Wise compassion

The highest virtue in Buddhism is wisdom, not compassion.

Unwise compassion—that is compassion that brings harm rather than good—is bad.

I think the Pope’s talk as described in the following article is an example of unwise compassion.

Francis reprimands European leaders, forcefully asking continent: ‘What has happened to you?’

The Pope tried to highlight Europe’s “strengths” with his lofty rhetoric, but I think he revealed some of its deepest weaknesses.

Identifying a temptation to “yield to our own selfish interests” by “putting up fences here and there” to stop the flow of migrants into Europe, the pontiff said: “I dream of a Europe where being a migrant is not a crime but a summons to greater commitment on behalf of the dignity of every human being.”

I probably shouldn’t say any of what I have said and what I am going to say next: Each of the major Abrahamic religions suffers from the flaw of holding some word or law or ideal above human wisdom.

Ethnicity, spying, China and everywhere else

Moral universalism which currently governs a great deal of American social and political thinking is wrong.

Moral universalism is the meta-ethical position that some system of ethics, or a universal ethic, applies universally, that is, for “all similarly situated individuals,” regardless of culture, race, sex, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, or any other distinguishing feature. (Source)

Moral universalism is not only wrong it is also very bad and causes great harm, especially when it governs a nation’s social and political thinking.

I personally came to this point of view from long and intimate experience with several non-American societies, one of which is China.

Like virtually all societies in the world China does not practice or believe in universal morality.

Seriously, virtually no society in the world does except European and European-derived societies.

If you believe in universal morality and your adversary (yes, that is how they fundamentally see you) does not, you are a dead duck.

Chinese espionage, both online and old-fashioned, represents a serious threat to American security and prosperity, as Washington, DC, has stated many times. Cyber theft and online pilfering of American intellectual property was castigated as “the greatest transfer of wealth in history” by the director of the National Security Agency back in 2012, and things have only gotten worse since then, with China taking the lead in stealing our secrets for profit and strategic advantage. (The Unpleasant Truth About Chinese Espionage)

I got that from a recent article by John Derbyshire, Chinese Immigration DOES Pose A Security Risk.

His piece is well-worth reading. I discovered that he, like me, lived in China for a long time. I also discovered that he, like me, thinks that:

The moral of the story is plain. Because Communist China 1) has a hostile posture towards the U.S.A., and is unscrupulous about stealing military, diplomatic, and commercial data, and because 2) they almost exclusively use Chinese-Americans and Chinese in America to do so, by ethnic appeals and threats to loved ones in China, 3) nobody with any connections to China should have access to sensitive data.

Derbyshire believes that even he should be “barred from access to sensitive data.

If the ban includes him it would also include me.

So, should I be barred?

I would say only maybe. I think I should be looked at more closely than a Mormon from Utah. Derbyshire does have relatives in China and I no longer do.

Please take the time to read his piece and follow some of the links to other articles. It’s a big subject that both he and I, who have real experience in China, agree needs a sea change in attitude among Americans.

Lest anyone think the above is some sort of anti-Chinese screed, let me assure you I think the above is true for anyone from any society that is not European-derived and I am not so sure about many of them.

The truth is most humans are intensely loyal to their own kind, the opposite of universal morality, and nothing is going to change that any time soon.

Most societies teach their young a morality that treats their in-group very differently from out-groups. This is a fact of life on planet earth.

In Buddhism, statements like “all sentient beings are equal” are true at an ultimate level, not at the relative level of mundane activity, which is the level at which most human activity happens.

Buddhism also teaches “wise compassion.”

Wisdom is always the highest virtue in Buddhism. Compassion can be harmful, disastrous, if it is practiced unwisely.


China orders female government workers not to talk to ‘handsome Western foreigners’ because ‘they are probably spies after state secrets

Northern Europeans less prone to “blaming the other”


Globalism is depicted quite well in this cartoon.

Globalism appeals to a universalist ideology that sounds good but isn’t because it leads inevitably to the destruction of nations and the cultures that are manifested through them.

In Buddhist terms, globalism at best is unwise compassion.

The globalist movement of our times is largely funded by billionaires and groups not well-known to the public.

The money is used to foment revolutions, fund political candidates, and propagandize entire populations.

Most SJWs are unwitting tools of globalists.

Culture and psychology, a way out

That each human is unique is common knowledge.

That the uniqueness of each human scales down to even their smallest reactions to words, pictures, signs, symbols is also well-known.

Experimental support for this position can be found here: Researchers can identify you by your brain waves with 100 percent accuracy. The study this article is based on is here: A Novel Method for Very High Accuracy Event-Related Potential Biometric Identification.

By averaging individual EEG responses to 500 images, researchers were later able to identify individual people with 100% accuracy. The main expected use for this research is biometric identification of people wanting to enter secure spaces.

That this research also has implications for social-psychology is what I am interested in today.

If each of us is unique with unique responses to pretty much everything, how are we able to communicate?

We communicate with each other in cultural terms. That is, we use unifying cultural concepts to provide a sense of agreement. Some might say to manufacture an illusion of agreement.

