Saturday, April 26, 2008

Uncommon Sense

There's plenty of room on the sidewalks for both the bicyclists and pedestrians -- and of course, the bicyclist should defer the right of way to everything else. That universal law is observed by most sensible people everywhere -- unless some people make it their own private war to protect their "turf" -- but that happens in every arena of life, and are the unfortunate most visible and memorable encounters many have of others.

But by and large, bicyclists and pedestrians actually create the goodwill and aloha in Hawaii -- from their pleasant and respectful encounters with one another.

The problem IS that there is not too many people walking and biking -- and not that there are massive crowds fighting through to get anywhere -- like all the road rage on the highways and streets.

The simplest way to get more cars off the road is simply to share a ride -- which many more used to do back in an age in which although gas prices were much lower and even cheap back then, people valued everything and took less for granted. Now people think they have a right to a SUV and all the gas they want for free or as cheap as they want.

A lack of capacity is not our problem so adding more capacity (bike lanes, rail, boats, bridges, tunnels) is also not the answer. The answer lies in learning how to share and manage the resources that are already there -- in an intelligent manner that creates plenty and enough for all -- and not one person or group demanding exclusive use of the sidewalk, road, lane, and other community resources only for themselves.

That's the real progress in society -- and not simply fighting for the more.

Friday, April 18, 2008

If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out of Hawaii

There are good times and bad times, even in Hawaii, and they seem to run in ten year cycles when everything seems like paradise, and then in the others, it is a day of reckoning in which nothing seems to go right, and nobody knows how to make it right, even if they wanted to.

People already forget the years of hopelessness and despair of Hawaii in the ‘90s, in which the governor’s job was mainly to explain how things were not as bad as it obviously was -- and the main reason national studies showed Hawaii last in every category, was that the researchers were not aware that in Hawaii, all the rules applicable in the rest of the universe, did not apply -- and so last really was first.

This manner of reasoning is known by the locals as opposite-thinking -- in which everything that is true, is “false,” and vice-versa, unless one proclaims beforehand, “Opposite-thinking,” which means that true is “true” -- but only in that one specific case, and reverts back to normal in every other case. It can be quite confusing but one gets “used to” this way of thinking because it is so much better, and makes Hawaii come out on top, in every major category in which it would ordinarily be last, or at the bottom.

The locals are proud to proclaim that they are “the best” -- because they say so, and one should not question authority but go along with the program. If everyone sticks together, then no one can claim that what they say is true, is not true -- because everyone who goes against the crowd or questions authority, is a crime against society, otherwise, there can be no paradise with everybody wanting to think for themselves.

All was going fine until somebody in Washington created the Internet -- and then it became exceedingly difficult to maintain the social order -- and even in Hawaii, the people would question everything, and even the authorities they were punished for doing so in the government schools. Teachers were the first line of defense in assuring this strict conformity to the group-think.

Everything was fine, unless the leader said otherwise, and the leader had the inalienable right to persecute and prosecute all those who did not agree with them, just like in the good ol’ days. As the authorities would remind them, “Lucky you live.”

People quickly forget that they were not always free, independent and with rights to pursue their own happiness -- rather than having that happiness imposed and dictated to them. From time to time, in every society, the people used to being pushed around all their lives, begin to push back.

That causes a little bit of friction and heat at first, but people emerge with a new greater respect for one another, and that is the evolution of human progress and cnsiciousness necessary to remain a viable culture and society,

No society can perpetuate itself just by repeating every day as it was before.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Trapped in Paradise

At the rate of one airline ceasing operations every other day, shortly, not only will the cost of tickets into and out of the Islands be prohibitively expensive, they may be difficult to come by at any price, and thus those on the Islands, may feel increasingly trapped as the recognition of their fate there -- after many years of being the relative travel “bargain” in the world, considering the distances of other trips.

At first, it is just a matter of money, but shortly begins to affect the whole psychology of being prohibitively expensive and not a viable option -- of coming and going whenever one pleases anymore. Thus the freedom to choose, becomes increasingly for many, that one has “no choice,” but to take whatever is being “dished” out by those who still think they are in control, or at least think they can kick somebody else around without the fear of retaliation and retribution.

Places that are vacation paradises, quickly reveal themselves to be longer term nightmares, when seen from the perspective of “having to” be there, than because one wanted to be there. Thus all the rules encouraging reckless, uninhibited and thoughtless behavior, no longer seem so charming -- if one has to put up with them daily, rather than being the welcomed break from circumspect and routine, that adds to their amusements.

Then it seems, every inattention is a deliberate slight and intent to offend, which is the characteristic warning signs of “rock fever,” by which the world no longer seems big enough, to handle all the people who want to be there -- and there has to commence immediately, some systematic program for the elimination of those who have less of a right to be there than all the others. Of course that is the well know pogroms of genocide in larger, mainstream populations of easily classifiable less desirable types.

When such anger, resentment and hysteria are unleashed, even those who formerly thought themselves safely at the top and immune from any prosecutions and even insinuations of not being perfectly correct and desirable, can find themselves at the mercies of rampaging, mindless crowds in search of their tormentors -- which they now think to be everyone.

That is the madness of crowds one thought to be so benign just moments before -- which is cultivated in the mindset of conformity and groupthink. It is fine and benign as long as everything seems safely under control and being directed only to the proper targets in that society -- but then all chaos breaks out and control breaks down, and those angers, resentments, and furies are unleashed at all their unsuspecting fellow citizens in the perpetual wars reflected daily in the letters to the editors of the newspapers and other public forums.

Those are the consequences of irresponsible government and the conditioning/education to perpetuate the conformist societies that demand its citizenry believe they live in paradise because they have surrendered their right to speak, decide and act for themselves. That is just the delusion of paradise and a trap, rather than the freedom, that any paradise truly is.