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  1. #11
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    Ok I'll try to reply as to why I don't really think anything pussy riot is doing is great, even though I still think that it's an outrage and a crime to treat them as hard criminals. By this I'll try to make a point that's relevant to the topic too I think.

    They tried to get the attention they are getting now (were getting at the time of their arrest) for years. No one gives a shit about the punk band art project thing. They tried to make their performance as illegal as possible and later on they say, everything happened, because of their message. That's, simply put, not true. It's because, if your trademark is (and significant amount of punk is like that) to make art by trying to hurt people emotionally and that's the only common denominator of their cooperative efforts, you are not going to find many people cheer for you.

    Oh, but you will, if you manage to anger some force that's stronger than you and it puts you in your place. People root for obvious villains that way. It's a standard Hollywood plot device. If you want the audience to like an asshole, just bring someone in that knocks him down a little. So that people cheer for pussy riot is some basic psychological exploit. They shouldn't be in jail, but they never did anything to better the situation of anyone. Anarchism isn't new to the world and certainly not to Russia. Anarchism's main produce are just Putin type characters btw.

    Now how does that relate to the thread:
    I brought up nonviolence in my prior post. However the US has something of a great guide to draw on that came to be from it's own Henry David Thoreau in his (short, everyone can and should read it) essay about the duty to Civil Disobedience. The thing is, he argues that everyone should be disobedient towards the state, because the state needs to be tested, to evolve. If the state passes an unjust law, break it, go to jail. A just society will develop naturally, because if people follow their sense of justice, the law needs to cater them. If they follow the law, it will follow it's own justice.

    The thing is what is the point? Can this be used as an argument for rioting? Was Osama Bin Laden doing the US a favor by his violent "protest"? Is Pussy Riot creating art?

    Civil disobedience needs the goal of justice to it and it can not stray. It doesn't excuse vengeance. It's vigilantism is a last resort, that is out of bounds in any situation where justice can be reached without it. If it's the default action, well, as it is destructive, the default result is destruction.

    That's why I don't support Pussy Riot and I couldn't care less about them. I support the notion, that Russia should not imprison people, because they are dissidents. I also believe multi year sentences are unnecessary in their case. I also believe that Art shouldn't go free on the basis of being art and if you try to steal food from a supermarket (just an example, but members of the pussy riot have been doing that as "performances", in ways they understand as art) you are still stealing food.

    If you riot, you riot. If you attack a policeman or throw stones, you throw stones. Context can ease the severity of a crime, but here what is happening in the surrounding is only context.
    What counts for Pussy Riot's breaking of the law counts for looting and rioting everywhere.

    So that's to civil disobedience and protest; Both are good, but breaking the law, to get even is giving rightful justification to the state to knock you down. We have seen it with occupy: No formulated goal and no commitment to non-violence gets you nowhere. It gets you legislation that makes protesting harder, it gives more power to the police in short, it makes everything worse.
    Last edited by Ronin; 08-23-2014 at 12:28 PM.

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    There's no news like bad news. No matter what people say, on a deep primal level people are attracted to drama and the suffering of others. Work the door long enough, and you see how humans are really just apes. They engage in silly tribal behaviors, pecking-games, gravitate towards drama they really have no business with, and facilitate the suffering of others based on visceral dislikes brought on by deep-set biases they have no awareness nor control of.

    At the end of the day, humans are not rational beings - they are rationalizing beings. There's a big difference.
    It's extremely easy to make moral judgements, because that's what we do in order to influence the group to act in a way conducive to our own interests and well-being, but when we're faced with a situation where we have to evaluate our own comfort versus that of "the other", and pick one of them, we usually just end up picking ourselves and then rationalizing, after the fact, why it is that we did so, and why it was right for us to do so.

    The world would be better without racism, and it's good to try our best to minimize it - but it will never go away with the current state of human biology. We're a tribal species, and racism is just another expression of our tribalism. Even if it was conceivable to make a society completely without racism, we would just shift our tribal tendencies to another group, and start "othering" them instead.
    Just look at how even staunch opponents of things like racism, often find themselves essentially engaging in "us versus them" rhetoric when debating the issues, and thus playing straight back into the hands of our tribal instincts.

