Vantage points

The brain as a computer. [Source: Psychology Today]

By JoeAm

Vantage points are the problem, and they are the opportunity.

This arose the other day during a debate here in the blog discussion forum. I argued that:

“One’s vantage point defines what one sees. It may not be ignorance.”

I made this top-of-mind remark in response to a reader’s observation that some view China’s “middle kingdom” practices as racist because they are ignorant and biased according to Western norms. I don’t think so. I think critics of China just learn different things based on what they are taught or see. They aren’t looking at the same picture that China is, or the reader, or anyone else. Bias and ignorance are brothers and can have innocence attached. Yes, laziness, too, on occasion, but generally people just the lack of the opportunity to see it differently.

We all so easily make the assumption that everyone else either sees things as we do, as if all through our lives everyone has been processing the exact same data. Or we think that, upon explanation, others at least OUGHT TO BE ABLE to see the picture clearly. And they ought not get angry if we label them ignorant or racist.

But that is a problem, is it not?

We can’t do that. We just can’t do it on several levels. We are emotional creatures. We are imperfect animals. And, more than anything, your data are not the same as my data. Our vantage points differ.

There are as many different vantage points as there are snowflake designs. No two are the same.

I think this concept of “different vantage points” is crucially important to gain an understanding of why the world is descending into division and hostility rather than rising in harmony and cooperation.

China and the Chinese heap scorn on westerners for their thinking, acts, and values. Laws? For the Chinese, they are to be applied when useful and abandoned when there is advantage. America and the Americans heap scorn on Chinese for their thinking, acts, and values. Ownership of property and intellectual rights, respect for laws, ethical behaviors . . . these are the foundations of fair dealing and protection of individual rights for Americans. Why all the gameplaying and thuggery . . . and disrespect . . . from China.

Vantage points.

We are certain to bicker and fight as long as we are determined to believe that our own vantage point is the only one that is legitimate.

Until China and the US can grasp that the other has different core beliefs and they are both legitimate, and until you and I can actually appreciate that the other person has something to offer by having different ideas . . . rather than being a threat or insult . . . we are born to struggle.

Somehow, we all have to stop seeing the importance of always being right, based on our own data, and change to become problem-solvers based on an appreciation of the whole wealth of enlightenment that exists IN THE DATA THAT OTHERS CAN BRING TO US.

 

Comments
62 Responses to “Vantage points”
  1. NHerrera says:

    Nice short article to welcome the day. A good reminder to us all, while making critical distinctions. Blind men touching the elephant and coming to different conclusions.

    The US-Western view and bias as against those of China: a good example.

  2. karlgarcia says:

    Vantage points reminds of this article by josephivo entitled ” The line of sight”.

    https://joeam.com/2016/04/21/the-line-of-sight/

    • karlgarcia says:

      One of the good insighs from the article.

      “Is a line of sight unique or are different lines of sight possible? Isn’t life non-linear? Why not just enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the mystery of life? Personally, I would answer yes to all these questions, but unfortunately one should expect from leaders that they lead. They ought to be more than just fellow travelers.”

      We have a leader who asks what is wrong with my naps.
      We have a leader who does not lead, what is he there for?

  3. karlgarcia says:

    Just a thought.(another one)

    When you talk to someone in pain and try to comfort them and then say something opiniated by accident you sometimes get the “you don’t unserstand” treatment.
    Sometimes we have to accept the point of view of others who may know you more than you know yourself sometimes.

    • karlgarcia says:

      It is hard to articulate empathy, we say it best when we say nothing at all.

      Vantage points let us say from a cctv monitor it still needs resolution adjustment for it to be clear.
      We still need to adjust resolution literal or figurative, otherwise everything is blurred.

      Snow flakes inspired the inventor of the kaleidoscope( just a hypothesis)
      We live in a kaleidoscope world like what the song said.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        With the advent of 24/7 news cycles and the ability to react via social media, our kaleidoscopic world has become that much more kaleidoscopic.

        This is why we need to define our base principles so that we are properly moored and not tossed hither and thither by the winds of change.

