New Debate?

A comment popped up for approval on an older post, Immanetize the Eschaton, and I thought it worthy of a post of its own, since the author was so impassioned about it. Perhaps it will start a new debate here on TSM. Without further ado, Chris R’s response to my post:

I only came across your blog bc I’m reading the ILLUMINATIS! Trilogy and wanted to know more about the phrase used to open the book: “It was the year they immanentized the Eschaton.” And i would have kept reading past the first half until I realized how fond you are of vage, sweeping generalizations. What particularly offended me was your assertion or implication that defunding the police is a wholly anti-racist move. I am bipolar and as a result have gone to jail because the right seems to think that anything illegal is a moral failure on the part of the “guilty”. If police departments would realize that less than a sixth of their calls are actually in response to violent crime, they could then be justified in spending less on armored transports and tanks and more money on training police to take potentially dangerous individuals or people just at their whits ends to hospitals instead of jails. if we decriminalized certain unpopular behaviors and re-invested in hospitals not jails, then we’d (I’d) have no criminal record bc i would have been treated faaaaaar earlier for my medical condition. And it’s also embarrassing that you think jist bc you won’t date a trans you’d be marked as anti-trans. This simply isn’t true. I’m hetero-normative and don’t particularly enjoy the idea of d* in my mouth. But I’m pro trans and I’ve never been accused of the opposite. You speak good words and can write sophisticatedly, so why is it so hard for you to think with equal sophistication. It’s Sunday, a day off from work bc of all the hard work put in by Anarchists, Commies and Wobblies, tyvm, and I have better sh* to do than write an essay i never intended to write, but if you’re interested in hearing more from me, bc -idk- maybe you’re interested in actually. discussing sophisticated, cosmopolitan ideas that are never black and white (gray, gray, gray -yes, I’m also a moral relativist *whooooooo*-) then I’ve left an actual email for us to begin discussion. Not that I expect to ever hear from you.

Three more thoughts: you say, “The 2016 election was stolen by Trump with the aid of Putin, but the 2020 election was unquestionably fair and even-handed, and there’s something wrong with you if you do not accept that.” Which, given the fact that only registered Republicans have been found to have committed voter fraud, Trump should never have been president. I wish it had been Bernie not Hillary: the Progressive Left are the democratic socialists like him and me who don’t stand the centrism of the current DNC. And you’re mostaken in thinking that Progessive Liberalism is the new religion: that falls to Humanism of the type touted by Vonnegut, a Christian. Many atheists need something to believe in, and that has fallen to believing in the innate goodness of our brothers and sisters, humanity. The DNC needs to die, the SDS was right in ’68, and the GOP has shown it has no problem using violence to get what it wants so they are obviously as morally relative as myself.

Again, it’s Sunday and I never planned a speech, must got disgusted by your Randian misinterpreting of 1984. 2+2=4 and the facts showed that Trump should have been impeached. They did not add up to 5 as what I presume to be your party would have the American Public believe.

Hope to hear from you soon, ;-).

The Goal of Modern Education

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know that one of my hobby-horses is primary education in this country. Today I stumbled across an answer at Quora that illustrates my concerns.

The question asked was: “Do democracies inherently require well-educated leaders to properly function?”

The answer was:

No, democracies require well-educated people.

That is partly why democracies are not yet efficient power-sharing societies, even in the “developed” countries;

For equal access to high standard education you need a democratically and collectively owned and controlled economy that supplies the science and information without any influence of the conservative oligarchs whose private ownership corrupts our old, sad capitalist system.

The author lives in Hungary. Hungary. The mind boggles. But that’s what’s being pushed for here.

Steely-Eyed Missile Men

November 12, 1969. The Apollo 12 mission launched that morning. As the rocket cleared the launch tower, responsibility for the mission transferred from Launch Control in Cape Canaveral to Mission Control in Houston. Thirty-four seconds into the launch, the rocket was struck by lightning. Suddenly all the instruments on the capsule control panel went crazy. Ground telemetry was garbled. It was struck again at 52 seconds, and every alarm light on the console was flashing. The rocket maintained its launch path but no one in the capsule or on the ground other than the ground based radar could tell what was going on.

If instrumentation and telemetry could not be restored, the launch would have to be aborted.

The astronauts and ground controllers scrambled to understand what had happened. The engineer on the EECOM station that morning was John W. Aaron, and it was his job to be intimately familiar with the power systems of the command and service modules of the Apollo craft. In previous simulations he had seen something similar. He quickly called out: “CAPCOM, EECOM – Try SCE to AUX,” telling the Capsule communicator, the man whose job it was to handle all communication between the spacecraft and mission control, to tell the pilot to flip a switch. No one else in the room knew what that switch was.

“FCE to AUX?”

“No, S, SCE to AUX.”

