Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I have heard the debate for my 58 years on this planet, regarding Capitalism and Socialism, and would be left adrift by the black and white, absolutisms, defining the characterizations of these two economic systems – if it were not for my own presumptuous common sense. Note: I am not an economist, save my own personal common sense. Which many will no doubt - object too!
I will be very pithy in this blog, compartively speaking, based on my past ramblings: America is both capitalistic and socialistic within its approach to running economic policy. Neither economic position, i.e., Capitalism or Socialism is in and of itself - a panacea for perfection. Both systems fail miserably when implemented as standalone economic policies.
America has chosen wisely, to operate with the best of economic philosophies as a hybrid of socialism and capitalism. We have private enterprise, and ownership, but regulated to allow for competition from the startup’s and small ownership operations.
If any of you remember, when the J.P. Morgan’s and the Rockefellers nearly owned this country or complete industries, we had a situation that was true capitalism, whereby the most powerful could economically crush the small and the weak.
During the riotous times of establishing unions at the beginning of the 20th century, and with the help of the U.S. Congress in the 1930’s we implemented “Regulations” that subsidized the small businesses and rural land owners in order that they could both be provided services, i.e., telecommunications, and other utilities at rates far less than a free market would have allowed for. This regulated approach allowed for expansion and growth of so-called free markets within our great country. Free-markets are a misnomer, as they only exist because they are subsidized by the wealthier and more robust commercial operations, such as urban cities or highly consolidated industries produce.
In fact when the old “Ma Bell”, (telecommunications industry) said they would submit to regulation in the 1930’s, it was thought to be "capitalism heresy", but it helped create a country with universal communications and services, not seen anywhere else in the world. Which by the way improved our national defense and overall security and fairness as a nation. As an example: It may have cost 10 million dollars to set up a communications switch in a rural town of only 200 people, which could never afford to pay for such a communication system in a life time, but due to “regulated monopolies” being established that took greater revenues from the business and urban clients and used the money to support “universal national communications” we succeeded with a socialistic methodology tied hand in hand with capitalism.
In a pure capitalistic society we would not of achieved the success we have produced, and would still be a land of King’s and Paupers. In equal contrast: In a socialist economy, we would be a lazy, un-incentivized and a mediocre society at best. It takes two to tango, and we did so by working with both economic models, those of capitalism and socialism. Taking the best of both worlds and philosophies…
To live with belief systems that are only black and white, to believe one system, or political party or economic philosophy is sacrosanct and always better than the other, is misguided and myopic thinking. We as a sound nation of sound values - are a coalition of taking the best of all worlds, philosophies and economics to find a stable, productive and realistic world. It is not always fair, but fairness is the objective, never a completely satisfied end.
Pragmatism is the order of the wise, just as absolutist, or black and white thinking - is the order of ignorance and of the self-serving.
Thank goodness we took the path of common sense, and not ideology, through much of this countries improved growth and development.
Both our capitalism and socialism are what has made this country great economically. Even so we are now faced with globalization, and that means consolidating our larger industries to become soundly and resolutely competitive abroad. This will put a wrinkle in our previous histories economic growth, but as long as we use both our heads and our hearts with liberty as our backbone, I hope we find the right mix of economic formulas to help lead the world to even better days of universal freedom and a fairer economic playing field for all.
If any of you reading this have an amplified view, I fully encourage you to enlighten me and others in amplifying both your knowledge of finance and your perspective… I certainly do not have all of the answers to fairness, which is probably a misnomer, in a world that feeds the strong off of the weak. But I can always hope we work towards a better model for all…
The world is a project in motion. To believe that a single philosophy will be an end-all - in an imperfect world - is to hope for the impossible. Even though that is the utopian goal we should always work towards. Albeit ubiquitous fairness and utopia, are not of this world… We should still - never quit trying.
At any rate, we are a combination of economic practices in this great country, and to deny that is to be naïve. Just as supporting any one or single economic philosophy is just as equally naïve…
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Natural Forces in nature provide multiple endless Energy models, without expending fossil fuels. Is anyone willing to work with me, who has a physics background?
What will it accomplish?
Why is it important?
Virtually near- free recycled-energy and or regenerated energy, provided by the current clean and robust elements of energy, such as “gravity”, “electrostatics”, “magnetism”. And all that implies.
Forever alter the social structures and thereby the social requirements of the world. In other words energy provided on an equal playing field for all people will in effect tie us all closer together in function and in equal choices. It would theoretically replace monopolies and cartel’s with freedom. As well as being groundbreaking for all of physics, and all sciences in general.
These multiple ideas of automatic energy, from my youth that I mused about, once detailed will give away the intellectual property, to anyone with a hint of conceptual capability. I am very willing to give the intellectual property away, but would like to work on the project.
