Absence, Philosophy, and Argentina

This is a catch up article. I have been so swamped with both business obligations and the struggle to get my residency permit in Argentina that I simply haven’t had time to do the writing that I would like to do. I am on the road to Hong Kong tomorrow in order to try yet one other avenue that will enable me to get my Argentina residency permit. I wrote a long rant on my opinions of bureaucracy and I am wondering whether to post it [I did], even to the small audience that I have. But it is very frustrating. I have no malicious or malign intent in mind, I have no intention to become a burden on the Argentine government, I just want my residency. But as with bureaucracies worldwide, they are very inflexible.  I am finding it very hard to meet the paperwork requirements that I am being pressed for. But, in fairness to the Argentine government, their requirements are not that onerous, unless like me, you don’t really have a residence, you don’t own property, you don’t have a pension, etc.
Anyway, moving on. I will not give up, I have several other arrows in my quiver that I can loose to try to hit the target on this.

Also, the attorney in Argentina that I’m working with has been absolutely wonderful. At some point, I will go on his website and post a kudos article for him.

I was listening to a podcast from Tim Ferris, who was hosting polymath Nick Szabo - Nick Szabo has a blog [https://unenumerated.blogspot.com/]. Worth checking out although he very much has an academic outlook (in my opinion). But a lot of interesting information. , and one of the guests said something that I think is really worthwhile. I’m going to, in the interests of not plagiarizing, just give my own take on this.  I think it really is a critical thing to do in today’s world.

He talked about trying to distance oneself from being anything in particular. For example, if somebody asks you, are you a libertarian, are you a Democrat, are you Catholic, etc. he says that he generally responds with ‘I am not anything’. He was saying that it’s very difficult in today’s world to say anything that that someone, somewhere will not take as being an attack on their identity. Because when you speak against something like democracy, or religion, or libertarianism, most people that agree with whatever the school of thought may be, have woven that into, and inextricably from, their own personal identity. So as soon as you say something against it, you are now attacking them personally. And they respond accordingly.

Another part of this broadcast was the idea that if you are going to discuss things like this, it is well worthwhile to spend a few minutes arguing against yourself from the point of view of the person you are facing. And I see that. I in fact do that a lot.  I take pride in the fact that I can see other people’s point of view. Now, this does not work with irrational and corrupt people. Which, as everyone who’s reading this blog knows, is unfortunately quite common throughout the world. But it really is worthwhile trying to look at something from somebody else’s point of view and actively arguing that if you were them. I’ve done it, it works, and it makes it much easier to have a rational conversation. Of course, if you can convince the other person to do the same thing? That’s the ideal situation. This is something that I do, but I have never articulated. But these guys had quite a long conversation about it and it really made sense to me.

So, tomorrow Hong Kong. And I don’t mind being on the road, but I will be really glad to get this paperwork behind me and be on the way to Argentina. My Spanish studies I think are going fairly well. I’m almost ready to be able to talk to a live person now. I am basically prepacked, at least my cold weather clothes, since it is quite cold down in Argentina right now. Well, cold for me. So … sorry for the long absence, but I did have to concentrate on some stuff.


And ... an update ... the Hong Kong trip was successful. I am trying to do a couple of more bits of paperwork in the Philippines, but it looks like I will, finally, be on my way to Argentina by around the 28th of July at the latest :-)