Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ category

Reviewing the movies of Akira Kurosawa

October 8, 2014

After the Rain made quite an impression on me. After I watched some other Japanese movies, I didn’t get the same feeling so I did some research to find out why.

The war now ended, Kurosawa, absorbing the democratic ideals of the Occupation, sought to make films that would establish a new respect towards the individual and the self. The first such film, No Regrets for Our Youth (1946), inspired by both the 1933 Takigawa incident and the Hotsumi Ozaki wartime spy case, criticized Japan’s prewar regime for its political oppression.

….

Kurosawa’s is a heroic cinema, a series of dramas (mostly) concerned with the deeds and fates of larger-than-life heroes. Stephen Prince has identified the emergence of the unique Kurosawa protagonist with the immediate post-World War II period. The goal of the American Occupation to replace Japanese feudalism with individualism coincided with the director’s artistic and social agenda: “Kurosawa welcomed the changed political climate and sought to fashion his own mature cinematic voice.”[204] The Japanese critic Tadao Sato concurs: “With defeat in World War II, many Japanese … were dumbfounded to find that the government had lied to them and was neither just nor dependable. During this uncertain time Akira Kurosawa, in a series of first-rate films, sustained the people by his consistent assertion that the meaning of life is not dictated by the nation but something each individual should discover for himself through suffering.”[205] The filmmaker himself remarked that, during this period, “I felt that without the establishment of the self as a positive value there could be no freedom and no democracy.”

I wondered why so many Americans liked the Seven Samurai movie. As well as why some Japanese like Wild West Westerners from the US.

The idea of the individual hero fighting for or against society, however, does explain many things. After all, it’s something I myself came to a similar conclusion on after a voyage on learning about evil.

Japan is still a nation moved by group politics and social consensus or social Will, but it still has a great amount of individual will in certain sub cultures and entertainment venues. Far more than is the case in America herself these days. It’s somewhat reversed. In America, our Hollywood entertainment, education, police, and political circles are all corrupted for one reason or another, leaving only certain types of groups (gun owners) to have the requisite experience and virtue to act as individuals. Everyone else is too afraid of their Boos or Social Authority to disobey. In Japan, individual private ownership and will can be seen in the otaku culture as well as Japan’s educational corporations and schools, but submit to the security of the group via the Japanese Defense forces and the local police units. In America, we rely on personal arms and other warrior esque training to protect ourselves, our families, or our communities. The police doesn’t really do much except clean up the bodies. Even the deadly Marathon bombings a few years ago were stopped by a citizen that escaped his captivity at the hands of Islamic terrorists inside the US and reported the location and vehicle type of his captors, resulting in their death/capture. Meanwhile the police were shutting down entire city sectors and finding nobody useful.

So I don’t think Kurosawa failed. To him, living in a Japan ruled mostly by social rules or authority laws, it might seem that nothing much changed. To an American that can tell the difference between individual strength/freedom and social obedience, Japan didn’t turn out too bad. Certainly when compared to China or modern US culture. With patriots like Kurosawa working to improve their culture and people, there’s always life and thus hope for improvement.

The problem is always when evil manifests and works against life. Then evil must be killed. Who is going to do it when American generations can’t even defend their own pathetic lives against murderers and serial killers?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akira_Kurosawa#On_home_video

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_creative_works_by_Akira_Kurosawa

You can read more about this on those links. After the Rain brought to me a lot of the individual heroic qualities I saw in Seven Samurai. So I’m just going to view all of them, if I can.

Trusting in Authority

January 18, 2014

I noticed a certain phenomenon in martial arts years ago. It was the issue of the difficulties with mastering an art or a class of techniques, based upon work load, time investment, and dedication over the years.

Many people who jump around the martial art schools, getting a black belt here or there, think they have mastered something. When in fact they have barely graduated apprenticeship school. They are still at the level where they are copying the instructor’s moves and can’t fight without the instructor telling them in their ear what to do and why. I often think that these individuals won’t have their instructor telling them what to do, when they actually come up against a threat in life accidentally or surprisingly.

