Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Taking After the Psych(ologists & iatrists)os

I recommend the whole 18 and a quarter hour long Episode 88 of the Peace Revolution Podcast, but at hour 18, we find a gem inside of an Adam Curtis film. Apparently, some psychiatrists "found" that half the population has mental disorders by testing their system.  Mr. Curtis does not understand what he is describing.  He expresses no consternation or amazement that, although the test of the system returned "astonishing results," while it was being tested, its results were taken as accurate.

Sadly, the official interpretation of the obviously broken system caused a large number of people to use the test as a list of recommendations they could follow in order to avoid "mental disorders."  While this is discouraging to those of us with working brains, it provides a strategy that might be effective.

I developed the following test which should help determine whether or not the person taking it has a quality as undesirable as a mental disorder, the quality of destructive self-deception, by which I mean those who need some kind of counseling.  Counseling is appropriate if their lives are to proceed normally rather than getting worse and worse, ultimately leading to premature curtailment of what could otherwise be a long and joyful life.

Self-Deception Test

  1. Do you generally question the validity of what authority figures tell you?
  2. Do you find that parts of your understanding of the world may not be accurate?
  3. When you test a system and its results astonish you, do you look for flaws in the system?
  4. Are you curious about things that disturb or upset you?
  5. Does your conscience ever tell you that obeying someone is wrong?
  6. Do you follow your conscience even when it tells you to defy an authority figure?
  7. For the questions so far to which you answered yes, were they easy?
  8. Have you ever deceived yourself?

SCORING:
You get one point for each question you answered YES.
0 points: Please avoid me, and good luck!
1 - 2 points: You are honest sometimes, which gives me hope.
3 - 6 points: You are like most people, most likely asleep or in denial and in danger because of it.
7 - 8 points: Welcome to the club.  Please help more people get in.

If you scored anywhere from 1 to 6, please contact me for counseling and let me know which questions you had to answer with a NO.  If you got a 7 or an 8, please offer your counseling services to others.  You may copy and paste this post as your own, or else rewrite it as you see fit.  If you scored a zero, well, your suicide cannot come soon enough for me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Disavow the Use of Coercion

We have been relying on coercion for millennia and suffering the natural consequences.  I sensed this several months ago and it had shut me down.  I want to be involved in lots of things, but bitcoin development and dealing is the only one I've been comfortable with since that realization.  It was not a conscious decision.  It was simply withdrawal and a lack of interest which I now can pinpoint to the reliance on coercion.

Oracle owns Java.  I love Java, but I kind of abandoned it because Oracle is a corporation which will use the full weight of the (unfortunately acceptable) coercive power of the governments in whose jurisdictions it operates to prevent people from doing whatever it doesn't like.  Fortunately (and I just learned this while researching this post), Sun committed to making Java open source, so Oracle can't do much along the lines of using coercion with regard to it.

I've been using PHP and HTML.  In June of 1995, Rasmus Lerdorf released the source code for PHP Tools to the public.  Tim Berners-Lee (the CERN employee who developed the http protocol and html, albeit from earlier ideas) encouraged others to build upon his ideas and to design further software for displaying HTML, and for setting up their own HTML documents ready for access.  I see in my own past that when I sensed coercion in the maintenance of something, that thing became less attractive to me.

This post comes from a deep place within me.  I publish it to urge everyone to encourage Oracle, Google, Apple, and every other company, group, or institution to disavow the use of coercion.

I am just starting out on a journey to develop apps for the Android OS, which is a creation of Google, based on Linux, which was released to the public by Linus Torvalds.  In this effort, I find that in order to run the Android Studio, I need the Java SDK from Oracle.  This realization brought to the surface my own disavowal of the use of coercion.  Disavow it.  Ask others to disavow it.  Hurting people, punishing them, or making them suffer for doing what we do not like is not the way forward.

If you use PHP or HTML or Java or Linux, you have no obligation to Lerdorf or Berners-Lee or Torvalds or Sun, but it's nice to remember how they have helped you.  As the webmaster for voluntaryist.com, I am working on a new section (under the direction of the site's owner, Carl Watner) that addresses the disavowal of coercion with respect to ideas, which are often called "Intellectual Property" and used to justify the use of coercion in defending them.