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The Unknown Agent
Posted: 04 January 2012 01:02 AM   [ Ignore ]
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a common element and / or theme in many crime or mystery stories is that of the captured snitch, the one who has information to help the protagonist along, a crucial piece of the puzzle. in many instances this snitch will have been hired to do something bad, but professes not to know who hired them.

sometimes, the snitch will under pressure confess to knowing the agent of their employ. often however they simply do not know, and at this point the “lead” is given up for dead, and other clues take the fore.

while as a storytelling device it may seem useless to write in a snitch unless he can further the plot by providing the next stepping stone to the bigger bad guy, or to the ultimate moral lesson or justice of the story, there still remains a psychological effect of witnessing the drama play out between protagonists and a captured evil-doer who is being manipulated by an unknown agent.

i believe such a storytelling device functions as a method to induce in viewers a fear of themselves.

the snitch, while not knowing who has hired them to do the (usually obviously immoral) deed in question, still agrees to perform the action. this is deemed evil. so it is with all human thought, however, is it not? where do our thoughts come from? are they merely the emergent virtual phenomena of electrochemical interaction? i doubt, even if true, that such an explanation will put to rest the minds of many who cannot tangibly feel the origin of their thought processes and the moral conclusions they generate.

the unknown agent is a thing to be feared, and judged evil, most especially within ourselves. or so we are led to believe. instead, we are asked to believe in the collective, in the authority, in the collective authority that in most cases seems to be reasonably appointed by collective agreement, through a collectively assembled and agreed upon formula of ritual and procedure that allegedly ensures all of the “right people” get into the “right positions.”

unfortunately, the truth about collective agreements is that they stifle individuality.

as we all know, or at least i am open to discussion about it, individuality is an inevitable quality of our existence. and so, because of it, we are destined to bring harm to others who are not ourselves. we do this because no individual’s needs can or will perfectly coincide with any or every other individual they come into contact with. therefore, at our most basic, we have an effect on others. we stifle the individuality of others by our mere existence. this effect is usually quite minor on a one to one level, at least in civilized society, likened perhaps to the gravitational pull of any one person of our average human mass on another person.

however, when organizations, governments, or other collectives become very large in size, they can inarguably do at least one thing: they stifle the individuality of vast numbers of individuals on a more wide-reaching scale than any one individual would. therefore organizations, even the most well-meaning and best structured of them, are destined to bring harm to others.

and because of the nature of organizations, that as they grow over time any change of procedures slows down and becomes more difficult to enact, the result is that this harm becomes a locked-in fact of the day to day existence of the organization in question. organizations, or governments, or any collective body, become mass-misery generators.

what this means is that, by and large, the potential harm of one unknown agent is far less than that of any known organization, if for no other reason than what is known can be measured, and any measurement is of far greater substance than some nebulous unknown quantity.

and, as we are so far unalterably individual beings, we should work to try and discover methods of preserving, enabling, sustaining, and progressing the individuality we do have instead of building societal structures that only serve to cause us to engage in behavior patterns that accelerate or magnify the destructive tendencies innate in our individuality.

what this means is that centralized power of any kind is dangerous to the human race. therefore, just for instance, each home should be built to be self-sufficient in terms of electrical generation, water, and have enough space to grow some food so food interdependence stays at a minimum. technology is great but needs to be personalized with well defined boundaries.

we can see already that since the population of the human race has far exceeded any ability we have to build self-sufficient estates for every living person that we are rapidly approaching a critical point in our centralization of power, a point beyond which there will be massive death and pain before there is any hope of a new recovery.

additionally, returning to the point of the unknown agent, if our minds are all prey to the machinations of our own personal unknown agents who determine our thoughts, and if the ramifications of this are evil, then collectives can be described only as very great houses of evil, where large numbers of unknown agents come together to plot schemes that will be inflicted upon the rest of us.

therefore, our best hope for survival and peaceful coexistence is to strongly limit the influence, even the existence, of any type of collective power structure.

some, i know, may ask “what is so special about being individual anyway?” i hope the answer to this question is obvious enough to be self-explanatory, and so i will not get into it.

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Posted: 04 January 2012 06:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Christianity’s (just one “collective power structure”) first and foremost contribution to the human race is the precept that a single person’s rights and dignity are to be upheld over the collective good. In other words, the end never justifies the means.

Secular society puts the collective good ahead of the individual in every way possible, for that is what pragmatism and politics do.

Individuality is innate and profound (not societal and pragmatic), and only when it is promoted because of these deeper truths will we, as individuals, receive the rights and dignity we deserve.

When I finished reading the post above, I felt I had journeyed to nowhere but a destination to hear oneself speak. For it is a perfect example of how one person, when left to themselves (i.e., without education and a foundation of collective knowledge), can arrive at the opposite conclusion to what is most true. And it is a further example how individuality, when looked at only superficially, often becomes self-centered and sickly.

Besides, anyone who’s “thing” is to ignore punctuation is clearly, in his mind,  to cool for school.

“Pop!” goes the self-inflated balloon.

