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 Where are we going?

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Apr 16, 2002
Whats happening in the world - the Middle East, Afghanistan, here, there, everywhere, its all just a repetition. It feels like we've been here before. Each news item is different and yet deep down, it feels like a repeat. Each war is new and yet the causes behind it aren't new at all. The past stretches a long time back and that phrase springs to mind: "history repeats itself".

More diaries by PotatoError
Hackers: Misunderstood
To all you Windows Criminals
The financial time bomb
Too controversial for Adequacy
A big HI! from Linuz Zealot
Linux Zealot Tells a Story
Why the GNU licence is a good thing
Why copying copyrighted music isnt wrong.
Okay I'll pay for music
Poz techie seeks same. T-count above 10000.
Human behaviour - my thinking on it
Patenting of hyperlinks
The little things
What is god?
Iraq, Israel, Palestine and Afghanistan
The consequences of Determinism
I think nuclear weapons are good
What IS adequacy all about????
Secret World Conspiricy Revealed!!!
Diary Entry 24/05/02
The Internet - where is it heading?
Terrifying and Shocking news
w0w I must be 1337 h4X0r
An Introduction to Online Gaming
Why Al-Qeada isn't responsible for the WTC
Linux Zealot - My thoughts about him
How many Adequacy members are there?
Why Internet Piracy is Moral
Trees and Grass. Two more lies of society.
Why US bombs should be banned
The Hunt for God
My vacation to America and what I found there
Are you an Enemy Combatant?
Rock vs Pop
Why we should make all guns illegal
Invasion: America
One Year since 9/11 and Americans haven't changed
So where does that leave us? Is each generation just a copy of the last one, carrying out the same actions? Indeed, how do we distinguish ourselves from our ancestors?
There is no difference except technology - our species' understanding of the world has increased exponentially, only matched by the complexity of our tools. And yet have we evolved socially? Are we any better at solving problems than we were 1000 years ago? or even 5000? no. The conflict and hate in the Middle East is a prime example - it's a pointless conflict, one which causes pain and one which the large majority wish wasn't happening. But it is happening and the cause is simply human weakness.

We lust for revenge just like our ancestors did and we are capable of hate just like our ancestors too - socially we are the same. After 5000 years of supposed civilisation we still start wars and have trouble ending them. We certainly arent any better at dealing with our most destructive thoughts. The Ancient Greeks probably had the same lack of ability at solving social problems as we do today.

Disregard any thoughts about being socially superior to your ancestors - also disregard being socially superior to others on this planet. I know that many citizens of the West consider themselves more civilised than the inhabitants of violent countries such as Palestine but the truth is that we're exactly the same.

An American watching the violence and hate out there on TV might think "I would never be like that, I would aim for peace instead of hating the other side - therefore im a socially better person".
But September 11th bought the truth to everyones eyes. After that event everyone knew that America would attack someone. You could feel that the anger being voiced against the terrorists (who weren't at that time known) almost needed to lead to violent revenge. Its the nature of humanity.

And so it happened - a war in Afghanistan which was called a "War against terrorism" but which at the end of the day to many Americans was primarily all about revenge. More Afghanistan civilians died in the following retribution than in the WTC incident itself but to many Americans this was justified because "they did it to us first". Im not looking down on Americans at all - they are fine people. All im doing is using their reaction to the WTC as an example that shows whether you live in America, Israel, Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world, you're just as capable of squabbling, fighting and revenge when put in that situation. Even I have found myself to be perfectly capable of hate and revenge I admit.

So it seems that as a species we havent improved much socially from the start of History. Are we therefore really capable of coping with the ever increasing technology we develop and the problems it brings?

Will humanity just continue to revolve around a cycle of wars, feuds and conflict for the rest of its days with only the weapons used making the difference?

Big question - do we need wars for some reason? Are they part of what makes us human...remove the hate and you remove the love kind of thing?


Potato Error, do some reading. (none / 0) (#1)
by dmg on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 12:11:51 PM PST
I suggest you start with David Icke's wonderfully comprehensive site. Then move over to Jeff Rense's equally informative site. Then check out

And then try telling me that all our problems are not caused by Ananuki Lizards from the lower forth dimension in cahoots with the CIA and MI6.

