domingo, 19 de marzo de 2017

Termodinámica ideológica

Se supone que la ciencia observa las cosas e intenta encontrar explicaciones a lo que ve. Una mentalidad científica es aquella que no se conforma con explicaciones de medio pelo, con "es que lo dice Fulano" o "es que en Villanueva del Pardillo lo hacen así de toda la vida".

Es curioso que mucha gente que se autoconcede la medalla a la mentalidad científica (y la medalla a la mente más abierta, de rebote) parece olvidarla cuando el humano objeto de estudio se declara contrario a su ideología. Enseguida se pasa de la ciencia al moralismo, y el moralismo es la comida basura de la conciencia. Resumiendo, uno no está en posición de superioridad moral frente a los demás, en ningún caso. EN NINGÚN CASO. Así no funciona la moral. No es lógico tener unas preferencias e intentar universalizarlas. No existen las personas malas. Las hay egoístas, las hay confusas, las hay equivocadas, las hay enfermas. Pero el mal es un invento de Hollywood para vender palomitas, y antes de eso, un invento de los líderes militares para que los chavales se matasen por una idea, y antes de eso, ignorancia supina acerca de la aldea de al lado. Lo importante aquí son las cosas. Las medidas concretas, las ideas, la intención común, que se pierde en un mar de marujeo, descalificación, egos, prejuicios e intolerancia.

La realidad es que este país lleva siendo un nido de avispas de lo correcto como mínimo desde la Inquisición. Siglos de dar la pppppppputa brasa con la religión, y desde hace cincuenta años que la gente empezó a darse cuenta de que era todo mentira (en vez de lo óptimo, que habría sido darse cuenta de que la religión no es que fuera mentira, es que es una alegoría que los fanáticos se toman demasiado literal), cambiaron la religión por el buenismo, que es lo puto mismo y es igual de verdad que Dios mandando lapidar a la peña por llevar ropa hecha de dos hilos diferentes.

En fin, a lo que iba, que la cultura de la dicotomía, la descalificación colectiva y el sesgo buenista son enemigos del pensamiento crítico y la razón. A la hora de entender por qué la gente vota a tal partido o por qué los políticos del partido que tanto odiamos o por qué fulano ha hecho tal cosa, es más fácil acercarse a la verdad si uno prescinde de la respuesta ingenua y visceral de: "porque solo le importa él mismo y le daría igual acabar con la humanidad con tal de salirse con la suya". Son bucles mentales que no llevan a nada, son victimismo exotérmico.

martes, 7 de marzo de 2017

Stranded Strawmen

Committing to an opinion is weird. People change. Our ways to interpret information change too. One could argue that to marry an opinion and then build a mental home on it, means to condition part of what you are to your past self, thus closing the door to the possibility of your opinion becoming wrong.



I think it would be nice of people who think they are in the right side of things, who look down on the people that don't think like them, to come out of their shell once in a while and bother to understand how the ones that they cross out as "enemies" think. They might find out that what they were attacking all this time, was how they imagined their enemies thought as a whole, based on cherry-picking what they hear from them, instead of how people really thought, as individuals. They might find out that there are practically no evil people, but instead people who project their good intentions either onto people who are not a priority for their enemies (like their families or friends), or by ineffective or counterproductive means. And maybe, if they have like, off the hook observation skills, they might find out in horror that they've been doing that very same thing their whole lives.



"If you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You'll learn things you never knew you never knew


Oh and also
get your head out of your ass, you dumb fuck"

Pocahontas

viernes, 18 de marzo de 2016

Tupac and Quijano


"It's about the oppressed rising up against the oppressors. So the only people that are scared, the only people that could have any harm coming to them, are the oppressors."

Many activists have so much to learn from Tupac. Don't blame everyone, don't blame society, don't blame males. Blame the ones who discriminate, the ones who take profit from suffering, the ones who promote injustice. You can't hold the average male responsible for all the raping and killing and misogynistic behaviours, or the average feminist for all the misandry that's out there, because THAT, you hypocritical m****fuckers, is oppression.

I'm not a racist, so I have nothing to fear about black people rising up against all those unpunished murders and police brutality in USA (would join them if I were there, honestly, wtf); I don't believe women to be lesser than men, so I think it's great that a woman doesn't accept being paid less than a man for the same job, or being constantly objectified; I don't hate on muslims or christians; I believe in sexual freedom, etc. But when y'all go: "You are part of the rape culture", "You are blinded by your male privilege", "You are a bad person for complaining about the disadvantages of being a man." Wow, wow, wow, hey there, calm the fuck down.

The fact that I don't see sexual discrimination as a one-way street, the fact that I think equality is not about treating men's advantages and women's advantages differently, doesn't make me the fucking enemy here. I don't defend myself cause I think I have something to lose, I defend myself cause you're antagonizing me for no good reason.

Single out the bad guys on both sides, then act. And don't see giants where there are only windmills.


