Thursday, March 02, 2006

I Lack Original Thought

Today at least. But I've seen some good stuff around the way to which I thought I might direct attention:

  • First, been meaning to direct people to RonB's Blog. He has good perspective on things, and I'd like to encourage him to write more. A sample:
    But the tear I shed watching that quickly turned to anger as I contemplated the state of our media today, or moreso the state of our media consumers.Think you all can get over your fear of bad news and put the so-called mainstream media boogeyman to death? God, I loved Goldberg's Bias but this shit has gone too far. What we seem to have done on the fringes is marginalize the best-it-can-do objective center to the point where the only media that makes any sense to us anymore is the most biased shit we can find.

As I mentioned the other day those in 'the middle' need to speak up more and Ron is doing just that.

  • Frankie gives an illustration of why I try to avoid thinking big thoughts:
    I wonder sometimes if we make our own destiny, or if there are an infinite number of choices that we could make that would eventually lead us to the same outcome. Do all paths lead to the same predestined outcome? Or, is life just one, big choose-your-own-adventure book, with endless possibilities? Even as a child, I was uneasy with the idea of not knowing exactly how every choice I had to make would play out in the end. I was the kid who read every page of the choose your own adventure book, so I could make an informed decision about my adventure...but that takes the adventure out of the whole journey, doesn't it?

(Parts 1 and 2, as well). If I start going down that road, well, the expression "paralysis by analysis" comes to mind.

  • Robert Kaplan makes what should be an inutitive point:
    Physical security remains the primary human freedom. And so the fact that a state is despotic does not necessarily make it immoral. That is the essential fact of the Middle East that those intent on enforcing democracy abroad forget.

    For the average person who just wants to walk the streets without being brutalized or blown up by criminal gangs, a despotic state that can protect him is more moral and far more useful than a democratic one that cannot.

Physical security of the people is so basic to the heart of "The State" that I might go so far as to call it definitional. Any legitimacy a government has flows from it performing the "keep you safe(r)" part of the contract. I give up some of my freedom of action, and so do you, and we are all better off for it. So yes, a orderly dictatorship could well be better for the people then a non-functioning democracy. I'm not going to argue that Saddam was 'good' in any objective way. But choices involve comparison, and if you're just going to make it worse...

Of course, there goes my moral relativism getting the best of me again.

  • Speaking of moral relativism and its intersection with my in-remission nerd-dom, via Jazzy (Pastor) Jeff:

    I am a d4

    You are a four-sided die, a d4. Otherwise known as a tetrahedron, a "Caltrop", or (to a lesser degree) "Ol' Pointy". This crap bores you, so I'll get to the point. Others tend to see you as petty, conniving, manipulative, argumentative, defensive, greedy, and needlessly antagonistic. You see yourself as focused, effective, efficient, influencing, shrewd, tactical, and direct. Both points of view are in fact correct. You always know the best way to get things done, a fact that never wins sympathy with others. Whenever you manage to gain control of a situation, your solutions are swift and brutal. Unfortunately everyone else is convinced that granting you such power is, "a bad thing" and often conspire to keep it out of your hands. Such short-sighted fools!

Or, short version, I am Stewie Griffin...

  • Finally, a comment on Arlen Specter's internal (and eternal?) conflict regarding the NSA flap:
    you think Specter really wants straight answers from Gonzales in open hearings? I think he’s having a Colonel Jessup moment, but he’s playing both Jack Nicholas’ and Tom Cruise’s roles.

    Nicholson Specter: Do I want answers?
    Cruise Specter: I’m entitled to them.
    Nicholson Specter: Do I really want answers?
    Cruise Specter: I want the truth!
    Nicholson Specter: I can’t handle the truth!
I wish I could take credit for that.


RonB said...

Thank ya Pooh! With your help maybe I won't be an "Insignificant Microbe" anymore(TTLB)!

Icepick said...

I'm not going to argue that Saddam was 'good' in any objective way. But choices involve comparison, and if you're just going to make it worse...

Did we really make it worse?