Monthly Archives: maaliskuu 2017

Partistan

Normaali

Viikko 13


 

Date: Mar 28th, 2017
Motion
: THW regard parties as listed, public shares on a stock exchange
Role: PM (govt.)


The municipal or communal elections are at hand. In early April, we will have new councils. With that in mind, it might be useful to muse a little upon parties and their ikigai. Where do they come from, where are they and where are they headed for?

In the US, there are two parties that count. In the UK, there are 2^2 parties. The ones you’re not thinking of are the latecomers. In Finland, there are 2^3 parties. If all that are registered as parties had seats everywhere, Finns would have 2^4 parties, so we’re good at cell division. A party seems to elicit a counterforce. Hence the root number 2.

The following chart shows the present support for political parties in Finland. These parties are, in English, in order of popularity: The Social Democratic Party, The Center Party, The Coalition Party, The Green Party, The (True) Finns Party, The Left Alliance, The Swedish People’s Party and The Christian Democratic Party.

The uppermost threesome represents livelihoods. It’s a neat trichotomy. Social democrats get their money from wage-based industrial work or salary-based labour often carried out on behalf of the community or the State, Centrists from ownership and labour in primary production (agriculture, aquaculture, mining) and Coalitionists from owning their own, sometimes inherited business. In any country, these three could be thought of as the basis of the economic structure. That explains away their popularity. It’s about the source of the money, dude.

The next one, the Green Party, has often been cited as the only new party, in all of the countries it operates in, but in fact it’s not that novel nonetheless. It’s more like a symbiotic party for those who idealise either living in a big city or in the countryside, for apparent reasons. In politics, it combines Leftist and Liberal tendencies. But it offers little to those who are currently living in a small or midsize town.

Then come the ”angrier” alternatives to the traditional Left and Right: the Left Alliance and True Finns. They formulate opinions and stances that would not be allowed in the more moderate flagship parties of the Right and the Left. Basically, they are for the unemployed members of the Right/Left, whereas Coalition and SDP are for the (hard-)working members of the respective leanings. Both are symmetrically about as far from the middle line in their own directions. Who are the Angry Birds?! Revenge against the Pigs!

Last and perhaps Least come Christian Democrats and the Swedish-speaking. Both parties could be described as having a loyal, slightly stubborn following. In a sense, they are parties for those who are a) adherent and b) believers, as a Christian element has often played a part in their from-election-to-election-continuing, modest popularity.

I think it pays off to look at parties in this kind of an objective way. One can see how parties form clusters, in a way that they cannot always see themselves. Politics, as it is experienced in the casual way, is often about faces, impressions, numbers, slogans, themes and an urging to vote, but that hides away what political parties are and what kind of a vacuum they originally tried to address. Each time there is a hole in society, a political party usually emerges to try and fill it up.

It also pays off to think about one’s own political niche. Do I represent resoundingly any of the followings of any of these parties? If I do, I may vote for the mother parties. But if I don’t, chances are good that politically I will go on wandering in the desert, becoming part of the so-called ”swing vote” or restraining from voting altogether, becoming a member of the so-called ”Slumber Party”.

It also pays off to see if parties give any kind of a ”dividend”, when you ”buy” one of their ”shares” in casting a vote for them at the elections. If they promise the moon but deliver nothing, the question arises if they are any good and worthy of a place in the first place wherever decisions are made. I think there is grounds to say that political parties act and look like shares on a stock exchange.


Arvio: Puhe aloittaa pitkän ketjun aloitteen todistelemiseksi. Siinä mielessä voi olla hyvä, että mukana on kuva, vaikka niitä yleensä ei käytetäkään eikä näytetäkään. Ongelmaksi muodostuu se, että aloitteen alku (THW regard parties) toteutuu, mutta loppuosa jää huomioimatta ihan loppua lukuunottamatta. Nyt PM alustaa debatin rautalangasta ja puhuu puoliviihteellisesti politiikasta yleisesti. Tiimin muille jää kuitenkin varsinainen työ spesifin aloitteen puolesta puhumisessa.

Mainokset

I’m All Right Jack

Normaali

Viikko 12


 

Date: Mar 19th, 2017
Motion: THB that the Left still know how to (re)distribute wealth in the future
Role: Secretary (opp.)


Dear Ladies, Gentlemen, Chair and Assemblage,

As the secretary to the opposition, I speak against the motion. I think that political parties may function in two ways. First of all, their voters can think that they do a better job at handling people’s affairs, and therefore they vote for them. Alternatively, people identify with the members of the parties, their professions, image, children, livelihoods etc. and therefore they vote for them. Historically, parties have gotten landslide victories at elections benefiting from both of these viewpoints and voting channels.

