rockym93 dot net

archive · tags · feed

Changing my mind

12 February 201306:08AMrants

One of the advantages (and there are very few of them) to having something like this is that you end up with a sort of archaeological strata of your thinking. This is both embarrassing and enlightening. It means that, for example, there are many examples of me being hopelessly naive, naively outraged, and outrageously ill- informed, all available publicly on the internet. (And I just linked to them on the front page. GOOD ONE.)

Anyway, the point here is not to try and scream at myself across five ye- crap, five years? WHERE DID THAT TIME GO AAAAH I'M GOING TO DIE COLD AND ALONE.

Anyway, the point here is neither to try and scream at my fifteen-year-old self nor to recoil gibbering at the gnawing, unrelenting and eternal passage of time, but to acknowledge that my viewpoint on a very wide variety of things has changed. For the better, I would hope. Or at the very least, for the significantly better-informed. Informed opinions are the best opinions, yo.

Violence on TV. And in video games and such.

There's no specific post about this, but I've always been firmly on the 'video games don't make you violent, this is just fear-mongering' side of the fence. I was firm in this opinion right the way through a unit I did at uni where we spent two weeks discussing precisely this. And then I was skimming indignant articles in the gaming press after the latest school shooting in the States, and my thought process went kinda like this:

Most of brain: Blah blah blah clearly blah blah gun control blah blah not video games blah blah blah media scapegoat blah-
Oddly parental corner of brain: Wait, would you let your kids play these games?
Most of brain: Of course not but blah blah blah WAIT WHAT.
Oddly parental corner of brain: Dude. I think we may have to change our position on this one.

It was literally that sudden. I was sitting in shock for several minutes.

There are some caveats. I don't think we should ban all violence in media. Censorship is still wrong, self-censorship is even worse, and stupid moral panics are still stupid. I don't think that, directly or even indirectly, Halo or Quentin Tarantino films make people go out and shoot people. Violence (and sex, and swearing, and all that stuff) can genuinely have artistic merit.

But, the human brain is an organ which has evolved specifically to learn from anything it's exposed to. Claiming otherwise just because you don't want to accept responsibility for the content of your medium, and to think critically about what you consume, is wilful ignorance. Especially for kids, who can't appreciate stuff on a more complex level (Like, I'd argue that a lot of the appeal of violence is enjoying the artifice of it in a sort of semi-detached, consequence free way. But that detachment is based on knowing that it's unacceptable in the first place, which causes problems if you've been brought up thinking that detached and consequence free is how violence is supposed to work. But I digress.)

Also, I feel like I should add that this goes for stupidity and poor taste as much as it does violence and sex. Just... be mindful of what you put in your brain.

The Economy

The economy is a series of social constructs for the transfer of value from one person to the other.That's just the thing though. It's a construct. It has no substance, and while people's actions because of it can change things in the real world, the economy itself has no effect on anything except what we choose to act on.
-- Me, 2008

Way to spectacularly miss the point there, 2008!self. As you will learn when you take some economics classes, and then retrospectively remember hearing your year 8 S+E teacher explain, the economy is about the distribution of resources. You can't just throw it out as a bunch of meaningless abstractions. They are very, very meaningful abstractions. That's the whole point.

An economy, regardless of what models and theories you subscribe to, is a system for determining the allocation of resources. Resources like coal. Or solar panel engineers. Or electricity grids. Or rainforests. Saying "Let's just ignore all questions of resource allocation" in order to solve a problem which is fundamentally about a misallocation of resources is... dumb.

I admire your sentiment, and I get the frustration at the often inefficient- seeming and poorly prioritised way that societies make decisions, but unfortunately, "fix one problem to the exclusion of all else" is just as stupid as ignoring the problem entirely.

Toy Story 2

You are despicable.

Toy Story 2 is excellent. You just wanted to make a point about Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Which turned out to be something of a high point for the series. So, double wrong. You were right about Star Wars though, so I guess there's that.

...

Of course, in posting this kind of stuff at all, I open myself up to further ridicule by... well, myself, probably.

I guess I can live with that.

Go ahead then, future self. I can totally take it. Have at me.

< Basketball So Uni's back. >