Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Warning! Labels are dangerous!

The danger of labels has never been higher than now.
My friends, I ask you all to please consider this. We live in a time where our main news sources are biased, corrupted and have agendas which can be bought or are owned by corrupting political interests.  And, our internet news is fed to us based on what smart automated systems think we want to hear or are interested in (facebook, google, yahoo, etc.). This reinforcement of our personal biases and beliefs causes us to become drunk on our own bullshit and slip further into our own in-tolerances and closed mindedness.  

Image courtesy of Stamps by SPC via Amazon

And so, out pops the labels. A label is an easy way of quickly assigning a state or condition to something to help us keep track or understand the properties of something without having to research or verify those properties each time. For things which properties are reasonably self evident, this is very efficient.  For example, a bin labeled nuts, bolts, spices, etc.

However, a label such as "stupid", "right-wing nut job conservative", "commy liberal", "murderer", "criminal", "terrorist", "unqualified", "rapist", "predator", "gun owner", "pervert", "incompetent", etc. are easily applied in those news sources or by individuals and the persons these labels are placed on are then easily assumed to have those properties with little verification, or worse, verification by an "unqualified" or "incompetent" or "compromised" source. Do you see the problem here? There are even labels for validity of the source the labels.

There is an elementary axiom in mathematics called the "transitive property of equality". It simply says that if A = B, and B = C, then A = C. So lets suppose that Terrorist = Muslim, and Bob is a Muslim, then Bob must be a terrorist right?  The problem is in the first assumption that A=B. B is the label and A is the property.  The A = B in this case is only partly true in that we know that most terrorists of late have been Muslims. But with over a 1 billion Muslims in the world, clearly, not all of them are terrorists or have terrorist tendencies and desires.  Therefore, A does not equal B. In-other-words, labels come with assumptions. And there is another rule about "assumptions" that you've probably heard, "when you assume, you make an ASS out of U and ME."

In the above case, both Terrorist and Muslim are labels with large grey areas of their property certainties, but Bob is an individual label. So Bob is certain.  So first, what makes Bob a Muslim? Did he declare it himself or was he observed going to mosque a few times? It is likely that if you read that in an article or post somewhere, that point will not be part of the content and for simplicity of digesting the article and saving yourself time in a very busy world, you might follow that assumption.  

One more example.  Child Rapist = Sex-offender,  Sex-offender = Bill. I'm sure it's all painfully obvious to many of us now that label of "sex-offender" now applies to almost anyone.  From someone who was simply  drunk and caught peeing in the street to a full-on child murdering rapist. So, if you've had your name published in the paper as "sex-offender" people will probably assume that you're at least a child molester, but won't consider that you busted for pissing in the street when you were drunk,  UNLESS THEY KNOW YOU and know otherwise. 

Labels are misapplied to so many things now, that it is corrupting our knowledge and information flows with bias, poor judgement or simply bad information. When you see a label like Liberal, Conservative, or Moderate, remember that what that label means may differ from your interpretation of it, and that it may only be partially true, if true at all, and should not become an emotion provoking or thought engaging point unless you're certain the context is relevant, the source is competent and the scope of the label is not a distraction from it's relevance. Unfortunately, that's a lot of mental work if all you want to do is read the news in peace. I find it simply easier to keep a very open mind to alternative views and information and never become emotionally driven or closed minded by any of it.

The misuse of labels is dividing us, causing us to fight, manipulating us and breaking down trust between us. Facebook has decided that I'm a conservative. Stop and hold in mind what you think of me at this moment.  I suppose because I support gun rights and smaller government and read a lot of this material that I've earned this label in their programmer's minds at Facebook. But I also support a woman's right to manage her own body and certain social programs. I call myself a Libertarian because my priority is to maintain the freedom for us all that was born of the many battles that formed our nation. Now what do you think of me? But I guess facebook doesn't have that label.  I wonder why? 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Libertarian's Analysis of RNC vs. DNC and who to vote for.

Like it or not - I don't - there are only two platforms which determine who runs for 98% of our Congress and Presidential offices. Americans have found this illusion of voter power comforting. But for over these last few decades, the choices of candidates these two platforms finally produced have, in practice, offered little difference. In fact, many Americans now believe that both parties might as well be the same party regardless of rhetoric in terms of their results and our freedom of choice.

There are many details which lead up to this situation, but for simplicity, recently, this stands out as a difference between both parties to me: In the first Republican Debate for the 2016 Presidential race, broadcasters tried to allow 17 candidates on the air. In the first Democratic Debate, broadcasters only aired 5 candidates. By the fourth Republican debate, the participants had narrowed to 12. The fourth Democratic debate, 3.

Much of the fighting and criticism that surrounded the Republican Party was because there were so many candidates. While it’s pretty obvious that the leadership of the Republican party did not want this level of division or number of choices, nor did it care much for some of the candidates (Carson, Paul, Trump) who were anti-establishment, it did present its membership (consumers) with more choices to consider. In this regard, the Republican Party looked like a supermarket, while the Democrat Party looked like a convenience store.

Seeing the Republican Party’s leadership unravel at the seams was a treat for almost everyone except those in the leadership. Because, at that tear, the people were finally being heard. Issues of true substance and importance were going out of bounds from all the scripting of the party leadership as well as the media’s coordinated corralling.

But what made this show even more spectacular was the unraveling of the Democrat Party’s iron-fist control of the candidate pool and premeditated outcomes. Thankfully, social media and their ability to control the freedom of discussion and information available on the internet turned out to be something both sides proved weak in. Finally many people are seeing now that our enemies are not in the category of Republican or Democrat, but rather the forces that control them both like a puppet show for us to watch.

What used to work before was constantly thwarted with contrary proofs, videos and testimonies from outsider discussions and information sources. While it’s painfully clear who the chosen one was for the Democrats, (, the same can not be said for the Republicans. But that doesn’t mean they hadn’t picked theirs and intended to run it out like the Democrats, it's just that things went further sideways for them and their plans because of the breadth of players in the field and the strength and tenacity of some of their most parting candidates.

I don’t favor either party because they're both props now. Call me "results oriented". If the vote came down to Republican Party’s “chosen one”, or the Democrat Party’s “chosen one”, then voting is just a waste of time for me. If there’s anything the past shows us, it’s that both parties are indisputably corrupt, self-interested organizations and are now more destructive than constructive to our lives, our nation and our liberties. But the unanticipated, more free-market-like action, that has nearly destroyed the Republican Party over the last decade has produced something that neither party has given us since I can remember. Our first presidential nominee who is not one of their “chosen ones” or a politician! Had the Democrat’s leadership been thwarted in their plans, that would have produced someone who was not a “chosen one’’ but whom was still a politician, making the choice between the two somewhat harder.

If the entities that continue to keep the best candidates out, corrupt and control our current political system, and sway public opinion, can not be diminished in the least this time, then I suppose it doesn’t matter who becomes president. Because, nothing will get better and will likely just get worse. If Trump doesn’t succumb to the same forces that ended so many good intentions of a few people before him (Ron Paul, Ross Perot), then maybe there will be something different to look forward to. But that’s where my hope is, not my bet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still voting and by the time I vote, if Trump and Hillary look the same to me, I’ll just go with the libertarian again who is sure to lose, again.