Wednesday, September 2, 2020

864: THE NEW SEMESTER 2020....

 Welcome everyone. It is good to see you all again and I hope, you're still in good health. If you enjoyed a vacation like I did, you must have had a terrific time.


This is the 14th academic year of The Philosophy Class, where you  had the opportunity to enjoy my lectures every week 


except during a few weeks in October / November 2013 due some minor medicinal incident.


To refresh your memory we are in the midst of the project THE OPTIMIST with the central thesis that most people are OK.


And due to the fact that most people are OK we have come to where we now are. Question is: WHERE are we?


Some will say: we are at the edge of the abyss; global pollution, climate change, overpopulation, terrorism, pandemics, totalitarianism, mass murder, world wars, you name it


True, we are facing global problems and challenges and that is not something new, if you put it in a historic perspective. 


Just look at the facts; around 1800 there lived 1 billion people on this planet. In 1950 it had grown to 2.6 billion. At the moment in 2020 it is 7,594 billion.


I know, there are droughts, crop failures, natural disasters, floods, wars, yet the vast majority of people have a roof over their heads and food.


Mankind has developed an impressive amount of knowledge and insight about our world. Never before was science so effective in dealing with all kinds of issues.


This is reflected in the educational systems you find all over the world, in the development of science and medicines and medic care.


A simple example? If what happened to me in 2013, woud have happened to me before May 2, 1960 I would have been dead..


On that May second the first bypass operation was performed in the US, extremely risky. In 2013 in was just one of many.


Keep in mind, that I am talking about a medical achievement reached withing 60 years, while Homo Sapiens is already around for a 40.000 years.


A side track, but something to think about: The International Federation of Healthcare Plans has estimated the average cost of hospitalization and physician fees for a coronary bypass operation in various countries.

The very same operation costs in 2013 in the US $75.345 and in the Netherlands $15.742.  Wonder why that is....but.... It is another subject....


And due to this all I am now almost 71 and nervous about tomorrow, when I'll have my first cello lesson. Never too old to start a new project....


This brings me to my final point of today. I have emphasized it already several times here. If you want to understand the basic idea of this project,


you have to have an open mind for the distinction between LONG-TERM and SHORT-TERM thinking about our history and reality.


We are so strongly inclined to see problems and the need to solve them during OUR lifetime. And when this doesn't seem to be possible,


we are easily inclined to conclude that we, as mankind are a failure and we even might throw in the towel and adopt a pessimistic view of mankind.


However, when you drop that attitude and see how history of mankind has developed in the long term,


it is easier to understand that most people are ok indeed in spite of our inclination to disbelieve.


So, if you are willing to assume that we, that is most of us, are ok, let's investigate the question: how could and would the world look like based on this assumption.


Thank you all again for your attention...the floor is yours..^_^

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rutger Bregman, "De meeste mensen deugen",, 2019


The Discussion

[13:17] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman

[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:17] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): I hope your neighbors are pleased to hear you play your first try in the cello:)

[13:17] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I believe that most people are OK.

[13:18] herman Bergson: Thank you Ludova...that is a good start....even fpr my neighbors :-)

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): seems like a fun projekct to get into

[13:19] herman Bergson: We spent a lot of lectures on what you agree to Ludova :-)

[13:20] herman Bergson: Well Bejiita...a lot of what our government does in its regulations for instance is based on distrust....

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:20] herman Bergson: Based on the belief that your primary goal is to mislead the authorities...

[13:21] herman Bergson: Lead to a huge scandal in the Netherlands....

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes

[13:21] herman Bergson: that attitude of the IRS

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): the people did nothing wrong

[13:22] herman Bergson: Indeed Beertje...terrible story

[13:22] Ludova (quippe.wylder): What?

[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): some have lost their houses, lost their marriages

[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): all by the government

[13:23] herman Bergson: Well...people had to refund tens of thousands of euros, which they didn't have of course...though there was no legal ground for the damnd...

[13:23] herman Bergson: families were broken, people lost their hosue etc.

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats awful!

