God is not a Writer, nor a Director, but a…

God is like the author and we are like the characters, but this doesn’t work so well because the characters–their nature, their choices, etc.–are total creations of the author, and have no independent existence. The story is fully set, crystalized, solely from the author.

God as writer and director and Men as actors works better, since actors need to bring something from themselves into their characters, and even more so if some improvisation is allowed. Then the film or play is a creation of both the writer/director–writer role planning the story, director role bringing it about, executing the plan, providing the filling and details–and the actors–pretending to be the characters. But what the actors bring is still very narrow, and while this analogy includes the qualitative difference that there is some creative contribution from the analogised Men, it doesn’t satisfyingly capture the degree of possible contribution.

What is wanted is something that gives real and full significance to the choices of Men while maintaining the ultimate supremacy of God. Men are free to choose as they will, though they are extremely constrained on the actions they can take from their choice. And though God will always guide things as he will, this is not without influence from Men. God does not override the choices of Men, but incorporates them into his plan. The choices of men–good or otherwise–will be used as the means to achieve God’s will, with the resulting “story” being richer for it.

So God is like the Game Master of a paper-and-pencil role-playing game, like Dungeons and Dragons. He has a plan for how the game will go, and provides the world and orders its inhabitants and decides how they might interact, but the players are free to choose to do as they will within the game. Since the players don’t know the plan, the Game Master is constantly arranging situations and intervening “behind the scenes”, creating other characters and situations to aid or hinder the players or otherwise move the story along, but probably these interventions are best–in the sense of best story, most enjoyable game–when not heavy handed, when they feel natural and fit well with both the pre-intended story and the spontaneous choices of the players that arise from an ignorance of those intentions. This includes balancing the difficulty of achieving the intended hurdles, and an invisible hand that guides the course of the players towards the intended quests.

If a player’s character dies in a fight with an enemy, the GM could just bring them back to life, but this would be unsatisfying, because it removes the significance of what happens. A clumsy deus ex machina plot turn can ruin an otherwise good story. If the player knows that if he fails the GM will just fix it, then it doesn’t really matter if if fails or succeeds. On the other hand, bringing a character back to life might fit the story and world well in the right circumstance–as when Illuvatar intervened directly in Middle Earth to restore Gandalf’s life after his battle with the Balrog.

At one extreme, an RPG game where the GM just tells the players what is happening to their characters is not fun. At the other extreme, a game where the characters have total freedom is… not actually conceivable (not coherent, chaos), since they at a minimum need a world in which to be free, and this must be provided by the GM. Balance is maybe not the right word for a good game that avoids both these extremes, because a good game where a rich world and meaningful goals created by the GM combining (interacting on a moment-by-moment basis) with the free choices of players is not merely a midpoint or average between extremes but something more, the way adventure is more than just story.

Life is an adventure, and God is running the best RPG game possible, even if (or probably in part because) we don’t know the whole world or plan.

Why Gun Rights Matter

Gun rights are important because if the government ever goes too far and takes away other rights, we can use our guns to shoot them and then we’ll have our rights back.

OK, maybe not that right, the government can take that one away, but if it takes away another one, oh man then we’re gonna shoot the government real good. I may be sitting on a couch now, but if they take another right, well then I’ll do something, and the thing I’ll do is nothing else but shoot some government people.

Politics? Nah, not going to waste my time with that. Protest? Maybe next time, but uh some of us have to work, you know! What, am I going to quit my job? Use some vacation time? No way. Anyway, if they take another right then I will definitely aim my gun at a real living human being and pull the trigger, and I will definitely do this while being totally comfortable knowing that I ended that human life.

They took another right? Those assholes! Ugh! OK, the shooting’s gonna start real soon now. Wow, they’re gonna be sorry. I’m getting so mad I’m gonna buy some more ammo and a tactical vest for carrying extra mags. I’m not worried about them taking another right–just let them try. They’ll see what me and millions of other gun owners will do!

