Pursuit of Percipience

the blog that nobody reads which I write to silence the voices in my head

Tag: social justice

Informalities and Frivolties

My dad used Old Spice. He also grew up in WW2 Germany and emigrated to Canada alone when he was sixteen. He started up his own business after dropping out of high school, got married, and had kids.

He grew up in a time when the formal and the informal had their proper places. The informal stems from the formal, and the formal is foundational. We don’t always want to live in formal mode — life would be too serious then. We want to be able to lighten things up a bit in our day to day lives. I don’t want to call my dad “father” all the time; I want to call him dad or papa most of the time. However, my ability to call my dad “dad” rests on the fact that first I call him “father”.

These days in the west, informality, and thus frivolity, have taken over. The foundation of the formal is crumbling and no one takes life seriously enough. (No one, that is, except the revolutionaries we see yelling and screaming at the universities. But they too have no formal foundation to build upon.) Even a product like Old Spice has to embrace the shallow video game culture in order to sell….

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Old Spice deodorant

I suppose the West will have to create a new formal foundation before it can mature to its next stage of development.

Further reading: Fatherlessness and the Rise of the Shaving Industry

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Thomas Sowell Quotes #10

“History can be cruel to theories, as it has been cruel to peoples … But history is what happened, not what we wish had happened, or what a theory says should have happened. History cannot be prettified in the interests of promoting ‘acceptance’ or ‘mutual respect’ among peoples and cultures. There is much in the history of every people that does not deserve respect. Whether with individuals or with groups, respect is something earned, not a door prize handed out to all. It cannot be prescribed by third parties, for what is to be respected depends on each individual’s own values or the social values accepted by that individual–and ‘equal respect’ is an internally contradictory evasion. If everything is respected equally, then the term respect has lost its meaning.”

~from the Preface of Migrations and Cultures: A World View

Free Speech is for Jerks

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Screenshot of the blog “The Baconfat Papers”

Recently an Edmontonian man was charged with hate speech for a blog he wrote called The Baconfat Papers (www.sunrayzulu.blogspot.com). The blog has been removed, but I found some of his articles via Wayback Machine.

Now, while I hate racism and think it’s evil (and this guy’s blog was especially despicable — basically at the Westboro Baptist Church level), if a guy wants to write a racist blog, he has the right to do so. That’s free speech, and free speech is for jerks too. If you are offended, don’t read it.

If a guy writes a blog which physically threatens someone or calls for others to physically hurt someone, that’s different. That’s no longer free speech of course, since someone’s life may be in danger.

I don’t know if the author of Baconfat, Barry Winters, actually physically threatened anyone; maybe he did. If he did, yes he needs to be charged — but not with hate speech.

“Hate Speech” is one of those ambiguous terms that confuse the issue and leave too much room for abuse. If Barry Winters physically threatened someone, then let him be charged specifically for that. Or, if he called for others to physically hurt someone, let him be specifically charged for that. But if he just wrote a bunch of blogs about how he hates Natives and gays, so be it — that’s just his opinion. It’s evil and wrong, and you can either write to him and tell him why he’s wrong, or, more wisely, just ignore him. There are plenty of guys like Barry Winters out there. They pose no threat unless we give them a platform. And the way to remove their platform is to ignore them — not remove free speech for everybody. Because in the end, who will it be that defines “Hate Speech?”

~Further reading…

He may be Canada’s ‘ultimate troll,’ but should Edmonton blogger be charged for spreading hate?

Progressive Conservatism

This is What it’s Like to be a Race Baiter in Alberta

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Explaining Postmodernism (Book Review)

ep Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault by Steven R.C. Hicks (which is available for free here) is a well written and fairly easy to understand critique against the train wreck that is postmodernism.

I am not completely finished this book as I want to read through the philosophical sections slowly so that I can pick up everything. For me, this is not a book that can be read quickly as there is lots of new information that I don’t want to overlook.

Hicks blames Immanuel Kant for getting the whole thing started with his theory of perception. Kant opposed objectivism and reason because we people can never know reality apart from the mediator of our senses. The chair is red because the light reflects off of the chair and some colours are absorbed while others reflect into your eye which converts the info into electrical impulses and sends them to your brain and hopefully nothing goes wrong along the way. But is the chair really red? Really? Who knows? You certainly don’t, because according to Kant, you only live in your head. “The key point about Kant, to draw the analogy crudely, is that he prohibits knowledge of anything outside our skulls” (Hicks, pg. 41)

“Once reason is in principle severed from reality, one then enters a different philosophical universe all together.” (Hicks, pg. 41) There can not be absolute truth if reality exists apart from one’s perception of reality. I cannot declare that there are only two genders if that claim is solely based on my subjective perception of reality. If that claim is true it has to be objectively true regardless of my observation, or even my existence.

I agree that Kant went to far in limiting us to “our skulls,” but I would argue that we are indeed limited to the physical universe — our senses may show us what’s real objectively, but only within the universe we have access to. Kant criticized objectivity in defence of God. We can see what we see because God gave us the senses to see it, but that does not mean we are seeing things as they really are, but rather, only as how our God given senses allow for. We can take that too far and limit ourselves only to our heads, but we can also take objectivity too far when we deny that things exist beyond our ability to sense them. We can’t prove that God exists with the scientific method, but that doesn’t mean God does not exist. Postmodernists hold to the “limited to the skull” theory, not to defend God, but to attack any and all truth claims. But, as Hicks argues in the book, it is impossible to live in a world where nothing is objectively true.

After the first chapter, Hicks goes deeper into the philosophical background which produced postmodern thought. If you are not interested in all that, then I recommend reading at least the first chapter of this book. In it, Hicks gives a good overview of what postmodernism is as compared to modernism and pre-modernism (briefly illustrated in this chart, from pg. 15)….

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So far, it’s a good book. And as I say, if you’re not interested in all the philosophy, at least read the first chapter. Perhaps when I’m finished reading the whole book I’ll update this review.

 

Thomas Sowell Quotes #7

Moral condemnation is not causal explanation, despite how often the two have been combined in a politically attractive package. Despite the tendency of political, and especially ideological, explanations of economic disparities to combine moral and causal factors, the reason so many mountain peoples [for example] around the world have been poor has not been that others went up into those mountains and took away their wealth, but that the mountain peoples seldom produced much wealth in the first place…

“…it is staggering that some people imagine that they can take on the [large] task of righting the wrongs of the past, committed by people long dead, without igniting dangerous new hostilities among the living.”

~from Wealth, Poverty and Politics, page 271-272