In the beginning was the word

– How did you manage to mess things up so thoroughly?
– By allowing too much coherence to slip away. After we – well, some of us, already had a fair understanding about how things worked. About how we got there in the first place.
– Would you care to elaborate?
– Things went on more or less linearly up to when we had learned to speak. That was when it had all started. When we had realized what a start was.
And that was it.
Speaking to each other allowed us to access the second level of consciousness. Self awareness.
Speaking to ourselves – a.k.a. ‘thinking’, gave us the illusion of ‘knowing’.
‘Knowing’ led to ‘knowing better’ and ‘knowing better’ gave birth to arrogance.
For a while, this process had been kept in check by the harsh reality. People, like all living organisms, have certain needs. Basic needs. Food, shelter… During most of our evolution, getting enough food and shelter consumed most of our resources. And time. Only a very small number of people had enough spare time. And energy left for thinking. And only a very small percentage of this already small number of people used their minds to think about anything else but how to preserve their privileged status. Which status was the source of their ‘spare time’ in the first time…
Slowly but surely, those having something else in their minds besides their selfish self interest have come up with a thing called ‘technology’. By carefully, and considerately, watching those who worked, the selfish thinkers have noticed that from time to time and from craftsperson to craftperson there could be noticed small differences in how things were done. Hence the concept of ‘how things are done’. With the natural sequel of ‘let’s do things in a better way’.
Technology made it possible for workers to be more productive. Communities as a whole became more productive. Hence increased the possibility for more people to have spare time for thinking.
Some communities made good use of this new possibility while others failed to do so. Usually for reasons depending on the ‘general conditions’ and not at all imputable to the communities themselves.
Unfortunately, technology also had two less fortunate consequences.
By freeing more and more people from want, it also freed them from ‘religion’.
Until that moment, people who were ‘excluded’ from society – who did not partake in ‘religion’, could not survive on their own for any significant length of time. After the advent of technology, reclusion no longer meant almost instant death.
Technology also produced ‘hard science’. A corpus of knowledge about how nature works. Which knowledge can be summarized as a collection of natural laws.
No longer depending as much on their contemporaries and cognizant of those natural laws, some of the thinkers – whose numbers had been constantly swelled by the continuously improved technology, have reached the conclusion that through thinking a human might, given enough time and resources, understand basically everything.
Some of those had become dictators. Others had become consultants.
Both categories extremely confident in their own knowledge. Arrogant, even.
This is how we messed things up. This bad.


Equality has become ‘the’ thing.
But things are not that simple. Not simple enough to be explained/solved in such a trivial manner.
Equality is a theoretical concept. It doesn’t exist, as such, in nature. Nor in practice.
Two ‘objects’/issues/items are declared, by us, to be equal if the differences between them are smaller than a threshold. Instated, again, by us. Mathematics – a theoretical field by excellence, being the only domain where the difference between two equal ‘objects’ is exactly zero.
On the other hand, societies where people consider themselves to be equal fare better than those where the differences between people are ‘manifest’.
Hence ‘equality’ must be important, right?
‘Societies where people consider themselves to be equal’…
The key word here is “consider”, not “equal “.
In this situation, equality is not only a concept but also a value.

The fact that a functional majority of the people living in those societies consider themselves to be equal creates a certain ‘environment’. A situation where those people actually complement each-other. A society which works as an organism. Not as a shoal of fish nor as a simple herd. A society which works a community.

A single parent can raise children. But two parents do it a lot easier. And, in most cases, better.
A single parent can adopt children. But no single parent, man or woman, is able to give birth to a child without being helped by a member of the ‘opposite sex’.
Societies where people consider men and women to be equal fare a lot better than those entertaining other beliefs. Which doesn’t negate the fact that men and women complement each-other. In a lot more situations than those in which they merely reproduce themselves.
Economies where the market is free fare a lot better than those where the economic decisions are made in a centralized manner. The communist camp – where the economies were run by the party, had crumbled under their own weight. Which strongly suggests that no matter how skilled it may be, a central planner will never be able to balance such a complicated process as a whole society/economy. Monopolistic situations, where decision making became too concentrated, invariably ended up in a pile of mess. Another proof that no decision maker, no matter how skilled/well intended, was ever capable of managing, by itself, a really complicated situation.
What is the real difference between a free market and one where decision making is concentrated in an unsustainably small number of hands? Or heads?
Economic agents are equal? Suppliers are equal among themselves, buyers are equal among themselves and suppliers are equal with buyers?
Or suppliers complement each-other in adequately supplying the market while buyers and suppliers complement each-other in maintaining the market afloat?
Which brings us back to where we have started.
Where people who complement each-other have reached the conclusion they’d better consider their complements as equals. And treat each-other as such.

