Sunday, August 12, 2018

Speech as violence, and the difference between Gandhi and SJWs

The teaching in law, liberal courses, humanities, social sciences, gender and ethnic studies, etc,

that speech is the same as violence,
(hey, what's wrong in that?)

and so consequently violence is a legitimate way to "reply" to people saying things you don't like,
(Oh. Crap. That knife cuts both ways.)

is something that disgusts me, and disturbs me that it's being taught to young people

by the very elders who should have taught them

about non-violent ways of resolving disagreements,

about Gandhi and MLK's decisions in the face of tremendous persuasion otherwise to look beyond identity groups,

about the indomitable human spirit and the vain failures of those who thought they could control it,

about "sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me",

about Rumi's "beyond right and wrong, there is a field..."

The sneakiness of it, the self-righteous branding of it as so noble while so much eternal wisdom is being flushed down the toilet,

is precisely what calls for caution.

I'm seeing what western academia, tech industry, media, NGO sector are doing today in contrast to how Gandhi would publish in full the essays of people disagreeing with him on crucial matters.

Imagine that.

One gave a platform to what he disagreed with in an era of no platforms and a time when he didn't need to. The other is working hard on de-platforming everyone they disagree with in an era of abundance of platforms and a time when they're been tasked with neutrality.

Which of these do you think had a stronger faith in their convictions? Which one had greater faith in the wisdom of the people they were reaching out to?

Which one wants to achieve peace, and which one is only interested in defeating the other at any cost (freedom? just a cost!) ?

The fact that the institutions's admin bodies are steadily diverting resources to enrich themselves, is deeply linked to these developments. Do not let that fact go unexamined when you analyse this situation.

Related video: Punch a Nazi

Monday, August 6, 2018

My views following watching a Jordan Peterson talk

A talk by Jordan Peterson at a womens leadership event

Somebody asked me what my views are about this, and I've asked them to watch this video in full before reading my take.

So what's driving me mad with curiosity about Jordan Peterson and this goes for a whole host of other folks that we're "supposed to hate" is that what the leading lights of the "liberal / progressive sector" like Guardian are saying about him is turning out to be completely opposite to what I'm actually hearing him say or reading him write (I'm almost through his book and newsflash: a lot of people are lying about it). It's like they're hating some other person only and have decided to blame several other people's actions on this guy just because he points out some embarrassing things about the Left : things that I don't see them satisfactorily explaining away (Gulag Archipelago is a prime example), instead, they're just throwing mud on the messenger. And there's some pretty underhanded tactics, outright lies and mis-quoting done deliberately, side-stepping of democratic processes in favor of top-down authority, which I'm seeing more and more being done across the collective that calls itself the liberal / progressive side. 

At the geopolitical level, it's confusing as hell. For some reason the people calling for "no more hate", "open borders" etc are the ones supporting wars and armed conflict everywhere, particularly about Putin and Assad (and Gaddafi before him), and branding folks who oppose war as evil. Russia this, Russia that : extreme McCarthyism is coming from folks who brand their opponents as extreme nationalists. It's completely opposite to how things were at the close of Bush's presidency. So there's one side that's promoting war AND encouraging mass migration of peoples caused by it, and another side that's opposing war and calling for not blindly encouraging mass migration of peoples and for following due procedures of legal immigration. And I'm being told that I should be on the warmongers' side or else I'm a racist etc etc. Oh, and they're also hating anyone who has alternative views about forced vaccinations (btw Gandhi opposed forced vaccinations, go hate him too now) or how 9/11 happened. And suddenly anyone who talks about urine therapy is a right-wing extremist (which makes one of the co-founders of Swaraj University, who cured her jaundice through urine therapy, a right-wing extremist. My Ass.) In the West, opposing GMOs is already considered as a sign of right-wing extremism, TED Talks explicitly defines it that way, and I'm sure that'll come to India too very soon, starting with the people who do humanities or social/political/environmental sciences related courses there and take leadership positions at NGOs etc here. And then we're going to be calling Kavita Krishnan, Vandana Shiva and others as right-wing extremists too, in the same way we've allowed the right-wing re-branding of Italy's 5 Stars Movement whose MP we invited for the EOH conference in 2014 and who was one of the featured panelists next to Helena, Claude etc and whose life story inspired me to join the 2014 campaign for a more civilized political option. Their crime? They supported the rights of Italian people to have a say in immigration matters and the rights of parents to decide on vaccinating their child.

