Sunday, March 5, 2017

Where are my Russian friends?

For years now, I've been writing philosophical social criticism on this blog and in my books.
For years now my writing has proven most popular in Russia. Also, the Ukraine, Poland, Germany.
But by a large margin, Russians are seeing, perhaps not reading, my work.

So my question is: Where are my Russian friends?
Is there not one of you that can understand my words, appreciate what is being said and make a comment upon it?

I would very much like to open a dialogue with a like minded Russian counterpart.
Any ordinary Russian will do, provided you can speak and write English.
I would like to have an open discussion with you, on this blog.

We can write back and forth like pen pals. You could publish my thoughts on your blog, if you like.

Mostly, I just want to get to know a Russian, in Russian, dealing with Russian life, who has something to say in the way of philosophical social criticism.

I think that Russians are no less effected by the decisions of the west than Canadians, or anyone else for that matter. I think that Russians are no more or less victims of unnatural governance in the same way as Americans. The problems are global, systemic and serious.

Are there people in Russia who want to make the world a better place via reason?

Please write me at brian_taylor@live.com or comment below.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Life in the Balance

In the Universe, there are things that exist, things that "are" or "be." There are also things that are not, but we needn't worry about them, at least today. There is also an argument against there actually being proof of existence, of anything at all, but I think you and I can properly assume that some things exist, merely because we exist. Perhaps Rene Descartes would agree with us. This we must just shove in the background and forget about for now. We need to talk about actual reality, as we understand it, in as much as you and I can agree upon. 
 
There are "things" in the Universe and at least some of these things "do" something, by which we mean alter the Universe in some way that wouldn't have happened without energy being expended. It might be a comet gassing off, it might be the process of photosynthesis, it might be a politician speaking into a microphone. Most things are "doing" something. Trees, cells, suns, galaxies, even your coffee table, chock full of "coffee table information" is decaying. So are you, look in the mirror. Action happens. 

For the most part, the things that are and do are living systems. This doesn't necessarily have anything to do with life or being alive. So a galaxy is a living system and so are you. So is your liver, so are your red blood cells, so is your DNA, and so on. You may explore this dynamism as far into the micro and macro as you wish, it doesn't change much. Most living systems in the Universe also follow a time line of existence. To our knowledge, there is nothing that always was nor is there something that will always be. All things "come into existence" via various means. All things "exist" in that they are around for a time, call it a "life time" if you like. All things decay and "cease to exist" in that they no longer "are" what ever it was that made them "them." For instance, you were born, you are now alive and someday you will be dead. These presumptions too we much agree upon. 

Furthermore, we must agree that most natural systems follow this rough bell curve time line: X is born, X lives, X dies, where X is any living system, in whole or in part. 

This dynamism essentially means that all things are in a constant state of change. As our only concept of time is achieved by moving forward through it from within our existence, the future is the only possible place where change can be recognized. Therefore, as naturally as we don't expect the past to change we must also deal with unavoidable change in the future. (This is an argument unto itself, explaining how conservatism is unnatural, but this doesn't mean that liberalism is the answer either, because we seek balance found only between these opposites.) 

Now, realize that words are things in the Universe too, because you can spit them out and change everything. Organizing those words into things like social movements, political ideologies, religions, companies or even restaurant menus, turns what were mere things into living systems. This is the power we have as these creatures that can create. There are dangers in trying to steer these living systems, rather than letting them live out their life spans. Conservatism was born, it lived a while, let's let it die. Same for Liberalism. For some reason, humans deny the nature of the universe and try to push back against it. In this effort the outside edges of definitions become extreme. Alt-Right and Alt-Left are more reaction than solution. A political living system with only two extremes becomes a palindrome, a snake head eating the head on the opposite side.

I think right now in America there are a bunch of baffled people, peeking out their windows at gathering crowds of the seething duped. The solution is complex, nothing less than an overhaul of what you think it means to govern. The only thing I can presume about the future with any accuracy is that which nature repeats: all systems break down without change, success is found in the mean, between extremes. I happen to believe that because we are creatures able to create, that we a.) do that and b.) do it well, accepting the responsibility to ourselves and each other. 

The majority of Americans are not now running about defacing mosques, harassing Mexicans or grabbing women by the pussy. However, what's going to happen when it's time to build the wall? What's going to happen when it's time to clearly identify those Muslims that have their proper paperwork in order? In terms of political pendulum swinging, I think our grandfather clock is stuck. Of course the only result, the result that happens, usually every eight years, will be that the pendulum will swing equally violently the other way. What is that going to mean? Personally, I'm hoping for the end of money, governmental servitude, labour for gruel and a chicken coop to sleep in. I might be setting my sights a little high, it's my prerogative. The majority of Americans are victims of a living system that has been hijacked to make the rich richer, by defying nature. Unfortunately, it's only the extremists that are aware of this reality. Conspiracy theorists find their fodder in the fringes and as truth will out it's only a question of time before everyone learns that truth. I think everyone accepts this conspiracy as real, they simply shrug and say, "Yeah, but what are ya gonna do about it?"
It's a fair question. The answer is "something."