        Principles do not adjust resolution. They provide resolution, the framework, the grid through which we perceive the world.

        I think it is critical reasoning — Thawt or intelligence — that adjusts the resolution.

        If the view remains blurred, it may be that we need to change or adopt new principles to properly perceive the patterns and colors in the kaleidoscope. At times, we may need to shift the kaleidoscope towards the light.
        *****

  4. edgar lores says:

    *******
    1. Vantage points remind me of the Rashomon effect.

    2. From Wikipedia: ”The Rashomon effect occurs when the same event is given contradictory interpretations by different individuals involved. The effect is named after Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 film ‘Rashomon’, in which a murder is described in four mutually contradictory ways by its four witnesses.”

    3. The following video shows how a single set of facts can be interpreted in different ways.

    3.1. I have provided a translation of the first and only comment by a Russian below (item 6). (Thanks to Google Translate.)

    4. But not all vantage points are equal. In prior discussions with @Josephivo about scientific models (paradigms), we have said that some vantage points have an advantage over others. Chiefly, in coherence and predictability. However, speaking of perspectives in general, I would say some vantage points are better than others with respect to the following attributes:

    o Comprehensiveness
    o Simplicity
    o Coherence
    o Predictability

    4.1. I have highlighted these attributes as found in the Russian’s comment.

    5. Thus, while I concede that “it may not be ignorance,” I would say that there is an element of ignorance in certain vantage points. Accordingly, I will conclude that some vantage points are comparatively righter than others.

    ***

    6. The Russian comment says:

    ”A witty demonstration of an important old idea. Similarly, any finite N set of points can be imposed exactly, not approximately, on the graph of the N-1th polynomial (with obvious non-degeneration reservations), and this polynomial will most likely have nothing to do with explaining the process that generated these points. [1]

    “This is one side. The other is equally important. I am alarmed by too frequent attempts to put aside one explanation because the same data can be adjusted to fit another. [2]

    “Ptolemy’s system (observation fit) has lived for centuries. Until the ‘real science’ of Galileo, Bacon, … Newton. His (system P) ‘collapse’ also serves to illustrate an equally important, but more complex idea – the need for a basic principle (or principles) explaining concepts. [3] For example, the Law of the World. In general, in addition to ‘observational data’, the principle is needed, according to which the shape of objects should be a square or a triangle or … [1][2]

    “Also in real life, not all explanations are equally plausible. Not everyone complies with already known principles, withstand testing by additional experiments; <b}not all have predictive power. [4] Otherwise, there would be no science, and therefore technologies and all those things without which we could not live. 🙂 ”

    [1] Comprehensiveness
    [2] Coherence
    [3] Simplicity
    [4] Predictability
    *****

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      The YouTube video’s address, without the leading “https://” is: youtu.be/HUas7Le-ypM
      *****

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Should properly credit the “Russian comment” to Michael Rorer. Thank you, Michael.
      *****

    • Nice elaboration on the idea. Point 5 is particularly interesting, that there is ignorance in some vantage points. The difficulty is discerning if it is the type of ignorance that is accidental, that is, people got bad schooling because they were poor, or intentional, as when one believes in one’s own moral authority while discounting information as to its flaws. I try to see China’s perspective and tend to see a moral quality to it, a form of self-righteousness even if it generates anger as it is implemented (that is, justification of theft of American secrets and information or occupation of international seas) because China has been bullied in the past and it is her turn to get even.

      So if one strives hard to see the different vantage points, but believes those held by others are flawed, one needs to figure out how to communicate better and effectively to get the root problem up and onto the table. In that way striving to understand different vantage points can lead to new methods of conversing, and away from fist-fights.

      • chemrock says:

        On the perspective of China…

        I am in no way making justification for China’s behaviour in the past or in the present, but simply to try to convey understanding of China’s mind that colours their actions.

        There are 2 China –

        – The China of ordinary Chinese common folks .No other people on the planet has suffered so much misery of pain and death over prolonged centuries then the Chinese. So all they ever wanted is stability and a decent living. Under current economic conditions, life under communism is good. They care less about communism, or democracy. In reality, they have the same universal desire for peace and end to poverty.

