Monday, December 10, 2012

Sex education in NZ schools

The issue of sex education in schools has arisen again. Several pertinent points :
1. If we disempower kids they will they want to be adults sooner.
2. Adults don't grasp the role of sex; so few advocates are going to match the populist extorted agenda of lobbyists.
3. Dispersed school authority over sex education gives parents and principals the power if student assignment to schools was at the parent's discretion.
4. A school system which dumbs down the student mind is going to leave children jaded in their relationship choices. Adults are having relationships and sex for the wrong reason...exactly to whom would you have kids turn? A political or populist decision will make less sense than any other. Better for kids to question and be given the minority perspective.

So what do I think? I think sex is overrated between adults because thinking is underrated. Anyone who thinks sex adds spice to a relationship needs to engage their mind.

Caring, succeeding and building relationships

Someone sent me this quote, which is one of the better ones I've come across, and so pertinent to contemporary times. 
John C. Maxwell: "People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care about them”.
It is however not complete in itself because the dynamics of any budding relationship are not simply defined by one person, and reading this quote is not going to spontaneously give you the values to present yourself in the way that is going to win you relationships. The values of the counterparty and the experiences which shaped them are also important. The implication is that:
1. Perpetrators have a capacity to feign consideration, and for the sake of money, sex or gratuitous need, they breach our trust; and then we hate ourselves for trusting them. 
2. Counterparties don't care how much you know until they are aware of how you can help them.
3. Counterparties are cynical with scarce time, so they dare not risk wasting their own time by engaging in your space.
4. Counterparties have to overcome a 'wall of worry' before they will allow themselves to be vulnerable.
5. Counterparties don't want to pass through life alone; but they need a commitment to higher values than their dollar, body, material security. Some are more tragic than others. 

This raises two questions:
1. How are people destined to be engaged?
2. How can we best engage people?

How are people destined to be engaged?
There are a number of things which will engage people:
1. Conveying that you care - The first step is to convey that you care. The question is - care about what? Should we convey care for a person devoid of merit? The first point is that no one is devoid of merit. They would be dead otherwise; and if you are at least talking to them, then they actually embody the capacities for civility. There is an efficacy in helping others; so there is a basis for personal pride. This need not be a waste of time. It need not be an opportunity cost. So your care should be coming from two places: (i) A desire for personal efficacy, and (ii) A sense of generosity which is a source of surplus; in terms of generosity with time, money, conceptual engagement, etc. The threat posed with some psychopaths is that they convey the high-level thinking, but they have a tragic desire to destroy the good in others.  
2. Appealing to what they want - Asking people what they want; finding out what they want...It is easy enough to give people what they want. Its greater still to exceed their expectations. Exceeding people's expectations is a threatening thing to do because you are conveying that you understand a person more than them. People don't resent the information; they resent the sense of being judged or their own self-appraisal that others knew better than them. This is a negation for people wanting an unearned sense of pride. There are several ways to deal with that. The lowest maintenance approach is to delivery expectations; the harder approach is to take more interest in the counterparty, so you can speak from a position of empathy and trust. This is not an easy position because people are very vulnerable, and most of us are too rushed to actually engage people optimally. 
2. Conveying that you can deliver - It is important to convey that you are dedicated and efficacious in that area where you offer value. This is actually the easiest element to building relationships because its simply an achievement of 'relative merit' or economic relativism. Being ahead of the market actually makes it harder to engage, so if that is your approach, then you need a higher value clientele, otherwise in business you will be expending huge amounts of energy for little gain, and a great deal of frustration. This is your learning curve, but its not going to be overcome in a day. So if you need a means of living, its a false economy, though you will need to challenge that wall, if you are going to breach it.
3. Conveying good values - It is not sufficient to be good at something; people need to believe that you have good values, and that you are an honourable person, because most people are not desperate for the things they want. The implication is that its not sufficient to be a great landscaper; people need to believe that you are an all-round good guy because they are not just trusting that you will prepare a nice garden, but that you will not resent their judgement, that you will not burglarise their house, that you will not rape their daughter, and that they can broadly trust you with their vulnerabilities. You might ask - Can't they just quarantine their 'vulnerabilities'? Of course they can, but then such security measures perhaps speak more to their tragic state of mind. Wealthy people don't go to slumming in 'Jonesville' in order to hire a gardener; they hire within their community. The fact that these people come from their community conveys a sense of trust, and they will pay a premium for the confidence that arises from knowing that their community would spurn anyone who did not reach their standards. They are therefore destined to recruit people from their social circles. For most of you; this is not surprising. Its merely dealing from your comfort zone. 
The flipside is that those coming from 'Jonesville' want instant recognition, respect for being a good gardener. They do not expect to be appraised for all these other qualities that they didn't know a gardener needed to be. They are therefore either destined to learn a hard lesson on a steep learning curve, or they are inclined to resent a distinction they never understood. This is not to say that they will not learn. If they are not intellectually challenged by attempts to engage in wealthy communities, they will engage with the 'home-boys' of Jonesville. Standards might be lower in Jonesville, but they are still growing. 
I have made a distinction in values purely on the basis of wealth. This is not the sole consideration; merely described to make a point about value or moral imperatives. I would argue that the wealthy are just as anti-intellectual as the poor; because society as it stands is divided by a false political dichotomy that is destined to entrench this dumping down, which was conveyed in Judge Napolitano's speech before he was sacked by Fox News. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The 11 Commandments of Bill Gates

