Elites, Intellectuals, Reason, Questions, and Critical Thinking

Warning: this is not an easy read, nor am I presenting it as particularly worthwhile; it’s just me thinking aloud for my own benefit and because I like to read back at my stuff after it sits for a few years; it keeps track of how my thinking might have changed. If you just want to see the photos, ignore the writing and go directly to the gallery at the end of the post.

At no time during my short life have I been more concerned about what I see around me. I understand that in the span of human history we are going through what is essentially a small hick-up.

But, history itself gives fuel to my fears. History can almost call the play-by-play of what we are watching unfold.  

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Readers are probably thinking I’m speaking about Trump, but he is just a symptom of a larger, more general concern. 

My concern is that a large portion of the United States population, and indeed, the world, is ignorant and willingly so. 

More troubling, they seek not to ameliorate their condition and deride those who do. Anti-intellectualism is not a new thing, but when translated into political movements with close ties to religion, it should worry people . . . unless they are ignorant which, come to think of it, is the problem in the first place. 

Side Note: Ignorance in this context refers to a multitude of things. Ignorance of political, social, and economic realities, ignorance of science and the world around us, ignorance of both the basis and validity of superstitious beliefs and most of all, ignorance of ourselves; the history of the human species and what makes us tick.

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Anti-intellectualism is called upon both by far-left and far-right factions, conservatives and liberals, republicans and democrats, or just about anyone who suffers not the burden of responding to questions with answers based on facts, anchored in the realities of the world we live in, and subject to rigorous critical thinking and examination. 

But, let me start slow . . . Elites. 

The noun “elite” has different connotation depending on whether you speak about an athlete, a scientist, a particular group of people with exceptional skills . . . but if at all engaged in the political discourse, “elite” usually comes with negative connotations. 

For instance, it’s a favorite term of Foxtards, as in “the liberal elites”, the “elite (mainstream) media”, the “Hollywood elites”, and so on.

Multi-millionaires like O’Reily and Hannity use the term to present themselves not only as champions of the common person but, indeed, as ones with them, standing shoulder-to-shoulder against them nasty elites. In general, if you are successful — they argue — if you are educated, if you “know stuff”, you have lost touch with the plight of the common man and have no business in the discussion of “how things should be”. You may even be actively working to “destroy civilization” by undermining the greatest country on Earth, the United States of America. 

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Unless you are Trump . . . Then, your success, elitism, disdain for “losers”, questionable business practices, and general detachment from the real world is a huge plus. Apparently, only the “proper” elite individual can truly understand the plight of the common man. 

Paradoxically and ironically, every elected leader immediately thinks they are “better than” . . . they think themselves as elites. 

Side Note 2: Philosopher King – the term coined by Plato – posits the ideal ruler as one who possesses both a love of knowledge, as well as intelligence, reliability, and a willingness to live a simple life. Someone who comes to the office not for power, but out of a genuine desire to improve the lives of others. 

Of course, when it comes to telling people how they should live, rank and file conservatives have no peers. They may not identify themselves as “elites” but only because they claim a direct link and profess allegiance to the “head elite” . . . god. To ask conservatives, they literally speak for god . . . and god speaks back to them. They demand we take their word for it and get quite cross if we don’t.

It’s easy to pick on conservatives but let’s remember there are plenty of self-identified elites on the other side of the fence spewing forth proclamations dripping with contempt and condescension.

Most of the senior Democratic Party leadership, many professors, and yes, even our newly-deposed ex-President Obama. 

So, here I sit . . . tired of elites, tired of people accusing others of being elite, tired of self-described elites, tired of anyone claiming to just “know” stuff, tired of anyone claiming they “know better”, tired of everyone bringing nothing to the table but their ignorance, their superstition, their limited and biased views, and an unwillingness to answer the tough questions.  

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So, who would I want at the table, you know, if we had a table? I’m referring to the table where we all sit and discuss societal and global problems and possible ways to solve them for the good of all. 

Well, my instinct is to answer “intellectuals”; the type of people maligned by nearly everyone.   

By “intellectual” I mean someone dedicated to reason, critical thinking, and the pursuit of knowledge (truth) and wisdom. All those components need to be present. 

