Citizen’s Board for Truth, Transparency, Accountability, and Honor

 

[Chart source: Ipsos]

By Joe America

A recent study confirmed that Filipinos are ignorant about political issues, yet confident in their knowledge (PHL among countries ‘most ignorant of key issues’, but also among most confident — survey). This rather astounding configuration seems to mean that Filipinos are susceptible to the lure of a dictator and unshakeable in their confidence even if things are going very wrong. Not even knowledge affects their thinking. They don’t seek it, want it, or need it.

Thus, manipulations work in the Philippines. Lies work. Play-acting bring tears or anger. Citizens panic over a dengue virus or rail madly at the loss of 44 troops in battle whilst not blinking an eye about 12,000 or more killings of fellow citizens, well, because druggies commit crimes. At least that is what they heard.

In these reactions, we see the future of the world in general. It is led astray by fast-paced communications and emotionalized thinking brought about by social media, sensationalized mainstream media, and propaganda. We can anticipate more strife and less rational thinking going forward. We can expect a breakdown of moral pillars brought to us by the churches and Thomas Jefferson and the great philosophers.

The Philippines is leading the world into this morass of angry oneupsmanship where journalists are trolls and politicians are snake oil salesmen.

The ignorant, emotionalized, confident world represents a challenge for any state that seeks to govern by rational thinking and rules of civility that stop us from devouring one another, emotionally.

So we might ask the question, how can we return the Philippines to decency and good works? How can we stop government from manipulating the ignorance of the masses and weaponizing their confidence to take down earnest patriots, institutions, and programs vital to the well-being of the nation?

The government has proven it is more interested in lies, drama, gameplaying, and manipulation than steps that protect citizens and build prosperity on their behalf.

Well, I suspect it is necessary to think outside the box because, inside it, confusion reigns.

What the Philippines, US, Great Britain, and other democratic states need is a new moral institution that substitutes as a State-church, but, rather than worshipping any particular God, worships truth, transparency, accountability, and honor. And a set of rules that hold State officials and employees to those moral rules.

I therefore propose that democratic states create and operate the following institution aimed at keeping their citizens rational and grown-up, rather than emotional and childish:

CITIZEN’S BOARD FOR TRUTH, TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND HONOR

The board will be staffed by judicially appointed educators, businessmen (ethics officials, for instance), or judges. Their job will be to act on ethics complaints and issue rulings that censure or remove officials who misbehave.

  • Truth: trustworthy, earnest, factual. No propaganda.
  • Transparency: Open and forthright. No failure to document killings.
  • Accountability: No blame-mongering, excuse-making, or vengeful programs. No attacks on prior administrations. No stories painting harmful acts as beneficial.
  • Honor: Raises the reputation of the Philippines and Filipinos in the eyes of knowledgeable people. No swearing at other nations or flaunting of international norms on civility.

When the President swears at another nation or the church, or declares “I am a dictator” in violation of the Constitution, he gains a “censure”. If he collects three “censures”, he is removed from office and replaced by the next in line according to succession charts.

Mocha Uson would last about one week, I figure. Chief Bato would be long gone and Harry Roque would be about one manipulative statement away from trying to get a teaching job.

And President Robredo . . . and the nation . . . would be doing just fine.

 

Comments
53 Responses to “Citizen’s Board for Truth, Transparency, Accountability, and Honor”
  1. Get rid of the Bible, start here:

    https://www.principles.com/

    “Nobody can call Ray Dalio unprincipled. In fact, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, who built it from scratch into the world’s largest hedge fund, may be just as well known for creating a somewhat controversial set of principles aimed at systematizing the firm’s decision making and codifying its values. In 2010, he posted them online, leading to more than three million downloads.

