Sunday, May 31, 2009
Last night was my debut as a playwright with "Almost Ithacaiad." It was part of Cyberfest, and was reviewed by The Examiner. I think it was a good review overall. I wish he had been able to review tonight's (Saturday) performance (it showed last night and tonight), because the actors for my play really rose to the occasion tonight. It's really something to see others bring your words to life.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 12:33 AM
Friday, May 29, 2009
The federal government just announced it will own about 70% of GM. For all intents and purposes, that's nationalization. GM will be run by the federal government. Now, GM is dependent upon all sorts of resources. Suppose, to get GM back on its feet, the bureaucrat in charge decides GM needs to sell cheaper cars. What is a good way to get cheaper cars? Cheaper materials. If GM cannot get steel for the price desired, what will it do? Since it a government company, it can rather insist on lower prices for steel. Perhaps threaten. Or perhaps find a steel company and nationalize it so that it can make steel at the cheaper price (how can it make steel at a cheeper price? subsidies, of course), or even open up its own steel company to make steel at subsidized prices, which, being cheaper, will drop the price of steel and drive out competitors, creating a government monopoly on steel (which is essentially nationalization of the industry). The government would then be able to determine who gets steel and who does not. But now, to cut the price of steel, we need cheaper iron and coal . . . you see where this is going?
Posted by Troy Camplin at 6:30 PM
Thursday, May 28, 2009
With the nomination of Sotomayor, we have heard many Hispanics saying they are thrilled at her nomination because she will give Hispanics a "voice" on the Supreme Court. Comments such as this are about as evil as one can imagine in a complex, advanced civilization such ours, so deeply rooted in the worst aspects of tribalist thinking as they are. I don't need poor, Southern white men on the Supreme Court to have a voice, and my wife doesn't need poor, Mexican-American women on the Supreme Court to have one, either. In fact, if you wanted to represent me on the Supreme Court, you could probably not make better choices than either Walter Williams or Thomas Sowell. They are going to represent me in the only way that matters.
But let's look at this from a different angle, to see what utter nonsense this really is. My world view is probably not fundamentally different from that of Frederick Turner's. The two of us developed the same world views completely independently of each other, with no influence in any way, shape, or form on each other until we met when I entered graduate school at UTD and became his student. Turner was born in Scotland to Victor and Edith Turner. Victor Turner was one of the greatest anthropologists to ever live (if his presence in every book of anthropology I have ever seen is any indication). Fred was raised a relatively privileged life, notwithstanding his childhood in Africa with the tribe his father studied. His parents were atheist Marxists, though they gave up being atheists and converted to Catholicism in England, when they returned. Fred went to great schools, including getting his degree at Oxford. Fred immigrated to the U.S. and became a citizen. Over time, he came to support free market economics, and is very active in the intellectual arena of libertarianism. He also actively uses evolutionary theory in his scholarly work. One day in class, Fred asked everyone to tell a little about themselves. Fred knew about my own world view by that time, so when I pointed out that I was raised in rural Kentucky by a father who worked in coal mine (and was a UMWA member) and only went to 8th grade, went to rural Kentucky schools, was raised Baptist (and a creationist), but that I went on to college to major in recombinant gene technology (at a small Kentucky college, WKU), Fred looked right at me and said, "How on earth did the two of us come to the same conclusions?" Indeed. Frederick Turner and I both have the same fundamental world views -- and, I would suggest, would have the same judicial philosophies. We have completely different backgrounds. But what does that matter when it comes to sensibly viewing the world? Or not?
Posted by Troy Camplin at 8:35 PM
San Diego County, in California, is trying to blatantly violate a couple's 1st Amendment rights to both freedom of worship and freedom of assembly by trying to make them get a permit to have a few friends over for Bible study. What business is it of the county who meets in their home for what? To charge people to meet is a de facto attempt to prevent freedom of assembly (more, it is granting privileges to those who can afford it, thus violating rule of law, which does not grant privilege). I hope they do sue the County. And they had better win that lawsuit, or else we will have thrown out even the attempt at a facade of liberty in this country.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 2:51 PM
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Sotomayor is a racist, pure and simple. The fact that she had a speech appear in La Raza's journal (La Raza means "The Race" -- can you imagine a white justice up for the Supreme Court having a speech in a magazine put out by whites called "The Race"?), a journal by a racist organization, is bad enough. But why focus on where the speech was printed when you can focus on what she actually said that for a judge, a "wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” So white males don't have rich experiences? What nonsense! This is both outright racism and outright sexism on her part. Race and gender have nothing to do with the ability to determine if a law is constitutional or not. Does a "Latina woman" (why shouldn't we make fun of her for that redundancy?) have better interpretation skills? Or determine if the rule of law is being followed? Of course, what she is really saying in this comment about the "richness of her experience" is that she has no intention of following the rule of law. She's going to let that "experience" inform her decisions, meaning -- let's be honest here -- her emotions. Dear Lord! Can she be reinforcing stereotypes any more than this? These are the very worst features of a judge. I don't want a judge who will bring his or her prejudices and biases to bear on their decisions. But that's what she's promising to do. Anyone who brings prejudices, emotions, and racist/sexist attitudes to the bench has no intention of abiding by rule of law or the Constitution. All of this disqualifies her to be a judge at a dog show, let alone for the Supreme Court.
