Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dreams get smaller; but start big!

There's a series of advertisements for York University where young people fantasize about what they will achieve in the years ahead.

Some of the achievements are quite spectacular and speak to an apparent self confidence that is astounding. Indeed, my grumpy initial reaction was "such arrogance - they'll be lucky to find a job of any kind if they even get a degree".

But then I thought again.

If university students don't dream big who will?

Yes over time our dreams shrink - the slings and arrows of daily living make it clear that the adults we became won't, say, bring peace to Afghanistan - but if youth doesn't even try then peace will never come.

So yes, dream big and try to achieve those dreams. Plenty of time to scale back later.


The Keystone Garter said...

...Peace is over-rated. Kant thought the goal of the world should be to immeditaely maximize the odds of world peace. We'd have a whole bunch of tyrants now if so.
I didn't think much at the time of Colbert's roasting of the GWB appointment of Gonzales to Attorney General. I realize now how bad it is.
In 1995, AG J.Reno suggested law that would enable the breakdown of the wall separate an intelligence agency and law enforcement. It was meant to permit collaberation for averting a potential terrorist attack on USA interests by a non-citizen. Instead, it was broadened to permit the breakdown of the wall for any Felony:
This means instead of using USA intelligence assets against only a limited subset of crimes that are obviously wrong, including smuggling of a nuke into NYC, the assets chosen include laws of the USA that are false or very disproprotionate. Probably this involves music sharing (my Tool CD is scratched) and drug crimes (weed makes me happy and doesn't interefer with study time). Here, the USA technical and potential technical assets are world class, but the law and function of the the USA gvmt is hick (sometimes).
What would happen this century at present, is a WMD and tyranny sensor surveillence network would be laid down. It would detect a WMD. The WMD would be stopped. It would detect an American system of sensor network administration and neocon actors in USA gvmt that were themselves a tyranny threat (McCarthy the 3rd). The system would recommend they be fired. They would leave office. The system would recommend itself be discontinued. It would be turned off or broken by moderate vandalism. WMDs or a tyranny would be developed, perhaps using the system as a reference. The world would end or go to a 1940 German state.
The process of selecting the Chief of Defense is flawed in that neocon Americans use media to select the Prez. This system cannot rest on USA democracy: too many property rights! It could rest on Democracy by actors that have certain types of education. The Columbia Core Curriculum is a good start. Probably there are way better administration models.

The Keystone Garter said...

...THE UN quality-of-life index needs to include mental health, and efficiency of administration as two more categories to be included alongside its four. There is no point educating people if they are to be min wage workers.

The Keystone Garter said...

Rational Optimism was a book based on the premise trading was what made us human. The truth is the mainstream guess that living near variable water sources in mid-Africa evolved in us the ability to conquer Eurasia. Fixing failed states was a better book: it ignores the military costs of intervening and the author overestimates markets and underestimates corruption; greatly prefering home-grown corrupt politicians over the UN.
I now know how to use Substantive Law vs Procedural Law. Most Rule-of-Law metrics take into account procedural Law. This is okay as following laws is usually a better way than war to settle disputes. It isn't always true. But all laws are normative and thus can be ranked Substantively. A given level of human capital and resource should eventually yield a median level of substantive law and vice versa. Corruption is not that bad if it is done by very poor people or for very poor people; I don't steal when I have an income source. I'd expect Bangladesh to be more corrupt than NJ. Though there are movies in the South where being a Neocon is okay, almost forced, but stealing is frowned upon....
Intelligence Agencies are obviously concerned about WMD proliferation. I'm concerned about this as well as breeding solutions. So non-substinence-poor corruption and WMD potential are very similiar measures. It is hard to measure the body of Substantive Law a leader comes into power with, and how much he has degraded it. But if he has degraded it enough and you have a less corrupt less WMD dictator or democracy waiting, you should intervene. If the transaction cost of war can be overcome too. Some people like self-control more than maximum efficiency. The Catholics in Wpg really wanted to keep their own inferior education system. Eventually Wpg did the right thing 130 years ago but Wpg has mostly accomodated and it has mostly worked out because people like their own coontrol and communities.
The Key here is measuring enforced Substantive laws a leader comes into power with, gives you a way of judging his performance.
The problem with J.Reno is she would've used my WMD-tyranny surveillence to enact a tyranny. Many of her Party buddies would be arrested by her, just like under Stalin.