Archives for category: 1989

True enough.
Good people don’t need laws to tell them how to behave while the ‘cunningly willful’ amongst us will indeed, time and time again, try to circumvent the consequences of bypassing the law.

Then why?
Two and a half millennia after Plato had dispensed this piece of wisdom we still have laws.
Is there a possible explanation for this apparent aberration?
Are we that thick-headed or there’s something else?

To settle this question – to start attempting to settle it, actually, we must first agree upon the difference between good and bad.

Ooops!

‘Everybody knows what good and bad is’ doesn’t really work, right?

In principle… maybe, but when it comes to putting principles into practice… we need guidelines!
Just as ‘good fences make good neighbors‘, a clear understanding among the good about where the realm of the bad starts in earnest makes life a lot simpler. For all of us. And the more visible that line is, the simpler our life becomes.

Only this is but half of the actual explanation.
Laws do make our life simpler, indeed. Unfortunately, ‘simpler’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘better’.

As some of you already know, I’ve spent half my life under communist rule.
Does ‘Ceausescu’ ring any bells with you?

Under communism, life was a lot simpler than it is now.
Presumably, life was a lot simpler under any of the many flavors of authoritarian rules experienced by humanity during its history. This being the reason for no matter how horrible a dictatorial regime had been, there were always some who had regretted when that regime had fallen.

‘OK, so what’s your point?
That laws, in general, might be good but the laws which impose an authoritarian regime are bad?
You know that you’ve just opened a fresh can of worms, right?’

How do you determine the difference between a good law and a bad one?

There’s no such thing. No law is above good and bad. For the simple reason that we call laws are made by us.
We are fallible human beings and everything we make, including our laws, is, and should continue to be, constantly improved.

‘Then you’re nothing more than a ‘closet progressive‘!
I knew it!
‘Constant improvement’… yuck!
Not to mention the fact that the most important Law comes from God, not from Man!’

I’ve already disclosed that I’m an agnostic.
That I have no idea whether a(ny) god had anything to do with what’s happening around/with us.
All I know is that all laws, including the Bible – and all other Holy Books, had been written by people.
By Humans, that is.

And I also know that there are two kinds of law.
‘Natural’ – as in noticed by us, and ‘synthetic’.

While all laws are ‘artificial’ – ‘written’ by us, the natural ones had been first noticed and only then put on paper.
While all laws had been written on purpose – each ‘writer’ had their own reason for doing it, the ‘synthetic’ ones had been put together with a specific goal.

While observing – and when necessary improving, the natural laws benefits all, the ‘synthetic’ ones serve only those who make it their business to impose those laws upon the rest of the community.

While observing – and, when necessary, imposing them upon SOME, improves the prospects of the entire community, designing and imposing ‘synthetic’ laws upon a community will always bring a huge amount of disturbance.
Sometimes fatal for that community.
Always fatal for the regime attempting it!

‘How about some examples?’

I’ll give you two natural laws and a ‘synthetic’ one.

The law of gravity. Also known as Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation.
This law didn’t need Newton to notice it. The Earth had already been orbiting the Sun for a while before Newton told us why.

‘Do not kill’. A subset of the Golden Rule, ‘Do no harm, if you can help it’.
Also ‘natural’ but a lot more ‘fluid’.
And, strangely enough, noticed and ‘put on paper’ way before the law of the falling objects…
Just think of it!
The ‘law makers’ have noticed long, long ago that the communities which follow the Golden Rule fare much better than those whose members treat each-other like dirt. Yet only a few short centuries ago somebody ‘noticed’ that things fall according to a constant rule… and bothered to make it into a law.
Was ‘gravity’ too obvious? Inescapable, so why bother?
While the Golden Rule worked better when enforced? When the formal rule mandated that even the rulers themselves had to obey the rule?

