Swiss-Cheese Morality

The concept of “Swiss-cheese morality” is coined by Dr. John Van Epp in his book “How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk” which he points out could be conversely titled “How to Avoid Marrying a Jerkette” for jerkdom knows no gender.

This matter get’s my goat, in that certain kind of way. Speaking from personal experience.

A person appears normal enough, polite and appealing, but with time you become aware that there are gaps between this person’s very moral fabric.

They might hold certain standards quite ardently but when it comes it other types of standards they simply lack any ability to recognize their callousness and lapse in values, or are in heavy stages of denial about it.

There are little early warning signs: the inability to admit personal faults or misbehavior, hiding friends and past relationships from you, not disclosing important things that you discover later in a less than pleasant manner.

We are looking for phrases like:

Actually, I was kind of less than honest about that. It was actually more like…

I was wrong, that was a stupid move.

I got upset there, I can get a little hot under collar / frazzled sometimes.

It’s not about seeking out people who just roll over and immediately take all the blame unto themselves. It is more about recognizing a person’s willingness or unwillingness to confront the reality of what they are putting out there. The ability to link their actions with consequences, not just sometimes but all of the time.

Anyone can make a mistake, but some people appear to have “Swiss-cheese morality” in terms of recognizing certain kinds of mistakes. It is as if they simply cannot imagine they have poor standards, so they simply declare to themselves that they do not. Therefore, they fail to learn from the mistakes that fall within the holes of their “Swiss-cheese morality.”

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Cut It All Right In Two

Right in Two” from 10,000 Days by Tool

Angels on the sidelines,
Puzzled and amused,
Why did Father give these humans free will?
Now they’re all confused,

Don’t these talking moneys know that,
Eden has enough to go around?
Plenty in this holy garden, silly monkeys,
When there’s one you are bound to divide it,
Right in two,

Angels on the sidelines,
Baffled and confused,
Father blessed them all with reason,
And this what they choose,

Monkey killing monkey, killing monkey,
Over pieces of the ground,
Silly monkeys give them thumbs,
They forge a blade,
And when there’s one,
They’re bound to divide it,
Right in two,

Monkey killing monkey, killing monkey,
Over pieces of the ground,
Silly monkeys give them thumbs,
They make a club,
And beat their brother down,
How they survive so misguided is a mystery,

Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to life an eye to heaven conscious of his fleeting time here,

Cut it right all,
Right in two,

Fight over the clouds, over wind, over sky,
Fight over life, over blood, over prayer,
Over head and light,
Fight over love, over sun,
Over another, Fight…

Angels on the sideline again,
Benched along with patience and reason,
Angels on the sideline again,
Wondering when this tug of war will end,

Cut it right all,
Right in two,

Right in two…

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

I cast the Judgment of Solomon upon my fellow Americans.

This swaddled child of fragile democracy passed down to us from generations of proud Americans shall be for neither the leftwing nor the rightwing — we shall divide it in half. For we cannot come to terms and no aggrieved party shall ever be satisfied henceforth.

Just as the internet already has become complete in its utter division and quartering-off into tightly bound untouching spheres; as shall the the Union be broken forever and the United States shattered to nothing but individual states so that if any union is to be formed it may be formed anew. The same sword that the slew the free web should also slay the entire United States for the electronic landscape is but a mere reflection of what we are as a modern people and as a modern society.

We as a people, as a political and deliberating body, do not communicate any longer and as such it is time to crush the false former preconception that there is such a structure in this world called “The United States of America” as such an entity does not currently exist.

There is but one fair solution: we part our ways from the notion of unity altogether.

People need not tolerate one another any longer, we shall cast our entire social structure into rigid fixtures that do not touch one another. People need not be confused by differing views any longer, we shall keep our intellectuals isolated unto themselves in tight-knit groups that do interact with each other let alone the outside world.

Freedom and liberty can be redefined, just as morality and justice have been in the present day.

We will survive, but first we have to lay down and die.

We will thrive, but first we must lay our head in the guillotine.