    Mr. Dalio has now brought forth a sizable book titled “Principles,” in which he has expanded his precepts and vows to explain how he has used them to create “an idea meritocracy that strives to deliver meaningful work and meaningful relationships through radical truth and radical transparency” (author’s emphasis). The metaphor at the heart of Mr. Dalio’s thinking is a machine, a term that appears over and over. “Think of yourself as a machine,” he writes at one point, “operating within a machine.”

    The first principle, reasonably enough, is: “Think for yourself to decide 1) what you want, 2) what is true, and 3) what you should do to achieve #1 in light of #2.” From there the book offers two sets of overlapping precepts, one for life and one for work, both designed to cope with the chronic difficulty that humans have in comprehending reality. Again and again the author stresses the blind spots that afflict all of us and the need for humility in the face of how little we know. “You can never be sure of anything,” Mr. Dalio writes, echoing the first commandment of Bertrand Russell’s classic decalogue (“Do not feel absolutely certain of anything”) and placing himself squarely in a virtuous tradition stretching back to Socrates.”

    • NHerrera says:

      Thanks Lance. I am not getting rid of my Christian Bible (I read it like a more discerning Jesuit may read it — haha, don’t ask what) but Dalio’s “Principles” sounds like a book to read. It is in my list now.

      • NHerrera says:

        If TSH readers have 16 minutes to spare, they may find it worth their while to view the TED Talk video of Ray Dalio talking about his “Principles” concept by clicking on the link provided by Lance.

      • sonny says:

        I really envy you, NH. You still got the ‘gusto’. In my advancing age, I sometimes get attacks of anorexia in food and mind. This is bad news because a healthy appetite in food and mind are true indicators of total health. 😦

        • It’s all that prostate regiment he does, sonny! I’m telling you, NH’s got things figured out. I got to playing Go from him and now take my prostate seriously because of him. Glands are made to be excreted, it’s what gives you pep. Tell ’em , NH!

          • sonny says:

            I purposely skipped those glands for a reason, LC! ha ha.

            I don’t play GO; although now I realize, maybe, why the bishop, rook and knight move the way they do and why the king, compared to the queen, can only move one square at a time. 🙂 The inventors of the game had a keen and wicked sense of humor.

            • sonny,

              From what I read, making the Queen more powerful was a recent development in the game, around the time powerful queens in Europe were ascendant, some say it was Queen Isabela herself that promoted or inspired the Queen piece’s moves.

              If you go further back when chess was in Muslim Arab world, and Persian Empire, as far back as India, there were no Queens, but advisors, who moved similarly like the King. In Xiangqi/Chinese chess, there’s the General (in lieu of the King) and his two advisors who only move one diagonally at a time,

              in Japanese chess/Shogi you have a King-General (no Queen) but flanked by 4 lesser generals (Gold and Silver generals) who also move one step at a time.

              so, the powerful Queen in int’l Chess was a product of its time. Actually , there’s a wiki of this, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_(chess)#History

              But if you can get a hold of this book, also worth reading: https://www.amazon.com/Immortal-Game-History-Chess/dp/1400034086

          • karlgarcia says:

            LCX,
            You and your e-aculations you even called your exchanges with mayongod intercourse.

        • NHerrera says:

          Sonny, you used the word “sometimes.” That may mean that when the appetite for food and the mind (for information) returns, it may come with a lot more bang or in a heightened pace — so that on the average it may equal or exceed my case.

  2. arlene says:

    I do agree that social media did a lot to “politicize” the common Filipino. As long as they believe that they voted for the “most qualified ” man, never mind if they seem so indifferent to the evil doings in this planet. They have their opinions and they stick to it no matter what.

    I like the sound of “Pres. Robredo”, the last woman standing.

    Good morning Joeam. Good morning everyone!

  3. arlene says:

    Haha, that’s how it is. they read and listen to “fake” news. Some of us Filipinos have become so vulnerable in believing that the present govt. is doing its job well. How sad!

  4. josephivo says:

    Mongolia. I like the Mongolian “jury” approach to their constitutional changes.

