Is 'progress' worthwhile?

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Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby Trevor » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:23 am

fuck it.
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby anon » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:27 pm

trevor wrote:For all the technical, medicinal, intellectual progress that's been made over the last X amount of years can it be said with certainty that we are better off for it. This begs the question of what the final part means but...whatever. But consider for instance the process we arrive at medicinal solutions i.e. animal testing. I think most people can say it is a horrible thing but something they're willing to ignore nonetheless because of the outcome i.e. medicine. But are we not contaminated by its presence?

Progress is always worthwhile. I would like my tomorrow to be qualitatively better than yesterday. The question is whether certain things that are conventionally considered "progress", really are worthwhile.
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby Trevor » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:50 am

anon wrote:
trevor wrote:For all the technical, medicinal, intellectual progress that's been made over the last X amount of years can it be said with certainty that we are better off for it. This begs the question of what the final part means but...whatever. But consider for instance the process we arrive at medicinal solutions i.e. animal testing. I think most people can say it is a horrible thing but something they're willing to ignore nonetheless because of the outcome i.e. medicine. But are we not contaminated by its presence?

Progress is always worthwhile. I would like my tomorrow to be qualitatively better than yesterday. The question is whether certain things that are conventionally considered "progress", really are worthwhile.


Ok, you've resurrected my OP after I edited it. So be it.

Naturally I am tallking about the 'conventional' notions of progress i.e. technical, medicinal, intellectual, etc. etc. as opposed to tomorrow simply being a better day than today, which I wouldn't qualify as progress anyway - it lacks the idea of something being built upon because if tomorrow were better than today it gives no reason for the day after tomorrow being better still. That's just luck.

I'm not an activist but for all the suffering animals and even humans have been put through in order to get to where we are today in terms of medicinal progress, all we really have is longer lives. And a longer life isn't necessarily a better life - a vague term I know. Longevity and iPhones.

More years to lament the years lost.

An aside but one thing that tickles my bones is when in response to a horrible news story people say, "In this day and age!" That for all our flying roast turkeys it's a surprise that men (for it mostly is) still commit sickening deeds. How did man not progress whilst elsewhere, in the name of progress no less, we were skinning monkeys? Not to mention the morbid obsession of inventing new and wonderful ways of killing each other.
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby Duality » Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:07 pm

Youre right its mostly delusional pompous bourgeoise windbags pretending like their shit don’t stink and like they are better than everyone else. That is basically what all of society is built upon. They suffer serious retardation problems when it comes to observing the world around them and their own douchebaggery. So the world just progresses pretending like it has a legit reason for any of the shit that it does and for why most people have to be oppressed. It is really a pathetic dance.
"A truth is not necessary, because we negatively are not able to conceive the actual existence of the opposite thereof;but a truth is necessary when we positively are able to apprehend that the negation thereof includes an inevitable contradiction. It is not that that we can see how the opposite comes to be true, but it is that the opposite can not possibly be true." -R.L. Dabney

"Those then who know not wisdom and virtue, and are always busy with gluttony and sensuality, go down and up again as far as the mean; and in this region they move at random throughout life, but they never pass into the true upper world; thither they neither look, nor do they ever find their way, neither are they truly filled with true being, nor do they ever taste of pure and abiding pleasure." -Socrates
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby Innovice » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:33 am

progress is a good thing by definition

but we must be careful to not tie it too closely to contemporary ideas of "progressivism" or "liberalism"

because they're not the same

some people can think of a law or philosophy or protection or right as "progressive".. in terms of contemporary politics

but to keep the law in existence forever would prove to be regressive

for instance

i think affirmative action was a good thing

keyword *was

it brought racism and inequality into the spotlight, and attempted (and was successful in some regards) to mitigate the issue.. and it still may be a good thing today

but hopefully there will come a time, if not today, where its not necessary

in fact, there will come a time, if not today, where the presence of affirmative action will enforce the idea that someone needs "extra protection and help" because of race.. it gives rise to the idea of inequality, and racism.. by nature

perhaps we don't spend enough time thinking.. philosophically.. about what 'progress' is, or should be.. before forcing it upon the masses
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby anon » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:12 pm

trevor wrote:I'm not an activist but for all the suffering animals and even humans have been put through in order to get to where we are today in terms of medicinal progress, all we really have is longer lives. And a longer life isn't necessarily a better life - a vague term I know. Longevity and iPhones.