It’s easy to notice that the first two, the ‘natural’ ones, produce consequences regardless of people observing them or not.
Meanwhile, ‘synthetic’ laws are, entirely, the figment of somebody’s imagination. And produce consequences only when/if enough people are ‘seduced’ by the perspectives of those laws being put into practice.
Communist rule, for instance, could be put into practice only when enough people had been seduced by Marx’s ideal that all property should belong to the state and be managed by a ‘select’ few. Only then, after those ‘select’ few had, somehow, convinced enough followers, could Marx’s ideas be transformed into laws. And put in practice. With the already obvious consequences…

‘OK, but I still don’t get it!
Is there a way to tell whether a law is good or bad before-hand? Before its consequences had become manifest?’

That’s a tall order. And you know that!

Actually, no!
There’s no fire-proof method of ascertaining anything before-hand, let alone something made by us.

But there is a next best thing.
The ‘natural’ laws are natural because they had been first observed. Only then written into law. And because of things proceeding in this order, whenever something changed those who had noticed the change had adapted the wording of the law to the new reality. Simply because those who had to make do with the consequences of the law being put into practice could not wait too long whenever they had noticed that there was a better way.

People have dreamed of flying since god only knows when but they had learned how to do it only after they had been told that everything is pulled to the center of the Earth.
‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ had been very useful. For a while… Now we use the same principle – do no harm, but we implement it in a more nuanced manner.

People have also dreamed of a fair society.
And, frankly, ours is a lot fairer than that of our grand-parents. Because we have constantly improved our ‘manners’.
We have not only observed ourselves while living but we’ve also done something when anything went wrong.
The problem is – and it’s only one problem here, that not all things can be reversed. Some mistakes can be fully redressed, other compensated … but we’ll have to take with us the consequences of those mistakes. And the longer a mistake is allowed to happen, the more important the consequences.
So. ‘Synthetic’ rules are bad not because they have been dreamed up by us. They are bad because those who promote them cannot accept the idea they might have been wrong.
The really bad ‘synthetic’ rules were those who could not be changed from within!

Whenever a law maintains that things cannot happen, ever, but in the manner prescribed by that very law, that text is no longer a law. It’s a dictate!
It’s dictates that we can do without, not laws.
And it’s our job to make out the difference. One way or another.

Disclosure.
You haven’t ‘heard’ this from me.
I’ve only ’embellished’ some ideas I’ve stolen from Popper, inasmuch as I’ve understood anything from them.

Am citit mai puțin de un sfert din cărțile pe care le-am primit ca temă în timpul școlii/liceului.
Și nici una dintre cele care aveau ceva de a face cu critica literară.
„Autorul vrea să ne spună…” îmi ridica părul pe ceafă.
‘Păi ce, eu sunt prost? Nu știu să citesc? De ce trebuie să-mi spună ăsta ce vrea să spună autorul?!?’

‘Și atunci? Ce te-a apucat acum?’

Tocmai ce am aflat că un premiu literar, pentru poezie, a băgat zâzanie în bula feministă din internetul românesc. Discută oamenii cu o pasiune…

Eu sunt inginer. Nu le am p-astea cu exprimarea elegantă.
Mă doare la bască despre cine ce cuvinte folosește.

„Uitând de toate
(O portiune a anatomiei mele, dar nu creierul) e o mașinărie războincă
Care vrea să-și facă dreptate”.

Acuma, că nu vă mai puteți ascunde după frusta pizdă, ce înțelegeți din textul de mai sus?

Eu, unul – inginer fiind, citesc că o „pizdă” – independent de restul ființei de care este ‘atașată’ și făcând abstracție de toate celelalte condiționalități care ‘limitează’ existența tuturor ființelor, cu și fără pizdă – se operaționalizează în „mașinărie războinică” și se pornește să-și facă dreptate. Sieși… Adică pentru sine!

Cum bine zicea mai sus unul dintre comentatori.
‘Copilul intolerant care se pornește să-și devoreze mama anacronică.’