The recommendation was relayed to Apollo 12 thirty-six seconds after they lost their instruments. Neither Commander Pete Conrad nor Command Module Pilot Richard Gordon recognized the reference to “SCE,” but Lunar Module pilot Alan Bean did, and knew where the switch was. SCE stood for Signal Conditioning Electronics, the electronics that converted all the signals from the various sensors and equipment to voltages or currents that could be easily displayed or transmitted to the ground, and John Aaron had told them to switch their power supply to the auxiliary power source. Alan Bean found and flipped the switch, and all the instruments and ground telemetry came back to life.

There were still many minutes of resetting circuit breakers and clearing faults, but the mission was saved. For his knowledge, quick thinking and grace under pressure, John W. Aaron was named a Steely-Eyed Missile Man that day.

The rocket stayed on course even after the lightning strikes because the guidance computer, located in the body of the Saturn V, stayed functional. My father worked on the Instrument Unit – the Saturn V guidance system – for IBM at Cape Canaveral. This Christmas I gave him this:

Merry Christmas, Dad

Being Human

I saw this over at Facebook:

How about:

“Being human means reckoning with a history rich in heroic achievement and moral progress, while at the same time fraught with violence and injustice. Ignoring that reality in favor of mythology is not only wrong but also dangerous, but mythology has a place. The noble chapters of human history have just as much to teach us, if not more, than the shameful ones, and the two are almost always intertwined.”

The injustice and violence and all the bad stuff is the normal baseline. It’s the 90% of the iceberg below the surface. The achievements and heroism are the 10% sticking up in the sun. We don’t talk about the bad stuff much because it’s so damned common. The good stuff is, by definition, extraordinary.

It’s like asking “Why are so many people poor?” because poor is the normal condition. The question that should be asked is “How do we get more people rich?”

As to mythology, I like Terry Pratchett’s take on it. Human beings need to believe in things that are not true. How else can they become?

My point is HUMANITY does sucky things. Americans are not exempt, but we’re treated as though we are supposed to be and failed and should be ashamed of that failure. What we’ve actually done on the side of good is extraordinary. What we’ve done on the side of evil is at worst, ordinary.

Domestic Enemies

Ran across this cartoon, which says in one frame what I and many others have been saying for decades. In fact, let me quote one of those people once again:

Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world. This report is concerned with only one of the many causes and dimensions of the problem, but it is the one that undergirds American prosperity, security, and civility. We report to the American people that while we can take justifiable pride in what our schools and colleges have historically accomplished and contributed to the United States and the well-being of its people, the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people. What was unimaginable a generation ago has begun to occur–others are matching and surpassing our educational attainments.

If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. – From the introduction to the 1983 report of the National Commission on Excellence in Education entitled A Nation at Risk: the Imperative for Educational Reform.

Almost 40 years ago it was blindingly evident what was happening. Anyway, here’s that cartoon:

Pat Cross, The College Fix, “The Enemy Within,” 11/26/21

Discuss.

“The Advancement of Despair.”

There’s a fascinating video available on YouTube (embedded below) of an October, 1972 episode of William F. Buckley’s Firing Line TV show with the title “Hating America.” The guests that day were radical Leftist Dotson Rader (really, look this dude up) and political scientist and anti-Communist Arnold Beichman.

There are a couple of things Rader says during the show that I had to transcribe:

Dotson Rader: “We’re talking about that part of the Left that seeks to break down liberal democracy, and the corporate liberal democracy in the United States, by so dividing the country – that is a proportion of the country… A good portion of the Left’s function is the advancement of despair.”

William F. Buckley: “Yeah, polarization.”

Rader: “Right. And it’s to take a strong enough minority – it doesn’t have to be very large – of the population who are so deeply into despair over the possibility of change within the system that they’re willing to form an organization, a revolutionary underground and use any means necessary to bring it down. The experience of my life in this country, I don’t think or believe anymore that we’re going to bring about massive change in this country through democratic electoral means.”

Now, in 1972 Rader was probably 30 years old. He wanted “massive change” in his lifetime. It’s almost 2022. He’s almost 80. Think he got “massive change”?

But here’s the part that he said out loud that shocked me. Not what he said, but the fact that he blatantly admitted to it:

Rader: “One of the differences between this generation and say, revolutions of the 19th Century is we’re not interested fundamentally in equality. We’re fundamentally interested in justice. Which means we have a greater tolerance for ideas of liquidating a class and so on.”

The Left’s agenda has always been “the advancement of despair” for the purpose of polarization, balkanization to create a disaffected class willing to “bring it (all) down” regardless of the cost, and damn the consequences. It’s explicitly why “critical theory” was created by the Frankfurt School. Modern Progressives deny it, but lying is like breathing to them. The Revolution is all. Utopia will come after all the undesirables are liquidated. Anything is justified to reach that goal.

Give it a watch:

Accurate Terminology:

Now, let’s get something straight.

Tragedy (n): a lamentable, dreadful, or fatal event or affair; calamity; disaster:

Atrocity (n): a extremely or shockingly wicked, cruel, or brutal act.

Tragedies “just happen.” Atrocities are deliberately carried out. What happened in Waukesha, Wisconsin was not a tragedy, it was an atrocity. Please get it right.