Advances in science have brought us to a point in history where technology rules, and you better not question it. More times than not, we see people relying on technology to make the differentiation between what’s real and what’s not, or what happened or didn’t. The problem comes in determining what to do when technology is wrong, both in terms of accuracy or morally. On this episode of The Axiom Amnesia Theory, Heit & Cheri talk about the “practical” application of technology and its effect on us all.

Topics discussed include prejudging people based on their names, KRS-One’s song “Palm & Fist,” Gabby Giffords’ comments on gun control and Newtown visit, laws that are prejudicial and invasions of privacy, relying on flawed technology to tell us what’s real, whether traffic cameras are an invasion of privacy, how thinking has been removed from so many jobs, guidelines versus rules, trading control for employment and more!

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Segment 1

  • Discussion about what’s in a name. Sometimes people name their children things that allow others to anticipate race, religion etc. based on seeing or hearing their name. This can allow people to prejudge them solely based on their names.

  • Some people feel that folks who will be prejudiced will still be prejudiced once they see the person, so why worry about naming a child something that might leave them open to prejudice.

  • Discussion about people being given the opportunity to make a different impression in spite of their names.

  • Discussion about the traditional view that people should consider the backlash before naming their children.

  • Discussion about names that are hard to have.

  • Cheri explains that people often mispronounce her name as Sherry.

  • Discussion about KRS-One’s song Palm & Fist:

    What is the difference between the palm and the fist?

    When the palm is open, does the fist not exist?

    Or when the fist is clinched, ready to harm

    Does it mean that you no longer have a palm?

    No palm and fist are part of the head

    But even deeper, they part of what you understand

    There is no palm or fist

    Your perception of your hand movements is calling it this

    Palm and fist doesn’t exist

    But they do, when your hands is used like this by you

    So try to look at words, while you _________

    Look at the birds, is that a bird?

    A B.I.R.D.S? Is that what it is?

    Is that what’s building his nest?

    That’s not all of it, a B.I.R.D.S is what we calling it

    But really, what is a bird really?

    Look past the word symbols to see the bird clearly

    Hear me, if you never name yourself

    You are forever subject to everyone else

    Your name is your nature

    It makes you lower or greater

    I’m not a hater, but you’ll see later

    So back to the palm and the fist, overstand

    The palm and the fist are symbols of the hand

    It’s what the hand is doin’, not what it is

    The doing is the effect that causes what it is

    So what is it, when you live by the definitions of what others give

    Living history of what others live

    You’re like a kid, I mean adult

    Being led to the slitting of your own throat

    Wow, for many there’s not hold

    It seems like they up shits creep without a boat

  • Discussion about Gabby Giffords commenting that no gun laws have been passed since she was shot.

  • Discussion about Gabby Giffords being accused of making a political move in her visit to the Sandy Hook shooting victims in CT.

  • Discussion about laws that are prejudicial and invasions of privacy that are still on the books–for instance laws about sodomy. Most of the time the laws are nullified by other laws, rather than repealed–for instance Jim Crow Laws.

  • When has a law stopped any behavior?

  • Discussion about how many of these petty laws are aimed at just gaining revenue for the government.

  • Are the traffic cameras an invasion of privacy? Not according to the law, because the streets are public.

  • Discussion about how the cameras take your snapshot if you run a red light.

  • Discussion about Episode 113: My Side Of Universal Truth, in which Heit & Cheri discussed relying on cameras to tell us what’s real. We rely so much on technology to tell us what’s real.

  • Discussion about a guy in the UK who got a phone bill for 60 pounds.

  • Technology is flawed, but we rely on it with the assumption that it has been tested during the process.

  • What happens when technology is wrong and we either cannot detect it, or if we cannot get resolution once the problem is identified?

  • Discussion about overcharges and fighting technology and customer service when there is a discrepancy between the computer and reality.

  • Discussion about the movies where they can totally erase your digital existence, like in the movies Changing Lanes and The Net.

  • Discussion about how thinking has been removed from so many jobs. It’s because of rules being placed so that people don’t have to think, but just carry out the wishes of the company.

  • Discussion about guidelines versus rules. A guideline allows flexibility for the person to make the decision based on giving a general idea of what the expected action should be. On the other hand, a rule is more rigid.

  • Heit’s view is that the Constitution consists of a list of guidelines, because they are not strict and allow for interpretation. Cheri’s view is that the Constitution is a list of rules that, due to the interpretation of the words, can operate as a guideline at times. In this case, the use of certain subjective words can make the rules into guidelines.

  • Do guidelines allow people to act freely? Not necessarily, because they are still there as a marker of the expected outcome.

  • There are very few rules that apply without exception. People should be allowed to think and evaluate each situation.

  • At work, the rules are in place because the company has little confidence in people to make the right call.

  • Discussion about rules being in place because the decision is felt to be outside of the scope of the person tasked with the decision.

  • Discussion about the hierarchical structure in companies that facilitates the notion that only people are certain levels within the organization are capable of making the decision.

  • Would you feel differently about rules if the business was yours? What level of control is appropriate?

  • The dilemma between needing employment and wanting to be free of rules. In a volunteer situation, you have the option of free association. However, when you have a job that you need, it may not be easy to walk away from it. There are a lot of people who are working under oppressive conditions. They will often follow the rules in exchange for getting paid.


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