An Amusing Example of Hypocrisy

I comment on a lot of videos, but I feel particularly compelled to comment when someone states something that is misinformed, is illogical, is a bad example, et cetera. That was the case yesterday when I responded to a video by MrHerrIQ (Why Leftists do not debate rightwingers even when they attempt to?).

He seems like he might have the capacity for making a good argument, but he wasn’t making one in this video (to be fair, he does admit that he is ranting). I pointed out some problems with his argument. For example, he said that leftists just repeat themselves (which he bases on his claim of having debated a thousand leftists and having won all of these debates in recent years). I pointed out my own experience that, yes, I do often repeat myself in arguments with rightwingers (I’m not talking about the average conservative) because it often seems they don’t understand or acknowledge anything only stated once. I also pointed out that the data shows that liberals (the same as his ‘leftist’?) are the most educated demographic and that most scientists identify as liberals… by which I was implying that there might be an intellectual inequality between liberals and rightwingers which might explain communication difficulties.

By the way, if I sound condescending, please realize I’m responding to a video that was condescending to all leftists. Take note that I usually don’t generalize about all conservatives. Instead, I try to speak about specific demographics such as ‘rightwingers’ (to be more specific, US ‘rightwingers’)… which I often define in the context of the psychological research about Right-Wing Authoritarians (RWAs) or, in other contexts, as the far right which in the US population usually means the social conservatives and fundamentalists (anyway, the research shows a correlation in the US population between RWAs and social conservatives), although the label ‘rightwingers’ can sometimes be used to more loosely apply to the radical right such as anarcho-capitalists, objectivists, and militant libertarians (these latter groups often don’t identify as conservatives). However, it would appear MrHerrIQ is using the ‘rightwinger’ more generally to refer to all right-leaning people (in all countries?) which isn’t how it’s typically used in the US. Also, his use of ‘leftist’ leaves me uncertain since to me that implies someone on the far left. So, I don’t know if he means all people who lean left or if he means the far left (Communists? Marxists? Anarchists?). My sense is he means the former because he is speaking very generally, but some of his comments could be interpreted as specifically referring to just social liberals (which isn’t how I would define ‘leftist’). I think in one of his videos he mentioned English isn’t his first language and so maybe he doesn’t understand the US context for these words… which might explain some of his frustration considering the YouTube viewership is a largely American audience.

Another commenter pointed out an even more obvious flaw to the argument: It was just a straw man from start to finish, although it’s hard to know if he was making a straw man argument as I’m not sure exactly that he was presenting a false argument or just a false portrayal (he seemed to conflate his idea of a liberal with his perception of the behavior and arguments of liberals; and, so, his dismissive portrayal of how liberals supposedly argue was seemingly being presented as a disproving of the argument of liberalism in general)… to put it simply, I was confused by what he was even trying to communicate. He presented his argument using only his personal experience which he didn’t even go into detail about… and then using these vague references he made a generalized portrayal of all leftists (Are these self-identified ‘leftists’ or his he assuming to know who is and isn’t a ‘leftist’?). To put it in simpler terms, his argument was that leftists suck at argument because he doesn’t like leftists and they’re stupid losers.

If the straw man fallacy doesn’t apply, there are potentially many other fallacies that could be applied to various aspects of the presentation of his argument (as well to my interaction with him in comments and private messages): appeal to ridicule, fallacy of distribution, psychologist’s fallacy, reification fallacy, accident fallacy, cherry picking, fallacy of composition, hasty generalization, association fallacy, sampling bias, ad hominem, appeal to emotion, weasel words, poisoning the well, et cetera. I don’t know. It would be difficult trying to analyze in detail (sentence by sentence) the precise logic or lack thereof within his argument… and I don’t feel that motivated.

He is free to have his opinion, but I was hoping he would expand on his argument using more objective evidence (and, of course, a more clear presentation). In particular, a simple definition of terms would’ve been helpful along with maybe some demographic data to clarify exactly the group of people he is talking about (I’m assuming the demographic labeled as ‘leftist’ would be different depending on the cultural context of different regions of the world… and I don’t know the country this guy lives in or what his personal experience has been with so-called ‘leftists’).

I was wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt. I realized he might only be referring to leftists from his own country, although he seemed to be generalizing about some hypothetical ‘leftist’ that exists beyond any specific context (which I might accept if he was speaking about liberals in more psychological terms in reference to scientific research). I’m fairly sure that what he thinks of as ‘leftist’ isn’t how most US liberals think of themselves. So, I was prepared to have a debate about possible cultural differences of how we perceive labels and how we interact with those who are different.

Alas, that wasn’t to happen. I noticed today he had left a response to me:

“I don’t exactly follow the argument being made,”
1)This is my experience with leftists in debates, 2) What is yours? 3) Why do you think this is?
“I know that the research shows that liberals are on average higher IQ and higher educated.”
Since the 1960’s cultural-revolution, education has gotten liberal so this could be a chicken and the egg scenario with a-political high IQ individual being influenced by leftists. However if high IQ select against itself, it lacking in value.

So, I clicked on the link to the comments page. He had removed all of my comments along with all of the comments of those who disagreed with him. I just had to laugh. I hadn’t seen such blatant hypocrisy in a long while. He was making an argument about why leftists don’t debate rightwingers. And, when leftists try to debate him, he removes their comments. I wonder if he has enough self-awareness to even realize the hypocrisy of this.

After laughing, it did make me feel a bit sad. He obviously is frustrated about not being able to communicate to those who are different than him. But, because of this frustration, he has given up trying to communicate those who are different than him. So, he has resigned to find comfort in his preferred reality tunnel and block out all the voices that disturb him.

If he just seemed mean-spirited or uneducated, I could dismiss him. But he seems intelligent. I always find it sad when I meet someone (even a stranger) with potential for intelligence who is afraid of intelligent debate. I’m not sure why it makes me sad, but it does. Maybe it’s just a matter of seeing yet another example of wasted human potential. We humans have so much potential and yet look at the world we collectively create with all of its conflict and suffering.

I’m included in this. I too waste potential. I wish I was a better person. I wish I knew how to debate rightwingers, how to communicate to communicate well to people in general. But I fail at this as most people fail.

