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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Blog Roundup

1. Jean Moroney of Thinking Directions explains what we can learn from the momentary desire for destruction that we all experience from time to time:
Image by Lucija Ros, via Unsplash, license.
Now that I know how to look for those signs of darkness and deprivation, I can catch them sooner, remedy the situation, and reinforce a fully positive context.

I'll write more later about the remedy. The easy-access version is:
  • Retreat temporarily.
  • Be kind with yourself. You are at the limits of your capacity in some way. What is causing a sense of deprivation?
  • If you can identify a rational value you are willing to go after, which seems to address the issue, do so. That will help you out of this state.
The longer version is, you need to "Transform the Pain of Unmet Needs into the Beauty of the Needs." This is a process I learned at the same conference at which I realized a few people were motivated by destruction.
The connection between the "prickliness" and the condition of unmet needs is brilliant. That and the remedy remind me of how (after researching a minor medical condition of mine) I learned to recognize signs of dehydration in myself in time to  avoid passing out.

That said, one of the things I learned then was that, for my condition, both the prodrome and the trigger for syncope can vary among individuals. (e.g., In my case, if I feel averse to food and want to get out of my situation for no apparent reason -- I am dehydrated. I can keep from passing out by reclining and rehydrating.) Obviously, the unmet needs Moroney speaks of will vary by individual and situation. I would not be surprised if introspection might yield a different (though unpleasant) feeling (i.e., not necessarily prickliness) for different individuals as well: As with my dehydration problem, I will need to give this thought.

2. At New Ideal, Ben Bayer discusses the folly of trying to treat an ethical question as if it were solely a scientific one. Here are his closing remarks:
Defenders of abortion rights need to check their philosophical eyewear. Without doing so, they may unwittingly be looking at the world through the same lenses as their opponents. If they don't challenge the assumptions that rights derive from God's will or from our capacity for pleasure or pain, they won't convince anyone that the fetus has no rights and that a woman does. Invoking our uncertainty about science only obscures the real issue. Defenders of abortion rights need a worldview that provides moral clarity.
In addition to explaining the above, the earlier part of Bayer's post raises some interesting (and real) ethical considerations recent scientific work can raise for prospective parents.

3. At How to Be Profitable and Moral, Jaana Woiceshyn considers the false dichotomy between artistic and commercial success:
Creation of high quality products, including paintings, must start with a primary focus on reality, not on other people. While it is true that buyers of products, including art, have needs or wants waiting to be fulfilled, the most successful producers and artists -- painters, writers, musicians, and others -- are prime movers: they create original, innovative products that create their own demand.

Steve Jobs, and other innovators like him in other industries, did not conduct popularity votes among customers (or imitate their competitors) to decide what to produce but focused on creating best personal computers and smart phones, trusting -- correctly -- that in time there would be plenty of willing buyers for them.
Disdaining an audience is absolutely not the same thing as making a well-grounded judgement that that audience will largely disagree with, at least for a time. (Insert joke about price rises and dead artists here -- then give serious thought to marketing.)

4. Over at the blog of the Texas Institute for Property Rights comes a cautionary tale:
Imagine the following scenario: You buy a house and over the next forty years the property significantly appreciates in value. The previous owner then threatens to terminate the sale unless you renegotiate the deal...
Unfortunately, in today's political climate, the lesson is for us, not the previous owner! Too many of us take the right to contract for granted, and unprincipled opportunists are trying to cash in. To see what I mean, read the rest of the post. The fact that you will not be too surprised should serve as a warning: Our courts and legislatures are teeming with attempts (of which this is one) and proposals to undo contracts presumably signed by consenting adults.

-- CAV

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