    Humans need to god damn evolve. I just hope that with a combination of neuroscience and genetic altering, that we can facilitate this change ourselves, and make a new species of humans that aren't bugged down with evolutionary baggage effecting behavior that hasn't been constructive for human well-being the last 2000-4000 years or so.
    It seems easier and more constructive to just realize that humankind is fundamentally broken, and work to fix it, than to try to teach a bunch of tribal apes to learn to live their lives in a civilized and peaceful manner.

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    What you say hian, about being rational: That's just giving up before the fight.

    Impulses are not more important and meaningful than the decisions that people make and the actions they take. It might be impossible to eradicate the impulse that comes with a prejudicial thought. It's possible to eliminate Racism as the world knows it today.

    Who knows if those impulses are even validly results of our natural disposition. I for my part don't believe that such a thing exists. Sounds like a "god made it so" cop out. I wouldn't use it, because the times it failed in the past (every time) is well, burdensome to it's credibility.
    Last edited by Ronin; 08-23-2014 at 12:40 PM.

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    Don't people see that making this about race further ****ing divides us? Yes, there is a definite problem in America, but they're just focusing on this stuff so that we don't see the real damn problem. "WHITEY SHOT ANOTHER BLACK KID" coming from either side is exactly what those who are causing these problems want. They want us to hate each other, continuing to ignore that the true divide is the money situation. They had it right when they were occupying stuff. Too bad that fizzled out.

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    You can't just not talk about something because it makes you uncomfortable. That's not how problems are solved. It is about race. You can't tip toe around it. We need to face the reality that America is racist, even in the minds of the progressive.

    I could sit here, elaborate and debate what I think, but that's not really what I want to do and what I posted this for.

    I posted this to hopefully attain some humanity from this forum. I wanted some encouragement along the lines of "that's just a minority" speech or "here's some really great humanitarian videos to negate what you just linked." I dunno. I don't even know exactly what I was looking for. I kinda already knew what I would get, but I was hopeful. /shrug

    Maybe I'll search for a super positive forum where people lift others rather than state "humans are irrational lumps of turd with brains made of jello, programmed to hate." I refuse to allow myself to think this way. I think humans are tremendously advanced, but we just happen to be born in the stage of life that is still socially developing to overcome discrimination. My mind is year 3000, but my lifetime is pre-2100.
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    So because you're intellectually superior to others you're allowed to completely disregard their entire existence? I'm in no way justifying racism, but it's the same as people who've grown up in homes that are uber religious...it's all they know. Sure some people change their minds and form their own opinions on things, but its much simpler not to, and most of the people who are racist aren't racist because they're smart.

    You can type on forums "HEY THIS ISN'T RIGHT" all you want, but the reality of it is that all you can do is learn to live with it, and do your best not to be a part of it. Yes it's a damn shame, but unless you cryogenically freeze yourself I don't see any way to progress humanity by 1000 years.

    Become a pizza delivery person, and make sure you go to any calls for "I.C. Wiener". Especially at cryogenic labs. Can confirm, I love Futurama.

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    YouTube Video
    ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


    I often had this song going through my mind, when I was reading threads and replying to threads with this topic or similar ones.

    The line "We are not afraid"...
    People still are. Time to gather hope again?
    Last edited by Ronin; 08-23-2014 at 04:10 PM.

    Stay frosty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin View Post
    YouTube Video
    ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.
    # ᴛ ʜ ᴇ ʏ ᴄ ᴀ ʟ ʟ ᴍ ᴇ ᴛ ʜ ᴇ s ᴏ ʀ ᴄ ᴇ ʀ ᴇ ʀ s ᴜ ᴘ ʀ ᴇ ᴍ ᴇ ʙ ᴇ ᴄ ᴀ ᴜ s ᴇ ɪ ' ᴍ s ᴏ s ᴛ ʀ ᴀ ɴ ɢ ᴇ.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Oisterboy View Post
    Don't people see that making this about race further ****ing divides us? Yes, there is a definite problem in America, but they're just focusing on this stuff so that we don't see the real damn problem. "WHITEY SHOT ANOTHER BLACK KID" coming from either side is exactly what those who are causing these problems want. They want us to hate each other, continuing to ignore that the true divide is the money situation. They had it right when they were occupying stuff. Too bad that fizzled out.
    They know. Ain't no money in harmony, only controversy. My mother and I just got pulled over earlier today by a cop: headlight was out. Plenty of em are just doing their job and doing it correctly, but you are only going to hear about the ones that aren't or are media shitstorms waiting to blow out of control through a town.

