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This blog used to be about politics. Not so much anymore as I have worked through my fascination with that subject. It now seems appropriate that with a new president and the end of the Bush nightmare that I move on to new subjects that are more in line with my current interests. I may still occasionally express an opinion about political matters but for the most part I will be commenting on music, photography and personal observations. Thank you for reading.


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11.22.2005
"red" nosed
 
Reading through the various blogs that have linked to me I came across this little nugget which I found amusing...

A take on the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: by The Rambling Taoist

What rubs me the wrong way is the fact that the young reindeer was ONLY accepted into the "in crowd" WHEN it was discovered that his shiny red nose would benefit the plans of others. Had the thick fog NOT descended upon the North Pole, Rudolph would still be considered a "leper".

Beings should be valued. Period. Value should not be conferred ONLY when it benefits us. If not, then value is merely a self-serving construction and holds no intrinsic worth.


This is a convenient remainder that economies are artificial constructs and that our worth within an economy depends NOT on our worth as individuals, but on our usefulness to that system. In essence, you are valuable when you become useful to the money making system. All non-productive aspects of who you are are considered worthless.

In the Rudolph example, he is only considered valuable when the fog is keeping Santa from flying his sleigh, and only then does Santa have a use for him. Until that point, in the "non-fog" economy, Rudolph is of little use to anyone, and his individualism is considered a negative factor. The other reindeer probably made fun of him, and preached to him about "moral values". Rudolph probably even considered having a painful nose-replacement surgery.

In America, and possibly elsewhere, its easy to use a person's financial worth as a measure of their personal worth. People, both rich and poor, think that having money confers a greater since of worth on the person that has it. I've heard it said, mostly amongst right-wingers, that if you can't find a way to make lots of money then there is something wrong with you morally; you're lazy, or unmotivated, or irresponsible.

Or maybe you're just a red-nosed reindeer in a non-fog economy?

I personally feel that it is a horrible mistake to make value judgments on people simply because they are wealthy or poor. Not all rich people are fine, upstanding, moral people. Some are crooks and assholes. Not all poor people are lazy, irresponsible criminals. Some are really kind and hard-working. And it goes the other way as well. Not all rich people are evil and greedy, and not all poor people are selfless saints. Economic status really is a poor indicator of a person's value.

But, there is, in my opinion, a fundamental truth about human beings, and it is this: We assign greater value to the decisions we make than to those of others.

So going back to the example of Rudolph; let's say that Rudolph had decided that having a bright red nose was a detriment to his goals in life. So he goes and has it surgically replaced with a normal black one. Its at that point that Rudolph sees possesing a black nose as even more important than most reindeer. If another red-nosed reindeer were to come along, Rudolph would be the first to scorn that new reindeer if that red-nosed reindeer decides that having a red-nose is not so bad, and that rather than replace his nose he'll just learn to live with the consequences. Seeing this new reindeer lead a happy productive life without having to make the same sacrifices, without having to go through the painful nose-replacement surgery, drives Rudolph over the edge.

He starts a blog to denounce all red-nosed reindeer as immoral and dangerous to society.

In real life though people very much need to place a higher value on the decisions they have made in their own personal life. If a someone has devoted a large majority of their life to a cause or an idealogy they are going to place a greater value on people that have done so as well. People that have made sacrifices to survive or to make themselves useful to the system will find people that haven't made those same sacrifices to be deficient, when really it just means that those people made different choices with their lives.

Knowing this about human beings makes them a lot easier to understand.

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Comments:
"This is a convenient remainder that economies are artificial constructs and that our worth within an economy depends NOT on our worth as individuals, but on our usefulness to that system. In essence, you are valuable when you become useful to the money making system. All non-productive aspects of who you are are considered worthless."

Yes, and hence the term "Human Resources," which replaced "Personnel."
 
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About Me

bruce
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