JP's talk in this particular video, especially the last parts, makes a strong case for there being clear differences between the Swaraj that I've seen in Gandhi, in Swaraj univ, in the Moved by Love folks and in AAP too,

(aside: NO, I don't fashionably hate AAP like everyone and their aunty's donkey is ordering me to, I remain a regular AAP donor and I see amazing work being done in Delhi that is way more important to me than the negatives which I know are present, but are way too exaggerated. Killing and raping people will ALWAYS be worse for me than "why did he hug X that day" or "why didn't they do Y", "why did he kick Z out" etc etc. Parties that merely fail at doing something good because of actual on-ground realities or incompetency or whatever will NEVER be "just the same" as parties that explicitly do evil things, Sorry. They haven't "failed my expectations" because unlike lazy-ass consumerists, I didn't KEEP any expectations to begin with. I had foreseen that they'll either take money and disappear, or get killed by now. Both haven't happened, the latter can be explained only by there being ground evidence that there will be consequences for the establishment if they did it, so that's something to chew on instead of being so bloody "outraged" about.)

.. versus the identity politics that I see happening more and more on the left and the social justice movement, as an ill-thought response to the identity politics on the right. A close-to-home real life manifestation of this was the silent or overt support for mob violence by Dalits around Pune-Mumbai following the Koregaon Bhima incident (the fact that it's still not clear exactly what happened indicates no side is innocent), which we're now seeing xerox-copied by the Marathas reservation groups and now NAPM et al have no moral standing left to condemn the latter because they didn't have problems when their side was the one doing the violence. Identity politics bites both ways. Judging people by what group they're from rather than their own actions, leads you poor decision making. Simple.

I'm also seeing a widening gap between the feminism I originally subscribed to, versus the now mainstream feminism: the kind that has vastly more dominance in media, stirs up outrage mobs, gets speeches, movies, screenings, books cancelled or disrupted ( I LOVED Cassie Jaye's Red Pill! It's showing how men and women can thrive together instead of killing each other. Why have all the feminists passed Fatwas against her?? And Ayaan Ali Hirsi, Yasmine Mohammad, Sarah Ali Haider, Katie Hopkins, Lauren Southern, Brittany Pettibone, Candance Owens, Laci Green.. why the hell is it fashionable for feminists to hate and want to censor and even kill all these independent, courageous women all of a sudden?? Why does SPLC call for acts of violence to be done on these women many of whom don't have any millionaire budgets or hired security, by branding them personally as hate figures instead of fighting their arguments? Why are Katie's little daughters being attacked?), blindly supports or opposes a candidate because of their genitals rather than what their plans are, shouts people down instead of dialoguing, and tries to get people fired for "crimes" they've never committed through the subconscious micro-aggression doctrine that must be accepted without evidence or you're a misogynist, says western culture, due process and basic biology is patriarchy whenever it doesn't favour their agenda, calls for state funding for deeply invasive and harmful medical procedures on little children based on subjective opinions that have been proven to change later, wants to ban having best friends at school, etc etc.

I'm seeing the differences between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome. They're not subtle, thank you very much. I see the dangers of believing that all normal people are sheep to be protected from hateful brainwashers, or of blaming children for the sins of their forefathers' elite rulers just because they share the same skin color. I'm seeing the Oppression-a-lympics being played out, with each group fighting to be seen as more oppressed than the other. I'm catching up on the excesses of the Left, finding out for the first time about several mass-scale genocides that simply can't be chalked up to capitalism the way we keep chalking EVERYTHING that ever goes wrong to capitalism in our Rethinking Development etc courses. I'm seeing the world-ending consequences of blindly putting the group above the individual. I'm seeing how inevitably socialism / communism leads to centralized dictatorship and not utopia. 

