Rules should be challenged. Laws should be broken.
Both laws and rules are conventions we choose to respect so that we are allowed by other humans to thrive on our own.
Yet laws are far more complex than rules. Rules should be simple. Laws should be complex.
Complex rules and complicated laws are nothing but inflicted control.
Following fair rules is not obedience. Following fair rules is a form of mutual respect. Following unfair rules is servitude.
Following unfair laws is obedience. Following fair laws is sanity.
Breaking the law is a sickness of the society. Challenging rules is growth pains of the society.
The difference between challenging and breaking is process. Challenging assumes valid alternatives and formal updates. Breaking means complete banishing or structural updates.
There is always a measure of law breaking beyond the obvious. What we fail to notice is that in general laws are not made for general benefit, because they do not empower, mostly they constrain. Simple rules on the other hand empower by offering guidelines for success.
That is why I hate bully drivers. They believe that by driving drunk, above speed limits, on the wrong way of one way streets, without proper safety for the other traffic folk, by doing this and more they believe they’re breaking the law. But traffic rules are not laws, they’re rules. By breaking traffic rules you are cramping everyone else, exclusively for personal gain. They’re not outlaws, just assholes.
There is always a measure of law breaking beyond the obvious.
Most law breaking goes unreported in all societies, because accurate law breaking description would show weakness of the societal apparatus, but worse, it would inspire challenging the law. We only see the morally clear law breaking reported, usually all the basic law breaking that more or less break the golden rule, hence murderers, thieves, embezzlers, are assholes not outlaws.
There is nothing glorious in breaking the rules, there is only wasted potential in the cramping of everyone else’s existence.
True law breaking is made by revolutionaries, which in fact challenge established moral rules: marriage, access to wealth, access to health, segregation, access to opportunity, inequality all these things are currently law all over the planet, and they trickled down into law from moral rules as moral imperatives. What this law serves, the fairness and clarity of these laws is what law breaking should be used for.
The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.
The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.
From the little history I’ve read it is for me beyond any reasonable doubt that “our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us”. However, the world is founded on conservative ideas and as long as we don’t update that foundation, restorations, like the current one, will occur.
Failed communities and projects of the past teach us that as progressive as today’s children are, without updating our story, our values and what we hold as aim, they will bring about generations who will switch to regressive behavior, just because the natural teen rebel identity search will push them to do it. We need a society founded on progressivism to prevent regression.
I suggest we start amending our constitutions, hold as electoral value, develop as political agenda, make social communities and construct social networking based on the following three basic progressivist rights: the right to need intimacy, the right to want dignity and the right to have identity.
People need intimacy
The state and all the authorities should respect and protect the intimacy of the physical person.
Privacy is merely the time we require to build intimacy.
In nothing else does the human spirit bloom other than itself. Our roots feed and breathe into the soil of our feeble egos. Intimacy is what grounds our personality into our perception of self.
A person without intimacy is a lie. Unregulated privacy will lead to the destruction of intimacy.
Therefore, surveillance without warrant, discretionary invasion of privacy, unprotected privacy rights, snooping put into law and non transparent mandates for unweaving human intimacy is what we must guard against.
To need is not the same thing as to require. All humans require life support to exist, but need is individual, need is entwined in personality and emerges from inner conflict. Therefore we can survive as depleted selves without intimacy, being provided the required life support, and this is exactly what we must avoid.
The problem is we have systems which learn about us so much, that they end up knowing more about us than we do. And the even bigger problem is governments have access to these data, and we don’t.
These data can predict my future. Maybe some systems are generous and give me export and delete options. But I should own my past as well as my future. All predictive AI which binds to personal history should be open for exploration by individual access. If a system predicts something concerning me personally, I should be able to find out that prediction.
We need intimacy in the foundation of our society for true power sharing between the governing and the governed. Only through catering for our human innate need for intimacy, will the ruling and governing be by humans for humans.
People want dignity
The state should declare dignity inviolable. Dignity as in “the idea that a being has an innate right to be valued, respected, and to receive ethical treatment”.
