Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Thursday, December 5, 2013

So... What Now? And a Revisionaries Review

What Does It Mean?
Okay for months I've been trying to create some grand unifying political theory to predict how I feel about various political issues and a few weeks ago I think I cracked the code when I called myself a left leaning libertarian.  And now I think to myself, what the hell does that even mean. I can't stand objectivism, though I did think Faith of the Fallen was one of Goodkind's better books. And I support government intervention on behalf of protecting and advancing individual rights.  I don't want a gun. I want a cop trained in conflict resolution ...with a gun. What does it all mean!?

But also I do stretch "protecting and advancing individual rights" some.

Let's say we believed in a society where everybody should be able to choose the profession they want. That's not so hard to imagine. That probably won't be the case because outside factors will limit the ability of individuals to choose their profession. There may be a disparity of educational resources, or the job you want won't be available where you were born.  So the government should take reasonable action to create an environment to mitigate these problems so the most amount of people had an opportunity to choose to do what they wanted, rather than just being stuck with the status quo. Of course those reasonable actions would take taxes. Which yada yada compulsory relinquishment  of property.

Mostly the stances I'll take are weighing what rights do I feel are most sacred and what is the practical loss. Everybody being forced to chip in 2 grand  for a new school house or a bunch of kids who don't even know what an evolutionary biologist is let alone how to become one.

And while that sounds like a dig to the Christian right it isn't.  When it comes to my libertarian streak I make a huge exception for kids. Kids can not act in their rational self interest because kids, especially little kids are not rational.

Kids Don't Understand The Consequences of Their Actions Rant
You tell them if you eat the cake you'll get a stomach ache later. You look them square in the eye and ask if they understand! They nod yes! Then, they eat the cake and an hour later have no clue why they have a stomach ache!

And don't get me started on teenagers.  Look I don't like being a narc but I can't help it when you're loud enough the principal in the next wing over CAN HEAR YOU. Sound travels! If Han Solo couldn't pull it off what makes you think I can?

No when it comes to kids I rebuke my libertarianism and am an authoritarian at least until the kids have shown me I can trust their judgement a little. By that point my liberalism starts to resurge. But my rule is if I have to to tell you to stop doing something more than once in a 5 minute span it becomes a rule and when I start making rules I make rules. None of this "Just be cool." or even "Just be careful." crap. I start giving hard nos.

Stop it! Put it down! Sit!

Well I have some things I have to work out.

Parent or Guardian
Anyway I trust parents to act in their kids best interest.  I on occasion question that call. There are a lot of shitty shitty parents in the world, but millennia  of societal norms have made looking out for your kids one of those things that you just are suppose to do. It is hard creating that sort of duty without a familial bond.

"You are responsible for the fate of this child."
"Wait. What? Who is this kid? Why? Huh. Can we negotiate this?"

What was I talking about?... Right Evolution in the classroom
Evolution in the classroom freaks me out. I know how I feel on the matter. Yes teach kids science already. It's just what schools do. But in the face of everything else I believe, I have to make some huge addendums to my code. I hate exceptions. Any rule that requires a list of exceptions and a list of exceptions to the exceptions is a bad rule.

And then there is the fact that school is communal. You can't just have one parent deciding the curriculum for everybody. Which becomes even more problematic when you start taking about the behind the scenes dealings of textbook publishers. The wacky state of Texas could effect Michigan's text books.

I think I'm in the mood to watch The Revisionaries again.

Note: If you are really into this subject. Like you are a teacher or administrator I also recommend the Nova episode on the Kansas Board of Education Dover, Pennsylvania Decision. Better yet bump the politics of it and watch the PBS documentary they did a few years ago. Since I'm talking about PBS documentaries I have to admit I'm still looking for the sociological doc People Like Us: Social Class in America

I apologize for the pledge drive.

Anyway, I've been meaning to review this documentary but couldn't figure out an evenhanded non-political way to do it. Well since I'm on this "blab about my political beliefs" kick I might as well.

The documentary basically uses Don McLeroy and the Texas Board of Education as a way to discuss how politics effects curriculum particularly the theory of evolution, but also social studies.

Again, seriously if you licence holders are listening somebody make People Like Us more available it was brilliant. I've been trying to track it down it for the last five years. You might be able to find it in a university library, but otherwise you're out of luck.

Focus Miles. You've rambled enough. Revisionaries really focuses on people, and their viewpoints. Even people whose side I was ostensibly on I disagreed with a little. And that's a good thing, showing the complexity of the human animal.  I always hated it when someone asks me what I think about any given subject and I start laying out my thoughts and they rush me to a yes or a no. People are complex and I am one sir!

Don't get me wrong the doc has a clear point of view. It paints the conservatives misguided. Not evil, not stupid, but misguided. Well the ark thing is a little silly.

Anyway, what they do is having negative effects on the kids but they believe they're in the right.

Then they start attacking "secular humanism".

I am a secular humanist.  My position on God has changed so many times I don't even ask the question anymore. Do I believe in God? Ask me on the next Thor's day. Either way my behavior doesn't change. I do not base my decisions on the existence of heaven or hell, but whether or not what I am doing will hurt people. And well Mathew 7:12.

Oh Miles you are a body of contradictions. Maybe I should just convert to Jainism.  Nah I love the bacon too much. Well technically Judeo-Christian law says ... la la la I am not listening. Damn I wish they hadn't torn down the Denny's.  I could really go for a grand slam tomorrow morning.

Right. Right The Revisionaries.

It's an interesting multifaceted look at the issue.

P.S. What is the big deal. Just use BCE already. Is that hard.? It's metric all over. I can't figure out how much soda I drank in my head because of this crap. Can't we just call it a third liter can. Is that so hard? When I look up how much liquid the typical human body expends in a day it ain't in ounces.

Note: I got the information about the Nova episode wrong it was actually about Dover, Pennsylvania not Kansas.

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