25 08 10 - 07:32Life is sacred:
As for ethics, they are elemental in Bradburyâs fiction and screenplays, and even in his horror stories (every devotee of ghostly fiction should read his collection of early stories titled The October Country). Moral truths appear not in obvious nuggets, like raisins in a raisin cake, but blended among the basic ingredients.
They bespeak Bradburyâs beliefs that human beings are more than the flies of summer â they are in fact made for knowing beauty, truth, and eternity â and that each movement toward political centralization, materialism, sham intellectualism, and needless destruction of the natural environment endangers all that makes life fulfilling and worthwhile, rendering man little more than a trousered ape. - National Review
Every time we try to reduce reality to convenience, safety, equality and peace, we make a hell of boredom, irreverence, resentment and stupidity.
If parents all around us are clutching their children close, itâs easy to understand why: Itâs what pop culture is telling us to do. Stories of kidnappings swamp the news. Go online, and you can find a map of local sex offenders as easily as the local Victoriaâs Secret (possibly in the same place). Meantime, if you do summon the courage to put your kids on a bus or a bench or a bike, other parents keep butting in: An unwatched child is a tragedy waiting to happen.
We have to be less afraid of nature and more willing to embrace the idea that some rashes and bites are a fair price to pay in exchange for appreciating the wonder of a cool-looking rock or an unforgettable fern.
When we watch TV, we have to remind ourselves that its job is to terrify and disgust us so that weâll keep watching in horror. It is doing an excellent job on both fronts.
We have to learn to remind the other parents who think weâre being careless when we loosen our grip that we are actually trying to teach our children how to get along in the world, and that we believe this is our job. A child who can fend for himself is a lot safer than one forever coddled, because the coddled child will not have Mom or Dad around all the time. Adults once knew what we have forgotten today. Kids are competent. Kids are capable. Kids deserve freedom, responsibility, and a chance to be part of the world. - The Week
Everywhere there is fear, there is control.
Control works from the negative -- what is the biggest fear? Who is most likely to screw up and become a victim? -- which turns society inside out.
Instead of focusing on goals and the people most likely to be a credit to our society, we focus on fears and those who are hopeless.
And who are the fear preachers?
Osama abhors the vision of interfaith harmony that the proposed Islamic center represents. He fears Muslim clerics who can cite the Koran to denounce terrorism.
Itâs striking that many American Republicans share with Al Qaeda the view that the West and the Islamic world are caught inevitably in a âclash of civilizations.â - NYT
If you don't want us all to be one big happy family, one human race -- then you're afraid. Right? Well, that's what the professional idiots want you to think.
But if you analyze it, the "one big family" and "equality/everyone wins" outlook is fear of life itself. Fear of different abilities, or different decisions.
Given the number of British writers who have been attracted to the camels and tents and desolation of Arab tribal life it is tempting to reduce it to an infatuation with the noble savage. But this is misleading. As Ernest Gellner points out in Muslim Society, it was more often the aristocratic ranking of a feudal order that appealed to those drawn to the Arab world:
The European discovery and exploration of Muslim tribal society occurred in the main after the French Revolution, and was often carried out by menâlong before T.E.Lawrenceâwho were possessed by a nostalgia for a Europe as it was prior to the diffusion of the egalitarian ideal â¦ They sought, not the noble savage, but the savage noble.
Thatâs an interesting twist. Savage nobles aplenty can be found waving their swords and daggers throughout The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, a work some regard as one of the important books of the twentieth century. - Roger Sandall
The egalitarian ideal means that we must all be forced to be equal, at the expense of all else. Naturally it includes control, because nothing in nature is equal, and humanity won't be "equal" until we're equal in abilities which means either (a) lowest common denominator or (b) let the best beat the rest into submission and rape them.
But we live in a false reality, because our thinking starts with that post-1789 egalitarian-control fiction, so we're completely oblivious to reality:
"If you're a Westerner, your intuitions about human psychology are probably wrong or at least there's good reason to believe they're wrong," Dr. Henrich says.
After analyzing reams of data from earlier studies, the UBC team found that WEIRD people reacted differently from others in experiment after experiment involving measures of fairness, anti-social punishment and co-operation, as well as visual illusions and questions of individualism and conformity.
Others punish participants perceived as too altruistic in co-operation games, but very few in the English-speaking West would ever dream of penalizing the generous. Westerners tend to group objects based on resemblance (notebooks and magazines go together, for example) while Chinese test subjects prefer function (grouping, say, a notebook with a pencil). Privileged Westerners, uniquely, define themselves by their personal characteristics as opposed to their roles in society.
Moreover, WEIRD people do not simply react to the world differently, according to the paper, they perceive it differently to begin with. Take the well-known Muller-Lyer optical illusion, which uses arrows to trick the viewer into thinking one line is longer than another, even if both are the same length. (See the diagram on this page.)
"No matter how many times you measure those lines, you can't cause yourself to see them as the same length," Dr. Henrich says. At least that's true for a Westerner. For some hunter-gatherers, the Muller-Lyer lines do not cause an illusion. - National Post
We see only the surface of appearance, because we're so used to controlling each other socially. Our means of control are guilt, obligation, passive aggression and most of all, punishing those who are not egalitarian. It's a perfect perpetual witch-hunt.
If you want to know why the West is dying, it's this kind of "we must all be one" thinking that prevents anyone from climbing above the mass of clueless humanity. It has made us into a society of obedient sufferers beholden to the lowest common denominator.
No wonder Islam appealed to those who saw what 1789 portended.