Author Topic: Push the button already  (Read 3259 times)

altered

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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #105 on: July 08, 2020, 03:12:41 pm »
So, I’ve been thinking about this and specifically Cram’s assertion that we (and probably me in particular) are being too hard on Vex here. Too aggressive and vicious. And I have a response.

When what Vex is saying isn’t a potential rationalization for the real harm of real people, he will be worth responding to kindly. So long as his ideas are actively dangerous to real people, he deserves to be jumped on with the big boots.

He’s not a Nazi, but he’s laying some of the rhetorical groundwork for fascists, authoritarians, and shitty neoliberals.

Sound far fetched?

I don’t know about you, but it’s easy for me to imagine either Joe Biden or DJT saying “we aren’t going to gentrify Native lands, we will preserve their traditional hunter-gatherer way of life,” the implication being that they won’t work to help eliminate the poverty and food deserts that Indigenous people live in.

It doesn’t matter that the chances of a powerful figure seeing Vex’s forum posts are basically nil. It doesn’t matter that Vex may not think these things through that far. They’re legitimately dangerous and deserve to be stepped on as much as AND in the same manner and degree as if someone had independently reinvented Fascism and wanted to talk to us about their cool new idea.
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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #106 on: July 08, 2020, 04:18:09 pm »
Ok, I'm gonna weigh in here, as inadvisable as it may be.  I've redacted some of the rhetoric in the OP and highlighted other bits, to look at what I thought his main point was.

One of the most insidious and dangerous assumptions we have is the silly idea that... human events follow a more or less predictable... trajectory from "primitive" to "advanced", and that it does this because of some sort of natural law that governs all kinds of progress.
So, that does speak to a fallacy, or a flaw, in a lot of people's thinking.  There isn't an "inevitable" push towards any kind of future.  There is no guiding hand pushing us towards the best possible world.  In the end, it is the work of the people to move a society forward, they can't just wait around for it to happen, because...
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It is the reason we are taught that the evils of slavery and genocide are "in the past" while the forces that drive them simmer in communities around the world.

History has no arc. It is not a story about a protagonist species who learn and grow. It has never been guaranteed that tomorrow will be more just for you than today, or that the next century will bring more opportunity for your descendants than the last one had for your ancestors.
In a way, this is an Absurdist view of history.  The world is random and chaotic and doesn't have a consciousness or a moral vision -- it's the people who have to have the consciousness and moral vision, and then act on it.
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...This should be plain to see as we watch the entire allegedly "free" world slip farther every day into the same patterns of mistakes and collapse that have recurred time and again since anyone bothered to remember anything.




The last bit I think got off point a little, and seems to be going in another direction.  It appears to try and parse the meaning of "progress" or "better", and then compare technological advances with human social experiences.  I don't think this part works terribly well, and kind of derails the first part of the post. So I'm just going to ignore it.

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Even when disaster is averted, for all our apparent progress we have never actually made a difference in what it means to be human. Sure, we have the power to blow up the planet, the power to fling ourselves uselessly into orbit, the power to talk to each other across insurmountable distances. But so what if we can do all this, but give up the ability to feed our children, or the time to appreciate a sunset once in a while, or the courage to speak to our own neighbors? What have we gained, exactly, and why do we imagine that to be "progress"?

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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #107 on: July 08, 2020, 05:31:10 pm »
As I said multiple times, I do not disagree and I think Howl is the only one who does with the concept of there not being a historical narrative arc. There’s no far flung utopia on the far side of the path of progress. If there is a path of progress at all, it’s a multi lane highway more twisty than Boston and handbrake U-turns are totally legal.

My issue was with something specific that aims a dagger at something important (that there is any fundamental change at all), and all the increasingly alarming rationalization he applied to it.
“I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me.”

“Ever watch that famous war movie? That’s how it’ll be.”
“Which one?”
“The one where everybody dies.”
— Blood Standard, Laird Barron

Remember the fall of Yin Tu.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #108 on: July 08, 2020, 08:51:15 pm »
As I said multiple times, I do not disagree and I think Howl is the only one who does with the concept of there not being a historical narrative arc. There’s no far flung utopia on the far side of the path of progress. If there is a path of progress at all, it’s a multi lane highway more twisty than Boston and handbrake U-turns are totally legal.

My issue was with something specific that aims a dagger at something important (that there is any fundamental change at all), and all the increasingly alarming rationalization he applied to it.

I just feel that progress is measured by killer robots.
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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #109 on: July 08, 2020, 08:57:16 pm »
Unfortunately, you weren’t there for the Egyptian 3F8A-TEP dynasty, when androids running on papyrus and the necromantic energies of tomb-robbed pharaohs briefly took control of Upper Egypt and sealed a bunch of thieves in the very tombs they once robbed, the better to use their spirits to power more robots.

We still haven’t reached again those lofty heights, when self-propelled murderbots ran the streets.
“I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me.”

“Ever watch that famous war movie? That’s how it’ll be.”
“Which one?”
“The one where everybody dies.”
— Blood Standard, Laird Barron

Remember the fall of Yin Tu.

minuspace

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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #110 on: July 08, 2020, 09:21:26 pm »
Quote
“One of the most insidious and dangerous assumptions we have is the silly idea that human history has a direction”

I get what you are saying here, particularly when viewed from a large scale, it seems naive to say there there is any “god given” telos, direction or evolution. Except for the adaptations necessary to keep-up with other chance “advancements” in the environment, it mostly looks like the direction is, if anything, centripetal.

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“History has no arc.”§
See above

*dons dunce cap*

Except for the fact that history, that utterly temporal gesture, can be articulated in three separate “parts.” Like the spiral path of interpretation, it has a beginning, middle and end. Those three centers of narrative gravity DO NOT hold absolute positions (ask Einstein); they are not privileged like the access we believe ourselves to have w.r.t. them. However, to say that because of that humans cannot improve themselves and accrue value over time, well, that’s just silly

§ also nope, just ask Noah.

picoli

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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #111 on: August 01, 2020, 09:52:47 pm »
I don't get what this is about?

Doktor Howl

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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #112 on: August 03, 2020, 03:30:50 pm »
I don't get what this is about?

You just sit there and thank whatever gods you have that you don't know what this is all about.

You aren't being black-bagged.
You aren't being shelled alongside your family in Yemen.
You aren't the guy who has to hose the spray tan crusties out of the folds in Donald Trump's flabby person.

It can always get worse, and looking won't help at all so, why traumatize yourself?
"It's how we roll,
Dunning-Krueger out of control
(Girl, look at that gross margin)"
- TGRR

Evil doesn't work without good people. Good people will do the most repugnant, nasty shit for what they think are "the right reasons"