Tag Archives: Islam

Links of Possible Relevance, Part 29

Jay DiNitto – LinkedIn Profile
Don’t click that link—it’s broken. I took my deleted my profile since I saw no point in it.

“Old Life In Your Way stuff” YouTube playlist
I uploaded a bunch of old material from my old band, with varying production quality. The videos I play on are the “Skies Broke Open” one and The Heart and Flesh Cry Out EP. My wife and I also do the claps on the last song on their 2006 demo, but that isn’t an official track.

Expert: Don’t wait until AC unit breaks
Thanks to Graham for the link. Even professional philosophers need proper UX design.

SUPERVERSIVE: The Missed Opportunity of “Jessica Jones”
Why Death Note takes the cake in the cat and mouse crime genre face-off vs. Jessica Jones.

Free State explains R40m website
38 websites that cost about 40 million Rands ($2.8 million). I could do it for half that amount in the same time; they are all WordPress-based. Little to no backend coding needed.

Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank: Robots will have an IQ of 10,000
I get what he’s saying, but I don’t think IQ tests really measure that high. After, I don’t know, a 200 IQ or so, does it really matter how high it is?

Anti-togetherness: The Virtues of Disunity
“On ideological grounds we imagine a world that cannot exist, and try to move into it. When it doesn’t work, we try to force it.”

Wigle Tasting Room
I walk by this place often on the way to work. Lord help us if this is the new bourgeois hipster trend; whiskey is fermented garbage juice. But I also like black bitter coffee that will grow hair on a baby’s backside.

An Islamic “Reformation”? – Pseudo History meets Politics
Current status: satisfied that the snobbery of moderns in thinking we are the “greatest because we’re the latest” is an actual fallacy—The Whig Fallacy. Sometimes I think Victorianism is worse than the Enlightenment as far as intellectual eras.

Hipster Miyazaki Hated Weinstein Before It Was Popular
“Miyazaki sent him a samurai sword in the post. Attached to the blade was a stark message: ‘No cuts.'”

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Multiculturalism Doesn’t Exist

I mean, multiculturalism does exist, and has always existed. The earth has many cultures. This is self-evident. Yet, multiculturalism doesn’t exist in the way some may think it does.

A story from my Facebook days. Friend Y posted about their job at X. One night, a Muslim man and his wife came in. The man began to pray in the obvious way that some Muslims are wont to do—the way that could make non-Muslims in the area (most everyone else) uncomfortable, or at least very distracting to the general retail public.

I don’t remember the outcome of the situation, whether Y prevailed in restoring some kind of order or if the Muslim man prayed it up until satisfied. Though, like Clock Boy, it seemed an obvious ploy to generate a lawsuit of some kind. Whatever the outcome, the situation is a simplified microcosm of what’s currently thought of as multiculturalism. It doesn’t exist because one culture will always prevail over the other in a given physical space. Worded another way, tautologically: multiculturalism doesn’t exist, because it doesn’t exist. Multiculturalism becomes, paradoxically, a monoculture.

To complicate it further: when it does exist, it really doesn’t. When populations of differing cultures are thrown together in the same geographic area by bureaucratic diktat, the prospect of monetary or material gain, or random happenstance, the cultures eventually separate of their own accord, much in the same way families segregate from other families, by degrees. This is why in America we have things like Chinatown, Little Italy, Spanish Harlem, Irish Boston, the Pennsylvania Dutch, Creole New Orleans, one country from another country, or my house vs. the neighbors’ house. It’s the natural way humans seem to arrange themselves. Yes, cultural syncretism happens, but it’s a long, complicated, de-centralized process that no one group can plan out. It happens when it happens.

This self-segregation (also known as “organizing our own lives and forming associations”) happens no matter how many times the forced association of multiculturalism surges into interactions, though if this forced association continues, things can get ugly. It’s not anyone’s fault except those of us who are holding the gun and making demands that everyone “just be cool” with everyone else. The rub of it is, is that everyone is cool with everyone else, but it has to be on their own terms, not on the whims of a third party playing chess with other people’s lives.

To consider it another way: anyone who finds value in having different cultures should have nothing to do with modern multiculturalism. Pitting one culture against another for the same space is just assuring one culture will lose out.

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How to Stay Sane

It bears repeating: God doesn’t owe you a damn thing. That He doesn’t owe you anything doesn’t mean He doesn’t offer anything. It’s self-evident in many ways that, if you are reading this, there are some things He’s already given to you, and continues to give. There’s a reflection of this duality in the two forms of logic we have with us, deductive and inductive. The Greeks and Islamic scholars formalized it, but everyone works it out informally, every day, without thinking of the process. It’s the nature of our minds and how they interact the material universe.