    Some premises first:
    1- Decisions should be deliberate, not just emotional.
    2- Many of today’s challenges and opportunities are complex and cannot be explained in just 280 characters.
    3- Mongolians are reasonable people, only a statistical irrelevant number are idiots.

    Their solution to constitutional changes:
    • Organize the proposed changes according to the issues they intend to address.
    • Select councils of 80 random Mongolians.
    • Teach the 2 days about the issue at hand, partly by the academe, partly by pro-politicians, partly by contra-politicians.
    • Then have the council discuss the issues and come-up with an approval or with consensus amendments to be re-discussed in parliament so an improved proposal can be submitted.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      That’s a good one.

      In Oz late last year, the government submitted the question of same-sex marriage to a referendum. The referendum was conducted by postal vote and the turnout was very high at 79.5% of eligible voters.

      I am not sure this method of a referendum can be conducted in the Philippines. Voter records here are meticulous because voting is mandatory.

      I am not sure that barangay-conducted referenda are dependable either. This is how Marcos had his constitution ratified.

      But it makes good sense to consult the citizenry directly in a participative manner per the Mongolian method.

      The ongoing Filipino method is to hold emotional rallies like the one last Saturday at the Quezon City Circle.

      JoeAm’s board is an institutional jury, an ICC. Internal Criminal Court. With the powers to investigate (Ombudsman), the powers to adjudicate (Sandiganbayan), and the powers to execute.

      Ah, if only…

      By the way, same-sex marriage is now law in Oz.
      *****

      • josephivo says:

        The problem with referenda is that people often just use their fast brain and give an impulsive answer. After 2 days of reflection the frontal cortex is much more active.

        Same-sex is also a quit straight forward issue, not too difficult to understand what it means and how it affects you.

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          I guess that’s true to a certain extent.

          But the same-sex referendum in Oz was accompanied by many discussions on news and social media. Citizen groups on both sides of the issue were formed, partly funded by the government and partly from private sources. These groups held meetings and conducted email campaigns, telephone campaigns, and door-to-door knocking.

          So one had time to educate one’s self and form a decision contrary to one’s initial bias.
          *****

      • josephivo says:

        Federalism, or dynasties are not so straight forward, the definitions are confused, a large range of alternative actions are possible, it does not affect people in a direct way… But after two days of studying, most people will get some idea of what is on hand.

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          Agree. Federalism is much more complex than dynasties.

          Dynasties are easy to explain because people are in touch with their padrinos and know how dynastic patronage affects them directly. There also have been some studies about the degree of penetration of dynasties, the difference between thin and fat dynasties, and how the poorest provinces are governed by fat dynasties. These studies can be easily disseminated.
          *****

      • josephivo says:

        By the way, Google and Facebook know much better what we want then we know ourselves. Some deep learning resulting in proper algorithms will result in solutions that will favor the largest possible slice of the population.

        But delegating all your democratic rights to an artificial intelligence might not be ideal. In any case of delegation the transparency and communication will be crucial to keep citizens involved.

  5. I agree about the Board creation. PH needs one ASAP because Filipinos need full disclosure of the terms of the US$7.34B loan and aid that China granted to the PRD administration. Sri Lanka’s handing over (99 years lease) of one of its ports to China for failing to pay its debt is a cautionary tale. Right now, Maldives is scrambling because it is out of fund and may have to cede a part of their sovereignty to China by 2019.

    A China-India turmoil is brewing at this time because Maldives is in the Indian Ocean region.

    It is reported that the people of China are unhappy about their government’s loan/aid to PH.

    https://chinadigitaltimes.net/2017/11/minitrue-delete-report-loans-philippines/

  6. NHerrera says:

    “A recent study confirmed that Filipinos are ignorant about political issues, yet confident in their knowledge.”

    =

    I do not know why but I am confident I hate you so.

    Hahaha. Confusing but that is the fun thing in the PH.

