Saturday, March 16, 2019

It's a Much Bigger World Now

Thirty years ago is usually given as the beginning of the World Wide Web -- when a few computer scientists thought it would be a great idea if all the computer scientists of the world could communicate with one another -- because it was still unthinkable that anybody not in those institutions, had anything of importance to say.  There were just the important people employed at the institutions (universities) -- and the hope that the network would make them even more important -- in the larger scheme of things -- and not that they would simply be as important as everyone else.  That was the unintended consequence of making the world better for everyone -- and not just the self-designated few.

The world of the (19)60s was that no information could be thought, unless it was first processed on keypunched data cards -- giving it the stamp of approval -- by one of the few large computers owned by the institutions.  They were the only ones who could afford to possess such things -- so of course, they controlled all the information, and claimed the jurisdiction for even thinking about it.

Of course, it was a bureaucrat's fantasy -- particularly if they were designated as one of the gatekeepers for all that went into the processing of information -- while others then became the "official spokespersons" who could disseminate that information to the greater masses.  About that time, the mass media also reached its zenith of information control and publication -- telling everybody else what they "needed" to know.  There was nothing else -- no really viable alternative sources -- except those who took it upon themselves to do so.  Those have always been around -- but previously lacked the machinery for easily gaining an audience and influence.

It was still a very tedious process for finding that one other person who could appreciate what they were saying -- particularly if it flew against the crowd, and powers that be, that hoped always to remain so.  But life is not like that.  Frequently, the top goes to the bottom, and the bottom rises to the top, and both have to be ready for such moments -- because those adjustments and adaptations, define the survival of the fittest -- who are driven to find a better way.  Of course that doesn't guarantee that they do -- but that they are always trying, makes such things more likely.

Often, that is the biggest difference between those who are successful and survive, and those convinced that every effort is futile -- and only a much greater power than they, can save them.  So they do nothing -- especially questioning any authority and premise that could make a world of difference.  They are "dead in the water" -- waiting to be rescued -- thinking there is nothing they can do for themselves, and even demanding, that everything now be done for them.

Some even believe that is a "good life" -- or even the best life, rather than that they could be doing virtually everything for themselves -- and becoming a society and culture of their own making -- that succeeds when all else tells them the situation is hopeless, and has never been done before -- in the whole history of human experience.  To even think differently, would bring down the heavens and wrath of all those who have gone before -- or so they are convinced.   "There is just nothing else."

So one of the great advantages of living in these times, is to realize that virtually everything is now possible -- but one still has to think of it.  Otherwise, there are no lack of others who will volunteer to do all our thinking for us -- at a price, or even "free" -- they entice.  Not only is it free, but one can have as much as they want.  "No questions asked."  Such advocates believe that it is simply enough to want and wish -- without consequences, without a price to pay.

But a price, is usually a reliable regulator -- of how much is healthy to consume.  And that is the biggest problem in the world today -- of how much to consume of virtually unlimited amounts.  That is the problem of obesity and most contemporary diseases -- now that science and technology has virtually eradicated all the diseases of previous generations, as well as the wars.  Generally, the problem is not everybody else -- but you and what one can do to change themselves.  Changing themselves, is the greatest contribution each can do to better the world -- and not finding others to blame for all the problems.

Life doesn't work that way -- and especially very well -- for those operating with that mindset -- of thinking all they have to do is change everybody else -- first.  That, they have been convinced, is their mission in life -- and their gift to the world, of that enlightenment.  Their way, is still the right one way, and they must enforce the thought correctness -- even if it has never worked for one person before, because it cannot work until everybody is doing it.  That's what the institutions and mass media are for -- to get everybody on the same page -- whether they want to or not.

That is still the vision of those who have not grown since the world changed -- the last time.  And it is always changing and evolving -- to something bigger than life -- as we have known it before.  It was not bigger and better before -- the good ol' days.  Now is as good as it gets -- but it gets better, because so much more of the information is accessible to all the people -- and not just the self-designated elites of old.  That progress is always continuing -- and not that we should have known better before.

We knew as best we could before -- but we can never stop knowing better -- in thought, word and action.  That is life on the cutting edge of discovery --  up close and personal.  That is discovering who one really is -- and lived.  That's what matters -- real time, online.