Monday, September 13, 2010

Left Looking Right


Seeing yourself through the eyes of "the other" political party.

96 comments:

  1. You don't think that Left just thinks the Right are a bunch of h8ers?

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  2. btw - Sometimes when you just "run at it"... it's turns out to be a brick wall. ;-)

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  3. I think it's funny how Joe used "h8ers".

    I think that the Right bewilders the Left at times. It can be said of both sides, of course. When both finally admit how similar they really are..things will be much smoother. I have great optimism here. Truly I do!!

    Fuckin' brick walls. Piss me off so much.
    :dismantling, brick by brick:

    Open Letter to Joe C:

    Sometime in the future, whenever you deem appropriate, would you consider doing a post on the virtue (or lack thereof) of clear communication? What I mean by that is, language without the use of metaphor. I think that this would be so interesting, especially coming from such a...person as yourself. And by that last statement, I mean to imply that you are a master of metaphor, which I'm sure you know. I've been told that I over-explain things. Do you think so?


    Sincerely,


    Jen
    (pass the Tylenol)

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  4. Are you searching for a cotton stalk?
    Maybe I ought to run away.

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  5. Cotton stalk? I was thinking more along the lines of a green willow branch...

    But no, I don't do corporal punishment. Mental anguish is much more painful and lasts ever sooooo much longer. ;-)

    And I'd be happy to comply with your request... once I've mulled it over a bit.

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  6. Mental anguish is much more painful and lasts ever sooooo much longer. ;-)
    --------

    don't do this. people don't like it. at all.
    (See, that's plain talk.)

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  7. So is this,

    ...but if I don't, who will?

    All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to remain silent.

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  8. Plato, "Republic"

    I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures. Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering—every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer, though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard, and having first chained up the noble captain's senses with drink or some narcotic drug, they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them. Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain's hands into their own whether by force or persuasion, they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer's art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling. Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    Of course, said Adeimantus.

    Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State; for you understand already.

    Certainly.

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  9. ...but if I don't, who will?

    All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to remain silent.
    ------------------
    Noble intentions which I admire...but unless you are face to face, knowing a person (as much as we can know one another), this is too painful and dangerous, in my opinion.

    In this "virtual" world, taking this kind of responsiblity implies direct involvement with 'the other', but it's then so easy to turn the computer off...and be free of them...their feelings, their needs, their pain. Like you once said, there are no consequences. This is the very reason why there is the horrible side effect of feeling used, discarded, treated as rubbish for the gratification of the other. It's a dangerous thing, I think.

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  10. The internet is the perfect way to 'have your cake and eat it, too'. Keep life clean and tidy off-line, but get entangled and gratified on-line.
    And underneath all of that lies a feeling of utter disregard...that in "real life" I am not worthy. I am nothing.

    just rambling...

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  11. Both.

    And underneath all of that lies a feeling of utter disregard...that in "real life" I am not worthy. I am nothing.
    ------
    But that comes from me.

    Why? Do you feel used, disregarded, and unworthy? Just objectified?

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  12. As for belief that the "other" is worth "nothing"... the investment in time belies the charge.

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  13. Why? Do you feel used, disregarded, and unworthy? Just objectified?

    On-line? Off-line? All the time. The internet is merely a medium.

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  14. Why? Do you feel used, disregarded, and unworthy? Just objectified?

    On-line? Off-line? All the time. The internet is merely a medium.
    --------------

    Maybe you project that onto others because you do that to others. Just a thought.

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  15. I know...I thought of that immediately. :P
    duh.

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  16. I laughed at myself...again.
    If I ever lose the ability to laugh at myself, I wonder what I'll laugh at?

    Anyway. Happy Sept. 19th to you. I do hope you've had a good one.

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  17. But for what it's worth...I don't JUST disregard, use, and objectify.

    I'm not quite that cynical.

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  18. So, we're both just a couple of users?
    That seems so...base and...depressing.

    Do you think that there's dignity in it?
    In 'listening to the music without the end in mind'?
    It's hard for me to find the dignity.

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  19. You've got to make your own meaning. I like to think of my form of "usery" as "defensive". I seldom attack unless attacked first. And I am often placed under attack.

    What are you willing to "sacrifice" for? Therein lie your values and priorities.

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  20. Everlasting possession of the good is every person's "end". It's also not possible. "Happiness" is a pursuit, not an end.

    Defining "ends" and achieving them, THAT is the pursuit of the Overman. Sacrifice is the price he willingly pays to achieve them.

    In that manner, he masters his own fate.

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  21. To be ashamed of one's immorality: that is a step on the staircase at whose end one is also ashamed of one's morality. --Friedrich Nietzsche

    I'm not ashamed of my immorality.

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  22. Wisdom (injustice) exercised in the defense of justice.

