Category Archives: News

This is for those posts that may or may not truly have a single qualifying quality.

Science and Technology News: A Brief History Of Modern Architecture Through Movies

This is an Architectural Article illustrating the popular architectural design styles of the 20th Century. The article offers a movie that showcases a particular style and then  provides a brief description of the architecture’s history along with a few examples of the style.

The Art Nouveau style was quite interesting, although my personal favorites are still the Fascist and Brutalist styles.  Including movies that typify the styles was a nice touch because it offers an engaging way to continue learning about the architecture.

 

http://j.mp/1I8PtY9

via Science and Technology News: A Brief History Of Modern Architecture Through Movies.

Economics in a Post-Apocalypse Setting

Economics in most games are pretty basic and self-absorbed. Acquire 16,000 gold pressed latinum coins to buy the uber sword which does +14 damage against deathbeasts. No one bothers to ask why there are 16 thousand latinum coins when the largest city in the country seems to have less than 60 people living it, or why an adventurer who drops that much gold in one city does not immediately unbalance the entire nation’s currency and economy, but hey why should logic get in the way of glowing death swords?

For this reason, and many aside, I like to add a hint of real world principles into my campaign settings. Take for instance money. What is money and why does anyone care about it? If everyone died, would money still be valuable?

Picture this, you are rough and ready mercenaries in a zombie infested land and you’ve just saved a a small settlement of survivors. They repay your kindness in trade tokens that represent their settlement’s goods and services to the outside world (Same concept as banknotes). However, you and your group visits the aforementioned settlement a week later only to find that everyone is dead. Now, tears and laments aside, how much are those trade tokens they gave you worth?

If the people backing the money are dead and gone, their paper bills become just that, paper. The bills represent nothing because the people endorse the bills are all dead. So, what does a prudent merc do? He keeps the settlers alive and their settlements in a good state, if for no other reason to than keep his money from being reduced to scratchy toilet paper.

If we followed this economic concept through, we will see that  keeping  settlements in stable trade relationships with other towns is vital to maintaining the value of their currency with these other towns. Otherwise the settlement will no longer be relevant to other settlements and their money will die out yet again. Canadian pennies are not really in demand in the United States, why? Because no one trades in Canadian currency in the States.

Any good story needs a good hook to capture the player’s attention, and messing with their money is a surefire way to get them involved.

To learn more about economics in a post-apocalypse, click Here to read an article on bottlecaps as an ad-hoc currency.

University, the Last Bastion of the Middle Ages

 The Degradation of the Academic Dogma

usc

TIL Robert Nisbet, founder of Berkeley’s Sociology dept., believed believed that the university is the last vestige of Medieval society and that it has been under attack for the since 1945 by something called The Last Reformation.

The core value that has been under attack? That “Knowledge is important”, in the Aristotelian sense of the word. The university was meant, according to Nisbet, to stand apart from society and discover knowledge that could then be used by others. This Ivory Tower of separation is what actually kept the University autonomous as their purpose was only to discover and document, rather than become involved in social matters.

Social Change

Exhibit A, a masters degree in Women’s Studies.
Exhibit B, a Credited course on Male Privilege.

These classes are courses in Dogma, meant to change and lead people’s thinking. Of course there ought not to be solely One Truth, yet these fields of study are not intended to bring about knowledge. Instead,  the new philosophy of Universities is to bring about social change. This change of objective creates a sense of dependency and interconnection that compromises the University’s ability to objectively seek out and communicate knowledge.

In essence, Nisbet was observing the transition of Universities from reservoirs of knowledge to Institutions of  Social Change via the mechanisms that F.A. Hayek wrote about in his essay The Intellectuals and Socialism. Universities today are training camps of social dogma, wherein the average student will walk away a less competent and independent thinker.

We see this in the double standard language of campuses for example: advocating equality and freedom while at the same time denying open debates and shutting down Free Speech. The modern day University has the intended goal of reeducating people to think and believe certain things, instead of just teaching people knowledge.

