Musings

Recklessness is ineffective, but I believe one must be willing to skate right up to the edge of it in order to avoid the regret of lost opportunities—the opportunities that die from a lack of audacity.

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50 thoughts on “Musings

      • Agreed, but I’m not advising that anyone bow to societal expectations, I’m implying that one must know themselves well enough to take astute risks and produce results. As I understand it, breaking the four minute mile requires a specific regimen based on sound physiological premises; it’s not some guy running as fast as he can for as long as he can every day.

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      • Not sure what that has to do with navigating the balance between recklessness and effectiveness…but based on the premise that we have free will and and possess the ability to assess the validity of someone else’s statement, I’d say we can treat the input we receive from others as strategic phenomena and decide whether we should act on it or not. Again, this goes back to knowing oneself well enough to see whether criticism is valid or purely an expression of malice.

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      • Within a social context reckless behavior is a signal that gets attention and so may be effective as well…to achieving a goal.
        The willingness of people to interfere in the affairs of others is why many people become troublesome and odious to others.

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      • I think we’re saying the same thing but with different words. Reckless behavior in and of itself isn’t necessarily bad, and if used strategically and achieves results, can be beneficial. As far as the willingness of people to interfere in the affairs of others being a bad thing, I’d agree with you in most contexts. However, there are obvious ones—if someone is being assaulted and requires assistance—where it is the prudent thing to signal for help, or in extreme cases, personally intervene.

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      • That hardly is how it works from my experience! People have been programmed mindlessly from childhood with foolishness! They do not recognize boundaries. What they should be involved in regarding the lives of others and what they shouldn’t!
        The worst gossips and odious people are the ones with rigid social scripts handed down from their own social indoctrination!

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      • Okay I don’t want to invalidate or dismiss your experience, so I think it’s perfectly reasonable to posit that within your lifetime and in the sphere of your influence, you have observed many who suffer from adherence to social indoctrination. However, it has been proven time and again that there is a delicate balance between anarchy and order which, if one wants to establish harmony, should be hewed to (and the tricky thing is is that it changes across times and cultures). An example of too little regulation instantiating suffering is when Icelandic banks were deregulated and destroyed their market, or when diamond companies were more powerful than certain African governments and propagated unnecessary warfare. To your point, however, there are fascist governments that are far too strict like North Korea who destroy harmony by interfering with peoples’ lives. I disagree with you in that there is a balance of freedom and regulation that propagates harmony, rather than simply an ideal where harmony will supposedly be propagated without regulation. I am impartial to any ideal, however, and in certain contexts, I’m sure your method would work. My concern would be your view that it seems to work across all contexts. I do not agree with that.

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  1. I am not at all reckless. I am docile as a lamb, and it has served me well. However, when it comes to my writing I always throw my characters to the wolves and see how they turn out. Who knows what sort of father I would be. I’m certainly a rotten (malicious) creator.

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      • I think that’s the wrong question; I’d phrase it more like “When does recklessness or challenging authority serve your strategic goal while maintaining ethical boundaries?” Your question seems to hew along the lines of a false dichotomy. The options aren’t exclusively “recklessness, challenging authority, and freedom,” those are subjective measures. And if one can assess what is right for a given situation and effectively apply it while maintaining ethics, then subjective labels don’t matter; you got the job done.

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      • And the ethical consideration is the least important and most il definable and subjective part of your conclusion. It’s clear that reality imposes the constraints that we push against and struggle to circumvent. It’s the achievement of finding your way through or around and beyond the constraint that all life seeks! Humanity did not invent the circumstance and was not the first to encounter it!

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      • I would agree with you in that the ethical consideration is the most ill definable and subjective part, but I would disagree with you in that it is the least important. For example, pedophilia was widely accepted in ancient times by a variety of figures we now venerate (spartans and greek philosophers). However, it is completely unacceptable in modern times, and we should take steps to ensure that we maximize the chances that it doesn’t occur. As I agree with your premise that ethics is ill definable and subjective, I would then posit that it is extremely important for an individual to do their best to know themselves, understand the situation, and try to propagate harmony while doing as little harm as possible. This requires the ability to navigate nuance, understand context, and buck tradition, if necessary. I’m not sure that all life seeks the outcome of finding a way through or beyond a constraint; for example, I practice intermittent/prolonged fasting as an exercise in discipline and with an eye toward it’s autophagic and regenerative benefits. However, most humans do not want to fast; they seek to propagate comfort. While SOME life seeks to push beyond constraints, it seems that most seek comfort. In a greater sense and iterated over time, however, I agree with you: humanity as a species tends to transcend boundaries through the use of applied rationality.

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      • The term pedophilia is currently being abused.
        The term refers to sex with pre-pubescents. Heberphilia refers to having sex with people between 13 and the legal age of consent! No culture I the world accepts pedophelia!
        You don’t have to go back far in the US to find the acceptance of old men marrying women 13 yrs plus! In fact this has always been the norm until recently with the education of women and the establishment of the 18 yr old high school grad.

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      • The Spartans then shared the concept of demonizing sensual pleasure! They shared this with the Puritans that were the first fleeing Europe after their reign of terror!
        Denying physical pleasures resulted in distortions of acceptable behaviors that were not human! The Puritans were as horrible as any society since the Spartans!

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      • All society has its failings, but I don’t like to demonize one as a whole and say they were all “horrible.” I’d rather say that collectively, they screwed up here and there, we can learn from that, but we can also learn from whatever advances they might have propagated.

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      • Ritual fast is probably a good thing. Struggle against reality has never been easy and we are the result of 3 billion years of struggle. Your would has ancient roots! If it all was supposed to be pleasant, then the first amoeba would have died in the primordial slime…instead it arose!

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      • Yes not many…my mother does and she is a serious Catholic. Buddhist monks do it also!
        I don’t, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t become a better person by doing it!

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      • Perhaps. Perhaps the Universe began two seconds ago, with all evidence of a past already intact. I stay away from claiming to know the foundational truth of reality and focus on application, because the foundational truth of reality—for now—remains outside our grasp.

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      • I’m not sure what the definition of rational or irrational time is, so I’ll have to ask you to clarify. But say that we’re not in a simulation. Time is proven to be a construct, dependent on the expansion of the early universe, gravitational forces, and relative speed. So physicists and philosophers both allow for the possibility that before the universe expanded, time didn’t exist, thus negating the idea of cause and effect, because effect C requires conditions A and interaction B, and that linear process requires time. It is possible that at the heart of reality, things do not happen according to cause and effect, and perhaps for no reason at all. However, this is a useless paradigm outside of physics and philosophy, as humans are bound by cause and effect for the foreseeable future.

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      • I may do that, depending on the available time. I think you’d do well to understand logical fallacies and the different uses of inductive and deductive logic, as well as the concept of validity. Good luck with your work.

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      • I agree to that. However, since we are limited beings, I also believe we should use that knowledge to try and reliably induce positive results. Mass murder is just as true as acting in a fulfilling manner and helping others.

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      • I believe the nature of Tao is to look at the world through the lens of order and chaos. Too much of one or the other propagates suffering, and a true master of Tao is able to surf that line of harmony (drawn sinuously to evoke the fact that it’s always changing with the passage of time) and employ both chaos and order in the most effective manner possible.

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