Only in America

logic

Logic?  Who needs logic when you have an assault rifle pointed at everyone’s head?  I just don’t see why there can’t be more research done on violence, especially with guns.  The NRA released a video calling Obama a hypocrite for having Secret Service guard his daughters at school. Why shouldn’t the PRESIDENT of the United States have Secret Service guarding his daughters?   Just because the President has gun toting Secret Service protection then everyone else should too because that would be fair?  I’m not sure that you can fight ignorant behavior with more ignorance or fight gun violence with more guns.  Only in America can you drive down to Wal-Mart in your over-sized pick-up and park in a sea of asphalt to buy an 18 pack of beer, a semi-automatic rifle, and a set of plastic NASCAR mugs made in China.  Where is the logic in that?

There certainly are reasons to be concerned that Washington is taking more and more steps to limit freedom.  The debate needs to framed logically and not with the tough guy act of prying weapons from someone’s cold dead hands.  Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People by shooting them with a gun.  Some people think the Government should register guns.  Probably not going to happen anytime soon.  Some people think the Government should register “stupid people.”  The Government has already done that and they have given them a number.  I think it is called a Social Security number.  One way or another and at one time or another we would all make that list.  Just because a person has something to make them feel more in control than they really are doesn’t make it so.  A wise man can admit there is much that he does not know and does not need to fear death so much that he forgets to live.  That is the only thing that is certain in this world.  SQUAREROOTOFZERO

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Queen of Denial

 

 

Next Door to Reality.  What we have are two people competing in the Miss Clueless USA pageant but, they will both win the title of “Queen of Denial.”  When we talk about Government waste what we are talking about is somebody’s profit.  Ten million dollars on weapons that don’t work or are obsolete a week after they are made?  PROFIT.  Ten million dollars trying to make solar panels that never will see the light of day?  PROFIT.  On and on, ad nasueum.  Both parties are in collective denial that we can continue living in a world of financial rackets and swindles, indefinitely.  What we are arguing about is WHO will PROFIT and who will not.  From Medicare to the Federal Reserve playing a shell game just like common street hustlers, Romnobama tells us it can just keep going and going and going, like the Energizer bunny.

By not quite accepting, because they do not please us, things that are so, we spend our entire lives making meaningless gestures somewhere next door to reality.

-NAN SHIN

 

Self-image.  We are attached to the idea of the self-image.  We believe that we have very defined roles to play with our families, in society, and at work.  We start to limit our thoughts, actions, and words to conform to those expectations about our perceived importance to play those roles.  Living in this way sets the stage for rigidity and a lot of resentment when you realize the role that you are playing really isn’t what you wanted after all.  Identifying so powerfully with a religion, political affiliation, or race serves only as a point of separation from everyone else.  The way we are approaching things is like getting in a car and not knowing where we are going but, because we are driving forward we feel like we are doing something. Not only that but, we get in a vehicle driven by desire in which we abandon reality in favor of a imaginary world, full of concepts, that we created.  Thinking this way is also like buying a chair and identifying with it so closely as YOUR chair that you start to think of the chair as a PART of you.  That is complete nonsense.  Yet, we do things like this everyday and wear our own “Queen of Denial” crowns. SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Let’s Play Pretend

Band-aids.  The fight over taxes is really full of ABSURD arguments.  However, it seems that we just like to fight about entitlements, redistribution, and lack of fairness which all seem to be symptoms of a larger disease.  Let’s not attempt to treat the disease, but put band-aids with Cartoon characters on the symptoms, like we are all still nine.   Let’s ignore that people pay towards all that God-Forsaken concrete and asphalt out there with gas taxes and that the young pay social security taxes for the old.  Let’s ignore our reliance on energy companies and utilities to provide gas, water, heat, and electricity – and those taxes.  Let’s ignore that a single mother might be raising two children on a teacher’s salary of less than 50k a year and has to pay for ALL of these things on top of her mortgage or rent.  Let’s forget about the taxes she pays when buying necessities – like backpacks, books, and clothes – for her children.  Let’s also ignore the fact that no one is doing anything to address the schemes and rackets going on within the financial system and inflationary taxes.  Certainly, let’s play pretend the steering system is NOT broken and hand out boxes of band-aids.

