Nature versus Nurture

If you want to grow your own apples, there’s a fairly well defined process you can follow. Specific tree varieties require certain types of soil, certain amounts of sunlight, certain amounts of water and regular pruning throughout the life of the plant. Apple trees require the nearby presence of another apple tree so that bees can cross pollinate them, without which they will not bear fruit. These are variables, that if tightly controlled, optimize the tree’s chance of success.

Great apples can be found in the wild, but this is a rare thing and surely it has little to do with the original seed’s will power or work ethic. These wild trees just happened to chance upon a location that meets their needs, but without pruning, the fruit will never be optimal.

Agriculture and societies share this common characteristic. The health of an apple tree in an orchard, much like the health of an individual in a society, is determined by the care and structural support provided by the environment it exists in.

Not only does society have a major role to play in the development of its citizens, but should it fail to provide a sufficiently optimized environment, the majority of said citizens will not succeed. Everybody wants to succeed, you don’t need to incentivize that; what people need to succeed is structure and opportunity, and only a well adjusted society can provide that.

You can’t legislate an apple tree into a fruit haven, you have to help it meet its needs.

Fall of the Empire

The US has taken it’s first truly backward step in a long time. They’ve let mostly baseless hate and fear trick them into electing a shitty business man and reality TV personality into a job even he knew wasn’t within his abilities to do.

The responsitity for this tragedy goes mostly to the 120 million eligible voters who did not vote. The 62 million people who did vote for him had their reasons. The 64 million who voted for Hillary had theirs. It wasn’t enough because the electoral college got aced by the RNC this time.

Washington’s corruption, ineptitudes and sometimes baffling incompetence are just humans traits. Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter who is running the system or what the laws are; humans are imperfect and opportunistic. You don’t get elected to anything if you’re not already putting on an act of some sort. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The left had a good thing going though, they are typically on the right side of history and science. They’ve even grown accustomed to laughing at the right, and often with good reason. No one likes being laughed at.

Trump’s win is proof positive that derision isn’t good in politics. Furthermore and more importantly, intolerance of intolerance just doesn’t seem to be doing the trick.
We need to find ways to open communication back up, even to the absolute worst of the worst, lest the problem fester and actually get worse. It began festering big time when Obama won, and we now know just how toxic it became.

Peace cannot be kept by force

It’s not illegal to have an opinion, regardless of how misguided, disgusting or blind it is, so we can’t just treat these miscreants with disrespect, like we can actual criminals. We need to listen, share and hope to teach. The only concrete way to enact real positive change is to lead by example.

The Giant Leap

Human kind is at a crossroads. There’s a gigantic contradiction in our society that people rarely talk about, if they even admit it exists.

We do unspeakable things to animals for their meat, fur, labor and more. All while freaking out about even the tiniest injustice done to humans, and cats, and dogs.

I am sure that some pet owners would kill to protect their animals (and other material possessions…) and still eat meat. Of course there are vegetarians and vegans, so clearly this contradiction doesn’t apply to everyone globally, but legally and psychologically this attitude gap is fascinating.

Contradiction
Contradiction

It’s not clear if we’ll continue to move towards more human rights, and animal rights, because activists have been decrying the treatment of animals for a long time, and many people will even buy cleaner meat products (humane treatment of live stock, if such a thing is possible), and still not much has changed.

It’s entirely possible that the laws we have protecting humans and organizations are perhaps too strict. We could end up with a middle ground between living beings being consider products to be slaughtered and sold and life being generally respected, if such a thing is possible.

Clearly some of our ideals neglect to take into account the reality of our existence because after all, life must consume to continue.

Life is destructive

Life is a destructive process. We consume enormous amounts of energy.

The incredibly rare and reactive habitat we depend on is our play thing, and our most significant contribution is to create more life before we go away ourselves and we are multiplying.

We’re really good at this whole life thing. We’ve evolved so much that even the most dim witted member of our society can still procreate and have their offspring grow up and live on. The truth is that we are less violent than we’ve ever been as a species. There are seven billion of us and barely any of us are killing each other.

We should ride that momentum and rid the world of war, poverty and corruption; maybe we’re ready to evolve again and not just maintain ourselves, but maintain our environment, our beautiful world.

Eat the rich

evil-moneyTo those who think that poor people are lazy and that they should just get jobs. News flash, technology is largely replacing the need for the kind of jobs the uneducated could get. We are fast moving towards a world where it won’t make any sense at all for everyone to be employed, we just won’t need it. So what, they aren’t useful so they get nothing? They don’t have the right to live (to eat, to drink, to love…)
We need to drop this notion that a “career” is the right path for everyone.
We need to drop this notion that we all need to “earn a living”.

