Thursday, October 25, 2007

Some People’s Idea of Freedom of Speech, Is To Suppress Everybody Else’s

Increasingly, that is the unfortunate tone of most public discourse, in which the primary objective and tactic, is not to discuss the merits of any issue, but to shout down and express disapproval of everything they don’t want to be heard.

It was at that point, that most civilized and thoughtful people realized they could avoid the boorishness and abuse of such people by merely avoiding such venues, like they could dysfunctional relatives. Out of sight, is out of mind -- and the tremendous drain of energy solving the innumerable problems that can be created in response to any solution -- because the objective is not to solve any problems with these discussions, but to create greater difficulties, and demonstrate who has the power, who is the Boss in these futile exercises. Outside of these arguments, these bullies have no power except what is given to them. That was the realization of the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Whatever power another has, is given them by the consent and recognition of the other that they have a right to that power. That’s how newspapers and all those quasi-official organizations derive their power -- that the only information allowed, is the information provided by them -- and nothing else. One sees a lot of liberal blogs that operate with this reality -- using the newspaper’s opinions as their only “facts,” no longer thinking that what they see with their own eyes and senses, is what is actually happening. Thus, they provide no original content and insight but merely affirm and reinforce everything their controllers want them to repeat -- as the only reality.

A population becomes dispossessed in that manner -- of no longer thinking it is all right to think for themselves, but that the only thing they are allowed, is to embrace what others have deemed (politically) correct to believe and embrace, which is largely what the current education is about, rather than the discovery of any truth, on their own. Advanced students are taught to believe who the right persons are to believe -- and nothing more.

That goes on in many other “conditioning” venues. It is easier to just control other people’s thinking, than have them come upon the truth of any matter on their own -- especially when the whole point, is to get others only to embrace one’s thinking -- as the only reality.

The curious turn is that because information is discovered so quickly and further refined constantly, the institutions that seem themselves as the guardians and defenders o the status quo, are often left holding the untenable and indefensible invalid information -- which they are convinced, they must defend with their dying breath -- which of course, ensures their demise.

An admission that they have no idea what they are talking about, is what they cannot allow themselves to reveal -- and because of that, are never in the state of mind that can discover any truth for itself, because they are so consumed with convincing everybody else to believe everything they know, as all that can be known -- and never learning anything beyond that.

Monday, October 15, 2007

How Do You Solve a Problem like Hawaii?

Seniority as the prevailing value in government is what turns off young people to government employment -- because young people value merit more than any other value as the categorical imperative of their lives.

It used to be that government employment was a service -- borne by all, and then they went back to doing whatever they were best at. Now it is a career in which seniority rules -- and so people of merit avoid those dead-ends -- and are attracted to other more fulfilling callings.

That is the “success” as well as the death of the public worker unions. The best workers are likely to be those who have done many different jobs, in many different organizations, and so they bring to their jobs a rare perspective -- rather than the rigid bureaucratic mindset that has done it one way, and thinks that is the only way it can ever be done -- forevermore. That’s what happens when “seniority” is regarded as its highest value and criterion.

If the objective is to recruit bright new minds to any field, you pay the new recruits as much as those who have only done that job all their lives -- because that’s where recruiters need to be competitive and not simply paying more for those who aren’t going anywhere else. For instance, if you want to attract people to teaching, you pay beginning teachers the same as the more experienced teacher because the job is harder for the newcomer -- while it is far easier for the most experienced person, and those for whom the job is naturally easy, so that all things being equal, teaching is the job they would choose to do. Those are the only ones worth retaining -- because they are rewarded for doing what they are truly gifted at.

But since the unions have instituted and corrupted this natural mechanism that favors the least able and capable, they drive out the creative new talent and all that is left are those with seniority who drive out those with less. The most telling thing is that the children of bureaucrats, don’t want to be bureaucrats -- but will choose any other fate if they can.

So more than just a promotional campaign, government at all levels need to change the culture of rewarding seniority -- that makes it unattractive to fresh, creative minds wanting to do things differently and really make a difference -- instead of being sucked in to the bureaucratic nightmare of doing the same old things the same way they’ve always been done -- until they retire. And then it is too late to make a difference.

It’s the same dismal fate for many other organizations that have rewarded seniority over merit so that all they have now are retiring baby boomers -- rather than the vital turnover of every member of society coming through their doors -- and leaving too, to go on to bigger and better things. I think government would be invaluable as being this kind of employer of first resort -- familiarizing and training people in the nature of the problems -- and then going on to establish other agencies and enterprises to eliminate these problems, rather than institutionalizing and bureaucratizing them.

That’s why great new ideas are killed -- and bad old ideas live on forever, plaguing their cultures in these age-old problems that can never be solved.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Freedom To Be Known -- And to Know Oneself

The new world culture emerging is very problematical for those who were ostensibly “successful” in the old world culture, and thought that once having achieved their positions and status, they were assured for time immemorial to remain on the top of that pecking order -- rather than in today’s new reality, of creating one’s life. identity and merit anew daily.