Life is rare and living time is invaluable. Conscious existence needs to be respected for the opportunity it provides: the opportunity for self discovery.
We fail to protect that, that opportunity. We’re throwing people alternative facts since the dawn of civilisation: salvation, glory, bravery, conquest, patriotism and so many others. The fact is you have a one in four hundred million chance to be aware and find out who you are.
Every form of state protection for the citizens should be based on the idea of dignity: social protection, economic protection, health protection. We must stop treating humans like either merchandise available for shopping by corporations or fuel to burn for the economy.
Dignity is what is owned only by a human person as opposed to a incorporated person, it is exclusively human simply because an incorporated person is potentially immortal.
We need dignity in the foundation of our society to truly fight inequality. It is only by recognising the individual yearn for dignity, of every single human, that we will ever be able to grant universal access to the common wealth of our world.
People have identity
The state should guarantee the right to a self defined exhaustive identity that respects the law, but a law which does not in any way restrict personal identity.
Only individual humans can define themselves.
Identity is not property. Property is not the same thing with having. Property is regulated by an agreement between society, its power holders and individual. Three poles guarantee property. But having is primary, having is the inseparable possessiveness. And people have, not own, identity.
You cannot separate a human from their identity, neither by rules, nor by law or social custom. No tradition, regulation, revelation or vote should be allowed to redefine or to coerce the free and unrestrained expression of one’s own identity.
We need this in the foundation of our society so that no life is lost at the altar of social invisibility. Only a social foundation based on the inalienable individually defined identity can truly support universal diversity.
What do you think?
Does it make sense to alter the basic tenets of law and society for inclusivity, diversity and progress or should inclusivity, diversity and progress be constantly patched on top of a conservative build?
I have no black friends. I have no gipsy friends. I have no muslim friends. I also have no jewish friends.
I think us the white caucasians are the best. I mean, we must be. I know that we founded and led the world’s civilisation. I see us everywhere I look. All my friends are white. All my heroes are white. I am joking.
It is no surprise that I have no black friends, the odds are low. But it is a surprise I have no muslim friends or no gipsy friends. I know or have known some people in each category, but I have no such friends.
Therefore, what happens is that when I meet a random white caucasian person I feel safe and confident in my social perceptions and output. I know what to do, I know what to say. I am instantly likeable if I want to, and I know it. I have hundreds of hours of feedback imprinted in my cortex that guide me on how to behave, what to say, where to look, how to posture.
But what happens when I meet a random black person? I don’t know exactly what to say or what to do. It’s not that I want anything or do anything “openly” racist, it is the simple fact that I do unconscious segregation, the fact that I see the human in front of me as first black and then human which is the problem. But I know it and I am aware of it. How many are? I don’t blame myself, it is natural to behave like this, to experience certain moods or sentiments based on experience or lack of experience.
I know very little about actual real black people. There are almost none around. I have no experience with them, therefore I experience interaction with a black person as novelty, and by default I will get into fight or flight, or into higher default suspicion and so on and so forth.
But what about when I do have experience? I have plenty of experience with gipsy people. I still have no gipsy friends. When I meet a random gipsy person, with all due white guilt, I will be more alert than any other time. Why? Because, for my entire childhood gipsy kids stole my sandwiches, my clothing, bullied me and had the frustrating support of various gipsy adults, sometimes even their own parents.
Of course, I know this is wrong. But, between my childhood and this age I have today, I have had no other experience, except reading on them and their culture, being nice to them as a neighbor, doing my best to censor my various learned racism towards them and so on. But none of this is visceral, lived experience. Therefore I will clutch my pocket if some gipsy person is next to me on a crowded sidewalk, because I did have the lived experience of seeing little gipsy kids stealing from defenseless women’s bags while being guarded by gipsy adults. It sucks. This has been my experience, a random set of events,
and I do not want to generalize or claim that I know anything about the life of a gipsy person or the troubles that they have to go through because of being born in the wrong ethnic group for the past hundreds of years of endured persecution that they experienced in my country.
