Thinking Conundrums

Presidential pondering. [Photo source: CNN PH]

By Edgar Lores

In a previous post, [1] I opined that there were 3 major defects in Filipino thinking:

  • Erroneous reasoning
  • Categorization
  • Scoping

By erroneous reasoning, I meant logic and thinking method.

By categorization, I meant classifying a problem under the proper domain.

By scoping, I meant defining the perimeters of the problem after one has categorized it.

A most infamous example of miscategorization is Senator Grace Poe’s response to the Iglesia Ni Cristo kidnapping imbroglio in August 2015. She classified the case as one of religious freedom rather than an indictable criminal offense. At that time, Poe was running for president, and this fact might have had something to do with her ill-considered response. [2]

But the most egregious example of all 3 defects would be Duterte’s Drug War.

  • In terms of reasoning, is killing the best solution?
  • In terms of categorization, is drug addiction primarily a criminal issue or a health issue?
  • And in terms of scoping, who is most liable – the users and retail distributors (the poor), the wholesale retailers (the “mayors”), the manufacturers (the drug lords), or the main supplier of precursor drugs (China)?

Due to the errors in reasoning, categorization, and scoping, we are witnesses to killing on a grand scale. And we see that the poor are the main victims, while a handful of “mayors” are punished, the drug lords are allowed to escape, and China gets off scot-free. Sorry, no, not scot-free, but rewarded.


The Mayongod Discussion

Just recently, in Wilfredo G. Villanueva’s recent post, “A Meditative Interview with God on Ash Wednesday,” new commenter @Mayongod kicked off a long discussion. The main topic of discussion arose out of @LCpl_X’s eternal question: “Can good come from evil and can evil come from good?” [3]

The entire post and comments are instructive. There is much talk of water and whiskey which I am sure you will find confusing… unless you are partial to the latter? Therefore, I will lift and edit two slices of subtopics from the discussion to highlight defects in Filipino thinking.

But before we go to the first subtopic, let me say that Mayongod and I came to an agreement on the eternal question. [4][5] He initially claimed that only good can come from good and only evil can come from evil. He viewed this as a guiding principle for our future actions. [6] And it is a good principle. Before we do something, we must be acutely aware that, in terms of motives, good and evil consequences are usually consistent with our intentions. But in real life, good does beget evil and evil begets good. As the proverb goes, the path to hell is paved with good intentions.

Subtopic 1: Can one judge an act without knowing the actor?

The issue here is whether one can judge an act without knowing the actor. Mayongod thinks one cannot. I say otherwise. Here is the discussion: [7][8][9][10]


On reflection, the categorization and scoping errors lie in the assumptions, in unasked questions.

The first unasked question is this: Is the act under consideration legal or illegal? Mayongod draws no distinction.

The second unasked question is: Are we judging a person who has been charged with a crime or a person who has not been charged at all? Again, Mayongod draws no distinction.

The correct categorization would be that the act (torture) is illegal. And the correct scoping would be that the person being judged is charged with that specific act.

Thus, with the proper categorization and scoping, the conclusions would become proper and clear:

  • If an act is illegal, one may judge the person without knowing him in his entire personhood.
  • If a person is charged with a crime, one judges him differently from an innocent person. For the former, we judge him objectively by our penal code; for the latter, we judge him subjectively by our personal values. And we can only apply our personal values if we know the person.

Subtopic 2: Is the actor separate from the act?

I would have thought that my response was clarity itself. But, no, Mayongod came back and tried to clarify the issue further by introducing me to an acquaintance of his, Pedro, who happened to be dead.

His persistence arose from the notion that an actor is separate from his act. You will notice that I questioned this assumption in my first response in Subtopic 1: “Why separate the act from the actor?”

Clearly, in Mayongod’s mind, one should — no, must — separate the act from the actor. The act is not the actor, and the actor is not the act. Here is the discussion: [11][12]

From my answer, Mayongod drew 3 inferences: [13]

(1) That I have separated Pedro from his acts by judging him:

(a) “on different criteria based on my present and future interactions with him and others;”

(b) and that the criteria are “clearly recognizable as good or bad.”

(2) That declaring “Pedro is good” is untenable because he may do good on one hand and bad on the other hand.

(3) That seeing Pedro as fun — that is, as neither good nor bad – aligns with the logic of judging a person separately by his acts alone and not judging him in his entire person.

I will concede the premises but not the conclusion of the first inference; dispute the second; and clarify the third.

I will concede that in judging Pedro I am using different criteria, which are my personal values. However, I must point out that the criteria are not limited to ethical values (right/wrong). They will include aesthetic values (beauty/ugliness) and epistemic values (truth/untruth).

The question arises: in judging Pedro by these values have I, in fact, assumed that Pedro is not his actions?

Let me answer by way of analogy: imagine a balance scale. The scale represents Pedro.

In my interactions with Pedro, I will assign a good token for his good manifestations and a bad token for his bad manifestations. By manifestations, I mean not only his actions, but also what he says, how he grooms and dresses, and what his beliefs are. But not only these. Any feedback from others may constitute a token. The good tokens I will place on the right scale and the bad tokens on the left scale.

Thus, all in all, Pedro’s manifestations represent his “character.”

Initially, of course, the scales will contain my unconsidered judgment — my “first impression” as it were — on first meeting Pedro. At certain points of my interactions with him and others, I will update the scales progressively. As time goes on, the scales may tip one way or the other. At this point, I will have formed a working opinion, a more-or-less concrete judgment, of Pedro’s character.

There are several important things to note:

1. I have not separated Pedro from his actions or, more inclusively, from his manifestations. To make this clear, one may imagine Pedro as the balance scale, with his arms held up and his open palms holding the tokens.

2. It can be readily seen that I can pass a judgment of Pedro in his entire person, as good or bad, because I am looking at the totality of his character (or manifestations) as shown by the balance scale. I can, therefore, say, “On balance, Pedro is a good person.” Or vice-versa.

3. When I say “entire person,” this is insofar as my interactions with him and with others go. It is true that I may not be privy to aspects of Pedro’s life depending on our social setting. He may be a work colleague, even my boss, and I may be ignorant of his private and family life. Nevertheless, I can and must make a judgment because it will affect how I decide to act, react, and interact with him in the future. If he were not my boss, I may decide to avoid him totally.

4. When I say Pedro is fun, I am in a way disregarding what the balance scale shows. To put in a graphic way, the tokens have assumed a golden sheen… and they glitter. Consequently, I ignore how the scales tilt as I am amused — or dazzled — by the sheen. The sheen, as it were, forms scales before my eyes, thus preventing me from seeing the scales. I imagine this is how one sees comedians or funny friends who lead notorious personal lives. The fact remains, though, that the tokens still exist and I can always revert to them.

5. The tokens are not of the same size and value. Some are nickels, others are dimes, and still others are quarters or a whole silver dollar. Yes, a silver dollar! Such a sterling coin on either scale will tip the balance enormously. As it may happen, the silver dollar will tip the scale in such a way that I would not need to use it anymore. In my eyes, Pedro will have become either irredeemably awful or spotlessly awesome. Thus, by a single act and not necessarily of their own making, sinners like Ninoy and Leila become saints.

6. If Pedro is a close friend or family, I normally would not employ “tokenization.”

7. The balance scale is our timbang. Hopefully, we are not found wanting.

The errors in this subtopic are mainly ones of miscategorization and faulty reasoning. The miscategorization is in deconstructing the actor from his actions and the faulty reasoning is in pretending that these constructs are separate.

To a certain extent, there is also a scoping error in that actions are mainly seen as the basis for evaluating a person. The model lacks coherency. This error becomes apparent when we realize that we tend to overlook the actions of a “fun” person.

The deconstruction error, I believe, comes from the religious mantra of “Hate the sin, love the sinner.” How does one separate the sin from the sinner? How does one separate the bad driver from the bad driving? How does one separate the murder from the murderer?

In my thinking, as a general rule, one cannot and should not. The mantra approaches absurdity. And it is succinctly confuted by LCpl_X’s pointed question: “Can you punish and/or imprison ‘bad driving’?” [14]

In parallel, one may ask: “Can you send sodomy to hell and homosexuals to heaven?”


On Rules, Techniques, and Methods

Before I offer a framework for further understanding the two issues here, let me underline four takeaways about thinking techniques and methods.

1. In Subtopic 1, the thinking deficiencies arose from unasked questions. There are several cardinal rules in thinking, such as “Define your terms” and “Doublecheck your logic.” Another basic rule that we ignore at our peril is “Always question your premises.” If your starting assumptions are wrong, your conclusion may be in error. Your logic may be valid but your facts and conclusion may be unsound. That is, they do not conform to reality.

2. In Subtopic 2, one will observe that my answer to Mayongod’s question of “How will you judge him?” is quite extensive. I use what I call “process thinking” as opposed to “static thinking.” Filipinos tend to think in terms of yes and no answers, or of single-cause for single-effect, or of “vertical thinking” as opposed to “lateral thinking.”

2.1. An example of static thinking is to give an answer of “clouds” to the question “what causes rain?” Process thinking will cover the Rain Cycle.

3. Our tendency toward static thinking is seen in our categorization errors, which may be miscategorization or under-categorization. I suppose over-categorization can occur, but have nothing concrete in mind. Perhaps when we overthink a problem? And debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? In my extensive answer, one will note that I go beyond the categories of good and bad and include fun and other categories. The latter are good examples of lateral thinking. And the lateral thought of “fun” has opened up a new avenue for investigation and apprehension.

4. But perhaps the single most important element in my answer is my insistence that the judgment I make will be “mine alone.” To our sorrow, we Filipinos are not independent thinkers. This may well be our greatest tragedy. We see this in the abject sycophancy in our most august institutions, in Congress and the Supreme Court.


Essence and Identity

Lastly, allow me to present a framework for understanding character and the dynamics of character in our everyday interactions.

As a starting point, I will borrow from Sartre the concept of Essence. As everyone knows, existentialism posits that existence precedes essence.

What is essence? It is, quite simply, our nature.

And what is our nature? Our nature is what we think our own self to be, how we are, and why we live.

And do we have one nature or many natures? Are we male, father, Filipino, Catholic, pro-Duterte, and anti-Federalism all rolled into one? It is all possible, yes?

Accordingly, I will call each sub-nature an identity.

Formally, then:

  • By identity, I mean a distinct part of our essence (or nature). And I postulate that we possess several identities.
  • And by essence, I mean the whole of our nature, our entire personhood, which primarily is a composite of several identities. At the same time, I offer a secondary definition: essence is our predominant identity as seen by ourselves or as seen by others. The two perspectives may not necessarily coincide.

Thus: essence can be whole-essence or part-essence. And part-essence is an identity.

Clear so far?

Let me then proceed to delineate some implications of these two concepts:

1. How we identify with our whole-essence will determine our primary motivation.

1.1. Example: If we primarily identify as a family man and not as a Filipino or a Catholic, we may be open to the temptation of corruption.

2. Part-essences will form a hierarchy and our actions will be according to our perceived hierarchy.

2.1. Example: If we primarily identify as a family man but hold our religion above nation, we will be open to bloc voting.

3. In dealing with a person, we at times take a part-essence as his whole-essence.

3.1. Example: In forgiving a fun person for his faults and peccadillos, we have taken his part-essence, his identity as a clown, as his whole-essence.

4. An act, any act, can be seen as part-essence or whole-essence.

4.1. Example: In judging a murderer or a bad driver, we temporarily take for purposes of judicial processing his part-essence – that is, his act of murder or bad driving — as his whole-essence. This is truer of the murderer than the bad driver, especially if the latter is an attractive young lady.

4.2. Example: At the same time, we do not permanently mistake his/her part-essence as a murderer or a bad driver to be his entire-essence. We grant him the possibility of redemption.

4.3. Example. If our part-essence is anti-Duterte and we have a friend whose part-essence is pro-Duterte, then it is possible to maintain the relationship of friendship, albeit a strained one. This may be due to the fact that we share other common identities, such as being townmates or Ateneo classmates.

4.4. Example. If our part-essence is anti-Duterte and we have a friend whose part-essence is excessively pro-Duterte, then to us his part-essence may, in our eyes, become his whole-essence. At this point, he becomes an ex-friend.

5. Identities, like skins or tattoos, may be permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary. Permanent ones would be race, color, sex, and gender. Semi-permanent ones would be religion, creed, and marital status. Temporary ones would be age and being a rabid supporter of Barangay Ginebra.

6. Whole-essences are composite but are situationally based on a single part-essence. Whole essences morph as identities change.

7. Essence and identity are inextricably linked with other concepts such as accountability and responsibility, belonging and alienation, and the Three Primary Virtues of loyalty, honor, and duty.

8. I imagine that it is by our whole-essence that we are judged and will be judged.

Finally, in the whole of human history, our inability to tolerate and accept dissimilar essences and identities has been a cause of great discord, suffering, and grief.

Thinking is a major part of how we apprehend ourselves, others, and the world. If we are to see clearly, unravel the causes of discord, and propose workable solutions, we must think clearly, with heart and mind balanced.



