Sorry, I did not intend to suggest that your perceptions of growing up were somehow "wrong", it was just that your statement suggesting "the tall grey man" was a powerful image was not substantiated. Well, it wasn't to me, but I could see that if one allowed
it to have that power in one's perception, then it would probably seem so - to oneself - and it could even have subconsciously set one's paradigms at an early age.
Why do we need the metaphor of "a tall grey man"? It rather seems to be just more external locus of control.
Me, I no doubt had similar issues to face as most children, but my perception was that the people I lived amongst in the UK - the other children and many of the adults I came across - seemed to have learned some unwritten and baseless rules regarding certain matters/behaviours that "You can't/mustn't do that!" - e.g., (say) skip down the road - or "You must do this!" - e.g., (say) bow to a queen. These were rules I was often unaware of.
I always looked for the base - the reason for such a rule that would enable me to make sense of why there was that rule - what it's purpose was. If I could see the base, I could understand the rule. If I couldn't see the base, then I parked the rule in my mind as being defined but incomprehensible to myself and those who unthinkingly espoused it. I think a lot of it was/is learned custom, and especially religio-political ideological custom.
However, my mother - who raised me and whom I later realised probably fitted the description "eccentric" - had encouraged me as a child to question things. Rather than suppress my childish curiosity, she would stimulate it, but always with the added "See if you can find out about this in such-and-such a book/encyclopaedia". There was nothing like your "tall grey man" in my life. My mother always gave me the base reasons for a rule that she wanted me to follow.
It puzzled me enormously that many people seemed to live their lives without understanding why they did or didn't do certain things or behave in certain ways.. They often seemed to act just out of custom, like automatons. They even seemed to think like that. Unaware. And they could get quite shirty with you if you pointed it out, and would fiercely defend a pointless or unreasoned behaviour, so they clearly had some kind of ego attachment to their behaviours.
I had another example of this a few weeks back, when I was discussing a financial model - a budgeting spreadsheet - with a very good friend of mine. He had developed the model. On looking through it and trying to understand it, I saw that he had built in a repetitive rounding process to a particular column, and asked what that was for. He said it was to prove the model and make it exact, so there were no residual rounding errors. I pointed out that it was unnecessary and not recommended accounting practice and he became really angry with me and said how experienced he was and that he had always used this method. From his tone of voice I realised that we were fast approaching the point where this was becoming - for him - a serious and heated argument. So I just said "Oh, I see." and dropped the matter, making a mental note that this was a touchy subject for him, so best avoided. It may have been attributable to his having been unwell for a long time with a form of cancer, and I have noticed with him and another friend who had cancer (now in remission) that - though usually both very lucid - they can be unusually irrational at times, so maybe it is their state of health or the medication they might have been on.
People in this state of conciousness are always right, and you are wrong. End of. In managing teams of people, I have since noticed that those people who seem to have an automatic rule-bound approach to life become distinctly uncomfortable when required to do some complex new task independently without them being given a set of rules up front. They seem to be unable to easily figure out for themselves what would probably be the necessary rules to achieve the objective in proper fashion - they need to be told. Maybe they need "a tall grey man"?
If we now turn again to the content
of the rant at that link:
It seems to be pretty good rhetoric (though I wouldn't call it brilliant, as you do) on a commercial website, and the rhetoric takes a scattergun approach to protesting about various things, including
commerce. That could arguably seem to make it hypocritical. As though to prove how awful the world is, he proceeds to make capital out of, and an appeal to agreement and pity by invoking "the killing of children in Gaza". Up to that point, I had been smiling a lot at the rant, but I draw the line at cynical attempts to gain access to my agreement by invoking such things. If he had sung the song of the millions of children killed annually by (say) an avoidable disease, all because Western greenies say they must be, then I would have had some sympathy with what he was talking about:
The book Silent Spring (1962) merely "suggested that DDT and other pesticides may cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds." It offered no scientific proof - which is why the UK and USAID continued to use the stuff until 1984 and later, and until it became politically incorrect to continue to use it - i.e., not scientifically incorrect. DDT was regarded as being as harmless (i.e., "mildly hazardous") to humans as the plant-based Derris Dust (rotenone), which latter is still sold by Yates today as an "organically permissible" pesticide - though some countries have banned it for "organic" status as a result of its modern "politically incorrect" status.
Take a look at what Wikipedia says about malaria at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaria_
This is an extract:
_"Each year, there are approximately 350–500 million cases of malaria, killing between one and three million people, the majority of whom are young children in sub-Saharan Africa."