– – –

I would share my comments to him on his video, but he deleted them. In order to add some more context, here is a message he sent me:

Put yourself in my situation.
I’ve debated a thousend leftists and the last 300 has not impressed me enough for me to find that it’s a netgain for me. If you want to debate me, you have to somehow ensure to me, you’re legitt.
You wont lose your face, your facade wont break.
You will be honest and admitt your shortcommings.
You will not repeat youself and reconstruct your argument.
You will abide by the rules of logic.
No red herrings.
You will not be passive aggressive, sarcism could be argued to be appealing to ridicule and it’s just mere autosuggestion at most.
Make your own points, I shouldn’t have to dragg them out of you or ask of you what assumptions you are basing your argument on.

If you can do this, I will have a yellow card, red card system. I tolerate 1, possibly 2 fuck ups. Nothing more. I used to but not anymore.

What is it that you would like to argue about?
Leave a PM on youtube and I will get into contact with you when Im available.

Perhaps you’re the one, who knows.
From where Im standing I doubt it, but if the shoe was on the other foot, you wouldn’t blame me.

My response:

You’ve debated many people. So what? I’ve debated many people. Many people all over the web have debated many other people. It happens all the time. You aren’t special.

I have to ensure you? (By the way, you probably mean ‘assure’. I think I heard you say that English isn’t your first language.) Why don’t you assure me? You are the one who deleted my comments. I didn’t delete your comments. As an outside observer, your actions look like hypocrisy. But you claim you aren’t a hypocrite. Why should I trust your words when your actions imply otherwise? How do you accidentally delete that many comments (something like 10 or 20 of them)? It doesn’t seem possible. So, unless you can explain that to me I don’t feel assured.

Yet, your tone here is that of condescension. You will condescend to allow me to debate you if I follow your rules. So, should I condescend to overlook your apparent act of hypocrisy?

Anyway, your rules seem to only serve the purpose of your trying to avoid debate. Why are you afraid of open and fair discussion?

For example, one of your rules is: “You will not repeat youself and reconstruct your argument.” This would be a difficult rule to follow. English isn’t your first language. So, there might be many miscommunications. Also, does it count as repeating if I state again comments you’ve deleted?

Another example of one of your rules is: “You will not be passive aggressive, sarcism could be argued to be appealing to ridicule and it’s just mere autosuggestion at most.” This is purely subjective. Do you have to prove I’m being passive aggressive or sarcastic? Or is it merely your personal perception? Why do I have to conform my behavior to your subjective biases? Also, once again, what about miscommunications? I assume you come from a different culture than I do. How am I supposed to know what is considered passive aggressive or sarcastic in your culture?

And yet another example is your last rule: “Make your own points, I shouldn’t have to dragg them out of you or ask of you what assumptions you are basing your argument on.” This rule is utter nonsense. Every single comment any person makes has an infinite number of assumptions it’s based on. This also comes back to the issue of culture and language. How am I supposed to know what assumptions you care about or what assumptions you are or aren’t aware of? Do you hold yourself to this same standard? How am I supposed to know all the assumptions you are holding in the context of all your rules?

All in all, your rules are unrealistic and unfair expectations. I suspect that is their purpose. No one could follow all those rules. Or, rather, one could only follow all those rules to your satisfaction if they happened to share all your assumptions, all your values, all your beliefs, and all your cultural biases. Have you considered that this might be at the bottom of your frustration with interacting with those who are different from you? You seem to want others to conform to your expectations and your worldview. Have you considered that it might be more fruitful if you were willing to meet people in the middle, willing to compromise, willing to understand new perspectives?

I have no doubt that, from where you’re standing, you doubt it. You’re frustrated because you’ve set yourself up for frustration. And then you blame others for your frustration. It seems like a no-win situation. From where I’m standing, I have plenty of doubts about both your actions and your words. I don’t know you and so I don’t really care who is to blame. I’m not blaming you for anything, but you do seem to be blaming others. Why do you keep telling me to see things from your perspective? Why don’t you try to see things from the perspective of others? If you actually understood the liberal view, you wouldn’t be blaming liberals. So, why are you blaming liberals for your lack of understanding of the liberal view?

I’m being honest with you here. I’m not attacking you. I’m just calling them as I see them. I’d love to try to have a fair and rational discussion with you (I’ve never liked to ‘debate’ per se), but you’ve so far given me no assurance that you’re even interested in trying. All your comments seems to show that you see everything in terms of being about you. That isn’t a helpful attitude. Even so, if you’re willing to seek a middle ground of understanding, I’m all game. But if you just want a battle of egos, a pissing match, a game of rhetoric, then no thanks.

On a side note, I suspect your real frustration has nothing to do with liberal vs conservative, nothing to do with politics or ideology of any kind. I’ve studied psychology for years, specifically personality types. I’ve seen these kinds of communication difficulties many times. If I had to make a quick (and, of course, rather superficial) guess, I’d say you are probably what is called in MBTI an NT (iNtuition Thinking) or to be more exact I’d guess an INTJ (Introverted iNtuition Thinking Judging). I’ve found most conflicts of communication are at least partly if not mostly grounded in psychological issues. I learned a lot about myself and about others by studying personality types and trait research. It’s easy to blame others. It’s much more difficult to come to self-awareness and self-understanding.

After that, he sent me a message that was pages long and so I won’t quote it here, but it was just a continuation of what he had already said. Basically, he was saying that going by his own experience he knew that he was intellectually superior to most people and that he had grown tired of debating the lowly leftist masses. Here is my response to that long message:

Reading this new message, I feel even less assured. You believe you are right and you believe you are intellectually superior to almost everyone. I don’t hold such arrogant assumptions about myself. And I tend to not like to interact with people who are that arrogant.

Also, your arrogance seems naive. You say you’ve won all these debates. But how do you know? Did you declare your own victory? Maybe those you debated also had the exact same opinion about themselves. Maybe even others told them that they had won.

The only thing that you’ve made clear is this. No matter what I say, you will claim I broke one of your rules. No matter how well I argue, you will simply claim you won. It’s not that you’re tired of debating. It seems you’re tired of even trying to debate.

