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The US has seized the domain names of Iranian state news agency Press TV. It also seized Al-Masirah, a website owned by the Houthis in Yemen (the people fighting Saudi Arabia), as well as dozens of other websites from countries as disperse as Iraq, Azerbaijan, and Nigeria whose common denominator was that they were owned by or connected to Shi’ite Islam.

Apart from displaying the Biden administration’s continuity with Trump-era policy on Iran – as in many other things, both as regards domestic and foreign policy – this also constitutes a pretty significant confirmation of the thesis that the era of the Open Internet is over and its bifurcation along national and civilizational lines is inevitable. Given these developments, is it wise even for the English language versions of the websites of the likes of RT and Xinhua to remain on .com domains?

But this won’t improve individual censorship-resistance (except, perhaps, to the extent that one can geopolitically leverage – but that carries its own risks and tradeoffs). For that you need decentralized DNS such as ENS, HNS, Unstoppable, Blockstack. Actually, on that note, with gas prices currently quite low, now might not be a bad time to snap up an ENS domain for the next few years or decades if you (1) have some Ethereum in your own wallet, and (2) are in the profession of producing “content”, especially if it is often of an edgy nature. “Squatting” and “domain sniping” isn’t yet a thing there but it probably will be once Web 3 takes off.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Censorship, Cryptocurrency, Iran, United States 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    Commenting rules. Please note that anonymous comments are not allowed.

  2. I’m pretty sure, US controls all internet domains via a non-profit California company. Russia and China have been trying to change that by lobbying at the UN, but no one else seems to care. The world is comfortable with US digital dictatorship.

    To give you an example, Kasparov .ru somehow remains online despite being blocked in Russia since 2014, so I think it’s safe to say that Russia does not control .ru

    • Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle
    @Felix Keverich

    I don't know why more countries don't just do what China did and firewall. Maybe they will eventually. The US seems to be pushing all it's enemies and frenemies toward doing things like this.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

    , @Spisarevski
    @Felix Keverich

    Every ccTLD registry has the power to suspend a domain at the DNS level, in this case it looks like for some bureaucratic reason it never occurred to the Russian authorities to do that. Maybe because most domains that they require to be restricted are outside of their control anyway, so they are used to block content on the territory of Russia by ordering Russian IPSs to block it, and/or the court decision did not include seizing the domain from the owner.

    There is a reason why the Daily Stormer uses a .su domain.

    ICANN mainly has actual control over generic TLDs, the rest is nominal and by consensus.
    If the US government uses its control over the root DNS servers to override a sovereign country registry, this will split and break the internet and they will lose their position and they know it.

    Anyway a "dig +trace" reveals that the root nameservers do not circumvent ripn.su and the domain is only delegated to the nameservers of its hosting company because the Russian registry is allowing it, so Russia does in fact have control over kasparov.ru, it just doesn't use it.

    , @That Would Be Telling
    @Felix Keverich


    I’m pretty sure, US controls all internet domains via a non-profit California company.
     
    Not sure whom you're referring to besides the increasingly rapacious ICANN, but ultimate control is in the hands of those who run the root name servers, which is an incredibly diverse set of institutions, and for once diversity is good. Small things like this won't cause those, or enough of those institutions to change policies, but major ones would be another story.
  3. One thing that mystifies me is why the US hasn’t invaded and destroyed Iran already. They could’ve done it in 2005 when the US military was far more virile and US hegemony was unchecked.

    Even now they can defeat Iran without much difficulty. A lot of people bleat about muh militias and guerillas but the USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.

    God fights on the side with the stronger air force and the US air force and naval aviation is stronger than Russia and China combined. The guided munitions revolution has made air power even more decisive. They could simply bomb Iran and destroy its electric grid, grain factories, power stations, financial centers, transportation hubs and ports and send it to the dark age.

    Iran would be facing mass famine within 6 months of strategic bombing and the army would force the mullahs out at that point. Sure, the Iranian ballistic missile attacks would severely harm Saudi oil facilities and the hormuz would be blockaded for a month or so. It would send oil prices through the roof but that’s a temporary issue.

    It hurts China far more than the US as the US has shale oil and Canadian oil to fall back on. Over time the damage would be fixed but in exchange, Israel’s last enemy in the middle east would be eliminated.

    Russia and China have shown repeatedly that they have no intention to militarily help Iran. Russia has refused to sell Iran Su-30s, Kalibr missiles and S-400 along with other heavy equipment for decades.

    Its really just a matter of balls.

    For some reason, the US establishment has become extremely hesitant of actually fighting any country for the last 10 years or so. It cucked out of fighting Russia in Crimea and Syria despite her being vastly weaker at that time to the US. The US has also cucked out of fighting Iran and hell, it even didn’t fight venezuela, not even an air campaign!

    In retaliation for the murder of solemani the Iranians even openly struck US bases with missiles. The US has decimated countries in the past over far less, yet now, they simply took the slap on the face.

    A similar and equally embarrassing situation unfolded with the Ukraine this april. The US sent warships to the black sea, the Russians threatened them and they turned tail and left!

    What’s the point of having a titanic military if you never use it?

    Is the US establishment simply too feminine and risk averse nowadays? Or are they afraid that if the US forces suffer a few thousand casualties within the span of a few days there would be mass mutinies and desertions?

    People only go to the US military for the free housing,, education, medical care, pension and other gibs.

    The recent American lack of nuts is mystifying. They still have enormous superiority of materials and logistics over Russia and Iran. The US technological superiority over Russia and China is still solid as well, and certainly in the case of Iran.

    • Troll: Mulga Mumblebrain
    • Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle
    @Caspar von Everec

    Would any American with intact balls want to risk their life to protect the US in 2021?

    The USA's most important ethos these days is that balls must be removed.

    Replies: @Caspar von Everec

    , @Felix Keverich
    @Caspar von Everec


    USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.

     

    This tactic didn't work in any conflict since WW2. The fact that white American chauvinists continue to believe in it mystifies me.

    Your airforce can only make a difference when used to support a ground invasion. But you still need a capable ground force to take advantage of these airstrikes, otherwise you're just committing acts of terrorism like Israel in Syria. They might give you temporary emotional satisfaction, but change nothing in the bigger picture.

    Replies: @Caspar von Everec, @216, @Mulga Mumblebrain

    , @Rich
    @Caspar von Everec

    What strategic value is there in destroying Iran for the US? Iran serves as a boogeyman to keep other Middle East oil nations under our protective wing. Without Iran, the Saudis might not need to stay in partnership with us.

    As far as bombing Iran into oblivion and causing starvation and suffering, why? Do you really want to murder a bunch of people on the other side of the world so that Saudi Arabia and Israel feel safer? There is no reason for an American attack on Iran.

    Replies: @Caspar von Everec, @Almost Missouri

    , @beavertales
    @Caspar von Everec

    "What’s the point of having a titanic military if you never use it?"

    Deterrence.

    What's the point of burnishing your bully credentials today if you're causing the neighborhood to turn against you tomorrow? The planet is now pivoting and "looking to the East" because US aggression and belligerence has soured its image and reputation.

    The chickens of the last century are coming home to roost. Too many illegal and unjust wars have cost the US its place in the world.

    , @AltSerrice
    @Caspar von Everec

    You've answered your own question. If they could've done it so easily, they would have. Since they have not, it's obviously not as easy as you make it out to be.

    , @216
    @Caspar von Everec


    One thing that mystifies me is why the US hasn’t invaded and destroyed Iran already. They could’ve done it in 2005 when the US military was far more virile and US hegemony was unchecked.

    Even now they can defeat Iran without much difficulty. A lot of people bleat about muh militias and guerillas but the USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.
     
    The US could invade and occupy the coastal areas where the overwhelming majority of oil is produced, but occupying the entire country isn't logistically possible without a major buildup on the scale of WW2.

    The share of ethnic and religious minorities that would welcome an invasion is considerably lower than in Iraq, and the terrain is much rougher.

    If the US goal is regime change, it would be wiser to forment a coup among officers in the regular military to remove the IRGC and install moderate clerical leadership.

    Much depends on whether or not Raisi can consolidate enough power to become the next Supreme Leader. The opportunity for a coup is strongest during a power vaccum when no one can credibly succeed Khamenei.

    Replies: @(((Owen))), @showmethereal

    , @Mario Partisan
    @Caspar von Everec

    If it mystifies you that the “US hasn’t invaded and destroyed Iran already,” it would help to try and think of reasons why it hasn’t as opposed to reasons why it could. “The US establishment is too feminine and risk averse” is not a thoughtful answer.

    In making decisions one has to ask “what are the benefits and what are the costs; do the former outweigh the latter?” The fact that the Iran war has not happened yet suggests that even back in 2005 the costs outweighed the benefits. All of your talk about how the US could bomb Iran back to the stone age does not demonstrate that it benefits the US to do so. The US could do the same to Norway, why hasn’t it? For that matter, I could bash myself in the head with a hammer, but why would I?

    Now, your question reminds me of Gen. Clark’s comments regarding the “7 regimes in 5 years” talk he gave. He says he had received a memo and that it said the Bush admin, back in 2002/2003 had made the decision to execute regime change ops in the following countries: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and finally, Iran. In some form or another an attempt has been made on each of these countries save for a military assault on Iran.

    Something to keep in mind is that changing a regime requires boots on the ground. You can totally destroy a country’s infrastructure with air power, but that does not induce regime change in your favor. It does not, by itself, turn that state into a client. It just leaves a power vacuum that other forces can fill.

    Now, the US obviously has a powerful military, but that military exists to maintain a global imperial presence and is thus in many ways stretched thin, and a large commitment on any front takes forces away from other fronts. That is why Bush wanted to do the war in stages: hit Iraq, quickly set up a client regime, next…but once in Iraq, the neocons realized they had bitten off more than they could chew.



    In overthrowing Saddam Hussein, using the rhetoric of Human Rights Freedom Democracy, the US found itself grappling not just with a Sunni insurgency, but with the dilemma of handing the government to a coalition of Iran-aligned Shia parties that it was ostensibly on the side of. The US was already having a hard time dealing with the Sunni insurgency; starting a bombing campaign against neighboring Iran would have caused the new Shia government to join that insurgency. In short, part of the reason for no Iran war was that the Bush admin was technically an ally of Iran’s Iraqi friends and was attempting a balancing act. In the end, Bush and Obama ended the Iraq war not having achieved their aims politically, namely a US client sitting in Baghdad. Keep in mind, that since the US killed the Iranian general in Jan 2020, government-aligned Iraqi militias have been conducting routine IED and rocket attacks against US military convoys and bases. The US is essentially in a low intensity war with the Iraqi government right now.

    Now, you allege that China and Russia would abandon Iran, but I am not so sure. To be sure, Russia has not abandoned Syria. Also, there are other ways that these countries could retaliate – dropping the dollar, China cutting the US off from critical parts and products that it exports to the US, shutting off the gas to Europe. Also, you are only considering China and Russia, but what about other countries? The ME wars have been bad enough for the US reputation around the world, could you imagine if the US started carpet bombing Iran (for what reason?) and starving the people to death? The rest of the world would rightly conclude that the US was a genocidal terror state that had completely lost its marbles and conclude that something had to be done or they could be next. In short, the US would win a charred and hollowed out Persia and lose its empire. Also, China is a major importer of Iranian oil and would rightly see an attack on Iran as an attack on its national security interests.

    And how can I forget the blocking of the Hormuz straits and massive oil price shock bringing untold economic consequences throughout the world.

    In short, Washington is constrained by a number of factors ranging from military man power; economic, industrial and financial dependence on China; it’s Human Rights Freedom Democracy image (soft power); and the contradictions of its own imperial escapades. Moreover, on top of all these risks, what are the real benefits? What is to be gained? I can’t think of a single thing other than Israel and Israel firsters getting their blood lust on. And they don’t need to attack Iran for that – they can just bomb kids in Gaza.

    Replies: @216

    , @mindblower
    @Caspar von Everec

    One thing that mystifies me is why the US hasn’t invaded and destroyed Iran already.

    They would lose, thats why.

    , @Fr. John
    @Caspar von Everec

    "God fights on the side with the stronger air force...."

    So glad to know you have a direct line to the Almighty's mind.

    Somehow, though, I doubt it.....

    , @JL
    @Caspar von Everec


    What’s the point of having a titanic military if you never use it?
     
    Probably more like a Titanic military. You know, the ship that everyone was thought was the biggest and best until it got sunk by an incompetent captain hitting an iceberg.
  4. @Felix Keverich
    I'm pretty sure, US controls all internet domains via a non-profit California company. Russia and China have been trying to change that by lobbying at the UN, but no one else seems to care. The world is comfortable with US digital dictatorship.

    To give you an example, Kasparov .ru somehow remains online despite being blocked in Russia since 2014, so I think it's safe to say that Russia does not control .ru

    Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle, @Spisarevski, @That Would Be Telling

    I don’t know why more countries don’t just do what China did and firewall. Maybe they will eventually. The US seems to be pushing all it’s enemies and frenemies toward doing things like this.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @Tom Marvolo Riddle

    Even if more countries firewall this only means high VPN sales (as those services already are in China & Russia).

    Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle

  5. @Caspar von Everec
    One thing that mystifies me is why the US hasn't invaded and destroyed Iran already. They could've done it in 2005 when the US military was far more virile and US hegemony was unchecked.

    Even now they can defeat Iran without much difficulty. A lot of people bleat about muh militias and guerillas but the USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.

    God fights on the side with the stronger air force and the US air force and naval aviation is stronger than Russia and China combined. The guided munitions revolution has made air power even more decisive. They could simply bomb Iran and destroy its electric grid, grain factories, power stations, financial centers, transportation hubs and ports and send it to the dark age.

    Iran would be facing mass famine within 6 months of strategic bombing and the army would force the mullahs out at that point. Sure, the Iranian ballistic missile attacks would severely harm Saudi oil facilities and the hormuz would be blockaded for a month or so. It would send oil prices through the roof but that's a temporary issue.

    It hurts China far more than the US as the US has shale oil and Canadian oil to fall back on. Over time the damage would be fixed but in exchange, Israel's last enemy in the middle east would be eliminated.

    Russia and China have shown repeatedly that they have no intention to militarily help Iran. Russia has refused to sell Iran Su-30s, Kalibr missiles and S-400 along with other heavy equipment for decades.

    Its really just a matter of balls.

    For some reason, the US establishment has become extremely hesitant of actually fighting any country for the last 10 years or so. It cucked out of fighting Russia in Crimea and Syria despite her being vastly weaker at that time to the US. The US has also cucked out of fighting Iran and hell, it even didn't fight venezuela, not even an air campaign!

    In retaliation for the murder of solemani the Iranians even openly struck US bases with missiles. The US has decimated countries in the past over far less, yet now, they simply took the slap on the face.

    A similar and equally embarrassing situation unfolded with the Ukraine this april. The US sent warships to the black sea, the Russians threatened them and they turned tail and left!

    What's the point of having a titanic military if you never use it?

    Is the US establishment simply too feminine and risk averse nowadays? Or are they afraid that if the US forces suffer a few thousand casualties within the span of a few days there would be mass mutinies and desertions?

    People only go to the US military for the free housing,, education, medical care, pension and other gibs.

    The recent American lack of nuts is mystifying. They still have enormous superiority of materials and logistics over Russia and Iran. The US technological superiority over Russia and China is still solid as well, and certainly in the case of Iran.

    Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle, @Felix Keverich, @Rich, @beavertales, @AltSerrice, @216, @Mario Partisan, @mindblower, @Fr. John, @JL

    Would any American with intact balls want to risk their life to protect the US in 2021?

    The USA’s most important ethos these days is that balls must be removed.

    • Replies: @Caspar von Everec
    @Tom Marvolo Riddle

    Yeah. But are white americans red pilled enough?

    Do they realize how much their government hates them and why its pointless to fight for it?

    or will the square jawed schlemiels of the US military fight for uncle Shmuel all the same?

    Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle

  6. @Caspar von Everec
    One thing that mystifies me is why the US hasn't invaded and destroyed Iran already. They could've done it in 2005 when the US military was far more virile and US hegemony was unchecked.

    Even now they can defeat Iran without much difficulty. A lot of people bleat about muh militias and guerillas but the USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.

    God fights on the side with the stronger air force and the US air force and naval aviation is stronger than Russia and China combined. The guided munitions revolution has made air power even more decisive. They could simply bomb Iran and destroy its electric grid, grain factories, power stations, financial centers, transportation hubs and ports and send it to the dark age.

    Iran would be facing mass famine within 6 months of strategic bombing and the army would force the mullahs out at that point. Sure, the Iranian ballistic missile attacks would severely harm Saudi oil facilities and the hormuz would be blockaded for a month or so. It would send oil prices through the roof but that's a temporary issue.

    It hurts China far more than the US as the US has shale oil and Canadian oil to fall back on. Over time the damage would be fixed but in exchange, Israel's last enemy in the middle east would be eliminated.

    Russia and China have shown repeatedly that they have no intention to militarily help Iran. Russia has refused to sell Iran Su-30s, Kalibr missiles and S-400 along with other heavy equipment for decades.

    Its really just a matter of balls.

    For some reason, the US establishment has become extremely hesitant of actually fighting any country for the last 10 years or so. It cucked out of fighting Russia in Crimea and Syria despite her being vastly weaker at that time to the US. The US has also cucked out of fighting Iran and hell, it even didn't fight venezuela, not even an air campaign!

    In retaliation for the murder of solemani the Iranians even openly struck US bases with missiles. The US has decimated countries in the past over far less, yet now, they simply took the slap on the face.

    A similar and equally embarrassing situation unfolded with the Ukraine this april. The US sent warships to the black sea, the Russians threatened them and they turned tail and left!

    What's the point of having a titanic military if you never use it?

    Is the US establishment simply too feminine and risk averse nowadays? Or are they afraid that if the US forces suffer a few thousand casualties within the span of a few days there would be mass mutinies and desertions?

    People only go to the US military for the free housing,, education, medical care, pension and other gibs.

    The recent American lack of nuts is mystifying. They still have enormous superiority of materials and logistics over Russia and Iran. The US technological superiority over Russia and China is still solid as well, and certainly in the case of Iran.

    Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle, @Felix Keverich, @Rich, @beavertales, @AltSerrice, @216, @Mario Partisan, @mindblower, @Fr. John, @JL

    USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.

    This tactic didn’t work in any conflict since WW2. The fact that white American chauvinists continue to believe in it mystifies me.

    Your airforce can only make a difference when used to support a ground invasion. But you still need a capable ground force to take advantage of these airstrikes, otherwise you’re just committing acts of terrorism like Israel in Syria. They might give you temporary emotional satisfaction, but change nothing in the bigger picture.

    • Agree: mal
    • Disagree: JohnPlywood
    • Replies: @Caspar von Everec
    @Felix Keverich

    This could not be farther from the truth.

    Air power defeated the 1 million man Iraqi army in 1991. The allies suffered about 200-400 casualties while the Iraqi army lost over 60,000 men to the air war alone. Israeli air power decimated the Arab armies in 1967. They struggled in 73 when they initially lacked air superiority.

    However, Anowar Sadaat was stupid enough to send his armored divisions into the open desert outside the protection of the Soviet made SAM umbrella and were decimated by Israeli air strikes and tanks.

    An allied air campaign almost single handedly defeated Serbia in 1999. Iraq 2003 is another example of an army simply dissolving in the face of a superior air force. US air power also overthrew Gaddafi in 2011.

    The cases of Vietnam and Afghanistan are often brought up but those weren't conventional conflicts. The US lost vietnam because the army was not allowed to invade North Vietnam and end the war decisively. The vietnamese simply waited them out. Samw with Afghanistan where the US army never had more than 100,000 troops to occupty a 500,000 sq km country.

    As for Iran, there's nothing wrong with what I said. In ww2, 20 B-29s each carrying 24 500-lb bombs raided a Japanese industrial facility. Of those 650+ bombs, only one landed on the target. Today, a single F-16 can carry 8 such bombs and precisely hit 8 such targets due to radio, satellite and laser guided munitions.

    The Iranians can't move their whole civilization underground. Eventually the bombing will destroy their bridges, industries, refineries, ports, railways and fertilizer plants. They could strangle Iran to death with starvation. B-52s could easily petrol bomb Iranian agriculture too during the dry season. Russia could provide food via the Caspian sea but its impossible to feed a country of 80 million people through lend lease aid.

    Replies: @sher singh, @Dreadilk, @Max Payne, @Svevlad, @AaronB, @Daniel H, @Daniel Chieh, @showmethereal, @Mulga Mumblebrain

    , @216
    @Felix Keverich


    This tactic didn’t work in any conflict since WW2. The fact that white American chauvinists continue to believe in it mystifies me.

     

    It worked in Serbia.
    , @Mulga Mumblebrain
    @Felix Keverich

    The US bombs Iran with cowardly enthusiasm, and Iran closes the Straits of Hormuz and destroys Saudi hydrocarbon production. Let's see who starves first.

    Replies: @Bill Jones

  7. @Felix Keverich
    I'm pretty sure, US controls all internet domains via a non-profit California company. Russia and China have been trying to change that by lobbying at the UN, but no one else seems to care. The world is comfortable with US digital dictatorship.

    To give you an example, Kasparov .ru somehow remains online despite being blocked in Russia since 2014, so I think it's safe to say that Russia does not control .ru

    Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle, @Spisarevski, @That Would Be Telling

    Every ccTLD registry has the power to suspend a domain at the DNS level, in this case it looks like for some bureaucratic reason it never occurred to the Russian authorities to do that. Maybe because most domains that they require to be restricted are outside of their control anyway, so they are used to block content on the territory of Russia by ordering Russian IPSs to block it, and/or the court decision did not include seizing the domain from the owner.

    There is a reason why the Daily Stormer uses a .su domain.

    ICANN mainly has actual control over generic TLDs, the rest is nominal and by consensus.
    If the US government uses its control over the root DNS servers to override a sovereign country registry, this will split and break the internet and they will lose their position and they know it.

    Anyway a “dig +trace” reveals that the root nameservers do not circumvent ripn.su and the domain is only delegated to the nameservers of its hosting company because the Russian registry is allowing it, so Russia does in fact have control over kasparov.ru, it just doesn’t use it.

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
  8. @Felix Keverich
    @Caspar von Everec


    USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.

     

    This tactic didn't work in any conflict since WW2. The fact that white American chauvinists continue to believe in it mystifies me.

    Your airforce can only make a difference when used to support a ground invasion. But you still need a capable ground force to take advantage of these airstrikes, otherwise you're just committing acts of terrorism like Israel in Syria. They might give you temporary emotional satisfaction, but change nothing in the bigger picture.

    Replies: @Caspar von Everec, @216, @Mulga Mumblebrain

    This could not be farther from the truth.

    Air power defeated the 1 million man Iraqi army in 1991. The allies suffered about 200-400 casualties while the Iraqi army lost over 60,000 men to the air war alone. Israeli air power decimated the Arab armies in 1967. They struggled in 73 when they initially lacked air superiority.

    However, Anowar Sadaat was stupid enough to send his armored divisions into the open desert outside the protection of the Soviet made SAM umbrella and were decimated by Israeli air strikes and tanks.

    An allied air campaign almost single handedly defeated Serbia in 1999. Iraq 2003 is another example of an army simply dissolving in the face of a superior air force. US air power also overthrew Gaddafi in 2011.

    The cases of Vietnam and Afghanistan are often brought up but those weren’t conventional conflicts. The US lost vietnam because the army was not allowed to invade North Vietnam and end the war decisively. The vietnamese simply waited them out. Samw with Afghanistan where the US army never had more than 100,000 troops to occupty a 500,000 sq km country.

    As for Iran, there’s nothing wrong with what I said. In ww2, 20 B-29s each carrying 24 500-lb bombs raided a Japanese industrial facility. Of those 650+ bombs, only one landed on the target. Today, a single F-16 can carry 8 such bombs and precisely hit 8 such targets due to radio, satellite and laser guided munitions.

    The Iranians can’t move their whole civilization underground. Eventually the bombing will destroy their bridges, industries, refineries, ports, railways and fertilizer plants. They could strangle Iran to death with starvation. B-52s could easily petrol bomb Iranian agriculture too during the dry season. Russia could provide food via the Caspian sea but its impossible to feed a country of 80 million people through lend lease aid.

    • Agree: JohnPlywood
    • Replies: @sher singh
    @Caspar von Everec

    I don't even disagree, I'd just caution against bombing your own sons-in-law.
    You might anger your daughter!

    I think whites will eventually realize they have massive & rapid escalation dominance up to nukes.
    There was tweet about the West losing the will to live on an article from the 50s saying similar stuff.

    , @Dreadilk
    @Caspar von Everec

    Now do Yemen. Nothing you said counteracts his point that you need boots on the ground.

    What do you gain by bombing your enemy into stone age but not finishing them off?

    , @Max Payne
    @Caspar von Everec

    So Vietnam was not a conventional war (even though more bombs were dropped on it than the entire Allied bombing campaigns of WW2; Europe and Pacific) but Iran will be a conventional war? Iran War (TM) is going to be the mother of all unconventional wars, with the US spread throughout the middle east Vietnam never had opportunity targets like this (economic and military targets, from Saudi oil wells, significant dual-loyalty Shia population in all oil nations, CENTCOM, Israel, bases in Afghanistan and Iraq, shipping lanes, etc. etc. etc.)

    I guess subsonic B-52s (and F-16s with more hours on them than my dead grandma) are going to penetrate Iranian air space unchallenged. I mean, why not? Electronic warfare? Anti-air batteries? Spam clone of F-5s on CAP? Shieeeet why would Iran react? Ain't no thang but a chicken wang (as tiny piss poor Vietnam with its tiny piss poor anti-air system seems to prove; and all they had were idle diesel motors to fool air force sensors).

    And then 150,000+ US servicemen will march to Tehran (unchallenged, of course) and commit to a 20 year occupation (covering 1.648 million km²). Someone will have to root out all those missile fortresses, anti-shipping bases, weapon caches, and the IRGC (who unlike Saddams Republican Guard & Soviet Politburo seem to understand denim jeans aren't worth national integrity no matter how blue they are).

    Or maybe they'll just nuke everything. At least that will be entertaining.

    I would ask for a North Korean war but I don't want the price of Samsung phones to go up. So I'll have to settle for an Iranian war.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    , @Svevlad
    @Caspar von Everec

    Iunno man, we trolled the eternal natoroach airforce using microwaves and cardboard, so in their seething and unending butthurt, they decided to take it out on the civilian infrastructure.

    And this was during severe sanctions and therefore lack of parts and munitions.

    Iran, I'm sure, has far higher capabilities. Not enough to win, but enough to sour any victory.

    , @AaronB
    @Caspar von Everec

    Obviously the US can obliterate Iran with a movement of it's little pinkie, but It has much grander ambitions, assimilating it into the liberal world order.

    Crushing your enemies is for weak people. Once you've reached a certain level of power, you set your sights on harder and more complicated objectives.

    Similarly, the US could have conquered Vietnam and enslaved it's population, but it was trying something more complicated.

    You see this everywhere liberal states fight non-liberal enemies. For instance, it would probably take under a day for Israel to obliterate Gaza, but instead, Israel goes to comical lengths to kill a handful of Arabs and tolerates persistent attacks on itself.

    Liberal states are able to generate the most power and have the best armies, but they also set themselves more complex and difficult tasks than mete destruction - destruction is child's play.

    As for what's the point of having this awesome military power if you never use it? Well, it is exactly because you have that kind of power that you don't need to use it.

    People under feelings of extreme threat lash out - people who have enough power that they don't feel seriously threatened can respond in a more measured way.

    Replies: @Spisarevski, @AltanBakshi, @Daniel Chieh

    , @Daniel H
    @Caspar von Everec

    You are a sociopath.

    , @Daniel Chieh
    @Caspar von Everec


    An allied air campaign almost single handedly defeated Serbia in 1999. Iraq 2003 is another example of an army simply dissolving in the face of a superior air force. US air power also overthrew Gaddafi in 2011.

     

    Its possible, but requires an overwhelming advantage in resources, time and friendly territory surrounding the target: such an equivalency as to past overwhelming advantage against isolated dictators is not as evident versus Iran.

    Replies: @216

    , @showmethereal
    @Caspar von Everec

    The US did not defeat Iraq in 1991. The US didn't invade on the ground because they knew the US public couldn't take the casualties. Cowbow Bush 2 forgot that as he wanted to prove himself to be tough by starting a fake war. We saw what happened in the 2000's once the boots got on the ground. Aerial bombing does not win a war. It HELPS to achieve objectives - but it doesn't win a war.

    , @Mulga Mumblebrain
    @Caspar von Everec

    Nice to see a born and bred Nazi feverishly, onanistically, calling for the genocide of Iranians through war crimes. Very Talmudic, that. A New Purim?

  9. @Tom Marvolo Riddle
    @Caspar von Everec

    Would any American with intact balls want to risk their life to protect the US in 2021?

    The USA's most important ethos these days is that balls must be removed.

    Replies: @Caspar von Everec

    Yeah. But are white americans red pilled enough?

    Do they realize how much their government hates them and why its pointless to fight for it?

    or will the square jawed schlemiels of the US military fight for uncle Shmuel all the same?

    • Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle
    @Caspar von Everec

    I couldn't say, they are probably more aware now than ever before though. They made up about 55% of army personnel in 2020. Down from 78% in 2001. A lot of people join the military for the financial incentives. No idea how many join because they "believe in it's mission" probably close to 0. Who knows though? It's not like white americans have a voice.

  10. @Caspar von Everec
    One thing that mystifies me is why the US hasn't invaded and destroyed Iran already. They could've done it in 2005 when the US military was far more virile and US hegemony was unchecked.

    Even now they can defeat Iran without much difficulty. A lot of people bleat about muh militias and guerillas but the USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.

    God fights on the side with the stronger air force and the US air force and naval aviation is stronger than Russia and China combined. The guided munitions revolution has made air power even more decisive. They could simply bomb Iran and destroy its electric grid, grain factories, power stations, financial centers, transportation hubs and ports and send it to the dark age.

    Iran would be facing mass famine within 6 months of strategic bombing and the army would force the mullahs out at that point. Sure, the Iranian ballistic missile attacks would severely harm Saudi oil facilities and the hormuz would be blockaded for a month or so. It would send oil prices through the roof but that's a temporary issue.

    It hurts China far more than the US as the US has shale oil and Canadian oil to fall back on. Over time the damage would be fixed but in exchange, Israel's last enemy in the middle east would be eliminated.

    Russia and China have shown repeatedly that they have no intention to militarily help Iran. Russia has refused to sell Iran Su-30s, Kalibr missiles and S-400 along with other heavy equipment for decades.

    Its really just a matter of balls.

    For some reason, the US establishment has become extremely hesitant of actually fighting any country for the last 10 years or so. It cucked out of fighting Russia in Crimea and Syria despite her being vastly weaker at that time to the US. The US has also cucked out of fighting Iran and hell, it even didn't fight venezuela, not even an air campaign!

    In retaliation for the murder of solemani the Iranians even openly struck US bases with missiles. The US has decimated countries in the past over far less, yet now, they simply took the slap on the face.

    A similar and equally embarrassing situation unfolded with the Ukraine this april. The US sent warships to the black sea, the Russians threatened them and they turned tail and left!

    What's the point of having a titanic military if you never use it?

    Is the US establishment simply too feminine and risk averse nowadays? Or are they afraid that if the US forces suffer a few thousand casualties within the span of a few days there would be mass mutinies and desertions?

    People only go to the US military for the free housing,, education, medical care, pension and other gibs.

    The recent American lack of nuts is mystifying. They still have enormous superiority of materials and logistics over Russia and Iran. The US technological superiority over Russia and China is still solid as well, and certainly in the case of Iran.

    Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle, @Felix Keverich, @Rich, @beavertales, @AltSerrice, @216, @Mario Partisan, @mindblower, @Fr. John, @JL

    What strategic value is there in destroying Iran for the US? Iran serves as a boogeyman to keep other Middle East oil nations under our protective wing. Without Iran, the Saudis might not need to stay in partnership with us.

    As far as bombing Iran into oblivion and causing starvation and suffering, why? Do you really want to murder a bunch of people on the other side of the world so that Saudi Arabia and Israel feel safer? There is no reason for an American attack on Iran.

    • Replies: @Caspar von Everec
    @Rich

    I don't. The Israel lobby does. Iran is their last enemy in the middle east. If they eliminate it, there's really no power left to oppose them.

    Replies: @Svevlad

    , @Almost Missouri
    @Rich


    Iran serves as a boogeyman to keep other Middle East oil nations under our protective wing. Without Iran, the Saudis might not need to stay in partnership with us.
     
    That's an argument that I've heard a lot of Arabs make, but usually about Israel rather than Iran. In either case though, consider the pre-boogeyman situation. Prior to 1979, Iran was another US vassal state, yet the other Middle East oil nations were still in US partnership. So the Iranian "boogeyman" function seems superfluous. Prior to 1948 and the creation of Israel, the Gulf Arabs states were also Anglo-US clients, so the Israel-boogeyman argument seems unlikely.

    Indeed, both the Iranian Revolution (by radicalizing and empowering Middle- and Near-Eastern Shia) and Israel (by being a rallying point for the US donor class) have massively complicated US relations with Gulf petrostates. It is the reason that so much effort and attention have gone and still go into what is otherwise just a another commodity-export region. Prior to 1948 and 1979, The Middle East occupied about as much US mental bandwidth as the present oil exporting regions of Nigeria, Venezuela and Mexico, i.e., not much. Now every jot and tittle event in the Middle East is headline news in the US.

    Replies: @Rich

  11. @Caspar von Everec
    One thing that mystifies me is why the US hasn't invaded and destroyed Iran already. They could've done it in 2005 when the US military was far more virile and US hegemony was unchecked.

    Even now they can defeat Iran without much difficulty. A lot of people bleat about muh militias and guerillas but the USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.

    God fights on the side with the stronger air force and the US air force and naval aviation is stronger than Russia and China combined. The guided munitions revolution has made air power even more decisive. They could simply bomb Iran and destroy its electric grid, grain factories, power stations, financial centers, transportation hubs and ports and send it to the dark age.

    Iran would be facing mass famine within 6 months of strategic bombing and the army would force the mullahs out at that point. Sure, the Iranian ballistic missile attacks would severely harm Saudi oil facilities and the hormuz would be blockaded for a month or so. It would send oil prices through the roof but that's a temporary issue.

    It hurts China far more than the US as the US has shale oil and Canadian oil to fall back on. Over time the damage would be fixed but in exchange, Israel's last enemy in the middle east would be eliminated.

    Russia and China have shown repeatedly that they have no intention to militarily help Iran. Russia has refused to sell Iran Su-30s, Kalibr missiles and S-400 along with other heavy equipment for decades.

    Its really just a matter of balls.

    For some reason, the US establishment has become extremely hesitant of actually fighting any country for the last 10 years or so. It cucked out of fighting Russia in Crimea and Syria despite her being vastly weaker at that time to the US. The US has also cucked out of fighting Iran and hell, it even didn't fight venezuela, not even an air campaign!

    In retaliation for the murder of solemani the Iranians even openly struck US bases with missiles. The US has decimated countries in the past over far less, yet now, they simply took the slap on the face.

    A similar and equally embarrassing situation unfolded with the Ukraine this april. The US sent warships to the black sea, the Russians threatened them and they turned tail and left!

    What's the point of having a titanic military if you never use it?

    Is the US establishment simply too feminine and risk averse nowadays? Or are they afraid that if the US forces suffer a few thousand casualties within the span of a few days there would be mass mutinies and desertions?

    People only go to the US military for the free housing,, education, medical care, pension and other gibs.

    The recent American lack of nuts is mystifying. They still have enormous superiority of materials and logistics over Russia and Iran. The US technological superiority over Russia and China is still solid as well, and certainly in the case of Iran.

    Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle, @Felix Keverich, @Rich, @beavertales, @AltSerrice, @216, @Mario Partisan, @mindblower, @Fr. John, @JL

    “What’s the point of having a titanic military if you never use it?”

    Deterrence.

    What’s the point of burnishing your bully credentials today if you’re causing the neighborhood to turn against you tomorrow? The planet is now pivoting and “looking to the East” because US aggression and belligerence has soured its image and reputation.

    The chickens of the last century are coming home to roost. Too many illegal and unjust wars have cost the US its place in the world.

  12. @Caspar von Everec
    @Felix Keverich

    This could not be farther from the truth.

    Air power defeated the 1 million man Iraqi army in 1991. The allies suffered about 200-400 casualties while the Iraqi army lost over 60,000 men to the air war alone. Israeli air power decimated the Arab armies in 1967. They struggled in 73 when they initially lacked air superiority.

    However, Anowar Sadaat was stupid enough to send his armored divisions into the open desert outside the protection of the Soviet made SAM umbrella and were decimated by Israeli air strikes and tanks.

    An allied air campaign almost single handedly defeated Serbia in 1999. Iraq 2003 is another example of an army simply dissolving in the face of a superior air force. US air power also overthrew Gaddafi in 2011.

    The cases of Vietnam and Afghanistan are often brought up but those weren't conventional conflicts. The US lost vietnam because the army was not allowed to invade North Vietnam and end the war decisively. The vietnamese simply waited them out. Samw with Afghanistan where the US army never had more than 100,000 troops to occupty a 500,000 sq km country.

    As for Iran, there's nothing wrong with what I said. In ww2, 20 B-29s each carrying 24 500-lb bombs raided a Japanese industrial facility. Of those 650+ bombs, only one landed on the target. Today, a single F-16 can carry 8 such bombs and precisely hit 8 such targets due to radio, satellite and laser guided munitions.

    The Iranians can't move their whole civilization underground. Eventually the bombing will destroy their bridges, industries, refineries, ports, railways and fertilizer plants. They could strangle Iran to death with starvation. B-52s could easily petrol bomb Iranian agriculture too during the dry season. Russia could provide food via the Caspian sea but its impossible to feed a country of 80 million people through lend lease aid.

    Replies: @sher singh, @Dreadilk, @Max Payne, @Svevlad, @AaronB, @Daniel H, @Daniel Chieh, @showmethereal, @Mulga Mumblebrain

    I don’t even disagree, I’d just caution against bombing your own sons-in-law.
    You might anger your daughter!

    I think whites will eventually realize they have massive & rapid escalation dominance up to nukes.
    There was tweet about the West losing the will to live on an article from the 50s saying similar stuff.

  13. @Tom Marvolo Riddle
    @Felix Keverich

    I don't know why more countries don't just do what China did and firewall. Maybe they will eventually. The US seems to be pushing all it's enemies and frenemies toward doing things like this.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

    Even if more countries firewall this only means high VPN sales (as those services already are in China & Russia).

    • Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle
    @Yellowface Anon

    More as in perhaps up to 10% of their population. Maybe. Probably less. VPNs cost money and slow your internet speed down. If Lebanon had blocked the west from it's internet than maybe that country wouldn't have half destroyed itself last year, for example. It's what I would do were I them.

  14. @Rich
    @Caspar von Everec

    What strategic value is there in destroying Iran for the US? Iran serves as a boogeyman to keep other Middle East oil nations under our protective wing. Without Iran, the Saudis might not need to stay in partnership with us.

    As far as bombing Iran into oblivion and causing starvation and suffering, why? Do you really want to murder a bunch of people on the other side of the world so that Saudi Arabia and Israel feel safer? There is no reason for an American attack on Iran.

    Replies: @Caspar von Everec, @Almost Missouri

    I don’t. The Israel lobby does. Iran is their last enemy in the middle east. If they eliminate it, there’s really no power left to oppose them.

    • Replies: @Svevlad
    @Caspar von Everec

    That yet causes another issue for Israel.

    Would they really survive the consequences of causing such an event to occur? In all those missile raids Hamas and the others launched, nobody really ever went all out. But if they realized they have nothing to lose?

    Yup. I say we just sink the whole area into the ocean after what would ensue.

  15. @Caspar von Everec
    @Felix Keverich

    This could not be farther from the truth.

    Air power defeated the 1 million man Iraqi army in 1991. The allies suffered about 200-400 casualties while the Iraqi army lost over 60,000 men to the air war alone. Israeli air power decimated the Arab armies in 1967. They struggled in 73 when they initially lacked air superiority.

    However, Anowar Sadaat was stupid enough to send his armored divisions into the open desert outside the protection of the Soviet made SAM umbrella and were decimated by Israeli air strikes and tanks.

    An allied air campaign almost single handedly defeated Serbia in 1999. Iraq 2003 is another example of an army simply dissolving in the face of a superior air force. US air power also overthrew Gaddafi in 2011.

    The cases of Vietnam and Afghanistan are often brought up but those weren't conventional conflicts. The US lost vietnam because the army was not allowed to invade North Vietnam and end the war decisively. The vietnamese simply waited them out. Samw with Afghanistan where the US army never had more than 100,000 troops to occupty a 500,000 sq km country.

    As for Iran, there's nothing wrong with what I said. In ww2, 20 B-29s each carrying 24 500-lb bombs raided a Japanese industrial facility. Of those 650+ bombs, only one landed on the target. Today, a single F-16 can carry 8 such bombs and precisely hit 8 such targets due to radio, satellite and laser guided munitions.

    The Iranians can't move their whole civilization underground. Eventually the bombing will destroy their bridges, industries, refineries, ports, railways and fertilizer plants. They could strangle Iran to death with starvation. B-52s could easily petrol bomb Iranian agriculture too during the dry season. Russia could provide food via the Caspian sea but its impossible to feed a country of 80 million people through lend lease aid.

    Replies: @sher singh, @Dreadilk, @Max Payne, @Svevlad, @AaronB, @Daniel H, @Daniel Chieh, @showmethereal, @Mulga Mumblebrain

    Now do Yemen. Nothing you said counteracts his point that you need boots on the ground.

    What do you gain by bombing your enemy into stone age but not finishing them off?

    • Agree: mal
  16. @Caspar von Everec
    @Felix Keverich

    This could not be farther from the truth.

    Air power defeated the 1 million man Iraqi army in 1991. The allies suffered about 200-400 casualties while the Iraqi army lost over 60,000 men to the air war alone. Israeli air power decimated the Arab armies in 1967. They struggled in 73 when they initially lacked air superiority.

    However, Anowar Sadaat was stupid enough to send his armored divisions into the open desert outside the protection of the Soviet made SAM umbrella and were decimated by Israeli air strikes and tanks.

    An allied air campaign almost single handedly defeated Serbia in 1999. Iraq 2003 is another example of an army simply dissolving in the face of a superior air force. US air power also overthrew Gaddafi in 2011.

    The cases of Vietnam and Afghanistan are often brought up but those weren't conventional conflicts. The US lost vietnam because the army was not allowed to invade North Vietnam and end the war decisively. The vietnamese simply waited them out. Samw with Afghanistan where the US army never had more than 100,000 troops to occupty a 500,000 sq km country.

    As for Iran, there's nothing wrong with what I said. In ww2, 20 B-29s each carrying 24 500-lb bombs raided a Japanese industrial facility. Of those 650+ bombs, only one landed on the target. Today, a single F-16 can carry 8 such bombs and precisely hit 8 such targets due to radio, satellite and laser guided munitions.

    The Iranians can't move their whole civilization underground. Eventually the bombing will destroy their bridges, industries, refineries, ports, railways and fertilizer plants. They could strangle Iran to death with starvation. B-52s could easily petrol bomb Iranian agriculture too during the dry season. Russia could provide food via the Caspian sea but its impossible to feed a country of 80 million people through lend lease aid.

    Replies: @sher singh, @Dreadilk, @Max Payne, @Svevlad, @AaronB, @Daniel H, @Daniel Chieh, @showmethereal, @Mulga Mumblebrain

    So Vietnam was not a conventional war (even though more bombs were dropped on it than the entire Allied bombing campaigns of WW2; Europe and Pacific) but Iran will be a conventional war? Iran War (TM) is going to be the mother of all unconventional wars, with the US spread throughout the middle east Vietnam never had opportunity targets like this (economic and military targets, from Saudi oil wells, significant dual-loyalty Shia population in all oil nations, CENTCOM, Israel, bases in Afghanistan and Iraq, shipping lanes, etc. etc. etc.)

    I guess subsonic B-52s (and F-16s with more hours on them than my dead grandma) are going to penetrate Iranian air space unchallenged. I mean, why not? Electronic warfare? Anti-air batteries? Spam clone of F-5s on CAP? Shieeeet why would Iran react? Ain’t no thang but a chicken wang (as tiny piss poor Vietnam with its tiny piss poor anti-air system seems to prove; and all they had were idle diesel motors to fool air force sensors).

    And then 150,000+ US servicemen will march to Tehran (unchallenged, of course) and commit to a 20 year occupation (covering 1.648 million km²). Someone will have to root out all those missile fortresses, anti-shipping bases, weapon caches, and the IRGC (who unlike Saddams Republican Guard & Soviet Politburo seem to understand denim jeans aren’t worth national integrity no matter how blue they are).

    Or maybe they’ll just nuke everything. At least that will be entertaining.

    I would ask for a North Korean war but I don’t want the price of Samsung phones to go up. So I’ll have to settle for an Iranian war.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Max Payne

    Foreign war victories - few casualties - humanitarian ethos.

    Pick 2.

    Ask anyone in the military, who can speak freely, they'll agree.

    I pick the latter 2, but if you must have the first, you'll have to sacrifice one of the others.

  17. @Caspar von Everec
    @Felix Keverich

    This could not be farther from the truth.

    Air power defeated the 1 million man Iraqi army in 1991. The allies suffered about 200-400 casualties while the Iraqi army lost over 60,000 men to the air war alone. Israeli air power decimated the Arab armies in 1967. They struggled in 73 when they initially lacked air superiority.

    However, Anowar Sadaat was stupid enough to send his armored divisions into the open desert outside the protection of the Soviet made SAM umbrella and were decimated by Israeli air strikes and tanks.

    An allied air campaign almost single handedly defeated Serbia in 1999. Iraq 2003 is another example of an army simply dissolving in the face of a superior air force. US air power also overthrew Gaddafi in 2011.

    The cases of Vietnam and Afghanistan are often brought up but those weren't conventional conflicts. The US lost vietnam because the army was not allowed to invade North Vietnam and end the war decisively. The vietnamese simply waited them out. Samw with Afghanistan where the US army never had more than 100,000 troops to occupty a 500,000 sq km country.

    As for Iran, there's nothing wrong with what I said. In ww2, 20 B-29s each carrying 24 500-lb bombs raided a Japanese industrial facility. Of those 650+ bombs, only one landed on the target. Today, a single F-16 can carry 8 such bombs and precisely hit 8 such targets due to radio, satellite and laser guided munitions.

    The Iranians can't move their whole civilization underground. Eventually the bombing will destroy their bridges, industries, refineries, ports, railways and fertilizer plants. They could strangle Iran to death with starvation. B-52s could easily petrol bomb Iranian agriculture too during the dry season. Russia could provide food via the Caspian sea but its impossible to feed a country of 80 million people through lend lease aid.

    Replies: @sher singh, @Dreadilk, @Max Payne, @Svevlad, @AaronB, @Daniel H, @Daniel Chieh, @showmethereal, @Mulga Mumblebrain

    Iunno man, we trolled the eternal natoroach airforce using microwaves and cardboard, so in their seething and unending butthurt, they decided to take it out on the civilian infrastructure.

    And this was during severe sanctions and therefore lack of parts and munitions.

    Iran, I’m sure, has far higher capabilities. Not enough to win, but enough to sour any victory.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  18. @Caspar von Everec
    @Rich

    I don't. The Israel lobby does. Iran is their last enemy in the middle east. If they eliminate it, there's really no power left to oppose them.

    Replies: @Svevlad

    That yet causes another issue for Israel.

    Would they really survive the consequences of causing such an event to occur? In all those missile raids Hamas and the others launched, nobody really ever went all out. But if they realized they have nothing to lose?

    Yup. I say we just sink the whole area into the ocean after what would ensue.

  19. @Rich
    @Caspar von Everec

    What strategic value is there in destroying Iran for the US? Iran serves as a boogeyman to keep other Middle East oil nations under our protective wing. Without Iran, the Saudis might not need to stay in partnership with us.

    As far as bombing Iran into oblivion and causing starvation and suffering, why? Do you really want to murder a bunch of people on the other side of the world so that Saudi Arabia and Israel feel safer? There is no reason for an American attack on Iran.

    Replies: @Caspar von Everec, @Almost Missouri

    Iran serves as a boogeyman to keep other Middle East oil nations under our protective wing. Without Iran, the Saudis might not need to stay in partnership with us.

    That’s an argument that I’ve heard a lot of Arabs make, but usually about Israel rather than Iran. In either case though, consider the pre-boogeyman situation. Prior to 1979, Iran was another US vassal state, yet the other Middle East oil nations were still in US partnership. So the Iranian “boogeyman” function seems superfluous. Prior to 1948 and the creation of Israel, the Gulf Arabs states were also Anglo-US clients, so the Israel-boogeyman argument seems unlikely.

    Indeed, both the Iranian Revolution (by radicalizing and empowering Middle- and Near-Eastern Shia) and Israel (by being a rallying point for the US donor class) have massively complicated US relations with Gulf petrostates. It is the reason that so much effort and attention have gone and still go into what is otherwise just a another commodity-export region. Prior to 1948 and 1979, The Middle East occupied about as much US mental bandwidth as the present oil exporting regions of Nigeria, Venezuela and Mexico, i.e., not much. Now every jot and tittle event in the Middle East is headline news in the US.

    • Replies: @Rich
    @Almost Missouri

    You forget the oil embargoes in the mid-70s when the middle east oil producers started to flex their muscles. Wasn't long after that, Iran became the boogeyman. Israel is a threat to Syria and Lebanon, because of their quest for lebensraum, not oil. The oil producers don't care about the Palestinians. The petrodollar is one of the main reasons for American prosperity, balance will be maintained at all costs.

    Most Americans don't know a lot about a lot of things, you can bet the guys who own America know where all the oil comes from. Even black Nigeria.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

  20. @Caspar von Everec
    One thing that mystifies me is why the US hasn't invaded and destroyed Iran already. They could've done it in 2005 when the US military was far more virile and US hegemony was unchecked.

    Even now they can defeat Iran without much difficulty. A lot of people bleat about muh militias and guerillas but the USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.

    God fights on the side with the stronger air force and the US air force and naval aviation is stronger than Russia and China combined. The guided munitions revolution has made air power even more decisive. They could simply bomb Iran and destroy its electric grid, grain factories, power stations, financial centers, transportation hubs and ports and send it to the dark age.

    Iran would be facing mass famine within 6 months of strategic bombing and the army would force the mullahs out at that point. Sure, the Iranian ballistic missile attacks would severely harm Saudi oil facilities and the hormuz would be blockaded for a month or so. It would send oil prices through the roof but that's a temporary issue.

    It hurts China far more than the US as the US has shale oil and Canadian oil to fall back on. Over time the damage would be fixed but in exchange, Israel's last enemy in the middle east would be eliminated.

    Russia and China have shown repeatedly that they have no intention to militarily help Iran. Russia has refused to sell Iran Su-30s, Kalibr missiles and S-400 along with other heavy equipment for decades.

    Its really just a matter of balls.

    For some reason, the US establishment has become extremely hesitant of actually fighting any country for the last 10 years or so. It cucked out of fighting Russia in Crimea and Syria despite her being vastly weaker at that time to the US. The US has also cucked out of fighting Iran and hell, it even didn't fight venezuela, not even an air campaign!

    In retaliation for the murder of solemani the Iranians even openly struck US bases with missiles. The US has decimated countries in the past over far less, yet now, they simply took the slap on the face.

    A similar and equally embarrassing situation unfolded with the Ukraine this april. The US sent warships to the black sea, the Russians threatened them and they turned tail and left!

    What's the point of having a titanic military if you never use it?

    Is the US establishment simply too feminine and risk averse nowadays? Or are they afraid that if the US forces suffer a few thousand casualties within the span of a few days there would be mass mutinies and desertions?

    People only go to the US military for the free housing,, education, medical care, pension and other gibs.

    The recent American lack of nuts is mystifying. They still have enormous superiority of materials and logistics over Russia and Iran. The US technological superiority over Russia and China is still solid as well, and certainly in the case of Iran.

    Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle, @Felix Keverich, @Rich, @beavertales, @AltSerrice, @216, @Mario Partisan, @mindblower, @Fr. John, @JL

    You’ve answered your own question. If they could’ve done it so easily, they would have. Since they have not, it’s obviously not as easy as you make it out to be.

  21. @Almost Missouri
    @Rich


    Iran serves as a boogeyman to keep other Middle East oil nations under our protective wing. Without Iran, the Saudis might not need to stay in partnership with us.
     
    That's an argument that I've heard a lot of Arabs make, but usually about Israel rather than Iran. In either case though, consider the pre-boogeyman situation. Prior to 1979, Iran was another US vassal state, yet the other Middle East oil nations were still in US partnership. So the Iranian "boogeyman" function seems superfluous. Prior to 1948 and the creation of Israel, the Gulf Arabs states were also Anglo-US clients, so the Israel-boogeyman argument seems unlikely.

    Indeed, both the Iranian Revolution (by radicalizing and empowering Middle- and Near-Eastern Shia) and Israel (by being a rallying point for the US donor class) have massively complicated US relations with Gulf petrostates. It is the reason that so much effort and attention have gone and still go into what is otherwise just a another commodity-export region. Prior to 1948 and 1979, The Middle East occupied about as much US mental bandwidth as the present oil exporting regions of Nigeria, Venezuela and Mexico, i.e., not much. Now every jot and tittle event in the Middle East is headline news in the US.

    Replies: @Rich

    You forget the oil embargoes in the mid-70s when the middle east oil producers started to flex their muscles. Wasn’t long after that, Iran became the boogeyman. Israel is a threat to Syria and Lebanon, because of their quest for lebensraum, not oil. The oil producers don’t care about the Palestinians. The petrodollar is one of the main reasons for American prosperity, balance will be maintained at all costs.

    Most Americans don’t know a lot about a lot of things, you can bet the guys who own America know where all the oil comes from. Even black Nigeria.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    @Rich


    You forget the oil embargoes in the mid-70s when the middle east oil producers started to flex their muscles.
     
    Okay, but what was the reason that Gulf oil states suddenly got all flexy? Because of the previous boogeyman, Israel. Turns out the boogeyman wasn't keeping the others cowed, but rather was making them lash out in irritation. Boogeymen don't help, they hinder.
  22. @Max Payne
    @Caspar von Everec

    So Vietnam was not a conventional war (even though more bombs were dropped on it than the entire Allied bombing campaigns of WW2; Europe and Pacific) but Iran will be a conventional war? Iran War (TM) is going to be the mother of all unconventional wars, with the US spread throughout the middle east Vietnam never had opportunity targets like this (economic and military targets, from Saudi oil wells, significant dual-loyalty Shia population in all oil nations, CENTCOM, Israel, bases in Afghanistan and Iraq, shipping lanes, etc. etc. etc.)

    I guess subsonic B-52s (and F-16s with more hours on them than my dead grandma) are going to penetrate Iranian air space unchallenged. I mean, why not? Electronic warfare? Anti-air batteries? Spam clone of F-5s on CAP? Shieeeet why would Iran react? Ain't no thang but a chicken wang (as tiny piss poor Vietnam with its tiny piss poor anti-air system seems to prove; and all they had were idle diesel motors to fool air force sensors).

    And then 150,000+ US servicemen will march to Tehran (unchallenged, of course) and commit to a 20 year occupation (covering 1.648 million km²). Someone will have to root out all those missile fortresses, anti-shipping bases, weapon caches, and the IRGC (who unlike Saddams Republican Guard & Soviet Politburo seem to understand denim jeans aren't worth national integrity no matter how blue they are).

    Or maybe they'll just nuke everything. At least that will be entertaining.

    I would ask for a North Korean war but I don't want the price of Samsung phones to go up. So I'll have to settle for an Iranian war.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    Foreign war victories – few casualties – humanitarian ethos.

    Pick 2.

    Ask anyone in the military, who can speak freely, they’ll agree.

    I pick the latter 2, but if you must have the first, you’ll have to sacrifice one of the others.

  23. @Yellowface Anon
    @Tom Marvolo Riddle

    Even if more countries firewall this only means high VPN sales (as those services already are in China & Russia).

    Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle

    More as in perhaps up to 10% of their population. Maybe. Probably less. VPNs cost money and slow your internet speed down. If Lebanon had blocked the west from it’s internet than maybe that country wouldn’t have half destroyed itself last year, for example. It’s what I would do were I them.

  24. @Caspar von Everec
    @Tom Marvolo Riddle

    Yeah. But are white americans red pilled enough?

    Do they realize how much their government hates them and why its pointless to fight for it?

    or will the square jawed schlemiels of the US military fight for uncle Shmuel all the same?

    Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle

    I couldn’t say, they are probably more aware now than ever before though. They made up about 55% of army personnel in 2020. Down from 78% in 2001. A lot of people join the military for the financial incentives. No idea how many join because they “believe in it’s mission” probably close to 0. Who knows though? It’s not like white americans have a voice.

  25. @Felix Keverich
    I'm pretty sure, US controls all internet domains via a non-profit California company. Russia and China have been trying to change that by lobbying at the UN, but no one else seems to care. The world is comfortable with US digital dictatorship.

    To give you an example, Kasparov .ru somehow remains online despite being blocked in Russia since 2014, so I think it's safe to say that Russia does not control .ru

    Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle, @Spisarevski, @That Would Be Telling

    I’m pretty sure, US controls all internet domains via a non-profit California company.

    Not sure whom you’re referring to besides the increasingly rapacious ICANN, but ultimate control is in the hands of those who run the root name servers, which is an incredibly diverse set of institutions, and for once diversity is good. Small things like this won’t cause those, or enough of those institutions to change policies, but major ones would be another story.

  26. @Caspar von Everec
    @Felix Keverich

    This could not be farther from the truth.

    Air power defeated the 1 million man Iraqi army in 1991. The allies suffered about 200-400 casualties while the Iraqi army lost over 60,000 men to the air war alone. Israeli air power decimated the Arab armies in 1967. They struggled in 73 when they initially lacked air superiority.

    However, Anowar Sadaat was stupid enough to send his armored divisions into the open desert outside the protection of the Soviet made SAM umbrella and were decimated by Israeli air strikes and tanks.

    An allied air campaign almost single handedly defeated Serbia in 1999. Iraq 2003 is another example of an army simply dissolving in the face of a superior air force. US air power also overthrew Gaddafi in 2011.

    The cases of Vietnam and Afghanistan are often brought up but those weren't conventional conflicts. The US lost vietnam because the army was not allowed to invade North Vietnam and end the war decisively. The vietnamese simply waited them out. Samw with Afghanistan where the US army never had more than 100,000 troops to occupty a 500,000 sq km country.

    As for Iran, there's nothing wrong with what I said. In ww2, 20 B-29s each carrying 24 500-lb bombs raided a Japanese industrial facility. Of those 650+ bombs, only one landed on the target. Today, a single F-16 can carry 8 such bombs and precisely hit 8 such targets due to radio, satellite and laser guided munitions.

    The Iranians can't move their whole civilization underground. Eventually the bombing will destroy their bridges, industries, refineries, ports, railways and fertilizer plants. They could strangle Iran to death with starvation. B-52s could easily petrol bomb Iranian agriculture too during the dry season. Russia could provide food via the Caspian sea but its impossible to feed a country of 80 million people through lend lease aid.

    Replies: @sher singh, @Dreadilk, @Max Payne, @Svevlad, @AaronB, @Daniel H, @Daniel Chieh, @showmethereal, @Mulga Mumblebrain

    Obviously the US can obliterate Iran with a movement of it’s little pinkie, but It has much grander ambitions, assimilating it into the liberal world order.

    Crushing your enemies is for weak people. Once you’ve reached a certain level of power, you set your sights on harder and more complicated objectives.

    Similarly, the US could have conquered Vietnam and enslaved it’s population, but it was trying something more complicated.

    You see this everywhere liberal states fight non-liberal enemies. For instance, it would probably take under a day for Israel to obliterate Gaza, but instead, Israel goes to comical lengths to kill a handful of Arabs and tolerates persistent attacks on itself.

    Liberal states are able to generate the most power and have the best armies, but they also set themselves more complex and difficult tasks than mete destruction – destruction is child’s play.

    As for what’s the point of having this awesome military power if you never use it? Well, it is exactly because you have that kind of power that you don’t need to use it.

    People under feelings of extreme threat lash out – people who have enough power that they don’t feel seriously threatened can respond in a more measured way.

    • Disagree: Daniel Chieh
    • LOL: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Spisarevski
    @AaronB

    Yes, when I think of what the US did in the Vietnam war and how Israel treats Palestinians, "measured" is the first word that comes to mind.
    Americans and Jews - those sophisticated, gentle souls. They don't even kill every single man, woman and child in the places they invade - how magnanimous. Lesser countries cannot fathom these high standards.

    Replies: @Ultrafart the Brave, @216

    , @AltanBakshi
    @AaronB

    How gullible you are, USSR/Russia and PRC have been much less interventionist than USA, and even in those few wars that USSR/Russia has been a participant, Russia has not used all it's potential firepower or capabilities. Aaron there are other factors that are limiting the actions of great powers in foreign theaters after WW2.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @AaronB

    , @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    Liberal states are able to generate the most power and have the best armies, but they also set themselves more complex and difficult tasks than mete destruction – destruction is child’s play.
     
    The existence of a state by definition is more "illiberal" than the smaller hunter-gatherer bands or tribes that existed before it, and obviously generated more power than such bands. Perhaps you could try to reconcile even the very views that you've been advocating.

    Most of the existence of life has been a form of centralization: 1) eukaryotes "enslave" mitochondria to generate energy and outcompete prokaryotes, 2) multicellular eukaryotes with "entangled cells" outcompete unicellular eukaryotes, 3) multicellular eukaryotes animals with bilaterial body structures form more complex and specialized body parts which outcompete animals with radial body structures, 4)animals with complex active bodies are coordinated with central brains which outcompete animals without central brains, and 5)brains themselves evolve into greater complexity and specialization, with both birds and higher mammals convergently manifesting a neocortex for decision-making.

    Liberal states work so as long as there is a lot of spontaneous coordination, which is only true sometimes(and itself requires a very controlled culture, which is arguably what we see in a lot of highly "liberal states" which demand obedience to many mores of sharing, etc).

    Replies: @AaronB

  27. @Caspar von Everec
    @Felix Keverich

    This could not be farther from the truth.

    Air power defeated the 1 million man Iraqi army in 1991. The allies suffered about 200-400 casualties while the Iraqi army lost over 60,000 men to the air war alone. Israeli air power decimated the Arab armies in 1967. They struggled in 73 when they initially lacked air superiority.

    However, Anowar Sadaat was stupid enough to send his armored divisions into the open desert outside the protection of the Soviet made SAM umbrella and were decimated by Israeli air strikes and tanks.

    An allied air campaign almost single handedly defeated Serbia in 1999. Iraq 2003 is another example of an army simply dissolving in the face of a superior air force. US air power also overthrew Gaddafi in 2011.

    The cases of Vietnam and Afghanistan are often brought up but those weren't conventional conflicts. The US lost vietnam because the army was not allowed to invade North Vietnam and end the war decisively. The vietnamese simply waited them out. Samw with Afghanistan where the US army never had more than 100,000 troops to occupty a 500,000 sq km country.

    As for Iran, there's nothing wrong with what I said. In ww2, 20 B-29s each carrying 24 500-lb bombs raided a Japanese industrial facility. Of those 650+ bombs, only one landed on the target. Today, a single F-16 can carry 8 such bombs and precisely hit 8 such targets due to radio, satellite and laser guided munitions.

    The Iranians can't move their whole civilization underground. Eventually the bombing will destroy their bridges, industries, refineries, ports, railways and fertilizer plants. They could strangle Iran to death with starvation. B-52s could easily petrol bomb Iranian agriculture too during the dry season. Russia could provide food via the Caspian sea but its impossible to feed a country of 80 million people through lend lease aid.

    Replies: @sher singh, @Dreadilk, @Max Payne, @Svevlad, @AaronB, @Daniel H, @Daniel Chieh, @showmethereal, @Mulga Mumblebrain

    You are a sociopath.

  28. @AaronB
    @Caspar von Everec

    Obviously the US can obliterate Iran with a movement of it's little pinkie, but It has much grander ambitions, assimilating it into the liberal world order.

    Crushing your enemies is for weak people. Once you've reached a certain level of power, you set your sights on harder and more complicated objectives.

    Similarly, the US could have conquered Vietnam and enslaved it's population, but it was trying something more complicated.

    You see this everywhere liberal states fight non-liberal enemies. For instance, it would probably take under a day for Israel to obliterate Gaza, but instead, Israel goes to comical lengths to kill a handful of Arabs and tolerates persistent attacks on itself.

    Liberal states are able to generate the most power and have the best armies, but they also set themselves more complex and difficult tasks than mete destruction - destruction is child's play.

    As for what's the point of having this awesome military power if you never use it? Well, it is exactly because you have that kind of power that you don't need to use it.

    People under feelings of extreme threat lash out - people who have enough power that they don't feel seriously threatened can respond in a more measured way.

    Replies: @Spisarevski, @AltanBakshi, @Daniel Chieh

    Yes, when I think of what the US did in the Vietnam war and how Israel treats Palestinians, “measured” is the first word that comes to mind.
    Americans and Jews – those sophisticated, gentle souls. They don’t even kill every single man, woman and child in the places they invade – how magnanimous. Lesser countries cannot fathom these high standards.

    • Agree: AaronB
    • Replies: @Ultrafart the Brave
    @Spisarevski


    They don’t even kill every single man, woman and child in the places they invade...
     
    Yeah, they only whacked 40% of North Korea's population with their saturation bombing and other genocidal methods.

    They tried, man, they really did. 40% isn't even a passing grade.

    Maybe they'll do better next time.

    (Just for perspective, 40% of 330 million is 132 million - so the Exceptional Nation better pray the chickens never come home to roost).
    , @216
    @Spisarevski

    Hafez and Bashar Assad were responsible for far more dead Arab Muslims than any Israeli government has been.

    That's what a non-liberal state does when confronted with an existential threat to its survival.

    The program of Hamas and Hezbollah requires the death or expulsion of Jews living in Israel, clearly an existential threat.

    Wiping both groups out is quite possible at the cost of considerable IDF casualties on the ground.

    But Israeli politicians face the voters, and IDF generals often want to go into politics.

    Qassem Solemani and Khaled Mashaal never had to face a fair election.

    Replies: @AaronB

  29. @Rich
    @Almost Missouri

    You forget the oil embargoes in the mid-70s when the middle east oil producers started to flex their muscles. Wasn't long after that, Iran became the boogeyman. Israel is a threat to Syria and Lebanon, because of their quest for lebensraum, not oil. The oil producers don't care about the Palestinians. The petrodollar is one of the main reasons for American prosperity, balance will be maintained at all costs.

    Most Americans don't know a lot about a lot of things, you can bet the guys who own America know where all the oil comes from. Even black Nigeria.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

    You forget the oil embargoes in the mid-70s when the middle east oil producers started to flex their muscles.

    Okay, but what was the reason that Gulf oil states suddenly got all flexy? Because of the previous boogeyman, Israel. Turns out the boogeyman wasn’t keeping the others cowed, but rather was making them lash out in irritation. Boogeymen don’t help, they hinder.

  30. @Spisarevski
    @AaronB

    Yes, when I think of what the US did in the Vietnam war and how Israel treats Palestinians, "measured" is the first word that comes to mind.
    Americans and Jews - those sophisticated, gentle souls. They don't even kill every single man, woman and child in the places they invade - how magnanimous. Lesser countries cannot fathom these high standards.

    Replies: @Ultrafart the Brave, @216

    They don’t even kill every single man, woman and child in the places they invade…

    Yeah, they only whacked 40% of North Korea’s population with their saturation bombing and other genocidal methods.

    They tried, man, they really did. 40% isn’t even a passing grade.

    Maybe they’ll do better next time.

    (Just for perspective, 40% of 330 million is 132 million – so the Exceptional Nation better pray the chickens never come home to roost).

  31. 216 says: • Website
    @Caspar von Everec
    One thing that mystifies me is why the US hasn't invaded and destroyed Iran already. They could've done it in 2005 when the US military was far more virile and US hegemony was unchecked.

    Even now they can defeat Iran without much difficulty. A lot of people bleat about muh militias and guerillas but the USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.

    God fights on the side with the stronger air force and the US air force and naval aviation is stronger than Russia and China combined. The guided munitions revolution has made air power even more decisive. They could simply bomb Iran and destroy its electric grid, grain factories, power stations, financial centers, transportation hubs and ports and send it to the dark age.

    Iran would be facing mass famine within 6 months of strategic bombing and the army would force the mullahs out at that point. Sure, the Iranian ballistic missile attacks would severely harm Saudi oil facilities and the hormuz would be blockaded for a month or so. It would send oil prices through the roof but that's a temporary issue.

    It hurts China far more than the US as the US has shale oil and Canadian oil to fall back on. Over time the damage would be fixed but in exchange, Israel's last enemy in the middle east would be eliminated.

    Russia and China have shown repeatedly that they have no intention to militarily help Iran. Russia has refused to sell Iran Su-30s, Kalibr missiles and S-400 along with other heavy equipment for decades.

    Its really just a matter of balls.

    For some reason, the US establishment has become extremely hesitant of actually fighting any country for the last 10 years or so. It cucked out of fighting Russia in Crimea and Syria despite her being vastly weaker at that time to the US. The US has also cucked out of fighting Iran and hell, it even didn't fight venezuela, not even an air campaign!

    In retaliation for the murder of solemani the Iranians even openly struck US bases with missiles. The US has decimated countries in the past over far less, yet now, they simply took the slap on the face.

    A similar and equally embarrassing situation unfolded with the Ukraine this april. The US sent warships to the black sea, the Russians threatened them and they turned tail and left!

    What's the point of having a titanic military if you never use it?

    Is the US establishment simply too feminine and risk averse nowadays? Or are they afraid that if the US forces suffer a few thousand casualties within the span of a few days there would be mass mutinies and desertions?

    People only go to the US military for the free housing,, education, medical care, pension and other gibs.

    The recent American lack of nuts is mystifying. They still have enormous superiority of materials and logistics over Russia and Iran. The US technological superiority over Russia and China is still solid as well, and certainly in the case of Iran.

    Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle, @Felix Keverich, @Rich, @beavertales, @AltSerrice, @216, @Mario Partisan, @mindblower, @Fr. John, @JL

    One thing that mystifies me is why the US hasn’t invaded and destroyed Iran already. They could’ve done it in 2005 when the US military was far more virile and US hegemony was unchecked.

    Even now they can defeat Iran without much difficulty. A lot of people bleat about muh militias and guerillas but the USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.

    The US could invade and occupy the coastal areas where the overwhelming majority of oil is produced, but occupying the entire country isn’t logistically possible without a major buildup on the scale of WW2.

    The share of ethnic and religious minorities that would welcome an invasion is considerably lower than in Iraq, and the terrain is much rougher.

    If the US goal is regime change, it would be wiser to forment a coup among officers in the regular military to remove the IRGC and install moderate clerical leadership.

    Much depends on whether or not Raisi can consolidate enough power to become the next Supreme Leader. The opportunity for a coup is strongest during a power vaccum when no one can credibly succeed Khamenei.

    • Replies: @(((Owen)))
    @216


    The US could invade and occupy the coastal areas where the overwhelming majority of oil is produced, but occupying the entire country isn’t logistically possible without a major buildup on the scale of WW2.
     
    Iran is heavily overpopulated and therefore vulnerable to strategic warfare targeting its industry and urban centers. The US could firebomb the cities and destroy the highways, airports, and supply lines. The the vast majority of the population would starve within a few months. If we're willing to spend real money, we could burn the fields and livestock as well. That would make the eventual invasion far easier, more of a mopping up.

    After all, we want the territory, but we don't want any of the people. So why not patiently eliminate them.
    , @showmethereal
    @216

    "The share of ethnic and religious minorities that would welcome an invasion is considerably lower than in Iraq, and the terrain is much rougher."

    Ummmm - Shia Iraqis wanted Sunni Saddam gone.... They didn't want US troops occupying. They still don't want them there... Which is why they support the Iranian militias in arming and training Iraqi militias. Had they (the Shia militias) not used so much energy fighting ISIS... The US military would most likely have completely done what they are doing in Afghanistan now.

  32. @Felix Keverich
    @Caspar von Everec


    USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.

     

    This tactic didn't work in any conflict since WW2. The fact that white American chauvinists continue to believe in it mystifies me.

    Your airforce can only make a difference when used to support a ground invasion. But you still need a capable ground force to take advantage of these airstrikes, otherwise you're just committing acts of terrorism like Israel in Syria. They might give you temporary emotional satisfaction, but change nothing in the bigger picture.

    Replies: @Caspar von Everec, @216, @Mulga Mumblebrain

    This tactic didn’t work in any conflict since WW2. The fact that white American chauvinists continue to believe in it mystifies me.

    It worked in Serbia.

  33. 216 says: • Website
    @Spisarevski
    @AaronB

    Yes, when I think of what the US did in the Vietnam war and how Israel treats Palestinians, "measured" is the first word that comes to mind.
    Americans and Jews - those sophisticated, gentle souls. They don't even kill every single man, woman and child in the places they invade - how magnanimous. Lesser countries cannot fathom these high standards.

    Replies: @Ultrafart the Brave, @216

    Hafez and Bashar Assad were responsible for far more dead Arab Muslims than any Israeli government has been.

    That’s what a non-liberal state does when confronted with an existential threat to its survival.

    The program of Hamas and Hezbollah requires the death or expulsion of Jews living in Israel, clearly an existential threat.

    Wiping both groups out is quite possible at the cost of considerable IDF casualties on the ground.

    But Israeli politicians face the voters, and IDF generals often want to go into politics.

    Qassem Solemani and Khaled Mashaal never had to face a fair election.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @216


    Wiping both groups out is quite possible at the cost of considerable IDF casualties on the ground.
     
    Well, if Israel was not a liberal state, wiping these groups out would be easy with zero Israeli casualties, from the air, artillery, etc.

    For instance, right now if Hezbollah fires rockets from a house in a village in south Lebanon, Israel is careful to identify that house and take it out, as much as feasible. A non liberal state can simply obliterate the entire village within minutes.

    But the same moral qualities that make a state liberal and unwilling to wipe out enemy villages (unless it absolutely has no choice), are the same moral qualities that allow it to build superior armies, to generate greater loyalty, and to develop the intellectual independence and curiosity that makes it superior in technology and tactics.

    And the same "asshole" qualities of illiberal states are what makes them internally dysfunctional and unable to generate loyalty, intellectual independence, and cohesion.

    The program of Hamas and Hezbollah requires the death or expulsion of Jews living in Israel, clearly an existential threat
     
    .

    Well, it's more a "wannabe" existential threat. If it was a genuine threat, obviously Israel would suffer the necessary casualties because it would have no choice, or decimate entire villages like I described above.

    Hezbo and Hamas are stuck in a catch-22 - if they get too good, Israel takes the velvet gloves off.

    Their entire strategy depends on Israel's "hands being tied" by the need to avoid civilian casualties - but Israel will only take such care to not kill enemy civilians as long as it isn't facing a genuine existential threat.

    So the likely result of all this is that it will end up like Egypt after 73 - even though Egypt's defeat was actually worse than in 67, it had enough initial successes to feel that it "redeemed it's honor".

    Hezbollah appears to feel that it has "redeemed it's honor" in 06, and has been quiet ever since.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  34. @216
    @Spisarevski

    Hafez and Bashar Assad were responsible for far more dead Arab Muslims than any Israeli government has been.

    That's what a non-liberal state does when confronted with an existential threat to its survival.

    The program of Hamas and Hezbollah requires the death or expulsion of Jews living in Israel, clearly an existential threat.

    Wiping both groups out is quite possible at the cost of considerable IDF casualties on the ground.

    But Israeli politicians face the voters, and IDF generals often want to go into politics.

    Qassem Solemani and Khaled Mashaal never had to face a fair election.

    Replies: @AaronB

    Wiping both groups out is quite possible at the cost of considerable IDF casualties on the ground.

    Well, if Israel was not a liberal state, wiping these groups out would be easy with zero Israeli casualties, from the air, artillery, etc.

    For instance, right now if Hezbollah fires rockets from a house in a village in south Lebanon, Israel is careful to identify that house and take it out, as much as feasible. A non liberal state can simply obliterate the entire village within minutes.

    But the same moral qualities that make a state liberal and unwilling to wipe out enemy villages (unless it absolutely has no choice), are the same moral qualities that allow it to build superior armies, to generate greater loyalty, and to develop the intellectual independence and curiosity that makes it superior in technology and tactics.

    And the same “asshole” qualities of illiberal states are what makes them internally dysfunctional and unable to generate loyalty, intellectual independence, and cohesion.

    The program of Hamas and Hezbollah requires the death or expulsion of Jews living in Israel, clearly an existential threat

    .

    Well, it’s more a “wannabe” existential threat. If it was a genuine threat, obviously Israel would suffer the necessary casualties because it would have no choice, or decimate entire villages like I described above.

