The usual warning*.
Be critical of the next few paragraphs, I want to make you question some fundamental assumptions about the foundations of everything, and also make some points in normal-thinking-space, OK?**
2000 years after Titus’s 10th Legion ended a previous attempt, a political and investing cabal ofJews are again trying to carve out their own Jewish caliphate.
These people are giving Jews such a bad name. Netanyahu and the American Neoconservatives have worked so hard to make it acceptable to be anti-Muslim.
And they sold it, it has been unacceptable to be at all anti-Jewish in any aspect of being Jewish, especially not political, and acceptable to be anti-Islamic in any aspect of being Islamic, especially the political.
We in the western world have somehow all understood that the Muslims are the threat to us, not the Israeli Jews and largely-Jewish Neocons here in the US aiming the world toward war, driving a losing war for 14 years in a row and killing 100s 0f 1000s of innocents in the process. The propaganda is pervasive, the Muslims are the problem, that is the frame given by MSM to nearly every story.
These are very remarkable triumphs in control of public opinion that are not often remarked upon.
But the backlash of anti-Semitism perhaps disguised as opposition to Israeli-neocon policy is not proving controllable.
I could easily defend any of that, show you that it is ‘true’ for some reasonable values of True, if I believed that it did anything but mislead me in understanding my interests. Except for their effect upon the foreign policy of my country, I don’t much care about a person’s religion** and have not noticed that it predicts much about their behavior.
But, let us think about that a step more abstractly. Any time anyone steps toward abstract, the opportunity for error and magnitude of the resulting stupidity is increased, be warned.
However, this more abstract thinking will result in a reduction of mental complexity and associated opportunity for error. What exactly, do I mean when I use the term ‘Muslim’ or ‘Jew’? Our mental ‘meaning space’ holds names of sets of characteristics and associates all of those according to happenings in our mental spaces. But our mental processes normally neglect the difference between that mental object and the reality of the people it ‘represents’. That difference is an aspect of mental abstraction that we take for granted, and is also the base of most of our errors of reasoning.
The problem with both those terms is that people who legitimately apply the terms to themselves are so diverse that the total set of characteristics is the same as the total human race. There is no characteristic of any human that is not also characteristic of at least one Jew and one Muslim. Their unique defining characteristics are ONLY their holy book and the associated culture, and not very much of that. Thus, the label doesn’t explain much outside of strictly-religious and perhaps associated culture areas, it cannot be useful in political explanations, for example.
That level of abstraction means that every mental image of any category must be a simplification of the reality of the total set of all elements, otherwise they could not be useful in reasoning by our limited minds. Those stereotypes and penumbras of meaning in the association space are the basis of our thinking.
In our standard political analysis, we reason our way to conclusions based on stereotypes and our theories of how ‘people like that’ will react in various situations, and then expect to apply remedies based on those conclusions to every member of the group. There is no guarantee as to the overlap of your mental model and the actual population it supposedly represents. It is perfectly possible for the statistically most-probable person in a data set to not actually exist. Many combinations you would expect, and possibly depended upon, may exist in very small numbers, even zero.
Another way to express this is that reality is analog-fractal and must be expected to have unexpected linkages between dimensions, while concept space is known to be incommensurate and to be of sparse dimensions relative to the very very many apparent in reality.
That doesn’t automatically mean the results of your reasoning are wrong, but it certainly explains why they so often are. People who call themselves ‘Jew’ or ‘Muslim’ or pretty much anything else are under no compulsion to behave as your mental model’s stereotyping mechanism says they should. Not even for statistically-valid stereotypes, which is what Big Data promises to provide : labels of groups with statistical measures of associated attributes. Even inanimate entities often surprise with attributes most unexpected, surely I don’t need to provide links for that? Add in unknown unknowns, and nobody can have much confidence in any conclusion we could come to.
So, is there a way to strengthen reasoning of that type? Yes, to some considerable extent and very useful in creating caution. That is an example of how carefully meaning can be dissected out of another’s stream of thought, of how organized dialogue can ensure that all sides of a question are considered. As always, the question is how much of that meaning the author actually intended to be there, assuming the author would even remember. And also, how do you re-compress the meaning so you can again reason with it? The normal result of such deep analysis is to understand many more exceptions to our mental models, and thereby many more possible futures and less confidence in predicting a particular future. While that may be exactly what you should do, it is often the last thing the analyzing entity wants as a result.