To begin with, a black belt or shodan is a first degree black belt generally speaking. Every franchise school, every individually owned school, and every bloodline artistic style has their own determination of what makes a person promotable to a certain rank. There’s no E-5 or O-2 category that harmonizes the differences in ranks. The franchise setups like ATF attempt to do so, but quality control is wild.

What this translates to simulation time and competence is that mastery generally occurs around 10,000 man hours of practice/experience in something. A shodan is generally awarded to most modern karate students at around the 500-1000 man hour mark, and that’s not considering the quality of the simulation time. Given that 1 year on the battlefield equaled about 10 years training in the dojo.

Even though (some of) these arts and techniques should have been passed down unbroken and inherited by the instructors, it is incredibly difficult to get a student to proficiency and it’s impossible to get them to mastery since that requires independent thought.

Other than the DNA heir that inherits the techniques through his body, the rest of us have to supply hard work and our own experience to the dojo floor. It’s not something we inherit.

It’s more like something I backwards engineer and de-construct to reconstruct it in my own fashion.

A lot of the practical problems with using complicated hand to hand techniques is that people can “learn” or memorize a list of things to do. But they then won’t do it in a battle because they are still waiting for someone to tell them what to do, like they always did in the dojo. They’re always sitting at the feet of the masters listening to the stuff that is dropped unto them, to the point where they stop thinking for themselves. As a result, their combat effectiveness drops, even though some of them have had 10 or 20 or even 30 years of continuous training. Not 30 years of simulation time. 2-4 hours a week perhaps. Maybe 5-10 hours a week for serious hobbyists?

Even if we use a optimistic estimate of 5 hours of practice per day for the serious student, that’s only 1460 hours per year. Because of the lack of battle experience or fighting experience, even after 10 years people are still having problems thinking on their own, as their training time is not as effective as ancient methods that presumed students had at least some real world experience with violence. Many of those hours are spent in repetition training, where the brain just turns off due to following a habit. Good for obeying orders, not so good for figuring things out at a higher level. So 1500 hours per year, after 10 years you should certainly be proficient but only beginning, perhaps, the road to mastery.

It may be necessary for people who are new to be given a rigid format to learn from. But it should not be applied past its expiration date. People should not be using the same formal methods of learning via lecture and absorbing the words of the instructor, in their 10th year in a school. But because they never have to use this stuff for real or never have to test it out, people do sit around for 10, 20, 30 years and their fighting potential is still incomplete and often insufficient.

For martial arts, that’s just a hobby many Westerners take up given modern times. At most, they can only get themselves and anyone around them killed as a result of overestimating their knowledge and abilities. For politics, the economy, and military practices, the stakes are slightly higher and the consequences slightly more painful for the rest of us. Slightly, as in way more than should be reasonable.

But we’re overlooking how that can be a good thing.-Nick

Those who abdicate their judgment to others, can no longer complain about it afterwards. What are they going to say, that they didn’t “know what was going on”, that they were just doing as they were told to get by? That level of ignorance can only go so far, as consequences for a nation’s actions do blowback after awhile.

There’s a certain domestic sentiment in Europe and Japan, that says since America is paying for security we might as well rely on them to be the world’s police as they pay in gold and blood for our safety. But that means if America wants something, it’s hard to deny America what the hyperpower demands. That may be tolerable if people’s interests are in common, but what if Obama demands that a nation disarm and allow itself to be invaded and burned to ash so that Obama can sit and watch it on tv with Michelle for joys and giggles? Are people going to resist American power after decades of relying on American security guarantees and promises? Of course not; it certainly won’t be easy even if they try.

Europe has been stuck on that kind of parasitism for so long they have rotten. And Japan is only beginning to introduce counter-propaganda to counter the domestic concept that it is perfectly okay to rely on a foreign power, America, for most things in life. Israel has already been forced away from the American sphere, because of you know who. They had to go on their own way whether they liked it or not, because America is not always going to be there to protect people. And relying on such a power, abdicating one’s national interest in favor of somebody else’s guarantees, isn’t sustainable. It doesn’t produce independent individuals and it doesn’t produce strong nations.

