Looking at the other side


Tags: #Random #Society

I was having lunch at the office a few months ago. On that occasion, a lady from marketing sitting in front of me on the kitchen table started talking about how much she loved Mexican telenovelas (English: soap operas).


How would you describe a pendulum's movement?

It swings. Back and forth. To the left, then to the right.

It depends on when you look at it, it is either moving to the left, or to the right, it is a cyclic and highly predictable movement.

Mass behaviour is, often times, cyclical and highly predictable too.

Tags: #Physics #Politics #Society

Mattias Desmet is a Belgian academic I discovered during the beginning of the pandemic, he's one of the scientists I've been following closely ever since. His explanation about the process of mass formation matches, frightening accurately, what I've observed around me for the last 2+ years. This week, I started reading his book titled: “The psychology of totalitarianism”.


I live in the south of the Netherlands, a rural area surrounded by farms. When I cycle to work, I pass by beautiful fields with potatoes, corn, chickpeas, wheat, asparagus; a few places have goats too. Farmers are proud and hard-working people. The farmland have been in the family for generations. Each farmer knows the land is covered with his ancestors' sweat.


A few days ago, the Georgia guidestones made its way to the US news after the monument was brought down for “safety” reasons.

According to the Wikipedia, the ten guidelines that used to be inscribed there are the following:

  1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
  2. Guide reproduction wisely–improving fitness and diversity.
  3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
  4. Rule passion–faith–tradition–and all things with tempered reason.
  5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
  6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
  7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
  8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
  9. Prize truth–beauty–love–seeking harmony with the infinite.
  10. Be not a cancer on the Earth–Leave room for nature–Leave room for nature.

According to the Wikipedia page, the message was delivered by its anonymous sponsors during the unveiling ceremony was:

“In order to avoid debate, we the sponsors of the Georgia Guidestones have a simple message for human beings, now and for the future. We believe our precepts are sound, and they must stand on their own merits.”

My comments:

  1. Who came up with this number? Who would be in charge of maintaining humanity under that number? Nature finds always the right balance without our help.
  2. It is wiser to follow nature's guidance rather than come up with our own.
  3. Which language would be? The idealist would say something like “it is the language of love and compassion”. The cynic inside me would reply it is actually English, and maybe Chinese in a few decades.
  4. Reason is useful, but not a one-fits-all solution. Sometimes passion is enough, we must have faith, or simply look back and learn from our ancestors' traditions, no matter how unreasonable it might seem at first glance.
  5. I don't need your protection. Respect is all I ask for. Your understanding of fairness and justice worries me.
  6. Great idea! But I guess you will preside such world court, right? If history is any indication, you might also profit for external disputes here and there.
  7. How can we get rid of useless officials? Particularly when they have accumulated a huge amount of power.
  8. A beautiful conundrum. We will never solve it, but we must try anyway.
  9. We have lost touch with the infinite long time ago. The meaning of truth, beauty, love has been perversely changed.
  10. It is the other way around, nature is leaving room for us. If we become a cancer—some argue we already are—she will get rid of us.

These guidelines start and end evoking nature, implying that we (or they, the authors) are above and not part of it. I have never agreed with Thomas Malthus ideas, and won't support neo-Malthusians.

#Society #Politics