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Comment: Re:Nationalism in China (Score 1) 795

by Bongo (#46777235) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Interesting, I oft wonder that the future of the world is going to be about China and India, both making a huge transition into modern urbanised industrialised powers. India seems very chaotic, whereas China worries more about social order. Or at least that's the view from the West. Also, I got the impression China thinks on the time span of civilisations. Like, China is watching the West and making notes and still wondering how it'll turn out for us. Plus the West has monotheistic cultural origins, whilst China is philosophically different. China has been investing a lot in Africa, building infrastructure. Africa is where most of the future population growth will come from, and also the vast continent where, in Spiral Dynamics terms, there are still the most wide ranging levels of cultural organisation to move through. China's notion of social order and progress could really turn out interesting there. So USA did China a favour nuking Japan? And I gather USA also had a pretty serious cultural change programme to get rid of all the Japanese fascistic imperialistic elements?

Comment: Re:Are you kidding (Score 1) 795

by Bongo (#46777177) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Yes well the "spiral" reflects that things can move "up" (serfs become smarter and more empowered, thus moving things up to democracy) but things can also fall apart and move "down" (a fascist group gets power, perhaps they are voted in like the Nazis).

So what Machiavelli says, that democracy can devolve, is true. What wouldn't have existed at his time though, is any system that was higher than democracy, or at least, any system where the people were even smarter and could continue to develop democracy, rather than let it stagnate and fall apart.

If history was truly cyclical, we'd all still be hunter gatherers mostly, we'd keep going back to that, yet somehow, over history, some new systems appear.

It is a bit like building a tower, you keep adding floors until it falls down. Then you start again using whatever you learnt from the last collapse. Gradually you work out what's needed for each level to become stable.

Comment: Re:Are you kidding (Score 1) 795

by Bongo (#46776873) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

It is interesting to wonder what the SD meme colour coded/named turquise will look like, but that may be far in the future. Something always stuck in my mind was what Wilber wrote, perhaps even back in Up From Eden, that the biggest change and advance for humanity and the planet would be if everyone simply grew to having a mature modern ego. Where our sense of winning in life, is about doing something worthwhile so that we can get respect for our contribution, and likewise respect others for their contributions. But if 70% of the world still resonates more with raw power, survival, empire building, ethnic cleansing, and people are unable to see outside their own cultural norms, then yeah, scary.

As for testing people, I heard vaguely they wanted to do that at Intergal Institute, but Cook-Greuter said it would be unethical. Ther are some really tricky issues I think, trying to see how to reintroduce systems that work into diversity, yellow after green, without becoming a bit nazi about it :-D

Comment: Re:The U. S. of A. does not operate in this mode (Score 1) 795

by Bongo (#46766553) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

I don't know what really matters behind the scenes. But whilst they are standing and speaking, then this about resonating with people's values can matter. I am still wondering to this day what was the real reason for the Iraq invasion. I mean the really real reason.

Regards China, can I ask, there were some documentaries that China of late is becoming more passionate about nationalism, is that true?

Comment: Re:Are you kidding (Score 4, Interesting) 795

by Bongo (#46765299) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

There is a theory, used in South Africa to help ease the transition away from Apartheid, called Spiral Dynamics. It models human development as going through about 6 worldwiews, each with their own sense of morality/justice/values. It spans history, so the first worldview is of a hunter gatherer. The most recent worldview is of an educated Western post-modern cultural relative intellectual interested in minority rights and the environment. Anyway, between those two worldviews you have the view of warlords, then the view of religious-empire-order, and then the view of individualistic achievement/playing to win in a competitive world individualism. That last one by the way was the start of modernity and freedom in the French revolution sense of the word, it recognises that EVERY human is equal and has their won brain and is an equal player and should not be oppressed by religious-empire-orders (Communism is similar in that it is also a single empire order which oppresses individual freedom and ingenuity).

