22 February 2011

Zombies take over

International relations...

Best parts of this one

Realism means things are pretty much what they are. Even when the undead start to feast on human flesh, nothing much would change. While it's definitely an absurdist take on realism, it's actually not that far off. This was essentially my reaction to 9-11 for instance. Things would change, but they would more or less just shift around some national goals, put things like "invade Iraq" into the hopper for example. Things did not change in the sense of what posed real and existential threats to American hegemony. People didn't like hearing this, some people still don't. But it's not less true 10 years ago simply because more people are now aware it's true NOW. (what put a real threat to American hegemony was our expending trillions of dollars on fruitless wars to install pro-Western leaderships in unstable countries).

Fear is overrated. Give me a potential nuclear war, yes, that's a real threat deserving of national attention. Give me a terrorist network living in caves. Meh. Not worth ignoring, maybe a lead news story for a while, but it's not worth creating new and invasive powers, invading countries that had nothing to do with it, bombing others, and so on.

Speaking of "invade Iraq", there's also this segment which describes the neo-conservative worldview as including this darker "kill all Muslims" aspect to it. Because obviously this book was written with zombies as the stand-in for Muslims. Also there's the "everything is an existential threat" paradigm and problem for neo-cons. There's a reason realists don't get along with them, and that's largely it. (there's also the problem that neo-cons never bothered to explain how they would "inject freedom" and make this proposed antidote work. It was just assumed that democracy=freedom, when actually the reverse tends to be more true, that free institutions support a democratic regime and that corrupt institutions like those of Iraq and to a lesser extent Afghanistan, which just lacked institutions period, will mean electing a corrupt autocracy instead of a free liberal democratic one).

And finally there's the philosopher's joke.

58% of philosophers believe zombies are possible.
15% of them believe in god.

I would think a zombie in the sense philosopher's define it is actually plausible, as all it is is essentially an animated corpse lacking consciousness. They don't define them as wishing to feast on human flesh, or being a contagion etc. Those are far more specific qualifications to the zombie hordes than mere lack of consciousness. It's likely these would be more equal numbers under more rigorous definitions than the mere concept of a zombie versus the concept of a deity. But it's still amusing.
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