The Journey Begins
by O Society June 26, 2018
Not into cutting ribbons with scissors or smashing perfectly good bottles of booze on the side of a ship. So let’s christen this thing with a poem:
A tree whose trunk is of a man’s embrace,
Begins from something extremely tiny.
A tower of nine stories high,
Is built from a heap of earth.
A trip of a thousand miles,
Begins right at one’s feet.
Dao De Jing 64
What is O Society?
The name comes from the concept of the Open Society, which is associated with Karl Popper. Long story short, Popper is probably the most important scientific philosopher of the 20th century. Political science is what’s called a “soft science,” meaning it fundamentally differs from basic sciences, such as biology, chemistry, and physics. Hence, Popper intended to bring harder science to the study of politics.
I am a scientist as well. O Society is an attempt to turn my own lens on politics. Be objective as possible, as in a lab. We certainly need more adults in the room at this particular point in time and space. Hopefully I qualify and can lend some perspective to the madness.
To be clear, I have not joined the red team nor the blue team. I do not identify as either a Democrat or Republican. This may be confusing, as American politics is set up to be the Lakers vs. the Celtics. I don’t care about this game or the average American’s daily obsession with WINNING!!! I do care about the truth. I love my country and want to see things get better here and around the world.
My political positions are pretty simple:
I am against authoritarianism and I am against anything that kills people and trashes the planet on which we all live.
This means I am for peace and against war. I’m not a pacifist, but I do believe in non-violence. There is a legit right to self defense too. However, we all realize the American military is not really the Department of Defense. It’s the Department of Offense. Big words to describe current US foreign policy are neoconservative, interventionist, neocolonial, imperialism, and so on.
I am against nuclear warfare, proliferation, and escalation. Ahem.
I am against global warming. Ahem.
I am for a fair and equitable distribution of loot. You may be happy with your car and air conditioning, but many US citizens live either in poverty or paycheck to paycheck. The economic inequality is turning America into a Third World country in some areas. Big words to describe current US economic policy are neoliberal, free market fundamentalism, crony capitalism, and so on.
The government in the US is a duopoly, which effectively bars any other political parties from significant participation. In short, the duopoly functions as a monopoly, wherein the Democratic party and Republican party form a business party, with a centrist wing (Ds) and a far-right wing (Rs).
The main tone you will see here is skepticism, anti-authoritarianism, and metacognition. Examples are Popper and Chomsky and Dunning, plus any relevant critical thinking and propaganda studies. That’s where I am coming from.
This O Society website will interlace commentary with basic political science topics, as well as op-ed on the current news, which for now is RussiaGate and the authoritarian direction the United States is going.
So we’ll look at the news of the day, as well as articles and books which may be older. One of the disadvantages to the US newscycle is everyone tends to forget what happened yesterday, much less last year. This is how Trump stays bulletproof. So much disinformation, no one can filter it into sanity. Thus, we have missed or forgotten hugely important information.
You may notice many of the sources we use for information may not be familiar as these do not necessarily represent mainstream media. This is intentionally contrarian.
I find unlearning old things about politics is much more important than learning new things.
Corrections and comments are welcome here. This is intended to be a place for discourse free of the trolling so prevalent on the interwebs these days. Maybe we can have a revolution. Hopefully this sounds good to you.
If you do stick around, be aware I am not the most PC person. From time to time, there will be some language. Like all of us, my sense of humor makes sense to me. If you don’t get something or are offended, keep scrolling.
You’ll notice there are animals and other non-political images interspersed all over these pages. This is mainly to provide some comic relief and cute critters to look at. Politics tends to be discouraging these days, so constant reminders of humor and beauty are an antidote to frustration. Some art and music too…
Smaug the bearded dragon
The only real rule here is play nicely with others. None of that name calling playground crap. If you enjoy being stupid on purpose, you won’t fit in here.
Your cooperation is appreciated.