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Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism

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Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Zachary 6/15/20 7:38 PM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Brian 6/15/20 8:05 PM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Not two, not one 6/16/20 4:14 AM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Brian 6/16/20 4:45 AM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Not two, not one 6/16/20 5:27 AM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Brian 6/16/20 6:10 AM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Josef Kyle Chan 6/16/20 8:01 AM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Brian 6/16/20 9:07 AM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Josef Kyle Chan 6/16/20 9:11 PM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Gijs 6/16/20 4:39 PM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Brian 6/16/20 8:51 PM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Olivier 6/16/20 8:37 AM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Brian 6/16/20 9:05 AM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Chris Marti 6/16/20 9:50 AM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Jeff 6/16/20 11:45 AM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Brian 6/16/20 8:36 PM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Lewis James 6/17/20 2:37 AM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Brian 6/17/20 4:43 AM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Lewis James 6/17/20 7:57 AM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Olivier 6/18/20 3:47 AM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Brian 6/17/20 10:22 PM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Martin 6/16/20 12:25 PM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Olivier 6/16/20 2:14 PM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Edward Prunesquallor 6/16/20 5:58 PM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Brian 6/16/20 8:45 PM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism This very moment 6/16/20 7:34 AM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Chris Marti 6/16/20 5:14 PM
RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism Olivier 6/16/20 7:13 PM
Interesting first draft of a piece Vinay Gupta is working on. Touches on several timely themes including right livelihood under capitalism, civilizational collapse, morality practice and how various imported spiritual practices function under capitalism in the West. 

You can read the draft here: 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PwRpfJiqus_h8Hyj006wtsLJDClsdWcb/edit



RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/15/20 8:05 PM as a reply to Zachary.
I know this guy from the Ethereum community. Frankly, I think he's deeply misguided. I think sympathies for communism stem partly from extreme hubris, a genuine belief that one knows better how things should be than the higher-order emergent intelligence that comes from disagreement and conflict between people. That level of hubris is extremely dangerous. It's the same brainwave Mao and Pol Pot were on. Besides hubris, I think his type of beliefs come partly from having a low opinion of other people, like a lack of confidence in them to intend to be good, to try to be good, to do good, to be kind, to have compassion, to want to help others, etc. And I believe that having a low opinion of others comes from a correct low assessment of oneself with regard to those good human qualities. Vinay would be big into social justice. I regard so-called social justice as a recursive virus that destroys everything it touches. It always sows division, it always sabotages. If you're not already inoculated against this virus, my advice would be to learn enough about it to understand why it always results in enormous suffering, huge death tolls, and extremely hard-to-repair destruction, and then avoid it like the plague and try to stamp it out wherever you see it.

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
Answer
6/16/20 4:14 AM as a reply to Brian.
Hey Brian, sounds like he sure pushes your buttons!  Is there something in the midst of that worth investigating?

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
Answer
6/16/20 4:45 AM as a reply to Not two, not one.
How do you feel about the holocaust? Would you say it pushes your buttons? Or do you think it'd be more accurate to say you just find the senseless deaths of millions of people to be a very regrettable thing?

Somewhere around a hundred million people were murdered or starved last century due to communism. I know a little bit of history, like stuff that happened during the Cultural Revolution, Great Leap Forward, the killing of a quarter of the Cambodian population by the Khmer Rouge, etc. I'm capable of seeing similarities between things that happened in the past and things that are happening now. You might disagree about how similar they are, but it's subjective and highly dependent on life experiences.

So, to some extent, you're right that I get bugged when somebody brings up warmed-over ideas that already killed an incredible number of people. But I suspect it's also true that you would be as bugged as I am, or more bugged, if you knew as much about what happened in the past and how similar they are to things that are happening lately. How sure are you that I'm excessively disturbed, rather than that you just aren't as well informed?

Not to try to do that thing where you "win" on the internet by dumping a blizzard of stuff on the other person, but here is a very very short article about the past: https://quillette.com/2018/12/18/the-children-of-the-revolution/ Please answer honestly whether the events described there remind you of anything happening lately.

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/16/20 5:27 AM as a reply to Brian.
Well, without reading your reference, I would acknowledge the various views.  But they are all (pro and anti) from a particular perspective - a selection and ordering of the details into self and other, or good and bad.  The 'truth' of course is a network of dependently orignated effects.  A web of causation, and perspectives on that web of causation. When you choose one side or the other, you bind yourself into a particular point of view, a particular craving.