The world is a very very nasty place, and there are some very very nasty things going on.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

Think long and hard about this, PotatoError (none / 0) (#25)
by Chocolate Milkshake on Thu Apr 18th, 2002 at 12:00:06 AM PST
You seem to think that the solution to the strife in this world will come when we all look into our hearts and sort out the love and hate within. While this is a pleasant notion, I'm afraid you are well off the mark. What we need to confront is the evil in the hearts of those who would sell out the ordinary citizens of this world to fouth-dimensional lizards, be they literal or metaphoric.

Self-examination is an instrument of power. Its purpose is to distract the masses' attention from those who are really pulling the strings. Take for example, this report on the recent failed coup in Venezuela and the role of certain shadowy figures in the US government (including a guy named Otto Reich!). If such intrigues are being carried out by bungling second-rank party hacks in the State Departnment, imagine what sininster plans are being effected by their bosses. Could they, for instance, be orchestrating a certian string of terror bombings in the Middle East? I don't know, but I'm keeping an open mind.

Moral relativism again. (none / 0) (#2)
by derek3000 on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 12:37:17 PM PST
Disregard any thoughts about being socially superior to your ancestors - also disregard being socially superior to others on this planet.

I'd like to think I have a better grip on morality than the maniac who forced my great gran to move out of Germany in '39.

"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

I would like to think that too (none / 0) (#9)
by PotatoError on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 05:14:10 PM PST
Yes, there are individuals who have no regard for morality at all..something is mentally wrong with these people.

But Im talking about normal people - normal people can live life respecting morals but if they are put under enough pressure they cave in.

Come on I could stand here and denounce all Americans as uncivilised because of all the things I heard so many of them say after September 11th. Such gems as "Those bastards I want to kill their families and see how they like it". A real gem that one - does it sound civilised?

But no im not going to denounce all Americans as uncivilised because I know that anyone (inc me) would feel exactly the same if it happened to their country.
You see what I mean?


Hmmm (none / 0) (#10)
by Ben Reid on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 05:45:53 PM PST
I'm afraid you still do not understand, Potato. These "I'd like to think I'm more moral" or "[insert society here] are uncivilised" statements are all warm and fuzzy but don't mean a thing at the end of the day, if you are a moral relativist. Nazi's, Afghan Terrorists, Americans, they can only be considered immoral relative to what your concept of morality is.

Like a broken record, I will say again, to consider anyone as being more or less moral than someone else you must first believe that some objective morality exists. Objective means that it cannot be changed, not even by God.

Only then can you try and determine what this objective morality is, thus giving you a universal standard by which a particular morality can be compared against.

yea I agree (none / 0) (#14)
by PotatoError on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 06:00:59 PM PST
Your right.

I was saying that everyone is as moral as everyone else.
But your way is actually better and probably the truth - that morality is incomparible and relative.

Oh, boo hoo. (none / 0) (#3)
by gzt on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 01:16:56 PM PST
So you found out that the liberalist myth of progress is just that: a myth. Big deal.

I'm sure somebody thinks it's nice that you're coming of age and starting to think beyond "Food me now," but that somebody doesn't frequent this site. Grow up a little. Read some Montaigne. And read a bloody grammar textbook.

grammer??? (none / 0) (#4)
by tkatchev on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 01:19:20 PM PST

Peace and much love...

Maybe you have a point... (none / 0) (#5)
by gzt on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 02:16:31 PM PST
Reading about that would only make him duller. I used to read Russian grammar books to help my insomnia (I used to read chess books, but they were too exciting).

I don't think there's any saving him. Pity.

Chess books (none / 0) (#8)
by Ben Reid on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 04:55:04 PM PST
Have you read any of the books about/by Kasporov (e.g. "Kasparov Against the World")? Fascinating reading IMO.

Oh, Yes, Indubitably (none / 0) (#13)
by gzt on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 06:00:40 PM PST
That little guy is a fascinating fellow. And the games! There's no way I could fall asleep after watching him dump a box of pieces on Ljubomir Ljubojevic's kingside. He's so much more fun than that phlegmatic pud, Kramnik.


Believe it or not (none / 0) (#15)
by Ben Reid on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 06:47:26 PM PST
I was kinda being serious, I was referring to the the autobiographical type of books though.

But, yeah, that Kramnik is some punk! And don't get me started on Anand.

Actually, uh, I was too (none / 0) (#16)
by gzt on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 07:11:17 PM PST
But I tend to get the biographical books with games in them. But, by all accounts (except his own), Kasparov is a prick.

