The Trap - Notions of Freedom

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by BoomShackerLacker, Mar 18, 2007.

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  1. Revealing programme tonight on Beeb Two challenging the humanism and neo science running through Britain's political and economic philosophies.

    Showing Blair's flawed ideology in embarrassing technicolour. That Britain is more class divided under this 'target' system than at any time since the 70s. Stunning critique.

    Superb challenge also to Dawkins' style self righteousness about the human being a 'machine'...
  2. And here was me thinking this was going to be a thread about being locked in a turdis.... :(
  3. That was an excellent programme that exposed the lie underlying the Blair philosophy that we all suffer under.

    In a nut-shell, Blair came in with a cry of getting rid of all old-fashioned class-based stratification of society. His plan was to copy Clinton's methodology using metrics to measure everything. Civil servants and hospital administrators (amongst others) quickly learned to play the system. This showed the model to be flawed and Blair has achieved exactly the opposite of what he wanted. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

    I knew that Blair was tearing apart the fabric of British society but couldn't put my finger on the flawed principle. The BBC have highlighted it very succinctly in a manner that shows New Labour for the lie it is.

    It is flashes of brilliance like this that make it worth paying the BBC licence fee.
  4. Sad that this VERY important matter was so badly explained by the voice-over commentary. I know it's complex, but a good writer could have made everything a lot more intelligible. Bit of a missed opportunity to let a lot of people know about the manipulations of successive governments, economists, the medics and many other sectors. With such an impenetrable commentary, the series will perhaps be written off as the work of pointy heads making programmes for other pointy heads.

    SLRboy writes : "R. Dawkins would highly disapprove and I defy you to point out where he has ever said people are just machines."

    Dawkins' view of how people tick is often very simplistic; at times he can be as bad as the predestinarian Christians he's constantly attacking. "Darwin's rottweiler"?? I think Dawkins would make Darwin blush with embarassment. Humourless, rather unimportant man
  5. As a non tv watching prole, I missed this magnificent piece of work. Do we need some self satisfied git to tell us that we have a divided society? If we substitute the words chav for poor, weed for gin, we have a worse society than victorian times. We now have an entire underclass of un-educated, un-employable people who have little chance of making it out of the poverty trap without recourse to crime. Do we condemn them or work for a better society into which they might be able to join? I think the only answer would be to bring about a form of national service, not in a military sense, but in a socialy beneficial sense. Without nationalised industries, we have little in the way of training the young to be of use to soceity. Maybe the value of those old institutions was not in monetary value, but of a social value. Just my 2p worth.
    ps. excuse the spelling I'm a little drunk :thumright:

  6. I enjoyed this (although I must admit to nodding off towards the end (it was Sunday, Mrs Foz had poured me a large malt and I'm crusty so I'm allowed)).

    The previous weeks was very interesting, if only to see the interview with John Nash (Of "Beautiful Mind" fame). Ian Curtis's earlier work "The Power of Nightmares" was worth a look too.

    This sort of "Op-Ed" TV is sadly missing from modern schedules - which makes it all the more welcome.
  7. SLRchimp, I apologise for being misled by an expert in his field rather than subscribing to your 'world view'. I will now be administering myself with 40 lashes as penitence for my ignorance.

    As an aside, Dawkins has referred to all organisms as 'reproductive machines' in both The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker. Whilst he may not believe that we are merely machines, he uses the analogy to enable the reader to appreciate that the sole basis of life and evolution is an organism's ability to reproduce itself. To that end, reproduction is the primary aim of any organism, anything else it achieves is merely incidental.
  8. Enjoyed the scene when Professor Napolean zipped his handbag and stormed off in a huff by the innocent suggestion that his film crew presence were the fatal flaw in his 'revolutionary' findings. The Hawthorne Experiments were a little more honest in understanding that human behaviour is a little less predictable than 20th century science had thus far taught.

    Equally compelling was the expose of 'modern' ideas about 'normality'. The paradox that by prescribing scientific 'answers', e.g. Prozac, we'll achieve 'normal' states of mind, but in so doing destroying the uniqueness of the individual in all there humanness and brilliance.
  9. SLRboy writes : "But back to Blair. He is not responsible for the wholesale privatisation asset stripping and profit grabbing that seems to be infesting all works of modern life. The reasons for that go further back than Blair. Had they been in power the Tories would have if anything hastened the process.
    Eisenhower first mentioned the military industrial complex and even then back in the fifties he was only putting a name to that, that was by several decades already underway.
    The rampant destructiveness of 'Globalisation' is nothing more than the generals and head of states not being able to stop the forth coming Ist World War once trains had started rolling - writ large.

    The thrust of the programme was explicitly not anti-Blair/New Labour, and was at pains to say that the rot can be traced back at least to the Heath and Wilson administrations; while the Thatcher and Major years received especially withering attention.

    Dawkins may have been a pal of Douglas Adams, who introduced him to his wife, but that hardly makes him innately full of fun. He gets desperately tight-lipped and begins to exude little beads of sweat as soon as he is put under pressure - or confronted with a skilled apologist for religious faith. A recent BBC interviewer - I think his name was William Crawley - really put RD in a corner and shook him, extracting a notable retraction of RD's oft-repeated allegation that religious believers are "deluded".