Not to say that I don't have a point of view! But I try to keep it in perspective, and to be in charge of it so that it isn't in charge of me

Metta to you Brian

Malcolm

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
Answer
6/16/20 6:10 AM as a reply to Not two, not one.
Well, I'm not enlightened. I'm trying to get enlightened as quickly as possible. Until then, I think I have utility to the world when I play my role in the fabric of society, the fabric of distributed intelligence. I don't even think it's particularly un-Buddhalike if I just say emphatically that I think that certain ideas lead to ruin. In fact, it's not very hard to argue that a lot of the ideas espoused by woke social justice people amount to anti-Buddhism. If you think the ideas of the Buddha lead to happiness, taking each of his ideas and doing the opposite... well, it probably is not very good, is it.

Anyway, I've experienced some stuff in life, and I'm being honest and saying things in good faith. This clash is how higher order intelligence happens. When none of us gets exactly what we prefer, something is happening that is smarter than you and smarter than me.

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/16/20 7:34 AM as a reply to Zachary.
Vince Horn interviewed Vinay recently on an episode of Buddhist Geeks podcast if anyone is interested in this fellows take on Enlightenment and the world.  Very interesting, dare I say brilliant man, with extremely strong opinions.  I haven't read the Spiritual Colonialism article yet, so I can't comment on his communist/dictator tendencies.  

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/16/20 8:01 AM as a reply to Brian.
You could say the same thing to capitalism. Capitalism in its unbridled form has caused climate catastrophes and untold horrors around the world. It seems that you are against any form of social justice as you say  'woke social justice people' lead to anti buddhism'. Could you cite SPECIFIC  examples and the corresponding sutta that they violate? Buddha was against slavery and I would consider that as a form of social justice , he even said it in a sutta. He was against the caste system. To quote you' I regard so-called social justice as a recursive virus that destroys everything it touches' is an extreme statement and is in kinder terms misinformed  . Is fighting for justice to correct  the mistakes of the past wrong? Stop quoting Quilette please, they have published false information and s extremist in the sense that they are far to the right.



RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/16/20 8:37 AM as a reply to Brian.
There is a name for what Brian is trying to do here : it's called gaslighting. 

There is nothing in this paper that hints to the fact that Vinay is promoting communism. In fact, the couple of passages where he mentions communism are the following - go ahead and check, reading this paper will take you about 2 hours :
The Marxists, of course, try and reengineer society so there is no bag: everybody works reasonably hard, everybody eats, and the fear-based model of existence goes away over time, liberating people into a new blah blah commissars mass murder genocide gulags and so on. Apparently that didn’t work so well, having been tried repeatedly. The systems required enormous violence to manage and maintain these illusions of utopia, and the damage is bad enough that the “never again Marxism” rational is not irrational, any more than “no more Nazis, ever” is a very reasonable stance. So we are in a position where there is a moral bag to be held, because our lives still imply doing violence to nature and to other human beings. God will not wash our hands. Marxism attempted a universal hand-washing by building a society in which the violence in the system was justified by the care that the system provided, and then blew the entire thing in an orgy of mass murder, over and over again, across half a dozen societies. Where do we go now?

[...]

Western civilisation has few or none of the necessary mechanisms required to handle the moral weight of people being responsible for their own actions, and the resulting split between reason and our history is the major driving force behind syndromes like global warming denial and praising HIV as “the wrath of god.” It’s not that people have simply lost their mind: Faith built this hell, and the loss of Faith leaves us responsible for fixing it. We have a civilisation-level moral hangover. Within this context, the apocalyptic nature of Marxism becomes much clearer. The attempt was to build a world which would not generate this enormous weight of guilt, because the general social weal would be so overwhelmingly obvious that whatever ills had to be committed to maintain the society would be seen as an acceptable price to pay for a country (or, indeed, a world) in which nobody went without education or health care. But without time to adapt, entire nations went straight from the “God washes all hands” Christian era, straight into Godless Communism and continued to act as if god was picking up the bills for their misdeeds. The Marxist tendency to genocide amounts to internal “convert or die” Faith-based crusades against internal populations who were seen as showing inadequate zeal in the New Faith and the resulting mass murders look all too familiar from previous rounds of massive religious frenzy. The destruction was epic and total, and so many of the essential concepts of Marxism are now soaked in blood that they have to be rederived from other sources, rather than simply being quoted from Capital.

