Saturday, September 10, 2011


Between this post and the previous, this blog hit 2,500 views.
Assignment: 1) Find a mnemonic for power--either an acronym or around four words that start with the same letter. 2) Connect power to media and/or life.

During the power acronym exercise, I divided power into five sections: love, loathing, loyalty, liberty and lies. Upon reflection, I have decided that ‘love’ is a subset of loyalty, and therefore I will only define the four remaining.

"[W]hat does it mean to have the power to vanquish someone?"

... "Well..." Rianne said. She was having trouble putting her thoughts into words. "It means you've got the power, but you don't have to do it. It means you could do it if you tried -"

"Choice," the Potions Master said in the same faraway voice, as though he wasn't really talking to her at all. "There will be a choice. That is what the riddle seems to imply. And that choice is not a foregone conclusion to the chooser, for the riddle does not say, will vanquish, but rather the power to vanquish."
--Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Chapter 76
Liberty: Power is not simply having an effect, but making a choice. Affecting a circumstance through conscious will and effort. The ability to choose one’s own actions, which includes the ability to do nothing at all. This power is the opposite of Lies, and is generally considered heroic. Also known by/subsets: will, determination, spirit, ability, responsibility, Heroic Spirit.

Do you happen to know what the penalty is for shooting a fricaseeing rabbit without a fricaseeing rabbit license?
--Bugs Bunny
Lies: Manipulating, power at one remove. The domain of any trickster archetype. This works counter to another’s liberty, as it tricks another into thinking one is acting in accordance with one’s own will, when one is acting in accordance with the liar’s will—or, at the very least, not as one would if one knew the true situation. This power is the opposite of Liberty, and is generally considered dark. Also known by/subsets: manipulation, seduction, deceit, trickery, chicanery, misleading, white lies. See Tricksters.

Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment.
--Mohandas Gandhi

It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.
--Niccolo Machiavelli
Loyalty: Machiavelli noted the power of this, as did Gandhi, though they had strikingly different opinions. Though both accepted that it was strong, Machiavelli did not believe it enough on its own, perhaps because he required the leader to remain alive and in power. Martyrs can be lovely for one’s cause, but the martyr remains dead. Usually expected to go both ways—that is, troops are only as loyal to their commander as the commander is loyal to the troops. This power is the opposite of Loathing, and is generally considered unifying. Also known by/subsets: love, duty, fidelity, The Power Of Love, The Power of Frienship.

If Hitler invaded Hell, I would make at least a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons.
—-Winston Churchill, following Hitler's invasion of Russia
Loathing: Moving people against a common foe. This is power held in the hands of someone one is Loyal to, or someone one Loathes—-the former can inspire loathing by empathy, and the latter can divide the loathing-united group. Even if something is effective, people are reluctant to do it if they associate it with something they loathe. The latter is spectacularly difficult to pull off. This power is the opposite of Loyalty, and is generally considered unifying. Also known as/subsets: hate, enmity, Hitler Ate Sugar, The Power Of Hate.

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