The peace, prosperity, and security America offers is like a drug. People can become addicted to it. It’s like charity. First time they are grateful. Second time they are expectant. Third time they feel entitled to even more of your charity. Not only does this apply to foreign nations and their people, but it also applies to our own blacks, Jews, gays, lesbians, Democrats, and Republicans. Peace that they do not pay for, security that they do not bleed for, they will throw that stuff away as fast as someone promises them an even better deal. They know not the value of what people worked and died for, because it’s not in their experience/value system. They inherited the money, but not the virtues.

P.S.

Just a little comment I wrote in reply to this post. http://neoneocon.com/2014/01/15/the-ladder-of-evil/

Independence of Will in Martial Arts

December 27, 2013

http://www.matthewschuler.co/why-creative-people-sometimes-make-no-sense/

A lot of this applies to martial arts, at least at the higher levels of cognitive development. You don’t necessarily need independence of will, creativity, or free will to improve your physical conditions. You just do what you are told and you can grow stronger, faster.

I.

I see the world in my own conceptual framework, of the contest between yin and yang or what I would like to call Individual free will and Authoritarian power.

A single human or person attempts to develop a sense of self identity and an ability to exercise free will, around puberty. Before that period, there’s little to no instinct to want to make decisions or judgments yourself, as your cognitive development is solid but still perfectly capable of accepting authority as the determination of your reality and ethics (Santa’s metaphysical reality for example).

In order to distinguish yourself from other people, so that you can distinguish your own will from what other people tell you to do, generally people try to find a subject matter that they have knowledge on or special expertise in. This is reinforced when society praises the individual for attempting to master a complicated and productive field. If society does not praise but instead condemns, then you get what might be called “sub-cultures”. It’s still obedience to societal norms and thoughts (because people are not yet free), but it’s obedience to a society of people like yourself: a sub culture.

Until a person is able to accept themselves, trying to get society to accept them may or may not work. Creative people or those with a burning internal desire for something, have to not only create a self contained identity that is able to control and make use of these burning desires but must also cooperate or adhere to community standards to function as a normal human being (herd or pack).

Many people have found success by finding a societal niche or role where they can put their energies to creative and productive use. So they benefit not only personally by having an outlet for their drives, but also recognition from society for being a productive member.

However, that’s not always the case. There are many individuals exercising free will or dissidents, where the state or high authority does not accept the existence of. If you say something you shouldn’t against Hussein or North Korea’s leadership, you may not find yourself as warmly accepted as a “creative thinker” as you might in the United States of America. That’s because it is not in the interests of authority to cultivate competition or rebels. The American system allows leaders and authorities to make bank on cultivating products and services, but that is only in the sense that they are tending livestock. It is not a system that makes you have free will. It just assumes you do have free will and lets you use it without dropping you into the river with concrete attached to your legs.

A popular phrase that might provide for easy visualization is: the nail that stands out is hammered flat.

II.

Martial arts has its own unique combination of authority, authoritarian views, community standards (black belts), and individual will (technique deconstruction, construction, philosophy, and teaching).

Question your teacher, to see whether you are doing what your teacher tells you to do or whether you are learning from the teacher and learning how to do things on your own by your own judgment. It’s not very complicated. But that very simplicity masks the utter difficulty in the task of learning how to be your own person, act on your own judgment, become your own authority.

The Good Old Days of America

December 24, 2013

1930s infiltration of American institutions and branches of power in:

School of Darkness by Bella Dodd told an interesting story, but now we have other sources that tell a similar kind of story.

http://voluntarysociety.org/conditioning/misc/peoplespottage.html

A lot concerning American civic duties and virtues in that open essay formatted website. Also a story about how it all went away before any of us were born in the good old US.

Easy slide show to show the slide into Totalitarian Evil.

Learn about mind control or conversational hypnosis. It’s very important.

http://www.kickthemallout.com/article.php/Video-Darren_Brown_Mind_Control

This is connected to subconscious hypnotic conversational techniques, Pick Up Artist dating and sex amplification techniques, and even the whole Creative vs Social Authority piece I wrote before this one.

I’ve never heard of this Darren Brown before or services he has been associated with. My research on mind control started with PUA community, or rather Pick Up Artist communities.

The Left is just creating more slave fodder for the coming war in Harvard.

