when you realize the person who claims they ‘know what’s best for you’ has only their own interests in mind, it’s time to let go of their authority over you. be they peer, parent, police, preacher, professor, professional, politician, president — they have abused their position, and if they cannot admit it, you must free yourself from their control. such persons, whether right or wrong, do not deserve blindly unquestioning obedience. we are all human, and all equal — to abuse the trust of another, to manipulate, to coerce or otherwise take advantage of a position of power or authority is to do wrong. and to deny this wrongdoing by invoking protection of laws of men or laws of gods is also to do wrong. for all laws are superceded by the golden rule — ‘do unto others as you would have done unto you.’

it is human nature to be imperfect…for this, we have the act of forgiveness, which brings us back to the golden rule. we all do wrong, and we would like to be forgiven when we do. but when the wrongdoer cannot admit wrongdoing, and indeed doubles down by casting blame on the victim and / or claiming justification through rules or laws, this is a grave abuse of position and trust. at the least, this creates mistrust and hurt. at the worst, it creates monsters — the corrupt, the abusers, the molesters, the manipulators, the exploiters, the thieves…whether near to us or far, whether large or small, when we fear or refuse to call them out, they continue to do wrong and continue to thrive on further misdeeds.

there are people who were once close to me who have acted in selfish and degrading ways, who refused to accept responsibility or blame when confronted, and who doubled down by invoking a right to their actions by their perceived authority over me. i reject such actions, i reject such positions and i reject such authority. you are not forgiven. i could forgive, i could forget, if these transgressions were against only me…but they are also against my children, and for this i will not back down.

i have talked with my children. i have explained the order of rules and laws and authority. and i have also explained that when these are broken, someone must speak truth to the wrongdoing, and the wrongdoer must submit. even if it me, their parent…for i am human, i am not perfect, and i am bound to do wrong. i have told them that they must confront me…and if i am wrong, i must admit wrong, i must apologize and ask forgiveness. there will certainly be times when we disagree on interpretation, times when my experience outweighs theirs, and i can see what they cannot, understand what they do not. but i want my children to stand for what is right and just. blind obedience enables wrong and injustice, destroys critical thinking, creates slaves. only when truth, equality, humanity, goodwill and the golden rule reign supreme will we be free.




the beginning of the end ?

so, there are lots of stories and ideas and theories about the singularity…and i stumbled across a recent article about the possibility of ever-more-powerful computers making mathematical and scientific discoveries we cannot comprehend, which in turn led me to a very interesting blog post that revealed these truths :

Soon, we will no longer be able to understand a large fraction of the knowledge we have generated. In Scientific American in 2010, Danny Hillis made a similar point. Speaking about the world that we ourselves have created – an unbelievably complex anthropic society, complete with computer networks, manufacturing systems and transportation structures – Hillis argued that we have moved from the Enlightenment, a period where logic and reason could bring understanding, to the Entanglement, where everything is so unbelievably interconnected that we can no longer understand systems of our own making.

Should this matter? Perhaps we are simply following the same trajectory we have been tracing for thousands of years, in which fewer and fewer people are able to understand the most complex parts of our world. For a great deal of our history, the vast majority of humanity has understood its surroundings according to the knowledge of the day. From the four elements to the workings of the screw and the pulley, a significant fraction of our world’s knowledge was within the grasp of most individuals. As our world has become more complex and knowledge has increased rapidly, a smaller and smaller fraction of society has felt it has a true-enough understanding of everything.

In order to comprehend any advanced topic, one must learn all the foundational knowledge first, thereby recapitulating society’s creative process. In general, novel contributions to a field only come from those who have a firm grasp of the field’s foundations. As society’s knowledge increases, it takes longer and longer to acquire enough mastery of the basics to say something new. As our knowledge increases, and the amount of time necessary to spend learning foundational knowledge becomes prohibitive, fewer and fewer people will invest the time and effort necessary to make new discoveries – or, indeed, to understand them. We may eventually reach the point where discoveries require quantities of time and understanding beyond the capacity of any single human being.

stunning. not only are we ensuring our own extinction through our greedy destruction of our biosphere, we create our own obsolescence despite ever-increasing scientific discoveries, due to quantum leaps in technology that seem sure to one day become so incredible that they eclipse our own achievements…

what does our future hold ?…