        – The China of the communist party. For true communists and hardcore socialists (Not the pussy social democrats) the ideological war is never over. This is similar as Islamic political ideology. Someone on a war footing analyses and acts differently.

        For those with time, take a look at this old CIA footage. It may change perspectives. It helps to understand the insecurity, fear, and mistrust of Chinese minds.

    • NHerrera says:

      edgar,

      I generally agree with the criteria — Comprehensiveness, Coherence, Simplicity,
      Predictability — to rate the value of the Vantage Point. Thanks for that.

      I wonder though that if Einstein’s Relativity Theory, when measured on the above criteria, would have rated high on the then Scientific Community without the later scientific experiments confirming the theory. [His was a case of mainly mental analysis and theory, with experiments confirming the theory; than the case of experiments giving rise to his theory, if my understanding is correct.]

      Some great advances in technology, not to say, marketing, would have been scratched away for low value Vantage Point based on the four criteria. We may then be thankful for those crazy guys for their persistence. But I may be writing about apples and oranges. 🙂

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Great points.

        I agree that Einstein’s Theories of Relativity — Special and General — would score low on Simplicity and Predictability… at the time of publication. Well, the Special theory proved to be true at Hiroshima. And as you note, some predictions of the General theory have been recently proven to be true.

        I also agree that some vantage points should have been scratched from the beginning. Vantage means having a commanding view. Alas, some vantage points arise from the viewpoint of a worm, an underground worm.
        *****

        • popoy says:

          I may have written it here that Einstein was a little regretful because he should have studied math because it’s the language of physics but it seems if he did a few others’ inductions wouldn’t have won the Nobel Prize by operationalizing his many deductions which In both forms are mere eche bucheche (criteria or desiderata) of the mind.

          • popoy says:

            What I meant is when Albert, arms in tight embrace of his sweetheart under a romantic full moon his lips wouldn’t waste time fragmentizing the moon’s brightness. Even General Patton might admonished the troops; under a full moon, you DON’T SPLIT HAIRS, you keep your finger on the trigger. In making out lovers know the vantage points. Sori lalong lumabo yata.

    • This is from the Rashomon movie:

      this is also part of it:

      in general, there is what people can see at a given moment, what they choose to focus on (sometimes we miss essential stuff even before our eyes because we are “elsewhere”) and of course what the mind “chooses” to remember – which is why, for example, having court cases ten years after everything happened like they do in the Philippines makes little sense. Edgar, where were you on September 13, 2007 at 3:13 p.m., who can give you an alibi?

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        1. Per my work journal, I may not need an alibi. Although September 13, 2007 is more than 10 years ago, the journal will tell where I was and what I was doing.

        2. As can be seen, the whole of September 2007, I worked on Project W017700 – EDGe. This is an acronym for “Enterprise Document Generation Project.”

        3. September 13 occurs in the second week of the month. It is a Thursday.

        4. I was busy writing the “Tran Split AD.” This is short for “Transaction Splitting Application Design.”

        5. I arrived at the office at 7:55 AM and left at 4:40 PM. Had a lunch break of 45 minutes.

        6. The time of 3:13 PM was one hour and a half — 87 minutes to be precise — before I departed.

        7. In that year, I was working at the AMP Building on Circular Quay, Sydney, behind the Opera House.

        8. Not being a Friday, which was Casual Clothes Day, I must have been wearing black trousers and a long-sleeved shirt with no cufflinks and no tie. I cannot attest to the color of the shirt. It may have been mauve.