Why not drop the arrogance? Just relax. You seem to be taking everything too seriously. The reason I don’t like debate is because I’ve found closed-minded people love debate. I like people who enjoy learning. In particular, I like people who like learning new perspectives. But you’ve given no inkling that you actually understand others or want to understand others. In such a situation, how can useful or pleasant communication even be possible?

Just the fact that you generalize about all ‘leftists’ shows a lazy intellect. It also demonstrates that you are unlikely to treat respectfully anything I present. You assume you’ve already got my type figured out, but going by your own words I’m not sure you understand leftists at all. If I tried to discuss/debate anything with you, I’d probably just end up being more fodder for your self-fulfilling prophecies. Think about it. Who will decide who wins the debate? You will, of course. And, since you haven’t admitted to losing a debate in years, why would you admit any such thing now? In your eyes, I can’t win for losing.

You seem intelligent, but there is something about you that seems self-enclosed almost to the point of narcissism or something. I don’t know if I’d be able to break through the protective barrier you are hiding behind. Honestly, I don’t at the moment see it’s worth the effort.

You say I came to you. Yes, I did. And then you deleted my comments. You responded that it was an accident and that it was only 8 comments. I still don’t see how 8 comments could be deleted accidentally. It just doesn’t seem logically possible. I could understand accidentally deleting 1 comment, but 8 comments is no accident. My allegation of hypocrisy still stands and you have yet to refute it. From my perspective, such hypocrisy is a sign of your character. I can only assume that if I were to discuss/debate with you that I’d expect more of the same underhanded behavior.

If you hadn’t deleted my comments, we could already be having a discussion/debate. I offered you evidence in those comments. You dismissed that evidence and you didn’t even offer any evidence in return. I just don’t know. meh

25 thoughts on “An Amusing Example of Hypocrisy

  1. Hahaha, always getting into debates but sometimes coming back disappointed. Don’t worry, it’s a probabilistic thing, just because it’s a 99% success rate don’t mean the 1% will never happen. The 1% may occur 90% of the time or more. Rofl

    By the way, you’ve never given me such pleasant treatment by typing me? *pouting* not even superficially or is it because I am always self-analysing?

    I think this whole debate boils down to a basic semantic misunderstanding as you have also observed. It’s really big in debates, semantic issues, I invariably find myself arguing semantics, maybe it’s a character trait; similar to you, I’d understand my own point as well as the other and see what he’s trying to say and go on to analyse him, start to theorise his background, his learning, his character, his beliefs e.t.c.

    Usually, I’m surprised you like to debate so much cos to me arguments are untenable, nobody can win. I believe in discussion cos that way different views (which would be arguments) would lead to sharing of ideas or what I’ld call truth not this win/lose nonsensical idea. Argue for truth not victory; that’s my little maxim. But, you do use data and that data is statistically determined so it presupposes that win/lose dichotomy. As for me, you know, I like even preposterous arguments about rare events – so far as they don’t generalise – and stats by it’s nature, doesn’t back rare events. I used to be frustrated by a stats student in my room who’d always want to brand small proportions negligible. For the love of God, they still exist, goddamit!! With time, then, I prefer to discuss than debate, I’m not down-to-earth enough to.

    And another thing, is he a EFL person living in US? If not, how can he say he knows the research says lefts have higher iq – the first comment cited? He wouldn’t be able to, if he’s using US data. And that US data is subject to many things which would be different from any data his country would produce (if that’s what he’s using) with it’s different conditions, these are two different data samples which unless are similar ordinally on every count or factor, cannot produce fair argumentation. Where is his data from? I know you’d have asked his context – oh, I know you man, haha – but perhaps his attitude was throwing you off that course or you forgot or you didn’t mention it here or I overlooked it inadvertently or there was a spirit involved, lol

    • I don’t like debate, but I’m a glutton for punishment. I really don’t understand my own motivations. I sometimes feel compelled to get involved in these kinds of interactions which just frustrate and irritate me. I can’t help myself. I wish I liked debates so that I might find some enjoyment in my compulsions.

      I really just want to discuss, but I meet few people who actually want to discuss anything. So, I just constantly bash my head against brick walls.

      I think my issue is just my utter disgust toward anti-intellectualism and other such things: intellectual laziness, talking points, rhetoric/apologetics, willful ignorance, et cetera. This disgust I feel is a gut response. It would be one thing if it was just a random person I met on the web, but it doesn’t end there. It’s everywhere. It’s on the mainstream media. It’s on the radio. It’s in the local paper. It’s in politics. There is just no escaping it. I feel like I can’t take it any more and I just want to go bezerk.

      Once upon a time, people like Glenn Beck wouldn’t given air time on the mainstream media and become major media superstars. Once upon a time, there were real journalists doing real journalism. Once upon a time, the media at least attempted or pretended to attempt a separation between news and propaganda.

      As you realize, I’m not really all that different from you. My use of data is somewhat a defense against a world that has proudly embraced ignorance. Stating facts is my way of holding a candle in the darkness. But it’s not necessarily my inherent nature. It’s just something that developed in response to the society I live in. I’m more naturally the type of person who is fascinated by the rare and unusual, but my love of this side of the world has become tarnished by the anti-intellectualism it too often is mired in.

      I just want truth. Fuck off to everything else! I’ll gladly trample on the idols of ignorance until my dying day. Come on all you ignorant fucktards, I’ll take you all on. My army of facts shall defeat you. I mock you. I laugh in the face lies and deception. Long live Truth! 🙂

      That’s better. I just needed to get that off my chest.

      The reason this guy pissed me off so much was he deleted my comments. He claims leftists can’t debate and he deletes the comments of leftists. I just want to put myself out of misery. It’s his right to moderate his comments, but he stepped over the line into straight up censorship. He claims it was just an accident, but how did he accidentally delete 8 comments when each comment has to be deleted separately?

      That said, he doesn’t seem like a bad guy. He has sent me a few messages. He really does seem intelligent and well-intentioned in some basic sense. But that just makes his act of censorship all the worse. It really just blows my mind. He sends me these long private messages where we have this discussion. So, why didn’t he just let my comments stay on his channel? Instead of wasting time discussing about the rules of discussion, we could’ve spent quality time having a discussion.

