Saturday, February 17, 2007

fear of commercialization

recent valentines day brought out the usual claims of excessive commercialization, consumerism, or whatever you may call it, in society. some regretted that 'love' was being exploited by businessmen to make profits, some said that st. valentine was forgotten (they obviously have no idea who or what the real saint was and stood for, anymore than almost everybody else) in this 'orgy', some said media was manipulating and corrupting young people to the detriment of their spiritual and moral 'well being' etc. etc. some of this even spilled on to the sri lankan valentines day blog posts (btw acharau continues to innovate, good). all this is nothing new; there are very similar 'moral' outbursts at christmas, wesak, new year, or at almost any other religious festival. nor are they limited to sri lanka or india, they are a global phenomenon.

people who subscribe to these views should first check the history of these festivals, they will then learn that almost all religious festivals predates the religion. (as i have remarked earlier btw) most were celebrations of two solstices, the two equinoxes, or phases of the moon. in fact in ancient times when the direct observations of the sun and the moon were the determining factors of timing, most of these festivals were probably held on the same day worldwide whatever the religion. that is why even after the introduction of more 'sophisticated' calendars and fixing of the day ( as with christmas, the descendant of understandably very similar roman winter solstice festival, the saturnalia, which itself probably descended from earlier festivals, on december 25th) they still tend bunch up on certain times of the year. it is not by chance that easter and 'sinhala- tamil' new year seem to clash almost every other year, or that this year's chinese new year and mahasivarathri fell so close together.

these global days and few other days of local significance (such as the onset of monsoons, the start of the nile flooding, or whatever) were celebrated as festivals because they marked the change of seasons and thus were intimately connected with the agriculture. they were celebrated to express joys of a good harvest, and hopes and fears about the coming one, death of the old plants and the growth of news ones etc. only later did theologies and philosophies of varying sophistication develop to explain and spin them into religions. if festivals are now evolving into expressions of joys, fears, and hopes, of modern life that is but natural progression.

what would be more in tune with modern society, the christ in a shepherd's hut or a paid santa in a shopping mall?

everyone can decide that as they wish. but there is no doubt about how most people do in fact decide. commercialization is after all nothing but pandering to the customers' desires expressed through the exchange of cash. that paid santa, that red rose, box of chocolate, or whatever will not be there if what they represent are not acceptable to most people. anybody who disputes this have to believe that millions (or billions) of people are led into making bad or silly decisions by media and that they themselves know better than all those others. talk about humility and modestly! for my part, i know enough of people to know that while not everyone is equal almost everyone is better than others in something at sometime.

of course having a big ego is not a crime, as long as they do not impose that ego on others by force. so all those who fear commercialization, are free to express their opinions as long as they do not try to control others supposed misguided behavior through laws and regulations (iow by force). let everyone behave as they wish as long as they allow others the same freedom (as the basic libertarian principle says. follow the links in there to find out more about libertarianism).

unfortunately some people try to impose their own beliefs on others 'by force'. these authoritarians who think they know what is good for others try to force others into complying with their own decisions instead for allowing others to make their own decisions. they hate free choice, free will, and free expression. that is why they fear consumerism and capitalism (freedom to make economic choices), despise democracy (freedom to make political choices), and try to suppress freedom of expression through censorship.

they should do well to learn is that when it come freedoms it is going to be an all or nothing affair. unless they are going to completely suppress all human feelings in everyone, turning them into zombies in the case of those directly under control and cowards of all others (as big pussy, kim jong-il, and their ilk are trying) they are destined to fail (as big pussy and north korean regime will find out eventually). there will always be people who value freedoms above everything (even peace) and as long as such people exist, authoritarians will fail in the end, as countless examples of history have amply demonstrated.


Deane AKA ~CC~ said...

You forgot to include the incumbent president in your list Sittingnut.

I am surprised (ok, not really) you are reluctant to apply the logic of freedom and liberty to the workings and actors of the state.

Reminiscent of that professor who claims to lead the liberal party, whose liberal ideals applies to all but Mahinda Rajapakse.