Consider the following before doing something:

1. Folks don't think about the bell curve nature of existence. Folks don't realize that things like morals, governments, cultures and corporations are living systems, susceptible to the laws of nature. Nature exemplifies the mean by way of cooperation over competition. Living systems must work together to succeed over other living systems. From the micro to the macro, these living systems go on seemingly forever, interconnected. All living systems are subject to the same laws of existence. Read: Conservatism is Unnatural 

2. As beings able to create and change living systems, it can be argued that we have doing so as our purpose, our reason for being. It could even be argued that it would be natural for us to have "birthed" our ability to create and it might remain for a time before disappearing, as it seems, most things do. Wouldn't it make sense for us to make use of our powers while we have them? What would it mean to do so correctly? The only way we can fairly define "correctly" is to find consensus, which would likely rest in the mean. Read: LiveLife Properly: How philosophy can save the world. 

3. Some of the living systems we've designed have flaws the fly in the face of the laws of nature. In the living system of American politics, for example, the semantic deception of dialectical theses lead to extremes continuously pushing away from the middle. This stretches out the mean, thankfully expanding opportunities for finding balance, yet with only two options to choose from, the median is always a short lived fulcrum. The populace don't see it this way, they are either right or left, Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, etc. They don't believe they have been socially engineered, rather they believe that their living system is merely more correctly in tune with what is required, than is your living system. In any dialectical living system, when you are only given two possible things to be, extremes will occur in times of competition and reduce during times of cooperation. The most forward momentum, the most good and the most right will be accomplished during times of cooperation. So why not aim for this mean, rather than one of two exact opposites? Read: The Semantic Deception of Dialectical Theses

4. Opinions and beliefs are subjective. Information is debatable. Truth and fact are not. Unless you're an American. Then entirely fictitious creations of human imagination become reality to be espoused upon and then defended by the creators when the rest of us say, "Hey, wait a minute! That's not true." This is a recipe for disaster. In the first place it comes only from people for whom the truth doesn't work. If the truth is in the way of an agenda, the agenda is, for lack of a better phrase, "Not conducive to reality." People who spend there creative agendas dreaming up "alternative facts" to substantiate their agendas are one of two things: 1.) Liars, who know they're lying, don't care and will continue to push forward, or 2.) Liars, who don't know they're lying, which makes them mentally ill and not only unfit to make indelible marks upon reality via elected office, but quite likely to be unfit for life at all. Nature has no interest in masturbation. These people are entirely self serving, with or without cognisance. They are entirely competitive, even their cooperation is competitive. Read: Truth and Fact: Youthink, it's rare.

Now, everything I have just said is a valid source of good change. If you believe it isn't, congratulations on being in the minority of people that can understand such complex issues, most Americans can't even see the problem. However, you are incorrect. Please change your mind or do your best to cease making indelible marks upon reality. You are counterproductive. It would be most beneficial to the future if you had never existed in the first place.

If, however, you agree with everything stated above, that's great, especially if you previously had an opposing position, or no position, prior to reading the above article. It's not enough to agree. You have to push back against these counterproductive ideologies. It's going to be difficult, resistance always is. But to sin by silence makes us cowards. Let's not be cowards. Let's be at the forefront of a Reasonable Revolution, a revolution of reason. I can think of no time when it was more needed.

I'll be there with you. I've been talking about this problem for over ten years now, right here on this blog. It took an army of idiots putting an idiot in charge for everyone to realize I was right and this is a good thing, but it's only the start. Good luck...

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Why isn't ticket reselling illegal?

It's hardly philosophy, but dammit I'm angry!
I've really wanted to see Radiohead in concert since the seminal album OK Computer.

In early April of 2017, I discovered, Radiohead was coming to Seattle, close enough for me to attend.
I was willing to spend up to $100 per ticket, drive the eight hours with three other family members, wife, son, his girlfriend, cross the border (which is no small feat these days) and stay in a hotel for at least one night.
We were even thinking of staying two nights and catching the Mariners opening day.
But I can't get tickets.
I couldn't get tickets within seven minutes of them going on sale.
I know it was seven minutes until sell out, but it could have been less.
Damned ticketmaster.ca simply didn't work.

