Human Nature, Politics, and Culture

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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby kirtu » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:36 am

Virgo wrote:
kirtu wrote:The speed of advance follows Moore's Law: every x time, the computational capacity of a computer system roughly doubles.

Kirt

Hi Kirt, the point is the more opportunity people have to make money for coming up with new technologies, the faster they will come up with them. Why? The desirable reward is worth their time. If things aren't worth a persons while, that person will not pursue them enthusiastically unless the person has to. Capatalism, in a free market economy, is the most supportive system for that, imo.


That's what capitalists think. Creative people live to solve problems and produce stuff (this can be dangerous). For them money is irrelevant beyond a point, which actually isn't too hard to reach, as long as necessary resources are taken care of. Solving problems is itself the desirable reward. This is how many people in math, computer science and some engineering actually think. Capitalism can actually get in the way.

BTW - the otherwise libertarian oriented software entrepreneur Paul Graham agrees with me in his essay's in his book "Hackers and Painter's". Steve Jobs certainly did as well which is why he grabbed people like Wozniak, Herzfeld and many others who would work essentailly for nothing just in order to solve problems.

Kirt
Last edited by kirtu on Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Virgo » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:43 am

kirtu wrote:
Virgo wrote:
kirtu wrote:The speed of advance follows Moore's Law: every x time, the computational capacity of a computer system roughly doubles.

Kirt

Hi Kirt, the point is the more opportunity people have to make money for coming up with new technologies, the faster they will come up with them. Why? The desirable reward is worth their time. If things aren't worth a persons while, that person will not pursue them enthusiastically unless the person has to. Capatalism, in a free market economy, is the most supportive system for that, imo.


That's what capitalists think. Creative people live to solve problems and produce stuff (this can be dangerous). For them money is irrelevant beyond a point, which actually isn't too hard to reach, as long as necessary resources are taken care of. Solving problems is itself the desirable reward. This is how many people in math, computer science and some engineering actually think. Capitalism can actually get in the way.

Kirt


They think that way because they live in a society with a pretty good economy (due to free market economics mostly) so they can afford to have a nice car, nice house, nice things, take that vacation, and live a generally good life. If they lived in a society where getting those creature comforts wasn't so easy, it would be a different story.

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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby kirtu » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:35 am

Virgo wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Virgo wrote:Hi Kirt, the point is the more opportunity people have to make money for coming up with new technologies, the faster they will come up with them. Why? The desirable reward is worth their time. If things aren't worth a persons while, that person will not pursue them enthusiastically unless the person has to. Capatalism, in a free market economy, is the most supportive system for that, imo.


That's what capitalists think. Creative people live to solve problems and produce stuff (this can be dangerous). For them money is irrelevant beyond a point, which actually isn't too hard to reach, as long as necessary resources are taken care of. Solving problems is itself the desirable reward. This is how many people in math, computer science and some engineering actually think. Capitalism can actually get in the way.

Kirt


They think that way because they live in a society with a pretty good economy (due to free market economics mostly) so they can afford to have a nice car, nice house, nice things, take that vacation, and live a generally good life. If they lived in a society where getting those creature comforts wasn't so easy, it would be a different story.


No it has nothing to do with cargo cult considerations although some minimal set has to be satisfied (food, shelter, educational opportunities). This was a strategy for survival across the Soviet Bloc after 1945 (and before as well). Nice things did not play a role there. In the US and Germany it is a survival strategy for people who are just more interested in solving problems for their own end.

Kirt
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby kirtu » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:50 am

Virgo wrote:
Western medicine is great too.

It is. As long as you can afford access to it. I no longer can and as a result have no access to health care.

I am sorry to hear that. As far as I understand no one who really needs medical care is ever denied in this country, citizen or not.


No in the 80's and 90's people were actually denied medical care.

Now you are generally screened for credit worthiness. And presented a huge bill. So you generally can't afford a doctor outside of a hospital. But the hospital also presents you with a huge bill. So it's better to not go to the hospital.

If you cannot afford it, we have a program called Medicaid.[/quote[
That's only true if you are impoverished or over about 65 or so.


