Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Beginning of the End

I like to read the Hawaii newspapers not because of the information -- but because of the misinformation deliberately contrived, and the truth between the lines.

It is probably the same throughout journalism everywhere, but in Hawaii, things are close enough to home so that one actually might know the actual particulars of what went down -- because it is still a small-town culture that has never grown up. So we get a chance to see what would happen if things were just to progress infinitely, without any concern for its consequences, as though life was occurring in a test tube.

They pride themselves on that “geographic isolation,” which is nothing more than isolationism , or the belief that what happens and is universal anywhere else, cannot happen here, because this is “Paradise,” and therefore, all the rules, truths and wisdom proven everywhere else, over millions of years of evolution and civilization, cannot happen here, and our lawmakers and lobbyists (those who work for the lawmakers), think that is the major work of society (government) -- to manufacture belief and perceptions, that nothing that a person witnesses for themselves, is to be believed.

The “truth” is only what some properly designated authority, tells them is so, through the newspapers and other media, which in the old days, could be controlled effectively to provide all the information one was allowed to see. And then there came the Information Revolution and all its technologies and information processors -- and the world will never be the same, small pond it has been for ages, with the only game in town, being a big fish in a little pond -- that is now rapidly shrinking.

A shrinking pond is first seen as an unlimited advantage to the predators who see all of life funneling through the narrow gates they control -- but if the situation persists, even the top predator, will succumb and be baked into the dust that was once flowing with life. That life may return, but not before life as we know it, has vanished completely -- and then life springs anew.

Those familiar with the pattern, recognize that too much of a good thing in Hawaii produces its inevitable downfall, because people have not learned to handle success -- but are inflamed with greed until all those who no longer wished to be living under the dictatorship of the petty, flee to greater opportunities that favor themselves, as well as everyone else more equitably.

The obvious signs of this is the concentration and consolidation of power in a few, who invariably call themselves “Democrats,” while aggrandizing their own positions. The first people they buy up, are the information professionals -- and so it is no accident to see the extravagant and lavish praise of the mayor (king) as the only perspective one will see anymore.

The newspapers (media) has all but killed itself by becoming pretty exclusively propaganda machines for the right (correct and only) perspective, suppressing every other viewpoint to maintain their death grip on control -- until the end, with no recovery possible.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Future of Politics

I have to honestly say that rather than being a typically politically ambitious person who knew he wanted to be “important and powerful” ever since he was a little kid, I’ve been sucked into the vacuum caused by the indifference and apathy of everybody else -- to seem like I’m involved and engaged.

It’s not rocket science -- but I think as with any activity these days, one has to be fated for it, or realize their calling lies elsewhere. When I used to hang around a lot of fairly successful people, I was always amazed that they didn’t feel they were truly successful, because like everybody else of their generation, they were educated and groomed to be the president of the United States, and they obviously and shamefully, was not.

That was a disgrace they felt, they could never live down and would thus, die in ignominy. Obviously, that kind of education and preparation set all but a few for undeserved failure in life. Only in a more enlightened age, would aspirants think it was right and fitting not to be the acknowledged leader of all they surveyed.

Anybody who follows politics, knows that it is the one area of life still unaffected by change -- while the world has changed, and so it obviously must also, because it doesn’t just exist apart from those realities but is a product of those realities, and interrelated with them. But it has become largely symbolic of the underlying inertia and resistance of cultures and societies -- rather than the leading dynamic of them.

The leading edge for increasingly many, are the personal choices they can now make -- regardless of what government does. We have not always had that luxury, but that is the benefit of affluence -- to live lives dictated by one’s own selections rather than the one size to fit all provided by government -- increasingly, for those who have no choice. But if one has the choice, one would not opt for it -- but choose to live beyond it.

That’s why so many fewer think of Social Security and other securities offered by government to be their baseline definition of life -- even when they can get it for “free.” “Free” does not mean it is the best or the “only.” People can opt for better than the mass option -- if they can recognize the value of it and choose to.

In the recent discussion of offering free buses to alleviate the traffic congestion, it was considered so disruptive an idea, that many proposed that even suggesting such an idea, would mean the end of society, culture, and life as we've known it -- because it actually might solve a problem people have been conditioned to think, can never be solved -- as the ultimate taboo of society. The gods would feel personally violated.

