Monday, September 25, 2006

"I'd Tap That (to destroy target creature...)"

I haven't played much Magic: The Gathering in ages, but I went to a pre-release for the new "Time Spiral" set on Saturday. One lucky bastard there opened a foil Akroma, and a friend of mine opened 2x Avatar of Woe (one foil). I got one Avatar, which is still pretty sweet. Another friend got 3rd place, and won a crapload (36!) of boosters. It was pretty cool, even though I did pretty badly. Some kid may have looted a few of my friends' cards (not the ones they were playing, thankfully). Wherever you are, kid, I hope you feel damn guilty. If you don't, I wish you permanent misery for your very antisocial behaviour*. To quote the great satirist/singer/songwriter (how's that for alliteration?) Tom Lehrer "Life is like a sewer; what you get out of it depends on what you put into it".

* NOTE: if you didn't do it, kid, consider this wish canceled.

A friend of mine has his blog here. It's a pretty good read.

I was reading a very interesting manifesto - that of a youth socialist group in Australia. Dunno why Australia, but then again, why not? It was very well-argued, but they didn't acknowledge the potential benefits of capitalism at all. It is a fatal mistake to believe that your opposition is always wrong, all the time. It is untrue to say, as they do:

"But think of all the scientists, artists and writers who have worked without consideration for their personal fortune in order to discover and create"

Which isn't entirely true; even Shakespeare worked to pay the bills. Discovery and creation are often passions, but it has to keep you going, and if you're lucky, get a little extra. I'm very left-leaning, but I'm not sure that 100% socialism is the way. Too much government ownership will indeed stifle creativity. Why do exceptionally when doing OK pays the same amount? No matter what, it will be only the truly dedicated who make waves. Integrating the human desire for some measure of individual success with our need as a whole to care for all equally is difficult to do without sacrificing one or the other to some degree.

Adam Smith, a Scottish economic theorist of the Enlightenment, proposed that competition would lead to the highest-quality item being sold for the lowest possible price. Given the profit margins you see around you every day, it's easy enough to see that such is not the case. The very problem with capitalism is that people are not ideal. That is the same problem faced by Socialism. This group claims that racism, sexism, and homophobia are innate Capitalist tools. They could just as easily be made to serve a socialist system. Perhaps conformity will be found 'necessary for true equality'. The original intent of a system, it's initial founding, and what happens next are all very removed from one and other. We will not have the perfect society until we have perfect people, who are considerate, who do not manipulate others. Good luck with that, humanity. While we wait, just do what good you can.

Until next time, keep your minds and hearts open.

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