I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Monday, August 15, 2011

375. Burning Flags or Burning Books

Burning Flags or Burning Books
A dating site offers hundreds of questions to be answered by the members on their profile.    One of the questions asks, what is worse, burning a flag or burning a book.   My spontaneous answer was to opt for the book.  So I started to wonder about the differences and my reasons for my choice.    I have come to the conclusion, that both cannot be compared except by looking at the consequences.      

A flag is a piece of fabric, usually colorful and more or less decorative.     It can be used as a curtain, a table cloth, a dish towel, a floor cloth as a few examples.    Burning the flag is not using but discarding it.

A book is paper with printing ink upon it.   The pages can be used to write notes on the margins, to roll cigarettes, as tissue paper, ás wraps for items, to start a fire as a few examples.   The same can be done with newspapers, and nobody ever objects, even though some newspapers contain higher quality of information than some trashy books.   Burning a book can be either using or discarding it.   

Those who do burn either a flag or a book are usually expressing of hatred, scorn, disgust, fear or aversion against either the politics, inhabitants and the entity of a country or the ideas, contents and author of a book.    But in the age of mass media and the web, such non-verbal expression is rarely more effective and efficient than publishing the opinion verbally, and with detailed reasons.     

But there is a very big difference. 

A flag is a piece of fabric, and burning it does no damage to any living individual.   It is a piece of fabric, unless a person feels interconnected with an ingroup of people, for whom the flag triggers the same feeling of that special emotion.    Burning a flag only occurs to persons, who do feel interconnected with their own nation as an ingroup, and who therefore project this emotions upon every member of a rejected outgroup.    If somebody would burn the German flag, I would only wonder, why they wasted the money to buy it, if they have no other use for it except burning.    As a floor cloth, it would at least be of some use.    But the person burning the flag assumes all Germans to feel offended or provoked due to projecting the own feeling his own ingroup's flag.  

Books are a very different case.  Books are written by an author, a real person.  Destroying a book merely as printed paper, as long as it is not the original manuscript, does not hurt the author.   He gets his royalties, no matter, what is done with the copy.   But a book represents the intellectual output of a living individual.  The reader can connect with his thoughts in a much more rational and realisitc form than with a flag.    A strong rejection of a book often goes along with a rejection of its author.   
If this is as bad as wishing or justifying to damage or to destroy the person of the author, then it is not important, how this is expressed.   If some fanatics request the author to be killed and publish this widely, then additionally burning the book as a substitute for burning the author himself does not make his situation much more difficult.      

When fanatics burn a book, the life of the author is in danger, and that is very serious matter.    But burning the book is in itself only an additional warning sign, the threat to the author is the problem, not how it is expressed.
When fanatics burn a flag, they are dangerous in a diffuse way, but not to an individual person.