And just as the law in civilized countries assumes that the voice of conscience tells everybody, “Thou shalt not kill,” even though man’s natural desires and inclinations may at times be murderous, so the law of Hitler’s land demanded that the voice of conscience tell everybody: “Thou shalt kill,” although the organizers of the massacres knew full well that murder is against the normal desires and inclinations of most people. Evil in the Third Reich had lost the quality by which most people recognize it — the quality of temptation.Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-American philosopher, political theorist
I believe that mentioning #SamHarris's name in mixed company can push #emotional #buttons on almost all people who have heard of him, or heard some of him, and even so for some people who have heard most of him. I think I know why that happens, but it's not why I am writing this. I have heard so much from him directly that I earnestly believe he is always ready to be wrong and change based on new evidence. However, he makes really strong cases for what he thinks, so if you disagree with what he is saying while he is saying it, you get the feeling that you are in a philosophical life or death struggle. I don't anymore because I have heard a sufficient amount of his spoken thoughts. I respect him a lot.
In his recent episode of #MakingSense "Can We Pull Back From The Brink?" (which seems to be a hot-take), he dispassionately discusses scale & judgment relative to the latest #uprisings and #police work—in earnest—hoping to find a way to make things better in a rational way. Give it a listen, please, maybe jot down notes so you don't let the good be the enemy of the bad.
What follows below is my reaction to his podcast above.
Regarding his "proximate cause" for the civil & uncivil unrest, I'd like to argue this is more accurate than Sam's claim.
#GeorgeFloyd, #Minneapolis #Protests, #AhmaudArbery & #AmyCooper | The Daily Social Distancing Show
Regarding his "if you think a society without cops is a society you would want to live in, you have lost your mind" part, I'm feeling a false dichotomy happening there. I'm no fan of #Anarchists ideals because they like #Libertarians don't present ideas that I can see as #sustainable or ideally doing the most good for the most people, but I agree with them in that what we are doing now isn't convincingly better.
Sam poses a world without cops vs. a world as it is. What about a world with different cops whos publicized mission matches their hidden agendas, and that type of police force is agreeable to the local public in a very democratic and constitutional-rights respecting way with real accountability for their actions?
Sam idealized "giving a #monopoly on #violence to the state" which if things weren't as they really are I could understand, but the reality is from the start we gave a monopoly on violence to a #mindfully chosen type of like-minded individuals who's direction came from only the #wealthy of #society. #Policemen and #prison #guards are far more like the depiction in A Clockwork Orange than they are in Blue Bloods. Sure, #NotAllCops, but it's supposed to be an ideal, a higher standard, and that is definitely not met.
It's also hard to know if my own #bias makes me feel the need to post this because Sam can say something in one in a sentence that makes me think of a rebuttal, and in the next sentence he will vindicate my thoughts, although I didn't hear it because of the distraction caused by the first sentence. Sam oddly uses some extreme examples of things that happened like firings from "woke-culture" for non-incidents to make his points—granted they were on the mass media so they have the power to cause #conventional #wisdom to be produced from thin air—but later in the podcast, he decided to claim the extremes causing the uprising were too #statistically #insignificant to justify the results on the ground. Not cool. Firings of well-to-do people for lousy reasons, bad, the #murder of black people for lousy reasons, not a significant thing statistically.
Sam, relative to #Democrats, reminds me of the dad-type who is harder on his own child than the rest of the world because he cares more about his own kid.
I'm not sure who Sam was listening to in general on the topic linked to #DefundThePolice to form his positions, but I think #TheDailyShow with #TrevorNoah does a far better job covering the concept than Sam did in his #podcast.
What Does It Mean to Defund or Abolish the Police?
Around 37 minutes in Sam starts to talk about the progress we have made with #RaceRelations in the #USA, and his points are valid, but I feel like the bright picture he presented was a sentence fragment that begged to be completed. A two-term black #POTUS (which Sam mentions), with the backlash of a #Trump (which he failed to juxtapose), and all that it has wrought since is not what I would consider a net gain in #Race #Relations.
Somebody who recently made this point, and is of better of recent notoriety than I, is Kimberly Jones. She eloquently states my position.
How Can We Win?
Sam goes on to justifiably suss out the difference between real and perceived patterns; the plural of anecdotal evidence is not data. A recent episode of Invisibilia agrees with him to some degree about how we can see a pattern where there isn't one because we have become #embattled by #acts of #aggression.