I previously wrote about being “smart” (HERE) and linked it to being a high-functioning individual and a part of that definition includes knowing one’s capacity for being wrong, and one’s willingness to commit to continuous learning and adjusting one’s views and opinions when new information comes to light. Especially when that information convincingly challenges one’s preconceived ideas and understanding of the world. 

By that definition, both liberals and conservatives have shown themselves to be at best a version of “smart” but far from being intellectuals. 

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Someone will call me about using sweeping generalities . . . and I would heed the criticism were it not for what I observe with my own eyes. Sure, not all, but a great number of conservatives and liberals hate each other. Yes, hate. In this case, it’s not too strong a word. 

With that hate comes an automatic dismissal of anything not conforming to one’s views. You can show someone proof countering cherished beliefs and they will ignore facts, ignore reason, and dismiss facts as irrelevant because “they know what they know!”

There is no question in my mind that at least at the spokesmen level and deep into the leadership ranks, each side marches in step, never questioning, never wavering from condemning “enemies” and lauding “friends”. 

Some of these people are smart. Some are not. None come close to my definition of an intellectual. 

An intellectual does not begin with the answer before even knowing the facts. An intellectual is not afraid to say “I don’t know, but I will find out.” An intellectual is not afraid to say “I was wrong; here are the facts, here’s what I discovered.”

Instead, we live in a world where admitting you don’t know something is seen as a sign of weakness and dismissing people who actually do know something is seen as a sign of strength. Unchanging and immutable blind acceptance of dogma is seen as a virtue. Gone are the centrists and moderates or, if not gone, at least driven underground. 

What reinforces my concern is the lack of independent thought. The lack of reason. 

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The 24-hours news channels are good at one thing . . . removing the need for independent thought. People willingly substitute their ability to reason with an ability to listen to hours of the same message and eventually repeat versions of that message as if it is gospel . . . and to many, it becomes gospel. 

As a noun, reason is both “a cause, explanation, or justification for an action or event” and “the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic.”

As a verb, reason is to “think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic.”

Having interacted with liberals and conservatives I am convinced for most there is little reasoning associated with the views they hold. Want to know why I say that and why I have a high degree of confidence in my statement?

Because I often get the same answers to questions from different individuals, sometimes word for word, without evidence of independent thinking, of understanding, of the application of logic to their views. They abdicate all those functions to some slimetard pundit and the only thing many of them bring to the table is “judgment” based on what they heard. Of course, even that is naught but the regurgitation of what they were spoon-fed.

Offer up a logical counterargument, offer up conflicting facts, offer up videos, offer up anything you want and you have a better chance a pebble floating in space will alter the path of the Solar System than some people will even consider reexamining beliefs.  

. . . actually, it’s a trick analogy . . . the chance of a pebble altering the path of the Solar System is 100%. It’s beyond minuscule but the gravitational contribution of the pebble is present. However, that’s science, so nevermind. 

Side Note 3: at this point, some readers may think I’m presenting myself as someone with all the answers. Sadly, I only wish that were true. What I do have are opinions I consider sound based on the breadth and scope of readings, listening to others, and my own thinking. Ultimately, it’s not egotistical to say the opinions are mine because even if I heard them elsewhere, the vetting process fall on my shoulders. Exposed to an idea, I’m the one that has to decide if it makes sense or not, and that process is a lot more than me saying “I like it” and declaring something true. Show me something that will change my mind, and I will be grateful.

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Earlier, I mentioned the pursuit of knowledge.

One of the ways we acquire knowledge and the wisdom associated with knowledge is to question. Question our beliefs, question what we are told, question simple answers to complicated issues, question, question, question. 

It may be half of the population of the United States is completely wrong about everything, but it could also be they are right and you belong to the half that is wrong. How would you know? By questioning. 

This is where certain aspects of the human psyche — and the American public in particular — greatly hinder progress toward a better understanding of the world we live in and the society we have created. I’m speaking of the human propensity to adhere to invented religions. 

It matters not what era of known history one chooses, religion played a part in people’s lives. And, just like now, the majority of people bow to the words of a few individuals claiming consort with this or that god. They bow and accept the edict to not question. 

Most; not all, but most. 

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Religious leaders and political leaders and crime bosses have one thing in common . . . they cannot afford to tolerate disobedience and the questioning of their authority. 