      Anyway, WTF is up with his rules. He seemed to be somewhat self-aware and yet at the same time couldn’t see how his rules are so constrained by his personal assumptions and dependent on personal interpretation. He seems to assume that what makes sense to him should just make sense to everyone else. No wonder he is frustrated. He probably frustrates everyone he meets, that is everyone he meets who doesn’t already agree with everything he says.

      Here is the problem. This guy seems to be far above average. He probably is even a reasonably nice guy in normal life. But if this guy is above average, what hope is there? Sure, I can talk to someone like you, but we share a lot of our views. Are we humans limited to only interacting with people who share our assumptions, biases, and predilections? I know that discussion with those who are different than me is theoretically possible. I’ve even experienced it a few times in my life, but God Almighty it’s a freaking rare event.

      After some long messages from him, I still don’t even know the basics about who this guy is. I don’t think he mentioned any details about his life, his personal background, his education, his country, etc. He seemed mostly obsessed with his rules and his self-proclaimed debating prowess. That said, he did end up expressing some humility, but only after I forced it out of him. I do think some part of him actually wants to be fair in his treatment of others. I just wish he had treated me fairly from the beginning. Good intentions after the fact only go so far.

      He told me that it was a bad time for him. So, maybe he normally is a great guy. Maybe censoring others isn’t something he does on a regular basis. I’m sure I’m being unfair to him in being so judgmental. I can be an asshole sometimes. Whatever…

  2. Aww, now you’ve got saliva all over my face, shit. Rofl, hope you are too

    Alright, I see, I wonder why I never thought it, I guess I’m so averse to stats that I was blind. Ya use of stats is similar to my use of concrete examples in my work. I am always frustrated when I don’t have a concretion in hand and I’m stuck with my abstract eccentric idea. Most people can’t understand these ideas so as I said, I use concrete examples to help. Ok, I see now. I think I’ll come on over more to keep you company so you don’t go sticking your head in the guillotine. Funny, I used to think this abstract way of thinking was the normal thing, with it’s crazies, I think you too?

    He’s either arrogant or he’s frustrated or he’s not really original (that might be theoretical, I always wonder how it’s done, but I’ve seen it esp among professionals). Perhaps, it’s cultural (or he’s an entj).

    ‘Are we humans limited to only interacting with people who share our assumptions, biases, and predilections?’
    I’ve thought the same thing and had the same experiences with people as you in reference to that. But, this question led me to my thinking that the kids are the best bet. I was discussing it with my mum recently; kids are so so open-minded, what happens to them? Oh well, what can I say, grown-ups piss me off and they’ve done so since my birth, now or soon (depending on perspective) they’ll say I’m one of them, Shit, I’m glad to stay 21

    • Yeah, you get it now. I love abstract eccentric ideas. I love the odd, the interesting, the curious, the utterly bizarre. I love counterintuitive phenomena, the unexpected, that something seen in the peripheral vision. I love the exception to the rule even if when it helps proves the rule. I love to look for patterns of complexity that can’t be easily simplified into neat conclusions.

      But how does one communicate such things? How can they be expressed, shown clearly, made visible, given concrete form?

      When I look at a map or diagram of data, when I find some new curious fact, some telling detail, I get as excited as a little school girl. But most people don’t get excited about such knowledge. Most people don’t get excited about a new insight, a new revealed pattern, an emerging of a new possibility to be perceived in what before seemed just like random info or unconnected ideas.

      When I state some info, I do so out of honest intellectual curiosity, fascination. I want to share what makes me happy. But the reaction I typically get from others doesn’t match my own reaction. Most people don’t seem very interested in knowledge and data, odd ideas and imaginative thinking. In particular, I’ve found that the reaction to any stated fact no matter how well backed-up with references is almost always immediately dismissed or doubted, but rarely will anyone counter a dismissed fact with other data… the dismissal is left as a self-evident truth to the person who stated it. I don’t know if this is true for all cultures, but in the US often anti-intellectualism is the default mode in response to any new data, especially any data that doesn’t conform to social expectations, cultural biases, or folk wisdom.

      Such anti-intellectualism just makes me even more strong in my defense of intellectuality. This happens so often that I automatically meet every new interaction with a prepared sense of defensiveness. I don’t know why truth matters so much to me. It’s a principle to me. It’s grounded in the value of honesty that my parents drilled into me growing up. And it’s combined with my own inherent longing for authenticity.

      It’s strange how life turns out. I never intentionally sought to be an intellectual per se. I grew up hating school and I dropped out of college. But my father’s intellectual tendencies somehow rubbed off on me and my hatred of school transformed into a love of reading. Despite my having working class jobs my whole life, I’ve come to think of myself as an intellectual. I so often meet people who seem to think that all intellectuals are part of a conspiracy of liberal elites, but I’m not an elite. I honestly don’t understand the common American belief that being working class means you have to be uninformed and have no intellectual curiosity.

      And, related to your last comment, I don’t understand why so many people lose their love of learning as they become adults. Kids seem to have a natural love of learning. I guess I understand how life often beats people down into conformity and mindless activity. My own schooling almost destroyed my love of learning. So, maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on people, but it still makes me sad and frustrated.

  3. I was just thinking in relation to what Jung said about modern, civilised, rational societies stripping the color from discourse, language. I think it was helpful, yeah, to lessen ambiguity but that time is past. I know I am biased in saying but I am biased to a good thing, psychological health, spiritual health. I must confess, that’s my greatest ideal and pure self-development in lieu of nothing, just pure development is all that has interested me since, related to my enthusiasm for ultimate, mystical things.

    Now, there are easier ways of communicating, net, videophone, phone, terrific networking tools, you can even set up a faq for people’s aid so I think academics should turn from the stale language and add some color, some affect. I think it’s changing in your world and I think this new gen of adults, the cohort that is about 20-35y is going to radicalise that

    • That is a nice insight. I can’t find anything to disagree with in how you explain it.