In simple terms, you may think it violates the fundamental thermodynamic entropy theology, which we have all been indoctrinated with. By the way I consider thermodynamic science more a theology and manifest scotoma in our lexicon, rather than a fact. In my own humble opinion physics is incalculable, and to rely on definitions, is to limit physics or existence itself. Neither have limits, therefore - in my puny assumptive world – Physics is forever a living definition, as well as a fixed proof. Much as “Infinity is both sides of the same coin – at once.”
Therefore I will fundamentally argue that thermodynamic entropy is relative for “like” for “like” kinetic actions: which will diminish “force”, as it today properly outlines.
However if you change the “Like for Like” concepts when generating energy, you change the rules by which “thermodynamic entropy” was developed. In other words, If you use two dimensions to generate kinetic energy, complemented in equal response to one dimension, generating its own energy. You alter or augment the output energy produces. Hence the “like for like” action = reaction is modified and the results are not like for like. Action can multiply Re-action. This provides for a gear ratio that augments energy output using natural forces. As well as other forces (fossil fuels too.)
- This process using natural forces, such as Electrostatics, Magnetism and Gravity, among other natural stores of energy in a form which is non-relative or in other words using a differential gear –ratio that trumps lost energy. Does so by way of leveraging dimensions and gravity. Thus it changes the scientific or theological rules that constricted the methods used to define generic thermodynamics. In other words thermodynamics becomes truly dynamic, rather than static.
My clumsy written formulas: ( See D, G, 1D, CM, etc. definitions below )
1. Electrostatics created by: D² + G in Linear 1D = CM
2. M+ (+ & -) + G = CM * Note, Electrostatics could be included to augment output.
3. Combination of both formula’s to leverage ultimate energy output potential.
D = Dimensions G = Gravity CM = Continuous Motion E= Electrostatics 1D = 1 Dimension
Simply stated: It combines linear and non-linear actions to produce energy that is continuous.NOTE: Two basic methods: 1. G&E (Gravity & Electrostatics) 2. M+G (Magnetism & Gravity)
Stated in another fashion, there are 2 forms of possible methods: 1) independent of electrostatics which uses Gravity and Magnetism) and 2 with the use of electrostatics in combined ways to achieve natural energy from natural forces:
1. Form: A Uses Dimensions x 2 (Down and Side to Side) run by Gravity (Non-Linear) generating electrostatics combined with a linear (Up) Dimension. This Linear and non-linear interaction provides the mechanisms to create a gear ratio that multiplies itself. Hence you gain continuous motion which could then provide for heat and other outputs to generate endless energy.
2. Form: B Uses both positive and negative Magnetism in graduated powers, to direct motion in an upward direction opposing gravity, and then uses electrostatics captured in the downward thrust to leverage additional energy, and then re-deployed again and again by magnetism alone in an upward motion. Note, the “electromagnetism” is not necessary, but a natural benefit that should be leveraged from the simple process of motion ( That both Gravity and Motion provide for).
Variations of these forms of operations are dependent on mechanical engineering.
- Additionally, electrostatics can be enhanced by using a circular glass ball for instance, with other internal triboelectric materials to augment the energy produced beyond the direct gravity effects of tribolelectic stimulus, using for example a Teflon tube and a glass ball. These two materials: 1) “Glass” and 2)”Teflon” are near opposites for electron transfer on the triboelectric scale, which generate electrostatics. The electrostatics would be captured within a capacitor for electric generation.
NOTE: I use the term “continuous motion”, vs. “perpetual motion”, since all mechanical matter decomposes (wears out). Perpetual is generally an accurate statement, save matter decay; for which at that point – motion ceases.
Thermodynamics fundamentally proposes that you cannot squeeze blood from a turnip. Or in other words, energy depletes, and will not sustain itself. But if you change the mechanical genetics of the turnip, you can. Metaphorically, and practically that can be accomplished when Energy and Matter are merged together in a completely clean and virtually innocuous manner. Simply you apply 3 dimensional forces in a manner which leverages 2 dimensions against or in complement to 1 dimension. Nature working at its best. That Simple.
With the “continuous motion” of matter, then heat or additional motion receptors can be activated generating excess energy, superseding the level of energy required to generate this continuous motion of matter. Thus continuous energy is produced by way of natural forces: (Gravity / Magnetism / Electrostatics).
Sounds highly improbable – given current thinking, but intellectually it is quite plausible. I would like to work with a lab of scientist’s to pursue this objective, as I have outlined above. It may seem obscure, but once I share the simple mechanics of this idea, I hope you will find it of interest and most importantly possible. If it is possible, the world changes. I know it sounds in large part to be more than just a bit delusional, but even if we leverage 90% of this potential, we succeed beyond what exists today and provide for the clean and necessary energy the world depends upon.