[13:23] herman Bergson: and all driven by the motivation of the IRS to capture frauds

[13:23] herman Bergson: frauduletn people

[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and treating everyone as a fraud

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): :(

[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes Bejiita

[13:24] Wonny Masala (wonda.masala) is offline.

[13:24] herman Bergson: Yes Bejiita that is what they did....

[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): byut there was no fraud

[13:24] herman Bergson: and that is because the basic belief is that most peole are NOT OK

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they just wanted to destroy everyones life and then laugh about it

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so those are NOT ok!

[13:25] herman Bergson: It is all still under investigation....

[13:25] herman Bergson: some civil servants really broke the law

[13:25] Ludova (quippe.wylder): People who think others are not OK are scared. I'd rather believe people are OK and not live scared.

[13:26] Ciska Riverstone is online.

[13:26] herman Bergson: True...and that is what is going on in the USD atm......make the people believe that the others are NOT OK

[13:26] herman Bergson: USA

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:27] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Yes, we're polarized again. That happens every so often.

[13:27] herman Bergson: We discussed it often here.....the binary thinking of man...the US / THEM attitude....

[13:28] herman Bergson: you are left...if not then you are right....

[13:28] herman Bergson: things like that

[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what's the use of binary thinking?

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): unless you are a computer

[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it doesn't unite the nation

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nothing

[13:28] CB Axel: Tim Minchin wrote a song about that.

[13:28] herman Bergson: Feeling safe, Beertje...the feeling that you are one of US.....

[13:28] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Anyone who can see that neither pole is correct and stands in the middle gets  rotten tomatoes from both ends.

[13:29] herman Bergson: And yet "50 shades of Grey" was a bestseller.....?!

[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol...

[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): are they allowed to read that in the us?

[13:29] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I like to think we're getting closer to acceptance. Yes, we are.

[13:30] herman Bergson: It was published there Beertje and they made it a movie too

[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): almost can't believe that

[13:30] herman Bergson: Movie was in black and white...:-)))))

[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hahahhaahha

[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): not grey?

[13:31] herman Bergson grins

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol

[13:31] Ludova (quippe.wylder): The name of colorless movies is polarized. There's lots of gray in them.

[13:32] herman Bergson: Polaroid....?

[13:32] herman Bergson: Anyway...this will be our itinerary....

[13:32] CB Axel: Yes. Even a "black and white" movie has more than 50 shades of grey.

[13:32] Ludova (quippe.wylder) grins. Ah, philosophical puns.

[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol CB

[13:32] herman Bergson: Finding out if it is posible to live in a world that is based on the belief that most people are ok...

[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): most... yes

[13:33] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I came into SL to try out a game about that.

[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i believe that too

[13:33] Ludova (quippe.wylder): 14 years ago

[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): are you convinced that most people are ok?

[13:34] herman Bergson: A game about what Ludova?

[13:34] Ludova (quippe.wylder): About most people being ok, and what a world believing that would be like.

[13:34] herman Bergson: If people wasn't Beertje, we wouldn't live in a world like it is today...but in a Hobbesian horror world

[13:35] herman Bergson: And....what were your findings Ludova?

[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i asked it at Ludova because of her game in sl:)

[13:35] herman Bergson: ok...:-)

[13:36] Ludova (quippe.wylder): The first people I met weren't into role play. The idea is sitting on Inspiration Island, run by someone else, and on Non-profit Commons and BEST, run by me.  It's called Hero Walk

[13:36] Ludova (quippe.wylder): But I never got a chance to try it as a role playing game.

[13:37] Ludova (quippe.wylder): We still describe it that way though.

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki

[13:37] herman Bergson: I have een in several RP sims....and time and again there merged someone who wanted to be the boss (for he paid for the sim...etc)

[13:37] herman Bergson: which ended the serene sim life

[13:37] Ludova (quippe.wylder): That's only fair. The person who pays, governs.

[13:38] Ludova (quippe.wylder): But if she governs badly, the players leave.

[13:38] herman Bergson: I disagree....:-)

[13:38] herman Bergson: 1. No one should govern....2...If so, who is qualified should govern :-)

[13:39] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Well, actually, the ones that play actively run the show,  and the others drop in once in awhile and stay in the group. I speak about the rp sim that I'm an officer in.