        9 I am sure my work colleagues can attest that I worked there. I doubt that anyone can say I was there on that day and on that time.
        *****

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          I know that was a rhetorical question. I just couldn’t resist finding out where I was on that day. 🙂
          *****

        • Impressive recording of things. I have no idea what country I was in, much less what I was working on. I suppose I could check my passport and then deduce back. But it would be a wild guess. One of the facts of growing older is that more and more of one’s personal experiences disappear into the void. I try to remember where I sat at the dining room table when I was 16, versus where my siblings and parents sat, and have absolutely no recollection. I think of how many showers I’ve taken in a lifetime and I don’t remember any of them. I do remember all the girlfriends, for some reason. My 30 years of labor have largely retreated into the void, although I can reach in and pull things out now and then. I do remember the one time I dunked a basketball during a game a half-century ago.

  5. Gemino H. Abad says:

    Terrific, JoeAm; I remain grateful for the Honor Society forum! The very essence or being of the human species (Homo sapiens!) is truth-seeking. The quest is endless, for where there are no questions, the quest ceases. Even in science, a given theory has a certain life-span. “Theory” is from Greek “theorein,” meaning “to look at, observe, contemplate”; any theory then is a way of looking, a standpoint. So, we need to be skeptical (from Greek “skeptikos,” thoughtful; “skeptesthai,” to look, consider) — but not radical skepticism which leads to nihilism: self-destruction of one’s own being or nature.

  6. josephivo says:

    Are they racists? Of course they are, we all are.

    Maybe more precise. There is the “animal me”, driven by millions of years of evolution and there is the rational me, my slower frontal cortex trying to assure that my stories stay coherent. The animal me is racist, my clan is valuable, the outsiders are enemies. But “my clan” is elastic, ever expanding from my family, extended family, tribe…. humanity even sometimes all living beings. The more you are exposed to outsiders the smaller your clan. it even varies according spheres of life, religion, sports, economic, profession… The Middle Kingdom, over a lot of its history, was less oriented to the world than e.g. Europe, so they only knew us and the rest were “barbarians”, hence more acceptable to be racist.

    The shrinking planet, the fractioning of our lives in more and more spheres of live. The animal brain can’t follow the ever faster change. The arrow of history coming to a halt?

  7. chemrock says:

    Out of topic

    Congratulations to Philippines for winning the Miss Universe 2018 pageant. M/s Gray is a deserving winner — beautiful, very poised, intelligent. Sings pretty good too.

    The socmed is so full of buzz and Philippines is delirious. I don’t remember people having the same joyous outburst when we won in the UN Arbitration courts over those islands.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      That’s the Philippines for you — a land of opposites.

      It produces the beauty and the beast.
      *****

      • popoy says:

        Indeed, all races as Filipinos too, are racist but we are more multi-racial and hybrids of intellect; more cosmopolitan in beauty and friendship. On inter-racial endeavours we enjoy a UNIQUE vantage point.

  8. popoy says:

    Starting to read the first few lines of this piece I thought (with selfish motive) I gotta read this word for word. For what? Just read what remained after deleting some sentences.

    “Vantage points are the problem, and they are the opportunity. . . .
    “One’s vantage point defines what one sees. It may not be ignorance.”

    Bias and ignorance are brothers and can have innocence attached. Yes, laziness, too, on occasion, but generally people just the lack of the opportunity to see it differently.
    We all so easily make the assumption that everyone else either sees things as we do, as if all through our lives everyone has been processing the exact same data. Or we think that, upon explanation, others at least OUGHT TO BE ABLE to see the picture clearly.

    We can’t do that. We just can’t do it on several levels. We are emotional creatures. We are imperfect animals. And, more than anything, your data are not the same as my data. Our vantage points differ.

    There are as many different vantage points as there are snowflake designs. No two are the same.
    I think this concept of “different vantage points” is crucially important to gain an understanding of why the world is descending into division and hostility rather than rising in harmony and cooperation.

    We are certain to bicker and fight as long as we are determined to believe that our own vantage point is the only one that is legitimate.

    Somehow, we all have to stop seeing the importance of always being right, based on our own data, and change to become problem-solvers based on an appreciation of the whole wealth of enlightenment that exists IN THE DATA THAT OTHERS CAN BRING TO US.
    ————————————————

    Above you might agree is a Wakagen which –- with minor artistic carpentry—can be an adroit Foreword or Preface, Vol III to a book of compiled wannabe poetry. So sorry JoeAm that Vol II got stopped on tracks by some health issues but updates might improve it for a promised completion early next year. I apologise too for my indiscrete blogging in TSoH..