      Some people lament the loss of a previous age of knowledge when education was simpler and presumably more true. On the other hand, in the past few people were educated beyond basic literacy. Today’s young adults (in the US, at least) have the highest rates of higher education than of any generation before. And knowledge is easily available to everyone everywhere. The main limitation the average person faces today is their own lack of intellectual curiosity.

      But it’s more than just that. The media world we presently live in offers information overload which is hard to trudge through even for the best of us. We are daily pelted by lies, misinformation, and propaganda.

      And, yet, what you say seems true to me. The media is still changing. The young adults today have learned through experience how to search for truth. They are creating new tools to cut through the bull shit, new ways to make the bare facts more clear and make the patterns stand out.

      The one thing I’m excited about is to see what will happen as the old generation (Boomers) that has ruled for so long finally retires and dies out. In the US, the young generation is the largest generation ever seen in US history. They’re going to have a massive impact and many people won’t see it coming.

  4. Simple misoneism. There are the pharisees (the ones who cannot see their authority subverted), the sycophants, the ignorant, the weak. The genuinely skeptical doubts but these others reject. These are the disciples of misoneism. People just can’t deal with the new info, contrary to their old held beliefs. Life does beat people down and I have a genuine empathy for them but when they bullishly and arrogantly emboss their idea, I get mad. What the fuck? Either they don’t know and are ignorant of their ignorance or they know and try to reinforce the ignorance. The beatdown one would explain why he has to conform, even be pained about it but the arrogant or ignorant ignorant would even try to fight.

    Nothing affects a child more than the unlived life of the parent – Carl Jung.
    I’ll blanket this statement a bit, multiply the child term above. Every generation sees the parents’ lives and it’s handicaps; the lies and the imbalances; from the immediately prior to the far forgotten. With that, a foundation is formed for a drive for change. But, this time, look at the vast history behind us, and as you said, this gen is very well-educated, whether informal or formal, surely, they see it, the problem and as a result of that massive loading behind this group, this history, the force for change looks very immense, even revolutionary. Now, both humans and the environment have a history, now Gaea too is empathized with, it’s no longer that selfish feeling of ‘o, how I suffered’, that’s boomer talk, right? But can I give it such a negative word as selfish when I can’t really blame them, they really suffered? My only problem is it might not be a world-wide phenomenon. The inner-city, the 3rd world, the war-torn, the oppressed, these all presumably are stunted. Still, I see something BIG this way comes

    • Word of the Day: misoneism.

      Ya know, I don’t think I’ve come across that word before. It’s an interesting word. Basically, it’s the opposite of the psychological trait of ‘openness to experience’… but taken to a slightly higher level. It’s not just a dislike of the new or resistance to the unusual. It’s fear, hatred, intolerance of innovation and change. It’s actively anti-openness.

      I was just thinking that you are a part of this new generation coming into adulthood, starting careers, seeking political influence. I’m sure the demographics are different where you live, but there are probably some similar factors. In particular, I was wondering about how your generation in Ghana are in terms of education and knowledge. For example, you have access to internet and hence access to news and knowledge from around the world. That has to be a major shift in the culture there. Do you think your generation will be willing and able to challenge the status quo? Do the young generation in Ghana have the same large numbers as the young generation has in the US?

  5. Got that word from Jung. I’ve been reading his book ‘Man and his Symbols’. I peeked into it and I’ve put ‘Psych Types’ on hold. As well, it looks like that book integrates his other ideas, making it a more holistic approach to Jung. He mentions his exploration of those African communities you mentioned. And he provides answers to questions I’ve asked myself.

    I am aware of my membership of this gen I speak of but I prefer to be an observer though certain currents move within me. In spite of that, I have always been a world man so in my country, I kind of stand apart.

    I wonder something; why do Americans so much look at only themselves and as a result have misconceptions about the rest of the world? Americans too like to think they are the world, I laugh at that. Your talk of net access reminds me of Americans’ surprise at stuff like that.

    My gen does have access to many resources and they can see the illusions of the past but they block it out. Understandable cos they have to survive. My gen is rather a playful one, they seem very strong too, this my gen and those behind me. Those before, I think are just a boomer kind of group, so afraid, so conformist. This group I speak about is from like 17-22, they don’t really see the whole rigidity of things and they want to show their disappoval. There are those who won’t show but they feel it, they are just playing safe. Religion is not helping matters well with all it’s rhetoric. It’s shit. Meanwhile, their leader is one of the greatest rebels the world has ever seen. I just hope all this potential doesn’t die as we get older. But the experience has been and they’ve seen the illusions first-hand, the problems firsthand, all the execrable Shit, the hierarchies, the bureaucracy, the competition, the hate, the insecurity, the inequality, the lies.

    This is what I see. It is a limited view but I these things are not difficult to miss, after all, the ancient is surely alive in the modern and regardless of education about the ancient, it can be seen, it lives really or implicitly in the succeeding gen. They’ll see it, they’ll always see it.

    Still, I wonder, can it really be rationalized? Can it really be because of the observations? Or is it simply something as a function of Nature? As an addendum, I’ve always wondered whether Nature wouldn’t develop an antagonist to all our so-called ‘building’. Hm. Cos I think this last point is related to the foregoing

    • I see. Reading a lot of Jung, eh? I know you were looking for Jung’s books a while back. So, where did you find the copies you are reading now?

      “I wonder something; why do Americans so much look at only themselves and as a result have misconceptions about the rest of the world?”

      Most Americans grew up with an education system and a media that is filled with a mild form of propaganda. Alternative sources of info have always been available, but the average American in the past never had easy access to such alternative views. Generation X was the first generation of Americans to have the technology to begin to question the status quo American worldview, but even GenXers didn’t have the information sources available to the present young generation.

      I’d suggest that, if you’re interested, to look at Noam Chomsky’s commentary about the media and look at the info about the Propaganda Model of media. The US govt and US corporations have immense power and wealth. The ruling class spends a lot of money on propagandizing to the American public. Growing up in America, it can be very difficult seeing outside of the brainwashing that begins from childhood. Americans are ignorant and misinformed because the American system has made them that way. I was largely ignorant and misinformed about the larger world until I started studying politics and history on my own which wasn’t until recent years for the most part.

