Sunday, September 30, 2012

"Solutions" dialogue

Let's have a dialogue about one of the solutions offered two posts back:

Eliminate all languages except one.

Here's how this will work: If you disagree with this notion, write a single sentence in the comments which sums up why it's flawed. I will then write a single sentence in reply, possibly in the form of a question, and we will continue this way until we either both agree or one of us gives up.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Education reform

Scenario 1

1. Bobby is a date rapist, because he has left behind evidence and the testimonies of several women.

2. Bobby should be slowly tortured to death for being a date rapist.

3. Billy is a date rapist, because he has the same awkward smile and messy hair as Bobby. All people who have awkward smiles and messy hair are date rapists.

4. Billy should be slowly tortured to death for having an awkward smile and messy hair -- and, thus, being a date rapist.

Statement 1 sounds plausible. The rest do not follow from it, however.

Scenario 2

1. Bobby is a loser, because he makes no attempts to improve society and instead consumes cannabis on a daily basis while never bothering to look for a job.

2. Bobby should be mocked and ridiculed rather than offered opportunities, a proper education/discussion, and some intrinsic motivation to improve society -- either via a renewed sense of empathy or because he directly benefits from doing so, or both.

3. Billy is a loser, because he, like Bobby, believes that capitalism is one of the evils of man. Billy has a job in the face of this and is strongly interested in matters not concerning himself, however.

4. Billy should be mocked and ridiculed rather than offered opportunities, a proper education/discussion, and some intrinsic motivation to improve society -- either via a renewed sense of empathy or because he directly benefits from doing so, or both.

This scenario is not as severe or starkly violent as the former, but the same pitfalls are present.

So, are you going to be like the people in both scenarios who chastise Billy and Bobby, regardless of Billy or Bobby's crimes against humanity, or are you willing to offer them new opportunities? Are you willing to extend your hand in an effort to persuade them and improve not only their own lives, but the lives of those around them?

If so -- and if you have previously voiced disapproval of my vision to improve the education system -- then please provide a real critique of it in the comments. Thanks!

[Regardless of whether you think that any of the above is a bunch of crackpot babbling, wouldn't you rather see enumerated problems like these in a college course concerning ethics and philosophy than crap about epistemological nominalism and Foucault? If mathematics can be about exercise and practice, then so can philosophy and ethics.]


Time to piss some more people off...


1. Shorten the work day to four hours.

2. Provide a public alternative to social media websites.

3. Legally abolish the practice of inheriting fortunes.

4. Shut down all credit card companies and imprison their stockholders.

5. Nationalize all corporations.

6. Legally abolish planned obsolescence.

7. Increase the number of teachers per classroom and decrease the number of students.

8. Eliminate the boss/partiality dichotomy in parenting and promote real friendship, trust, and honesty between parents and children.

9. Criminalize alcohol consumption and possession.

10. Abolish the death penalty.

11. Legalize assisted suicide.

12. Criminalize the production of meat.

13. Promote automation in the industrial and service sectors of the economy.

14. Criminalize all forms of gun possession.

15. Criminalize pregnancy.

16. Teach how to think in the classroom before presenting any individual item as a fact; discourage memorization and tradition.

17. Eliminate all legal age requirements for everything and encourage individual demonstrations of skill and responsibility.

18. Encourage corporate collusion using an "open source" method.

19. Encourage the free downloading of any kind of media.

20. Shut down frivolous businesses (jewelry chains, professional sports franchises, record companies) until we can confirm both that no businesses can utilize child labor for acquiring their raw materials and that there are no longer major threats to sentience warranting immediate attention and resources.

21. Legally abolish the lottery.

22. Criminalize all forms of gambling.

23. Reform public broadcasting in all realms of media such that there is greater public awareness of its presence; make critical thinking entertaining in an effort to gradually phase out the currently prevailing forms of entertainment in media.

24. Scorn those who promote indefinite growth -- whether of population, economic output, or irrelevant information about our personal lives.


1. Make everyone on Earth a member of the government.

2. Allow ideas to rule our lives, regardless of who their originators are.

3. Do away with Daylight Saving Time and time zones.

4. Eliminate all languages except one.

5. Institute peer review by unaffiliated parties in all empirical matters.

6. Replace corporate advertisements with individual advertisements of new ideas and innovations.

7. Abolish the monetary system and all methods of trading and bartering; eliminate private property and the general conception of ownership of anything, whether intellectual property, ideas, or material goods.

