LostYonder

LostYonder wrote

Civilization has two overlapping meanings, one cultural one technological. Ultimately though, it is nothing more than an hegemonic ideology produced, circulated, and bought into that masks colonial conquest, social hierarchies, and brutal violence against a perceived "uncivilized" other.

Culturally, civilization is an imagined expression of assumed common histories - "Europe", "Chinese", "Indian", "Islamic", etc. The construction of boundaries between civilizations is a complete historical fallacy that allows for people to imagine a sense of uniqueness - to differentiate themselves from others. It is an erasure of histories of connections, exchanges, borrowings, dialogues, debates, etc. It is anachronistic as it projects back in time contemporary political borders and imagines them as historically real, allowing "Europe"/"the west", for example, to imagine Greece as western and not Mediterranean/Arab/African. In so doing, not only does it erase connections, it also feeds ideas of difference predicated on superiority, which one sees in every self-proclaimed civilizational world, most violently institutionalized in the west!

Technologically, civilization implies, as others have mentioned, a belief in technological advancement, ideas of progress, of continued rationalization of human thought and behavior. This mode of civilization also fosters hierarchies of difference between those more advanced (e.g., 1st World, colonizer) and those perceived as less advanced (e.g., 3rd World, colonized). It also feeds into imagining others as a threat, particularly Muslims and the "hordes" on the US's southern border, as they are irrational, driven by religion and not science, are undeveloped, etc. As such, they can be exterminated, bombed, caged as they are already deemed less than fully human.

Both ideas of civilization require a massive state project to produce and circulate their ideas and thus are inherent expressions of the modern state. Being anticiv is as much critiquing the idea of civilization as it is undoing the destructive forces that are enacted in the name of civilization. Unlearning civilization is a monumental task...

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LostYonder wrote

Admittedly, I am not too familiar with junior colleges. The basic idea of community colleges though is to provide particular training and skill sets and thus tend to be more oriented towards learning for a job. Again though, I know in different states the community college systems are quite different, in some they are pathetically bad, in others they are in fact places of quality education.

As for liberal arts colleges (granting BAs and BSs mostly) and universities (that offer graduate degrees, MAs, MBAs, JDs, PhDs, etc.) there is such a huge diversity of possibilities and programs. A place like Evergreen in Washington state is one of the few that holds to a liberal education where you can design your own major and participate in self-made study programs. Private liberal arts colleges tend to be super expensive, but you can get an amazing education with all kinds of opportunities. Some however, like Bowdoin college are for pampering rich kids who didn't get into Harvard. I would avoid anything and everything in the NE except NYC. A lot of the midwest colleges are in extremely boring places, but have some amazing programs with highly committed and engaging faculty.

State schools offer the most diversity and possibilities, but also the most rigid and bureaucratic of experiences with a lot of the student body not even interested in learning. If you can avoid those or overlook them, you can find some fascinating things going on. Much of the BDS movement is driven by university students, BLM has huge networks across universities, and many universities are struggling to support various LGBTQ movements and spaces.

Ultimately, think about what sort of things you want to study, the type of activities you want to be engaged with, where you think you want to be in 5 years and beyond, and what is practical - admissions, costs, location, etc.

I went to college with a warped mind thinking I wanted to go to law school (which fortunately I was saved from by a thoughtful professor!), decided to major in economics, rejected that and ended up majoring in Asian studies so I could travel and study abroad! In graduate school I became more focused and disciplined, but that was also some years after completing my degree, traveling and working abroad, and realizing what I wanted to do.

College should be a place opening up opportunities, not closing them off...

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LostYonder wrote

I work in academia so am perhaps a bit biased. I know college isn't for everyone and each university has its own culture, but I think the idea of going to college remains a significant value. Universities are ultimately institutions driven, mostly, by the "bottom line", are extremely hierarchical, and heavily influenced by crafting an "experience" for youth defined by idiotic societal norms and practices.

One can easily allow those aspects of college to define their own experience and you will feel it will be a wasted time. However, within the university there does remain individuals, spaces, and programs that in fact allow high degrees of experimentation, real learning (non-grade/exam based memorization), and alternative politics. It can be a place to question and challenge - though one has to find those spaces.

Universities are under attack from a variety of forces including the conservative right in the US for being "liberal", from state governments for being unproductive, from students who just want to be trained for a job and binge drink on weekends, from research dollars ear-marked for advancing and protecting particular economic and political norms. It is thus important that alternative spaces, creative learning, and meaningful research be forged and that we don't cede the university to such conservative forces.

