A long time ago, a bunch of fellas like Kant and his fans came up with this thing called Aufklärung or Enlightenment which meant that human reason would finally make us humans mature or free or, you know, take us to rainbow-land where the trees sing and everyone is happy. This same endeavour appears in contemporary colours everywhere, in the likes of Eliezer Yudkowsky.
Now on the other side of the intellectual ocean people like Foucault went nuts over the whole thing, claiming it was a sort of dictatorial attempt at nullifying subjectivity. Since mostly i sit firmly in this side of the fence, being a silly fanboy of Derrida, i usually sound very derisive of the first bunch, but as of now i’d like to try and make amends.
Reason got conflated with a very specific (and somewhat misguided) shade of science, that was indeed a little hasty. But maybe instead of this “reason” we could just have lucidity. Read More »
The vast majority of actions and institutions all around me are out of fear. Be it as it may, fear is not freedom.
Fear is stable. Fear is predictable. To chose non-fear is hard. Difficult. Fear sells. Fear convinces. It is easy to make fear look like “just human”, to make it compassion-worthy. Be it as it may, fear is not freedom.
It is not ideology that ties us to fear (nor Enlightenment, nor Logics, nor Neo-Liberalism/Neo-Socialism). It is not immorality (nor naughty, nor corrupt, nor ignorant). And, in any way, it is not an enemy to be fought. Read More »
It is sometimes said that happiness is the goal of human life.
It does seem to make some sense. After all, everybody avoids unhappiness when they can. But it is also extremely common to have people doing things that will not maximise their happiness. Like the girl who insists on dating the boy who will dump her in the worst possible terms, again and again. Or the man who takes the job that makes him miserable 90% of the time to have 20% higher pay.
Sure, you can just take happiness to be everything people want, but then it means to some people happiness is tearing their own wounds open.
Or maybe you can assume everything that goes against happiness maximisation to be a mistake, just a dumb error from someone less capable than you are. But those mistakes are too numerous and are too close to the core of our society. Read More »
Having to choose between freedom or a yoke, the untrained person will choose the yoke, every single time.
Usually, the brain will not recognize that the world is the same, with or without a restraint. It will treat the option as two different, unrelated, places. Thus the option for the yoke is the triggering of squiggle in the brain in charge of searching for caves.
Incidentally, that’s why often people will claim to believe in ideas that they continuously act in opposition to: Understanding has not kicked in, just pathfinding.
The risk of that is that every regularity can be exploited.