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Everything posted by DocWatts

  1. In addition to @Emeralds points, another useful discernment for telling if you're dealing with a conservative or a fascist, is to assess the degree to which they've made peace with expansions of rights and social recognition that have been won in previous eras and are taken for granted these days. The idea that today's conservatives are in some ways the liberals of a generation or two ago. This is also the gist of the philosophy of the patron saint of modern conservatism, Edmund Burke, who saw conservativism's role in liberal democracies as protecting society from crazy social experiments by conserving existing institutions and implementing change in a slow, measured way. A conservative will most likely be uneasy with expanding these rights and recognition further or extending them to other groups, but to the degree that their perspective is conservative rather than fascistic, they're generally not trying to eradicate basic human rights that have been extended to people of color, women, gay people, etc. Of course the rub is that the cultural and media environment is such that fascistic rhetoric and social policy has been moving into mainstream politics and culture, so in practice contemporary conservatives who haven't completely disavowed the modern Republican Party (or its counterpart in other countries) will exist on a spectrum between Edmund Burke's conservatism and fascism.
  2. The difference lies in the absolutizing right wing ideology as an end in and of itself (a perspective from below), and discerning where right wing perspectives are situationally appropriate as part of a larger effort to transcend and include them in a flexible, evolving meta-framework (a perspective from above). Peterson may have ambitions towards the later, but in my view he's too fixated on the former to fully appreciate the dialectics behind how value systems function and evolve. Which is to say that he's nowhere near people like Ken Wilber, John Verveake, or Daniel Gortz who have a solid Yellow understanding of these things. Are there people who, more than anything, really just need to get their shit together, and for whom Peterson's Rules for Life can serve as a 'Volumetric Shit Compressor'? Undoubtedly. But I'd also contend that there are other places you can get the information needed to start embodying self responsibility skills, without it being coupled to reactionary political baggage
  3. It just so happens that I'm in the middle of reading this very book, and I can't commend it enough for laying out the characteristics of fascism in thorough yet approachable way. I feel like I could hand this book to someone who hasn't spent a significant period of time studying sociology and have it be understood. Which is valuable precisely because in a place like America, a typical person has only a very surface level understanding of fascist ideology, often nothing more than a vague association with Nazi iconography they've seen in entertainment media. Which prevents them from being able to see examples of fascism in their own society.
  4. Paradoxes are a result of limitations within the framework we're using to make sense of a particular phenomenon or domain. Often these are born of constructing false dichotomies and dualisms which are perfectly adequate as a simplified model for convenience's sake, but begin to break down under scrutiny. They can also be born of a type or category error, namely by making bad discernments about the inherent nature of a given phenomenon, and ascribing it to a domain where it doesn't really fit.
  5. The gist is that we can never fully abstract ourselves away from our lived experience within Reality, since something as basic as what counts as a fact and what is considered relevant is going to be governed by the paradigm one is operating under. On an even more basic level, due to the biological structure of our bodies and our perceptual system we have a uniquely human ontology (an immediate intuitive understanding of people and objects) that determines what Reality is for us on an experiential level. But that doesn't mean that we're doomed to what Ken Wilber calls aperspectival madness. What it does mean is that realizing that any Truth claims are tied to a purposive context. Or to put it another way, Truth always exists for someone with a particular point of view. Truth discloses something about Reality for that someone, but doesn't exist apart from them. That said, different discernments about Reality will be a better or worse fit for a given purposive context. If I want to build an airplane, then working out the laws of aerodynamics which produce lift will be a much better discernment for that purpose than attaching wings to my arms and jumping off a roof. As to how we know whether or not this understanding of Truth that I outlined is itself truthful, that can be verified by working throughout what's known as the eidetic reduction. The eidetic reduction involves scrutinizing one's assumptions for a given phenomenon, for instance common sense notions of Truth as something that exists apart from us. This process, as is also the case for any other validity claims, will if one kicks the can down the road far enough will always end up relying on an intuition that has been built up by our lived experience within Reality, rather than the sort of thing that can be worked out as a logical proof for example. Ie there is a hard limit to what can be formally 'proved' by any verification method.
  6. There's no such thing as a 'neutral' paradigm/perspective for doing any sort of meta-analysis.
  7. I'd argue that it's impossible to live without an ontology (a basic, pre-reflective understanding of people and objects) and a worldview (an embodied framework of meaning that's coupled to the time, place, and circumstances that we're born into). That said, I would push back a bit against the idea that it's impossible to live without an ideology though, since ideologies are normative (ie this is not only how I see the world and behave, but also how others should see the world and behave). While the two usually overlap, a worldview doesn't necessarily have to be normative, though for most people and in most circumstances this tends to be the case. Another way to think of an ideology is a vision for how people, society, or the world should be. A worldview on the other hand is a way of coping with one's circumstances in the broadest sense, and is always descriptive (though it is often normative as well). Worldviews in the broadest sense form the purposive context for all of our activities and interactions (ie it provides the meaning of what our daily habits and social activities are). *Also since the philosopher in question is most likely referring to adults living in contemporary societies, we'll leave aside instances where human beings are in a State of being pre-differentiated from their environment, ie Spiral Dynamics Beige.
