Winter Solstice & Sharply Contrasting Values | Liu Xiaobo

Winter solstice today. Longest night. Shortest day. The exact moment .. when the sun reaches its southerly-most point and begins heading back north » 3:38 PM PST (California time) .. if my calcs are correct.

Winter solsticeWinter begins .. for those of us who live here in the Northern hemisphere.

In the Southern hemisphere, Christmas occurs at the beginning of summer. That would seem strange.

The winter solstice, I feel, is the most significant of the various solar demarcations that arrive thru-out the year .. as we sail around the sun .. making elliptical like .. at warp speed.

Here's an interesting video (10-mins) along these lines.

Good time to stop & think about things. .. as the sun appears to stop for a few days. (The term 'solstice' means » sun-stopping.) Things like life (= the present). The past. The future.

Regarding the present .. it is raining like crazy. Unbelievable. Worst storm in 10 or 15 years. So there's no way we'll be seeing any of the eclipse.

Multiple storms lining up to kick our butts and drown us. Souther California is not designed to handle large amounts of water (.. cuz it rains here so rarely), so it is doubly bad when it does.

Speaking of 'thinking-about-things' .. the biggest consequence I've noticed (thus far) .. of familiarizing myself with Nietzsche (& his ideas) .. is that I've started seeing things in light of VALUES. Specifically » how values for the same things vary.

Never did this before. At least, not like this.

Nietzsche is very much about » values. The terms 'good' & 'bad' imply that values have been assigned to things .. things for which we use these labels.

Liu Xiaobo» Liu Xiaobo | Nobel Peace Prize

Take, for example, this Chinese guy who won the Nobel Peace Prize » Liu Xiaobo. This is what got me thinking along these lines.

He has been recognized & honored for calling for greater freedom of expression & human rights in China (.. by writing Charter 08, signed by 350 others) .. something he obviously feels strongly about (i.e. » values very highly).. enough to go to jail for.

The Chinese government, on the other hand .. uh, doesn't hold these same values. Not hardly. They say he is a criminal .. who deserves to spend 11 years in prison. (That's a long time, Dawg.)

Same man, valued differently by different organizations. Dramatically so. Striking contrast, no?

What award could be more uplifting? Than the Nobel Peace Prize. What punishment more sapping? Than spending a decade rotting in a Chinese prison. He must feel like someone standing in the eye of a hurricane.

That's what Nietzsche has done to my perception. There's this auto-focus-thing going on that sharpens the lines of contrast where values are concerned. Like I said, not something I was expecting.

The effect of this heightened contrast .. is that values seem to be a function of the person doing the valuing, and not the object itself.

Is Liu Xiaobo a hero, worthy to be included along with a century of legendary laureates? Or is he a criminal, worthy of prison? Depends who you ask. Right?

••• today's entry continues here below •••

Liu Xiaobo Nobel Peace Prize Empty ChairSame air you & I breathe to stay alive .. is polluted by various industries & factories.

Now we could run with this idea (.. of sharply contrasted values for the same thing) in numerous directions.

But my thoughts here are not yet very well developed, so I won't waste your time. But thought-provoking nonetheless.

[ I read this is similar to the line of reasoning Nietzsche himself took up .. right before he went insane. =) ]

I have always been interested in people from other cultures. Because they see the world differently. From a different perspective. From growing up in a different culture. I ask a LOT of questions.

I try to see/understand the world the way they do. As a mental exercise .. of my imagination. Mind expanding. Doesn't mean I have to adopt their values, tho. Window shopping at the cultural mall.

But .. never before have I found myself focusing so sharply on how these different views/cultures come with their own set of values .. which sometimes clash with one another .. sometimes dramatically & spectacularly. And sometimes violently.

What really suks is when the bigger stick beats the more noble culture.

This is why I originally thought Obama would make a good president .. cuz he had been exposed to different cultures growing up .. unlike myself, who had only seen one little slice of life (.. in southern Connecticut).

I knew he had experienced other cultures and I thought that would be helpful (.. seeing the big picture).

For more along these lines, here's a Google search preconfigured for the query » liu xiaobo nobel peace prize charter 08

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rad published on December 21, 2010 12:21 PM.

Gays in the Military | My Experience was the previous entry in this blog.

Problems Installing MODx Revolution with suPHP & default File Permission Settings is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.