@Mayongod has revealed himself to be a supporter of Duterte and his drug war. This goes a long way to explain his stance on:

1. The Eternal Question. Duterte’s intention is good. Therefore, the Drug War can only beget good.

2. Judging the act and not the actor. Duterte’s acts are good in terms of his intentions. We should judge Duterte by his acts and not his entire personhood.

3. The deconstruction of actor and act. Duterte, the actor, is good. His acts may be bad, but Duterte, in his entire personhood, is a good person.



1. “Open Discussion #4: What Do People Think When a Life Is Rolled Away?” by Joe America

245 Responses to “Thinking Conundrums”
  1. Thank you, Edgar. A challenging read and highly instructive. The implications after the ‘Clear so far?” question bring everything into focus. We make logical errors so easily because our minds are not trained to such disciplines, but the matter of ‘essence’ is great because it shows that the whole is the sum of the parts, nothing more or less, and there are no free passes for intentional choices that are evil based on a mathematical calculation of goods and evil. A mind that can concoct evil while doing good is evil. A mind that can concoct good while doing evil is evil.

    • edgar lores says:

      Sorry for the late response. The last two sentences capture, in part, the “essence” of what I have been trying to say.

      “Doing” is greater than “concocting.” Therefore:

      1. “A mind that can concoct evil while doing good is evil.” The evil identity (concocting) is part-essence. But the good identity (doing) is more pervasive; thus, we may see this person as good in whole-essence.

      2. “A mind that can concoct good while doing evil is evil.” The good identity (concocting) is part-essence. But the evil identity (doing) is more pervasive; thus, we may see this person as evil in whole-essence.

      Duterte is #2.

      Some senators — say, Poe and Villar — who support Duterte are #1.

      The first sentence may be reformulated, but not the second (?).

      1. A mind that can concoct evil while doing good is (largely) good. This applies to the two senators.

      2. A mind that can concoct good while doing evil is good. This is not acceptable.

  2. Bill In Oz says:

    Edgar, I have been thinking about this issue recently….
    I wonder if language is a cause of these problems in thinking. Tagalog is the national language of the Philippines which everyone learns in school. This was decided back in the 1930’s.

    But about 60% of the people speak a local or regional language which is what they learn from infancy in the home and in the villages & barios…

    I am aware of this because my wife is a Bicolano who’s first language is Bicol.. ( and there are 3-4 varieties of Bicol with some major differences from one province to another…Notice I am saying “language’ not dialect.. That is deliberate.

    And there is another layer of complexity : English plays a major role in the business life, the economy, the professions, the law and in politics. All kids at school learn some English but for most Filipinos the ability to really use this third language is limited. English is thus basically the educated elite language

    And this English language is the language used to determine ‘values’…It is among this section of the population that the major discussions about politics, the law, power, wealth etc. all take place….

    With everyone else still mostly functioning in Tagalog or their own local language…

    This blog is an example : it mostly happens in English. And that by it’s nature excludes all Filipinos who have not the long training, the skill, the time, the interest to take part in the conversations.

    And that is not a criticism Joe. It is just me pointing out what is taken for granted but which is a cause of problems…

    Running ones life in three languages is hard work. We all tend to try and simplify things..

    This is a real conundrum

    • I don’t take it as a criticism, but as a clear and important reason for the failure of ‘western thinking’ to make its way across the great divide.

      • Question: Is “western thinking” better? (what is “western thinking” being compared to? ie., is it replacing “Filipino thinking”?)

        • Western thinking is founded on a logical, Christian-based morality that is different from Eastern thinking which is more layered and elegant in some respects. It is better at solving problems in western cultures, but not so hot in non-western environments. The Philippines is a fascinating case study of the failure of Western constructs imposed on a tribal culture.

          • Let me go out on a limb here, but could it be that western thinking is the culprit here all along, Joe? 300 years Spanish thinking; 50 years American thinking. There hasn’t really been Filipino thinking, no?

            • Um, that’s essentially what I just said. I really have no interest in engaging your Socratic approach, and suggest you take up discussion with someone else. Edgar is kind enough to approve your comments to get them out of moderation. I am not so inclined.

    • NHerrera says:

      The penultimate paragraph is interesting. The brain, thought of as a computer, with the necessary allocation for the three languages, may be a hindrance. On the other hand the diversity and the varied perspectives associated with the three languages may help in creativity and wider viewpoints. (I am conversant with English, Tagalog and Ilonggo; though my posting errors in English here probably gives evidence to the negatives of having the two other languages requiring some brain power. 🙂 )

      • NH, “brain…maybe be a hindrance” is exactly this Guru’s point , though he says “the mind is a garbage bin”. Have you heard of him. Watch it:

        I agree by the way, NH, that languages = clearer thinking , not the opposite. The more modes of thoughts one has the better, you’re not worst for it (especially if said languages come from different linguistic trees, thus different grammar, syntax, ways of thinking).

    • edgar lores says:

      Bill, thanks.

      1. If I understand you correctly, you make 3 vital points.

      1.1. Filipinos speak at least 3 languages: mother tongue, Pilipino, and English.
      1.2. Not all Filipinos are well versed in English. It is the language of the educated elite.
      1.3. We mainly adopt Western values from English. These values are not shared by all because of the language barrier.

      I believe you make a valid point for #1.3. For example, Irineo and I have observed that Filipinos do not really understand the word “democracy.” The word has not remolded our pre-Hispanic social structure of Rajahship.

      Your second point is also relevant. I understand that English has not been given much value in the educational system, and many Filipinos in the D and E strata struggle with the language. Please, someone, correct me if I am wrong. But Tagalog is very much pervasive, is used throughout the country, and is a, if not the dominant language in socmed.

      As to the first point, I would think that the ability to communicate in 3 languages promotes high intelligence. With the caveat, that the degree of fluency ranges from medium to high.

      Add to this that socmed has allowed most everyone to participate in discussions. Any discussion, in any language, should increase intelligence. Again, with the caveat that discussion is not limited to the exchange of insults and invectives.

      The article focuses on deficiencies in reasoning. Reasoning is partly a function of (a) language (ability to understand and to express oneself); (b) the power of abstraction; and (c) the ability to manipulate abstractions. I am not sure that (b) and (c) are language-dependent. They would have to do with the sharpness of mind. Are mathematicians as proficient in language as they are in mathematical symbols?

      But language belongs to the domain of the mind. And even if we are not proficient in language but have a good heart, then the country would not be in as dire straits as it is. “Western” values, which include Judeo Christian values, should be able to be taught in any language.

      • There are several “lost in translation” gaps I think:

        1) Gap between theory and practice. Due to rote learning plus foreign instruction language. reforms like MTB-MLE “Mother Tongue – Based Multilingual Education” in K-12 (link) – may improve things for good: “Research stresses the fact that children with a solid foundation in their mother tongue develop stronger literacy abilities in the school language.”.

        The mapping between concepts is simple with real objects or people. Thus “stone” points to
        a stone, just like “bato” does. “Bato” points to a bald cop. Abstract concepts? “Democracy” points to the show we see in the Senate every week. Why should THAT be a good thing?

        2) Intimidation through face and power interactions – even by teaching personnel Joe America mentions face and power as currency, even in the area of knowledge (link): in blog debates between commenters, you seldom see flexibility or concession. It signifies weakness. Disagreements are two bricks whacking at one another. Solution is not the goal. Preservation of face, and power, are the goals… Filipinos deny the value of “trial and error” as scientific method in daily life. They instead waste energy defending, covering, ducking, running, attacking, undermining, dodging and digging at others.

        Words become weapons to win an argument instead of a tool for knowledge. The average Filipino courthouse session can be a near to ridiculous example of verbal jousting for the sake of grandstanding. This intimidates many less educated to think “I have no chance”.

        3) Forgotten meanings and motherless tongues – the strange lingo of Philippine papers which uses 1930s editorial lingo (solons, mull, etc.) from Chicago, the legal language which is a mix of Spanish and American terms. Own Filipino English terms which some think are real English – “colorum” is an example coming from a term used to refer to “pulahanes” in the 1920s who used the prayer fragment “in saeculo saecolorum”. Using the word “widow” to mean “playing things by ear” when in reality Spanish “oido” was just misheard.

        Filipinos would be less confused if the traditional culture allowed asking “WHY” more often. But the authoritarian, old school sees asking why as an offense, and often uses “why” to scold someone. “Edgar, why are you always so philosophical?” is not a question if asked by a typical Filipina teacher of the old school, it is a scolding. “Pia Ranada, why are you asking why you are not allowed to come into da Palace anymore” (pronounced enimor) “do you not know it is bastos to always be asking-asking por da reason?”. Another current example..

        Plus Filipino/Tagalog is (still) unwieldy for many high-level concepts, as it has not been used as a “Hochsprache” (higher tongue) for centuries. Just like Romanian, a direct descendant of Latin, became a “Bauernsprache” (peasant tongue”) in centuries of being “out there”. Sonny has written about intellectualizing languages through enrichment by other sources. Romanian was lucky to have its sister language French for enrichment in the 19th century. Borrowed words therefore don’t sound awkward. There are a few like PAB who have the facility of using Filipino to express complex thinking in a simple way. To in fact express logic so that it looks like common sense, something many Filipinos think is a contradiction. Wrong logic as Edgar described in the artciel above makes many think all logic is just “pilosopo”..

    • chemrock says:

      I’m not inclined to put too much weight on language, in this case English, as a barrier to understanding. If that were so, there would be no great Russian thinkers, Chinese Confucianists, or Indian Buddhists thinkers, or Tibetan Lamas etc. I think the simple fact is most people who pass through their country’s school curriculums are never taught these kind of stuff unless they reach university and take a course that includes philosophy.

      • It is true that Philosophy is not taught in the elementary and high school level when I was in school in PH but every grade level included a subject in Science and Math.

        Critical thinking is usually developed before uni through the introduction of scientific thinking honed through progressive science experiments and mathematical problem solving. Both subjects aid in synthesis and analysis of everyday events leading to better perspective and quality of life.

        Am I wrong in perceiving that most Filipinos at least have a high school education? if not, why there seems to be a critical thinking predicament?

        • chemrock says:

          I agree JP, that Science and Maths provide the grounder to appreciate logical thinking. But I tend to think most kids simply miss the woods for the tree. They (and me too when young) simply understand how to solve the equations, but never ponder that application in live that we process problems in steps. And Edgar’s lessons here on subjective/objective processes are simply never taught in lower schools.

        • edgar lores says:

          Math is taught at all levels but, for me, logic was only taught in college.

          We don’t have the tradition of logical thinking. And yet many Filipinos excel in programming, which is logical symbolic thinking. For some reason, the professional skill is not applied to private life. The inherited epistemology (of culture and religion) is never questioned.

          When I look at wayward Congressional hearings and Supreme Court decisions, it seems to me that the heart (or self-interest) decides first and the mind is yoked to fulfill the heart’s desires.

          At bottom, this indicates that we lack good basic moral principles.

          We have black hearts.


          Our moral principles are stored in our conscience. And where does our conscience reside? In the heart? Or in the mind?

          Before googling the answer, I first said the heart. And then immediately after, the mind.

          • Bill In Oz says:

            Edgar and everyone else, first an apology. Having made my comment yesterday morning I was distracted and forgot to come back & follow the discussion….

            Reading now it has been interesting and fruitful to my own thinking..

            But some observations :
            1: “We have black hearts”.. Ahh Edgar, this is not fair mate..Yes I am sure there are a few black hearted Filipinos. But as in other nations they are few. Most Filipinos I have met are kind and caring in that very unique Filipino way.

            2: Rather I suggest ” Many of us have confused minds” is more apt. But to admit to being confused or not understanding is such a loss of face, that it is hidden and never admitted.

            Back in 2015, I remember misunderstanding a comment here on SOH. And when it was pointed out to me, I apologised as that seemed the right thing to do.. And I think it was you noted this as ‘unusual’…

            In the years since, I have come to agree with you.I have never heard an apology spoken by a Filipino. Not even my caring lovely natured wife. Why is this ? Because of the fear of loss of face and all that means…

            I am reminded once being in a taxi going from Quiapo to Makati. The traffic was dense so he left the normal route and headed down side roads which were also clogged. Unfortunately after a while I was annoyed and expressed my feelings to my lady…At which point the taxi driver who had not said a word of English rounded on me with anger is rudimentary English : he understood some of what i said and saw it as an insult to him.

            Now he made the wrong choice as a taxi driver. But the traffic was so dense that the choices were very limited and none were good. Here in Oz situation would have been managed with an apology and a comment that there were no good choices. And all would then be well.

            But the Philippines does have this ‘amor propio’ cultural value which I suspect predates the Spanish and Islam.

            And with the norm being three languages to navigate in the Philippines, the potential for not understanding is very high; much higher than in a largely monolingual nation like Australia…

            So I suggest again : “Confused minds not Black hearts”..

            • edgar lores says:

              Bill, thank you for your generous opinion of my countrymen.

              I made the statement as a generalized observation.

              Generalized observations are never 100% accurate. They are couched in such manner as a matter of emphasis.

              I make the statement knowing full well — and in total agreement with you — that many Filipinos are “kind and caring” in our “very unique way.”