! Punk most definitely is not the word for Kramnik. He's more like a pile of yogurt.

But really, it's all about the chess babes. Irina Krush is just oh so cute, the sort of girl that'd make you stare at your shoelaces and sheepishly trip over a couple dozen ways to say, "I think you're swell," when you were back in ninth grade.

Yes, it's all about the babes (none / 0) (#19)
by Ben Reid on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 07:50:24 PM PST
No better ways to meet gorgeous women than take up chess.

You're right though, Kasparov is an almighty egotistical maniac. It's part of the reason why I enjoy reading his material (and elenchos), it illustrates the dangers of taking ones inflated opinion of themselves to its logical conclusion.

It ain't braggin' if it's true (none / 0) (#23)
by gzt on Wed Apr 17th, 2002 at 01:51:29 PM PST
Though you won't find too many, they're usually the best sort: young, intelligent, Russian femmes. Even here in the Midwest. For some reason, only the good-looking ones can play well.

Wazzzzup! (n/t) (none / 0) (#7)
by Ben Reid on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 04:36:19 PM PST

Oh, 1 more thing (none / 0) (#12)
by PotatoError on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 05:56:58 PM PST
Food me now

moral relativism (none / 0) (#6)
by foon on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 03:42:14 PM PST
Your main problem is an inability to understand conflicts such as these as they actually are, as a struggle between Good and Evil. As long as you insist on seeing the glorious Anglo-Saxon race as "exactly the same" as the terrorist Mohammedans living in Israel's disputed territories or Afghanistan, you will always be trying to find rationalizations for your opposition to attempts to protect our civilization from its enemies. The fact is that we were attacked by these barbarians, because of our democratic values, free-market economy, and christian heritage. We were attacked because of the very things that make America great, and which people of other cultures lack. The fact is that there is an inherent pathological urge in these people to destroy our values and our freedom, and it is not simply our right, but our duty, to stamp it out, so that we will be able to continue to flourish in the Land of the Free. And it is also the only way that, eventually, the peoples of the Arab world will one day be able to break the chains of backwardness and join the civilized world.

hmm (none / 0) (#11)
by PotatoError on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 05:54:17 PM PST
Imagine this senario:

The US is conquered by the Soviet Union in the 70's. American civilians are forced to live a small region in the South while Russian immigrants are shipped over to the US to populate the majority of America.

You would in such a case no doubt support American resistance to claim back America yes? And any sort of a resistance would have to use guerilla tactics seeing as the Russians would make sure that the US would no longer have a military.

Really think - put yourself into this situation. How would US resistance fighters fight? The Russians aren't attacking you, they're just guarding the border and they have better guns and body armour as well as helicopters and tanks. So what can you do? Unfortunately resistance fighters would have to resort to terrorism.

You would call it a well executed attack but the World News would say "Today 4 Russian soldiers were killed when a car bomb exploded near their post" and you'd get the Russians retaliating by firing rockets randomly at American settlements saying that they are in a "War against Terrorism". Tell me, would you support the Russians in such a senario? because surely using your logic they are the Good people fighting against the Evil, savage, terrorist Americans.

Hell im sure those Russian retaliation attacks would knock up a few American civilian deaths - but they'll announce they were only targeting "terrorists"..collateral damage you know. Then Americans would get really annoyed that the world was ignoring them. How long until Americans resort to suicide bombers huh?

And then the world news would say "An American suicide bomber blows himself up in a busy Russian street". The world would accuse Americans of being terrorists and accuse the American leader of not doing enough to stamp out terrorism.

Such a senario is so possible. Americans like any other people on Earth have the mindset to be terrorists if put in the right situation. After September the 11th I heard many Americans use language like "I want to blow up their families and see how they like it"..mostly angry young males - but isnt this the main terrorist catogory? Think about it.

same mistake (none / 0) (#17)
by foon on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 07:34:35 PM PST
You're assuming that the actions of a pro-terror, anti-freedom, anti-Christian regime such as the Taliban or the Soviet Union are equivalent to a modern, civilized state such as the United States or Israel. Resistance to the Soviet Union is heroic, because the Soviet Union denied and penalized people for expressing their devotion to Jesus Christ, and restricted the natural functioning of a market economy in favor of dehumanizing state control. A person fighting against those things is a hero. A person who fights for them, is Evil, and deserve any punishment they get.

