Skip to: Site menu | Main content

Salon Five Notes

  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/jrising/existencia/salon/includes/file.inc on line 632.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/jrising/existencia/salon/includes/file.inc on line 632.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/jrising/existencia/salon/includes/file.inc on line 632.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/jrising/existencia/salon/includes/file.inc on line 632.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/jrising/existencia/salon/includes/file.inc on line 632.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/jrising/existencia/salon/includes/file.inc on line 632.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/jrising/existencia/salon/includes/file.inc on line 632.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/jrising/existencia/salon/includes/file.inc on line 632.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/jrising/existencia/salon/includes/file.inc on line 632.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/jrising/existencia/salon/includes/file.inc on line 632.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/jrising/existencia/salon/includes/file.inc on line 632.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/jrising/existencia/salon/includes/file.inc on line 632.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/jrising/existencia/salon/includes/file.inc on line 632.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/jrising/existencia/salon/includes/file.inc on line 632.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/jrising/existencia/salon/includes/file.inc on line 632.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/jrising/existencia/salon/includes/file.inc on line 632.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/jrising/existencia/salon/includes/file.inc on line 632.

Once again, the scope of the conversation overwhelmed my memory, even though I made notes right afterwards.

Attending: Jocelyn, Claudia, Tim, Bergey, Dmitriy, Kate, Dave, Kristen, Jimmy

We started with a discussion of drugs, staking out positions variously on the effects of drugs, the drug business, and what should be done with them. Dave argued for the legalization of addictive drugs. The champions of psychedelics said that their ability to make people think and break social institutions was the source of much government antagonism. We all agreed that many non-MIT drugs involved bad news, which could be generally decreased through legalization. We also discussed drug use by scientists and artists.

The drug discussion continued at considerable length, but I've forgotten most of it.

Eventually, we turned to recent developments in politics-- specifically, the re-emergence of the religious left. It was argued that religion tends toward the extreme, but that there exists a currently-forgotten religious message of compassion. Perhaps it will never be able to wield power equal to the religious right's use of fear and anger, but it can become what religion stands for again.

We discussed the situation in the middle east, with mentions of http://osewalrus.livejournal.com/56464.html and the US's fight with Iran through the proxies of Israel and H[e/i]zbollah.

Somehow we got to a discussion which hinged on the inherent value of democracy or the money economy or government. Rather than assume an answer, we decided to go behind the Rawlsian veil and question the very foundations of our world. Questions we considered included:

1. Is there are a better government structure than democracy (whether representative, deep, or structured to support experts).

2. What does it mean for government to have a monopoly on force? Should it? Is there another option?

3. What conditions are necessary for someone to truly "opt out" of the system? Can a government that provides refusable support for everyone truly allow opting out?

4. Is there an alternative to a universal medium of exchange? We agreed that money has many undesireable effects.

5. Is there an alternative to a concept of property? We discussed what sense it makes to own land, space, time, patterns, and wavelengths.

6. What role do unalienable rights have, as distinct from rewards/privileges which come with responsibilities? Is the Netherlandian system, whereby someone can survive on the government without contributing to society, desirable?

In addition to the questions, we had all sorts of interesting answers. But we need to revisit the question before those settle into any kind of consensus.

The salon digressed into socializing around 1 am.