              I make the statement in the following context:

              o Where killing is involved, the term “confused” is wide of the mark.
              o Duterte is full of malice.
              o The congressman and senators who support him are near full of malice.
              o The Supreme Court justices who support him are near full of malice.
              o The 80% of Filipinos who continue to support him are near full of malice.

              For Duterte, I use the term “malice” in the legal sense: “Law. evil intent on the part of a person who commits a wrongful act injurious to others.” –

              For his supporters, I use it in the non-legal sense: “desire to inflict injury, harm, or suffering on another, either because of a hostile impulse or out of deep-seated meanness.”

      • Bill In Oz says:

        Chemrock, sorry language is significant. It’s lunch time now for us.. This morning we went to the market, did some shopping and then went to a local St Vincent’s charity “Op shop’..

        While we were there my lady found a book on Type 2 Diabetes. Her mother has recently become a diabetic and so this has become a major interest for my lady. The book was published by the Australian Diabetics Society and thus it was for her a ‘major source’.
        She asked me if it was worth buying as I have kepy myself up to date with the latest science on this issue..
        I asked her when it was publishished. The answer 2004. That means it’s old news to me. So I then briefly looked through the book and read the section on what to eat. It discussed the Sugar Myth and said that diabetics could eat sugar in prepared foods… Provided that insulin levels were kept up ( by injection ! )

        Having read this I said politely ” It’s outdated, don’t buy it.” But my lady disagreed. She said It’s pubilihed in Australia and is a ‘new’ book – in the sense that it had not been read by anyone and was in good condition.

        I then spat the dummy. And told her quite annoyed in a raised voice, “Do not buy this book. Do not send it to her. This book will kill your mum. Sugar is poison for diabetics. this book is rubbish and nonsense”.

        She got this message. But complained that I was angry..Yes I was angry. If her mum had got that book there was a very high chance she would have trusted it implicitly and it would have killed her.

        Why do tell you this ? Because it illustrates the difficulties of living a life in three languages. My quiet, subtle message “Outdated” was not understood in all it’s meanings… And so about to be ignored. My loud and blunt version got through…

        You are Chines but from Singapore. I imagine that you live your life in many languages also : Hakka, Hokien, Mandarin, Malay & English maybe with some Tagalog from your years in Manilla…But I wonder if there are not ‘gaps’ in your fluency in each of them…

        By the way : sugar and highly refined processed foods with all the various forms of sugar ( with about 56 different names ) is poison fro diabetics… They need to be on a very high saturated fat, Low carb diet.if this is done, insulin injections may not even be needed.

        • chemrock says:

          Bill I get what you are trying to convey about language barriers. But each language in their own ways over centuries would have offered equivalent ideas on logic and morals and ethics.

          Regarding diabetes, for those who battle to cut down on sugary intake but has difficulty because of sweet tooth, I recommend stevia. The leaves of this plant has a very sweet taste but no sugar. It’s a great substitute. I was sourcing for ths and actually found an industrious company that manufactures this. Unfortunately my plans on introducing this into Singapore was frustrated because this is banned by our govt. Many countries followed the US in banning this sugar sustitute (due to industry lobby) but some countries like Japan and Latin American countries have been using this for decades. Do you notice any fat Japanese everytime you see a street scene in Japan? US recently lifted the ban, but our country continues to say NO entry.

          Stevia has now gone into lots of carbonated drinks like Coco-Cola and cake manufacturers. I suspect with the Sugar Tax in Philippines, stevia will gain in popularity.

  3. “Can you send sodomy to hell and homosexuals to heaven?” If you did that heaven would be hell for homosexuals, i’d imagine…

    But seriously, good article. A great play by play of the discussion which I followed in real time, more articles like these would be great, edgar. But let me disagree on this,

    “@Mayongod has revealed himself to be a supporter of Duterte and his drug war.”

    No he hasn’t unless you’re privy to more behind the scenes stuff (like he’s an actual DU30 troll, has been here before in different guise, etc.)

    1. He doesn’t say DU3O’s intentions are good. I read his view as DU30 bad; God good (which is still IMHO a flaw in thinking, that was my separate discussion w/ Mayongod).

    2. I read his separation of act/actor , not for DU30 but for the drug addict, for Mayongod’s own “legit” solutions, which he outlined in another blog— so he would be against EJKs since that particular solution is actor specific.

    3. Again DU30 as good, Mayongod never really espoused. So I’m confused here, edgar, why Mayongod is pro-DU30.

      • I agree, Mayongod’s logic and/or thinking is faulty, thus leaving himself open to unintended consequences , but I wanted to know if Mayongod being a pro-DU30 was a fact or your interpretation based on his flawed logic vis-a-vis DU30 and EJKs?

        Because flawed logic does not one make a supporter, give the guy a break he’s even proposing legit solutions (though also flawed IMHO), but can’t blame the guy for trying— like I said to him, 1st world solutions don’t always translate in the 3rd world.

        But he’s no DU30 supporter, i’m sure. Be fair to the guy, don’t label him what he’s not.

      • karlgarcia says:

        He maybe, he maybe not.
        I could not tell based on the link provided.

      • “The roots of “drug addiction” is the drugs, all the drug addicts and related crimes are just branches. – he says.

        “The cause of the cause is the cause of them all” – said Duterte.

        To refer to the language discussion, Duterte simply quoted a wrong Spanish translation.

        La causa de la causa es la causa de todas las causas

        A word play on causa (cause) which can also be used for cosa (matter) in Spanish.

        The long form of that legal idea, probably out of old Spanish lawbooks (penal code stuff) and mistranslated by a Filipino who spoke English badly and Spanish OK, is:

        La causa de la primera causa es la causa de todo el mal causado – remember that the Philippine Penal Code dates back to 1884.

        “The cause of the first matter is the cause of all further damage”. That reasoning is the same as the first sentence Edgar quoted. So similar thinking at the very least.

        • karlgarcia says:

          When I read causa, the Sicillan Mafia, cosa nostra, popped into my mind.

        • But Mayongod’s point from two blog threads combined , when read holistically, was not punishment but solution. If you read again in that light it reads different no?

          He wants to cure drug addiction while releasing the drug addict (action/actor). Mayongod is actually the opposite of DU30 in that he seems to abhor punishment, just laser focused on solution.

          A flaw in thinking I called him out on,

          Mayongod may not be the most critically adept thinker but he makes up for that with a whole lot of compassion, not at all like DU30— for sure Mayongod’s redeeming quality for me.

          • chemrock says:

            Mayongod’s political leanings does not factor in my reading of the discussion. I simply try to disgest the arguments as a contest of logic. In fact, if he were really D30 supporter, I appreciate his attempt to discuss and put forth his ideas. I certainly hope he is enriched with the experience. That is not to put him down that he is dead wrong, but that there are always other views to consider.

  4. NHerrera says:

    edgar, I have to read your blog article again, meantime this comment: methinks you did good work on that other blog like a detective to ferret out the motivation of Mayongod in the good-and-evil discussion — along with your interaction with Lance.

    • edgar lores says:

      NHerrera, thanks.

      We are trying to understand what makes Duterte supporters tick.

      From Sun Tzu: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

  5. chemrock says:

    Thank you Edgar, for taking time to put this into a blog to share with us. I Iearnt much in that thread discussion with Mayongod and consider this blog a bonus. I have’nt just emerged from the cave so obviously I have some thoughts on this matter, but you encapsulated everything so well here I felt a sort of aura over my head as I read it this morning. Really appreciate this piece.

    As schools attempt belatedly to teach young kids to distinguish fake news, they should really complement it with some basic logical thinking of which this article serves as a great primer. Edgar, I really appreciate this article and I would be sharing this with lots of folks.

  6. I hope Mayongod comes back and tells us himself that he or is not pro-Duterte. To me, it does not matter one way or another. I appreciate that he was civil and respectful to all and gave our in-house “makulit” (LCplX) some ideas to ponder and elaborate on. It was an engrossing read especially when Edgar chimed in.

    I think it might be Kuya Will’s “Danny Boy” article but I swear that I’ve been finding people in social media who fit the prodigal brother’s profile. They like to strike conversation about good and evil as if they want someone to talk sense to them so they could justify their change of hearts.

    • … to all and gave our in-house “makulit” (LCplX) some ideas to ponder and elaborate on.”

      whewwwwwwwwwwww… I thought you were calling me an a-hole or something worst, JP. thanks, I like positive and I like playful.

      Though I’m sure Joe would pick #4 😦

      p.s.~ You gotta watch “Rotten” on Netflix, JP, great series , very in-depth:

  7. karlgarcia says:

    For what it is worth, here K to 12 Deped (ALS) Scieltific literacy and Critical thinking Curriculum.

    Click to access LS%202%20Scientific%20and%20Critical%20Thinking%20Skills!!.pdf

  8. NHerrera says:

    Somewhat a diversion at this point in the discussion. But the time is an exercise in logic and rationality; no sophisticated language and Philosophy required, only arithmetic.


    Here is why:

    The table below summarizes Habito’s data on the percentages of PH’s Exports, Imports, Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), Remittances and Official Development Assistance (ODA).

    • edgar lores says:

      NHerrera, thanks.

      And look at those Japan export figures and ODA ! Domo arigato, Saito-san.

    • NHerrera says:

      The bright minds of TSH are doing nicely with their topical contributions/ comments on edgar’s article. I hope my additional note on the economy is not too discordant. My excuse: it still relates to the poor logic and critical thinking — about which the eco managers have been warned — behind the hasty moves (ref TRAIN Phase 1) to support the P8.44-trillion “Build, Build, Build” program.

      Now Pernia warns in the following link:


      MANILA, Philippines — The country’s socioeconomic planning chief on Wednesday said policymakers should “rethink” what financing scheme must be implemented to fund the Duterte administration’s aggressive infrastructure push.

      That was after estimated take from a new tax law turned out to be less than what the government had hoped to raise.

      But not to worry. There are still TRAIN 2 and TRAIN 3.

      • edgar lores says:

        NHerrera, This is welcome input.

        Seems to me that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.

  9. edgar,

    Come to think of it,

    logic should be taught in a blog commentary format. What do you think? Essentially , you’d have a trained teacher in logic/rhetoric/ethics , preferably in high school (similar to what you do here), play referee/player , each student writes articles, then discuss in the comment thread, then just as you’ve done here, the teacher does a play by play of the discussions.

    I think this format is a fun way to learn logic. Then do Harkness table discussions in class, and just sharpen logic and rhetoric skills. Writing and speaking with logic.

    • I’d add, students as players in this game, have avatars and remain anonymous (teacher too), so when they meet around the Harkness table, part of the fun also is trying to figure out who’s who, encourage everyone to take on different personas and arguments, so they’ll be able to argue both, all sides of any issue.

      • edgar lores says:

        Ah, a masquerade. The classroom as a bal masque.

        I imagine this would develop flexible minds — but create much naughtiness.

        The two quotes seem to assume that there are only two sides to a question. In the Rashomon effect, there are four sides. There are at least 20 widely practiced religions, with an even greater number of schisms.

        I think the hallmark of true intelligence is to walk one’s own path, to develop one’s essence, and to live authentically per our essence in this bewildering world.

    • edgar lores says:

      Different methods for different situations?

      I imagine the traditional method would work with large-sized classes, and the Harkness model with small-sized classes. The latter would prove unwieldy for a class of more than, say, 15 students. Filipino classes tend to be larger. One could, of course, break up the class into groups.

      I imagine also that the subject matter would make a great deal of difference. The arts and the humanities would befit the Harkness model, as would sex education. But technical subjects? I am not so sure.

      Then there is the personality of the teacher and the students to consider. In my experience, great teachers under the traditional method can be inspirational. I count myself fortunate in that regard. In the Harkness method, they would just serve as guides.

      In the traditional method, the personalities of students would not matter much. Whereas in the Harkness method, students with outgoing personalities will tend to dominate.

      • Yeah, the Harkness is designed for smaller classes, but as far as extroverts monopolizing the conversation, that would be the job of the teacher, like a conductor of an orchestra. And once comfortable, i’d think the introverts will catch-up.

        I wasn’t schooled in the Harkness method, but it’s very similar to the military, when they say ‘school circle on me’, and everyone gathers in a circle and listens and discuss the problem, do unofficial after action or just briefing.

        As far as teacher role, it’s still the same, just more talking and less listening to the teacher. At any point I suppose the teacher can stand up and go traditional.

        For the online component, yeah anonymity would lend to naughtiness and part of the fun, but in the end, they’ll all have to take off their masks and get graded, so can’t be too naughty.

        for sure, there’s more than just 2 sides, but for ease of instruction (and thinking), the magic number when weighing things out in the mind is 3 , so simply prioritize the first 3 then the next and on and on…

        As to true intelligence, I’m thinking the purpose of the course is to introduce a more fruitful type of thinking, whether critical or creative, but fruitful; though I agree, you can take it further but nothing too metaphysical in class (i doubt many will strive for this, but it’s the same path nonetheless… so at least it’s a start, no?)

  10. josephivo says:

    Love the Erroneous Reasoning, Categorization and Scoping categories. Browsing through the comments it seems that they could be applied almost everywhere… Some more observations.