I would also say that any judge who was overturned by the Supreme Court ever -- let alone as often as she was -- is perhaps not qualified to be on the Supreme Court.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 1:14 PM
A woman was made to take down her American flag in her office because it "offended" someone. But what if the woman who had to take the flag down takes offense that the other person took offense (as well she should)? Does that mean that the person who took offense at the flag, having taken an offensive position to the woman with the flag, should be fired from her position? After all, one cannot offend anyone. Hold it, wait. Offense is not and cannot be objective. Offense is taken by the other person. It is not up to the person who "offended", but up to the person who takes offense to determine if something is or was offensive. That puts the one who chooses whether or not to take offense all the power. It is an arbitrary power -- so there should not be any sort of laws or rules against "offending" someone. What we end up with are cases like this, where someone has to decide which offended party gets to have their way. They claimed others were also offended by the flag. So what? Never mind all the people who saw it and liked it, who felt good about it? The Kindred Hospital Corporation should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this sort of thing to go on in their hospitals.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 8:36 AM
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Here is what Obama's pick for the U.S. Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, said approvingly in regards to unions: "That's what unions do: protect those in the union from those not in the union." Indeed, that IS what unions do. That is one of their worst aspects. They create an in-group that is used to keep everyone else out. It is a form of approve-of discrimination. We see in this statement by Sotomayor that she does not support rule of law applicable to all people equally, but rather supports privileges for different groups. Someone who believes that government rightly should grant privileges, and that tribalism like that of unions is to be commended, has no business being on the Supreme Court. With this one statement, Sotomayor shows herself to be anti-progress, anti-liberty, anti-spontaneous order, a conservative in the worst sense of the term, supporting of groups over true democratic majority, favoring tribalist thinking that will set this country back to a time before we even started on this grand attempt to provide liberty to all.
If the good is equivalent with creating more and more complexity in the world, which includes the environment necessary to create spontaneous orders (general rules applicable to all equally), and the bad is what reduces complexity and brings humans back to a more primitive way of thinking and living (and evil is knowing this, and doing it anyway), then Sotomayor is definitely a bad choice and a bad justice. I don't think the Republicans in the Senate actually believe in liberty enough to oppose her appointment with all their will and might, so the best we can hope for is that she will be exposed for what she is, and the American people will oppose her so strongly we will benefit from the Senate being the cowards they are, meaning they will shoot down her nomination.
Oh, and do not think that Obama didn't pick a Hispanic woman by accident. He did so to make it all but impossible to oppose her. After all, who wants to be accused of being a racists and a sexist? This only goes to show how cynical and Machiavellian Obama really is.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 2:44 PM
Sunday, May 24, 2009
See my play at Cyberfest!
It will be Friday and Saturday, May 29th and 30th, beginning at 8:15 pm at the Dallas Hub Theater.
There will be 5 plays of 10-20 minutes each. Here is what you will get to see:
“Gender Specific” by Mary Humphrey
Directed by Joshua Bridgewater
“Love Potion #5: Tribal Musk” by Donnie Wilson
Directed by Atseko Factor
“The Wait” by Tony Hawkins
Directed by Matt Salter
“Almost Ithicaid” by Troy Camplin
Directed by Melissa Flower and Valerie Huston
“Cut Your Loss” by Rosie Arrelle McGee
Directed by TD Ballard
You can either come see it live, if you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, or you can see it streamed live on Yahoo Messenger. You will find the Hub Theatre on there and click on "View Webcam."
Also, go find the Dallas Hub Theater Facebook Page and MySpace Page for more information on Cyberfest.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 10:34 AM
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I was thinking about writing about this, when I went and checked out what was on Foxnews.com. Turns out, there was something there featuring Ron Paul on Gitmo.
