FAQ

On Friday, August 28, 2015 at 11:56:53 AM UTC+5:30, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
Completely off-topic. Stop reading now if you only want to read things about
Python.

On Fri, 28 Aug 2015 09:46 am, Ben Finney wrote:

\ ? ? ? ??Of course, everybody says they're for peace. Hitler was for |
`\ ? ? ?peace. Everybody is for peace. The question is: what kind of |
_o__) ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?peace?? ?Noam Chomsky, 1984-05-14 |

With the greatest of respect to Chomsky, I think he is simply wrong about
Hitler. Hitler actually believed that war was good for the national
character, and indeed good for the soul, and that long periods of peace
would enfeeble a nation and make it decadent and effete. Unlike a lot of
people who believe the same thing, Hitler actually had experience in war,
including a medal for bravery and a serious injury due to poison gas.

Many people over the ages have thought that if only war was more terrible,
we would stop making it. Alas, that appears to be false: no matter how
terrible war is, there is always someone who thinks that it is better than
peace.





If you focus on war then no-war is not an option.


However we could switch focus a bit from war to semantics and hear the
? by humanity timescale ? recent (in)famous reference to 'crusade'
made by a well-known mensa-IQ head of state...


And thence to the underlying mythologies


Most every culture/religion I know has a '2-tier' mythology thus:


Tier 1. Be nice, Be good, Turn the other cheek, Practice Non-Violence and other such
good stuff


Tier 2. When the above doesn't work and push comes to shove, mow the 'other guy'
down and you are doing God's work (or God himself is doing it... depending on
culture)


So then people think these mythologies are a/the problem and
super-wisely remove them from the education of the rising generation.


And then we have new mythologies to replace the old ones -- Superman,
Star-Wars... Hollywood in general which 'betters' the earlier
mythologies by making good/evil more black&white and removing all
question-marks.


Its is an elegant separation of concerns: Blood on the screen, popcorn in the lap


And inbetween these two mythologies are all the war-mongering ones ?
martyr, patriot, son-of-the-soil? hero


I find it amazing how people cant see that ?terrorist? from one side
is ?freedom-fighter? from the other.


To see the consequences that the semantics of our words have,
consider this thought-experiment:


?X? is holed-up in town T and authorities need to get him out


Replace ?X? by 'murderer' and bombing out the whole of T to get him
looks implausible, unthinkable


Replace ?X? by 'terrorist' and its suddenly routine


Long-story short:


The enunciation "terrorist" is as much an act of terror as the acts of the
"terrorist"


Or


Rambo.desugared() == murderer == OBL.desugared()


[Making that equation more relevant to context and correspondingly polit
incorrect is left as an exercise to the reader]


Those who wish to abjure war may consider re/de-educating their children
on this matter


???? [For GG to please not mess my unicode]

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