If I meet a random brown person, I assume he or she is a muslim. I will try inadvertently to find their gaze because I expect the unexpected by default. No muslim ever did me any harm. But I don’t know any. Yet I feel like I do because they’re everywhere in the worst of ways. Which is what journalism understands by diversity: showcase the worst!
But what I know by looking at myself is that the lack of diversity in my life made me an unwilling, guilt ridden, somewhat woke, but still:
natural born white supremacist.
I am writing this article for those who think racism is exclusively about the black people of the U.S. and that racism equals segregation and that they’re not racist because they have not hanged any black folk. You are doing it wrong.
LACK OF DIVERSITY CREATES INSTINCTIVE DISCRIMINATION. DISCRIMINATION CREATES SUBCONSCIOUS SEGREGATION.
I segregate without my slightest desire to do so. My natural instinct of forming groups of “my own” and groups of “others” will drive certain behaviors. These behaviors will in turn act as delimiters between me and people I don’t recognize as past experience or past experience of positive feedback. From these simple impulses, with all my outward rhetoric about universal acceptance, intellectual attempts at higher tolerance and deep core beliefs in humanity above all else, I will still see the others as attribute X (black, jew, muslim, gipsy, indian you name it) before seeing them as fellow humans.
By default I employ no such mechanisms on white caucasians, even if I don’t understand a word they’re saying, or don’t know anything about their country or culture, even if they are aggressive towards me, even if I am aggressive towards them. Just the looks, and I employ a whole different and wildly more permissive set of behaviors, on the spot without any conscious acknowledgement.
I’ve seen this by conscious retrospective introspection. How many people do this patiently? I think not too many. The result? You see it all around.
The solution? Diversity. DiVersity. DivERsity.
Which is hard. People congregate based on their identity. They are taught so as children and it is also easier. These groups should be encouraged to be more open by the large and dominant group of white caucasians being far more welcoming. Which fails to happen. How then do we make an open society other than by putting diversity into law?
It is not right to impose quotas, but it is the correct thing to do. Diversity into law makes up for millenia of failed interaction between humans, failed mixing of ideas, cultures and worldviews, based on skin color, ethnic group and, as far as diversity is concerned, sex, sexuality or religion.
Looking forward for the end of Trump’s failed presidency which will allow humanity to get back on track, your natural born white supremacist is working hard to cut the red tape mistakenly placed between him and other human beings of the world by ancient algorithms forming my social connectome.
In this day and age normal war of country versus country makes no sense. War today is the war of the political leaders waged on their own people.
What seemed to be progress pushed us closer to enabling sociopaths and other emotionally empty or unstable, but charismatic, people to seize power in an unchallenged manner.
Technology may bring about illumination of mankind, and it may also be the great leap into our collective shared abundance future, but at the very same time technology on its own is neither good nor bad and many, too many, technologists have radical extremist opinions, which they now conflate with valid political views.
For example the deep currents swirling in technologist circles imbuing everyone with promised land kind of prophecies about Mars, seasteading or separating California from the U.S. This is dangerous because these radical views, these exit strategies, create a void filled by crazy sociopaths who either help scission or they fight it to the death.
Neither is progress.
Progress is only towards one, global, united, happy, healthy, safe humanity. Progress is only towards humanity being greater than nations. Progress is solely about eradicating everything and anything which makes the pursuit of happiness hard.
But I digress.
The modern war is happening between elected or unelected pyramid tops and the people who support that pyramid, a war between a nation with itself. From Trump and his racial and religious war of purifying the american nation, through Putin and his autocratic war of enslaving his people, passing by Erdogan’s self inflicted war of decapitating the turkish nation, all the way to Bashar Al Assad’s violent civilian war. Even the European leaders, emancipated as they are, they are effectively waging smaller wars on their nations through elitism, euro scepticism, autistic responses to emotional shocks or overzealous rages about imaginary problems.
Modern war is autoimmune.
