Tag Archives: should

We Are The Hurled

funny-protest-signs-17The Law of Biology states:

An organism will do anything it can.

The hypothetical and highly imaginary Law of Ethics states:

Just because you can do a thing doesn’t mean you should.

BZZT! Shock administered to test subject. The word “should” is disallowed. You lose a turn. Go back to START.

Okay. How far back should I go?

Hmm. No need to be excessive. How about the day your slimy species grew legs, became amphibious and hauled itself up out of the primordial ooze and lay panting on the beach?

So yeah, the other day I became embroiled in a discussion on Twitter about free speech. It all started when a person I follow stated they were under attack by some haters. Not only that, but she had just written a piece about how the haters were attacking her supporters, too. Hate by proxy, I guess. Adding my two cents, I responded with this pearl of wisdom:

“You have the right to your voice. Online harassers shouldn’t be allowed to operate with impunity.”

Naturally, as if to prove her point, I picked up some criticism of my own. I then got involved in a surprisingly civil discussion about the perils of too much free speech and what, if anything, constitutes “hate speech.” I began by asking my new-found critic a simple question: Where do YOU draw the line on anonymous online free speech?

His reply? “I don’t. Sticks and stones…”

No limits on free speech? None??? Such is the world of absolutes that some find friendly. This got me to thinking. Twitter, alas, was too limiting of a medium to try to explore some complicated concepts, so this post was born.

What would a world with no limits on free speech look like? Warning: This isn’t going to be pretty.
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Unhealthy Whoregon

taxes-by-typeAdvertising. Marketing. Sales. These are a few of the things I hate.

Life is meant to be more than simply persuading each other into spending money and consuming goods and services.

The fact that “sales” is the artifice of lies, pressure and Jedi mind tricks to compel people to do things they don’t really want doesn’t help its case.

Advertising can, theoretically, be something good. If you are in the market for a thing and there’s information about that thing at a certain price, that can actually be helpful. Unfortunately, most advertising has devolved into petulant attempts at distraction and attacks on the subconscious. Not just merely advertising, they are better classified as “persuasion attempts.” Some estimates claim the average American is subjected to 15,000 persuasion attempts per day. That’s hinky.

It seems obvious the game has shifted from being informative (advertising) to persuasion warfare (psychology). And it doesn’t have to adhere to the rules of the Geneva Convention or even be honest. Not content to simply remain available in case you might need something, the free market win-based transaction paradigm is now hunting you down to make the kill. The consumer is prey.

Taxes are funds taken by the awesome power of governmental force. As such, they are sacred in my mind. Taxes must not be used frivolously. Taxes must always be respected. Taxes must not be used to benefit some at the detriment of others. There are certain things taxes should be used for and certain things that must never be allowed to happen. Because taxes are monies taken by force that’s just the way it has to be.

What happens when tax dollars are used on advertising? Bad shit.
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Game Leery

shouldI’m not going to go all Plato and Socrates in your grill. But I am going to have to go a little deeper than normal. Gimme five degrees down bubble on the dive planes and rig for silent running.

What is a game?

One might as well ask why does chocolate taste good? Why is a flower pretty? What it is about poop that makes it so interesting? We have full-time philosophers who study these things but no answers yet.

Let me take a crack at it. A game should be fun.

The word “should” gets the italics treatment because of my pinhead professor in philosophy class. He imparted into me the basic wisdom: “One shouldn’t say should.” Dammit all to Hell, man. Why did you say that?

The word “fun” gets the italics because its usage in that sentence opens a brand new rabbit hole for us to jump down.

What is fun?

See what I mean about going deep? If you follow this crazy train you’ll quickly jump the rails. It’s like having a conversation with young Mr. Data. “What is ‘is’, Captain?” Oh shit. This might take a while.

The point here is simple: I thought “games” were supposed to be “fun.” Then I owned an iPad and it totally changed the way I looked at what a game should be.
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Heisenberg Crosswalks

crosswalkI’ve written about pedestrians before. I don’t mean to be pedantic but I’m driven to hammer my point home.

To me, there’s very little “uncertainty” about crosswalks.

You clearly don’t know who you’re driving over, so let me clue you in. I am not in danger, Skywalker. I am the danger. A guy puts the pedal to the metal and someone gets plowed and you think that of me? No. I am the one who stalks!

–Heisenberg Crosswalk, Braking Bad

In the local news of late there has been a lot of discussion about “dangerous crosswalks.” That got me thinking. What is it about the crosswalk itself that makes it dangerous?

The fact that it exists? That it leaps out and surprises pedestrians? That it has a concealed carry permit? That it lulls pedestrians to sleep with a false sense of security? “Come to me,” it whispers in the wind. “Tread upon me. I will protect you. I will keep you safe. You can trust me.”

Liar!
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Scientists discover Google

In the spirit of Don’t Be Evil, I’ve got something to say.
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The Dos Amoebas

Another image of such high-quality that it is impossible to believe I made it myself.

When I wrote the above joke last night, I decided it was time to do an amoeba post. I asked myself, “I wonder if I’ve ever writtene about amoebas before?” So I searched my blog. Yep. Damn, I like the way I used to think. It was in a post entitled Impulsively acting on my values. So this may be a bit of a rehash.

What, if anything, separates humans from our friend the humble amoeba?

I like to think it’s the fact that reason, intelligence and self-awareness gives us the opportunity to do something other than that which is biologically instinctual.

Do I push the old lady down in my quest to buy the last Furby?

Do I buy a fake diploma and put it on my resume to get a job?

Do I lie and cheat on my taxes?

Do I dump used motor oil into the soil out back behind my garage?

Do I park in the fire lane because I want a shorter walk to the ATM?

While stopped at a red light do I pull out my ashtray and dump it on the ground?

I submit that people who answer “yes” to questions like the above have the mental equivelance of the amoeba. On this, I reserve the right to be judge, jury and executioner. The verdict? Guilty. The sentence: Denial of mitosis!

Just because you can do a thing doesn’t mean you should.

Some people get that. Sadly, most of us don’t.

Philosophy, poop, ethics and this blog

Blurt did a post about Wikipedia and how ALL pages eventually link back to the “philosophy” page. It was interesting stuff and I’ve been pondering if we should do that ever since I saw it. (Heh.)

I took a few liberties and mind-mapped a few terms from this very blog to see what that would look like:

The Shout Abyss Universe (side view). Click image to probe further.

This is interesting stuff. And no, I didn’t do anything clever to generate that image. You can do it yourself at http://xefer.com/wikipedia. Try it out for yourself. It’s fun.

The fact that all Wikipedia pages lead back to the “philosophy” page really makes one think. The why. The should. Do we even exist? Are you real?

Somehow I don’t think so.

On Wikipedia, All Roads Lead To Philosophy Today’s post is not another example of the high brow literature that you expect here at Blurt. Today, I am going for my own internet meme, the type of thing that you might receive in an email that has been forwarded 75 times by the time it gets to you. Today we’re talking Wikipedia and Philosophy. Did you know that everything on Wikipedia connects to the Wikip … Read More

via Blurt