It matters not that every form of government and every religion prior to those currently infesting Earth have fallen, have been discredited, have been supplanted. It matters not if today we have concurrent religions teaching different truths. It matters not if we can look at other belief and political systems and easily see their flaws.  

It doesn’t matter because the majority of people are conditioned from an early age to not question their own beliefs, be they religious or political. 

Think about it . . . the one way we can learn and grow as individuals is discouraged by people professing to have our best interests in mind. They encourage your obedience by threats, they discourage questions, they promote ignorance, and they present doubt not as a virtue, but as a great evil. And always, always, they offer punishments for daring to use reason, use logic, and questioning what they tell us. 

That, I can understand. Leaders have an inherent interest in wanting an ignorant and subservient populace catering to their needs . . . but what’s in it for the people being governed, the followers who are not leaders and don’t hold high office in the political or religious hierarchy?

That is the part I don’t understand . . . people willingly handing over their ability for independent thought, their ability to reason, and most of all, their ability to question. 

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Here is the thing . . . it’s difficult taking responsibility for the quality and maintenance of one’s views and beliefs. It’s difficult being an independent thinker. You have to learn multiple things so that you can understand what’s going on around you. You have to learn your way around a logical argument so that you can both defend your position and recognize logical flaws when you hear them. You have to learn to distinguish between fact and bullshit. You have to rigorously exercise reason when confronted with new information. 

This is where critical thinking comes into play. 

One can learn about critical thinking in places like THIS and THIS, and other places you can find on the web. 

Critical thinking is difficult in part because it forces one to examine one’s own biases and preferences. Critical thinking requires that you question your own preferences, requires a deeper process of evaluation than most of us typically employ, requires following through to — and accepting — a conclusion you may not want to hear.  

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Here’s an exercise you can (should) do . . . pick any question currently tearing our country apart. I don’t care what position you hold but whatever it is, argue the opposite position. 

And I mean, argue it fairly and honestly. Learn all the arguments, counterarguments, get data, do research . . . your job is to convince yourself that you are wrong. It’s OK if you can’t ultimately convince yourself; in the process, you will have learned a lot more than what you knew before and you will have a better understanding of the chosen issue . . . and you will have greater confidence in your position.

However, realize you may never be as good a champion as someone who believes opposite what you do. That’s way talking to them will garner you a deeper understanding of the counterarguments to your beliefs than you could on your own. A win-win, I would say, but not if you begin the process with a closed mind. 

From the article linked above, know there are questions with absolute answers (what time is it?), questions with better and worse answers (how strong a military should we have?), and questions asking for opinions only (what color do you prefer?). 

The middle category is the one requiring compromise, understanding, data, and which can be logically argued over a given spectrum. There is no one “right” answer to complicated questions, but there are answers that are better than others. Make an argument for them.

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So, let’s apply some of the above to my initial statement. 

“At no time during my short life have I been more concerned about what I see around me.”

Well, what am I concerned about? I mean specifically; something that’s above the concerns of everyday life. 

Bob: “You mentioned ignorance, but why would ignorance be a cause of concern?” 

Disperser: “Ignorance is never a good thing but relating to my worries, it’s centered in the political and the religious arena and the intertwining of the two.”

Bob: “Yes, yes, very interesting . . . what do you mean by that?”

Disperser: “Well, Bob, in the political arena we are now at a stalemate when it comes to the two parties. There is little talk of governing and lots of talk of “resisting.” No talk of compromise, no talk of cooperation. Basically, a continuation of the last eight years but with the roles reversed.”

Bob: “But hasn’t that always been the case?”

Disperser: “Why, no, Bob. The problem has worsened in the past fifty years.”

Bob: “You blame ignorance; do you mean our elected officials are ignorant?”

Disperser: “Well, Bob, elected officials certainly often proudly flaunt their ignorance but I blame the voters. It takes ignorance to put ignorant individuals in charge of running the country. I blame ignorance because voters and elected officials don’t even want to hear anything not conforming with their predetermined views.”

Bob: “I’m still not clear; what exactly are you concerned about? I mean specifically?”

