Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Challenge of these Times

I guess most people have figured out by now that the era of ostentatious consumerism is over, and economy and efficiency are now in -- and that means making changes in one’s personal adaptations, rather than thinking the solution is to change everybody to one’s liking. That is the problem of our times -- that when everybody does one thing, or doesn’t do it at all, it creates great disruptions in the economy and society -- because even in thoughtful, well-designed buildings, if everybody decides exactly at the same moment, that they all want to get out, you can’t build a door wide enough to accommodate that demand.

Some people, notably Democrats, will demand that all facilities must be built for every contingency -- no matter how improbable, unlikely and unwise. If one person, they will argue (and often sue), cannot get out the door as fast as anyone else, some great injustice and irreparable harm has been done, scarring that person and subsequent generations of that person, forever -- and then the cost of reparations will be infinite.

And so to prevent that liability (or the possibility thereof), billions and even trillions must be spent to avoid bruising those feelings of even the possibility of offense, And of course, the standard of these behaviors, will be those in society who are most sensitive and offended at everything, writing lengthy treatises, legal briefs, and tireless letters (emails) to everyone on their ever-expanding mailing list hourly -- to keep them informed of what everyone is doing that displeases them.

At least that is the impression given reading the public forums (newspapers) so that one realizes that those persons must obviously have dedicated their lives to telling everybody else how to live their lives as a proxy for not living their own. Their self-appointed job is to manage everybody else, and “change” the world to suit them, so they never have to change and accommodate anybody else.

But if one can exercise individual choice and initiative, the world’s riches are theirs for the taking -- for the problem is not the lack of resources, but that everyone wants them at the same time, or doesn’t. Those who can structure their lives to avail themselves of such opportunities, experience life very differently than a relentless competition for everything -- which is the experience conveyed in the mass media, because it is that kind of competition for that massive audience -- that doesn’t exist otherwise.

The power of the mass media was to get everybody to do the same thing at the same time -- culminating in the million people showing up for whatever reason they did -- to demonstrate whatever it is they thought everybody else was also there for. Those opportunities changed, when the markets became niches and targeted as is possible with universal media accessibility, rather than control of the masses. A lot of people still haven’t figured out that shift yet -- and especially the people in “mass media” and “mass communications” -- still thinking it is a matter of time until a return to their former glory days of exclusive control.

But regardless of whether they are aware of the problem and their ineffectiveness at dealing with them BECAUSE of their professional training, they have been changed nevertheless, as everybody has. For this reason, generalizations have become irrelevant in favor of the individual’s actual experience -- or what has been dismissed as “anecdotal evidence,” which was to suggest that that was merely illusory and deceptive, while those “in control” of the mass media and institutions, controlled the “truth” of what people ought to believe.

Reality is the actual experience -- and not what you've been told to think it is.