    Hezbo and Hamas are stuck in a catch-22 – if they get too good, Israel takes the velvet gloves off.

    Their entire strategy depends on Israel’s “hands being tied” by the need to avoid civilian casualties – but Israel will only take such care to not kill enemy civilians as long as it isn’t facing a genuine existential threat.

    So the likely result of all this is that it will end up like Egypt after 73 – even though Egypt’s defeat was actually worse than in 67, it had enough initial successes to feel that it “redeemed it’s honor”.

    Hezbollah appears to feel that it has “redeemed it’s honor” in 06, and has been quiet ever since.

    • Agree: Triteleia Laxa
    • Thanks: Rattus Norwegius
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @AaronB

    Perhaps the Jews should go back to their historical roots, you know the Book of Joshua and all. Outright genocide. No mercy. And then build the Third Temple. That would please their G-d and hasten the coming of the Mashiach. As (((Owen))) wrote in his comment: "After all, we want the territory, but we don’t want any of the people. So why not patiently eliminate them."

    The only problem is that the Jewish concept of the Mashiach is a copy-paste from the Zoroastrian Persian concept of Saoshyant. Persians have been in this messianic business and even in monotheism business for much longer than your father's ancestors. Persian kings actually financed the building of the Second Temple and taught your ancestors how to properly celebrate Passover. The Essenes copied outright the final battle of the Good vs Evil from the Zoroastrian Magi, while the Phariseans (a name derived from the Hebrew pronunciation of Farisi - the Aramaic/Arabic word for Persian) only copied some of the metaphysics: angels, paradise (a word derived from the word "garden " in Persian) etc.

    Persians have also inoculated Islamic thought with the same messianic ethos through the figure of the future Promised Imam - the Mahdi. The Mahdi has become the focal point of Islamic eschatology. That's the power of Archetypes. You don't want to wage war against the people who can create, transmit and perpetuate such powerful mental constructs. It is bad Karma to attack those who have been your spiritual ancestors. Just look at what the Arabs have become today, pretty sure no sane Jewish person would like to end up that way...

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @AaronB

  35. @216
    @Caspar von Everec


    One thing that mystifies me is why the US hasn’t invaded and destroyed Iran already. They could’ve done it in 2005 when the US military was far more virile and US hegemony was unchecked.

    Even now they can defeat Iran without much difficulty. A lot of people bleat about muh militias and guerillas but the USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.
     
    The US could invade and occupy the coastal areas where the overwhelming majority of oil is produced, but occupying the entire country isn't logistically possible without a major buildup on the scale of WW2.

    The share of ethnic and religious minorities that would welcome an invasion is considerably lower than in Iraq, and the terrain is much rougher.

    If the US goal is regime change, it would be wiser to forment a coup among officers in the regular military to remove the IRGC and install moderate clerical leadership.

    Much depends on whether or not Raisi can consolidate enough power to become the next Supreme Leader. The opportunity for a coup is strongest during a power vaccum when no one can credibly succeed Khamenei.

    Replies: @(((Owen))), @showmethereal

    The US could invade and occupy the coastal areas where the overwhelming majority of oil is produced, but occupying the entire country isn’t logistically possible without a major buildup on the scale of WW2.

    Iran is heavily overpopulated and therefore vulnerable to strategic warfare targeting its industry and urban centers. The US could firebomb the cities and destroy the highways, airports, and supply lines. The the vast majority of the population would starve within a few months. If we’re willing to spend real money, we could burn the fields and livestock as well. That would make the eventual invasion far easier, more of a mopping up.

    After all, we want the territory, but we don’t want any of the people. So why not patiently eliminate them.

  36. @Caspar von Everec
    One thing that mystifies me is why the US hasn't invaded and destroyed Iran already. They could've done it in 2005 when the US military was far more virile and US hegemony was unchecked.

    Even now they can defeat Iran without much difficulty. A lot of people bleat about muh militias and guerillas but the USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.

    God fights on the side with the stronger air force and the US air force and naval aviation is stronger than Russia and China combined. The guided munitions revolution has made air power even more decisive. They could simply bomb Iran and destroy its electric grid, grain factories, power stations, financial centers, transportation hubs and ports and send it to the dark age.

    Iran would be facing mass famine within 6 months of strategic bombing and the army would force the mullahs out at that point. Sure, the Iranian ballistic missile attacks would severely harm Saudi oil facilities and the hormuz would be blockaded for a month or so. It would send oil prices through the roof but that's a temporary issue.

    It hurts China far more than the US as the US has shale oil and Canadian oil to fall back on. Over time the damage would be fixed but in exchange, Israel's last enemy in the middle east would be eliminated.

    Russia and China have shown repeatedly that they have no intention to militarily help Iran. Russia has refused to sell Iran Su-30s, Kalibr missiles and S-400 along with other heavy equipment for decades.

    Its really just a matter of balls.

    For some reason, the US establishment has become extremely hesitant of actually fighting any country for the last 10 years or so. It cucked out of fighting Russia in Crimea and Syria despite her being vastly weaker at that time to the US. The US has also cucked out of fighting Iran and hell, it even didn't fight venezuela, not even an air campaign!

    In retaliation for the murder of solemani the Iranians even openly struck US bases with missiles. The US has decimated countries in the past over far less, yet now, they simply took the slap on the face.

    A similar and equally embarrassing situation unfolded with the Ukraine this april. The US sent warships to the black sea, the Russians threatened them and they turned tail and left!

    What's the point of having a titanic military if you never use it?

    Is the US establishment simply too feminine and risk averse nowadays? Or are they afraid that if the US forces suffer a few thousand casualties within the span of a few days there would be mass mutinies and desertions?

    People only go to the US military for the free housing,, education, medical care, pension and other gibs.

    The recent American lack of nuts is mystifying. They still have enormous superiority of materials and logistics over Russia and Iran. The US technological superiority over Russia and China is still solid as well, and certainly in the case of Iran.

    Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle, @Felix Keverich, @Rich, @beavertales, @AltSerrice, @216, @Mario Partisan, @mindblower, @Fr. John, @JL

    If it mystifies you that the “US hasn’t invaded and destroyed Iran already,” it would help to try and think of reasons why it hasn’t as opposed to reasons why it could. “The US establishment is too feminine and risk averse” is not a thoughtful answer.

    In making decisions one has to ask “what are the benefits and what are the costs; do the former outweigh the latter?” The fact that the Iran war has not happened yet suggests that even back in 2005 the costs outweighed the benefits. All of your talk about how the US could bomb Iran back to the stone age does not demonstrate that it benefits the US to do so. The US could do the same to Norway, why hasn’t it? For that matter, I could bash myself in the head with a hammer, but why would I?

    Now, your question reminds me of Gen. Clark’s comments regarding the “7 regimes in 5 years” talk he gave. He says he had received a memo and that it said the Bush admin, back in 2002/2003 had made the decision to execute regime change ops in the following countries: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and finally, Iran. In some form or another an attempt has been made on each of these countries save for a military assault on Iran.

    Something to keep in mind is that changing a regime requires boots on the ground. You can totally destroy a country’s infrastructure with air power, but that does not induce regime change in your favor. It does not, by itself, turn that state into a client. It just leaves a power vacuum that other forces can fill.

    Now, the US obviously has a powerful military, but that military exists to maintain a global imperial presence and is thus in many ways stretched thin, and a large commitment on any front takes forces away from other fronts. That is why Bush wanted to do the war in stages: hit Iraq, quickly set up a client regime, next…but once in Iraq, the neocons realized they had bitten off more than they could chew.

    [MORE]

    In overthrowing Saddam Hussein, using the rhetoric of Human Rights Freedom Democracy, the US found itself grappling not just with a Sunni insurgency, but with the dilemma of handing the government to a coalition of Iran-aligned Shia parties that it was ostensibly on the side of. The US was already having a hard time dealing with the Sunni insurgency; starting a bombing campaign against neighboring Iran would have caused the new Shia government to join that insurgency. In short, part of the reason for no Iran war was that the Bush admin was technically an ally of Iran’s Iraqi friends and was attempting a balancing act. In the end, Bush and Obama ended the Iraq war not having achieved their aims politically, namely a US client sitting in Baghdad. Keep in mind, that since the US killed the Iranian general in Jan 2020, government-aligned Iraqi militias have been conducting routine IED and rocket attacks against US military convoys and bases. The US is essentially in a low intensity war with the Iraqi government right now.

    Now, you allege that China and Russia would abandon Iran, but I am not so sure. To be sure, Russia has not abandoned Syria. Also, there are other ways that these countries could retaliate – dropping the dollar, China cutting the US off from critical parts and products that it exports to the US, shutting off the gas to Europe. Also, you are only considering China and Russia, but what about other countries? The ME wars have been bad enough for the US reputation around the world, could you imagine if the US started carpet bombing Iran (for what reason?) and starving the people to death? The rest of the world would rightly conclude that the US was a genocidal terror state that had completely lost its marbles and conclude that something had to be done or they could be next. In short, the US would win a charred and hollowed out Persia and lose its empire. Also, China is a major importer of Iranian oil and would rightly see an attack on Iran as an attack on its national security interests.

    And how can I forget the blocking of the Hormuz straits and massive oil price shock bringing untold economic consequences throughout the world.

    In short, Washington is constrained by a number of factors ranging from military man power; economic, industrial and financial dependence on China; it’s Human Rights Freedom Democracy image (soft power); and the contradictions of its own imperial escapades. Moreover, on top of all these risks, what are the real benefits? What is to be gained? I can’t think of a single thing other than Israel and Israel firsters getting their blood lust on. And they don’t need to attack Iran for that – they can just bomb kids in Gaza.

    • Agree: Shortsword, AltanBakshi, Bashibuzuk, Blinky Bill
    • Thanks: Bill Jones
    • Replies: @216
    @Mario Partisan


    Moreover, on top of all these risks, what are the real benefits? What is to be gained? I can’t think of a single thing other than Israel and Israel firsters getting their blood lust on. And they don’t need to attack Iran for that – they can just bomb kids in Gaza.
     
    Iran and North Korea are states ideologically founded on being Anti-America. No matter how conciliatory US policy can be, the system prevents them from moderating their own stances.

    The only way for the US to be at peace with the Kim Dynasty would be to abandon South Korea and have the peninsula united under the dictatorship. And the only way for the US to be at peace with the IRI would be conversion to Twelver Shia Islam and becoming an Iranian client state.

    The regimes have expansionist and ideological goals that are irreconcilable with the existence of neighboring states and with the existence of the US as a single entity. Either the regimes die, or they will inevitably start another war of expansion.

    I'm not arguing for a preemptive strike here, but I am arguing for continued sanctions and ideological subversion. I don't exactly hope for a regime change that results in Western client states, but rather a less authoritarian regime that remains pro-China while abandoning the ideological Anti-American stance.

    Replies: @Mario Partisan

  37. @Caspar von Everec
    One thing that mystifies me is why the US hasn't invaded and destroyed Iran already. They could've done it in 2005 when the US military was far more virile and US hegemony was unchecked.

    Even now they can defeat Iran without much difficulty. A lot of people bleat about muh militias and guerillas but the USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.

    God fights on the side with the stronger air force and the US air force and naval aviation is stronger than Russia and China combined. The guided munitions revolution has made air power even more decisive. They could simply bomb Iran and destroy its electric grid, grain factories, power stations, financial centers, transportation hubs and ports and send it to the dark age.

    Iran would be facing mass famine within 6 months of strategic bombing and the army would force the mullahs out at that point. Sure, the Iranian ballistic missile attacks would severely harm Saudi oil facilities and the hormuz would be blockaded for a month or so. It would send oil prices through the roof but that's a temporary issue.

    It hurts China far more than the US as the US has shale oil and Canadian oil to fall back on. Over time the damage would be fixed but in exchange, Israel's last enemy in the middle east would be eliminated.

    Russia and China have shown repeatedly that they have no intention to militarily help Iran. Russia has refused to sell Iran Su-30s, Kalibr missiles and S-400 along with other heavy equipment for decades.

    Its really just a matter of balls.

    For some reason, the US establishment has become extremely hesitant of actually fighting any country for the last 10 years or so. It cucked out of fighting Russia in Crimea and Syria despite her being vastly weaker at that time to the US. The US has also cucked out of fighting Iran and hell, it even didn't fight venezuela, not even an air campaign!

    In retaliation for the murder of solemani the Iranians even openly struck US bases with missiles. The US has decimated countries in the past over far less, yet now, they simply took the slap on the face.

    A similar and equally embarrassing situation unfolded with the Ukraine this april. The US sent warships to the black sea, the Russians threatened them and they turned tail and left!

    What's the point of having a titanic military if you never use it?

    Is the US establishment simply too feminine and risk averse nowadays? Or are they afraid that if the US forces suffer a few thousand casualties within the span of a few days there would be mass mutinies and desertions?

    People only go to the US military for the free housing,, education, medical care, pension and other gibs.

    The recent American lack of nuts is mystifying. They still have enormous superiority of materials and logistics over Russia and Iran. The US technological superiority over Russia and China is still solid as well, and certainly in the case of Iran.

    Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle, @Felix Keverich, @Rich, @beavertales, @AltSerrice, @216, @Mario Partisan, @mindblower, @Fr. John, @JL

    One thing that mystifies me is why the US hasn’t invaded and destroyed Iran already.

    They would lose, thats why.

  38. Oh, good thing their presstv.ir site still has an English option that works well.

    Here’s to the continued end of the Western Empire’s dominance over the world media! I wonder how many of them actually planned for this consequence and saw it as worth the cost…”we can sacrifice influence in any country that resists us for the chance to secure total dominance at home.”

  39. @AaronB
    @Caspar von Everec

    Obviously the US can obliterate Iran with a movement of it's little pinkie, but It has much grander ambitions, assimilating it into the liberal world order.

    Crushing your enemies is for weak people. Once you've reached a certain level of power, you set your sights on harder and more complicated objectives.

    Similarly, the US could have conquered Vietnam and enslaved it's population, but it was trying something more complicated.

    You see this everywhere liberal states fight non-liberal enemies. For instance, it would probably take under a day for Israel to obliterate Gaza, but instead, Israel goes to comical lengths to kill a handful of Arabs and tolerates persistent attacks on itself.

    Liberal states are able to generate the most power and have the best armies, but they also set themselves more complex and difficult tasks than mete destruction - destruction is child's play.

    As for what's the point of having this awesome military power if you never use it? Well, it is exactly because you have that kind of power that you don't need to use it.

    People under feelings of extreme threat lash out - people who have enough power that they don't feel seriously threatened can respond in a more measured way.

    Replies: @Spisarevski, @AltanBakshi, @Daniel Chieh

    How gullible you are, USSR/Russia and PRC have been much less interventionist than USA, and even in those few wars that USSR/Russia has been a participant, Russia has not used all it’s potential firepower or capabilities. Aaron there are other factors that are limiting the actions of great powers in foreign theaters after WW2.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    @AltanBakshi


    even in those few wars that USSR/Russia has been a participant, Russia has not used all it’s potential firepower or capabilities.
     
    I of course meant wars and conflicts after WW2.
    , @AaronB
    @AltanBakshi


    Aaron there are other factors that are limiting the actions of great powers in foreign theaters after WW2.
     
    I think those factors are a different world view and different goals.

    The "will to power" is as much at work in liberal regimes as it is among illiberal regimes, but straightforward conquest is a relatively primitive expression of this will.

    Would you rather your wife obeys you out of fear or love?

    Also, the West had excelled so completely at straightforward conquest that it no longer needed to challenge itself in this domain. The will to power demanded new, more exotic, challenges.

    Perhaps - most probably :) - I deceive myself, but I imagine myself merely an objective observer of history here.

    As a non-dualist, I myself think the "will to power" does not lead to happiness and is based on a complete misunderstanding of our place in the universe - I think happiness consists in finding ones harmonious place in the grand scheme of things, based on the insight that one is not a seperate entity, and not in self-aggrandizement and self-assertion.

    But it is fascinating to observe how the "will to power" works in so many strange ways in history among the majority who do not see their connection to the greater whole.

    Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain

  40. @AltanBakshi
    @AaronB

    How gullible you are, USSR/Russia and PRC have been much less interventionist than USA, and even in those few wars that USSR/Russia has been a participant, Russia has not used all it's potential firepower or capabilities. Aaron there are other factors that are limiting the actions of great powers in foreign theaters after WW2.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @AaronB

    even in those few wars that USSR/Russia has been a participant, Russia has not used all it’s potential firepower or capabilities.

    I of course meant wars and conflicts after WW2.

  41. Bashibuzuk says:
    @AaronB
    @216


    Wiping both groups out is quite possible at the cost of considerable IDF casualties on the ground.
     
    Well, if Israel was not a liberal state, wiping these groups out would be easy with zero Israeli casualties, from the air, artillery, etc.

    For instance, right now if Hezbollah fires rockets from a house in a village in south Lebanon, Israel is careful to identify that house and take it out, as much as feasible. A non liberal state can simply obliterate the entire village within minutes.

    But the same moral qualities that make a state liberal and unwilling to wipe out enemy villages (unless it absolutely has no choice), are the same moral qualities that allow it to build superior armies, to generate greater loyalty, and to develop the intellectual independence and curiosity that makes it superior in technology and tactics.

    And the same "asshole" qualities of illiberal states are what makes them internally dysfunctional and unable to generate loyalty, intellectual independence, and cohesion.

    The program of Hamas and Hezbollah requires the death or expulsion of Jews living in Israel, clearly an existential threat
     
    .

    Well, it's more a "wannabe" existential threat. If it was a genuine threat, obviously Israel would suffer the necessary casualties because it would have no choice, or decimate entire villages like I described above.

    Hezbo and Hamas are stuck in a catch-22 - if they get too good, Israel takes the velvet gloves off.

    Their entire strategy depends on Israel's "hands being tied" by the need to avoid civilian casualties - but Israel will only take such care to not kill enemy civilians as long as it isn't facing a genuine existential threat.

    So the likely result of all this is that it will end up like Egypt after 73 - even though Egypt's defeat was actually worse than in 67, it had enough initial successes to feel that it "redeemed it's honor".

    Hezbollah appears to feel that it has "redeemed it's honor" in 06, and has been quiet ever since.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    Perhaps the Jews should go back to their historical roots, you know the Book of Joshua and all. Outright genocide. No mercy. And then build the Third Temple. That would please their G-d and hasten the coming of the Mashiach. As (((Owen))) wrote in his comment: “After all, we want the territory, but we don’t want any of the people. So why not patiently eliminate them.”

    The only problem is that the Jewish concept of the Mashiach is a copy-paste from the Zoroastrian Persian concept of Saoshyant. Persians have been in this messianic business and even in monotheism business for much longer than your father’s ancestors. Persian kings actually financed the building of the Second Temple and taught your ancestors how to properly celebrate Passover. The Essenes copied outright the final battle of the Good vs Evil from the Zoroastrian Magi, while the Phariseans (a name derived from the Hebrew pronunciation of Farisi – the Aramaic/Arabic word for Persian) only copied some of the metaphysics: angels, paradise (a word derived from the word “garden ” in Persian) etc.

    Persians have also inoculated Islamic thought with the same messianic ethos through the figure of the future Promised Imam – the Mahdi. The Mahdi has become the focal point of Islamic eschatology. That’s the power of Archetypes. You don’t want to wage war against the people who can create, transmit and perpetuate such powerful mental constructs. It is bad Karma to attack those who have been your spiritual ancestors. Just look at what the Arabs have become today, pretty sure no sane Jewish person would like to end up that way…

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Bashibuzuk

    "War with Iran: it is coming soon" sounds exciting, tragic and sensational; until you remember you've been reading about it all your life.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    , @AaronB
    @Bashibuzuk

    The Bronze Age was a very brutal place.

    As I noted above, I'm quite pleased that countries like Israel and America are today furthest removed from Bronze Age style violence, and that in fact is the source of their strength.

    While it may seem like weakness, "weakness is strength", and the law of paradox and reversed effort are significant factors in how the world operates that one ignores at ones peril.

    The illiberal enemies of the US and Israel, are much closer to Bronze Age style violence - but illiberal regimes cannot understand how weakness may be strength. To them, strength is strength - and must be maximized.

    But as Lao Tzu says, the hard and rigid is brittle and weak and will break, while the willow that sways with the wind survives.

    A certain amount of softness is a survival quality. The "bad" guys never get this - that's why they're the "bad" guys :) and that's why the bad guys always, in the long run, lose.

    In history, the bad guys - the "harder" guys - always lose. Not before making a huge splash, though.

    Yes, the Jews appear to have taken much from the Zoroastrians, as of course did the Christians and Muslims.

    Interestingly, Judaism seems to have taken Zoroastrian Dualism least seriously - there is no Devil figure in Judaism, no eternal Hell, and the world is not a battleground between Good and Evil.

    Evil, in fact, is considered just God's aspect of justice unleavened by mercy - meaning that Evil, in it's proper context, has a function to play and is good.

    I find echoes of Eastern non-dualistic thought here. But I'm not a religious Jew so it's not an issue of great importance to me. But in many ways, the Jews appear to have been influenced by Persians. Probably these ideas were in the air in that very brutal time.

    Did you know that Nietzsche, who was trying to "go beyond good evil" and develop a non-dualistic approach - although not quite in the manner of Eastern philosophy and drawing the wrong conclusions imo - called his most famous book after Zarathustra because he thought it was most fitting that the founder of dualism be the one to finally "overcome" it?

    It's a cute idea.

    But Dualism - the battle between Good and Evil - is the idea that is responsible for so much bloodshed and misery in the world.

    Replies: @216

  42. @Bashibuzuk
    @AaronB

    Perhaps the Jews should go back to their historical roots, you know the Book of Joshua and all. Outright genocide. No mercy. And then build the Third Temple. That would please their G-d and hasten the coming of the Mashiach. As (((Owen))) wrote in his comment: "After all, we want the territory, but we don’t want any of the people. So why not patiently eliminate them."

    The only problem is that the Jewish concept of the Mashiach is a copy-paste from the Zoroastrian Persian concept of Saoshyant. Persians have been in this messianic business and even in monotheism business for much longer than your father's ancestors. Persian kings actually financed the building of the Second Temple and taught your ancestors how to properly celebrate Passover. The Essenes copied outright the final battle of the Good vs Evil from the Zoroastrian Magi, while the Phariseans (a name derived from the Hebrew pronunciation of Farisi - the Aramaic/Arabic word for Persian) only copied some of the metaphysics: angels, paradise (a word derived from the word "garden " in Persian) etc.

    Persians have also inoculated Islamic thought with the same messianic ethos through the figure of the future Promised Imam - the Mahdi. The Mahdi has become the focal point of Islamic eschatology. That's the power of Archetypes. You don't want to wage war against the people who can create, transmit and perpetuate such powerful mental constructs. It is bad Karma to attack those who have been your spiritual ancestors. Just look at what the Arabs have become today, pretty sure no sane Jewish person would like to end up that way...

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @AaronB

    “War with Iran: it is coming soon” sounds exciting, tragic and sensational; until you remember you’ve been reading about it all your life.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    It certainly keeps a lot of people employed, not the least people writing such articles.

  43. @Bashibuzuk
    @AaronB

    Perhaps the Jews should go back to their historical roots, you know the Book of Joshua and all. Outright genocide. No mercy. And then build the Third Temple. That would please their G-d and hasten the coming of the Mashiach. As (((Owen))) wrote in his comment: "After all, we want the territory, but we don’t want any of the people. So why not patiently eliminate them."

    The only problem is that the Jewish concept of the Mashiach is a copy-paste from the Zoroastrian Persian concept of Saoshyant. Persians have been in this messianic business and even in monotheism business for much longer than your father's ancestors. Persian kings actually financed the building of the Second Temple and taught your ancestors how to properly celebrate Passover. The Essenes copied outright the final battle of the Good vs Evil from the Zoroastrian Magi, while the Phariseans (a name derived from the Hebrew pronunciation of Farisi - the Aramaic/Arabic word for Persian) only copied some of the metaphysics: angels, paradise (a word derived from the word "garden " in Persian) etc.

    Persians have also inoculated Islamic thought with the same messianic ethos through the figure of the future Promised Imam - the Mahdi. The Mahdi has become the focal point of Islamic eschatology. That's the power of Archetypes. You don't want to wage war against the people who can create, transmit and perpetuate such powerful mental constructs. It is bad Karma to attack those who have been your spiritual ancestors. Just look at what the Arabs have become today, pretty sure no sane Jewish person would like to end up that way...

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @AaronB

    The Bronze Age was a very brutal place.

    As I noted above, I’m quite pleased that countries like Israel and America are today furthest removed from Bronze Age style violence, and that in fact is the source of their strength.

    While it may seem like weakness, “weakness is strength”, and the law of paradox and reversed effort are significant factors in how the world operates that one ignores at ones peril.

    The illiberal enemies of the US and Israel, are much closer to Bronze Age style violence – but illiberal regimes cannot understand how weakness may be strength. To them, strength is strength – and must be maximized.

    But as Lao Tzu says, the hard and rigid is brittle and weak and will break, while the willow that sways with the wind survives.

    A certain amount of softness is a survival quality. The “bad” guys never get this – that’s why they’re the “bad” guys 🙂 and that’s why the bad guys always, in the long run, lose.

    In history, the bad guys – the “harder” guys – always lose. Not before making a huge splash, though.

    Yes, the Jews appear to have taken much from the Zoroastrians, as of course did the Christians and Muslims.

    Interestingly, Judaism seems to have taken Zoroastrian Dualism least seriously – there is no Devil figure in Judaism, no eternal Hell, and the world is not a battleground between Good and Evil.

    Evil, in fact, is considered just God’s aspect of justice unleavened by mercy – meaning that Evil, in it’s proper context, has a function to play and is good.

    I find echoes of Eastern non-dualistic thought here. But I’m not a religious Jew so it’s not an issue of great importance to me. But in many ways, the Jews appear to have been influenced by Persians. Probably these ideas were in the air in that very brutal time.

    Did you know that Nietzsche, who was trying to “go beyond good evil” and develop a non-dualistic approach – although not quite in the manner of Eastern philosophy and drawing the wrong conclusions imo – called his most famous book after Zarathustra because he thought it was most fitting that the founder of dualism be the one to finally “overcome” it?

    It’s a cute idea.

    But Dualism – the battle between Good and Evil – is the idea that is responsible for so much bloodshed and misery in the world.

    • Replies: @216
    @AaronB


    Interestingly, Judaism seems to have taken Zoroastrian Dualism least seriously – there is no Devil figure in Judaism, no eternal Hell, and the world is not a battleground between Good and Evil.

    Evil, in fact, is considered just God’s aspect of justice unleavened by mercy – meaning that Evil, in it’s proper context, has a function to play and is good.
     
    This is why your people are called subversives.

    Replies: @AaronB

  44. @Caspar von Everec
    @Felix Keverich

    This could not be farther from the truth.

    Air power defeated the 1 million man Iraqi army in 1991. The allies suffered about 200-400 casualties while the Iraqi army lost over 60,000 men to the air war alone. Israeli air power decimated the Arab armies in 1967. They struggled in 73 when they initially lacked air superiority.

    However, Anowar Sadaat was stupid enough to send his armored divisions into the open desert outside the protection of the Soviet made SAM umbrella and were decimated by Israeli air strikes and tanks.

    An allied air campaign almost single handedly defeated Serbia in 1999. Iraq 2003 is another example of an army simply dissolving in the face of a superior air force. US air power also overthrew Gaddafi in 2011.

    The cases of Vietnam and Afghanistan are often brought up but those weren't conventional conflicts. The US lost vietnam because the army was not allowed to invade North Vietnam and end the war decisively. The vietnamese simply waited them out. Samw with Afghanistan where the US army never had more than 100,000 troops to occupty a 500,000 sq km country.

    As for Iran, there's nothing wrong with what I said. In ww2, 20 B-29s each carrying 24 500-lb bombs raided a Japanese industrial facility. Of those 650+ bombs, only one landed on the target. Today, a single F-16 can carry 8 such bombs and precisely hit 8 such targets due to radio, satellite and laser guided munitions.

    The Iranians can't move their whole civilization underground. Eventually the bombing will destroy their bridges, industries, refineries, ports, railways and fertilizer plants. They could strangle Iran to death with starvation. B-52s could easily petrol bomb Iranian agriculture too during the dry season. Russia could provide food via the Caspian sea but its impossible to feed a country of 80 million people through lend lease aid.

    Replies: @sher singh, @Dreadilk, @Max Payne, @Svevlad, @AaronB, @Daniel H, @Daniel Chieh, @showmethereal, @Mulga Mumblebrain

    An allied air campaign almost single handedly defeated Serbia in 1999. Iraq 2003 is another example of an army simply dissolving in the face of a superior air force. US air power also overthrew Gaddafi in 2011.

    Its possible, but requires an overwhelming advantage in resources, time and friendly territory surrounding the target: such an equivalency as to past overwhelming advantage against isolated dictators is not as evident versus Iran.

    • Replies: @216
    @Daniel Chieh

    A land invasion of Iran is difficult from the South and West. But it is less so from the East, and easiest (though still difficult) from the North.

    It's not as well known, but Russia did allow the US to transit supplies en route to Afghanistan through their territory.

    So while it would take a major geopolitical shift, the US could take the easier route via a transit through Russia and a buildup in Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. This makes a quicker route to Tehran, the capture of which ends the regime as an entity. Whatever insurgency remains would be difficult to supply, even if it had Pakistani patronage. (Presumably Sunni Baluchs would not assist in smuggling to a radical Shia insurgency, as the new puppet government would almost certainly grant more autonomy).

    An invasion from the South that just stuck to occupying the coastal region where the oil is produced has the advantage of being logistically simple, and the US could install an MEK puppet regime a la Taiwan. While the US could not logistically conquer the interior, the loss of oil revenue would gradually weaken the regime to the point they would either collapse or seek a negotiated settlement.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  45. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Bashibuzuk

    "War with Iran: it is coming soon" sounds exciting, tragic and sensational; until you remember you've been reading about it all your life.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    It certainly keeps a lot of people employed, not the least people writing such articles.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • LOL: Triteleia Laxa
  46. @AltanBakshi
    @AaronB

    How gullible you are, USSR/Russia and PRC have been much less interventionist than USA, and even in those few wars that USSR/Russia has been a participant, Russia has not used all it's potential firepower or capabilities. Aaron there are other factors that are limiting the actions of great powers in foreign theaters after WW2.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @AaronB

    Aaron there are other factors that are limiting the actions of great powers in foreign theaters after WW2.

    I think those factors are a different world view and different goals.

    The “will to power” is as much at work in liberal regimes as it is among illiberal regimes, but straightforward conquest is a relatively primitive expression of this will.

    Would you rather your wife obeys you out of fear or love?

    Also, the West had excelled so completely at straightforward conquest that it no longer needed to challenge itself in this domain. The will to power demanded new, more exotic, challenges.

    Perhaps – most probably 🙂 – I deceive myself, but I imagine myself merely an objective observer of history here.

    As a non-dualist, I myself think the “will to power” does not lead to happiness and is based on a complete misunderstanding of our place in the universe – I think happiness consists in finding ones harmonious place in the grand scheme of things, based on the insight that one is not a seperate entity, and not in self-aggrandizement and self-assertion.

    But it is fascinating to observe how the “will to power” works in so many strange ways in history among the majority who do not see their connection to the greater whole.

    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
    @AaronB

    Every major Western aggression since WW2 ie Korea, Indochina, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan etc, has been characterised by innumerable war crimes, genocide of civilians, mass torture, disappearances and massacres. Then there are the actions of Western proxies, like Suharto, Pinochet, Mobutu et al- all brutal, murderous, thugs. Because it slakes, if only temporarily, a truly frightening blood-lust.

  47. @AaronB
    @Caspar von Everec

    Obviously the US can obliterate Iran with a movement of it's little pinkie, but It has much grander ambitions, assimilating it into the liberal world order.

    Crushing your enemies is for weak people. Once you've reached a certain level of power, you set your sights on harder and more complicated objectives.

    Similarly, the US could have conquered Vietnam and enslaved it's population, but it was trying something more complicated.

    You see this everywhere liberal states fight non-liberal enemies. For instance, it would probably take under a day for Israel to obliterate Gaza, but instead, Israel goes to comical lengths to kill a handful of Arabs and tolerates persistent attacks on itself.

    Liberal states are able to generate the most power and have the best armies, but they also set themselves more complex and difficult tasks than mete destruction - destruction is child's play.

    As for what's the point of having this awesome military power if you never use it? Well, it is exactly because you have that kind of power that you don't need to use it.

    People under feelings of extreme threat lash out - people who have enough power that they don't feel seriously threatened can respond in a more measured way.

    Replies: @Spisarevski, @AltanBakshi, @Daniel Chieh

    Liberal states are able to generate the most power and have the best armies, but they also set themselves more complex and difficult tasks than mete destruction – destruction is child’s play.

    The existence of a state by definition is more “illiberal” than the smaller hunter-gatherer bands or tribes that existed before it, and obviously generated more power than such bands. Perhaps you could try to reconcile even the very views that you’ve been advocating.

    Most of the existence of life has been a form of centralization: 1) eukaryotes “enslave” mitochondria to generate energy and outcompete prokaryotes, 2) multicellular eukaryotes with “entangled cells” outcompete unicellular eukaryotes, 3) multicellular eukaryotes animals with bilaterial body structures form more complex and specialized body parts which outcompete animals with radial body structures, 4)animals with complex active bodies are coordinated with central brains which outcompete animals without central brains, and 5)brains themselves evolve into greater complexity and specialization, with both birds and higher mammals convergently manifesting a neocortex for decision-making.

    Liberal states work so as long as there is a lot of spontaneous coordination, which is only true sometimes(and itself requires a very controlled culture, which is arguably what we see in a lot of highly “liberal states” which demand obedience to many mores of sharing, etc).

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    The existence of a state by definition is more “illiberal” than the smaller hunter-gatherer bands or tribes that existed before it, and obviously generated more power than such bands. Perhaps you could try to reconcile even the very views that you’ve been advocating.
     
    Excellent point.

    Perhaps then I would modify my statement to say that there is a "sweet spot" for liberalism/illiberalism, and that social organizations that tip too far in either direction lower their survival value.

    This would accord very well with my emerging sense that extremes are harmful - because they represent a misguided attempt to exclude one side of reality rather than harness each sides unique potential to contribute to human flourishing.

    From a more "meta" point of view, it may well end up that states will end up destroying humanity, so in a sense humans organizing into states may well end up having been a short-term strategy.

    Most of the existence of life has been a form of centralization

     

    In terms of human social organization, that definitely doesn't seem to be the case. The ancient slave empires of the Near East gave way to much looser forms of organization, which were much more successful.

    I'd agree with you that some level of centralization can be healthy, but it's easy to go too far in this direction. And the optimum level may be far less than we are prone to think - we humans tend to panic too easily and choose oppressive security over other human goods like creativity.

    Finally, to go "meta" once again - we are examining the question from the point of view of human survival, but an excessive preoccupation with human survival, such that it is your central organizing principle, may paradoxically lower long term chances of survival - by making life joyless and overly oppressive. I suspect the modern West may be ill in this way today.

    So we need to move up and down the ladder of perspectives and occupy different points of view to get a truly comprehensive picture, although complete comprehensivensss is impossible for humans.

    Ultimately, it seems balance is the best strategy. While may seem uninspiring, it is in fact based on deep insight.

    1) eukaryotes “enslave” mitochondria to generate energy and outcompete prokaryotes, 2) multicellular eukaryotes with “entangled cells” outcompete unicellular eukaryotes, 3) multicellular eukaryotes animals with bilaterial body structures form more complex and specialized body parts which outcompete animals with radial body structures, 4)animals with complex active bodies are coordinated with central brains which outcompete animals without central brains, and 5)brains themselves evolve into greater complexity and specialization, with both birds and higher mammals convergently manifesting a neocortex for decision-making.
     
    Well, the current level of complexity reached may well destroy the world or lead to social collapse, so it's not at all clear that this level of complexity is good in the long run.

    Not even looking at the long run, the human brain itself seems to have a flaw that causes people to be dissatisfied and unhappy, which is why we invent religions.

    Many religions suggest excessive consciousness - to see the difference between good and evil - is precisely what makes us restless and miserable.

    So the level of complexity of the human brain may well already be excessive, and human religions may be technologies invented to "correct" this high level complexity and restore harmony and balance.

    Finally, I would not necessarily describe the biological relationship between cells as one of increasing centralization - this seems in the end to privilege consciousness and to be a form of solipsism. Consciousness thinks the stomach exists to give it fuel - but from the perspective of the stomach, maybe the brain exists to find it food?

    Instead of a process of centralization, I see a network of mutual dependencies with no clear center!

    Replies: @AaronB, @Daniel Chieh

  48. @Caspar von Everec
    One thing that mystifies me is why the US hasn't invaded and destroyed Iran already. They could've done it in 2005 when the US military was far more virile and US hegemony was unchecked.

    Even now they can defeat Iran without much difficulty. A lot of people bleat about muh militias and guerillas but the USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.

    God fights on the side with the stronger air force and the US air force and naval aviation is stronger than Russia and China combined. The guided munitions revolution has made air power even more decisive. They could simply bomb Iran and destroy its electric grid, grain factories, power stations, financial centers, transportation hubs and ports and send it to the dark age.

    Iran would be facing mass famine within 6 months of strategic bombing and the army would force the mullahs out at that point. Sure, the Iranian ballistic missile attacks would severely harm Saudi oil facilities and the hormuz would be blockaded for a month or so. It would send oil prices through the roof but that's a temporary issue.

    It hurts China far more than the US as the US has shale oil and Canadian oil to fall back on. Over time the damage would be fixed but in exchange, Israel's last enemy in the middle east would be eliminated.

    Russia and China have shown repeatedly that they have no intention to militarily help Iran. Russia has refused to sell Iran Su-30s, Kalibr missiles and S-400 along with other heavy equipment for decades.

    Its really just a matter of balls.

    For some reason, the US establishment has become extremely hesitant of actually fighting any country for the last 10 years or so. It cucked out of fighting Russia in Crimea and Syria despite her being vastly weaker at that time to the US. The US has also cucked out of fighting Iran and hell, it even didn't fight venezuela, not even an air campaign!

    In retaliation for the murder of solemani the Iranians even openly struck US bases with missiles. The US has decimated countries in the past over far less, yet now, they simply took the slap on the face.

    A similar and equally embarrassing situation unfolded with the Ukraine this april. The US sent warships to the black sea, the Russians threatened them and they turned tail and left!

    What's the point of having a titanic military if you never use it?

    Is the US establishment simply too feminine and risk averse nowadays? Or are they afraid that if the US forces suffer a few thousand casualties within the span of a few days there would be mass mutinies and desertions?

