The subjectivity of objective

April 18, 2022

Absolute objectivity is a mirage. Objectivity, in itself, is always a value judgement and always subjective. There is no observation, no experience, no proposition, no fact, no truth, no logic which has not been filtered through human cognition and all its shortcomings. Nothing is completely objective. Nothing I write can be objective. That is a truth which comes before the beginning.

Let us start there.

Objective is not a useful word in framing an insult. “You objective scoundrel” somehow elevates a “scoundrel” and detracts from the insult. I cannot think of an example where being objective is considered bad. An objective evil or an objective crime are word combinations without meaning. At worst, objective is perceived as neutral. In regard to human thoughts and actions we assume that they are either based on logic and reason or on feelings and emotion. They are not necessarily opposed but it is implicit in our language that they are different. We perceive reasoning to be more objective than emotional reactions.

We allow the ability to distinguish objective from subjective to reside only in animate things having brains. We do not even allow artificial brains that ability. We know that brains are where both logic and reason on the one hand, and feelings and emotions on the other, reside. But we connect being objective with a brain’s exercise of logic and reason and untainted by emotions. Language does not permit an emotional rationality. Being subjective is also of a brain but is a characteristic of the individuality of that brain and its attendant emotions. Subjectivity is undefined without a brain which generates both reason and emotion. The practice of science and the law thus set a high value on the thing we call objectivity, whereas we appreciate, and expect, an individualistic subjectivity from an author or a musician or a painter or a teacher or a tennis champion.

But in seeking objectivity we are chasing a mirage.

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Call him Anonymous

April 6, 2022

Call him Anonymous.

He was born in a middle-size town to middle-class parents and he was then one of about 1,700 million people alive. He was an only child and rarely met his two cousins. He did not want for food or clothing and enjoyed an unremarkable but comfortable childhood. He was not bullied and did not bully anyone else. He was never beaten and never struck anyone. He finished school in the middle of his class. He went to an unremarkable university and graduated, without honours but without any adverse comments. He joined a large textile company as a junior clerk in the accounts department.

In due course he married his unremarkable cousin (twice removed) who was two years older and they had three unremarkable children. One died (a cot-death) in infancy. His children grew up unremarkably and without any great upheavals in their lives. He bought a house and a little car. His wife worked as a shop accountant before their children were born and also after they were teenagers. They did not want for food and clothing and they could afford an unremarkable holiday for a week or two every year. During the War he was seconded as an accountant to the Amy Pay Office. After the war he returned to his textile company employer. His performance as an accountant was always adequate and his career progressed unremarkably through the accounts department. By the age of fifty he had risen to be the Deputy Manager of the Reports and Financial Statement Department. His parents died unremarkably in their 80s.

His wife and he both retired at 60 and their combined pensions allowed them to continue living unremarkably in their house. She continued with her Lunch Club and Dramatic Society and he had his annual subscription to the Football and Bridge Clubs. Their children – and later 2 grandchildren – visited them in the summer and at Christmas. They were always invited to his company’s annual Christmas Party until the company was wound down and vanished after 120 years in business. She died quietly after a stroke when she was 78 and he continued living in his unremarkable little house for another 15 years. When he was 92 his children and the City authorities moved him to a home for the aged. His house was sold and the proceeds together with his pension were sufficient to ensure that he was cared for at a better than average home. He never became senile but his physical abilities gradually withered away. His children continued visiting him once or twice a year. He had no other visitors.

He died 11 years later at 103. It was a quiet death and his heart just stopped beating one night. It was during the pandemic and nobody could visit him. The Home organised his cremation and the disposal of his ashes in consultation with his children. This was in an environmentally approved tip since immersion of the ashes in the local river was not allowed. A short memorial service was live-streamed a month later and 4 people logged in.

He died alone among 7.5 billion people on the planet.

There is no doubt he did exist. An unremarkable living, a forgotten life

His name? Call him Anonymous.


And where lies the truth about Ukraine?

March 29, 2022

I believe very little of the ridiculous propaganda narratives either from the Western media or from the less accessible Russian sources.  The narrative in the Western media dominates the media space that is accessible to me. The counter-view is not politically correct and is largely ignored but the politically correct story that I am being bombarded with lacks somewhat in credibility.

What I do observe is the real oil and gas prices (spot price rather than futures), the real prices of food in the markets and the real performance of the world stock markets. Asia and the Middle East are resisting the wholesale acceptance of the NATO propaganda and are making their own nuanced judgements. And what I observe suggests that the Western media narrative which is flooding the air-waves is heavily (probably intentionally) flawed.

The Guardian’s view is utterly predictable and just a little too sanctimonious. The counter-view published by ANI may also be rather biased but is a necessary balance for the childish narrative peddled by the bulk of the Western media.