O parte dintre observatorii lumii cultural artistice susțin că adevăratul artist ‘șochează’.
Că pentru a ‘deschide ochii privitorilor’ artistul trebuie să le ‘violeze’ acestora ‘retina’.

OK, cică scopul scuză mijloacele…
Dar care scop?

Tot de pe net:
Ce scandal! O femeie vorbește despre propriul ei corp!!
Dacă v-a picat rău, luați niște versuri respectabile (cum altfel?) de Eminescu:

(Urmează o serie de citate, din care voi folosi doar unul)

Ah, cum nu-i aicea nime
Să mă scap de mâncărime
Să storc boţul între craci,
Să-i sug măduva din saci.

Și uite-așa ajungem tot la ‘ce vrea să spună artistul’…
Până la urmă, contează cu ce rămâi după ce ți-a fost ‘violată retina’!

Eminescu și proaspăta laureată folosesc, într-adevăr, aceleași cuvinte.
Dar nu spun același lucru…
Eminescu glosează, cât se poate de la obiect, despre cum e să ajungi, împreună cu cineva, la orgasm.
Iar laureata NOASTRĂ vorbește despre jihad. Despre dorința arzătoare de a-și face singură dreptate. În orice condiții…

Și de ce am ‘strigat’ „noastră”?

Pentru că Ileana Negrea n-a apărut din pustiu.
A crescut printre noi și trăiește cu noi.
În timpul acestei vieți a adunat toate simțirile pe care le strigă acum.
De la noi a învățat ‘expresia artistică’ de care se folosește pentru a-și exprima trăirile.
Expresie artistică pe care tot noi i-am validat-o!
Noi, contemporanii ei, suntem cei care i-am dat premiul care „a băgat zâzanie în bula feministă din internetul românesc”.

Noi, contemporanii ei, suntem cei care pierdem vremea discutând despre pizdă în loc să ne vedem în oglinda pe care ne-o ține Ileana Negrea.

Am devenit atât de individualiști încât restul ni se pare normal.
Restul, adică tot ce nu ne oripilează pe NOI.

„Uitând de toate
….mea e o mașinărie războinică
Care vrea să-și facă dreptate”

Uitând de toate…

LE

Între timp ‘am făcut rost’ de textul integral.

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Ai grijă
O să te prind în mine cu răutate
Răutatea copilului egoist
Care nu a avut nimic al său
Să-ți opresc pentru o clipă mișcările
Să stăm așa
În timp ce lumea asta
Se duce dracului
Cu virușii și ghețarii
Și animalele și planeta
Și chiriile și evacuările și șomajul
Și violența domestică și precaritatea
Încremeniți
Și perverși
Uitând de toate
Pizda mea e o mașinărie războinică
Care vrea să își facă dreptate
Capturat și cuminte
Mă vei privi cu ochi tremurători
Și-abia atunci te voi primi cu-adevărat
În mine
Și-abia atunci
Te vei putea mișca
Și-abia atunci
Revoluția.

Poezia asta chiar începe să-mi placă.
Realitatea descrisă – așa cum a fost ea percepută de Ileana Negrea, continuă să mă oripileze.
Pe voi ce vă oripilează? Ce ați vrea să schimbați?

Ooops!
According to Reuters, he never uttered those words.
But “Burke did say something resembling the quote in his “Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents” (1770): “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

‘OK, and where’s the difference?
The meaning’s the same…’

Not exactly!
Burke was speaking about the fate of individual people while the quote attributed to him is about evil itself.
According to Burke, the good people must associate in order to protect their livelihoods and their way of life while the mis-attributed quote pretends that there are circumstances in which evil might prevail.

‘I still don’t understand you! Good people loosing their cause doesn’t mean that evil has prevailed?!?’

No!
Good people might loose from time to time. Being good doesn’t mean those people are perfect.
People make mistakes. Some of which can’t be undone.

Evil things do happen. From time to time. Either through sheer bad luck or through good people making horrible mistakes. But evil cannot prevail. Not on the longer run!