Stop paying taxes, are you crazy? You try it, see what kind of other great ideas you come up with while sitting in jail, genius. And no I can’t reduce my income so that I’m funding the evil government less because I already paid for cruise tickets for next winter, and I can already barely afford all the other necessities like food. Just yesterday I was going to get a few steaks from the store after setting up my new 8K TV, and can you believe the price of food right now?

Hey, what are you doing? Stop that, that’s illegal. We might get fined. Listen, stop before someone sees us. Oh my god this is too embarrassing, I don’t want to be seen near you. You’re just asking for trouble! That’s probably not going to work anyway so don’t bother trying. Look, I mean I like the idea, but you know that the news is going to call you names for doing it, and then everyone will believe you’re really bad, and then it won’t have worked anyway. We can only do this if the news says it’s good. This is lame, I’m cold and I don’t feel powerful. C’mon, let’s just go home and wait for things to get worse and then shoot people.

They made it mandatory to do what to kids now? Oh that’s too far. That’s it. I’ve had enough! Good thing there’s an election coming up, we can vote for the other party, they’re saying so many things I like to hear, and they’re saying it so often, and with such professional banners, and with such good insults against the current party, and even though they’re only promising to slightly roll back the latest power grab that the ruling party is using to bring weird new evil into the world, they really will do more than that, it’s just that they can’t say that they will because then not enough people will vote for them. People won’t vote for them if they get called radicals. So they have to trick people to get their votes, and that’s why I feel confident that they’ll do what I wish they’ll do. You just have to be smart enough to figure out that they’re lying to be able to trust them.

It’s very important that you also vote this way, because if you don’t, then everything is lost and we’ll have no other option, there’s nothing else we could possibly do, we’ll just have to continue sitting on the couch until the government takes another right and then we’ll start shooting government people. After that, everything will just go back to nice normal, which is great because I don’t want to deal with any hassle that would delay my flight to get to my cruise ship. I think the garbage guys will clean up the bodies, or something.

I may be mild mannered, docile, impotent, decadent, noncommittal, and have my personal interests and identity deeply integrated with and dependent on the system right now, but if they put just one more boot on my face, then I will definitely throw all of that–and also my life–away and escalate my resistance to the system from nothing to everything.

Shortcuts

Going off the trail on a hiking path, even if the intent is to take a shortcut in order to take less time or travel less, often ends up taking more time and resulting in more travel. Often, shortcuts are not quicker, easier ways to get somewhere. If the goal is only to arrive somewhere quickly and easily, shortcuts are often a bad idea.

But that’s not always the goal. Hiking paths are almost never used to get somewhere quickly and easily. Actually, most of the time the hiker intends to arrive exactly where they start. In that case if the goal was to get there quickly and easily, there would be no hike.

The real goal of hiking is typically something that can be attained better, despite the risks, by going off the path.

Thinking is similar.

The Rich and Powerful Who Want to Become More Rich and Powerful

The people who own massive corporations have an interest in reducing the barriers between countries, because that allows them to expand their pool of potential customers and potential employees. A massive corporation provides massive wealth and power to its owners.

Especially in an age when people don’t pay for news media directly–meaning that people are not even providing a financial incentive for news outlets to cater to their interest–a news outlet provides control over public opinion and sentiment to its owner or dominant influencer, such as advertisers. Because of their massive wealth and power, the owners of massive corporations have the means of massively owning or influencing news media and therefore public opinion and sentiment.

The least corrupt and most ideal form of democracy grants the power of government to the people, that is, to public opinion and sentiment.

Power of government can be used to make some corporations more successful (and therefore greater generators of wealth and greater sources of power) with things like regulations (that for example burden competitors more), tax policy, special jurisdiction (for example, a government-granted/enforced monopoly), and affecting court cases (for example winning suits against competitors, dropping cases brought against them).