I always thought the closing of Gitmo was nothing but a superficial, symbolic move that meant absolutely nothing at all. I honestly don't understand why anyone cares about this, since the people at Gitmo are still going to be imprisoned, and they will still be treated the same way, no matter where they are warehoused. This means nothing. It is a distraction and a waste of time to concern ourselves with this when Obama is busily threatening our liberties with his economic policies. Everyone on the GOP needs to leave this pointless nonsense alone and focus like a laser beam on protecting the only system that ever created liberty, prosperity, and goodwill among different groups: the free market. Perhaps they don't because they don't actually believe in it themselves. Perhaps we who support free markets should do was Lindsey Graham wants and leave the GOP. Let those Keynesians on the right rot with their Keynesian friends on the Left. I would love it if Lindsey Graham would go join his budy Arlen Specter in the DNC, where they can both hate liberty together.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 3:00 PM
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Great Cartoon. Done 50 years ago. I love the conclusion: beware those who preach disunity, whether class warfare, race, or any other. What else do both parties preach but disunity? The Democrats do it even more insidiously, using coalition politics. There is no true majority in a coalition, only tit-for-tat. And thus, the end of rule of law.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 10:15 PM
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Diaphysics is a philosophical work that investigates what I am terming “diaphysical laws” – the laws of nature which go through each of the levels of emergence in the universe, from quantum physics to chemistry, biology, the human mind, and the products of the human mind, such as the arts and economic and social systems. These diaphysical laws include fractal geometry, strange attractors, chaos, bios, information theory, etc., and are responsible for systems to emerge into new levels of complexity. Non-system entities lack the diaphysical laws at their level, and thus are emergent dead ends. For example, a salt crystal chemically has a simple structure with minimal information and no strange attractors. But when we have a chemical system containing these laws, we see emergence into a new level of reality – biology.
In this work I combine the idea of diaphysical laws with J.T. Fraser’s theory of emergent levels of time and Graves/Beck/Cowan’s Spiral Dynamics theory of psychosocial emergence, clarifying and developing on these theories, to create an overarching theory of the evolution of complexity in the universe. In Part VI, I suggest that the Second Tier of Spiral Dynamics is, contrary to Beck and Cowan’s thesis, a new emergent level.
The book has very short chapters contained in seven parts. The seven parts are titled:
Introduction – Some Short Comments on Epistemology
III. On Health and the Holy
V. On the Creation of Complexity in the Universe
VI. A Fractal Model For Emergence in the Universe to the Metahuman
Diaphysics can be pre-ordered at Amazon, eCampus, Van Stockum, Kinokuniya, Tower, and Barnes and Noble.
Why am I particularly excited to see it available on a German and a Japanese bookseller website?
Posted by Troy Camplin at 3:07 PM
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has been lying about knowing about waterboarding and other interrogation techniques used on enemy combatants. Several sources have confirmed that she knew, meaning she has been lying about not knowing, and she didn't do anything at all at the time to stop it. She didn't even raise an objection. So it seems that the Democratic leadership was just fine with these things, meaning they are only using the issue to try to gain some political points. But the fact is, they also supported torture. Yes, the Democrats support torture. I now await all the excuses the Democrats' supporters will come up with to defend her. I can just hear it now. "She didn't have the power to do anything" (This is the biggest b.s. claim that will come out, as the President isn't dictator -- yet). "The Bush administration is still worse because . . . " Bottom line: Pelosi and many other Demcorats knew, and they approved of the techniques. Period. Worse, Pelosi is now lying about knowing. But I suppose people prefer having someone in power who tortures people and then tries to cover it up than someone who does it in public. The first person is more evil, using another evil to cover the first. What Gulag?
Posted by Troy Camplin at 9:06 AM
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Friday, May 08, 2009
Stanley Fish, who one could make a career out of refuting, reviews Terry Eagleton's new book Reason, Faith, and Revolution. Eagleton's book sounds like an interesting read. For those who don't realize that Marxism is in fact a religion, it may seem odd that a Marxist like him is "suddenly talking about God”. He does it, it seems, to defend the very notion of religion as something we all need as humans. A noble goal. Fish observes that we need religion because "the other candidates for guidance — science, reason, liberalism, capitalism — just don’t deliver what is ultimately needed." Imagine that. Facts, a style of thinking, a theory of proper social relations, and the most efficient system for creating and distributing material goods don't provide ultimate guidance? That's the fault of the idiots who thought they would, not the fault of the systems themselves. As Fish rightly points out, "that is not what they do." So it seems silly to complain that they don't do what they were never designed to do. Complain not against the systems, but against the morons who tried to deify them.
