Saturday 27 February 2021

Thinking Other Peoples Thoughts

Most of us think that our thoughts are our own, that we thought them, that they are our own original thoughts. But in many cases that's not true at all. Life is complicated and we seek out ways to make life less complicated, we seek shortcuts.

Thinking is hard, it hurts and most people are not keen to hurt themselves. It leads to discontentment with life and even disillusionment. Most people wonder 'why is the sky blue?', that isn't a question, questions demand answers and most people don't want answers. Answers lead to complications and life is complex enough. Those of us who are thinkers are also fools, we find that out because we find answers and discover that others aren't interested.   

However, to live you need to think and people have a lot of opinions, where do they come from?

Interestingly opinions don't need thinking to form, often we form opinions because we don't like something, so we like the opposite. But thoughts aren't just opinions. Thoughts are more complex, like life. To make life more manageable we use those shortcuts that I mentioned earlier. Instead of thinking ourselves we talk other peoples thoughts and make them our own. That's how advertising works, you buy the delicious hamburger because you want it and because you were reminded to. Advertising works and it's mostly harmless, we buy things we wanted anyway. But the idea is the same, someone else tells us something and we believe that it is our original thought.

We are often thinking things that our Father, Grandmother, Teacher or that guy on the TV told us. We often don't even know that we have heard it, let alone absorbed it. But we do absorb it, we listen to other people and we end up thinking their thoughts. Ironically the thoughts in your head (and mine) might not have been original in a good long while. Because of course it is not just us who have other peoples thoughts in our heads masquerading as our own, this is true for everybody. 

We can never escape these thoughts but we can start to identify them. Where did this thought come from?

The reason the shortcut exists is because it works, so don't discount those thoughts out of hand. But think about whether they are helping or harming you.

One final thought, I do not wish to imply that you (or I) have never had an original thought, of course we have. But not all of our thinking is as original as we would like to believe.

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Sunday 21 February 2021

Facebook Versus Australia

I remember back in the 1980's and 90's if you wanted news you had to pay for it, either in cash or by watching or listening to advertisements. Today most of us get our news free from the internet. But of course it's not free, someone wrote it and they want to be paid, as does whoever publishes it. Here is the point of contention between Facebook and Australia.

The ethos of the internet used to be that everything should be available for free. Blogger, the platform that publishes this blog, is a perfect example of that. I can write pretty much whatever I want and it is then put on the internet for free. When you think about that, it really is amazing. Blogger is a survivor of that ethos, but most of the internet long ago left that ethos behind. 

It took about 15 years before business could work out how to really make money on the internet. Sure there were success stories before that, but they were few and far between. Nearly everyone could see the potential, but making it work in the real world was extremely hard and as it turned out expensive. So for a long time it seemed churlish to point out that free didn't really mean free, that someone somewhere had to pay for all of that so called free content. 

But today when it is clear that they have worked out how to make money from the internet it doesn't seem churlish at all to point it out. In fact it even seems right to say "hey stop stealing our content!". However this has gone on for so long that many companies and people do not understand why this is a problem. I was talking to someone today when I realised that this has been going on for so long that this has been the way things are for their entire life. I think Mark Zuckerberg probably fits into that category as well. I think he is genuinely perplexed by all this, as he has never known it to be any different. 

Over the past 5 years or so countries, I include the EU here as well, have been having a rethink about the internet. Things such as privacy, information harvesting, payment systems, consumer protection amongst other issues have been getting a lot more attention. Because now companies are making money and flexing their muscles and that has drawn attention. 

In Australia the traditional media companies are asking the government why it is alright to steal from them and why isn't the government protecting them. They are both excellent points. As these companies have money and influence and a lot of contact with politicians this has advanced much further than normal. It has a good chance of succeeding as other countries and companies are watching and paying attention. 

Facebook will lose a lot of money if it succeeds, but at the same time it can afford it. Maybe Facebook really will leave Australia, to punish us, I think that would backfire. It would become another China to us, but unlike China it can't invade!

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Tuesday 16 February 2021

Subjectivizing Morality - The Unintended Reformation - Fourth Chapter Review

Chapter Three: Controlling The Churches

Morality was always believed to be one of the great benefits of Christianity. It provided a clear path to follow, because people both wanted and needed a path to follow. They wanted to do right by themselves and by others. That is still true today in our secular society. So if we have mostly stopped being Christian how can morality still exist?

Shouldn't morality be as dead as the dodo?

But instead we continue to cling to the old Christian morality because nothing has turned up to replace it. Philosophy said that it could improve morality by using rationality, just as it was argued that rationality could "fix" Christianity. But in both cases rationality proved to be quite deficient. It offered much and delivered little, what little it did deliver caused confusion and despair. It was not an advance at all, but even today the same argument continues to be used, Christian morality is dead and there needs to be a new morality to replace it. One that does not continue the "mistakes" of Christianity but one that instead improves upon the old. The promise is out with the old and in with the new, but the promise never delivers. Why not?

Because it cannot deliver such a thing. The basic idea is that rationality would use the advances in the natural sciences to create rational ideas. Which had to be an improvement over what had come before. However in the natural sciences there are no rational ideas to find. Instead they provide in Professor Gregory's words "By design and necessarily, the natural sciences per se are definitionally amoral and disclose no values, whether secular or religious - they are nihilistic in the etymological sense."(p.227)

This situation came about because the Protestant churches sort to create a more "perfect" morality then the one that they felt existed under the Catholic Church. Instead they found that human nature was as flawed as it had ever been. But the idea continued on even when the Protestant Churches largely decided to stop with the changes they had made and not to advance any further on this issue. Secular forces thought that they could succeed where the churches had failed. In fact it would prove that science and philosophy were superior to any superstitious church thinking. But it failed to even provide an alternative morality, it did help to create a more intellectual argument for immorality. But it never set out to achieve that, but achieve it it did. 

People want to be moral, both in the past and today. Once the church provided that path, but today the people are largely left to fend for themselves. All those who should and once did provide leadership are now increasingly silent, even the churches!

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Thursday 11 February 2021

The Ninety-Fifth Month

 It's fun how the information I get is so confused, take this for example. In the past week 138 people have clicked on Minneapolis Burning which is episode 46 of the podcast, but on Youtube it has been viewed 141 times in total. Why have 138 people viewed this!

This week is the third anniversary of my Mothers death, 9 people have viewed An Orphan at 47 which I wrote back then. I'm glad that they have read it but why did they read it this week?

5400 people have visited the site this month, although I have had mass numbers visiting from Sweden, all at the same time, so I have my doubts about how much I should trust those visitor numbers. My worst day in the last month was the 14th January when I had 57 visitors, I had a handful of days with 58 or 59 visitors. My best day was the 20th January when I had 818 visitors, to be honest another suspicious day!

Sweden                                                                                                                     1.83K
United States
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
South Africa
New Zealand

I look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Mark Moncrieff

Friday 5 February 2021

January 2021 Podcasts

 It doesn't feel like an entire week has pasted since I last posted!

But reality, that thing that doesn't go away when you stop believing in it, tells me that it's true. I've been meaning to put up a Podcast link page, so here it is for the entire month of January.

Each Monday (sometimes Tuesday) I do an episode of the Melbourne Traditionalists Podcast which I try to keep around 30 minutes long. I've been known to be anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes so it can vary. I also put up content every day which consist of older posts that I record. You can also listen in on Podbean, which from now on should have content every day.



Afghanistan before 1980

Changing Australia's Anthem


Sleeping Kangaroo

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