Overdue updates and musings

Much like Krytyk, the new Daybreak chapter is overdue. Unlike Krytyk though, I haven't been abnormally busy (just my usual level of busy). What did delay this chapter was the fact it was... extremely unpleasant to write.

Still... I did not spend years talking to psychology majors, reading their works, or watch all of Crash Course: Psychology for nothing!

Link

Also per request, I did update v3ch7's maps with keys.

Speaking of which, guess what's new from Crash Course? I do really like how they started this. Instead of beginning by teaching actual philosophy, they began by teaching how to philosophize... or, how to reason, how to argue, why you should be thankful for losing an argument, why successful reasoning doesn't make it truth, and why what we perceive as truth isn't necessarily real. It's the part about philosophy that truly makes it great -- when you really think for yourself and challenge what you hear out there, instead of simply parroting others' views and opinions like some ignorant pleb.

 

Since we're tapping Value theory, here's a bit of a rant attached. This is particularly important for those of you who read Daybreak thinking that Kaede should dump her 'modern values' upon the world, which... I have a problem against... because it very much reminds me of colonial attitudes during the Age of Imperialism, which... is it over? I'm not really sure.

Eight hundred years ago, Christendom saw all those who reject the teachings of Christ as vile heathens.
Four hundred years ago, the White Man saw it as his destiny to lead the inferior races of the world.
Today, the 'West' exports democracy and liberalism as though they are the only acceptable means of government and society.
Are we truly moving forward?

In the end, the problem lays in that one branch of humanity believes they have the right to pass judgment upon others because they alone hold the moral high ground -- whether this branch be Islamic Jihadists or Science-worshiping Atheists or Democracy-loving Activists (...which I often find ironic when they ignore the Democratic consent of the locals to have a not-so-Democratic government because those societies/cultures Democratically believe that there are more important things than Democracy... after all, if there's one thing we all agree on, it's the abolition of the first freedom shared by all living beings: the Freedom to Starve).

Opinions are not Fact, no matter how justified they seem or sound. What one sees as "right" due to our limited domain of moral convictions, culture-bred priorities, and subconscious implicit bias may be entirely different under the examination of a different light.

The greatest truth about life, the universe, and everything... is that we know too little about life, the universe, or anything. Even elemental laws of physics have been overturned in the past as our technological capacity to perceive and analyze climb yet another step (such as when the Quantum realm was breached and we discover that many so-called laws of Newtonian Physics just... isn't quite the truth.)

To discuss science is to discuss the world as we see it today -- this is easy, as we live all in the same world and are limited by the same physical constraints. But what about more esoteric topics? Like religious beliefs? Cultural values? Political leanings? Business traditions? These are all topics where your 'universe' is defined by the society you live in and the people you interact with. Can someone in Europe truly judge another in say, Saudi Arabia or Sri Lanka or Micronesia when they have very little idea about the realities of those peoples' day-to-day lives?

Yet... we live in a society today where people have less and less time to reflect and meditate, instead spending more and more time simply accepting so-called 'facts' and first impressions at face value. Philosophy is increasingly a dying art, pushed out by the culture of mass media consumption, and made worse by the materialism of a modern society that values only lucrative careers.

No one can deny that society is on an upward spiral in Intelligence. Even those whom we view as 'stupid' know more than the common serf centuries ago.

But what about Wisdom?

Are we becoming wiser? Or are we actually declining? Falling further and further into the well of Confirmation Bias, that only those who agree with us are "reasonable", while all others are spouting rubbish? Too idiotic to see the light of 'truth'?

 

 

The moment you believe only you yourself is the reasonable one present... is also the moment you stop being a voice of reason and become a peddler to fanaticism.

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15 thoughts on “Overdue updates and musings

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  1. Tehnomo12

    To tell you the truth, I'd rather be on any country [of course except china or north korea] than in my own country The Philippines, simply because this country of mine is already a sad sight! Tourist spot might be nice and all but, just walk a few meters outside those and boom your slapped with a reality that what's not shown one the travel guide and you will be mugged in just seconds you let your guard down.

    Specially that this country of mine is to damn religious but religion is being used as a platform to make money! Not to mention they me be religious but the attitudes begs to differ.
    Anyway thanks for the chapter Aorii and I love you /o/

    Reply
  2. Roaming Reader

    Aside from how there isn't really a 'correct' way to govern, I've always found it interesting to see how the nature of a fantasy setting can (or should ) influence how rulership works.
    For example you can have a bloodline that really is inherently superior (at something), or has a divine blessing.
    A monarch with a longer lifespan has longer to practice and plan (or become overly resistant to all change)
    Similarly, it can sometimes be weird to see democracy-esque rule-of-the-people governments promoted as wonderful in settings where mass mind/emotion manipulation is available.
    Or the local dragons/gods/personification-of-the-country might live on long enough time scales that swapping your representatives every few years makes dealing with them very difficult.