Why would Brian assert something about Vinay Gupta that seems so contradictory with what appears if one were to actually bother reading this long piece ? Well, it seems to be a rhetorical device. Using deeply charged psychological imagery, assimilating and somehow identifying the object of his criticism with some of the worst crimes in history, and then "transfering" this very heavy emotional comparison to vilify the author of this article. That is just classic.

It's pure defamation, lowly defamation (and not very skilful at that), using cheap psychological manipulation and basically nazifying someone with no basis to the argument other than the very intense pathos that comes with invoking bloodshed.

I should add that from previous interactions on this board, I know that Brian is a climate change denier who won't hesitate to spread lies about climate science being doubtful. At this time in history, that is just blatant disinformation. But he does it "with a straight face" - very reminiscent of a certain Donald something, isn't it.

Brian then argues that he has pure intentions. And that "he has some life experience", you know, kid.

Therefore, it appears to me as a responsibility to call him out loudly and clearly. 

No doubt, my claim will be turned against me, and it will be said I am the one doing defamation. But I trust that people here will know better. Whether he does have good intentions or not, is besides the point.

Watch out for that guy.

Cheers.

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/16/20 9:07 AM as a reply to Josef Kyle Chan.
There's no need to get out a microscope. Let's just take one simple thing. In Buddhism, of what importance is the body? Is the body you? Is the body essential to your identity? Now, ask a woke social justice warrior. Invariably they'll tell you that ethnicity, gender, etc., are crucial to their identities. "If you don't see me as black, you don't see who I am."

Here's a specific example of how social justice divides. One extremely common terrible idea of theirs is that something is wrong unless outcomes are equal. That is, unequal outcomes is proof of discrimination and/or oppression. But we never see equal outcomes. Equal outcome is not normal anywhere. If you take it to be the norm, then yes, everything looks wrong. Take any small business. It has the "wrong" number of black people, white people, men, women, gay people, etc., according to local demographics. Suppose that you "fixed" that by introducing deliberate hiring discrimination on the basis of ethnicity and gender and sexual orientation, etc. Social justice warriors would still find your company wrong because you have too many men in the programming department, etc. This is what I mean when I say it's a recursive destruction virus. You can never actually fix your business to be OK in the eyes of an SJW, but you can certainly sabotage it at every level if you try to placate them.

If you find examples of unequal outcomes using their exact logic, but that differ with their narrative, those are not allowed. For example, men make up 50% of the population, but over 90% of inmates. For some reason, this doesn't mean that men are the victims of discrimination. You don't get to apply the same logic to draw your own conclusions. Social justice warriors reserve the right to decide and tell you what's what.

This process is happening now. Universities are implementing racial discrimination. So are companies, in their hiring practices. This is the work of so-called social justice advocates.

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/16/20 9:05 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier, I don't think there's much point in talking. We just have radically different perspectives. But, I said my piece about watching out for Vinay, so it seems perfectly fair for you to say your piece advising people to watch out for me. I trust emergence to sort it out.

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
Answer
6/16/20 9:50 AM as a reply to Brian.
My only comment, from a political science grad:

The left tends to favor equality. The right tends to favor individual freedom. These two sets of ideals clash, inevitably. Managing the tension between the two is something that is difficult. I'm not sure any government, to whom the managing task falls, ever gets it right, and what is  right generally depends on your personal perspective. And so it will probably always be. Yet... governing is not a zero-sum game, so there is always hope.

emoticon

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/16/20 9:11 PM as a reply to Brian.
Just to be clear from the get go. This is not an attack against anyone. Please read this in the kindest voice possible. No ill will to anyone. 
You:
There's no need to get out a microscope. Let's just take one simple thing. In Buddhism, of what importance is the body? Is the body you? Is the body essential to your identity? Now, ask a woke social justice warrior. Invariably they'll tell you that ethnicity, gender, etc., are crucial to their identities. "If you don't see me as black, you don't see who I am."

My response:
To pretend that race, ethnicity and gender etc doesn’t exist is to be blind. They are important in the sense that their race, gender and ethnicity affects their everyday life.To be able to see and respect our difference and  come together is the goal. 

