Why China’s information policy is less worrisome than the Wild West’s

The rogue always likes to divert attention from their malice by accusing others of what he himself does.
Western governments are always eager to condemn China for their policies in regards to information flow. The rogues are the Wild West.

China doesn’t hide it. It is totally open and admitted that they are censoring certain aspects of information flow and beyond. And not only does that openness hint at the nature of the thing, but they have some good reasons for it that would even weaken the condemnations of the Chinese government allegedly merely wanting to stay in power for power’s sake.

The USA are an empire, and the empire uses many different means to expand its influence. That is all a form of war. If no missiles fly, then computer viruses might go to work or people are rallied with lies to topple their democratic government. Just to name a few.
Another weapon of the empire is the spread of culture. And this is the openly stated reason for what the Chinese government does. They are aware that the USA will do whatever they can to slowly convert China, this to the paragon of capitalism huge delicious economy, into a vassal.
Any restrictive policies of China or any other more or less unadmitted enemy of the empire need to be seen in this context. And even this necessary defense reaction against covert aggression is being exploited by the empire and used as a weapon. For they know that if they practice such an onslaught, the people of the target country might eventually become dissatisfied due to the restrictions. And then the empire only needs to succeed in telling the people lies and divert attention away from the true motivations for such measures. Then the people would, in ignorance, fight that which tries to protect them from those very lies and culture of corruption.

Naturally this will not be a pretty process. But in all cases people need to understand the big picture. (And they need to understand that I’m not talking about flatscreen TVs here.)

Now look at what power China has. It is a strong country. They resist the imperialist pressure. But now look at North Korea. They are much less powerful, but are subject to the same pressure. If they didn’t have nukes, they’d be a ‘McDonald’s outpost’ now.

Don’t blame the small party in massively asymmetrical warfare. That’s the rogues’ game.

And now let’s compare China to the USA and its vassals: Daily propaganda, lies, distortions, deceptions, omissions. News media censoring itself, massively, covertly, while spreading the myth of openness and freedom. Again, the rogue keeps talking about that which they don’t feature. Constant repetition hammers it into people’s heads, and egoes are tickled with honeyed words and pleasant self-perceptions.

That is the mark of fascism.

And now traitor politicians try to enforce a free trade agreement (TTIP) with that fascist system while insulting the people who oppose it AND letting them pay for TTIP propaganda ads with their tax money. It is disgusting, and people swallow too much of this crap. Too afraid of repressions from their government. Another trait of a fascist country.
Just like the mafia can bully business owners into compliance, the government mafia, the great crime syndicate, has bullied people into submission. They might speak, they might act, but only when it is allowed to, not when it is right and should be allowed to.

Fear seeks fear, love seeks love

Imagine a rich man, driving expensive cars and everything. Some people would say: “You should give me some of your money, you have so much and I so little.” They arrogantly, in mental convenience, disregard any possible hardships that person might have gone through to make it happen. Yes, there are many rich people who got it through ruthlessness and uncaring, but you don’t know a stranger’s story. Maybe the guy with the feeling of entitlement even would have been rich himself if he hadn’t spent all his money. Maybe he has led a relatively enjoyable life, but still wants more.
Imagine the added difficulty that such envious people can pose for your efforts to fulfill a dream. Those who choose to live the problem are often the ones expecting the cure to stoop to their level and join them in their misery so that it doesn’t cause them mental inconvenience. The same mental inconvenience that made them choose to live the problem.
(Right now I remember a symbolically related scene from What Dreams May Come.)

I am not rich, but I have other qualities that have equally been under attack for as long as I can think back. I always had a fine sense for the smell of something rotten in people and an equal sensitivity that made it impossible for me to give in to that like many others do.
And such people are not satisfied with making my life a hell with their silly jealousy, but further burden me with their envious resentment for still exerting the strength to defend the best in me against their very repression efforts. The more I suffer under it, the more they claim it unnatural and unreasonable to resist their barrage. They hate that I make their weakness visible to them through exemplary contrast. By this they are sliding down further in their own hell, too, and feed their nemesis. I don’t like filling that role at all, but it is not my choice. All I want is to be myself; the best that I can be. Those who are too inflexible to accept that can just fuck off, for they only cause me more grief. The more they build their castle of avoidance, the more difficult it might be to figure them out. It is an impressive castle, after all. But a cold one. And any effort you invest in them they can shatter in an instant.