There is very little reason to invade. Land domination, not that it disappeared as a threat, is not economically viable anymore, so, with the exception of radically inspired zealots, there is very little political will for invasion and war declarations in the old fashioned way, that is between the heavily armed countries. Paradoxically, smaller countries, less armed countries, are much more virulent in their plans to conquer and destroy enemy civilizations.
The big players are colluding on taking on full control. And that is terribly scary, it is as if the enemy wins the war without a single bomb being launched, without you even knowing you are being conquered.
Because the modern enemy has no country. The enemy of today is ideology and caste based power. We have had this before but the difference is now we have the technology to create transnational cooperation for ideological enforcement. People tend to think revolutions are always about the good guys, but they’re not, they are simply a definition about ideological shifts, a ground up departure from the old way.
In a sense, Trump and his team are revolutionaries.
It is very easy to see why Trump and Putin appear to be “friends”: they have common ideological inspiration all based on a the foundation of complete and utter disregard for fundamental humanistic values. They don’t care, they are the honey badgers of world politics.
But you might wonder, how is this war possible, don’t people see it? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s the media that both covers and wages it.
Legitimised propagandistic media outlets, with national, and some international, coverage and captive audiences are the stealth armored tanks of the modern warfare.
They lie. They call misinformation what is actually flagrant disinformation, intentional deceit. They call opinion what are direct and eloquent attacks. They call hate speech free speech. They run non stop mystifications on all available channels: TV, radio, internet, paper.
You see there is nothing really and fundamentally new. Propagandistic media outlets have been around since forever. What is happening today is the phenomenon of captive audiences. What we have today is pervasive access to intimate details about mass behavior, individual decision making neuronal processes, personal data, excruciatingly detailed demographic parameter measurements, refined communicators with roots stuck deep into behavioral psychology. This helps the media wage the war.
And, what we have today and didn’t have in the past, is the corrupt legitimised media, outlets which people historically trust, media which has been independent and it has grown partisan, media who are employing decent folk and uses moral corruption tactics to tie them in and turn them into battery powered talking automatons, media who covers equally legit subjects and fabricated subjects, a huge machine of fabricating thought leaders by using the image and energy of real thought leaders. This helps the media cover the war.
There is a war going on. If it will be using weapons, I don’t know. If it will continue, I am sure of it. Will we lose: we will unless we become aware of what is under attack: humanity, universal values, basic rights, personal safety, privacy and free thought.
Technology with its huge adoption rate, sharp societal penetration and fast adaptive power is a terrible weapon to use if captured.
Do you notice how the founders of big tech companies, which have clear visions about humanity, hold control on their companies? Not all of them do it, only those who have an ingrained deep feeling of personal mission, and most of the time this mission is not to solve a human problem, but to “solve” humanity at large. What is the political place they’re in?
Would people vote someone who promises to fix the world? I hardly think so. People vote for tomorrow, for their current life. Nobody even hopes to ever see the world fixed, there is actually popular wisdom advising against even trying. Yet, some of the future’s most powerful men and women want to fix the world, and they know they need political action to do it.
Does it become a bit clearer why Peter is friends with Donald?
The weather is terrible.
power collusion floods drowning democracy, general discontent tsunamis blowing away meritocracy, technology fueled social earthquakes displacing civilisation itself.
What is there to be done? I think this:
First: power is in numbers. Second: proactive defence. Third: reactive offence.
I will continue in a future story about each of the above, in a personal attempt to figure out a way to break through as an open minded human in a world that is becoming more and more closed, extreme and pressurized.
Science advances one funeral at a time, said Max Planck. This is a greater truth than it first appears: if you want to change the world, start early.
If you are some teenager browsing Medium and find this article by a remote chance and you feel the drive to make this planet better or drive humanity to a brighter future, or whatever the way it makes sense in your head, but you are brave enough to get the point, start now.
If you’re some other one in your twenties and feel like your calling is of a higher nature and would love to make this joint decidedly awesome, I’m willing, start now.
If you’re yet another in your thirties, even if time is running out, if you’re still hanging on the fringe of confidence, unsure if you can, you can!, start now.