So at the very least, to make that segment meaningful we would have to specify very precisely the exact Jews and Muslims we meant, the organizations, have our models include more of the actual attributes of specific organizations and people, etc. (Actually, re-reading it, I didn’t do badly, but mostly because I avoided ‘x is a y’ type statements.)
So one of the rules for clear thinking is being very sure you know what you are talking about. ‘Big general names’, and especially ‘big general derogatory name’, are certainly not helping your thinking and deciding. You have to use a lot of Socratic dialogue to make sure you are working every side of every problem, or your conclusions cannot be assumed to be in your best interests. Don’t assume it will be easy. Look how often everyone around you appears to fail at simple stuff like deciding to buy a new car! What makes you think you are doing better in your thinking?
Also, “X is a Y” statements are usually misleading because of the inevitable mismatches of the sets of attributes of Xs in reality with any conceivable attribute Y. “Jews are greedy” is wrong on its face, but equivalents are quite normal in political speech. It works as big lie propaganda, intended to mislead. Incorrect statements cannot assist you in understanding reality so that you can protect your interests.
Note that you follow these rules of mental hygiene not for the benefit of Jews or Muslims or anyone but for you in your community. Thinking has a lot of effects, and good or bad they are felt widely and quickly. If you can’t get the general rule about ‘Muslims’ being a term synonymous with “a group of humans who share a Holy Book and some cultural history as their only unique characteristic”, you will be less likely to grasp that promises based on an ASP in the future are dangerous.
For fun, accompany me one more step in such logic. The logic: When you sort out everyone’s short-term and long-term interests, I conclude that our Israeli-Neocons + MIC + deep state are using oil as the excuse and a payoff for political support, it is not the primary goal. The primary goal is power. That seems to me to fit with the major player’s goals : In the ME power is needed to finish pushing out the Arabs and making a Jewish Greater Israel. In DC, the power is needed to finish subjugating the world with military and economic power.
I think that even without the obviously increasing resistance from internal political forces, however carefully you specified all of those terms, few peoples’ concept processors can make that compute.
I also think these people I have labeled Israeli + neocons + MIC + deep state are willing to take very large risks, 9/11 was a false flag run by these people. They are not going to go willingly, and they are losing badly in reality and increasingly in the political arena, Jeb was their main boy and Hilary their main girl. In the past, win or lose, they have always doubled down.
Meta-level again : Seems plausible, but so much does, as ‘seems plausible’ means ‘passes our stereotype checks’, using our existing stereotypes. This has the strengths and weaknesses of every other intelligence estimate. It is statements about the future derived from information about the present. We know those don’t often match the reality when it arrives, which means that our ability to reason with tools just as I am using here is really much worse than we grasp.
Very often, it turns out that the very concepts we based our understandings on were wrong, that reality had shifted, we were doing the wrong things for the wrong reason, and our words lead us astray, we didn’t pick up on the signals.
I still haven’t understood that, so have no way of warning you sufficiently. As a clue to how bad it is, consider any recent world war as evidence of the best thinking of the time. Surely no one expected the actual outcomes to be so bad for them or they would not have gone to war.
The worth of a statement about the future is what it allows you to do. Did that understanding allow you to do anything differently?
*I am personally trying to infect your brain with my thoughts, and I am damn good at it, people keep coming back and reading stuff despite the warnings, because of the warnings.
The big and repeated warning is that writers and video people are very good at putting ideas and attitudes into your brain and most people are not aware of how easy it is to pick up bad versions that cause you to work against your own interests. People who appear to be giving you good advice in your own interest are especially dangerous.
‘Jewish caliphate’, btw, was intentional, although this note was a day later, after I realized I didn’t warn you. If you know that is a mixing of cultural concepts, it grabs your attention and makes you remember. If not, I have sewn a bit of confusion into your mind, the kind of thing that can make you look bad in an argument and/or lead to an enlightenment for you or others.
**Clever person. Enumerate what points were in the ‘foundations of everything concept space’ and what were in ‘normal thinking space’?
***As I defend Muslims as human beings and Islam as just another religion, no better than some, no worse than others in so many dimensions of evaluation, I defend Jews as human beings and their religion as just another religion. I hold all to the same standard of civilized behavior. Reach that standard, you can call yourself a civilized religion. Fail, and call yourself what you will, you don’t make my grade. Among people calling themselves ‘Jew’ and ‘Muslim’, most do and some don’t, and in similar ways. Exactly what you would predict of any group of people united by such general concepts.
Added later : Such dumb bit of logic in that first bit, and I missed it for so long, argued both sides of ‘acceptable to public opinion’ in adjacent sentences. Sorry.