I had virtue and they tried to destroy my self-respect. They made me a virtuous altruist. Eventually I became too sick of their shit. They made me a virtuous egotist. Now they’re really fucked. Because now they’re not only in misery, but alone in their misery; without help. I am alone in my virtue. Not caring for those who have shown to not deserve it will be a win for those who do deserve it, and thus for me, too.
Very many people are just too damn inept to comprehend win-win situations.
Well, no surprise there. As I often point out: Fear makes stupid.

Have you ever tried to make yourself less intelligent? You can’t with love. But fear does it all the time. If fear is your enemy and not your friend, don’t even try. You will only torture yourself.

People may not know that they fell. They don’t want to know. They see themselves in pressing, relentless action and consider themselves daring and courageous, not realizing when they have built or invited a strong fear-motivation for themselves that keeps them busy with building their cold castle. They are merely productive.

In some people you can only feel it. In others you can also see it.

We don’t need people to do more. We need people to realize what they are doing.

The Powerpuff Girls being lawful stupid

There are various Powerpuff Girls episodes that I could comment on about how much is wrong with them, but there is one where the theme of it bugs me so much because it has a connection to what’s going wrong in real life, so I’d like to elaborate:

The episode is “Bought and Scold”. This is one messed-up Powerpuff Girls epispode. But as I hinted at, it also shows how messed up the world can be and how easy it can be to fool people in the most obvious way and get away with it. (e.g. with the “monetary system” pyramid scheme)

Here’s what happened:
Princess, the spoiled brat of a rich father, becomes mayor. Her daddy bought the office from the mayor. This could be seen as very cynical, since it’s not legit at all. But this is still just the realm of usual PPG writing simplicity, since you just have to accept that the mayor is also pretty much the owner of the city.
The Ganggreen Gang starts harassing kids in school and the PPG learn that Princess has become mayor and officially declared crime legal. Tons of crime-committing and voluntary freeing of prison inmates ensues. This is where it begins to really get messed up. Because the prisoners are serving their prison sentence for crimes they committed when they were still illegal. So now one has to assume that the new law is meant retroactively.

The PPG have a total mind blockage and are sad that they can’t do anything. While I despair watching this, because they could just beat up Princess and throw her in jail, since that’s not a crime anymore. This would have resolved the situation immediately and in a very ironic way, or you could even call it Salomonic wisdom.
But it didn’t happen, and this is like a metaphor for the world where people are so much trapped in an authority-follower mindset that they are unable to just do what is right and make that their authority. Too scared to take responsibility for their actions. That mindset reveals how many so-called law-abiding citizens are actually anarchists, since they freely accept tyrants as legit, while they’d have plenty of reasons not to do so. They are basically the villains, the crooks. … We are all anarchists at the core. If we choose to give up our freedoms, that is our own decision.

So eventually the PPG realize a solution: They steal all the stuff from Princess’ residence, thus making her become the victim of her own new law. Not really what I had hoped for, because this is what happens next:
Princess is all whiny and wants the stuff back to avoid making her dad angry, so she writes a new law making crime illegal again. At this point they finally ruined the opportunity to unmake all the idiocy, since they again acknowledged the legitimacy of the usurpation of the mayor office, which makes the PPG villains, too. (Unless you consider buying the mayor office legal, which you could do in the context of the show and it would still make the episode messed up.) Well, anyway, with the new law they go out and start punishing and rounding up. Not only reactively, but they also for example beat up the Ganggreen Gang that was at the time just chilling on a playground. So this sends the message that the new law, too, is to be understood retroactively, making all past committed actions of malice crimes, too.

But THEN the writers break with this very principle that has been validated twice in the episode:
Princess wants all the stuff back before her dad wakes up and makes trouble, but the PPG claim that they made everything right but that apparently none of the crooks took her stuff. She then realizes that the PPG were the ones who took her stuff and talks about having them arrested, and then comes the whammy: They say she can’t do that since they took her stuff while crime was legal, so she can’t do anything and all her stuff is the PPG’s now! And now it’s Princess’ turn to have a total mind blockage. She begs she’d do anything and thus she gives up the mayor office and gets her stuff back.