    1. Cultural difference between the Anglo-Saxon and Continental thinking/law. Anglo-Saxons look at the effect of an act, the Continentals at the motive of the actor. “Walking high in the mountains and pushing a stone that creates an avalanche killing.” In England the major question is “did the avalanche kill someone?” In France the major question is “why did he push the stone?” Both have their logic, “if a stone can create a killing you better know in advance and be double careful” and “how can one be responsible for an unexpected consequence?”

    2. Fire. A fire always needs the combination of three causes in the correct range/strength depending on the environment: fuel, oxygen and an initiating spark. (So do mass-killings, victims, killers and a weapon.) Taking only one in consideration abstractly without knowing the environment is false.

    3. Statistics. There is no yes or no, there is only more likely of less likely. One always has to define what yes means, 99% sure or 99.9% or at a 6 sigma level, or with a universe full of 9’s behind the decimal point?

    4. Are we in scientific setting, an ethical one or a legal one…? Words and logic has different meanings in different settings.

    • edgar lores says:

      Josephivo, as usual, you bring much to the table, to the Harkness table.

      1. The first point reminds me of the difference between Buddhism and other religions. Buddhism sees intention as primary, others see consequences. The Buddhist view emphasizes personal responsibility. Consequences can be either triumph or disaster or neutral. So at the personal level, they increase or diminish our sense of self (ego) or have no effect.

      2. I like the analogy between fire and mass killings. In the Drug War, there are the victims (drug personalities), the killers (the PNP and their weapons), and I imagine the initiating spark is Duterte. But fire burns and the consequences are also to be considered. The victims are not only the dead but their surviving families as well, and the unrest of the citizenry. And the notions of justice and kindness.

      3. Before Science, we had certainty in religious beliefs. Science introduced certainty to an nth degree in objectively replicable experiments. Statistics have given us a measure of confidence levels in the interpretation of data. But statistics not only measures but also influences. And it is very hard not to be influenced in our personal decisions when electoral polls tell us our selected candidate has a snowball’s chance in hell.

      4. The last point relates to categorization as discussed and is a critical element in our reasoning.

  11. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Thanks, Edgar, for this article. Well made and well pressed for the not-so literates like me. I go by feelings, as everyone would agree. But the feelings I own, I didn’t know would come from the same school as Edgar’s. There must be method in my madness. Is it a valid point to make that Filipinos are philosophical and critical thinkers after all? It’s like langoy aso (swimming like dogs or horses) versus scientific swimming like freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly. Scientific swimming certainly has the edge in gaining distance and conserving energy, but langoy aso does elicit guffaws—joie de vivre—as can be seen in young boys who have no university training but can retrieve coins several meters from the surface. As an aside, I saw a young man in Coron with pieces of plywood as flippers, and no breathing apparatus, guiding a group of tourists in full diving gear 20 or so meters deep. Ill-equipped, yes, but on-target for goals. I agree, though, that things can be better, as Duterte is showing us. If only our IQs and EQs were a notch higher.

    • edgar lores says:

      Will, you bring up a good point.

      Certainly, we have the potential and skills to become great thinkers. The differences between langoy and professional swimming are, I would say, training, technique, equipment, and practice. We tend to rely on native skills that are undeveloped — either by ourselves and/or the environment — and play by (c) Irineo’s oido.

      Physique would be a factor in swimming. We do not have the long limbs and lung capacity of Michael Phelps. But it would not be a factor in thinking and reasoning.

      o The only equipment we need are our hearts and minds. These are pre-provided.

      o Technique, once fully established, can be taught. This post adds to technique.

      o Training is somehow lacking. Training includes not only school education but also the milieu. It’s almost impossible to develop good essence, the whole person, when we are so focused on our disparate identities.

      o Practice is the difficult part. We cannot start practice until we have the technique and the training. TSOH provides a practice pool. Heh heh.

      I might add our collective, non-individualistic orientation might be or is a factor. And as Josephivo has pointed out before, the proper nurture of babies is critical in developing IQ. And environment and socioeconomic status are influential in developing IQ for adults.

      • Right-brain and left-brain.. left brain is logical while right brain is musical, visual etc.

        Obviously Filipinos are mostly “right-brainers”, liking movies, music and LOVE (c) Will.

        The intuitive way of doing things is very useful when you lack data or proper tools.

        Filipino mechanics / talyer can make nearly anything work again, somehow.

        But talyer mentality has its limits with a complex system like the MRT 3.

        “Weder-weder” decisions and “I’ll cross the bridge when I get there” work in the barangay.

        At national level, they can leave you dreadfully unprepared, you need to be organized.

        Even musical talents in the Philippines often stagnate because they lack rigorous training.

        The boxing talent of Pacquiao, raw, untamed streetfighting power, became world class due to his American training. Developing people and an entire nation just by trial and error is simply something that takes too long. If you forget all the time, you just go in circles.

        • edgar lores says:

          Pacquiao! A perfect example of native skill attaining world-class performance.

          But also a perfect example of the Peter Principle.

          • “Give me ten thousand Filipinos and I shall conquer the world!” – said Gen. McArthur.

            Generation of GIs (genuine Ilocanos and genuine Igorots) did well in US service.

            BUT: the training, motivation and organization was that of the United States.

            Another example: the UP Swimming team flourished under a Japanese trainer in the 70s.

            He was also our Advanced Swimming course Teacher, pushing us literally to our limits.

            I learned to swim really well even if I often literally feared drowning quite often.

            The UP Swimming team went back to training little and eating merienda by the poolside when the Japanese trainer left. As if nothing lasting had been learned from his presence. Same with Pacquiao who neglected his training when he became a Senator..

            • Likewise, Filipinos flourish abroad, or even in usually foreign-run BPO corporations – or even if they are local, the quality of delivery is monitored by foreigners, not Filipinos.

              In Philippine contexts, I believe the bosses are either too harsh – or there is a culture of mediocrity similar to what Chief Justice Sereno’s colleagues are displaying. Don’t be too good, don’t shame those who are mediocre, go with the crowd, don’t rock the boat.. Recent successes of DOST surprise me, but the crab mentality resurfaced very quickly and visibly when Project NOAH was closed by PAG-ASA as being “not needed”. UP saved it but the envy of traditional forces against it was obvious. So everything seems like Sisyphus there.

              • edgar lores says:

                Irineo, you are on a roll.

                The Sereno impeachment is a model of the 3 deficiencies in Filipino thinking.

                The miscategorization of impeachable offenses, the scoping of the offenses, and the reasoning!


              • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

                Agree. The German Missile is hitting all targets.

        • NHerrera says:

          Irineo: bull’s eye on the left-brain, right-brain thinking. While on this, I recall your using the word heuristic in a previous blog post. In instances where a problem is intractable or difficult to solve using the known methods/ algorithms, heuristics are used to provide perspectives, if not some plausible solution — where the best that the right and left brains have to offer are put to use.

  12. Micha says:

    Ahem. This reminds me of our discussion – informal as they were it seems to me compared to this structured methodology which is edgar’s signature – several full moons ago on whether drug addiction or drug use is a crime or a health problem.

    I could only count a handful in this forum who agreed that it is above all a health problem (physiological/psychological) and thus any attempt to offer solution that will criminalize it is wrong.

    Now we are reaping the consequences of that ill-considered viewpoint which, in a way, gave fuel to Duterte’s bloody campaign.

    He was given an inch, by virtue of the collective or popular (however flawed) notion, and he swallowed the whole hand.

  13. sonny says:


    To identify & correct “erroneous reasoning”;
    To use appropriate “categorization”;
    To determine & use correct “scoping”;

    Assuming a K-12 time-frame; and a developmental model of human growth & development;

    I would suggest studying & implementing:

    -Current Primary Methods taught by qualified Elem Education graduates (Normal School grads, accompanied by parental & direct governmental support)
    -TRIVIUM TO QUADRIVIUM curricula for middle-school to high school students (adjusted for PH conditions)
    (w/adjustments for PH student-teacher ratios)
    Note: see stats for performance
    -or (Jesuit RATIO STUDIORUM curriculum, where appropriate)

    Just my opinion.

    • sonny says:

      Suggested backgrounder for “Ratio Studiorum” (I recommend special attention from paragraph 5 and following to the 9th (end of article) paragraph. The “Ratio” from 1599 and its devlopments down through the centuries have been in use in Jesuit academic training in their schools around the world.

      • If we are looking at practical implementations, real case studys / term papers make sense.

        In fact stuff like “what are the technical issues with the MRT 3 and how could they be solved” could be tackled – analyzing real, current topics and applying problem-solving.

        Filipinos have a strong task-orientation and bayanihan when it comes to topics that are very concrete (moving a house, getting food on the table for a party of hundreds of people etc.) – so enhance that talent with an abstract layer, including presenting solution proposals.

        • I agree. That is why I applaud UP Chancellor Michael Tan’s move to let UP students join the Feb 23-24 gatherings of concerned citizens. It has been proven that rote method gets the grade but does not present any practical lessons learned. Tan stated that students suffer from cognitive dissonance because the realities on the ground oftentimes negate those being taught from textbooks. Bottomline is that theory and practice need to merge in order for the students to “get” what being taught. Activism is not terrorism. It teaches the youth to “own” their destinies. Being a productive part of the society means participating and contributing to its uplift. It is so wrong to label student activists as bad people. We need to listen to them. Their concerns are no less valid than ours. Hearing and listening are different breed of animals. Listening is an active process. We listen to understand and learn the other person’s point of view. We often hear others to formulate a comeback that will diminish their perspective.

          Looking at the US student activism in light of the Parkland school shooting, I cannot help but think that something very positive will come out of it. I am very proud of them for trying to stop the madness. If these students are America’s future leaders, I do not believe in any prophecy that America will fall.

      • edgar lores says:

        The Jesuits are known for their learning and adventurousness.

        I find this concept central: “It [Ratio Studiorum] cannot be better defined than in the words of the general of the Society, Father Martin, who said in 1892: ‘The characteristics of the Ratio Studiorum are not to be sought in the subject matter, nor in the order and succession in which the different branches are taught, but rather in what may be called the “form”, or the spirit of the system. This form, or spirit, consists chiefly in the training of the mind [efformatio ingenii], which is the object, and in the various exercises, which are the means of attaining this object.’ This training or formation of the mind means the gradual and harmonious development of the various powers or faculties of the soul—of memory, imagination, intellect, and will; it is what we now call a general and liberal education.

        A liberal education!

        I try to formulate my own quotable quotes but there are many beautiful quotes on liberal education. This does it for me in the context of what is happening in the country and the world.


    • edgar lores says:

      The SAT stats are indeed impressive. I think the sense of an academic milieu that combines learning with fun works well. This reminds me of Baptist Bible School studies that I attended in Baguio when I was a child. I felt exhilarated.

  14. edgar lores says:

    Sonny, I noted your unease with the Jesuits a few days ago.

    This morning I read that the Pope will cave in to China’s demands. (Is there no country that will stand up to China’s encroachments?)

    “Is the Pope Catholic?” used to be a rhetorical question. The Vatican’s new deal with the Chinese Communist Party makes the irony seem quaint. As the free world grapples with the communist-Islamist threat, Pope Francis is finalising a deal that could legitimise the most genocidal ideology in modern history. It elevates the CCP as a religious authority over millions of Chinese. It violates core Christian principles that sustain the free world. It renders millions of Chinese vulnerable to state persecution.

    “In March, the Vatican will recognise the Communist Party as a spiritual authority with the power to appoint bishops. The idea is controversial, as The Australian has been reporting over the past few weeks. The accord will reverse decades of Vatican resistance to communism. It will give the Chinese state power over church leadership.”

    • sonny says:

      Unease is the right word, edgar. When events are written about or from the Vatican, I normally give it a soft attention unless they are of more than ordinary concern to me as a catholic or the subject is of use to other Christians or non-Christians. The call is arbitrarily mine.

      The pope & China;
      Spiritual authority and the appointment of bishops is normally something in the province of the Catholic Church. Episcopal investiture is done by non-Catholics as well, at anyone’s whim it seems. Yet the apostolic character can only come from legitimately ordained Catholic bishops and the permission of Rome. Without these conditions, the subjects if Catholics will be under sanction by Rome, to say the least (censure, excommunication, schism). For non-Catholics, they can define spiritual authority and practice any which way they want to. So the news as presented by the secular press will be vetted by Catholics for their own information and use.

      • sonny says:

        Here’s an example of a formal sanction of a catholic bishop directed at US Sen Durbin of Illinois with regard to the senator’s legislative actions. The senator is a catholic.
        SPRINGFIELD — I agree completely with His Eminence, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, who called the U.S. Senate’s failure to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act “appalling.”

        Fourteen Catholic senators voted against the bill that would have prohibited abortions starting at 20 weeks after fertilization, including Sen. Richard Durbin, whose residence is in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. In April 2004, Sen. Durbin’s pastor, then Msgr. Kevin Vann (now Bishop Kevin Vann of Orange, CA), said that he would be reticent to give Sen. Durbin Holy Communion because his pro-abortion position put him outside of communion or unity with the Church’s teachings on life. My predecessor, now Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha, said that he would support that decision. I have continued that position.

