conceptualizer

October 26, 2007

Iranian thinking

Filed under: Debate, Observations, Politics, War, Worries — Tags: , , , — conceptualizer @ 10:41 am

War is coming, again!
If I was working at a nuclear facility in Iran right now, I would be looking for a new job.
I don’t want to take sides on this issue, enough people already do. So regardless of the rights and wrongs of each side in this fracas, I have to wonder what the Iranian leadership thinks it will gain by provoking the Americans into bombing them. Do they really think the Americans will become coy when it comes to the deed? Do they honestly believe that some giant omnipotent hand will reach down and turn back the bombers? I really don’t see how this will end well for them. They have been pulling the hair of the biggest bully in the playground for some time, they should not be surprised when the bully turns its attention fully to them and behaves according to type. Yes, there are examples of how things don’t go too well for the Americans when they engage in war. However, I must point out that they go considerably less well for targets of American aggression. This will set back Iran by decades and all their effort will have been for nothing.
Does anyone out there have an insight into the mind of the Iranian leadership? I would honestly like to understand how they think they will benefit from this. Remember though, this post is not about who is right and wrong, it is about how the Iranian leadership expect this to turn out for them. I think we know how the Americans expect it to turn out; with some big holes in Iran where there were once nuclear facilities.

October 19, 2007

Intelligent Cowards

The real intelligentsia in the worlds advanced societies are allowing the lunatics to run the asylum. The example of Professor Watson being denied a platform after articulating an axiom about racial differences in intelligence, is just the latest in a long history of failings by the intellectual elite to take control of human destiny. I can not count myself among that elite, but I know enough to know they should stop being cowards and lead humanity out of this insane state, where any fool with a small minded agenda, a loud voice and some populist policies gets to run a country.
I want our world to be run by intellectual giants, not petty bigots. It is the weakness of inactivity in the intelligentsia that has doomed humanity to its current state of endless war and injustice. You intelligent people, it is time to stand up and take control. Stop allowing the children to run the household.
I did an experiment today. I posted comments that supported the views of Professor Watson to articles in both The Times and The Telegraph. As I suspected, neither published my comments. It is possible that they thought my comments were not worthy of publishing. It is also possible that they censored them because they did not kowtow to the prevailing pseudo-intellectual PC fascist views. People are silenced by fear of reprisals from aggressive dogma peddlers, we do not have freedom of speech. It is sad that we have to faun before the mental midgets and let our battles be fought by old men because we do not have the courage ourselves. Most of us do not even have the courage to endorse Professor Watson’s right to speak and remain open minded on the subject.
On the matter itself. Firstly, I would point out that in all the quotes I have seen (I have not read a transcript of the original) Professor Watson talks about a different intellectual ability, not that Africans are stupid. Secondly, it is clear that African countries are not as successful as non-African countries, by many measures. Now the out-of-Africa theory suggests that sub-Saharan Africa was the root of humanity, from where all peoples migrated. Indeed recent genetic research backs up this view by pointing out that genetic diversity decreases as we move further from that root. Also recent linguistics research backs up this view. So Africa has had the longest time to be successful, but has conspicuously failed. I would like to suggest that the reason is that those that had the gumption to move and also the skills to survive that choice were naturally selected to be better achievers. This is unlikely to be due solely to a differential in intelligence. More likely it is a combination of factors, among which I would suggest that physical endurance, social and language skills, adaptability, compassion and empathy are likely very significant. That filter of surviving and prospering through the rigours of migration has recently been destroyed by commercial movement of people, whether by their own volition or another’s. The remaining filter is the self perpetuating of an elite successful class through their adaptability to whatever obstacles are put in their way. In practice this equates to promoting the interests of one’s own offspring through the advantages and insights one has gained. It is difficult to denude this last process and those societies which have tried to have failed.
The relatively new field of epigenetic inheritance may also have something to say about how our success in life is determined by our ancestors. However, I don’t like the idea of using any inherited or environmental disadvantages as an excuse for not trying. To try ones best is a noble ideal and should be seen as an end in itself.
I can understand why people are reticent to stand up and be counted, but I hope that some of those great minds also have the courage to bring the debate forward. A prerequisite for progress is a desire to understand.

October 1, 2007

Why War?

Filed under: Concepts, Debate, Observations, War — Tags: , , — conceptualizer @ 1:28 pm

Everyone knows the America versus Iran conflict is looming, that the suffering from it will last for decades and negatively affect the lives of many. So why do the two protagonists press on toward it? Why do people go to war?
There are many immediate reasons given: concerning ideologies (political and religious), access to natural resources (land, food, water, oil, gas, minerals) and influence (regional control and stability). However, I am concerned with the underlying factors, if any. Could they be: human biological factors (genetic, epigenetic, hormonal, chemical), social structures (interest groups, family, friends), mental processes (insecurity, trust, loneliness, demonisation, detachment), language semantics (interpretation, ambiguity, imprecision, cultural, consumer modulation, context, implicit, complexity), communication mechanics (slowness, unsophisticated, directional), evolution or something else? Indeed, is this behaviour in fact good for humans on a macro scale? Obviously it’s not for the individual. Might there even be some inevitability or plan governing this behaviour?

September 29, 2007

International economic interdependence and the probability of war

Filed under: Debate, Economics, War — conceptualizer @ 1:40 pm

Will the current level of interdependency between national economies deter their leaders from promulgating war on each other? If not and that interconnectedness increases could it reach a point where war would be too drastic to consider?

September 25, 2007

Leadership

Filed under: Musings, Politics, War — Tags: , , , , , , — conceptualizer @ 1:46 pm

Current events in Burma remind me of dire situations in many countries. I have to wonder if those countries ever will have a government of hard working, well balanced, honest, intelligent and visionary leaders. It seems that they are always lost to the lowest common denominator in their people.
Western governments too are a very long way from perfect, even though they like to crow about their high moral principles. It is relative I suppose. They very rarely torture or kill protestors and dissenters, or nakedly display the turpitude and corruption of their executive. However, a clear unadulterated vision seems to elude them, lost in the fog of petty bureaucratic hegemony they flounder. I suppose they would answer that things are not as simple as they seem to the uninitiated, but perhaps would also admit that somewhere along the route they strayed.
Is it inevitable and a symptom of human nature that people who end up with positions of power will be corrupted and misuse them? Or is it that the most corrupt and corruptible peruse power most earnestly? Are people improving over history, or not? Or, in this is a dog-eat-dog world, do people on balance tend get what they deserve, after all, their leaders are culled from among them?
I like to think that things are changing for the better, but it is hard to make a good case for the notion. My own country (the UK) recently took war to another country that was no threat to it at all. A shameful state of affairs, however it was arrived at, via incompetence or lies. Can this be the best of all possible worlds?

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