    • I wholly trust your carpentry skills, and consider ‘adroit’ to be the highest compliment. I hope your health is back on track and you can proceed with your next two volumes forthwith. I have not noted any indiscretions, so there is absolutely nothing to apologize for. You bring personality to the blog, mystery, challenge, and humor.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Popoy, thanks for highlighting this sentence to me:

      “Bias and ignorance are brothers and can have innocence attached.”

      To me, bias is unreasoned inclination which is our conditioning.

      It is different from ignorance in that ignorance is lack of knowledge. in bias, we know. We know that we have a preference (or non-preference) for something. We just do not know why. We have been conditioned to like or dislike but we are mostly ignorant of the causes.

      Both bias and ignorance can be remedied. The latter is easier to remedy. It is filling a hole. The former is digging a hole. We know that takes more effort.
      *****

      • popoy says:

        IF I may add Mr. Edgar, INNOCENCE is a natural yet unblemished state of being, it’s a Godly sourced truth which can never be kin to neither bias or ignorance. I hope this adds to your elaboration.

  9. popoy says:

    Vantage point to me is an abstract concept, the physicality of which finds itself in the military’s “high ground” from which an offensive can be launched or where to locate a fortress of defense.

    The Philippines’ Presidency is an abstract vantage point for launching attacks against critics perceived as personal enemies or enemies of the state. The presidency could also be a physical high ground of defense against coups and violent protests (remember Cory) and vantage point of departure for a great escape (Remember the Marcos Family).

    To an honorable, intelligent and an integrity-possessed FREE PRESS, there is no such thing as vantage point or high ground for pernicious governance. Moreover, the citizenry and a FEEBLE free press should equally share the blame for the misuse and abuse of a vantage point of governance.

    • https://harvard-yenching.org/features/pook-paninindigan-critical-appraisal-pantayong-pananaw – Pook at Paninindigan is the term used for vantage point by Prof. Guillermo.

      Pook at Panindigan = Place and Principles, a good approximation of vantage point.

      Because it is not only WHAT you see that is important, it is HOW you see it. In fact, language can be a lense through which you see things. Miss Smilla’s Sense of Snow is a novel about how the Inuit see more in the snow than others do, as it is part of their culture and survival. Just like Filipinos can describe palay, bigas and kanin while an American has to describe it as unharvested rice, harvested rice and cooked rice. Or what we notice. In the Innocence of Father Brown, nobody saw anybody during the time of the murder. Yet Father Brown, being a smart Catholic priest and investigator, recalls that in British class society, servants and postmen are not noticed as anybody. Even what we remember is filtered by our minds.

      • We are all just a little bit crazy, or a lot if you are DDS.

        • It is like the old joke about the radio (in Germany) saying “on Autobahn 3, be careful, there is a vehicle counterflowing at high speed”.

          Driver says to his car radio: “One counterflower? No, thousands, thousands of them!”

          • An example of total craziness: https://www.philstar.com/opinion/2018/12/15/1877093/phenomenon-called-duterte by Carmen Navarro Pedrosa.. (had to leave because of Marcos, but ADORES Duterte!)

            President Duterte is blazing a new trail in civil government. Due process can no longer be a shield by the malefactor. The law was never intended to protect wrong doing, nor to ensure the wrong-doer to continue his wrong doing.

            The presumption of innocence is a presumption. The protection of the Bill of Rights presumes good faith – nay, it flounders upon the realization that the protestation of a right is conditioned by the proclamation of a pre-existing, if not a pre-eminent duty. It fails before bad faith. In actual practice the feigned claim of innocence is dismissed upon a showing of probable cause. There is no place for due process when your house is on fire.

            • Edgar Lores says:

              *******
              Reading the column, one can see that her vantage point was formed from a personal tragedy presumably involving drugs.

