The Subtle Art

Nobody asked but …

Be motivated by something beyond simply money or glory. — Mark Manson

Mark Manson is the guy who wrote The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, and this is kind of a book review. Henceforth, if forced to reference the f-bomb, I will use the trick from The Good Place, substituting “fork.”  Actually, the use of earthy language in the book’s title and content is, to me, a marketing ploy, and to me, irritating.  But that doesn’t destroy the book as a source of useful information.  The message is that it’s all Kabuki theater so one should operate by one’s self-determined principles and sense of responsibility.  I hesitate to say that Manson is a voluntaryist, but I hesitate to say that he is not.

The main area in which I would debate Manson is where he holds that most of us are under the mountain of normalcy in the classic bell curve. I think he more correctly says it when he writes that even outliers, having one or two areas of exceptionalism, fall among the everyday in all other respects. This is another way to say that each of us is a unique individual, even if our uniqueness is difficult to see.  I often say that no two objects can be in the same place at the same time, therefore all objects are different, exceptional to some degree.

— Kilgore Forelle

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Entanglements II

Nobody asked but …

George Washington spoke, “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world.”  I was reminded of this when I recently read an article covering the revelation of how lost America is in matters of foreign policy.  The article was written by Laurence Vance, published by The Future of Freedom Foundation, “The Impeachment Hearings Inadvertently Show the Insidious Nature of U.S. Foreign Policy.”

Quantum physicists will tell you that entanglements permanently, forever, affect the behavior and essential nature of all entities thereby bound.  When nation A aligns with nations B, C, D, . . . , nation A aligns with all that is either good or bad with those nations.  Think about it — two or more of the major 2020 candidates for POTUS are indelibly connected with the Ukraine.  Everyone who votes in 2020 will be required to make a statement about this country’s relationship with the Ukraine.  Our misleaders have made this statement (whatever its implications) for the citizens of the USA.

Thank you, but “no.”

— Kilgore Forelle

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When Did We Become Socialists?

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What state has reached the highest level of socialism?  It happened when:

… and so it goes.

— Kilgore Forelle

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Words Poorly Used #146 — Partisanship

The word “partisan” comes from variants of words for separation or apartness.  But it doesn’t refer to individuality or critical thinking.  Partisans are usually shackled to an idea that is the opposite of individuality, responsibility, or critical thinking.  Partisans usually knuckle under to groupthink.  Think about the removal from office activity in Congress recently.  Only one member of either chamber voted conscientiously.  Only one did original thought.  All the rest based their opinions on borrowed opinion — partisan opinion.  So justice was not served, rather partisanship was served.

 

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Words Poorly Used #145 — Conservative

Why so much agita over whom belongs under the label of conservative? By her very nature, a member of the human species is conservative. And furthermore, drone or pirate, he is a principled conservative. The principles are two: self interest and tribal interest. Self preservation and preservation of kind encompass all other principles. Higher levels of interest differentiate among the interests of tribes.

The furtherance of either principle is conservative. It conserves and optimizes its object — the lifetime of the individual or the culture of the collective. Conservatism as a political suasion is only the thinnest veneer on a deep stratum of true conservatism.

— Kilgore Forelle

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Neither Here Nor There

Nobody asked but …

We are desperate for labels and niches.  In an ever-changing world, we humans want consistency, certainty, warmth, guarantee, comfort, predictability, safety, and assurances.  We often partially calm the whirlwind by convincing ourselves that we are in a protected shelter, labelled “safe,” a niche we can call our own.  When we find a shelter, we can become very chauvinistic about it.

Some of the labels, niches we strive for are those of political identity.  Are we right, middle, or left?  Are we religious, agnostic, or atheistic?  Do we wear school colors, or those of a professional sports team?  How many of us wear tee shirts and hoodies with the names of exotic places, where we have vacationed?  Are our closets full of designer clothes with logos?  Are those closets in homes that make statements about social status.

I must admit that I am a product of a culture that lets its freak flag fly, yet that culture makes such a fetish of it as to create normal appearing gangs.  Almost any day, you may see me wearing the blue of the University of Kentucky or the green of Ireland or the black of the New Zealand All Blacks national rugby team.  You may hear me claiming small-l libertarianism, or voluntaryism, non-partisanship, or even anarchism.  I will readily confess to being a philosopher, a farmer, a software engineer, an educator, a bookworm, a railfan, a lighthouse aficianado, and a polymath.  But I will reject being known as only one of any of these.

As you can see, no one person is captured by a single label or group.  But politicians, news media, and the least secure among us find it a lazy shortcut to group and label individuals into collectives.  This richly diverse country is now being riven by exploiters to destroy our heritage of individualism, to make us all toe the lines of various self-serving collectives.  The current wave is to get everyone to think of themselves as rightwingers or radical lefties.  If persons can be convinced of the urgency of this, over time we will become two armed camps, certain that there is no room for individuality.  Some would have us believe that there are only republicans and democrats.  All other distinctions are insubstantial and are only explained as gradations of democrats or republicans.  The old saying goes, “there are two types of people in the world; those who divide people into two groups, and those who do not.”

I challenge anyone to find any human who fits only into one or the alternative oversimplified, misrepresented category.

— Kilgore Forelle

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