      “Americans too like to think they are the world, I laugh at that. Your talk of net access reminds me of Americans’ surprise at stuff like that.”

      I’m a bit confused by your comment about net access. I honestly don’t know what the net access is in most countries. Europe and Japan have very high rates of net access, but you should understand that the US is very behind on net access (many Americans in poor rural areas still use dial up)… and so I don’t assume other countries have good net access.

      About the young generation, I think a difference is that young people in all countries are more aware of other young people in other countries. There is a collective awareness of the power people beyond single countries which the net is increasing. The protests recently demonstrate this. I’m reminded of a video I saw recently which is about the power of shared knowledge.

      I’m not sure exactly what you were getting at with your last comments and questions. What were you referring to with your question about “something as a function of Nature”? And what do you mean by Nature developing an antagonist? Do you just mean natural constraints that are ignored by modern civilization? So, with the ancient being alive in the modern, do you mean the ancient knowledge of the world that was based in a more humble attitude?

  6. When you say ‘mild form of propaganda’, could you give me an example so I can orient my mind better. Some thoughts that come to my mind are unpleasant. Cos if they are brainwashed as consciously as that then what is the difference between US and North Korea? What is the difference between US and the Third Reich (I forgot Hitler’s regime’s name, is it this?)?

    Ok, you answered the question. I wrote it on reading that second paragraph without proceeding but the questions of distinction stand and prominently.

    There was a time when Americans would be surprised that Africans do live in buildings, watch tv and stuff like that. That’s what I was getting at cos in the foregoing vein, there is a tendency to be surprised by mere net access.

    Yes, I agree that they are aware of each other.

    The ancient was just meant to contrast modern, that is, the past becomes part of it’s future inevitably. So, despite the fact that historical records might be absent, that past which is not substantially known or evidentially known, is implicitly known in the people of that past’s future. Perhaps, this is a theory or it’s me that can see like this or it is so.

    A natural antagonist. This is related to the old action-reaction concept. You see, we humans keep ‘building’ that is a positive progress. Can not a negative be extending proportionally as we are? For instance, as we keep extending our lives, would something not subversive to that in some way, be developing? Not necessarily something lethal.

    That the children now are just a natural phenom. That they are so intelligent and so observant, is it not something natural? Something like an evolution of sorts? I hope I am clearer now.

    The power of shared knowledge is revolution. This is not demagogically inspired revolution but intellectually, more psychical revolution. In this type, the revolution is not led in the strict sense of ‘leadership’ but merely steered. Sort of an elected driver. That’s the revolution Marx tried to get at. That’s the revolution the French went through in Marx’s time.

    I’m sorry if I speak about revolution so much but my youth was full of revolutionary stories so I guess, I learned the Revolution. Stories of great warriors: Alexander, Genghis, Hannibal, Charlemagne, William, Boadicea, revolutionaries like our former prez Jerry Rawlings. Even fictional ones like Batman, my favorite character for more reasons than this. Hahaha

    • “When you say ‘mild form of propaganda’, could you give me an example so I can orient my mind better. Some thoughts that come to my mind are unpleasant. Cos if they are brainwashed as consciously as that then what is the difference between US and North Korea? What is the difference between US and the Third Reich (I forgot Hitler’s regime’s name, is it this?)?”

      An example of ‘mild form of propaganda’? Two things come to mind.

      First, primary education rarely teaches much of significance when it comes to politics and history. It’s not so much about active propaganda per se, but more about what is left out and what is whitewashed. History is simplified and dumbed down with all the ugly details and issues almost entirely left out.

      I never learned much about the history of how political ideas had developed over Western history and throughtout US history. I never learned about the motivations of the US founders. I never learned about the role religion has played, about the Populist era, about the workers movement, about the violent history of corporations. I never learned about the history of the CIA inciting overthrow of democratically elected leaders, about the School of the Americas, about the FBI’s COINTELPRO. I never learned much the larger context of politics and human rights in other countries.

      It’s very much a case of the victors writing the history books. Along with this, is the role of corporations who are part of the victors in US society. Corporations largely control politics, own most of the media, and of course literally write the history books. States do have some control over what ends up in school textbooks, but even on this level special interests often gain control such as in the case of Texas (and many states use the textbooks that are made for Texas schools).

      Howard Zinn wrote about the voices that get ignored in the history books. The perspective and words of average Americans throughout history are rarely given much emphasis. The history of Native Americans is usually just presented as setting the stage for white history. People such as protesters who were arrested and union leaders who were killed get forgotten or at best get brief mention. People who spoke out against power are often left out of the official narrative because they don’t fit.

      Some of this has changed slightly, but it’s been fairly recently. Still, going by the Texas example, maybe education hasn’t changed much at least in many parts of the country.

      Second, there is the more obvious example of the media which as I said is mostly owned by a few corporations. This is the propaganda model discussed by Noam Chomsky. Some elements of this are that the mainstream media tends to offer sound bytes, infotainment, and false equivalency. But rarely offers much historical context, rarely offers much investigative journalism, rarely offers alternative views, and rarely offers complex data. I’m always surprised about how little most media people seem to know about US and world history… or maybe just how unwilling they are to talk about what they know. To gain a more detailed context for events and issues, Americans have to turn to alternative media such as Thom Hartmann.

      If you want a clear example of corporate owned media and the propaganda model, just watch Fox News. There is OutFoxed which is an excellent documentary about Fox News. Fox News management actually puts out memos telling all their reporters and pundits what to say and how to say it.

      So, it’s not the overt propaganda of state-controlled media such as in communist China or Nazi Germany. But because it’s more subtle I think it’s more dangerous. Most Americans grow up learning little about their own country and even less about other countries. Many Americans never read another book once they graduate from high school or college. The older generation gets almost all of their news from the mainstream media. Only the internet has allowed a new generation to partly break free of the spell that is cast by the propaganda model.

      I suppose you don’t know much about the history of US society. There is a very massive and powerful industry involving advertising and public relations. It’s existed since the World Wars. There has been a lot of research done on how to manipulate the public, consumers, voters, et cetera. It’s one of the most profitable industries and it’s been developed into a science. We have think tanks filled with highly educated experts. We have lobbyists who are writing bills for politicians to sign. We have astroturf organizations. We have political front groups. We even have had our own government infiltrating the media at least during some periods of US history. Even the US government hires PR firms.

