Naokotani

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Naokotani wrote

When I was younger I rode my bike half way across the city to go to a bike shop and found out I wasnt allowed in because it was women and trans day. I was pretty annoyed , do I spent a while arguing about it, mostly because I wanted my damn bike working properly again. On the one hand I thought it was pretty unnecessary, on there other have I guess I got the opportunity to be barred entry to a place based on who I was, so overall I guess it was a good experience. Of course, I think I just ended up going to Canadian tire or something instead to get what I needed.

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Naokotani wrote

I used to be a total nihilist in my 20s. Basically drank myself silly, traveled around Latin America doing drugs and treating women as objects for personal gratification. I really didn't like the world, so I convinced myself that my actions were meaningless. In other words, I coped by being a jerk.

Eventually I realized my behavior wasn't sustainable, so I decided I needed to find some purpose and I gained an interest in Buddhism. This lead me to give up meat because I wanted to follow the non violence aspect, later I gave up drinking, which led to quitting smoking and drugs (mostly cocaine, I will still have mushrooms or weed, but I rarely feel motivated to do so.)

At the same time I started to develope a keen interest in yoga and meditation, which led me to eventually go to India and Nepal where I found a yoga teacher that I eventually went to for yoga teacher training.

Meanwhile, my relationship with women improved and I met someone and now we are starting a family together, which brings a lot of meaning to my life as well.

The last 10 years has been a long process of constant self-analysation, and giving up one addiction after another. Everytime I give one up, I realize that more lay below the surface.

Basically, I'm not suggesting you do yoga or become Buddhist, in fact, organized religion often prays on those who are looking for a way to cope, and is rife with charlatans, but I would suggest you find something more than our broken world to latch onto.

Of course, I highly recommend getting involved with community as well. The more I get my own head on straight, the more I feel I have to give back to the community in the form if volunteerism and just being a good friend. I find the more you give to your community the more it gives back and then you focus on where you have helped and been helped, and despite a troubled world you start to gain more faith in humanity and hope as a result.

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Naokotani wrote

I am in no way defending the law. I am pointing out its futility. If someone can make one website, they can make another very easily. In fact, professional con artists probably have more time to spend putting up websites than hobbyists creating websites like this one (at least I assume the admins of this site are not doing it professionally.) Moreover, legit websites have more to lose because, if they make a new website, they have to create a user base again from scratch, but I assume most websites centred around fraud don't rely on a great deal of repeat business. After all, as a wise man once said, “There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.”

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Naokotani wrote

I am in no way defending the law. I am pointing out its futility. If someone can make one website, they can make another very easily. In fact, professional con artists probably have more time to spend putting up websites than hobbyists creating websites like this one (at least I assume the admins of this site are not doing it professionally.) Moreover, legit websites have more to lose because, if they make a new website, they have to create a user base again from scratch, but I assume most websites centred around fraud don't rely on a great deal of repeat business. After all, as a wise man once said, “There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.”

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Naokotani wrote

I agree with Robert then, but I certainly didn't hope to raise him to the level of Galileo; that would be abusrd.

I also disagree with persecuting anti-vaxxers. I think the number of anti-vaxxers in a society with a high standard of education as well as a responsible body disseminating and testing vaccines, the number of people who refused to be vaccinated would be small enough as to make no difference

Of course, we have do not a particularly equitable education system, so persecuting people for ignorance feels a bit mean to me. Moreover, Big pharma doesn't really have a spectacular track record in honesty, or in efficiently distributing drugs to those who need them, so I don't really blame people for being wary.

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Naokotani wrote

I cenrtainly agree that the armed forces probably aren't going to rebel in the near future (or at least I wouldn't expect that to be the case, I'm not American and I don't have any personal experience), but a lot can change in a decade or two. If the general population becomes fed up with imperialism, and they are forced to return to conscription, or using a force composed of a great deal more convicts than is already the case, then the institutional culture could change pretty rapidly.

In terms of mounting an intellectual offensive against socialism, you say they are working on it. Well, they are going to have to work a hell of a lot harder. To anyone with any kind of ability for discernment, I think its pretty obvious that capitalism is rapidly cannibalizing itself, and if by working on it you mean just propaganda harder, I don't really classify that as an intellectual defense.

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Naokotani wrote

I am not suggesting the earth is flat, but I think its this sort of conviction to investigating an idea that drives our knowledge forward. Many things that once sounded crazy are considered fact today, and those that pioneered research into those fields had to suffer from endless mockery.

I guess I just respect his conviction to research against the odds, and I think a diveristy of ideas is important.

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Naokotani wrote

Its quite possible that the right is just going to evaporate. With the freedom of information we have now, its pretty hard to mount any kind of reasonable offensive against socialism. The fact that the right was saved in the US by internet trolls is indicitive of the fact that it no longer poses any kind of real intellectual threat, and their bafoonery once they were elected is legendary.

The issue with relying on the democratic party lies in the fact that it will definitely continue to defend capitalism at its core and offering band-aid solutions, while the planet continues to get ransacked, although perhaps at a marginally less alarming rate.

What would work is if the US armed forces could take some insipiration from the Russian army in WWI and just refuse to fight any longer. What would be the effect of the US armed forces effectively going on strike and demanding serious socialist reforms? Fascinating to think about.

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Naokotani wrote

I spent some time editing a thousand or so abstracts for a social justive archive (http://connexions.org/) a few years ago, and I noticed that the struggle against South African apartheid was very prominent in the past. There was also a lot of criticism against the behaviour of the west in both Somalia and Rawanda, but there does seem to have been a reduction in social justice topics in the last decade or two.

I don't think its because people don't care, and I agree that there is a general lack of knowledge about African social justice topics.

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Naokotani wrote

I think the issue ignored here is the fact this propoganda would be a lot less effective if the US was not a massively corrupt corporate war machine.

The hubris is fascinating. When the Arab spring began, social media was touted as a hero, but now that the essentially same tactics are being used against the US, its a problem.