Russ OtterCopyright 5/2008 ©
Ultimate objectives and gains:
Secondarily this project, if actualized, would certainly secure a Nobel Prize, due to its unique utilization of “continuous motion” and would therefore support the investment returns to the philanthropists and scientists involved. Foremost it will be “humanity changing” for the good. Providing a leap in the advance of science and living standards for the people of this world. It will expedite the integration of humanity buy tying us together via sources of energy necessary to improve communication and common living standards that would better integrate the world. Coupled with the saving of fossil fuels for other uses, combined with less pollution. And in that process it would hopefully improve understanding and common cause among us all, rather than living with the continuing social divides that hinder those decent objectives.
In sharing this BLOG on the potentials for energy production with new methodologies, it is my objective to hopefully find someone seriously interested to pursue these ideas.
Simply and profoundly that is my end goal.
If you know of anyone, such a University Professor of Physics, or scientist at JPL or NASA - that just might prove very helpful!!! * Also if you know of any forums where this would be an appropriate subject for discussion, please point me in the correct direction. Additionally, if you believe me to be nuts, you are certainly entitled to comment and I will publish that as well… Thanks to all. As the subject of improved Energy is a subject the human race needs to boldly look for solutions to embrace, in both smart and aggressive manners.
By the way, a recent article is just as heretical, to scientific tradition, as my position is. The article recently published in “Scientific America” (Oct 2008) is also about the breaking of the second-law of thermodynamics: You may find it interesting: www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=how-nature-breaks-the-second-law
In other words I am not alone in my views regarding the breaking of the second-law of thermodynamics, albeit these are premised on different methods.
PS… If you find much of this over your head, please allow me to join in your company… All of this thermodynamics stuff, is largely just stuff to me too, however it carries weight within mathematical and scientific circles. My point is that you do not need to be a mathematician to have ideas, and conceive of the possible. The right brain conceives the left brain proves… I need someone with a left brain, as my higher math skills and understanding of simple electronics need some help! And it is often true that two heads are very often better than one.
These concepts are actually basic, and the mechanics I have in mind to build a working model, would not be difficult given access to scientists in the area of physics, and electrostatics’ along with some very common materials.
Friday, September 11, 2009
I attended my 40th High School reunion last month, and it drove home to me some superficial and deep memories. The ups and downs of my life past and present and an overwhelming since of a word that seems to run so much of our lives. And that word is “Acceptance”. At least within my own personal ruminations from my life.
Acceptance as a young person was a big deal, and still to this day. However it is managed differently, with the maturity of age, or so-called hidden maturity we call our age… “Acceptance” seems to balance the prism of so many values, both of vice and virtue - that measure our actions with both ourselves and with others. Other important and simple but related and profoundly valued words, such as “Forgiveness”, “Humility”, “Caring”, and “Acceptance”, just plain and simply resonated with me as I reviewed my old friends and moments past, and these old friends in the present.
So this is my experience as I reflect from that High School Reunion: The simple word of acceptance, which extrapolates far beyond the plain and simple - or beyond just itself.
So what do I mean? I am not sure I can tell you, as my rhetoric is full of ambiguity, as usual, but full of its own poetry, in a form of its own Prose. So bear with me as I ramble on… Poetry and Prose or perhaps “iambic pentameter” is the thrust of my expression. It is meant to coin or congeal a moment of thought, in simple poetry and expression that captures a feeling, an expression of time, a moment of importance and value, all in a phrase of mere words, rather than a banal phrase of sense… This is the poetry of the moment, of the caring, that transcends common spirituality, but embraces the heart of spirituality… You must understand it, not necessarily believe in it.
But I will share some of my rambling thoughts, along with an old poem, that this reunion brought to mind, that I wrote as a youngster at about 20 years old, that speaks of acceptance of self, and for the hope of acceptance from that mythical valentine we all sought, and much, much more, as I see it…
But it is all trite, to be very real about it all. Still, trite or not, it was this reunion of thoughts, or moments, of the trite and the profound, all scrabbled together into a moment, that tied the past and present into a legacy, we all will leave someday. One way or the other we will leave a past, either of value or not.
In other words this poem, for its youthful simplicity, is profound in its scope. It touches that fulcrum or prism I spoke of that touches the spectrum of values we are all innately engaged within. Some of us possess, simply better luck and skill than others, but still, it is of arbitrary sensibilities, that we lay claim to personal success versus failure. In other words, some are born with the silver spoon and in the right geographic place on this planet to live a relatively fanciful and joyful life, and some simply are not as fortunate. It is always that simple, save those who believe hard work is the only genie of gold that made their life so pleasing or the lack thereof…
Neither truth stands on its own, but truly both have merit.
It is finding that modicum of intellect within yourself or your peers if you expect to have a sound discourse on this issue. Life is arbitrary, life is random and life is blessed for some and lost for others. It is - the way it is. No excuses can change that truth.
But I digress… So here I go with my rambling of acceptance and its importance, which is so central to all species. At least the older I become, the more it becomes more apparent. As anyone who has read my other rhetoric on values, clearly knows that I believe in the Golden Rule as the fundamental guide to a good life, but even the Golden Rule teeters on this fulcrum of life’s truthful sense of finding acceptance, forgiveness, and the willingness to care for others.
