Monday, August 27, 2007

It’s Possible to Already Know the Future

Because of the abundance of information, one’s awareness is determined by what inputs they have of the world -- nobody having it all, or capable of processing it all. Therefore, what is critical, are the filters one uses to determine what information they become aware of -- unlike in the previous mass media age of having that determined for one by the advertiser and other special interests, including the media personalities themselves, many who became inclined to say anything that got them attention, no matter how outrageous, egregious and uninformed.

A lot of them just didn’t know how to filter the credible from the absurd, and often that function was the province of someone else entirely -- in that fragmented, overspecialized world in which rare were the individuals who actually followed an idea from its inception to its ultimate fruition, often many years later -- unless that was their own life’s passion and interest.

And many growing up in the modern world don’t have such dedicated interests but are instead distracted by anything that is “new” or the news of the day -- which often than not, became useless and obsolete (newspapers) the next day. In old (traditional) societies, values and perceptions don’t change in a lifetime -- and so in order to perpetuate such cultures and personalities, people have to deny reality as their basic response to most of life and information.

This fixed denial of reality is the most distinguishing aspect of “aging,” which is a decision not to continue to grow -- but to remain fixed in a certain time and age, despite the realities of the present moment. For such individuals, the past and the future has morbid greater importance than the reality of the present moment, which they deny exist. They will continue to insist that it is the past or the future that is paramount -- and think that the present moment, which is the only reality, must be suordinated to a imaginary past or future.

Such deluded (dysfunctional) people will insist on solving every problem in the past, or every problem in the future, while giving no attention to the challenge of the present -- which is the summation of all of the past, and the seed of every future. That is the ONLY reality -- and the filter one would use in determining whether any discussion is productive, counterproductive or merely a distraction -- from the opportunity of every present moment.

What one knows as ”everything that can be known,” is a function of when they stopped learning -- or how old and accurate the information they have is. Most presume that what they know is the truth -- without questioning how they arrived at that conclusion. For most, it is that somebody they think knows, said so, and not because it can be independently verified to be so.

That is the scientific method and not because somebody famous said so. This is confused in the age of the mass media and advertising -- so that the truth becomes whomever has the most motivation to persist in convincing others of that truth. Oftentimes, providing that truth opens one up to the scorn and abuse of those who profit from the status quo arrangement -- which is a steady stream of customers at their exclusive mercy.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Putting Things in Perspective

The greatest indictment of our (public) education system is this prevalent belief that things just. happen, and so rather than finding the causes of why things happen, people merely look for those to blame when bad things happen. And since things just happen, it is useless to try to make anything good happen -- because everything just happens, whether we want to make them good or not. That of course, leads to despair and futility -- in thinking one can’t make a difference in what happens.

While in-charge, one can merely hope that things work out well because one cannot affect the outcome anyway -- but at least can distract others from all those things that are going wrong, by refocusing society’s attention on all those things that will go perfectly, if we simply do their bidding -- in the present catastrophe.

That their effectiveness could be demonstrated and manifested in the present time is a mere inconvenience for that greater glory promised in the distant future -- which of course, is the kingdom of god and paradise promised, for unquestioning obedience and loyalty.

One of the great delusions, is this idea that nothing can go wrong if one simply votes for the “right” political party, and if one does nothing, peace in the world is assured. In such a world, nobody would ever spill a hot cup of coffee on themselves, eat the wrong things or too much, rather than realizing there are always consequences for one’s actions and inactions.

"Car Crash Stats: There were nearly 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2005. The financial cost of these crashes is more than 230 Billion dollars . 2.9 million people were injured and 42,636 people killed. About 115 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States -- one death every 13 minutes.

In 2003 there were 6,328,000 car accidents in the US. There were 2.9 million injuries and 42,643 people were killed in auto accidents.

In 2002, there were an estimated 6,316,000 car accidents in the USA. There were about 2.9 million injuries and 42,815 people were killed in auto accidents in 2002.

There were an estimated 6,356,000 car accidents in the US in 2000. There were about 3.2 million injuries and 41,821 people were killed in auto accidents in 2000 based on data collected by the Federal Highway Administration."

That’s a best-case scenario in the United States. Bad things still can happen even with the best safeguards against them happening -- and success is part being lucky and weighing those risks correctly. If there were no wars, would nobody ever die? That’s highly unlikely -- even in the best of circumstances.

What’s really remarkable today is the absence of violence and calamities in the world -- that has those in the news business desperately scrambling to maintain their relevance and self-importance.

Tell us something worth knowing -- so we can make better decisions, instead of arguing over who is smarter than the other -- which is really, a very unintelligent thing to do.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Sense of Urgency

To “urge” is to make “urgent,” creating a sense of “urgency,” compelling action that makes a difference so that a problem can be solved now (immediately) -- and not 20 years from now, which of course means that nothing will be done until then, or ever.