8. Eliminate the concepts of the school day and free time in favor of an augmented concept of nurture; allow only certified, temporary personnel within youth centers to raise children -- never their genetic parents; eliminate the distinction between life lessons and academic lessons in favor of a unified model for raising children under a singular mode with uniform methods.

9. Eliminate the dichotomy of socializing and the news media in favor of fully transparent, technologically facilitated communication.

10. Design architecture to accommodate moods in innovative ways; stray from modern, square-shaped designs wherever possible.

11. Engineer a highway system for goods and raw materials such that said materials arrive at a given location on demand at the press of a button, thus encouraging individual creativity as a replacement for corporate appropriation.

12. Penalize extended privacy.

13. Eliminate all forms of extrinsic motivation.

14. Instead of retroactively treating symptoms of problems one-on-one indefinitely, address each emergent problem at its source.

15. Painlessly terminate as many consenting conscious agents as possible while enrolling the rest into full-time simulations of reality aimed at reducing as much suffering as possible.

16. De-emphasize individuality and personal identity; make all efforts to improve Earth about moments, experiences, and sensations rather than persons, rights, etc.

17. Remove the presence of finite resources from society altogether; promote cyclic alternatives.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

SomethingAwful Experiment: Fin

Welcome to the SomethingAwful meta-post. Sorry, everyone, but I'm going to close the comments on this one, because it is a summation, not an experiment. The lizard three posts back has been fully consumed by the ants.

I've always found the disparity between what a person says that they believe and what they actually believe to be fascinating. Do people who claim to be invested in losing weight really want to lose weight in every instance? Do people who allegedly don't care about your opinions secretly want to linger for over a week on your blog so that they can continually attempt to put you in your place?

Well, I decided to find out. I read over the relevant parts of the thread a few times, marveling at the lack of empathy and total disconnect between the posters and their various targets, who ranged from the socially inept to the downright freakish. I was blown away by how the posters had, in essence, taken a chunk of the massive aggregate of public soapboxes which we call the Internet and converted it into another reality show. I was not shocked in the slightest, but I was certainly appalled by their lack of initiative to do something about the trainwrecks that they were posting about.

Like many fine citizens every night watching someone screech horribly and embarrass themselves on national television, these people actually enjoyed the fact that the subjects of their discussion were not so adept at functioning properly in society. They liked that their targets were not making the world a better place, because the targets' role as social parasite was funny to them.

Well, if you spend an inordinate amount of time lampooning the dregs of society and doing absolutely nothing to fix the problem, then consider yourself among the dregs. If you can't go two posts without referring to multiple weirdos as a collective "them," even in spite of their glaring lack of similarities, then count yourself among the racists, witch hunters, and neo-Nazis. Never mind the irony in jumping all over me for my apparently poor comparative ability; two people who have nothing to do with each other are similar only in that they're weird or bad at something, so that means that it's okay to lie about them and promulgate the lies until they become fact.

The point that is lost on these people is that it really doesn't matter whether your targets are terrible human beings, idiotic, or doing harm somewhere in society. None of this gives you the excuse to slanderously generalize people away, at any scale, as petty statistics. For the final time, you are not partaking in something as horrific as genocide by perpetuating these cognitive propensities; you are allowing for the possibility of genocide by perpetuating these cognitive propensities. Quality A and quality B must not be asserted to have an absolute correlation where quality A is not inherent in the definition of that which always exhibits quality B.

But if you can have fun laughing at people for what their environment has shaped them into, I can, too -- only I make sure beforehand that all of my targets are malicious and pompous. I very easily could have made the SomethingAwful post a reply to an attack on some other person they'd deemed a "loser," but replying to the part about me was much more fun; there's no better way to say, "I can spy on you, silly secret Internet champions!" than to make a humongous post saying just that, then watch as it gets over a hundred comments in a few hours. I guess that, for these people, it's far less scary to talk about a blog somewhere other than the blog -- but then, when it becomes apparent that the blog owner knows about your secret discussions, it's time to react!

So, for the ten of you interested, here were the methods employed to this end:

1. Dismantling identity and forcing them to cowardly retreat to anonymity. Note that very few comments after this one were made using an alias of any kind. Also note that I generally would never do something like this, but I did not throw the first stone, and they're strong enough to take it.

Ultranerd HunterAugust 25, 2012 5:22 PM


Ultranerd HunterAugust 25, 2012 5:30 PM

By the way, I love having sex with children.