    People only go to the US military for the free housing,, education, medical care, pension and other gibs.

    The recent American lack of nuts is mystifying. They still have enormous superiority of materials and logistics over Russia and Iran. The US technological superiority over Russia and China is still solid as well, and certainly in the case of Iran.

    Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle, @Felix Keverich, @Rich, @beavertales, @AltSerrice, @216, @Mario Partisan, @mindblower, @Fr. John, @JL

    “God fights on the side with the stronger air force….”

    So glad to know you have a direct line to the Almighty’s mind.

    Somehow, though, I doubt it…..

  49. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    Liberal states are able to generate the most power and have the best armies, but they also set themselves more complex and difficult tasks than mete destruction – destruction is child’s play.
     
    The existence of a state by definition is more "illiberal" than the smaller hunter-gatherer bands or tribes that existed before it, and obviously generated more power than such bands. Perhaps you could try to reconcile even the very views that you've been advocating.

    Most of the existence of life has been a form of centralization: 1) eukaryotes "enslave" mitochondria to generate energy and outcompete prokaryotes, 2) multicellular eukaryotes with "entangled cells" outcompete unicellular eukaryotes, 3) multicellular eukaryotes animals with bilaterial body structures form more complex and specialized body parts which outcompete animals with radial body structures, 4)animals with complex active bodies are coordinated with central brains which outcompete animals without central brains, and 5)brains themselves evolve into greater complexity and specialization, with both birds and higher mammals convergently manifesting a neocortex for decision-making.

    Liberal states work so as long as there is a lot of spontaneous coordination, which is only true sometimes(and itself requires a very controlled culture, which is arguably what we see in a lot of highly "liberal states" which demand obedience to many mores of sharing, etc).

    Replies: @AaronB

    The existence of a state by definition is more “illiberal” than the smaller hunter-gatherer bands or tribes that existed before it, and obviously generated more power than such bands. Perhaps you could try to reconcile even the very views that you’ve been advocating.

    Excellent point.

    Perhaps then I would modify my statement to say that there is a “sweet spot” for liberalism/illiberalism, and that social organizations that tip too far in either direction lower their survival value.

    This would accord very well with my emerging sense that extremes are harmful – because they represent a misguided attempt to exclude one side of reality rather than harness each sides unique potential to contribute to human flourishing.

    From a more “meta” point of view, it may well end up that states will end up destroying humanity, so in a sense humans organizing into states may well end up having been a short-term strategy.

    Most of the existence of life has been a form of centralization

    In terms of human social organization, that definitely doesn’t seem to be the case. The ancient slave empires of the Near East gave way to much looser forms of organization, which were much more successful.

    I’d agree with you that some level of centralization can be healthy, but it’s easy to go too far in this direction. And the optimum level may be far less than we are prone to think – we humans tend to panic too easily and choose oppressive security over other human goods like creativity.

    Finally, to go “meta” once again – we are examining the question from the point of view of human survival, but an excessive preoccupation with human survival, such that it is your central organizing principle, may paradoxically lower long term chances of survival – by making life joyless and overly oppressive. I suspect the modern West may be ill in this way today.

    So we need to move up and down the ladder of perspectives and occupy different points of view to get a truly comprehensive picture, although complete comprehensivensss is impossible for humans.

    Ultimately, it seems balance is the best strategy. While may seem uninspiring, it is in fact based on deep insight.

    1) eukaryotes “enslave” mitochondria to generate energy and outcompete prokaryotes, 2) multicellular eukaryotes with “entangled cells” outcompete unicellular eukaryotes, 3) multicellular eukaryotes animals with bilaterial body structures form more complex and specialized body parts which outcompete animals with radial body structures, 4)animals with complex active bodies are coordinated with central brains which outcompete animals without central brains, and 5)brains themselves evolve into greater complexity and specialization, with both birds and higher mammals convergently manifesting a neocortex for decision-making.

    Well, the current level of complexity reached may well destroy the world or lead to social collapse, so it’s not at all clear that this level of complexity is good in the long run.

    Not even looking at the long run, the human brain itself seems to have a flaw that causes people to be dissatisfied and unhappy, which is why we invent religions.

    Many religions suggest excessive consciousness – to see the difference between good and evil – is precisely what makes us restless and miserable.

    So the level of complexity of the human brain may well already be excessive, and human religions may be technologies invented to “correct” this high level complexity and restore harmony and balance.

    Finally, I would not necessarily describe the biological relationship between cells as one of increasing centralization – this seems in the end to privilege consciousness and to be a form of solipsism. Consciousness thinks the stomach exists to give it fuel – but from the perspective of the stomach, maybe the brain exists to find it food?

    Instead of a process of centralization, I see a network of mutual dependencies with no clear center!

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @AaronB


    Finally, I would not necessarily describe the biological relationship between cells as one of increasing centralization – this seems in the end to privilege consciousness and to be a form of solipsism. Consciousness thinks the stomach exists to give it fuel – but from the perspective of the stomach, maybe the brain exists to find it food?

    Instead of a process of centralization, I see a network of mutual dependencies with no clear center!
     
    To take this further, if the world is a network of mutual dependencies, then the success of any one animal at the expense of another is illusory.

    For instance, the lion and the antelope exist in mutual dependence. Even though the lion preys on the antelope, the antelope doesn't "exist" to feed the lion, and in fact the lion performs an essential task for the antelope by ensuring they don't overpopulate their habitat.

    It all depends on what "level" one chooses to look at the picture from. From one level, the lion appears to be predator. From a higher level, the lion is benefactor to the antelope.

    (It would be well to look at our enemies in this spirit).

    Many religions and philosophers suggest that from the most comprehensive point of view, the world is a system of mutual dependencies and not a process of increasing centralization - that that one can only see things that way if one is looking from a partial vantage point.

    Replies: @showmethereal

    , @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB

    Once again, another ramble almost completely distanced from factual data.

    1) What's "good" is a value state of not specific meaning. Centralization is clearly optimal as an adaptive value for surviving and thriving given stable conditions and thus accounts for the majority of biomass.

    2) The notion of "balance" between predator and prey is only partial: extinction is an alternate destiny. Other body forms existed once pre-Cambrian: three-sided or four-sided designs, etc. They've completely ceased to exist, not only as a species, but completely as a design. Pretty much all animals we consider as predators, even herbivores. The only alternates are basically sponges.

    3) What "you see" or what "religion sees" is quite meaningless, but you could try to lift your hand and see if you can move a finger without the centralization of your brain communicating with muscle cells and see how far "no clear center" gets one.

    At any rate, centralization and interdependency is quite unrelated. You're quite dependent on your mitochondria, that doesn't mean its existence isn't controlled by the cell's needs. Etc, indeed, greater dependency often correlates with more granular control or reduction of independence in the structure.

    Replies: @AaronB

  50. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    The existence of a state by definition is more “illiberal” than the smaller hunter-gatherer bands or tribes that existed before it, and obviously generated more power than such bands. Perhaps you could try to reconcile even the very views that you’ve been advocating.
     
    Excellent point.

    Perhaps then I would modify my statement to say that there is a "sweet spot" for liberalism/illiberalism, and that social organizations that tip too far in either direction lower their survival value.

    This would accord very well with my emerging sense that extremes are harmful - because they represent a misguided attempt to exclude one side of reality rather than harness each sides unique potential to contribute to human flourishing.

    From a more "meta" point of view, it may well end up that states will end up destroying humanity, so in a sense humans organizing into states may well end up having been a short-term strategy.

    Most of the existence of life has been a form of centralization

     

    In terms of human social organization, that definitely doesn't seem to be the case. The ancient slave empires of the Near East gave way to much looser forms of organization, which were much more successful.

    I'd agree with you that some level of centralization can be healthy, but it's easy to go too far in this direction. And the optimum level may be far less than we are prone to think - we humans tend to panic too easily and choose oppressive security over other human goods like creativity.

    Finally, to go "meta" once again - we are examining the question from the point of view of human survival, but an excessive preoccupation with human survival, such that it is your central organizing principle, may paradoxically lower long term chances of survival - by making life joyless and overly oppressive. I suspect the modern West may be ill in this way today.

    So we need to move up and down the ladder of perspectives and occupy different points of view to get a truly comprehensive picture, although complete comprehensivensss is impossible for humans.

    Ultimately, it seems balance is the best strategy. While may seem uninspiring, it is in fact based on deep insight.

    1) eukaryotes “enslave” mitochondria to generate energy and outcompete prokaryotes, 2) multicellular eukaryotes with “entangled cells” outcompete unicellular eukaryotes, 3) multicellular eukaryotes animals with bilaterial body structures form more complex and specialized body parts which outcompete animals with radial body structures, 4)animals with complex active bodies are coordinated with central brains which outcompete animals without central brains, and 5)brains themselves evolve into greater complexity and specialization, with both birds and higher mammals convergently manifesting a neocortex for decision-making.
     
    Well, the current level of complexity reached may well destroy the world or lead to social collapse, so it's not at all clear that this level of complexity is good in the long run.

    Not even looking at the long run, the human brain itself seems to have a flaw that causes people to be dissatisfied and unhappy, which is why we invent religions.

    Many religions suggest excessive consciousness - to see the difference between good and evil - is precisely what makes us restless and miserable.

    So the level of complexity of the human brain may well already be excessive, and human religions may be technologies invented to "correct" this high level complexity and restore harmony and balance.

    Finally, I would not necessarily describe the biological relationship between cells as one of increasing centralization - this seems in the end to privilege consciousness and to be a form of solipsism. Consciousness thinks the stomach exists to give it fuel - but from the perspective of the stomach, maybe the brain exists to find it food?

    Instead of a process of centralization, I see a network of mutual dependencies with no clear center!

    Replies: @AaronB, @Daniel Chieh

    Finally, I would not necessarily describe the biological relationship between cells as one of increasing centralization – this seems in the end to privilege consciousness and to be a form of solipsism. Consciousness thinks the stomach exists to give it fuel – but from the perspective of the stomach, maybe the brain exists to find it food?

    Instead of a process of centralization, I see a network of mutual dependencies with no clear center!

    To take this further, if the world is a network of mutual dependencies, then the success of any one animal at the expense of another is illusory.

    For instance, the lion and the antelope exist in mutual dependence. Even though the lion preys on the antelope, the antelope doesn’t “exist” to feed the lion, and in fact the lion performs an essential task for the antelope by ensuring they don’t overpopulate their habitat.

    It all depends on what “level” one chooses to look at the picture from. From one level, the lion appears to be predator. From a higher level, the lion is benefactor to the antelope.

    (It would be well to look at our enemies in this spirit).

    Many religions and philosophers suggest that from the most comprehensive point of view, the world is a system of mutual dependencies and not a process of increasing centralization – that that one can only see things that way if one is looking from a partial vantage point.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
    @AaronB

    "For instance, the lion and the antelope exist in mutual dependence. Even though the lion preys on the antelope, the antelope doesn’t “exist” to feed the lion, and in fact the lion performs an essential task for the antelope by ensuring they don’t overpopulate their habitat."

    The antelope - like other ungulates - fertilize the soil as they defecate. They migrate and spread seed too... Having predators around makes them not stay in one place too long. If they have food and water they won't leave... But predators will make them leave and disperse seed in doing so.
    Also the lion - like all natural predators - will first go for the old and sick and injured - and then the weaker/slower/or dumber - which keeps the gene pool of the antelope strong.

    Very symbiotic and not an all an accident. It's that way to teach us.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  51. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    The existence of a state by definition is more “illiberal” than the smaller hunter-gatherer bands or tribes that existed before it, and obviously generated more power than such bands. Perhaps you could try to reconcile even the very views that you’ve been advocating.
     
    Excellent point.

    Perhaps then I would modify my statement to say that there is a "sweet spot" for liberalism/illiberalism, and that social organizations that tip too far in either direction lower their survival value.

    This would accord very well with my emerging sense that extremes are harmful - because they represent a misguided attempt to exclude one side of reality rather than harness each sides unique potential to contribute to human flourishing.

    From a more "meta" point of view, it may well end up that states will end up destroying humanity, so in a sense humans organizing into states may well end up having been a short-term strategy.

    Most of the existence of life has been a form of centralization

     

    In terms of human social organization, that definitely doesn't seem to be the case. The ancient slave empires of the Near East gave way to much looser forms of organization, which were much more successful.

    I'd agree with you that some level of centralization can be healthy, but it's easy to go too far in this direction. And the optimum level may be far less than we are prone to think - we humans tend to panic too easily and choose oppressive security over other human goods like creativity.

    Finally, to go "meta" once again - we are examining the question from the point of view of human survival, but an excessive preoccupation with human survival, such that it is your central organizing principle, may paradoxically lower long term chances of survival - by making life joyless and overly oppressive. I suspect the modern West may be ill in this way today.

    So we need to move up and down the ladder of perspectives and occupy different points of view to get a truly comprehensive picture, although complete comprehensivensss is impossible for humans.

    Ultimately, it seems balance is the best strategy. While may seem uninspiring, it is in fact based on deep insight.

    1) eukaryotes “enslave” mitochondria to generate energy and outcompete prokaryotes, 2) multicellular eukaryotes with “entangled cells” outcompete unicellular eukaryotes, 3) multicellular eukaryotes animals with bilaterial body structures form more complex and specialized body parts which outcompete animals with radial body structures, 4)animals with complex active bodies are coordinated with central brains which outcompete animals without central brains, and 5)brains themselves evolve into greater complexity and specialization, with both birds and higher mammals convergently manifesting a neocortex for decision-making.
     
    Well, the current level of complexity reached may well destroy the world or lead to social collapse, so it's not at all clear that this level of complexity is good in the long run.

    Not even looking at the long run, the human brain itself seems to have a flaw that causes people to be dissatisfied and unhappy, which is why we invent religions.

    Many religions suggest excessive consciousness - to see the difference between good and evil - is precisely what makes us restless and miserable.

    So the level of complexity of the human brain may well already be excessive, and human religions may be technologies invented to "correct" this high level complexity and restore harmony and balance.

    Finally, I would not necessarily describe the biological relationship between cells as one of increasing centralization - this seems in the end to privilege consciousness and to be a form of solipsism. Consciousness thinks the stomach exists to give it fuel - but from the perspective of the stomach, maybe the brain exists to find it food?

    Instead of a process of centralization, I see a network of mutual dependencies with no clear center!

    Replies: @AaronB, @Daniel Chieh

    Once again, another ramble almost completely distanced from factual data.

    1) What’s “good” is a value state of not specific meaning. Centralization is clearly optimal as an adaptive value for surviving and thriving given stable conditions and thus accounts for the majority of biomass.

    2) The notion of “balance” between predator and prey is only partial: extinction is an alternate destiny. Other body forms existed once pre-Cambrian: three-sided or four-sided designs, etc. They’ve completely ceased to exist, not only as a species, but completely as a design. Pretty much all animals we consider as predators, even herbivores. The only alternates are basically sponges.

    3) What “you see” or what “religion sees” is quite meaningless, but you could try to lift your hand and see if you can move a finger without the centralization of your brain communicating with muscle cells and see how far “no clear center” gets one.

    At any rate, centralization and interdependency is quite unrelated. You’re quite dependent on your mitochondria, that doesn’t mean its existence isn’t controlled by the cell’s needs. Etc, indeed, greater dependency often correlates with more granular control or reduction of independence in the structure.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    You’re quite dependent on your mitochondria, that doesn’t mean its existence isn’t controlled by the cell’s needs.
     
    Can mitochondria survive outside of a cell - is mitochondria providing a service in exchange for a hospitable living environment in a system of mutual inter-dependence?

    The notion of “balance” between predator and prey is only partial: extinction is an alternate destiny
     
    Are extinct designs those that over-emphasized certain qualities at the expense of balance?

    All those extinct predators seem to have one common characteristic compared to current predators - they were much more deadly.

    Extinct ancient mega-fauna seems, as a whole, to have overdeveloped one side of the equation.

    Should we see this as a cautionary tale?

    What’s “good” is a value state of not specific meaning. Centralization is clearly optimal as an adaptive value for surviving and thriving given stable conditions and thus accounts for the majority of biomass.
     
    The word "centralization" appears not to be an objective description but merely to indicate the vantage point from which one is looking.

    From the point of view of the stomach, the brain is just a complicated device it developed in order to feed itself.

    But - it is possible to look at things from a "less partial" vantage point than either the head or the stomach.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  52. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB

    Once again, another ramble almost completely distanced from factual data.

    1) What's "good" is a value state of not specific meaning. Centralization is clearly optimal as an adaptive value for surviving and thriving given stable conditions and thus accounts for the majority of biomass.

    2) The notion of "balance" between predator and prey is only partial: extinction is an alternate destiny. Other body forms existed once pre-Cambrian: three-sided or four-sided designs, etc. They've completely ceased to exist, not only as a species, but completely as a design. Pretty much all animals we consider as predators, even herbivores. The only alternates are basically sponges.

    3) What "you see" or what "religion sees" is quite meaningless, but you could try to lift your hand and see if you can move a finger without the centralization of your brain communicating with muscle cells and see how far "no clear center" gets one.

    At any rate, centralization and interdependency is quite unrelated. You're quite dependent on your mitochondria, that doesn't mean its existence isn't controlled by the cell's needs. Etc, indeed, greater dependency often correlates with more granular control or reduction of independence in the structure.

    Replies: @AaronB

    You’re quite dependent on your mitochondria, that doesn’t mean its existence isn’t controlled by the cell’s needs.

    Can mitochondria survive outside of a cell – is mitochondria providing a service in exchange for a hospitable living environment in a system of mutual inter-dependence?

    The notion of “balance” between predator and prey is only partial: extinction is an alternate destiny

    Are extinct designs those that over-emphasized certain qualities at the expense of balance?

    All those extinct predators seem to have one common characteristic compared to current predators – they were much more deadly.

    Extinct ancient mega-fauna seems, as a whole, to have overdeveloped one side of the equation.

    Should we see this as a cautionary tale?

    What’s “good” is a value state of not specific meaning. Centralization is clearly optimal as an adaptive value for surviving and thriving given stable conditions and thus accounts for the majority of biomass.

    The word “centralization” appears not to be an objective description but merely to indicate the vantage point from which one is looking.

    From the point of view of the stomach, the brain is just a complicated device it developed in order to feed itself.

    But – it is possible to look at things from a “less partial” vantage point than either the head or the stomach.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB

    I am not using any vantage point at all; I simply indicate what functions.


    Can mitochondria survive outside of a cell – is mitochondria providing a service in exchange for a hospitable living environment in a system of mutual inter-dependence?

     

    No, but neither can cattle nor wheat after selective breeding by humans. The conclusion is not too difficult to extrapolate. Multicell life ultimately creates dependencies, limits choices in the cells, and kills unexpected alterations(cancers).

    Are extinct designs those that over-emphasized certain qualities at the expense of balance?
     
    It would seem that the easiest way for the pre-Cambian animals to go extinct is to not adopt the fins, tails, shells or claws: aka, the new bilateral animals with specialized cells and vastly more capabilities, both evasive and aggressive.

    They became sources of energy. A similar argument has been used as "macroparasites" of empires such that Rome that took slaves from neighbors to fund their own economic efforts(especially mining, which was often invariably lethal). The slaves became sources of energy.

    Entire Y-lineages have been extincted, its a common theme.


    All those extinct predators seem to have one common characteristic compared to current predators – they were much more deadly.
     
    Eh, mostly they were bigger and then the environment reduced in total amount of available energy. They were adapted to their prior environment, they were not adapted to the alteration in environment. Another common factor was simply the rise of a new, even more effective predator: humans.

    The word “centralization” appears not to be an objective description but merely to indicate the vantage point from which one is looking.

     

    Its not really vantage, its simply an observation of what is: muscle cells rely on timing and action information from neurons, ventral stream for vision provides categorization, recognition and description, etc.

    There are quite a few examples of decentralized communication(quorum sensing in bacteria, etc), but ultimately increasing cooperation is, of course, dependent on common standards(even for bacteria). Deviations that survive enforcement mostly lead to cancer, which isn't good for the entire host obviously. Miscommunication, etc, even in primitive quorum sensing bacteria likely lead to harm for the entire colony.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @AaronB

  53. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    You’re quite dependent on your mitochondria, that doesn’t mean its existence isn’t controlled by the cell’s needs.
     
    Can mitochondria survive outside of a cell - is mitochondria providing a service in exchange for a hospitable living environment in a system of mutual inter-dependence?

    The notion of “balance” between predator and prey is only partial: extinction is an alternate destiny
     
    Are extinct designs those that over-emphasized certain qualities at the expense of balance?

    All those extinct predators seem to have one common characteristic compared to current predators - they were much more deadly.

    Extinct ancient mega-fauna seems, as a whole, to have overdeveloped one side of the equation.

    Should we see this as a cautionary tale?

    What’s “good” is a value state of not specific meaning. Centralization is clearly optimal as an adaptive value for surviving and thriving given stable conditions and thus accounts for the majority of biomass.
     
    The word "centralization" appears not to be an objective description but merely to indicate the vantage point from which one is looking.

    From the point of view of the stomach, the brain is just a complicated device it developed in order to feed itself.

    But - it is possible to look at things from a "less partial" vantage point than either the head or the stomach.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I am not using any vantage point at all; I simply indicate what functions.

    Can mitochondria survive outside of a cell – is mitochondria providing a service in exchange for a hospitable living environment in a system of mutual inter-dependence?

    No, but neither can cattle nor wheat after selective breeding by humans. The conclusion is not too difficult to extrapolate. Multicell life ultimately creates dependencies, limits choices in the cells, and kills unexpected alterations(cancers).

    Are extinct designs those that over-emphasized certain qualities at the expense of balance?

    It would seem that the easiest way for the pre-Cambian animals to go extinct is to not adopt the fins, tails, shells or claws: aka, the new bilateral animals with specialized cells and vastly more capabilities, both evasive and aggressive.

    They became sources of energy. A similar argument has been used as “macroparasites” of empires such that Rome that took slaves from neighbors to fund their own economic efforts(especially mining, which was often invariably lethal). The slaves became sources of energy.

    Entire Y-lineages have been extincted, its a common theme.

    All those extinct predators seem to have one common characteristic compared to current predators – they were much more deadly.

    Eh, mostly they were bigger and then the environment reduced in total amount of available energy. They were adapted to their prior environment, they were not adapted to the alteration in environment. Another common factor was simply the rise of a new, even more effective predator: humans.

    The word “centralization” appears not to be an objective description but merely to indicate the vantage point from which one is looking.

    Its not really vantage, its simply an observation of what is: muscle cells rely on timing and action information from neurons, ventral stream for vision provides categorization, recognition and description, etc.

    There are quite a few examples of decentralized communication(quorum sensing in bacteria, etc), but ultimately increasing cooperation is, of course, dependent on common standards(even for bacteria). Deviations that survive enforcement mostly lead to cancer, which isn’t good for the entire host obviously. Miscommunication, etc, even in primitive quorum sensing bacteria likely lead to harm for the entire colony.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Daniel Chieh

    I should note that the notion of balance is really quite meaningless in a way.

    "Extremes" are often valuable, especially if it permits the entry into a niche that competitors can't enter: there's nothing particularly balanced about sulfer-reducing bacteria in the abyss or the various extremophiles in existence. There's no "balanced" way to consume mercury for an organism. Cyanobacteria proceeded to wipe out most of the world's life with the Great Oxygenation Event. Parasites tend to lower the survival odds of their hosts, or just kill them afterward, but not without reproducing itself.

    https://youtu.be/qERdL8uHSgI

    At the same time, "balanced" creatures rapidly were out of sync once an ice age hit and reduced the total energy flow, or if pigs arrive on the island and destroy all of the bird nests.

    Replies: @AaronB

    , @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    I am not using any vantage point at all; I simply indicate what functions.
     
    But you are assigning roles to the different parts of a functioning system.

    A point is only a "center" from a particular other point. From another point, the "center" becomes a periphery.


    No, but neither can cattle nor wheat after selective breeding by humans. The conclusion is not too difficult to extrapolate. Multicell life ultimately creates dependencies, limits choices in the cells, and kills unexpected alterations(cancers).
     
    Sure, but this describes interdependence.

    It's the like the old question of a dog owner picking up poop - who exactly is the pet :)


    It would seem that the easiest way for the pre-Cambian animals to go extinct is to not adopt the fins, tails, shells or claws: aka, the new bilateral animals with specialized cells and vastly more capabilities, both evasive and aggressive
     
    Sure, not being lethal enough is probably as bad as being too lethal.

    They became sources of energy. A similar argument has been used as “macroparasites” of empires such that Rome that took slaves from neighbors to fund their own economic efforts(especially mining, which was often invariably lethal). The slaves became sources of energy.

    Entire Y-lineages have been extincted, its a common theme.
     

    Rome did not survive long term. It used up it's sources of energy.

    Moreover, the sources of energy eventually took over Rome. By the time of the empire, over 90% of the population of Rome was from the East.

    What began as an exploitative relationship, ended as a a reverse exploitation- or better put, a system of interdependence.

    Hegel pointed out that the master eventually becomes dependent on the slave and in a sense, ends up less free than his slave.

    Those who seek to exploit others, end up being made fools of. But nature is more benign than it sounds, and a gentler way of putting this is that the would be exploiter finds himself enmeshed in a system of interdependence.


    Entire Y-lineages have been extincted, its a common theme.
     
    For sure, my argument is not that everything survives.

    Eh, mostly they were bigger and then the environment reduced in total amount of available energy. They were adapted to their prior environment, they were not adapted to the alteration in environment. Another common factor was simply the rise of a new, even more effective predator: humans.
     
    Yes, they had achieved "balance" with respect to one particular environment only.

    If humans want to survive long term changes in environment - do they? - they might strive to apply the principle of balance as environments change.

    This can be a cautionary tale.


    Its not really vantage, its simply an observation of what is: muscle cells rely on timing and action information from neurons, ventral stream for vision provides categorization, recognition and description, etc.
     
    I would describe this as a system of interdependence in which each piece plays it's part in the larger harmony.

    There are quite a few examples of decentralized communication(quorum sensing in bacteria, etc), but ultimately increasing cooperation is, of course, dependent on common standards(even for bacteria). Deviations that survive enforcement mostly lead to cancer, which isn’t good for the entire host obviously. Miscommunication, etc, even in primitive quorum sensing bacteria likely lead to harm for the entire colony.
     
    Clearly, every part has to contribute to the larger harmony. Deviations that stray too far from that are obviously deleterious.

    I am not advocating complete chaos; violent criminals, for instance, should not be tolerated.

    But to enforce too narrow a "common standard" is to harm the greater harmony.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  54. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB

    I am not using any vantage point at all; I simply indicate what functions.


    Can mitochondria survive outside of a cell – is mitochondria providing a service in exchange for a hospitable living environment in a system of mutual inter-dependence?

     

    No, but neither can cattle nor wheat after selective breeding by humans. The conclusion is not too difficult to extrapolate. Multicell life ultimately creates dependencies, limits choices in the cells, and kills unexpected alterations(cancers).

    Are extinct designs those that over-emphasized certain qualities at the expense of balance?
     
    It would seem that the easiest way for the pre-Cambian animals to go extinct is to not adopt the fins, tails, shells or claws: aka, the new bilateral animals with specialized cells and vastly more capabilities, both evasive and aggressive.

    They became sources of energy. A similar argument has been used as "macroparasites" of empires such that Rome that took slaves from neighbors to fund their own economic efforts(especially mining, which was often invariably lethal). The slaves became sources of energy.

    Entire Y-lineages have been extincted, its a common theme.


    All those extinct predators seem to have one common characteristic compared to current predators – they were much more deadly.
     
    Eh, mostly they were bigger and then the environment reduced in total amount of available energy. They were adapted to their prior environment, they were not adapted to the alteration in environment. Another common factor was simply the rise of a new, even more effective predator: humans.

    The word “centralization” appears not to be an objective description but merely to indicate the vantage point from which one is looking.

     

    Its not really vantage, its simply an observation of what is: muscle cells rely on timing and action information from neurons, ventral stream for vision provides categorization, recognition and description, etc.

    There are quite a few examples of decentralized communication(quorum sensing in bacteria, etc), but ultimately increasing cooperation is, of course, dependent on common standards(even for bacteria). Deviations that survive enforcement mostly lead to cancer, which isn't good for the entire host obviously. Miscommunication, etc, even in primitive quorum sensing bacteria likely lead to harm for the entire colony.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @AaronB

    I should note that the notion of balance is really quite meaningless in a way.

    “Extremes” are often valuable, especially if it permits the entry into a niche that competitors can’t enter: there’s nothing particularly balanced about sulfer-reducing bacteria in the abyss or the various extremophiles in existence. There’s no “balanced” way to consume mercury for an organism. Cyanobacteria proceeded to wipe out most of the world’s life with the Great Oxygenation Event. Parasites tend to lower the survival odds of their hosts, or just kill them afterward, but not without reproducing itself.

    At the same time, “balanced” creatures rapidly were out of sync once an ice age hit and reduced the total energy flow, or if pigs arrive on the island and destroy all of the bird nests.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    Organisms that cannot adapt to a new environment, are, in a larger sense, unbalanced with respect to the total possible number of environments - they are specialists.

    That's not a recipe for long term survival.

    But it's a good point. A part can be extreme but balanced out in the whole.

    Closer to home, on the human level, when we look at what humans need to flourish, we find multiple conflicting.

    And there is a more fundamental issue here. Humans experience states in contrast to their opposites.

    So he who would eliminate pain, would eliminate pleasure. Nietzsche once wrote that he who wills maximum pleasure, wills maximum pain.

    So striving for a one-sided extreme state - "heaven" - is ultimately incoherent.

    This insight is at the toot of Taoism and Buddhism.

    However, in the "total economy" of life, short-term extremism may well be a good strategy, to balance out and counter an extreme aspect of ones environment.

    For instance, in an apocalyptic scenario, a balanced life is impossible.

    But long term, ultimate, extremism, is necessarily incoherent - without contrast, the sought after state cannot sustain itself. It literally depends for it's continued existence on contrast with it's opposite state.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  55. 216 says: • Website
    @Mario Partisan
    @Caspar von Everec

    If it mystifies you that the “US hasn’t invaded and destroyed Iran already,” it would help to try and think of reasons why it hasn’t as opposed to reasons why it could. “The US establishment is too feminine and risk averse” is not a thoughtful answer.

    In making decisions one has to ask “what are the benefits and what are the costs; do the former outweigh the latter?” The fact that the Iran war has not happened yet suggests that even back in 2005 the costs outweighed the benefits. All of your talk about how the US could bomb Iran back to the stone age does not demonstrate that it benefits the US to do so. The US could do the same to Norway, why hasn’t it? For that matter, I could bash myself in the head with a hammer, but why would I?

    Now, your question reminds me of Gen. Clark’s comments regarding the “7 regimes in 5 years” talk he gave. He says he had received a memo and that it said the Bush admin, back in 2002/2003 had made the decision to execute regime change ops in the following countries: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and finally, Iran. In some form or another an attempt has been made on each of these countries save for a military assault on Iran.

    Something to keep in mind is that changing a regime requires boots on the ground. You can totally destroy a country’s infrastructure with air power, but that does not induce regime change in your favor. It does not, by itself, turn that state into a client. It just leaves a power vacuum that other forces can fill.

    Now, the US obviously has a powerful military, but that military exists to maintain a global imperial presence and is thus in many ways stretched thin, and a large commitment on any front takes forces away from other fronts. That is why Bush wanted to do the war in stages: hit Iraq, quickly set up a client regime, next…but once in Iraq, the neocons realized they had bitten off more than they could chew.



    In overthrowing Saddam Hussein, using the rhetoric of Human Rights Freedom Democracy, the US found itself grappling not just with a Sunni insurgency, but with the dilemma of handing the government to a coalition of Iran-aligned Shia parties that it was ostensibly on the side of. The US was already having a hard time dealing with the Sunni insurgency; starting a bombing campaign against neighboring Iran would have caused the new Shia government to join that insurgency. In short, part of the reason for no Iran war was that the Bush admin was technically an ally of Iran’s Iraqi friends and was attempting a balancing act. In the end, Bush and Obama ended the Iraq war not having achieved their aims politically, namely a US client sitting in Baghdad. Keep in mind, that since the US killed the Iranian general in Jan 2020, government-aligned Iraqi militias have been conducting routine IED and rocket attacks against US military convoys and bases. The US is essentially in a low intensity war with the Iraqi government right now.

    Now, you allege that China and Russia would abandon Iran, but I am not so sure. To be sure, Russia has not abandoned Syria. Also, there are other ways that these countries could retaliate – dropping the dollar, China cutting the US off from critical parts and products that it exports to the US, shutting off the gas to Europe. Also, you are only considering China and Russia, but what about other countries? The ME wars have been bad enough for the US reputation around the world, could you imagine if the US started carpet bombing Iran (for what reason?) and starving the people to death? The rest of the world would rightly conclude that the US was a genocidal terror state that had completely lost its marbles and conclude that something had to be done or they could be next. In short, the US would win a charred and hollowed out Persia and lose its empire. Also, China is a major importer of Iranian oil and would rightly see an attack on Iran as an attack on its national security interests.

    And how can I forget the blocking of the Hormuz straits and massive oil price shock bringing untold economic consequences throughout the world.

    In short, Washington is constrained by a number of factors ranging from military man power; economic, industrial and financial dependence on China; it’s Human Rights Freedom Democracy image (soft power); and the contradictions of its own imperial escapades. Moreover, on top of all these risks, what are the real benefits? What is to be gained? I can’t think of a single thing other than Israel and Israel firsters getting their blood lust on. And they don’t need to attack Iran for that – they can just bomb kids in Gaza.

    Replies: @216

    Moreover, on top of all these risks, what are the real benefits? What is to be gained? I can’t think of a single thing other than Israel and Israel firsters getting their blood lust on. And they don’t need to attack Iran for that – they can just bomb kids in Gaza.

    Iran and North Korea are states ideologically founded on being Anti-America. No matter how conciliatory US policy can be, the system prevents them from moderating their own stances.

    The only way for the US to be at peace with the Kim Dynasty would be to abandon South Korea and have the peninsula united under the dictatorship. And the only way for the US to be at peace with the IRI would be conversion to Twelver Shia Islam and becoming an Iranian client state.

    The regimes have expansionist and ideological goals that are irreconcilable with the existence of neighboring states and with the existence of the US as a single entity. Either the regimes die, or they will inevitably start another war of expansion.

    I’m not arguing for a preemptive strike here, but I am arguing for continued sanctions and ideological subversion. I don’t exactly hope for a regime change that results in Western client states, but rather a less authoritarian regime that remains pro-China while abandoning the ideological Anti-American stance.

    • Replies: @Mario Partisan
    @216

    Interesting take. On a completely unrelated note, here is a concept you might want to familiarize yourself with. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

  56. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB

    I am not using any vantage point at all; I simply indicate what functions.


    Can mitochondria survive outside of a cell – is mitochondria providing a service in exchange for a hospitable living environment in a system of mutual inter-dependence?

     

    No, but neither can cattle nor wheat after selective breeding by humans. The conclusion is not too difficult to extrapolate. Multicell life ultimately creates dependencies, limits choices in the cells, and kills unexpected alterations(cancers).

    Are extinct designs those that over-emphasized certain qualities at the expense of balance?
     
    It would seem that the easiest way for the pre-Cambian animals to go extinct is to not adopt the fins, tails, shells or claws: aka, the new bilateral animals with specialized cells and vastly more capabilities, both evasive and aggressive.

    They became sources of energy. A similar argument has been used as "macroparasites" of empires such that Rome that took slaves from neighbors to fund their own economic efforts(especially mining, which was often invariably lethal). The slaves became sources of energy.

    Entire Y-lineages have been extincted, its a common theme.


    All those extinct predators seem to have one common characteristic compared to current predators – they were much more deadly.
     
    Eh, mostly they were bigger and then the environment reduced in total amount of available energy. They were adapted to their prior environment, they were not adapted to the alteration in environment. Another common factor was simply the rise of a new, even more effective predator: humans.

    The word “centralization” appears not to be an objective description but merely to indicate the vantage point from which one is looking.

     

    Its not really vantage, its simply an observation of what is: muscle cells rely on timing and action information from neurons, ventral stream for vision provides categorization, recognition and description, etc.

    There are quite a few examples of decentralized communication(quorum sensing in bacteria, etc), but ultimately increasing cooperation is, of course, dependent on common standards(even for bacteria). Deviations that survive enforcement mostly lead to cancer, which isn't good for the entire host obviously. Miscommunication, etc, even in primitive quorum sensing bacteria likely lead to harm for the entire colony.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @AaronB

    I am not using any vantage point at all; I simply indicate what functions.

    But you are assigning roles to the different parts of a functioning system.

    A point is only a “center” from a particular other point. From another point, the “center” becomes a periphery.

    No, but neither can cattle nor wheat after selective breeding by humans. The conclusion is not too difficult to extrapolate. Multicell life ultimately creates dependencies, limits choices in the cells, and kills unexpected alterations(cancers).

    Sure, but this describes interdependence.

    It’s the like the old question of a dog owner picking up poop – who exactly is the pet 🙂

    It would seem that the easiest way for the pre-Cambian animals to go extinct is to not adopt the fins, tails, shells or claws: aka, the new bilateral animals with specialized cells and vastly more capabilities, both evasive and aggressive

    Sure, not being lethal enough is probably as bad as being too lethal.

    They became sources of energy. A similar argument has been used as “macroparasites” of empires such that Rome that took slaves from neighbors to fund their own economic efforts(especially mining, which was often invariably lethal). The slaves became sources of energy.

    Entire Y-lineages have been extincted, its a common theme.

    Rome did not survive long term. It used up it’s sources of energy.

    Moreover, the sources of energy eventually took over Rome. By the time of the empire, over 90% of the population of Rome was from the East.

    What began as an exploitative relationship, ended as a a reverse exploitation- or better put, a system of interdependence.

    Hegel pointed out that the master eventually becomes dependent on the slave and in a sense, ends up less free than his slave.

    Those who seek to exploit others, end up being made fools of. But nature is more benign than it sounds, and a gentler way of putting this is that the would be exploiter finds himself enmeshed in a system of interdependence.

    Entire Y-lineages have been extincted, its a common theme.

    For sure, my argument is not that everything survives.

    Eh, mostly they were bigger and then the environment reduced in total amount of available energy. They were adapted to their prior environment, they were not adapted to the alteration in environment. Another common factor was simply the rise of a new, even more effective predator: humans.

    Yes, they had achieved “balance” with respect to one particular environment only.

    If humans want to survive long term changes in environment – do they? – they might strive to apply the principle of balance as environments change.

    This can be a cautionary tale.