    Too early to make fun of a dead serious blog article, but that is what immediately came to my confused mind. BTW, great article and comments so far. Thanks.

    • NHerrera says:

      AXIOM: Democracy in a country is a failure if its people are ignorant, or if knowledgeable not internalized the meaning of the knowledge. (Reference to josephivo and edgar’s exchange above.)

      • NHerrera says:

        We have, nevertheless, the democratic infrastructure — shaky though it is — to abandon it and replace it with the black hole of an authoritarian infrastructure. I would rather make it strong as the blog article and some comments here suggest.

  7. karlgarcia says:

    Bomg Go played victim of fake news. He even brought with him almost the entire cabinet.(slight exaggeration)

  8. chemrock says:

    The international survey that points to Philippines as among countries ‘most ignorant of key issues’, but also among most confident. A glaring paradox that the wise men of TSOH expounded way way back.

    https://joeam.com/2015/10/27/thinking-critically-vs-critical-thinking/

    The survey supports the obvious.

  9. Francis says:

    “What the Philippines, US, Great Britain, and other democratic states need is a new moral institution that substitutes as a State-church, but, rather than worshipping any particular God, worships truth, transparency, accountability, and honor…”

    True. We are living in a postmodern age, a time of cultural relativity—where no one is sure of what is true, and everyone believed that what they themselves say is the truth. This is not so much an evil, as an inevitable fact of life in modern society; old-school spiritual institutions (i.e. the Church) are weak, quasi-spiritual communual institutions (i.e. political parties, trade unions, etc.) either weak or non-existent, the “gatekeeper” model of public truth (traditional media was so massive in scale and required so much resources—that the number of organization who could serve in traditional media was naturally restricted) dead with the rise of social media i.e. Facebook: the cost of publishing to a mass audience brought to nearly zero—resulting in a situation where everyone can be a publisher of some sort.

    Thank you for this article in that regard. Timely.

    —————————————–

    People have proposed solutions to counter or deal with this postmodern/post-truth condition. Generally, I observe that they tend to fall into three kinds.

    1. Restore Trust in the (Elite) Institutions i.e. Traditional Media.

    Many have spoken of restoring trust in institutions like the traditional media, the universities, etcetera. The solution proposed in the article above—while suggesting the creation of an new institution—is very similar in spirit: the new institution (the Citizen’s Board) is, like other previous traditional institutions, something the public should turn towards for enlightenment.

    Unfortunately, this is not going to be successful. Solutions along this vein will be as successful as trying to parent adults. I cannot help but stress that the analogy above is very important: our postmodern reality means that our publics (our citizenries) in democracies around the world have hit a crucial turning point, a turning point akin to a young son or daughter moving out of the house.

    One cannot coddle child forever. The same goes for the various publics in democracies across the world. Naturally—there is a time when a child should be coddled; when a child is weak, and lacks access to knowledge and sufficient comprehension of it. Democracy in previous centuries was not really “mature democracy” so much as it was “democracy on training wheels” so to speak: society had to resort to various mechanisms at various times like slaves, political parties, trade unions, etc. to make democracy work. The (male) Athenians[1] could only have enough free time to participate in their direct democracy because of their slaves. The common mechanisms of 20th representative democracy arose from very practical constraints: you couldn’t obviously do direct democracy with millions of people (hence the very idea of congressmen to represent geographical districts and political parties and trade unions to aggregate interests) and you couldn’t give everyone a chance to speak with the limitations of traditional media. Now—many of those constraints are either gone or eased; advancements in communications technology (the internet, social media, etc.) allow for everyone to theoretically vote and for everyone to not-theoretically publish. This weakening of constraints is akin, I think, to the hormones of adolescence Just as puberty’s hormones usher a teenager into adolescence and gradual adulthood, so does modern communications technology usher the publics in various democracies into a very confusing transition and (hopefully) gradual maturity.