You:
Here's a specific example of how social justice divides. One extremely common terrible idea of theirs is that something is wrong unless outcomes are equal. That is, unequal outcomes is proof of discrimination and/or oppression. But we never see equal outcomes. Equal outcome is not normal anywhere. If you take it to be the norm, then yes, everything looks wrong. Take any small business. It has the "wrong" number of black people, white people, men, women, gay people, etc., according to local demographics. Suppose that you "fixed" that by introducing deliberate hiring discrimination on the basis of ethnicity and gender and sexual orientation, etc. Social justice warriors would still find your company wrong because you have too many men in the programming department, etc. This is what I mean when I say it's a recursive destruction virus. You can never actually fix your business to be OK in the eyes of an SJW, but you can certainly sabotage it at every level if you try to placate them.

My response:
Social justice advocates for equal footing not equal outcome just to be clear. Let us use your demographic data. Based on your data 50% of the population is composed of women. I will get into one specific case, women in science. When we advocate that more women get into STEM it is because we know that there is an under representation of women in the field due to multiple factors even though they make up most of the population.

Is it because women are not interested in science? No , of course not . In the US for example 42% of PhDs in the field of stem is earned by women.  If that is so why are they  under represented? I would simplify as much as I can.
 

It is a multifactorial issue .

First .Women have been generally excluded from science until the late 19th century where there has been rise in women’s colleges. 

’’People still tend to associate STEM disciplines with men and hold negative opinions of women in masculine careers ‘’

Second is the gender pay gap, in europe for example women’s hourly earnings are 17.5% lower than men.

Third is the familial expectation for women to stay home with their children while men are the one who will raise the money for the family. Women with children need more support ,that they lack ,which would enable them to work.


''A 2010 UK survey showed that women spent more hours per week teaching and fewer hours conducting research than male academics, putting them at a disadvantage for promotion. It is surprising then that women do not complain more about the bias or discrimination they experience. Reasons could be that they are less aware of it or do not want to appear to complain because of a fear of jeopardizing their career’’.


I would stop here since if I continue it would have been an essay. Just read my reference. I have compiled them and hope that you have the time to read them. Another perspective.

We are fighting the issues that prevent women from being represented.  That is what we mean by fighting for representation for women. 

P.S : Affirmative action is not racial discrimination.

Reference:
https://chemistry-europe.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/chem.201600035
Milkman, K. L., Akinola, M., & Chugh, D. (2012). Temporal Distance and Discrimination. Psychological Science, 23(7), 710-717. doi:10.1177/0956797611434539

https://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/117904https://www.builtbyme.com/statistics-facts-women-in-stem/

https://www.wgu.edu/blog/why-are-there-so-few-women-in-stem1907.html

https://www.aauw.org/resources/research/the-stem-gap/

You:

If you find examples of unequal outcomes using their exact logic, but that differ with their narrative, those are not allowed. For example, men make up 50% of the population, but over 90% of inmates. For some reason, this doesn't mean that men are the victims of discrimination. You don't get to apply the same logic to draw your own conclusions. Social justice warriors reserve the right to decide and tell you what's what.

My response:

Basically read this: 
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/making-evil/201902/why-are-we-not-outraged-prisons-are-filled-men

To summarize : it is because of toxic masculinity. More men are put into prison because of the idea that men are naturally aggressive and violent.

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/16/20 11:45 AM as a reply to Brian.
But why did you imply the Vinay was a communist when nothing in that document suggests this.

I think Oliver is right. This is gaslighting and pretty dishonest. I'm not quite sure what your motive was here

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/16/20 12:25 PM as a reply to Not two, not one.
Not two, not one:
...
Not to say that I don't have a point of view! But I try to keep it in perspective, and to be in charge of it so that it isn't in charge of me

...


I think Brian makes a good point in warning that good intentions often lead to suffering, especially in cases where those intentions are directed to regulating the fine details of the behavior and speech of others, and other posters here, also make good points in arguing that other viewpoints have also lead to suffering for many. And, of course, Zachary is quire right in say that this stuff is interesting. Setting out rules to govern the actions of strangers so as to minimize the suffering of all humans is hard. It's especially hard considering that suffering is the default for humans. One take away might be, as you say, Malcolm, that binding ourselves to views is unskillful.