    Truth is, most of us get along just fine. There's just more people in the media making it seem like we don't at every chance they can get.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin View Post
    What you say hian, about being rational: That's just giving up before the fight.

    Impulses are not more important and meaningful than the decisions that people make and the actions they take. It might be impossible to eradicate the impulse that comes with a prejudicial thought. It's possible to eliminate Racism as the world knows it today.

    Who knows if those impulses are even validly results of our natural disposition. I for my part don't believe that such a thing exists. Sounds like a "god made it so" cop out. I wouldn't use it, because the times it failed in the past (every time) is well, burdensome to it's credibility.
    Not really, because I already proposed a possible solution. I simply reject the idea that we can solve anti-social behavioral issues purely through social reform or social activism.

    I'd rather attempt to use science to reform human nature, than try to keep human nature in check with warning signs and sales pitches - especially when those warning signs and sale pitches usually only redirect the negative primal urges to a different place, and thus victimize or bother a new demographic.
    You aren't solving things, just re-distributing social ills.

    Besides, I wasn't talking about impulses alone. That word, and the way you set up the argument isn't constructive knowing what we do about the human brain, human biology, and psychology.
    After all, decisions aren't made in a vacuum.
    They too are subject to our nature, and our experiences. And, as I said, most humans aren't really making decisions in the classical philosophical conception of the term "decisions". We act, and then we rationalize it to make it feel like we made a decision. In most cases, the basis for the decision was already made on an unconscious level, shaped and predetermined by our nature, our biases, our previous experiences, and external influence.

    The idea of decision-making is several flawed the way it's generally used by the man and woman in the street, as is the concept of free-will. As if we could ever do anything completely freely in a vacuum.
    So my questions is this - if you know that people do what they do, as a product of everything they are, how are they really making choices? They didn't choose to become who they are, and so any choice they make as an extension is no more a choice than becoming what they are.

    Also, I said that I still think activism is something worth investing in despite this, because before we have the technology to do something proactively about human nature (and since we cannot account for everything, nor predict the future), we still need to do what we can in the moment as if we were free agents, even if that is far from optimal.
    So it's not like I'm all in, all out. I'm saying we should do what we can with what we have, but be realistic about what to expect. Considering the question of this thread, I am not going to just run into saying "It will all be alright in the end, if we just speak out about it a bit more", because that would be a lie.

    Of course, at the end of the day, it would be stupid to discount the power of social reform, since most of us quite clearly live in better societies than we did a couple of hundred years ago(might even say that we live better now than just 50 or so years ago).
    Social pressure is a form of external influence that impacts behavior. I'm simple saying that I don't think social pressure is strong enough to truly eradicate our most stubborn anti-social behavioral issues - point in case, despite drastic improvement global in almost every way imaginable, we still have murderers, rapists, people who torture, steal, bully and lie for kicks, and so forth.

    It's ironic that you bring up religion though, because I was just thinking about that writing my last post, and despite being an atheist, the idea of "original sin" is one I find to be profound in a sense.
    It means that even humans living thousands of years before us recognized how prone humans are to engage in destructive and anti-social behavior despite knowing very well how detrimental it is to our well-being, and despite many people setting out to lead their lives with the best of intentions.
    They tried to explain that by appealing to god. The explanation is obviously wrong, but I think the observation is astute in a sense.
    We literally can't help it. After all, the golden rule has existed for a very long time, and despite most people recognizing the usefulness of it, hardly anyone manages to apply it to their lives consistently.
    It really just is the way we are.

    I find the idea that "if we just become more aware, we wouldn't do X" to be extremely problematic. It simply serves as another means of "othering" and just playing straight back into our tribal nature. By holding people accountable in this childishly simple way, we're simply marking certain individuals as broken - as evil - because they made a choice to be so, and so naturally they must face some sort of consequence above and beyond, say, rehabilitation.
    It's also makes it a sin to have compassion and understanding for them, which is problematic if the stated goal of our nations is truly to rehabilitate criminals.

    At the end of the day, our reality is far too complex, too influenced by external factors we cannot control, and too mired in misery caused by anything and everything from natural disasters, disease and inter-personal conflict, for it to truly put all the responsibility for any action at all, at the feet of the individual doing it.
    I see human beings as ultimately reactionary in nature, just like all other animals. Better we recognize this and prioritize advances in neuroscience, psychiatry, and gene-therapy to remove our more fundamental flaws, than to cast blame, lock up and kill people who do things that are detrimental to our ability to live in a stable society that allows for both personal freedom and well-being.

