The Grass is Always Browner is an epic speculative fiction novel by Martin Knox.
Australia 250 years in the future has a democratically elected government led by the Yabras, an indigenous dynasty with a gene for sharing.
Abajoe, 21, lives with family members in an empty apartment building in Meanjin, the almost deserted state capital city, evacuated after famine and flooded by rise in sea level. He grows food hydroponically and experiments with hybrid meat animals, half rabbit and half possum, to discover limits to population growth by dynamic modelling under harsh Australian conditions, with grass always browned by drought. His findings influence immigration policy and relations with Bhakaria, a crowded neighbouring sectarian nation, with large population and territorial ambitions. The epic story follows his life and loves as Prime Minister in a culturally divided nation, surviving by insurrection and forging a new future for all the people learning from sectarian conflict in history.
Australia is small in population and needs a unified response to external threats.
Martin Knox lives in Australia and has authored seven novels on various topics. This book has a manifesto for a new Australia under scientific government. It extrapolates recent trends and learns from famous leaders, such as Nelson Mandela.
Book available on Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/yc5mzmm8
For reviews and other writing see author blog: martinknox.com
My angle is that I want peace, am no walkover and despise violence except foe border defence. Agreed objective truth is most useful for reconciling antagonists, but objective truth is seldom available. Historians can supply only a few dots of information. The dots are joined by analysts who are bold, passionate and biased, creating confrontation myths. History does more harm than good.
Conflicts continue because the proponents, vindicated by history, disagree and attribute blame to the other side. Historians record circumstances, events and interpretations that fuel revenge and prolong hostilities. Historicism can be useful for reconciling conflict with one side’s position, but analyses are not acceptable to both sides, because spin doctors are more interested in getting an edge, than acknowledging any blame. To end a conflict, there has to be acceptance that it is wrong, that history is irrelevant, that there is trust and forgiveness.
Recent conflicts in which one or both sides are genocidal have lacked agreement at the fundamental level of the opponents’ right to remain alive. Such conflicts will not be resolved by study of history. In the absence of enough good will for negotiation of a ceasefire, a peace keeping force could be interposed by decision of a majority of the 193 members of the UN, or by an international court.
As I write today in Australia, I am aware our borders are not under dispute. I believe other countries should freeze forever their borders at 2023 positions, verified by the UN. The principle is that borders cannot be retrospectively changed, meaning that the status quo stands. Retrospectivity is sometimes allowed when a court determines legal justice, but should not be permitted to change occupation of sovereign territory. This will disappoint aggrieved people who want to improve their livings by changing their borders. It is more realistic that they change their living place, if necessary by migration. Living places are more malleable than are national borders, cast in stone..
When resort to a world authority is needed to prevent the murder of innocents, it has been disappointing that not only have some superpowers withheld their support from intervention, but they have condoned the fighting and supplied weapons as if that could produce a just retribution. Their view is that war is not wrong. After all, their ontology is superiority by means of military power. It is an atavistic urge that after today must be called, denied and relegated to the sidelines.
Another type of conflict has been framed as an invasion and with demands that the aggressor withdraws. History, if it was comprehensive, could recognise falling out from an earlier unity, realising the rift is a civil war. Analysis of the trope would reveal the sides competing for support from allies, through propaganda rather than rationalisation of dubious borders. Civil wars are notoriously destructive and prolonged, with onlookers’ proper role being to expose the conditions of both sides and the lunacy of the combatants.
I have mentioned three types of harmful roles of outsiders that prolong conflict. Taking sides is the favourite response of people and their governments and I think it is always inappropriate. History is valuable for analysing event sequences but not for apportioning blame. Governments should stand aside and join with other nations to impose peace–keeping, supplying humanitarian aid and places for refugees to go. I don’t see how supply of weapons can possibly lead to peace and possibly fulfils a covert strategic need of the donor.
Historical analysis done to justify taking sides in a conflict is misconceived and likely to be superficial. It is unlikely to be accepted by both sides and does not help end a conflict.
A more existential approach is required to nurture peace. We owe it to the children.
Writing about my books is on my blog martinknox.com
A Canadian journalist accused Australia of being ‘the world’s dumbest nation’ – see my previous posts. ‘Nanny state ‘conveys a view that a government or its policies are overprotective or interfering unduly with personal choice. The term likens such a government to the role that a nanny has in child rearing. Australia has compulsory bike helmets, a ban on nicotine and no left turn on red lights.
I used to believe an hypothesis was true only if it could not be falsified, which was the dictum of philosopher Karl Popper. I could falsify that Australia is wholly a nanny state with examples of beneficial policies. But now I conclude something is true, or false, from the method(s) used to determine it. Listed below are ten methods, with examples. Religious truth has been omitted to save space.
Epistemic Theories Of Truth
Opponents of a nanny state would object to over-provision, verified by any knowledge, belief, acceptance, justification, measurement, observation or experience. Nanny state overreach in Australia’s provision for minority groups, such as children, disabled and disadvantaged people, cannot be verified absolutely, but can be related to similar provision made by other nations.
The Coherence View Of Truth
If a person believes nanny state over-provision is causing welfare dependence and also believes it is an unacceptable drain on public resources., these beliefs together acquire truth to oppose it.