Acceptance? Acceptance of self, caring for others, caring for self, and our ego’s are all wrapped up in the same ball of wax… Sort to speak… Acceptance, and Caring are the spirituality that really only matters to our momentary existence.
I do often speak in riddles, as you can tell, as my words speak for themselves. However riddles are sometimes more telling of the truth, Far more telling than implicit ideological fixations based on the fanciful world of ideological faith and wishful belief’s.
Still all is fair in an unfair existence, of which we are born into. For every child that smiles, there are probably 10 that cry. That is a statistic that is hard to dispute. And for good reason. The world or existence and the crap shoot we are involved in - by way of life – simply is not fair. It can be no other way. It can be improved upon, but for genetic mishaps, and the nature of imperfections or superior perfections, life is – simply – what it is. And fairness is the myth of the miss-given… Critically thought out and logically speaking.
But kindness can trump unfairness. Both Kindness from within and from without.
However, such kindness is too few and far between, but none-the-less such kindness is the gold standard of living a good life. And I mean also the personal kindness of accepting our fortunes and misfortunes by way of humility and valuing the honor of working well, toward a happy life, and an accepting life.
The finest people in the world, are those with genuine crosses to bear, and they bear their crosses with “acceptance”. Beyond all expectation. That is the true gold standard, that those of us, such as myself, that live here in the United States, in a virtual Disneyland, compared to the squalor of so many on our planet, are by the shear math of the issue, are implicitly bound too. I am ashamed at how I often may squander my days with my sense of mistakes or superficial issues, which pale to real hardship.
Heck guys – we all live in Disneyland… We should never forget it.
So with my Disneyland analogy I will cease and desist, with my riddled dribble, that I hope some of you will find of value, and now share this simple poem of spying a person across a room and wondering, in sometimes trepidation, fear, and awe, due to acceptance of self, and the search in ourselves to cross that bridge at some point - and make a life move positively forward. Still whether we move forward or struggle to do so, we learn and grow, and consequently come to know acceptance of oneself in the process.
So without further pedantic dribble, here is the less than awe inspiring poem that came to mind at my High School Reunion as I thought of my youth and of the words I use to write, looking for answers to my own direction…
Please do not fault me for being naïve and simple… It is the way of growth, and will continue to be…
Across the Room
Oh’ I am going to catch hell for this letter to the President, but I have had enough – of the forked tongue and divisiveness in America, let alone the world. I am done, listening and not standing up. Both to the juvenile media (for the most part, (editorialized as it has become)), and to the slippery-slope of pleasing everyone seemingly supporting our President.
So here I go:
I voted for Barak Obama, as did my wife, but in our opinion, the manner by which he has appointed his Czars: The most recent being the “Green Czar” and in so on, along with other radically divisive thinkers, breaks my heart, my hopes and worries me for the future of our country, as well as the world. Even the US Attorney General, who has his own peccadillos to account for seems uncompromisingly self-righteous and unforgiving, which is not the manner by which a giving and thoughtful country behaves. Alas, we as a country seem to show little deference, and consideration, that bore our foundations of understanding and humanity as we developed our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
I voted for Barak, because, in my honest opinion, he was about Humanity, not about Race. It was inspiring and refreshing, save a few nut cases in the wings pushing the race card, that surrounded him.
Barak campaigned on a color-blind non-racial platform, devoid of affirmative action quota systems, that Dr. Martin Luther King would have denounced, had he remained alive for many years after his death, and certainly had been alive today. Dr. King is a historical HERO of mine, that few, I believe really understand, as he worked for the Civil Rights of All, not just the few.
Martin believed in hard work, standards and values, but understood that those who had been spit-on and down-trodden should have some recourse to pick themselves up. As I remember in the early 70’s, the second in command at the NAACP, resigned over the notion of quota systems to balance past wrongs. He knew as Martin did - that two wrongs do not make a right. As he, said, we should not just put people into positions of leadership or grant educational gifts, without merit. That what was needed for people who were forlorn and disenfranchised, is a system of remedial education and standard building to prepare them for the future. “Quote, we should not lower standards, if anything we should raise them”. To lower standards for admissions or promotions would be unfair to those who through no choice of their own had proper opportunities, but also to those of less than adequate opportunities. We need a middle ground that maintains standards, but offers hope to those, denied common opportunities in the past. In other words, if someone could not pass an SAT (Aptitude Test for College acceptance), they needed to go to remedial courses funded by the state to prepare properly, not let them just walk through the gates of education and deny others who possessed the proper skill sets, to fairly sit in a classroom. Dr. King knew this: That the Civil Rights legislation of 1964 was to make “color blind” our Starting Point for All, and that only testing and the capability of an individual would be the prerequisite for achievement. No one should receive extra tally points due to race or gender. [Period]. That was what the 1964 Civil Rights legislation was implicitly all about, if not in explicit word, implicit in intent.
