If You’re Not Part of the Problem

It used to be said: “If you’re not part of the SOLUTION, you’re part of the PROBLEM.”

But the tide of recent history, culminating with (but by no means limited to) the election of Trump to the US presidency,[1] has changed all that. Don’t think this was a sudden change; all manner of groups have been trying this for decades. Voltaire wrote in the eighteenth century that it is dangerous to be right when those in power are wrong. Now in countries all across the world, in Russia, in China, in America, in America(!), those in power have finally succeeded in making the human rights activists, the environmentalists, and all those who fight for real freedom and fairness, into the enemy.

So, it used to be said: “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

Now we say: “If you’re not part of the PROBLEM, you’re part of the SYSTEM.”


[1] Which until the moment Trump entered the Oval Office, despite not innumerable attacks from within and an almost congenital degeneracy, still stood as the pinnacle of our modern, western democracy. Thinking of Trump and the symbolism of the presidency reminds me of Groucho Marx’s comment that “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.” I can’t help feel a little sorry for Trump that he is the only person who can never get the irony.


Guardian: China’s threat to freedom in HK

I would wager the argument goes something like this: “There are too many people. Freedom is unstable. And without stability, we will all perish.” Is it ever justified to choose lack of freedom over freedom? What if the only way to survive is to give up your freedom? But, if by choosing not to be free you at least get to live, what is this ‘life’ and is it worth living at all?




They–the pop psychologists and others–say that we hate in others only what we don’t suffer ourselves.[1] A classic example: the fitness instructor who hates laziness. But I have another theory. What if they’re the only ones who can see it? As I’m constantly declaring to anyone who’ll listen and others who won’t, no one can see their own limits–in this case, their faults. It’s simple, biological self-protection. No one wants to live with constant reminders of their failings. Moreover, no one can. Someone who repeatedly makes the same mistake, reminded of it enough times, will despise the complainant and deny the mistake. So maybe it’s not that the fitness instructor hates laziness because she is in no danger of suffering it. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t suffer from it that her eyes are open and she can see it in others.


[1] I write here not of the people who attack in others specifically what they suffer from themselves.[2] I can only they get what they deserve one day, publicly and without mercy.
[2] Though the basis is the same: they also do not see their own faults.

What kind of parrot am I?

What kind of parrot am I? … Better then to acknowledge that what we are is what we have been taught, that done, at least it will be possible to choose our own teacher. I know I am made up of other people’s say so, veins of tradition, a particular kind of education, borrowed methods that have disguised themselves as personal habits. I know that what I am is quite the opposite of an individual. But if the parrot is to speak, let him be taught by a singing master. Parrot may not learn to sing but he will know what singing is. That is why I have tried to hide myself among the best; music, pictures, books, philosophy, theology, like Dante, my great teacher is dead. My alive friends privately consider me to be rather highbrow and stuffy, but we are all stuffed, stuffed with other people’s ideas parading as our own.

-Jeanette Winterson, Art & Lies

[more quotes at irepeatinmysleep.wordpress.com]

The Onion: ‘No way to prevent this’

The tragic irony of humour being the only means remaining of tackling an issue that is not funny, not even a little.


The score at fractional-time

To give a final tally of mass shootings in the US would be more my style. (Post-)humans looking back on the present at our (super)human tolerance for killing each other. Instead, here is the score from 2.10.2017: 1516 from 1735. Not a bad conversion rate.

Against Nationalism

Against nationalism, saluting the flag, pledging allegiance, rising for the national anthem, and all blind obedience to authority for all people in all countries.

Today in the news, it’s Egypt, USA, and Germany.


Guardian: Should we ban sex robots while we have the chance?

“Young people who have grown up in the age of online porn might consider shaved pubic hair and double penetration to be completely normal. Similarly, the generation growing up when sex robots are commonplace might see brutally selfish sex as both desirable and achievable. … [I]t’s about the kind of sex that will become normal within human societies if we start having sex with robots.

“Perhaps the most important question to ask is why there is a market for sex robots in the first place. Why do some people find the idea of a partner without autonomy so attractive?”

Don’t we already know the answer to this? We just don’t want to admit it.


Guardian: How education in Turkey is changing

This is how you engineer a people. What children are taught and not taught will uplift or burden them for the rest of their lives. They have no choice in the matter, it will be a part of them, a part that lodges at the core of their being. Don’t think this is only happening in Turkey. This is happening everywhere. All education is brainwashing, but there’s brainwashing and there’s brainwashing. Just because there can be no concept of a perfect education doesn’t mean we can’t identify better forms of education and worse forms of education.

As for Turkey, “[t]he purpose of the new curriculum … [is] ideological. They want to raise a generation best suited to their ideological ideals. … Erdoğan said he wanted a religious, devout generation, and these changes are made for this wish”


Guardian: Facebook bans Rohingya group’s posts

Facebook moderators ordered to delete all posts “by or praising” Arsa, a Rohingya insurgency group. Meanwhile, the pages of the Myanmar military and government continue disseminating their propaganda and misinformation, and I continue to see hate speech on the platform every day.

Facebook is dead. Welcome to Facebook.