[quote[You can also move to MA for medical care if need be (sorry MA residents but that's the nature of Romneycare). My brother needed an emergency operation. He did not have coverage. The bills exceeded 30k US, in the end he only had to pay a fraction months later (after going to court) and was able to pay in installments.


So for a life saving or quality of life saving procedure his debt was not negotiated or forgiven and an institution sued him or he had to sue an institution that had much more money than he did. This stole time from your brother that he could have devoted to creative or other pursuits and degraded his quality of life if he was sued due to real stress.

Some of our family values are great,

That's a tough sell for me. It seems to me that children have few protections.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean, Kirt.



I have seen and experienced child abuse. Children generally have few protections in this society.

Kirt
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby kirtu » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:55 am

Anders wrote:
kirtu wrote:The primary impulse of the west is to control other people and restrict their creativity through serfdom. Marx was essentially correct on this point.

Kirt


I have never met or heard of anyone with an impulse to such a thing. Nor do I believe there is a conspiracy to effect this.

It may be an unintentional consequence of western society, but I don't believe it is the driving impulse.


Have you lived in the US? The US is not an advanced society like the social democracies of Northern Europe, Germany, Austria, Holland and Switzerland.

Property ownership, power acquisition (primarily for social manipulation) and money are the primary concerns of many people in the US. Why? Because they are impoverished and lack security in their lives. This predates the 2008 Depression (in the US it goes back to the 1700's) but is becoming more acute now.

Kirt
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Virgo » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:36 am

kirtu wrote:Have you lived in the US? The US is not an advanced society like the social democracies of Northern Europe, Germany, Austria, Holland and Switzerland.

Kirt

Why do you live here then Kirt (honestly don't take this question the wrong way my friend)

Have some respect for the country where you live, especially when you talking to a vet! :)

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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby kirtu » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:39 am

Virgo wrote:
kirtu wrote:Have you lived in the US? The US is not an advanced society like the social democracies of Northern Europe, Germany, Austria, Holland and Switzerland.

Kirt

Why do you live here then Kirt (honestly don't take this question the wrong way my friend)


I don't have citizenship from another country and have too little money to move now, except for a couple of years.

Have some respect for the country where you live, especially when you talking to a vet! :)


I am a US Army veteran. The US could still live up to it's promise, become a democracy and help lead humanity to a bright future.

Kirt
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Re: Dzogchen, Buddhism and culture

Postby Sally Gross » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:13 am

username wrote:
Sally Gross wrote:Truth is truth is truth. Commitment to Dharma surely entails intellectual integrity in this regard as well -- not oversimplifying, and giving credit where credit is due.


Just because I praise and also criticize him and do not sanctify Marx? This is an unfounded accusation and uncalled for. I do not see any point in this mode of context.

All the best to you Sally.


My intention was not to sanctify Marx or to set him up as the Prophet of the age. Lenin's dictum, "the Marxist doctrine is omnipotent because it is true" (Lenin, "The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism") and the attitude itself is of a piece with "Credo in unum Deum". Pace Lenin, it is superstition rather than matter-of-fact and science. Marx did indeed get much wrong; and as Marx himself one said in response to certain notions attributed to him, he was not a Marxist.His work is foundational, though, in the domain of the social sciences, though; and it is my democratic organisational right to believe and to assert that you underestimate his contribution to economics. It is fashionable seriously to belittlethe contribution of the classical economists -- the likes of Adam Smith and Ricardo, with whom Marx's economics belongs -- and, though in a way I'm fascinated by marginal theory, Walras, Jevons, and the philosophical implications of subjective accounts of value for the theory of rationality, decision theory and the like,my personal sense is that they get something important wrong while the classical economists get it right.

Apologies, though, if I misunderstood several of the things you said and inadvertently misrepresented them. As I noted, truth is truth is truth, and I am more than happy to stand corrected. :namaste:
Dukkham eva hi, na koci dukkhito,
kaarako na, kiriyaa va vijjati,
atthi nibbuti, na nibbuto pumaa,
maggam atthi, gamako na vijjati


Suffering there certainly is, but no sufferer,
no doer, though certainly the deed is found.
peace is achieved, but no-one's appeased,
the way is walked, but no walker's to be found.