Isn’t that blackmail? Or bribery? That’s not unlike how Princess got the mayor position in the first place.
So is crime legal now, or not?
The PPG would have to put themselves in jail now. The outrageous hypocrisy: Obeying the law when it’s crooked, but not obeying that same law when it doesn’t serve your own agenda.

The truth is: Monarchy, democracy, republic, dictatorship, theocracy … they’re all built on anarchy. They’re all ideas offered to the people that you can follow or not, but it’s your decision. Many democracies these days are actually anarchist bully-style oppression schemes where a complicit majority doesn’t allow the minority to live high values of humaneness. Where it’s “Vote Dick Tator for President!”.

It’s really sad when superheroes are protrayed as easy victims of such mind games. Especially superheroes like the PPG who so often like to resolve issues by beating people up. I couldn’t even comfortably call them lawful neutral, since they don’t have a proper understanding of the law. They are more like lawful stupid, at least in this episode. And that’s a problem that so many people share and why we have so much suffering in the world.

P.S.: Ms. Keane is generally the icon of what is wrong with many teachers and how much harm they are doing. But that’s another story.

Information flow and the grievances lobby

One would think that people who stand up for something right and good are strong in character, brave, and to be commended for that.

But what has crystallized after my observations, experiences and pondering is that in such cases, you can distinguish between those doing it for strong selfish motives and those who actually do it regardless of whether they are personally involved. The latter seems quite rare, and they might elude attention due to the many who are motivated to do right for the wrong reasons.

The recent case of Drawponies (a.k.a. Traceponies) making money by selling traced MLP show art caused an impressive degree of attention, or you could say, publicity. Because what I see is that in such cases, there is a lobby. There are people who invested financially by buying ‘his’ material. There are people who are artists themselves, following proper rules, and thus being upset about someone else breaking them to gain an advantage. On another level, there can be emotional investment, which is still connected to time spent and to the bad feeling of being deceived. All this is still personal though.
Add to that the legal ramifications. Legal means business. Serious stuff. Connected to money again.

People who you’d never expect to take up any noble cause can suddenly morph into bloody revolutionaries if their personal material interests are under attack.

But the true test of character is whether someone would do the same in the interest of others. This is the crucial indicator of whether the motivation is egoistical or altruistic. When you have a big group of people all following a shared egoistical goal, it can easily be mistaken for mutual caring. (I blogged about this point before.)

I know from personal experience how decisive it can be whether an issue has this kind of lobby or not. If, like in the case of Drawponies, interest groups like Equestria Daily start sweating because they have been unknowingly supporting art theft and because they have a large following of other artists that they might piss off if they don’t react strongly and decisively, you thus have a major content distributor with a self-interest of publicating the issue.
If, on the other hand, someone does something rotten while such interest groups don’t see their own interests under attack, it can continue without interference. And when you witness enough of such things, you cannot just forget and deny, even if you want to. You then see the shadowy side of people and the many deceptions they practice towards themselves and others.

If Drawponies had not sold his material, but merely claimed it as his own, thus lying to others for personal admiration, just as he has done anyway, this incident would have had a wholly different character and far less public attention. Especially since then it would only have been Hasbro who’d have material grievances. If he had noncommecially stolen art from other fans, the lobby would have been stronger, since then material concerns of fans would have been involved. It would still have caused a more forgiving reaction though, especially by Equestria Daily and such, but also since many people aren’t that much of warriors for justice if it’s not about their own money.

Remember when animators used the leaked Flash puppets, not just for internal practice purposes, but in their publicated work, making no mention that they didn’t create the puppets themselves and silently accepted any praise based on that misconception? That was willful deception, but (potential) material grievances were only on Hasbro’s side. (And fan works and leaked production assets are two different things, so this is not the same as using show material where it’s totally apparent and goes without saying that it’s not original material.) So here, too, artists gained an unfair advantage through deception, and for them this strategy worked. To this day they’re still benefitting from the fruits of that deception. And just like Drawponies, they didn’t come forward until someone else called them out.

If the ‘brony community’ was as noble in principle as they’d like to see themselves, then those animators would have received as much flame as Drawponies now did.
And if they applied the same standards to Drawponies that they applied to others, then Equestria Daily would continue publishing Drawponies’ material, but only his original works. … Sounds unthinkable? Unacceptable? That’s because money.