I think you make a great point. I wish more people thought that way.
"Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries." - Blaise Pascal

"The bombs we plant in each other are ticking away." - Edward Yang

"To a fly that likes the smell of putrid / Meat the fragrance of sandalwood is foul. / Beings who discard Nirvana / Covet coarse Samsara's realm." - Saraha
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby nameta9 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:22 pm

From:

viewtopic.php?t=175489

Whatever happened to "Progress" ?

It used to be that people looked forward towards the future for better, improved, more possibilities, all kinds of possible improvements. And in fact the word "Scientist" was held in great respect, they were the high priests planning the future, bringing forth progress and a better future. Then, somewhere down the line, all kinds of reactionary Right Wing Thugs, Environmentalists who are so totally obsessed with that huge pile of crap they call "Nature" and so completely obsessed with that other boogie man called "overpopulation", capitalists and puny small businesses - entrepreneurs, and just plain dumb folks, ignorant, craps, you name it simply decided TO KILL THE FUTURE. And plan for a new dark ages, nay, a new stone age as Kunstler's World made by Hand (better known as Ape world of Man returning to Ape condition because he was a scaredy cat of the future, what total punks all of these people be!).

No more Rockets to Mars (we need trillions of these!), No more Skyscrapers (we need trillions of these! and remember to emphasize BIG numbers, to make a point, to make a statement, to make it clear that you are talking about BIG THINGS, change you can believe in BIG TIME), No more Cheap Rents and Free Salaries (we need trillions of these for thousands of trillions of people, all of them being Scientists and Technicians and Engineers, all of them with wildly Modified brains and Minds, and Mental Contraptions), No more Pride, Ambition, Goals, Collective Goals, Unity of Intent, MIND OVER MATTER, Super Consumption (to KILL AND DEMOLISH ALL AND EVERY POSSIBLE TRACE OF NATURE!) a kind of Super Nationalism, adoration and Worship for the Symbol and Symbols, (and of each of these we need trillions of these and as Intensity goes trillions of times more intense than the puny intensity of everyday life), etc.

On this website and so, so many others there is this huge constant thread of Overpopulation, we are "Too Many", and all kinds of Racisms, We against them, etc. On overpopulation, there is nothing further from the truth, we can host thousands of trillions if the greens and tree huggers and environmentalists weren't such selfish - egotistical slobs that want to hog it all up for themselves, not even noticing how selfish - egotistical and criminal they really are, all along thinking that they are right and correct and good, etc. What morons! the whole deal of overpopulation is a subtle device the rich and capitalists imposed to get a war going between poor people, to create resource "contention" when in fact there are no resource contentions, only rich and ruling class and capitalists that have set things up by design, that have planned this war between people from the outset, but everyone keeps on buying into overpopulation, there is not enough for everyone, etc.

And if people misbehave, they will be programmed accordingly, they will have some of their neural circuits changed (by computers, not by Man as Man is not reliable, too much of a slave to impulses and his Free Will and his never ending internal contradictions, unsatisfactions, confusions) and we must decompose that entity called Free Will in people so as people no longer contrast and fight each other. They become one unit, one monolithic block of Matter Saturating the Entire Universe with the "Power of Symbol Over Matter", "Symbol Over the Laws of Physics"...

Now go little Ryan, go on little Betty, copy this all and bring it to your teacher, another A+ and GOLD star, go on San Jose Mommy, check it out, bring it to your Boss (or your husbands, or whoever supports you), you will get another raise, they will like it a lot, finally some direction in a world that has lost all possible directions.

And check out this Mental Contraption that fell from the Sun in Betty and Ryan's backyard:

QII(//WII(//WOOO///////&&GJJJHKKK/////TTELLELLL=======

Whaow, what on earth is going on in there, honey bunch ? Wowo, that is really far out, I see all kinds of Mass to Thought converters, Aggregators to disaggregators, units to independence limit machines, wow, so much to discover and play around with. Betty and Ryan are going to have a ball today!