I agree with most of the post though, at least the thinking that sparked it, although groundviews case is a poor example of censorship. Surely, being a self- proclaimed libertarian you appreciate the private property rights.


sittingnut said...

deane aka ~cc~:

cheers to you too! :-)

what 'list' are you speaking of?
i was pointing out the error committed by those who oppose commercialization and free choice. . as i said ppl are free to express their views. problem arise only when they try to impose a particular view on others 'by force' ( that includes laws). if mahinda buffalo fails there he is included. as libertarian principle says let everyone behave as they wish as long as they allow others the same freedom.

as you may have seen i have criticized buffalo many times here and elsewhere. but i do not criticize him for everything as some ppl do whatever the reason, is that why you are upset?.

or are you asking me to include him with big pussy and kim jong-il ( is that the list ?). if so you are not living in the real world. do you really think there is no difference between colombo and kilinochchi?

as for groundviews censorship; as i have pointed out in several places including in the posts here blogs being private property blog owners are completely free to do as they wish with their blogs and their contents. that was not the issue.

difference in groundviews case is the contrast with the claims made about it in the media by its creators . if you read the relevant posts here you will be able to see those claims quoted here and i have linked to some of the claims in the media. whether censoring comments with different views really match those claims is up to the readers to judge. by your remarks about private property i gather that you did not understand this difference.

and censorship is censorship whether legitimate or not.

Sanjana Hattotuwa said...

Dear Sittingnut,

Clearly, you are drawn to Groundviews even though you take every single opportunity to denigrate it. Doing so, of course, your prerogative, as it is mine to delete your comments on Groundviews.

You have, after all, created your own shrine for comments deleted from Groundviews on this blog - and have invited everyone whose comments have been deleted to post them here, which I think is a very useful exercise in and of itself, though I don't see many of the nut-jobs such as Ryan from Australia taking up your offer of collecting their abuse for public consumption on your blog.

Given that you have a demonstrable & fundamental inability to engage in a manner sans your conspiracy theories or personal invective, and with posts & comments that are grammatically the anti-thesis of coherent English, Groundviews will continue to censor your comments. I do not wish the same fate upon Groundviews as with Moju, where your verbal diarrhea was allowed free reign, and your incessant harangues with the likes of David Blacker and Indi were extremely tedious.

Clearly you will use even this comment as evidence of my / CPA's / InfoShare's partiality and bias. At least our partiality and bias are public, as opposed to you and your blog, that as Indi notes recently on his blog, use the veil of anonymity to hurl accusations and allegations (as do the majority of trolls and nut-jobs who randomly appear on blogs).

I trust that over an extended period of time, and after we know your real identity (as I recall, Vajra invited you for a coffee after you accused him and InfoShare with your familiar litany of censoring / spoofing you) we will be able to engage more constructively on the debates that shape conflict and peace in Sri Lanka that clearly, both you and I are equally passionate about.

With best wishes,

Sanjana Hattotuwa

sittingnut said...

sanjana hattotuwa:
thanks for the comment.
unlike you i do publish all comment except spoofs
i do criticize groundviews, you, etc. once in while here and elsewhere with evidence. it is up to you to disprove them if you can and want to. commnetin ghere without evidence won't do you much good.

it is mine to delete your comments
as i have pointed out in most places where i made reference to groundviews censorship, i as a person who respects private property respect that right ( did you see my making a fuss about my censored comments at inforshare research unit blog ?). but as i pointed out to deane above you differentiated groundviews through claims made on its behalf in the media. and sadly the reality is different from those claims. since it involves my comments i will publish them so reader are free to judge. if that infuriates you that is a problem with your temper and authoritarian tendencies . deal with it.

you are of course free to hide behind the ryan's expletives in order to excuse the censorship.( as you did with various other excuses).

whether others will send the deleted comments ( about which they have made reference there) here to be published( if they can find it given they for the most part are ppl without blogs ) is their choice.

i do not recall any lengthy debates with indi on moju ( one or two comments in separate threads at most i think ), may be you imagine things.( or did he use a different identity without us knowing ? that would be interesting for various reasons).