Start caring for others not because you have a vested interest to do so, but because it is right.

Beware of imagined people-power

There’s that saying that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Well, with all the activism growing in the world, of the people’s voice being heard and all that, a new challenge arises.

Because those movements are challenging powerful interest groups, those groups will try various approaches for securing their power. And one really clever method that is likely applied from the very top is along the lines of the saying:

The most hopelessly enslaved are those who falsely believe to be free.

What I call “worldsaving bread&circuses” would be one example of this, and another one could be, and I will mention it for elaboration of my point:

Net neutrality.

I read an article about it, talking about it being likely to be preserved in the USA, and the article itself, unaware of its implications, contained some warning signs: It mentioned that net neutrality has the support of president Obama, some democratic allies in politics as well as various big telecommunications corporations. So apparently there are some in the business who believe that, after weighing possible pros and cons, net neutrality is their preferrable way.

So if net neutrality ends up being preserved … How do we know the popular activism had any say in that?
Tricky one, isn’t it? All you can do is believe it did, unless you have damn well documented every chain of cause and effect. A decision being made that happens to match the preferences of the people isn’t evidence of causation.

Studies have been made about US politics that draw a picture of the people ultimately having virtually no say at all on what decisions are being made, so that’s certainly cause for heightened vigilance and scrutiny.

This is an urge for more activism, but not the blind kind. You gotta be smart and not hastily jump on any feeling of triumph or power. It is a character weakness based in your ego that will be exploited in order to deceive you. Just like people’s lack of purpose in life and falling-out with traditional religion made them vulnerable to aforementioned tales of being heroes and saviors in the context of the modern armageddon prophecy of global warming. Too many people put more importance on believing they are making a difference than on knowing for sure they actually do. It’s egoistical, really. Personal convenience. Soothing your conscience. Selling of indulgences. And when your self-deception is challenged, you will condemn those who actually care about the result as pessimists or call them much worse, revealing that the whole time you’ve really just cared about yourself.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but you can be an activist for social justice and still be a mere pawn of big business, in ignorance or outright denial of the massive human suffering you might be causing.

The Mutual Fools Game

I’ve read an article about Malcolm X and realized how similar my experience/perception is to his.

The article mentioned that he talked about a game of “You fool me and I fool you”. I tend to refer to this as the wearing of masks, but in more detail, I recently gained an even stronger awareness of how this game works. (I understood long ago; I’m just talking about renewed awareness here.)

‘Weak’ people have emotional attachments – they strive for comfort and convenience; they shun discomfort. Others know how to exploit that for their own gain. It’s basically some egoists exploiting other egoists as well as altruists. And the game ‘works’ with those that decide to join it. It’s a deadly game, but within its parameters it works. The real threat is when someone doesn’t play along. You attack one node and others will compensate.

One good example of this mutual fooling is censorship of vulgarity on TV – the bleeping. By now everybody knows the word that is being bleeped, they probably even hear it in their head when they hear a bleep, yet they keep this idiocy up, because acting realistically would cause too much discomfort in a lot of egocentric TV viewers and thus in the entertainment businesses, too.

Oh wow, I just realized a perfect, classical analogy for this problem: The Emperor’s New Clothes.
You might think these days everybody would point out he is not wearing clothes, but that would be foolish, too. The Emperor is an authority figure. Today there are similar situations, often similarly ridiculous, and the number of people willing to point out the obvious truth is small. Naturally, in the story, it is a child’s untainted perception that does it. It hasn’t learned about the things it is supposed to be afraid of yet. A free mind. Sometimes people accept this in children because they secretly envy their purity, but when problems are growing as they are now, they start to become afraid of their children and try to corrupt them as soon as possible to prevent them from being an uncomfortable reminder of what is healthy.

Another good exemplary case is Obama. Hyped by a psychologically optimized marketing campaign as the champion of black people, the giver of hope. (The word “hope” is really starting to bother me, because it is often a tool for personal disempowerment and rejection of responsibility.) Rock star Obama. This created such a powerful emotional attachment, people projecting their personal ideas of what he supposedly embodies, that you now, still, have many millions of people in a severe state of denial, busy finding excuses and justifications for the things Obama does that don’t fit into their ideas. They are trying to avoid mental-emotional discomfort, which is a very selfish motivation, and based in fear.