Culture is a hierarchical group of unifying principles that organizes the minds of its members.

Similarly, what we call the “self” or the “ego” is nothing more than a unifying principle that organizes the mind of the individual.

It should not take too much effort to see that what people think of as their “self” is usually an imported hierarchy that comes from the individual’s understanding of the culture to which they belong.

Individuals tailor their imported “selves” in much the same ways that we decorate our rooms or choose our clothes. There is a good deal of leeway in how you construct yourself, but there are also serious limitations.

This why individuals in one culture differ from individuals in another. If they have commonalities, those are often shared cultural roots or instinctive human behaviors that find expression in all societies.

I believe the above view of culture and the individual’s role in it describes a dangerous trap.

This is so because the resonance between “self” and “culture” is a powerful tautology, based on illusions.

No matter how you change culture, the trap remains the same.

Change in culture means little more than a rearrangement of limited parts that will never come together as an enlightened whole because cultures are always lowest common denominators.

Make culture more “tolerant” and it will gradually be undermined and replaced by those who come into the tent under the new rules.

We see exactly this happening with SJWs whose demands for tolerance have morphed into totalitarian demands for tolerance as they define it.

Do as we say or be fired, ostracized, demonstrated against, beaten-up.

I do not see any way to get out of this problem except the Buddhist way. Renounce culture in most of its guises and as an individual withdraw from its worst bs as much as possible.

Culture, as much as the ego or self, is a fundamental delusion. It is the stuff of the first noble truth and it causes suffering.

As a Buddhist, I understand that culture is necessary for our educations up to a point. And I understand that the self is necessary for healthy individual development up to a point.

But once that point has been reached, I  renounce the totalitarianism of culture, the totalitarianism of the self, the totalitarianism of any lowest common denominator anything.

Notice I said totalitarianism of.

I can accept and function in a culture that allows great freedom of thought with few rules. I always gladly obey all the rules in national parks and adore the Bill of Rights, though sadly it is slipping away.

Similarly, I am good with a healthy persona restrained by the five precepts and used as a basis for social intercourse and freedom of thought.

The Alt Right Is Right

…Because of the dominance of the Left and its obsession with “White racism,” Cuckservatism in all its forms tries to fly under the radar of Political Correctness by aggressively signaling its moral abhorrence of “racism.” This makes Cuckservatives respectable upholders of the status quo—and “willing executioners” in the transformation of America into something that would be unrecognizable and abhorrent to the Founding Fathers. (Source)

Nationalism and Donald Trump

Donald Trump is a nationalist as opposed to a globalist.

All the other presidential candidates—Cruz, Hillary, Bernie, Kasich—are globalists.

The past thirty years show what globalists do. They send jobs and manufacturing overseas while undermining fundamental Constitutional rights at home.

Trump is not a nationalist in the nasty, violent sense of that word.

He is a nationalist in that he supports national sovereignty, the nation state, its borders, and most importantly the citizens that make up the society within those borders.

If we do not have a nation, we do not have any defense against the globalist cliques that seek and have largely gained control of the world.

Trump is self-funding. This is one major reason we can believe in his form of nationalism.

Cruz, Hillary, Bernie, and Kasich are all owned by globalists, be they powerful cliques, individuals, lobbyists, corporations, or secret societies.

Globalists live within a subculture that has little or no need for nation states because nation states have the power to limit their activities and amassing of yet more wealth.

Globalists are loyal to their subcultures and not to nation states, though they do like the laws of Panama.

Check out the recent Panama Papers leaks to see how they function in the real world. And remember, Mossack Fonseca is just one law firm that hides globalists big money. There are many others.

Some people claim Trump’s nationalism is a form of racism. This is false. Nationalist policies benefit all citizens by improving conditions within the nation.

American politics must serve the citizens of America first. Globalists do not do this and have never done this.

Some people claim that Trump’s nationalism is a form of xenophobia.

It’s not xenophobic. It just supports the interests of American citizens above those of non-citizens. Whether you are white, black, Hispanic, or something else, if you are a citizen Trump’s form of nationalism is in your interest.

Globalists want open borders because open borders weaken the culture that supports the nation state while providing cheap labor. If that is what you want, then Trump is not for you.

Nation states preserve unique cultures and in this they also preserve diversity throughout the world.

Could It Happen Here?

The Donald Trump phenomenon is amazing. I’ve never seen such enthusiasm for a politician—ever. His rallies are overflowing with emotion. This scares a lot of people because it conjures up images of populism, and even fascism. There’s something about crowds of cheering White people that terrifies America’s elites, especially when the speaker is criticizing their long-standing immigration policies.

We have become inured to an arrangement in which major party candidates are vetted by the media and the donor class before being put up for election. It’s a top-down system that more resembles an oligarchy than a democracy. Donald Trump has not been vetted. (Source)

Brain in a box

We put our brains in a box when we adopt a limited view of any subject.

Once we adopt a limited view, it tends to self-propagate, to attract secondary and tertiary views as if the box were a magnet.

