Sane man !

Friday, September 16, 2005

Sad day

Medecine can be a saviour and a curse.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Reflections in a slow meeting

The key to a balanced and quite general view of religion IMHO is that it is a philosophy tagged to a myth.

  • A myth is often thought to be a lesson in story form which has deep explanatory or symbolic resonance for preliterate cultures, who preserve and cherish the wisdom of their elders through oral traditions by the use of skilled story tellers.
Religion is then a normalised, shared philosophy. Since every follower/believer shares the same myth, they inherit (in theory) the attached worldview, ethics, rituals etc. This allows great power through collective actions, which is why it can be so destructive or effective sometimes.

In practice: although the myth is shared, each person's philosophy does vary to a certain extent: people "shop around" to the ultra-conservative pope's dismay. Although the myth part is pretty solidly adhered to (bar the odd major schism), it is very hard to stop people from developing their worlview as they wish. Also, religious philos are often riddled with superstitions which are dysfunctional philos, with confusions between categories and levels of interpretations.

Positive and constructive atheism means developing a philosophy/worldview freed of the myths and attached superstitions of organised religion. Seen like this, there is nothing stopping anyone, it's just more difficult than the bible-munching version.

To develop...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


That is all. All better soon...

The rising tide lifts all boats...

...too bad if you have no boat to stand on.

I was listening to this yesterday:

Let me go 'way from the Mississippi
Let me go 'way from the white man boss
Show me that stream
Called the River Jordan
That's the old stream that I long to cross.

Ol' Man River, that Ol' Man River
He don't say nothin', but he must know somethin'
He just keeps rollin', he keeps on rollin' along

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Hard left to nasty right...

... seems to be a common phenomenon. For example Hitchens and the neo-cons (recently found supporting Bush on his recent catastrophic failure in New Orleans).
Or the ex-RCP turned corporate shills of Spiked.

The simplest explanation for the drift of many weak but fanatical assorted marxists to a nasty form right-wingery is that leftists like nothing better than to bicker amongst themselves. I suppose things are easier on the right aisle of the metaphorical chamber: look out for #1, and follow the money. No need to argue (much)!

Another aspect is an excessive reaction of people from the early simple ideas they had. Learning new things, disturbing the template, creates an unease/embarassement turned into hatred of their former selves (and the associated ideology). This is of course more severe for the more ideological politics: they must be taken as a whole or not at all! Hence the complete U-turns.
But I suspect it mainly helps a rationalisation of natural right-wing instincts described below.

Another point is that subservience instinct will result from fear. This happened to a large part of the US public, to universal bafflement. It is not really surprising it happened to several pundits, "lefties" or not. They also suddenly found themselves on the end of a much larger loudspeaker: being on the side of Power (ie the man) you get listened to much more and this is addictive for opinion-mongerers. So fear and power mingle, conscience can be made to follow suit and adapt...

People also get reactionary and selfish as they grow older. I'm attached to the idea that this is mainly due to inflation, and that this is a little recognised fact. I dunno.
Of course I suppose it is in large part because for every problem you get, or for every need that gets added to your list, the scope of our empathy diminishes. Having kids then plays a large part in this as well.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Now this is great

You have to laugh:

"Almost every Republican I have spoken with is disappointed" in Bush's performance, said William Kristol, a conservative columnist with close White House ties. "He is a strong president . . . but he has never really focused on the importance of good execution. I think that is true in many parts of his presidency."

So... a very strong and resolute leader... apart from the actual executive bit. I'd agree with that!