The 1964 Civil Rights legislation, said that any individual denied the opportunity to a promotion or to an acceptance to a college or other position of leadership, who qualified on objective criteria, that had been discriminated against based on race or ethnicity would have the right of the government to intervene and that right corrected, through a term it called “Affirmative Action”. It could have been called “Assertive Action” or anything else, but its sole intent was to remedy individual discrimination based on race.
That was only right. But the implementation of the government, mandated that racial percentages constituted, racial fairness. (In other words, any work environment, educational institution, or team in theory should have racial proportionality in the working ranks.) That understanding plainly violated the US Constitution and the civil rights legislation of 1964, that Dr. Martin Luther King worked so effectively and properly for.
That one simple little paragraph, that used the phrase “affirmative action” in the 1964 Civil Rights legislation, turned America’s standards and values upside down. That was not its intent, nor Dr. King’s, - but that is what followed.
It is a disgrace that we use the race card today to justify, such discriminatory actions, as proper. I only wish, with all my heart and soul that Dr. King were alive today, as he would not have supported this divisive behavior of race based actions, that are again tearing this nation apart and violated his whole and honored proposition in life, and the US Constitution that he worked to change for the absolute better: Dr. King’s proposition was that: “We do not get extra merit points for race, but only for merit.”
I voted for Barak Obama, because I saw a different approach to this issue, as I believed he truly saw the merits of hard work and standards that Martin saw, and was trying to move us forward, not backward in the arena of race relations. But with his appointments to key positions, by what I would loosely speaking call reverse-racists from the other bitter side of the equation has disturbed me. This may set us back 20 years, toward division, not toward unification, as humanity, in terms of race and the goal of fairness in all of our human existence.
Our President may lose my vote in the next election, unless I see him speak out forcefully for the true humanity of all of us in the honored and wise vision, Dr. King had, and others of his stature throughout history, that I believe true and honored leaders called for. That being, of true spirituality, of caring, of fairness, of acceptance and love of others, based on objectivity, and wisdom, not based on absolute laws and rules that deny our very humanity, through the one-eyed vision of race or even certainly gender.
I have heard leadership politicians of late, who happen to be of all colors in the spectrum of race, suggest that people who disagree with Barak, do so because they are racist. This is the rhetoric of ignorance. As a matter of statistics that would be true, but in the smallest of measures, and to use that minority “race card” to color white or Asian, or Hispanic American’s as racist, who by the way, just elected a man of African background, among other backgrounds - is dirty, swine filled politics - of the lowest most cowardly, chip on the shoulder of politics I could define.
Let’s kick these race-baiters and race-players out of office and support the values of Dr. King and others who would fight to the death their values for true fairness, standards and love.
Mr. President, you need to speak up and tell these people to evaluate their behaviors, and stop contributing to a divisive America, rather than a Unified America. If you do not, then the climate of change, I truly believe you sought will die, my hopes will die, along with it your Presidency and the hope of a world in need of real, genuine and decent change. Oh’ and we do need the Change!!! This change is not easy, but imperative and it is now been given to you to lead.
I can only hope you do - lead in the direction of the truley great leaders of our history. I in large part, I voted for you to bring about this change, but am currently disappointed. Clearly though - I have not given up. Please, hold on to your wisdom, your unique integrity, I know you possess deeply in the core of your being, and prove me, oh’ so very wrong… I thought I knew you, but I am questioning myself now. Please, please prove me in error. I really think the world of you, or at least my conception of you. I wish you every, absolute success. It is imperative to this world.
This world needs unity, not division, needs caring, not disregard, needs hope for others, not assumptive hate, and ill-will, that helps no one. When we care for someone, we are uplifted. We need to try it sometime, and this world will perhaps change. But leadership – is no small part of that equation. And you Sir are our leader. I wish I had just one hour with you to discuss the merits or your Presidency and the value of your family and administration. You all mean so much, please do not roll over for the historic and understandably bitter of mind - but rather carry forward with your deep capabilities. It means everything… You are in a unique position, with a unique wisdom that transcends self, and I deeply care for your success. If squandered – so be it. But if managed well, the world evolves beyond the common, and finds its stride to the greatness, you alone may only be capable of providing.
Take the stand, and do what you know is right. You alone have in today’s world that capability.
It only takes one thing: “The Golden Rule”
The Golden Rule is “Ethics”. It stands irrefutably, indelibly and infinitely - on its own. Devoid of the need for support from culture, religion or politics…
It is agnostic, theist and antitheist seamlessly strung together in perfect sympathetic union, as it is no respecter of personal dogmas. “As such the Golden Rule – is Ethics personified: The Common Denominator that merges diversity into unified form: The true ether of sentient conscience.
Nobel Prize laureate Albert Camus said that “Integrity has no need of rules.” I understand the ethical intent of his point, when based on the golden rule. But to even be more precise I would say that the “Integrity of ethics has no need of rules.”