I received a chain mail in my inbox. It is attributed to Bill Gates, but one wonders whether it is done so merely as an appeal to authority. I'm inclined to think that Bill Gates would make a press release. In any respect, I wanted to break down these '10 commandments', as I have previously done with Bill Gates advice on parenting. This advice is for youths - whom Gates might well look to with despair. Below I will critique his advice....which again....might not belong to him. 

Rule 1 : Life is not fair - get used to it! 
This is a silly assertion because it is justification for moral appeasement. If it were valid, then it would contradict his later statement that you are free because soldiers fought for your freedom. Clearly they would no have fought if Hitler was fair-minded, and you got used to him. This is the typical moral relativism or repression that you can expect from Conservatives. So what positive thing can we say instead? How about: That life is unfair, that you should fight for a system which actually protects your personal autonomy and gives you a rational framework for political discourse, and not an extortion racket controlled by lobbyists.
Rule 2 : The world doesn't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something. BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Having recognised that life is not fair; how about recognising that people's self-esteem is diminished by unfair systems which disempower and moreover support your means of survival in a modern economy. Yes, probably 70-80% of poeple in many Western economies have diminished self-esteem because we have state & religious education which advances ambivalent values, and in the process teach people that they are mindless animals. Conservatives expect you to achieve 'something' detached from means. Unless people get an education that prepares them for life, you cannot expect 'ends' because you are denying causation. A Conservative's ends are detached from rationality because they cannot conceive of them. They accept it on faith, and any evidence is just reason for them to repress facts, and deny responsibility. That's not to say that I support modern Liberals either, who offer unconditional love, and hold their emotions as the source of their claims. What we have to do is end this system of expropriating wealth and sanctioning unhealthy values through our purported 'representative democracy'. It is an extortion racket. Self-esteem is very important; our current political system destroys it. So support those who want to replace it with a rational system. See our website MeritocracyNow - our NZ advocacy. 
Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
I say never say never. It is however unlikely that in the current society that many, if any people, will make large sums coming out of school. Having said that, if you are going to do it, now is the time. At the end of the day, one should not heed dogmatic statements like this devoid of evidence or argument. Its the equivalent of a parent saying 'You will never amount to anything'. So Bill should not say it. There are child-CEOs around these days who have done exactly as he dispels - who have sold an iphone 'app' for millions whilst at school. The point ought to be - to be real - to respect facts - and to respect ideas that derive from facts, and respect your mind's capacity to determine the difference.  
Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
This is more Conservative dribble. The issue is not soft vs tough; the issue is rational vs irrational, legal vs illegal, moral vs immoral. One does not want to sanction any action which is going to cause injury to oneself, and in the long turn, not to others as well. Toughness implies compliance, subordination and tolerance. These are all unhealthy values. We need to engage our minds, and withdraw our sanction for idiotic people. We can do it on our terms though. So, if we don't like our employer, do as I do....resign along with the rest of the staff. In my case, it caused by employer to lose his job. Many teachers are hardly custodians of  positive values. After all, most of them live their entire life on government-sponsored welfare. 
Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: They called it opportunity.
Partially agree with this point. Many kids will spurn McDonalds because of image issues, i.e. What others thing. But the problem is, if Conservative parents are so anti-intellectual, that they fail to develop their child's minds, then their morally deficient children will subordinate their values to those of 'popular' society. So, on this point, the Conservative shoots themselves in the foot with their moral incoherence. McDonalds I would argue is a well-run business which will expose a child to a very successful business system. That is a value proposition, and a reason to stay there at least a few weeks. Thereafter its just about the money, or the time until you get another experience. That's your opportunity, aside from spending those mind-numbing hours flipping burgers to come up with your own 'better' business system.
Rule 6 : If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