The problem with world changing is that it takes time.
It takes Hillary Clinton political career lengths of time. It takes decades of watering down ideas, and pursuit of those who loose to find their noble side which sees the light and then adopt the change. Any change is like a child, born out of love, but unlike one it has to be adopted by everyone it meets, it is a child with the world as a horde of parents.
Don’t change the man in the mirror, change the world in my eyes
There is an ocean of advice that tells one to change themselves. Don’t do it. This is the trap that delays your start. Let your broken self as it is, because this unchanged self is the true caring parent of change. Updated selves are overworked parents to change, ignoring it until it is too late to make anything good out of it. Your change needs to know who you are, and it won’t, if you don’t.
— Don’t change the man in the mirror.
The world is not an illusion, the universe is an illusion. The world is a consensus and if you want to change the world you need to see what this consensus is. You find that out by looking in my eyes. Me the fellow human who can’t or won’t change the world, because I see it as unchangeable. Not me the writer, me the human, and all of them, all the humans, all those swirling around you, swinging around your potential, gravitating around your presence in their world and waiting for you to lit up and be the star which makes them blue gems harboring life.
There are some forms of art, literature, visual and other, which are so grand that you cannot go around them, no matter how much you try. I wish I had found another example, rather than referencing Nineteen Eighty-Four, yet again, but it is simply too good and too precise not to recall it.
George Orwell imagined a political lockdown world, where perpetual war secured the political power of three totalitarian governments in three super states. The way the people were duped into maintaining a perpetual war and supporting war waging leaders was by three main inventions: newspeak, doublethink and ingsoc.
Ingsoc is an imaginary political philosophy grounded on bias and fallacies of the mind; we should read this just to remember that we can do this without even blinking, by mistake, by democratic process:
We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.
So, all you warriors out there, don’t you make believe with your intentions for you are all humans too. And if you are a social justice warrior or a human rights warrior or an inclusivity warrior, if by playing this warrior script you are going to get the power then, just like all humans, you’ll have the hardest of times to let it go. Social justice, human rights or inclusivity need no war. Find a god damn better metaphor and think more about the fact that the means contaminate the end by justifying it, as, in reality, the means justify the end.
Newspeak is a constructed way of speaking. This is another thing in progress throughout the entire planet. We do it currently in three different ways, all converging into scarce concepts populating our current culture: political speech focusing on less and less problems, entertainment delivering ever more precise dopamine hits and the good intentions of civil society praised as solutions which obliterate ideas, failing to see that fertile ground has a lot of shit laid on top beforehand. We currently, in the PC landscape, are so anxious to implement the darn change already that we simply translate intention as solution and consider it done.
The one pillar of Orwellian dystopia which is different in the worldwide trends of today is doublethink. Doublethink is meant to force people to hold contradictory ideas as having equal truth value. Well, no. We are in the process of devising singlethink, where we carefully forge exactly a specific amount of truth and value to every known concept, and consider it a thoughtcrime to assign more or less truth or more or less value to a concept than the norms of singlethink devised.
Singlethink is in the making by the whole carefully constructed system of intellectual isolation, concerned with creating exclusive safe spaces, liberally using blocking buttons and encouraging corporate level service denials to individuals.
Singlethink by corporation. I am glad Milo was removed from Twitter, but I am strong enough to confront the fact that it is a guilty pleasure and that it is fundamentally wrong. Just as Elon ordering denial of service to someone who criticized his event management skills, so does Twitter overact in blocking individuals from accessing the network. This is Robin Hood type of justice and I do not want a world ran like that. Milo should loose in court and be jailed for instigating people to hate and violence, and if we don’t have laws to make it so we should work to make these laws, not rejoice that some business people made a PR stunt and removed a user from a platform.
In the future all we’ll have to communicate on will be platforms. Should they be decentralized systems or private enterprise, depends highly on how resistant will the first world be in assimilating the hunger of the second and third world. If we allow decisions about participation to be made by targeting individuals, we are paving precedents for abuse.
