Archive for October, 2022

Control Communities

Monday, October 31st, 2022

On this “fake it ’til you make it” thing…

It occurs to me that we could think of this as how humans are built. We settle ourselves into communities, and at the community level a decision is made somehow about whether we’ll put up with fakery. This is why certain people don’t fit into certain communities. If you’ve watched people for a very long time like I have, you’ll notice certain people don’t fit into certain places: Alice invites Bob to live in Aliceville, and when Bob makes the move, things don’t click. Like much of nature, this is a simple thing until you take the time to study it, at which point you discover layers of complexity. “Bob couldn’t make it because Bob is a jerk” makes perfect sense, until Bob relocates to Bobtown, where he gets along just fine. Then: “Alice can live in Aliceville but Bob is relegated to Bobtown because Aliceville has a higher standard…and Bob’s a jerk” makes perfect sense. Until the day Alice visits Bobtown and can barely stand it. Then, you could keep things simple by saying: “Alice is a giver, and the people of Aliceville make it tolerable for her because they’re not a bunch of manic takers like the inhabitants of Bobtown who just take take take, until she has nothing left to give.” Which, again, makes perfect sense. Until you find the citizens of Bobtown are kindly counseling Alice, on her way out of town, not to let the doorknob hit her in the ass.

Deductive reasoning makes it clear, therefore, there’s something deeper and more complicated happening here. Neither side has a monopoly on civil behavior, or mutually rewarding associations. There must be flavors of communities; unwritten codes of conduct.

It’s got a lot to do with why you keep getting sent to jail on Facebook. Why Elon Musk is making such mighty waves as he takes over Twitter. Why we have red states and blue states during our elections.

It isn’t the people, it’s the “towns.” Certain people can’t co-exist with certain communities. The community might envision it as a flaw or shortcoming on the part of the person, but a lot of the time if you ask the person, you’ll find it’s a “principle” or some such thing. You can see that as a flaw. But not without being forced to admit that we all have flaws. The communities commit to prevailing narratives. It’s hard to see this when the narrative has something to do with recognizing what’s true and what’s not true. A lot of communities do this without realizing they’re doing it: “There’s no point to discussing climate change with someone who doesn’t admit to climate change.” “You shouldn’t be allowed out of your house without a mask.” “You shouldn’t be taking up precious medical resources if you won’t get vaccinated.”

All the people have the “but” in their “I’m a tolerant person, but.”

All the communities have the “but” in their “We’re an accepting and broad-minded community, but.”

Random Bullshit Go!The Book of Genesis, taking on the daunting subjects of what exactly we are, what are our spiritual problems and how did we get here, fulfills. It provides the hints. With the Expulsion, we came to realize we are corrupt, and we’ve become something different from what we were supposed to be when we were Created. With the Deluge, we found we can build communities that are corrupt, making spiritual recovery impossible, because you have to become a jerk to survive; a hard reset is the only fix. With the Tower of Babel, we found we can’t all live among each other, nor can we build communities that are truly welcoming to everyone, and any effort to do so is doomed.

Haven’t you noticed? To some among us, it’s ridiculous, risible and unworthy of discussion that Biden’s win was a cheat. To others among us, it’s ridiculous that it wasn’t. People assert Biden really did win, and they “win” the argument at this, by taking over the community in which the argument takes place, and regulating the information exchange. “Election deniers” must not be allowed to speak. If they are so allowed, “fact checkers” must have the last word. Those are the rules of the community. So there. They “won.” With their thumbs on the scale. Very impressive.

We’re to believe they have to exercise such iron fisted dictatorial control over arguments about the election…but the election itself was as free as…well. I guess that’s a whole different topic.

Observation: Where Biden didn’t win, there’s no squabbling. Even though information can flow freely there. Information Control is the one tool of cleanliness, order and refinement the human race has built, that works perfectly in reverse. It does nothing to retard or repel chaos; it draws the chaos in, where it sticks, like cockleburs to your wool socks. It does the exact opposite of what it’s supposed to do.

In the states where we don’t do this — communities — people say what they think. They aren’t playing the “fake it ’til you make it” game. They worry about what does & doesn’t work, rather than about what does & doesn’t soothe passions, or ensure their long-term survival within the evolving culture. If information flows freely and some of it turns out to be nutty, the people hearing it make the final call as to whether or not they believe it. There is trust in the individual, who doesn’t need a “fact checker” to tell him what is and isn’t so. Like competent musicians, they can play solo. If they screw it up, they can learn, and get it right themselves. They can also make the final call as to whether they were fooled at all.

We squabble in these other locales, the ones in which the bad musicians, the fake-it-til-you-make-it people, the “Random Bullshit Go!” people, are struggling to achieve dictator status. Where they want to run everything, but don’t yet…or, their bid to run everything is in the process of failing. Arizona. New Mexico. Wisconsin. Michigan. Georgia. Pennsylvania.

The United States of America, as a whole.

And Twitter and Facebook.

The Control Communities. The places where people say “We know it’s like this, we’re one hundred percent sure, because if anyone doubts it we don’t allow them to say anything.” Everyone has to consent to that, and those communities are unstable because everyone doesn’t consent to it.

My observation is that in those other places, where the “Random Bullshit Go!” people don’t run everything, or have been pushed off to the gutter the way they’d like to push others, you don’t have this instability. You have genuine freedom of speech, which is supposed to bring all sorts of dysfunction, confusion and conflict in perpetuity. But you don’t have that in those places. That’s what you have in the places where the fakers run things, where information flow is restricted and regulated by the bad performers, the fake-it-til-you-make-it people. Everyone else pays the price while their little emperors struggle for concertmaster status, when they can’t even hit the notes. And then everyone else is forbidden from talking about it…while the Elephant in the Room that has such an influence over their daily lives, grows bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and the pressure builds.