This is more Conservative nonsense. Parents are the most important role models in a child's life. Given the legacy of perverted values in society; a legacy rich in extortion, collectivism, persecution (religious & collectivist), you have good reason to expect some residual impact on the descendants of those times; and those times are still with us. There are implications for bad parenting, and denial or detachment from that cause is part of the problem. Another problem is the modern Liberals purported solution to those problems. The modern Liberal preaches unconditional love, when we need conditional love. You get rewarded for the good; not in some hope of it. So I say, 'whine', but don't impose your values upon others, having already conceded that you have been imposed upon. That is contradictory, and in our anti-intellectual society, its enough to scare Conservatives into their current 'unempathetic' state of mind, which sadly, only makes them less thinking than they already were. This is the modern problem - a false choice.  
Rule 7 : Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were: So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Silly statement. Parents are 'boring' because they fail to offer a value proposition. i.e. They are either stating the bleeding obvious, they are not speaking in the context of the child's values, they are probably not offering an argument, merely giving directions, they are probably failing to engage the child's mind, so they are just a waste of time. Self-righteous parenting merely reinforces the cihld's lack of confidence in their capacity to live in contemporary society, so what do they do. Take advantage of their parents and seek stimulus in any drug, activity which gives them short-range stimulation. 
Rule 8 : Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. *This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
There is some truth to this, but actually, its not strictly good advice. You do not become a mouthpiece for your customers values. You don't subjugate your truth for your customers. Bill Gates would never have succeeded if he did that. Perhaps he has forgotten. The education system has been perverted by Liberals, so point taken. But life actually gives one the flexibility to take your time, but you do need to respect the rights of others to not support your existence. Even if they offer it, you don't want to place yourself in a position of depending on it, or morally feeling entitled to it, as the modern Liberal does. So this is a rather malevolent statement which does not represent the 'benevolence' of capitalism when it functions with a healthy philosophical theory of values. Conservatives often support capitalism; but they fail to offer a compatible value system, and so end up undermining capitalism. I am reminded of my grandfather. Aged 19yo, I asked him 'How do you manage to reconcile capitalism, which is based on trade - value for value or voluntary self-interest, with religion, which is based on altruism?' He could not answer, but apparently went to my father to complain. Conservatives do not want you to identify their cognitive dysfunction. They live on 'faith' because they have no compelling truth. Its an intellectual fraud they perpetrate; and they would sooner destroy the minds of their children (or invalidate them) rather than acknowledge that fact of reality. So much for self-esteem. Having said that Christianity spurns self and advances do not under-estimate the incompatibility of religion to your life as a human being. It was a system to control advanced by people who were evading their cognitive dysfunction. 
Rule 9 : Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. *Do that on your own time.
True enough, but governments dictate the nature of the education system, and competition is largely precluded. And that's unfair. Complain. Mind you, you can always fill those times doing productive things. I worked, traded stocks and studied philosophy. 
Rule 10 : Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
There is nothing wrong with TV. The issue is what you watch on TV. I tend to focus on intellectual content like documentaries, however comedy and other forms of entertainment serve a purpose. That is ultimately the standard - does it serve a purpose - is it a legitimate purpose. 
Rule 11 : Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.. 
Yes, but critique Conservative and Liberal idiots at your leisure. Do not sanction idiocy unless your career depends on it; and beyond the next pay cheque, it probably doesn't. 
If you can read this... Thank a Teacher.
If you can read this in English... Thank a Soldier!
And for life and everything else you have... Thank God!!.
If you understand my perspective, spread the wisdom, sign up to your MeritocracyNow campaign, and despair that your teachers, soldiers, nor (a non-existent) God will help you, but only rational, wide men like myself can give you the moral convictions to defeat the cult of senselessness permeating society. 
"Love him or hate him , he sure hits the nail on the head with this"
I don't love or hate Bill Gates. I just think he presents an opportunity cost; in the first instance by selling me a substandard operating system for 20 years, and then for offering as 'wisdom' the type of folklore wisdom that  precipitates wars. Rest assured that it will not be a CEO who directs society into the next century, because they are simply too pragmatic to advance a coherent framework of ideas. Which brings us to his 3rd advocacy - the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - a huge opportunity cost. Fortunately for us, it is he who is carrying the cost. Unlike the governments that you continue to sanction. Your vote for your political leaders is the equivalent of a 'power of attorney' for your politicians to steal and waste 30-70% of your nation's wealth. Why have they done to your sense of self-worth, that you feel compelled to serve them?