Read More

Researching this essay led to the following Essay, Blending Social Theory with Effective Actions for Change

Hayek’s Theory of Social Change

Social Change

In Hayek’s essay Intellectuals and Socialism, Hayek laid out a novel theory as to how society is changed. Rather than assuming that the social powers are what influence and change society, it is the novel thinkers and prolific writers that draft the beliefs of our society.

The Four Levels of Social Change

Pyramid of Social Change, Hayek
Pyramid of Social Change, Hayek
  1. Scholars develop ideas and theories.
  2. Intellectuals take these ideas and spread them through the populace.
  3. The populace adopts these ideas over time and assumes the values are natural and common sense.
  4. Politicians use these ideas as the shared values and canvas upon which to enact their agendas.

 

Theory Applied

Communism
Communism and Marx

The Scholar Karl Marx,  crafted new ideas and theories.  The Scholar’s role is to create a novel theory and provide core values.

The Intellectual is represented by teachers, public figures, or populist artists.  Their role is that they communicate the Scholars’ ideas to the general populace.

The Populace adopt the ideas and incorporate them into their general beliefs. This is a crucial step as it represents more than straightforward, platonic adoption of the ideas.  Instead, it requires the people incorporating  these values into their personal worldview.

The Politician base their agendas around the social landscape of preexisting values and ideas established by the intellectuals and scholars. Rather than being the initiators of change, the politician is a reactionary manipulator who must meet both the desires of the populace as well as push forward their own goals.

Analysis

The language has been updated, for instance an intellectual seems to cover both the scholar and the Bill Mahers out there, yet the ideas how up.

Like any essay, Hayek’s basic theory is too simple and easy to side step.  Hayek fails to  point out the the interplay between these groups and how they operate with the others levels, As an example, a politician can over time influence his constituency and intellectuals can become composite messengers of their combined learning meaning that there is no one single scholar informing the intellectual of what message to share. In addition,  Hayek fails to recognize that the intellectual will inevitably inject his own opinion and thereby warp, adjust, and modify the scholar’s concepts. As examples of these two points, let’s look at Ron Paul and Stalin.

The Good and the Bad and Ugly

Ron Paul was technically a politician, and so should be the lowest level in the order. However Dr. Paul’s character and adamant commitment to free market values made him the first glimpse into libertarianism for many people. Ron Paul was thus a lousy politician, but an excellent intellectual.

Joseph Stalin on the other-hand is an excellent example of an Intellectual perverting the Scholar’s message. Karl Marx had a simple belief that everyone could live intellectually and socially fulfilling lives while  at the same time engaging in manual labor. (A fisher and painter in the morning, and a factory worker in the evening).

Stalin took Marx’s message of equality to create a social conviction in shared suffering and collective prosperity, meaning that the poor were truly destitute and that the rich were merely more “Equal”.  As Orwell noted, some are just more Equal than others.

Relevance

If you want to make a difference in the world, focus on what works rather than tradition. Socialism became dominant not because it was a better idea but because it was taught to younger generations.

My Theory of THE IDEAL SOCIETY!!!

My Theory of THE IDEAL SOCIETY!!!

Or why I know more than everyone and obviously should be Lord Imperious of the Free World and also France.

 

From my two and a half years involvement with the libertarian movement, I have pulled together a personal theory of the ideal society and methods for crafting said society. Like any good libertarian, I have a funny name that no one will recognize.

I am a pragmatic Communitarian Agorist. In short, I believe in people helping people.  So, let me get started and lay it out.

Pragmatism

Pragmatism is taking the best course of action without bias as to methodology or philosophy. It is a fluid methodology of getting to the desired result. So long as the values are not violated, feel free
adapt to situations.

Primary Values

Pragmatism without values leads to ruthless evil. Values guide the pragmatism and give it sight and goals. The values are as follows:

  1. That people be free to live their lives.
  2. That people be free to help one another.
  3. That no one harms another without just cause.

Chicago School of Economics

The Chicago School of Economics is simply a pragmatic approach to economics. The question is not based on principles, it is on end results. The conclusion is simply that all systems will make mistakes, both governments and free markets. The difference is that governments have a well-established history of making bigger messes than free markets. Therefore, free market solutions are
preferable to government solutions, whenever possible.

