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Messages - Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Talking to Nigel
« on: Today at 04:43:38 am »
People don't realize how very much control we actually have over our social system. I think the problem is dispersal of responsibility, combined with a representative system; it gives the public the impression that laws are simply handed down from on high without influence from the public. This seems to be especially true among the every-four-year voters, who seem utterly baffled by where Presidential candidates come from.

It's like watching The Blue Lagoon.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Talking to Nigel
« on: Today at 04:33:43 am »
Accessibility of higher education is a huge deal, and I think it would stand a better chance of changing were academia not already so shrouded in mystery and a sense of elitism that many, if not most, working-class people tend to take the "Don't need no stinkin' free collidge" perspective. They are, after all, also the ones who vote down college funding bills.

When I say that most people are pretty fucking stupid, the thing I also try to remind myself of is that smart people aren't that much smarter than average people. That means that I'm not all that smart, either; I just am able to grasp some fairly simple interrelated concepts that elude most people.

I might be a smart human, but talk about damning with faint praise... humans aren't very smart. Smartest organism on the planet (maybe), but um, still pretty fucking stupid.

Oh yeah, Vonnegut is not light entertainment reading. :lol: It's definitely pretty thinky. I recommend giving it a year or so, and then giving it another read-through; you'll be surprised at what you see the second time around. I don't usually read books more than once, but for Vonnegut I'll make an exception. Enjoy!

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Woman In Society
« on: Today at 02:03:59 am »
Are you trying to get us to do your homework for you?

And of course, the enduring pain in so-called "scientists" asses:




Oh, and then there's Trump, who is neither. Sit back and enjoy the clusterfuck in action, because there are two generally predictable ways this can go; either our bureaucratic system works, and he becomes the lamest lame duck president since Jimmy Carter, or he manages to transcend bureaucracy, which will be a complete and utter shitshow.

The higher up you get, the more surrounded and bogged down by bureaucracy you become, to the point where it becomes more and more difficult to effect change at lower levels. People who make it to the top in a democracy are usually masters of wrangling bureaucracy, having spent many years navigating the ropes of writing, proposing, revising, compromising on, and voting for legislation. That deep knowledge of the horrors of bureaucracy -- the system -- is what allows people like, say, Hillary Clinton to be a relatively effective politician, ie. a leader who moves policy in the direction her constituents want it to go in.

There is a way to get to be the eye in the pyramid; that's called "a dictatorship". It cuts through the bureaucracy, permitting the leader at the top of the pyramid to make unilateral decisions and effect rapid change. You can see how well that usually goes by looking at any dictatorship ever. Without the tangles of bureaucracy to slow things down, a dictator can be solely responsible for making decisions that effect sweeping changes, all alone at the top, which is also the position they will be in when the mobs come.

Yeah. See the thing, as I see it, is that there's no actual "Illuminati" in control of everything, but there ARE folks so far up the pyramid that to suggest otherwise to them would be a rather silly thing to do. There may not actually be anybody driving the bus, but there are definitely folks fighting over the title of official bus driver. Some of them are more competitive about it than others.

I don't know how far the craziness actually goes, but it's really clear to me from events and persons that have been part of my life that more than one set of hidden hands is at work in our world and that certain kinds of power and knowledge are NOT to be shared openly with the "masses" if you know what's good for you.

KYFMS is a survival axiom. I got shitall else to say.

So you are proposing a level of government that transcends bureaucracy?

I doubt it. Bureaucracy is an inverse pyramid.

Galapagos by Vonnegut. I'm not very far into it, and woefully ignorant of the author, but it's really awesome writing! He manages to be concise without sacrificing one bit of wit.

I'm also becoming painfully aware of how out of the habit of reading actual books I've fallen. I take it as a sign that I will have quite the challenge getting into school after so many years. I kind of just also realized that my problem with writing goes deeper than just discomfort. I'm in for quite the struggle to recondition my mind and body both. One step at a time I guess.

If you find you can't get back into the groove, find an easy page-turner that requires minimal brain effort to follow along. I read a pulpy short novel recently, and that seems to have been a good warm-up for reading things that require more conscious attention.

Also, Vonnegut's novels, in my experience, translate very well into audiobook format. Breakfast of Champions in particular was a delight to listen to.

Vonnegut's writing is beautiful. I was having a conversation about the difference between a competent and a good writer the other day, and Vonnegut was one of my examples of a good writer. Stephen King describes himself as a solid example of a competent one.

In this particular book he does a great job of messing with perspective on causation just by simply and clearly describing how certain characters came to be involved. I'm about 1/10th through by page number. He also has a certain taste for mindfuckery with equally simple description of the setting as "a million years ago in 1986" and the narrator's occasional asides leaving you unsure of where in that time range the story is being related from.

That and he illustrates the undue power opinion has over reality thanks to our over engineered "big brains". It feels at this point like he's leading up to something like Idiocracy, but entirely different in satiric style... we'll see. I have a nice quiet day today and a pot of coffee. Going to try getting to halfway without diverting to the Internet or other easy distractions.

If you haven't read Mother Night yet, I recommend it after you finish Galapagos.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Talking to Nigel
« on: Today at 01:26:11 am »
To illustrate my point about humans being not that much smarter than dogs, try having this conversation with some random members of the general public, and see how many respond with "I don't care about benefits to society, I care about me and mine".  They don't fail to make the connection between society and themselves because there's some mysterious disconnect, they're really just that fucking stupid. They can't even logic that far. Some might be able to if you held their hand, which is why education is so important, but a larger proportion, even with education, believe it because an authority figure told them to, not because they actually grasp the concept themselves.

This isn't  because people are bad, or wrong, or immoral. It's because the ape called homo sapiens is just not all that smart, on average. Luckily, we are usually smart enough to choose leaders who are smarter than we are. Clearly, though, that scheme is not foolproof.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Talking to Nigel
« on: Today at 01:16:00 am »
Annnnnnd this is why we need support and initiatives to get scientists into politics. It's alarming that so many politicians are making decisions about science funding from a position of near-total ignorance, and using public ignorance as a fulcrum point with which to launch attacks on reason and further superstitious ideologies.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Talking to Nigel
« on: Today at 12:58:08 am »
Accessibility is also a huge issue, and not just monetarily. The time commitment to become a top-tier scientist, starting in grad school, is out of reach for many people, especially those with families. I can only pull it off because Salty is phenomenally patient and supportive, and my kids are old enough to be OK with me working a minimum of 50 hours a week. If I was a single parent with kids under 13, it would not be possible at all.

That said, as it stands we are all competing for the same grants, and more researchers without more grant money would be a complete disaster.

I know most people can't get inspired by scientific research, which is why it's up to researchers to be inspired. Most people don't need to be inspired by science (although, we did go through a spectacular century of people being more or less in love with science - that ended around the time of Carl Sagan's death, coincidentally), but legislators should be smart enough and educated enough to realize that society benefits tremendously from scientific research. This should not be mysterious to anybody; the evidence literally surrounds us everywhere, every waking moment.

The Secrets Forum / Re: What is Kek?
« on: Yesterday at 07:56:07 pm »
This really doesn't seem like his style, plus it's extra pathetic for a guy who has to be in his 40s by now. I doubt he'd still have the same IP, especially since I think last time I talked to him he was moving. Probably some other tool from the same area.

Still, it's no loss.

The Secrets Forum / Re: What is Kek?
« on: Yesterday at 07:52:59 pm »
Was it AKK who lost/scrambled his password, then claimed we had banned him when we never did? Or was that a different special pal?  :lol:

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