In which we read Adam Gurri

Tuesday, 13 May, Year 6 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

I have no idea who the guy is, nor do I have much of a clue as to what he's talking about in the article of his we'll be discussing, "telescopic morality" or whatever. But, benkay linked it and I like the fact that he's properly referencing his quotes, so good enough for me. Let's proceed :

That means that if someone is really passionate about solving global hunger, it might be most helpful for them to start this effort in their neighborhood instead of focusing overseas.

Somebody claims a passion for solving "world hunger" specifically because they have internalised being a failure at anything whatsoever, and so prefer to focus on "problems" that are safely distant and conveniently untouchable by them. If they could do anything even remotely useful at all, they'd be there doing it. Like, probably dating and getting drunk with their friends, as higher marginal utility activities than "solving hunger in this one block in this one small town in Ohio".

Consequently, the notion that one could move towards "solving world hunger" through solving local hunger, as well as the proposition that one should try are unadulterated nonsense : on one hand the sorts of skills that allow one to approach global problems are neither available to the majority of the population nor something one can "develop", and on the other hand the sorts of people that aim to "solve world hunger" out of their ramen bowl / subsidized studio are biogas fodder. They're not going to be doing anything useful anytime soon.

The entire exercise practically reduces to telling a hardened criminal convicted to forced labour that's trying to avoid it through claiming he's "painting a masterpiece" that he should try drawing an apple first. No. No he shouldn't. He should a) get fifty lashes with the cat o' nine tails and b) stfu, quit the airs and get back to work. That's it.

That being said, we still do need people who are passionate about helping on the large scale, but it is especially important for them to approach their work with a willingness to listen to and learn from the people they are trying to serve.

It is much more important for them to understand that a) they are inferior, in all respects, to the people already doing things. And to listen, not to the people "they are trying to serve", forget those. To listen to the people already doing things. Those people, that are better than them.i

Even if I “can['t] make a difference” about, say, global warming, global warming still matters. In fact, global warming continues to matter even if I lack the proper “context on which to deliberate” about it. My obligations are delimited by the set of things that matter (i.e., the set of real problems); the set of things that matter.

This would be a fine example of what I mean. The "global problems solver" is lucky to have been born recently, so he can derp about nonsense that's currently fashionable.

Had he been born 50 or 500 years ago, he'd have been derping about stuff fashionable then, meanwhile thoroughly debunked as yet another bout of socially shared insanity. He'd be working diligently to resolve sluggish onset schizophrenia or identify witches out of the general female population, or who knows what other meanwhile forgotten folly.

And then, bereft of the shield of dubiousness and defensibility that contemporaneity puts on the affairs of man, he'd appear before us in all the nude splendor of his ridiculousness.

But, honestly, are we even supposed to take this seriously? “The small world is what matters”? So genocides, famines, torture – these just plain don’t matter whenever they happen to people we don’t know? Bullshit. Awful, inhumane, flamboyantly irrational bullshit. Again, this makes no moral or even empirical sense. We have tons of easily identifiable real-world examples of people who acted (and/or reasoned) morally about situations outside of their “small world.” Without these people, there would be no such thing as feminism. There would be no such thing as the civil rights movement. Contrary to Gurri’s pessimism, many of us can and indeed must matter outside of our respective “small worlds.”

I'm mostly quoting this to preserve it for further lols. Imagine, there'd be no such thing as [4th wave] feminism!

Anyway, these were just quotes, from his [idiotic] commenters. The guy does make a reasonable response, go ahead and read it there. It's not brilliant or anything, it doesn't display the steady hand and global eyesight of better pieces written by better men, say for instance Some basic discussion of charity. Nevertheless, it strives in the general direction, staying mostly on the road.

Whadda ya want ?

  1. Seriously, problem 4. []
Category: Meta psihoza
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