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Archive for August 31, 2011

Behind Asian Fear of Individualism: 1

August 31, 2011 18 comments

In a previous post, I asked your input on why Asians seem so mortally afraid of individualism. This is an important question because many Asian nations demonstrate abilities on par with the west, however this potential almost never gets translated into innovation. Let us be clear about one thing- innovation is not possible without individualism.

There are those who propose explanations based on culture, social conditions, genetics or similar external factors, but their seemingly good explanations don’t hold across cultures. An explanation for why China did not innovate do not hold true for Japan and the reason behind the stagnation of the Ottoman empire don’t hold true for various Indian empires. However it is hard to ignore that the Ottoman empires response to innovation was strikingly similar to those in Japan, China or India. To put it another way, the Turks reacted in a manner similar to the Japanese- though they had never seen each other.

There is something else at work and I will try to explain my theory in the rest of this post.

The assimilation of western ideas into Asian cultures is biphasic- useful technology is quickly copied and even improved, but ideas and modes of thinking are rarely accepted.

Why not? Why were Indians, Japanese and Turks proficient at copying handguns but so determined to ignore the printing press? I believe that this pattern is not accidental and is part of a world view. It was also not simply an aversion to change because guns changed the lives of people and empires as much as books. Let me use another example to illustrate my point.. Muslim Arabs have a surprising if veiled tolerance for western “sins” such as cyberporn, booze, drugs but a striking intolerance of apostasy and criticism of their culture. Are you starting to get the point I am making?

People have an innate aversion to be exposed as stupid and incompetent poseurs. However culture and traditions are largely about stupid, meaningless and often counterproductive posing. Civilizations which have been around for a long time accumulate too much cultural and traditional baggage. An unfortunate aspect of the human condition is that most people, even clever morons, cannot see past cultural and traditional shit.

Unlike many other continuous cultures a series of events in the west during the 1300-1500 AD timespan produced a large discontinuity from the past. Events such as the black death, a series of very bad harvests, various wars in the early middle ages caused a non-voluntary shutdown and reinstall of the OS, device drivers and programs in their cultural computer. As many of you know from experience, doing that often restores computer performance and allows the machine to do things which were previously considered impossible.

But what about cultures who did not have to reinstall their software from scratch and upgrade their hardware? For them, piecemeal installation of selected new software packages and complicated workarounds the dysfunctional OS are the only realistic option. Almost nobody wants to willingly reinstall the software or update the hardware in cultural computers.

So how does this tie into a fear of individualism?

Individualism represents an attempt to update the system, install officially unauthorized applications or update the hardware in a manner that conflicts with existing resource allocations, applications, processes and threads. The rejection by eastern cultures of post-renaissance thought, especially individualism, is therefore an attempt to protect an obviously dysfunctional cultural computer- though they will almost never publicly admit that.

The antipathy of eastern culture to printing, especially privately owned printing, in previous eras and dissenting electronic communication today is due to the subconscious realization that their systems are fragile and incompatible with any real reform. The ‘elites’ of eastern cultures have therefore always tried to buy time by selectively adopting post-renaissance technologies to keep themselves competitive, while actively ignoring the spirit and ideology that gave rise to them. Likewise, many asian behavior patterns stressing homogeneity and conformity are due to the subconscious realization that their systems are ill equipped to change without some major and unpleasant readjustments.

Even the west would not have changed on its own if things had not gone to shit in the 1300-1500 AD timespan. Luckily for them, occurrences beyond human control forced their hand.

Will write more in future posts on this topic.

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Curious Kitty Watches Cop Fuck Woman

August 31, 2011 16 comments

You might have seen a news story about a Cop caught on camera having sex.

Bert Lopez was honored in the Capitol Rotunda in May 2010 as the New Mexico State Police District 1 Officer of the Year. In July, he received a Challenge Coin, a select commendation his department bestows on officers identified as having gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Now, he’s on paid administrative leave and facing possible disciplinary action for an incident that has caused embarrassment to the department. Images surfaced Monday — and were posted on websites across the country by Tuesday morning — showing him in uniform apparently having sex in broad daylight with an unidentified woman on the hood of her Honda outside the gate of a county-owned ranch south of Santa Fe.

My own contribution to the story involves a little noted artifact in one still from the video.

and “Keep on Fucking” is from the music video “Outside” by George Michael.

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Categories: Current Affairs, LOL