Word of mouth has it that a dissatisfied customer will be more vocal than a happier one.
A search over the internet yields unconvincing results. The statistical jury seems to be still out on this one.

A misspell in the search window unveiled something a lot more interesting.

The brain is hard wired to recognize an angry voice. As well as an angry face.

Are we aware of all this?
Probably not. Statistically speaking…

And this is important why?

Being able to recognize anger makes it easier for us to deal with conflict.
Individuals who do it better have more chances to survive when involved in dangerous situations. Or even to turn them around. To find ways in which to use conflict in a profitable manner. Profitable for them… And only time will tell for how long!
Communities adept at taming conflict into something useful have greater chances to survive than those less able to deal with it.

Now, where are we in this moment?
Do we talk to each other? Are we aware of what’s going on around us? Cognizant enough to take the appropriate measures?
Or do we just vent out our bile? Creating such an environment that no coherent answer will be presented when needed?

Are we, each of us, part of the solution?
Or we just create more and more problem?

War is over when the goals have been achieved, not when the enemy had been destroyed.
While sometimes you have to utterly obliterate the enemy in order to achieve your goals, this is not always necessarily true.

Hari Bucur-Marcu

This makes a lot of sense, right?

Yeah, sort of…

The problem with this approach being that this understanding degrades war to a simple instrument.

Something used by a decision maker towards the achievement of certain ‘goals’.

The problem with this approach being that it obliterates the decision power of all other people involved in it. Of everybody else but of those calling the shots. Pun intended!

All analysts commenting Putin’s ‘special military operation’ babble on about Putin’s goals.
‘Ukraine will never be able to crush Russia, militarily, so we need to understand what’s going on in Putin’s mind.
In order to be able to ‘bribe’ him into ending the war. Or to black mail him. Only we need to understand first what will constitute a too big of a price for him to pay.’

On the other hand, Putin seems to be thinking along the same lines.
‘I need to preserve my position. MY power. Ukraine is a bad example for the Russian people. They have shifted their ‘allegiance’ and want to build a real democracy. I cannot allow this to happen, otherwise I’ll be next.
Now, how much pain do I have to inflict in order to achieve my goal? Directly, upon the Ukrainians and indirectly, upon the rest of the world?’

Meanwhile, the rest of those involved in this situation bear the brunt of the war. Directly and indirectly.

Some of them understand what’s going on and some don’t.

My point being that not all instruments are born equal.
While all are nothing but mere ‘sticks’ in the hands of the agents wielding them, choosing to use a certain instrument among the available alternatives speaks volumes about the agent making the choice.

What are we, reasonable creatures, to understand when an agent chooses an instrument which debases all other creatures to the role of ‘kill or be killed’?
For whatever reason and under whatever pretext?
Is that agent ever going to stop? To stop setting ‘goals’, further and further away?

Specially after having the ‘first installment’ safely tucked under the belt…

„Despre morți, doar adevărul”
Așa m-a învățat unul dintre preoții care m-au botezat. Vreo 50 de ani după aceea, cu puțină vreme înainte ca el însuși să devină ‘subiect de discuții’.

Nu i s-a bătătorit bine pământul pe mormânt și ‘adevărul’ despre Șora a început să iasă la iveală.

Bine, oamenii care au citit minim trei cărți din colecția BPT s-au prins imediat că Mihai Șora, personajul de pe Facebook, n-avea nicio legătură cu omul Mihai Șora. Iar cei ce-l cunoscuseră personal știau că fusese un bolșevic, că a fost marginalizat doar pentru că era țuțărul Anei Pauker, că în Guvernul Petre Roman a fost chiar invers, omul a fost printre singurii care a ținut să rămână, în ciuda minerilor, că n-a fondat nicio colecție, doar a fost cenzorul ei și că, în principiu, e cam dus (din cauza vârstei) și nu scrie el fanteziile alea. Deci, două creaturi diferite.
Dar astea nu contează, pentru că lumea atunci, ca și acum, nu avea nevoie de omul Mihai Șora, de-ăia erau destui, ci de personajul Mihai Șora, din care sunt puțini.

Cred ca ce deranjează cel mai tare la genul ăsta de oameni – adică la ‘Șora’, este ‘răzgândirea’ lor. Și amănuntul că răzgândirea lor a avut succes la public…

Imaginați-vă un Iliescu ieșit pe post și declarând că, de fapt, capitalismul de piață liberă și democrația autentică sunt, în practica de zi cu zi, mult mai bune decât ‘despotismul luminat’. Chestia aia pe care a încercat el sa o pună ‘în opera’. Înaintea lui Putin dar asta e altă discuție.