So why is a Marxist stepping in to defend traditional religion? Because Eagleton sees liberalism, science, the Enlightenment, and capitalism as having created "an empty suburbanism that produces ever more things without any care as to whether or not the things produced have true value." And there's the rub. "True value." What is true value? Eagleton is one who believes in true value -- which is simply another way of saying, "the things I value have true value, and if you don't value those things, but rather something else, then you don't have what is truly valuable." Are there in fact different values or one True Value? To insist that what you value is True Value and what you don't value, or value less, is of no or little value, is pure narcissistic arrogance. In the realm of human values, there are many values. I find thinking valuable, but I know that most people don't like to think, and don't find it to be a valuable use of their time. I have little doubt that Eagleton would be horrified at the thought that someone would value watching T.V. or even going fishing over contemplating the nature of the human. Certainly I am on his side in preferring the latter, but that does not mean I don't also value the former two, or understand why someone else would greatly value the former two over an evening of thinking difficult thoughts on difficult subjects. There is an art to finding the right fishing spot at the right time that I have never quite mastered (if the number of fish I've caught per fishing trip is any indication) that is as respectable as my art of writing poetry and plays. (Certainly so far fishing would have fed my family far more than have my poems.)
In other words, Eagleton's snobbishness is as annoying as are the people he are writing against: Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. All are rather arrogant in their insistence that it is Their values that are True Values. Never mind that different people have different hierarchies of values, and those hierarchies are valid for those people in those places and times. DIfferent spontaneous orders emphasize different values, and those who place the values produced by the market at the top of their hierarchy are more comfortable in the market spontaneous order while those who place the values produced by science are more comfortable in the science spontaneous order. I prefer the value of beauty -- thus, I prefer the spontaneous order of the arts. I also value thought, so I place the philosophical spontaneous order in a close second. But I in fact place a great deal of value in all the values -- thus, my support for all the social spontaneous orders. The valuing of all human values -- and the spontaneous orders which promote those values -- that is my humanism. And it is one that does not deny deity any more than it denigrates human values.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 8:28 AM
It's becoming more and more obvious that this financial collapse and that of the Great Depression are nigh unto identical. Each were caused in no small part to housing bubbles created by the federal government trying to increase home ownership. In other words, a stark separation between ideals (by government officials) and reality. Much like our education system is founded on.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 7:56 AM
Monday, May 04, 2009
Obama is now saying the stock market will have less influence over the economy. Now, how is that supposed to happen? What, exactly, does he have in mind to reduce the stock market's influence?
The stock market is a place where you can buy or sell shares of public corporations. Will Obama make corporations less public? Less available to the public? Obama has already shown that he is willing to have the government buy shares of stocks. WIll he have the government buy even more shares of even more corporations to "stabilize" it? I cannot imagine Obama coming up with anything in regards to the stock market that will benefit anybody.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 1:21 PM
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Today, a great statesman and former Buffalo Bills quarterback, Jack Kemp died at the age of 73. One of the architects of the Reagan Revolution, a man who understood economics better than almost anyone else in Congress throughout the history of Congress, a defender of liberty, Jack Kemp was one of the few people who have ever held office that one could grant the term of statesman. A great man, he will be missed. My condolences to his family and friends. I wish I could have known him personally.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 12:45 PM
Saturday, May 02, 2009
It is so nice to know that our economic and social problems are under such control that Congress can now concentrate on important things like whether or not the college football champion is determined by bowl games or a playoff system. I mean, really, Congress is going to pass a law defining the word "champion"? Really? Talk about micromanaging people's lives. I mean, this is downright arbitrary bullying on the part of Republican Congressman Joe Barton, who should be ashamed of himself for acting like a bully.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 2:45 PM
Friday, May 01, 2009
I can think of no worse idea for workers than the current arrangement set up by the Obama administration to have the auto worker's union become owners (with the governments of the U.S. and Canada) of GM and Chrysler. The point of the unions is to oppose the demands of management -- but what happens when the unions themselves become the management? The coercive actions of the unions get turned onto the union members -- the workers themselves. The last time we saw the workers owning the means of production -- and that is what this is, a version of that -- it didn't work out all that well. What makes anyone think it will work out this time?
Obama put off bankruptcy for these two companies precisely so he could get all his ducks in a row for the unions to literally take over these companies. Congratulations, unions! You have your reward! Thank goodness Ford was in better shape to avoid this disaster. If you thinking CM and Chrysler were poorly run before, just wait and see what will happen now.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 7:32 AM