Saturday, December 20, 2014

Black holes in space, and in society

I haven't seen the film, but has two articles on the science behind "Interstellar".
LINK KipThorn and black holes

LINK a sci fi film with plenty of "ifs"

The black hole in society is the inability for the elites to see what they don't know they don't know, and who censor those who think differently. It goes way beyond charges of homophobia against believers,  to the very meaning of life itself.

The acid tongued Spengler notes the degeneration of gender studies into Monty Python territory. It's a confusing article, but he does quote Chesterton about how elites who are insisting they should be obeyed ignore the lessons of the past:

When we abhor tradition, we become ridiculous, because we lack the qualifications to replace what generation upon generation of our ancestors built on a belief in revelation and centuries of trial and error. G.K. Chesterton said it well: “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.”

and he then posits what happens to a society that fragments in this way.
  Even worse, as I argued some years ago in an essay entitled “Why you won’t find the meaning of life”:
....If self-invention is the path to the meaning of life, it makes the messy job of bearing and raising children a superfluous burden, for we can raise our children by no other means than to teach them contempt for us, both by instruction, and by the example of set in showing contempt to our own parents.
That is why humanity has found no other way to perpetuate itself than by the continuity of tradition. A life that is worthwhile is one that is worthwhile in all its phases, from youth to old age. Of what use are the elderly? In a viable culture they are the transmitters of the accumulated wisdom of the generations. We will take the trouble to have children of our own only when we anticipate that they will respect us in our declining years, not merely because they tolerate us, but because we will have something yet to offer to the young. 

If you think he is overstating the case remember the physician behind Obamacare says he wants to die at 75, presumably because he might become a physical burden to society, hinting to the idea that the elderly and handicapped are useless eaters who need to be eliminated, not wise elders who need to be respected and cared for.

Yet NPR celebrates the fact that even in China, Confucian values are fading in the face of "economics" (?) and their "duty" to socialist work.
Huang admits he's struggling to reconcile his obligations to his mother versus those to society.
"I come here every day, but I have to take time out from work for it," he says. "When I come here to sit by her bedside and look after her every day that means that I haven't contributed to society in any other way, right?"

and they even found happy little old ladies to say it's okay to neglect their parents so they can make money.

Yet they don't notice it is religion that takes up the slack for these abandoned elderly: Buddhists in their story, Christians in this one.

It is easy to see how the universalistic ethic of Christianity might lead some believers to care for other people's parents.  But would a Confucian feel a similar obligation to care for others?  I think the answer to that could be "yes," since Confucius tells us to care for elders more generally.  So, I guess the question is whether China now is sufficiently "Confucian" to encourage and promote the care of elders?
The communist Chinese gov'ts on and off support for Confucian ethics is a long story, and many would say their forced replacement of tradition with superficial marxism is one reason for the explosion of Christian house churches in urban areas there today, with people searching for a higher meaning of life than making a government work quota.


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