2. Persuading them to actually provide critiques after frustrating them by not blocking them, cussing them out, or having a "meltdown." This is the beginning of something that goes on for quite a while, and I manage to get them to divulge their views on racism, art, and the education system, among other topics. So much for just trolling and not getting defensive!

AnonymousAugust 25, 2012 6:09 PM

I don't think anyone can refute things like "calling me an ultranerd? That's JUST LIKE calling someone a racial slur."

AnonymousAugust 25, 2012 6:24 PM

The stupidity of your position lies in you writing that, looking it over and deciding it's good enough to publish for the world to see.

And then demanding people refute it when you are rightfully called out.

3. Demonstrating their confirmation bias and propensity to emotionally overreact whenever certain key terms are used. They're not here to understand or persuade; they're here to "search out" words that will allow them to make someone else seem foolish. Note: This is all in reference to my comment regarding the lack of evidence for the Holocaust being a top-down plan part of the Third Reich's agenda from the get-go.

AnonymousAugust 25, 2012 7:01 PM

You just hit a new low.

AnonymousAugust 25, 2012 7:03 PM

I have no words.

AnonymousAugust 25, 2012 7:10 PM

Sometimes the dissenters need to be silenced.

AnonymousAugust 25, 2012 7:13 PM

Doesn't it just ruin your day when what you thought was just a harmless but amusing ultranerd with the dream of being a robot starts spewing neo-Nazi bullshit?

4. Cutting them off before they can make light of my apparently contradicting myself after making a lengthy post while claiming to not care what others think about me. Come on, guys, I'm not a fifteen-year-old girl wearing some kind of "don't give a fuck, yo" philosophy on my sleeve. Note how this chain devolves into the most banal, uncreative, widely used, and unfunny rhetorical question imaginable.

Wait, I'm confused because you seem to be contradicting yourself a lot on this, do you or do you not care what other people think about you?

Leaving SocietyAugust 25, 2012 6:54 PM

1. I care what people think in general, about everything. What people think about me is a subset of what people think in general, so I care about that.

2. I made this post because I knew it would get like a hundred comments, and that is funny and fascinating to me.

3. Some people actually enjoy their jobs, and their enjoyment in no way indicates that they don't care. Weird, huh?

AnonymousAugust 25, 2012 6:56 PM

Ah, yes, the DANCE MY PUPPETS! card. I was wondering when it would show up.

Leaving SocietyAugust 25, 2012 7:04 PM

Just because human behavior is predictable doesn't mean I view you as my puppets. This, as in the case of the blog as a whole, is an experiment -- not a puppet show.

AnonymousAugust 25, 2012 7:17 PM

Leaving Society, why are you such a racist?

5. Demonstrating how easy it is to take one community, whose self-image is predicated on apathy, and expose them for being pretentious. Note that most of my posts get no comments, while the one referenced above is already almost up to 130.

(the whole discussion)

Finally, check out their cognitive dissonance as on display here, where they rationalize both my lack of explosive reactions and my failure to delete comments as a sign that I'm just "not worth it."

Let this all be a lesson to those interested in the art of persuasion: The average person does not understand the difference between an equation and an analogy, so they get upset when they misinterpret your analogy as being some kind of attempt to equate two very, very different things. Most people are unable to grasp that a comparison can be made for the sake of demonstrating a point regarding a very specific, shared quality, regardless of the overall cultural implications of the things compared -- not because they're biologically inferior, but because they're a product of this poorly planned, inefficient edifice poking out through the "natural" world which we call society.

It's not important, purely for the sake of elucidating the point in question, to understand that pretty paintings and food share the quality of beings things that I have a preference for; what matters is that paintings are not food, and I am therefore a retard for 'comparing' paintings to food, because you need food to survive. Like, duh!

The result of all of this is that these heroes of established cultural norms decide that you're the one incapable of understanding the status quo; next comes irrelevancy in all of its myriad forms. Nothing is more ironic than championing academia as a valid grounds for discussion and then resorting to poo-flinging Internet drama, first as "trolling," then as a pathetic attempt to actually argue back. When was the last time that you called someone names in a college debate course, and why is it somehow only acceptable to do so when there are no consequences for your actions -- namely, on the Internet?

I'm just not worth the real arguments, even though said hypothetical arguments would be constructed out of inaccurate interpretation of the material presented here to begin with. Challenging something that is widely accepted automatically implies that you're not only wrong, but a failure (like being a failure at anything subjective even matters) at the thing as well. There are no logical fallacies in this paragraph, none at all!

Yeah, right. And I really believe that the Holocaust never happened and have no capacity to be moved by art.