Friday, August 23, 2013

Term of the Day: HATRED

Imagine being a grandmother who has her daughter's son over on mornings during the summer.  Your grandson is thirteen years old and is autistic.  One day, a letter arrives in the mail.  When you open it and read it, it is about your grandson.  The author has a problem with your grandson, but expresses this problem in more terms of flat-out hatred and heartlessness with a clear lack of understanding.

And this is how the letter reads:





In addition to being the grandmother, imagine being the child's parents and how you'd feel:

The author of this letter is clearly misinformed, overflowing with hatred, and empty on compassion.  How that person can feel comfortable to not only write the letter, but to actually send it is beyond my comprehension. I want to take some time with specific elements of this letter, although I will begin by saying the whole letter is nothing but hate speech.

"Discard the Defective Ones" Syndrome
(aka "Ew, They're Icky" Syndrome)
(aka "Human Race Purity" Syndrome)

The author herself clearly has an inability to deal with a child with autism being in her midst.  Although the term "dreadful" is used to describe the sounds that the boy makes, it would seem more likely that having someone who is not "normal" is what's dreadful to the author.  I would suggest the statement about how her "normal" children are scared is really camouflage for her own fear.  If her children are truly scared, a wonderful educational opportunity to overcome hatred exists, which the author is incapable and/or unwilling to pursue. 

The mentions of moving clearly translate to the author's lack of desire to confront her own feelings, and wanting the boy removed from the neighborhood as the solution.  The suggestion of euthanasia for the boy means, for the most part, his existence is wrong and ending his life is "the right thing".  (Anyone heard of racial cleansing?)

"Insults Equal Intelligence" Syndrome
(aka "Insults Equal Strength" Syndrome) 

One of the major rules of hatred and hate speech involves putting down your enemy/aggressor/problematic person(s) so that they seem less of a person than you, maybe even less human than you.  Thus, the use of such terms as "idiot", "dope", "retarded", and "wild animal", in addition to equating the boy to an animal (read as "sub-human") by suggesting letting him run around park trails and living "in a trailer in the woods" shows that the author believes these heartless insults are big enough and powerful enough to get this family to move.  It is similar to the propaganda put out during World War II by the Nazis equating Jewish people to rats.

"Permanency Should Result in Futility" Syndrome

I would say that this could be applicable to a terminally ill patient, qualities in a partner or spouse being intolerable and unchanging, or a supervisor treating someone unfairly on a regular basis.  In this instance, it is applicable only in the author's mind.  Addressing the boy's autism being a lifelong condition, the author is correct.  However, the author takes that truth and twists it into justifying an alleged uselessness of the boy, even adding "take whatever non retarded [sic] body parts he possesses and donate it to science".  Syntax error aside, the boy's condition is equated to the boy being no different than an old car that is only good culling spare parts. 

"Right is Wrong" Syndrome

The author questions, "What right do you have to do this to hard working people!!!!"  The family has every right to do what they need to do for their autistic son.  There is no right for them to do whatever to others, and it would appear they are not behaving that way.  Behaving perfectly within their rights is wrong in the author's eyes.

"There's More of Us Than You Think" Syndrome
(aka "You're Outnumbered" Syndrome)

More often than not, when someone makes a statement along the lines of more than me, I'm not the only one, we all, or all of us, or when they pat themselves on the back by saying no one else has the guts to say this, the odds are really good that they are the only one who feels that way.  If they are, in fact, not the only one who feels the same way, it is an even surer bet than it's neither "everyone" nor a majority.

"Correctness is Mine" Syndrome

The author clearly feels she is the only one who knows the correct way to handle this situation... which doesn't even need handling.  The example of this is the suggestion that the parents and grandmother "deal with it...properly!!!!"  I have two words to that point: They are!

"Cowardice is Conviction" Syndrome

Instead of the author providing her address or adding her name to the letter, she thinks the letter itself shows her conviction.  Notice that nowhere in the letter does the author state any fear of retribution.  In reality, the lack of any identifying information, aside from a concocted monicker, shows cowardice on the part of the author.

"I Know You Are But What Am I?" Syndrome

So, the grandmother -- which is where the boy stays on weekends during the summer -- is being selfish?  No, the author is! 


The police are searching for the author of this hate speech letter.  I do hope they find the person who wrote it.  When the identity of "One pissed off mother" is revealed, let's see that same bravado from her.  I doubt we will. 

Terry

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Word of the Day: BORED

When I was bored during my teenage years, I did one of two things: either found something to do or simply dealt with being bored.  I wouldn't say that I was bored a lot of the time -- there were high school and college, as well as get-togethers with friends -- but I was bored more than a few times.  As a loner by nature, dealing with boredom from time to time was part of my maturation process.  I can say with absolute confidence that never, not once, did killing someone seem like a great idea to cure my boredom.  It wasn't even a bad idea.  It just wasn't an idea.