Responsibility?  Any politician who lays out specific goals and then will pledge to give all the money he or she made back to the Government or a Charity and then only accepts minimum wage for their services – if they fail to accomplish those goals – would deserve my vote.  You can call it leadership, “individual” responsibility, or just plain patriotic.  There is NO POSSIBLE WAY that blaming failure on “The other side of the aisle” is going to solve anything.  SQUAREROOTOFZERO

A Fool’s Bargain (pt.II)

…cont…

Vanity and love of oneself, two passions very different in their nature and their effects, must not be confused.  Love of oneself is a natural sentiment which inclines every animal to watch over its own preservation, and which, directed in man by reason and modified by pity, produces humanity and virtue.  Vanity is only a relative sentiment, artificial and born in society, which inclines each individual to have a greater esteem for himself than for anyone else, inspires in men all the harm they do to one another, and is the true source of honor.  This being well understood, I say that in our primitive state, in the true state of nature, vanity does not exist. -Rousseau

According to Rousseau, the ultimate source of inequality is the competition for status released by vanity.  What Rousseau seems to be saying is that society encourages people to derive their sense of self-worth from how others view them and incubates an obsession with showmanship that gives the reins to vanity and thus creates vice and artificiality.  This is what the people in the Capitol thrive on and is epitomized in the character of Caesar Flickerman in the Hunger Games series.  Not only do the people of the Capitol revel in the misery of others, they value showmanship over true compassion.  I think Rousseau would agree that society would bestow its greatest honors on those that are adept at appearing good while nature rewards those who actually are good.

Although I want to form the man of nature, the object is not, for all that, to make him a savage and relegate him to the depths of the woods. It suffices that, enclosed in a social whirlpool, he not let himself get carried away by either the passions and opinions of men, that he see with his eyes, that he feel with his heart, that no authority govern him beyond that of his own reason. – Rousseau, Emile

Katniss pays a high price to be authentic in an very inauthentic world.  Is it “all big show” and is it “all about how you’re perceived”?  And what price do we pay to be ourselves?
“Panem et circenses” translates to bread and circuses.  Since the Hunger Games is similar to the “circuses” the Roman Emperors put on to “appease” the people let’s take a look at what Seneca thought about some of the problems back then.  Seneca distinguished between Good, Preferable, and Bad.  Good: Virtues like Justice, Wisdom, or Courage, ect.  Preferable: Money, Fame, or Power.  Bad: Foolishness, Injustice, or Malice, ect. When Peeta says “I don’t want them to change me in there…Turn me into some kind of monster that I’m not.” I think Seneca would tell Peeta that his virtue is something the Capitol can never take away, because it depends on the exercise of his free will.  Seneca might also say that if we begin lusting after things that are only preferable, as if they were the source of happiness, then we would become more like President Snow and trade our virtue in the pursuit of wealth and power.  It is a fool’s bargain.  Seneca warned against overindulgence and he also paid a huge price to be himself when he was ultimately ordered by Emperor Nero to commit suicide.
to be continued…

What is the Square Root of Zero?

Many of you might be asking the question:

What is the Square Root of Zero? Well, mathematically, the answer is zero.

“The highest form of pure thought is in mathematics” -Plato

What does that mean? Well, I am glad you asked that. The Square Root of Zero is a Revolution. It is not a technological revolution. It is a Revolution inside each and every one of us. The Square Root of Zero regards the INDIVIDUAL as the highest authority.

“The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to a democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual. Even the Chinese philosopher was wise enough to regard the individual as the basis of an empire…There will never be a free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.” -Thoreau

The Square Root of Zero is not anti-technology or anti-business. It is only asking the question, What can technology do for us if we can not even understand ourselves and Why do we continue to turn to it for solutions when many of those solutions are already right in front of us?