        Canon 915 of the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law states that those “who obstinately persist in mani­fest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” In our 2004 Statement on Catholics in Political Life, the USCCB said, “Failing to protect the lives of innocent and defenseless members of the human race is to sin against justice. Those who formulate law therefore have an obligation in conscience to work toward correcting morally defective laws, lest they be guilty of cooperating in evil and in sinning against the common good.” Because his voting record in support of abortion over many years constitutes “obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin,” the determination continues that Sen. Durbin is not to be admitted to Holy Communion until he repents of this sin. This provision is intended not to punish, but to bring about a change of heart. Sen. Durbin was once pro-life. I sincerely pray that he will repent and return to being pro-life.
        — Bishop Paprocki, Diocese of Springfield, Illinois

        Bishop Paprocki is a Canon Law lawyer besides being Bishop of Springfield, Illinois.

      • I gotta feeling Pope Francis weighed it out (i’m sure he prayed too), and anticipated that the CCP was gonna be gone in a decade (or two), so he said What the hell, let them do it, then when they dissolve we at least have a foot hold again,

        Christianity’s development in China was apparently concurrent with Buddhism’s (there’d been excursions up to China and Buddhism as Taoism combos, but the full on development of Buddhism in China happened along side Christianity),–907_CE) sent a contingent of monks to China, with this guy

        Armed with .

        So don’t sweat it, sonny.

        • sonny says:

          The Christian connection via the Nestorian Christians antedates the Jesuits and their history with China. I suspect that Pope Francis is not shy about intreracting with the Chinese because China became missionary country for the Catholic Church during the missionary works of the Jesuits via Fr Mateo Ricci, SJ, the brilliant polymath, and his Jesuit companions.

          “Matteo Ricci brought trigonometry to China, and Ricci’s successors, Verbiest and Schall von Bell, then used the geometric and trigonometric concepts to bring about a revolution in the sciences of astronomy, the design of astronomical instruments, mapmaking, and the intricate art of making accurate calendars. The Jesuits were inveterate mapmakers and were continually traveling around the empire, even though travel conditions were quite primitive.”

          “The Jesuits went to unparalleled lengths and showed unbelievable patience in adapting themselves to the people they had determined to teach. For instance, they sent out a small expedition of ten or twelve priests to Christianize four hundred million Chinese. This almost impossible task they started by studying China. The Jesuits therefore spent several years learning Chinese philosophy, art, and literature, making ready to meet the Chinese on their own level. After the imperial officials had slowly, reluctantly admitted them, the Jesuits at once flattered them by talking to them in their own tongue, and attracted them by displaying specially prepared maps and astronomical instruments. Instead of being rejected as foreign barbarians, they were accepted as intelligent and cultivated men. One of them, who became a painter in the Chinese style, is now regarded as one of the classical artists of China.” — Gilbert Highet in his book The Art of Teaching. New York ( pg. 222-223) spoke of the Jesuit Methods.

          “From about 1600 until the suppression in 1773, Jesuits were practically the sole source of Chinese knowledge about Western astronomy, geometry and trigonometry. Appointments in the Astronomical Bureau provided the Jesuits with access to the ruling elite, whose conversion was their main object. Mathematical and astronomical treatises demonstrated high learning and proved that the missionaries were civilized and socially acceptable. While trigonometry became an analytic science in Europe, in the Orient it remained primitive until the Jesuits came.”

          Of course, it remains to be seen how Pope Francis will leverage this accumulated history between the Jesuits and the Chinese of today.

      • edgar lores says:

        Sonny, thanks.

        China seems to be employing the same co-optation technique as it did with respect to Tibetan Buddhism. It had the effrontery of recognizing a separate lama, the Panchen Lama.

        • sonny says:

          You’re welcome, edgar.

          I suspect the co-optation is being used by the current totalitarian leadership like it does to the centuries-old Confucianism of the Chinese intelligentsia and hoi polloi. Only a guess.

  15. madlanglupa says:

    Offtopic: Just wondering where I should be tomorrow, as I reflect about my presence at EDSA 2 many years ago.

    Also, one of the worst Marcosian apologists had his request to remove his blog from a list of fake news sites failed with spectacular results.

  16. Mayongod says:


    What have i done to be targeted and put under spotlight? Did I scratch some sense in bringing out “DRUGS” as the root-cause of drug-addiction and proposing a 4-POINTS agenda to solve it? -This time focusing on DRUG-Money instead of drug-addicts. (1) -(1) -(2) -(3)

    Prior to my engagement here at TSOH, i did not really understand why DU30 focused too much on drug addicts as the problem whereas they should be the victims. I now understand, Edgar call it “mis-categorization” . In doing so, they come out with the solution formula to just eradicate them all(addicts as the problem) hiding the root-cause of the real problem which is “drugs” and “drug-addiction” respectively. (2)(3)

    How did it come to this?

    A. I had a one-on-one discussion with Edgar about “Whiskey” . We ended that portion positively coming to better understanding on each of our positions.(4)

    B. On a separate thread, i also have a another discussion with LCpl X focusing on “Water vs Whisky” and/or their representations like Good vs Bad… God vs devil. Most of it, I am defending my stand and positions. Edgar jumps-in and throw some questions claiming it was confusing. To illustrate my points i purposely set up Edgar to be on the “defensive side” and explains his positions. – That didn’t end well because he choose not to reply anymore after giving some hush-hush neutral positions. My outstanding question: How to judge a dead person?(ex. Marcos in the context of Good or Bad) (5)(6)

    The discussion was indeed confusing because me at one-side(a newbie) answering to 2 of the most active commenter of TSOH?. My discussion with LCpl X didn’t end well also because he is starting to make it personal. However, i ended the discussion after leaving my final position on the different matters discussed. My outstanding question they both fail to answer is “Who is in a better position to judge an act whether good or bad? actor or observer”.(3)

    C. Moving on to the next blog, i find it suitable for continuance and to settle everything in order. The mis-categorization of the problem that resulted to EJKs. Edgar came back tagging me as pro-DU30 and drug war supporter. I find it ridiculous and call him out not to take it personal…. then ka-BOOM!!! here we are. -(4) -(5) -(6)

    I dont understand the purpose of this blog except that it was grandstanding. quoting out of context, cherrypicking error and editing trascript to match your own perspective are not good foundation to solve a conundrum. Worst is to specifically target someone and put him under spotlight using false claims. Let us examine your premises:

    “Subtopic 1: Can one judge an act without knowing the actor?

    The issue here is whether one can judge an act without knowing the actor. Mayongod thinks one cannot. I say otherwise. Here is the discussion:” = False claim.”

    => It is my position to separate the actor and the act and judge only the act as good or bad accordingly. This is in relation to the justice system where they prosecute and judge criminals based on who they are and not according to the crimes they actually committed(Druglords).

    Subtopic 2: Is the actor separate from the act? = You mis-interpreted my responses and when I put you on the defensive, you choose not to continue anymore.

    => It follows that all your notes and postscripts are now erroneous because they are based on a wrong subtopic premises.

    I am posting this to let readers have a balancing view. As to Edgar’s intention in assassinating my character, just let it be…. I thank you!!!

    • Three or more links puts a comment into moderation. I am sure Edgar will respond in due course. Thanks for the rebuttal.

    • edgar lores says:



      Thank you for your response.

      1. I suggest that we discuss each topic separately in separate threads so as not to sow confusion.

      2. On this thread, I will respond to this: “To illustrate my points i purposely set up Edgar to be on the “defensive side” and explains his positions. – That didn’t end well because he choose not to reply anymore after giving some hush-hush neutral positions.”

      3. This article is my response to your comment no. 244908 which I have tagged as [13] in the Reference.

      3.1. I found that in trying to answer your question, there were so many things to consider that I had to write this entire article.

      3.2. Therefore, this article is my reply.

      3.3. I hoped you would respond, and you have.

      3.4. As you can see, your last sentence in item 2 is not accurate.

    • I read the article as having very little to do with Mayongod, personally, but as a parsing of character and actions of people in general. Good vs evil. The comments from others suggest they took it the same way. From your reaction, I take it that you consider it an insult to be labeled a Duterte supporter.

    • “My discussion with LCpl X didn’t end well also because he is starting to make it personal. “

      Mayongod, it didn’t end at all. You left me hanging. These were my last questions to you, which you didn’t answer.

      Sorry , if you feel I took it personal, but if you read the question again, I was simply asking if you were more moral than God (that’s not a personal question, I’d go so far as to say it’s a compliment).

      And if you read up, that is exactly my reading of you, as some one well intentioned and not a DU30 supporter. I can understand though you reading edgar’s blog and thinking its a hit job, it’s not, it’s what edgar does and we here at TSOH love it when he does this (and want more of it).

      We never proceeded is my point, Mayongod.

    • NHerrera says:

      May be it’s my computer, but oftentimes when I press a link to a comment in TSH I see on my screen after a wait, a different location, and I still have to wade through the TSH items to find what the link refers to. In any case, I copy below the link,

      the referred to “4 point agenda” of Mayongod, for convenience:

      Mayongod says:
      February 21, 2018 at 10:05 am

      Here’s 4 point agenda to fight “drug addiction”

      1. Authentic desire and decisive action to eradicate drug addiction by ACTORS.(DU30 and government)

      2. Application of OBJECTIVE vs SUBJECTIVE judgement. Judge the suspect on their INVOLVEMENT and not WHO they are.(Justice dept)

      3. Follow the Drugs, Attack only the drug-money.

      Proper investigation and documentations on the different stages of drug transactions. Only take actions to confiscate money and arrest big players.(Police dept)

      4. Use drug-money to enhance capabilities.(SUSTAINABILITY)

      Its all about the money. Follow the money and you have the solution.

      • NHerrera says:

        I am picking only the above post of @Mayongod — there are many more, especially the exchanges between him and edgar, Lance which other exchanges (ref: god, evil, good, water, whisky, cause-effect on drug addiction) may have caused some misunderstanding — but I believe that the above agenda, brief and clear enough to me, seem sound, especially when coupled with the implementing details or algorithm.

        • I agree that following the money is a good approach, versus shooting the users. But when one sees absolute lack of action on a p6.4 billion drug transaction, and an administration that ignores it (while jailing Senator De Lima), it is hard to think government is serious about stopping drugs. It would be easy to conclude that the whole program is just a straw man excuse to impose autocratic control.

          • NHerrera says:

            I too believe that the Drug War and the associated killings is a Strawman to mask the mostly unexpressed Agenda towards Autocratic Rule.

        • edgar lores says:

          I have a different opinion.

          I have one last RESPONSE but am not sure yet whether I will post it. I do not want to preempt that last post.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Following the paper trail would only work if you do something after tracing the source.

            If the source is untouchable then all is for naught.

            This must already prove that there are no short cuts.

            Enforce the law, if there are many loop holes then at least congress can plug them if we pressure them enough.

  17. edgar lores says:


    1. This is Mayongod’s position: “The issue here is whether one can judge an act without knowing the actor. Mayongod thinks one cannot. I say otherwise. Here is the discussion:” = False claim.”

    => It is my position to separate the actor and the act and judge only the act as good or bad accordingly. This is in relation to the justice system where they prosecute and judge criminals based on who they are and not according to the crimes they actually committed(Druglords).” [Bolding mine.]

    2. The references to Subtopic 1 are the comments delineated as [7][8][9][10].

    2.1. The comments are within a thread consisting of the following:

    2.1.1. All the references are dated February 18, 2018. The time ranges from 4:10 am to 8:28 am.
    2.1.2. All occur within a sub-node started by Mayongod on February 15, 2018 at 10:43 pm.
    2.1.3. The main node started with LCpl_X on February 14, 2018 at 10:13 am. It’s the one entitled “My interview with God.”

    2.2. The crime being discussed in the thread is torture.

    3. The relevant analysis of actor and act from Mayongod is dated February 18, 2018 at 4:10 am:

    “a) Whiskey = US soldier = Surely by this time people say he’s BAD!!! but can we really judge him in totality with all his person just by this single time doing the torture? We do not know everything about the person and he may at other point a hero to his countrymen. This difference of judgement at both sides will remain as “DRAW” if no side gives way. The only way everybody can agree is when the judgement is based on the act. The judgement passed will be ” Soldier is guilty of TORTURE”.

    When Filipinos received the judgement and being passed-on, the message changed and only says. “Soldier is guilty.” Notice how they remove the other words “of TORTURE” from the judgement. -another characteristics among men which may need to be re-examined.”

    3.1. The last sentence of Mayongod’s comment is this: “The problem i see among other observers is that they seem to attach their judgement to the person/object and not limit to the ACT which can be classified good or bad.”

    4. It is at this point, February 18, 2018 at 6:15 am, that I raised my question, “Why separate the act from the actor? So a person who kills deliberately is not bad and only the act is bad?”

    5. I have scanned through the thread, from the main node down to my question in #4.

    5.1. Within the limits of the thread, as I have outlined in #2, the term “druggies” is mentioned by LCpl_X but not by Mayongod. Drug as a crime is not. It’s all water, whiskey, and torture. (I wear glasses so I stand to be corrected.)

    5.2. Nowhere can I find Mayongod’s justification, as given in the emboldened sentence in #1. Therefore, I assume that the justification is outside the thread.

    5.3. As far as I can determine, the justification arises from point 2 in his 4 point agenda: “2. Application of OBJECTIVE vs SUBJECTIVE judgement. Judge the suspect on their INVOLVEMENT and not WHO they are.(Justice dept).”