              “On a personal note. If I had the opportunity I would myself have killed the gang in Ateneo that destroyed the life of my son.”

              She elevates her personal tragedy, which has a magnifier effect, to the national level. The house is not on fire. Maybe only the outhouse is. Or the dog’s kennel.

              Her perspective does not have adequate perspective.

              She refuses to see that her solution — and her support of the solution — is very much a part of the problem.
              *****

              • Every one of us has a map of reality similar to this one, yet each one different:

                There are also the topics we emphasize…

                a mental map of our worlds would show the Philippines just YUGE I guess.

              • This is ONE way China might see the world..

                ..and how Salzburg (Mozart’s hometown) might see the world..

                (I wonder how Duterte’s mental map of the world looks like)

              • popoy says:

                Mang Edgar and Mang IBRS if I may

                Let’s begin this OC (outlandish comment) in a lighter vein:

                “President Duterte is blazing a new trail in UNCIVIL government. Due process can NOW be a shield by A malefactor. The law was ALSO intended to protect wrong doing, to ensure the wrong-doer to continue his wrong doing.

                The presumption of innocence is NO LONGER presumption. The protection of the Bill of Rights presumes good faith – ALWAYS, it BECOMES STRONGER upon the realization that the protestation of a right is conditioned by the proclamation of a pre-existing, if not a pre-eminent duty. IT SUCCEEDS before bad faith. In actual practice the feigned claim of innocence is ACCEPTED upon a showing of probable cause. There is STILL A place for due process EVEN when you HAD CAUSED THE FIRE TO BURN YOUR HOUSE.”
                ———————–
                The above paragraphs can be INTERPRETED positively or negatively depending on which side the reader’s principles ESTE the BREAD are buttered. It is NOT TO PLAGIARIZE but to HIGHLIGHT the original author’s skill with words which can be twisted to portray opposite meanings (as readers think of CJ Sereno and Senator Trillanes’ travails); like a finger pointing at righteousness but three fingers counterpointing back to suggest deviousness. This could explain the recent worldwide ABERRANT phenomenon of fake news undermining truths; that the mind can morph to terpsichoreans dancing the twist with grace.

  10. popoy says:

    JUST A CONJECTURE. Unless you are atop or perched on the highest branch of one among the highest trees, you might not enjoy the forest view from a vantage point. The view is constrained and limited only when you are on the ground leaning on tree trunk.

    But when you go around from tree trunk to tree trunk your grounds view (like that of TSoH) is like a vantage point for a decision to slash and burn unwanted fauna and flora of an endangered rainforest.

    • The trees topic is part of my current article:

      http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/different-strokes/

      ..Joe America for example sees the Philippines from the ground level, as he lives there. Some of the best exchanges we have had between his view and my top-down view. Natural for me to have a top-down view as a former resident – now looking outside-in. Will Villanueva once described an article I wrote as being a bit like a flight in a drone. Without the interviews of Will, which take one really close to the people he speaks to, without the accounts of Joe, I might be seeing only clouds and a few houses below.

      Not seeing the forest for the trees versus just having a helicopter view – is that the only choice one has? Don’t think so, even if a complete and perfect view of anything larger than a village is impossible. All knowledge is a good enough approximation – for now. Best limited by the purpose for which one seeks the knowledge. One purpose can be to understand the present better to be able to shape the future accordingly. Real leaders need to have this understanding…

      But you are also mentioned:

      One can have good manners and right conduct, yet have no real respect for anyone. What can also happen is that the idea of civility, which in a Western context is respect among equals, can be misunderstood in a hierarchical culture as subservience. Some critics of how Prof. Chua was polite to Americans with regards to the Balangiga Bells cited the GMRC lessons of “Urbana at Feliza” (link) as outdated colonial conditioning.

      Would that be a deductive approach, which Popoy in TSOH often criticized as being too generalizing? Inductive approaches are slower to come to conclusions but see the white carabaos. Black swans also, to go by a book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. What we don’t expect. The moment we overgeneralize, the moment we forget the context we are using our mental models for, we might miss the point completely. Yet when Popoy said my comment on “topsoil” (link) was mostly nice words, I could offer a concrete example.