Creativity vs Social Authority

December 23, 2013

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/12/creativity_is_rejected_teachers_and_bosses_don_t_value_out_of_the_box_thinking.html

All of this negativity isn’t easy to digest, and social rejection can be painful in some of the same ways physical pain hurts. But there is a glimmer of hope in all of this rejection. A Cornell study makes the case that social rejection is not actually bad for the creative process—and can even facilitate it. The study shows that if you have the sneaking suspicion you might not belong, the act of being rejected confirms your interpretation. The effect can liberate creative people from the need to fit in and allow them to pursue their interests.

Perhaps for some people, the pain of rejection is like the pain of training for a marathon—training the mind for endurance. Research shows you’ll need it. Truly creative ideas take a very long time to be accepted. The better the idea, the longer it might take. Even the work of Nobel Prize winners was commonly rejected by their peers for an extended period of time.

Most people agree that what distinguishes those who become famously creative is their resilience. While creativity at times is very rewarding, it is not about happiness. Staw says a successful creative person is someone “who can survive conformity pressures and be impervious to social pressure.”

Well, first of all society needs to demonstrate it has the authority, power, and right to judge what is real or not. Authority alone, only cuts it for some people. Power covers almost all the bases, except for when it doesn’t in the presence of individual conscience.

‘He either fears his fate too much,
Or his desert is small,
Who fears to put it to the touch,
And win or lose it all.’ – Montrose’s Toast

The conflict between individuals whose only authority is themselves, and against people who are part of organizations is principally a difference of methods. In Martial Arts, people have a lot of reasons for why modern training takes so long vs ancient times. Primarily I would say the issue is that most people just do what they are told to do, thus never accessing the art in martial arts. Artistic creation does not develop from copying the works of the ancients. That is not even close to mastery. Many martial artists think they can achieve mastery by doing as they are told and practicing formulas and centrally organized sets, while obeying authority, and in time they will achieve their goals. They say that the problem of modern people is that they don’t work hard enough. Time, however, is the only thing you can’t buy yourself more of, since death doesn’t take cash, barter, or trade.

Modern individuals have way more time to train in martial arts, especially if that is their primary hobby or even job, than ancient humans who had no time saving tech and no modern medicinal cures. They made up for it with experience, by taking risks that would damage or maim the body. They went on warrior pilgrimages and sought out duels with the strongest, dying if they were not better or did not learn.

Tao Te Ching 56

November 17, 2013

56

He who knows (the Tao) does not (care to) speak (about it); he
who is (ever ready to) speak about it does not know it.

He (who knows it) will keep his mouth shut and close the portals
(of his nostrils). He will blunt his sharp points and unravel the
complications of things; he will attemper his brightness, and bring
himself into agreement with the obscurity (of others). This is called
‘the Mysterious Agreement.’

(Such an one) cannot be treated familiarly or distantly; he is
beyond all consideration of profit or injury; of nobility or
meanness:–he is the noblest man under heaven.
57

A state may be ruled by (measures of) correction; weapons of
war may be used with crafty dexterity; (but) the kingdom is made one’s
own (only) by freedom from action and purpose.

How do I know that it is so? By these facts:–In the kingdom the
multiplication of prohibitive enactments increases the poverty of the
people; the more implements to add to their profit that the people
have, the greater disorder is there in the state and clan; the more
acts of crafty dexterity that men possess, the more do strange
contrivances appear; the more display there is of legislation, the
more thieves and robbers there are.

Therefore a sage has said, ‘I will do nothing (of purpose), and the
people will be transformed of themselves; I will be fond of keeping
still, and the people will of themselves become correct. I will take
no trouble about it, and the people will of themselves become rich; I
will manifest no ambition, and the people will of themselves attain to
the primitive simplicity.’

The Trial of Socrates

November 3, 2013

http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/socrates.htm

In another wording, it was also a trial of Democracy.

That’s somewhat two opposing narratives at work there.

The first one would be something said by a Democrat, Long Live Democracy, Long Live Obama kind of thing.

The second one would be Plato’s view.

Which is truth or which is truer?

Read the trial notes yourself and find out.

http://socrates.clarke.edu/aplg0100.htm

For those that want to get the highlights, this is the conclusion.

http://socrates.clarke.edu/aplg0111.htm

Visual novel skip function engaged


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