Singlethink by blocking. Blocking people and removing them from your feed is OK and it is a health decision for avoiding triggers. But if blocking someone alters how ideas were exchanged and effectively obliterates history and spoken interaction, we are building a scary future where we’ll simply loose our species’ highest paying evolutionary advantage of learning and continuing from where people before us have gotten our civilization.
Singlethink by safe space. Removing people from conferences, which is what inspired this after reading Hash Array’s article, defaulting to removing Douglas Crockford from Nodevember, because other speakers refused to speak if he was allowed to speak on stage, is totally and completely crazy and it is what makes singlethink so close to reality it makes my skin go bumpy. Basically this is a childlike approach of refusing to play with the kids that don’t play your way.
Singlethink is dangerous and it is already here. People dismiss ideas and arguments by the time they reach the third sentence, in a five thousand words long article, because some kind of trigger warning was missed or because some concept is not held in the recommended and promoted rules of singlethink.
Listen, the army of trolls doxing people and threatening women with rape and fucking up the life of anyone who is a rational, tolerant and open minded human are not the subject here. Be aware of the difference. The problem is when things are far from obvious. The problem is when we blatantly carve out varying meaning and shades of gray from ideas. I am not supporting idiotic people who say that racist comments are protected by freedom of speech. They are not. They should be banned, just not by private entities, but by us, by law, by society as a whole.
Singlethink is the death of progress and paradoxically it is a fruit of the progressive’s work.
At about 300 million light years away lies the Dragonfly 44 galaxy. This galaxy is as massive as the Milky Way but so, so, so empty that we had to figure out that it must be made of, get ready, … badum tsss: dark matter! Hang on. “Dark” matter?
You see, dark matter and dark energy are great metaphors for the fact that we humans never run out of great names.
We are all a species of suckers for naming and descriptions. Whatever it is, no matter, we’ll find it a name and fill an atlas with data about it. The atlas in our head. Most of our brain is busy with the unsexy art of classification. When I hear accountant jokes, I laugh on the innocence of the one telling the joke. Accountants are ideal humans, folks.
That is why, I say: the answer to “what” is weak. We all know it.
Take more niceties from physics: the strange quark, the weak force which is actually not that weak, the strong force which could be very weak, the color property that has no color. These people who study quantum physics are completely submersed in the knowledge that:
The question “what” can have anything as an answer!
Because, if your field of study opens things which are completely unexplainable, with every single venture forward you make, you start to not care anymore. And it is for the best, because, most of the time, “what” doesn’t matter.
What matters is how.
Say, you could memorize the whole Standard Model, all the types of celestial bodies, every element on Earth. All this data will not give you a single clue on what can we humans do with it. It is dark data. You will not know physics, astronomy or chemistry by the way of answers to “what”.
The spark of light, the comprehension, the learning, is always, always the bland answer to “how”. But, well, there is a catch: what is easy, how is hard.
The too much “what” and too little “how” is in fact all over the place. As a society we devised all kinds of theories, systems, philosophies that describe at length all kinds of “whats”:
Libertarianism, what is a society where we ignore all problems with spite?
Social justice, what is a society where we don’t ignore not even the smallest of problems?
Objectivism, what is a society where we can discard the weak?
Marxism, what is a society where we ignore all problems with hubris?
About any system that explores “what” more than “how” is an anti-system.
Anti-systems have two major problems:
they are laser focused on the present
they always elicit revolutions
Shouldn’t we use our brains to find out the “how” more than the “what”?
Social Justice is such a problem. If it weren’t for the stubbornness of the conservatives, who are cemented in their religious values, there would be no social justice theory.
Libertarianism is another similar problem. If it weren’t for the progressives’ enthusiasm in bureaucracy, we’d lack the reason for a libertarian dream.
Marxism. Had we have anything close to an actual revolution ever in our history, instead of the same tens of lineages hoarding wealth, then marxism would have made even less sense.