For two reasons.

Small enough mistakes can be overcome. Either individually or collectively.
Serious enough mistakes will kill you. Individually and collectively.
This was the first reason.

If evil hadn’t been that bad, we wouldn’t have called it that way.
If evil would have led to survival, we would have called it ‘good’.

Good people doing nothing doesn’t mean that evil will triumph.
Good people doing nothing only means, as Burke had said, that those good people will fail. One by one.
Bad people having it their way doesn’t mean much. Historically speaking.
After they had finished vanquishing the good, the bad had always started to fight among themselves. It’s in their nature to do that.

That’s how each evil eventually dies out…

Until the next one appears?
Indeed! Weeds will always spring up. Specially if the soil is rich.
That’s what hoes are for! If only people knew how to make good use of them…

The way I see it, it makes more sense to tax those who don’t want to get a jab than to bribe people to accept the vaccine.
The vaccinated individual enjoys the benefits, the jab is already paid for by the community… and the community, as a whole, is safer.
You don’t want to be jabbed, for whatever reasons, you should pay for the privilege.

After all, this is a matter of personal choice.

There are three kinds of personal choice which impact the wider community. Regardless of who covers the financial costs of healthcare, people being sick is a burden shouldered by the entire society.

Eating too much.
It can have a whole series of consequences but most of them are of a ‘personal’ nature. You can be a bad example for your kid but that’s about all you can do to negatively impact the health of others through eating too much. Except for the financial implications, of course.

Smoking.
Still a personal choice. But the consequences of your bad habit directly affect those who happen to be around you when you exercise your ‘right’. Smoke travels freely…

“My body, my choice.”
Refusing to ‘put experimental substances into my body’ is, again, a personal choice.
But getting sick with Covid has far wider consequences for the wide community than smoking. Let alone the fact that smoke is visible while the virus is not.
Smoking in a plane won’t give a lung cancer to each of the passengers present but a person infected with Covid breathing inside such a cramped place can directly infect many. And god only knows how many more after the passengers reach their final destinations …

Since the above mentioned decision of the Supreme Court – that government should not tell ‘the people’ what to do with their bodies (unless federal money is involved) – things are getting murkier.
Smoking seats might return on planes. Smoking tables in pubs.
And who knows what else…

Cineva m-a tras de mânecă.
Cică anul ăsta se fac 40 de ani de când am început cursurile Politehnicii.

Și mi-am adus aminte.

Când ne-am întors în băncile școlii – dupa ce satisfacusem (?!?) stagiul militar – am aflat că “în sfârșit, anul acesta numărul inginerilor l-a depășit pe cel al intelectualilor”.
Și cică nu era banc!

De vreo 30 de ani încoace, tragem cu toții – intelectuali, ingineri și ‘mireni’, consecințele acelei realizări ‘epocale’.

La mulți ani. Sănătoși.
Și la mai multă minte! Mai multă decât aveam pe vremea aia…

“Yet although as a tennis player Mr Djokovic’s vaccine hesitancy is exceptional, as a Serb it is not. Despite there being little shortage of vaccines in Serbia, where he is from, just 45% of adults have been double-jabbed. Meanwhile, the country has been battered by the disease. According to The Economist‘s tracker Serbia suffered the second-highest number of excess deaths in the world per head of population. With as much clout off the court as on it, Mr Djokovic’s public hesitation to take a life-saving vaccine may well be costing the lives of his countrymen.”

Getting out of a relationship before entering the next one makes sense, right?
But why would anyone marry his/her own self in the first place?

To send a signal? ‘I have removed myself from the (singles) market’?
As a publicity stunt? Proving – unintentionally, that marriage continues to be an important institution, at least at the symbolical level….

On the other hand, why bother? At all…
Specially now, after the advent of the ‘prenuptial arrangement‘….

