Diagnosing Symptoms

[Jessica]: “Is it defeatist or treacherous for a doctor to diagnose a disease correctly? My only intention is to cure the disease.”

[Hawat]: “You’re deliberately trying to undermine my faith in my abilities as a Mentat. Were I to find one of our people attempting thus to sabotage any other weapon in our arsenal, I should not hesitate to denounce and destroy him.”

Frank Herbert, Dune

TGGP, in a post originally discussing the status of anti-semitism in America, diverges to discuss the nature and causes of some of our society’s problems, in what is probably the most succinct, sweeping, and insightful analysis I’ve seen in some time. Shame it isn’t longer.

In a world where people can’t even agree on what would constitute a problem, and tend to cloak real problems in the mantle of progress and achievement, TGGP’s thoughts are quite refreshing. I wish this sort of roots-of-the-problem talk happened more often – it’s rare and valuable.

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4 Responses to “Diagnosing Symptoms”

  1. I wasn’t as impressed by it as you. I liked the ambition, but I’m not sure any true insights were relayed in the execution. I think he should try to write that same post from scratch once per week for the next 3 weeks. Maybe each time on a different mind altering substance. There’s a good chance by the 3rd time a truly brilliant epiphany would emerge regarding these dead horse topics of ethnic conflict, achievement, and failure in American society.

  2. I don’t have any experience with mind-altering drugs other than alcohol, which doesn’t seem to improve anything. Do you have any to recommend?

    I didn’t originally plan on writing most of the stuff unrelated to Nock’s article and was about to delete it before posting but thought it a shame to throw all that verbiage into the metaphorical fire.

  3. I’ve heard most of those ideas before, but separate from each other. It’s not the individual insights that I found valuable as much as the way they were strung into a coherent whole. It’s not as easy to manage that as it sounds. Establishing even a potentially-plausible chain of causality is rough.

    Once we begin to understand how cause and effect operate on the level of modern human societies, we can start trying to redirect our own. Assuming it’s not too late, of course.

  4. ” Do you have any to recommend?”

    You have a great sense of humor.

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