Sanity train, was: Re: [FoRK] Re: You know, I'm about sick of this shit.

Stephen D. Williams sdw at
Tue May 24 09:20:15 PDT 2005

On one of the previous passes on this kind of good/bad polarity, 
McCarthyism, the collective US learned something about where the limit 
needs to be, how far is too far, and how to prosecute lapses.  I don't 
doubt we will see some abuses, but as soon as the over-enthusiastic step 
too far outside of the gray area, they'll be squashed and tend to taint 
the rest.

What I mean is that the first, or second, or some higher order 
derivative stability is reached precisely by the dynamic instability at 
the lower levels.  Lack of instability at lower orders is a possible 
warning sign.


Damien Morton wrote:

> Im not so sure its a stable system any more.
> I mean, theres a stong push to stack almost every area with republican 
> leaning persons, be it scientific advisory bodies, through to even 
> engineering standards bodies and god only knows what else.
> Their stated goal is to cement their power indefinately, which as 
> anti-democratic a goal as there ever was.
> You know, I got a letter published in a national left-leaning magazine 
> recently. I was hesitant to have my name published in full, lest I end 
> up on some list of 'unsuitable persons'.
> Now I can be a little paranoid sometimes, and Im really not that 
> important, but I know such lists exist, and the last thing I want (as 
> a resident rather than citizen) is to end up one some republican 
> shit-list.
>> Chaotic with strange attractors, eh?
>> There are plenty of mechanisms to make it approach determinism, or, 
>> rather, stability.  The reality is that these aren't mechanisms, they 
>> are people who have complex reactions and goals.  I think that you 
>> only get an even situation overall when both sides are fully 
>> activated and engaged.  Most of the time, one "side" or the other is 
>> quiet, uninterested, unworried, unthreatened, or otherwise only 
>> mildly reacting to a more agressive side.
>> For example, there's no point in most people spending time defending 
>> abortion because no amount of noise should be able to reverse the 
>> Surpremes.  There are many cases of this kind of thing.  When you add 
>> in the sheep phenomina, it seems likely that you shouldn't worry too 
>> much about being in a mild minority.
>> It's the meta-idioms, conventions, and culture that seem to make a 
>> system stable or not stable.  Learning the basics of driving or 
>> flying is easy; it's the extended experience that allow you to avoid 
>> or recover from problems, or at least have a far better chance.
>> Don't worry about the US imploding or running off the tracks.  
>> Avoidance of that, in the end, overrides everything else.
>> sdw
>> Lucas Gonze wrote:
>>> On Tue, 24 May 2005, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
>>>> There are a lot of sheep out there who are following the religious 
>>>> groundswell that has been sowed for a while now.  When the 
>>>> non-religious right learn to communicate effectively, they'll sway 
>>>> enough sheep to reverse fortunes for a while.
>>>> I've said it before: the US system is only stable because it is 
>>>> unstable. We've had a few waves amplify each other, but eventually 
>>>> they'll all be back in the noise.
>>> Probably, but not for certain.  It's not a deterministic system.
>>> - Lucas

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Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 20147-4622 AIM: sdw

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