Quo Vadis ? baby ...
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby the sad clown » Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:56 am

trevor wrote:I'm not an activist but for all the suffering animals and even humans have been put through in order to get to where we are today in terms of medicinal progress, all we really have is longer lives. And a longer life isn't necessarily a better life - a vague term I know. Longevity and iPhones.

What about fewer days being crippled by disease, hunger, or other maladies that technology has helped alleviate? What technology (verses use of said technology) would you do without? I think I would find the list rather short.

More years to lament the years lost.

Isn't that a personal decision? It doesn't have to be that way, and technological progress certainly doesn't necessitate it. In fact, you could always end your life if it seems overly long and still enjoy the benefits of technology for however many days you do decide you want to live.
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby Duality » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:33 pm

the sad clown wrote:In fact, you could always end your life if it seems overly long and still enjoy the benefits of technology for however many days you do decide you want to live.

I would rather take others' lives for subjecting me to the predicament of wanting to take my own life.
"A truth is not necessary, because we negatively are not able to conceive the actual existence of the opposite thereof;but a truth is necessary when we positively are able to apprehend that the negation thereof includes an inevitable contradiction. It is not that that we can see how the opposite comes to be true, but it is that the opposite can not possibly be true." -R.L. Dabney

"Those then who know not wisdom and virtue, and are always busy with gluttony and sensuality, go down and up again as far as the mean; and in this region they move at random throughout life, but they never pass into the true upper world; thither they neither look, nor do they ever find their way, neither are they truly filled with true being, nor do they ever taste of pure and abiding pleasure." -Socrates
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby anon » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:20 pm

the sad clown wrote:
trevor wrote:I'm not an activist but for all the suffering animals and even humans have been put through in order to get to where we are today in terms of medicinal progress, all we really have is longer lives. And a longer life isn't necessarily a better life - a vague term I know. Longevity and iPhones.

What about fewer days being crippled by disease, hunger, or other maladies that technology has helped alleviate? What technology (verses use of said technology) would you do without? I think I would find the list rather short.

Many people would suggest that technology is fundamentally connected to environmental problems, which are in turn connected to disease. It seems like some kind of reasonable balance is called for? Not that I have any idea how that could happen, but maybe in small ways - with each invididual choice that is presented to us - we can make the kind of decisions that recognize this fact.

I might find the list rather short when push comes to shove as well. But I don't see how that's an argument for more technology, any more than the idea that if someone murders my wife it puts me in a privileged position for knowing whether we should have a death penalty or not. Technology can be better, and sometimes "less is more". By "better" in this context I mean more appropriate - technology can emerge out of a wider set of considerations (i.e. social, environmental) than it currently does.
"Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries." - Blaise Pascal

"The bombs we plant in each other are ticking away." - Edward Yang

"To a fly that likes the smell of putrid / Meat the fragrance of sandalwood is foul. / Beings who discard Nirvana / Covet coarse Samsara's realm." - Saraha
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby the sad clown » Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:18 am

Duality wrote:I would rather take others' lives for subjecting me to the predicament of wanting to take my own life.

Who is subjecting you to the predicament of wanting to take your own life? I suppose your parents imposed various technologies on you when you were a minor, but after that, it's your choice.

anon wrote:Many people would suggest that technology is fundamentally connected to environmental problems, which are in turn connected to disease. It seems like some kind of reasonable balance is called for? Not that I have any idea how that could happen, but maybe in small ways - with each individual choice that is presented to us - we can make the kind of decisions that recognize this fact.

Technology is not fundamentally connected to environmental problems. Rather, I would think it is human behavior that is fundamentally connected to environmental problems, with technology merely modulating the amplitude of the impact. And for every malady caused by technology, I would guess there is at least two that are cured or prevented by technology (that is a pretty conservative guess in my estimate). How else could you account for the explosion of human population and longevity?

I might find the list rather short when push comes to shove as well. But I don't see how that's an argument for more technology, any more than the idea that if someone murders my wife it puts me in a privileged position for knowing whether we should have a death penalty or not. Technology can be better, and sometimes "less is more". By "better" in this context I mean more appropriate - technology can emerge out of a wider set of considerations (i.e. social, environmental) than it currently does.