- Visuddhimagga XVI, 90
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Re: Dzogchen, Buddhism and culture

Postby username » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:59 am

I don't think I am "fashionably following the trend of belittling" Marx but the opposite. It is wrong to still believe that economics is the foundation of all social and historic movement and making him into a prophet of that. In the modern highly scientific field of economics based on mathematics he is mainly studied in the subfield of political economy alongside Smith and economic history. The ideologues of capitalist establishment for over a century have been, often in secret, great historians guiding the elites. It is a much more important role than the mistaken prism of economics pre-Althusser Marxists filtered all of their subjective perceived "reality" in error and forced it on all. I believe if alive Marx would have changed a lot of his views as things change and great minds are interested mainly not in dogma but research and everything being in its place.

All the best.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby kirtu » Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:04 pm

kirtu wrote: The US could still live up to it's promise, become a democracy and help lead humanity to a bright future.


But the way it's going now, the US is on track to create the Ferengi Alliance, although as Quark pointed out in StarTrek DS9 humans are already much worse than Ferengi.

Kirt
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:27 pm

kirtu wrote:
I am a US Army veteran.


Then you have healthcare.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:27 pm

kirtu wrote:
kirtu wrote: The US could still live up to it's promise, become a democracy and help lead humanity to a bright future.


But the way it's going now, the US is on track to create the Ferengi Alliance, although as Quark pointed out in StarTrek DS9 humans are already much worse than Ferengi.

Kirt



No, the Ferengi Alliance is the WTO, IMF, and the World Bank.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby kirtu » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:54 pm

Malcolm wrote:
kirtu wrote:
I am a US Army veteran.


Then you have healthcare.


No - most veterans who served in the late/final Cold War period do not have veteran's benefits (more correctly they don't have war era veteran's benefits) 1975/77 - 1991/2. I served in the middle of that period. I don't have healthcare benefits. I can't even claim the 5 pt federal preference on federal job applications (or couldn't while I was working in the federal government as a civilian - some generals and admirals have spoken out about this issue over the past 18 yrs).

Kirt
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:14 pm

kirtu wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
kirtu wrote:
I am a US Army veteran.


Then you have healthcare.


No - most veterans who served in the late/final Cold War period do not have veteran's benefits (more correctly they don't have war era veteran's benefits) 1975/77 - 1991/2. I served in the middle of that period. I don't have healthcare benefits. I can't even claim the 5 pt federal preference on federal job applications (or couldn't while I was working in the federal government as a civilian - some generals and admirals have spoken out about this issue over the past 18 yrs).

Kirt



I see, well it seems likely that the Supreme Court will toss out Obama/Romney care, and then they will have a chance to do it right with Single Payer.
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Re: Dzogchen, Buddhism and culture

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:23 pm

Just an observation, but this thread seems to have seriously veered off course, but since it was a thread created out of another thread, may be this is normal...
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Dzogchen, Buddhism and culture

Postby kirtu » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:02 pm

Malcolm wrote:Just an observation, but this thread seems to have seriously veered off course, but since it was a thread created out of another thread, may be this is normal...


I'm still asking what if anything beyond science, mathematics and engineering needs to be preserved in western culture. Is there a there there? Sally and username are discussing Marx from the starting point of Marx's criticism of capitalism.

Cultures arose historically mostly from little groups with mutual language comprehensibility or religious cohesion interacting. This is all embeded in a samsaric context and Tibetan culture is no different at lest on the secular level.

Why do we need to preserve cultures? The majority of cultures that have ever existed on the planet are gone as distinct, labelable entities. Cultures are identities that people attach to. Do cultures serve any real purpose for humans?

Kirt
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Re: Dzogchen, Buddhism and culture

Postby Sally Gross » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:46 pm

kirtu wrote:
Why do we need to preserve cultures? The majority of cultures that have ever existed on the planet are gone as distinct, labelable entities. Cultures are identities that people attach to. Do cultures serve any real purpose for humans?

Kirt


Something which comes to mind -- and I do not believe that I am veering off-topic -- is Robert Grave's poem, The Cool Web:

The Cool Web

Children are dumb to say how hot the day is,
How hot the scent is of the summer rose,
How dreadful the black wastes of evening sky,
How dreadful the tall soldiers drumming by,

But we have speech, to chill the angry day,
And speech, to dull the roses's cruel scent,
We spell away the overhanging night,
We spell away the soldiers and the fright.

