Monday, July 30, 2007

One Doesn’t Need a Law to Act Intelligently

Many people think that unless an action is expressly permitted, it is expressly forbidden -- rather than the default value for a society dedicated to freedom and liberty, is the right to do what is intelligent and good to do.

There seems to be a lot of confusion on that point -- as people think that unless they’ve asked for and received permission to, they are not permitted to do what they would like -- including running for public office. Pretty much, anybody can run for public office -- even without the permission of any political parties. Also, people can have opinions other than what self-designated control-freaks would like everybody to know displeases them.

The most common listing of these “grievances” are the letters to the editors of the newspapers, which are selected for those causes the letters editors champion -- which is usually for those they agree with and against those they disagree with -- as their personal vendetta against everybody else in the community. And so, those they favor are anointed and those they blame for not already winning multiple Pulitzer and Nobel prizes by now, are allowed to be abused and distorted as much as their editorial talents will allow -- since nobody pays any attention to them, or they would have received their multiple prizes by now instead of being stuck editing everybody else’s bilge and tripe.

Such editors like to give the impression that they are “the law,” and their opinions carry that weight above all others. That creates the cultural context and permission that anybody else in charge and can get away with such abuses, are allowed to do so -- confident that any other views will be suppressed, oppressed and denied. We see that “authoritarianism” in every other bureaucratic interaction, and think that is what government must be -- this abuse of authority and power, if one can get away with it and nobody says anything -- because “that’s what everybody else does.”

For many, that is the only behaviors they’ve ever seen, and not that there needs to be new laws allowing something different. People should feel that it is quite all right to manifest better behaviors -- even if that’s never been done before, particularly by themselves.

Many are convinced by their teachers and advisors that they cannot change -- without great difficulty and the need to secure countless permissions and certificates that allow them to. That of course, is the hallmark of a bureaucratic, authoritarian society -- rather one of freedom and liberty, which might even be disdained and ridiculed as something one shouldn’t even dare to imagine.

Instead, one will be convinced and coerced into thinking that the only way one can get a piece of the action and a fair shake, is to join one of the powerful well organized groups that can dominate and terrorize all the others -- because there is no higher law than that of brute force and numbers. That is not the intelligence or wisdom of democracy -- which is the right not to have to conform blindly to such predetermined group pressures as though that were the only rights of their freedom.

The greatest freedom and the highest intelligence, is the right to think for oneself -- and be allowed to by others.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Change is Good

Probably the most significant piece of legislation coming out of the Legislature this year, was the allowance that new and better ideas should also be considered in addition to the age old answer to all and any problem -- that money is the ONLY answer -- and the only thing lacking is more money, while there can be no possibility of better ideas than how we’ve always done things, even if it may be the cause of all these problems.

Any break from these problems -- is to be considered such a traumatic change from our lives that we might be lost without them -- so these “problems,” is the only thing keeping most sane, grounded and in their proper places -- which they think is the whole purpose of society and culture -- to continue doing things as they’ve always been done before, even and especially if, the realities which originally inspired those adaptations, no longer exist. It is enough just to go through the motions, to keep those memories, thoughts, knowledge alive. However, keeping those memories, thoughts, knowledge alive, prevents one from being aware of the present actualities, which not only might have, but inevitably change.

What is particularly sad are those living only in their memories, thoughts and knowledge -- rather than in the vital, dynamic, living present, that implies and includes all the past and all the future. The memories, thoughts and knowledge of reality are always only a small part of reality -- because it is just one person’s and group’s ideas of what happened, and not the total content of what indeed happened, including the even greater content of that which any or even most human minds were not aware.

The mind is not everything -- and one person’s awareness is not all that was going on. For that reason, many solutions of the past, on greater scrutiny, are realized not to be the solution for all or for most, but maybe only for that one person advocating for it, in a position to effect it. The rest are instructed not to look too closely, not to pay too close attention, but are told what to believe, even if it is not true -- as though that was permitted to be a consideration at all.

Innovation, is the capacity to see age-old problems freshly -- so they are no longer the eternal and infinite problems, which means questioning all the assumptions and premises from the very beginning, and not only at the very end, by assuming that which may be false, as the truth. In that way, it is possible to seem logical but the conclusions are invalid -- because one began with that which was not premises that were invalid but only unquestioned, as that which was unquestionably true.

In that realization and examination, one sees the world in its many different possibilities that work and not only in the one way that has proved throughout history doesn’t -- and thinks he must preserve and pass on to others, as though he is doing them a duty and favor.

All that is required is a mind that is fresh and alert -- without preconceived ideas, biases and prejudices of what the answer has to be. It might be that there is no problem in the first place -- if one asks only the right questions, rather than knowing all the wrong questions and answers -- and thinking one informed.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Individuals Have To Do Something Too

If one reads the newspapers (editorials), one thinks that the whole purpose of society and life, is to get the federal government, the state government, or the county/city government to do something -- and there’s nothing individuals can do to make their lives better, individually, personally, and meaningfully.

The latest campaign they’ve embarked on is apparently to eradicate discrimination against obese people -- thinking somehow, that is the solution to obesity, out of shape people, and people making poor choices. The “solution” in these would-be social engineers minds, is that the recognition of a problem, is the problem, and if we pass strong enough laws against its recognition, everything will be hunky-dory -- in their world of opinion.

In this kind of parallel universe of reality, counties that cannot design and maintain roads properly for existent car traffic, are implored to provide separate bike lanes to make that infrequent traveler totally safe and optimized -- which of course can happen in the parallel reality of opinion for those who think that their obesity is everybody else's problem -- and not their own!

