Monday, June 15, 2009

exploring "post rational"

I was exploring on the internet the word "post rational". Last year during the presidential campaign, Rachel Maddow used it to describe Hillary Clinton applying a campaign strategy that may have been rational to try at one point in the campaign but was irrational at a later point. Others have used "post-rational" offhandedly to describe a society that has rejected depth and analysis in favor of that which gives satisfying emotional appeal.

I have a working definition of a "post-rational society" as a society that does not value a person’s individual journey of rational effort but considers itself to be above and beyond having such a value. This society is "post-rational" because it considers much personal rational effort to be passe and outdated -- that life has become too complex for an individual person to sort out. This society simultaneously favors experts, like scientists while also valuing collective expressions of emotions that express themselves through trends.

Sometimes I surf the internet and post comments on someone's blog post that interest me. I'll leave a long enough post and link it to my blog post here that it becomes a de facto post on my own blog site. On a site called Us and Them, I posted comment to a question that the author posed, which can be summed up as follows -- what are the government / institutional implications of a society that considers the individual to be irrational and that only experts are qualified to sort out what is best for us?

Friday, June 05, 2009

More aphorisms

  • A thing has value if someone values it, no matter how mean or insignificant the item is or how mean and insignificant the person appears to be.

  • While a certain degree of cerebral maturity comes with age, moral maturity is not guaranteed by age. One must work at gaining moral wisdom.

  • A lizard can be fearless, but it takes a human to have courage, since to have courage you must have the capacity to see your fear within and put it aside.

  • Show me one who thinks that those on the other side of a controversial issue from him are thoughtless and I’ll show you one who likes to think that he thinks more than he actually thinks.

  • That which is a source of your pleasure is that which is gaining your allegiance.

  • You commit an original sin the day you first promote yourself at another's expense. It remains as a mark on your soul and character until the day you are contrite about it. It remains and outstanding offense until you apologize.

  • When someone denies the existence of an evil, remember that it is often a tactic used by those who wish to promote it.

  • Making a false distinction between people leads to injustice. So too does making a false equality.