I refuse to be a role model
I set goals, take control, drink out my own bottles
I make mistakes, but learn from everyone
And when it's all said and done
I bet this man'll be a better one

lunes, 12 de octubre de 2015

On the dichotomy of human reasoning

"But the bad thing about all religions is that, instead of being able to confess their allegorical nature, they have to conceal it; accordingly, they parade their doctrine in all seriousness as true sensu proprio, and as absurdities form an essential part of these doctrines, you have the great mischief of a continual fraud. And, what is worse, the day arrives when they are no longer true sensu proprio, and then there is an end of them; so that, in that respect, it would be better to admit their allegorical nature at once. But the difficulty is to teach the multitude that something can be both true and untrue at the same time. And as all religions are in a greater or less degree of this nature, we must recognize the fact that mankind cannot get on without a certain amount of absurdity, that absurdity is an element in its existence, and illusion indispensable; as indeed other aspects of life testify."

Arthur Schopenhauer

It's wonderful to read my own thoughts in someone else's writing, particularly in respect to things being true and untrue at the same time.

lunes, 22 de junio de 2015

Good ol' bluntness

"i hate tumblr’s (and fuckin society’s) obsession with being ‘intellectual’
doesn’t always mean smart
and fuck that “date a girl who reads” thing
if you fall in love with a girl who drinks jack like apple juice
and likes cutting down trees and getting into fights
do that shit
love is love you bourgeois fucks"

miércoles, 7 de enero de 2015

Don't follow your passion

Hi, Stephen,

A few years ago, I did a special called “The Dirty Truth.” In it, I challenged the conventional wisdom of popular platitudes by offering “dirtier,” more individualistic alternatives. For my inspiration, I looked to those hackneyed bromides that hang on the walls of corporate America. The ones that extoll passersby to live up to their potential by “dreaming bigger,” “working smarter,” and being a better “team player.” In that context, I first saw “Follow Your Passion” displayed in the conference room of a telemarketing firm that employed me thirty years ago. The words appeared next to an image of a rainbow, arcing gently over a waterfall and disappearing into a field of butterflies. Thinking of it now still makes me throw up in my mouth.

Like all bad advice, “Follow Your Passion” is routinely dispensed as though it’s wisdom were both incontrovertible and equally applicable to all. It’s not. Just because you’re passionate about something doesn’t mean you won’t suck at it. And just because you’re determined to improve doesn’t mean that you will. Does that mean you shouldn’t pursue a thing you’re passionate about?” Of course not. The question is, for how long, and to what end?

When it comes to earning a living and being a productive member of society – I don’t think people should limit their options to those vocations they feel passionate towards. I met a lot of people on Dirty Jobs who really loved their work. But very few of them dreamed of having the career they ultimately chose. I remember a very successful septic tank cleaner who told me his secret of success. “I looked around to see where everyone else was headed, and then I went the opposite way,” he said. “Then I got good at my work. Then I found a way to love it. Then I got rich.”

Every time I watch The Oscars, I cringe when some famous movie star – trophy in hand – starts to deconstruct the secret to happiness. It’s always the same thing, and I can never hit “mute” fast enough to escape the inevitable cliches. “Don’t give up on your dreams kids, no matter what.” “Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have what it takes.” And of course, “Always follow your passion!” Today, we have millions looking for work, and millions of good jobs unfilled because people are simply not passionate about pursuing those particular opportunities. Do we really need Lady GaGa telling our kids that happiness and success can be theirs if only they follow their passion?

There are many examples – including those you mention – of passionate people with big dreams who stayed the course, worked hard, overcame adversity, and changed the world though sheer pluck and determination. We love stories that begin with a dream, and culminate when that dream comes true. And to your question, we would surely be worse off without the likes of Bill Gates and Thomas Edison and all the other innovators and Captains of Industry. But from my perspective, I don’t see a shortage of people who are willing to dream big. I see people struggling because their reach has exceeded their grasp.

I’m fascinated by the beginning of American Idol. Every year, thousands of aspiring pop-stars show up with great expectations, only to learn that they don’t have anything close to the skills they thought they did. What’s amazing to me, isn’t their lack of talent – it’s their lack of awareness, and the resulting shock of being rejected. How is it that so many people are so blind to their own limitations? How did these peope get the impression they could sing in the first place? Then again, is their incredulity really so different than the surprise of a college graduate who learns on his first interview that his double major in Medieval Studies and French Literature doesn’t guarantee him the job he expected? In a world where everyone gets a trophy, encouragement trumps honesty, and realistic expectations go out the window.

When I was 16, I wanted to follow in my grandfathers footsteps. I wanted to be a tradesman. I wanted to build things, and fix things, and make things with my own two hands. This was my passion, and I followed it for years. I took all the shop classes at school, and did all I could to absorb the knowledge and skill that came so easily to my granddad. Unfortunately, the handy gene skipped over me, and I became frustrated. But I remained determined to do whatever it took to become a tradesman.

One day, I brought home a sconce from woodshop that looked like a paramecium, and after a heavy sigh, my grandfather told me the truth. He explained that my life would be a lot more satisfying and productive if I got myself a different kind of toolbox. This was almost certainly the best advice I’ve ever received, but at the time, it was crushing. It felt contradictory to everything I knew about persistence, and the importance of “staying the course.” It felt like quitting. But here’s the “dirty truth,” Stephen. “Staying the course” only makes sense if you’re headed in a sensible direction. Because passion and persistence – while most often associated with success – are also essential ingredients of futility.

That’s why I would never advise anyone to “follow their passion” until I understand who they are, what they want, and why they want it. Even then, I’d be cautious. Passion is too important to be without, but too fickle to be guided by. Which is why I’m more inclined to say, “Don’t Follow Your Passion, But Always Bring it With You.”

Carry On

Mike