The Kuzzangtang Strategy

Wednesday, February 8th 2012

Kuzzangtang Strategy

Institutionalised?

Tuesday, February 7th 2012

Following on from this

"Yes, I'm a physicist," the person might say.

Or

"I'm in marketing."

Or

"I'm an electrician."

This little tendency is fascinating. It points to something much bigger than just job titles.

Work places, schools, marriages, universities, families, subcultures, you name it, are all institutions of one kind or another. And institutions have a strange effect on people.

People classify themselves as they have been classified.

People value themselves as they have been valued.

They think in terms they have been given.

They judge things using criteria they been taught.

They learn what to think, not how to think. What they actually are is trumped by what they are taught to be.

Their understanding of themselves is not accurate; they have adopted the institutional view of themselves as their self-understanding.

Consequently, most people don't understand their own nature to any fidelity at all.

Instead, what institutions do is create small, individuated versions of themselves.

In each professor there is a miniature University system. In each businessman there is a little corporation. In each school teacher a little school. In each student there is a tiny school. In each religious convert there is a little religious organisation, in each politician a little State. In each ... well, you get the idea.

The power of this system is simple. The institutions create people who think they are individuals. So they unconsciously defend the institution because they mistake the institution for themselves.

Monday Tunes

Monday, February 6th 2012

The magnificent Tina Turner doing a wonderful version of Get Back, one of the many things she was famous for.

Ike and Tina doing Get It On on the Midnight Special in 1975:

Loggins and Messina doing their classic Your Mama Don't Dance:

Let's slow it down a bit, with the glorious Imelda May. Here she is on RTE's The Late Late Show doing Big Bad Handsome Man in 2009:

And here she is on Jools Holland doing Johnny Got a Boom Boom:

And, finally, let's pick it up a little! The much missed Dio cranking out Long Live Rock and Roll with Rainbow:

The Purpose of my Machine is to Taunt Human Brains

Saturday, February 4th 2012

The Purpose of my Machine is to Taunt Human Brains

The Mighty Jeff Waters

Saturday, February 4th 2012

Jeff Waters (and his band, the mighty Annihilator) knows how to riff like a beast from the depths of Hell.

Nature

Friday, February 3rd 2012

H.G Welles, War of the Worlds:

And we men, the creatures who inhabit this earth, must be to them at least as alien and lowly as are the monkeys and lemurs to us. The intellectual side of man already admits that life is an incessant struggle for existence, and it would seem that this too is the belief of the minds upon Mars. Their world is far gone in its cooling and this world is still crowded with life, but crowded only with what they regard as inferior animals. To carry warfare sunward is, indeed, their only escape from the destruction that, generation after generation, creeps upon them.

And before we judge of them too harshly we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals, such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon its inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years. Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit?

And from The Island of Dr. Moreau:

"To this day I have never troubled about the ethics of the matter," Moreau confides. "The study of Nature makes a man at last as remorseless as Nature. I have gone on, not heeding anything but the question I was pursuing; and the material has—dripped into the huts yonder."

T. H. Huxley, The Romanes Lecture, 1893, Collected Essays IX:

Let us understand, once for all, that the ethical progress of society depends, not on imitating the cosmic process, still less in running away from it, but in combating it. It may seem an audacious proposal thus to pit the microcosm against the macrocosm and to set man to subdue nature to his higher ends; but I venture to think that the great intellectual difference between the ancient times with which we have been occupied and our day, lies in the solid foundation we have acquired for the hope that such an enterprise may meet with a certain measure of success.

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