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Monday, August 1, 2022

Prometheus Rising reading and exercise group, Episode 92, Chapter 17


Photo of radios from the Chihuly Glass Museum. Photo by Rod Flores on Unsplash
 
  Like Eric a couple of weeks ago, I am attempting to carry out exercises for the chapter.

Here are my "ten areas in which your thinking-feeling is conservative." 

1. On Twitter, Eric Alper recently asked, "If you could add 10 productive years to the life of any deceased musician, who would you choose?" I agree with Julian Sanchez' answer, "Mozart. How is this remotely even a question?"

2. Aviation and the development of flight was a big technology in the last century and offers lessons for making space flight safer and more of an everyday thing. 

3. As Bryan Caplan says, perhaps the best few pages of philosophy is the "Letter to Menoeceus" by Epicurus. 

4. Children are best off when they are raised by two parents. (Not that I don't have sympathy for single parents -- I was one for many years.)

5. Music culture in this country has gotten worse for many years, for example as shown by the lack of interest by  younger people in jazz and classical music.

6. Radio is an underrated source of news, sports and music. It is the form of entertainment anyone can afford, as a radio from a garage sale costs almost nothing. 

7. Literature is the deepest form of art. Not that I don't like music, visual art and movies (in pretty much that order.)

8. As much as I like bands such as the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Roxy Music and so on, the conventional wisdom is correct: The Beatles were the best and most important rock music band.  

9. Open up the borders and make trade free.

10. I prefer paper books, all things considered, but digital books are a way to build a library cheaply. 

Here are ten ways where my thinking seems radical: 

1. The shift toward people choosing their genders is a natural outgrowth of the modern tend toward individualism and it seems unlikely to be reversed. People soon will be choosing their own race. 

2. All drugs should be legalized. People should have complete control over what they put in their body.

3. We would be better off if the statement in the First Amendment about Congress making "no law" restricting freedom of the press were interpreted by the courts to mean "no law." 

4. The Internet has been a wonderful improvement in life for many of us, giving access to entertainment and education that would have seemed Utopian within recent memory (or at least my memory.) Many of the problems with it are self-inflicted by people complaining about the net. 

5. While I think all drugs should be legalized, I think regulation should have some relationship to the actual dangers involved. Alcohol is really one of the most seriously abused drugs. I would keep it legal but would restrict advertising, enforce the ban on sales to minors very strictly, etc. 

6. Pro football is terrible, producing hundreds of cases of brain damage from CTE and many cases of early death. People should not support it. 

7. Taxpayer funding of stadiums for professional football teams and other pro sports teams should be banned. I don't see how that's a legitimate government expenditure. 

8. Robert Anton Wilson is an important writer who deserves Library of America volumes, large continuing sales, etc. I still think we may get there.

9. Chrissie Hynde is better than Bruce Springsteen.  The Pretenders are not as big as they should be, even in northern Ohio. 

10. Public library cards ought to be universal, i.e. you should be able to use your local card at any U.S. library. 


2 comments:

Oz Fritz said...

Ten areas of conservative thinking/feeling and how long before they become irrelevant:

1. Rule of law - anyone who breaks the law should be held accountable no matter who. Unless it's a stupid, victimless law. Two thousand years before all humanity evolves to the point of inner discipline.

2. Exercise is good for you. Never becomes irrelevant.

3. I prefer using physical media for music and literature - cds, vinyl, books, magazines. Never becomes irrelevant for everyone.

4. Humans performing music sounds better than when programmed electronically or when the performance gets radically processed and manipulated. Food falls under the same category - natural as opposed to processed. Never irrelevant to everyone

5. Not a fan of excessive tattoos or piercings of any kind except ears and some politician's brains. Some tattoos appear tasteful. Possibly already irrelevant.

6. Elvis is dead. The Mafia killed JFK. 200 years.

7. Some politicians want to make things better for their constituents and the world. Possibly irrelevant now because those few lack consensus to get things done. Maybe I'm being too cynical here?

8. Families are important. Raising children intelligently and compassionately is the best hope for the future. Never irrelevant.