      I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist, but I tell ya some of this stuff would scare you shitless. Americans are probably one of the most manipulated and controlled populations ever to exist, although I’m sure the Chinese are getting pretty good at it using a different model.

      All of that is probably more than you wanted to know, but it’s a subject that has fascinated me for many years.

      “There was a time when Americans would be surprised that Africans do live in buildings, watch tv and stuff like that. That’s what I was getting at cos in the foregoing vein, there is a tendency to be surprised by mere net access.”

      I understand what you mean. You are probably correct to a large degree. I know that growing up I was mostly ignorant about Africans. American kids, especially in the past, received most of their knowledge about Africa by looking at pictures of tribal Africans in National Geographic magazines. I’m sure American kids today are a lot less ignorant, but I have to laugh at the simplistic notions that once were common in my country. I’d like to say that I’m sorry for picturing you as a Zulu fighting off the British with spears. My bad.

    • “I’m sorry if I speak about revolution so much but my youth was full of revolutionary stories so I guess, I learned the Revolution. Stories of great warriors: Alexander, Genghis, Hannibal, Charlemagne, William, Boadicea, revolutionaries like our former prez Jerry Rawlings. Even fictional ones like Batman, my favorite character for more reasons than this. Hahaha”

      I don’t mind. I find it interesting that this forms part of your background.

      It’s different than my own experience. I’ve never thought of America as having a warrior culture. Americans love war, but more war as spectacle. Growing up, I had no heroic sense about war. Vietnam almost entirely destroyed the American sense of the heroic warrior. I grew up watching Vietnam war movies about soldiers and innocents dying pointlessly. It was a war lost, a war that never had any purpose. I grew up at the end of the Cold War and there was this massive sense of letdown. Even the WWII movies I watched were often about concentration camps and American GIs escaping. I remember seeing tons of movies about atomic bombs and apocalypse.

      It’s ironic that as an American I don’t remember revolution as being something of significance in my worldview. I do remember the fall of the Berlin wall and the Chinese guy standing in front of a tank, but these were images that lacked any context for me. The Chinese guy was a symbol of how insignificant an individual is in the face of the military machinery of the state. A tank has no face.

      Even Civil War movies I watched growing up were spectacles of violence. I’ve always had this sense of America as a deteriorating society. The Civil War ripped our country apart. And there is just that weird dark obsession of the fundamentalists fallen world that colors the American worldview.

      Americans often idealize the lone warrior who has nothing to fight for, nothing to win besides honor, just fighting the good fight no matter how seemingly hopeless. Ya know, the archetype of the lone gunfighter, Clint Eastwood. As an interesting note, many of the famous gunfighters were Civil War veterans. Americans killed each other in the war and kept on killing each other afterward. And the backdrop to all of this was the continued killing of the Native Americans. The first century of US history was endless violence.

      It wasn’t until I was older that I came to have more respect for the warrior mentality. I love Geronimo, but he was also fighting a hopeless battle. And I love Genghis just for the sheer destructive power he wielded. I loved how Genghis had no comprehension of European culture. He was from a tribal culture and he didn’t understand the purpose of the serfs. He just wanted to kill them all until someone explained to him that they did all the work. LOL

  7. Ya know, I wasn’t very much interested in the death part of the stories. I was, I think, inhuman for that. All I cared about was the scheme employed, what went wrong, the qualities of the masterminds; who was killed didn’t really touch me. Plus the testosterone involved was tasty. One man shows fascinated me as well, I think they still do.

    Human considerations came to me later esp after what I saw in my own family. Then, I realised the harrowing reality of loss more overtly; it really struck me. I became more empathetic.

    I usually would read the history of a person or a people from their current attitude; sort of an inductive reasoning. So, though I don’t really know what happened, I have a faint idea, sort of a ghost of what could have happened. Then, I could just ask questions and flesh out the phantom or bust it if my idea was false.

    But, even if subtle, American society is pretty fucked up.

    • Yes, even if subtle, American society is pretty fucked up. But it’s all relative.

      What bothers me the most is the hypocrisy. China is a powerful country that is oppressive in its own way, but China’s government wasn’t founded on the ideals of freedom.

      The other thing that bothers me is what I was describing. It’s amazing how effective the propaganda model is. The govt doesn’t need to actively suppress the truth. They just need to align with corporations who will buy up all the media. The govt can allow all the free speech in the world, but if you indoctrinate kids at a young age few people will ever have the intellectual curiosity to look for independent info.

      In China, the people are ignorant because they have little access to knowledge. In America, the people are ignorant despite having a lot of access to knowledge.

  8. Now, Ben, you’ve betrayed me; do you work for the govt? 😉

    I was as usual surfing the net feeling ‘dudey’ ;-), when I found Krishnamurti’s name mentioned in laudatory tones and looked him up. Now, you didn’t tell me that all this I was on about, that whole self-devt she-bang, was espoused and actively promoted by Jiddu? And I think the first time I came in contact with that name was on your site. He just says everything I would say and I’ve never read about him except minorly heard. It makes me wonder.

    There’s this thing I’ve always criticised the organised religions for, they don’t allow their leaders to grow. It’s not particularly an edict of theirs but it shows up in the practice where laity construe clergy as gods above them rather than fellow sojourners. Jiddu, I am sure, saw those failings or hindrances and made sure not to appear as a teacher, notwithstanding his distaste for formal schooling akin to mine. I hear he had some educational ideas in practice, I’ll read about them, but do you know of them? He has quite a following (he would not like that) or rather, interest, doesn’t he?

    • I’m surprised Krishnamurti has never come up before in any of our many discussions.

      I hadn’t thought too much about it. In my circle of friends/associates (mostly American liberals), someone like Krishnamurti is relatively well known. In the US, he is popular and his books would be found in most libraries and bookstores. I sometimes forget that our background/cultural knowledge can be so different.

      It’s kinda ironic that I first heard of Krishnamurti while living down in the Deep South. Krishnamurti is the complete opposite of a fundamentalist. I suppose I’ve known about Krishnamurti for maybe a couple of decades now.