I think that is the crux of all our problems in Hawaii -- this evasion of personal responsibility and accountability, where even in the most personal and intimate areas of one’s existence, there are those wanting to pass invasive laws dictating all one’s thoughts and actions. Should individuals be allowed to decide for themselves that they would rather not be grossly overweight and out of shape -- because it is the intelligent choice to make, and not that it is just an arbitrary one that the politically correct police force (presumably newspaper personnel) will henceforth be empowered to enforce.

Fortunately, with the State of Hawaii’s emphasis on healthy living and lifestyles, I see a resurgence of walking, running, and biking -- that is no longer just my imagination. The turning point is that it is being taken up by middle-agers at a much more comfortable pace than the one prescribed by the fitness professionals as demanding total dedication and devotion to these activities as the top priority of one’s existence -- thereby condemning such efforts from the beginning.

Included in this more relaxed pace, without the obsession of heart rate, calories burned, sweat produced, and pain experienced, people are free to choose those activities that enhance their enjoyment of it -- as the most healthy reliable guide to the conduct of their lives.

I think the major problem of healthy living has been the fragmenting of it from the rest of one’s normal activities -- into a conditioning on how to be miserable, because it is good for you. People reliably can determine for themselves what is good for themselves -- without requiring an army of experts to run their lives for them.

That would be the healthy alternative -- rather than the appointment of the proper governmental Health Czar and tribunals the newspapers are advocating -- to enforce the politically correct view that one should not discriminate "fat" from "fit."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Freedom to Choose

"Freedom” is meaningless if one doesn’t know what the options are -- or the choices one could be making -- if one had all the information. Even in rigid despotisms, they still claim to have “free elections” -- because everybody is free to vote for the one choice on the ballot, and if one exercises his right not to, it is their choice to have their head or hands chopped off, but nobody can say they’re not “free.”

So the word “free,” may mean nothing at all, just as all words are not the thing itself. A lot of people are mesmerized by their own words, and the words of others -- without any correspondent connection to any reality. These are the people arguing vehemently that every thought is only an opinion -- and so it doesn’t matter what one believes, as long as they can get others to believe it also -- as the ultimate arbiter of reality and sanity.

And so from day to day, one thing has no connection to any other -- it is all just what one says because that’s what one can get away with today before it is forgotten tomorrow. This is familiar as the “news” culture -- as things having reality only for that moment, and beyond that, is denied and disclaimed in favor of today’s news -- which is their only reality.

That was the mass media culture of the previous consciousness before there was virtual information and memory -- and that memory was controlled by those who “produced” the news. It’s all pretty insidious -- as more details come to light in an age of virtual information, in which information is no longer controlled by those who would like to be powerful and influential people.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that -- as in anything, there will always be natural leaders and talented people -- even without the ambition to be so. In fact, the most gifted, will never have an ambition to be anything other than they are -- and know themselves to be.

The lesser talents will wonder what and who it is they truly are -- without that confidence to be whatever they are. That is one of the great torments in living in a world of constant exposure to those of freakish abilities one might not ordinarily and frequently encounter.

Constant exposure to television makes one grow up thinking they also have the abilities of the most gifted in that field -- because they make it look so easy. But then one tries it themselves and the results are something else. One doesn’t know that because they have never seen anything else -- other than what is portrayed in that media and so are shocked when ventures fail and things do not go as guaranteed by the demagogues (con-artists).

Intelligent choices are made when people know the many different possibilities and consequences of their actions -- and are not just what one person would like everybody else to believe.

Monday, July 02, 2007

No-Cost Solutions

People who see me on the streets or read my writing, often comment that my “solutions” while unquestionably simple, logical and commonsensical,, won’t be taken seriously because they don’t cost any money -- and if there’s no money to be made, nobody will be motivated to pursue that solution or provide that information/insight.

Therein lies the problem -- for most, if not virtually all of contemporary problems -- that the solution-provider has no interest in it unless there is a way they can profit handsomely from the implementation of their solution -- feeling fairly confident, that the consumer won’t be interested and motivated enough in the solution, unless they themselves have to pay handsomely for it. They have been conditioned to believe the value of anything is what one has to pay for it -- while dismissing the notion that anything of value could be obtained for “free,” or just in the rethinking of the problem.

Such ideas are actually the greatest need of these times -- and not the money or the materiel, which is usually just wasted, or “underutilized.” All the elements for a life of prosperity for virtually everyone, are already in existence, but there is a need for a greater unifying idea that makes everything mesh and work. Otherwise, all the resources are going for the purpose of canceling out one another -- which is what reflexive competition does -- to produce only one winner, despite how advantageously everyone begins.

We see that most frequently at athletic events -- that no matter how proficient all the competitors, only one emerges victorious, and the rest are rendered “losers,” no matter how admirable and capable they are. This is a mentality that now prevents human progress -- how much money and other resources is available to all, if the conditioning in society continues to be, that there can only be one winner, and that one has to compete to be that winner -- and that is the only game in town.

Thus lawmakers and policy makers also compete on that same basis -- of how valuable their work and ideas are, based on how much money it costs -- and never that ideas that cost virtually nothing, could ever be a good idea -- or is even recognized to be a valid idea at all.

Of course, it is quite possible to spend nothing at all and obtain the poorest quality of existence that compounds all one’s problems in life. Cheaper is not necessarily better -- but neither is the most expensive solution either. The consideration of value is not related to the money but is the appropriateness of the action to the circumstances -- something else entirely than just the cost.

People who have grown up thinking that “more money” or just “more,” is the solution to every problem, are difficult to convince that “better” solutions exist than simply more of what they’re convinced is the only solution -- especially one that is not working very well. Still, they will persist in thinking that all that is required is simply more -- and not a different approach entirely.

At such inflection points, that which has greatest value is free because it is unappreciated, while that which is most expensive, is obviously that which is not working but is an unlimited drain on one’s resources.