Random things


In Nigeria presently is in crisis. It is a good time to say black lives matter or should we say African lives matter. The irony of it all was to hear Raila urge the Nigerian government to stop police brutality. Kenyan police seems to have learnt only how to brutalise citizens.

In his book, for us the living, Heinlein makes a point that has been made here and elsewhere that to reduce war, there has to be a vote. He argues that those who vote yes must be in the first draft. This must include those billionaires who fund wars. And we can’t allow them to buy poor people to fight on their behalf. He then says those who are undecided should be in the second draft and finally those who vote no in the last draft, if the war lasts that long. I am almost sure fewer wars will be fought.

Is this narrative of perpetual progress that’s been sold to us sustainable? I like a new phone. A new computer. A new car and all but in some way this all has a cost to the environment and available resources. Question is how long will keep this on? I am no enemy of progress but I wonder if all progress is good or even desirable.

I used to wonder if automation will take away jobs or make our lives easier. But it does look like we continue to toil away- seemingly after the biblical dictum that they who don’t work shall not eat- at sometimes boring jobs that we don’t like just to make a living. Does the future hold better prospects for our working people?

Have a thoughtful weekend everyone.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

38 thoughts on “Random things

  1. johnfaupel says:

    The attached illustrates my own view of war, prejudice, bias and mass mind-bending of any kind. I’ve called it “Conflict of Convictions’’. Unfortunately, we’re all guilty of it to some extent. Any comments? John Faupel

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

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    • makagutu says:

      We like progress or the appearance of progress.
      It’s almost always not politically correct to not the support. You will very quickly be branded unpatriotic

      Like

  2. Arkenaten says:

    I do so love Heinlein’s solution for war.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Neil Rickert says:

    I used to wonder if automation will take away jobs or make our lives easier.

    That’s a choice. In practice, politicians always make the wrong choice.

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  4. I’m currently reading a graphic novel about immigration. It makes an economic argument for open borders between countries. From an ethical perspective, I think it would do wonders for other problems as well.

    Imagine a world where people can actually choose to leave a brutal regime.

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  5. Ron says:

    Things won’t improve until humanity finally comes to the realization that granting the “state” a virtual monopoly on violence is immoral. However, persuading people to abandon their belief in “government” appears to be even more difficult than persuading them to abandon their belief in gods.

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    • makagutu says:

      You are right on both counts. But how do we convince people that the state is not benevolent ?

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      • basenjibrian says:

        The state may not be benevolent, but I am skeptical that the “state of nature” would be an improvement. Anarchism is the province of idealistic 14 year olds.

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        • makagutu says:

          There would still be some sort of government or nation building

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        • makagutu says:

          Now that I think about it, without need to organize things like roads and sustain an army and police, the state may not actually be necessary

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          • basenjibrian says:

            I am not that cynical, Maka. Your prescription for a society that does not need a state may be what we are heading for, anyway. Because that prescription is the world of Mad Max…roving bands of hunters and gatherers and scavengers. Humungus did not need a State. Humungus WAS the State. (Not sure if you have ever seen the movies)

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            • makagutu says:

              That world was not overpopulated both by people and disease. Without need to accumulate much wealth, violence is minimised. It will still be there but not greatly as now.

              Though I doubt we are headed there. Many states are consolidating power & there is a lot of primitive nationalism in the air made worse by the current crisis.

              Liked by 1 person

  6. basenjibrian says:

    For a view of a place where the State does NOT have the monopoly on violence, I would invite Ron to live a few months in San Salvador or Tegucigalpa.

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    • makagutu says:

      I think it is because of the state that there is a problem in San Salvador.
      The state has sanctioned some form of business that leads to violence in trying to control the market.
      In a place where there is no proscription, i think violence would reduce. but then this is me being too romantic in how i see the species

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      • basenjibrian says:

        Perhaps. Maybe I am old fashioned, but a world in which they are pushing Fentanyl with no state sanction doesn’t sound like a good one to me. Even as I acknowledge some of the problems with State prohibition.

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        • makagutu says:

          I think without state prohibition & without the economic gains associated with the risk of distribution, there might not be a drug problem

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          • basenjibrian says:

            I disagree. There have always been drunks and druggies. Even in places where there is no State. In many places, they are basically drummed out of the band or village. But yeah, State prohibition makes things worse. But the genius of modern chemistry is out of the bottle, and drugs like Fentanyl and Meth are not really like pre-modern “natural” drugs in their damage to bodies and minds. Maybe if there had been no prohibition, the market would not have created these chemical scourges. But they are here now.

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            • makagutu says:

              In my neck of the woods, before Christianity came knocking and the colonial government hot on their heels with prohibitions, I have found no record of drug addicts or drunks. Alcohol was brewed only occasionally. While bhangi was there, I read that its use was restricted culturally.

              But I agree with you that modern chemistry has made things worse.
              I think in a place without prohibition, drug use would plummet.

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              • basenjibrian says:

                It’s sort of a chicken or egg thing. Marijuana use is not plummeting to my knowledge where I live, despite it now being legal. Plus, maybe the stress and asocial nature of modern atomized society means more people “need” drugs?

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  7. basenjibrian says:

    On the other hand…I can be a contrarian even w/r/t my own contrarian-ness…this was timely. https://psyche.co/ideas/kropotkin-the-radical-aristocrat-who-put-kindness-on-a-scientific-footing?

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