The Left has been a potent force in European countries for a long time. They have been seen as good ”managers” of people’s affairs, but more importantly, they have been identified with. Any wage-earner or salaryman identifies with someone who does NOT get capital gains from or own the workplace (s)he is working for. As a utopian goal, some people may have meditated if the Left could be gotten rid of completely, given that it is notoriously strapped for new ideas. In that case, the premise would need to be the fact that most people were capitalists, in other words, people who owned their businesses and enjoyed full control over its profits (and losses). Then, the temptation to vote for the Left would be infinitesimal, as the Left does not care for the ”plight” of the Owning classes. When one owns one’s own business, all the ideas of the Right begin to make sense. Monetarism, night-watchman states, ”there is no society as such”, ”taxation is theft”; all of that begins to make sense once one is part of the extended meaning of being bourgeois.

How would this be attained in practise?

Well, first of all there should be a muster of all of those who can produce something. The core of Capitalism is producing, not consuming. The product may be an object, a copyright, a patent, a service, a disservice; lots of things. Then, this productive person should be taught how to commodify this thing of his or hers properly. This falls under the purview of production economics & engineering. There is always a ”best way” to produce something from scratch, on the cheap, and also to be able to scale the production up, if and when the demand for the product rose considerably. And it should, as people would be in this for the profit rather than the labour. Finally, the product should be able to be spread all over the world using different mechanisms and methods. This is the part that is called logistics. The product would be spread all over the world under the aegis and the three tenets of Globalisation:

  1. The sender and the receiver are allowed to be a world apart (literally)
  2. All aspects of age, gender, race and religion and so on are to be overlooked
  3. English (language) and the Internet are the platforms that enable the (trans)action reliably enough

This way, anyone could spread his or her wares around the world efficiently enough, without being dependent on some shady deal with a mega-distributor, who would exact an exorbitant sum for its services. The idea would be to get enough profit under the belt to be able to survive, pay off the mortgage/rent, pay taxes, pay for a pension, and maybe raise a family, if the business was high-flying enough.

In the end, it would turn out that not everyone has it in him or her to act as a business(wo)man. Also, there would be a need for extra pairs of hands once the business began to flourish. Then, the owner would have the grateful task of employing someone to do the nitty-gritty jobs for a compensation. That is the role all Leftists everywhere have most often seen themselves and their constituents in. Consequently, in a world rife with owners, there would still be room for workers, the working classes, manual labour, menial tasks and everything else that the Left has held Guardianship over.

And this matters. If there has so far been (in the economic structure) a ratio of 20 % of owners to 40 % of workers and, maybe, 40 % of people who register themselves as ”something else”, the ratio could change to 50 % of owners to 30 % of ”something else” to 20 % of workers. That would change the dynamics considerably and make a future reality better correspond to the present trends and attitudes.

I am bringing this up, because politics is about choices, but it is also about life choices. You may ask yourself: Who am I a) able and b) entitled to vote for? The ambit of voting would be more interesting if more people in the real world realised their entire, full potential.

Thank you.


Arvio: Puhe on tarkoitettu sisällykkäämmäksi pariksi sitä edeltävälle, todennäköisesti tunteikkaammalle oppositiojohtajapuheelle. Tarkoitus on osoittaa, että 1-oppositio tekee hommansa tehokkaasti kyllä. 2-tiimi voi sitten kinastella sydämensä kyllyydestä. Puhe on pitkä, eikä sen ajalle mahdu kysymyksiä. Siinä on lyhentämisenkin varaa, mikä on makuasia kohtansa suhteen.

 

The School Yard Isn’t an Elephants’ Graveyard

Normaali

Viikko 10


 

Date: Apr 6th, 2013
Motion: THB that young people should be given at school some education on life & humility by older lecturing visitors
Role: MP (opp.)


#1
Young people can listen to and tolerate education by just about anyone, and they do; at least the nerdiest ones do, as they stare at any adult with doe eyes, but the overall benefit should be assessed and calculated in advance. If someone comes along to scare the ”s#it” out of our spes patriae, the adverse effect will take hold, and one should not strive for that, of course. Rather, youngsters should be given lectures by people who have excelled and made something out of themselves during their lifetime — celebrities, businessmen, sports athletes, models, musicians, charity runners, talk show hosts and poker-playing pros. It’s tales by this kind of people that the young want to hear; talk that is bold, aggressive, challenging, assertive and so on and so forth. Whining and fake satisfaction with a life led ’treading water’ should be left exclusively to those who never achieved anything in their lives.

#2
Young people could listen to old people telling them about this and that, but the problem therein is that that education would be mistake-, problem- and regret-oriented. I am reasonably sure that old people are filled with regret, and that they would love to pour it all out into the impressionable minds that would care to listen but who are also vulnerable and inexperienced in that vulnerability.

It would be better if seniors discussed their own problems among themselves and their own, without bothering younger people, who instead could and should give those seniors helpful advice on how to use home electronics, computers in particular, since this seems to be the stumbling block for most middleaged and older folks. The problems of the young are contemporary, and solving thereof should be left to professionals; not amateurs.

