[FoRK] Who's infiltrating whom?

Aaron Burt aaron at bavariati.org
Thu Jul 14 12:13:48 PDT 2011

On Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 10:49:19AM -0700, Stephen Williams wrote:
> On 7/14/11 10:06 AM, Aaron Burt wrote:
> >As opposed to the other kinds of religious radicalism.
> All religious radicalism, and pretty much religion in general, is
> regressive, wasteful, and less effective / efficient / correct than
> a modern pan-rational technocratic humanism philosophy of life.
> However, some brands of religious radicalism are relatively
> harmless, only rendering their adherents, who tend not to accept
> outsiders let alone convert them voraciously, more or less inert.
> So, these can be ranked on an insidiousness scale.

Good distinction.  The "leave us alone" types like Ultra-orthodox Jews,
Amish, Branch Davidians or the Taliban are pretty harmless when left alone
to shape their immediate enviroment to their needs.

> >>http://www.aish.com/jw/s/48969486.html
> >That's a link to a video.  Can you summarize what you're trying to
> >communicate by posting it?  Video's a great propaganda medium, but not that
> >good at cogent and rational argument that bears discussion.

Sorry if I came off as a bit snotty there...

> Just observing that some apparently rational people are extremely
> worried about some extremely irrational people and what they want to
> accomplish.  And that they believe that it has happened successfully to
> some extent.

Hm.  That's kinda vague.  I couldn't watch the video.

> Which provided a target for me to push against by wondering if "our"
> successfully modern culture would help cause this sickness to burn out or
> not.

I think it will, slowly.  They have rules.  We have TVs and nekkid chicks.

> >The comments to the video seem to indicate that it's the usual sort of
> >"raghead peril" thing, but I hope I'm dead wrong.
> You hope that it is not a "raghead peril" message?  That title
> indicates that the speaker thinks that the fear is non-existent or
> at least overblown.

There has been a lot of that sort of thing for the past few centuries.
It makes for good politics and sells newspapers.  Call me skeptical.

> >>The prison conversion thing is irritating.  I'd contribute to
> >>teaching positive self-improvement / humanism, which is what is
> >>really missing for a lot of criminals.

Also missing: A gang that has your back, a cultural identity that feels
powerful, a bright day tomorrow, something that demands (and rewards)
discipline and work, and something that scares the guards.

> >There's a lot more that missing, and most of it is much harder to deliver
> >than (and also prerequisite to) a course in Enlightenment Values 101.
> Of course, but you have to start somewhere and leaving it to certain
> groups is a mistake.  What would be your ranking of important
> concepts to inculcate.  What would your reeducation look like?

* Some basic health care, endocrine/nutritional assessment
* Treat any obvious psychiatric problems (e.g. bipolar, schizophrenia)
* Drug treatment
* Sociopathy/BPD testing (no idea if there are effective treatments)
* PTSD assessment/treatment
* Some sort of Asperger's/whatever assessment

* Impulse control
* Basic behaviour (basically, a synthetic set of manners)
* A graduated set of accomplishments to build self-worth and group identity
* Socialization and societal identification (based on group identity)
* Pro-intellectualism
* Enlightenment 101
* Societal skills
* Work skills (where are the jobs, though?)

So, not that much different from yours.  Mine sounds patronizing, though :)

It's all quite similar to previous generations' ideas of how "reform" style
criminology should work.  We do have some new (and more precise)
terminology, along with fMRI scans and neurchemistry, but I don't know if
our knowledge and tech is at the critical mass to go start fixing brains.
(Or how much we should do so.)

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