Personally I’d rather live around unemployed but honest and polite people, than brutal back stabbers willing to sell you out for a pay raise. Capitalism had one thing right, inspiring people to create and improve, but the promise of money has turned against us. Money in and of itself is fast becoming the worst possible reward, as it brainwashes people to think that happiness and success are material and not psychological.
Of course, I don’t believe I can convince others of this and I see no point in wasting too much energy trying. Instead I will live it.
Feed the poor, eat the rich.

The pursuit of money

Maybe money really does make you happy, at least in the moment. People are actually very visibly happy when they receive money. The larger the amount the more they exude happiness.

I suppose the truth might be closer to: money doesn’t keep you happy. Like any other material object, we tend to lose our interest once we’ve obtained what we wanted. Then there’s nurture.

Money is everything in society; we define ourselves by our incomes. We flaunt, not our money, but our status, our wealth, and we celebrate how easy it all is for us. We like to show off and money is a big deal.

The problem, in my humble opinion, is that money is so powerful to us now that the great majority of us are willing to ignore ethical considerations when sufficient amounts of money are involved. Money can make you a bad person, and maybe money isn’t brainwashing you so much as it is consuming you, incapacitating your ability to empathize with those who are transferring they money to you. You might not even think of the negative consequences at all, so you don’t feel dirty. You are just ignorant, and that’s okay as long as you are rich.

God

So I believe in God. God is all around us, he is in each of us. God is the ultimate creator of life, the universe and everything. God does not speak to me directly, but rather he gives me what I need to survive day in and day out. I respect God, but I do not worship God; God does not need to be worshipped; God does not need anything as he is already everything.

When you disrespect another human being, you are disrespecting God. When you pump poison into the air, water or even the minds of those around you, you are poisoning God. When you support pain and hatred, you feed the devil and when you dismiss the beliefs of others, you are just as well dismissing God.

We cannot hope to comprehend the immense nature of existence, but nor should we stop trying. God does not give us what we need, he gives us the tools to earn it for ourselves. He could not blame us for using the tools of his creation, our intelligence and our bodies.

To think though that almost every self described religious person believes that “God” can be summed up by a book written by man, by dogma created and propagated by man, is astounding. We do not and can not have all of the answers, only God does, and anyone who claims otherwise is an insult to God.

It’s all relative…

Social justice is different from just ‘justice’. I don’t believe in justice, just as I don’t believe in revenge. These two concepts, although popular and often even seen in positive lights, serve only to exacerbate existing problems.

What we should talking about is social justice, and that means to treat perpetrator of social offences in ways that protect society’s best interests. Jails remove criminals from society, which is a sure shot way of ensuring that they do not get another chance to offend again, until they get out anyway. Social justice is looking beyond the victim.

Justice doesn’t turn back time and undo the injustice, and justice itself is a relative concept, where what might be justice to one person would be injustice to another.

Social justice needs to think further, into the past, of the criminals. What sequence of events led them to their act?

What were the prerequisites/ingredients necessary for the crime to have been committed?

Do we, as a society, have any control over those prerequisites/ingredients?

If yes, how do we manipulate those factors to benefit society?

Justice isn’t fair and nothing is, but social justice is still necessary when living in a society, and we all do now.

Feminism

feminism

If anything it shouldn’t be called that, because it is a biased name that refers solely to females, not males, not humans, or life.

Lifism, Humanism, equality or perhaps, just not putting a name on respect for our fellow man, and animal (and insect).

So long as we tolerate any sort of openly acceptable baseless hate and anger, we are doing ourselves harm, as living beings.

I do not understand what feminism is all about, because I respect women. I am of the generation that knows that:

-some women are better than I am

-everybody is unique; male/female isn’t the whole story

-no one really knows anything for sure, there are no truths.

If you are a feminist and you look at me as a man, instead of just a human being, you are sexist too.

Love is hate

Love hate

“Make love, not war.” is a common attitude among those who strive for peace, tolerance, inclusion and progress, but it occurred to me the other day that love, generally seen as a net positive concept, is also likely the cause of war, pain, strife, poverty, etc…
How quickly love turns to hate when situations pivot, and is it even possible to feel overpowering hate or anger if it is not for the love of something else, or even a radical change in our emotions towards someone or something that we once loved?
Do the greedy not love their money, thus causing poverty on the other side of the spectrum? Do those who fight wars not believe they are fighting for a good cause, often defined by their love for said cause? Does not the most intense pain come from emotional damage at the hands of those we love or once loved?

In the balance of the universe, love is ying and hate is yang, you cannot have one without the other, and while many people would love to believe that love is the answer and hate all those who do not love, are they not setting themselves up for the worst while expecting the best?
Life is complex, it is notably impossible to fully grasp in all of it’s nuances, mysteries, blessings and curses. Love may be all you need, but with it comes the full spectrum of emotion, and thus this ideal is flawed, just as we all are.