I'm particularly observing the incessant attacks on freedom of speech and the way these attacks are being applauded by the same people who should be standing against them. I've seen the most pathetic defenses ("Oh we don't have any freedom of speech in the real world anyway, why u so mad about whats happening online") being put up and no acknowledgement shown when the point is made. It's as if they've forgotten all basic principles in the blind pursuit of their cause, can't see beyond their current quarrels with Trump supporters, can't even foresee how the exact same AI programs being deployed to eliminate their opponents today, and the absence of any transparent appeal mechanism against censorship, can SO EASILY be used to wipe out ALL political dissent in India with a single click, or the fact that our PM has already personally met with the CEOs of these tech giants and struck deals with them. I feel like it's the Star Wars scene going on where the emergency is being declared to fight a faked enemy, to the Sound of Applause. The Death Star is being built and the people claiming to stand for justice are celebrating it, blindly assuming it'll never be turned on them.

The fact that this kind of thinking isn't tolerable amongst practically ALL the networks I've met since leaving my job in 2010, that they'd rather not have me saying these things rather than addressing any of the concerns raised, is troubling me and putting me on a renewed search for a community that isn't beholden to identity politics, that isn't so bloody easy to trigger.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

A lot of stupid Phds

This one is for the combined global academia community. No one in particular and all universities in general. And by the way, I'm so grateful for not having to be part of your death cults, just wanted to let you know.

When you have way too many people doing Phd and if your structures don't make room for proportionately more creativity and the necessary permissiveness, openness to push boundaries and conventions that is needed with it,

Then you're going to end up with a lot of stupid Phd's.

Stupid Phd's that make all the sophisticated sound and fury of a sophisticated madman, without any plan or intention to have it mean anything for anyone other than yourself. Phd's that you do when you're too jobless and useless in the real world so you look for excuses to take refuge in academia. 

An academia, by the way, that runs atop super-duper-capitalistic and totalitarian systems and relies on taxes taken involuntarily away and out of local communities so it can be lavished on your high-level needs, (if not that then on the generous donations of billionaires whom we dare not suspect to attach any strings along with their generosity), but within the safe and gilded halls of which you can keep on calling for socialism, marxism, communism and whatever you want to call your version of utopia which at the end of the day calls for taking away everybody else's freedoms "temporarily". Frankly I prefer the gamers who know they're better off implementing their fantasies where one can always press the reset button. An academia where you can be safe behind gates and security and then keep calling for a world without borders.

An example: Phd's are going to go into the bottomless abyss of finding signs of oppression, patriarchy etc etc in every cultural symbol ever created by anybody, from Little Mermaid to Sound of Music to Ajooba to King Kong to family picnics to flowers to whatever comes under the sun, because if nothing else, that's a convenient bottomless abyss you can toss a thousand excess Phd theses into without having to actually rock any boat. Since each and every thing in the world can be interpreted in whichever way we choose, our "brightest" minds have decided they're going to interpret EVERYTHING negatively. (and then we'll say Oh no there's no post-modernism, cultural marxism, no erasure of history etc going on here, please shut up and comply)

There is no need to even prove that the creators of all the things they're dressing up as malevolent actually had any of the intentions their creations are being accused of, because we can conveniently chalk it all up to them doing it "subconsciously", "unconsciously", take your pick. How so very convenient.

Man, how do I end this? Ah, later.

The need for reset points in distributed ledger based systems

Quick thought:

If we're going to implement distributed ledger based systems in
matters other than currency,

If it's going to go into reputation building,

And looking at the time-punctuated nature of life where some players
get into the social fabric, discourse, etc much after others,

Then a reset functionality is needed.

Because screwups will happen to the best of us, and what good is a
game where you can't start over?

Systems implementing distributed ledger tech, are going to need reset
functionality for the individuals participating in them. Without
compelling people to fake identities.

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