#3
In my time of youth, two older gentlemen came to my senior secondary school to give a talk or rather a performance, as I remember well. I saw them perform at a stopover on a tour called Poetry in Motion. The idea was that two poets would recite their stuff to an accompaniment of two different kinds of guitars — a rock, electric one and a Spanish, acoustic one. The poems and poets were likewise supposed to be complementingly different: one presenting us with subtler and rose-tinted and the other with grittier and rawer stuff. As it happens, both of these artist gentlemen are now dead. One died after some years had passed from a pedestrian-vs.-car traffic accident and a blow to the head (and thus, mental faculties), and the other after developing cancer. Did we get precious advice from these two men? I don’t think so. If it had been that good, both of them would have survived better and would roam the plains here and now among the rest of us today.

That’s what I think about the govt’s proposal! They can send it to the secretary, who can fold it into origami.

Thank you.


Arvio: Lyhyehkö puhe sisältää tiukkaa asiaa. Sävy on ivallinen, törkeäkin, mutta tarkoituksena on torpata vahingolliseksi katsottu aloite. Näin lyhyeen puheeseen kannattaa ottaa enemmän kuin 2 kysymystä täytteeksi. Vastauksetkin voivat olla tavallista pidempiä.

Unlimited Ltd.

Normaali

Viikko 9


 

MotionTHB that one can learn anything if one just puts one’s mind to it
Role: Rep. (opp.)


Occasionally, it is claimed that people use only a fraction of their brain capacity. It is suggested that we could achieve a much better ”processing” efficiency, were we somehow empowered cognitively. The movie Limitless riffed on this idea, apparently, in portraying the fantasy life of a man who suddenly gains full control of his brain in taking a dubious empowering pill of almost the ”Matrix” kind.

After having seen a documentary on the dimensions of human memory by the BBC, I think it’s high time we considered the true nature of our cognitive faculties.

For some reason, I don’t seem to be able to master certain things. I think they are interconnected in some way. I’ll give a brief description of each one of them.

Card games   Memorising card game rules is not easy for me. I can play about three card games without tuition: Old Maid, Poker, Sevens (~ group solitaire) and Uno. The rules of other card games elude me, and I might not even be ABLE to learn the hardest of them, such as bridge, or any difficult card game with ancient roots and arcane rules.

Ballroom dances   The only thing I can dance a little is waltz, mainly because it goes in the 3/4 time signature. That, however, is of little use when it comes to most dancehall-played popular music — also the older, less recognised forms — as it is in 4/4 time almost exclusively. When someone shows me a dance move, I generally don’t register it or comprehend it. I don’t understand how jive moves differ from tango moves or those of tap dance or how they form sequences. It’s all Greek to me.

Party jokes   I understand humour well, and I understand it within each of its subsets such as puns, crass double entendres, absurdities, visual gags, cross-references, allusions, situation comedy and nerdy Easter-egg fun. What I can’t do, at any rate, is tell people jokes if and when they want to hear one. I assume other people are able to tell jokes because they a) consume humour ”products” all the time (a wide concept, ranging from movies to funnies) or b) they don’t forget jokes they have laughed at. But I can’t.

(Mixing drinks…)   This is not confirmed but I assume that it’d be hard for me to memorise the contents of different cocktails. And I’m not alone in this, as the favourite mixer of the drinking classes of Finland is soda water and the favourite spirit is vodka. And those two are a ”cocktail” or a drink in their own right. Drink contents seem oddly irrelevent, especially after downing 6 of them… what it would all boil down to would be puke, anyway.

I think that these 3 to 4 things are interconnected. They all represent orchestrated movements that come to their fulfillment in a social context. All of them ease up friction in social interaction and provide a lively, albeit a slightly flat pastime. Some lead toward finding friends or a partner. None of them can, however, guarantee that objective, or success in Life in general.

And I can’t do them.

It seems that people who are good at the aforementioned things have been wired that way from the beginning. It isn’t necessarily so that their execution ”resides” in a different part of the brain that the rest of us just leave deserted and uncharted.

The brain is noted for its plasticity, meaning that it may rewire itself due or thanks to trauma or 10,000 hours of intensive training. Yet, the older pathways are surprisingly resilient. I might learn a new card game, drink, joke or ballroom dance with concerted effort, a lot of patience and a dedicated mentor. That would not, however, be appropriate. At best, I could be become a mediocrity in any of those fields. Earlier beginners and talented masters would beat me at every turn. A better use of my available time is vital, given that life is a relatively short endeavour. I should focus on my strengths instead.

It seems, sad but true, that the unharnessed potential that there is in the brain, lies in processing faster what we already do WELL or learning areas related to what we already KNOW.

Thank you.


Arvio: Hieman henkilökohtaisempi puhe — vaihteeksi — on suhteellisen mukaansa tempaava sen yleisemmän teeman takia, joka aloittaa ja lopettaa puheen. Aihe ei jätä kylmäksi väittelyseuran jäseniä. Itse aktiviteetti vaatii aivokapasiteettia, vaikka vuorta nimeltä debatti voikin lähestyä kovin monelta kantilta.