Arthur C. Clarke: A Tribute to Genius

Arthur C. Clarke was a genius science fiction author.

I am in love with a certain short story of his found squeezed next to one I am far less fond of, but is still an excellent read.

The City and The Stars” & “The Sands of Mars” are two different short stories contained in one novel.

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THE CITY AND THE STARS The 10-billion-year-old metropolis of Diaspar is humanity’s last home. Alone among immortals, the only man born in 10 million years desperately wants to find what lies beyond the City. His quest will uncover the destiny of a people…and a galaxy.

Diaspar” is, in itself, a commentary on all society.
The entire body of this short story is like a large running commentary on the arrogance of humanity, and it’s immense value as well.
This place is like a real city in my mind.
One possible outcome of all human civilization. One of many possible worlds.
A place of stagnation via perfection. Tyranny via acceptance.
A world where truly original thoughts and adventuring spirits are not just silenced, but wholly absent.
For those who dive deeply into his work, there is much to discover.
Not only did he accurately predict advances in science by means of science fiction, but I believe he held an insight to the greater elements at play in our world:
The Human Condition

The Foundations of Society

The Collective Self


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Truth About Lobbyists and Interest Groups

“One study of eighty-three (primarily liberal) public-interest groups found that one-third of them received half or more of all their funds from foundation grants; one-tenth received over 90 percent from such sources. In one ten year period the Ford Foundation alone contributed about $21 million to liberal public-interest groups. Many of these organizations were law firms that, other than staff members, had no members at all. The Environmental Defense Fund is supported almost entirely by grants from foundations such as the Rockefeller Family Fund. The more conservative Scaife foundations gave $1.8 million to a conservative public-interest group, the National Legal Center for the Public Interest.” [Wilson, DiIulio 2008]

The concept of using public interest groups to promote the agendas and ideals of a movement is, by this source, not exclusive to the liberal movement but heavily favored by it thus far.

President-elect Barack Obama may ultimately isolate himself from major liberal movement members if the proposed audit of Washington politics were to take a lasting toll on the liberal lobbies. The next four years will certainly answer just how far this coming administration is willing to go to remove corruption in public interest group finance and practice, but four years from now there will also once again be a national referendum on the highest office.

Should the effort ultimately take power from once strong lobbies for popular liberal agendas, the informed American Democratic Voter could potentially face a struggle at the polls when considering a vote for the incumbent President.

The power of an interest-group, in a classic design, should expand as the number of members and contributors expands. The ‘funded & unoccupied lobby’ described in quote above as a law firm is a critical element of what causes the real disruptions in Washington politics.

The figures and organizations that form the American lobbies and public-interest groups of today are not necessarily the root of the problem so much as the agendas of the highest funded public interest groups overriding the highest agendas of the wills of the people.

If the National Legal Center for the Public Interest (a weak lobby) were to receive a large increase in both number of members and in contributions. they should rightly increase in the voice and recognition in Washington and receive foundation grants in turn.

If the Environmental Defense Fund (a strong lobby) were to lose both member and public support their voice as a lobby should rightly decrease and even though they do not receive a majority in foundation grants they should be kept from taking them if they lacked any significant support in the public domain.

This is all within a classic definition of how the public interest groups should work. Any number of factors can increase or decrease the power of a single lobby and for this reason most of us limit our discussion on public-interest groups, or lobbies, to the number of members that are well-known or outspoken and the money behind the group.

Lobbyists are not are always motivated by ill or by good, despite the fact the lobby they work for is focused on a critical social issue or an important national matter that concerns you–or perhaps for a group with which you disagree strongly.

To speak broadly, they are like salesmen of political stances a person in Washington should take.

They are not invested into the case they are making in every single case but rather deliver the best argument in favor of the lobby that they can devise.

Politicians and lobbyists are very much the same, in many ways.

Without means to search the hearts of others to know for sure if they really believe what they contend or if they are simply going with the popular ideology to gain your favor, we will never know for certain if they stand for the people or if they stand for their own private interests.
We can only judge their actions in office as solid statements of policy.

