These days politicians “flip”—they decide to turn against their master and reveal the truth. Sometimes they’ve testified under oath prior to this flip that something is true when it’s not. Then they flip: they decide to start telling the truth for whatever reason.

What bothers me about this is that the subtext is that basically everyone is lying by default (to the voters) and that sometimes they will flip, heading into truth-telling mode. Shouldn’t the default be that everyone is telling the truth—rather than the other way around?

What does it mean about us that we mostly accept this way: we accept that politicians are lying until they change their ways.

Talking heads suggest bullied (suicide) kids get earlier access to psych help :: I agree :: but how about some psych help for the bullies!!!

Psychology, Research, Self, War

This is the kind of thing that drives me up the wall.  One the one hand, it’s certainly sensible to (and I think we should) get kids psychiatric help who are depressed, partially because they’re being bullied by their peers.  But how much more sense does it make to get the bullies psychological help??!  If maladjusted jackasses weren’t treating everyone else like shit, then fewer sensitive (feeling, receptive, uncallous, open-minded) kids would feel like killing themselves.

Do you want poor people to die?

Philosophy, War

This is what the health care debate in the U.S. right now is about.  Underlying all the surface arguments, this debate is about these two concepts:

That’s all it’s about.  All roads of discourse lead to those two roads.  The first I think you can get people to see just by talking.  The second may be decided by war.  War, incidentally, is about:

  • Can two ideas that are contradictory both be true at the same time?
  • Do you want poor people to die?

The latter is a question properly stated with the verb “want”, for there is no way to say, in these times, that poor people must die.  Economy is efficiency through scale.  And for all that it can and will be improved upon, expanded, and outshined in the future, our economy is already such that there is such efficiency of scale that whether poor people die truly is a question of what we want to happen.  Even, truly, the question of whether we want our world to be a place where there are poor people—people living in poverty—is totally a matter of desire.  The cost, in terms of individual care or lifestyle, to anyone, in the middle, at the top, at the bottom, of affluence, is negligible in the same way that the cost of drinking water is negligible to those of us in the first world.  It’s as costly to us as aesthetics.

The real matter (and here I’m heavily influenced by other thinkers =) is this: can I feel good about myself without making other people feel bad about themselves.  Can I be happy, while other people are happy too.  Contrary to some thought, capitalism doesn’t eliminate laziness, and socialism doesn’t eliminate innovation.  Those are distinct issues from what I’m talking about here, which is simply, given that at this point in human history, whether we are, as a species, happy and healthy, is no longer a struggle, but a mere aesthetic choice…can we now adjust to the idea, in some of our individual psychologies, that, essentially, I can be ok even though you are ok too.

I think we can, and we will, do that.  Humanity is in an adjustment period in which we are coming to terms with the reality that this world, for us, is a place, not of lack, but of amazing bounty.

Health care is about…people taking care of each other.

Philosophy, Self, War

The root cause of all this HCR bullshit is that there aren’t enough doctors. More doctors == more care for people == less demand for doctors == doctors get paid less == less need for insurance as a payment mechanism for health care. Health care isn’t about insurance, or capitalism, or democracy. It’s about people taking care of each other. To solve health care problems, the solution is more doctors…more knowledge about health, more *care*…and that is something we can all decide to do without anyone’s permission, or guidance, and that no one can stop (or needs to encourage).