Politicians can choose to be useful and relevant -- or not. The rest no longer have to stand around and wait for them to catch up.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Value of History

It seems like the ultimate result of our education (conditioning) these days, is not to make us less biased and nonpartisan (prejudiced), but to make us more so, while calling it a nicer name. Many of the most deceptive and manipulative rabid partisans, even pride themselves fn their ability to persuade , convince and intimidate people to believe anything they want them to -- as today’s accepted and approved display of power -- as a more enlightened and progressive path, rather than it is the same coercion against one’s will, to do the will of another, with a lot less bloodshed.

And if we simply count the number of lives lost through these systematic programs for the elimination and extinction of lives -- we really have come a long way from century to century. What distinguished world events for most of human history has been wars, diseases and famines -- that are pretty much kept in check except for a sporadic few individuals.

Probably what most distinguishes an “undeveloped” country these days is not their lack of participation in the global economy as much as it is that they are still killing off their fellow countrymen, to determine who gets to reward only their clan. That is the mark and mentality of “third world” status -- rewarding only their own partisans, and exterminating the rest. Such leaders proudly proclaim as soon as they ascend to power, that they will reward all their friends, and punish all their enemies -- as though that was still was it means to be a “leader” in any field of human activity.

Hopefully, we no longer elect people like that to any position of responsibility and trust. but ultimately, it has to be the responsibility of the citizens not to promote such people to those positions -- by not being able to recognize any difference, or think that it does not matter.

People and societies improve because once they are exposed to “better,” seldom go back to preferring what was worse -- even while claiming that things have never been so bad in the whole history of humankind. Assuredly, they were always worse -- but the standards of tolerance have improved so greatly, that inconveniences can sometimes seem like a great catastrophe.

Not everyone has that inherent perspective of human development through time. Those without that sensitivity, think that times were always as they are now, or that the truth of another moment, no longer exists if one wants to say something else now, no matter how contradictory to what was said before. To such people, there is no truth and reality other than what they say and can get others to believe -- and that is their only reality.

For much of history, that was what history was -- a different story, depending on who told it, and the people who had the power, could hire the writers to write it the way they wanted it to be written. Subsequent historians (writers), merely spread that story more widely -- of that mythical past.

The New Historian observes and writes of the present as it is happening -- without benefit of how it all turns out for a happy ending to the desires and specifications of their benefactors (bosses), without benefit of that hindsight that is usually simply wishful thinking that it was so.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The More Things Change, The More They Are Different

The propaganda machines would like to convince us that “the more things change, the more they stay the same” -- although they have usually handsomely pocketed “the difference,” because it is not apparent anywhere else.

So despite putting in massively more funding into their projects, there is no difference, but the press releases pronouncing another “astounding success,” by the ruling party. If one reads the “Want Ads,” that seems to be the desperate need at these times -- for writers and promoters who can convince people of what is not true, and will say and do anything, “as their job” of defending that status quo.

Formerly, most people who took such jobs were highly paid professionals (usually lawyers) who had no qualms about doing anything for money -- and the more money they were paid, the better job they did -- at blurring the lines between the truth and deception. Their jobs, as they saw it, was merely to win -- for anybody who paid them enough money to make it “right.” That was the unfortunate consequence, of having money as the ultimate determiner of what is “right” in society.

One lie easily melded into another, and we were even advised by the self-proclaimed “objective” providers of such information, that we should no longer be able to make such discriminations between the true and the false on our own anymore, but should rely exclusively on what they selected for us as the only truth we needed to know about.

The revolving door between these self-interest groups and the self-proclaimed objective sources were spinning so fast, none but the least competent and ambitious seemed to remain in place, not because of their integrity, but because of their inertia. The most ambitious seemed to be the designated spokesperson for every special interest group that liked that style of winning at any cost. The cost usually was of the truth and integrity of all information.

It now became possible to convince us that the best of times was actually the worst -- and that nobody in past history, had ever suffered the indignities and slights people now had to endure. That kind of “management” of information reached its zenith in the 20th century with the centralized processing of all information through expensive and therefore carefully hoarded computers.

In the 21st century, all traces of such a dominant and domineering world are already forgotten. On the eve of the new century, many of the defenders of the old status quo were prophesizing the end of the world -- as well as the end of that millennium. Because it is no longer the old world, they think it is a bad world, as they long for a return to the “good ol’ days” in which they were alone at the top, telling everybody what to do -- because they alone knew.

It is quite a distressing world, in which everything has changed -- and they are the last to know it.