Blog Roundup

Friday, May 10, 2024

A Friday Hodgepodge

1. In "Analyzing the Hamas Sympathizers," Peter Schwartz explains how altruism -- the idea that we owe relief to the needy regardless of why they are needy -- fuels the unjust and puzzling sympathy for Hamas we are seeing today.

Schwartz ends his piece with a quote from someone who has been undeterred by Palestinian barbarism from Day 1:

A New York Times article quotes an Atlanta schoolteacher's Facebook message, shortly after October 7, in which she explains her unqualified backing of the Palestinians against Israel: "The actual history of this situation is NOT COMPLICATED. I will ALWAYS stand beside those with less power. Less wealth, less access and resources and choices. Regardless of the extreme acts of a few militants who were done watching their people slowly die."

This is the consistent implementation of the "tyranny of need."

But there is no reason to accept another's need as a moral claim against you. The only valid moral imperative here is the imperative of justice -- the justice of supporting the innocent and condemning the guilty. And the only way to prevent suffering by the innocent is for Israel to do whatever is necessary to destroy Hamas and for Gaza (and the rest of the Palestinians) to be ruled by a government that recognizes the rights of its own citizens and of its neighbors. [link in original]
Incidentally, tyranny of need Schwartz describes, explains many other aspects of the decades-old conflict between Israel and the "Palestinians," as well as other unjust policies that people accept because they confuse altruism with benevolence.

2. At Thinking Directions, Jean Moroney argues that, while it may be tempting (or even sometimes helpful) to call failure by another name, it is much more powerful to acknowledge it and put it into a broader perspective:
At one point, Jean Moroney suggests finding humor in failure. One might find this image helpful in remembering to do that. (Image by Mick Haupt, via Unsplash, license.)
[S]ometimes, thinking of a failure as a setback is counterproductive. If you review the setback and see no new information revealed, you are likely to conclude "the plan should have worked!" or "I just didn't try hard enough!" Then you will be tempted to just try the same approach, unchanged. They say insanity is trying the same thing again and again and expecting a different result.

This is the moment when you really need the word "failure."

Your plan FAILED! This is REAL! This is new information! Your plan is a plan that leads to FAILURE!

Fully accepting this fact, including the implication that your plan has a fatal flaw in it, is critical to your eventual success. You need to see that you must have made a mistake somewhere. That's what gets you to step back and look for where you made a mistake.
Notice that last sentence: The goal, or some part of it, or something very like it is probably still salvageable. Moroney later explores when a failure is significant, and suggests an approach to goal-setting that can inoculate against some of the more unpleasant conclusions and emotions that many people wrongly associate with failure.

3. At How to Be Profitable and Moral, Jaana Woiceshyn calls for an end to the anti-freedom "equity" agenda:
Canada is a clear illustration. Under the current government since 2015 economic freedom has declined. Investment has been fleeing the country, weakening the dollar, and increasing inflation. Consequently, productivity and economic growth have stagnated and job growth has stalled, keeping wages low and prices high. Not only investments but skilled workers are leaving Canada, most of them for the United Sates, where salaries are much higher (46% higher in the technology sector, according to a recent survey) and taxes lower. Those departing increasingly include recent immigrants disillusioned by the high cost of living, limited job opportunities, and comparatively low salaries. [links omitted]
The fact that people are (currently) fleeing Canada for the United States does not, of course, mean that the same folly will work here.

4. At Value for Value, Harry Binswanger asks questions about a few "Unnoticed Contradictions," among them:
We constantly hear that man can know nothing for certain, that truth is relative to the individual, that observations are "theory-laden" so cannot claim to be objective, that no scientific claim can be proved true, that we can say only it hasn't been refuted by the data so far. At the same time and from the same people, we hear that catastrophic climate change is beyond doubt, that those who question it are "deniers" who should be kicked out of any position of consequence.

How does the same mind hold, "Nothing is certain" and "Climate catastrophe is certain"?
The obviousness of such questions, along with the fact that most will probably not have seen them raised anywhere else should alarm anyone.

-- CAV

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