    If this kind of thinking failed in the past, it is because we didn't know why we are the way we are, and we didn't have any way of knowing, nor any way of changing it.
    Now we do, and we're getting better at it all the time.
    Trying to solve human issues by using an outdated method that has no set, consistently functioning methodology, when we're capable of simply removing the issue altogether by changing us as human being beings on a more fundamental level, seems facile and counter-productive to me.

    No human, no problem. So let's just stop being humans, and start being something else. It's high time.

    That's my proposed solution. I'm not much concerned either way though. It probably won't happen in my time, and granted how vindictive and spiteful humans are in general, I don't really think a majority necessary for making this future come true, will ever manifest, because we'd rather pretend there is a such a thing as evil, un-redeemable humans that need to be punished for the sake of our personal satisfaction, rather than view human anti-social behavior as a symptom of a disease (namely the human condition).

    Quote Originally Posted by TuxedoSam View Post
    You can't just not talk about something because it makes you uncomfortable. That's not how problems are solved. It is about race. You can't tip toe around it. We need to face the reality that America is racist, even in the minds of the progressive.
    I know we generally disagree, but know I agree with this. I think Oister has a point in the sense that if our response in talking about racism is, for instance, that we grow overly sensitive and cast cases that might not be inherently racially motivated as racists, we might run the risk of becoming the same kind of judgmental people we set out to chastise, and as we "other" people who might otherwise be alleys, we create a new division to fight over in place of race.

    Still(@Oister), if we don't talk about it all, you will get "colorblind racism", that doesn't take into account racial disadvantages that minorities might face in their given country as a matter of fact.

    While I am not usually a proponent of shortlists, in terms of education, knowing that many blacks will grow up in a ghetto with much less money, and less academical opportunity, not providing shortlists will ruin many potentially valuable black children's future. Children should never be punished for having bad luck of birth. Equality of opportunity is a real issue - so telling people no to talk about racism, when equality of opportunity doesn't exist yet, is problematic to say the least.


    Quote Originally Posted by TuxedoSam View Post
    I posted this to hopefully attain some humanity from this forum. I wanted some encouragement along the lines of "that's just a minority" speech or "here's some really great humanitarian videos to negate what you just linked." I dunno. I don't even know exactly what I was looking for. I kinda already knew what I would get, but I was hopeful. /shrug
    Well, as a person who grew up in Norway, and lives in Japan, I would say that the kind of gross social injustice you sometimes see in the states, truly is the work of a nasty minority. But, then again, the U.S is a big country, and I don't know how things are over there on average.

    I grew up on country that, by the time of writing, has had two female prime-ministers (from both sides of the political spectrum), where the majority of women work full-time and have children just fine, single or married not withstanding, where all education is free and with all kinds of social support structures for minorities and the disabled. Where men have paternity leave (with talk of making it mandatory) to balance out maternity leave, where being openly gay in the media is no longer problematic, and where PoC are routinely given representation in media despite making up a relatively small minority of the total population.

    Is racism still an issue? Sure. No place is perfect. It is, as far as I know, based on research/education, and state-side friends, much better than the U.S.
    Good public schooling, and a mixed economic approach, has made that happen. The same could be true for the states once in the future, if people like you don't give up half-way because a person like me doesn't send you roses and candy every Saturday for you efforts.

    So, cheer up!

    Quote Originally Posted by TuxedoSam View Post
    Maybe I'll search for a super positive forum where people lift others rather than state "humans are irrational lumps of turd with brains made of jello, programmed to hate." I refuse to allow myself to think this way. I think humans are tremendously advanced, but we just happen to be born in the stage of life that is still socially developing to overcome discrimination. My mind is year 3000, but my lifetime is pre-2100.
    That's gross straw-man though. Nobody said anything to that effect, and I hope you know that deep down.
    But, consider this - what's the best way to solve a problem? To tuck your head under a pillow of feel-goods, or to accurately gain a picture of its true extent regardless of how shitty it might feel, and then go out on a limb to make a difference?

    If I was the more social-justice advocate kind of person, I wouldn't let shit like this get me down. Just keep on crusading. Somebody has to, and since people who don't care aren't going to, then you, if you want to, should just tank on.

    Meanwhile, I'll sit here waiting for genetic corrective surgery.
    Last edited by hian; 08-23-2014 at 08:10 PM.

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