The battle for free, critical thinking within universities has probably already been lost, but there still remains alternative possibilities...

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Reply to by !deleted18811

LostYonder wrote

I suppose one could always follow the bigoted idiot NialI Ferguson and just say "the rest"! But basically that is what almost any term one uses ultimately reflects - some relationship to or distinction from the west. The "global south" is generally useful, but maps the world in a hierarchical binary of north and south, essentially reworking the once popular Third World into the "south". The "postcolonial world" has its uses too, mapping the world into historical realities without reducing most of the world to some kind of black-and-white center and periphery.

I think we need to come up with some different term for the "west" - like the non-East, non-South world, the imperial racist world...

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LostYonder wrote

As one can imagine, it is a challenge shifting through all the crap written about the Middle East. From the scholarly side there is MERIP (Middle East Research and Information Project: https://merip.org/) there is also Informed Comment (https://www.juancole.com/) by Juan Cole, a historian at Univ. of Michigan. For a collection of critical news, one site is Middle East Eye (https://www.middleeasteye.net). The independent journalist Anand Gopal is another good source, particularly on Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

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LostYonder wrote

One should add some truths:

60% of the population live below the poverty level

India's cities are some of the most polluted in the world

India is governed by a Hindu fascist whose ideas have spread and feed off Orientalist ideas about India such as this nonsensical article

Everyday a number of Muslims and Christians are beaten, if not killed

Everyone should boycott India! Though we should also boycott every other country in the world too...

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LostYonder wrote

for me, I come and go and rarely have time for chatrooms. I do feel that there are some postings that I would like to see more discussion about and if they kept popping up towards the top, then they are easier to engage with and eventually, when the conversation is over, it drops down.

While the new comments feature is helpful, by showing all comments by order of posting is a bit too much to process through trying to find one or a series that I'm interested in.

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LostYonder wrote

I still get lost in the number of posts, losing the ones I'm interested in reading and engaging with. There remains a lack of a "dialogical" nature to the posts, not really allowing for extensive discussion beyond a few hours or a day at best.

I'd like to see a format where there are fixed forums on the front page and then one can click into the forums they desire and there postings will show up. For example there could be a "shoplifting and illegalism" forum, one for "US politics", one on "race" one on "sexuality", one on "imperialism", etc. But they would never change. Then within each forum the postings would come and go, but the top would be the thread with the most recent comment on it or most recently posted. Thus older threads that people want to engage with, debate and discuss will keep popping up on top, those that are less interactive will slide down eventually as new threads are created.

Not sure if that is a clear description, but the main point is somehow providing more scope to discuss and communicate with one another over certain threads rather than having them fade away so quickly...

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Reply to by hasbrochem

LostYonder wrote

sounds intriguing to me too. Just out of curiosity, what sort of things, ideas, do you envision being shared in such a forum?

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LostYonder wrote

I've always wondered why anti-semitism is constructed as an exceptional form of racism. While the Holocaust looms large in western guilt, slavery, Congo genocide, genocide and oppression of the Americas, Islamobophia and the destruction of Muslim country after country, and on and on the list goes of white liberal racism, all seem to be of less significance. Why do we put anti-semitism on a silver platter? Why can't we just say that white liberal enlightened west is inherently racist?

The degree to which critiques of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, etc. are couched in extremely racist, Islamophobic, Orientalist discourses is also extensively present - why are we not concerned with those discourses and only focus on Israel and the specter of anti-semitism? Should we also stop critiquing these other countries because of the racist nature of the discourse about them?

Further, isn't there an inherent contradiction here - racism is the building block, the foundation, of every nation-state. To pussy-foot around critiquing a particular nation-state for fear of being seen as racist is idiotic. It is the nation, and our nationalist mind-sets that are racist. Of course Israel doesn't have the right to exist! Neither does the US, France, China, or Burkina Faso - fuck them all...

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LostYonder wrote

I participate in another forum, more lifestyle oriented, but there I find it much more dialogical as the posts that pop up on top are based on the time of the last comment, not the time of the original posting. Thus, if something has a lot of comments, it keeps popping up on top, while something that is less comment worthy slips away.

Not all comments are going to be made in the first day of a posting, but there are so many postings that those that deserve greater attention get buried along with everything else. It also allows for people to engage more thoroughly those that are worth of discussion - which is based on actual comments and not just up or down votes...

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LostYonder wrote (edited )

There is no sufficient case against you unless there is actual video of you concealing something you are unaware of. You have the right to review all evidence against you.