      However, I haven’t read Krishnamurti in years. I don’t know if I even own any of his books these days. In highschool and the years directly after, I read almost all of his books. I quickly realized, though, that his message is very simple and so reading all of his books isn’t necessary. Still, that simple message was eye-opening to me at the time. Krishnamurti, like Hesse and Thoreau, irrevocably warped my tender young mind in a certain direction.

      I wrote a story that included Krishnamurti. I warn you it’s very silly.

      I also wrote a little bit about Krishnamurti in a non-fiction post (in a section titled ‘The Two Krishnamurtis’) where I put him in context of the history of people and ideas that interest me. It’s one of the best posts I’ve ever written. Very detailed.

      I do vaguely know about his educational ideas, but it’s been a long time since I’ve paid much attention to Krishnamurti. I know he started some schools that are located in several countries, including at least one here in the US (I’m not familiar with any of the details):

      And there is a book of his discussing education:

  9. To tell the truth, I haven’t read all thru all the links you gave me, my mind kept running out, in, up and down, all over the place, sorry, sure you understand. But, I’m sure to read them, that’s just how it is.

    I wonder why Aleister Crowley would have wanted to be the World Teacher, but given he thought he was the Beast, well… I, on the other hand, would be wary of the whole World Teacher biz cos the WT could easily be the antichrist. It remains to be told if it’s just a symbol or really an embodiment. How do u like Revelations? I see it influenced ya weird fiction above abundantly, hm?

    Am I the only one that sees that the INTP corresponds to the architect and the ESFJ to the mother? That’s significant, isn’t it? And, they are complements of each other. Related, I theorise that Jesus was an INTP. And, Mary would surely identify with the ESFJ in the Christian symbology, making it a complete syzygy then. Is there a wonder that Jesus needed no marriage? He was already married, and he was destined to die before his mum too, what does he need a wife – in relation to surviving his mum – for? Plus, he insisted his independence very much from youth. Tell me no one has said this before, I’m tired of my ideas being anticipated. Haha

    • I don’t care if you don’t read through the links I offer. I just offer info because it’s just what I do. What others do with that info is their own business. 🙂

      How do I like Revelations? I don’t know. I haven’t thought much about it. I was just, in my story, playing off of themes common in pop culture. I was just having fun.

      INTP as architect and ESFJ as mother? Yeah, I’ve come across various speculations like that. Jesus as INTP and Mary as ESFJ? I can’t say I’ve seen that specific correlation, but it sounds like the type of thing that would make for an interesting discussion in a typology forum. People are always looking for correlations like this… to famous and historical people, to Enneagram and Tarot, to mythology and archetypes, et cetera. As for a complete syzygy, that reminds me of theories I’ve seen about which types would be attracted to and balance eachother. This reminds me of the more typical pairing/polarization of INFP and ESTJ.

      Your particular syzigy speculation is original as far as I know… but I’d be surprised if someone had speculated along similar lines. Most every idea one can think of is anticipated to some degree. I tend to think originality comes from how ideas are brought together. Old ideas can be made new by being given new context.

  10. An example of an anticipated idea (aww, shucks): ‘In view of the rapidly increasing avalanche of world population, man has already begun to seek ways and means of keeping the rising flood at bay. But nature may anticipate all our attempts by turning against man his own creative mind. The H-bomb, for instance, would put an effective stop to over population. In spite of our proud domination of nature, we are still her victims, for we have not even learned to control our own nature. Slowly but, it appears, inevitably, we are courting disaster.’
    from ‘Man and his Symbols’ by CG Jung. Is the idea familiar? I think Jung articulated it simpler. You remember I asked something similar?

    • Yeah, that is a way of viewing the world that has become more common, although I doubt many people grasp the human condition as Jung did. I wonder when Jung wrote that (I’m too lazy to look it up). I do recall that Jung had some vivid premonitions before WWII began. I’m sure Jung’s thinking was strongly impacted by both world wars.

      I like the way he describes, “But nature may anticipate all our attempts by turning against man his own creative mind.” Jung had great respect for the power of the human psyche. It does make one wonder what he would think of what the world has become. Who knows where the creative mind will take us into the future. It is somewhat amazing that we haven’t had a nuclear war yet or brought on something equally apocalyptic.

  11. You mentioned about NTs being competitive in debate and you rightly mentioned that they might know it better. Being that, I think I’m one (even if not it still might be helpful), I can explain that. It seems linked to the sight of other possibilities that is usually their trait so that when someone says one thing, they can’t bear to watch the theory standing looking smug, the possible others must be juxtaposed or added or… notwithstanding their logical correctness. Aside that, most NTs are bad losers esp in intellectual things, so far as the thing presents an intellectual aspect, oh, they value it and man, you cannot take wisdom away from em. They’ll growl, they’ll bite, it’s like taking ice cream from a baby lion.
    Altogether however, your wonder was long ago, you probably figured it out but I enjoyed the mental exercise.

    • I’m not sure NTs are necessarily competitive in debate, although they may seem competitive to a Feeling type. I have more familiarity with INTPs who can seem nitpicky which can come off as seeming competitive. INTPs are just unforgiving about what they see as being illogical or incorrect, but like INFPs they can lack grounding in reality and get lost in ideas.

      No worries. I always enjoy talking about psychology. People are endlessly fascinating.

      NTs as bad losers esp in intellectual things… yeah, I think it depends. I’ve met some well-adjusted and laid back INTPs who aren’t intellectually smug and self-righteous. On the other hand, I’ve met some that seem so self-assured they could never admit they were wrong. I think part of it is that many INTPs can be drawn into a competitive mentality or where they see inellectual debates as a game to be won rather than an opportunity to learn. Also, many INTPs can have some serious issues with relating well with others and they can just be assholes.

      The other NTs are different. I’m not sure INTJs are quite as competitive, although maybe more critical. ENTPs can just be utterly detached and indifferent. ENTJs are probably the most socially ‘normal’ of the NTs.

    • 1964 was eleven years before I was born and slightly more than three decades before I became familiar with Jung. In my mind, 1964 seems like an innocent time compared to the world today.

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