So, marriage is, in reality, only about ‘property’? Who gets what after the couple separates? ‘Naturally’ or otherwise?
But, again, why make it a special thing? Property had been formally ‘coded’ about the same time as marriage was… why introduce another set of regulations, on top of those pertaining to the ‘mere’ individual property?

There must be something else…

And that something must be in our heads!
‘Property’ has more or less the same meaning all over the world.

Culturally, there are many forms of property ‘out there’ but the most ‘advanced’ cultures ‘use’ the same three main types of property, each in it’s own ‘mix’. Private property, state property, communal property…

Meanwhile, each culture/civilization has it’s own type of marriage. Or used to have, until very recently. Which types of marriage differ widely and in many ways.
From who can enter a marriage – number of people, ethnicity, religion, caste, etc., to how a marriage ends.
From the conditions which must be met before the marriage to the consequences of the act. And to the consequences of the marriage being ended ‘before time’, if possible.
Not to mention the wide gamut of rights and duties each member of a marriage might have, according to local rules and (by)laws.

If you think of it, ‘property’ is almost ‘natural’. It makes a lot of sense, ‘functionally’ speaking, to be precise about which is which. And about which is whose.
Life is a lot simpler when each member of a community knows what/how much can be had/used/eaten without anybody else having any say about the matter, what must be left alone and whose ‘permission’ you must ‘acquire’ before ‘trespassing’.

Meanwhile, ‘marriage’ is a lot more artificial than ‘property’. Leave alone the fact that the rules are far more complicated – and far more diverse.
In practice, marriage has been really important only for the ‘top’ members of any given society…
And the ‘fun’ fact is that the higher the rank of the individuals concerned, the more ‘leeway’ they used to have…

Henry the VIII had ‘invented’ a ‘new religion’ in his attempt to bend ‘the rules’ according to his wishes, the French monarchs had been famous for their mistresses… and a ‘modern’ financier had been recently convicted for ‘lending’ underage members of his ‘harem’ to some of his buddies…

That ‘something’ is, definitely, in our heads!

NB!
I’m not implying that that ‘something’ is good or bad!
We are the ones who attach ‘values’ to things/concepts.
We are the ones who ‘notice’ things and relationships, use them – properly, for a while, and then experiment in ‘abusing’ them.

A (beautiful) woman marrying – and divorcing, her own self is perceived as being a ‘fun thing to read about’ while gay couples becoming able to establish a formal family is perceived, by so many, as being ‘a threat’.

When will the internet make up its mind?!?

De pe FB adunate:

„toată știința este redusă la 0 (zero) din momentul în care Dumnezeu este scos din ecuație.
Asta o zic ca viitor medic.”
„… Dr. Ben CARSON, care a făcut operația gemenilor siamezi în 1987, operație care până atunci nu supraviețuise nimeni. Secretul operației este că, Dr Carson Ben, este creștin Adventist si un Medic cu Mâini înzestrate”

„Ce fel de viitor medic credincios? Ăsta-i oximoron. Poți să fii credincios pentru tine, dar nu băga credința/religia în știință! Pune în funcțiune gărgăunii și gândește critic!
Nu uita, religia a fost mereu contra științei!”

Prima chestie care îmi sare în ochi este limba folosită de ‘viitorul medic’.
„operație care până atunci nu supraviețuise nimeni”… Așa o fi gândind el, pe scurtătură… o fi traducerea automată de vină… de, nici trollii ăștia nu au resurse nelimitate la dispoziție…

Să depășim ‘formalitățile’ și să intrăm în cestiune.

Treaba e complicată rău.
Am să încep prin a reaminti că eu, unul, sunt agnostic. Că n-am habar dacă există vre-un dumnezeu ‘fizic’. Care să-și fi băgat coada pe undeva. Care să fi cauzat – sau măcar contribuit cu ceva la, apariția lumii. La ‘devenirea’ ei în ceea ce este acum. Tot ce știu este că eu, unul, nu am nevoie de un astfel de ‘agent extern’ care să ‘justifice’ ceva. Ceva din ceea ce există.