Avem într-adevar nevoie de ‘consistență’. De ‘consistency’… dar n-am gasit altă ‘traducere’. Avem atât de mare nevoie de consistență încât uităm de lecția fiului risipitor. Și de faptul că dumnezeu îl iubește mai mult pe păcătosul întors în turma decât pe neprihănitul care n-a avut vreodată ocazia să păcătuiască. Care, de fapt, nu a putut să greșească.
Care nu a reușit să-și înțeleagă greșeala, să și-o recunoască – măcar în sinea lui, ca apoi să facă un minim efort pentru a îndrepta ceva din ea.

Revenind la ‘moș Tăgârță’, spuneau unii la TV ca el a ‘înființat’ Biblioteca pentru Toti. Dacă e adevărat, tipul ăsta a facut mai mult pentru cultura română decât 95% din așa considerații intelectuali mioritici.

Cercetând internetul, aflu că Șora doar a reînființat BpT. Uite că „țuțărul Anei Pauker” făcuse ceva bun încă de pe vremea comunismului.

Și atunci? Cum rămâne cu adevărul? La ce mai folosește spunerea lui?

Spunerea unui lucru… are niște consecințe. Nu neapărat ‘consistente’ cu scopurile vorbitorului.
Adevărul devine adevărat doar odată cu acceptarea lui ca atare de către ascultător.

Spunerea unui adevăr ‘adevărat’ are ca consecință lămurirea lucrurilor.
Rostirea unor jumătăți de adevăruri, înghițite pe nemestecate de către ascultători pentru că se potrivesc cu credințele împământenite deja în mințile acestora, reușește să întrețină – cel puțin pe termen scurt, ‘ceața’. Face în așa fel încât situația să rămână favorabilă pescuitorilor în ape tulburi.

Ăsta fiind motivul pentru care ‘răzgândiții’ sunt blamați atât de intens. Toți cei cărora le convine situația actuală sunt îngroziți de idea că s-ar mai putea răzgândi și alții. Subiectul ‘răzgândirii’ lor nici măcar nu contează!
Actul răzgândirii, în sine, este obiectul anatemei! Idea că ‘publicul’ ar putea gândi… fiecare cu/de capul lui…

Chestia asta provoacă frisoane.
De la dictatori până influenceri!
Tuturor celor care își arogă misiunea de a gândi pentru ceilalți.

Și totuși.
De ce „despre morți, doar adevărul”?!? De ce nu e suficient ‘despre morți, numai de bine’?

Morții nu se mai pot apăra. Nu mai pot minți în numele lor.
Dar noi putem.

Noi suntem singurii care mai putem. Minți.
Și, în același timp, noi suntem singurii care mai putem apăra adevărul.
Adevărul care este în același timp al lor, al morților, și al nostru. Al nostru, cei care mai avem încă atât de mult de pierdut. Adică totul!

Care adevăr trebuie rostit, repetat și apărat tocmai pentru că altfel ‘întunericul ne va fi ispită’.

Abia am ieșit din 50 de ani de ‘întuneric’.
Dinspre răsărit ne momește o altă ‘ispită’.
Singura noastră șansă este ca din ce în ce mai mulți dintre noi să se ‘răzgândească’.
Să înțeleagă că fiecare dintre noi e supus greșelii și că e OK să revii la calea cea dreaptă.

Și mai trebuie ceva.
Trebuie să învățăm, cu toții, să ‘iertăm greșiților noștri’!
Să învățăm, cu toții, să prețuim răzgândirea.

Trying to make sense of this this proverb, one might find handy a deeper understanding of ‘it’.

I’ll be arguing in a future post about the synthetic nature of equality. A concept we came up with, based on things found in the natural world. But the concept itself has no natural precursor. It was invented by us and exists exclusively in our minds.

On the other hand, liberty – the ‘it’ I’m writing about right now – is ‘artificial’. Another concept we’ve came up with, based on things found in the natural world.
But one which has evolved from a natural precursor. It still exists exclusively in our minds – like all other concepts, but we didn’t actually invent it. We only noticed its natural precursor and built on in.

Orangutans are freer than us. They live individualistic lives, depending on no one but themselves. They are strong enough to do this and they live in such a manner and place that they don’t have to face any natural enemies. We, humans – their cousins, are the only agents powerful enough to represent a real danger for them.
Gorillas are less free than us. They live in strict autarchies, where they need nothing but what already exists in their domains – the plants they feed on, and where they respect the strict discipline imposed by their strictly authoritarian male leaders. Which are the only free(ish) members of the groups.
Chimpanzees and bonobos, each in their own way, are the closest to us. Some freer than others but none as free as the orangutans.