OK so, this relates to politics because the politicians do, as you say, simply have to FRAME a proposal in language which RESONATES with the worldview of the people being targeted. The point is that when you are born, you are basically at the hunter-gatherer level. Culturally and intellectually and morally you then grow up and somewhere along the way, tend to stop or focus on one of the worldview levels. If you are currently living in a Nigerian bad land, you're probably hovering around warlordism. That's fine, that's just the most appropriate adaption to your environment. A pomo sensitive type will merely become a target in that environment. So whatever level people are at, that's just the best they can manage. Anyway, Spiral Dynamics might not be 100% true, but it is a useful distilling of some of the major differences.

So yes, the tradition-valuing, we are one nation, one flag, NCIS TV show committed marine of honour and purpose, holy order type worldview is about half of America, I forget the exact percentage they estimate, and so anything that speaks about being a responsible individual who self-sacrifices their own selfish needs for the sake of serving the lager community, any issue framed in that way, will gain a lot of voter approval. People like W. Bush, Al Gore, and Hilary Clinton know all about Spiral Dynamics and such theories (various institutes and advisors etc.) and it is anybody's guess how much they are using them.

Comment: Re:Only less than 1% (Score 3, Insightful) 429

by Bongo (#46746923) Attached to: UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

Where it gets "religious" is where researchers amongst themselves discuss the uncertainties in carefully considered scientific language, and then decide that these nuances are too complex for the public to understand, so they decide that the public message needs to simplify the message because otherwise, the public might fail to act, so they figure, if they lead the public to failing to act, they would be "unethical", likewise, letting any "denier" get access to data which they might seize upon to highlight uncertainty, thus leading the public to ignore the problem would also be "unethical", so they opt to promote an image of ever greater confidence, ever increasing certainty, worse than we thought, a science field that is always improving, always painting a clearer and clearer picture, where there are no "paradigms", just ever-building on more and more knowledge.

But the problem is, ethics is not a science topic. If you are making an ethical decision on behalf of others, there is some ethical imperative that you ask them whether __they__ think it is ethical. It isn't just about democracy, but about an OPEN society where we know all views are fallible, all views are limited by our own perceptual ability and bias, so we don't go round making decisions for others without them knowing, because it is quite likely that despite our own best intentions, our purest and smartest of ideals and knowledge, our perceptions are in error, and hiding those decisions and ethical judgments from the public only means it takes far longer for the problems to be corrected.

We trust science because it is self correcting. If it stops being self correcting, or that self correction is delayed by say, 50 years, there is no reason to trust it. The AGW stuff is doing some rather extensive damage, unfortunately.

Comment: Re:Singapore (Score 1) 386

by Bongo (#46724115) Attached to: UN Report Reveals Odds of Being Murdered Country By Country

Pinker's The Better Angels of our Nature mentioned some research: they sent a job application letter to employers, the letter said something like, "... one more thing, I feel you should know that I once committed a murder. The situation was that I was in a bar, and a guy wouldn't stop so we took it outside, and suddenly he had a knife, and I defended myself." They reported that employers in the south of USA were sympathetic to him and even invited him to pop in if he was even in town. In the north of USA, they were not sympathetic. A second letter, where the story was that "I stole a car, blah, because I was poor" got sympathy in the north, and none in the south. The researchers also note that the murder rate goes down the further north you go, even before you actually cross into Canada. So yes, people kill people, the gun helps, but a man's code of honour which says he should stand his ground, really helps.

It is like comparing Switzerland and Pakistan. Real men don't compromise, and a bloodbath ensues.

Comment: Re:Projections (Score 1) 987

by Bongo (#46630307) Attached to: UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming

Awesome post. I am all for a global system where all children are born equal and have equal opportunities in life, and health is for all, and we live healthy in a healthy ecosystem.

How to get there? All humans have to become wiser.

We won't get there by creating a new myth, on the back of post modern education which says there are no real truths, so we may as well invent a truth and use that to motivate people by changing their worldview -- "catastrophe/you must act". On the social level it is very dumb to try to create a new myth. We need less myths, not more myths.