The solution in 20 years is the same solution for right now -- that people have to stop the single occupancy vehicle rush hour and actually share a ride with somebody, or share the sidewalk, road, etc. Many cities are finding out that you just can’t build “it” and the people will come -- because they have to drive their car or take the bus just to get to the rail station, and then take the bus again once they get off at the other rail station. And there is no provision for that.

One of the things that does make rail work in large population areas with high densities, is that most people don’t need to take a bus to and from the rail station -- but can/will walk to it. In many popular rail cities, people don’t know what it is like to take a bus or drive a car -- because they can take the rail, and then walk to and from the station.

So when one has a rail system fed by a bus system, or cars, it’s usually because personal transportation is superior rather than just a nice alternative. At some point, one really does have to address the traffic congestion -- and not simply create another alternative that is “underutilized” -- which is the problem of the single occupant vehicle, and beautiful (costly) mass transit systems people won’t/can’t use.

With the rail, one solves nothing and so has to build and fund all the others (which also won’t work unless they address the critical problem of underutilization of present resources) -- in addition to the request for even more money to extend the rail system because under its present limitations (20 years from now), it’s totally useless and that is why people don’t use it. And so the congestion get perpetuated 20 years further into the future as the age-old, “irresolvable” problems.

The problem is not the lack of capacity; there is plenty of capacity -- underutilized, and there is never enough resources when everybody demands it at exactly the same moment. It’s really a resource management problem -- or a lack of thinking of how it could be done otherwise -- beyond all the familiar ways we know doesn’t work, and doesn’t make a difference.

There’s no “urgency” to solve the problem right now -- which means there really isn’t a problem or people would. One of the great revelations of this was how one person could manage the transportation problem during the last bus strike because he was totally dedicated to doing so. That’s what the previous mayor saw as the great urgency of his tenure and solved it from day to day -- personally packing those vans.

Now they want to spend $73 million to improve traffic and communications during a disaster. Why don’t they improve communications on a daily basis -- so that a disaster never arises because the routine can handle whatever challenges it presently faces.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Choosing Wisely

The world today is distinguished by choices. We no longer live in a world in which there are “no choices,” even as much as some still persist in campaigning that way -- that you MUST vote for them and their party or all your present rights will be revoked. That is sheer demagoguery --thinking one is still one of the few persons who have never heard of the Constitution of the country that guarantees these rights to all -- and not just because one votes the “right” way in the election.

This is still common in union elections -- which are largely the right many exercise to give up all their rights to another; there’s no law stopping that -- in private associations. That is the nature of collective bargaining -- in which all the members of that trade association, agree to no longer speak for themselves -- as individuals, but to vote to have one person speaking exclusively for all their members. So he becomes a dictator of sorts -- once he is elected.

That is covered under the right of assembly, and to voluntarily associate and abide by the rules of one’s own choosing. So the complaint many have in these occupations, or associations (religion included), is that they no longer are free to represent and speak for themselves - -as the highest authority in their world. That has been given to another -- albeit often under duress, deception and manipulation -- which are the rules one agrees to accept as a requirement for membership into that “exclusive” association.

However, what many don’t realize and exercise, is that they are free to leave at any time they choose do so -- but many have lost this capacity to choose anymore, other than to merely agree to go along submissively, even if reluctantly and complainingly. The inviolable rule is that even if they lie or commit any other crimes, by choosing to stick together, they can never be found out or undermined. But everyone must agree to stick together -- as the highest rule above all else. That is the categorical imperative , or the highest rule -- beyond life itself. Theoretically, if the president were to ask that one surrender their lives to prove one’s solidarity, one would do it knowing that the leader would not demand it unless it was for the good of all.

That was the way life was through much of the Medieval Ages, or Dark Ages, ruled by the power and struggle of these factions (guilds) against every other. Living in modern times, it’s often difficult to understand how one group could continue these traditions of reflexively retaliating against any other and nurturing these animosities, until the next excuse to express them as overtly, violently and viciously as possible.

The fullest expression of contemporary civilization, is that people of varying stages of evolution of consciousness exist side by side, seemingly in agreement on expected behavior from one another, and most importantly, themselves. It is this highest standard of expectation for oneself, that is the mark of the great leader of any era. In these times though, many will dedicate their entire lives and occupation to undermining that clarity for themselves and everyone else.

They still carry and nurture the seeds of the old way of being -- that life cannot work for oneself or anyone else, and that the objective of all one’s striving, is to see that nobody reaches the promised land of peace, happiness and fulfillment -- because that would be too easy and logical.