    Its not really vantage, its simply an observation of what is: muscle cells rely on timing and action information from neurons, ventral stream for vision provides categorization, recognition and description, etc.

    I would describe this as a system of interdependence in which each piece plays it’s part in the larger harmony.

    There are quite a few examples of decentralized communication(quorum sensing in bacteria, etc), but ultimately increasing cooperation is, of course, dependent on common standards(even for bacteria). Deviations that survive enforcement mostly lead to cancer, which isn’t good for the entire host obviously. Miscommunication, etc, even in primitive quorum sensing bacteria likely lead to harm for the entire colony.

    Clearly, every part has to contribute to the larger harmony. Deviations that stray too far from that are obviously deleterious.

    I am not advocating complete chaos; violent criminals, for instance, should not be tolerated.

    But to enforce too narrow a “common standard” is to harm the greater harmony.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    But you are assigning roles to the different parts of a functioning system.

     

    This is not a statement of valuation or semantics; this is a statement of mechanics which your comprehension has apparently failed to grasp. The nervous signal generates an impulse which causes coordinated muscle contractions; the vice versa is not true.

    This is centralized in that the "motive force" is from another organ, which is the brain. Such a thing is necessary since the sensory organs such as eyes do not have direct input to the muscles, and therefore the information received cannot be used to enable motor movements without the central organ of the brain. The brain in this role serves as a central hub.

    Rome did not survive long term. It used up it’s sources of energy.
     
    A ridiculous statement: you are writing with a Latinized language right now.

    Rome survived quite a bit longer than the nations it attacked - its genetic, cultural and legal legacy remain with us to this day. The Visigoths have much less of a legacy; the Frankish successors under Charlemange were Romanized.

    Hegel pointed out that the master eventually becomes dependent on the slave and in a sense, ends up less free than his slave.
     
    Yeah, likewise so have chickens, cows and cereals become our masters. Perhaps you should learn to apply proverbs with a little more care.

    I would describe this as a system of interdependence in which each piece plays it’s part in the larger harmony.

     

    Ah yes, I'm sure the moral failings of ancient bacteria in your "system without good or evil" is why they went extinct en masse, rather than cynobacteria poisoning the world with oxygen.

    Typical meaningless incoherence. If you had a bit of creativity, you might vaguely realize that not only is your argument pretty bunk, but that you could rather extensively notice the very opposite is true. But that would be crediting you with either knowledge or creativity as a quality that you have, rather than one that you talk about.

    Replies: @AaronB, @AaronB

  57. 216 says: • Website
    @Daniel Chieh
    @Caspar von Everec


    An allied air campaign almost single handedly defeated Serbia in 1999. Iraq 2003 is another example of an army simply dissolving in the face of a superior air force. US air power also overthrew Gaddafi in 2011.

     

    Its possible, but requires an overwhelming advantage in resources, time and friendly territory surrounding the target: such an equivalency as to past overwhelming advantage against isolated dictators is not as evident versus Iran.

    Replies: @216

    A land invasion of Iran is difficult from the South and West. But it is less so from the East, and easiest (though still difficult) from the North.

    It’s not as well known, but Russia did allow the US to transit supplies en route to Afghanistan through their territory.

    So while it would take a major geopolitical shift, the US could take the easier route via a transit through Russia and a buildup in Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. This makes a quicker route to Tehran, the capture of which ends the regime as an entity. Whatever insurgency remains would be difficult to supply, even if it had Pakistani patronage. (Presumably Sunni Baluchs would not assist in smuggling to a radical Shia insurgency, as the new puppet government would almost certainly grant more autonomy).

    An invasion from the South that just stuck to occupying the coastal region where the oil is produced has the advantage of being logistically simple, and the US could install an MEK puppet regime a la Taiwan. While the US could not logistically conquer the interior, the loss of oil revenue would gradually weaken the regime to the point they would either collapse or seek a negotiated settlement.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @216


    So while it would take a major geopolitical shift, the US could take the easier route via a transit through Russia and a buildup in Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. This makes a quicker route to Tehran, the capture of which ends the regime as an entity.
     
    Well, yes, I would agree that in such a scenario, this would work pretty well. I don't think it would even necessitate a land invasion: sufficient air attacks would probably destabilize the nation: In such a scenario, Russia probably isn't assisting their anti-air efforts either.

    However, I think that part of the strength of the regime is that Iran isn't completely isolated, so a large part of its continued viability is the fact that it is unlikely to face an attack from that direction.
  58. @Daniel Chieh
    @Daniel Chieh

    I should note that the notion of balance is really quite meaningless in a way.

    "Extremes" are often valuable, especially if it permits the entry into a niche that competitors can't enter: there's nothing particularly balanced about sulfer-reducing bacteria in the abyss or the various extremophiles in existence. There's no "balanced" way to consume mercury for an organism. Cyanobacteria proceeded to wipe out most of the world's life with the Great Oxygenation Event. Parasites tend to lower the survival odds of their hosts, or just kill them afterward, but not without reproducing itself.

    https://youtu.be/qERdL8uHSgI

    At the same time, "balanced" creatures rapidly were out of sync once an ice age hit and reduced the total energy flow, or if pigs arrive on the island and destroy all of the bird nests.

    Replies: @AaronB

    Organisms that cannot adapt to a new environment, are, in a larger sense, unbalanced with respect to the total possible number of environments – they are specialists.

    That’s not a recipe for long term survival.

    But it’s a good point. A part can be extreme but balanced out in the whole.

    Closer to home, on the human level, when we look at what humans need to flourish, we find multiple conflicting.

    And there is a more fundamental issue here. Humans experience states in contrast to their opposites.

    So he who would eliminate pain, would eliminate pleasure. Nietzsche once wrote that he who wills maximum pleasure, wills maximum pain.

    So striving for a one-sided extreme state – “heaven” – is ultimately incoherent.

    This insight is at the toot of Taoism and Buddhism.

    However, in the “total economy” of life, short-term extremism may well be a good strategy, to balance out and counter an extreme aspect of ones environment.

    For instance, in an apocalyptic scenario, a balanced life is impossible.

    But long term, ultimate, extremism, is necessarily incoherent – without contrast, the sought after state cannot sustain itself. It literally depends for it’s continued existence on contrast with it’s opposite state.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB

    A human being(an extremely complex lifeform composed of specialized organs) is using his brain(not merely a complex organ, but one of the most extremely complex organs in the entire animal world) to type out words(an extreme offshoot of verbal language, itself an artifact of extremely complex cognitive-cultural interaction) on a keypad either of plastic(a complex, completely artificial descendant of extreme human chemical engineering) or on temperature-sensitive glass(as before, but even more complex) over the internet(an extreme abstraction of networked information, created completely from extremely specialized material and cultural engineering) about how extremism is nonviable.

    There's also electricity involved in here, but that's very simple and balanced because let's just arbitrarily say it is so.

    Yeah, this sounds promising.

  59. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    I am not using any vantage point at all; I simply indicate what functions.
     
    But you are assigning roles to the different parts of a functioning system.

    A point is only a "center" from a particular other point. From another point, the "center" becomes a periphery.


    No, but neither can cattle nor wheat after selective breeding by humans. The conclusion is not too difficult to extrapolate. Multicell life ultimately creates dependencies, limits choices in the cells, and kills unexpected alterations(cancers).
     
    Sure, but this describes interdependence.

    It's the like the old question of a dog owner picking up poop - who exactly is the pet :)


    It would seem that the easiest way for the pre-Cambian animals to go extinct is to not adopt the fins, tails, shells or claws: aka, the new bilateral animals with specialized cells and vastly more capabilities, both evasive and aggressive
     
    Sure, not being lethal enough is probably as bad as being too lethal.

    They became sources of energy. A similar argument has been used as “macroparasites” of empires such that Rome that took slaves from neighbors to fund their own economic efforts(especially mining, which was often invariably lethal). The slaves became sources of energy.

    Entire Y-lineages have been extincted, its a common theme.
     

    Rome did not survive long term. It used up it's sources of energy.

    Moreover, the sources of energy eventually took over Rome. By the time of the empire, over 90% of the population of Rome was from the East.

    What began as an exploitative relationship, ended as a a reverse exploitation- or better put, a system of interdependence.

    Hegel pointed out that the master eventually becomes dependent on the slave and in a sense, ends up less free than his slave.

    Those who seek to exploit others, end up being made fools of. But nature is more benign than it sounds, and a gentler way of putting this is that the would be exploiter finds himself enmeshed in a system of interdependence.


    Entire Y-lineages have been extincted, its a common theme.
     
    For sure, my argument is not that everything survives.

    Eh, mostly they were bigger and then the environment reduced in total amount of available energy. They were adapted to their prior environment, they were not adapted to the alteration in environment. Another common factor was simply the rise of a new, even more effective predator: humans.
     
    Yes, they had achieved "balance" with respect to one particular environment only.

    If humans want to survive long term changes in environment - do they? - they might strive to apply the principle of balance as environments change.

    This can be a cautionary tale.


    Its not really vantage, its simply an observation of what is: muscle cells rely on timing and action information from neurons, ventral stream for vision provides categorization, recognition and description, etc.
     
    I would describe this as a system of interdependence in which each piece plays it's part in the larger harmony.

    There are quite a few examples of decentralized communication(quorum sensing in bacteria, etc), but ultimately increasing cooperation is, of course, dependent on common standards(even for bacteria). Deviations that survive enforcement mostly lead to cancer, which isn’t good for the entire host obviously. Miscommunication, etc, even in primitive quorum sensing bacteria likely lead to harm for the entire colony.
     
    Clearly, every part has to contribute to the larger harmony. Deviations that stray too far from that are obviously deleterious.

    I am not advocating complete chaos; violent criminals, for instance, should not be tolerated.

    But to enforce too narrow a "common standard" is to harm the greater harmony.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    But you are assigning roles to the different parts of a functioning system.

    This is not a statement of valuation or semantics; this is a statement of mechanics which your comprehension has apparently failed to grasp. The nervous signal generates an impulse which causes coordinated muscle contractions; the vice versa is not true.

    This is centralized in that the “motive force” is from another organ, which is the brain. Such a thing is necessary since the sensory organs such as eyes do not have direct input to the muscles, and therefore the information received cannot be used to enable motor movements without the central organ of the brain. The brain in this role serves as a central hub.

    Rome did not survive long term. It used up it’s sources of energy.

    A ridiculous statement: you are writing with a Latinized language right now.

    Rome survived quite a bit longer than the nations it attacked – its genetic, cultural and legal legacy remain with us to this day. The Visigoths have much less of a legacy; the Frankish successors under Charlemange were Romanized.

    Hegel pointed out that the master eventually becomes dependent on the slave and in a sense, ends up less free than his slave.

    Yeah, likewise so have chickens, cows and cereals become our masters. Perhaps you should learn to apply proverbs with a little more care.

    I would describe this as a system of interdependence in which each piece plays it’s part in the larger harmony.

    Ah yes, I’m sure the moral failings of ancient bacteria in your “system without good or evil” is why they went extinct en masse, rather than cynobacteria poisoning the world with oxygen.

    Typical meaningless incoherence. If you had a bit of creativity, you might vaguely realize that not only is your argument pretty bunk, but that you could rather extensively notice the very opposite is true. But that would be crediting you with either knowledge or creativity as a quality that you have, rather than one that you talk about.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    The nervous signal generates an impulse which causes coordinated muscle contractions; the vice versa is not true.

    This is centralized in that the “motive force” is from another organ, which is the brain. Such a thing is necessary since the sensory organs such as eyes do not have direct input to the muscles, and therefore the information received cannot be used to enable motor movements without the central organ of the brain. The brain in this role serves as a central hub.
     

    So for a given output "motion", eye, brain, and muscle are all necessary - brain without eye is useless, eye without brain is useless, muscle without brain is useless, etc.

    This seamless unit, you are artificially dividing and assigning a "central" role to one of these arbitrary divisions.

    But one can just as easily view the eye as the "motive force", or the muscle.

    All you know is that we have a sequence of events - a nerve signal originating in the eye and passing through the brain and into the muscle.

    Any one of those three parts can be viewed as the motive force, and moreover, the divisions themselves are arbitrary.

    This goes back to Hume's demonstration that one cannot prove causality. People thought it "obvious" that one billiard ball hitting another provides the "motive force", but Hume demonstrated that all we see is a sequence of events.

    Kant later showed that the concept "motive force" has no objective validity - it is a "category" the human mind imposes on sense data, that cannot be derived from sense data.

    It is possible to see events as occuring as one seamless unit, without artificial seperation into "cause" and "effect".

    I think you are operating from a pre-18th century mentality that has not integrated philosophical developments into it's world view. The man who despises philosophy is doomed to repeat it's mistakes.


    A ridiculous statement: you are writing with a Latinized language right now.

    Rome survived quite a bit longer than the nations it attacked – its genetic, cultural and legal legacy remain with us to this day. The Visigoths have much less of a legacy; the Frankish successors under Charlemange were Romanized.
     

    Doesn't the Latin alphabet come from the Phoenician?

    Anyways, I am hardly saying the Romans "got everything wrong".

    We should avoid their mistakes and adopt what they got right.


    Yeah, likewise so have chickens, cows and cereals become our masters. Perhaps you should learn to apply proverbs with a little more care
     
    .

    Human beings are responsible for an explosion in the population of these species, and expend tremendous effort in looking after their welfare.

    From an evolutionary standpoint, cows and chickens have managed to harness humans as an energy source to an astonishing extent, which has allowed their species to proliferate beyond anything they could have achieved without their human energy sources.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    , @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    The interesting thing about your mentality is that you refuse to go "meta" and actually analyze your own thought processes, as Hume, Kant, etc did in the great European philosophical tradition.

    You have the common sense "naive" belief in "causality", and you believe that the mental categories we impose on sense data, which have been shown to not be derived from sense data itself, are "objective" - i.e, "out there", when in fact they are in our own minds.

    The intellectual leg work for this has been done - but for all your intelligence, you don't enrich your thinking with it.

    And by not going "meta", you cannot see your perspective from the outside, as a perspective, but as "out there".

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  60. @216
    @Mario Partisan


    Moreover, on top of all these risks, what are the real benefits? What is to be gained? I can’t think of a single thing other than Israel and Israel firsters getting their blood lust on. And they don’t need to attack Iran for that – they can just bomb kids in Gaza.
     
    Iran and North Korea are states ideologically founded on being Anti-America. No matter how conciliatory US policy can be, the system prevents them from moderating their own stances.

    The only way for the US to be at peace with the Kim Dynasty would be to abandon South Korea and have the peninsula united under the dictatorship. And the only way for the US to be at peace with the IRI would be conversion to Twelver Shia Islam and becoming an Iranian client state.

    The regimes have expansionist and ideological goals that are irreconcilable with the existence of neighboring states and with the existence of the US as a single entity. Either the regimes die, or they will inevitably start another war of expansion.

    I'm not arguing for a preemptive strike here, but I am arguing for continued sanctions and ideological subversion. I don't exactly hope for a regime change that results in Western client states, but rather a less authoritarian regime that remains pro-China while abandoning the ideological Anti-American stance.

    Replies: @Mario Partisan

    Interesting take. On a completely unrelated note, here is a concept you might want to familiarize yourself with. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

  61. @216
    @Daniel Chieh

    A land invasion of Iran is difficult from the South and West. But it is less so from the East, and easiest (though still difficult) from the North.

    It's not as well known, but Russia did allow the US to transit supplies en route to Afghanistan through their territory.

    So while it would take a major geopolitical shift, the US could take the easier route via a transit through Russia and a buildup in Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. This makes a quicker route to Tehran, the capture of which ends the regime as an entity. Whatever insurgency remains would be difficult to supply, even if it had Pakistani patronage. (Presumably Sunni Baluchs would not assist in smuggling to a radical Shia insurgency, as the new puppet government would almost certainly grant more autonomy).

    An invasion from the South that just stuck to occupying the coastal region where the oil is produced has the advantage of being logistically simple, and the US could install an MEK puppet regime a la Taiwan. While the US could not logistically conquer the interior, the loss of oil revenue would gradually weaken the regime to the point they would either collapse or seek a negotiated settlement.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    So while it would take a major geopolitical shift, the US could take the easier route via a transit through Russia and a buildup in Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. This makes a quicker route to Tehran, the capture of which ends the regime as an entity.

    Well, yes, I would agree that in such a scenario, this would work pretty well. I don’t think it would even necessitate a land invasion: sufficient air attacks would probably destabilize the nation: In such a scenario, Russia probably isn’t assisting their anti-air efforts either.

    However, I think that part of the strength of the regime is that Iran isn’t completely isolated, so a large part of its continued viability is the fact that it is unlikely to face an attack from that direction.

  62. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    But you are assigning roles to the different parts of a functioning system.

     

    This is not a statement of valuation or semantics; this is a statement of mechanics which your comprehension has apparently failed to grasp. The nervous signal generates an impulse which causes coordinated muscle contractions; the vice versa is not true.

    This is centralized in that the "motive force" is from another organ, which is the brain. Such a thing is necessary since the sensory organs such as eyes do not have direct input to the muscles, and therefore the information received cannot be used to enable motor movements without the central organ of the brain. The brain in this role serves as a central hub.

    Rome did not survive long term. It used up it’s sources of energy.
     
    A ridiculous statement: you are writing with a Latinized language right now.

    Rome survived quite a bit longer than the nations it attacked - its genetic, cultural and legal legacy remain with us to this day. The Visigoths have much less of a legacy; the Frankish successors under Charlemange were Romanized.

    Hegel pointed out that the master eventually becomes dependent on the slave and in a sense, ends up less free than his slave.
     
    Yeah, likewise so have chickens, cows and cereals become our masters. Perhaps you should learn to apply proverbs with a little more care.

    I would describe this as a system of interdependence in which each piece plays it’s part in the larger harmony.

     

    Ah yes, I'm sure the moral failings of ancient bacteria in your "system without good or evil" is why they went extinct en masse, rather than cynobacteria poisoning the world with oxygen.

    Typical meaningless incoherence. If you had a bit of creativity, you might vaguely realize that not only is your argument pretty bunk, but that you could rather extensively notice the very opposite is true. But that would be crediting you with either knowledge or creativity as a quality that you have, rather than one that you talk about.

    Replies: @AaronB, @AaronB

    The nervous signal generates an impulse which causes coordinated muscle contractions; the vice versa is not true.

    This is centralized in that the “motive force” is from another organ, which is the brain. Such a thing is necessary since the sensory organs such as eyes do not have direct input to the muscles, and therefore the information received cannot be used to enable motor movements without the central organ of the brain. The brain in this role serves as a central hub.

    So for a given output “motion”, eye, brain, and muscle are all necessary – brain without eye is useless, eye without brain is useless, muscle without brain is useless, etc.

    This seamless unit, you are artificially dividing and assigning a “central” role to one of these arbitrary divisions.

    But one can just as easily view the eye as the “motive force”, or the muscle.

    All you know is that we have a sequence of events – a nerve signal originating in the eye and passing through the brain and into the muscle.

    Any one of those three parts can be viewed as the motive force, and moreover, the divisions themselves are arbitrary.

    This goes back to Hume’s demonstration that one cannot prove causality. People thought it “obvious” that one billiard ball hitting another provides the “motive force”, but Hume demonstrated that all we see is a sequence of events.

    Kant later showed that the concept “motive force” has no objective validity – it is a “category” the human mind imposes on sense data, that cannot be derived from sense data.

    It is possible to see events as occuring as one seamless unit, without artificial seperation into “cause” and “effect”.

    I think you are operating from a pre-18th century mentality that has not integrated philosophical developments into it’s world view. The man who despises philosophy is doomed to repeat it’s mistakes.

    A ridiculous statement: you are writing with a Latinized language right now.

    Rome survived quite a bit longer than the nations it attacked – its genetic, cultural and legal legacy remain with us to this day. The Visigoths have much less of a legacy; the Frankish successors under Charlemange were Romanized.

    Doesn’t the Latin alphabet come from the Phoenician?

    Anyways, I am hardly saying the Romans “got everything wrong”.

    We should avoid their mistakes and adopt what they got right.

    Yeah, likewise so have chickens, cows and cereals become our masters. Perhaps you should learn to apply proverbs with a little more care

    .

    Human beings are responsible for an explosion in the population of these species, and expend tremendous effort in looking after their welfare.

    From an evolutionary standpoint, cows and chickens have managed to harness humans as an energy source to an astonishing extent, which has allowed their species to proliferate beyond anything they could have achieved without their human energy sources.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    But one can just as easily view the eye as the “motive force”, or the muscle.

     

    Sure. I'm sure that you can operate just as easily without a brain as you can without an eye.

    Please do make the attempt.

    I think you are operating from a pre-18th century mentality that has not integrated philosophical developments into it’s world view.
     
    I think you are operating from a pre-21st century mentality that has not integrated any research into neuroscience into your awareness. I recommend Delgrado, Goodale/Milner, R. G. Heath, Hillel Chiel and Randy Beer for starters.

    Its not very useful if you're only interested in justifying your own cognitive issues, of course.

    Human beings are responsible for an explosion in the population of these species, and expend tremendous effort in looking after their welfare.

     

    In the sense that they benefit in increased biomass, yes and I've not had any objection to the notion of greater complexity being more competitive. But it is silly to think that they have "mastery" in any part of the relationship: much like any other prey animal, they can go extinct(or become boutique) whenever they lose their purpose and they certainly are made dependent over time.

    https://i.redd.it/rfxlhjb7ple51.jpg

    Its all great, I'm actually really supportive of the idea of the superorganism and have written quite significantly on it, but it all is maintained by, yes, control. There's nothing mysterious about that.

    Replies: @AaronB

  63. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    Organisms that cannot adapt to a new environment, are, in a larger sense, unbalanced with respect to the total possible number of environments - they are specialists.

    That's not a recipe for long term survival.

    But it's a good point. A part can be extreme but balanced out in the whole.

    Closer to home, on the human level, when we look at what humans need to flourish, we find multiple conflicting.

    And there is a more fundamental issue here. Humans experience states in contrast to their opposites.

    So he who would eliminate pain, would eliminate pleasure. Nietzsche once wrote that he who wills maximum pleasure, wills maximum pain.

    So striving for a one-sided extreme state - "heaven" - is ultimately incoherent.

    This insight is at the toot of Taoism and Buddhism.

    However, in the "total economy" of life, short-term extremism may well be a good strategy, to balance out and counter an extreme aspect of ones environment.

    For instance, in an apocalyptic scenario, a balanced life is impossible.

    But long term, ultimate, extremism, is necessarily incoherent - without contrast, the sought after state cannot sustain itself. It literally depends for it's continued existence on contrast with it's opposite state.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    A human being(an extremely complex lifeform composed of specialized organs) is using his brain(not merely a complex organ, but one of the most extremely complex organs in the entire animal world) to type out words(an extreme offshoot of verbal language, itself an artifact of extremely complex cognitive-cultural interaction) on a keypad either of plastic(a complex, completely artificial descendant of extreme human chemical engineering) or on temperature-sensitive glass(as before, but even more complex) over the internet(an extreme abstraction of networked information, created completely from extremely specialized material and cultural engineering) about how extremism is nonviable.

    There’s also electricity involved in here, but that’s very simple and balanced because let’s just arbitrarily say it is so.

    Yeah, this sounds promising.

  64. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    But you are assigning roles to the different parts of a functioning system.

     

    This is not a statement of valuation or semantics; this is a statement of mechanics which your comprehension has apparently failed to grasp. The nervous signal generates an impulse which causes coordinated muscle contractions; the vice versa is not true.

    This is centralized in that the "motive force" is from another organ, which is the brain. Such a thing is necessary since the sensory organs such as eyes do not have direct input to the muscles, and therefore the information received cannot be used to enable motor movements without the central organ of the brain. The brain in this role serves as a central hub.

    Rome did not survive long term. It used up it’s sources of energy.
     
    A ridiculous statement: you are writing with a Latinized language right now.

    Rome survived quite a bit longer than the nations it attacked - its genetic, cultural and legal legacy remain with us to this day. The Visigoths have much less of a legacy; the Frankish successors under Charlemange were Romanized.

    Hegel pointed out that the master eventually becomes dependent on the slave and in a sense, ends up less free than his slave.
     
    Yeah, likewise so have chickens, cows and cereals become our masters. Perhaps you should learn to apply proverbs with a little more care.

    I would describe this as a system of interdependence in which each piece plays it’s part in the larger harmony.

     

    Ah yes, I'm sure the moral failings of ancient bacteria in your "system without good or evil" is why they went extinct en masse, rather than cynobacteria poisoning the world with oxygen.

    Typical meaningless incoherence. If you had a bit of creativity, you might vaguely realize that not only is your argument pretty bunk, but that you could rather extensively notice the very opposite is true. But that would be crediting you with either knowledge or creativity as a quality that you have, rather than one that you talk about.

    Replies: @AaronB, @AaronB

    The interesting thing about your mentality is that you refuse to go “meta” and actually analyze your own thought processes, as Hume, Kant, etc did in the great European philosophical tradition.

    You have the common sense “naive” belief in “causality”, and you believe that the mental categories we impose on sense data, which have been shown to not be derived from sense data itself, are “objective” – i.e, “out there”, when in fact they are in our own minds.

    The intellectual leg work for this has been done – but for all your intelligence, you don’t enrich your thinking with it.

    And by not going “meta”, you cannot see your perspective from the outside, as a perspective, but as “out there”.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB

    Repeating magic words doesn't make solipsism any less boring.

    Although the fact that you think I believe in naive realism is truly, truly hilarious to anyone who has more than a faint acquaintance with me, some who post on this blog.

    It is because of such knowledge, not in spite of such knowledge, that I dismisses a lot of ramblings. Imagine that.

  65. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    The interesting thing about your mentality is that you refuse to go "meta" and actually analyze your own thought processes, as Hume, Kant, etc did in the great European philosophical tradition.

    You have the common sense "naive" belief in "causality", and you believe that the mental categories we impose on sense data, which have been shown to not be derived from sense data itself, are "objective" - i.e, "out there", when in fact they are in our own minds.

    The intellectual leg work for this has been done - but for all your intelligence, you don't enrich your thinking with it.

    And by not going "meta", you cannot see your perspective from the outside, as a perspective, but as "out there".

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Repeating magic words doesn’t make solipsism any less boring.

    Although the fact that you think I believe in naive realism is truly, truly hilarious to anyone who has more than a faint acquaintance with me, some who post on this blog.

    It is because of such knowledge, not in spite of such knowledge, that I dismisses a lot of ramblings. Imagine that.

  66. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    The nervous signal generates an impulse which causes coordinated muscle contractions; the vice versa is not true.

    This is centralized in that the “motive force” is from another organ, which is the brain. Such a thing is necessary since the sensory organs such as eyes do not have direct input to the muscles, and therefore the information received cannot be used to enable motor movements without the central organ of the brain. The brain in this role serves as a central hub.
     

    So for a given output "motion", eye, brain, and muscle are all necessary - brain without eye is useless, eye without brain is useless, muscle without brain is useless, etc.

    This seamless unit, you are artificially dividing and assigning a "central" role to one of these arbitrary divisions.

    But one can just as easily view the eye as the "motive force", or the muscle.

    All you know is that we have a sequence of events - a nerve signal originating in the eye and passing through the brain and into the muscle.

    Any one of those three parts can be viewed as the motive force, and moreover, the divisions themselves are arbitrary.

    This goes back to Hume's demonstration that one cannot prove causality. People thought it "obvious" that one billiard ball hitting another provides the "motive force", but Hume demonstrated that all we see is a sequence of events.

    Kant later showed that the concept "motive force" has no objective validity - it is a "category" the human mind imposes on sense data, that cannot be derived from sense data.

    It is possible to see events as occuring as one seamless unit, without artificial seperation into "cause" and "effect".

    I think you are operating from a pre-18th century mentality that has not integrated philosophical developments into it's world view. The man who despises philosophy is doomed to repeat it's mistakes.


    A ridiculous statement: you are writing with a Latinized language right now.

    Rome survived quite a bit longer than the nations it attacked – its genetic, cultural and legal legacy remain with us to this day. The Visigoths have much less of a legacy; the Frankish successors under Charlemange were Romanized.
     

    Doesn't the Latin alphabet come from the Phoenician?

    Anyways, I am hardly saying the Romans "got everything wrong".

    We should avoid their mistakes and adopt what they got right.


    Yeah, likewise so have chickens, cows and cereals become our masters. Perhaps you should learn to apply proverbs with a little more care
     
    .

    Human beings are responsible for an explosion in the population of these species, and expend tremendous effort in looking after their welfare.

    From an evolutionary standpoint, cows and chickens have managed to harness humans as an energy source to an astonishing extent, which has allowed their species to proliferate beyond anything they could have achieved without their human energy sources.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    But one can just as easily view the eye as the “motive force”, or the muscle.

    Sure. I’m sure that you can operate just as easily without a brain as you can without an eye.

    Please do make the attempt.

    I think you are operating from a pre-18th century mentality that has not integrated philosophical developments into it’s world view.

    I think you are operating from a pre-21st century mentality that has not integrated any research into neuroscience into your awareness. I recommend Delgrado, Goodale/Milner, R. G. Heath, Hillel Chiel and Randy Beer for starters.

    Its not very useful if you’re only interested in justifying your own cognitive issues, of course.

    Human beings are responsible for an explosion in the population of these species, and expend tremendous effort in looking after their welfare.

    In the sense that they benefit in increased biomass, yes and I’ve not had any objection to the notion of greater complexity being more competitive. But it is silly to think that they have “mastery” in any part of the relationship: much like any other prey animal, they can go extinct(or become boutique) whenever they lose their purpose and they certainly are made dependent over time.

    Its all great, I’m actually really supportive of the idea of the superorganism and have written quite significantly on it, but it all is maintained by, yes, control. There’s nothing mysterious about that.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    Sure. I’m sure that you can operate just as easily without a brain as you can without an eye.
     
    There actually is a case of a guy without a brain who lives just fine, making the world stranger than we think :)

    But it is silly to think that they have “mastery” in any part of the relationship: much like any other prey animal, they can go extinct(or become boutique) whenever they lose their purpose and they certainly are made dependent over time
     
    .

    I think you are simply not yet prepared to accept that we are as much slaves as masters in our relationship with chickens and cows :)

    It is too radical for you at this time.

    Its all great, I’m actually really supportive of the idea of the superorganism and have written quite significantly on it, but it all is maintained by, yes, control. There’s nothing mysterious about that.
     
    Control is an illusion.

    Studies have shown that what we think are our conscious decisions are actually preceded by neurological process that initiate action - making our conscious decisions an afterthought.

    We're just along for the ride :)

    Recognizing this, is freedom and wisdom.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  67. @Felix Keverich
    @Caspar von Everec


    USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.

     

    This tactic didn't work in any conflict since WW2. The fact that white American chauvinists continue to believe in it mystifies me.

    Your airforce can only make a difference when used to support a ground invasion. But you still need a capable ground force to take advantage of these airstrikes, otherwise you're just committing acts of terrorism like Israel in Syria. They might give you temporary emotional satisfaction, but change nothing in the bigger picture.

    Replies: @Caspar von Everec, @216, @Mulga Mumblebrain

    The US bombs Iran with cowardly enthusiasm, and Iran closes the Straits of Hormuz and destroys Saudi hydrocarbon production. Let’s see who starves first.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    @Mulga Mumblebrain

    Agree.
    I think an Aircraft Carrier sunk in the Persian Gulf would increase the knicker wetting in DC to such an extent that not even the presidential supply of Depends would suffice.

  68. @AaronB
    @AltanBakshi


    Aaron there are other factors that are limiting the actions of great powers in foreign theaters after WW2.
     
    I think those factors are a different world view and different goals.

    The "will to power" is as much at work in liberal regimes as it is among illiberal regimes, but straightforward conquest is a relatively primitive expression of this will.

    Would you rather your wife obeys you out of fear or love?

    Also, the West had excelled so completely at straightforward conquest that it no longer needed to challenge itself in this domain. The will to power demanded new, more exotic, challenges.

    Perhaps - most probably :) - I deceive myself, but I imagine myself merely an objective observer of history here.

    As a non-dualist, I myself think the "will to power" does not lead to happiness and is based on a complete misunderstanding of our place in the universe - I think happiness consists in finding ones harmonious place in the grand scheme of things, based on the insight that one is not a seperate entity, and not in self-aggrandizement and self-assertion.

    But it is fascinating to observe how the "will to power" works in so many strange ways in history among the majority who do not see their connection to the greater whole.

    Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain

    Every major Western aggression since WW2 ie Korea, Indochina, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan etc, has been characterised by innumerable war crimes, genocide of civilians, mass torture, disappearances and massacres. Then there are the actions of Western proxies, like Suharto, Pinochet, Mobutu et al- all brutal, murderous, thugs. Because it slakes, if only temporarily, a truly frightening blood-lust.

  69. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    But one can just as easily view the eye as the “motive force”, or the muscle.

     

    Sure. I'm sure that you can operate just as easily without a brain as you can without an eye.

    Please do make the attempt.

    I think you are operating from a pre-18th century mentality that has not integrated philosophical developments into it’s world view.
     
    I think you are operating from a pre-21st century mentality that has not integrated any research into neuroscience into your awareness. I recommend Delgrado, Goodale/Milner, R. G. Heath, Hillel Chiel and Randy Beer for starters.

    Its not very useful if you're only interested in justifying your own cognitive issues, of course.

    Human beings are responsible for an explosion in the population of these species, and expend tremendous effort in looking after their welfare.

     

    In the sense that they benefit in increased biomass, yes and I've not had any objection to the notion of greater complexity being more competitive. But it is silly to think that they have "mastery" in any part of the relationship: much like any other prey animal, they can go extinct(or become boutique) whenever they lose their purpose and they certainly are made dependent over time.

    https://i.redd.it/rfxlhjb7ple51.jpg

    Its all great, I'm actually really supportive of the idea of the superorganism and have written quite significantly on it, but it all is maintained by, yes, control. There's nothing mysterious about that.

    Replies: @AaronB

    Sure. I’m sure that you can operate just as easily without a brain as you can without an eye.

    There actually is a case of a guy without a brain who lives just fine, making the world stranger than we think 🙂

    But it is silly to think that they have “mastery” in any part of the relationship: much like any other prey animal, they can go extinct(or become boutique) whenever they lose their purpose and they certainly are made dependent over time

    .

    I think you are simply not yet prepared to accept that we are as much slaves as masters in our relationship with chickens and cows 🙂

    It is too radical for you at this time.

    Its all great, I’m actually really supportive of the idea of the superorganism and have written quite significantly on it, but it all is maintained by, yes, control. There’s nothing mysterious about that.

    Control is an illusion.

    Studies have shown that what we think are our conscious decisions are actually preceded by neurological process that initiate action – making our conscious decisions an afterthought.

    We’re just along for the ride 🙂

    Recognizing this, is freedom and wisdom.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    There actually is a case of a guy without a brain who lives just fine, making the world stranger than we think
     
    Wrong. Not even the chicken "without a head" was able to live without a brain in total. How do you think that breath or heartbeat works?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainstem


    It is too radical for you at this time.
     
    When wrong, you can just type magic words like "radical" or "long term" without qualification. An utterly meaningless statement.

    Oomans are pink and soft, not tough and green like da Boyz. They'z all the same size too, so they'z always arguing about who's in charge, 'cos no way of telling 'cept fer badges an' ooniforms and fings. When one of them wants to lord it over the uvvers, 'e says "I'm very speshul so'z you gotta worship me", or "I know summink wot you lot don't know so yer better lissen good".

    True wisdom is found in 40k quotes.

    Recognizing this, is freedom and wisdom.

     

    You could start with the recognition that "consciousness" and control have nothing to do with each other. Cells are almost certainly are not conscious. Cells maintain homeostasis. The strange effort at conflating control with consciousness and free will is more of an artifact of antiquated philosophy than anything meaningful.

    Once again, your lack of imagination has engendered another waste of time for me.

    Fortunately, this harm to me might nonetheless this might be useful to others via the information provided, quite unlike your fake "wisdom" which goes along with your fake efforts at "lack of ego."

    Work on meta-awareness for yourself.

    Replies: @AaronB

  70. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    Sure. I’m sure that you can operate just as easily without a brain as you can without an eye.
     
    There actually is a case of a guy without a brain who lives just fine, making the world stranger than we think :)

    But it is silly to think that they have “mastery” in any part of the relationship: much like any other prey animal, they can go extinct(or become boutique) whenever they lose their purpose and they certainly are made dependent over time
     
    .

    I think you are simply not yet prepared to accept that we are as much slaves as masters in our relationship with chickens and cows :)

    It is too radical for you at this time.

    Its all great, I’m actually really supportive of the idea of the superorganism and have written quite significantly on it, but it all is maintained by, yes, control. There’s nothing mysterious about that.
     
    Control is an illusion.

    Studies have shown that what we think are our conscious decisions are actually preceded by neurological process that initiate action - making our conscious decisions an afterthought.

    We're just along for the ride :)

    Recognizing this, is freedom and wisdom.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    There actually is a case of a guy without a brain who lives just fine, making the world stranger than we think

    Wrong. Not even the chicken “without a head” was able to live without a brain in total. How do you think that breath or heartbeat works?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainstem

    It is too radical for you at this time.

    When wrong, you can just type magic words like “radical” or “long term” without qualification. An utterly meaningless statement.

    Oomans are pink and soft, not tough and green like da Boyz. They’z all the same size too, so they’z always arguing about who’s in charge, ‘cos no way of telling ‘cept fer badges an’ ooniforms and fings. When one of them wants to lord it over the uvvers, ‘e says “I’m very speshul so’z you gotta worship me”, or “I know summink wot you lot don’t know so yer better lissen good”.

    True wisdom is found in 40k quotes.

    Recognizing this, is freedom and wisdom.

    You could start with the recognition that “consciousness” and control have nothing to do with each other. Cells are almost certainly are not conscious. Cells maintain homeostasis. The strange effort at conflating control with consciousness and free will is more of an artifact of antiquated philosophy than anything meaningful.

    Once again, your lack of imagination has engendered another waste of time for me.

    Fortunately, this harm to me might nonetheless this might be useful to others via the information provided, quite unlike your fake “wisdom” which goes along with your fake efforts at “lack of ego.”

    Work on meta-awareness for yourself.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    You could start with the recognition that “consciousness” and control have nothing to do with each other
     
    The concept "control" is the same as the concept "causality" - it does not exist "out there".

    All there is, is a sequence of events. To say one "caused" another, or one "controlled" another, is to impose on events something that isn't there.

    It's in our minds :)

    https://www.sciencealert.com/a-man-who-lives-without-90-of-his-brain-is-challenging-our-understanding-of-consciousness

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  71. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    There actually is a case of a guy without a brain who lives just fine, making the world stranger than we think
     
    Wrong. Not even the chicken "without a head" was able to live without a brain in total. How do you think that breath or heartbeat works?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainstem


    It is too radical for you at this time.
     