Well, time will tell, but I suspect that the end-game will include further “autonomous”, Russian speaking regions established in Eastern Ukraine and that Ukraine will be forced to give up its aspirations for any membership of NATO for the foreseeable future.


 

Holi Sleep today but happiness follows on the 20th

March 18, 2022

18th of March 2022

In India Holi is being celebrated today while the rest of the world celebrates(?) Annual Sleep Day. But not to worry – Happiness Day follows on the 20th (along with Flour, Oral Health, French Language and Storytelling).

March madness continues.

(In case you were wondering, the UN’s annual Russian language day is to be celebrated around the world on 6th June).

 

I observe that when humans virtuously associate in international groups the collective intelligence exhibited is significantly lower than the lowest common intelligence. Intelligence increases fast when sanctimony and self-assessments of virtue are discarded.


 

Women Judges and Kidneys today

March 10, 2022

Carrying on from my preceding post, I woke up this morning to find that 10th March is for celebrating Kidneys and is also the UN’s International Day for Women Judges in furtherance of a United Nations General Assembly resolution of 28th April, 2021.

They didn’t check that this Day had already been reserved for kidneys.

The collective wisdom of the UN General Assembly is particularly noticeable by its absence.

The deeper the experience of an absence of meaning – in other words, of absurdity – the more energetically meaning is sought.  – Vaclav Havel


 

UN’s international days prove the world is dumbing down – but very virtuously

March 9, 2022

Yesterday was designated International Women’s Day celebrating 50% of the world’s population. Already famous women were celebrated in news articles and on radio and TV. For the not-so-famous it was just another day. Last week on 1st March we had Zero Discrimination Day (but nobody even knew) and on 3rd March we had World Wildlife Day (and no wild animal knew).

The 2022 UN list has 192 designated international days and weeks. (100 between January and June and 92 during the second half of every calendar year).

Tomorrow is the International day of Women Judges!!

21st March is an important and a very busy day. We are supposed to celebrate many things. It is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, World Poetry Day, International Day of Nowruz, World Down Syndrome Day and the International Day of Forests. The rest of March is pretty crowded. World Water Day comes on the 22nd followed by World Meteorological Day, World Tuberculosis Day, the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims, the International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members, and on the 25t of March we have the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

There are Days dedicated to Health, Chagas Disease, Tuberculosis, Mental Health, Aids, Diabetes and Malaria. There are Days dedicated to English, Chinese, Russian and and a number of other languages. The 16th of May is a Day dedicated for Living Together in Peace! There are Days for Bicycles, Albinism, Oceans, Yoga, Sustainable Gastronomy and Space Flight. Towards the end of the year the UN would like us to celebrate Toilets, Philosophy, Tolerance, Children, Banks, Soil and Mountains.

The list is an embarrassment to intelligence.

It is a very virtuous list. It proves that the UN believes it is the keeper of humanity’s conscience. It also proves my contention that the human race is dumbing down and the UN is also the proud keeper of human idiocy.

It is a list made by idiots and for idiots.


 

NATO expansionism a clear factor

February 25, 2022
Source: BBC

By any viewpoint NATO has been aggressively expansionist since 1997. It is not the only reason for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, of course, but it is probably the critical one.

The EU actively wooing Ukraine didn’t help, and NATO countries supplying weapons and weapons systems to Ukraine was intentionally provocative.

Whether sanctions can bite very hard without China and India is not very probable.

Kennedy and Cuba has some parallels to Putin and Ukraine. Though Czar Putin has taken it much further than Kennedy’s Bay of Pigs fiasco when he tried to covertly invade Cuba. 


 

Czar Vladimir invades Ukraine ….

February 24, 2022

And so it starts again….

People will die and borders will be redrawn. Where will it end? Hopefully not in a World War. Hopefully not in the use of battlefield nuclear weapons. But it could go there.

Vladimir Putin has more far-reaching and effective powers than any Czar in Russia ever had. Whether history will see him as Vladimir the Great or Vlad the Invader remains for the future to reveal.

An expansionist Czar? Partially but not entirely. A colonising Russia? Partially but not entirely. A response to NATO expansionism? Certainly but not entirely. A response to EU expansionism? Certainly but not entirely. Fuelled by a perception of US weakness? Very probably. Encouraged by Biden’s risk aversion? Certainly.

The lack of long-term response from the West to the annexation of the Crimea is probably a central part of the calculations. The Russian calculations are also probably that the US, NATO and the EU can do little more than enact sanctions and perhaps carry out a cyber war. Russian gas becomes a weapon in Russian hands only when winter comes to Germany at the end of 2022. I expect that Russian cyber attacks on Western institutions could well start soon

The Czar’s objective. Probably an Eastern Ukraine embedded within Greater Russia.