After it had been discovered during the second half of World War II that DDT enabled real control of malaria and typhus amongst civilians and troops, DDT was used extensively and had almost eradicated malaria in some parts of the world. When it ceased to be used, the malaria came back, so millions of people - mostly children - had to die each year again.
Now try telling those children as they lie dying, and their families, that this massive scale of death is no good reason for people to be obsessed with killing insects using DDT.
That may be only half the story of the use of DDT. The other half would be in its use as a highly effective crop pesticide.
Now you might understand why the Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Müller was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1948 - i.e., "for his discovery of the high efficiency of DDT as a contact poison against several arthropods."
All this may not stop you from continuing to try to justify your pumping known toxic pesticides (fly spray chemicals) into your own household environment - toxins that merely kill an annoying pest (household flies).
We in the western civilisations are fortunate in that we will not have to watch our children die of malaria by the millions. You can be sure that if they did start to die of it, then we would rapidly deploy DDT or invent some even more effective malarial control. We are already using crop herbicides, crop pesticides and animal pesticides by the mega-tons, and genetically modified seed which is resistant to these chemicals, which is one reason why we can produce more than enough food for our needs.
The majority of people affected by malaria are those living in poverty. Malaria effectively aggravates the state of poverty - which is the world's biggest killer and the greatest cause of ill-health and suffering across the globe. It is listed almost at the end of the WHO International Classification of Diseases. It is given the code Z59.5 - extreme poverty. DDT is one of the few things that has made any major dent in the statistics for global poverty and its associated human misery, and yet it has been pushed aside because it was made politically (not scientifically) incorrect by the book "The Silent Spring" (1962).
Just as a rough estimate, let's suppose that since (say) 1970, DDT ceased to be used to control malaria, and that (say) at least 1.5million children died from malaria each year since then as a result. That's 40 years and 60 million dead children to date.
We could perhaps argue about precise numbers, but this estimate helps us to get the general idea of the scale of the thing.
So, this estimated 60 million children were sentenced to die from what could have been an otherwise avoidable disease - malaria. The only reason those children were sentenced to die was because they suffered from another disease - Z59.5 (extreme poverty). Because they were children and had Z59.5, they had no franchise - no voice - in the arbitrary decision made by wealthy western nations to withhold the only known defence that could have saved them - DDT. We committed those 60 million children to death, and we currently commit somewhere between 1.5 and 3.0 million more children to death each year by the same means.
That 60 million is a staggering number of children to kill by default, made all the more worse a crime because it continues and may have been because DDT became politically unacceptable due to a fascist green whim regarding DDT and because someone wanted to write a best-selling book based on insubstantial scientific evidence.
If the Wikipedia and other balanced articles are anything to go by, then we should not forget that it is apparently acknowledged that not only was the case against DDT far from being categorically scientifically proven at the time the book was published, but also a substantive part of that case still remains to be proved. We have apparently become and continue to be mass murderers through our own passivity and ignorance and now including from our belief in the relatively new religion of greenie.
It is our beliefs
that are become fatal to so many others, coupled with our avoidance - even hatred - of anything which might test or contradict that belief. This is a religion where the belief is more important than and comes at the cost of the deaths of millions of innocent children.
(a) have withheld DDT from these innocents, thereby ensuring their deaths in the millions each year;
(b) have done this because we *believed" we were right to do so and that somehow this would save even more lives in our societies ("for the greater good");
(c) withheld DDT without offering any reasonable or effective substitute (QED);
(d) did this without knowing for certain whether we were right (QED);
- then arguably we could well deserve the charge of mass complicity in mass murder on a scale that beggars belief and that would make Hitler seem like a rank amateur.
But our author wasn't
singing that song. He wasn't concerned with correcting any real and huge human injustice that is correctable
. Malaria is an avoidable disease (QED) that kills upwards of (est.) at least 1.5 million children annually. Some estimates put the total accumulated deaths from Malaria to date at around 3 billion
, since the use of DDT was banned/withdrawn by the West.
No, our author was sat on his backside looking at his stupid Twitter feed and mistaking it for reality whilst uttering epithets. As I said "Way to go".
Then he was generating empty, high-minded rhetoric
- pontificating and protesting on matters he seemed to be clueless about, safe in his cosy, insular little worldview and demonstrating that he had no apparent understanding or perspective of the history of what seems to be an insoluble problem deliberately
created by man and based on a clash of religio-political ideological beliefs
This isn't an original thought. Some of the commenters to that post made similar points.