“To see what is right in front of one’s nose requires a constant struggle” -Orwell

Technology.  What negative consequences are we facing at the moment because of the over-reliance on technology? First, there is the encouragement, or downright attack depending on your level of influence, on the individual to become an absolute perfect consumer. Secondly, there is an relentless drive to supplement happiness with, a naturally occurring, temporary consumption euphoria followed by post-consumption remorse, only to repeat the cycle. It would appear that the individual, in many cases, has been reduced to a permanent state of a teenager that, perhaps, is overly concerned about the acceptance factor of the clothes that they wear, ect. It also begs the question about the influence of technology and the “necessity” of certain people becoming a consumable product themselves and the healthiness of this on a societal level. The Square Root of Zero asks what is advertising, what is propaganda, and have the lines of the two become blurred? There are many possible negative consequences and this only highlights a few of them.

“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end…The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.” -Orwell

Power.  The Square Root of Zero is about questioning the motives of people who are interested in gaining power for the sole reason of gaining power. Why, when we hear so much about how new inventions will do glorious things for our life, could you suggest that this isn’t the case? The object of confusion is control. The object of control is confusion. This most certainly will bring about some kind of disagreement. However, the Square Root of Zero contends that some people will simply be unable to accept certain ideas because it would require acknowledging ideas outside of their current belief system. Additionally, the Square Root of Zero contends that some people will dismiss, or ignore all together, any evidence contrary to their beliefs to avoid dealing with the discomfort, or outright pain, that change might bring. Thus, these individuals plant themselves squarely in the realm of self-delusion and are unwilling to deal with the “painful truth,” consequently, they are more likely to absorb themselves in technological distraction or put more faith into technology as opposed to its actual usefulness. They might be more simply described as someone like the Tasmanian devil cartoon. They like to go in circles and never really go anywhere, they want you to spin around with them until you get so dizzy and delusional that you take a supporting role in their surreal life. This is why it is a Revolution.

Reality.  The Square Root of Zero attempts to reside in the same reality as “2+2=4” which is different than saying, “because I love chocolate then chocolate must be everyone’s favorite dessert.” Secondly, there is a difference between saying, “many people love chocolate because it tastes good to them” and “because chocolate tastes good, everyone should love chocolate,” the first statement can be confirmed with real facts and the second is a value judgement. The Square Root of Zero is not just about maintaining individual freedom, but the integrity of individual freedom.

“Everyone believes, in how they think it ought to be, Everyone believes, And they’re not going easily. Belief is a beautiful armor, But it makes for the heaviest sword, Like punching underwater, You can never hit who you’re trying for.” -Mayer

The Square Root of Zero tries to be more like drinking from a fresh mountain spring rather than trying to swallow all the water from a fire-hose, which results in nothing other than you getting all wet and, painfully, knocked on your ass. It is a synthesis of over 3000 years of religion, philosophy, and literature that has become lost in the information overload and over-complexities of technology.

How can the Square Root of Zero say things that are so controversial and, perhaps, so damaging to established thought and not have fear of repercussion? The individual, just the same as the Square Root of Zero, has the Freedom to change their views and opinions at anytime by regarding the individual, not as a physically static and unchanging being, but as an ever changing physical and conscious state of being. In other words, I can say whatever I want because I don’t give a damn what you think. However, thoughtful opinions are ALWAYS welcome, but that is about as likely as me taking a refreshing dip in a swimming pool made out of unicorn bones. Nevertheless, the Square Root of Zero will continue to stand up and call to arms the sane, the humble, and the perceptive to drive a titanium sword through the heart of ignorance. Join the Revolution. (A couple of “likes” would be pretty cool too 😉 )  Agreeing with me is not a requirement, but only “encouraged.” HA!

“Speaking of Truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act” -Orwell

As long as I still have legs, I’ll just keep on kicking. SQUAREROOTOFZERO was here.