Their Endless Task

Friday, October 28th, 2022

In less than two weeks we’re having a contest with our friends, the liberals, to figure out who gets to have influence for the next two years. There are those who attach unusual importance to this election, and there are others who are tired of the biannual drumbeat-of-superlative and refuse to attach any. I’m in between the two. But, like many others, I’m struggling to figure out who these people are. More precisely, what exactly it is they want.

Their answer to rising prices is abortions. Who are these people? After spending a good chunk of a lifetime trying to figure it out, I’ve gained some better insight by looking within. Music. Music helps me to understand the liberals.

Random Bullshit Go!!There is this passage in Romeo and Juliet by Tchaikovsky that fills me with shame when I hear it. It’s the part I should have practiced more when I was playing it, and I didn’t do the necessary practicing so I was one of those mediocre players who did the “Random Bullshit Go!!” thing when the time came, counting on others to cover for me. Tsk, tsk. It’s actually a common practice among musicians who are not great. It is here, time index 13:07. Yes, I can see the problem: Just two seconds earlier, and ten seconds later, I know exactly what to do and I sound okay. At least, back in the day. So this was just a few moments of muddled mess, and after that it was over. My sin seemed small, and so the necessary practicing was just something I never got around to doing. But you know what? That makes it all the more egregious. In fact, this right here is the difference between a musician who should stick with it, and one who should give up and move on to something else. The practicing I needed to do, to make things better, was very slight. My sense of commitment must have been beneath even that.

Other pieces, other passages, I might have been good enough to play solo but I didn’t ask because I knew what the answer would be: You’re good enough to play solo all of it, or else none of it. Do the practicing you know you should be doing or else don’t waste anybody else’s time. For this reason, I never asked. In fact, I stopped playing. Anything. I’m not right for music. The years that came after I had this realization, I have spent concentrating on things I’m good enough to do without hiding behind anyone. I’m still not perfect, not built to be; but I’ve enjoyed better satisfaction that way, better life-fulfillment, and I have no regrets. I don’t do what we call “fake it ’til you make it” anymore.

But a very long time ago, in other pursuits, I did. And so I can start to understand.

How does this correlate to liberals? It’s got to do with living location and population density. Some of us congregate in tightly packed cities, others of us spread out over the sparsely populated farmland. A high population density offers an option of hiding behind others, to those who need such a thing. To the substandard performers. The softies.

The blue-state fantasy is that wisdom should proliferate outward, from the tightly packed cities, invading the sparsely populated farmland. This isn’t evident to the casual observer, because there’s too much emphasis placed on what should be taught. The truth is that the liberals don’t care. They want to do the teaching, they want us rubes to do the learning. That’s their wish. It’s a wish that can never come to fruition, and that’s because of the way people are made. When the population density is high, and it becomes possible to play piss-poor because you didn’t practice enough, hiding behind others, pretending you know what you’re doing when you really don’t — that’s what people will do. You can’t do that out in the farmland. It’s not merely a matter of being happy alone, or being tough or big or strong. You have to know what you’re doing so you don’t need to hide behind anyone else. It’s a process of gestation. An organism that gestates in a tough environment, reaches maturity with a hardness that’s missing from things that grow up in kinder, more forgiving environments. Since this attribute of kindness to the growing organism and forgiveness of any missteps, is linked to pretending, there is a truth-fiction dichotomy linked to the hard-soft dichotomy.

SisyphusThey’re soft. They hide behind each other.

We’re hard. There are consequences involved in our mistakes, so if we don’t know what we’re doing, we go get help. And then we figure out what we’re doing before we do anymore.

They pretend. They recite talking points they don’t really understand, like “Sure there was fraud, but not enough to change the results,” or “No human is illegal” or “We’re here. We’re queer. Get used to it.”

We don’t pretend. We can’t. And we can’t compress the work we do into a slogan.

They don’t define…really, anything.

We have to define everything. If we don’t, someone gets hurt.

Big-city-center denizens who pretend to know what they’re doing when they really don’t, hiding behind others, can’t invade the prairie, orchard or farmland. They may want to, but they’re not suited. It’s not because they’re stupid and we’re smart, or because they quit too easily and we’re stubborn. It’s the hard-and-soft thing, period, full stop. It would be talcum penetrating diamond. The softer material is going to have to yield. It’s physics. How do you argue with physics?

That’s the inherent futility of liberalism, in America, in a nutshell. Soft people who don’t know what they’re doing, pretending to know everything, seeking to impose their way of doing things on others who know what they’re doing. Softness trying to invade hardness. Every time it doesn’t work, and it never will, they get more and more grumpy and upset. Then they try to use their anger as an ancillary tool, to do the invading they’ve already learned they can’t do. Now you understand American politics. This is why we’re being told, with some legitimacy, every two years that “This election is the most important one of our lifetime.” It’s the liberals trying, once again, to invade the hardness with their softness, just like Sisyphus in the afterlife struggling to push his boulder up the mountain, only to see it roll back down again. That’s their struggle, and ours. It lacks even the faintest prospect of success, but they lack the understanding to realize this, so around and around we go.

Their champion is a senile old man who doesn’t know where he is, who likes to eat ice cream.