    Of course—as a young adult and Millennial—I can personally testify to two common difficulties of adolescents and empowered publics: blaming their parents/traditional institutions for virtually everything and not taking responsibility for their newfound freedoms and capabilities.

    Which is not to say that some parents have been really bad—and likewise, some traditional institutions—but what’s key here is the adolescent nature of democratic publics: an unwillingness to shoulder responsibility.

    This sort of responsibility is different from the responsibility to take care of your family by earning an honest living, to take care of society by merely following the law and volunteering your strength to initiaties of public good. Those are responsibilities of the hands; what is demanded now of the citizen is responsibility of the mind-heart: an epistemological responsibility.

    Dear Citizen. You hate the traditional media, right? Yet, had it every occurred to you that the journalists from the “traditional media” you so despise have to go through their own self-regulatory code of conduct, government regulations, disincentives such as libel laws, and I don’t know—an obligation to report all news and not just news that “I” find important to the best of human ability[2].

    Being “gate-keepers” of truth in the 20th century meant that traditional instititions such as traditional media had epistomological responsibility: a responsibility to do truth justice to the best of their human ability. Now, that the citizen can post and publish on Facebook etc. to a similarly mass audience: he or she is likewise now obligated to take on epistomological responsibility.

    I think of this quote from this recent blog post[3]:

    It is too easy to imagine that we are better than those who do the work we would be too scared to do.

    A question though, arises? What if people simply don’t know how to “shoulder” responsibility for being bearers of truth?

    2. Let’s Teach Critical Thinking!

    Another approach that people have taken towards dealing with the issue of “truth” in our postmodern age is to equip people with the skills to navigate in such an era. In short, to teach people how to take epistemological responsibility.

    I wholeheartedly agree with this in principle; I strongly disagree though, with how this principle has been interpreted.

    “…keeping their citizens rational and grown-up, rather than emotional and childish…”

    “…The ignorant, emotionalized, confident world represents a challenge for any state that seeks to govern by rational thinking…that stop us from devouring one another, emotionally.”

    [Emphasis mine.]

    Teaching the public how to take on epistemological responsibility has been solely focused on teaching the public how to reason, how to utilize logic properly. The mind is the focus of enlightenment. This is evident in how some people have been sharing around memes illustrating common fallacies.

    This is also an approach that will not be successful. Humans are inherently irrational beings, subject to things like confirmation bias. Divides (Leavers v. Remainers, DDS v. Yellows, Republicans v. Democrats) are not debates between who has the objective facts and who does not—but debates on which subjective values should prevail.

    We must remember Hume in being aware that what “ought” to be can not be automatically derived from what “is” there. Logic can only show us what “is” there—that is, make the objective reality clearer—but it cannot hope to automatically illustrate what “ought” to be done: it is still up to us what we subjectively feel is the right thing to do, regardless of how “clear” the objective reality is now.

    An indigenous activist may believe that billions of foreign investment is worth forgoing, if only to preserve the priceless (to him) lands of his ancestors. A technocrat in Manila might believe that the needs of the nation (for instance, the tax revenue and employment generated) might outweigh whatever “sentimental” (to him) value some ancestral land might have.

    Both are completely logical courses of action. Yet—both conflict with each other, despite having access to the same objective facts; the value of foreign investment is the same, but the valuation of the ancestral lands is different: what the technocrat sees as merely sentimental, the activist sees as priceless. It is not an objective clash between the illogical and the logical, between who has the facts and who doesn’t—but rather a subjective clash of values.

    I observe similarities in the Resistance v. Trump, Leavers v. Remainers, DDS v. Yellows.

    Logic alone will not suffice. There should not be dichotomy between “good” reason and “bad” emotion. We need enlightenment, not only with our faculties for rational thought—the realm of facts—but also our faculties for emotional feeling—the realm of values. The focus of enlightenment should therefore be mind-heart, not just mind; I say “mind-heart” and not merely “mind and heart” because mind and heart must be taken as one. We must be taught, not only to converse in terms of facts but to also converse in terms of feelings.