So when they demand, “Do you know who I am?”, and people look blankly at one another as though the inquisitor is mad, such a person is not aware of the new reality being created in every moment -- but still has the obsolete notion that the present was created 2,000 years ago, and merely is being repeated -- as all that humans can do.

The fault is the education tactic of insisting that in order to know the present state-of-the-art knowledge, one must first learn all the ideas that are now obsolete (as a prerequisite) -- as though it was necessary to waste one’s time and energy in that manner, rather than just being the teaching professions way of ensuring as many teaching jobs as possible. Therefore, all that can be known and taught, will be in the curriculum, leaving little or no time to learn the present great challenges of our times, which intelligently, would be the task of young, unbiased minds to see freshly so as not to carry over the baggage of the past-- which are the problems of today.

A fresh mind, seeing everything newly and freshly, sees no problems but only solutions. In their traditional education however, they come to regard the age-old problems as the way things have been -- and therefore must continue to be, because they are taught that as the reality they must first "accept" -- before they can embrace any other truth.

One of the difficulties written about daily in the newspapers is this so-called loss of the sanctity of remaining “anonymous,” which some people go through great lengths to protect as sacrosanct to life in a free society, when obviously, the right to be known, and to know oneself is really the greatest attainment and fulfillment in any society.

That is why there is the popularity of “American Idol,” or the thrill of being a karaoke singer, until one eventually realizes, they are not the great undiscovered talent they imagine themselves to be.

Now, more commonly, is the realization by many that they are not the great writers and thinkers they imagined themselves to be because anybody can be "published" -- just because they could say what everybody else does -- as though that was a rare and valued quality. Only a rare few create original content and manner of expression -- which drives the thinking in the world, which everybody else copies.

In the newspaper publishing world -- where there is almost no creative talent and insight, they exploit this use of anonymity in order to steal everybody else’s ideas -- just as most bureucratic entities will grudgingly admit that a mistake may have been made, but it would be impossible to track down which individual made such a mistake because that is the protection of anonymity.

So many are brave and courageous as anonymous editorial writers but when they write (blog) under their own names, in their own thoughts, come to realize they have nothing to recommend themselves from the masses, and so have become the leading force in ensuring that nobody can be known -- for who they really are.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Spreading Misinformation, Ignorance, Bigotry

The great promise of the new age of media is that there is now the possibility that people of integrity, honesty, and even brilliance, get to make that information available -- just as those who have traditionally controlled “information” have done pretty exclusively in the past. The limitation now is simply what one knows of -- and not the limits of the “known.” What one knows, should never be mistaken for all that can be known -- which is what the monopolists of information in the past, promoted themselves as possessing.

At first, it was the universities, then the schools, and then the media (journalists), who claimed to be the “experts,” and so they expressed their opinions on everything whether they knew anything at all about that subject matter. It was just important for them to “weigh in” on every matter, as though their opinions had great weight and understanding -- rather than that it was usually the conventional ignorance, misinformation and bigotry regarding that matter -- that caused it to be a problem -- that was not a problem with the proper understanding and insight.

Misunderstanding is the root of all problems -- rather than as they would have us believe, that we have the proper understanding -- which is to have no problem, but only what is, and what to do with that information (feedback). Most computerized data processing systems have such safeguards built in, so that one stops processing a bit of information as soon as the reliability and authenticity of a bit of information can not be established, and so further processing is unproductive and uncertain.

But information hasn’t always been processed with such routinized “rigor.” In a not-too-distant past, there was no instantaneous verification of information as is now possible to do and done routinely by people who depend on the accuracy of information as the basis of their daily existence. Most commonly, that is done by those who manage (market) information directly to earn their livelihoods -- a way of livelihood not possible as easily in a previous era of prohibitive information accessibility.

There is a huge advantage in having real-time, state-of-the-moment information, rather than just knowing what happened in the last century, or last millennium, as all the information and truth one needs now, to live the best life possible for every individual -- which is now also possible for everyone, though admittedly, not the majority practice.

Instead, many are still living as humans have lived for the last million years -- thinking that is still “good enough” for their ancestors and so it is good enough for them, and all they can hope for in their lives. In those old ways, one person at the top did the thinking for everybody else -- and told everyone else what to do, and most people just don’t question that authority any time in their lives. That is not part of their conditioning and programming; instead, they are told which experts (authorities) are the right ones to believe and obey. A few overcome those constraints and go on to discover worlds of information beyond their formal programming.

So it is important to consider in encountering most information (news, education, propaganda, etc.), whether it is information that is universally verifiable, or just one person’s opinion hoping to dominate all the others and get everyone else to do what that one person (demagogue) wants everybody else to do for their exclusive benefit and self-aggrandizement.