Life is for Living

This blog is to collect random thoughts that don't really have a structure, except a publishing chronology, and even that is unlikely to follow the creation chronology.

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Calm, excited, weak, strong, funny, serious, lazy, worker, irresponsible, thinker, shallow, selfish, generous, spontaneous, impulsive, undecided, poor, rich, tall(ish), ignorant, cultured, sophisticated, procrastinator, stoopid, clever. Pick any two, or more... ;-) 
One of my favorite quotes: "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well reserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... 'Wow! What a ride!' "

Generally interested in a lot of subjects:
- Artificial Intelligence (mostly because there's so little Natural Intelligence around)
 Robotics
- 3D printing
- DIY projects (including home foundry, electronics, general hacking)
- Scuba diving
- Mountaineering
- Paragliding
- Music
- Arts (mostly visual arts) including street art
- Dance
- Intentional communities
- Society in general, how to fix the current mess in particular, or rather how to escape it

Monday, July 25, 2005

Can't fool all the people all the time...

I remember having a discussion with my friend David over a year ago. His main argument was that the invasion of Irak _had to be_ a good thing, since the British gummint has sided with the Shrub in his attack. Surely, there was evidence good enough to convince Blair, we should trust "our leaders"...

It turned out, as I suspected, that the reasons for going to war were fallacious, mere smokescreens to hide the fact that going to war is necessary to prop up the failing economy, strengthen the powers-that-be's clutch on the masses and justify measures that would be unpopular in quieter times.

Yesterday, I came accross an entry in Bruce Schneier's Blog that commented on an interesting article that appeared recently in the American Conservative. Another article I found in the Houston Chronicle also abund in that sense. Both articles point to the fact that our fearless leaders' simplified explanations ("terrorists are not like us, they're just jealous of what we have") are just poppycock. I have been saying that fundamentally, human beings want what every other human being on this earth want: to live a decent life, have a family, work for a living, have fun, and be free to make the choices that affect their lives. When human beings resort to as extreme acts as suicide, there is usually a powerful motivation behind that act. Failing to understand these motivations, or worse, misrepresenting those motivations as stupididy, greed, or blind adherence to fanatism, does not help in solving the problem.

Recently, an article on MSNBC mentioned "the four lunatics in London earlier this month". The Merriam-Webster entry for lunatic lists:
Main Entry: lu·na·tic
Pronunciation: 'lü-n&-"tik
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English lunatik, from Old French or Late Latin; Old French lunatique, from Late Latin lunaticus, from Latin luna; from the belief that lunacy fluctuated with the phases of the moon
1 a : affected with lunacy : INSANE b : designed for the care of insane persons
2 : wildly foolish
- lunatic noun

These people are far from lunatics. Misguided maybe, fanatic certainly, but not mad or foolish. They are animated by a serious, deadly serious purpose. As long as we continue to dismiss their motivations and purpose out of hand, carricaturing these people as "lunatics", we'll keep missing the point: they have reasons that are important enough to sacrifice their lives over, not addressing these issues will be like puting a plaster on a wooden leg.

The Shrub decided to "take the war against terror" to Irak, why should the terrorists follow him there?

False pretense was used to seize control of a foreign country, crush people under the boot of military might. While that's certainly not the only motivation for the terrorist activities, there is certainly a causal relationship...

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