Constat totuși niște realități care nu pot fi contestate. Chiar dacă sunt de natură ‘metafizică’. Adică produse de credință. De credința oamenilor în Dumnezeu. În Dumnezeul fiecăruia dintre ei.
De la actele de eroism ale Maicii Tereza până la ororile săvârșite de Inchiziție.

În sensul ăsta, spusele ‘viitorului medic’ încep să capete greutate. Știința devine ‘neutră’ – adică ‘fără valoare’, atunci când este operaționalizată de ‘oameni fără Dumnezeu’. De oameni cărora nu le pasă de nimic altceva în afară de propria persoană.
Medici care aleg profesia doar pentru câștigurile mari. Avocați care se folosesc de știința dreptului doar pentru a ocoli legea. Preoți care îmbracă sutana doar pentru că buzunarele acesteia sunt niște adevărați magneți pentru ochii dracului. ‘Cadavre didactice’ care aleg cariera exclusiv de dragul vacanțelor lungi. Oameni politici care se folosesc de științele politice pentru a ajunge la putere, pe care putere o folosesc apoi doar în scop propriu…

Pe de altă parte, atunci când alegi să sprijini un personaj precum Trump – declarând că faci acest lucru în numele credinței, devii o demonstrație cât se poate de clară a faptului că nu e suficient să crezi în ceva!

Mai departe.
„Religia a fost întotdeauna împotriva științei”?!?

Unii ‘capi religioși’ au fost, într-adevăr, ostili – până la extrem, unora dintre aceia care activau în domeniul științei. Știm cu toții că Giordano Bruno a fost ars pe rug din ordinul nu mai știu cărui papă.
Pentru că spusele lui Giordano Bruno puneau în pericol poziția respectivei căpetenii religioase…

Doar că ororile săvârșite de anumiți ‘oameni ai bisericii’ nu trebuie să ne facă să-i uităm pe cei care – tot oameni ai bisericii fiind, au contribuit enorm la apariția si progresul științei. Charles Darwin s-a pregătit, la universitate, pentru a intra în rândul clerului anglican iar Georges Lemetre – părintele Big-Bangului, a fost preot catolic. Doar primii doi care mi-au venit în minte….

‘Religia a fost împotriva științei’ este, de fapt, un ‘fals’.
Teologia susține că ‘voința Domnului’ poate fi aflată prin studierea consecințelor sale. Prin studierea ‘realității care ne înconjoară’. Adică exact ceea ce face știința…
Iar realitatea este că majoritatea ‘oamenilor de știință’ din trecut – și o parte dintre cei contemporani nouă, au fost – și continuă să fie, credincioși. Toți aceștia au studiat realitatea – și continuă să o facă, încercând, pur și simplu, să intuiască voința lui Dumnezeu. A Dumnezeului în care crede fiecare dintre ei.

Până la urmă, atât religia cât și știința sunt moduri de raportare la realitate. Moduri de gândire. Având atât o dimensiune individuală cât și una socială.

Iar efectele care apar în zona realului – modul în care noi schimbăm lumea, sunt consecințele felului în care noi, indivizi și societăți, acționăm în fiecare dintre spațiile de gândire pe care tot noi le-am definit.
Consecințe ale felului în care noi, indivizi si societăți, alegem să punem în practică credințele și informațiile pe care le avem la dispoziție.

In retrospect, I realize that one of the first clues that communism was about to crumble has been the growing number of jokes we were making. About the rulers, about the ideology… about the whole thing, actually.

Could the following story be construed as a good sign?

A man goes to see his boss.
“Boss”, he says, “we’re doing some heavy house-cleaning tomorrow before my mother-in-law arrives for Christmas. My wife needs me to help with cleaning, moving and hauling stuff”.
“COVID has us short-handed” the boss replies. “I can’t afford to give anyone a day off”.
The man says: “Thanks boss, I knew I could count on you!”

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