Eric Lightborn

http://americapress.wordpress.com/

December 2008

Gov. Sanford and His Many Mistresses

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“It‘s a love story. A tragic one, a forbidden one ..”

Mark Sanford expressed in a recent interview that he felt that his Argentine mistress was his ’soul mate’ and noted a sense of mortality surrounding his decision to commit adultery on his wife. But in the same interview he revealed that this was not his only mistress but was the only woman other than his wife in which he engaged in intercourse with.

To me this notion of a fleeting sense of your own morality that the governor eluded to would not be any sort of excuse to commit adultery but rather a reason to strongly consider divorce and pursue a new life with this newfound ‘soul mate’ in Argentina. Even more so if he was violating his marriage vows with other women already.

More than anything else Governor Mark Sanford proved today to the discerning public that he holds no regard whatsoever for his wife and his marriage.

Be it maintaining his public imagine and political position or simply caring more for his carnal desires than he does for his commitment to his wife.

In regards to the resignation of Mark Sanford from office I have a neutral opinion. If the people of South Carolina believe he should do this, then he is obliged to do so immediately. Otherwise I think the entire scandal simply goes to character.

The character of Governor Mark Sanford is clear to any who care to know.

What irritates me is the likes of Lindsey Graham coming forth to declare Mark Sanford as ‘only human’ in an attempt to elevate the character of the governor for what I believe are purely political motives.

The stain of poor character sheds itself only to a small degree to The Republican Party. Yet their representatives insist on standing up for a man who pursued his ‘forbidden love’ in place of his marriage at the cost to his family and his character in the public arena.

This man is a disgrace and I send my personal condolences to his wife and his children.

 

 

Two Stories Worth Note From Scientific American

“Meditation on Demand” by Peter B. Reiner

“Why People Believe Invisible Agents Control The World” by Michael Shermer

YOU’RE A SMARTY-PANTS!

 

I am just that. A nerdy, geeky, smarty guy.

To look at me, I just walked out of the woods after a week, or just caught a groovy wave or some such.

I want to try to interject some amount of humor into this blog I have here.

It is a vital part of what I am as a person.

But I have this damn brain that won’t shut off. Let me tell you this:

I believe everyone is much more intelligent than they would ever really believe.

I think 99.99% of people, including myself, sells themselves short in terms of their own mental capacities.

I try not to boast but I try in the fields of English Literature, Social Science, Statistics, Psychology, Genetics, and modern-American Civics.

I find, personally, that I have a strong affinity toward “stupid” and that most likely influences me in every fashion, no matter how much science and mathematics I absorb.

My worst subject without question is mathematics. Math is raw and disciplined in a way that all other mentioned fields are not, as far I find it. I cannot “blur the line” or do a quick look at someone else’s work routine. I can grasp it in theory, in lecture, but it has always been another matter recreating these mental efforts after NOT DOING MY HOMEWORK.

I’ll write you an essay about why I didn’t do my math homework. And post it to every social networking site and blog search engine so you you do is type “Not Doing My Math Homework” into any useful search-agent. Viola!

I believe we all different capacities and abilities, many of which we are wholly unaware of. I’ve always said if you locked me in a room all I would do is write like a madman so it could be worse.

I have actually had long, personal conservations with convicted felons and I like to pause and say: 

Do everything you can to not get mixed up with the law, just follow the laws that keep you always from a life as any form of felony acts.

I’m a “vidiot” and an obsessive blogger. I can see all this.

Does anybody care to discuss Freudian vs. Jungian Psychology?

I’m a “Junganyte” … we all but one mind but reflecting into and upon one another. Your turn.

So I am a debater and a pusher of thoughts and opinions. When did this become anything but the very nature of the nation I was born to? The United States of America.

Not “The Divided States of America.”

That’s why I’m angry.

Angry at business leaders and a lack of massive resignations across the board in government as well.

This blog is, and always will be, just a format of voice–nothing more and nothing less.

So says the smarty-pants!

 

 

Eric Lightborn

http://americapress.wordpress.com

March 19th 2009