    5.4. The trouble is the 4 point agenda is in a different thread in a different post on a different date. The post is, “How do we get out of this mess?” And the date is February 21, 2018 at 10:05 am. The justification is given 3 days later.

    6. I will note that Mayongod further distinguishes the actor from act in the example of a bad driver and bad driving in his discussion with LCpl_X. This belies the justification he gives.

    6.1. In response to LCpl_X’s pointed question, “Can you punish and/or imprison ‘bad driving’?,” Mayongod does not give a direct answer. He deflects with another answer, “Will the accident caused by ‘bad driving’ solved?”

    6.2. Clearly, this is a nonsequitur. As such, his response is another good example of error in scoping.

    For your consideration.

  18. Bill In Oz says:

    @Edgar.. I have tried to post reply to your comment on ‘Black Heart” 4 times…Each time it disappears into the ether.. Puzzling..
    Trying again here :

    Edgar I am very reluctant to express any opinion on Filipino politics. I am an Australian and largely ignorant of the intricacies of such things.

    Yet I still disagree with your ‘Black Heart’ assessment.
    Clearly there are some Filipinos now with power & authority who are doing evil. But I do not think that 80% of the Philippines people who still support Dutters are all evil hearted. More likely they are mislead & misinformed.

    I have been reading Niall Ferguson’s excellent book : “The War of the World”. Dotted throughout it is a lengthy description of the extent of anti-semitism during 1900-1945 in nearly all the countries of Europe and within the Catholic church. This culminated with the Nazi holaucaust from 1940-45 when millions of Jews were executed pure on the basis of being Jews.In the popular mind this evil is identified with Germans and the Nazis. It was mostly. But numerous other nationalities aided in the Nazis in their evil : Poles, Ukrainians, Latvians, Dutch, French, Russians, Greeks, Hungarians, Croatians etc.

    I do not wish to under value the evil which the Dutters regime is doing. But by comparison with the Nazis, it is much less.

    And there is the issue of how an honest and good government can be elected one day. Clearly it will have to be elected with the votes of millions of your 80% who currently approve of Dutters.. How can that happen if the leaders of such a renaissance state that nearly all are tainted with the name ‘evil hearted’…

    And that is enough of Filipino politics for me..

  19. Bill In Oz says:

    I am perplexed. I have tried 4 times to publish a reply to your remark about Filipinos being “black hearted’. None of them appear on the blog.. What is going on ?

  20. edgar lores says:


    1. This is Mayongod’s position: “Subtopic 2: Is the actor separate from the act? = You mis-interpreted my responses and when I put you on the defensive, you choose not to continue anymore.

    => It follows that all your notes and postscripts are now erroneous because they are based on a wrong subtopic premises.

    2. Hmm. It seems I have responded already. Refer to item 3 in “RESPONSE 1 – WHY I DIDN’T REPLY.”

  21. edgar lores says:


    1. The outstanding question, as paraphrased, is: “Granting Pedro is Marcos, how can we reconcile the difference between those who say he is good/bad to come up with an ‘acceptable for all’ conclusion?”

    2. Quiz time!

    3. I invite all to provide an answer.

    3.1. I have been watching figure skating in the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games. Accordingly, scores – scale of 0.0 (horrible) to 6.0 (perfection) — will be given for:

    o Technical merit – the answer is based on the article.
    o Artistic merit – the answer is not based on the article.

    3.2. Rewards for the winner

    o 3-months supply of popcorn — from generous benefactor Sup
    o Aargh pack — from generous host Joe Am

    4. I nominate Joe Am as judge, unless someone would like to volunteer. NHerrera? Juana?

    • So long as one has a large statue on a mountain side or mountain top, that person is good.

    • I’m biased, and must decline.

      • The standards to me would include accountability (Marcos took it by taking the presidency for himself) and an index of compassion vs. cruelty. Impoverishing the nation for half a century ++ is incredibly cruel, as to quantity and quality of suffering.

    • karlgarcia says:

      This article may be a guide for the Gen Z demographic.

    • chemrock says:

      Political philosophy underlies jurisprudence. So it is acknowledged the State can do no wrong as far as the enactment of law is concerned. Whether you like it or not, the law is Supreme. If it is unjust, in due time, enforcement makes it distasteful and if will be repealed. As long as the law is current, your opinion does not matter. You get hauled to court for an infringement, that is, an ACT as Mayongod says. Thus we judge Marcos, or any law breaker, for the commission of the act.

      To call into consideration the personality of Marcos or Pedro in judging whether an ACT violate a particular legislative enactment is to colour the scale with subjective moral and ethical bias. This is tantamount to Cautelary jurisprudence, ie determining the legality of the ACT outside of established legislation.

      The issue of the personality comes into play in the sentencing. This is where the Law takes on a human face. Subjective moral and ethical bias comes into play, and thus different judge, different sentence. Thus there are instances where the sentence is fixed rigidly by legislation. In Singapore, for example, the death sentence for drug offence is mandatory when the pure substance is more than 30 gms. In US we have Bill Clinton’s ‘3 strikes bill’. The judge has no leeways.

      The concept of proportionality in sentencing is judiciously applied in many countries. But we know in Philippines, a poor hungry worker pilfers a bit of foodstuff for his hungry family gets a jail term, trapos get away with plunder.

    • edgar lores says:

      I will attempt to answer based on the article.

      1. Step 1 is categorization. This means sorting Marcos’ deeds into good and bad and loading the scales.

      1.1. The good tokens on the right scale will include infrastructure, political reform, schools, hospitals, etc.

      1.2. The bad tokens on the left scale will include plunder, martial law, killings, tortures, arrests, etc.

      2. Step 2 is scoping. This is the important step. What criteria will we use in assessing Marcos? To boil it down to the barest bones, do we use the left scale, the right scale, or both?

      2.1. Without agreement on which scale to use, there can be no “acceptable to all” verdict. People will decide subjectively to choose their own scale.

      2.2. Is there an objective factor that will settle the issue? I would argue there is — the law of the land. (Law is an intersubjective consensus — the rule of law — which the community agrees to for the good of the community.)

      2.3. The law reduces the options to either/or. Either the left scale or the right scale. By law, we must use the left scale.

      2.4. From this point onward, we use chemrock’s logic. The right scale will only come into consideration in the sentencing.

    • Mayongod says:

      I will answer based on logic and probability.

      1. If the basis is based on any single criteria = the probability is 50/50
      2. If the basis is based on any 2 criteria, the probability is 25% good, 75% bad
      3. Based on any 3 criteria, 12.5% good; 87.5% probability of bad
      …… every additional criteria will half the probability of it being good

      Conclusion: BAD!

      • Mayongod says:

        corrected conclusion: most probably bad

        Now i recall about “good begets good, bad begets bad”. I suppose we can use boolean algebra to prove it assuming “good” is absolute.

      • edgar lores says:

        1. Please give specific examples of:

        o One criterion
        o Two criteria
        o Three criteria

        • Mayongod says:

          leadership, platforms/programs, projects, laws..etc

          as much as possible excluding those that obviously leaning to one side like corruption, crimes, killings because obviously there is nothing good in them.

          • edgar lores says:

            1. If we only look at the good deeds (the right scale) of Marcos then the conclusion would be that Marcos is good.

            1.1. This is a logically valid conclusion.

            2. I interpreted the question as “how can we reconcile the difference between those who say he is good and those who say he is bad?”

            2.1. That is, we are dealing with two groups of people with opposite opinions about Marcos.

            2.2. Those who say Marcos is bad will grant that the conclusion is logically valid but they will reject it as logically unsound.

            o That is, the conclusion is valid because it proceeds from the premises (the right scale).
            o But it is unsound because it does not conform to reality by ignoring the bad deeds (the left scale).

            3. It seems that you are interpreting the question in another way.

            3.1. Are you saying that if we just look at one criterion of good deeds, say, infrastructure, people will categorize some deeds as good (Philippine Heart Center) and others will categorize some deeds as bad (Bataan Nuclear Power Plant)?

            • Mayongod says:

              I saw your submission with Chemrock and Joe… covering Technical merit. Only LC submitted for the Artistic merit so i chose to submit also under “Artistic merit”.

              u have my point with item#3.1, every single criterion is 50/50 and in my illustration above i used a single “AND logic gate operation” for simplification. Of course in real world, there are other logic gates to be considered and everyone needs to agree with a FORMULA.

    • edgar lores says:

      As no one volunteered to be the judge, I will do the scoring. I will exclude Mayongod’s and my entry.

      1. chemrock

      o Technical merit – 4
      o Artistic merit – 4 (His opening sentence is epic-grammatic.)
      o Total score – 8

      2. LCpl_X

      o Technical merit – 1
      o Artistic merit – 3 (The juxtaposition of the bust with the headline is worth 1000 words.)
      o Total score – 4

      3. Karl

      o Technical merit – 1
      o Artistic merit – 3 (Clever ruse by submitting a link!)
      o Total score – 4

      3. And the winner is chemrock.

      • LOL, thanx, edgar! congratz, chemp! I bow out to karl… 2nd place (since I don’t think he realized he was even playing 😉 , congratz, karl! ). And wear proudly my bronze!

        Play Singaporean nat’l anthem.

        Come, we (fellow) Singaporeans
        (Let us progress) towards happiness together
        (May) our noble aspiration (bring)
        A successful Singapore

        Come, let us unite
        With a new spirit
        (Together) we all proclaim
        Onward Singapore
        Onward Singapore

        Come, let us unite
        With a new spirit
        (Together) we all proclaim
        Onward Singapore
        Onward Singapore

      • karlgarcia says:

        Ruse????? Grrrrrr!
        Lance, your silver is yours, cherish it.
        Congrats Chemp!

  22. madlanglupa says:

    Offtopic: definitely the walk and display of the far-right.

  23. edgar lores says:


    1. This is Mayongod’s position: “WOW!!! What have i done to be targeted and put under spotlight? Did I scratch some sense in bringing out “DRUGS” as the root-cause of drug-addiction and proposing a 4-POINTS agenda to solve it? -This time focusing on DRUG-Money instead of drug-addicts. (1)”

    1.1. ”I don’t understand the purpose of this blog except that it was grandstanding, quoting out of context, cherrypicking error and editing transcript to match your own perspective are not good foundation to solve a conundrum. Worst is to specifically target someone and put him under spotlight using false claims.”

    2. This article is based entirely on the discussion in Will’s blog. This can easily be confirmed by looking at the Reference. This is important.

    2.1. Mayongod presented his 4-point Agenda in Joe Am’s blog, “How do we get out of this mess,” which followed Will’s blog. Therefore, his question in item 1 is totally irrelevant.

    3. Going now to item 1.1, the article contains approximately 2,888 words. I wrote it over 3 days starting Monday, February 19, 2018. I finished it on Wednesday, February 21.

    3.1. The article is basically divided into two sections: Subtopic 1 and Subtopic 2.

    3.2. The bulk of the article is in relation to Subtopic 2. This section contains approximately 2,127 words, about three-fourths of the whole.

    3.3. As I have stated in RESPONSE 1, this section was my response to Mayongod’s comment tagged as Reference [13]. Therefore, the purpose of the article cannot be described as grandstanding. The purpose, in fact, was to sincerely address Mayongod’s concerns.

    3.4. As I was writing the article, I realized that the errors I found in Mayongod’s logic could serve as a teaching and learning tool. Thus, I expanded it to include Subtopic 1. This became the secondary purpose. From a reader’s viewpoint, it should be considered to be the primary purpose.

    3.5. Let me address the corollary charges. I will address the charge of targeting and spotlighting separately.

    o Quoting out of context? Most of the quotes are indexed to a Reference.
    o Cherry picking errors? I would have had to do this to make the analysis.
    o Editing transcript? I have done this for the sake of the reader’s comprehension. Presentation is a secondary concern. Mayongod may compare the subtopics to the original comments using the Reference. He will find no modification of significant import.
    o False claim? This is in relation to Subtopic 1. My rebuttal is contained in RESPONSE 2.

    4. Mayongod feels aggrieved that he has been targeted and put under a spotlight. Should he feel thus? Or should he feel flattered?

    4.1. Consider that the target is on thinking errors and the spotlight is focused on these errors and not on Mayongod personally.

    4.2. Joe Am and chemrock are correct in saying that the article has little to do with Mayongod personally or with his political leanings. The article simply analyzes errors in thinking.

    4.3. Certainly, the errors relate to Mayongod’s thoughts. But is Mayongod his thoughts? Are the thoughts under consideration the essence of his being?

    4.4. Consider that when we contribute comments here, we subject our thoughts to public scrutiny.

    4.5. Consider that I have devoted time and effort to respond.

    5. After Mayongod said that the solution to the drug problem was “to cut the problem from its roots,” I made the observation, “Interesting. A drug war supporter revealed.” He responded with, “Don’t take it personal.”

    5.1. How is my observation a personal attack? The observation is either true or not. The term “drug war supporter” is not necessarily pejorative. A supporter would be proud of the observation, and many are. A non-supporter would simply deny it. But there was no denial. Therefore, my conclusion was that Mayongod was indeed a supporter of Duterte and his drug war, and recorded this in the Postscript.

