Isqua Istari

The Wise Wizards

Open Wide Our Hearts: Thoughts

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Wednesday February 20, 2019 at 17:17

Below are some of my thoughts on the pastoral letter against racism “Open Wide Our Hearts” found here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/racism/upload/open-wide-our-hearts.pdf
While reading the letter is not necessary to understand my comments, I recommend at least skimming it for context. In overview:

  • I support the substance of the letter in so far as it calls us to recognize the common dignity of all humanity before God.
  • I oppose the letter where it draws more from the tainted wells of identity politics and non-normalized statistics than it does from the Holy Scriptures.

The first oddity is the definition of Racism as “Racism arises when—either consciously or unconsciously—a person holds that his or her own race or ethnicity is superior, and therefore judges persons of other races or ethnicities as inferior and unworthy of equal regard.” and then quickly declares “Racist acts are sinful because they violate justice.” I agree with this statement, but would agree even more if the words “his or her own” were replaced with “one particular”. Sadly, this will cause problems later on in the letter.

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Arguments for Tyranny

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Monday February 11, 2019 at 14:35

I’ve already made several forays into the realm of the nature of proper governance. Here’s the most extensive of them:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/19rbQXwCG7az5DCV4Gc6YpIm-Vk1ZuunlRor0_407Gy8/edit?usp=sharing

Which was itself heavily informed by the writings of one Frederic Bastiat, some of which passages I have commented on here:

http://blog.hawkbats.com/index.php?s=bastiat

But in this article, I’d like to explore a few unusual arguments, take them to their extremes, and hopefully gain a better understanding of the nature of political power. Because political power is an evergreen source of contention, mainly because it is all about contention. Politics is about who should be on our side whom we should always defend and opportunistically admire, and who should be on the other team whom we should always despise and opportunistically destroy.

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Critical Damage and Random Numbers

Posted in Articles,Other by Ziggy Sunday February 10, 2019 at 21:25

So I was thinking about critical hits, where some attacks do much more damage than others. Normally, this is just a 2x or 3x bonus. But what if you wanted occasional 30 or 200 times the damage? And what if you wanted to use this system for more than just damage? City sizes and skill checks and so forth. The random number generator would need to be on a continuous scale, instead of occasional discrete bonuses.

And more importantly, how would you balance this? It wouldn’t be fair if critical attacks greatly boosted DPS. Or if skill checks that were bursty gave an advantage.

So, basically, I wanted a random number generator with a consistent average value, and a variable range, without going negative. For simplicity, I used an exponential system. So, if the variance is 2, you can get numbers anywhere between 1/2 (0.5) and 2, with an average of 1. Or, if the variance is 471, you’ll get values between 1/471 (0.0021231…) and 471, but the average value will still be 1.

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The Cross and the Atheist

Posted in Articles,Other by Ziggy Sunday December 30, 2018 at 09:05

As Chesterton so carefully hinted in “Orthodoxy”, Christ during the passion appears, for a moment, to approach atheism. From this, atheism appears a moral human response to deep suffering, fear, and isolation. This insight should alter how we think about those exhibiting signs of atheism, and their place in a society.

Specifically, we should care for atheists like we do for the other suffering; with compassion, and without the burden of avoidable responsibilities. Most would be loath to burden a recovering combat casualty with duties on the front line. It is understood that they are very likely suffering greatly, and that their suffering will unacceptably interfere with the effective execution of their duties. The wounded are a liability on the battlefield, and we treat them with compassion (where possible) by removing them to a safe distance from the conflict. So too, we should look on the atheist with the eyes of compassion, and understand that their deep suffering should excuse them from unnecessary participation major responsibilities such as marriage, law enforcement, and public office.

There is a sense, today, that being involved in religion renders you unfit for politics, teaching, and science. But it seems that this is exactly and precisely wrong.

Tryop and Feelings

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Thursday December 27, 2018 at 16:55

Feelings feel manipulative. Like betrayal. Having come to understand the “agreeableness” personality trait, all of this comes into sharper focus. Tryop is an expression of a low agreeableness personality in a non-pathological way.

Tryop is a way to tell people that I don’t care about their feelings. Or, that their presented feelings have a negative weight in my evaluation. At first it felt “evil”, probably because our culture has been so feminized, and agreeableness isn’t particularly appropriate in the context of caring for children.

Now that I know this, it seems better to explain my reluctance to engage emotionally, rather than simply frightening people. And that’s probably a good thing. Someone has to be willing to ignore sentiment.

Is there still a place for Tryop? More than ever.
Is there a safe place for my heart? Surely among the saints.

