Blog Image

The Selfish Idealist

_____________________

When you do things for yourself, do you have to be destructive towards the world? Life can be made fairly good both for you and for the rest of us.

Maybe you'll not only help out, but even give everybody a good laugh from time to time.

Still a little left of buildings from the time king Christian IV moved the centre of Oslo to where it is now.

Values

Uncategorised Posted on 17 May, 2021 23:00

I have to say something in English too, about the word values. 

It has entered Norwegian debate more and more, and with meanings which is not always easy to understand or define, and it seems that those who use the word (“verdier”) also does not always really think or speak quite clearly about the concept.

If you look it up in the OED, there is a flock of different meanings, one is “a thing regarded as worth having”, and others that are related to money.

Another, in plural, values, has a whole lot of meaning alone and maybe contains the whole problem, “The principles or moral standards of a person or a whole group”.

Some problems in the discussions are, you characterise others in a rather simple way and compare it to yourself or what you consider to be “your group”, also rather simply.

One has to separate private moral and ethics in society, and a concrete phenomenon or a more or less total attitude is sometimes confused with a single principle. 

Very general concepts like tolerance, freedom, modern, traditional – they say something, they are not without meaning or content, but it is not really easy to put them into a specific context, you have to use a lot more words to get a fairly right description of something that goes on in society or in someone’s mind.

Also, if you move from one culture to another, inside a country or between countries, that type of concepts change places in the culture and play different roles in the minds of people.

The discussions going on are not always completely irrelevant, but when the ideas are unclear, you can easily run into misunderstandings.

People use the term “Norwegian values” sometimes as if our culture had only positive sides or as if the concepts in case are only positive. Also it may seem that everybody belong to exactly the same culture, which has of course never been the case 100%, even if we have had a sense of belonging together, which I also do not want to leave completely even if I acknowledge differences.

But to say that Norwegian culture or ways of life is homogenous is an exaggeration, and a view also seen pretty much from the outside, I feel.

The word “values” should be split up into principles of morality, for our private lives and in society and politics, actions and effects of actions, also in both domains, privately or publicly – attitudes, intentions.

You may feel free to form any other concept which makes sense and is useful, the point is that the word is often used to simply, as a way of almost characterising a whole person or a group of people or oneself. It is not a correct or complete way of describing anyone, and especially if it is done in a coarse way it can easier lead to wars rather than discussion.

This is simply put as well, I don’t have the energy to form it better. Please consider the thought more than the form.



A Normal Life (sheet music)

Music Posted on 06 May, 2021 23:01


For Flute & Piano (sheet music)

Music Posted on 06 May, 2021 22:15


City Life

Uncategorised Posted on 26 Apr, 2021 08:50

Free shoeshine.



Alone

Music Posted on 14 Apr, 2021 09:28


Piano impro 13.4

Music Posted on 14 Apr, 2021 09:23


Public – private

Comment Posted on 09 Apr, 2021 03:30

Some people think about the public system the same way they think about a shop. 

They think their claim to the system is the same as in a shop – they paid the taxes, as if they were the price of commercial goods, and the public servant then has to deliver to the need of themselves, as if he or she was a shopkeeper, and they see themselves as customers.

To me this is normally a complete misunderstanding.

A sale, a situation where something is sold, contains selfishness in that the shopkeeper demands money for whatever is sold, and everybody knows and accepts that the surplus minus taxes is going to him or her. This of course gives the situation its basic logic.

You may have discussions about cheating or honesty, about the level of taxation and the rules that regulate the type of trade going on, but the basics is still that someone produces something and demands money for it, which everyone accepts despite their sympathy or the opposite of a specific shop or businessman.

In government and in the social welfare system there are rules that apply to everyone, and the purpose of it is basically to serve all citizens. Here is also room for many political discussions, but this was the purpose of making the system in the first place.

You shouldn’t have to cut a deal with a civil servant, fixed rules are in this connetction much easier to handle for everyone. They are predictable and not negotiable, which makes the system both more fair and more efficient, you don’t have to waste too much time quarreling if everyone knows that this is the case, you simply stick to the rule.

Reality is of course not always exactly like this, but to let go of those principles entirely is messing up a system which here in Norway used to work fairly good if you knew how it worked.

Edited after publishing.



Rich, not poor

Comment Posted on 08 Apr, 2021 04:31

Some see Norway as Paradise, and say that Paradise is the place where you get what you want.

I find both views a little odd. Norway is certainly not Paradise, but I would agree that many of our problems is connected to being rich, not poor.



Next »