  8. I've found it helpful to think of paradigms as tools, which can be more or less situationally appropriate for a given domain. The trick is to learn to differentiate your identity from the paradigms you participate in. I've found paradigms such as metamodernism, phenomenology, Buddhism, socialism, etc, to be helpful as frameworks for understanding the world, but I've also come to realize that building an ego-identity around the defense of any of these frameworks is ultimately a trap which limits one's authenticity and integrity. The difference is learning enough healthy detachment to not feel crushed or diminished if one of the paradigms you make use of, (say Spiral Dynamics), turns out to be bullishit. Of course what makes this tricky is the way that our survival needs become coupled to the paradigms we make use of. Of course this is easier said than done, as human beings tend to form ego attachments to the things they participate in. This isn't even necessarily a negative thing, just something to be mindful of. Coming to understand some of the ways identity is constructed can be helpful in learning how to cultivate flexible forms of identity, which I'd argue is a healthy middle way between the extremes of rigidity (being paradigm locked) and complete fluidity ( having no idea of who you are or what you want out of life).
  9. Thing is though that companies don't just passively respond to what customers demand. They also actively inculcate and drive that demand as well. This is especially true with new technologies; in the days of horses and buggies Ford had to sell the public on car ownership. In short, the adoption of a new technology always involves proactive advocating for change within a given domain.
  10. The fact that we live in a society where people need the equivalent of GoFundMe or Patreon to pay for basic healthcare is reprehensible. If Mr Beast were using his immense wealth to advocate for social change, and paying for these operations as a way to bring attention to the fact that society has completely failed these people and to bring shame on our lack of a fundamental right to Health Care, I'd have a higher opinion of him. Instead, I get the same feeling in the pit of my stomach as when I hear about supposedly 'heartwarming' stories of kids setting up a bake sale to pay for one of their classmates unaffordable cancer treatments.
  11. If you're interested in how to design a life around traveling you should definitely check out Noah Caldwell-Gervais's channel. Over the life of his YouTube channel I've watched his career take off, seeing how he managed to leave a dead end job in a pizza shop to build a life around traveling over the course of a decade. His travelogues are honestly some of the best video essays I've ever seen, full of interesting historical and philosophical insights. He also does some very high quality essays about video games as art, if you're interested in that. In fact this is how his channel initially took off and what allowed him to generate the Patreon income that he now uses to fund his travelogue content.
  12. To add to what's already been brought up, John Verveake covers the Relevance Realization problem in a ton of detail in his 'Awakening from the Meaning Crisis' series. The philosopher Hubert Dreyfus also addresses this in his book 'What Computers (Still) Can't Do'. But the gist of it is that Reality is disclosed to human beings in a way that what's relevant about a situation we're absorbed in tends to be immediately apparent without us having to apply rules. The reason that is so is that having a body with needs requires a practical ontology (an understanding of Being) for the purposes of survival, where what Reality *is* on an experiential level is going to be coupled to what kind of creature one is. 'Being' in this context referring to our pre-reflective, nonconceptual understanding of people and objects. Being is the most foundatioal way we're able to understand a tree as a tree, a human face as a human face. It's what allows what we come across to be meaningful for us, and is pre-supposed by other forms of understanding. When we do step back and refer to rules, it tends to be because our normal ways of skillful coping have become disrupted (such as when you run into a highly novel or unexpected situation) or when one is an absolute beginner in some domain. Digital computers operate on different axiomatic principles than living organisms, and need to use deterministic rules to interact with their environments. The problem with using rules to try to determine what's relevant is that you also end up needing rules to apply the rules, then rules to apply those rules, ad infinitum. This presents an intractable problem for AI because determining which of the innumerable features of one's environment are relevant for a particular purpose comes from a capacity for Care, not from applying rules. Organisms including human beings do not have this problem because our experience of Reality comes pre-structured so that what's relevant for our interests and purposes tends to be immediately obvious. Which is the reason why most of what you accomplish in your day to day life (walking down the stairs, brushing your teeth, recognizing faces, etc) is done almost effortlessly, without relying on any rules.
  13. Trying to decide if I want to continue reading 'Truth vs Falsehood', since it's not at all a short read. Can't tell yet if he's on to something, or if I'll get a few hundred pages in and come to discover that his epistemic schema has been a waste of time. Is there an advantage to operationalizing levels of Consciousness in the way that he does?