      BTW in very critical cases, German courts actually visit the scene of the crime to get a picture of what the witnesses are talking about, what their vantage points were.

      Because even people who were at the scene of something – for example a pub brawl – might have gone to the toilet in critical moments when the provocation happened, or have been behind a wooden beam, or looking in the other direction – Edgar’s Rashomon analogy..

      • Ah, a very enjoyable read, Irineo. You add great literary depth to the idea of vantage points. I am struck by how the chemistry of our different perspectives, when combined in a non-judgmental way, is tremendously rich and even inspiring. Put another way, you made my blogging day.

        • Thanks, Joe.. I did write the article a day before this one, as a response to two conflicts which involved “Filipino 100%er” behavior which tends to see vantage points as exclusive..

          I guess people used to being on islands – on their respective place – beach, mountain, slope or inland without sea view – have difficulties with dealing with OTHER people’s vantage points. What might be missing is a kind of Odysee story, like the Greeks had with Homer.

      • popoy says:

        If I had been criticizing deductives, so sorry it is not my intention to do that, I thought I was differentiating DEDUCTIONS from INDUCTIONS. Everyone’s seeing eye I supposed has behind it a mind with broad or narrow knowledge regardless of being at sky or ground level; the wide swath of vision might signify or amplify knowledge and that is not even there’s all to it. I thought I should be paradoxical as a wannabe guro (teacher) of inexact social science; like the number one per se can be inexact to have the QUALITY of strength or longevity; like I think republican when my heart is democrat.

        Deductions and inductions could be subjective (social science) or objective (natural and physical sciences). With names like Macapagal, Lapid, etc.; names like Crisologo, Marcos, etc. names like Aguinaldo, Virata, Bocalan, Revilla, etc. I hesitate and avoid deductions (generalizations) about Pampangenyos, Ilocanos, or Cavitenos.

        Look, I just wrote it here recently “But when you go around from tree trunk to tree trunk your grounds view (like that of TSoH) is like a vantage point for a decision to slash and burn unwanted fauna and flora of an endangered rainforest.” That’s an example of a deduction sourced from a short forest experience the veracity of which can be investigated by deductives.

        That Philippine forest destruction is not REALLY caused by Kaingineros slash and burn farming but by timber concessionaires (search the files of the Bureau of Forest Development). Poor mountain folks just clear the undergrowth after the trees had been cut down so they can plant roots crops for subsistence. Inductive comments have not been made on tribes, or loggers, or timber induced wealth of some families.

        TSoH to me is the Society more than the illustrious names that give it life, the dragons that discharge fiery eche bucheches.

  11. NHerrera says:

    ON VANTAGE POINTS AND ASSOCIATED ACTIONS

    Even when one assumes an intelligent, fair-minded analyst, that analyst is confronted with:

    – a mass of data and analyses, thanks to cyber technology and no thanks to manufactured/ fake data; and a mass of vantage points/ opinions;

    – the practical need to filter those items to personally process them in reasonable time, not all having the patience of Job — or the speed reading, grasp of Irineo and some others in TSH;

    – the unconscious bias of a human, imperfect as he is [ “to err is human … ” ].

    Thus, varied actions emanating from varied vantage points is inevitable. More so if the actor-analyst is prone to the bad side of human nature, intelligent though he may be. Worse if, in addition, he is lacking in basic intelligence and logic; and presides over a country also prone to twisted vantage points.

    [Just putting into words and sharing what probably is a naïve given or a truism of modern times.]

    • But isn’t it amazing how many people seem to presume their vantage point is the correct one? All the time? The resistance to enlightenment is just HUGE. It’s like we spend most of our lives looking at things through a toilet paper tube. I am about to join the flat-earthers just to shock people into a little humility. 🙂

      • NHerrera says:

        🙂

        Here is an example of vantage point (aka rationalization or creative logic) by the President as expressed by Panelo.