What a world that would be…
The reason I added the word “ethics” in the quote above, is due to the fact that the derivation of “integrity” comes from the Latin, meaning “individual”. The inference being that an “individual” is not subject to changeable fair-weather conventional thinking, but is first and foremost “independent” and therefore can be trusted, simply because social-conditions will not change a true individual. But clearly - they can be trusted to be both good or bad - based on ethics. In contrast social-conditions will often change a person, who lacks integrity, whose beliefs and behaviors are based on outside sources, fads, whims, cultural, religious, or political dogma’s. Hence Integrity and Ethics must be in union to effect goodness and disband the need of rules. As George Bernard Shaw would have stated it: “People are not moral, merely conventional.” An individual or someone with “integrity” can be trusted, as in contrast, a conventional person would be less reliable. Hence ones ethics would be respective of their conventional or individual (integrity based) dispositions.
Clearly as a result of the importance of integrity and an understanding of the issues I will explain in the following paragraphs, the only moral absolute or ethic, I can, with logic, envision is the “Golden Rule”, as that is a principle based on circumstance or context, rather than fixed dogma.
I believe that integrity and the golden rule are in lockstep in order for sincere virtue to manifest itself. As they are the embodiment of our core ethical or spiritual teachings central to our most decent and altruistic leaders throughout history, coupled with the personal nature of sentient knowledge within our stand-alone individual selves.
All other moral absolutes, that are written as one-dimensional concepts, such as “Thou Shall Not Lie”, are based on strict un-equivocating and unyielding adherence to a principle, a rule or law. Such absolute concepts that ignore the value of context, or the variables and nuances of actions or circumstances, all fail to define the true facts of actions or events, with results that derail the presence of truth and promotion of human dignity. For instance, the premise of “Do not kill” is a moral absolute, however, I believe pragmatically that killing may become the less of two evils, if by my actions of killing one person, I can save millions of lives. I must out of moral duty; relinquish my moral position of not killing someone, for the good of the many. This type of killing is not born out of the vices of revenge, or selfish motives, but out of charity and kindness. Such actions are only executed out of the fundamental notion of the Golden Rule.
A simple example of this type of moral action would be: If I was a pacifist, but was told that I had the opportunity, without any other options, to pull the trigger on a rifle that was fixed on a terrorist, who was only seconds away from pushing the button to blow up a hotel with a 1,000 innocent lives in the balance, I would have to pull the trigger and kill.
As a result of the example above, I am in practice - executing the principle of “the one for the many”, while at the same time I am sacrificing my pacifist absolutism. This is an act of pragmatic judgment, incumbent upon ethical sentient beings. Therefore any personal, cultural, or religious opposition to this ethical position should be discarded from all human discourse.
This position does not set well with those who operate by way of singular ridged positions, suggesting that Honor is Honor or the Law is the Law, without the notion of give and take. In other words: Absolutes are unequivocally Absolutes: Or in the vernacular of our current day: “Zero Tolerance” is commonly stated as the only acceptable approach to address a particular situation.
Well, I would say both: yes and no, depending on context, to such absolutes and self-righteous moral rhetoric. That is the fundamental reality and conundrum that language seems to confine us to: (Yes and No, Either/Or, and Black or White), seemingly fixed positions, but only if we allow it to be so. Ideally, we must make judgments about our moral positions that sometimes conflict, with our so-called moral positions in order to truly be moral. In other words, to stand pure to a belief, that restricts pragmatism, and the exercise of human judgment, is to relegate humanity to being no more than thoughtless drones, devoid of integrity or virtue. Virtue is self-sacrifice, even the sacrifice of moral conviction, if it means that the outcome will benefit goodness in the end.
With our basic common sense we know an honest person and a dishonest person, a loving action and an unloving action. Sometimes both decent and deplorable actions - require guile and disguise, sometimes they require humility and raw truth from our behavior to secure decent results. (White lies and lies are actually different, but again, that does not set well with a moral absolutist, whose honor is based on a strict code of one-sided conduct. Hence:” thou shall not lie.”) This type of moral absolute position is fatal to the ultimate premise of decency given the fact that there are distinctions in the function and purpose of a lie. That simple. For instance: Some lies can ameliorate the unnecessary harshness of facts that would unnecessarily make someone who is emotionally ill even more despondent and potentially cause them to harm themselves or others or even to commit suicide. This type of lie is no less a lie, but its intention is kind and moral.
However what happens when you try to convince the politically correct, a true red-blooded-brain-dead-bureaucrat, or someone with deep personal, cultural or religious absolutist-zealot tendencies of this type of measured judgment and decency that must be applied to human thought and action? Often very little. But we all, I believe, should continue to try, because without uplifting the education of the world to thinking-critically, in the moment, rather than relying on the traditions of the past, we very well may condemn and destroy all of us, and at the very least will indirectly cause harm to the many innocent, who are killed by fanatics – through our otherwise inaction.