  14. Kudos to Vaush for bringing attention to this issue, which I've long felt has been a huge blindspot for the Leftists/Liberals. Is it any surprise that young men gravitate towards emotionally validating grifters like Andrew Tate and Jordy P? Especially when the issues they're facing in their lives are being downplayed by Green ideologies that aren't willing to extend much in the way of compassion to men who are struggling to find a sense of purpose and belonging? Of course that's not to say that the Left needs its own version of predatory content creators that use self help advice to indoctrinate people into an ideology, but we should be doing much more to help people cultivate healthier forms of identity.
  15. Snippet from Hanzi Freinacht's next book. Hanzi is a metamodern author whose previous titles include The Listening Society and Nordic Ideology. His books are a metamodern framework written in a humorous and sincerely ironic tone, as the snippet from the intro should make clear: "I, Hanzi, a sociologist and philosopher, am hereby writing a self-help book with no apology or excuse. I have a vision of life, an intimate and subtle practice, an embodied philosophy, and I intend to share it. Yes, may scholars cringe and casual observers laugh: I shall carry their contempt as a cross. Those naive souls who dare defy the scorn and laughter of others are the true rebels of our time, as the novelist David Foster Wallace once claimed. How I long to join their ranks!"
  16. No one is asking for 'free' health care, they're asking for a Universal Health Care system that's publicly funded through tax revenue. The military is also funded through public tax dollars, but no one in their right mind would call it 'free'. What we want is Health Care to be a public service, rather than a luxury for the well off. Fact is that the US pays exorbitant health care costs that are much higher than the rest of the world.
  17. What a ruling on this case (Moore v. Harper) could potentially do is effectively end any meaningful public participation in Presidential elections, as it would give (gerrymandered) state Legislatures the ability to ignore/ overturn the popular vote in their State and award Electoral Votes to the Party that happens to be in power in that State's legislature. Obviously this has a number of serious consequences for us democracy, as it would more or less end any semblance of competitive elections for the executive branch of the Federal government. The practical effect of this could potentially to shift the US from a flawed democracy to what's known as a hybrid (that is, a mixed authoritarian/democratic) regime. Since the Independent State Legislatures theory overwhelmingly favors Republicans who benefit from gerrymandered state legislatures, its effect would be to shield them from having to compete in competitive elections for control over the Presidency and by extension the executive branch of the Federal government. Of course anyone who's been paying attention realizes that democratic backsliding in the US is a death by a thousand cuts scenario, since the structure of the Electoral College, US Senate, and US Supreme Court are highly undemocratic.
  18. Obviously we're still a ways off from the technology being scaled up enough to be commercially viable, but using Fusion to produce more energy than is put in certainly sounds like a BFD. Would be interested to hear from anyone who's very well versed in nuclear physics as to your thoughts on the matter.
  19. I guess I could just quote it in full (from a review on GoodReads): "First book I have read by Dr. David Hawkins and it was very dissapointing. This is basically Ben Shapiro writing about nonduality. The majority of the book is him expressing privlieged, uneducated and unexamined American exceptionalist, imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist and patriarchical talking points and views. There are some OK parts dealing with epistemology and ego mechanics, where there are some insights. However, these become quickly muddled with his ultra-conservativeness and arrogance of his gradation of consciousness level of various historical figures, ideologies etc. If you are interested in a western take on spiritual enlightenment and nonduality I would recommend to instead turn to teachers such as Rupert Spira, Chuck Hillig, Leo Gura instead of Dr. Hawkins. Perhaps his other works focusing more strictly on epistemology, and less on his views on basically anything else, are better than this one."
  20. Saw a discussion on his book where someone described him as akin to 'Ben Shapiro writing about nonduality', which makes me wonder if I might be better off finding these insights elsewhere without wading through braindead political takes to get there...
  21. The history podcaster Dan Carlin, a 'political Martian' as he likes to call himself, is someone who sits at the fulcrum of being the best of both. Listening to him, it becomes clear that he believes in the promise of America, while also not being naive about how the country fails to live up to its own ideals. And that he's very good at perspective taking, and in learning from what other cultures can teach us.
  22. Seems to be some confusion here about what Secularism actually entails. Characterizing secularity as being fundamentally atheistic in nature is a mischaracterization, regardless of whether it's religious or atheistic folks who are conflating these two things. If Secularism is being used to proselytize for Atheism, it is being misused for that purpose. Secularism is what allows diverse groups of people with different customs and beliefs to peacefully coexist within a larger community. The way this is done is by making sure that institutions which provide social stability are founded on humanistic values, rather than on religious values which favor one group at the expense of all others.