Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.
But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.
Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.
In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.
All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.
At fifty everyone has the face he deserves.
Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.
John Stuart Mill
Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.
The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.
The general tendency of things throughout the world is to render mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.
Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.
A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
Don't let schooling interfere with your education.
All generalizations are false, including this one.
A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
The Public is merely a multiplied "me."
Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we."
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.
Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.
Otto Von Bismarck
When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.
I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.
Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.
Be polite; write diplomatically ;even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.
A witty saying proves nothing.
If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.
When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is metaphysics.
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.
To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.
Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.
Philosophy stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as masturbation to sexual love.
All I know is I'm not a Marxist.
The writer may very well serve a movement of history as its mouthpiece, but he cannot of course create it.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Notes on Organization and governance on the Internet
The Progressive Blog Alliance is growing exponentially; each new link opens membership to an entirely new corner of the web. At its current pace, we can expect over 100 members within the next month -- and that estimate is conservative. Thus, I'd like to take the time to discuss some thoughts I have on organizing this beast.
Currently, the Alliance is organized under, what for lack of a better word, I'd describe as my benevolent dictatorship. My sovereignty resides in one simple reality: I control who is admitted to the alliance, and am able to remove them with the click of a mouse. It is the only hard power that exists within the alliance. While my dictatorship is by no means a tyranny, it nevertheless carries all of the risks associated with concentrating power in the hands of too few.
As the alliance grows, so too will the negative aspects of my dictatorship. It forces the alliance to be a single network -- not a network of networks -- which is what I hope to create. As our roll begins to bulge, our members will feel more and more disconnected. Furthermore, I will have to be more picky about allowing members to join, for space will be at a premium. In short, I will have to destroy everything I love about this alliance in order to make it work. So what alternatives do we have?
Due to cultural bias, I'm guessing a great deal of readers just thought "lets make a democracy". However, I think a democracy would prove to be worse than even my most malignant dictatorship. For one, Democracy requires us to share a background of values, loyalties, and goals -- none of which are present. Furthermore, Democracy also requires everyone to participate and have our collective best interest in mind.
Most of all, a democracy would create another centralized authority. Even if the centralized authority was our collective voice, it would never the less crumble. In my opinion, no centralized authority is capable of creating a single set of rules that will enjoy the widespread support necessary for legitimacy.
Thus I charge we should create a structured anarchy -- indeed, is the internet itself not just that? By Anarchy, I mean no one is fully in charge, but I don't mean no one has power to control members. There will be members who will be benevolent dictators, but we will find ways to check their power. In the form of governance that I hope supersedes me, reputation is everything. Reputation is decidedly not equally distributed, and social orders will likely emerge that will create outcasts.
So, I'm recommending that when our roll hits 60 members, we should split the alliance into 3 separate alliances whose members are held accountable by one dictator, and every dictator is held accountable by fellow dictators, and their members. I think we should continue to require that all rolls are still shown for now, but eventually, we may be able to create a more complex and responsive system of organization, than the top down look of our current one. Of course, I might be batshit crazy, and no one has any idea what I'm talking about here. However, I'd really like to get some feedback beyond "sounds good". How do we select dictators for new chapters? How do we hold dictators accountable? What responsibilities would separate chapters have to each other?
We may be on the verge of something new, and this may just end up being another failed social experiment. But I hope a few of you see where I'm going with this.
"Netpolitik is a new style of diplomacy that seeks to exploit the powerful capabilities of the Internet to shape politics, culture, values, and personal identity. But unlike Realpolitik — which seeks to advance a nation’s political interests through amoral coercion — Netpolitik traffics in “softer” issues such as moral legitimacy, culturalidentity, societal values, and public perception." - The Rise of Netpolitik
PUN-DIT (n) : A learned man; a teacher; a source of opinion; a critic: a political pundit.