Disperser: “Sigh . . . just saying this stuff is going to land me a crapload of holy crap on a cracker, but, here goes nothing:

First, I am concerned about what essentially will be a religious war. And by war, I mean people getting hurt. We have Christians and Muslims, of course, and they both seem to be chomping at the bit to go at each other. Yeah, yeah, moderates, coexistence, blah, blah . . . Look, there may be moderates on all sides of the multi-faceted problem anchored in religion, but the discourse is not being directed by moderates. As an atheist, I fear becoming collateral damage to the increasingly powerful religious right. You may not see it, but just reading and listening to the people that came into positions of power along with Trump should scare people . . . except that half of the country is cheering.  

Second . . .”

Bob: “Excuse me; this is fascinating stuff, but we need to interrupt a moment for a photo. We’ll be right back.”

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Bob: “And we’re back. So, going on to the second point of concern.”

Disperser: “Second, we’re back to the divisiveness . . . wait, I have to ask; what was that?”

Bob: “That, and all the other photos during the break, are reworked macro shots of car details you took during the June 2015 Cruisers car show in Monument.”

Disperser: “I thought I recognized them! Nice work! Anyway, the divisiveness. It’s getting ugly out there. On the internet, within friends and families, and on the streets. Not only that, both sides are making excuses for violence that breaks out . . . as long as it’s their own side that’s committing violence. 

This, by the way, is at least understandable. At any one time, depending who’s in power, at least half the country is left without a voice. As you know, Bob, when you take away people’s right to be heard, to be represented, to have their concerns included in the national discourse, well, you’re just asking for trouble.”

Bob: “Still, that also is nothing new and . . . “

Disperser: “Yes, yes, but we now have an insecure megalomaniac in the WH. Let’s just say he doesn’t take criticism well. He’s threatening action against the Press and anyone who might say he is too self-centered, immature, ignorant of world affairs, a pathological liar, and the exact opposite of what a country facing serious socio-economic issues needs right now. Plus, there is no denying he is in the pocket of Big Business, but more than that, the Far Religious Right. Them guys be nuts! . . . er . . . or so I’ve heard it say.” 

Bob: “We have weathered difficult and divisive times before.”

Disperser: “I hope you’re not thinking about the Civil War because that’s not reassuring. It’s also not reassuring having states talk about secession, threatening to fight the Federal Government. Plus, I can guarantee you that on the next terrorist attack — and there will be one — you will see the people in power (supported by the near-fanatic Christians who voted them in) calling for Draconian measures “to keep us safe”. 

Bob: “Excuse me, but we need to take another for a photo. We’ll be right back.”

Disperser: “I don’t mind; I like those renditions.”

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Bob: “And we’re back. Excuse me for saying so, but even with all you mentioned, it seems a bit of an overreaction.”

Disperser: “Here’s the thing, Bob. It’s one thing when we deal with internal problems that may or may not be addressable by rational men and women. However, aside the fact I’m not seeing much rationality out there as confrontations get more acrimonious, there are global concerns that are about as large and likely more catastrophic than our internal differences of opinions.”

Bob: “You’re talking about Climate Change.”

Disperser: “That’s one of them. Can we roll the tape?”

Bob: “That’s funny . . . and not. But, still, that’s a TV show.”

Disperser: “Yes, but they are explaining science. Science that people ignore because of limited self-interests and the willful ignorance. Plus, it’s not just the weather. The consequences of Climate Change on the geopolitical stability around the world are . . . Look, you are seeing the consequences of what is by historical accounts a small migration from the Middle East to the rest of the world, especially Europe. As a consequence of it, you are witness to the rise of nationalism rivaling times when wars used to break out on a regular basis. Now, look at all the countries who have large populations along their coastal areas.”

Add to that the military and economic saber rattling going on between major powers, and then add to that the ignorance of well over half the people in this country when it comes to all those issues. With all this going on, I’m frankly astonished the biggest news out there is about a new smartphone or about some starlet leaving home without her underwear.”

Bob: “What if you are wrong about all this?”

Disperser: “Bob, Bob, Bob . . . it’s like you’re not even listening. Here, let me make it clearer: I have no kids.”

Bob: “I don’t get it . . . “

Disperser: “It means none of this is likely to significantly affect me. Depending on the mood of the country toward my atheism, I’ll avoid some geographical areas where FSM-forbids anyone asks people to think and reason. I’ll choose a place to live where the chance of being catastrophically affected by climate change in the next 35 years or so is minimal.  I can’t do anything about global wars, but I’m too old to be called to serve and if it goes nuclear, I hope I’m at the epicenter of one of the strikes. Other than that, I’ll try and enjoy my life — what’s left of it — as best I can.  

