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    nmw 13:40:00 on 2016/07/10 Permalink
    Tags: , answered, , develop, , , , free, , , , , , unanswered,   

    The Unanswered Questions 

    There’s a piece by Charles Ives, a famous American composer, named „The Unanswered Question“. I have long enjoyed this piece, and in particular also its title. In my opinion, there are many unanswered questions.

    One reason why there are so many unanswered questions is that lots of questions are never actually expressed. It is a great irony that quite a few so-called „free“ societies remain unwilling or unable to allow people to voice their own opinions.

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    nmw 14:57:18 on 2015/08/09 Permalink
    Tags: , fixed, flux, free, , , , , , privilege, privileges, , , , , , variable   

    How to Fix the World via the Legal System 

    I have long since been a big fan of Edmund Burke — the “father of modern conservatism”…. He was probably far ahead of his time, but for today, I feel he is no longer far ahead of our time. What is more: I think I myself have figured out a way to improve on his ideas about conservatism.

    These ideas I have, I started having them during my college years .. but I have just now added one significant extra twist which make them far simpler to implement.

    The basic idea is this: People should be able to live out their lives under a single system of laws and not have to worry about whether laws might change at some point in time. The main reason why this is problematical is that lawyers (or legislators, or whatever) keep changing the laws … and therefore law (remember how Tom Paine wrote that “in America, law is king”?) is a constantly moving target. The problems, therefore might get extremely complicated if people are born at different times… as in the meantime (between their dates of birth) some of the laws may very well have changed.

    The “extra twist” I came up with today is this: There should be different levels of fixedness — I think perhaps four of them. The law we have today — basically: fully “variable” law (and by that I mean the laws could change at any time) — could be called “free” law (because we don’t have to “pay” anything for it — at least not apparently so). This is what everyone has today (whether they like it or not).

    To this I would add 3 levels of more “fixed” laws: 1. uniquely fixed law; 2. strictly fixed law; and 3. affordable fixed law. Affordable fixed law (a sort of privilege) could be bought at a rather affordable rate, and it would fix the law a person is subjected to to the law of a specific calendar year. Strictly fixed law would fix it to a particular date. Uniquely fixed law would go above and beyond that and fix it to a unique point in time. This reasoning adds some significant ideas. First, moving from free law to affordable fixed law to strictly fixed law to uniquely fixed law, one would advance from lesser privileges to higher privileges — in other words: the higher privileges would trump the lower levels of fixedness. Also, this would introduce something like market forces into the system — the price of affordable fixed vs. strictly fixed vs. uniquely fixed law could be set at the beginning, but might be allowed to rise and fall with the sentiments of how people wish to invest in having such a level of reliability.

    That is the basic idea, redux. I will leave it at that for now — at least I have finally written it down and posted it for all the world to see. :)

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    nmw 21:04:52 on 2015/01/06 Permalink
    Tags: , deceive, deception, deceptive, free, , handle, , , , lying, ,   

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act 

    On wikipedia.org, it is debated whether this line is a quote by George Orwell or not. Even worse: On yahoo.com, there is this question: What does “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act” mean? :|

    The reason why I bring up this quote (regardless of who it was that said or wrote it) is that it illustrates the phenomenon I wrote about in my last post. If the society you live in requires you to lie, then that behavior is a widely adopted handle in that society.

    Compare another quote (attributed to Viktor Frankl): “The last of human freedoms – the ability to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances.” If the circumstances are a society that tries to force you to lie, then it is nonetheless up to the individual to choose  what to do.

    A similar scenario commonly quoted is the exchange between Emerson and Thoreau, after Thoreau had been jailed for not paying taxes. Apparently, Emerson asked Thoreau what he is doing in jail. Thoreau answered by asking Emerson what he is doing in society.

    If your life depends on lying to people and using manipulative and deceptive practices in order to trick people into buying overpriced junk, then this behavior will sooner or later become a pillar of your world view.

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    nmw 20:41:59 on 2014/12/27 Permalink
    Tags: All This Time, documentary, free, , life event, life events, , lyrics, , song, songwriting, Sting   

    It’s always me that ends up getting wet 

    I was thinking of some lyrics from a song by Sting earlier — and I’ll get to that in a moment — but what happened is that I sat down and watched his “All This Time” DVD, because I thought this episode from Sting’s life (and how he interpreted it) might have something to say to me right now.

    First let me say that of course the “backstory” part of the DVD does a good job of promoting Sting… even though I also think he is probably one of the best songwriters of our time. In this part, Sting reveals some of the thinking behind his songwriting —  and one thing I found particularly interesting is the way he says a song is sort of something shared between the songwriter and the listener, in the sense of being a vibe that channels both writer’s and listener’s feelings and experiences. In this sense, when Sting sings “it’s always me”, he is also sort of saying that he also acknowledges that it’s also always you.

    The thing that motivated me to watch this film now is in part this sentiment of “it’s always me”… but also that I remembered that the film is somewhat of a documentary of how events rained on his parade in a very significant way: The birthday party Sting spent a lot of time, money and effort orchestrating was pretty much ruined by something chaotic, entirely beyond his control, and again, it seems, Sting ended up getting wet. :| The entire event had a very somber aura, and this was very much not the fault of any of the people who participated.

    The lyrics I was thinking of when I turned to get the movie were also a long-time favorite of mine: “If you love somebody, set them free”. This is really the crux of what I was thinking about, and it also applies to loving yourself.

    In this case, my thinking goes like this: If you love yourself, then you will neither berate yourself, nor will you allow others to berate you. If you love others, then you will not berate them… — and you will also not allow them to berate you. If you allowed them to berate you, then you would not be allowing them to set you free (or, in other words: to love you). Any kind of “rating scheme” whatsoever is an indication of a lack of trust in the other person, an unwillingness to let them live their life the way they want to (as another great songwriter, Jimi Hendrix, once put it).

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