None of our cousins have the concept of liberty. As far as we know, they long for it – for freedom, that is – when they lose it. Hence they feel (for) it. But they haven’t, as far as we know it, came up with the notion of it. This being the reason for which the concept of liberty might be synthetic – like all other concepts, but liberty itself is artificial.

Our experience of liberty has a lot in common with what our cousins feel when they lose theirs. When they lose theirs to us!
We being the only agents who, after synthesizing the concept of liberty, have taken the process a step further.
Have started to take prisoners. And to justify our actions!

I’ve been talking about complementarity, equality and freedom.
The implication being that unless people treat each other fairly – as in consider the others as being equal, and equal with themselves – none will be actually free. Free to fully complement each-other. Free to ‘boldly go where no one has yet been’. Together.
What’s keeping us from doing it?
To figure that out, we need first to understand how we got here.
‘I’ve been talking about…’
To talk about something means the talker is aware about the existence of that something. They may not fully understand what’s going on but they have already noticed that something’s afoot.
Furthermore, for a human to attempt to communicate about something means that that human considers there’s at least a small chance that others will understand the message. That others understand the language used and that those others already have a modicum of interest in that matter.
In other words, any attempt to communicate means that those involved are not only aware that something’s afoot but also have reached a certain degree of consciousness. That they are not only aware of something being there but also aware that they, together, can/should/must do something about it.
They key word here being “together”.
Why bother talking about it when/if you’re able to deal with it on your own?
Which brings us to ‘war’!
How many do we need to be in order to ‘deal’ with this ‘thing’?
How many of us will be able to ‘feed’ themselves after this ‘thing’ will be dealt with?
How much will each of us have contributed to the whole process?
How will the spoils be distributed among ourselves?
How will we deal with the ‘loose cannons’ among ourselves?
How will we know who will do what?
Who will lead? Who will be responsible for the whole thing?
This is the moment when I’ll remind you that this is a blog about the consequences of our limited consciousness. A blog where I gather my attempts to understand the limits of our ability to make decisions – as individuals, and the manner in which different societies have come up with different methods to mitigate the consequences of those limits.
Happy reading, every one.

The way I see it, capitalism is an environment. A ‘place’.
A ‘way’ for people to do ‘economy’.
What people do in that place depends on the place itself but also on how they choose to do things. This being the reason for which the American capitalism is different from the European one. And both completely different from the Chinese version.
In this sense, capitalism doesn’t actually work. Not by itself!
If those dwelling in this ‘place’ act freely – as in ‘free market’ – then the whole ‘thing’ remains ‘sustainable’. Not ‘good for everybody’, not always ‘nice’ but nevertheless ‘fair’. As in ‘you have a fair chance of reaching the other end’. Not to get necessarily rich but to make the ends meet!

The alternative to capitalism… if you take your ideological blinders off, you notice that there’s none!
Socialist/communist countries are/were also capitalist. The difference being that their economies are/were centrally planned. Their markets are/were anything but free!
This being the reason for which communism had crumbled under its own weight.
And for which in all places where the market is not free enough the ‘thing’ is not sustainable!

Ludovic ics i v pretindea că “L’etat c’est Moi”.

Noi, democrați fiind, pretindem că ‘l’etat c’est nous’.

Da’ dăm vina tot pe el pentru ce nu ne convine!

‘After a trip abroad, the Thinker from Cernavoda and the Sitting Woman will be available for the locals.’

What makes us think that the Thinker is thinking while the Woman is just sitting?!?

Is there any meaning in this?

Newton had only described gravity, he didn’t invent anything. Noticed it – like many others before him, thought about it – more (better?) than all those before him, and came up with a deeper meaning for the whole ‘falling thing’.
Nobody cared to contradict him. Because everything, once exposed, was so obvious!

I’ll make a break here and wonder… what does the Flat Earth Society think about gravity?

Had your laugh?
OK, let’s move on.

Darwin had also noticed things. Thought about them. Really hard. And put together a theory.
Which continues to be considered a theory because not everybody is yet convinced…
OK, things are a little harder to swallow. Specially the part with us being relatives, no matter how distanced, with Judy…

Furthermore, the evolution thing is not as obvious as the gravity thing… most of us would have to take Darwin’s word for it… something we don’t do that easily, specially if/when we dislike – for what ever reason, the outcome.

Then why do we ‘swallow’ – line, hook and sinker, however implicitly, the names affixed on those two prehistoric figurines?!?
Because they are obvious?
Just as obvious as gravity?

The guy must be thinking and it’s obvious that the woman is just sitting?!?

Or is it that we believe what we want to believe?
We attribute meaning according to our own standards. Then stick to our opinion. Almost no matter what…

How about He nursing a hangover and She guarding him against predators?

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