If I’m wrong about this, my life won’t be much different. If I’m right about it, the lives of many, many people will be even crappier than they currently are. 

Understand, I’m not despondent, depressed, or losing sleep at night. I read, watch stuff on TV, do some writing, take photographs, go on walks with my wife, go to the gym, and eat. This {waves hands to include his surroundings} need only last another 20-25 years, and then I will be but a memory. Actually not even that. The only reason I’m even writing this is because I feel bad for people being born today. They have no idea what’s coming, and that’s too bad.”

Bob: “Thank you, Disperser. I think our readers are not likely to agree with you, but they often enjoy listening to crazy folks. “

Disperser: “Thanks, Bob. And don’t worry. I’m not asking anyone to agree with me. In fact, you would not believe how little I care if anyone agrees with me.”

Bob: “Goodnight . . . and we’re out.”

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Obviously, no one is going to interview me. Heck, few will even read this. 

However, while I paint a stark scenario, it’s also possible we might just limp along sniping at each other, suffering this or that cataclysmic flood or storm, going in and out of trade wars, economic booms and depressions, living under the constant threat of nuclear war, fearing this or that religious nutjob deciding god spoke to them and told them to kill people, and in general live the kind of shit life that still seems pretty good when compared to life at any time prior. 

Not everyone, of course. Some will live astonishingly crappy lives . . . but they won’t be us, right?

You know what I forgot to mention in the above interview? Population.  

By 2050, the world is projected to house 9.7 billion people. It could be more. Throw in wars, famine, disease, or all three, and it’ll be slightly less. We are currently at 7.49 billion people. For reference, here’s the migration into Europe for the last four years.

Let me wrap this up. I’m not sure how clearly I made my points, but the bottom line is that I hold a very pessimistic view of what’s ahead of us. I don’t see manufacturing jobs coming back to the US. I don’t see race relations getting any better. I don’t see religious people becoming tolerant. I don’t see people embracing science and critical thinking. I don’t see the US (at least under this administration) doing anything to prepare for Climate Change. I don’t see Freedom of Speech being heralded as one of the greatest rights we have (it’s the First Amendment, for FSM sake!) I don’t see population and resources pressures getting any better. All I see is more ignorance, more animosity, and the increased possibility of violence between individuals and countries. 

Not a great view of the future. I’ll repeat that as an individual, I’m fairly optimistic about my situation and ability to cope with whatever comes our way. I’m skeptical about the population at large and how they will fare in this quickly-changing world.

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As usual, click on the photos for a larger version or go to the SmugMug Random Post Gallery HERE.

For them who skipped reading my poorly-thought-out ramblings, here is the gallery of the above photos:

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, encouragement, or advice to better my life, know my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor is blowing right by you.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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23 Responses to Elites, Intellectuals, Reason, Questions, and Critical Thinking

  1. renxkyoko says:

    I enjoy reading your thoughts…. some I may not agree with, but I get it. Hey, cheers !

    Like

  2. oneowner says:

    There are a lot of good shots here but I really like the headlight in the beat-up fender. I had a car just like that!

    Like

    • disperser says:

      The near-B&W shot with a hint of Glow 2 and Impressions 2?

      I kind of like the Nova shot. The wood texture made it work for me. The last few are not bad either as far as visual impact goes.

      Like

  3. Basically you have nailed the reasons you should be concerned (worried as never before)–willful ignorance

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Thanks, although I probably should have explained it better. Also, I should have differentiated ignorance from being stupid; we’re all ignorant of many things, as in we lack knowledge.

      But it is that lack of knowledge that adversely affects decision-making, especially when we are confronted with far-reaching and interconnected challenges.