But precedence is the only argument that can be made in this situation, either for future technology or against it, since none of us is privileged with knowledge of what future technology is going to result in. This is what I was referring to, with my current experience being merely the most current example of how technology effects us for good or ill.

I agree that there are trade-offs with technology, uses and abuses that have had terrible consequences, but I don't see the net effect being negative so far, either with my example or with the general sweep of history. I should add that is a anthropocentric perspective. For the wider ecosystem, I think you are right, a case can be made that technology has enhanced our ecological impact, often negatively. I still feel this is a behavioral issue and not necessarily a technological one, but in the absence of behavioral changes, yes, less technology would probably reduce what harm our activities cause.

I suppose the choice is between pessimism (or realism, since there is precedence), which would lead one to oppose technological development because humans were not qualified to wield such powers, or optimism with the hope that technology, especially in the fields of communication and energy, could help alter human behavior and the impact of those behaviors in such a manner that the current ecological trajectory could be changed. I'm not sure what corrective course of action you could take other than some type of apocalyptic event if one is pessimistic, which forces me into the optimistic camp.
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby Philosopher8659 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:43 am

Does it matter?

There is our environment, and there is us. One of them we can certainly change, and the other probably not.

What does it matter if someone else can do a thing, understand a thing, what does that really have to do with what we can individually do?

This is one reason I cannot understand the normal "God" concept. Who cares what a god can or cannot do? What does that have to do with what I can and cannot do?

What does it matter what the guy down the block can or cannot do? What does that have to do with what i can or cannot do?

What difference does technology make to me, if I cannot use it in a project that I want done?

That all makes as much sense as watching someone get laid and never going out and getting a girl friend. Makes no sense to me.
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby Duality » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:04 pm

the sad clown wrote:
Duality wrote:I would rather take others' lives for subjecting me to the predicament of wanting to take my own life.

Who is subjecting you to the predicament of wanting to take your own life? I suppose your parents imposed various technologies on you when you were a minor, but after that, it's your choice.

modern society created an environment where sociopathic behavior is enforced and condoned. So my response to that is yea Ill play your game, but be sure that Ill make you pay before it's all said and done. And Im not talking college bullshit here.
"A truth is not necessary, because we negatively are not able to conceive the actual existence of the opposite thereof;but a truth is necessary when we positively are able to apprehend that the negation thereof includes an inevitable contradiction. It is not that that we can see how the opposite comes to be true, but it is that the opposite can not possibly be true." -R.L. Dabney

"Those then who know not wisdom and virtue, and are always busy with gluttony and sensuality, go down and up again as far as the mean; and in this region they move at random throughout life, but they never pass into the true upper world; thither they neither look, nor do they ever find their way, neither are they truly filled with true being, nor do they ever taste of pure and abiding pleasure." -Socrates
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby Philosopher8659 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:38 pm

Duality wrote: modern society created an environment where sociopathic behavior is enforced and condoned. So my response to that is yea Ill play your game, but be sure that Ill make you pay before it's all said and done. And Im not talking college bullshit here.


That is a self referential fallacy. Man does not create man.
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby Duality » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:51 pm

Philosopher8659 wrote:
Duality wrote: modern society created an environment where sociopathic behavior is enforced and condoned. So my response to that is yea Ill play your game, but be sure that Ill make you pay before it's all said and done. And Im not talking college bullshit here.

That is a self referential fallacy. Man does not create man.

I have no idea what the fuck that means in relation to what I said. Please translate it into modern english.
"A truth is not necessary, because we negatively are not able to conceive the actual existence of the opposite thereof;but a truth is necessary when we positively are able to apprehend that the negation thereof includes an inevitable contradiction. It is not that that we can see how the opposite comes to be true, but it is that the opposite can not possibly be true." -R.L. Dabney

"Those then who know not wisdom and virtue, and are always busy with gluttony and sensuality, go down and up again as far as the mean; and in this region they move at random throughout life, but they never pass into the true upper world; thither they neither look, nor do they ever find their way, neither are they truly filled with true being, nor do they ever taste of pure and abiding pleasure." -Socrates
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby Philosopher8659 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:30 pm

Duality wrote:I have no idea what the fuck that means in relation to what I said. Please translate it into modern english.


right now, I am doing an ebook and video of an Englilsh book published in 1767. I assure you, the language has not really changed much since then.