    Edgar’s “Thawt” comes to mind. We must have Critical Thinking-Feeling Classes. We must be critical not only of facts but of values—why do I know-know and why do I know-feel-believe?

    People might say this is “empathy” repackaged. In a sense, that is correct: empathy is a crucial component of good thawt but it does not end there. It is not enough to walk in someone else’s shoes, to know how someone else feels—but to also be able to critically assess[4] that feeling of walking in someone else’s shoes. It is critical empathy; hence critical thinking-feeling: critical thinking and feeling, in a simultaenous and inseparable manner.

    The post-truth, post-modern condition requires that we hold subjective feeling to the same rigor as objective facts.

    3. Let’s Just All Be United! We Are All [Filipinos/Americans/Etc.] Anyway!

    Out of the three main responses to post-truth/post-modern condition, I like this the least. I don’t wish to be rude, but it frankly strikes me as plainly naive and childish. It is easy to say that we should focus on our being Filipinos, on our being Americans, on our being Human Beings, etcetera ad infinitum—but all it does is ignore the elephant in the room. What does it mean to be a Filipino? What does it mean to be a Human Being? Even if, for instance: a Republican and Democrat, agreed that they were both Americans—it still remains that their different values, different subjective experiences, would make them perceive what constitutes America, what defines an American differently.

    ————————
    What must be done, then?

    That’s the Hundred Million Peso Question. I guess, I would argue for a mass philosophy to take root among the citizenry that would emphasize good “thawt,” that is: critical thinking-feeling. In this postmodern, post-truth world where everyone believes they are right, it is difficult to see people widely trust a commission or group to provide guidence on truth, no matter how qualified said members of such a commission would be. Hence—self-regulation (via a people that exercise good “thawt” and engage in critical thinking-feeling) is the only course of action that I see on the table.

    [1]Lest this comment be taken out of context: Slavery is not justified under any circumstance.

    [2]Imagine if we held other professions to the degree of human perfection that we expect of professional mediapersons.

    [3]https://www.the-tls.co.uk/oxfam/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
    WHICH is NOT to condone the horrible abuses that have taken place.

    [4]I hesitated using “judge” here because that implies measuring someone from a lofty pedestal/ morally higher/ascendant standpoint. I prefer “critically assess” because it’s more neutral and thus implies more equality between the one being assessed and the one doing the assessing.

    Pardon for this long reply. I hope this is no burden.

    • Thanks for giving the article such diligent attention. I don’t think the panel is chartered to speak to people or inspire them, but to create a kind of moral imperative for leaders and stop the divisive emotionalism among the ‘thinkers’. I do think programs are also needed to configure the way the masses think (and feel), but would imagine them to be small steps, like a campaign requiring cars to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk, in a ‘be kind to Filipinos’ context. Then take another step, and another, until envy-anger is replaced by caring. Better critical thinking would follow.

      • “I don’t think the panel is chartered to speak to people or inspire them, but to create a kind of moral imperative for leaders and stop the divisive emotionalism among the ‘thinkers’. “

        The Jedis did exactly the same thing, Joe. But they also ran an Academy, recruiting ‘younglings’ early. My Islamic renaissance idea in the Philippines was similar, the same way Americans in the early 1900s , took full control of Muslim Mindanao and taught them Western ways/knowledge, hand picking sons of Datus and other potentials. Your idea is more in line with josephivo’s Filipino philosophers,

        so why not join all 3 ideas and create a Filipino Jedi council/academy?

        I’d add not just critical thinking but metaphoric thinking, the ability to join seemingly different types of thought together, ie. DU30 = God, etc. to get at a wider truth.