And that means, everyone needs to think for themselves and all claims need people to think them through. I used to believe global warming, oh gosh we are in big trouble. But thinking about it to the best of my ability, I don't see how their scenarios are even vaguely right. If temps had been shooting up and their scenarios coming true in a testable way (not just the "chaotic weather/climate" smoke screen and murky "it is somewhere in the deep unmeasured oceans") then I would see it and accept it. I am a pretty depressed guy, depressing news fits my worldview. I don't have an SUV and IO have never owned a car, I live in a small house and I fly once in 10 years, which makes it like, 4 times now. I wear lots of jumpers round the house to keep the heating off. I feel the guilt of being born in the comfortable relatively safe developed world.

If people want to create a social movement, like the Suffragettes, which maintains on principle that the world should be organised differently, fine. Justify it with moral arguments. Don't muddy science by claiming it is all facts and beyond doubt and irrationally play propaganda games, smearing those you can't logically refute as "deniers", when even the most basic bit of core evidence contradicts AGW. Oh yeah it is my own lying eyes, mustn't believe it.

Honestly, the most scary thing in the world is social movements because we have a whole bunch of them coming at us from different levels of development in humanity's own history and spread over 7 billion humans, you have the 2000 year old stuff, the 1000 year old stuff, the 200 year old stuff, the 60 year old stuff, etc. All these social movements are at war with each other.

Environmentalism isn't going to help if they just set up yet another social movement that everyone is supposed to buy into. Fine if you are sensitive and live in California. Not fine if you are genuinely wondering how it can work for a farmer in Kenya. A lot of work all over the world goes into gradually improving things, reducing violence, reducing greed, increasing health, etc. What does your average environmentalist activist achieve?


Comment: Re:Um. WRONG. (Score 1) 323

The never-attainable struggle for perfection and certainty is the source of much of human suffering.

People try to attain enlightenment, in the hope of finding ultimate peace, but the struggle to attain perfect peace, itself reinforces the feeling that life as it is has to be rejected and avoided. But the way you put it is simpler and better.

Comment: Re:Go after em Nate (Score 1) 335

by Bongo (#46582739) Attached to: Nate Silver's New Site Stirs Climate Controversy

Yes TV often shows ads for breakfast cereals, margarine, meat substitutes, etc. I rarely see one for eggs, or butter, or steak. Somehow I don't need convincing to buy a piece of liver.

I gather in the USA around the time that fake stuff became "heart healthy" there was a senator who represented a lot of big cereals farmers, and he said to the advising scientists, "we don't have time to wait for more research".

Comment: Re:Duffs Device is clever - its not elegant (Score 1) 373

by Bongo (#46582409) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Do You Consider Elegant Code?

Time. Good point. Many building architects defend bad designs with, "but that's all the time we had."

Either the original developers have time to iterate to a cleaner design, or the maintainers have to do it, or the original developers had lots of experience with similar frameworks that they already have better designs in mind—acquired over time.

Comment: Re:Go after em Nate (Score 3, Interesting) 335

by Bongo (#46541501) Attached to: Nate Silver's New Site Stirs Climate Controversy

No the problem for the general public is that there is always risk. Look at nutrition. 50 years ago some sort of consensus was formed that eating fat is bad for your heart. It was a sort of consensus, with politicians, health officials, and manufacturers. You know, all the "stakeholders" as is custom to call them today. And well science, as you know, the reason to trust science more than the next thing, is that it is supposed to be self-correcting. Ie. we expect mistakes will be made but that they will be corrected. But there's the rub, with nutrition, it is taking over 50 years for that correction to take place. 50 years! So the problem for the public is, science is self correcting but that process takes time, so there is always a risk. And what with obesity skyrocketing, apparently because the consensus got everyone to start eating the kind of food that does make them fat and is bad for their heart, the risk wasn't theoretical, it has had a huge negative outcome. That's "consensus". IT IS STILL RISK.

Comment: Re:Go after em Nate (Score 1) 335

by Bongo (#46541487) Attached to: Nate Silver's New Site Stirs Climate Controversy

AGW/CC/GCD* is a social movement. It is as if the Suffragettes had decided they needed some science to prove to the world that women should be treated equal. But they didn't need science, they simply had to say that certain principles would be good for everyone, and debate that in a peaceful way. Let science be science, and ethics be ethics.

* Global Climate Disruption

Those who can, do; those who can't, simulate.