The Beginning of Infinity.

Goodreads Review.

Be aware, this book can be a tremendously tedious read. That being that, it also offers a refined framework to interpret the modern world, almost as though Charles Xavier let you were Cerebro on weekends. Fundamentally speaking, anticipate Karl Popper with a new hat on as this book elaborates upon a similar philosophy.

Various ways to bifurcate our experience are offered, and the resulting binary systems are far-reaching. Reach, being a concept developed in the pages, as an implication of a binary betwixt universal and limited explanations. Although this may not be a great revolution of thought, (generalism & specialism would be how I would phrase it which would lack certain implications or derivations) it is good to know someone is trying to bring some unity & exacting definitions to our chaotic language. Precise definitions must be taught, and it seems that the lack of precision in multicultural thought is undermining it, so vapid gestures such as not using the word Christmas in celebrations are somehow supporting the cause. Indeed when Mr. Deutsch discusses Easter Island, he makes value judgements between cultures, a critical aspect commonly excluded from multicultural ideology.

If this book were presented in primary / high school religious classes as an alternative to the traditions of bronze age barbarians, the presenter would need more vim than an involuntary virgin on the vestiges of very good sex. It simply lacks the excitement caused by a good smiting.

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The Long Earth.

Goodreads Book Review.

A rather good read, the diversity of narrative arcs is impressive and refreshing. The cliches which have plagued the genre since its arrival in Hollywood are not found in full. There is no immediately obvious enemy, the greatest threat remains nebulous even on the last page, and the secondary danger explodes into the story late in the novel. As for consistency with the laws of physics, aside from the single suspension of disbelief of ‘the stepper device’ it is flawless. Honestly, the novel reaches beyond the genre into the realm of literature, as a metaphor for the search for identity can be carried across every page. 

Compulsory Voting in Democracy.

Democracy, for all the word gets bandied about, was not well defined in my schooling. As democracy existed in ancient Greece, it could be described as a timocracy, a form of elitist and exclusive democracy. Modern, Westminster style democracy has many variants, what is of interest to me here is compulsory & non-compulsory systems of voting.
Interesting tangents to this topic include votes weighted by professional or social qualification, plumbers have more say on plumbing by-laws; vote about each issue, a more direct participation; trade-able votes, personalities could accumulate votes. Those last two are the platform of the Flux Party, and are more fully explained here.

Compulsory voting stands where two broadly valued concepts connect, freedom & democracy. A fully free citizen is under no State compulsion, therefor compulsory voting is an infringement of freedom. Democracy is, to quote Abraham Lincoln “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.”. So exclusion from voting, from apathy or active exclusion or  protest, is an infringement of democracy. Which is the Greater Good?

Demagoguery is an inherent risk of democracy, mob rule means general concerns can supersede technical concerns, amongst the possible manipulations of demagoguery. Lobbyists corrupt ideal functioning, yet the position of the lobbyist category relative to a certain type of elite business elite (in the case of tobacco), is congruent with the position of environmentalist advocate in relation to a hippy elite. That is, the lobbyist or advocate seeks to popularise the attitudes of their community, and treat the general citizen as ignorant relative to an elite attitude (free enterprise or nature love, respectively).

Drawing this line of thought towards the eponymous issue, a question arises, ‘Which voting system encourages the least worst style of demagoguery?’
If it is acceptable to inflame the generic citizen with passion enough to vote, the approach of censorship by passive exclusion is found, but only when the voting itself is non-compulsory. Compulsory voting requires demagogues to change tact, and focus on the vote more than participation. Citizens left behind by the State, are those able to benefit from a democratic revolution and also exceedingly likely to withdraw from this very process, again only if it is non-compulsory.

To paraphrase Terry Pratchett, one must know the daemons name before it can be slain. A democratic and free state should have compulsory voting to call forth the imagined conquerors of the daemons tormenting the citizen for the objective of overcoming the struggles, sufferings and horrors. This is my personal position. However, in the interest of balance, it must be stated that compulsory voting can validate a governmental system without popular approval.

The Name.

Hello and welcome to my blog. With a touch of luck this post will be followed every week by a short essay, and additional readers. I hope to create & record my philosophy piecemeal , so that by considering, typing, and reviewing it can develop. Also that it can be discussed & debated, as an excellent avenue of philosophical fitness. Finally, that as much good as is in my philosophy is somehow equivalent to how far it spreads. Close to the core of my philosophy is the notion of imperfection, please carry that in mind as you read.

 

The name, house of pawns, is from an old gaming account. It is a spin from house of cards, which are notoriously hard to construct. This is how good philosophy feels, a collection of small words (pawns) used to create some larger idea (house). Words are not only their dictionary definition (cards) but also a part of the working schema (house) each of us holds inside our minds. We all pass pawns between us, words built from 26 almost equal letters. We hope these pawns can better our ourselves, our causes and the various houses we make or recreate. The metaphor continues and dives deep down into a rabbit hole.

 

I guess what I’m trying to say is, this place is for my words. Don’t take too specific a perspective on the truth. A good lie can do a lot of good an ugly truth cannot, there are better ways to do bad things. I hope my ideas & schema are good enough to help you and yours. Ideas & emotions are the most freely shared of all things, and I hope to make better the grand & global pool of thoughts & feelings.