Last week I heard the Bankei quote, "Don't side with yourself." I ran it though my head many times in the days after, as it brought some instant relief in moments of papanca, but it was not until I got into a conflict that I saw a particularly helpful way of understanding it. I found that I could hold to my position without making a big deal of it, by understanding Bankei's advice not as saying that I should not "take a side" but rather that I should not become enchanted by that side and engage in the ongoing activity of "siding" with myself: making arguments in support of my view and dismissing or denigrating opposing views. I am now trying out applying that to my thinking about politics and social issues as well. I am trying to take a side, and sometimes state my side, but to leave it at that, without spending so much time siding with myself. (And yes, I realize that, on another level I am siding with myself by writing this. Damn you, complexity!)

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/16/20 2:14 PM as a reply to Martin.
I find it dangerous to think that spirituality means one shouldn't have strong political views and engaged action. Also, we have to defend those views. Do you think Gandhi did not side strongly with himself ? He would have died for his views. Well, he did actually emoticon

Brian makes a good point saying that totalitarianism is totalitarian. Sure. What in this article justifies even mentioning that ? It's profoundly libertarian in tone.

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/16/20 4:39 PM as a reply to Brian.
Might be interesting to explore what the role of angry anti left content (i assume you watch a lot of youtube or talkshows or something equivalent cause you sound very typical for certain branches of internet) is in your psyche. How does it make you feel? Why do you like feeling like that? Whats wrong with being a naive left idiot? Did you ever feel like a naive left idiot? (these are just examples of course i dont know you) Questions like that, its very hard to be criticical on things you hold dearly, like politics, so good luck if you ever take that route.

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/16/20 5:14 PM as a reply to Zachary.
Let's make sure to stay away from making this thread personal. No name calling, no insults. I'm watching this thread closely.

Thank you.

Chris Marti
DhO Moderator

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/16/20 5:58 PM as a reply to Brian.
Brian's assertion, that communism was responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths, is totally false. Then he conflates authoritarian communist regimes with all protest movements which may fall within the category of 'social justice'.

Stop wasting your time arguing with this guy. I wish there was an ignore button.

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/16/20 7:13 PM as a reply to Zachary.
So, the article in itself was highly thought provoking and interesting, I found. Possible criticism to be made, from my perspective, against a simplistic view of the history of western societies, and in particular of the christian religion, as well as the technology-friendly views developed near the end... But on the whole, very rich. 

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/16/20 8:36 PM as a reply to Jeff.
"But why did you imply the Vinay was a communist when nothing in that document suggests this."

Like I said, I was familiar with him from long before this document. He famously stated "we are all communists" with regard to people who use Ethereum. Look at this: https://twitter.com/leashless/status/1263960839742251008 It's advocacy of "democratically elected matriarchal market communism", linking to an article with (hilariously to me) a picture of people wearing red hats with hammers and sickles. I could go on. How much more clear would you like it to be?

Maybe this article is the first time you've heard of this person, but it's not for me. I have run into him several times. I am very cognizant of how poor even the best understanding of another person's mind can be, but I have the gist. His leanings are fairly clear to me.

Now, how do you feel about your claim that I've been dishonest, or that I have an ulterior motive?

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/16/20 8:45 PM as a reply to Edward Prunesquallor.
"Brian's assertion, that communism was responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths, is totally false."

I didn't say hundreds of millions, I said around a hundred million. And it's a matter of historical record.

Somewhere around 40 million people were starved to death just by Mao. Could I manage to coax your agreement that Mao was... trying to do communism in China at that time? Would you say it's accurate that anyone was... trying to do communism in the USSR during the purges? Were the Khmer Rouge... trying to do communism over the years they killed two million people in Cambodia? A million here, a million there, it adds up quickly.

I don't suppose you're claiming that the people didn't die -- that would be approximately equal to holocaust denial, which I assume you don't intend to do at all. So I suppose you mean that the deaths weren't attributable to people trying to implement communism. Well, I'll let the crowd assess that.

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/16/20 8:51 PM as a reply to Gijs.
"Might be interesting to explore what the role of angry anti left content (i assume you watch a lot of youtube or talkshows or something equivalent cause you sound very typical for certain branches of internet)"

Not a good start, IMO, attributing my point of view essentially to watching too much TV. And you're wrong, I hardly watch anything like that. And I think your overall general suggestion (that I'm angry at people for having stupid views) is wrong. First, I'm not angry. Second, I don't think that the views are stupid, I think they're just unskillful. It just seems to me based on my knowledge of history that those ideas lead to ruin. That's why I speak out against them. I feel I have a moral obligation to do this.

