Monday, December 24, 2012

The Introductory Intolerant Rant

What The Hell Is This?

Thanks for dropping by and looking at my blog. My name is Caz, and I've decided to start this thing up so I can throw some of my more sensible musings into the miasma of the web and see if they catch any interest. This blog should probably be defined as my personal blog, although since my personal life is predictable and straightforward (boring), it won't really be all that personal. I'm not going to blog about my dinner (which is usually microwavable and cheap; food is fuel) or my pets (don't have any, since I'm frequently not at home for extended periods). These pages will revolve around ideas, bouncing around the economic, political, philosophical, and various other scholarly spheres that catch my interest.

Because I'm occasionally a raging jackass, I can't promise that I won't use this platform to spew the occasional stream-of-consciousness, unreadable, foolish mental trash into the mix as well, but I'll try to keep everything coherent.

About me: I'm thirty years old. I'm a sergeant in the United States Army, having spent four years on active duty and another four in the National Guard, where I still am. I love the military, and much of what I understand about the dynamics of an honest hierarchy driven by respect and shared values comes from my experiences there. I study history and economics at Kansas State University. I drink too much Coke and smoke too many cigarettes. I like my life; over the years, I've managed to pare down my focus onto what I value most, while handling the mechanical drudgery of life - paying the bills, keeping the oil changed, avoiding felony convictions, etcetera - with ease. I'm effectively agnostic, although my respect for the necessity of organized religion has grown over time, and I'm tempted to say that I've only ever agreed with John Locke when he said that atheists are not to be trusted (this is a complicated issue that will get its own post later). As a matter of legal structure, I'm fine with individualism; as a matter of cultural trends, I put individualism in the same category as your typical bacterial phage and most industrial waste. I think the kids should get off my damn lawn. Electoral politics makes me want to repeatedly hit my skull against the hood of my car. And hopefully, I will never use "I" again so much in a post.

I'm writing because I think it's important to understand that value judgments are an indelible part of human psychology, and that includes how we judge each other. There's nothing inherently wrong with judgmentalism; in fact, it's absolutely necessary for society to function. But we suck at it and don't judge productively, because we live in a society of shamefaced empowerment. That's a stupid way to understand the world. My material will focus on values, morality, hierarchy, responsibility, empathy, expectations, legitimacy, system dynamics, and the flow of popularity taking place in the marketplace of ideas. There will be a lot on power and the subjectivity of values. I like thinkers like Nietzsche, Skinner, Machiavelli. I want to break down modern culture into its component parts, study it, just because I can, because it's something to do in between cigarette breaks. I feel somewhat compelled to do this, like nothing else is really worth the mental energy. There is a field for studying human action analytically, outside of the normative, pseudo-theological ideas of philosophy, and it's called praxeology. As a scholarly discipline, it is extremely unrefined and needs a lot of work, but I think lots of philosophical concepts need to be understood through the lens it has the potential to become.

I can offer at least two potentially good incentives to check back occasionally and read what I post. For one, I do think my perspectives have value, and you might learn something. It won't be like every other viewpoint you read on the web. For another, you might get to watch the process of a blogger turning into a spiteful dick. If that happens, I'll try to make it as entertaining as possible.