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  23. You've got to make your own meaning. I like to think of my form of "usery" as "defensive". I seldom attack unless attacked first. And I am often placed under attack.
    ----------
    You bait people with your mind bullets, and it's convenient for you b/c you remain 'clean'. :-)
    You attack...it's just subtle, not outright.

    Yes, I know what love is, according to Plato (or Socrates?).

    ---------
    It's also not possible. "Happiness" is a pursuit, not an end.

    So this...here...is a waste of time..to you?

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  24. Ours is a "mixed" existence. Ratios and proportionality matter. You aren't my enemy, so no, this isn't a waste of time.

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  25. And what is the ratio, in your opinion?

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  26. One day... when you're a bit older and 'wiser' perhaps you'll think about the nature of justice, both the practice AND creation of it. Then, perhaps, you'll hate me a bit less than you do now. But until that day... ;-)

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  27. You think that you're my enemy?

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  28. You think that you're my enemy?

    I think that you don't particulary like what I do. It's not something I expect "just" people to understand.

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  29. For what purpose are you creating justice?

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  30. And what is the ratio, in your opinion?

    Ben Franklin was 1/3 sleep, 1/3 self, 1/3 other.

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  31. I think that you hide your own personal needs/motives behind "wisdom" and goodwill.

    If I'm stupid enough to put up with the pain, that's my decision. I can't change you and your tactics. I have it in me to change my ways whenever I decide to. ugh.

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  32. And what is the ratio, in your opinion?

    Ben Franklin was 1/3 sleep, 1/3 self, 1/3 other.
    -----------
    I didn't ask you about Ben Franklin.

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  33. I think that you hide your own personal needs/motives behind "wisdom" and goodwill.

    Who doesn't?

    I didn't ask you about Ben Franklin.

    I think that he had a pretty good sense of proportion.

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  34. The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering—every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer, though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary.

    Cut away.

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  35. Some people don't.
    You're terrified to appear vulnerable.
    I can relate.

    Yeah, I guess he did. You still didn't answer my question. Avoider! ;-)
    Man, you piss me off so much. But it's alright, I guess.
    :-)

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  36. Some people don't.

    Christ wasn't a "person". Now try naming another.

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  37. So you don't believe in altrusim?

    I sometimes wonder, myself.

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  38. You're terrified to appear vulnerable.

    I've already had my "psychic break". Have you had yours?

    Nietzsche, WtP 488 (Spring-Fall 1887)

    Psychological derivation of our belief in reason.--The concept "reality", "being", is taken from our feeling of the "subject".

    "The subject": interpreted from within ourselves, so that the ego counts as a substance, as the cause of all deeds, as a doer.

    The logical-metaphysical postulates, the belief in substance, accident, attribute, etc., derive their convincing force from our habit of regarding all our deeds as consequences of our will--so that the ego, as substance, does not vanish in the multiplicity of change.--But there is no such thing as will.--

    We have no categories at all that permit us to distinguish a "world in itself" from a "world of appearance." All our categories of reason are of sensual origin: derived from the empirical world. "The soul", "the ego"--the history of these concepts shows that here, too, the oldest distinction ("breath", "life")--

    If there is nothing material, there is also nothing immaterial. The concept no longer contains anything.

    No subject "atoms". The sphere of a subject constantly growing or decreasing, the center of the system constantly shifting; in cases where it cannot organize the appropriate mass, it breaks into two parts. On the other hand, it can transform a weaker subject into its functionary without destroying it, and to a certain degree form a new unity with it. No "substance", rather something that in itself strives after greater strength, and that wants to "preserve" itself only indirectly (it wants to surpass itself--).

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  39. It's sad to me that your psychic break taught you to never be vulnerable with another person.
    That's not the lesson I'd want to take away.

    I am vulnerable with people. I'm not wise enough in who to be vulnerable with.

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  40. My grandmother.

    lol! Just like a lover of justice to credit a sheep over the shepherd for creating the "Good".

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  41. I know that she is no saint.
    The vulnerability comes in saying, "I have these needs".
    Nobody is above needing something.

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  42. (cont)

    When expressions of pity make the unfortunate man aware of this feeling of superiority, he gets a kind of pleasure from it; his self-image revives; he is still important enough to inflict pain on the world. Thus the thirst for pity is a thirst for self-enjoyment, and at the expense of one's fellow men. It reveals man in the complete inconsideration of his most intimate dear self, but not precisely in his "stupidity," as La Rochefoucauld thinks. In social dialogue, three-quarters of all questions and answers are framed in order to hurt the participants a little bit; this is why many men thirst after society so much: it gives them a feeling of their strength. In these countless, but very small doses, malevolence takes effect as one of life's powerful stimulants, just as goodwill, dispensed in the same way throughout the human world, is the perennially ready cure.