First, get a lawyer and insist they obtain all the evidence to review. If the incriminating evidence are the jeans over your shoulder, then have your lawyer request video from the same camera for the next few days to see if someone found the jeans and returned them to their spot. They probably do not have the video and thus nothing to counter your assertion of just putting the jeans on a shelf rather than returning them to their proper place - something people do everyday.

The principle evidence against you is your record, which will bias a judge so you need to construct a strong, evidence-based, argument on the lack of proof.

Second, you will need to develop an explanation of why you ran. In the court's eyes, innocent people don't run. Fear, knowing your record, being on probation, etc., certainly are grounds for fleeing in that moment of confusion.

Third, the battery charge is what they are going to ultimately get you for, or try to get you for. It is a ramped up charge to force you to plea so it won't go to trial. Look at the video of the confrontation and see if in any way you hit her or did anything in making your escape. Your lawyer will have to proceed best on that.

Finally, in your posting here you confessed to committing a crime - if any legal entities follow this thread and figure out where your case is being tried, this can be used against you. Chances of that actually happening are slim - but you should rewrite or delete the whole damn thing and post again without details of an actual crime being committed in seeking the advice of people on here.

Ultimately, it is a very weak case against you, but not having proper representation and your record can potentially make a mess of it...

Let me add that I am not a lawyer, so this is all just my opinion.

Good luck!

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Reply to comment by LostYonder in Accidental Shoplifting by LostYonder

LostYonder OP wrote

I may have to try it next time consciously. Seems like any easy out too if by chance you are caught - a lot easier to explain. HD now has new scanner guns at the self-checkout that would make it that much easier I would think.

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LostYonder wrote

Yes, on the superficial opinion-making level, that is the fall back response, we can't be too critical of China. But the same thing is happening to the Rohingya in Myanmar and no one is doing anything, except turning away the refugees fleeing the genocidal violence and Myanmar is not a nuclear and economic powerhouse.

The one thing the Uighur and the Rohingya have in common - they are Muslim minority populations. Yemen? who gives a shit? Syria? nobody really cares anymore. Afghanistan? What's that? Iraq? they are evil. Palestine? they are terrorists. and on and on...

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LostYonder wrote

It was pretty feudalistic actually, then morphed into a blending of state capitalism and party feudalism under Mao, then into capitalist. Even then, the state capitalist system under Mao and friends was not nearly as developed as in the USSR; calling it capitalist is a stretch, though it certainly wasn't communist. Today much of the population remain poor peasants and even industrial laboring practices are closer to feudalism than capitalism, though the over-arching system is corporatized capitalistic, profit driven...

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Reply to Help me please by Fjkkshh

LostYonder wrote

I am no expert in any of this, but if they actually had pictures of your car plates I would think they would be knocking at your door and not posting some message online... They probably have some vague, unfocused footage of you, maybe even of your car, but nothing clear enough to identify you. At least until you went to their facebook page!

Lay low, don't go back to that store for a long time!

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LostYonder wrote

To equate creativity with financial gain is ludicrous. Throughout history people created art, wrote, pushed the boundaries of knowledge without reducing it to a capitalist commodity. Indeed, as Ziq points out, the need to profit off of "creativity" stifles creativity by creating dependency. Worse, it transforms that which is created into a commodity - it is no longer an act of creativity, but rather production...

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LostYonder wrote

Speech is power! How can speech that oppresses others be classified as "free"? If you want to express an opinion, it's all yours. But it is not the same thing as articulating facts.

Opinions that are oppressive need to be addressed, confronted, and transformed and not just given a "free" platform to be expressed and circulated, given them a semblance of being fact.

The issue is not whether people have the right, freedom to express their oppressive opinions, but how does one challenge them so that they can be transformed in a creative manner? Our current response seems to be shaped by the idea of free speech. We punch them in the face, yell the truth in their face, try to reason with them - all of which will not transform anything (though the punching certainly is the most powerful!). That is we employ our free speech right to counter their hate filled free speech...

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LostYonder wrote

"Tolerance" is a socially constructed concept used as a mode of power to define the limits of what is acceptable, how pliable normative ideas and values are, or aren't. Wendy Brown has a significant critique of the concept - "Regulating Aversion".

"Free speech" is similarly a power ploy that assumes opinion and knowledge are interchangeable, and that socially constructed bigotry is the same thing as critiques of structural inequalities (e.g., that racist or anti-Semitic sentiments can be shared equally with critiques of white privilege)...

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