A proposition that traffic calming provisions do not make our streets safer, if it is true, would support that traffic calming is nanny state over-provision. Accident statistics comparing calmed and uncalmed streets could test the proposition and determine the truth.
The Correspondence Theory Of Truth
If people believe speeding of cars through city streets would be prevented by building obstacles to speeding, then provision of traffic calming would be truthful.
If an educated guess was ‘Most people choose to live in streets with regulated architecture styles and required colours of buildings,’ a survey could test for truth or falsity.
A phenomenon of welfare dependence, in districts with nanny state provision, could be invoked to demonstrate real provision is harmful.
If over-provision is self-correcting, because it is not subscribed to, counter productive, or hidden, nanny state over-provision would not be true.
A person could not believe nanny state provision is harmful, if the harm is not true.
Nanny state provisions could be construed as harmful and untrue from a perspective such as nihilism or libertarianism or deconstruction.
Jury verdicts, surveys and partisan processes can create communal truths. Scientific truth does not have a political majority because true science is empirical or epistemic, vested in reason.
Not everyone’s truth is listened to. We restrict some people and help others by regulation, positive discrimination, affirmative action, political correctness and wokeism. ‘Nanny state’ is a pejorative term people use to criticise overreach and over-provision they think does harm, rewarding unfairly, wasting public resources and creating dependence.
Australia’s nanny state is either true or false, depending on the type of truth presented. The moral is, when Truth is invoked, to identify the method(s) establishing it and the conditions.
These blog posts are at martinknox.com
Is Australia a Nanny State?
Does Australia Need To Be A Nanny State?
The different types of truth are explained in my post How Do We Know If It’s True?
My book Turkeys Not Bees is on Amazon.
Source: What Is Truth, Paul Pardi, Philosophy News.com, March 22, 2015
My purpose is to explain how we can know if something is true.
Truth is one of the central subjects in philosophy. It is also one of the largest. Truth has been a topic of discussion for thousands of years. Truth, like knowledge, is difficult to define. It is widely agreed to be a statement about the way the world actually is. Beyond that there is disagreement.
There are many theories of truth. Religious truth has been omitted to save space. Invoking truth is not likely to be understood without explanation.
EPISTEMIC THEORIES OF TRUTH
They attempt to determine the notion of truth in terms of knowledge, belief, acceptance, verification, justification, measurement and perspective. Empiricism is verification by observation and experience, used in science.
THE COHERENCE VIEW OF TRUTH
Truth is when a belief is consistent with other things a person believes. They can strengthen an ‘epistemic’ view of truth, or falsity.
A proposition is a representation of the world or a way the world could possibly be and propositions are either true or false. e.g ‘The Moon has craters.’
It is usually based on language or symbols, and it can be either True or False
THE CORRESPONDENCE THEORY OF TRUTH
When a proposition is true, it is identical to a fact already accepted as true and so a belief in that proposition is true.
They can be either true or false, from epistemic evidence. Trueness remains in doubt, with possibility of refutation reserved.
Reality has ‘noumena’ which are unknowable, never experienced and phenomena, existing in reality. The world is phenomenally real but transcendentally ideal.
The Greek word for ‘truth’ is aletheia, which refers to ‘divine revelation’ and literally means ‘what can’t be hidden’.
Truth a product of belief. There is nothing truth can say about reality that is meaningful.
‘True’ interpretation and perspective are key ideas in postmodern thought, contrasting with simple ‘seeing’ or a purely objective view of reality.
For example, when a majority of the scientific community that have studied it, agree that it’s true, given what they currently understand. It is a ‘communal’ truth.
Armed with the above list, the truth is still daunting. Even when we know something is true, it can be difficult to know what to do: Movie, A Few Good Men, 1992. ‘You Can’t Handle The Truth.’ Perhaps ‘truth’ is a ‘weasel word’ used to evade discussion.
Speaking at a Harvard Commencement in May, 2023, the actor Tom Hanks wanted the graduates who were exiting to volunteer to seek truth throughout their lives. He said the situation was dire.
‘Truth is no longer empirical; truth is no longer based on data; truth is no longer common decency; telling the truth is no longer the benchmark for public service; truth is no longer the salve to our fears; or the guide to our actions.
‘Truth is now considered malleable, by opinion, by zero-sum end games,’ he explained. ‘Imagery is manufactured with audacity, with purpose to achieve the primal task of marring the truth with mock logic to achieve with fake expertise, with false sincerity.’
‘Now, literally, you can’t believe your eyes,’ he said. ‘Someone will report the way you wish it, full of alternative facts. Rejigging the rules of the playing field depends on where you are on the money food chain or on the moral spectrum.’
Hanks exhorted the graduates to hold TRUTH sacred, unalterable, chiselled into the stone of the foundation of the Republic, uniting it.
‘If you don’t do this, who will?’ he asked.
He didn’t say which truth, as if everyone knows how to uphold truth.
My novel Brisbane River Anti-Memoir investigates potential for reducing flooding of the river, adopting postmodern philosophy and phenomenological beliefs. The story illustrates how truth can be applied in public policy analysis. It us an anti-memoir because it de-self’s the author. The findings are surprising.
My book is available on Amazon https://tinyurl.com/24jad5ku
My blog with reviews of my books is at martinknox.com