        Sereno if not ousted as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court would have retired in 2030. Carpio right after Sereno’s ouster said he does not want to take advantage of Sereno’s ouster so declined the nomination to CJ the first time around. The second time around — after De Castro’s retirement as CJ — Carpio accepted the nomination, he being qualified aside from being the most senior in the position of Justice of the SC.

        But here is the logic according to Duterte and voiced by Panelo: all appointments as CJ till 2030 is caused by the ouster of Sereno, so using Carpio’s logic in declining the nomination as CJ the first time around still holds till 2030. [bolding mine].

        Why not just leave the appointment of Bersamin as CJ without explanation. It is anyway the prerogative of the President. As it turns out — at least to this writer — the explanation is just a creative rationalization and does not taste well.

        https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/11/29/1872811/panelo-explains-why-carpio-not-picked-chief-justice

        • Yes, it is. It was caused by the first rationalization that De Castro deserved the appointment for seniority, but then the standard changed. It is an amoral government. There are no principles or understandable vantage points, other than what works on a given day for a given purpose. Then if that seems to come out wrong, it was a joke. The vantage point for them is advantage or convenience or winning.

          • Micha says:

            Which is why granting equivocation to disparate views is a slippery slope towards relativism and outright mendacity.
            Give the bastard an inch and he’ll grab the whole yard.

            • popoy says:

              My focus is not on people but ideas, still ideas could rub people’s skin like sandpapers when what’s underneath the words lies a boomerang of meanings. For example:

              Micha says:
              December 18, 2018 at 3:10 pm
              “Which is why granting equivocation to disparate views is a slippery slope towards relativism and outright mendacity.
              Give the bastard an inch and he’ll grab the whole yard.”

              ———————
              At first, I thought of Albert Einstein’s physics because of the words granting, equivocation, disparate views, relativism, mendacity were antithetical to Einstein theory of relativity. But in political science “granting equivocation to disparate views. . . towards relativism and outright mendacity; give the bastard an inch and he’ll grab the whole yard,”

              Which could be construed as words NOT coming from the mouth of a democrat but from an autocrat. Never that totalitarian regimes will grant or allow equivocation, disparate views or mendacious (erroneous) thinking; never even a bastard will be allowed an inch to make a mistake. Unequivocal one direction is imposed by despots, disparate views await punishments ordered by dictators, mendacity is a luxury granted only to groveling sycophants. Bastards by fluke of fate are angels compared to murderous tyrants.

              Equivocation. Disparate views, relativism and mendacity are characteristics of unshackled minds in free societies. This opinion, this interpretation (or misinterpretation) on the comment made by Micha should be corrected to prove the comments is not a veiled message that TSoH (and any of its commenters) is a bastard who, given an inch will grab the whole yard.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Popoy, excellent skepticism. Let me try to allay your fears that we are bastards.

                1. There are vantage points and there are vantage points.

                2. Not all vantage points are equal.

                2.1. While some vantage points are sincere, others are insincere.
                2.2. While some are truthful, others are untruthful.
                2.3. While some are innocent, others are malignant.

                3. One discerns these dichotomies according to standards or norms.

                3.1. The norms are vantage points in themselves.
                3.2. The norms are based on principles. As our Russian says, there is “…the need for a basic principle (or principles) explaining concepts.”
                3.3. Some principles are “superior” to others not only in terms of physics but also in terms of ethics.

                4. In terms of physics. the “superiority” of some principles is demonstrated with the exactitude of their correlation to physical nature. The correlation is according to the four attributes I enumerated: comprehensiveness, simplicity, coherence, predictability.

                5. In terms of ethics, “superiority” is demonstrated according to moral axioms that correlate to the best of human nature as can be derived from the world’s religions.

                5.1. One of the most basic moral axioms is “do no harm.”

                5.1. Alternatively, “superiority” can be based on the principles found in international law and covenants, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and in the Constitution.

                6. From the above vantage point, Micha’s vantage point is on point.
                *****

              • Very enlightening response, Popoy. Thanks. The ratio of bastards to principled people in government has a lot to do with it.

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