Then there’s the related case of Obama having been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize – in advance! Which is ludicrous. They said that they hope this will give an impulse/incentive/inspiration for him to actually live up to it. This is extreme denial based on an equally extreme attachment. With this, the Nobel prize committee is serving their own egoistical desires of avoiding discomfort. They, too, are signaling Obama that he got them in his pocket. His mental slaves. Enslaved by the mere fear of some discomfort. So much for fighting the enslavement of the black people, hah. You say “Who’d have thought a black man would become president one day?”. I say: “Who’d have thought a black man would become a mass enslaver one day?” … Well, I’d have. Because why not? I don’t delude myself. I don’t fuel the bitter irony of judging by skin color.

There are so many other cases of the same control games. Sometimes it can seem difficult to find an oasis of health in that environment. Especially if people are put to the test, once the mutual fools game of telling each other and yourself lies is broken and actions drown out words.

I tell you, it’s not at all a pleasant feeling to repeatedly see your cynicism being confirmed as realism. But this is a discomfort I prefer over sacrificing the truth. No matter how bad the situation is, you gotta act based on it, and if you don’t, it will only get worse.
Sadly, when things go down that road, it’s usually the knowing ones who become the first victims. Because at that point, people will be so much in the grasp of fear that they will passionately feed their inner demons.

Those who kick downwards in the power structure are the problem. Those who punch upwards are the solution.
People are deluding themselves into believing they found a comfortable way of being courageous.

They are fools.

Courage is – by definition – uncomfortable.

Like Malcolm X, I want to be remembered as sincere.
(Although – and this SHOULD go without saying – more important to me than being remembered as sincere is to actually be sincere.)

Another important thing to point out is that this popular system of wearing masks is also what makes it possible for sociopaths to succeed. They’re merely gaming the system. When you cannot or don’t want to see past a mask, then you cannot know what’s under it, if anything at all.

When investigating, seemingly valid clues can be misleading

In the past days I learned that when you are looking for the cause of a problem and proceeding logically like a detective, clues can still be misleading. You can gather clues that are unrelated (coincidence) or related to a different problem. In the latter case, a problem can become quite nasty when another one intermingles with it.

I won’t go into detail about a case a few years ago where a graphics card I bought was faulty, and when I got a replacement from a different brand, that one was totally producing nothing but garbage on the screen on some systems while working perfectly on other systems, with no determinable common factor between them.

No, but I just discovered why the internet was so slow in the last few weeks. I didn’t change anything on my system, so I didn’t suspect it when bandwidth from many sources on the WWW was fluctuating like crazy, rarely ever giving me full speed. I did check many things on my system anyway, though.

It became more interesting when added to that, often the data transfer would momentarily drop to zero every few seconds.
I began investigating more thoroughly when my router lost connection and the DSL line quality became very bad for a few hours.

I tested DSL speed on another computer close to the router, without a switch in-between, and there I had the same bad download speed.

The problem source was so difficult to isolate here because THREE things were coming together!

The main problem was a gradually, over weeks, decreasing cable quality of my 20 meter ethernet cable. I’d never have expected that, but maybe it wore at some point, maybe at a doorway where people walk over the cable. This caused the bad transfer speeds, because the switch negotiated 100 Mbit/s, which the cable couldn’t handle anymore. In the end, the momentary dropouts were caused by the switch, and any other switch did the same. (Side note: My LAN adapter has a cable quality check and claims it’s fine, so this was useless. I had to manually tell it to use 10 Mbit/s to avoid trouble. I now have wonderful internet speed; no more anger over Youtube not being able to provide full speed. My, was I wrong.)

And here are the two deceivers:

1) The DSL line quality drop that my router indicated was unrelated.

2) The DSL speed test on the alternative computer SHOULD have been fine, since it is not using the faulty ethernet cable, yet it showed the same bad transfer speeds that my main computer did via the faulty cable. I have to assume that there simply actually was a speed issue with the test server at that time.

I keep having complex problems like this way too often.

When things just don’t add up, it might be because they’re multiplying instead.