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   Author  Topic: Www.DeadHorses.org: An Expanding Catalogue of Earthly Dysfunction  (Read 726 times)

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Www.DeadHorses.org: An Expanding Catalogue of Earthly Dysfunction
« on: 2008-12-04 02:04:38 »
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[Blunderov] Cognitive dissonance on parade.

Www.DeadHorses.org: An Expanding Catalogue of Earthly Dysfunction


<snip>When Riding a Dead Horse
Comanche Indian wisdom says, "When you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount."

In business, government and (sometimes) education often other strategies are tried with dead horses, including the following:

1. Buying a stronger whip.
2. Changing riders.
3. Saying things like, "This is the way we have always ridden dead horses."
4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
5. Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.
6. Increasing the standards to ride dead horses.
7. Appointing a tiger team to revive the dead horse.
8. Creating a training session to increase our riding ability.
9. Comparing the state of dead horses in today's environment vs. in history.
10. Changing the requirements, declaring, "This horse is not actually dead."
11. Hiring contractors to ride the dead horse.
12. Harnessing several dead horses together for increased speed.
13. Declaring that "No horse is too dead to ride."
14. Providing additional funding to increase the horse's performance.
15. Funding a study to see if contractors can ride it cheaper.
16. Purchasing a product to make dead horses run faster.
17. Declaring the horse is "better, faster and cheaper dead."
18. Forming a quality circle to find uses for dead horses.
19. Reviewing the performance requirements for horses.
20. Saying this horse was procured with cost as an independent variable.
21. "Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.</snip>

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Re:Www.DeadHorses.org: An Expanding Catalogue of Earthly Dysfunction
« Reply #1 on: 2008-12-04 13:41:41 »
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A nugget from the website, followed by my own commentary:

From Dead Horses
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War is the ultimate Dead Horse.

DEFINITION: “The enthusiastic practice by ‘the good guys’ of achieving political, territorial or economic ends by killing and maiming large numbers of men, women and children (the ‘bad guys’ or ‘enemy’) by any available means, allegedly in the name of a higher cause, with no regard for the expense, suffering and misery caused to all the participants and their descendants, because ‘the ends justify the means.” Primarily it is the use of violence against other humans in order to subjugate them and take what is theirs. It is usually based on lies and deception and often committed in the name of "defending the people from foreign enemies." War's only purpose is the domination of one group of humans by another, by any means necessary.


Mo: If I was less realistic about the human condition I would probably completely agree with these anti-war sentiments above. However, understanding the nature of politics I know that occassionally even the populists demand war. Its not pretty, and most likely a stupid proposition all'round. That said, most activists have very little to no influence over the declaration of a real war. Mostly they just get to sit around and say "I told you so" after the house-of-cards justification has fallen and we are already committed. Perhaps if they are politically skilled they get elected president (Obama) but that still does little to reverse things once the damage is already done. You can probably tell by now that I despair the possibilities of ending this particular dead horse ride.

I would, however, like to take this opportunity of optimism to say that metaphorical wars are even worse, and though it can be hard to muster to political will to do so, the actual logistics of ending them can be relatively cost-free compared to real wars. Here I am talking about wars on crime, terrorism (as a subgroup of crime), drugs, poverty, etc. One of the only good things we can collectively say about real wars, is that because they have actually defined groups of individuals as "the enemy" they generally come to an end at some point. These other metaphorical wars are in effect endless because they aren't wars on real defined enemies (people) but rather a war on the human condition. Yes we have numerous bad actors fighting against us, but once we deal with them we can expect that others will naturally sprout from the human condition to take their place.

I'm not even opposed to considering many of these actors as evil, however to bring this back to Obama and McCain's first forum together . . . . some kinds of evil can only be contained, and between the two candidates, only Obama seemed to have this concept in his repertoire. There is no end to crimefighting. Even as we capture more bad guys, more are being born, in body and/or mind. So a "war on crime" is a patently foolish crusade. Crime is never defeated, only contained. Indeed declaring a "war on crime" - rather than revealing any toughness - is really the blustering show of a political authority that has grown incompetant (and likely corrupt) in the practice of ordinary justice and the rule of law. They mostly declare war on crime when they've already fucked up or corrupted every competant approach to justice. Perhaps one day in the future, smarter voters will fire them for admitting such ineffectiveness, but for now the patriotic tug of the war metaphor serves as an effective dupe to today's voter. A war against victimless activity is even more foolish (war on drugs).

And so while I'm always wanting to hear the point of view of peace activists on any particular real war, I really don't think we can meaningfully contain war until we learn to define it better, and make a more concerted effort to stop the war metaphor from taking over our non-war agendas. I'd be willing to bet that the body count from these "non-war wars" exceeds that of the real ones. And considering that some of the real wars are being driven by these non-war-wars (war on terrorism for example) I think the real first step solution to body counts is to stop letting war metaphors define non-war problems and policies.

In short my dead horse "solution" is to not ride this dead horse unless you have a real destination in mind. Not that we'll necessarily arrive at that destination, but it could reduce our dead horse riding behavior if we only rode them when we had an actual destination even if we never actually arrive. I know it may only be a half-step solution, but for behavioral conditioning purposes it would be a big improvement.

« Last Edit: 2008-12-05 01:58:22 by MoEnzyme » Report to moderator   Logged

I will fight your gods for food,
Mo Enzyme

(consolidation of handles: Jake Sapiens; memelab; logicnazi; Loki; Every1Hz; and Shadow)
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