to find out because admitting one was forced into their religion isn’t something those forcing religion on these people want known.



  • Pride

    Pride isn’t so much of an entity in and of itself is it is a glue that holds everything else in one’s life together.  For example take your typical window shade.  It will have a shade and an apparatus to connect it to the window. Pride is like that apparatus.  Pride is commensurate with how much you have in your life just like the window shade apparatus would have to be stronger to hold up a heavier shade.

    Times in my life where I had the most I also had the most pride.  I have less now but it’s because I have less and less of what makes people worth something.  I find it ridiculous that Christians vilify pride.  This is because for a lot of people their pride is integral in holding up their faith (as it is to holding up everything else in their life).  Being right and righteous are two things that produce substantial amounts of pride and just happen to be integral to most people’s Christian experience.  Heck I was the most prideful when I was Christian.  Of course the party line is pride is a sin which is a ridiculous statement.  If you are going to invent a religion whose final product is prideful people, don’t bother calling pride a sin. It would be like selling cars with the emergency brake always engaged or having an over eaters anonymous meeting in a mall food court.



  • logarithmic scales in life

    Walk inside on a sunny day and you generally can see indoors without too much fuss (unless there is something wrong with your eyes).  This is because your pupils dilate.  The scale of light is actually logarithmic.  There is orders of magnitude more light outside than there is in a closed off room inside.  This can be most clearly seen by taking a picture indoors that has a window to the outside.  The outdoor portions wash out in white.

    I feel there are other things that operate on a logarithmic scale, chief among them suffering.  A lot of us experience a lot of slow burn misery when our lives are not actually very bad at all.  What makes things bad is we are living inside of our head and reading about the nation which is in a slow motion train wreck.  However once a tragedy strikes or we are sick or experience distressing physical pain suddenly our life is orders of magnitude worse but we often don’t feel that all the way.  I have in my life been under pretty serious physical pain which led to an eventual psychotic break.  My life was much worse then than it is now but my mood was only somewhat worse.  Of course some of this has to do with the fact that when you are in a lot of pain your stress response kicks in so you don’t feel as bad during it but the bill eventually comes later.

    The second thing I think works on a logarithmic scale is status (particularly for males).  The (now former) friends of mine that are high status have orders of magnitude more than me (CEO’s and senior engineers verses me fighting for scraps on the informal economy).  Another proof that the status curve is logarithmic is the Redpill trope that women are going after the top 10 or 20 percent of men and ignoring the bottom 50 percent entirely.  If what made men desirable wasn’t distributed logarithmically I don’t think you would see this so pronounced.



  • thinking you know more about women than you do

    I feel like communities like Redpill make men feel like they know more about women than they actually do.  Yes Redpill men do have a better idea of what women really want in a man, but that’s just one facet of womankind.   It’s kind of like a deer hunter thinking he would be a good veterinarian for deer.  The two things are completely different.



  • Brain as Computer Revisited

    I think modern psychology has latched on to the brain as computer model of the brain and do their detriment.  It’s an easy thing to fall into.  A computer has an operating system, files, and programs.  As long as everyone has the same operating system, programs will work seamlessly on any computer you try to run them on.  Therapies seem to presuppose this brain uniformity and when one doesn’t have a brain like this they’re left not knowing what to do.  For example some therapies try to strengthen one’s positive voice in their inner monologue.  But what if they don’t have a positive voice to begin with?  Therapies claim to work seamlessly on all brains (at least ones acculturated to western values).  But the brain is messy, there is no operating system/programs/files trifecta.  I know my experience has been just tearing apart the things therapists tell me, clearly seeing them as false.  But for some people believing what makes them feel good is preferable to believing what is factual.  But my brain doesn’t play that way, especially because eventually wishful thinking will bite you in the butt.  There is some understanding in the psychology profession that therapies aren’t supercultural and that’s a good start.  But even within western culture there is such variation from brain to brain.

    I actually think the brain is more organized like a regime.  Depending on where in the world you go there can be many types of regimes.  Democracies, dictatorships, failed states, tribal power sharing arrangements, etc..  sometimes it’s better to work with the patterns of thinking that are already there than try to go full on and try to throw them all out.  Just like it’s not a good idea to forcibly change regimes in the Middle East.

    See original post



  • being opaque

    Skimming this article on tech diversity, something that has always bothered me as an aspie is how opaque people are.  How they’ll use a whole ton of words to say nothing.  I think by and large conservatives are less opaque than liberals.  This isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing but I think it explains why a lot of times the two camps feel like they are talking past each other.  One of my favorite founts of wisdom Gordon Livingston is a conservative and a good example of not being opaque.

    I’m also not saying not being opaque means ones words are full of integrity.  Un opaque words are easier to parse for people who don’t pick up social cues so even if they are flat out lies they get latched on to.  But I think when one is opaque and lacks integrity it is seen as more sinister than people who just flat out lie to your face.

     



  • Men Without Chests [somewhat NSFW language]

    I read The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis and most of it went right over my head.  However he does talk about there being a third element in a man besides his brain and his carnal urges.  This third thing, the chest, consists of objective truths, Aristotelian virtues like duty, kindness, and temperance.  The thesis is modern society is stripping these things away and once these objective grounding truths are gone there is nothing standing in the way of propaganda swaying a person whichever way the masters’ please.  One can look at the approval of aid in dying that has jumped up precipitously (to 70%) in the last ten years.

    Then there was this thing called the Tao which isn’t very specifically defined but has the feel of all the moral laws of traditional cultures east and west.  Basically what was instilled in people to keep them behaving.  But he would say there is something innate in man that interacts with these codes, like humankind were supposed to live like this.  Sexual taboos come to mind, like how even in ancient Egypt there were sex acts that were verboten that one had to answer for in their afterlife.  And of course the most important of these codes was the golden rule.  Societies that were taoless, like Nazi Germany, and Soviet Russia, didn’t have these things and propaganda took right over.

    I look at morality like the tradition where the king stands up everybody else has to.  Morality is caught, not taught and cascades down to the powerless from the powerful.  What has taught me I was living in a taoless society is how the people and institutions in power (in my case mostly Christian ones) over me have treated me throughout the years.  As Eminem said in the song “Who Knew”, “You want me to fix up lyrics while the President gets his dick sucked?”.



  • So now even millennial suicide bombers are too narcissistic:

    Mustafa Hamid, a former high-ranking Egyptian volunteer with the Afghan mujahideen in the 1980s, described his own frustration with many of the later waves of volunteers arriving to that conflict. “One of the negatives that emerged from the jihad, and which continues to have severe consequences today, was the tendency for the youth to focus not on success and achieving victory and liberating Afghanistan, but on their desire for martyrdom and to enter paradise,” Hamid wrote. This overriding preoccupation with becoming a martyr meant that participation in the conflict, “became individual instead of for the benefit of the group or the country where the fight for liberation is taking place.”