I felt a bit like saying what one of the commenters to that post said: "STFUP".You tell me:
Which is the greater human-caused humanitarian problem - Malaria or the Gaza standoff? - and which is immediately
open to a solution? The answer should be starkly self-evident.
So why pick on Gaza then? Presumably either because he was being cynically manipulative, or (say) because he succumbed to the phenomenon of the availability heuristic - that is, always assuming he is not just an insular idiot.
I would take issue where you refer to my historical notes as giving "a sermon on religion" and the other points where you seem to be suggesting I am for one side or the other or promoting the "Israel can-do-no-wrong reputation". You thereby seem to have entirely missed the points I was trying to make, so I probably didn't do a very good job there. I shall try again.
First off, I think I made only statements of historical facts that are well-documented and independently verifiable. I gave links for references to substantiate some of these. Doing a Google search will bring up numerous information items - e.g., news reports and videos - on recent Israeli-Palestinian confrontations and the use of (say) dissembling as a tactic (e.g., human shield). It would thus be incorrect to call this a "sermon on religion".
I spoke of religio-political ideologies and beliefs, not
of religion. The fact that these particular religio-political ideological beliefs might also be religious tenets is neither here nor there. They could, for example, have been part of communism or fascism. In fact the RC church in pre-Reformation times, and the Islamic faith can provide arguably excellent examples of fascism in the history of their structure and operational aspects, but that wasn't what I was getting at. I was laying out the construct of the artificial framework of reference that is incorporated in Islamism to show how Islamists act entirely consistently in accordance with their framework of reference. They have
to, if they are devout Muslims, and I would suggest that the majority are, as some branches of it can be relatively very strict - e.g., Taliban, ISIS, Sunni (Wahabism). Generally speaking, anything that Muslims do within the hegemonic Caliphate is approved if not mandated. That's why I wrote that Hamas must not
make peace - includes as per Article 15 of the Palestinian National Charter (1968).
I see no evidence that Palestinians or Muslims generally actually (say) wake up in the morning wanting to kill Jews or infidels, but it is their burden that they must
, under specific conditions. One could point to similarities here in the wave of death perpetrated across the Middle East by the knights of old - the Christian Crusaders.
Nor do I expect that the Israelis want to risk killing innocent civilians in the act of defending themselves from the Hamas terrorism, but they must
- are obliged to - defend themselves (as the POTUS referred to).
This type of situation is a bind that was accurately predicted by Gladstone (QED).
I had a LOL moment with your suggestion that the Israelis had a "can-do-no-wrong reputation". Very droll. I was aware of no such thing until you mentioned it. Quite the contrary, in fact. You could fill a book cataloguing what the Jews did wrong, the Palestinians not so much. It seems to me that history shows that the Jews probably couldn't have done much more
that was so wrong or evil - no matter how hard they tried - than what they had already done, 2,000 years ago, and that they have been paying for it ever since.
You could argue that the whole world holds it against them, and that is why the Nazis were allowed to proceed with their genocidal activities undisturbed for so long - I mean, with the best will in the world, you can't readily exterminate 6 million Jews overnight. Like maturing a good cheese, these things take time
, even with any improved technology available.
The bed that the Jews/Israelis are lying in today was arguably a bed made by their leaders who took them into exile from their homeland and by their Pharisees' murderous machinations 2,000 years ago.
Some people (not me, you understand) might say that what they are experiencing today is Karma, but I couldn't possibly comment.
But that most famous Jew of all - the one whom the Pharisees had caused to be so horribly tortured and murdered 2,000 years ago, said "Forgive them", and I would presume from the ideology implicit in His recorded teachings that He was talking about the Jews and not just the Roman soldiers He happened to be looking at, at the time.
At some stage, all this religio-political ideologically-fired compulsory hatred and killing has to stop, but it probably won't in my lifetime or until Israel is obliterated from the map, if that comes first.
My view is that cynical bloggers should not be allowed to get away with publishing posts that stand to make capital out of sniping at this eternal, insoluble human-created tragedy, or its innocent victims, or thereby risking potentially further inflaming world opinion in an already dangerously inflamed situation that threatens world peace.
(That is, STFU.)
If they really do
wish and intend to make the world a better place, then they can get off their backsides and do something definite and positive about some far greater and readily solvable
humanitarian problems - e.g., Malaria, or Z59.5 (QED).
But I'll not be holding my breath.