[13:39] herman Bergson: 3. all should  govern in Athens

[13:39] herman Bergson: in ancient Greece

[13:40] CB Axel: So all wealthy white men?

[13:40] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I think even in Athens the people who showed up in the discussions ran things.

[13:40] herman Bergson: Who knows CB....nut you might be right :-)

[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): until about 1950 we haven't seen a colored man or woman here in the Netherlands,,we were all white CB

[13:41] Ludova (quippe.wylder): In the rp group, the planning meetings are open to everyone. An ex-army man came in and I explained to him that he should not hesitate to put forth his ideas. They are good, and he and a couple of others were running things within a month.

[13:42] CB Axel: But in ancient Greece I believe only men who owned land were allowed to vote.

[13:42] theo Velde is online.

[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i think in Greece it was the same

[13:42] Ludova (quippe.wylder): The important thing is the decision making be open to everyone, not just everyone that the majority thinks is human.

[13:42] CB Axel: Which is where a lot of conservatives think we should be.

[13:42] herman Bergson: Oh dear...the men....yes CB....but the wife of Socrates wasn't a gentle kitten :-)

[13:43] herman Bergson: Xantippe...:-)

[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol

[13:43] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Then a lot of the people won't take an active part and will trust the ones who do, but it's got to be open.

[13:44] CB Axel: But did she get to vote? Could she own land?

[13:44] herman Bergson: Personally I am done with the RP worlds...I just want to be OK in SL and RL :-)

[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): that were other times CB

[13:44] CB Axel: But there are people who think we should go back to those times.

[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): times have changed

[13:44] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I'm female, I think patriarchy is as entrenched all over as color prejudice is in the US.

[13:45] herman Bergson: And in the coming lectures we'll see what that might mean :-)

[13:45] CB Axel: They think that women should be good little wifeys and let the men handle everything.

[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): who think that CB?

[13:45] Ludova (quippe.wylder): They haven't changed enough,

[13:45] herman Bergson: lol

[13:45] herman Bergson: They exist matriarchal societies.....a few...:-)

[13:46] Ludova (quippe.wylder): We won't go back to former times. True, but that's just a s bad, Herman

[13:46] herman Bergson: And Germany has a femal prime minister, like New Zealand.....:-)

[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): 2 wonderful woman

[13:46] herman Bergson: Thatcher in the UK however was a disaster with her neo-liberalism :-)

[13:47] CB Axel: And in the US people are excited because we have a woman running for vice president.

[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes

[13:47] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Good political move.

[13:47] CB Axel: We shouldn't be excited. I'm embarrassed that we still haven't had a woman president.

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:47] Ludova (quippe.wylder): But we need more.

[13:48] herman Bergson: I love Kamala Harris.....she is a power lady

[13:48] herman Bergson: I hoped she would become the running mate...:-)

[13:48] theo Velde is offline.

[13:49] CB Axel: I would have preferred Warren, but Ms Harris is strong and fierce. I just wish Biden had just picked someone more liberal.

[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it's not easy to be a vice president

[13:49] herman Bergson: But now it is time to conclude our discussion....

[13:49] herman Bergson: Drifting into American politics  is beside the topic of today...but allowed after class :-)

[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:49] CB Axel: Sorry.

[13:50] CB Axel: 2 more months to go.

[13:50] herman Bergson: So thank you all again for your participation.....Class dismissed :-)

[13:50] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nice start

[13:50] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman

[13:50] herman Bergson: But feel free to continue the conversation

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu Thursday then

[13:50] CB Axel: I have to go, but I'll see you all Thursday.

[13:50] CB Axel: Bye

[13:50] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bye Cb

[13:50] herman Bergson: Yes CB...2 more months....

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu cb

[13:50] Ludova (quippe.wylder): It's on Tuesdays and Thursdays?

[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:51] herman Bergson: Yes Ludova...every Tuesday and Thursday 1 PM SL-time :-)

[13:51] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I guess I'd rather do this than learn nPose.

[13:51] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): nPose is hard:)

[13:51] herman Bergson: You're welcome Ludova :-)

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