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/17/20 2:37 AM as a reply to Brian.
https://twitter.com/leashless/status/1272948423155757059?s=19

He's really going hard on the leftist rhetoric!

Do you have any specific criticism of the article (or even Vinay) beyond your surface impression of him? Can we get some flipping nuance in here?! Getting real tired of all this all or nothing, black and white thinking all over the world.

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
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6/17/20 4:43 AM as a reply to Lewis James.
Well, I'll do my best to explain my misgivings.

If you just watch the news, you think that the world is getting worse and worse. But if you look at the vast majority of statistics related to human well-being, it looks like the opposite -- that not only is the world the best it's ever been, but it's getting better faster than it ever has.

Poverty, literacy, infant mortality, deaths from easily preventable illnesses, malnutrition, on and on, whichever way the statistics need to go to improve, they are going that direction.

Now, capitalism never promised to do any of that. No daring heroes carefully designed our market systems and carefully planned a revolution and overthrew the existing evil regimes and instituted the new world order. It just gradually emerged. To my eyes, it's miraculous. Something happened that was smarter than any individual human could come up with, or even any group other than the entire group (somehow collaborating despite not really intending to)

The way it seems to me is, humans really want to be smart and save the day. Some people want to be smart and save the day so much that they will try to do it even if it means interrupting an ongoing miracle. The people who have this tendency tend to actually be smart, and they have a lot of initiative. But they also have a lot of hubris, and perhaps a lack of introspection, or a lack of healthy doubt. And swooping in and saving the day wouldn't be worth much if everything was already the best it'd ever been in all of human history. So people with this tendency tend to see a world in the throes of multiple crises.

I think Vinay fits the profile. Smart, lots of initiative, sees the world in crises, and has lots of ideas for what to do. I don't know if he's the type of person who thinks so highly of his ideas that he might actually force them on people, thinking that he'd be thanked later, like Mao or Pol Pot. You don't really have to worry about average people doing a Khmer Rouge, because they don't have any highly nonstandard mental attribute, like enormous initiative or fearlessness or absolute certainty of being right, or whatever.

The way I think real change happens is to do it locally. Demonstrate a better way of life. We're freer than ever to form little communes and intentional communities based on whatever new ideas we can come up with. But there's a peculiar thing about those with a communist bent: they don't actually do it now, despite being free to do so. They don't form little groups with their friends and demonstrate the newer better way of life. They advocate, e.g., stopping using fossil fuels, but in the meantime, they don't restrict themselves to an hour a day of electricity. They always seem to act as if once all the current evil stuff is destroyed, then the new wonderful way will begin. That's what Mao and Pol Pot were thinking, too. It's extremely dangerous.

It's as if they think to themselves "ah, it'll be great, out in the fresh air, working alongside my comrades in the fields of organic vegetables", etc. But that already happened. That is the past. Some people lived their entire lives that way. We decided not to live like that anymore for very good reason: it's backbreaking work from sunup to sundown every day. If the people who have it in mind that it'll be romantic would just try it for a day or two, they'd stop thinking it was romantic and cool and part of a wonderful future. But they don't live the life they advocate for everyone, they just advocate it dreaming that it'll be wonderful.

Anyway, that's probably way too hand-wavy and nonspecific for you, but I'm not an expert on the guy, I just have run into him enough times to put him in a mental category dangerously close to people of the past who had some *exciting new ideas* that they *just knew* would be great if people would just give them a chance.

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
Answer
6/17/20 7:57 AM as a reply to Brian.
Well, that's a criticism of communism vs capitalism, and as already pointed out in this thread, Vinay doesn't seem to be advocating for communism, and actually has (both in the article, and publically online) harshly criticised this approach.

Again, the black and white thinking "the world is the best it's ever been" (we could talk about those particular measurements vs human satisfaction, fulfilment, happiness, etc) vs "the world is in crisis" (there obviously are multiple ongoing crises for which consumer-driven markets don't have an answer). Can't it be both? Isn't it both? You say that capitalism emerged as a miracle greater than any human's effort, but didn't capitalism in its current form arise due to the efforts of influential people 'swooping in' and making effort?

I think handwaving away all the travesties and despair of modern consumer-capitalism, with its hyper inflated debt, poor work-life balance, resource looting, actual slavery, and so on, by saying "well it's better than 200 years ago", while true, doesn't mean we should stop there. And again - it has very little to what Vinay wrote in this article.