    When wrong, you can just type magic words like "radical" or "long term" without qualification. An utterly meaningless statement.

    Oomans are pink and soft, not tough and green like da Boyz. They'z all the same size too, so they'z always arguing about who's in charge, 'cos no way of telling 'cept fer badges an' ooniforms and fings. When one of them wants to lord it over the uvvers, 'e says "I'm very speshul so'z you gotta worship me", or "I know summink wot you lot don't know so yer better lissen good".

    True wisdom is found in 40k quotes.

    Recognizing this, is freedom and wisdom.

     

    You could start with the recognition that "consciousness" and control have nothing to do with each other. Cells are almost certainly are not conscious. Cells maintain homeostasis. The strange effort at conflating control with consciousness and free will is more of an artifact of antiquated philosophy than anything meaningful.

    Once again, your lack of imagination has engendered another waste of time for me.

    Fortunately, this harm to me might nonetheless this might be useful to others via the information provided, quite unlike your fake "wisdom" which goes along with your fake efforts at "lack of ego."

    Work on meta-awareness for yourself.

    Replies: @AaronB

    You could start with the recognition that “consciousness” and control have nothing to do with each other

    The concept “control” is the same as the concept “causality” – it does not exist “out there”.

    All there is, is a sequence of events. To say one “caused” another, or one “controlled” another, is to impose on events something that isn’t there.

    It’s in our minds 🙂

    https://www.sciencealert.com/a-man-who-lives-without-90-of-his-brain-is-challenging-our-understanding-of-consciousness

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB

    Control is an artifact of organization. You're controlled right now, by using a common language which permits the organization of communication. Post #65.

    Oh, and did you know what you just had lied about?


    There actually is a case of a guy without a brain who lives just fine, making the world stranger than we think 🙂

     

    Now re-read your own article and contemplate what was different about it. Then once again, contemplate how autonomic breathing and heart beating works in mammals and humans. Finally, look at the correction at the bottom of the article.

    Trying to argue neurology with me is profoundly dumb on your part. Stick to your usual charlatanry where there is nothing concrete, so then you can never be totally wrong so as long as you use your magic, unbounded words.

    In conclusion, speaking of meta-awareness of the brain and its valence issues...clearly we see that the real danger of LSD is likely less the harm it causes in the person, but in the disguised meglomania it triggers in people like Aaron by triggering a sensation of "meaning" when there is none(and this is generous, since it assumes some form of sincerity).

    Replies: @AaronB

  72. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    You could start with the recognition that “consciousness” and control have nothing to do with each other
     
    The concept "control" is the same as the concept "causality" - it does not exist "out there".

    All there is, is a sequence of events. To say one "caused" another, or one "controlled" another, is to impose on events something that isn't there.

    It's in our minds :)

    https://www.sciencealert.com/a-man-who-lives-without-90-of-his-brain-is-challenging-our-understanding-of-consciousness

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Control is an artifact of organization. You’re controlled right now, by using a common language which permits the organization of communication. Post #65.

    Oh, and did you know what you just had lied about?

    There actually is a case of a guy without a brain who lives just fine, making the world stranger than we think 🙂

    Now re-read your own article and contemplate what was different about it. Then once again, contemplate how autonomic breathing and heart beating works in mammals and humans. Finally, look at the correction at the bottom of the article.

    Trying to argue neurology with me is profoundly dumb on your part. Stick to your usual charlatanry where there is nothing concrete, so then you can never be totally wrong so as long as you use your magic, unbounded words.

    In conclusion, speaking of meta-awareness of the brain and its valence issues…clearly we see that the real danger of LSD is likely less the harm it causes in the person, but in the disguised meglomania it triggers in people like Aaron by triggering a sensation of “meaning” when there is none(and this is generous, since it assumes some form of sincerity).

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    Control is an artifact of organization. You’re controlled right now, by using a common language which permits the organization of communication. Post #65.
     
    On one level, exactly right! Determining that part of an organized structure is the "controlling" part is completely arbitrary.

    Do I control language, or does language control me? It is entirely a matter of vantage point!

    Which means, in the end, that it is a process of interdependence, not of control.

    Beyond that, however, is that the very concept of control has no objective legitimacy.

    Control is just another word for "causality" - and that is an artifact of our minds, not the real world.

    Are you starting to get it, my friend :)

    Ok, I will concede that the guy did not have no brain, just almost no brain.

    Still, pretty remarkable!

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  73. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB

    Control is an artifact of organization. You're controlled right now, by using a common language which permits the organization of communication. Post #65.

    Oh, and did you know what you just had lied about?


    There actually is a case of a guy without a brain who lives just fine, making the world stranger than we think 🙂

     

    Now re-read your own article and contemplate what was different about it. Then once again, contemplate how autonomic breathing and heart beating works in mammals and humans. Finally, look at the correction at the bottom of the article.

    Trying to argue neurology with me is profoundly dumb on your part. Stick to your usual charlatanry where there is nothing concrete, so then you can never be totally wrong so as long as you use your magic, unbounded words.

    In conclusion, speaking of meta-awareness of the brain and its valence issues...clearly we see that the real danger of LSD is likely less the harm it causes in the person, but in the disguised meglomania it triggers in people like Aaron by triggering a sensation of "meaning" when there is none(and this is generous, since it assumes some form of sincerity).

    Replies: @AaronB

    Control is an artifact of organization. You’re controlled right now, by using a common language which permits the organization of communication. Post #65.

    On one level, exactly right! Determining that part of an organized structure is the “controlling” part is completely arbitrary.

    Do I control language, or does language control me? It is entirely a matter of vantage point!

    Which means, in the end, that it is a process of interdependence, not of control.

    Beyond that, however, is that the very concept of control has no objective legitimacy.

    Control is just another word for “causality” – and that is an artifact of our minds, not the real world.

    Are you starting to get it, my friend 🙂

    Ok, I will concede that the guy did not have no brain, just almost no brain.

    Still, pretty remarkable!

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    Ok, I will concede that the guy did not have no brain, just almost no brain.
     
    There's not "conceding." You're just wrong. And by propagating a falsehood, you're leading other people and yourself not only down an incorrect path, but also cutting off useful paths of thinking.

    It is certainly interesting. I study such examples, and many others. They're very interesting in what they indicate of "the mind", information processing, etc. They do nothing to support your position; I suspect, like your ramblings on religion, its just like throwing out nonsense with no connection to what it means.


    Do I control language, or does language control me? It is entirely a matter of vantage point!

     

    This obsession of "I or not I" is entirely your own, much like the many other flaws of your weird rambles, but you can begin to write in hexadecimals instead of alphabetic letters now and see how much you can communicate if you don't follow the strictures of the language.

    If you had a bit of creativity, you might vaguely realize that not only is your argument pretty bunk, but that you could rather extensively notice the very opposite is true.
     

    I gave Aaron the opportunity here to exhibit the creativity he talks about a lot but never displays, but since he's failed here as usual, I'll finish up:

    Basically all life can be seen as extreme -

    1) Interestingly, simple life does best at extreme circumstances. Extremophiles seem to be almost universally bacteria; with extreme environments, they're able to survive without too much competition and can focus their limited metabolic energy on preserving their DNA for replication.

    2)Where conditions are more stable and competitors more rife, organization and complexity rapidly dominate. They're able to release more free energy for metabolism, and thus are competitively advantageous, often sprouting vastly increased capacity for sensing and affecting the world(eukaryotes are the beginnings of eyespots, etc). This basically escalates to a form of extreme organization, eventually getting us to multicellular organisms with complex brains. All organization utilizes signaling and control, all organization necessarily has some interdependency(or it wouldn't organize).

    There are some interesting alternates to this, such as plantlife that lack a brain but ultimately they're also competitive and complex, using chemical and electronic signaling and control, forming a basic neural system. In an unusual example of convergence, plants also use glutamate, as do mammals, as the substrate for their nervous system.

    3) "Balance" has no real meaning, although there are interesting patterns that rise from aggregation and time that could be seen as trade-offs. One very basic one might be the existence of death for animals: the selection for beneficial mutations also includes the selection for beneficial mutations early in life that cause harm later in life, or simply does not select against later-harming mutations(since they've already reproduced). This is the excellent Medawar-Williams Effect, one of the best explanations for aging in animals.

    A personal speculation that I've had with this is that the very process of aerobic respiration, which is incredibly powerful in generation of metabolic energy but oxidative stress is the cause of a lot of damage, including those leading to tumors.

    If anything though, this suggests that life in aggregate does NOT select for "balance", indeed, having introduced death and aging for a survival advantage via earlier reproduction. And of course, cyanobacteria and widespread oxygen-respiration made their appearance in the world by annihilating almost all life through oxygen poisoning and rusting off the Earth(the oceans ran blood-red with iron rust), so its all kinda hilariously questionable about the notion of mildness or pacifism.

    Replies: @AaronB, @AaronB, @Bashibuzuk

  74. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    Control is an artifact of organization. You’re controlled right now, by using a common language which permits the organization of communication. Post #65.
     
    On one level, exactly right! Determining that part of an organized structure is the "controlling" part is completely arbitrary.

    Do I control language, or does language control me? It is entirely a matter of vantage point!

    Which means, in the end, that it is a process of interdependence, not of control.

    Beyond that, however, is that the very concept of control has no objective legitimacy.

    Control is just another word for "causality" - and that is an artifact of our minds, not the real world.

    Are you starting to get it, my friend :)

    Ok, I will concede that the guy did not have no brain, just almost no brain.

    Still, pretty remarkable!

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Ok, I will concede that the guy did not have no brain, just almost no brain.

    There’s not “conceding.” You’re just wrong. And by propagating a falsehood, you’re leading other people and yourself not only down an incorrect path, but also cutting off useful paths of thinking.

    It is certainly interesting. I study such examples, and many others. They’re very interesting in what they indicate of “the mind”, information processing, etc. They do nothing to support your position; I suspect, like your ramblings on religion, its just like throwing out nonsense with no connection to what it means.

    Do I control language, or does language control me? It is entirely a matter of vantage point!

    This obsession of “I or not I” is entirely your own, much like the many other flaws of your weird rambles, but you can begin to write in hexadecimals instead of alphabetic letters now and see how much you can communicate if you don’t follow the strictures of the language.

    If you had a bit of creativity, you might vaguely realize that not only is your argument pretty bunk, but that you could rather extensively notice the very opposite is true.

    I gave Aaron the opportunity here to exhibit the creativity he talks about a lot but never displays, but since he’s failed here as usual, I’ll finish up:

    Basically all life can be seen as extreme –

    1) Interestingly, simple life does best at extreme circumstances. Extremophiles seem to be almost universally bacteria; with extreme environments, they’re able to survive without too much competition and can focus their limited metabolic energy on preserving their DNA for replication.

    2)Where conditions are more stable and competitors more rife, organization and complexity rapidly dominate. They’re able to release more free energy for metabolism, and thus are competitively advantageous, often sprouting vastly increased capacity for sensing and affecting the world(eukaryotes are the beginnings of eyespots, etc). This basically escalates to a form of extreme organization, eventually getting us to multicellular organisms with complex brains. All organization utilizes signaling and control, all organization necessarily has some interdependency(or it wouldn’t organize).

    There are some interesting alternates to this, such as plantlife that lack a brain but ultimately they’re also competitive and complex, using chemical and electronic signaling and control, forming a basic neural system. In an unusual example of convergence, plants also use glutamate, as do mammals, as the substrate for their nervous system.

    3) “Balance” has no real meaning, although there are interesting patterns that rise from aggregation and time that could be seen as trade-offs. One very basic one might be the existence of death for animals: the selection for beneficial mutations also includes the selection for beneficial mutations early in life that cause harm later in life, or simply does not select against later-harming mutations(since they’ve already reproduced). This is the excellent Medawar-Williams Effect, one of the best explanations for aging in animals.

    A personal speculation that I’ve had with this is that the very process of aerobic respiration, which is incredibly powerful in generation of metabolic energy but oxidative stress is the cause of a lot of damage, including those leading to tumors.

    If anything though, this suggests that life in aggregate does NOT select for “balance”, indeed, having introduced death and aging for a survival advantage via earlier reproduction. And of course, cyanobacteria and widespread oxygen-respiration made their appearance in the world by annihilating almost all life through oxygen poisoning and rusting off the Earth(the oceans ran blood-red with iron rust), so its all kinda hilariously questionable about the notion of mildness or pacifism.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    Whether something is extreme or balanced depends on the level at which you examine phenomena.

    Within our bodies, certain cells have specialized functions that represent an extreme - but within the context of the entire body, they are balanced out by other cells with opposite functions.

    Likewise, bacteria may be extreme, but are balanced out by antibiotics in the larger context of the entire world.

    The relevance of this to human flourishing is that humans have the tendency to fall into mind-traps where they think they can make a "perfect" world.

    Once you understand the basic structure of reality - that contrast and distinction are preconditions of existence - you realize that on the level of totality you simply cannot have a one-sided extreme.

    It is quite literally impossible - incoherent, even.

    Grasping this, one is frees from useless toil and pain.

    Now, this only applies on the level of "totality" - on a lower level, of course one can have extremes. In fact, on a lower level, extremes are necessary.

    And this is again indicated by the structure of reality itself. You cannot have a world of just black or just white. So on the level of totality, you need both. But on a level lower than totality, you can of course focus on just black or just white.

    The significance of this to humsn flourishing is not just on the psychological and metaphysical plane where you are freed from useless effort and angst, but on the practical level as well.

    It is well known that Leibniz was inspired by his reading of Taoism, with it's theory of yin and yang, to invent calculus - and computer programming, which powers the modern world, is literally based on a system of 1s and 0s, or pluses and minuses - is based on this "alternating" and "up and down" and "plus and minus" character of the structure of reality itself.

    Mentalities that cannot acknowledge this basic "balanced" structure of reality, not only keep people trapped in futile pursuit of impossible heavens, but reduce the human ability to successfully flourish in our mysterious world.

    The stagnation in science that we have today is due in so small part to our having lost our nerve in confronting the boldest insights of human thinking and are retreating to a "safe" scholastic form of "knowledge" and certainty.

    , @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    It is certainly interesting. I study such examples, and many others. They’re very interesting in what they indicate of “the mind”, information processing, etc. They do nothing to support your position; I suspect, like your ramblings on religion, its just like throwing out nonsense with no connection to what it means.
     
    Well, my position is simply that assigning the role of "controller" to one event within a sequence, or one part of an organized structure, is arbitrary - a convention of language, not objective reality.

    Whether a human can function without a brain is not relevant to this - it would merely indicate that the "event cluster" we thought necessarily associated with a certain state had a superfluous element.

    But it is absolutely fascinating that humans can function well with almost no brains!

    It means the brain may be far less necessary than we thought (without saying anything about the "role" the brain plays)!

    This obsession of “I or not I” is entirely your own, much like the many other flaws of your weird rambles, but you can begin to write in hexadecimals instead of alphabetic letters now and see how much you can communicate if you don’t follow the strictures of the language.
     
    I think you missed the point here - I obviously"wield" language and "use" it like a slave - but I also obviously "obey" language!

    So who is master here :)

    Obviously, it depends on perspective.

    But more fascinatingly, it calls into question the entire structure master-slave and suggests we might be better served by the notion of interdependence.

    And that, my friend, is not just significant for ones mental health and personal flourishing, but also for our ability to "master" the world - the entire concept may be misguided and may be impeding us from interacting with the world in a way that expands our opportunities!

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    , @Bashibuzuk
    @Daniel Chieh


    If anything though, this suggests that life in aggregate does NOT select for “balance”
     
    What would your personal take be about the ultimate "reason " for the existence of life ?

    I am very interested in knowing how you see the teleology of Evolution of biological systems.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  75. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    Ok, I will concede that the guy did not have no brain, just almost no brain.
     
    There's not "conceding." You're just wrong. And by propagating a falsehood, you're leading other people and yourself not only down an incorrect path, but also cutting off useful paths of thinking.

    It is certainly interesting. I study such examples, and many others. They're very interesting in what they indicate of "the mind", information processing, etc. They do nothing to support your position; I suspect, like your ramblings on religion, its just like throwing out nonsense with no connection to what it means.


    Do I control language, or does language control me? It is entirely a matter of vantage point!

     

    This obsession of "I or not I" is entirely your own, much like the many other flaws of your weird rambles, but you can begin to write in hexadecimals instead of alphabetic letters now and see how much you can communicate if you don't follow the strictures of the language.

    If you had a bit of creativity, you might vaguely realize that not only is your argument pretty bunk, but that you could rather extensively notice the very opposite is true.
     

    I gave Aaron the opportunity here to exhibit the creativity he talks about a lot but never displays, but since he's failed here as usual, I'll finish up:

    Basically all life can be seen as extreme -

    1) Interestingly, simple life does best at extreme circumstances. Extremophiles seem to be almost universally bacteria; with extreme environments, they're able to survive without too much competition and can focus their limited metabolic energy on preserving their DNA for replication.

    2)Where conditions are more stable and competitors more rife, organization and complexity rapidly dominate. They're able to release more free energy for metabolism, and thus are competitively advantageous, often sprouting vastly increased capacity for sensing and affecting the world(eukaryotes are the beginnings of eyespots, etc). This basically escalates to a form of extreme organization, eventually getting us to multicellular organisms with complex brains. All organization utilizes signaling and control, all organization necessarily has some interdependency(or it wouldn't organize).

    There are some interesting alternates to this, such as plantlife that lack a brain but ultimately they're also competitive and complex, using chemical and electronic signaling and control, forming a basic neural system. In an unusual example of convergence, plants also use glutamate, as do mammals, as the substrate for their nervous system.

    3) "Balance" has no real meaning, although there are interesting patterns that rise from aggregation and time that could be seen as trade-offs. One very basic one might be the existence of death for animals: the selection for beneficial mutations also includes the selection for beneficial mutations early in life that cause harm later in life, or simply does not select against later-harming mutations(since they've already reproduced). This is the excellent Medawar-Williams Effect, one of the best explanations for aging in animals.

    A personal speculation that I've had with this is that the very process of aerobic respiration, which is incredibly powerful in generation of metabolic energy but oxidative stress is the cause of a lot of damage, including those leading to tumors.

    If anything though, this suggests that life in aggregate does NOT select for "balance", indeed, having introduced death and aging for a survival advantage via earlier reproduction. And of course, cyanobacteria and widespread oxygen-respiration made their appearance in the world by annihilating almost all life through oxygen poisoning and rusting off the Earth(the oceans ran blood-red with iron rust), so its all kinda hilariously questionable about the notion of mildness or pacifism.

    Replies: @AaronB, @AaronB, @Bashibuzuk

    Whether something is extreme or balanced depends on the level at which you examine phenomena.

    Within our bodies, certain cells have specialized functions that represent an extreme – but within the context of the entire body, they are balanced out by other cells with opposite functions.

    Likewise, bacteria may be extreme, but are balanced out by antibiotics in the larger context of the entire world.

    The relevance of this to human flourishing is that humans have the tendency to fall into mind-traps where they think they can make a “perfect” world.

    Once you understand the basic structure of reality – that contrast and distinction are preconditions of existence – you realize that on the level of totality you simply cannot have a one-sided extreme.

    It is quite literally impossible – incoherent, even.

    Grasping this, one is frees from useless toil and pain.

    Now, this only applies on the level of “totality” – on a lower level, of course one can have extremes. In fact, on a lower level, extremes are necessary.

    And this is again indicated by the structure of reality itself. You cannot have a world of just black or just white. So on the level of totality, you need both. But on a level lower than totality, you can of course focus on just black or just white.

    The significance of this to humsn flourishing is not just on the psychological and metaphysical plane where you are freed from useless effort and angst, but on the practical level as well.

    It is well known that Leibniz was inspired by his reading of Taoism, with it’s theory of yin and yang, to invent calculus – and computer programming, which powers the modern world, is literally based on a system of 1s and 0s, or pluses and minuses – is based on this “alternating” and “up and down” and “plus and minus” character of the structure of reality itself.

    Mentalities that cannot acknowledge this basic “balanced” structure of reality, not only keep people trapped in futile pursuit of impossible heavens, but reduce the human ability to successfully flourish in our mysterious world.

    The stagnation in science that we have today is due in so small part to our having lost our nerve in confronting the boldest insights of human thinking and are retreating to a “safe” scholastic form of “knowledge” and certainty.

  76. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    Ok, I will concede that the guy did not have no brain, just almost no brain.
     
    There's not "conceding." You're just wrong. And by propagating a falsehood, you're leading other people and yourself not only down an incorrect path, but also cutting off useful paths of thinking.

    It is certainly interesting. I study such examples, and many others. They're very interesting in what they indicate of "the mind", information processing, etc. They do nothing to support your position; I suspect, like your ramblings on religion, its just like throwing out nonsense with no connection to what it means.


    Do I control language, or does language control me? It is entirely a matter of vantage point!

     

    This obsession of "I or not I" is entirely your own, much like the many other flaws of your weird rambles, but you can begin to write in hexadecimals instead of alphabetic letters now and see how much you can communicate if you don't follow the strictures of the language.

    If you had a bit of creativity, you might vaguely realize that not only is your argument pretty bunk, but that you could rather extensively notice the very opposite is true.
     

    I gave Aaron the opportunity here to exhibit the creativity he talks about a lot but never displays, but since he's failed here as usual, I'll finish up:

    Basically all life can be seen as extreme -

    1) Interestingly, simple life does best at extreme circumstances. Extremophiles seem to be almost universally bacteria; with extreme environments, they're able to survive without too much competition and can focus their limited metabolic energy on preserving their DNA for replication.

    2)Where conditions are more stable and competitors more rife, organization and complexity rapidly dominate. They're able to release more free energy for metabolism, and thus are competitively advantageous, often sprouting vastly increased capacity for sensing and affecting the world(eukaryotes are the beginnings of eyespots, etc). This basically escalates to a form of extreme organization, eventually getting us to multicellular organisms with complex brains. All organization utilizes signaling and control, all organization necessarily has some interdependency(or it wouldn't organize).

    There are some interesting alternates to this, such as plantlife that lack a brain but ultimately they're also competitive and complex, using chemical and electronic signaling and control, forming a basic neural system. In an unusual example of convergence, plants also use glutamate, as do mammals, as the substrate for their nervous system.

    3) "Balance" has no real meaning, although there are interesting patterns that rise from aggregation and time that could be seen as trade-offs. One very basic one might be the existence of death for animals: the selection for beneficial mutations also includes the selection for beneficial mutations early in life that cause harm later in life, or simply does not select against later-harming mutations(since they've already reproduced). This is the excellent Medawar-Williams Effect, one of the best explanations for aging in animals.

    A personal speculation that I've had with this is that the very process of aerobic respiration, which is incredibly powerful in generation of metabolic energy but oxidative stress is the cause of a lot of damage, including those leading to tumors.

    If anything though, this suggests that life in aggregate does NOT select for "balance", indeed, having introduced death and aging for a survival advantage via earlier reproduction. And of course, cyanobacteria and widespread oxygen-respiration made their appearance in the world by annihilating almost all life through oxygen poisoning and rusting off the Earth(the oceans ran blood-red with iron rust), so its all kinda hilariously questionable about the notion of mildness or pacifism.

    Replies: @AaronB, @AaronB, @Bashibuzuk

    It is certainly interesting. I study such examples, and many others. They’re very interesting in what they indicate of “the mind”, information processing, etc. They do nothing to support your position; I suspect, like your ramblings on religion, its just like throwing out nonsense with no connection to what it means.

    Well, my position is simply that assigning the role of “controller” to one event within a sequence, or one part of an organized structure, is arbitrary – a convention of language, not objective reality.

    Whether a human can function without a brain is not relevant to this – it would merely indicate that the “event cluster” we thought necessarily associated with a certain state had a superfluous element.

    But it is absolutely fascinating that humans can function well with almost no brains!

    It means the brain may be far less necessary than we thought (without saying anything about the “role” the brain plays)!

    This obsession of “I or not I” is entirely your own, much like the many other flaws of your weird rambles, but you can begin to write in hexadecimals instead of alphabetic letters now and see how much you can communicate if you don’t follow the strictures of the language.

    I think you missed the point here – I obviously”wield” language and “use” it like a slave – but I also obviously “obey” language!

    So who is master here 🙂

    Obviously, it depends on perspective.

    But more fascinatingly, it calls into question the entire structure master-slave and suggests we might be better served by the notion of interdependence.

    And that, my friend, is not just significant for ones mental health and personal flourishing, but also for our ability to “master” the world – the entire concept may be misguided and may be impeding us from interacting with the world in a way that expands our opportunities!

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    it would merely indicate that the “event cluster” we thought necessarily associated with a certain state had a superfluous element.
     
    There is no "we." There is you, with your profoundly primitive comprehension of the universe and self, incredibly broken theory of mind assuming things about others and strange little efforts to hodgepodge your understanding into the universe to justify your issues. This is like watching a child explain colors as some amazing emergent truth so he can ask for cookies.

    You could start by not losing your nerve in realizing when you are wrong.

    You've wasted enough of my time. Tata.

    Replies: @AaronB

  77. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    It is certainly interesting. I study such examples, and many others. They’re very interesting in what they indicate of “the mind”, information processing, etc. They do nothing to support your position; I suspect, like your ramblings on religion, its just like throwing out nonsense with no connection to what it means.
     
    Well, my position is simply that assigning the role of "controller" to one event within a sequence, or one part of an organized structure, is arbitrary - a convention of language, not objective reality.

    Whether a human can function without a brain is not relevant to this - it would merely indicate that the "event cluster" we thought necessarily associated with a certain state had a superfluous element.

    But it is absolutely fascinating that humans can function well with almost no brains!

    It means the brain may be far less necessary than we thought (without saying anything about the "role" the brain plays)!

    This obsession of “I or not I” is entirely your own, much like the many other flaws of your weird rambles, but you can begin to write in hexadecimals instead of alphabetic letters now and see how much you can communicate if you don’t follow the strictures of the language.
     
    I think you missed the point here - I obviously"wield" language and "use" it like a slave - but I also obviously "obey" language!

    So who is master here :)

    Obviously, it depends on perspective.

    But more fascinatingly, it calls into question the entire structure master-slave and suggests we might be better served by the notion of interdependence.

    And that, my friend, is not just significant for ones mental health and personal flourishing, but also for our ability to "master" the world - the entire concept may be misguided and may be impeding us from interacting with the world in a way that expands our opportunities!

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    it would merely indicate that the “event cluster” we thought necessarily associated with a certain state had a superfluous element.

    There is no “we.” There is you, with your profoundly primitive comprehension of the universe and self, incredibly broken theory of mind assuming things about others and strange little efforts to hodgepodge your understanding into the universe to justify your issues. This is like watching a child explain colors as some amazing emergent truth so he can ask for cookies.

    You could start by not losing your nerve in realizing when you are wrong.

    You’ve wasted enough of my time. Tata.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    I think we made real progress here Daniel :)

    Thank you for the conversation.

    Always a pleasure to read your very intelligent reflections on the nature of things.

    I don't think you're wrong. I've come to realize we are just examining things from different "levels", and we're both right on different levels of analysis.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  78. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    it would merely indicate that the “event cluster” we thought necessarily associated with a certain state had a superfluous element.
     
    There is no "we." There is you, with your profoundly primitive comprehension of the universe and self, incredibly broken theory of mind assuming things about others and strange little efforts to hodgepodge your understanding into the universe to justify your issues. This is like watching a child explain colors as some amazing emergent truth so he can ask for cookies.

    You could start by not losing your nerve in realizing when you are wrong.

    You've wasted enough of my time. Tata.

    Replies: @AaronB

    I think we made real progress here Daniel 🙂

    Thank you for the conversation.

    Always a pleasure to read your very intelligent reflections on the nature of things.

    I don’t think you’re wrong. I’ve come to realize we are just examining things from different “levels”, and we’re both right on different levels of analysis.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    we’re both right on different levels of analysis.
     
    Yeah, much like your reflection that Bashibuzuk is a Polish nationalist, in another amazing display of insight into the mind of others.

    Keep talking about mental health and remember: A coward dies a thousand deaths.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  79. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    I think we made real progress here Daniel :)

    Thank you for the conversation.

    Always a pleasure to read your very intelligent reflections on the nature of things.

    I don't think you're wrong. I've come to realize we are just examining things from different "levels", and we're both right on different levels of analysis.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    we’re both right on different levels of analysis.

    Yeah, much like your reflection that Bashibuzuk is a Polish nationalist, in another amazing display of insight into the mind of others.

    Keep talking about mental health and remember: A coward dies a thousand deaths.

    • Thanks: AaronB
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Daniel Chieh

    Aaron also once wrote that I was a crypto Islamist. But that was a long-time ago and we know each other better today.

    🙂

  80. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    we’re both right on different levels of analysis.
     
    Yeah, much like your reflection that Bashibuzuk is a Polish nationalist, in another amazing display of insight into the mind of others.

    Keep talking about mental health and remember: A coward dies a thousand deaths.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    Aaron also once wrote that I was a crypto Islamist. But that was a long-time ago and we know each other better today.

    🙂

    • Agree: AaronB
  81. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    Ok, I will concede that the guy did not have no brain, just almost no brain.
     
    There's not "conceding." You're just wrong. And by propagating a falsehood, you're leading other people and yourself not only down an incorrect path, but also cutting off useful paths of thinking.

    It is certainly interesting. I study such examples, and many others. They're very interesting in what they indicate of "the mind", information processing, etc. They do nothing to support your position; I suspect, like your ramblings on religion, its just like throwing out nonsense with no connection to what it means.


    Do I control language, or does language control me? It is entirely a matter of vantage point!

     

    This obsession of "I or not I" is entirely your own, much like the many other flaws of your weird rambles, but you can begin to write in hexadecimals instead of alphabetic letters now and see how much you can communicate if you don't follow the strictures of the language.

    If you had a bit of creativity, you might vaguely realize that not only is your argument pretty bunk, but that you could rather extensively notice the very opposite is true.
     

    I gave Aaron the opportunity here to exhibit the creativity he talks about a lot but never displays, but since he's failed here as usual, I'll finish up:

    Basically all life can be seen as extreme -

    1) Interestingly, simple life does best at extreme circumstances. Extremophiles seem to be almost universally bacteria; with extreme environments, they're able to survive without too much competition and can focus their limited metabolic energy on preserving their DNA for replication.

    2)Where conditions are more stable and competitors more rife, organization and complexity rapidly dominate. They're able to release more free energy for metabolism, and thus are competitively advantageous, often sprouting vastly increased capacity for sensing and affecting the world(eukaryotes are the beginnings of eyespots, etc). This basically escalates to a form of extreme organization, eventually getting us to multicellular organisms with complex brains. All organization utilizes signaling and control, all organization necessarily has some interdependency(or it wouldn't organize).

    There are some interesting alternates to this, such as plantlife that lack a brain but ultimately they're also competitive and complex, using chemical and electronic signaling and control, forming a basic neural system. In an unusual example of convergence, plants also use glutamate, as do mammals, as the substrate for their nervous system.

    3) "Balance" has no real meaning, although there are interesting patterns that rise from aggregation and time that could be seen as trade-offs. One very basic one might be the existence of death for animals: the selection for beneficial mutations also includes the selection for beneficial mutations early in life that cause harm later in life, or simply does not select against later-harming mutations(since they've already reproduced). This is the excellent Medawar-Williams Effect, one of the best explanations for aging in animals.

    A personal speculation that I've had with this is that the very process of aerobic respiration, which is incredibly powerful in generation of metabolic energy but oxidative stress is the cause of a lot of damage, including those leading to tumors.

    If anything though, this suggests that life in aggregate does NOT select for "balance", indeed, having introduced death and aging for a survival advantage via earlier reproduction. And of course, cyanobacteria and widespread oxygen-respiration made their appearance in the world by annihilating almost all life through oxygen poisoning and rusting off the Earth(the oceans ran blood-red with iron rust), so its all kinda hilariously questionable about the notion of mildness or pacifism.

    Replies: @AaronB, @AaronB, @Bashibuzuk

    If anything though, this suggests that life in aggregate does NOT select for “balance”

    What would your personal take be about the ultimate “reason ” for the existence of life ?

    I am very interested in knowing how you see the teleology of Evolution of biological systems.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Bashibuzuk

    Well, I believe that life is a kind of manifestation of Ideals, but that has nothing to do with science.

    Scientifically, its just a process of reproduction, I've even heard of the notion that life is a ponzi scheme: it just creates more, and selects to create more, and like in a ponzi scheme, causes harm and suffering to its participants. A happy perspective, surely.

    But yes, basically, life exists to create life, self-referential. Life that doesn't create life isn't with us anymore. I think its interesting to speculate on things which are non-life, such as computers or concepts like language or government, and notice that they do seem to also acquire similar "traits:" consumption of energy, organizing behavior, perhaps even some notion of replication.

    Incidentally, I went to browse some things and it amused me to look up for the "social life of plants." Its logical: plants can create chemicals, so they can signal on a very basic level, so that suggests some form of communication is possible. And lo:

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/01/once-considered-outlandish-idea-plants-help-their-relatives-taking-root

    But it reminded me too of Lysenkoism, and the millions of deaths that it caused, often from ideas like that(Among the many erroneous notions promoted by Lysenko and which had to be accepted in Marxist countries was his Law of the life of species which said that plants of the same species do not compete with each other but instead help each other to survive. This was linked to the Marxist notion of classes in which members of the same class do not compete but instead help each other survive. So Marxist ideology seemed to support the notion that the denser grain is planted the better it is for the grain.). Its a good warning that even when things are true in part, ideology and stupidity can really misguide it into a horrible thing.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  82. @Bashibuzuk
    @Daniel Chieh


    If anything though, this suggests that life in aggregate does NOT select for “balance”
     
    What would your personal take be about the ultimate "reason " for the existence of life ?

    I am very interested in knowing how you see the teleology of Evolution of biological systems.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Well, I believe that life is a kind of manifestation of Ideals, but that has nothing to do with science.

    Scientifically, its just a process of reproduction, I’ve even heard of the notion that life is a ponzi scheme: it just creates more, and selects to create more, and like in a ponzi scheme, causes harm and suffering to its participants. A happy perspective, surely.

    But yes, basically, life exists to create life, self-referential. Life that doesn’t create life isn’t with us anymore. I think its interesting to speculate on things which are non-life, such as computers or concepts like language or government, and notice that they do seem to also acquire similar “traits:” consumption of energy, organizing behavior, perhaps even some notion of replication.

    Incidentally, I went to browse some things and it amused me to look up for the “social life of plants.” Its logical: plants can create chemicals, so they can signal on a very basic level, so that suggests some form of communication is possible. And lo:

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/01/once-considered-outlandish-idea-plants-help-their-relatives-taking-root

    But it reminded me too of Lysenkoism, and the millions of deaths that it caused, often from ideas like that(Among the many erroneous notions promoted by Lysenko and which had to be accepted in Marxist countries was his Law of the life of species which said that plants of the same species do not compete with each other but instead help each other to survive. This was linked to the Marxist notion of classes in which members of the same class do not compete but instead help each other survive. So Marxist ideology seemed to support the notion that the denser grain is planted the better it is for the grain.). Its a good warning that even when things are true in part, ideology and stupidity can really misguide it into a horrible thing.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Daniel Chieh

    Thank you, very interesting. I never thought of life as a ponzi scheme, but I see how some people might end up seeing it that way. On my part, I remember coming accross the concept of "cephalization" in one of the Russian Cosmist books. IIRC some Russian Cosmist thinkers, borrowed it from some forgotten Western biologist. The concept was built upon the observation that more complex life forms always present more complex information processing systems, more complex sensors, nervous system and so forth. Basically, the whole evolution would seem being a selection process for more efficient information processing. If one sticks to the notion of "Selfish Gene " and "Chance and Necessity" then this peculiar tendency is hard to explain.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  83. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    @Bashibuzuk

    Well, I believe that life is a kind of manifestation of Ideals, but that has nothing to do with science.

    Scientifically, its just a process of reproduction, I've even heard of the notion that life is a ponzi scheme: it just creates more, and selects to create more, and like in a ponzi scheme, causes harm and suffering to its participants. A happy perspective, surely.

    But yes, basically, life exists to create life, self-referential. Life that doesn't create life isn't with us anymore. I think its interesting to speculate on things which are non-life, such as computers or concepts like language or government, and notice that they do seem to also acquire similar "traits:" consumption of energy, organizing behavior, perhaps even some notion of replication.

    Incidentally, I went to browse some things and it amused me to look up for the "social life of plants." Its logical: plants can create chemicals, so they can signal on a very basic level, so that suggests some form of communication is possible. And lo:

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/01/once-considered-outlandish-idea-plants-help-their-relatives-taking-root

    But it reminded me too of Lysenkoism, and the millions of deaths that it caused, often from ideas like that(Among the many erroneous notions promoted by Lysenko and which had to be accepted in Marxist countries was his Law of the life of species which said that plants of the same species do not compete with each other but instead help each other to survive. This was linked to the Marxist notion of classes in which members of the same class do not compete but instead help each other survive. So Marxist ideology seemed to support the notion that the denser grain is planted the better it is for the grain.). Its a good warning that even when things are true in part, ideology and stupidity can really misguide it into a horrible thing.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    Thank you, very interesting. I never thought of life as a ponzi scheme, but I see how some people might end up seeing it that way. On my part, I remember coming accross the concept of “cephalization” in one of the Russian Cosmist books. IIRC some Russian Cosmist thinkers, borrowed it from some forgotten Western biologist. The concept was built upon the observation that more complex life forms always present more complex information processing systems, more complex sensors, nervous system and so forth. Basically, the whole evolution would seem being a selection process for more efficient information processing. If one sticks to the notion of “Selfish Gene ” and “Chance and Necessity” then this peculiar tendency is hard to explain.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Bashibuzuk

    I recommend the excellent book Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness which does seem to explore a method for that to be true.

    It does seem like a consistent tendency and I think that its actually possible to account for it even with the typical ideas of the selfish gene. Having better information systems(and the ability to act on it) just seems to be a winning strategy.


    Michael Trestman, another philosopher, has offered an interesting way of looking at all these animals. Consider, he says, the category of animals who have complex active bodies. These are animals who can move quickly, and who can seize and manipulate objects. Their bodies have appendages that can move in many directions, and they have senses, such as eyes, which can track distant objects. Trestman says that only three of the major animal groups produced some species with complex active bodies (CABs). Those groups are arthropods, chordates (animals like us with a nerve cord down their back), and one group of mollusks, the cephalopods.