        Invest in go/weiqi/baduk schools, as the S. Koreans have and go up against the East Asians, but don’t settle for route learning of this game, make it a metaphor the basis of your philosophical academy/council. NH, I’m sure can help us stand-up a go curriculum , and sonny the Classics, edgar would be in-charge of logic, and ip (who’s now a full-fledge Jedi master, given his personal undertakings of late) can be our strategist,

        that’s at least 5 jedi masters to make up this council. Now it’s just about being relevant, push the Council’s advise outwards, to leaders and politicians (as Ray Dalio has thru speakings and writings and interviews) give ’em a reason to heed your advice, then open up a school an Academy to infect and perpetuate and carry-on legacy.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Francis, a very good definition of the “problem.”

      Pity there is no suggested “solution.”

      But the recognition of Good Thawt as part of the solution is a good starting place.

      I think the burden is on your shoulders, Francis, and that of your generation.

      Religions/ideologies have always been the vehicle for mass transformation of social, political, and moral interactions. After the great religions were put in place, followed by schisms, the political ideologies of communism and democracy have dominated the landscape. All of this took place in the last 2000+ years.

      There are several Clubs — Rome, Budapest, Madrid, Vienna — that are futuristic societies. I think the Club of Rome is the most well known. The Club of Budapest was founded by classic pianist Ervin Laszlo and is focused on scientific advances as they relate to global consciousness.

      Perhaps these clubs can band together and develop a framework for understanding and development for the next 2000 years. This is a tall order considering that advances in the last 350 years — since the dawn of the Age of Enlightenment — in every branch of scientific, political, and philosophical thought have been rapid and tremendous. What more of the next 500 years?

      We are witnessing the prelude to our journey to the stars. but we have not mastered our outrageous and irrational impulse to kill one another.
      *****

    • NHerrera says:

      Thinking of desired values, critical thinking, and modifying, extending or introducing new philosophies deemed to be relevant is useful no doubt. But in the case of the Philippines I lean towards Joe’s view — if I understand him correctly — of an algorithmic or programmed process, with elements of easy to follow step-by-step, as a way of instilling something — using the already known viable concepts or philosophies. These, towards an eventual big desired objective.

      • Nicely stated. Exactly the approach.

      • sonny says:

        I think we are at the cusp of a radical change in our “epistemologies:” (c.Fancis) in our world views and the syntax of the way we deal with these world views. This change is akin to what happened when the world of science had to start using quantum mechanics together with Newtonian mechanics, viz describing the physical world in both classical and molecular models; same realities, different lenses. (Even the world of film has found a new tool to achieve high definition special effects. e.g. CGI. I think. 🙂 )

        • sonny says:

          There are times when new technology drives basic science. This is true specially in the transmittal of knowledge (education) in either field. But transitions are always high energy states, the nature of the beast. IMO.

    • My god… Karl was right… We probably are peas in a pod… But you’re fresh though. I’m already dry and disillusioned. 😉

      Hmm… As I’ve recommended it to some here, may I also recommend you the following short novel? I’m sure you’re going to enjoy it. =D
      http://lesswrong.com/lw/y4/three_worlds_collide_08/

      As for some input on your post, there has surely been much sentiment about the nihilistic relativizing of truth thanks to postmodernism. But it was probably inevitable as power has been spread out to many individuals. As you’ve said, democracy surely has its price. And from what I see, (as you’ve done also, in a way) a sort of Hegelian dialectics is probably a good course of action for the present time. We will have to constantly negotiate and re-negotiate a lot of things and it will become more apparent as time goes on.

      Hmm… To visualize what’s happening, I like to think of the people’s collective knowledge as grains of sand being sifted through and piled up by all of us.

      So as time passes on, it will continue to grow larger and larger, so that we can reach higher and further.

      But of course, there will come a time that things will be shaken up and a part of this pile will collapse.

      Some grains of sand will fall, but some will not due to the way it was built. Another thing that could happen is that given the size and weight of these grains of sand, (and maybe some other factors), some of the grains may also start to ‘concretize’, so to speak. That’s why you’ll have some things like “Slavery is wrong. Period.” and many other things. But of course, given a more rigorous shake, even these concretized parts may also collapse.