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What this country needs is a man who knows God other than by hearsay. Thomas Carlyle

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Posted: 04 January 2012 08:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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TheBrotherMario - 04 January 2012 06:19 AM

Christianity’s (just one “collective power structure”) first and foremost contribution to the human race is the precept that a single person’s rights and dignity are to be upheld over the collective good. In other words, the end never justifies the means.

As is typical you are deluded and clueless about your own Christianity. The bible clearly and unambiguously states that the end always justifies the means.  There is no sacrifice or horror to great when it comes to saving souls, especially other peoples souls.

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Why is there Something instead of Nothing: No reason or ever knowable reason.

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The Way of the Mister, Vol. 1: Reparative Therapy

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Posted: 04 January 2012 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The unknown agent just might be Maxwell Smart, but we just don’t know.

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Peter Watson

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Posted: 04 January 2012 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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TheBrotherMario - 04 January 2012 06:19 AM

. . .

Besides, anyone who’s “thing” is to ignore punctuation is clearly, in his mind, to cool for school.

Nicely put, Mario. To cool for any school is an abomination.

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If a word in the dictionary were misspelled, how would we know?
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Posted: 04 January 2012 09:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Well, what about “collective agreements” that specifically encourage individuality?  Are these possible? Is some version of anarchy (as being a stance against organization itself) the only way to stop the “evil” of collectivization?

My thoughts about the situation is this: if you want to completely (or at least to the greatest practical sense) reject organization/collective, are you not actually denying what is intrinsic to the human condition.  What you’re hinting at is that we actually stop talking to each other because language itself is a product of our conscious collectivity - should we regress to some version of ameobas? How practical is what you are suggesting DI?

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Sam Harris, “Because us monkeys are just wired that way.”

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Posted: 04 January 2012 11:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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TheBrotherMario - 04 January 2012 06:19 AM

When I finished reading the post above, I felt I had journeyed to nowhere but a destination to hear oneself speak. ... Besides, anyone who’s “thing” is to ignore punctuation is clearly, in his mind,  to cool for school.

Well, there’s a glimmer of hope for you yet, Mario.  wink

 

Let’s hope the final exclamation point on that manifesto wasn’t the sound of a high capacity 33-round magazine being shoved into a Glock 19 pistol on the way out the door to visit the nearest university after having adequately disposed of the only living witness to the plan.  ohh

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Posted: 04 January 2012 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Isn’t being an individual less to do with being isolated, mentally, economically or materially.
You are an individual because of the thoughts and preferences and personal meanings that accompany all of those things. Why is outside influence necessarily harmful, it need not affect your individuality unless you choose to allow it.

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...

All right, no one is to stone ANYONE until I blow this whistle! Even… and let me make this absolutely clear… even if they do say “Jehovah”!

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Posted: 04 January 2012 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Answerer - 04 January 2012 11:07 AM
TheBrotherMario - 04 January 2012 06:19 AM

When I finished reading the post above, I felt I had journeyed to nowhere but a destination to hear oneself speak. ... Besides, anyone who’s “thing” is to ignore punctuation is clearly, in his mind,  to cool for school.

Well, there’s a glimmer of hope for you yet, Mario.  wink

There’s no hope for him and encouraging him is cruel.

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Why is there Something instead of Nothing: No reason or ever knowable reason.

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The Way of the Mister, Vol. 1: Reparative Therapy

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Posted: 04 January 2012 12:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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GAD - 04 January 2012 11:35 AM
Answerer - 04 January 2012 11:07 AM
TheBrotherMario - 04 January 2012 06:19 AM

When I finished reading the post above, I felt I had journeyed to nowhere but a destination to hear oneself speak. ... Besides, anyone who’s “thing” is to ignore punctuation is clearly, in his mind,  to cool for school.

Well, there’s a glimmer of hope for you yet, Mario.  wink

There’s no hope for him and encouraging him is cruel.

Yes, you’re right, there’s no hope. His motivations will always be wrong, and anything that he says that appears reasonable, of course, is purely by accident. But you know that he doesn’t view it as encouragement, it should be one of the greatest insults he could receive. I’m sure I’ll hear his usual retaliation.

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Posted: 04 January 2012 04:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I appreciated what Mario wrote.  Not fair to assume he had an unspoken agenda in writing it. 

Sorry, Mario, I know how much it annoys you when I defend you.

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Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream.

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Posted: 04 January 2012 05:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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TheBrotherMario - 04 January 2012 06:19 AM

Christianity’s (just one “collective power structure”) first and foremost contribution to the human race is the precept that a single person’s rights and dignity are to be upheld over the collective good. In other words, the end never justifies the means.

Secular society puts the collective good ahead of the individual in every way possible, for that is what pragmatism and politics do.

Individuality is innate and profound (not societal and pragmatic), and only when it is promoted because of these deeper truths will we, as individuals, receive the rights and dignity we deserve.

I think this is a bit simplistic.  Modern secular society, at least in the US, is as I see it, way overboard on individualism at the expense of the collective.  And Christianity has often promoted the collective against the heretical individual.  But there certainly is a dynamic between individual and collective that requires a delicate balance.  The question is, since the individual survival depends on the collective what is required of the individual in order to secure the prosperity of the collective?

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