There's a cool web of language winds us in,
Retreat from too much joy or too much fear:
We grow sea-green at last and coldly die
In brininess and volubility.

But if we let our tongues lose self-possession,
Throwing off language and its watery clasp
Before our death, instead of when death comes,
Facing the wide glare of the children's day,
Facing the rose, the dark sky and the drums,
We shall go mad, no doubt, and die that way.

-- Robert Graves

A possibly Buddhist point, which is paradoxical in form: the classical Buddhist path, the Eightfold Path, uses samsara to transcend samsara, desire (for liberation) to transcend desire, and a measure of attachment (to the path) to overcome attachment. We are language-users, willy nilly, something which is inextricably connected with cultural particularities; and are nested in cultures. Without language and without at least an initial location in a culture, we could not understand or appreciate the network of cultures, appreciating the diversity, the way this cool web also chains us and, paradoxically, the potentiality for transcendence and liberation it affords us. Changing the metaphor, we need these to make our self-constituted cages visible and to transcend and dissolve them, their visibility and the non-attachment this affords making for their self-liberation. Does this make sense?
Dukkham eva hi, na koci dukkhito,
kaarako na, kiriyaa va vijjati,
atthi nibbuti, na nibbuto pumaa,
maggam atthi, gamako na vijjati


Suffering there certainly is, but no sufferer,
no doer, though certainly the deed is found.
peace is achieved, but no-one's appeased,
the way is walked, but no walker's to be found.

- Visuddhimagga XVI, 90
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Re: Dzogchen, Buddhism and culture

Postby Sönam » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:58 pm

kirtu wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Just an observation, but this thread seems to have seriously veered off course, but since it was a thread created out of another thread, may be this is normal...


I'm still asking what if anything beyond science, mathematics and engineering needs to be preserved in western culture. Is there a there there? Sally and username are discussing Marx from the starting point of Marx's criticism of capitalism.

Cultures arose historically mostly from little groups with mutual language comprehensibility or religious cohesion interacting. This is all embeded in a samsaric context and Tibetan culture is no different at lest on the secular level.

Why do we need to preserve cultures? The majority of cultures that have ever existed on the planet are gone as distinct, labelable entities. Cultures are identities that people attach to. Do cultures serve any real purpose for humans?

Kirt


so your reasonning should also be valid for Tibetan culture ... for human culture in general.
Culture is the manifestation of human creativity, it is generaly made out of love, gratuitousnesss, energy, utopia and many other positive criteria. Culture is the trace of a universal behavior and what generally goes wrong is the exploitation of it by those who hijack it to obtain an immediat personnal advantage.

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby daelm » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:15 pm

Virgo wrote:
Have some respect for the country where you live, especially when you talking to a vet! :)

Kevin



you're a veterinarian? awesome!


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Re: Dzogchen, Buddhism and culture

Postby Anders » Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:41 pm

username wrote:Old Plato's discourse might have been well intended but he was not as wise as Socrates and the logical conclusion of his ideas would be not far off George Orwell's 1984 given enough time since inevitably power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. So lets appreciate what we have inherited as civil rights and democracy which is not guaranteed to last forever.


Malcolm got it right when he termed the Republic 'the original fascist nightmare'.

If you actually read what he says without making apologies for him it's a dreadful vision of what society should be like.

Historically, it's also been given little attention. For 2000 years, no one bothered to read this work. It was Aristotle people quoted if they went to the ancient Greeks for political opinion. One of my own professors even went as far as saying, Plato didn't even take it very seriously himself. It was basically just a bit of Utopian fantasy.

It was only with the advent of romanticism it came in vogue again. Who admitted to admiring the work? Rousseau, who directly inspired the likes of Robespierre, Napoleon, Hitler and Stalin. Mussolini as well, though he took more direct inspiration from Plato's Republic. All of them have in common ideas of a revolutionary approach to an idealised totalitarian and repressive society all in the name of 'the people will'.

The Republic is the original blueprint of tyrannical totalitarianism. Have a read of Karl Popper's The Open Society and its Enemies for a comprehensive analysis on totalitarianism and why it should be avoided at all costs. It's old, but is still very relevant and educational.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

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