      Sadly, I don’t see people wanting to educate themselves; they prefer someone else takes charge, especially if they are told it’s easy and everything will be OK.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thinking takes work. It is not dissimilar to physical exertion. If one does not do it often and regularly one tends to lose the ability to do it without a great deal of effort.
        Simple assertions, answers, positions are all too easy to embrace. They don’t generally require any work.
        Then too, most of us want to be left alone. Any answer that suggests someone else will do what we should or our inaction is required will mollify our lack of mental exercise.
        The irony is the thinking when done on a regular basis is actually as rewarding as the endorphins released by a heavy dose of physical exercise.
        Warmest regards, Theo

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Eddy Winko says:

    I remember thinking to myself, in my youth, that TV was a replacement for religion and that it would be the new way that society would be controlled. Mind you that was when we only had three channels in the UK.
    Thankfully religion has very little influence on the everyday life of people in the UK and even less on politics, well as far I as saw it at least. The church is there to deal with hatches matches and dispatches and even then it’s falling out of favour with many. Still there is some nice history there. Now despite all the stuff going on about Brexit and the like British politics never strikes me as extreme.
    Oddly enough I now live in a country that has staunch catholic views and, I’m not sure of the link, we are ruled by a populist right wing government with some very peculiar views and complete control over the national media.
    You know better than I ever will the situation in your own good country.
    I always consider hate to be a temporary emotion, I hated the dogs that came in and killed my rabbits last weekend, but on reflection they are just dogs and I should have made the hutches more secure. I hated my stepmother for making my life hell when I was younger, now I just feel sorry for her that she felt so jealous of my fathers feelings for me that she acted the way she did.
    Take away hate and you could solve a lot of problems, odd then isn’t it that all religion encourages tolerance and forgiveness and yet stirs up so much hatred.
    Now forgive me for adding to your post, which I enjoyed reading, but like you I have no answers, maybe just a little bit more optimism, which I believe is a necessary ingredient to stand any chance of turning things around. I may have even had a point when I started typing but its since been forgotten!

    Liked by 2 people

    • disperser says:

      I like substantial comments, so no need to apologize.

      Two things . . . there is a difference between personal “hate” and group hate. Personal hate can change (mellow, intensify, remain the same) depending on the character of the person and their experiences as they go through life. Group hate — in my opinion — is longer lasting and there is always someone stoking its fires. Some groups carry the legacy of hate for literally hundred os years.

      It’s only when it gets to the personal level that it can be viewed and restructured. What I see in the US and what I get a glimpse of in Europe are (perceived) threats to the identities of established groups, and said groups will resist external and internal pressures.

      I think that is what we saw here in the US. We had a large block of people that had no voice until someone came along and spoke for them. Trump may be a horrid human being (he is), but he touched on a sentiment that’s been simmering for a long while.

      I too wanted and called for a brushing aside of established career politicians and for something to disrupt the status quo. I just wish it would have been something better than Trump. Nonetheless, there is no arguing that he has changed the political arena. Ultimately, I think he will do serious harm to the system, but more worrisome is the fact that if he does not deliver whatever his supporters want, it’s possible they will next vote for an even more extreme populist candidate.

      As for a theocracy, I have no problem with almost any form of government as long as they allow equal rights and do not oppress those who dissent. Personally, I’ve never known theocracies to be tolerant of “different” ways and people and hence I am opposed to one here. I’m going to guess you will not be adversely affected by the Right-Wing Polish Government, but then, you’re probably not one of the minorities they don’t like.

      Glad you are optimistic. I will keep my cynicism up and be glad if I will be proved wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

    • beetleypete says:

      The Far Right and the Catholic Church have always been very comfortable bedfellows, Eddy. No surprise there mate.
      Sorry to hear about the bunnies. That’s nature, I suppose.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eddy Winko says:

        You reminded me of the point I think I was trying to make. Religion and politics should be separated, that may go some way to solving many problems, although of course it will never happen, hey ho.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Religion should be dead and buried along with the politicians, they neither of them cause anything but trouble and strife, which reminds me the wife requires my assistance!

          Like

        • disperser says:

          Quick, who said?

          Let us strangle the last king with the guts of the last priest.

