By now, you’ve probably already flipped out about the corporate personhood debate. Earlier this week, the Supreme Court ruled that compromising the electoral process by stuffing it full of dolla dolla bills is a form of expression, and that corporations (whose ability to fuck up America eclipses the action potential of any individual citizen) are protected under the first amendment.
Don’t get me wrong, I think free speech is the bee’s knees. I may disagree with every idiotic thing you spags say, but I’ll defend to my death your right to say it. That being said, do corporations deserve these rights too?
If they were human beings, I’d totally be defending their right to spend their resources compromising political interests. But they’re not people. They’re constructs, collaborative fictions which we created. They don’t get to vote. They can’t serve in the military. We can’t put them in jail when they break the law. They’re not people, I don’t see why they should get the same rights as we mere mortals.
I can’t just sit still while I’m so pissed off. So I made these posters.
Posters, in no particular order:
- Equal Rights for Corporations
- End Minority Oppression
- Consumption is Democratic
- Marriage Equality Matters
- End Discrimination
Being Able To Look It Up Isn’t A Substitute For Thinking
Data you don’t know about and haven’t internalised can’t really be used for thinking, only for reference. The internet only makes you capable of finding things out, not what is worth knowing. Once you know something, you can use it, form connections with other pieces of knowledge you have. Therefore you should try and learn as much as possible, and not rely on being able to find information when you need it.
Attempts To Impose Order Increase Disorder
The Aneristic Delusion. Micro-managing or coercing people just causes them to rebel against you in covert and harder to detect ways, which then require more resources to deal with than whatever the original problem was. Enough said.
Knowing And Explaining Are Synonymous
If you can’t explain something, you don’t understand it, and if you don’t understand it, then you don’t know it.
Anything That Can Aid You Can Also Harm You
Every extra thing you rely on in your life to achieve your goals can be turned against you, or used in a way it was not originally intended. The more things you rely on, the more open to attack you become.
Rewards and Punishment
When studying any system, law, group or process, ask yourself what behaviour is rewarded and what behaviour is punished. Once you know how that system incentivizes people, you not only know how it works, but also how to manipulate or disrupt it, if you want. Also consider this if you are ever in the position where you have to create a system or law or anything similar.
Arguing Rarely Persuades People
More often than not, if you argue with someone, they will become more set in their ways and more stubborn, less open to criticism. If you have to convince someone, use examples, not words.
Human Nature Doesn’t Change
Any argument which implies this should be immediately dismissed. Conversely, what constitutes human nature is often wider than what many people suppose. Remember to take into account various other cultures and groups throughout history, to fully understand what is meant by this term.
Black Swans Are Rare
Real discontinuities in history or day to day life do not often occur. The ipod is a better cd player is a better walkman. The “communication revolution” of the 90s just speeded up processes that had been going on for decades, if not centuries. Things usually change by degrees and slow accumulation over time. When someone declares a change as revolutionary or life-changing, it is normally a sales pitch or attempt to obscure the past, or both.
There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
Everything has a cost, in time, effort, money or some other fashion. If something is free, then a scam is in effect, probably with you as the mark.
Smartness Just Means You Have Better Excuses
If you twist logic into loops to “prove” your point, then you are wrong. Smart people can make you believe anything, given enough data to manipulate. This is the Law of Fives in effect in the real world, smart people are very, very good at seeing what they want to see, and sometimes at making others see the same thing. People like this are not to be trusted.
Hard And Complicated Are Not The Same
Climbing a canyon is hard work. But it is simple. You just walk until you are out. Conversely, building Lego models is easy, since all you are doing is clipping certain blocks together, but complicated. Especially some of the larger sets. Whenever someone tells you something is complicated, check to see if they mean it is hard or not. The same if they tell you something is easy. For instance, solving public debt is not complicated, but it can be hard as hell, since you either have to raise taxes, or lower spending.
Always Attack The Base Of Something
When dealing with people, attempt to either strike at the root of their power or their root motivation for conflict. Rendering them either powerless or without a reason to fight saves time and is a lot easier than fighting through attrition.
Accept What Is Obvious
People are not rational. Invading foreign countries will cause death of innocent people, resentment and hatred. The stock market has nothing to do with how most people live their lives. People who die for their beliefs are not cowards. You cannot declare an entire race or religion has certain innate characteristics. There is no such thing as perfect security. Popular does not equal good. Oil will eventually run out. If you cannot even accept the obvious, then when you try to understand what is complicated, you will fail.
Bureaucracy Is The Same Wherever You Go
One of the more strange beliefs of the modern era is that while a government bureaucracy will automatically fail and inflate costs when it attempts to do something, a corporate bureaucracy will somehow succeed, despite both having the same hierarchical model. Because both corporations and governments are structures designed to accumulate and direct power, they devote massive resources to centralization and control of access, which, because of the Aneristic Delusion, quickly becomes an unmanageable mess. Both only survive through increased taxation of the general public, which can offset the increasing costs of controlling and managing data, access and use of power (directly in the case of government, through “contracts” in the case of corporations).
Ideas Are Tools
No theory accounts for everything. Fit the tool for the job in front of you. Want to understand state versus state conflict? Read up on Realism. By contrast, if you want to understand civil wars, sociology and constructivism might fit better. Marxism is great for understanding how means of production and class interact, but not so hot on root causes of terrorism. Decontructionism in literary theory is cool, though not so good when it comes to hard sciences. Memetics is great for the viral spread of ideas, crap at understanding the current financial crisis. Anyone who is merely a Feminist or a Jungian Psychoanalyst or a Post-Modernist is an idiot, a one trick pony.
Never Trust A Liar
Lying here is not the same as making a mistake. If someone goes out of their way to mislead you in order to get you to do something, then you should never trust them again when they try and convince you about anything.
Read The Shortest Book
Getting to grips with a new area of inquiry? By all means avoid the classic texts, the materials which the discipline is based on. Instead, read the shortest thing you can find on it. So if you want to understand Nietzsche, read Iconoclasm For Dummies instead of The Will To Power. For Existentialism, read A Very Short Introduction To Existentialism, not Being and Nothingness. Any good short text has to cut out all the extraneous information and deal with the core of the subject. It also acts as a building block so you can later understand the bigger and more complex works. If you have to revise your thinking on the subject later, well, at least you have something to start with.
Putting A Gun To Their Head Wont Get You The Truth
Communication is only possible between equals. Threatening, coercing or otherwise attempting to force someone to give up information will not work for precisely this reason. The only way someone higher up in the hierarchy (social, organizational or otherwise) can get the truth out of someone from lower down is by treating them as an equal and not shooting the messenger.
This Crisis Is Bullshit
Most crisis’ are manufactured problems which will sort themselves out with minor adjustments and clear thinking. Whenever someone tries to sell you that there is a crisis, they want you reacting instead of thinking. And usually they want to get you into a panic so they can then sell you their own cure to the problem. Sometimes of course, the crisis is real, but not that often.
Hot Avatar Equals Ugly Girl
Also known as the TGRR Rule. On the internet, any female with an attractive avatar will likely be compensating, unless it is a picture of herself. The latter is very rare though, for obvious reasons.
Never Play Games Of Chance Against Someone Called “Doc”
Or mathematicians. They’ll take the shirt off your back if you let them.
(Also posted at Alamut)