as for who was encouraging 'verbal diarrhea' through the use of spoofer can be found out by reading the moju threads (which since you have deleted them can be found in google cache and other cache sites) . were you afraid of the evidence of your behavior ?

btw don't blame moju's demise on me( unless you deleted it to cover up your actions against me,and so blame me indirectly ), as i have not commented there for months before its demise. take some responsibility instead of hoisting me with responsibility for your decision. is that too much to ask?

as for the validity of contents of my comments you are free give your assessment. i prefer to let readers judge, that is why i publish them for others to read and judge. unlike you i don't believe mine in the only view.

my biases can easily be seen and i have admitted them freely. unlike your articles in media about groundviews

may is ask what veil of anonymity you are referring to ? whenever anyone asks for my real name and details (including contact details) i have provided them including admin at moju, when someone ( with your encouragement ) decided to attack one suranga rajapakse wrongly identified with me. nor is it all that difficult to find my name just search for " name " in this blog . and if you are intelligent you may find data as to what my real name is and why i always use 'sittingnut' online instead of my real name.

btw are you saying no spoofing took place at moju and it was all in my imagination ? unfortunately for you evidence is there to see( even after you deleted them ). not to mention the fact that others made posts about it then which can also be found. ( search for "spoof " here and see the relevant links in the posts)

sittingnut said...

since you made reference to your comment here in indi's post i will post the comment i made there in answer to that( which is yet to appear there.)
as for who was behaving civilly and who was not , who was using spoof comments and who was not, anyone can find out by reading esp the threads in moju around april may 2006( though deleted they can easily be found through google cache and other cache sites ) wonder why they deleted it ? evidence is there in spite of the attempt to destroy them. i always prefer it, when i can leave the readers to judge.

identity cost matters only if the actions committed by the online identity( whether it be sittingnut, indi, or sanjana hattotuwa) is transparently open to the public.

i for instance do not have any problem with any reference to online actions of 'sittingnut' (which is the only identity i use online, you may find it in some old usenet groups even) even after sanjana's encouragement of spoof comments at moju using that name. (btw my real name, which i do not use bc the two name combination it is very common and there are several ppl relatively well known who have them, can easily be found and was/will be provided along with contact details to anyone who requests. as i did to moju admins after sanjana misidentified me with someone else and attacked him) if anyone can link to my mistakes no doubt i will learn or refuse to learn from them, and readers will think the worse of me .

on the other hand others can make various allegations, as above, without evidence. that is why if someone says my comments at groudviews were censored bc of some reason, i publish them ( with their claims if any) so that readers can judge the credibility of my identity and theirs claims if they want to. some find that infuriating for some reason.

as was said with regard to comment censoring at groundviews, sanjana has taken to hiding behind the excuses ranging from total denial at first, to some anonymous autralian troll's expletives, to my criticism of himself , infoshare etc. elsewhere ( not in the comments themselves since there was none except when specifically prompted by him) ) in order to cover up his subjective censorship of different views. he of course has a complete right to censor and put forward ever changing excuses, only they do not match with the claims made by him about the groundviews in media. inability to keep commitments is also an identity cost online.

following may be a quibble but i point it out bc sanjana recently made the extraordinary claim that i try to leave comments at groundviews bc my blog doesn't get traffic, as if i had entered in to some blog popularity contest using boring long posts, non upper case letters etc.( instead of writing about some actress or other).

this is what he wrote above ( 2007-02-21 09:11:03)
"Groundviews does have is around 40 return visitors (and around 300+ unique visitors) who visit the site daily"
this is what groundviews admin wrote on february 12, 2007 @ 12:21 pm ( see their post : "Poll: Prospects for Peace in Sri Lanka in 2007")
"Groundviews gets around 47 unique visitors a day. The highest number of unique visitors to date was 261 on 1st February. " they also claimed "500+ page views a day."
hopefully this disparity can be explained by the number of visitors going up by ( lets see ..)600% during last 9 days.
btw as far as unique visitors go, i seem to get, to my genuine surprise, more traffic. but since i cannot open the stats i cannot prove it . wonder whether sanjana will..

anyway it seems there are various kinds of identity costs. :-)