          Mind you, we need politicians (humans are remarkably bad at self-governing), but some could surely take the place of kings for they would be kings.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. colonialist says:

    A long but riveting read leaving one with a feeling of great cheerfulness and optimism!
    On wilful ignorance: whom can one truly believe? I went to a lecture on climate change, where dire facts and figures that seemed utterly convincing were spewed in quantities. Then I was directed to numerous sites with highly-qualified scientists denying these statistics and furnishing opposing ones. Short of going out and doing my own measurements — for which I have neither the training nor the equipment — how do I arrive at the truth of the matter? This is but one illustration of the fact that somewhere in these sorts of mixes wilful ignorance is convincingly masquerading as elite knowledge.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      I’d be curious about these “numerous sites with highly-qualified scientists denying these statistics and furnishing opposing ones”. Without knowing anything about them, one way to evaluate them is to check if climate study is their primary areas of expertise. For instance, you can have a highly-respected biologist who is completely ignorant of nuclear physics, and whose opinion on nuclear fusion would not weigh as much as that of a theoretical nuclear physicist.

      While it is true that there are differences in the interpretation of the data within climatologists camps, those differences amount to nuances and don’t undermine the underlying premise. Climatologists are in remarkable agreement when it comes to Climate Change and its causes.

      Not a perfect analogy, but think of it that we may all have different ways of baking bread, but we all can agree what bread is and the basic ingredients for it.

      To that end, even “deniers” have come around to the reality of Climate Change, with the remaining point of contention being whether it is man-made and what we do about it. That discussion then devolves not into the science of it, but rather the political and socio-economic consequences of either doing nothing or doing something.

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      • colonialist says:

        In the course of research on this post and the comments, I came across so many conflicting authoritative statements it made me dizzy.
        https://wordpress.com/post/colonialist.wordpress.com/7390

        Like

      • disperser says:

        This link is not to a published post, so I cannot see it (it takes me to my dashboard) and so I cannot comment on what you consider authoritative statements.

        Understand, there are physicists who, for instance, argue that the Newtonian and Relativistic model of the Universe is wrong, but the majority of physicists are happy to use the equations to launch missiles, compute rendezvouses with asteroids, and design GPS systems.

        So, yes, there may be someone out there going against the grain, but the question then becomes do you believe the data and proven results?

        Other than a few places with obvious agendas, I see nothing too far removed from consensus on both the issue and cause, but I’m open to being educated. However, before you present me with a link, please make sure it quotes reputable individuals and that they offer data.

        One blog you might be interested in is this one (read the archives):
        https://climatecrocks.com/

        For general information:
        https://climate.nasa.gov/
        https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change (good overview)

        Don’t confuse climate change, its data and evidence with the debate on what to do about it. Those are two different issues, the latter being a socio-economic and political discussion.

        Here’s a short read on just one type of data (an important one):
        https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4549

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  6. I share your concerns, Emilio. I wish other people were concerned. It scares me, and makes me sad, that they don’t appear to be concerned.

    Your photos in this post are phenomenal! Love the car logos/details! Wowza on the Cobra! :-)

    I think we all have to do what we can to cope with what comes our way…and try to continue to help those people that we can help. I admire you for doing posts such as this one…we must speak up/out about our concerns and fears. Who know who might be listening/reading??? What we say can be helpful to other people.
    HUGS!!!

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Glad you liked the photos; I thought they came out pretty good. Got more I’m working on as I had a lot of macros.

      As for the post, not sure how much I’m helping. I’m not very optimistic because while I see some people “doing stuff”, I don’t think they are doing the right stuff.

      In many instances, people protesting Trump are doing the wrong thing (my opinion) and often lose the moral high-ground. That ends up enabling Trump and his team as opposed to hindering them.

      Even when it’s only writing and reporting, it still seems to me they overreach and the message ends up suffering. I’ll probably write about that as well.

      As for who might be listening or reading . . . again, thank you, but I don’t get the kind of circulation that will add significantly — or even minimally — to the discourse.

      If there was a discourse . . . my opinion is that there is no discourse. What I see is two sides talking to themselves and reinforcing their own view. I’ll be more optimistic if at some point in the future people will actually support centrists. Right now, it’s all B&W and zero compromises.

      Hold steady and hope our better nature will eventually prevail. Even so, more and more damage is done every week, and the longer it goes on, the more difficult it will be to fix down the line. We’ll see.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. beetleypete says:

    Very nice photos. I would have liked to have seen the originals though.
    I am trying to be positive in 2017. So, I refuse to allow myself to get too concerned about what’s going on. Then again, I am old enough that I will probably die before it all goes tits-up. I will leave it to the younger people to deal with. I reckon I have done my share.
    Regards, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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