Nationalism is a similar problem. I can’t even. — What is wrong with this species that we require so badly to be called names, some names, not other names? To me “nationality” is a superb example of “how” put at work, but a good idea for a bad finality: how to make a moral jail of the mind.
As a note, regarding Marx, I lived what people make of marxism first hand, it was called “advanced marxism”. It made of a bureaucratic nanny state, that supervised entire “nations” with the goal to make the “new man” so we can enter the “golden age”. Marxism in practice becomes nazism first class. I am left with stupor every time people talk about any antagonism between communism and nazism. I literally learned in school about the ideal man of the future and how we worked to make it a reality. My uni, back in the day was the propaganda uni, we had such a thing.
Objectivism. So much what! So little how. I am one who likes Ms. Rand. I like her personally, as a personality. I like how she spoke and how she explained. But I am stunned that one such as mr. Greenspan actually applied objectivism by the letter. And look, there is a compiled list of people “influenced” by Ayn:
Which is OK, I guess. You can be influenced by anything actually, it is just that influence means a belief in another person’s answers to “what”.
The fact that we call Utopia a utopia, makes it a utopia.
Isn’t it funny how real, tangible social and political progress is utopia, but presidents swear on the Bible, that Bible where we’re promised exactly the Utopia? It applies to all religious nations.
I believe that because we believe Utopia to be utopia, we miss the possibilities. Because utopias talk more about “how”. Actually, in the book that gave us the concept, Thomas More takes a lot of time to explain a lot of “hows”, actually the whole thing is “a how to”. Not a correct one, sure, not even Thomas believed better of his work, although for 1516 it was pretty radical, that is why it named the perfect place Utopia — unreachable.
But we should consider utopias to be the bullseye of our future targets.
For ages humanity is led by people whose position didn’t change, no matter the historical events. Whenever people started to question the way things were going, the solution was to start and explain that all evil is the people’s fault, borrowing from religion heavily: poverty, disenfranchisement, segregation, ignorance, and the idiocracy we work so hard to achieve. We have this self blame ingrained in all the systems of law and economy that are presently running on Earth.
However, mission and vision comes top down, in a business as well as in a society. So the state of things are never the fault of the bottom layers. Yet, whenever a business person moves from business to politics, suddenly they ask the people to make the society’s mission and vision on their own. The hypocrisy is astounding. So we wonder if hordes of scared uneducated people can govern themselves. Of course, we answer no. Then, bam!, utopia!
No folks. The branches at the top get the most sun. You cannot ask the roots to make the leaves! The roots suck the life out of the wormful ground and strive to hold the whole shebang pointing up, under immense pressure from the khaki thing it is stuck into.
Since we cannot conceive a society where a person cleaning toilets can earn as much as a brain surgeon, maybe we should stop paying people for work and instead pay them for learning. But no, in some countries people start their life in debt because they used their brain. This has chilling effects later on when politicians discuss taxes and welfare.
Since we know bureaucracy is bad and systems ran by the state eventually fail to progress technologically, perhaps states should be involved in other things. After all there are two basic things we require: energy and food. If you supply these for free productivity is million fold.
So far we know red tape is bad. Yet, deregulation is for profit. What do lobbyists have that other people don’t have? Time. Maybe more free time for everyone is a societies way to protect itself against being gamed into voting its own decapitation.
But these ideas belong to those who actually go nine to five to think of and about them. What do they do instead? They infuse the world with “what”, dark data, things of low value, with heavy news make up.
What is a killer question. How is a life saver question.
We constantly ask what happened and we get the news. How many cafes should be blown to pieces, before anybody stops and wonders, how is the world doing, instead of what happened? We look at innovation and ask what is it, and we get products to buy. How low must we go into mass escapism, before we ask how innovation can help the world do better?
At least some people still ask “how are you?”, right. How are you? Ha, the hope question, the one bad instance of “how” which we hold so dear! I’d switch any day to asking,
what are you?
… and ask only myself: how am I?
P.S. thanks jaden violet for the bringing utopia back on my radar, thanks BHD for writing this, true inspiration!