moralism theory

Saturday, February 14th, 2004

Does obsessive moralism breed spatial morass, intellectual malaise, laziness, and spatial shrinkage. Consider the marketplace, which needs controls, either from the buying audience, the makers, or regulators, such as lawmakers.

I mean spatial in terms of definitions, extended or sensed. America, for example, is a wandering border, growing, shrinking, moving with its birthright across mapped borders. In many ways I fear a shrinkage of that space. Will the rising crop of thinkers depart the country seeking more liberalized territory in which to study genetics and other sciences that rub others the wrong way.

I try to read what researchers and thinkers and makers say about climatology, genetics, physics, and art. I rarely listen to people who assume to interprete the ideas for political reasons. For me, it seems a squandering of time for CNN to ask people if they think that this political season will be the worst one in history. What does it matter, for example, either way? The question, while geared toward a loose definition of audience interaction, reflects an attitude of “keep them busy with dumb questions while we make up their minds for them.”

The question has no thought; it’s mere cognitive interlude; it’s perpertual night. As McCarthy would claim it, the night will never end. Radio pundits want to nail down the truth of things; they know all the answers, or speak as if they do; they know the science better than the scientists. They give the impression of smallness.

We need open space. Blakespace.


9 responses to “moralism theory”

  1. Beverly says:

    Politics is a new interest for me, and I am cautioning myself by approaching it at a snails pace. I have had to find an approach that won’t squash my interests. For me, it seems to be all about the informed citizen. You raise a good point of the superficial blah that we are exposed to day after day. For many years the blah was easy to brush off and not learn more about what politicians were talking about. After taking American Politics, I now realize it’s hard work and time consuming finding out what the issues of concern really are and how much investigation is involved in order to focus on the debate at hand, at least that’s how I look at it now. With this view, it is easy to see why politicians take advantage of sound bites and image. They know the majority of Americans don’t take the time to investigate unless it effects them personally. People love those Hollywood stars that perform so well, Reagan, Schwarzenager and the list goes on.

  2. gibb says:

    “Does obsessive moralism breed spatial morass, intellectual malaise, laziness, and spatial shrinkage. Consider the marketplace, which needs controls, either from the buying audience, the makers, or regulators, such as lawmakers.”

    My gut feeling to this portion of your post, is yes. We are becoming a nation of idiots. Common sense is not impressed upon us, as there are lawsuits readily pushed if perhaps we have not followed directions, if they were not clear, if one person out of a hundred-thousand users got hurt, and since it can never be the individual’s fault, the engineer, the corporation, the government is to blame. This results in more regulation, more consumption of time and money, more research and argument until yes, it becomes easier to go elsewhere and design something in peace and quiet.

    As to the media, I feel that they just perpetuate, exaggerate, and create problems. (In truth, I suspect the media is the single largest influence on humanity–no president, individual or other group can hope to have such power and control.) We won’t truly be able to believe anything we read or hear because it is already second or third generation when reported. Ah, back to the good old days of presidential wannabes travelling across country on trains and facing the public directly.

  3. Rina says:

    Does obsessive moralism breed spatial morass…?That kind of question pits morality against progress. Did you intend to do that Mr. Ersinghaus? I’m sorry, to me that’s absurd and geez, even anathema.I’m studying man…are you trying to smoke me out on purpose? Good grief. How can I ignore that kind of implication? Dare I say that I don’t think that we are collectively moralistic enough. And I’m not even a ‘collective’ kind of person.I’m actually in the process of reading a portion of Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography…my God, his quest for morality is, to me, moving. I refer you all to look up the thirteen virtues that he tried to practice on a daily basis.People who do this kind of stuff today are looked down upon as the ‘religious right’ or belonging to some repressive ‘Bible belt’…like it’s a bad thing. I for one don’t have the disciplinary capabilities for it and am in awe of it. There was a time when religious people, crazy evangilists even, placed such a high value on life and dared to think that to keep a man in bondage was as sin. Even if he was a black man. Go figure. And now because these same religious types have the courage to speak again on the value of life, on behalf of the unborn child we scoff at them while we nibble on our veggi-burgers.This man, Ben Franklin, who consciously strived to be a good man and who I’m sure we can all dig up some good dirt on if we were inclined, was a great inventor and probably one of the most valuable citizens this country has ever been blessed with.Take stem cell research…We should have a healthy fear of stem cell research. I understand the scientific method and the importance of empirical evidence being kept seperate from religion and superstition but even still, I think that it is prudent to use the latter two as tools as a balance to check unfettered scientific endeavours. Science should never become a religion, I don’t think, but that’s just my opinion. To me, theories are a funny thing. That’s not an attempt to dismiss them, I have great respect for science. I just think that everything has it’s proper place.I’m actually also reading Melville’s Moby Dick so this semester is turning out to be, a sort of sobering ‘coming to Jesus’ kind of experience for me…and I have to quote Melville to explain my defense of morality and the prudence of fear:”I will have no man in my boat,” said Starbuck, “who is not afraid of a whale.” By this, he seemed to mean, not only that the most reliable and useful courage was that which arises from the fair estimation of the encountered peril, but that an utterly fearless man is far more dangerous comrade than a coward.To have no fear of things that will take us into unchartered territory is suicide. That being said, I’m sure that somewhere in our ‘great’ country, stem-cell research is in full force…kind of like what the Manhattan Project was for nuclear proliferation…a curse and a blessing. It is what it is, and the fruits of these endeavours are always dealt with accordingly.To close, I have to say that…***heavy sigh***America will not always be the hegemon and…when that day comes, it won’t be the end of the world. Yes. China will most likely be the next hegemon. God willing, they will be honorable stewards.Some great sage once said that ‘great’ civilizations last about 200 years (don’t ask me for a name, I don’t remember). I think that we’ve had a fair run and that we’re are still pretty strong, even in our sunset. As I see it, we’re kind of teetering somewhere around selfishness, apathy and we’re heading towards a state of dependency…and that’s alright. As all of the other ‘great’ civilizations, we are running our course.So maybe our our space is shrinking…so what?And…why are you still watching CNN? Is it some sort of masochistic inclination?

