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James Alan Fox: Umpqua shooting - a tragedy, not a trend

The Road Not Taken | Council on Foreign Relations

Every man then is caught in what Bateson has called a"double bind." Bateson and his co-workers have made aplausible case for viewing the double bind as an importantcausative factor in the genesis of schizophrenia. The double bind may not always be so damaging, but it alwaysendangers the mental health of anyone to whom it is applied."A bad conscience," said Nietzsche, "is a kind ofillness."

The Tragedy of the Commons, by Garrett Hardin (1968)

The long-term disadvantage of an appeal to conscience shouldbe enough to condemn it; but it has serious short-termdisadvantages as well. If we ask a man who is exploiting acommons to desist "in the name of conscience," what arewe saying to him? What does he hear? -- not only at the momentbut also in the wee small hours of the night when, half asleep,he remembers not merely the words we used but also the nonverbalcommunication cues we gave him unawares? Sooner or later,consciously or subconsciously, he senses that he has received twocommunications, and that they are contradictory: 1. (intendedcommunication) "If you don't do as we ask, we will openlycondemn you for not acting like a responsible citizen"; 2.(the unintended communication) "If you behave aswe ask, we will secretly condemn you for a simpleton who can beshamed into standing aside while the rest of us exploit thecommons."

In C. G. Darwin's words: "It may well be that it wouldtake hundreds of generations for the progenitive instinct todevelop in this way, but if it should do so, nature would havetaken her revenge, and the variety would become extinct and would be replaced by the variety

'The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the …

In a welfare state, how shall we deal with the family, thereligion, the race, or the class (or indeed any distinguishableand cohesive group) that adopts over breeding as a policy tosecure its own aggrandizement? To couplethe concept of freedom to breed with the belief that everyoneborn has an equal right to the commons is to lock the world intoa tragic course of action.

The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis The Wise | Know Your …

each human family were dependent only on its ownresources; the children of improvident parents starvedto death; thus, over breeding brought its own"punishment" to the germ line -- therewould be no public interest in controlling the breeding offamilies. But our society is deeply committed to the welfarestate, and hence is confronted withanother aspect of the tragedy of the commons.

Nov 15, 2017 · Domestic violence is a tragedy

The tragedy of the commons is involved in population problemsin another way. In a world governed solely by the principle of"dog eat dog" --if indeed there ever was such aworld--how many children a family had would not be a matter ofpublic concern. Parents who bred too exuberantly would leavefewer descendants, not more, because they would be unable to careadequately for their children. David Lack and others have foundthat such a negative feedback demonstrably controls the fecundityof birds. But men are not birds, and havenot acted like them for millenniums, at least.

3801 Lancaster - American Tragedy

Since proof is difficult, we may even concede that the resultsof anxiety may sometimes, from certain points of view, bedesirable. The larger question we should ask is whether, as amatter of policy, we should ever encourage the use of a techniquethe tendency (if not the intention) of which is psychologicallypathogenic. We hear much talk these days of responsibleparenthood; the coupled words are incorporated into the titles ofsome organizations devoted to birth control. Some people haveproposed massive propaganda campaigns to instill responsibilityinto the nation's (or the world's) breeders. But what is themeaning of the word conscience? When we use the wordresponsibility in the absence of substantial sanctions are we nottrying to browbeat a free man in a commons into acting againsthis own interest? Responsibility is a verbal counterfeit for asubstantial quid pro quo. It is an attempt to get something fornothing.

And then on April 24th, the announcement was made

Prohibition is easy to legislate (though not necessarily toenforce); but how do we legislate temperance? Experienceindicates that it can be accomplished best through the mediationof administrative law. We limit possibilities unnecessarily if wesuppose that the sentiment of denies us theuse of administrative law. We should rather retain the phrase asa perpetual reminder of fearful dangers we cannot avoid. Thegreat challenge facing us now is to invent the correctivefeedbacks that are needed to keep custodians honest. We must findways to legitimate the needed authority of both the custodiansand the corrective feedbacks.