    When placed alongside really substantial scientists who are also "faith believers" - Polkinghorne, for example - RD looks rather paltry; and I remain to be convinced that he is actually of any great importance
  10. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    I must say, I've watched both episodes so far and found the documentary to be rather (and satisfactorily) high-brow for the Beeb which has been dumbing down over recent years.

    I thought it was exceptionally well done, exceptionally well researched and a real eye opener for those that have been wondering just what has gone wrong with society over the last few years.

    It is also incredibly frightening to actually see the evidence of 'social engineering' that the various gummints are responsible for.

    Freedom my hairy, speckled arrse!

    What is a shame is that the great unwashed would have been bored to tears by the program or would not have got the point at all.

    Edited to add: SLRBoy, your point is only half right.

    How is it that a cold-war mathematical, financial application (and a simple one at that) can predict human behaviour?

    The idea was transposed from financial calculations for super-rich financial institutions, bastardised for some cold-war social theory so that communism could be defeated by CAPITALISM (keep the people happy through capitalism).

    What does not surprise me is that, with it being a financial algorithm, it is a process that can only be implemented by rich financial institutions who have the experts on tap to make it so (and the market as it were). It is a mathematical, social and psychological ideal that is brought about by supply and demand after all.

    What DOES surprise me is that the adherent gummints to the process, and therefore those that sold out the great unwashed were actually the left-wing democrats in the US under Clinton, followed more recently by the left-wing Labour party in the UK.

    What the net result is, is that the population is mollified because they are given cakes to eat. If this fails, they get Ritalin.

    The gumming stops providing checks and balances because it is the corporations that own and act out the ideology whilst the gummints absolve themselves of any responsibility for social balancing. Net result - souless manipulation of the population to keep them docile.
  11. I was impressed with both programmes and look forward to the third and last in the series on Sunday next. Good quality mind-stretching television is extremely rare.

    Even if we accept the premise as true, the most remarkable impact upon society is not the influence of the markets, or even the social engineering of the politicians, that is merely the process itself; it is that so much credence, bordering on blind faith, is given to the radical ideas of so few thinkers. That the ideas of one or even two men may have so much influence to set such a chain of events in motion is truly staggering!!
  12. biped writes : "What is a shame is that the great unwashed would have been bored to tears by the program or would not have got the point at all."

    That's what I was getting at earlier. Too much of a highbrow approach, thereby guaranteeing that millions of Joe Public would change channels very quickly. Since the essence of the series is the (well-substantiated) claim that the majority of the people have been duped and manipulated, it's a great shame that the majority of viewers will have found it indigestible or boring or both.

    Full marks for effort, but the scriptwriter(s) could have done so much more to make the thesis really accessible. A pity - a missed opportunity.
  13. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Being religious is not necessarily an obstacle to objectivity. It depends on your religion and notions of God.

    The idea of God being the creator of the universe and encompassing all of it is not mutually exclusive to objective study of said universe and how a 'God' may have designed it.

    One for example can believe in God and at the same time believe that he created DNA, or the materials that allowed life to evolve. Notwithsanding religious dogma and stupidity that has no evidential base.

    The big bang is merely a theory that has not been conclusively proved.

    Edited to add: Wasn't Dawkins the guy who wrote 'The Selfish Gene'?

    The book is basically a proponent of the mathematical and social theory that breaks us down into hungry consumers that must be fed?
  14. Apologies to all for drifting off the thread!

    An unforgiveable aspect of Dawkins is the virtual withdrawal - post 9/11 - of his consent to the principle that everyone has a right to his own opinion in matters of faith, and - critically - a right to express it. He has become dangerously narrow, in addition to his pre-existing elitism and intellectual snobbery. He gets overtly impatient and fretful when anyone challenges anything he says, and at times he seems almost to seek to deny them the right to any debate.

    I wish he had stuck to genetics, at which he could perhaps have gone on to be really significant. But he was seduced quite early in life into popularising - perhaps by the general success of The Selfish Gene (which was undoubtedly good) - and I am not sure how seriously he is now regarded in scientific circles. He's quite a contrast to, say, John Maynard-Smith
  15. The desire to reduce humanity to a series of impulses based on bioligical 'urges' has to be proved of course to ensure science is truly our 'Saviour', as to assume that man is unique, and somehow supernatural in essence, reveals the potential for the spiritual and hence God. Something that haunts the self-righteous modernists in all their 'belief' in science.

    To suggest there aren't or haven't been highly brilliant, by modern standards, men and women who also believe in God, is plainly daft. As it is evidently the case that history is littered with people placing their entire modus operandi around their faith and clearly achieving great things by the standards of modernity. So the slightly tedious argument that faith and 'brilliance' are incompatible should possibly haunt another thread.

    Back on thread. As the programme illustrated through its cutting stab at reflecting on Game Theory that people, especially politicians, are incapable of, in other words, altruism, it showed the foolhardiness of the present government for walking into the arms of modern hard science, especially economics, as a major solution. This reveals the contempt the Blair Government has for people. That they will behave rationally according to base impulses and aren't capable of aspiration. This was the most damning indictment. Blair and Dawkins appear to be happy bedfellows.