I can't understand how you can think like that (none / 0) (#21)
by PotatoError on Wed Apr 17th, 2002 at 08:18:11 AM PST
Unlike kids cartoons there is no definite Good and no definite Evil in the world.
There are misguided Russians and Afghans out there who think they're the Good ones too. Indeed, Bin Laden seems sure he's the Good one on Gods side fighting against the evil of America. Im afraid that for the same reasons I don't believe him, I also don't belive you.
Every nation on Earth is able to commit immoral acts and all of them have done sometime in the past. The concept that some nations are better than others is just balmy. If Afghanistan was next door to the US I assure you that after September the 11th, hundreds of angry American youths would have driven there with guns and killed a lot of innocent civilians in revenge. That it wasn't possible for them to do so because there's an ocean in the way doesn't mean those people are any more moral and Good.

You say that Resistance against the Soviet Union would be heroic because they penalise Christians and therefore American terrorism against them would be okay.
But what about the palestinians who think that resistance against Israel is heroic because they penalise Palestinians? Does that make their terrorism okay?
And in that senario what if the Russians allowed you to still worship Christianity? What then? Are you still justified to use terrorism against them because they took your land?

Also communism itself isn't even evil. Americans in the 70's were brainwashed by their government to hate everything Soviet - and this included communism.
In the same way Russians in the 70's were brainwashed by their government to hate everything American - including capitalism.

The Free Market ecomonmy has its pros and cons just as communism does. I wouldn't say communism was dehumanizing - I mean if you say that I could also say that capiltalism is dehumanizing. Afterall aren't we all owned by companies? Whether our owners are company managers or government figureheads what difference does it make? A lot to the economy but not much to individuality.
Bad people like Stalin corrupted communism and gave it a bad name - in fact true communism has never been seen on the face of this Earth so far. Im not a communist advocate at all but I can see it for what it is - simply an idea which doesnt work in practice.


Question. (none / 0) (#22)
by hauntedattics on Wed Apr 17th, 2002 at 10:13:29 AM PST
Do you draw the line anywhere, Potato? Or is everything relative?

Your mental, emotional and moral gymnastics must be breathtaking. And exhausting.

Simple (none / 0) (#26)
by PotatoError on Thu Apr 18th, 2002 at 06:30:06 AM PST
There is no line to be drawn.

The people who commit crimes against people must obviously be punished but we can't stand back and say "they did it because they were born Evil". The evidence just doesn't support this.
Sure a very small number of people suffered brain damage which causes their actions but thats only a handful. The vast majority of people have minds and feelings just like everyone else on Earth.
People in violent countries are still capable of crying and laughing just like us in the West and no undamaged human likes suffering and hate.

Im sure that if a palestinian suicide bomber was born and raised in the US they wouldn't turn into someone who commited evil at all.
In the same way if you or me were born in a Palestinian town and raised there we would no doubt hate Israel and support suicide bombing - except I dont think we'd be calling it terrorism.

You see wherever conflict is, people commit bad acts. But the conflict could have easily been anywhere in the world...including the US. Its just that for a while the conflict seems to be going on in the middle East.

All I say is that just because we live in safe countries in the West we mustn't think of ourselves as superior humans who are incapable of commiting evil acts. Thats a very dangerous thing to assume.

Also note that im not saying that people who commit crime shouldn't be punished. It would be wrong for us to let off criminals because it was circumstance which led to their actions rather than natural disposition to evil. Without punishment for crimes there would be no order and therefore no concessions must be made for criminals.

madness (5.00 / 1) (#28)
by nathan on Thu Apr 18th, 2002 at 10:50:35 AM PST
Im sure that if a palestinian suicide bomber was born and raised in the US they wouldn't turn into someone who commited evil at all.

Right, he'd be good just like all the other Americans!!!!!

Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

So you admit that it comes down to chance? (none / 0) (#29)
by PotatoError on Thu Apr 18th, 2002 at 06:46:10 PM PST
I doubt you beleive in chance though here - while you are willing to believe in a non-deterministic universe I bet on this occasion you think that country of birth IS determined. Am I wrong?

I think... (none / 0) (#30)
by hauntedattics on Thu Apr 18th, 2002 at 07:18:44 PM PST
nathan's point is that your country of origin is no guarantee of whether you grow up to be good or evil. There's really only one thing that determines that for you.