9. Writing for most TV and film dramas sucks with some notable exceptions. Seems irrelevant now in that it's been that way for a long time and only seems to be getting worse. Perhaps I'm an artistic snob.

10. The Golden Rule - treat people with the same respect you'd like them to treat you. Kindness and politeness matters. Never irrelevant.

Ten areas of radical conceptualizing and how long until they "seem conservative."

1. Humans have potentials to develop functions and powers far beyond what the doxa, i.e common opinion allows. Things like telepathy, precognition, psychic healing, remote viewing, etc. 200 years

2. Instructions and methods for how to develop those powers and functions can be found, mostly coded, in some ancient, occult and post-modern literature and in some music. Some very few people have begun developing those functions to a greater or lesser degree.

3. A guaranteed minimum wage should be given to everyone. Artists should get subsidized. 50 years

4. Political campaigns should have caps on how much money they can spend far far lower than what they spend now. Star athletes should have caps on what they earn. Capitalism should be regulated to avoid extremely excessive wealth perhaps through taxation or incentivizing billionaires to invest in social programs that advantage all. 50 years.

5. Housing and food and clothing should be a basic guaranteed right for everyone on the planet or those off of it when Space Migration kicks in. The money from #4 should be used immediately to build inexpensive housing. See Fuller, R. Buckminster. 100 years

6. Wars should be made obsolete. Dicktators who want to fight should have a timeout and have their toys taken away. 100 years

7. All kinds of intelligent life exists that most humans have absolutely no idea about. Alternate dimensions exist. 1000 years.

8. Consciousness survives the death of the human body. This consciousness has the potential to become strong enough to retain memory and to choose its next incarnation. 600 years

9. The experience of death can be simulated before the physical body dies. 50 years

10.The sense of love can get produced and directed. Directed love has a healing effect. 600 years

Rarebit Fiend said...

I asked Eric about doing this for my post as well, but went on to pen my diatribe. Here's mine.

My ten conservative ways of thinking: (I did not mark times when they will become irrelevant, I guess in my mind conservative means irrelevant or unpopular to some degree.)

1. Students need discipline and should face consequences for misbehavior. We over-diagnose behavior in academics.

2. Many if not most Americans are spoiled and unaware of how hard life could truly be.

3. Parents should be concerned with their child's safety and feelings while also accustoming them to the fact that the world will not bend for them.

4. Everyone should be properly socialized enough to be polite and reasonably responsive to normal conversation.

5. It is important to be cultured according to traditional modes of thinking: you should be familiar with Homer, Dante, Shakespeare and other great authors.

6. It is important to be worldly and know about things that aren't presently pertinent to your interests and survival.

7. Hunting is a good thing; if you eat meat and are opposed to hunting, you are a hypocrite.

8. Unions are a good thing and necessary to keep employers from taking advantage of employees.

9. Some behaviors are absolutely not acceptable in public. Behavioral modesty in shared spaces is important.

10. Unless there is a threat of physical violence, you should mind your own business.

Ten radical ways of thinking:

1. Population control and resource distribution should be a paramount concern. (<50 years until widely accepted)

2. Contact with alien life should be a priority. (idk how long this will take, too many variables)

3. Contact with non-human intelligences on our own planet should be a priority. (too many variables)

4. Public religious expression is dangerous and should be heavily regulated. (100 years until widely accepted, if it doesn't end us first)

5. The United States should forfeit its nuclear weaponry and signal to the world that possession of such weapons is in itself an inherit act of war. (idk if this will be accepted before we end ourselves)

6. Some ideas are not acceptable to be broadcast in the information age. Platforms have to be regulated. (<50 years)

7. There should be some sort of office like Heinlein's Fair Witness to observe governmental and legal proceedings. (no idea)

8. Governments should have to honor the social contract in order to justify its existence. Economic freedom for lucrative private interests is not as important as the populace having the necessities for life. (soon, hopefully)

9. Magic and the Imagination are mankind's most precious resources. (a few more)

10. Mankind will evolve into something brighter and better if we are given enough time.