la laxma'i spaji spaji

a bilingual blog in Lojban and English · una bitácora bilingüe en lojban e inglés
un blog bilingue en lojban et anglais · ein zweisprachiger Blog auf Lojban und Englisch
relbau prekarni bau lo lojbo e lo glico


ribytai selkei : Teddy bear

ni'o y srana lo ribytai selkei

ni'o ba lo nu mi ze'a lo djedi be li so'u cu pensi lo bi'u nai cuntu kei mi co'a jimpe lo du'u mi naldji sinma lo muslo flalu jecta i ri zmadu fi lo ka ce'u stace i ju'o cu'i la sudan na banzu lo ka carmi i ju'o cu'i lo go'i cu bilga lo nu ri tolcru lo nu lo nalmuslo ninmu cu ctuca lo muslo verba i ju'o cu'i lo go'i cu bilga lo nu ri sfasa lo bi'u rirni lo nu ri rirni lo panzi poi ke'a krici lo du'u lo nu ri te cmene lo selkei zo muxamad cu se prije sidbo ku'o kei lo nu lo se no'a cu vo no roi se darxi fi lo za'e biksko
My name is Muhammad. I'm a teddy bear.Umm, it's a teddy bear.

After thinking about this case for a couple of days, I realize I have a grudging respect for the Islamic theocracies. They're more honest. Perhaps Sudan doesn't go far enough. Perhaps they should not allow infidel women to teach Muslim children at all. Perhaps they should subject the parents to 40 lashes for raising children who thought naming a toy Muhammad was a good idea.

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Blogger Dan Sallitt said...

I'd guess (and you seem to imply) that this particular gesture is less about honesty than about good anti-infidel public relations. But it often seems to me that extremists have clarity on their side precisely because of their lack of balance. I remember thinking once: old-fashioned religious communities frown on dancing because they say it incites sexual desire; lubricious youths want to dance for the same reason; only moderates are tempted to pretend that dancing is good clean fun. (I believe the movie Footloose inspired this analysis.) Or: some radical feminists claimed that heterosex was rape; troglodytes thought so too but didn't mind; good liberals, burdened by a sense of balance, are tempted to whitewash the sexual impulse. Maybe the ideal thinker would combine the lucidity of extremists with the temperament of moderates.

01 December, 2007 01:39  
Blogger komfo,amonan said...

It seems that this gesture is purely political. Britain is slamming Sudan on Darfur, & this is how Sudan hits back.

Extremists may have clarity on their side, but perhaps clarity serves to assuage their discomfort with nuance. And nuance is a significant feature of most phenomena.

I'm not certain I've understood your point; perhaps you could give an example of how an ideal thinker would approach a particular problem.

01 December, 2007 17:34  
Blogger Dan Sallitt said...

Not being an ideal thinker, I don't know if I'm up to a demonstration....

Take the dancing example. Let's grant, for a moment, that dancing is not good clean fun, that it makes children want to have sex. I take this to be self-evident. But it's rather painful to acknowledge, because the fact seems to want to push us to an extreme: either, "No dancing!" or "Let children have sex."

It would follow that extremists, though they lack the balance that I might want in a thinker, would have an easier time acknowledging the difficult facts of the case. And that moderates, though they have a sense of proportion, would feel greater pressure to harmonize reality to their beliefs, and come up with a "good clean fun" stand on dancing.

Of course, my assumption here is that the world regularly gives us data that poses serious problems for any given belief system. Without that premise, my discussion doesn't make sense. But, given that premise, I would postulate that an ideal thinker would be able to acknowledge the facts that urge us toward extremism, and yet still decline the invitation and maintain a sense of openness and balance.

(RIP Norman Mailer, whose influence is easy to spot in the above.)

04 December, 2007 11:28  
Blogger Paula said...

"In order to understand anything, you must understand everything; but in order to say anything, you must leave out a great deal."
— Simone de Beauvoir

Clear thinking is about acknowledging not just the "difficult facts" but all of the facts. To use your example, dancing has sexy elements, but it also has other things going for it--it's aerobic exercise, gets the endorphins flowing, it's creative, etc.

So the extremist (the Footloose elder) is only seeing the "difficult" part and not the whole picture. That's not clarity, that's the opposite, no?

06 December, 2007 14:55  
Blogger Dan Sallitt said...

Well, I'm thinking that the aerobic/creative aspects of dancing (and intercourse, I guess) don't damage extreme social conservatives' arguments too much. They would probably say, "I'd really rather my children got their exercise in a safer way." So they can claim clarity on the endorphin issue and still hold on to their extremism. That's the thing about extremism: it's already committed to a radical solution, and so it has a lot of flexibility in mentally re-engineering society. The moderate is much more likely to worry about balancing sex and health - and moderates already have mastery of the "good clean fun" argument.

09 December, 2007 13:00  
Blogger komfo,amonan said...

But, given that premise, I would postulate that an ideal thinker would be able to acknowledge the facts that urge us toward extremism, and yet still decline the invitation and maintain a sense of openness and balance.

I think your premise is sound, and your description of the 'ideal thinker' makes sense to me. I reckon I now get your point. Thanks for clearing that up.

10 December, 2007 00:17  

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