Deductive logic involves categorization and math—the hard facts of life. If it’s a crow, it’s a bird. 2 + 2 = 4. These sorts of evaluations are true no matter what kind of word games we try to play. The object of a “crow” is such as it is because any human anywhere will perceive it with their bare senses more or less “as it is,” and will place it under the category of “bird,” or whatever label is chosen. It can also fall under many other categories and it will fall under most of those categories, cross-culturally, always. The one in question here is what English speakers designate as “bird.”

Inductive and predicate logic aren’t as rigorous and accounts for errors and gaps in information. It involves degrees of certainty: “some” and “most” are key words that we use to express the varying widths of wiggle room we have. 2 gallons plus 2 gallons equals 4 gallons some of the time. If you add 2 gallons of rum to 2 gallons of motor oil, you end up 4 gallons of something but it’s not 4 gallons of rum or motor oil. From certain perspectives you get zero gallons of anything useful for human consumption or engine life. This is an odd example but I use it to illustrate the accounting for quality in this form. The more materially wise among us know when to express things as induced, uncertain knowledge and nearly-always certain, categorical knowledge.

The recent happenings with Puerto Rico and the ongoing drama with the Greek economy are indicative of the current trend of the last few centuries of forcing the inductive into the deductive realm. The dictates of bureaucracies and banks can’t change basic math, or even the ability of a group of human minds to continue to jerry-rig the backwards-reverse Sudoku game of centrally planned economies. Eventually the numbers won’t come out right no matter how many rows or columns you add. People simply don’t have the mental capacity to account for all things a group of rulers need to account for, neverminding the two ethical issues of crafting the economic environment for millions based solely on the interests of people who will not bear responsibility for the nightmare they birth, and the issue of levying future taxes on incoming generations of producers of wealth. In either case, the people affected have no say in the matter.

Read that last sentence a few more times. “Having no say” in things is really the relationship we have with reality. In my case and for many others, reality is usually synonymous with God, but you don’t need to believe in God for this. For sure, there are some things, really inconsequential in the long run, that we as limited agencies can decide upon, but God, as the ultimate knower of Himself as objective reality, can only give us a peek of what that is. And only a peek is not enough to fully comprehend the whole, even inductively. We weren’t designed (or, if you wish, “evolved”…it works with either concept) to control things that are outside of our natural charge: like ourselves, family, some concepts here and there and objects with which we are able to interact regularly. Outside of that, you’re risking more and more uncertainty, and “teaming up” just compounds the problem. 1 bureaucrat’s mind plus another’s doesn’t equal more than 2, and it usually equals much less that.

My advice, distilled from my hundreds of years of living on earth: acknowledge your expertise in the few things that you a inclined to know, be humble enough to acknowledge degrees of uncertainty as you move outward concentrically from your realm of expertise, and when you see things coming down the pike don’t pretend you can control completely when it lands in your lap. You owe it to your own mental health state to not ignore reality. You’re going to be setting fires that will consume more than you think.

EDIT: I wrote this mentally a few days ago, but Ed has some similar thoughts on the subject here and here.

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The Appeal to Current Affluence Fallacy

Ironhide reacts to Ultra Magnus' "what if we never had energon" lecture.

Ironhide reacts to Ultra Magnus’ “what if we never had energon?” lecture.

Here’s a certain kind of fallacy I’ve noticed that is a specific form of the appeal to consequences fallacy, where one person leverages a premise’s favorable or unfavorable state of affairs to a certain conclusion. The current affluence fallacy appeals to a person’s present sensibilities and comfort levels to imply that a different situation would necessarily be unfavorable or even morally wrong. In other words, the argument rests not on logic so much as on relative affluence or beliefs.

Person A: “The ‘Dark Ages’ weren’t as bad as you might think. There was a lot of development in science and philosophical thought.”
Person B: “Well, I would never want to live back then. They didn’t even have electricity!”

Person B’s argument only works for people who know the comforts of electricity. In the world of logic, it ‘works’ only in a very contextual manner—supposing they were traveling back in time or to a place without electricity. This argument might provide a strong reason not to do so. To the people of the Medieval period, “lack of electricity” just means life as usual; to the people back then, and to anyone who never had electricity, the argument loses its “love lost” effectiveness.

Another example, this one more anthropology-based.

Person A: “Religious belief, even if ultimately false, still can do some good for some people, like provide a sense of purpose in life.”
Person B: “Maybe. Christianity and Islam have a history of misogyny.”

For “misogyny” to be meaningful to anyone requires a very specific political and social context that was absent for most of world history, and still is absent in many parts of the world. To a Muslim or Christian of a certain social background, the term “misogyny” has no meaning or would be seen as a nonsense concept. Trying to convince them of it is equally nonsensical.

Even libertarians, who by nature tend to easily sniff out socially preprogrammed bullsh*t, commit this fallacy in atrocious form:

Person A: “We’re moving to North Korea. Huzzah!”
Person B: “You know North Koreans live in near slavery, right?”

Despite objectively “bad” things that North Koreans might face, many people living there might not see their political system as oppressive or totalitarian in the same way others might.

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