      The only thing that will be constant will probably be for us to rebuild again and again, higher and higher, reaching farther and further. An ongoing process that will probably not end anytime soon. I think I’ll peg it as a human thing.

      But to go back to the dynamics of ‘piling sand’: In the past, only a few people will have dictated on how it is to be done. Like what sand to place, and where to place it, and how much (and other factors?). So when there are disagreements, there will usually be big conflicts and then big piles being poured afterward as it is resolved. In a way, the direction of ‘truth’ is surely proportional to ‘power’.

      As of present though: Since power has been spread out, the impact really is not that significant anymore. Given this, the people can’t seem to easily agree on things as of present as things will usually be going back and forth. Nevertheless, in a way, power dynamics are surely still in play. But only on a more ‘micro’ level. So emergent properties and systems will be needed to more properly visualize the dynamics. So again, compare it to what was happening before.

      As for teaching critical thinking, well, you really don’t just teach that. You practice it and you apply it. And for that to happen, you really can’t do it without constant input and feedback.

      If I may hazard a guess, you were probably raised in an environment that had such help. For many people, well, they really aren’t that lucky. For myself, well, I really can’t say that my immediate vicinity was that conducive. Though I did get support, I’d probably be stuck in with their similar mindset if it was my lone input. Luckily, due to my ‘uncommon’ attitude and hobby pursue, I was able to meet some people of higher ‘stature’ at an early age.*** Thanks to that, I did try to go higher. And I did. Though I slipped down. (I mentioned before that I was at Ateneo. Highest point if I may say. But it was short-lived though. Wasn’t able to handle the drastic shift in culture and some other personal circumstances. But that’s probably a story for another time.) Long story short: Social networks that reach further down will be important if we really are to pull people up.

      Moving on from that, there is also the factor of quality. Even if contact is made, it really isn’t still a network. It has to be established and maintained. And the kicker is: It requires a very delicate balancing act. Good intentions aren’t enough. Dapat ma-tancha mo yung kakayahan nila. (You should be able to estimate their capabilities.) You can’t just reach down and pull them up. As with my ‘rant’ on low grounds and high grounds before, you really can’t expect the people below to just climb up even if you think you’re helping them out. You may just scare them away. And on the flipside, if you help too much, there is also the risk of spoiling them and making them dependent. Anyway, finding a suitable middle ground is very important.

      =====

      P.S.
      ***(Emphasis on early age. Higher stature = better than the average Filipino. To be specific, these people were mostly from schools like Ateneo, UP, etc. Yes, school is a huge factor.) As a test, try asking yourself if you were close to anyone that was from UP, Ateneo or any other better than average school at an early age. Chances are, you probably are. Now think of your uhm… Househelp? Chances are, very little. A bit classist, I know. But do know that this is just me basing on what I’ve seen and experienced. I could be wrong. However, birds of the same feather do seem to flock together.

      P.S.S.
      I would elaborate more but I should be sleeping. And I’m about to go on tangents upon tangents because there is no input from others yet. So would leave it at this for now.

      • karlgarcia says:

        So you finally noticed your similarities. 😉
        If you represent your generation, I can sit back and say this ignorant stuff is bs, just look at Francis and IP, but you are just two of a kind.

  10. madlanglupa says:

    Offtopic: hewing much closer to treasonous territory. Never before such a bombastic “joke” gave me a terrible heartburn.

  11. CARMENCITA FIEL says:

    Comelec should educate the electors about the incentives they would get if they spend a lot of time scrutinizing each candidate’s agenda. Lying wouldn’t buy votes for the politicians if we were political scientists even in a small way with a bit of knowledge on economics and sociology, etc and with time to ascertain everything each candidate says or does. It is a question of education and communication. If a group should stand against lying politicians, expose them while they are still campaigning.

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