He makes a lot of good points to shore up the mental space a #Cop might be stuck with based on what they experienced or were told by their superiors in the routine precinct meetings, but he didn't—to my liking—shore up the reasons why people economically below the middle-class citizen are also stuck in a mental space determining their actions based on their personal experience and that of their community. Change both their environments and cultures, and you'll change their actions. I'll offer a few places to find reasons to see things through the eyes of others if you haven't been out of your suburban cul-de-sac to find it out for yourself.
- Running From Cops That’s The Story
- Planet Money Patent Racism
- This American Life Here, Again
- The Intercept_ | Somebody Episode 6: The Tipster
- The New York Times |
1619 Episode 1: The Fight for a True Democracy
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/23/podcasts/1619-slavery-anniversary.html (no embeddable audio link)
Later on, around 1:15:10 time mark, Sam starts to do a thing where he sees a statistical anomaly and without a good-enough theory of why there is an anomaly, he assumes things that I perceive as assumptions that are culturally forced on him based on his likely experiences to date.
His statement of, "we're talking about career criminals", to categorize police shootings as justifiable is a tip-off that the data is trusted on its face, and it bothers me that there is no acknowledgment that the path of a person who was cultured into being a "career criminal" could have started with a bogus arrest for marijuana consumption. People who haven't been flushed by the system think merits can save you. I, a white person from the middle-class, had many run-ins with the police where I undeservedly was let off the hook with a warning, and no records of mine were permanently kept in the system.
America Loves to Jail | I Love You, America on Hulu
Sarah on Her Criminal Past | I Love You, America on Hulu
Also, also, people without stuff may crime to survive, where people with means most likely crime to entertain themselves.
He mentions how Officer to Suspect interactions of the same race are more likely to be #violent. Like what if a like-race-category on the PD has more to prove to their coworkers when confronting a like-race-category "suspect". Since the incident of how PD's retaliate on anybody that crosses them in a cult-like way, e.g. the dismissal of LAPD's Chris Dorner the recently uncovered Buffalo PD case of Cariol Horne, it is very plausible that race discrimination or tacit racism pervasive in the PD's causes it the way a sidewalk in disrepair causes a bone injury. Did we even check to see if there's a bias in reporting where non-white officers are more likely to report things #truthfully? #Institutional #racism would come down hard on non-white employees and be forgiving of white employees.
8:46 - Dave Chappelle
He then jumps to a hypothesis that because blacks are more likely to #resist an #arrest because of real
or perceivedsystematic racism problem, "the only response is for the police to increase their use of force". Damn Sam. That's the only choice they have? Like de-escalation techniques never worked? Like the way patrolling went in the months and years before the incident has nothing to do with how things go down? The cop's only choice was that. Sorry Sam, I reject your null hypothesis.
Maybe black on black violence outside police to non-police interactions wouldn't be so high if there wasn't a clear signal from the system that blacks don't matter to the police, and their bullshit arrests or stops & frisks are randomly distributed to make tally sheets on clipboards look right for municipal reporting. If an innocent black person was shaken down without #probable #cause and no tangible #justification, will they later call the cops when a local criminal act by a black person is being committed? If you are a skilled black criminal, will you cut in some of the local police on the action you are running? Any cop that don't give a fuck about black people would give a fuck more about a black person helping his kid get through college with side money. In the #Somebody Podcast linked above the Chicago PD's local precinct office couldn't find Courtney Copeland's killer with the evidence handed to them on a silver platter, I—personally—can only assume the cops are the mob.
Somewhere around 1:30:00 we hit a concept of what kind of people would want to be cops in such a #hostile #work #environment. "Who's gonna want to be a cop now?" Ugh! This smacks of, the only people that care about privacy are people doing something wrong, I ain't got nothing to hide. He further postulates that only prison guard type people will want to be cops. #WTF. Maybe if good people didn't think they were going to be gang-land retaliated against for doing the #morally #altruistic thing, they might take a chance on being a cop. If whistle-blowers didn't know by past examples that it would end all their #future #careers in one fell swoop, there might be more people doing good things for the world. Where's Reality Winner now? Our #dominating #culture propagated by those in power is #cancerous, and to extend the metaphor, many of us still think #smoking is good for their health. I would definitely want to go for it and become a cop if I didn't personally have reasons to see the PD's near me as corrupt from first and credible second-hand experiences.
Near the end, about 1:34:00, he's claiming the videos are warping our perception of the problem. I think in that he is putting the wrong weight on the value of loss and cascading ill-effects one police act of murder of a minority has on our country. We are supposed to be founded on all people are created equal, innocent until proven guilty, and so on.
What the Hell Happened This Week? | The Daily Social Distancing Show
Bear in mind, if I didn't mention something Sam said in his #podcast, it's about a 99% chance I agreed with him.
@Atheists in the open