Georgia teens James Francis Edwards Jr., Chancey Allen Luna, and Michael Dewayne Jones did have the idea ... and a gun ... and they acted out their boredom-ending idea.  Last Friday, as he was out for a jog, Christopher Lane, a 22-year-old Australian college baseball player who was studying here, was gunned down by the youths.  (Edwards and Luna are being charged with murder; Jones is being charged with accessory to murder after the fact.  All three are being charged as adults.) 

Had Lane done something terrible to any one or all of the youths?  No.  Did the youths mistake him for someone else?  No.  Then what was the reason for the shooting of Lane?

Boredom.

Yes, that was the reason, boredom.  According to police chief Danny Ford, "They saw Christopher go by, and one of them said: ‘We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody’.”  Christopher Lane was shot at random . . . and in the back.

Even if my parents had a gun in the house, which they didn't, I still wouldn't consider shooting someone as a viable option.  What we have here are not simply under-engaged teens who were ill-equipped to deal with their boredom.  What we have here are psychopathic cowards. 

The youths are also reported saying that they did it for "the fun of it".  I wonder if it still seems like fun to them now.

Terry

Friday, August 9, 2013

Word of the Day: EVOLVE

Back in mid-June, a conference was held over a weekend in New York City.  Experts in a wide variety of disciplines took part.  Those disciplines included robotics, neuroscience, neurology, transhumanism, ethics, bionic prostheses, cybernetics, neo-humanity, meta-intelligence, consciousness, spiritual development, and science and spirituality, all gathered with their collective eyes looking toward the future. 

A couple of those terms are either foreign to you or greatly sparked your curiosity.  Terms like "transhumanism", "meta-intelligence", and "neo-humanity" likely caught your attention more than simply not knowing what they were.  Maybe they made you think a little more on them.  Maybe they gave you pause; they should.

The conference was of the Global Future 2045 International Congress (GF2045), an initiative spearheaded by Russian billionaire Dmitry Itskov.  To date, Mr. Itskov has spent approximately three million dollars of his own money to fund this initiative.  Some say that his intention is for himself to live forever.

The ultimate goal of GF2045 is achieving immortality. 

Let me step back for a moment and do some defining of terms.  "Transhumanism" refers to the international movement that is working toward the goal of transforming the very nature of humanity and what it means to be human into something far different, something bio-mechanical, if you will.  The movement even has its own symbol:
Symbol for Transhumanism
The following description from Promethea.org helps to explain the term "meta-intelligence": "[C]apacities beyond the capacity to work at a particular kind of thinking...the neural system of a person ruling over and helping to direct each specific capacity a person has.  Meta-intelligence relates to awareness, adaptability, and the relative comparisons of different mental frameworks, models, and sets of behavior.  [It] enables a person to understand when their brain is wasting its time, or working against their interests. Meta-intelligence keeps a person from digging themselves into a hole with their abilities."

Finally, Dmitri Itskov is the one who coined the term "neo-humanity", which means the humanly-engineered evolution of humanity.  It does not refer to what we will be like x-number of years in the future, but rather into what we will be reconfigured.

GF2045 is humanity's attempt to not just play God, but be God.

Here is a video that gives you an idea about what the GF2045 movement is:

(Like the dramatic music in the background?)  Let me interject here to say I was shocked and scared after watching this.

Let me address several points brought up in this video.  To begin with, we are in the twenty-first century, so how about using the term "humankind" instead of "mankind"?  If you mean this for everyone, that would include females as well.  (Or does that play into suggestions that Itskov is greatly interested in his own immortality?)

I would suspect that the "deepest social transformation" mentioned refers to society accepting this in the first place as well as the transformation from human to human-wannabe android.  I'm wondering how the transference of someone's personality works.  Does that mean that the human wannabes will be us or act like us?  Included in this transformation will be new philosophy (eradication of spontaneity?), new ideology (necessity of political backing and implementation?), new ethics (removal of live brains to be widely accepted?), new culture (living with "others" and then becoming the "others"?), new psychology (convincing humanity of the righteousness and necessity of this?), and new metaphysics (redefining what "reality" is?).

The term "future man" used in the video is an interesting choice, almost paradoxical...not to mention bereft of "hu" in front of "man".  Yes, the year 2045 is, indeed, in the future.  Humans, however, in this construct are not humans, unless part and parcel of this initiative is to completely redefine what "human" means.  "Humanoid" or "human-wannabe androids" would be more correct.  Humanity as we know it would cease to exist.  This future being would not be the vehicle of immortality, but rather a replacement for humanity.  Seems like an askew form of Darwinism looking to the future.  Think of the Isaac Asimov novelette 'Bicentennial Man' (from his Robot series) in reverse.

That is not living; that is merely an "existence" of sorts.

What about the practical concern of supply?  Once everyone's converted, although this technology is surely only for the wealthiest among us -- okay, let's say IF everyone's converted -- then all of us who are alive now would be redesigned to live exist on.  No future generations.  Does this plan include any form of "procreation" (i.e. "re-creation", "engineered insemination")? 

