Dear Diary 






On the other side of fear: contentment vs. fulfillment

Happiness. Happiness never changes.

Oh wait, it does. There are many different takes on it. This one is the result of my thinking about fear, contentment, happiness, and eudaimonia.

Contentment is a negative notion: it's lack of disquiet, lack of trouble, lack of unrest. It's absence of pain.

Fulfillment is a positive notion: it's self-actualization, achievement, and growth. It's presence of flourishing.


12:55:05 on 08/30/17 by danilche - General -

The 21st century way: FAST trumps BIG

Recently I found myself explaining to multiple different people the changing patterns of our society. Not just the WHAT, but the frameworks, the templates, the ideology which pervades this stormfront of change; old kinds of things die, and new kinds of things move in to replace them. The new things aren't just different in their nature -- they are different in the very thinking which shaped them.


16:42:36 on 07/22/16 by danilche - General -

Was the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki justified?

As painful as that is to admit -- yes, I think it was. Japan's Big Six were refusing unconditional surrender, the only surrender they were willing to accept -- until Nagasaki, after which Hirohito stepped in -- was conditional one which would preserve the essential structure of Japan, thus preserving its militaristic ambitions. So until Hiroshima, the options were either a sea invasion with absolutely massive casualties on both sides, or accepting conditional surrender and leaving Japan as a ticking time bomb.

Given the japanese culture, the willingness of civilians, even women and children, to fight to the death in defense of the emperor -- yeah, the casualty estimates of Operation Downfall were reasonable: on the order of a hundred thousand of dead american soldiers, possibly going into many hundreds of thousands. Japanese casualties, including the japanese civilian casualties, would have been immeasurably higher -- estimates were in the millions; as was confirmed later, Japan was fully prepared to fight to the death, even training children for the role of suicide bombers, telling people to literally fight with sticks and stones, to the last breath.


19:37:13 on 08/05/15 by danilche - General -

Conservatism and universal healthcare

The classic conservative approach was essentially deep, pessimistic pragmatism, but today's GOP had abandoned pragmatism in favor of reactionary, rationalistic radicalism. That's the fundamental distinction -- classic conservatism was anti-rationalistic, it distrusted theoretical constructs and grand overarching narratives, it was all about pragmatic, contextual response to a specific time and place; while today's conservatism is deeply rationalistic, albeit in a reactionary manner, pining to re-create the imaginary utopian past.


06:41:42 on 04/24/15 by danilche - General -

In defense of nationalism: concentric circles of humanisation

I have seen a number of dismissive references to nationalism around, and I think they miss the point. I think nationalism serves an important role.


14:27:54 on 04/10/09 by Victor - General -


A voice arose from the crowd:
"Conscience ought to determine truth!
Believe your conscience, and stand proud,
Lest our freedom we should lose".


11:40:03 on 02/17/09 by Victor - General -

All the president's ghosts

Obama Lament

Obama has come to take the reins
of power for our sins.
The slashing wind has opened veins
of our mourning kin.


19:32:12 on 01/22/09 by Victor - General -

Job creation by president and party -- new data

09:24:24 on 01/12/09 by Victor - General -

The power of CDS -- Community Defense Swaps

A wonderful recent summary of the sub-prime meltdown got me thinking. You know, those Wall Street people are onto something with the whole Credit Default Swaps idea! I always wanted to run a libertarian state, but the national defense issue was always a stumbling block. Now I have the solution!


13:39:43 on 09/24/08 by Victor - General -

Orwell got to me.

I have picked up an interesting little book recently, "The Undercover Economist" (quite good), and in it I read the following passage:
We all know that in most countries the Ministry of Defense is in charge of attacking other countries and that the Ministry of Employment presides over the unemployment lines. Cameroon's Ministry of Tourism is in that noble tradition. Its job is to discourage tourists from getting into the country.
Now this was obviously a joke, and I immediately got the part about employment and tourism. Then I stared at the page in stupefaction, trying to figure out what was the joke about the Ministry of Defense. It took me about 5 seconds to work that out.


17:45:05 on 07/29/08 by Victor - General -
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