On free speech

I am sure you can guess where this is going. It has been said that whenever Uncle Sam sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold though it need not be this way. Following tRump’s call to his supporters to stop the steal and their clown show on 6th January, there have been calls, I hear to sue herr Trump and or impeach him if he doesn’t resign. Other very lawyerly people have said Trump did not directly call for an insurrection, In fact, they even argue that he can as well say he called for a peaceful demonstration. Now, demonstrations often get violent, there are provocateurs and all, what should happen if a person/ group called for a peaceful demonstration and it ended in violence, should the free speech rights be abrogated?

What should tech providers do in a scenario like this? Should they be able to do what has happened to Parler (which until yesterday I didn’t know of)?

A question which is not Trump related

What is the longest and yet the shortest Thing in the World; the most swift and the most slow; the most
divisible, and the most extended; the least valued, and the most regretted; And without which nothing can possibly be done: Which, in a Word, devours every Thing how minute soever, and yet gives Life and Spirit to every Object or Being, however Great?

Which is it? Are our lives short or is it that most of our lives are not lived but wasted away in pursuit of this or that? Or in escaping from the self?

I don’t think we get the politicians we deserve

But if we do, my fellow citizens really did choose from the bottom of the barrel.

First is the circus that is Nairobi County. The governor was impeached but he is still calling shots from out of office. Before that he made a joke of the constitution by failing to nominate a deputy following the resignation of one Polycarp less than a year(?) into the office.

Still on the same Nairobi County, the electoral body gazetted Waititu who was impeached as governor in a different county for among others abuse of office! This despite the constitution having a chapter dedicated to conduct of public officers.

While still on the constitution, the powers that be who have failed in implementing the constitution we fought so hard for have convinced themselves and are now trying to convince the rest of us that it is the constitution that ought to be changed and not that politicians should change.

And while on politicians. I don’t know who they represent. In April or May last year, the government announced a raft of tax holidays or reliefs to put money into people’s pockets following the disruption occasioned by Covid. These reliefs expired on 31st Dec and then parliament convened in an emergency session and passed legislation to do away with the reliefs and holidays like the economy was now full throttle. I can’t believe Kenyans queue for hours to elect these fellows.

And finally the ministry of education is an example of how incompetent this government is. Schools were closed last year before the end of term one because of covid. One would think because of the requirements for keeping people apart, more classrooms would be built or more teachers employed but lo and behold, we are busy campaigning on whether we should alter the constitution that is not even an adolescent yet.

I am convinced that politicians serve their interests. That the state exist for the benefit of the few. And the rest of us must find ways to get along in the process.

On virtue

I don’t know whether it was Plato or my uncle who said virtue is its own reward. I will insist it is my uncle. This being the case, can that which is serviceable to both ill and good, be virtuous or should we consider them as being neutral.

Only a man of courage can dare rob a police station. But it takes great courage to stop a thief or a rapist. It is a brave person who will attempt to stop a robbery in progress. It is an act of bravery- even if ill-advised to throw a shoe at governor Bush ( per George Carlin).

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Patriotism, they say is the last refuge of the scoundrel but so is nationalism, tribalism and racism. For how is one to be proud of something for which they have not done anything to be. Maybe those who change nationality could say they are proud of their new citizenship but I wonder whether it would be necessary.

What would be your reaction had you, after being deprived of human contact since birth, met another person? Would it be joy? Revulsion? Or anything in between?

Why are so many humans blockheads? Even the genius is to be found ignorant on something and even contemptible. Maybe intelligence is an accident. We were not meant to be intelligent. Human beings believe so many stupid things you pinch yourself and ask, do they think?

Have a restful evening, won’t you?

On free will

by Voltaire.

Before you say not again, Voltaire argues that all our actions are caused. And when there are two competing activities, the dominant idea will take precedence. He writes

The will, therefore, is not a faculty that one can call free. A free will is an expression absolutely void of sense, and what the scholastics have called will of indifference, that is to say willing without cause, is a chimera unworthy of being combated.

Free will by Voltaire

He concludes by saying we can only do what we will, but we can not will what we will do.

Schopenhauer in his essay on Freewill wrote

A free will would therefore be one that was not determined by grounds; and since everything determining something else must be a ground ± a real ground, i.e., a cause, in the case of real things ± a free will would be one that was determined by nothing at all. The particular manifestations of such a will (acts of will) would therefore proceed absolutely and quite originally from itself,without being brought about necessarily by antecedent conditions, and thus without being determined by anything according to a rule. In the case of such a concept clear thinking is at an end because the principle of sufficient reason in all its meanings is the essential form of our whole faculty of cognition, yet here it is supposed to be given up. However, we are not left without even a terminus technicus for this concept; it is liberum arbitrium indifferentiae. Moreover, this is the only clearly determined, firm, and settled concept of that which is called freedom of the will. Therefore one cannot depart from it without falling into vague and hazy explanations behind which lurks a hesitant insufficiency, as when one speaks of grounds that do not necessarily bring about their consequents. Every consequence of a ground is necessary, and every necessity is a consequence of a ground. From the assumption of such aliberum arbitrium indifferentiae, the immediate consequence that characterizes this concept itself and is therefore to be stated as its mark is that for a human individual endowed with it, under given external circumstances that are determined quite individually and thoroughly,two diametrically opposed actions are equally possible.

ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER Prize Essay on the Freedom of the Will

May you will what you will in this coming year!


If you have time, I suggest this post. The history of the free will problem

On the omnipotence paradox

Most times this paradox is formulated as can god create a square triangle? To which many apologists have said their god can only do things that are logical. They have further argued that this doesn’t diminish omnipotence but I am not persuaded. Same apologists believe an ass has spoken, a snake walked and a floor covered the entire earth surface.

Can god make a tall person short? Or a black person white? If not, why? Is there any logical contradiction in the above questions?

Or am I missing something?