    6. The Postscript was added after I had completed the entire article.

    6.1. My interest in adding the Postscript was to see whether there was any correlation between the thinking errors and my conclusion. The Postscript details those correlations.

    For your consideration.

    • I think Mayongod ought to feel neither insulted nor flattered, but challenged. These kinds of arguments are like intellectual chess and neither gloating nor throwing the board helps very much. His reaction is akin to what many do when they lose an argument, they go personal, and I don’t think that helps his case at all. It would be easy to say he both supports Duterte and came to the blog to troll it. I hope not, on the trolling part, but that is what the chain of events seems to suggest. He has not denied that he supports Duterte, which is another point to consider. He has also not rebutted my position that poverty is the root of the problem, not drugs.

      Maybe he will return to clarify all this, as my comments are also just a part of the multi-dimensional chess match.

  24. edgar lores says:

    Good point.

    I was thinking how I would react if someone wrote a critique of my thinking.

    I believe I would feel equal measures of delight and fear. Delight that someone bothered to pay attention. But not flattered because a critique would tend to be critical.

    The fear would be that I would not be able to rebut the criticism.

    I would definitely step up to the challenge. And my rebuttal would not be emotional. It would be precise and deadly. Deadly precise.

    Would I feel insulted? Not at all.

  25. chemrock says:

    If I were Mayongod I would be glad that something I brought up in a comment is being paid greater attention and opened up for further discussion. At the end of the day, if I cannot counter Edgar convincingly and I am steadfast in my own conviction, I will leave it at that and just say to Edgar our views differ.

    If there’s any consolation, let me admit that when Mayongod said ‘good begets good; bad begets bad’ my immediate thought was yeah I agree. I did not really delve into it. I was basically stealing some minutes between work to check in on TSH so with that kind of mind the reaction was knee jerk. I was thinking more on direct cause and effects. If I shout at the jeepney driver, he probably will be abusive in return. I was thinking like if I shout at jeepney driver for speeding, he may stop the vehicle to confront me, but by doing that he perhaps avoided an accident. After following the thread, I saw a bigger picture. Which may also be the same conclusion I may draw on my own if I withdraw to the shade of the mango tree in the garden and ponder over it for a couple of days. Which leads me to think many interactions in socmed are kneejerk and many words are exchanged without proper reflection, thus leading to animosity.

    I have crossed swords with Micha in the past but I have since realised she is strong-willed and there are certain points our opinions are poles apart, so I just let it be. But that in no way make me feel any way inferior nor superior. It’s difference in opinion and I can handle that. Same with the late Hiro who dumped on me tons of irrelevant info in most of his comments, but I have never taken it personal. It’s Hiro’s way, what can I do. But i appreciate in his dumps some genius in him, pity that he did’nt concentrate in that and share with us, something Karl and myself at times tried to coax him to do. Caliphman too has rejected my opinions on several occasions, but he has always been courteous and insightful in his counter.

    My unsolicited advice to Mayongod is don’t take it personal. When we put up a comment, expect diverse counter opinions out there. We don’t need kids gloves in the arena of ideas. And your ideas are most welcome here, so long as we maintain civility.

    • chemrock says:

      Sorry, this is in response to Edgar’s
      Don’t understand why it comes out as a new thread.

    • NHerrera says:

      ! ! !

    • edgar lores says:

      ” After following the thread, I saw a bigger picture.”

      I think this is the point of all “confrontational” discussion — to raise consciousness.

      I second the last paragraph.

    • I’d be flattered , period (someone just took the time out of their schedule to analyze your thinking, people pay good money for that here). As the recipient of these types of post-game analyses by edgar (my favorite is still the i7sharp debate), I can tell you it’s very useful.

      These post-game analyses type articles/comments by edgar, should have it’s own tab, along with Wil’s interviews.

      chemp, I remember I got dumped on by RHiro too, “Try to keep up, Lance Corporal” was my favorite (LOL! i’m not even an economist!)—- but why the “late Hiro”? Did I miss an obituary here recently? R.I.P. if I did (explains the long hiatus now).

      As for these debates, I love them and hope we have more— to Joe’s consternation , it’s how I learn, i like taking the scenic route on oft bumpy dirt roads. Similarly, I like reading similar intellectual combat.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I posted a eulogy or tribute by a blogger friend of his, I was late by 3 months I guess.
        I missed his posts, so I googled him.

      • chemrock says:

        RHiro has passed on. Too bad because I remember just prior to his passing he mentioned he was writing an article for TSOH.

        In our ideas thrashing here, Lance reminds me of a brother]-in- law of mine, He likes playing mind games with all the little nephews and nieces like 8 to 13,14 years old. Once he was badass he discussed Christianity FAQ with the kids and his mind twisting reasoning so confused the kids it made them cry. He told me he can easily run circles round their reasoning but there was only one 8 year old kid he could never convince on his trick questions or false answers, that is my elder boy. We had to get the bully to stop his nonsense haha. But I’m fine with Lance here although sometimes its too exasperating. but I continue to follow cos I don;t want to miss out on some gems sprinkled in between.

        • NHerrera says:

          That is why one has to dig through tons of dirt to get the diamond gem. Sorry, Lance: take it how you will, but that just popped in my mind triggered by our friend, chempo.

        • edgar lores says:

          I must confess the water/whiskey thing had me gasping for air. The formulas!

          • edgar,

            There were no takers for my Interview with the Devil— where I introduced Arab adult breastfeeding, I wanted to do a Milk/Honey thing with the Devil, but I couldn’t find a fun quote. That would’ve been fun too, Milk=pure, but a vector from bacteria vs. Honey=bee throw-up/poop , but anti-bacterial— both we essentially rob (force or fear) from cows & bees. Honey beekeeping originated in SE Asia, while milking cows from Mid-East, the Devil’s playground 😉 .

            chemp, et al. Thanks for your vote of confidence (i think… 😉 ),

            • NHerrera says:

              Nice Lance, seems like gem.

            • edgar lores says:

              The discussion can become very complicated when there are too many viewpoints and variables. The discussion gets unwieldy.

              I guess the advantage is that it leads to another blog — as happened in this case.

              • Sup says:

                if you drink enough whiskey your view gets just as blurred as the discovery Naked and Afraid episodes 🙂

              • @Sup

                Google “Drunk History” on Youtube for hours of entertainment. It is about ordinary people getting drunk and narrating history based on their drunken point of view.

            • karlgarcia says:

              A few days ago after you posted that breast feeding thing, an article about transgender winen being able to breastfeed was published.


              • LOL! this news plus the fatwa adds a new twist to the whole debate , karl. I can already see the pros and cons to work place adult breastfeeding, ie. work productivity goes up due to closer bonds, and nutrition (i’d imagine the office would be a lot funner too!). Now ,

                what if the lactating woman was once a man? Sure, there’s the homosexual issue, but for me, more importantly is that person’s milk as healthy? should there be a label, like Real Woman’s Milk vs. Hormone Induced Milk?

                At least Laguna providence has another idea it can roll out. 😉

              • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

                What is in front of a woman and at the back of a cow? That’s a high school riddle. Wakarangs would not know. To be nourished by human milk, what does one prefer to suckle? A funnel shape or a pendulus mammary gland like that of a bus bubalus?

              • ooooops, that should’ve been Laguna Province!!! though providence kinda makes sense too, prudence, foresight , etc.

              • popoy,

                I’ll take my milk where I can get it, no matter the shape of the delivery mechanism,

    • karlgarcia says:

      If I appear to correct you sometimes Chemp, it is just to clarify something I read.I am in no way more knpwledgeable than you.
      You never take it personally, in fact you take pains to answer me.

  26. Sup says:

    Why is Duterte against the dunking Donut?

    Because Honeylet is selling Mister Donut……

    hahahahaha…….. 🙂

    ”If she had her way, she’d probably choose to remain in Davao so she could continue to look after her businesses, which consist of a meat shop, a canteen catering service and 11 Mister Donut franchises.”

  27. NHerrera says:

    In my above post, time stamped,

    NHerrera says:
    February 25, 2018 at 12:40 pm,

    I wrote:

    May be it’s my computer, but oftentimes when I press a link to a comment in TSH I see on my screen after a wait, a different location, and I still have to wade through the TSH items to find what the link refers to.

    SUGGESTION REQUESTED. Do you have such experience? Is there a way for me to get to that particular link, without wading through the items in the blog wherein that link is lodged?

    • edgar lores says:

      Are you using a tablet?

      On my PC, after clicking the link, the computer screen shows the linked comment, positioned at the top, either in the same tab or another tab.

      When I wish to open the linked comment in another tab, I press the CTRL key before clicking on the link.

      When I wish to open the linked comment in another window, I press the SHIFT key.

      • NHerrera says:

        Using PC on Window 10. Thanks, will check later. The missus is waving church.

        • NHerrera says:

          Thanks for the help, edgar. I actually do what you suggested, in an equivalent way — right click on the link, which gives an option to open the link on a new tab or in a new window. Nevertheless, I tried the ctrl-link press, shift-link press schemes you suggested. Unfortunately, I was getting the same result as before.

          Then I set my mind to some heuristic thinking:

          – if edgar is getting it right, why am I not getting it right?

          – of course, there may be something in my computer which may be the cause of my specific problem;

          or the way I do things;

          – sensing the latter may be the probable cause, a bulb lighted in my mind: for an elderly man like me, for comfort, I use on my 10.1 pc screen, a 150 zoom;

          – so I tried the default 100% view and sure enough that worked;

          – thus, from now on, for getting the link on the screen I will temporarily use 100% view, and back to 150% when I have accomplished getting the linked-item.

          (Thus, a little heuristic and some critical thinking, and luck did the job, with your help. Patience and trial-and-error, by the way, are parts of heuristic thinking.)

    • trebor9 says:

      Are the posts on TSOH pages taking so much space on your computer screen?

      Did you know that you can use your TV as an extended PC monitor using HDMI cable. Every computers and TVs nowadays have HDMI slots where you can use to physically connect them. HDMI cable is readily available in stores that sell TVs, computers or electronics appliances.

      Here are simple steps for dual-screen setup.
      1. Place your PC or laptop near your TV. The distance will depend on the length of the HDMI cable you have.
      1. Insert one end of HDMI cable to your PC or laptop.
      2 Insert the other end of HDMI cable to your TV. Most modern HDTV have more than one HDMI input (You can choose any)
      3. Power on your TV.
      3a. On your TV remote, click on the “source” button. Other TV brands may have different button for selecting the source input.
      3b. On the source panel select the HDMI number where you have connected the HDMI cable. If you are not sure what number, just click any. Your TV must now have blank screen waiting for input from your computer. You can change the HDMI number later in step 5.

      4. On you computer right click on the screen (assuming you are using windows 10). Take note: A similar procedure is possible on other computer brands and operating system using the “Control Panel” setup.
      4a. A small windows will appear on your screen, select on “Display settings”.
      4b. On setting panel, under “Multiple displays”, select “Extend these displays”.
      4c. A pop-up panel will appear with the confirmation message “Keep these display settings?”
      4d. Click on ‘Keep Changes”.

      5. If you have selected correctly the HDMI number on your TV, the output display on your computer will now appear extended on your TV. If not, you only need to repeat step 3a.

      That’s it. Your computer monitor display is now extended to TV screen.

      It is also possible to extend your computer screen to TV without using HDMI cable (WIRELESS setup). Most ‘Streaming Player” box or similar such as the popular ROKU Model 4200TL can do this. The 3.5 x 3.5 x 1.0 inches Roku box is the one I used to extend my laptop screen to 32 inch TV screen.
      I read TSOH pages, FB post or watch TED Youtube videos on TV from a distance, while I do my usual computer work on laptop.

    • sonny says:

      NH, this happens many times to me. All I do is click again on the same blog post you are trying to locate. Works most of the time. Tell me if it works.

  28. A graft case was lodged against Baguilat based on a complaint in 2003. He had been active in opposing most initiatives that the administration brought forward such as cha-cha and the drug war. He also had been photographed participating in anti-government walks in the past as well in last few days. I hope he gets a good lawyer because PH need more proactive officials like him.

  29. I guess this will be at PDI soon? Why is Nancy spilling the beans on Twitter? Is it because Kerwin Espinosa’s lawyer was recently gunned down and buried?

    Nancy Carvajal: (@carvajal_nancy / twitter

    i can’t wait anymore for a proper venue. On Nov.2016, a colleague and I interviewed Marcelino Adorco, a known close driver and bodyguard of confessed drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa. In recorded interview Adorco admitted he was coached to pin down Sen. De Lima.

  30. edgar lores says:


    1. This is Mayongod’s position: “Edgar came back tagging me as pro-DU30 and drug war supporter. I find it ridiculous and call him out not to take it personal…. then ka-BOOM!!! here we are.”

    2. My conclusion that Mayongod is a Duterte supporter is based on (a) the absence of a denial to my charge that he is a Duterte supporter and (b) on the following red flags.

    2.1. Red flag 1. There is no outright condemnation of Duterte. Instead, Duterte is described as an “action man.”

    2.1.1. Quote: “We are trying to come up with a solution suitable for an action-man like DU30.”

    2.1.2. I read the qualifier as one to describe superheroes. Google it.

    2.2. Red flag 2. There is an outright rejection of the solutions to the drug problem in Western countries as suggested by Sup. Instead, Duterte is described as “unique.”