The reason is: Ticket Resellers.

In the old days, when I was young (the old days is now the 80s, which is actually pretty funny) if one wanted to go to a concert, for example U2's Joshua Tree tour, one stood in line (or camped overnight) at one's local ticket reseller. This would occur in large and small towns all over and EVEN THE SCALPERS had to stand in line to get their tickets. As the tickets came on sale and everyone bought them, the line would move forward, you'd get your turn and usually you'd get your tickets.

These days, companies like StubHub buy up tickets, sometimes in presale and ordinary internet schlubs like myself can only get tickets when lucky. (I have succeeded in getting tickets in the recent past, to Muse, for instance.)

When StubHub was the only ticket reseller, this wasn't as large a problem, for instance, I think StubHub was only able to procure about one thousand tickets for my Radiohead show.
Tickets were originally $80 + ticketmaster fees. So that's $80 to Radiohead.
StubHub has tickets starting at twice that.
Good seats are at least quadruple that.
If you would like to read about StubHub, ticket reselling and the legalities of such, here is a good article. 

Now here's the philosophical part, that article about ticket reselling, other articles about it and the legal statements of StubHub and other resellers all say the same thing: "StubHub believes it charges a fair market value for its tickets as concert tickets are notoriously undervalued."

This means that everyone has changed their minds about what a concert ticket is and made it a commodity to be traded. I can't have a Radiohead ticket at $80 because that is obviously too low. $300 is much more reasonable. On this point they may be correct, after all I think I paid $50 to see U2 thirty years ago. However this is not my beef.

Imagine I set up a ham reselling shop beside my local butcher's shop. Every day I go into the butcher's shop and buy all his ham. I take that ham to my shop, quadruple the price and resell the ham. If you can get into the Butcher's shop before me, you can maybe buy some ham at a reasonable price that compensates everyone who had any part in bringing you said ham. If you can't and you want ham, you're gonna have to buy mine. Your response to this is, "Well, that ham was too cheap in the first place."


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Battle at Beaver Creek FREE

Mr. Taylor's film has been released to the world for free.
If you haven't seen it yet, you really should, before it's too late.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Americans Don't Read Essays (but let's try to get them to read this one, shall we?)

As a social critic, it is entirely my job to critique any particular society. I choose to most often chastise my own government, (a society unto itself) or that of the Americans. I also disparage ideas and ideals, like capitalism or money in general. But I do these things because I disagree with actions more than ideals. Ideas and ideals make you think and feel and act. Actions make the indelible marks in the world. I also make commentary on the behaviours of larger groups of people, whenever their actions require. Such is it that on this site you find essays written in Russian, because those particular chastisements were for their benefit. This essay I shall endeavour to produce with an emphasis on baser language and in English, for it is to the plain American folk I now write. 
Oh yeah, Pence! Jesus Christ! Don't forget about Pence.

You don't know it yet, but you're fucked. You just elected a piece of shit into the White House because he said he would drain the swamp. He can't do that. What he can do is fill the swamp up with people dumber than he is. (To make himself look good and feel good.) This is nothing but a recipe for disaster. I'm not here to write about why you elected him, what is done is done. I just thought you might like to know that, if you did vote for Mr. Trump and if you stand for what he stands for, the rest of the world is not only greatly disappointed in you, but thinks that you are as much a deplorable, disgusting human being as he.

As I wrote to those aforementioned Russians when they where abusing, torturing and killing homosexuals simply for being gay, "you are taking steps backwards. You are embarrassing yourself and making us look bad in front of the aliens / God. Stop it!" Of course, in your case, American conservative, you can't now "stop it." It will be stopped, but only because I see only two outcomes to a Trump presidency, removal or surrender. Personally, I don't think he'll last forty days. This doesn't matter to you, you're still the one thinking women are less than, immigrants should fuck off back home and therefore you must act. It is in this action, where your ideas and ideals bare their ugly faces that you lash out, baring yours. Uncle Donald has put a giant spotlight on your morality America and it is coming up wanting. 

When the whole fucking world looks at you and shakes its head. It's time to go to your room and think about what you've done. Since WWII you've been the blowhard of the world, now that we've finally said "Enough" you decide to dig in your heels and say, "No dammit. We want to be idiots and assholes! We're gonna hold our breath until we turn blue..." There's really only a few million true Trump supporters, voting turnout was the lowest ever recorded. (Frankly, it's surprising that people this backwards were able to fill in the ballot correctly.) However, there are billions of people all over the world who think Mr. Trump is wrong thinking. The only good thing that can come of his presidency is that shame might force sensible Americans to take out the trash.