    Game settings can also be interesting. D&D for example can have Charisma boosts from some types of alcohol, so getting slightly(?) drunk before an election speech is perfectly viable. On the other hand you can have permanent-but-expensive boosts to intelligence and wisdom, making putting a single wealthy family in change a better idea.

    Oh, and thanks for Daybreak. I really enjoy it.

    Reply
  3. Owl

    On a more retrospective note, the current Democracy uber alles mindset, which, no insult intended, America is the greatest culprit, is actually a holdover of the mindset of the Cold War where it was framed as a fight between Democracy and Communism, winner has the best social values. It started even way before then, even during WWII, there were elements of "Democracy vs Monarchy/Dictatorship", but the Cold War just solidified the stance. This, combined with the insular nature of America in general*, bred the idea of "Only Democracy" as the people there can't think of any other way to live. Mix it in with nationalism and you get "We're the only people who got it right", a mindset that is exclusivist. It can be a bit of a pain talking to Americans (Some of them at least. Like all things, there is a range of people in a "population spread" demographic).

    *While the US is well connected throughout the world, a large segment of their population has never and will never go beyond the shores of the US itself.

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      Well, nobody is going to deny that. Most Americans have a sense of self-righteousness that borders on zealotry... so much that many are in denial of the fact that even when it comes to being 'Democratic', Northern Europe does it better than they do.
      I blame it on their hypocrisy-laden history education.

      Reply
    2. td

      As a naturalized American, I think that it goes back much further than the Cold War. Rather than ties of blood, history, or language, Americans are bonded by our republic form of government and the Constitution. Though, blood, history & language alone may not be sufficient to create a nation either (see "Imagined Communities" by Benedict Anderson).

      Reply
      1. sindarpos

        what most people don't realize, is that our constitution was largely based on a (Shoshone?) alliance that effectively expanded their collective territory to much of the north-eastern United states. then the europeans come in, steal their idea, and not even a century later, nearly wipe them out in the name of "manifest destiny". so not even the constitution is original to the U.S.(the european immigrants at least) the republic/democracy is a greek legacy.

        Reply
  4. Some of None

    I think it is that people often think that they are right , that others also want to agree with them or will upon hearing their beliefs, and that it is so unbelievable for some of us that people have different cultures.

    Reply
  5. tehbeefer

    Serving as Britain's Commander-in-Chief in India, a story for which General Charles Napier is often noted involved Hindu priests complaining to him about the prohibition of Sati by British authorities. This was the custom of burning a widow alive on the funeral pyre of her husband. As first recounted by his brother William, he replied:

    "Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs."

    Cultural imperialism does deserve caution, but there's some horrific customs out there.

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      That's... a surprisingly admirable response.
      Too bad most British administrative decisions of the period weren't very reasonable.
      At any rate, there are no straightforward answers to this. Hence why people must think, experience, and decide for themselves.

      Reply
  6. Prankster

    So basically, don't bash others opinion, don't believe what we see or hear because it maybe not the truth, don't think we know everything because we practically know nothing? Something along those lines or I'm completely wrong? Why are you giving lectures about philosophy here? And...just kidding~~
    Thx for the chapter XD

    Reply
  7. Kemm

    Are we truly moving forward? I believe it's more like a spiral, where we end up in the same position over and over again, but with little differences. Now, is that spiral inwards or outwards? And which one would have been better?

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      There are a lot of people who do believe that history runs in a cycle, that we alternate between liberal decadence (because the more liberal a society gets, the more "me-centric" we tend to become) and conservative backlash (which shrugs away human/individual rights in favor of one collective).

      Reply
  8. MochiMochi

    Hmm. Your rant on pushing "modern" values onto other societies is interesting cause in most transport to a fantasy world novels, this is usually what happens. Glad to see you debating on the "correctness" of such a practice.

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      Self-righteous peddling always earns a greater crowd than voices of caution and moderation.
      It's an idiotic trait we share as humans (...and politicians always take advantage of)

      Reply
      1. Owl

        I tend to take a more humorous note to trying to transplant anything across something as drastic as an alternate universe.

        Hero: "Bwahahaha! With this, we shall end world hunger!!"
        Sidekick: "Wow, how did you do that?"
        Hero: "You see this? It's called a potato."
        Sidekick: "Isn't that poisonous?"
        Hero: "It's only the buds that are poisonous, just remove them and they will be safe to eat. See? I ate it and I'm fine!"
        Sidekick: "So just removing the buds will remove the zombie poison? Awesome!"
        Hero: "Yea..wait...zombie poison?...oh....brains...."

        :)

        Reply