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
Answer
6/18/20 3:47 AM as a reply to Brian.
Brian, your thinking is evidently not at the level of Vinay Gupta's. There are a lot of things you could learn from that man.

The way you write makes it seem like you have good intentions and are sincere, but i sense something very dangerous. Perhaps, there is an incredibly thick defense mechanism there devised so as not to see what seems inacceptable, and so perhaps you are sincere, but then, that is honestly amazing to me, kind of like talking to someone who doesn't see impermanence. Like... Really , man ? 

It might be that you are profoundly not seeing what I see. The fact that never in the history of the planet have marine species disappeared so fast, even during the massive permian extinction ; the fact that there has never been so much inequality ; that if we keep going like the current trend of pollution, the world will be at +4/5 by 2100, which means that the south of france will be inhabitable for example. But, of course, you don't believe that CO2 emissiins are bad, so, you are morally exempt from doing anything. Thanks to people like you (again, see a certain Donald T., He also seems to have a clear conscious), billions (again : billions. A +4/5 °C earty can accomodate 1 billion people) of people are likely to die of lack of water, food, or or from sheer inhabitable living conditions. There is in fact little discussiin of these facts, the only discussion is more along the lines of how much and when.

Your good conscious, born from denial, is some of the most dangerous stuff there is. It is precisely the fact that people in power are able to close their eyes and enter into serious cognitive dissonance like this,  which prevents people from reacting, because it seems real. You seem legit. What that does to people is make them feel : "hmm, perhaps it's true, perhaps it's not actually that bad". And perhaps, when we, from our priviledged positions, France and Us, see that 5 billion people in the other countries have disappeared, we will be able to convince ourselves that we had no part in it, and that it's all for the best. 

That is wrong. It's not AT ALL a question of being a leftist or rightist, a capitalist or communist. It has nothing to do with that, it's much more primal. Wake up, brian, you silly man, wake up faster.

Nobody here said anything romantic, we are not hippies, we all know that it's nicer, more easy to take a car to do your groceries, i'm living without a fridge, without a car in a place where everything was designed to be done by car, without a washing machine - yes, cleaning your clothes by hand sucks. I live with twice less money than minimum wage. And when i read people like you it gives me rage. And it's rightful anger. It's not ignorance, not aversion, it's a profound disgust at lies and injustice. Which is the core driver for ethical behavior. I try to have integrity and nobility.

Edit : actually, washing things by hands and not having a car etc,don't suck, it's just a bit harder. But it feels more meaningful, when i have clean clothes, so, there is a balance. I truly believe that a less consumptive lifestyle, one where we don't each have the equivalent of 500 energetic slaves working everyday for us, is a more meaning full life.

 It's funny in a pathetic way that you don't even seem to realize how precisely your response fits with what vinay's describing... And yet you dare repeatedly claim that he is a kind of Mao , who wants to impose his views... That is just ridiculous, man. The guy can't even sell his design of a hexayurt , a Diy refugee tent he invented, in any kind of large scale. Is that a normal phase in a potential dictator's life ? When his attempts at helping refugees fail miserably,e he turns into beast mode and starts writing open source pamphlets in which he edplains that he doesn't know what we should do and criticizes elites for doing precisely what you say he is doing. I mean. Come on. Lol. You can come up with something smarter than that, i don't doubt it. That's not even remotely credible.

The only credible thing here is your sincerety in thinking that you are morally correct to say the the things you say - and that, my friends, is precisely the kind of separative cognitive mechanism which allows tragedies to happen without there being a reaction from outside observers.

These will probably seem like very strong words, but i believe they don't fall too far off the mark. I'm the kind  of asshole who will always put his reputation on the line at the risk of seeming like a neurotic and fearful dickhead in an attempt to expose these kinds of very subtle mechanisms which go unnoticed by most. Too bad for me emoticon but i'm often very perspicacious... At least i feel coherent !

Have a nice day everyone.

RE: Vinay Gupta - Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism
Answer
6/17/20 10:22 PM as a reply to Olivier.
Well, I could certainly be way off about Vinay. It takes a long time to get to know anyone, and I haven't even had the opportunity to do that with him. But we often have to make judgement calls despite near perfect ignorance. If you think I made the wrong call on him, fine, please treat it like any other random opinion you encounter that you think is insufficiently justified. May you be well.