What is Agorism?

Agorism* is the strategy of starving the government of its justifications by meeting the needs of the people. By helping people, the government is not needed, and so will have minimal to non-existent influence over the community.

What is Communitarianism?

Communitarianism is the social theory that freedom and liberty is not ensured by the individual but by the community. An individual given freedom does not ensure freedom for his fellow human beings, but a community that values freedom given liberty ensures liberty for everyone.

Communitarian Agorist

The Communitarian Agorist then is a community that values freedom and works to meet the needs of the people in and around the community. The individual is empowered by and through the community to do maximum good. In essence, libertarians desire communities comprised of libertarians, yet by putting communities as the focused structure, individual liberty is given greater structure and long term viability than if the focus were placed on individuals.

  • The liberty value helps keep the community from being insular as well as placing priority on the individual.
  • Rule of Law will work to ensure people’s rights and freedom.

Done as Done

So, I hope that helps explain my overall idea. I am a devout follower of brevity, but I’ll follow up with actual explanations of how this all comes together.

 

 

LogoTherapy

Logotherapy

Quick Facts

Logotherapy was developed by a psychologist who went on to survive six concentration camps. His name was Viktor E. Frankl. Dr. Frankl had this theory before being sent to the camps, but it was through the fires of hell that the theory became cemented, both as an approach and in the minds of general public.

Basic premise

Man is free within the confines of his situation to
choose how to interact with circumstances. Man is not free from
conditions, he is free to take a stand towards conditions. “Things
determine each other, but man is ultimately self-determining.” Continue reading LogoTherapy

Austin Wanderings PT1

Okay, so no one took me up on my offer to hangout in Austin, so I decided to make it interesting for myself. Rather than be deterred and let a sight seeing opportunity go to waste, I parked my car in a parking spot and got to my wandering. 

I started off by going to the place I was supposed to go, the municipal courthouse*. They apparently do not like knives in their courthouses, so I had to drop off my pocket knife and try and pick it up later. BTW, in the twenty minutes I was in there, someone stole the knife. Bolivia ain’t go nothing on Austin, their hobos are far more gifted in the arts of lost and found.

Anyway, after the court business, I went to The Tiger and had a very nice Venison sausage for three dollars, happy hour, and then went back on my way. In between checking out local spots, I came across a man (Lotus) with a sign on his chest saying 25 cents for a joke. He tried 20 jokes and still couldn’t break me. We settled for a poem. Continue reading Austin Wanderings PT1

Free to Disagree, unless I disagree with you, then I’ll call the cops

While browsing through Reddit, I found this article. Here is the caption, “Parent calls cops on teen for giving books away at a book giveaway”. Now, if that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know, let me help.

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Her name is Brady Kissel and the book she was passing out was titled The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. The book was recently banned by the local school district for using the phrase metaphorical boner and for making some criticisms against Christians. Continue reading Free to Disagree, unless I disagree with you, then I’ll call the cops

Dislocated Hipster, pt1

So, I am just considering watching Dawson’s Creek. I figure it’s been fifteen some odd years, so I don’t have to worry about anyone, anywhere liking that TV show. This of course is my primary criteria for being able to like anything. If someone somewhere likes it, I cannot like it.

Dr.Horrible’s Sing Along, I had to wait six months so that non of my family would come into my room and sing along with the show. I kid you not, I had this vivid image of them just kicking open my door, marching in, and singing around me. I did not want that to happen. So, yeah, Dawson’s Creek and maybe Creed?

I’m also waiting for the last two Beatles to die, so I can listen to the oldies 95 radio channel.

Shaping Art Through Sales

A little stream of consciousness. A little too 101 for my tastes but it’s interesting.

The issue of this selective marketing is that it tends to funnel the unprofitable market out of the mainstream market. This then has the effect of collecting these scattered people into generalized groups, which then creates new markets which can be marketed to. Continue reading Shaping Art Through Sales