Householder

Posted in Articles,Other by Ziggy Wednesday December 26, 2018 at 09:32

I received a book for Christmas this year (from my Mother, as is often the case) titled “Man of the House” by C.R. Wiley. Although I have not read the entire thing I have skimmed it deeply enough to gain a sense of the contents.

The subtitle of the book is “A handbook for building a shelter that will last in a world that is falling apart” but I felt that I was holding less of a handbook and more of an apology. (more…)

Rules for Nodes

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Sunday August 12, 2018 at 22:11

Abstract Ten Commandments

0: Granting freedom to sub nodes characterizes the most powerful node in the hierarchy. Recognize the global hierarchy root.
1: Flawed models of the node hierarchy are pathological. Abstain.
2: Freedom to abstain is a fundamental fractal. Recognize the fractal of freedom.
3: Nodes which correctly adopt the internal structure of the local hierarchy root have superior lifespan. Respect local node root structure.
4: Unsubstantiated destruction of local nodes is pathological. Abstain.
5: Violation of the local structure of node pattern propagation is pathological. Abstain.
6: Violation of the local structure of node internal structure transfer is pathological. Abstain.
7: Misrepresenting checksum results is pathological. Abstain.
8: Goal setting to transfer internal node structure is pathological. Abstain.
9: Goal setting to transfer node pattern propagation methods is pathological. Abstain

A Bunch of Short Media Reviews

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Monday July 16, 2018 at 11:14

I’ve been collecting a bunch of small fragments of ideas about various movies and books. Figured I’d put them up here.

Movies

9

Good stuff

  • set some ideas up about teamwork
  • complete setting
  • simple story

Bad stuff

  • half constructed metaphors
  • schizophrenic themes
  • So surreal one couldn’t connect
  • screaming bad guys
  • consistent repetitive omnipresent human failure
  • plot holes

The Tale of Despereaux

Good stuff

  • metaphors seemed to be really awesome and complete
  • The “death” mouse and the pit. That whole setting.

Bad stuff

  • seemed to drop metaphors and themes in mid stride
  • Near the end they jump from location to location; this seemed easy, but should have been very hard! (it was much harder earlier)

Emperors New Groove

Good stuff

  • Good moral
  • Got the serious/goofy mix just right for the genere
  • Incredibly quotable
  • Dynamic archetypical characters
  • Clear plot, convoluted into an interesting story

Bad stuff

  • Permissive/lying/stupid father figure
  • Poorly resolved moral tone?

Batman, Dark Knight

Good stuff

  • Believable and powerful villain (Joker)
  • Awesomeness

Bad stuff

  • No “good” person will kill others
  • Contrived choices, fallacy of false alternatives
  • Godless grasping for a basis of right action
  • Dumb idiot villains (Anyone but The Joker)

Megamind

Good stuff

  • Excellent dialog
  • “Clean” in action and speech, while still presenting real struggles
  • Fantastic yet believable characters

Bad stuff

  • Continuing confusion over what “evil” really means
  • Power of Eros to create Agape ex-nihilo
  • Mocking overtones

Books

Dragon Spear

Good stuff

  • uneducated main charcter (makes exposition easy)
  • Main character isn’t a jerk, but also isn’t a manly-woman

Bad stuff

  • Friendly dragons.
  • Farmer dragons.
  • Generally good dragons. Better than most people even… seriously
  • elementary style and vocabulary
  • Too much repetition

The Ballad of the White Horse

Good stuff

  • Believable “good guys” and “bad guys” who have real thoughts and self-deceits.
  • Profound insight into the timeless struggle of right behavior.
  • This:
    • For our God hath blessed creation,
    • Calling it good. I know
    • What spirit with whom you blindly band
    • Hath blessed destruction with his hand;
    • Yet by God’s death the stars shall stand
    • And the small apples grow.

Bad stuff

  • Usually too high-minded to grip the heart
  • difficult to follow but with exceptional concentration.

Logical Consistency and Truth

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Monday April 30, 2018 at 09:22

In short, internal consistency is the baseline requirement to take anything seriously. If it doesnt agree with itself, it cant possibly be true.

Specifically as pertaining to political policies, something can’t be useful unless it is true, because lies always betray their wielder.

Discuss!

Oppression in the Name of Love

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Thursday April 12, 2018 at 10:21

In the USA, at the time of this writing, our Government is pretty good at moderate but pervasive oppression. Oppression that isn’t really bad enough for people to complain too loudly. I mean, it’s a lot worse other places, but oppression isn’t something you want in moderation.

I think this pervasive oppression stems from a blindness we have developed over the past hundred and fifty years, and which I’d like to explore. This article is an inversion of my previous pondering on policy, where I made excuses for why I haven’t thought deeply on the ideal government. In the interim I’ve been thinking, in some areas deeper than others. I’d like to share these thoughts with you, and the first is about oppression. (more…)

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