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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby Duality » Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:28 pm

Philosopher8659 wrote:
Duality wrote:I have no idea what the fuck that means in relation to what I said. Please translate it into modern english.


right now, I am doing an ebook and video of an Englilsh book published in 1767. I assure you, the language has not really changed much since then.

A sociopath does not create themselves.

dude my point is that I have no clue about anything youre trying to say or how it relates to my post in the slightest.
"A truth is not necessary, because we negatively are not able to conceive the actual existence of the opposite thereof;but a truth is necessary when we positively are able to apprehend that the negation thereof includes an inevitable contradiction. It is not that that we can see how the opposite comes to be true, but it is that the opposite can not possibly be true." -R.L. Dabney

"Those then who know not wisdom and virtue, and are always busy with gluttony and sensuality, go down and up again as far as the mean; and in this region they move at random throughout life, but they never pass into the true upper world; thither they neither look, nor do they ever find their way, neither are they truly filled with true being, nor do they ever taste of pure and abiding pleasure." -Socrates
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby Philosopher8659 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:24 pm

Duality wrote:dude my point is that I have no clue about anything youre trying to say or how it relates to my post in the slightest.



That is my point. If you do not understand simple English, doesn't that bother you in the least? And if it really bothers you, why on earth have you obviously done so little about it?

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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby Duality » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:36 pm

wow, what a fuckin troll
"A truth is not necessary, because we negatively are not able to conceive the actual existence of the opposite thereof;but a truth is necessary when we positively are able to apprehend that the negation thereof includes an inevitable contradiction. It is not that that we can see how the opposite comes to be true, but it is that the opposite can not possibly be true." -R.L. Dabney

"Those then who know not wisdom and virtue, and are always busy with gluttony and sensuality, go down and up again as far as the mean; and in this region they move at random throughout life, but they never pass into the true upper world; thither they neither look, nor do they ever find their way, neither are they truly filled with true being, nor do they ever taste of pure and abiding pleasure." -Socrates
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby Philosopher8659 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:39 pm

Duality wrote:wow, what a fuckin troll

That is an original display of apprehension.
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby Trevor » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:22 am

the sad clown wrote:
trevor wrote:I'm not an activist but for all the suffering animals and even humans have been put through in order to get to where we are today in terms of medicinal progress, all we really have is longer lives. And a longer life isn't necessarily a better life - a vague term I know. Longevity and iPhones.

What about fewer days being crippled by disease, hunger, or other maladies that technology has helped alleviate? What technology (verses use of said technology) would you do without? I think I would find the list rather short.


Well, it's this fear of disease and illness I want to get at. We have a longer life expectancy now which seems to have also increased our odds at misfortune. For instance, if a person were to die young or get sick young, it'd be considered more unfortunate/tragic than if it were to happen later on in life and I think, in order to avoid this misfortune, we curb ourselves. We sacrifice today for tomorrow. There's an imbedded notion that we shouldn't die young. Whereas, I think a 20 year old's death should be no more unfortunate than a 70 year old's. I guess that's what it boils down to. But having just wrote that I'm not sure I agree with it :roll:.

-- yehhh, I scrapped the OP for a reason.
Last edited by Trevor on Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby PavlovianModel146 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:37 am

You ended up turning it into the greatest Topic/OP, ever.
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Re: Is 'progress' worthwhile?

Postby James S Saint » Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:31 am

When "progress" is defined by the God-wannabes getting their wish for dominion over all life on Earth, I have to question its worthiness.
But then it seems that such is a stage that Man must go through in order to get to the better prize, the real progress of no longer having to put up with or live under such non-sense.

Sometimes going down hill for a while is the means and path to the top of the mountain.

But then again.. US Citizens Shall Obey.. Especially the young.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
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It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
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