I think... (none / 0) (#31)
by gzt on Thu Apr 18th, 2002 at 08:10:24 PM PST
nathan's other point that PotatoError missed is that PotatoError's understanding of Good and Evil is childish and oversimplified, and therefore his understanding of anybody's position is flawed (at best).

I could be wrong, however. I am not as adequate as nathan is, and therefore cannot presume to speak for him.

haha (1.00 / 1) (#33)
by PotatoError on Fri Apr 19th, 2002 at 02:42:42 AM PST
*MY* understanding of Good and Evil is oversimplified?

I'm not the one who believes that people can be simply labelled as one or the other and I'm not the one who believes there is a universal war between Good and Evil. It makes for some interesting stories and theories but life isn't really a kids cartoon with the goodies and baddies fighting it out.

Man, the Bible doesn't even say that whether a person is Good or Evil is predetermined before birth. It says people can change - if anything it supports my view.

You're only proving me right (none / 0) (#34)
by gzt on Fri Apr 19th, 2002 at 02:03:05 PM PST

Okay well look (none / 0) (#35)
by PotatoError on Fri Apr 19th, 2002 at 03:08:37 PM PST
You said that my view on Good and Evil was oversimplified. I then stated that your view was oversimplified to which you reply that this proves my view is oversimplified.

Seems we are both saying "you're wrong because you disagree that im right". A classical method of argument.


There's this thing called "Reading" (5.00 / 1) (#36)
by gzt on Fri Apr 19th, 2002 at 07:53:44 PM PST
It's wonderful, mate. Try it sometime.

I stated your understanding of Good and Evil was childish, and therefore you could not understand other people's views, since you viewed it through your silly paradigm.

You then blasted some silly view nobody holds.

Which is in accordance with my thesis (see "Inability to understand...").

You then misinterpreted what I said, thinking I was espousing a simplistic viewpoint. Which is in accordance with my thesis.

PS I haven't said what my views are.

Its no guarantee (none / 0) (#32)
by PotatoError on Fri Apr 19th, 2002 at 02:34:39 AM PST
But its a very good estimation.

If you were born in Palestine you have to agree that there would be more chance of you becoming a terrorist right?

Whereever you are born, you are born into the culture and taught by those around you as you grow up. If the mood is a violent one then you are more likely to become a violent person and to copy those around you.

Babies aren't born Good or Evil - that's something which develops as they grow up and is hugely influenced by the people around them.

It's a bit like how so many Americans were bought up to think Communism is evil. You might go "But it is!" or something but only in America is there such a hate for communism and it so obviously stems from cold war properganda. Children born then were fed "Communism is evil" by their parents. They really had no chance to ever consider it for themselves. Children weren't born believing communism is evil - they were taught it. Just like a palestinian terror supporter isnt born like it - they are merely influenced into thinking this way by others as they grow up.
Its like a social form of brainwashing.

Chorus: "Planet Nine!" (5.00 / 1) (#18)
by chloedancer on Tue Apr 16th, 2002 at 07:36:44 PM PST
"When are we gonna get there?"

Chorus: "Real soon!"

(Credit to Buckaroo Banzai and the Banzai Institute.)

Oh, and "No matter where you go, there you are." (Ibid.)

But seriously... Hate isn't the opposite of love -- truth be known, love's opposite is indifference.

And your premise just popped like a soap bubble, no?

That's very inspiring and rather well written. (none / 0) (#20)
by JoePain on Wed Apr 17th, 2002 at 06:00:45 AM PST
Apart from that- it's crap.

Heh. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
by chloedancer on Wed Apr 17th, 2002 at 03:18:07 PM PST
What, you thought I was serious? Amazing.

Maybe P.T. Barnum was right, after all.

Maybe so, (none / 0) (#27)
by JoePain on Thu Apr 18th, 2002 at 08:03:35 AM PST
But as a human who looks for the best in people and expects that in return, I have to trust everone the first time I meet them, until they give me a reason not to. When you say:

"But seriously... Hate isn't the opposite of love -- truth be known, love's opposite is indifference.

And your premise just popped like a soap bubble, no?"

I trusted the notion that you were being serious. Thank God I leaned your a liar before I borrowed you my lawnmower. While I do not get along with some other people on this site, at least I know when they are being genuine.


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