This is why so many subjects—both public and private–are polarized. You have this religion, therefore… You have this political belief or personality, therefore…

Rather than converse about the many nuances of any view or topic, most people tend strongly to categorize people, ideas, beliefs, emotions, and so on. That is, put them in a box.

We all do this, but like anything we all do, we are also capable of seeing through it.

An excellent large-scale example of this principle was reported today: Japan very nearly lost Tokyo.

The whole article, which is not long, is super worth reading because of what it says about the Fukushima disaster and also because of what it says about our tendency to put reality in boxes and talk about them rather than reality itself.

From the article:

Dramatic CCTV footage from the plant showed a skeleton staff – the Fukushima 50 – struggling to read emergency manuals by torchlight and battling with contradictory, confusing instructions from their superiors at Tepco. Total disaster was averted when seawater was pumped into the reactors, but the plant manager, Masao Yoshida, later said he considered committing hara-kiri, ritual suicide.

If readers recall, at the time the two main boxes in currency were:

  • the politically-approved box: “it’s serious but not to worry” and “the alarmists are crazy and also anti-nuclear and thus anti-science.”
  • and the alarmist box: “could mean the evacuation of Tokyo” and “nuclear power can never be safe.”

Turns out the second box—the “alarmists”—were closer to the truth. And worse, the important information and discussion of what was in-between those boxes was largely neglected or kept out of sight.

Additionally, the linked article reveals that incompetent officials were in charge of the plant, and that as the disaster unfolded few had any idea what to do.

That’s another box or a symptom of boxes. You donated to me or supported me or are my friend, how about being Japan’s nuclear safety advisor? Sure why not?

This is why:

…”very shocked” by the performance of Nobuaki Terasaka, his government’s nuclear safety adviser.

“We asked him, ‘Do you know anything about nuclear issues?’

“And he said, ‘No, I majored in economics’.”

If you look around, you will see boxes everywhere. A box that was first applied to anyone who questioned the JFK assassination story—“conspiracy theorist”—is one of the most long-lived.

“Alarmist,” “tin-foil hat,” “nut-job,” “kook,” “anti-science,” “anti-religion,” “racist,” “anti-racist,” and so on are other examples.

We should have gotten all the facts about Fukushima at the time, just as we should have gotten all the facts about WMD in Iraq before that war, which may have been caused by acts of treason.

If you asked for the facts, though, you would have been put in a box, your voice silenced.

If you can see these kinds of boxes in large events, they should also be findable in the smaller boxes of your life.

The small boxes of interpersonal communication and individual psychology are things like set views on personalities (yours or theirs), using “signs” about what someone thinks or believes without actually asking them in-depth, being intolerant of nuanced views or not even being able to hear them, categorizing people based on generalities, having a complex view of yourself but simple ones of others, or the other way around, etc.

In many cases, we do need to use boxes. They allow us to function easily in many situations, but boxes only describe boxed reality and in that prevent complex communication and understanding.


Semiotics in politics and the totalitarianism of PC

When the signs and symbols of political discourse cannot even be questioned, they are totalitarian.

Totalitarianism and fascism are not supported only by guns and jackboots, but also by the manipulation of semiotics, the signs and symbols of political and social communication.

Many of these signs and symbols are inanimate, but some are real people who can talk back and explain how they are being manipulated.

The video below contains an analysis of semiotic manipulation by one of America’s most renowned political symbols. Well-worth viewing.

Edit 3/3/16: Excellent analysis of the same issue: Ann Coulter: Trump Wins “Disavowal” Game, Then Super Tuesday

A semitotic analysis of dolls

The video below—White Girls Black Dolls: Destroying White Bias —is an analysis of the semiotics of dolls.

A doll can be a powerful cultural sign—a semiotic—that can be manipulated to achieve various effects.

Since semiotics (and dolls) can be manipulated and are manipulated by people, semiotic analyses of this kind should say who is doing the manipulating and why.

This video claims that a great deal of the manipulation of white/black cultural semiotics is and has been done by Jews. This is a reasonable claim supported by evidence, some of which is presented in the video.

Senator Joe McCarthy is mentioned in this film. His reputation as a maniac who wantonly destroyed the careers of innocent people is false. His reputation has been manipulated in ways not dissimilar to how dolls are manipulated.

There really were communist spies in the US government. They really were doing harm. You can check this claim by looking into documents released from the Venona project and the Soviet archives. It is most likely that McCarthy was being fed true information by J. Edgar Hoover.

There are a couple of books that exonerate most of what McCarthy said and did (he did go too far sometimes), but even with all this evidence it will be a long time before the semiotics of his reputation change. Most people will see him as an archetype of badness for long time to come.

Obviously, this prevents us from understanding who those communist spies were and what they were doing, but that is another story. Semiotic manipulation can hide things as well as direct our attention toward things.

You cannot possibly understand cultural life today without having a rich appreciation for how and why the signs and symbols—the semiotics—of culture are consciously manipulated by people, people who often have bad motives or at least motives that are not in your best interest.