A minor incursion?


The innate goodness of liberals justifies their being authoritarian and even fascist

February 16, 2022

The fundamental truth is that a “liberal” is a member of a higher species, homo sapiens sapiens superieur.

To be a liberal is to be an enlightened, right-thinking, superior type of human being. The superiority is a moral and intellectual superiority which derives from the certainty of thinking correctly. Thus the liberal knows, without any shadow of doubt, that any opposing views, whether expressed openly or only hiding in the sewers of someone else’s mind, are wrong. The rightness of the liberal view is absolute and must be accepted as a brute fact of our universe. To challenge this is not just immoral, but evil. The innate goodness in a liberal is such that all thoughts and actions of a liberal are, per force, “good”. It follows that liberals must rule over non-liberals for the good of the non-liberals. Non-liberals must be forbidden from thinking or doing anything that may harm their own humanity. The use of coercive force to ensure that non-liberals follow the liberal rules – for their own good – is justified and inherently “good”. If necessary, any rotten non-liberals may be cancelled by liberals. The cancellation, in the extreme case, may consist of physical extermination. But it is a “good” extermination since exterminating a non-liberal is always a “good thing”.

For a member of a superior species, as any liberal is, members of lower species are to be taken care of for their own good, just as other pets are taken care of. A liberal does not indulge in unnecessary cruelty and only uses necessary force. Non-liberals are to be well treated and well trained and only culled as a last resort, and even then with great humanity. However the liberal – by definition – always acts responsibly. In exposed spaces, non-liberals are not to be allowed to run freely or destructively. They are to be kept on a leash whenever others are around. If there is a risk that they will say wrong things, they are to be muzzled. Non-liberals may be allowed to have a say in their own future but the liberal will exercise his veto if non-liberals are not thinking correctly.

A liberal enjoys an exalted state and has a place reserved in heaven. Nothing he can do can take that away from him. Normally, a reservation in heaven would be jeopardised by cruel and coercive behaviour to others. However, authoritarianism and fascism are perfectly allowable if one is first a liberal. Coercion with necessary force is permitted when applied to a lower species, such as non-liberals or pet dogs.


Vaccinations may have helped against severe illness but neither masks nor vaccinations have shortened the pandemic

February 10, 2022

For almost 3 years, epidemiology and rock-star epidemiologists have been flailing their way through the pandemic. Ridiculous modelling and constantly changing and contradictory advice have become the norm. 

At least there are some few who are beginning to be self-critical about all the mistakes that  epidemiology – which is no science – has made. Even fewer are willing to admit that blindly “following the science” means also following the 90+% of scientific research which goes down the wrong path. 

  • It was first thought that the infection would spread like influenza. But instead it spread in clusters which negated all hopes for achieving some kind of herd immunity.
  • the pattern of mutations of the corona virus was not as predicted (more hope than prediction) and that made specific vaccines less useful and for shorter times than expected.
  • vaccination has probably helped more in preventing serious illness than in preventing any spread of infection.
  • Infection was first thought to be air-borne. Then it was thought to be liquid-borne. In fact it is both and neither. These assumptions led to confused advice about the use of masks and types of masks. In fact, the use of masks may have helped in preventing a few of the infected from infecting others but has had little effect in stopping the mask-wearers from being infected.
  • even if the WHO had not tried to avoid blaming China and had raised the warning flag two months earlier than they did, no country had any useful plans for preventing the spread of infection in place.
  • Travel restrictions were never introduced fast enough to prevent the entry of a virus into a region.

The response to the pandemic will be studied for a long time yet and all the mistakes made will be the subject of many PhD theses to come. The social “sciences” are going to have a field day.

I believe in vaccines. I am sufficiently scared of serious illness to have taken all the vaccinations and boosters as they have become available. No doubt I will also take the 4th shot if and when it becomes available. It has generally been forgotten that for an effective vaccine to be useful and do its work, a vaccinated person needs first to be infected. But it is perfectly clear to me that, of course with the best intentions, vaccines have been grossly over-hyped as a means of preventing infection. Uncertain and bad science has also been used to justify the introduction of authoritarian and mandatory measures by governments. It may even be that the over-reliance on over-hyped vaccinations has prolonged the effects of the pandemic for longer than necessary. The purpose of mandatory vaccinations has misguidedly been the prevention of infection (not the prevention of serious illness) but the stark reality is that vaccinations have not been, and cannot be, very effective in preventing infection. The various mask mandates introduced in many countries have been both ridiculous and ineffective.

 



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