We all see it today with suicide bombers, maiming and destroying in the name of Allah, and we have seen it in the past centuries as well from various religious and secular structures. But with one grave difference, there were no weapons of mass destruction from centuries past. Give it some thought…
And give this quote some thought as well: “The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance.” - Socrates
The current ignorance that is so endemic in our global social fabric, is born from the past abuses of power and from mankind’s early mythologies and superstitions used as poor substitutes for knowledge and science to make sense of the fundamental unknowns of our universe. In today’s world such ancient early foundations for truth and knowledge continue to dismantle “goodness” by way of such ignorance. Tragically with a world of new technologies that contain weapons of mass destruction – it only takes one individual, (one bit of ignorance) to harm us all.
Technology has changed the balance of power.
It is no longer an advantage for an aristocrat or a king or queen and the powerful and mighty of this world to indulge in keeping the masses ignorant or pacified in order to manage with hopeful and wishful calm. Ignorance today has within its control - the power of the mighty and powerful of yesterday, but with less to lose. So the ignorant of today will commit to mutual destruction, unlike those of the past whose knowledge, wealth and means, kept them relatively less committed to mutual destruction.
Such absolutists, and bureaucratic policy-fixed thinking, or in other words, rigid thinkers, that do not value the context of an action are the province of many groups; such as the politically-correct, often of the naïve, immature, or a secular and religious fundamentalist, who will rally to an issue to an extreme whereby all rationale is lost.
It is also important to recognize that conversely and ironically however absolutists are sometimes equally honorable sincere people too, who simply hold to altruistic goodness.
As such we live in a confounded world of paradoxes. Language (words) keeps us consorting with all sorts of strange bed fellows (people & principles), seemingly defined by the same terms, when we communicate with one another. This very truth, this reality - is a vivid and insidious contrast for the wise to understand; and for the unwise and selfish to demagogue about, through rant or rage - to ad nauseam, and to the ultimate destruction of moral ethos.
So how do we get a handle on this diverse melting pot of contention between adversaries, or philosophical opponents? Well we may never. But that does not mean we should not continue to try. In other words apply the ethic of the golden rule, when confronted with an obstacle, a dilemma, and a conundrum. Think about how you would operate if held to that standard. The standard of wanting to be treated with altruism, with goodness, with understanding first and foremost. Then proceed with your judgment or hopefully understanding that is then manifest at that point in your analysis, and thus your behavior.
Understand that both virtuous or infamous principles are not always black and white. Common sense, and sound pragmatic action, sometimes requires behaviors or actions that are nuanced or mitigated, not absolute. While absolute principles such as love and hate are fundamentally black and white positions, they require the common denominator of Reason to measure how we apply them to a given situation.
Simply seek out and find companions in this world - who understand life, not the ones who judge it - and you will find the infinite - indefinable essence of goodness and justice within humanity. Know that words cannot do justice – in always defining justice. Perception and actions combined are the purest measure of a decent person – of justice itself.
As you look to the law and written values to define behavior, look to the nature and constructs of balance that have been added to law, such as the principle of “jury nullification”, or the “doctrine of equivalents” within Patent law, as well as other balanced mechanisms that attempt to arbitrate law through judgment, not through cultural, moral or technical rule-based absolutes. These constructs, such as “jury nullification” or the “doctrine of equivalents”, allow for the superseding of the “rule of law” to be subordinated by the arbitration of duly appointed arbiters, should fairness and justice be better served. In other words, the law ideally is written to be addressed when the “intent” of the law is violated, not the “letter” of the law. To determine this distinction requires one to arbitrate wisely, hence use balanced judgment - and nothing less if you expect the law to emulate fairness and truth. Law based on rules only – is harmfully shallow, empty and wanting, when justice is the goal.
Differently said, balance is the key to success in all things, not commitment for the sake of commitment and adherence to technicality. That is the road to war, not to union, not to productive communication, not to understanding, and not to humility that bears all things decent. In other words, laws, and rules, in their wisest application, are used as guidelines, that hold to the “intent” of the law or rule, rather than to the technical “letter” of the law or rule.
We as a species are so much more than the sum of our words, we are the sum of our understanding which stretches beyond the confines of mere words. As words by themselves are a finite vehicle that have lent themselves both to good ethical behavior, but as well – to artfully pandering shamefully in the name of truth through demagoguery or cultural, and ideological paradigms. Simply because something sounds good or obvious, or traditionally true - does not make it so…
Do not let words wrap you up into one-dimensional boxes. Words often have far more to express – through a broader understanding of their definitions - than by holding onto a myopic view of what a word or words singularly and theoretically appear to mean. Words are often multi-dimensional, not one-dimensional. For example, it is often brought up in religious or theological conversations that “truth” is either fixed or it is relative.
I would argue that truth is both fixed and relativistic; the two are not mutually exclusive. What is true yesterday, and today is also true tomorrow. But that truth is based on how a set of circumstances impact an event. [ Please refer to the example above in paragraph 8 that looks at the principle of “Thou shall not kill or lie”, and yet may be required to accomplish the pragmatic fundamentals of the Golden Rule.]