    But will there be many people honest enough to admit that it is a pleasure to inflict pain? That not infrequently one amuses himself (and well) by offending other men (at least in his thoughts) and by shooting pellets of petty malice at them? Most people are too dishonest, and a few men are too good, to know anything about this source of shame. So they may try to deny that Prosper Merimée is right when he says, "Sachez aussi qu'il n'y a rien de plus commun que de faire le mal pour le plaisir de le faire."18


    15. This aphorism is directed against Schopenhauers exaltation of pity as the highest moral feeling (cf. The World as Will and Idea, Bk. 4, par. 67).

    16. I am not much moved by pity and would like to be not at all .... However, there is nothing I would not do to relieve a suffering person .... But I also maintain that one should be content to show it [pity] and carefully keep from having it. It is a passion which is useless to a well-developed soul, which serves only to weaken the heart, and which ought to be left to the masses, who, never doing anything out of reason, need passions to bring them to act.)

    17. Cf. The Republic Bk. 3, 387-88.

    18. Prosper Merimée (1803-70), Lettres à une inconnue, I:8. "Know that nothing is more common than to do harm for the pleasure of doing it:"

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  43. So you don't believe in altrusim?

    Altruism born of pity and or resentiment? Nope.

    Nietzsche, Human, All too Human

    "For in pity at least two (maybe many more) elements of personal pleasure are contained, and it is to that extent self-enjoyment: first of all, it is the pleasure of the emotion (the kind of pity we find in tragedy) and second, when it drives us to act, it is the pleasure of our satisfaction in the exercise of power. If, in addition, a suffering person is very close to us, we reduce our own suffering by our acts of pityAside from a few philosophers, men have always placed pity rather low in the hierarchy of moral feelings-and rightly so.

    Desire to arouse pity. 15 In the most noteworthy passage of his self-portrait (first published in 1658), La Rochefoucauld certainly hits the mark when he warns all reasonable men against pity,16 when he advises them to leave it to those common people who need passions (because they are not directed by reason) to bring them to the point of helping the sufferer and intervening energetically in a misfortune. For pity, in his (and Plato's) 17 judgment, weakens the soul. Of course one ought to express pity, but one ought to guard against having it; for unfortunate people are so stupid that they count the expression of pity as the greatest good on earth.

    Perhaps one can warn even more strongly against having pity for the unfortunate if one does not think of their need for pity as stupidity and intellectual deficiency, a kind of mental disorder resulting from their misfortune (this is how La Rochefoucauld seems to regard it), but rather as something quite different and more dubious. Observe how children weep and cry, so that they will be pitied, how they wait for the moment when their condition will be noticed. Or live among the ill and depressed, and question whether their eloquent laments and whimpering, the spectacle of their misfortune, is not basically aimed at hurting those present. The pity that the spectators then express consoles the weak and suffering, inasmuch as they see that, despite all their weakness, they still have at least one power: the power to hurt.

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  44. Vulnerability is not a goal that a Nietzschean pursues. The world is "will to power". Weakness/ vulnerability is a "feminine" strategy.

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  45. That which does not kill the weak and vulnerable makes them stronger.

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  46. "Know yourself"... or as I like to believe, Know FOR yourself.

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  47. First, I think that there's a distinction between pity and empathy. Pity implies condescension.

    I don't think altruism necessitates pity. I think of self-sacrifice out of love, pure giving.

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  48. Your disregard for women and all things "feminine" is overwhelming.

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  49. Teach a man to fish, don't give him a fish to eat.

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  50. I'm thinking that most Nietzschean's must be incredibly lonely people, with not skills to remedy their loneliness in a "healthy" way. But then...if there is no shame in immorality...voila!

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  51. You think I care about loneliness? lol!

    Yes, I do. We all do.

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  52. You think I care about loneliness? lol!

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  53. Your disregard for women and all things "feminine" is overwhelming

    Disregard? I don't "prefer" temperance over courage. I don't "prefer" passivity over activity. I don't "prefer" masculinity over femininity. They all have their place. Ecclesiastes 3.

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  54. It's interesting to see that you view me as a person who implies "feminine" strategies of weakness. You seem to think of me as very linear, dualistic (in a negative way), and in need to help.

    I think men and women contain both masculine and feminine virtues and I don't think it's your job to rescue me.

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  55. Yes, I do. We all do.

    I'm trying to "surpass" myself in that area.

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  56. Disregard? I don't "prefer" temperance over courage. I don't "prefer" passivity over activity. I don't "prefer" masculinity over femininity. They all have their place. Ecclesiastes 3.
    -----------
    You can say this, but actions speak louder than words.

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  57. Yes, I do. We all do.

    I'm trying to "surpass" myself in that area.
    --------------
    Individuation = painful process
    coming together = painful process
    It's painful either way.
    Sorry to be so Helelian. ;-)

    But why go against all of humanity?
    No man is an island unto himself. (who said that??)

