October 22nd, 2014
As the US Congress and state legislatures debate the merits of requiring all prospective gun buyers to undergo a background check a very vocal opposition has lined up behind a specific argument- “Criminals won’t care about background check laws”. The logic is that since criminals will just ignore the law it will merely be a burden on law-abiding citizens.
I must quickly point out that the logic is tautological. Ignoring the law is a crime, so being a criminal and ignoring the law is the same thing (even if the person was previously law-abiding). I assume when opponents refer to these non-attentive criminals they are referring to spooky career criminals. You know the ones with tattoos and eye patches, the type that would get into an armed stand off with your local SWAT team over unpaid parking tickets.
Since when is the likelihood that a career criminal will follow a law the justification for creating the law? Watch any high profile criminal case and you will see prosecutors charge defendants with every charge they can. It seems that law abiding citizens, even those sensitive to gun ownership rights would be in favor of tools that might a prosecutor might utilize to ensnare career criminals.
Imagine the career criminal that is arrested for threatening behavior toward a meter maid who has just issued a parking ticket to said criminal. Upon arrest an officer discovers a weapon that was purchased without a background check. With a background check law in place the criminal is sentenced to much more than disorderly conduct and the weapon is confiscated. A celebrated win for humanity!
PS. Criminals come with a large variety of motivations and feature a wide range of industriousness. So any law or hurdle to prevent certain classes of people from buying guys will surely work to some extent. Just like having to mail in a rebate form will most certainly prevent some people from claiming their rebates.
September 12th, 2014
NFL player Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely this week after a video emerged that shows him striking his fiancee in an elevator. The fiancee now wife, Janay Palmer took to Instagram to lash out a the media for airing the confrontation. She posted “No one knows the pain that the media & unwanted options [opinions] from the public has cause my family.”
Basketball player Paul George reflected on the domestic violence situation and had this to say online-
The reason the punishment was harsh and interest/condemnation was was widespread.
#1 The incident was viewable. Video imagery is powerful in it’s ability to cut through the nuance and speculation. When reading about the incident and there was no video available we may be inclined to imagine a scenario with only the slightest amount of violence. Actually viewing the violence in the video is like a bolt of electricity piercing your prefrontal cortex. The savagery can no longer be denied.
#2 The story and punishment are not about Ray Rice and Janay Palmer. When Janay lashes out at the media is saying “there is no crime because there is not victim” and “this is my choice to love this man so it’s nobody else’s business.” The punishment is linked directly to social order and branding. The NFL has a billion dollar brand they cannot allow a player (a sub brand) to take more than they give. More importantly, from social order and spiritual evolution perspectives violent domestic physical attacks can escalated to homicide. Collectively we will often override the will of the combatants to allow them the time and space to consider their Prime Directive.
September 9th, 2014
As efforts to create societies based on fundamentalist religious doctrine rage on it’s appropriate to review the pitfalls of this approach. Behold the liberal democracy, in which decisions are largely decided democratically but minority views are mostly protected. It’s strength is it’s ability to bind together huge numbers of people.
People have personal needs and perspectives. If they do not live in a cave they also have collective needs and perspectives. So trying trying to bind a society using a single meme (eg Blue Meme Religious Fundamentalism) has several inherent weaknesses. Firstly, not every person in the society will be or can be Blue Meme in their personal evolution. Those non Blue Meme individuals will feel excluded and eventually will be excluded. Secondly, individuals who subsequently evolve past the Blue meme or devolve out of the Blue would need to leave those societies. Now you’re talking about splitting up families, friends and siblings. A society based on a single meme are unable to do the inevitable and evolve past that meme without considerable hypocrisy or heartburn.
A liberal democracy is more like a container that is capable of holding a variety of liquids. There is often criticism of Western Democracies that centers on the shortcomings of capitalism. Capitalism is a means of transferring goods and services but is not what currently binds western societies. The United States in the worlds oldest democracy but not the inventor of capitalism.
In a liberal democracy you may still have groups fighting for influence but there tends to be little appetite to the notion that “non-believers” must convert or die.
August 20th, 2014
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July 18th, 2014
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July 16th, 2014
The Meme List began in 2007. In its inception a list the memetic level of hundreds and notable figures and institutions were listed. Today’s relaunched attempts to bring memetic discussion to current events. If you are not familiar with the discussion of generic memes, value memes and Spiral Dynamics we suggest you take a few minutes and review the pages in the Background area.
Start with The Ladder also familiarize yourself with frequently used terminology in the FAQs.