  4. Rina says:

    Hi Beverly. I know you said that your interest in politics is relatively new and I’m sure that you are coming into this new area of interest with some unintentional bias so that you didn’t mean to denigrate Ronald Reagan’s good name. After all, the ’empty suit’ was a media orchestrated myth. Brainwashing…it happens to all of us. Do yourself a favor, kill your television. Or just limit yourself to shows like Gilmore Girls…it’s brainless, just as television was meant to be.In the quest for ‘truth’ one should always counterbalance New York Times with New York Post…Washington Post with Washington Times and don’t forget…when observing a politician, pay closer attention to their actions than to their words. For every ten P.O.S.s, you’ll find one that is worth your tax dollar.There is a book that was recently published…it contains writings that were recently discovered…stuff that Mr. Reagan wrote for radio addresses that he gave in the 70s. Whether he wrote his speeches in his own hand or whether he had a writer pen them for him later in his presidency…his message always remained consistent.The Cold War, as with most things in life, can be argued both ways…the positions we take reflect more on our own personalities than anything else. But whether any particular individual is a pinko-commie or a staunch John Birch anti-communist at heart…one thing that cannot be argued is…Ronald Reagan is no fake.But if you truly think he is…I’d like to see, or hear, your evidence.It is my duty to defend him because he is my cure for melancholy…I often think of Ronald Reagan when I feel melancholy set in…to me he is the embodiment of hope. I often think that it is by God’s grace that Mr. Reagan has alzheimers…because after his mission was over he truly has become the ‘symbol’ that the leftists always wanted him to be…and God took away his memory so that he wouldn’t have to witness our decline.

  5. Beverly says:

    Rina,

    I most certainly had no intentions to denigrate Reagan. I can’t go that far back, and that is not to say I am young. I just wanted to say something -anything to contribute. I know it’s not much but it did trigger you in talk mode. Wow! I can’t write much, but I’ll keep trying. I feel like Ben. Not religious, but simplistic, truly organized and disciplined.

  6. Rina says:

    Hi Beverly. Since your interest to politics is relatively new…you know what’s really fun to follow?…(if there can be any fun to be found in the disgustingness of politics)Class warfare.I just heard that Forbes put out a list of the top ten richest presidents in U.S. history.1. George Washington (Federalist)2. JFKennedy (Democrat)3. Andrew Jackson (Democrat)4. Lyndon Johnson (Democrat)5. Herbert Hoover (Republican)Guess who will replace Andrew Jackson for the number three position if he becomes president?JFKerry.Did you know that the top 20 wealthiest senators are democrats?I know this is off subject from the original post but…am I the only person who finds this ironic given that the democrats claim to be the party of the “little people”?

  7. gibb says:

    Rina, you are amazing. This “rich Republican” vs. “Democrats of the common folk” b.s. has bothered me for a while now, knowing that in the back of my head Kennedy was possibly one of the wealthiest of Presidents, and that a large percentage of the some of our country’s wealthiest–the celebrities–are Democrats. I tried tracking this down myself and found one website that was helpful, but so much further research needed to be done that I didn’t care enough to give it the time required. Thank you.

  8. Rina says:

    Oh, geez, you’re welcome…Thank you, Susan. I’m glad I can help. I was surprised myself, not to have seen President Bush in the top five…either one, for that matter..what, with all their “big oil boogey-man” connections and all.Halliburton!hehehe

  9. ersinghaus says:

    Denigrate the good name of Ronald Reagan? I’ll glady do that.