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  58. I think of self-sacrifice out of love, pure giving. Mother Theresa? Knock yourself out. Just don't suppose she'd be safe to do her work w/o her counterpart.

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  59. I think men and women contain both masculine and feminine virtues and I don't think it's your job to rescue me.

    I punched you in the face. I didn't attempt to "rescue" you.

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  60. Why are you punching me, you ass?

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  61. Because nobody else will?
    bullshit.
    I will.

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  62. The only thing I did wrong was violate my own rule against running away... of trying to get you to understand what had happened out of the EMPATHY that I had for you, having undergone a similar but opposite experience on-line myself.

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  63. Why are you punching me, you ass?

    Why do you think I punched you?

    I punched you because you have 3 kids that need a mom and a dad.

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  64. The ONLY thing you did wrong???
    Oh MY GOD!!!

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  65. So the problem is ALL my fault?
    You don't know EVERYTHING!!

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  66. You are unwilling to be totally upfront about your behaviors, and this is a sticking point for me.
    Friends don't LIE to friends. And I'm not talking about the kinds of "all the time" lies that Nietzsche talks about, I'm talking about the self-deceptive lies.

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  67. Sorry. But they don't come any more "old school" than me.

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  68. Dont' worry Mr. Old School.
    There's been more forgiving and overlooking than you can imagine....

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  69. When have I not?
    I'm not hiding behind other avatars.

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  70. Do your "friends" have some dirt on me? ;-)
    lol!

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  71. After all this, you still think I'm trying to "get you". Thanks for your low opinion of me.

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  72. Thanks for your low opinion of me.
    ---------
    That's a projection. ;-)
    just sayin.

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  73. I don't have a low opinion of you.
    I don't hate you.

    Sometimes...you can just ask.
    Please don't sulk.

    You waaay underestimate me and you.

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  74. I will admit that I am trying to get you to be totally honest with me on some things. I don't know why I feel the need for you to do that.
    (and I don't need you to explain me need to me)
    But it is a need I have. And it does bother me that you won't be upfront about certain things.
    But if you'd name what it is that you think I've lied about, I'll discuss it.

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  75. And for what it's worth, I don't know if it's possible to get totally beyond shame. I think that many philosophers wanted to. Most of us do. I do. But even when I think I'm free of it, it jumps up and grabs me.

    And I'm sorry if I shamed you today.

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  76. I don't feel shamed. I felt an "attempt" to shame me, which I reject. Destruction precedes creation. I make no apologies for it.

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  77. Utopia (pronounced /juːˈtoʊpiə/) is a name for an ideal community or society possessing a perfect socio-politico-legal system.[1] The word was invented by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. The term has been used to describe both intentional communities that attempted to create an ideal society, and fictional societies portrayed in literature. It has spawned other concepts, most prominently dystopia.

    The word comes from the Greek: οὐ, "not", and τόπος, "place", indicating that More was utilizing the concept as allegory and did not consider such an ideal place to be realistically possible. The English homophone Eutopia, derived from the Greek εὖ, "good" or "well", and τόπος, "place", signifies a double meaning.


    Like all utopia's, it's no where.

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  78. ...like the place where everyone is "totally upfront" with everyone else.

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  79. I know about Sir Thomas More, and about his book, and about the double meaning.

    And, I think it is TOTALLY possible to be upfront with someone. Maybe not all of the time, but it is possible. Of course, if you don't want to be, you'll find a million and one reasons not to be, in history, literature, etc. All of this validates you. Bravo.

    I'm not always totally upfront.

    Just thought it would be nice to clear the air.

    The tragedy of a high intellect is that it gets in the way of simple, "pure" human interactions.
    You can always talk your way out of anything uncomfortable based on precedent.

    Frankly, it makes me glad I'm not THAT well read.

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  80. It's one thing to find an intellectual or two who'll validate your idea's, and quite another to discover a two+ millenia old intellectual tradition which'll validate them.

    Perhaps you should read more and More.

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  81. That's telling her, Speedy!

    Do I hear an echo in here? ;-)

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  82. Go ahead. Step out onto the tightrope. I won't stop you.

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  83. ...and I won't ignore you. Who knows, I might even encourage you.

    After all, we're already halfway over the bridge, and there's no turning back.

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  84. btw - Have you ever read Hernnstein & Murray's "The Bell Curve"? What am I asking, of course you haven't. In it, Charles Murray, one of my favorite intellectuals, poses an interesting question, "Where is America's meritocracy leading us?" I don't think he quite framed the answer correctly, but it was a very interesting question which yields some very troubling potential answers.... which marry nicely with silly things like Obama's $200K/$250K tax ceiling. Can you discern the "reasoning" behind the chosen ceiling?

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