    2.2.1. Quote: “‘OURS’ is a unique president whose administration follow his direction. Above [agenda] will be suited for his style and will all depend on his desire to solve drug problems.”

    2.2.2. I read the qualifier as supporting Duterte’s dictatorial style.

    2.3. Red flag 3. There is no outright condemnation of the Drug War. Instead, the continuation of the war is prescribed.

    2.3.1. Quote: “The use of drug money to enhance capabilities in fighting the drug problem is just right. It will not be an easy one but DU30 and his administration will now have source of funding.”

    2.3.2. I read the paragraph as spin. Is the assumption true that the drug war has insufficient funding? Rappler reports that the PNP 2018 budget is P20B more than the 2017 budget. And Is it reasonable to expect that Duterte will change his killing ways?

    2.3.3. The counterargument is that 2.3.2 is consistent with Mayongod’s 4-point agenda. The agenda is very sparse, naïve and not well thought out. Point 1 can be ignored.

    o Point 3 is to follow and confiscate the money and to arrest the big players.
    o Point 2 is to treat the suspects objectively.
    o Point 4 is to use the confiscated money to enhance capabilities

    2.3.4. My response is: How realistic is this simplistic strategy? My rebuttal of the strategy is three-fold:

    o One, it does not address the problem of the main supplier (China). (The government cannot even eliminate the problem of the drug lords in Bilibid.)
    o Two, it does not address the problem of demand (drug users). If they are not eliminated per Duterte’s solution, how will they be treated?
    o Three, it does not elaborate on the solution of enhanced capabilities (the money). LCpl_X questioned this. It could very well mean more killing.

    2.4. Red flag 4. There is an effort to communicate with a troll – @Neil Colston McNally.

    2.4.1. Quote: “Neil, what can you say about the 4 points agenda?”

    2.4.2. Joe Am had raised a red flag on Neil. I read the effort as an attempt to consolidate forces.

    2.4.3. The counterargument is that there are 2 Neil’s. The other one is “@neilmacbuk,” who appears to be a Duterte troll as well: “YOU fckn need DU30 to show you that shit will receive karma-shit..he has only short time to he has to be,needs to be, DECISIVE!!” My, my, such language.

    2.4.4. My rebuttal is that if Mayongod were addressing neilmacbuk, he would use the full name. I deduce a sense of familiarity between the two. Why would he ask Neil directly? Why not a TSOH regular?

    2.5. Red flag 5. I had a sense that Mayongod was not one person. There was a smart one capable of good analysis and a naïve one. (I felt the same way with neilmacbuk, who seesawed between nice and not nice.)

    2.5.1. Consider. The naïve Mayongod:

    o One, held the belief that “good only begets good and evil only begets evil.” Apology to chemrock.
    o Two, had not heard of or considered the familiar proverb “The path to hell is paved with good intentions.”
    o Three, had not heard of or considered “unexpected consequences.”
    o Four, could not work out the correct conclusion even if he was truly ignorant of points “two” and “three.”

    2.5.2. Although Mayongod and I came to an agreement, I was disappointed when he justified his naivete (and lack of integrity?) by saying that his answers were in the context of my question and not from the start of the node.

    3. Which red flag is the silver dollar? I think it was #4. This reaching out was, to me, a significant tell.

    3.1. After reflection, I am aware that red flags #1, #2 and #3 center around Mayongod’s 4-point agenda. I said I read #3 as spin but within the context of the agenda, it may not be. However, upon analysis, the agenda is simplistic.

    3.2. I understand that Mayongod may not support the war in its present form. The fact remains that he is not against the full stoppage of the war and not against Duterte’s dictatorial style. In short, he seems NOT to condemn either the actor or the act.

    4. Going forward, whether or not Mayongod is a Duterte supporter, I would respect his contributions here at TSOH. It will give us an insight to people who are not completely against the president.

    For your consideration.

  31. Mayongod says:

    I already mentioned i will not engage if debate goes personal I simply dont have the time coz i’m just a simple working guy, But just this once, may i present my position so that readers will have a balanced and better understanding of what the conundrum is all about. I will only state the facts.

    Edgar’s blog “thinking conundrum” came out 23Feb, Our last engagement was dated 22Feb(link below) It was the only one after Edgar disappeared when pressed for his position in the previous blog. Take note that in that exchange, i did answer his question properly even if i sensed something with it.

    I believed we are trying to elaborate the same points but with different method. It became apparent during the “whiskey debate” and confirmed during the “water vs whisky”. The difference is i always take the active approach, meaning i take position and defended it. Whereas Edgar never take position during the debate and run away to write his own blog about it.

    There’s nothing wrong in writing his own blog except that he used me as an example and misrepresented my positions putting me on the wrong side of it. Sub topic 1 & 2. Justifications are unacceptable. He even pass my outstanding question as quiz time for everyone.(Response #4)

    Should i feel aggrieved or flattered? => ??? honestly… I am disappointed!

    I gave it to him, Edgar composition is good. He can discuss and elaborate the topics very well. But the only time i see him made a definite position (not neutral) applying all his theories = Its a FAIL im sorry to say (the conclusion about me).

    • karlgarcia says:

      Mayongod, I know it is easy to say don’t be onion skinned when online, but everybody can be onion skinned once a nerve gets hit.

      It is your choice not to engage, but at least you are not a hit and run type who comments then suddenly he is nowhere to be found because they changed their paint and license plates.

      • Mayongod says:

        yeah.. thats why i tried to focus only to the topic given my limited time in front of computers. We need to attend work responsibilities u know… Thanks for the understanding.

    • edgar lores says:


      Thank you again for your input.

      You claim I do not take definite positions. Did you read the article?

      1. On Subtopic 1 — on whether one can judge an act without knowing the actor — my position is that one can. Indeed, one should if the act is illegal.

      1.1. This is quite clear from the article: “If an act is illegal, one may judge the person without knowing him in his entire personhood.”

      1.2. And in the debate: “3.1. In this case, the claim that I am incapable of rendering judgment is moot. I do not have to know about the soldier, only that he committed an illegal act. Judgment is not subjective, it is objective by virtue of law.”

      2. On Subtopic 2 — on whether one can separate the act from the actor — my position is that one should not.

      2.1. Again, this is quite clear from the article: “In my thinking, as a general rule, one cannot and should not.”

      2.2. Refer to “RESPONSE 1 – WHY I DIDN’T REPLY.”

    • Mayongod says:

      I dont know the relevance but let me declare. I am not a pro-Duterte. I am against EJK and that was why i posted on Joeam blog “How do we get out…”

  32. Edgar and Mayongod: Could we all leave this topic here and agree not to carry it over the next blog?

    Edgar, I like your point in #4 above. I agree that we need to welcome people with different political prisms so we can understand them better.

    Mayongod, your elaboration is appreciated. Please hang around a while and chime in whenever the topic moves you. In time, you will see that people around here are generally good natured.

    • edgar lores says:

      Juana, thanks.

      If by “this topic,” you refer to “RESPONSE 6 – IS MAYONGOD A DUTERTE SUPPORTER?” I am happy to leave it behind. I have had my say.

      If by “this topic,” you refer to “thinking conundrums” then, of course, I will be happy to continue to engage.

      • What I mean is what is called “personally identifiable information” in IT not unless it is volunteered by the person himself/herself.

        There should be no problem about discussing concepts and ideas. That is what this blog is all about.

        Thank you.

        • That’s an interesting point. I recollect an article I’ve done about MRP, and those about other personalities. Certainly many about public figures. Then we have the Villanueva interviews, which are done with explicit approvals. Sometimes I think personalities are a path to understandings, as long as the examination or critique is not done with malice. I agree the topic should be left in its own space rather than mainlined.

          Thanks for the suggestions.

        • edgar lores says:

          Is “Duterte supporter” a “personally identifiable information (PII)?”

          I agree it is an “identity” per my definition in the article.

          It is used to name part-essence, in this case a nexus of related concepts and ideas.

          Micah identified me as an “existential obscurantist.”

          I can identify you as an “environmental horticulturist” or an “environmental agriculturist.”

          What is the difference between these descriptions and “Duterte supporter?”

          I believe what you are referring to is doxxing.

          This is defined as “search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.”

          This is what Karl did with Hiro.

          To my mind, describing someone in relation to his part-essense as a nexus of related concepts and ideas is not PII. There is no “private or identifying information.”

          Was my description ad hominem? I have covered this question elsewhere.

          Please school me if I am wrong.

          • Sup says:

            Who is Micah?
            did i miss something?

          • PII could be someone’s political affiliation. Mayongod has not volunteered the information till now and I believe he was offended by your postscript giving him an identity that he does not agree with. Maybe in time, Mayongod will be more forthcoming but right now, let us focus on the new blog that Joe released.

            • edgar lores says:

              Juana, thanks.

              To a certain extent, that makes sense.

              My questions would be: supposing conclusions are derived from internal evidence (as in discussions), my questions would be:

              1. Why is religious affiliation (e.g. charismatic Catholic) not PII?
              2. Why is philosophical affiliation (e.g existential obscurantist) not PII?
              3. Why is vocational affiliation (e.g. environmental horticulturalist) not PII?

              I will observe that when I first described Mayongod as a Duterte supporter, there was no malice, just a sense of discovery.

              I will also observe that in the current climate, we must know where each stands.

              • Most people try to figure out other people by what they say, especially now that we often converse with each other online and through social media. What is important is the intent. You have bared your intent in your last two sentences so hopefully, Mayongod understands where you are coming from now.

              • edgar lores says:

                Juana, thanks.

                But you really haven’t answered my question.

                I have a sense we have had this conversation before. The reason why the ‘lesson” didn’t stick with me is that it doesn’t make sense.

              • edgar lores says:

                1. “This blog does not provide an open forum for amoral discussion.”

                2. The above quote is from Joe Am’s latest post, “The Limits of Tolerance.”

                3. Granting that Mayongod is not a Duterte supporter as he claims to be, then one would have to say he is amoral per the red flags in RESPONSE 6. He does not condemn Duterte or the Drug War.

                4. What to do?

                5. I am posting this question here until we clarify the applicability of your admonition about PIIs.

              • All your item 1-3 are objective PIIs in technical sense but they can be subjective too depending on how the other party perceived them. Does the person perceived the profile as trivial and non-offensive? Then, there should be no problem. On the other hand, if the person becomes annoyed/defensive, there must be some cognitive dissonance arising from how the other person see themselves vis-a-vis your description of them.

                I, Juana, as an example:

                I am a self-confessed cafeteria Catholic. I do not find it offensive to be called as such. My religious identity is a PII.

                I am environmentally aware and I enjoy all aspects of agriculture. I am actually flattered to be labeled as an environmental agriculturist. My vocational identity is PII.

                Were you annoyed when Micha profiled you as an existential obscurantist?


                the recording and analysis of a person’s psychological and behavioral characteristics, so as to assess or predict their capabilities in a certain sphere or to assist in identifying a particular subgroup of people.

              • edgar lores says:

                Ahaha! I was flattered by Micha’s description!

                I do not accept the explanation. I am wanting the ethical reason.

                The reason I do not accept the explanation is that I do not know beforehand that the person who I have “described” — not “profiled” because profiling as an end purpose — will be offended. We “identify” part-essences all the time. It is part of what I call categorization.

                As I said, “Duterte supporter” Is not inherently pejorative. It is not an ad hominem like calling someone a “moron” when you are debating.

                I suspect that the “prohibition” against PII with respect to politics and religion has to do with convention and etiquette. Isn’t there the rule not to discuss politics or religion at the dinner table? That’s to prevent people from stabbing each other with the cutlery.

                But in the Internet age and within socmed, I would argue that we have to know the political and religious inclination, if not the “identity,” of the person we are discussing with. Especially when we are holding discussions in these areas. I would go so far as to say a person has the duty to volunteer his political or religious affiliation when he is participating in talks within these areas.

                From my viewpoint, Mayongod had no reason to take it personally.

                Note that Joe Am will ask for country, nationality, and interest of new commenters when their viewpoints appear to be trollish.

                If you do recall the ethical reason, please let me know. Thanks.

            • edgar lores says:

              Have we had this conversation before?

          • karlgarcia says:

            Lesson learned.
            Thanks for the wakeup call.

            • karlgarcia says:

              In our High Schol batch viber group, I posted youtube interviews of batch mates. I was asked by one of the mods to refrain,so I did without asking why, but it is only until now that you defined what I did as doxing by using me as an example from the example I just shared.

              I again thank you for anoher life lesson.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Perception is reality unfortunately, so in matters of intent, if it is perceived malicious, then it becomes malicious in the eyes of the beholder.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Comments beginning 9:25 is addressed to @edgar8lores, btw.

              • I know, Karl. Read them and did not answer because I know they were not meant for me. Still, I admire your accountability and candor.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Hi JP, thanks!
                Rather than take offense, I decided to reflect on it.(doxing)
                I was tempted to interject with your conversation, but I decided to comment on a new thread. I forgot to address it to Edgar.

            • edgar lores says:


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