One of the more interesting statements to me made in the video is: "May everlasting spiritual ideals and values help us avoid going astray."  (Going astray has been accomplished so perehaps avoiding going any further is more apt.)  It is not mentioned in the video, but it has been reported that creation of a new religion will be part of this initiative.  I'm curious: what relevance do spirituality or religion have to biomachines?  No other living creature has spirituality or religion as part of its experience.  I have never seen a machine, any machine, have spirituality or religion included in its functioning well or not, or its being turned on or off.  If spirituality or religion are to be a part of this initiative, I would be in favor of the absence of us-versus-them or better-than.  Then again, why wait?  We certainly could use that now. 

And wouldn't spirituality and religion equal things that cannot be proven?  What use would that be to a biomachine?  It would seem to me that spirituality and religion would return the following responses:
does not compute
logic error
operand missing
unable to perform function

It also sounds like a one-size-fits-all spirituality or religion, which is invalid.  Spirituality and religion would be reduced to nothing more than applications.

This might seem far away, but keep in mind that 2045 is a mere thirty-two years from now.  If thirty-two years seem a relatively safe distance in the future, keep in mind the advancements in robotics being made in Japan, with creations such as Asimo and human-like roboticsStill not convinced?  Read this.

The GF2045 initiative is immoral, unethical, and an example of science and technology used as tools of human arrogance.  It is not human immortality.  It is human insanity.  If this is evolving, then we should collectively say no thanks.

Best to leave this to the realm of science fiction.

Terry

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Phrase of the Day: YOUR HELL IS JUST BEGINNING

On Thursday this past week, Ariel Castro, who had kidnapped three young girls and brutalized them regularly, beginning in 2002, learned his fate.  As a result of pleading guilty to more than 930 charges, including assault, rape, and murder, Castro was sentenced to life in prison without the chance for parole plus 1,000 years. 

Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus were in their early- to mid-teens when they were abducted.  The first victim was Michelle Knight, who was 21 at the time of her abduction.  Amanda Berry was the one who got the attention of a neighbor, Charles Ramsey, who helped to free her and the other girls from their decade of hell on May 6.


Ariel Castro's trial began in June and on August 1, he was sentenced.

What makes what Castro did so horrific -- and that, in no means, is meant to minimize the horrors these young woman suffered year after year -- was that he tried to continue his manipulation of the facts in the courtroom at his sentencing hearing.  He was allowed to make a statement at that hearing.  Just by the nature of what he said, one can tell he is, at the very least, in denial. 

He had the unmitigated gall to portray himself as a victim by stating he was a "victim of sex acts as a child" (for which I've seen no proof), and that his accusers are "trying to paint [him] as a monster, and [he's] not a monster".  He suggested he is a victim of his sexual addictions by stating, "My sexual problems are so bad...I'm impulsive."  I know of stories of people who have had sexual addictions for several years and most do not hold young women hostage for a decade or so.

He had no problem laying blame at the feet of others, including his wife for calling him a wife-beater (even though he was known for abusing his wife multiple times and threatening others in the neighborhood) and others for calling him a "violent person", something he denied multiple times.  He also had no problem being defiant about the outcome, claiming that Amanda Berry appearing on stage an outdoor concert and Gina DeJesus acting "normal" are certain signs that no abuse took place in that house of horrors.  Not to mention blaming him was "uncalled for".

You could say that Mr. Castro was a bit of a historical revisionist (or outright liar) with the following claims": (a) "most of the sex that went on in that house, practically all of it, was consensual"; (b) "there were times when they even asked me for sex, many times"; (c) "We had a lot of harmony going on in that home"; and (d) "I never beat these women; I never tortured them."

Scorecard: A) "Consensual" does not mean "forced upon".  B) I guess no one ever told him what "No!", "Don't!", and "Stop!" mean.  C) 'The Brady Bunch' had a lot of harmony; he had captives and the girls had horror.  D) Just shackling them to the wall is a form of torture, and violence was part of what he did them.  Four out of four wrong.

And let's not forget his claim that masturbation is an "art", and his hope that the victims "can find it in their hearts to forgive [him]".  Is your jaw on the floor yet?

Two of three victims, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus did not attend the sentencing hearing, having family members speak on their behalf.  However, Michelle Knight, did appear.  Ariel Castro had impregnated her several times -- I've read it was five times -- from which she gave birth to a girl.  The other times, he repeatedly punched Knight in the stomach while she was pregnant in order to induce her body to abort the baby.

In a display of more courage that Ariel Castro could ever have and more courage than most survivors could muster, Michelle Knight stood up, faced the judge, her back to Castro, and spoke.  In a fraction of the time he took, Michelle Knight brought the impact in her impact statement:


Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight's hell is finally over.  I wish them well on their own road to recovery.

Terry