    This trio might seem to make up a large category, because these are the sorts of animals that tend to come to our minds, but it is a small group in many ways. There are about thirty-four animal phyla— basic animal body plans. Only three phyla contain some animals with CABs...
     

    But of course, they occupy an enormous amount of space on Earth - just by having the miracle of possessing a centralized nervous system and bodies responsive in such a manner. I think that I've read some stories from that time period of the Cosmists, and they tend to try to assume that this "awakening" to a new and greater sense in the noosphere as a kind of unified awareness, but evolutionarily, its probably much more akin to mass murder. I guess the equivalent is if psionics evolved in humanity, maybe most humanity would become psionics, but not because they equally evolved the talent, but because the few psionics went and killed almost everyone else without their abilities. Less likely with a society and all, but you get the drift.

    Well, evolution does seem to bias toward a lot of ever more complication and its interesting if sometimes it seems tragic:


    All this is meticulously documented by Cheney and Seyfarth in the book Baboon Metaphysics. Given the complex social life, it’s not surprising that there is communication. But baboons can make only fairly simple sounds— calls of three or four kinds, especially threats, friendship grunts, and submissive screams. Communication itself is simple, but as Cheney and Seyfarth show, it gives rise to some sophisticated behaviors. Each individual calls in a distinctive way, and a baboon can recognize who has just called— they know who has threatened and who has backed off. Cheney, Seyfarth, and others worked out, by means of ingenious playback experiments, that a baboon hearing a series of calls is able to process it in very rich ways.

    Suppose a baboon hears this sequence coming from a location it can’t see: A threatens and B backs down. What does this mean? It depends who A and B are. If A is higher in the hierarchy than B, it’s not surprising or notable. But if A is below B, then a sequence in which A threatens and B backs down is surprising and important. It indicates a change in the hierarchy, something that will matter to a great many members of the troop. In the playback experiments, a baboon would behave differently, being much more attentive, when a series of calls indicated an important event of this kind. As Cheney and Seyfarth say, it seems that the baboons construct a “narrative” from the series of sounds they hear. This is a tool they use for the purposes of social navigation. Compare the baboons with the cephalopods. In baboons, the production side of their vocal communication system is very simple. There are only three or four calls. An individual’s choices are limited, and a call will reliably follow interactions of a particular kind. The interpretation side, though, is complex, because calls are produced in ways that allow a narrative to be put together. The baboons have simple production, complex interpretation.

    The cephalopods are the opposite. The production side is vastly, almost indefinitely complex, with millions of pixels on the skin and a huge number of pattersn that migth be produced at each moment. As a communication channel, the bandwidth of this system is extraordinary. You could say anything with it - if you had a way to encode the messages and if anyone was listening. In cephalopods, though, social life is much less complicated than it is in baboons as far as anyone can tell(I will discuss some surprises below and in the last chapter, but they won't change this comparison - no one thinks that any cephalopod has a social life comparable to that of the baboon). Here we have a powerful signal production system, but most of what is said is going unnoticed. Perhaps that's not the right way to put it: perhaps because no one is listening to it, little is really being said.

    These are both partial cases, unfinished, in a sense - and though one shouldn't think of evolution as goal-directed. Evolution is not heading anywhere, not toward us or anyone else. But I can't resist seeing, in both animals, an unfinished quality. They are both animals with a one-sidedness in their versions of the fundamental signaling duality, the interlocking roles of sender and receiver, producer and interpreter. One the baboon side, there's a soap opera life: frantic and stressful social complexity, with little means to express it. On the cephalopod side, there's such extraordinarily things to say, but no one to listen to it.


     

    There are many senses yet, of course that humans have not yet acquired biologically, though culturally via technology we've managed to see, hear and interpret much phenomena we couldn't have sensed before. Birds have a magnetic sense and might use quantum mechanics to see fields, and the human sense of smell is really no equivalent to the animal sense of scent, etc. All of that is probably valuable, and if integrated efficiently into a humanlike being, would be a survival advantage. All of that would add more complication. Etc.

    So yes, you might very well get something like that idea. Its pretty sound tbh, and even if it I think it often goes into the hippielike woo of space psychic powers, it does have some interesting ideas.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  84. @Bashibuzuk
    @Daniel Chieh

    Thank you, very interesting. I never thought of life as a ponzi scheme, but I see how some people might end up seeing it that way. On my part, I remember coming accross the concept of "cephalization" in one of the Russian Cosmist books. IIRC some Russian Cosmist thinkers, borrowed it from some forgotten Western biologist. The concept was built upon the observation that more complex life forms always present more complex information processing systems, more complex sensors, nervous system and so forth. Basically, the whole evolution would seem being a selection process for more efficient information processing. If one sticks to the notion of "Selfish Gene " and "Chance and Necessity" then this peculiar tendency is hard to explain.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I recommend the excellent book Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness which does seem to explore a method for that to be true.

    It does seem like a consistent tendency and I think that its actually possible to account for it even with the typical ideas of the selfish gene. Having better information systems(and the ability to act on it) just seems to be a winning strategy.

    [MORE]

    Michael Trestman, another philosopher, has offered an interesting way of looking at all these animals. Consider, he says, the category of animals who have complex active bodies. These are animals who can move quickly, and who can seize and manipulate objects. Their bodies have appendages that can move in many directions, and they have senses, such as eyes, which can track distant objects. Trestman says that only three of the major animal groups produced some species with complex active bodies (CABs). Those groups are arthropods, chordates (animals like us with a nerve cord down their back), and one group of mollusks, the cephalopods.

    This trio might seem to make up a large category, because these are the sorts of animals that tend to come to our minds, but it is a small group in many ways. There are about thirty-four animal phyla— basic animal body plans. Only three phyla contain some animals with CABs…

    But of course, they occupy an enormous amount of space on Earth – just by having the miracle of possessing a centralized nervous system and bodies responsive in such a manner. I think that I’ve read some stories from that time period of the Cosmists, and they tend to try to assume that this “awakening” to a new and greater sense in the noosphere as a kind of unified awareness, but evolutionarily, its probably much more akin to mass murder. I guess the equivalent is if psionics evolved in humanity, maybe most humanity would become psionics, but not because they equally evolved the talent, but because the few psionics went and killed almost everyone else without their abilities. Less likely with a society and all, but you get the drift.

    Well, evolution does seem to bias toward a lot of ever more complication and its interesting if sometimes it seems tragic:

    All this is meticulously documented by Cheney and Seyfarth in the book Baboon Metaphysics. Given the complex social life, it’s not surprising that there is communication. But baboons can make only fairly simple sounds— calls of three or four kinds, especially threats, friendship grunts, and submissive screams. Communication itself is simple, but as Cheney and Seyfarth show, it gives rise to some sophisticated behaviors. Each individual calls in a distinctive way, and a baboon can recognize who has just called— they know who has threatened and who has backed off. Cheney, Seyfarth, and others worked out, by means of ingenious playback experiments, that a baboon hearing a series of calls is able to process it in very rich ways.

    Suppose a baboon hears this sequence coming from a location it can’t see: A threatens and B backs down. What does this mean? It depends who A and B are. If A is higher in the hierarchy than B, it’s not surprising or notable. But if A is below B, then a sequence in which A threatens and B backs down is surprising and important. It indicates a change in the hierarchy, something that will matter to a great many members of the troop. In the playback experiments, a baboon would behave differently, being much more attentive, when a series of calls indicated an important event of this kind. As Cheney and Seyfarth say, it seems that the baboons construct a “narrative” from the series of sounds they hear. This is a tool they use for the purposes of social navigation. Compare the baboons with the cephalopods. In baboons, the production side of their vocal communication system is very simple. There are only three or four calls. An individual’s choices are limited, and a call will reliably follow interactions of a particular kind. The interpretation side, though, is complex, because calls are produced in ways that allow a narrative to be put together. The baboons have simple production, complex interpretation.

    The cephalopods are the opposite. The production side is vastly, almost indefinitely complex, with millions of pixels on the skin and a huge number of pattersn that migth be produced at each moment. As a communication channel, the bandwidth of this system is extraordinary. You could say anything with it – if you had a way to encode the messages and if anyone was listening. In cephalopods, though, social life is much less complicated than it is in baboons as far as anyone can tell(I will discuss some surprises below and in the last chapter, but they won’t change this comparison – no one thinks that any cephalopod has a social life comparable to that of the baboon). Here we have a powerful signal production system, but most of what is said is going unnoticed. Perhaps that’s not the right way to put it: perhaps because no one is listening to it, little is really being said.

    These are both partial cases, unfinished, in a sense – and though one shouldn’t think of evolution as goal-directed. Evolution is not heading anywhere, not toward us or anyone else. But I can’t resist seeing, in both animals, an unfinished quality. They are both animals with a one-sidedness in their versions of the fundamental signaling duality, the interlocking roles of sender and receiver, producer and interpreter. One the baboon side, there’s a soap opera life: frantic and stressful social complexity, with little means to express it. On the cephalopod side, there’s such extraordinarily things to say, but no one to listen to it.

    There are many senses yet, of course that humans have not yet acquired biologically, though culturally via technology we’ve managed to see, hear and interpret much phenomena we couldn’t have sensed before. Birds have a magnetic sense and might use quantum mechanics to see fields, and the human sense of smell is really no equivalent to the animal sense of scent, etc. All of that is probably valuable, and if integrated efficiently into a humanlike being, would be a survival advantage. All of that would add more complication. Etc.

    So yes, you might very well get something like that idea. Its pretty sound tbh, and even if it I think it often goes into the hippielike woo of space psychic powers, it does have some interesting ideas.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Daniel Chieh

    I should include this as well, which has added to my thoughts on complexity.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201209115209.htm

    Basically complexity just increases unless there's some reason eradicates against it. The way it is described it pretty amusing tbh

    New study shows that proteins become biochemically addicted to complex interactions without adaptation.

    I remember reading that "it was a myth" that evolution causes greater complexity, and one of the arguments was that "if an animal gets two copies of a gene, it isn't any fitter for it." Well, no. Not directly. But one copy of the gene now can continue to serve its purpose, and the second one can potentially mutate into something beneficial - and this seems to be origin of the ever more complex brain, especially the parts dealing with language.

    Contra Aaron, life does favor "striving", even in plants - with additional energy affording various advantages.


    Karpinski's new study attempts to link light-activated electrical activity to immune defenses in plants. In the new study, researchers infected the leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana (thale cress) with a bacterial pathogen either one hour before exposing the plant to a strong dose of blue, red or white light or one, eight or 24 hours after exposing the plant to light. Plants treated with light before infection developed resistance, but plants infected without any preceding illumination showed no resistance...
    When exposed to strong light, Karpinski explains, plants absorb more energy than they can use for photosynthesis—but he doesn't think plants waste this excess energy. Karpinski says plants convert the energy to heat and electrochemical activity that can later trigger biological processes, like immune defenses.
     
    I guess you could see something divine in it. It certainly does seem to be happening, at any rate.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  85. @Daniel Chieh
    @Bashibuzuk

    I recommend the excellent book Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness which does seem to explore a method for that to be true.

    It does seem like a consistent tendency and I think that its actually possible to account for it even with the typical ideas of the selfish gene. Having better information systems(and the ability to act on it) just seems to be a winning strategy.


    Michael Trestman, another philosopher, has offered an interesting way of looking at all these animals. Consider, he says, the category of animals who have complex active bodies. These are animals who can move quickly, and who can seize and manipulate objects. Their bodies have appendages that can move in many directions, and they have senses, such as eyes, which can track distant objects. Trestman says that only three of the major animal groups produced some species with complex active bodies (CABs). Those groups are arthropods, chordates (animals like us with a nerve cord down their back), and one group of mollusks, the cephalopods.

    This trio might seem to make up a large category, because these are the sorts of animals that tend to come to our minds, but it is a small group in many ways. There are about thirty-four animal phyla— basic animal body plans. Only three phyla contain some animals with CABs...
     

    But of course, they occupy an enormous amount of space on Earth - just by having the miracle of possessing a centralized nervous system and bodies responsive in such a manner. I think that I've read some stories from that time period of the Cosmists, and they tend to try to assume that this "awakening" to a new and greater sense in the noosphere as a kind of unified awareness, but evolutionarily, its probably much more akin to mass murder. I guess the equivalent is if psionics evolved in humanity, maybe most humanity would become psionics, but not because they equally evolved the talent, but because the few psionics went and killed almost everyone else without their abilities. Less likely with a society and all, but you get the drift.

    Well, evolution does seem to bias toward a lot of ever more complication and its interesting if sometimes it seems tragic:


    All this is meticulously documented by Cheney and Seyfarth in the book Baboon Metaphysics. Given the complex social life, it’s not surprising that there is communication. But baboons can make only fairly simple sounds— calls of three or four kinds, especially threats, friendship grunts, and submissive screams. Communication itself is simple, but as Cheney and Seyfarth show, it gives rise to some sophisticated behaviors. Each individual calls in a distinctive way, and a baboon can recognize who has just called— they know who has threatened and who has backed off. Cheney, Seyfarth, and others worked out, by means of ingenious playback experiments, that a baboon hearing a series of calls is able to process it in very rich ways.

    Suppose a baboon hears this sequence coming from a location it can’t see: A threatens and B backs down. What does this mean? It depends who A and B are. If A is higher in the hierarchy than B, it’s not surprising or notable. But if A is below B, then a sequence in which A threatens and B backs down is surprising and important. It indicates a change in the hierarchy, something that will matter to a great many members of the troop. In the playback experiments, a baboon would behave differently, being much more attentive, when a series of calls indicated an important event of this kind. As Cheney and Seyfarth say, it seems that the baboons construct a “narrative” from the series of sounds they hear. This is a tool they use for the purposes of social navigation. Compare the baboons with the cephalopods. In baboons, the production side of their vocal communication system is very simple. There are only three or four calls. An individual’s choices are limited, and a call will reliably follow interactions of a particular kind. The interpretation side, though, is complex, because calls are produced in ways that allow a narrative to be put together. The baboons have simple production, complex interpretation.

    The cephalopods are the opposite. The production side is vastly, almost indefinitely complex, with millions of pixels on the skin and a huge number of pattersn that migth be produced at each moment. As a communication channel, the bandwidth of this system is extraordinary. You could say anything with it - if you had a way to encode the messages and if anyone was listening. In cephalopods, though, social life is much less complicated than it is in baboons as far as anyone can tell(I will discuss some surprises below and in the last chapter, but they won't change this comparison - no one thinks that any cephalopod has a social life comparable to that of the baboon). Here we have a powerful signal production system, but most of what is said is going unnoticed. Perhaps that's not the right way to put it: perhaps because no one is listening to it, little is really being said.

    These are both partial cases, unfinished, in a sense - and though one shouldn't think of evolution as goal-directed. Evolution is not heading anywhere, not toward us or anyone else. But I can't resist seeing, in both animals, an unfinished quality. They are both animals with a one-sidedness in their versions of the fundamental signaling duality, the interlocking roles of sender and receiver, producer and interpreter. One the baboon side, there's a soap opera life: frantic and stressful social complexity, with little means to express it. On the cephalopod side, there's such extraordinarily things to say, but no one to listen to it.


     

    There are many senses yet, of course that humans have not yet acquired biologically, though culturally via technology we've managed to see, hear and interpret much phenomena we couldn't have sensed before. Birds have a magnetic sense and might use quantum mechanics to see fields, and the human sense of smell is really no equivalent to the animal sense of scent, etc. All of that is probably valuable, and if integrated efficiently into a humanlike being, would be a survival advantage. All of that would add more complication. Etc.

    So yes, you might very well get something like that idea. Its pretty sound tbh, and even if it I think it often goes into the hippielike woo of space psychic powers, it does have some interesting ideas.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I should include this as well, which has added to my thoughts on complexity.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201209115209.htm

    Basically complexity just increases unless there’s some reason eradicates against it. The way it is described it pretty amusing tbh

    New study shows that proteins become biochemically addicted to complex interactions without adaptation.

    I remember reading that “it was a myth” that evolution causes greater complexity, and one of the arguments was that “if an animal gets two copies of a gene, it isn’t any fitter for it.” Well, no. Not directly. But one copy of the gene now can continue to serve its purpose, and the second one can potentially mutate into something beneficial – and this seems to be origin of the ever more complex brain, especially the parts dealing with language.

    Contra Aaron, life does favor “striving”, even in plants – with additional energy affording various advantages.

    Karpinski’s new study attempts to link light-activated electrical activity to immune defenses in plants. In the new study, researchers infected the leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana (thale cress) with a bacterial pathogen either one hour before exposing the plant to a strong dose of blue, red or white light or one, eight or 24 hours after exposing the plant to light. Plants treated with light before infection developed resistance, but plants infected without any preceding illumination showed no resistance…
    When exposed to strong light, Karpinski explains, plants absorb more energy than they can use for photosynthesis—but he doesn’t think plants waste this excess energy. Karpinski says plants convert the energy to heat and electrochemical activity that can later trigger biological processes, like immune defenses.

    I guess you could see something divine in it. It certainly does seem to be happening, at any rate.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Daniel Chieh

    Yes, increasing and in a sense maximizing complexity is something that Evolution does when offered the necessary energy and material ressources / nutrients to convert to new information patterns. When I wrote that we don't need the complexity to ensure a very efficient genetic information conservation, replication and transmission, I was thinking of bacteria. But even in bacterial ecosystems, the microbiote interactions are very complex, while horizontal transfer of genetic information allows for genomic recombination events where entire complex systems are acquired not through mutation and selection, but through receiving these systems encoded on genetic mobile elements.

    In fact, if we could somehow account for the total amount of information, contained in a given ecosystem, we would probably find out that in a mature and stabilized ecosystem that has reached its climax community, the total amount of information is the maximum that can be reached given the available energy and nutrients. Life as planetary process would seem moving in that direction of maximizing information by surfing the entropy gradients and subverting these to produce increasingly numerous and also complex patterns of distribution of matter and/or energy, each of these patterns being of course in itself an increase in a total quantity of information.

    Perhaps here's where Aaron has intuitively come to an interesting finding: all living systems end up maximizing the total information complexity, but in each given environment they will only be capable of doing that through coexistence and a balancing act. An ecosystem would be more complex and more stable if all interdependent biological interactions occurring in it are balanced against each other. That is when its total information content would be maximized.

    This is probably also true to some extent in human societies if we see human cultures as nothing more than this same tendency towards producing more information, but through cultural / technological means. But perhaps this is a stretch to project this biological tendency to human affairs.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  86. @Caspar von Everec
    One thing that mystifies me is why the US hasn't invaded and destroyed Iran already. They could've done it in 2005 when the US military was far more virile and US hegemony was unchecked.

    Even now they can defeat Iran without much difficulty. A lot of people bleat about muh militias and guerillas but the USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.

    God fights on the side with the stronger air force and the US air force and naval aviation is stronger than Russia and China combined. The guided munitions revolution has made air power even more decisive. They could simply bomb Iran and destroy its electric grid, grain factories, power stations, financial centers, transportation hubs and ports and send it to the dark age.

    Iran would be facing mass famine within 6 months of strategic bombing and the army would force the mullahs out at that point. Sure, the Iranian ballistic missile attacks would severely harm Saudi oil facilities and the hormuz would be blockaded for a month or so. It would send oil prices through the roof but that's a temporary issue.

    It hurts China far more than the US as the US has shale oil and Canadian oil to fall back on. Over time the damage would be fixed but in exchange, Israel's last enemy in the middle east would be eliminated.

    Russia and China have shown repeatedly that they have no intention to militarily help Iran. Russia has refused to sell Iran Su-30s, Kalibr missiles and S-400 along with other heavy equipment for decades.

    Its really just a matter of balls.

    For some reason, the US establishment has become extremely hesitant of actually fighting any country for the last 10 years or so. It cucked out of fighting Russia in Crimea and Syria despite her being vastly weaker at that time to the US. The US has also cucked out of fighting Iran and hell, it even didn't fight venezuela, not even an air campaign!

    In retaliation for the murder of solemani the Iranians even openly struck US bases with missiles. The US has decimated countries in the past over far less, yet now, they simply took the slap on the face.

    A similar and equally embarrassing situation unfolded with the Ukraine this april. The US sent warships to the black sea, the Russians threatened them and they turned tail and left!

    What's the point of having a titanic military if you never use it?

    Is the US establishment simply too feminine and risk averse nowadays? Or are they afraid that if the US forces suffer a few thousand casualties within the span of a few days there would be mass mutinies and desertions?

    People only go to the US military for the free housing,, education, medical care, pension and other gibs.

    The recent American lack of nuts is mystifying. They still have enormous superiority of materials and logistics over Russia and Iran. The US technological superiority over Russia and China is still solid as well, and certainly in the case of Iran.

    Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle, @Felix Keverich, @Rich, @beavertales, @AltSerrice, @216, @Mario Partisan, @mindblower, @Fr. John, @JL

    What’s the point of having a titanic military if you never use it?

    Probably more like a Titanic military. You know, the ship that everyone was thought was the biggest and best until it got sunk by an incompetent captain hitting an iceberg.

  87. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    @Daniel Chieh

    I should include this as well, which has added to my thoughts on complexity.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201209115209.htm

    Basically complexity just increases unless there's some reason eradicates against it. The way it is described it pretty amusing tbh

    New study shows that proteins become biochemically addicted to complex interactions without adaptation.

    I remember reading that "it was a myth" that evolution causes greater complexity, and one of the arguments was that "if an animal gets two copies of a gene, it isn't any fitter for it." Well, no. Not directly. But one copy of the gene now can continue to serve its purpose, and the second one can potentially mutate into something beneficial - and this seems to be origin of the ever more complex brain, especially the parts dealing with language.

    Contra Aaron, life does favor "striving", even in plants - with additional energy affording various advantages.


    Karpinski's new study attempts to link light-activated electrical activity to immune defenses in plants. In the new study, researchers infected the leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana (thale cress) with a bacterial pathogen either one hour before exposing the plant to a strong dose of blue, red or white light or one, eight or 24 hours after exposing the plant to light. Plants treated with light before infection developed resistance, but plants infected without any preceding illumination showed no resistance...
    When exposed to strong light, Karpinski explains, plants absorb more energy than they can use for photosynthesis—but he doesn't think plants waste this excess energy. Karpinski says plants convert the energy to heat and electrochemical activity that can later trigger biological processes, like immune defenses.
     
    I guess you could see something divine in it. It certainly does seem to be happening, at any rate.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    Yes, increasing and in a sense maximizing complexity is something that Evolution does when offered the necessary energy and material ressources / nutrients to convert to new information patterns. When I wrote that we don’t need the complexity to ensure a very efficient genetic information conservation, replication and transmission, I was thinking of bacteria. But even in bacterial ecosystems, the microbiote interactions are very complex, while horizontal transfer of genetic information allows for genomic recombination events where entire complex systems are acquired not through mutation and selection, but through receiving these systems encoded on genetic mobile elements.

    In fact, if we could somehow account for the total amount of information, contained in a given ecosystem, we would probably find out that in a mature and stabilized ecosystem that has reached its climax community, the total amount of information is the maximum that can be reached given the available energy and nutrients. Life as planetary process would seem moving in that direction of maximizing information by surfing the entropy gradients and subverting these to produce increasingly numerous and also complex patterns of distribution of matter and/or energy, each of these patterns being of course in itself an increase in a total quantity of information.

    Perhaps here’s where Aaron has intuitively come to an interesting finding: all living systems end up maximizing the total information complexity, but in each given environment they will only be capable of doing that through coexistence and a balancing act. An ecosystem would be more complex and more stable if all interdependent biological interactions occurring in it are balanced against each other. That is when its total information content would be maximized.

    This is probably also true to some extent in human societies if we see human cultures as nothing more than this same tendency towards producing more information, but through cultural / technological means. But perhaps this is a stretch to project this biological tendency to human affairs.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Bashibuzuk


    ecosystem would be more complex and more stable if all interdependent biological interactions occurring in it are balanced against each other.
     
    But we don't see this. Successfully local complexity just causes extinction events for everyone else: the Great Oxygenation Event, the Cambian Explosion, the Anthropocene Extinction Event, etc. The "others" get "balanced" by being dead. Complexity increases but I don't think there's a precise mechanism to save the specific marks of distinction: tons of extinct, unique lifeforms - all body forms except for two lost for animals, pretty much all nervous system rivals lost(mollusk intelligence as a rare holdout), etc. Convergence is weirdly specific: the exact same chemicals reused for animals and plants for communication, the neocortex in birds, etc.

    What is interesting is that at least in two examples above, it's not so much the selfish gene per se: the cyanobacteria aren't "intentionally" extincting the world and humans largely aren't trying to eradicate all animals: they're just improving their own situation. Oxygen pollution and habitat destruction is just a side effect.

    So, more complexity, but I don't think more stability. I mean, it seems like death by aging was introduced by that complexity. I don't think the notion of "mature and stabilized" is a lasting concept: equilibrium does happen for awhile, but then the entire equilibrium gets wiped out by some shift. And contra the notion of imbalance being punished, the disrupters of such equilibrium often become dominant, at the detriment of everything else.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  88. @Bashibuzuk
    @Daniel Chieh

    Yes, increasing and in a sense maximizing complexity is something that Evolution does when offered the necessary energy and material ressources / nutrients to convert to new information patterns. When I wrote that we don't need the complexity to ensure a very efficient genetic information conservation, replication and transmission, I was thinking of bacteria. But even in bacterial ecosystems, the microbiote interactions are very complex, while horizontal transfer of genetic information allows for genomic recombination events where entire complex systems are acquired not through mutation and selection, but through receiving these systems encoded on genetic mobile elements.

    In fact, if we could somehow account for the total amount of information, contained in a given ecosystem, we would probably find out that in a mature and stabilized ecosystem that has reached its climax community, the total amount of information is the maximum that can be reached given the available energy and nutrients. Life as planetary process would seem moving in that direction of maximizing information by surfing the entropy gradients and subverting these to produce increasingly numerous and also complex patterns of distribution of matter and/or energy, each of these patterns being of course in itself an increase in a total quantity of information.

    Perhaps here's where Aaron has intuitively come to an interesting finding: all living systems end up maximizing the total information complexity, but in each given environment they will only be capable of doing that through coexistence and a balancing act. An ecosystem would be more complex and more stable if all interdependent biological interactions occurring in it are balanced against each other. That is when its total information content would be maximized.

    This is probably also true to some extent in human societies if we see human cultures as nothing more than this same tendency towards producing more information, but through cultural / technological means. But perhaps this is a stretch to project this biological tendency to human affairs.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    ecosystem would be more complex and more stable if all interdependent biological interactions occurring in it are balanced against each other.

    But we don’t see this. Successfully local complexity just causes extinction events for everyone else: the Great Oxygenation Event, the Cambian Explosion, the Anthropocene Extinction Event, etc. The “others” get “balanced” by being dead. Complexity increases but I don’t think there’s a precise mechanism to save the specific marks of distinction: tons of extinct, unique lifeforms – all body forms except for two lost for animals, pretty much all nervous system rivals lost(mollusk intelligence as a rare holdout), etc. Convergence is weirdly specific: the exact same chemicals reused for animals and plants for communication, the neocortex in birds, etc.

    What is interesting is that at least in two examples above, it’s not so much the selfish gene per se: the cyanobacteria aren’t “intentionally” extincting the world and humans largely aren’t trying to eradicate all animals: they’re just improving their own situation. Oxygen pollution and habitat destruction is just a side effect.

    So, more complexity, but I don’t think more stability. I mean, it seems like death by aging was introduced by that complexity. I don’t think the notion of “mature and stabilized” is a lasting concept: equilibrium does happen for awhile, but then the entire equilibrium gets wiped out by some shift. And contra the notion of imbalance being punished, the disrupters of such equilibrium often become dominant, at the detriment of everything else.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Daniel Chieh

    This is true from the point if view of individual organisms, populations, species, fauna communities and even extended ecosystems. But if we look at total information I would suggest that each extinction is to be seen as a reorganization leading to even more information produced per unit of energy/matter. Creative destruction, so to speak.

    Basically, it would suggest defining Evolution as a process of transforming energy/matter into increased information, where information is any pattern of energy/matter recognizable by any receptor capable of detecting such pattern. A receptor being also of necessity simultaneously a pattern of energy/matter (because how could it be otherwise ?).

    Basically, the teleology of such a process would be maximized information in every possible location / conditions accross our Universe. And if we extend this view to technology, then we get the anthropization (also called technogenesis / техногенез in Russian). Human beings dominate the biosphere simply because they are increasing the total overall amount of information per unit of energy/matter. And it doesn't matter if most of this information is seemingly meaningless, it recombines to become even more complex until it reaches its climax of maximum complexity, interdependence and for a (brief) time increased dynamic stability. Then another extinction, another transition etc.

    Somewhat related through the technogenesis pov:

    https://asiatimes.com/2021/06/china-is-first-out-of-the-gate-to-industry-4-0/

    https://www.elsevier.com/books/the-biocene/shyam/978-0-12-818443-1

    Now, as a human being I am not in favor of our Word undergoing this kind of creative destruction, in which we will most probably be decimated as a species, but I don't think it can be avoided. The Universe is seemingly working that way.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  89. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    @Bashibuzuk


    ecosystem would be more complex and more stable if all interdependent biological interactions occurring in it are balanced against each other.
     
    But we don't see this. Successfully local complexity just causes extinction events for everyone else: the Great Oxygenation Event, the Cambian Explosion, the Anthropocene Extinction Event, etc. The "others" get "balanced" by being dead. Complexity increases but I don't think there's a precise mechanism to save the specific marks of distinction: tons of extinct, unique lifeforms - all body forms except for two lost for animals, pretty much all nervous system rivals lost(mollusk intelligence as a rare holdout), etc. Convergence is weirdly specific: the exact same chemicals reused for animals and plants for communication, the neocortex in birds, etc.

    What is interesting is that at least in two examples above, it's not so much the selfish gene per se: the cyanobacteria aren't "intentionally" extincting the world and humans largely aren't trying to eradicate all animals: they're just improving their own situation. Oxygen pollution and habitat destruction is just a side effect.

    So, more complexity, but I don't think more stability. I mean, it seems like death by aging was introduced by that complexity. I don't think the notion of "mature and stabilized" is a lasting concept: equilibrium does happen for awhile, but then the entire equilibrium gets wiped out by some shift. And contra the notion of imbalance being punished, the disrupters of such equilibrium often become dominant, at the detriment of everything else.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    This is true from the point if view of individual organisms, populations, species, fauna communities and even extended ecosystems. But if we look at total information I would suggest that each extinction is to be seen as a reorganization leading to even more information produced per unit of energy/matter. Creative destruction, so to speak.

    Basically, it would suggest defining Evolution as a process of transforming energy/matter into increased information, where information is any pattern of energy/matter recognizable by any receptor capable of detecting such pattern. A receptor being also of necessity simultaneously a pattern of energy/matter (because how could it be otherwise ?).

    Basically, the teleology of such a process would be maximized information in every possible location / conditions accross our Universe. And if we extend this view to technology, then we get the anthropization (also called technogenesis / техногенез in Russian). Human beings dominate the biosphere simply because they are increasing the total overall amount of information per unit of energy/matter. And it doesn’t matter if most of this information is seemingly meaningless, it recombines to become even more complex until it reaches its climax of maximum complexity, interdependence and for a (brief) time increased dynamic stability. Then another extinction, another transition etc.

    Somewhat related through the technogenesis pov:

    https://asiatimes.com/2021/06/china-is-first-out-of-the-gate-to-industry-4-0/

    https://www.elsevier.com/books/the-biocene/shyam/978-0-12-818443-1

    Now, as a human being I am not in favor of our Word undergoing this kind of creative destruction, in which we will most probably be decimated as a species, but I don’t think it can be avoided. The Universe is seemingly working that way.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Bashibuzuk


    But if we look at total information I would suggest that each extinction is to be seen as a reorganization leading to even more information produced per unit of energy/matter.
     
    Heh. The development of the internet is a total complexity higher than cuttlefish social life or baboon expression. Hard to disagree there, an amusing thought. Thanks for introducing it.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  90. @Bashibuzuk
    @Daniel Chieh

    This is true from the point if view of individual organisms, populations, species, fauna communities and even extended ecosystems. But if we look at total information I would suggest that each extinction is to be seen as a reorganization leading to even more information produced per unit of energy/matter. Creative destruction, so to speak.

    Basically, it would suggest defining Evolution as a process of transforming energy/matter into increased information, where information is any pattern of energy/matter recognizable by any receptor capable of detecting such pattern. A receptor being also of necessity simultaneously a pattern of energy/matter (because how could it be otherwise ?).

    Basically, the teleology of such a process would be maximized information in every possible location / conditions accross our Universe. And if we extend this view to technology, then we get the anthropization (also called technogenesis / техногенез in Russian). Human beings dominate the biosphere simply because they are increasing the total overall amount of information per unit of energy/matter. And it doesn't matter if most of this information is seemingly meaningless, it recombines to become even more complex until it reaches its climax of maximum complexity, interdependence and for a (brief) time increased dynamic stability. Then another extinction, another transition etc.

    Somewhat related through the technogenesis pov:

    https://asiatimes.com/2021/06/china-is-first-out-of-the-gate-to-industry-4-0/

    https://www.elsevier.com/books/the-biocene/shyam/978-0-12-818443-1

    Now, as a human being I am not in favor of our Word undergoing this kind of creative destruction, in which we will most probably be decimated as a species, but I don't think it can be avoided. The Universe is seemingly working that way.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    But if we look at total information I would suggest that each extinction is to be seen as a reorganization leading to even more information produced per unit of energy/matter.

    Heh. The development of the internet is a total complexity higher than cuttlefish social life or baboon expression. Hard to disagree there, an amusing thought. Thanks for introducing it.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Daniel Chieh


    The development of the internet is a total complexity higher than cuttlefish social life or baboon expression.
     
    It's not necessarily more complex than a climax community ecosystem, but it probably amounts to more information produced per unit of energy / matter / time. Even though most of this information is meaningless kittens and puppies pics, pron and (pseudo)news etc.

    If Evolution teleology is to transform as much energy / matter to bits of information as fast as possible, then idiotic Tik - Tokers are the pinnacle of the whole Creation. This also explains which cultures should logically dominate the future, that is until human beings and whole biosphere are replaced with bulimic self-hallucinating AI matrix. These should be cultures and societies that are the most conducive to the emergence of this hyperactive self-hallucintaing matrix, that is which offer the best conditions of tech + culture.

    I believe a planetary Globohomo + 5G panopticum would probably be the most logical outcome. I am being ironic here, but this thought brings us back to the OT posted by AK, those who dominate the internet today will be superseded by those who dominate the information web tomorrow.

    And when no more humans are needed, then it will go on without further human intervention, immersed into increased autistic information - masturbation until it imagines the next reboot of reality and implements the next Big Bang. But this is the realm of "cosmic hippie theories " that we are entering here : "In the beginning was the word (verb)..." etc.

    🙂

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @Daniel Chieh

  91. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    @Bashibuzuk


    But if we look at total information I would suggest that each extinction is to be seen as a reorganization leading to even more information produced per unit of energy/matter.
     
    Heh. The development of the internet is a total complexity higher than cuttlefish social life or baboon expression. Hard to disagree there, an amusing thought. Thanks for introducing it.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    The development of the internet is a total complexity higher than cuttlefish social life or baboon expression.

    It’s not necessarily more complex than a climax community ecosystem, but it probably amounts to more information produced per unit of energy / matter / time. Even though most of this information is meaningless kittens and puppies pics, pron and (pseudo)news etc.

    If Evolution teleology is to transform as much energy / matter to bits of information as fast as possible, then idiotic Tik – Tokers are the pinnacle of the whole Creation. This also explains which cultures should logically dominate the future, that is until human beings and whole biosphere are replaced with bulimic self-hallucinating AI matrix. These should be cultures and societies that are the most conducive to the emergence of this hyperactive self-hallucintaing matrix, that is which offer the best conditions of tech + culture.

    I believe a planetary Globohomo + 5G panopticum would probably be the most logical outcome. I am being ironic here, but this thought brings us back to the OT posted by AK, those who dominate the internet today will be superseded by those who dominate the information web tomorrow.

    And when no more humans are needed, then it will go on without further human intervention, immersed into increased autistic information – masturbation until it imagines the next reboot of reality and implements the next Big Bang. But this is the realm of “cosmic hippie theories ” that we are entering here : “In the beginning was the word (verb)…” etc.

    🙂

    • LOL: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Bashibuzuk

    For Altan:

    https://youtu.be/pTp8VizqUWY

    (Pelevin did nothing wrong!)

    https://russiapedia.rt.com/files/prominent-russians/literature/viktor-pelevin/viktor-pelevin_6-t.jpg

    After inventing Cosmism, experimenting with Wokeness in its extreme form of Bolshevism, some Russians have been the first to realize where it is all leading to and come back to their senses.

    🙂

    Replies: @AltanBakshi

    , @Daniel Chieh
    @Bashibuzuk

    That's actually an amusing image: essentially, the extinction of the physical universe - in literal terms, being repurposed into fuel, etc - so that it can be replaced by the digital one. Right up until the completely informational universe decides to go around and create a simulated reality of a physical universe.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  92. @Bashibuzuk
    @Daniel Chieh


    The development of the internet is a total complexity higher than cuttlefish social life or baboon expression.
     
    It's not necessarily more complex than a climax community ecosystem, but it probably amounts to more information produced per unit of energy / matter / time. Even though most of this information is meaningless kittens and puppies pics, pron and (pseudo)news etc.

    If Evolution teleology is to transform as much energy / matter to bits of information as fast as possible, then idiotic Tik - Tokers are the pinnacle of the whole Creation. This also explains which cultures should logically dominate the future, that is until human beings and whole biosphere are replaced with bulimic self-hallucinating AI matrix. These should be cultures and societies that are the most conducive to the emergence of this hyperactive self-hallucintaing matrix, that is which offer the best conditions of tech + culture.

    I believe a planetary Globohomo + 5G panopticum would probably be the most logical outcome. I am being ironic here, but this thought brings us back to the OT posted by AK, those who dominate the internet today will be superseded by those who dominate the information web tomorrow.

    And when no more humans are needed, then it will go on without further human intervention, immersed into increased autistic information - masturbation until it imagines the next reboot of reality and implements the next Big Bang. But this is the realm of "cosmic hippie theories " that we are entering here : "In the beginning was the word (verb)..." etc.

    🙂

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @Daniel Chieh

    For Altan:

    (Pelevin did nothing wrong!)

    After inventing Cosmism, experimenting with Wokeness in its extreme form of Bolshevism, some Russians have been the first to realize where it is all leading to and come back to their senses.