My point is that words can tie us up into illogical knots, and as such, unethical behavior, if we allow them. Words are tools, not fixed absolutes. When we use the often one-dimensional notion of words, as a truth descriptor to try and describe situations - that are actually multi-dimensional when viewed within context - we do an injustice to the actual event or situation being described. Words at their best are actually multi-dimensional when we apply measured judgment and reason and understand the full context of a situation. The truth is words are not the “thing” (situation/event) described, words only represent. (This is fundamental to understand.) Unambiguously we must be wise in our application of words, and the weighted values we afford them, if we are to judge accurately and fairly in this life.
The nature of words (etymology) is both precise and imprecise, based upon an individual’s perceptions, and this variability will bear both fairly and unfairly on the truth. Certainly words are society’s organizational tools, and certainly the tools of any decent social structures foundation in law. The wrinkle in this reality is that the facts of law and the necessary understanding of words – are often variable in both intent and meaning.
This variability of words has become the laws, and a lawyer’s tools, as they try to define contexts and circumstance, underpinning a behavior or action. Sometimes lawyers use words to tie truth up into a fixed, seemingly immutable, box while their counter-part may argue with the same words but with different frames of reference to clarify their perceived truth and expand that same so-called immutable box of facts.
Again, words are not the truth, only events are the truth. And to understand events we must use words to communicate, but balanced with the mathematics of human intellect, based on objective values founded by the “golden rule”, to affect justice. In order to actually experience and know truth.
Jurisprudence in its highest and most noble of forms understands this principle behind the specter and shadow cast by the circumscribed nature of words. Hence the notion and beauty of arbitration emerges, which attempts to bridge this breech between the words of the believed-obvious (perception) and actual balance of reality. Arbitration is our ultimate means of delivering thoughtful and proper justice. Ironically arbitration can be used through words to deliver the opposite result as well. But, I would defer to educated objectively trained arbiters, and intellects - for a lack of better terms I suppose, before I would defer to traditional rules or the dogmas administered by ideologues in all matters of value and objective truth whenever we use words as our truth seekers or descriptors of un-biased cultural humane values.
This is the foundation of the Golden Rule and why integrity, not conventionalism or tradition is incumbent upon every individual to personally define and operate by, as long as it is premised on the Golden Rule. Traditions are invaluable, but they are only hopefully sound building blocks for behaviors, not always ultimate panaceas.
We are the actions of the sum of our parts, of our histories and traditions. Ideally those actions produce goodness through the golden rule, rather than selfish gain that has been often bred through the so-called goodness of ideologues, religions, or cultures behavioral absolutes. However you do not need culture or religion to operate by the integrity of the golden rule. There is no other conscious constant in the universe to live by – if you choose to be decent and loving - beyond this single and humble truth, called the Golden Rule, which all sentient beings are knowledgably endowed with. If you believe anything of “Maslow’s” studies of human motivational hierarchy, then at a survival level, perhaps many humans behave as selfish animals, but at the higher modes of psychological functions we are enabled quite consciously with the humanity of the golden rule.
All great decent leaders in history and current times lived by this non-hate, non-warring notion whether of ancient past great religious names or of our contemporaries, such as the current Dali Lama, or Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King. We would do well to follow such ancient or contemporary leaders, in their wisest moments, by way of their loving altruism. As to do so, would be to follow and embrace the truth of decency, genuine generosity, rather than selfish centered judgment, and thereby manifest genuine goodness, rather than political correctness or static ideological fundamentalism disguised as goodness.
To follow any other edict in life beyond the golden rule, such that would do unnecessary harm to others, is to follow evil and unnecessary destruction, which will never enable you to embrace the sincerity and holiness of truth, or the power of forgiveness and goodness.
In other words, we as a world community need to commit to goodness not destruction, not to dictators, or religious ideologues, or to ancient perhaps well-meaning cultural traditions, but rather first and foremost - commit to ourselves to care for others - rather than harm them. To find our integrity, in order to do right. There is no other way.
No other way - to be sincerely kind or decent… And all who will tell you that there is another way - are wrong, perhaps, well intended, but they are wrong.
Again as I think of the great and decent loving leaders from our history and those from our current times; and you all know their names, which embodied love for others, by turning their cheek, or insisting on goodwill toward others. They first and foremost where not slaves to the leadership of their contemporaries foolish, selfish, or destructive dogmas. In fact some of these leaders were thought to be heretics by the secular and religious establishments in their own times – due to the fact, that they were leaders, who broke with convention, as they implicitly and foremost operated with their integrity by way of the Golden Rule.
Hence if we lived by their guidelines, we would no longer be the hypocrites we are or harm others in the name of God, Allah, religion, culture, politics, or tradition.
What a world - that would be.
It only takes one thing…
Russ Otter 2008