Friday, February 19, 2016

Logic and moral purity

The point is not that Tim Cook is refusing to help the government access info on a phone. The point is not that he says this refusal will protect personal privacy and make it harder for hackers to infiltrate other phones. 

The point is not that the government is saying Cook's actions are motivated by the goal of increasing market share. 

Kind of the point is that this logic reveals moral purity as a human standard of logic. Who cares what his reasons are, if in fact his actions prevent say, Chinese hackers from accessing American government agencies, again. 

These examples always abound. The idea that a defect in moral purity, the presence of human inconsistency, will invalidate an argument is not the point. This demand for moral purity has sent people to the guillotine and toppled governments. But this is not the point.

The point is that a demand for moral purity is forceful -- because of the narrowness and universality of binary logic. Everything must be in one of two camps, right or wrong, moral or not so much, good or bad. No inbetweens, no shades of life, no personal experience informing judgments. 

Jan Cox tried again and again to convey this reality to his students. Binary logic is integral to ordinary human thinking in our world. It is the only way mere words can grasp on in a rippling reality. And of course, binary thought builds a brighter tomorrow for the masses, regardless of whether you find it insufficient personally right now. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

A Canned Hunt

No surprises, and no effort really, in a canned hunt. The prey is tame, the game is fenced in.  You know there will be a limited number of options, that you will win a prize is a foregone conclusion. Freedom, real exertion, the possibility of the unknown -- these things are excluded in a canned hunt.

I refer of course to one's own skull, and the black and white marbles rolling around in it. Binary thought. That's all I mean.