This means that there’s a potential feedback loop where rich and powerful people may be able to increase their wealth, corporate ownership, media control, and government power at a progressively more rapid rate to the point where a few of them have most or all of it.

At no point in this process is there any kind of selection for virtue, and in an environment where there are no disincentives for unvirtuous behaviour it should be expected that those who act without virtue (lie, cheat, steal, murder) will have an advantage over those who act with virtue.

There is also no guarantee at all that those who gain power this way consider themselves to be on the same “side” or “team” as the people they then have power over.

How could this process be detected? How would we know it’s happening?

It would result in a situation where the message from massive corporations, mainstream news outlets, and politicians is in alignment, and where the actions of these reinforce, support, and strengthen each other. There would also be a significant overlap in the ownership of massive corporations and mainstream news media outlets, and if that information is public knowledge then specific names could be found, and connections to politicians and top bureaucrats could be found.

To keep the sentences shorter, non-governmental organisations (charities, global entities), academic institutions, religious organisations, unions, ethnic groups etc. were left out, but it’s easy to see how ownership of or influence on these can be wealth and power accumulation multipliers.

Shutting down most businesses but leaving a few massive corporations running while at the same time providing money to a large number of people from the government is a transfer of wealth from the government (tax payers) to massive corporations, and is a situation that is very profitable to those who own those massive corporations.

Good Life

Good life is achieved by transitioning from being motivated by negative to being motivated by positive.

Choosing to be motivated by good rather than being imposed upon by bad.

Greatness of character, of deed, and of work can arise from terrible things. War can produce glorious courage, scarcity and famine can produce admirable work ethic and innovation, despair can produce profound insight and beauty. But these things are still terrible.

If one could be that gloriously courageous without needing war, disciplined and ingenious without needing scarcity, and insightful and artistic without despairing, this would be even better.

And the best way to do that is to be and do these things not merely to avoid the negative, but because they are good and desired themselves. In order to do that, a stronger motivation than the terror, suffering, and misery of war, famine, and despair is needed, and it needs to be chosen. Terror, suffering, and misery push, they are influences exerted from without, external to the self. The greatness and good the produce are reactive.

What is needed is something willingly chosen, and active impulse from within, something that is not merely a counter-action to external conditions and impositions, but is instead always present and is a source of motivation that is not contingent. At its core this is love, and is expressed in thought, action, and work in myriad forms of the Good–truth, beauty, and virtue.

This means subordinating negative, reactive motivations of fear, anger, and misery to the primacy of Good; not suppressing them, fleeing from them, opposing them, trying to ignore them, but just not acting from them as motivations. Fear can be information that warns, anger can rouse, misery can focus, but they should not be put in charge. In their right places, they are useful helpers.

Mental Grounding

It’s easy to get pushed around psychically by external influences, especially when they’re emotionally “loud”, or your tired, or distracted, or otherwise mentally distressed, and to have them influence your thinking in an automatic and reactive way, and thereby fall into fear and despair, so try to remember to ground yourself in that inner core of your being from which you are able to love (others and the good–truth, beauty, and virtue) and to perceive the ultimate benevolence behind the world.

When I manage to do this, I often become overwhelmed with gratitude for how good my life is, and I’m able to value even some horrific experiences.

The state is facing the biggest mass protest in a long time

The state is facing the biggest mass protest in a long time and, through the media outlets it controls and influences, is trying to discredit it by accusing its participants of the most heinous transgressions in state ideology. Of course, why wouldn’t it? It would be more surprising if it didn’t.

But they’re burning their floorboards to stay warm. People who are in the protest or supportive of it know what it’s about and are likely to feel strongly and confidently about it, so when they see state media reporting absurd nonsense it will backfire and they’ll instead end up discrediting themselves. This is significant because support for the protest is widespread, strong, and growing. There are a lot of people who will now stop believing the news/entertainment, and so it will become less effective as a social manipulation tool.