    🙂

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    @Bashibuzuk

    Didn't know that Pelevin has been in Bhutan, for that man needs either money or connections. But now I get where your interest into Chan and Dharma comes.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  93. @Bashibuzuk
    @Bashibuzuk

    For Altan:

    https://youtu.be/pTp8VizqUWY

    (Pelevin did nothing wrong!)

    https://russiapedia.rt.com/files/prominent-russians/literature/viktor-pelevin/viktor-pelevin_6-t.jpg

    After inventing Cosmism, experimenting with Wokeness in its extreme form of Bolshevism, some Russians have been the first to realize where it is all leading to and come back to their senses.

    🙂

    Replies: @AltanBakshi

    Didn’t know that Pelevin has been in Bhutan, for that man needs either money or connections. But now I get where your interest into Chan and Dharma comes.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @AltanBakshi

    I was interested with the Dharma first and read Pelevin later in the early 2000s. But yes, Pelevin was somewhat instrumental in getting me interested in Buddhism because as one of the editors of the Наука и Религия magazine in the late 80ies he lobbied for the publication of Buddhist Sutras. That is where I read my furst Sutra excerpt around 1988.


    В 1989 году поступил в Литературный институт им. А.М. Горького, затем несколько лет проработал в журнале "Наука и религия", где готовил публикации по восточному мистицизму.
     
    https://ria.ru/20091221/200549513.html
  94. Bashibuzuk says:
    @AltanBakshi
    @Bashibuzuk

    Didn't know that Pelevin has been in Bhutan, for that man needs either money or connections. But now I get where your interest into Chan and Dharma comes.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    I was interested with the Dharma first and read Pelevin later in the early 2000s. But yes, Pelevin was somewhat instrumental in getting me interested in Buddhism because as one of the editors of the Наука и Религия magazine in the late 80ies he lobbied for the publication of Buddhist Sutras. That is where I read my furst Sutra excerpt around 1988.

    В 1989 году поступил в Литературный институт им. А.М. Горького, затем несколько лет проработал в журнале “Наука и религия”, где готовил публикации по восточному мистицизму.

    https://ria.ru/20091221/200549513.html

  95. @Bashibuzuk
    @Daniel Chieh


    The development of the internet is a total complexity higher than cuttlefish social life or baboon expression.
     
    It's not necessarily more complex than a climax community ecosystem, but it probably amounts to more information produced per unit of energy / matter / time. Even though most of this information is meaningless kittens and puppies pics, pron and (pseudo)news etc.

    If Evolution teleology is to transform as much energy / matter to bits of information as fast as possible, then idiotic Tik - Tokers are the pinnacle of the whole Creation. This also explains which cultures should logically dominate the future, that is until human beings and whole biosphere are replaced with bulimic self-hallucinating AI matrix. These should be cultures and societies that are the most conducive to the emergence of this hyperactive self-hallucintaing matrix, that is which offer the best conditions of tech + culture.

    I believe a planetary Globohomo + 5G panopticum would probably be the most logical outcome. I am being ironic here, but this thought brings us back to the OT posted by AK, those who dominate the internet today will be superseded by those who dominate the information web tomorrow.

    And when no more humans are needed, then it will go on without further human intervention, immersed into increased autistic information - masturbation until it imagines the next reboot of reality and implements the next Big Bang. But this is the realm of "cosmic hippie theories " that we are entering here : "In the beginning was the word (verb)..." etc.

    🙂

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @Daniel Chieh

    That’s actually an amusing image: essentially, the extinction of the physical universe – in literal terms, being repurposed into fuel, etc – so that it can be replaced by the digital one. Right up until the completely informational universe decides to go around and create a simulated reality of a physical universe.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Daniel Chieh


    create a simulated reality of a physical universe
     
    What we call information/matter/energy are perhaps just 3 hypostases of the same underlying ineffable Real. The distinction we make among them is possibly but a human construct.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Daniel Chieh

  96. @Daniel Chieh
    @Bashibuzuk

    That's actually an amusing image: essentially, the extinction of the physical universe - in literal terms, being repurposed into fuel, etc - so that it can be replaced by the digital one. Right up until the completely informational universe decides to go around and create a simulated reality of a physical universe.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    create a simulated reality of a physical universe

    What we call information/matter/energy are perhaps just 3 hypostases of the same underlying ineffable Real. The distinction we make among them is possibly but a human construct.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @Bashibuzuk

    To me it sounds like the Trai-lokya distinctions employed by Buddhist cosmologists to divide the Devaloka: Kāmaloka where all three of the elements are operational (hence the continued existence of material desires), Rūpaloka where material influence is not operative, and finally Arūpaloka where matter is negated in the lower rungs and energy is abandoned at the higher rungs, leaving a world of pure consciousness (information?).
    Aryan ingenuity, except again "Heaven" is being brought down to the Earth.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @Bashibuzuk

    , @Daniel Chieh
    @Bashibuzuk

    Well, however it is, its possible that there are actual resource constraints that make it less easy to define in a straight line.

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kaue-Costa/publication/264759228/figure/fig1/AS:[email protected]/Variations-in-atmospheric-oxygen-concentrations-over-geological-time-Green-arrows-and.png

    Right before the world caught on fire around 30% oxygen, I suppose an observer would think that oxygen content would keep increasing on Earth.

  97. @Caspar von Everec
    @Felix Keverich

    This could not be farther from the truth.

    Air power defeated the 1 million man Iraqi army in 1991. The allies suffered about 200-400 casualties while the Iraqi army lost over 60,000 men to the air war alone. Israeli air power decimated the Arab armies in 1967. They struggled in 73 when they initially lacked air superiority.

    However, Anowar Sadaat was stupid enough to send his armored divisions into the open desert outside the protection of the Soviet made SAM umbrella and were decimated by Israeli air strikes and tanks.

    An allied air campaign almost single handedly defeated Serbia in 1999. Iraq 2003 is another example of an army simply dissolving in the face of a superior air force. US air power also overthrew Gaddafi in 2011.

    The cases of Vietnam and Afghanistan are often brought up but those weren't conventional conflicts. The US lost vietnam because the army was not allowed to invade North Vietnam and end the war decisively. The vietnamese simply waited them out. Samw with Afghanistan where the US army never had more than 100,000 troops to occupty a 500,000 sq km country.

    As for Iran, there's nothing wrong with what I said. In ww2, 20 B-29s each carrying 24 500-lb bombs raided a Japanese industrial facility. Of those 650+ bombs, only one landed on the target. Today, a single F-16 can carry 8 such bombs and precisely hit 8 such targets due to radio, satellite and laser guided munitions.

    The Iranians can't move their whole civilization underground. Eventually the bombing will destroy their bridges, industries, refineries, ports, railways and fertilizer plants. They could strangle Iran to death with starvation. B-52s could easily petrol bomb Iranian agriculture too during the dry season. Russia could provide food via the Caspian sea but its impossible to feed a country of 80 million people through lend lease aid.

    Replies: @sher singh, @Dreadilk, @Max Payne, @Svevlad, @AaronB, @Daniel H, @Daniel Chieh, @showmethereal, @Mulga Mumblebrain

    The US did not defeat Iraq in 1991. The US didn’t invade on the ground because they knew the US public couldn’t take the casualties. Cowbow Bush 2 forgot that as he wanted to prove himself to be tough by starting a fake war. We saw what happened in the 2000’s once the boots got on the ground. Aerial bombing does not win a war. It HELPS to achieve objectives – but it doesn’t win a war.

  98. @216
    @Caspar von Everec


    One thing that mystifies me is why the US hasn’t invaded and destroyed Iran already. They could’ve done it in 2005 when the US military was far more virile and US hegemony was unchecked.

    Even now they can defeat Iran without much difficulty. A lot of people bleat about muh militias and guerillas but the USAF can simply bomb Iran into submission.
     
    The US could invade and occupy the coastal areas where the overwhelming majority of oil is produced, but occupying the entire country isn't logistically possible without a major buildup on the scale of WW2.

    The share of ethnic and religious minorities that would welcome an invasion is considerably lower than in Iraq, and the terrain is much rougher.

    If the US goal is regime change, it would be wiser to forment a coup among officers in the regular military to remove the IRGC and install moderate clerical leadership.

    Much depends on whether or not Raisi can consolidate enough power to become the next Supreme Leader. The opportunity for a coup is strongest during a power vaccum when no one can credibly succeed Khamenei.

    Replies: @(((Owen))), @showmethereal

    “The share of ethnic and religious minorities that would welcome an invasion is considerably lower than in Iraq, and the terrain is much rougher.”

    Ummmm – Shia Iraqis wanted Sunni Saddam gone…. They didn’t want US troops occupying. They still don’t want them there… Which is why they support the Iranian militias in arming and training Iraqi militias. Had they (the Shia militias) not used so much energy fighting ISIS… The US military would most likely have completely done what they are doing in Afghanistan now.

  99. @AaronB
    @AaronB


    Finally, I would not necessarily describe the biological relationship between cells as one of increasing centralization – this seems in the end to privilege consciousness and to be a form of solipsism. Consciousness thinks the stomach exists to give it fuel – but from the perspective of the stomach, maybe the brain exists to find it food?

    Instead of a process of centralization, I see a network of mutual dependencies with no clear center!
     
    To take this further, if the world is a network of mutual dependencies, then the success of any one animal at the expense of another is illusory.

    For instance, the lion and the antelope exist in mutual dependence. Even though the lion preys on the antelope, the antelope doesn't "exist" to feed the lion, and in fact the lion performs an essential task for the antelope by ensuring they don't overpopulate their habitat.

    It all depends on what "level" one chooses to look at the picture from. From one level, the lion appears to be predator. From a higher level, the lion is benefactor to the antelope.

    (It would be well to look at our enemies in this spirit).

    Many religions and philosophers suggest that from the most comprehensive point of view, the world is a system of mutual dependencies and not a process of increasing centralization - that that one can only see things that way if one is looking from a partial vantage point.

    Replies: @showmethereal

    “For instance, the lion and the antelope exist in mutual dependence. Even though the lion preys on the antelope, the antelope doesn’t “exist” to feed the lion, and in fact the lion performs an essential task for the antelope by ensuring they don’t overpopulate their habitat.”

    The antelope – like other ungulates – fertilize the soil as they defecate. They migrate and spread seed too… Having predators around makes them not stay in one place too long. If they have food and water they won’t leave… But predators will make them leave and disperse seed in doing so.
    Also the lion – like all natural predators – will first go for the old and sick and injured – and then the weaker/slower/or dumber – which keeps the gene pool of the antelope strong.

    Very symbiotic and not an all an accident. It’s that way to teach us.

    • Agree: AaronB
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @showmethereal

    Yeah, full of lessons.

    https://www.britannica.com/list/6-animals-we-ate-into-extinction

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/30/humanity-wiped-out-animals-since-1970-major-report-finds

    Nor is it humanity only:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-92691-1#


    Here we show that wild pigs threaten 672 taxa in 54 different countries across the globe. Most of these taxa are listed as critically endangered or endangered and 14 species have been driven to extinction as a direct result of impacts from wild pigs
     

    Replies: @AaronB, @Showmethereal

  100. @Bashibuzuk
    @Daniel Chieh


    create a simulated reality of a physical universe
     
    What we call information/matter/energy are perhaps just 3 hypostases of the same underlying ineffable Real. The distinction we make among them is possibly but a human construct.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Daniel Chieh

    To me it sounds like the Trai-lokya distinctions employed by Buddhist cosmologists to divide the Devaloka: Kāmaloka where all three of the elements are operational (hence the continued existence of material desires), Rūpaloka where material influence is not operative, and finally Arūpaloka where matter is negated in the lower rungs and energy is abandoned at the higher rungs, leaving a world of pure consciousness (information?).
    Aryan ingenuity, except again “Heaven” is being brought down to the Earth.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    @Yellowface Anon

    Quite interesting musings!

    Sorry to nitpick, but loka is space or plane and deva is god, therefore devaloka is a place of gods. Our world systems name is Saha world according to Dharma. I don't know much about Buddhist cosmology, but Rupadhatu is the world of subtle or ethereal forms, where beings are attached to subtle forms of sensory objects, whatever that means...

    Still how there can be information without some basis in matter or energy? All data on internet needs to be storaged somewhere. Isn't it Platonic to claim that information/ideas can exist independently somewhere? I would be happy if you or Bashi could explain me how such thing would be possible.

    Also information is nothing without perceiver. Without us giving a meaning for different bits of data.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @Yellowface Anon, @Daniel Chieh

    , @Bashibuzuk
    @Yellowface Anon

    All these descriptions are just a finger pointing at the moon. We can talk of the Trimurti, Trikaya or the Holy Trinity, draw Sephirotic Trees, Sufi calligraphies of the 99 names of Allah, Tantric Yantras and Mandalas or analyze the I Ching hexagrams, these are abd always will be all just interpretations. We spend our whole existence interpreting our perceived experience. But when we are deeply asleep, where does the dream go ? Better drink one's coffee in the morning and have one's cold beer in a hot afternoon. That's mystical enough...

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

  101. @Yellowface Anon
    @Bashibuzuk

    To me it sounds like the Trai-lokya distinctions employed by Buddhist cosmologists to divide the Devaloka: Kāmaloka where all three of the elements are operational (hence the continued existence of material desires), Rūpaloka where material influence is not operative, and finally Arūpaloka where matter is negated in the lower rungs and energy is abandoned at the higher rungs, leaving a world of pure consciousness (information?).
    Aryan ingenuity, except again "Heaven" is being brought down to the Earth.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @Bashibuzuk

    Quite interesting musings!

    Sorry to nitpick, but loka is space or plane and deva is god, therefore devaloka is a place of gods. Our world systems name is Saha world according to Dharma. I don’t know much about Buddhist cosmology, but Rupadhatu is the world of subtle or ethereal forms, where beings are attached to subtle forms of sensory objects, whatever that means…

    Still how there can be information without some basis in matter or energy? All data on internet needs to be storaged somewhere. Isn’t it Platonic to claim that information/ideas can exist independently somewhere? I would be happy if you or Bashi could explain me how such thing would be possible.

    Also information is nothing without perceiver. Without us giving a meaning for different bits of data.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @AltanBakshi


    Still how there can be information without some basis in matter or energy?
     
    Yes. This is exactly what I wrote. Information is always correlated with a pattern in matter and/or energy distribution and/or transformation. Information is any such pattern that can be detected by any receptor. The receptor being itself of necessity such a pattern, information is therefore detected by information. In the last and deepest analysis reality is information.

    What we describe as matter and/or energy are always information patterns. Matter and / or energy are human concepts, Information is another such concept. We cannot describe the Real other than through using such concepts and constructs of concepts. The Real is also a concept. It is also information.

    Our whole conscious experience is an interpretation of a myriad patterns detected through a myriad sensors and constructed under a conceptual form. But whatever we detect and perceive is of necessity information, and whatever detects and perceives is also of necessity simultaneously information. This is what we are, what reality is, it cannot be avoided. But we may ask the question: if matter / energy / information are represented as sides of an equilateral triangle, what is in the midst of this triangle ?

    That is, if there is anything at all.

    The perceiver cannot be isolated from the perception. They are interdependent. Also, information is logarithmic: it can be transmitted in a condensed format through a substitute pattern as long as we have some other information to decode the substitution. This is where consciousness steps in. It assigns the role of an identity to a certain complex construct of concepts. Then it assigns external and internal illusory boundaries to the perceived patterns. It assigns interpretations, produces words, concepts and doctrines. But at its very deepest and most basic level, it is just an information flow, a flux in a dynamic web, which cannot be untangled from all the other patterns which it interacts with. Patterns interacting with patterns, their interaction being itself a sum of patterns...

    Again, question is: is there anything beyond it?

    Intuitively it feels like there must be something greater or deeper, but it is perhaps just another artifact of our own consciousness. If our consciousness is all there is for us to see (Cittamatra) then better purify and untangle it to bring it in a state where it no longer produces illusory interpretations and finds peace at last. But it is difficult to achieve "cause we are all caught together here in this bittersweet embrace."

    , @Yellowface Anon
    @AltanBakshi

    Those Buddhist terms come down to me in Chinese and so I wasn't able to recognize the Sanskrit (or mostly Indo-European) etymologies at first sight. That said, the Chinese term for Rupadhatu (色界) also refers to Rupaloka, whatever subtleties in Sanskrit use is lost here.

    , @Daniel Chieh
    @AltanBakshi


    Still how there can be information without some basis in matter or energy? All data on internet needs to be storaged somewhere.
     
    It mean, yes, it probably exists in with physical support but it very much seems to have become something that's quite a bit irreducable to the sum of its physical support, e.g.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Default_mode_network

    It exists only as a constant thing, it can't be "subdivided" easily, sufficiently disrupt the brain and it'll cease all activity with no replication possible.
  102. Bashibuzuk says:
    @AltanBakshi
    @Yellowface Anon

    Quite interesting musings!

    Sorry to nitpick, but loka is space or plane and deva is god, therefore devaloka is a place of gods. Our world systems name is Saha world according to Dharma. I don't know much about Buddhist cosmology, but Rupadhatu is the world of subtle or ethereal forms, where beings are attached to subtle forms of sensory objects, whatever that means...

    Still how there can be information without some basis in matter or energy? All data on internet needs to be storaged somewhere. Isn't it Platonic to claim that information/ideas can exist independently somewhere? I would be happy if you or Bashi could explain me how such thing would be possible.

    Also information is nothing without perceiver. Without us giving a meaning for different bits of data.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @Yellowface Anon, @Daniel Chieh

    Still how there can be information without some basis in matter or energy?

    Yes. This is exactly what I wrote. Information is always correlated with a pattern in matter and/or energy distribution and/or transformation. Information is any such pattern that can be detected by any receptor. The receptor being itself of necessity such a pattern, information is therefore detected by information. In the last and deepest analysis reality is information.

    [MORE]

    What we describe as matter and/or energy are always information patterns. Matter and / or energy are human concepts, Information is another such concept. We cannot describe the Real other than through using such concepts and constructs of concepts. The Real is also a concept. It is also information.

    Our whole conscious experience is an interpretation of a myriad patterns detected through a myriad sensors and constructed under a conceptual form. But whatever we detect and perceive is of necessity information, and whatever detects and perceives is also of necessity simultaneously information. This is what we are, what reality is, it cannot be avoided. But we may ask the question: if matter / energy / information are represented as sides of an equilateral triangle, what is in the midst of this triangle ?

    That is, if there is anything at all.

    The perceiver cannot be isolated from the perception. They are interdependent. Also, information is logarithmic: it can be transmitted in a condensed format through a substitute pattern as long as we have some other information to decode the substitution. This is where consciousness steps in. It assigns the role of an identity to a certain complex construct of concepts. Then it assigns external and internal illusory boundaries to the perceived patterns. It assigns interpretations, produces words, concepts and doctrines. But at its very deepest and most basic level, it is just an information flow, a flux in a dynamic web, which cannot be untangled from all the other patterns which it interacts with. Patterns interacting with patterns, their interaction being itself a sum of patterns…

    Again, question is: is there anything beyond it?

    Intuitively it feels like there must be something greater or deeper, but it is perhaps just another artifact of our own consciousness. If our consciousness is all there is for us to see (Cittamatra) then better purify and untangle it to bring it in a state where it no longer produces illusory interpretations and finds peace at last. But it is difficult to achieve “cause we are all caught together here in this bittersweet embrace.”

  103. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Yellowface Anon
    @Bashibuzuk

    To me it sounds like the Trai-lokya distinctions employed by Buddhist cosmologists to divide the Devaloka: Kāmaloka where all three of the elements are operational (hence the continued existence of material desires), Rūpaloka where material influence is not operative, and finally Arūpaloka where matter is negated in the lower rungs and energy is abandoned at the higher rungs, leaving a world of pure consciousness (information?).
    Aryan ingenuity, except again "Heaven" is being brought down to the Earth.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @Bashibuzuk

    All these descriptions are just a finger pointing at the moon. We can talk of the Trimurti, Trikaya or the Holy Trinity, draw Sephirotic Trees, Sufi calligraphies of the 99 names of Allah, Tantric Yantras and Mandalas or analyze the I Ching hexagrams, these are abd always will be all just interpretations. We spend our whole existence interpreting our perceived experience. But when we are deeply asleep, where does the dream go ? Better drink one’s coffee in the morning and have one’s cold beer in a hot afternoon. That’s mystical enough…

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @Bashibuzuk

    Do you think I actually want to reify that part of Buddhist cosmology? I was trying to draw some kind of twisted analogy between the Buddhist approach to sequential transcendence from the different stages of ontological understanding, and the information-based transhumanist vision.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @AltanBakshi

  104. @AltanBakshi
    @Yellowface Anon

    Quite interesting musings!

    Sorry to nitpick, but loka is space or plane and deva is god, therefore devaloka is a place of gods. Our world systems name is Saha world according to Dharma. I don't know much about Buddhist cosmology, but Rupadhatu is the world of subtle or ethereal forms, where beings are attached to subtle forms of sensory objects, whatever that means...

    Still how there can be information without some basis in matter or energy? All data on internet needs to be storaged somewhere. Isn't it Platonic to claim that information/ideas can exist independently somewhere? I would be happy if you or Bashi could explain me how such thing would be possible.

    Also information is nothing without perceiver. Without us giving a meaning for different bits of data.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @Yellowface Anon, @Daniel Chieh

    Those Buddhist terms come down to me in Chinese and so I wasn’t able to recognize the Sanskrit (or mostly Indo-European) etymologies at first sight. That said, the Chinese term for Rupadhatu (色界) also refers to Rupaloka, whatever subtleties in Sanskrit use is lost here.

  105. @Bashibuzuk
    @Yellowface Anon

    All these descriptions are just a finger pointing at the moon. We can talk of the Trimurti, Trikaya or the Holy Trinity, draw Sephirotic Trees, Sufi calligraphies of the 99 names of Allah, Tantric Yantras and Mandalas or analyze the I Ching hexagrams, these are abd always will be all just interpretations. We spend our whole existence interpreting our perceived experience. But when we are deeply asleep, where does the dream go ? Better drink one's coffee in the morning and have one's cold beer in a hot afternoon. That's mystical enough...

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

    Do you think I actually want to reify that part of Buddhist cosmology? I was trying to draw some kind of twisted analogy between the Buddhist approach to sequential transcendence from the different stages of ontological understanding, and the information-based transhumanist vision.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Yellowface Anon


    Do you think I actually want to reify that part of Buddhist cosmology?
     
    Of course not. But unfortunately, whatever we do - we end up anyway "reifying" pure experience into more "digestible" concepts. BTW, as concepts go, what I was describing is more indebted to Yogachara / Vijnaptimatra / Vijnanavada than Transhumanism. It is closer to Lankavatara Sutra than whatever Transhumanists use as their foundational litterature.
    , @AltanBakshi
    @Yellowface Anon

    Sequential transcendence? Buddhas do not mingle with the formless, beings in such realities are incapable of enlightenment, unlike in our world or in Rupadhatu. Yes, such realms are more pleasurable than our world, but from Buddhist pov rebirth in Arupaloka is not worth of pursuing.

    More like sequentially more pleasurable states of being.

  106. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Yellowface Anon
    @Bashibuzuk

    Do you think I actually want to reify that part of Buddhist cosmology? I was trying to draw some kind of twisted analogy between the Buddhist approach to sequential transcendence from the different stages of ontological understanding, and the information-based transhumanist vision.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @AltanBakshi

    Do you think I actually want to reify that part of Buddhist cosmology?

    Of course not. But unfortunately, whatever we do – we end up anyway “reifying” pure experience into more “digestible” concepts. BTW, as concepts go, what I was describing is more indebted to Yogachara / Vijnaptimatra / Vijnanavada than Transhumanism. It is closer to Lankavatara Sutra than whatever Transhumanists use as their foundational litterature.

  107. @Yellowface Anon
    @Bashibuzuk

    Do you think I actually want to reify that part of Buddhist cosmology? I was trying to draw some kind of twisted analogy between the Buddhist approach to sequential transcendence from the different stages of ontological understanding, and the information-based transhumanist vision.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @AltanBakshi

    Sequential transcendence? Buddhas do not mingle with the formless, beings in such realities are incapable of enlightenment, unlike in our world or in Rupadhatu. Yes, such realms are more pleasurable than our world, but from Buddhist pov rebirth in Arupaloka is not worth of pursuing.

    More like sequentially more pleasurable states of being.

  108. @AltanBakshi
    @Yellowface Anon

    Quite interesting musings!

    Sorry to nitpick, but loka is space or plane and deva is god, therefore devaloka is a place of gods. Our world systems name is Saha world according to Dharma. I don't know much about Buddhist cosmology, but Rupadhatu is the world of subtle or ethereal forms, where beings are attached to subtle forms of sensory objects, whatever that means...

    Still how there can be information without some basis in matter or energy? All data on internet needs to be storaged somewhere. Isn't it Platonic to claim that information/ideas can exist independently somewhere? I would be happy if you or Bashi could explain me how such thing would be possible.

    Also information is nothing without perceiver. Without us giving a meaning for different bits of data.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @Yellowface Anon, @Daniel Chieh

    Still how there can be information without some basis in matter or energy? All data on internet needs to be storaged somewhere.

    It mean, yes, it probably exists in with physical support but it very much seems to have become something that’s quite a bit irreducable to the sum of its physical support, e.g.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Default_mode_network

    It exists only as a constant thing, it can’t be “subdivided” easily, sufficiently disrupt the brain and it’ll cease all activity with no replication possible.

  109. @showmethereal
    @AaronB

    "For instance, the lion and the antelope exist in mutual dependence. Even though the lion preys on the antelope, the antelope doesn’t “exist” to feed the lion, and in fact the lion performs an essential task for the antelope by ensuring they don’t overpopulate their habitat."

    The antelope - like other ungulates - fertilize the soil as they defecate. They migrate and spread seed too... Having predators around makes them not stay in one place too long. If they have food and water they won't leave... But predators will make them leave and disperse seed in doing so.
    Also the lion - like all natural predators - will first go for the old and sick and injured - and then the weaker/slower/or dumber - which keeps the gene pool of the antelope strong.

    Very symbiotic and not an all an accident. It's that way to teach us.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Yeah, full of lessons.

    https://www.britannica.com/list/6-animals-we-ate-into-extinction

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/30/humanity-wiped-out-animals-since-1970-major-report-finds

    Nor is it humanity only:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-92691-1#

    Here we show that wild pigs threaten 672 taxa in 54 different countries across the globe. Most of these taxa are listed as critically endangered or endangered and 14 species have been driven to extinction as a direct result of impacts from wild pigs

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    From the perspective of "totality", it is not just entire species that must go extinct to achieve balance - the world itself must cease to exist, as science tells us it will.

    Death and life are two aspects of the same thing - the existence of only one is incoherent.

    If a world exists, it must die. If it does, it must be reborn.

    This is most beautifully expressed in the Hindu myth of Shiva creating and destroying the world in an eternal cycle.

    All the "negative" aspects of our world, it's degradation and obvious decline, are merely part of a larger balance and harmony.

    The Kali Yuga - which we are now undoubtedly in - is not, in Hindu thought, something to be "fought". It is necessary for overall balance, and that so a new Golden Age can dawn.

    So the "lesson" of the interdependence of the lion and the antelope is not a lesson about survival - survival is of concern from the perspective of the detached fragment.

    But it is possible for detached fragments to achieve the perspective of the "whole" - and to see the world sub specie aeternitas - even while remaining in the perspective of the fragment.

    It is the juggling of perspectives :)

    And this, my friend, is freedom and liberation, the end of suffering and anxiety - and it even helps us physically interact with the world in ways that contribute to our flourishing! (I am talking about science :))

    Replies: @AaronB

    , @Showmethereal
    @Daniel Chieh

    Unlike other creatures - humans have the ability to perform husbandry for our needs. But humans are greedy.

    As to pigs - like rats - they are in many places where they do t have natural predators to keep them in balance. Either we brought them to those places as invasive species - or we killed off their natural predators who kept them in check.

  110. @Bashibuzuk
    @Daniel Chieh


    create a simulated reality of a physical universe
     
    What we call information/matter/energy are perhaps just 3 hypostases of the same underlying ineffable Real. The distinction we make among them is possibly but a human construct.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Daniel Chieh

    Well, however it is, its possible that there are actual resource constraints that make it less easy to define in a straight line.

    Right before the world caught on fire around 30% oxygen, I suppose an observer would think that oxygen content would keep increasing on Earth.

  111. @Daniel Chieh
    @showmethereal

    Yeah, full of lessons.

    https://www.britannica.com/list/6-animals-we-ate-into-extinction

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/30/humanity-wiped-out-animals-since-1970-major-report-finds

    Nor is it humanity only:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-92691-1#


    Here we show that wild pigs threaten 672 taxa in 54 different countries across the globe. Most of these taxa are listed as critically endangered or endangered and 14 species have been driven to extinction as a direct result of impacts from wild pigs
     

    Replies: @AaronB, @Showmethereal

    From the perspective of “totality”, it is not just entire species that must go extinct to achieve balance – the world itself must cease to exist, as science tells us it will.

    Death and life are two aspects of the same thing – the existence of only one is incoherent.

    If a world exists, it must die. If it does, it must be reborn.

    This is most beautifully expressed in the Hindu myth of Shiva creating and destroying the world in an eternal cycle.

    All the “negative” aspects of our world, it’s degradation and obvious decline, are merely part of a larger balance and harmony.

    The Kali Yuga – which we are now undoubtedly in – is not, in Hindu thought, something to be “fought”. It is necessary for overall balance, and that so a new Golden Age can dawn.

    So the “lesson” of the interdependence of the lion and the antelope is not a lesson about survival – survival is of concern from the perspective of the detached fragment.

    But it is possible for detached fragments to achieve the perspective of the “whole” – and to see the world sub specie aeternitas – even while remaining in the perspective of the fragment.

    It is the juggling of perspectives 🙂

    And this, my friend, is freedom and liberation, the end of suffering and anxiety – and it even helps us physically interact with the world in ways that contribute to our flourishing! (I am talking about science :))

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @AaronB

    All depends on the "level" at which one views reality - does one "zoom in" or "zoom out", take the narrow or wide view.

    If we "zoom in" to the perspective of an individual cell in the human body, things undoubtedly look very different than if we "zoom out" to the perspective of the body as a whole.

    All spirituality - and also European science and rationality in a certain sense - are attempts to "zoom out" - and see the earth from the perspective of eagles :)

    Or perhaps the perspective of Gods? But really, it is a perspective beyond even that of Gods!

    For some reason, our dear Daniel refuses to go "meta" and sticks to the perspective of the individual cell, and the detached fragment.

    And that is OK. Life lived from the perspective of the cell is grim and anxious, but it is also an exciting adventure with high stakes! One can actually die!

    Daniel is the Atman having an interesting and exciting adventure :)

    And in the greater balance of life, this is as necessary as wisdom, as wider vision.

  112. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    From the perspective of "totality", it is not just entire species that must go extinct to achieve balance - the world itself must cease to exist, as science tells us it will.

    Death and life are two aspects of the same thing - the existence of only one is incoherent.

    If a world exists, it must die. If it does, it must be reborn.

    This is most beautifully expressed in the Hindu myth of Shiva creating and destroying the world in an eternal cycle.

    All the "negative" aspects of our world, it's degradation and obvious decline, are merely part of a larger balance and harmony.

    The Kali Yuga - which we are now undoubtedly in - is not, in Hindu thought, something to be "fought". It is necessary for overall balance, and that so a new Golden Age can dawn.

    So the "lesson" of the interdependence of the lion and the antelope is not a lesson about survival - survival is of concern from the perspective of the detached fragment.

    But it is possible for detached fragments to achieve the perspective of the "whole" - and to see the world sub specie aeternitas - even while remaining in the perspective of the fragment.

    It is the juggling of perspectives :)

    And this, my friend, is freedom and liberation, the end of suffering and anxiety - and it even helps us physically interact with the world in ways that contribute to our flourishing! (I am talking about science :))

    Replies: @AaronB

    All depends on the “level” at which one views reality – does one “zoom in” or “zoom out”, take the narrow or wide view.

    If we “zoom in” to the perspective of an individual cell in the human body, things undoubtedly look very different than if we “zoom out” to the perspective of the body as a whole.

    All spirituality – and also European science and rationality in a certain sense – are attempts to “zoom out” – and see the earth from the perspective of eagles 🙂

    Or perhaps the perspective of Gods? But really, it is a perspective beyond even that of Gods!

    For some reason, our dear Daniel refuses to go “meta” and sticks to the perspective of the individual cell, and the detached fragment.

    And that is OK. Life lived from the perspective of the cell is grim and anxious, but it is also an exciting adventure with high stakes! One can actually die!

    Daniel is the Atman having an interesting and exciting adventure 🙂

    And in the greater balance of life, this is as necessary as wisdom, as wider vision.

  113. 216 says: • Website
    @AaronB
    @Bashibuzuk

    The Bronze Age was a very brutal place.

    As I noted above, I'm quite pleased that countries like Israel and America are today furthest removed from Bronze Age style violence, and that in fact is the source of their strength.

    While it may seem like weakness, "weakness is strength", and the law of paradox and reversed effort are significant factors in how the world operates that one ignores at ones peril.

    The illiberal enemies of the US and Israel, are much closer to Bronze Age style violence - but illiberal regimes cannot understand how weakness may be strength. To them, strength is strength - and must be maximized.

    But as Lao Tzu says, the hard and rigid is brittle and weak and will break, while the willow that sways with the wind survives.

    A certain amount of softness is a survival quality. The "bad" guys never get this - that's why they're the "bad" guys :) and that's why the bad guys always, in the long run, lose.

    In history, the bad guys - the "harder" guys - always lose. Not before making a huge splash, though.

    Yes, the Jews appear to have taken much from the Zoroastrians, as of course did the Christians and Muslims.

    Interestingly, Judaism seems to have taken Zoroastrian Dualism least seriously - there is no Devil figure in Judaism, no eternal Hell, and the world is not a battleground between Good and Evil.

    Evil, in fact, is considered just God's aspect of justice unleavened by mercy - meaning that Evil, in it's proper context, has a function to play and is good.

    I find echoes of Eastern non-dualistic thought here. But I'm not a religious Jew so it's not an issue of great importance to me. But in many ways, the Jews appear to have been influenced by Persians. Probably these ideas were in the air in that very brutal time.

    Did you know that Nietzsche, who was trying to "go beyond good evil" and develop a non-dualistic approach - although not quite in the manner of Eastern philosophy and drawing the wrong conclusions imo - called his most famous book after Zarathustra because he thought it was most fitting that the founder of dualism be the one to finally "overcome" it?

    It's a cute idea.

    But Dualism - the battle between Good and Evil - is the idea that is responsible for so much bloodshed and misery in the world.

    Replies: @216

    Interestingly, Judaism seems to have taken Zoroastrian Dualism least seriously – there is no Devil figure in Judaism, no eternal Hell, and the world is not a battleground between Good and Evil.

    Evil, in fact, is considered just God’s aspect of justice unleavened by mercy – meaning that Evil, in it’s proper context, has a function to play and is good.

    This is why your people are called subversives.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @216

    I wish we could claim a monopoly on edgy, bold thinking.

    But compared to European and Eastern philosophy, we are third rate.

  114. @216
    @AaronB


    Interestingly, Judaism seems to have taken Zoroastrian Dualism least seriously – there is no Devil figure in Judaism, no eternal Hell, and the world is not a battleground between Good and Evil.

    Evil, in fact, is considered just God’s aspect of justice unleavened by mercy – meaning that Evil, in it’s proper context, has a function to play and is good.
     
    This is why your people are called subversives.

    Replies: @AaronB

    I wish we could claim a monopoly on edgy, bold thinking.

    But compared to European and Eastern philosophy, we are third rate.

  115. @Caspar von Everec
    @Felix Keverich

    This could not be farther from the truth.

    Air power defeated the 1 million man Iraqi army in 1991. The allies suffered about 200-400 casualties while the Iraqi army lost over 60,000 men to the air war alone. Israeli air power decimated the Arab armies in 1967. They struggled in 73 when they initially lacked air superiority.

    However, Anowar Sadaat was stupid enough to send his armored divisions into the open desert outside the protection of the Soviet made SAM umbrella and were decimated by Israeli air strikes and tanks.

    An allied air campaign almost single handedly defeated Serbia in 1999. Iraq 2003 is another example of an army simply dissolving in the face of a superior air force. US air power also overthrew Gaddafi in 2011.

    The cases of Vietnam and Afghanistan are often brought up but those weren't conventional conflicts. The US lost vietnam because the army was not allowed to invade North Vietnam and end the war decisively. The vietnamese simply waited them out. Samw with Afghanistan where the US army never had more than 100,000 troops to occupty a 500,000 sq km country.

    As for Iran, there's nothing wrong with what I said. In ww2, 20 B-29s each carrying 24 500-lb bombs raided a Japanese industrial facility. Of those 650+ bombs, only one landed on the target. Today, a single F-16 can carry 8 such bombs and precisely hit 8 such targets due to radio, satellite and laser guided munitions.

    The Iranians can't move their whole civilization underground. Eventually the bombing will destroy their bridges, industries, refineries, ports, railways and fertilizer plants. They could strangle Iran to death with starvation. B-52s could easily petrol bomb Iranian agriculture too during the dry season. Russia could provide food via the Caspian sea but its impossible to feed a country of 80 million people through lend lease aid.

    Replies: @sher singh, @Dreadilk, @Max Payne, @Svevlad, @AaronB, @Daniel H, @Daniel Chieh, @showmethereal, @Mulga Mumblebrain

    Nice to see a born and bred Nazi feverishly, onanistically, calling for the genocide of Iranians through war crimes. Very Talmudic, that. A New Purim?

  116. @Daniel Chieh
    @showmethereal

    Yeah, full of lessons.

    https://www.britannica.com/list/6-animals-we-ate-into-extinction

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/30/humanity-wiped-out-animals-since-1970-major-report-finds

    Nor is it humanity only:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-92691-1#


    Here we show that wild pigs threaten 672 taxa in 54 different countries across the globe. Most of these taxa are listed as critically endangered or endangered and 14 species have been driven to extinction as a direct result of impacts from wild pigs
     

    Replies: @AaronB, @Showmethereal

    Unlike other creatures – humans have the ability to perform husbandry for our needs. But humans are greedy.

    As to pigs – like rats – they are in many places where they do t have natural predators to keep them in balance. Either we brought them to those places as invasive species – or we killed off their natural predators who kept them in check.

  117. @Mulga Mumblebrain
    @Felix Keverich

    The US bombs Iran with cowardly enthusiasm, and Iran closes the Straits of Hormuz and destroys Saudi hydrocarbon production. Let's see who starves first.

    Replies: @Bill Jones

    Agree.
    I think an Aircraft Carrier sunk in the Persian Gulf would increase the knicker wetting in DC to such an extent that not even the presidential supply of Depends would suffice.

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