March 20, 2006

Just Checking In….

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:52 am by jyesis

Well, it's the end of spring break – classes start up again today. Sorry I haven't posted for awhile (not that anybody reads this thing anyway). This is just a brief line to keep the blog alive. I'm sure I'll find something new to rant about soon. Over break I started exploring some of the lesser known side of the internet and have discovered USENET and gopher. Usenet seems pretty cool, but I still don't have a reliable SMTP server to post from. I can't think of a good use for gopher yet….but I do like the way it's organized. I'd probably use it if .mil computers had a better browser than IE. Oh, and I finally got me a linux shell account. I may be able to provide email service to close friends and family in the near future. That's all for now!

March 3, 2006

Brave New World

Posted in Rants and Ruminations at 10:07 am by jyesis

The following is an excerpt from one of my posts on slashdot.

“Governments” were initially formed (in the tribal days) to share resources and protect the group from others who might desire those resources. This mutated as “civilization” grew. Governments became more complex as they managed ever larger areas, populations, and resources. They created money to better distribute these resources over more diverse areas. A gold coin was the same on both ends of the empire. Religion grew out of a desire to understand nature along with a search for social “morality”. Eventually, technology allowed science to split from religion and the “moral” side of religion became mired in its own traditions and rituals, obscuring the original message of cooperation. Just as religion was perverted from a cooperative influence to a divisive amplification of difference, money began to be perverted by those who controlled its production. Soon, a coin wasn’t the same to those two distant strangers. To one, it meant he could eat for a week – the price of a loaf of bread. To the other, it wouldn’t even buy the crust because others in his area had more coins, and the laws of supply and demand drove the prices in his area up. The idea of money as a universal alternative to barter was destroyed. What initially served as a tool for distribution turned on itself and became a tool for exploitation. Remnants of the original purposes of religion, government, and currency remain to this day, and were essential in the development of today’s technology. From the guy who dug up the sand, to the guy who soldered the chips, to the programmers, distributors, consumers, auxiliary industries, etc….the world as we know it would not exist without the ability to safely communicate (provided by the govt), share resources (provided by the monetary system), and the will to cooperate (initially encouraged by religion, supplanted by the monetary system). All of this brought us to where we are today, but as we see every day, this system is falling apart. Why?.

To answer this, let’s look at what the three systems (govt, rel, and $$) have become. Government long ago transitioned from a management system agreed upon (in action if not in name) to an entity that exists only for its own glorification and expansion. The actions of it’s constituents no longer play a critical role in a government’s legitimacy because the govt structure has become so large that it is impossible for it to truly represent a true majority on any given issue. Religion, as mentioned above, sacrificed its unifying messages of cooperation, humanity, compassion, etc for “technicalities” of procedure, ritual, interpretation, and more that now are used to divide what they were intended to unify. The $$ system was the last to die, buffered for ages by the actions and failures of governments and the attitudes and perspectives of organized religion. The rise (and current decline) of the US marks the zenith of the economic system’s ability to do “good” for humanity by encouraging innovation, development, and efficiency. Today’s system rewards efficient exploitation far more than innovation. With ever increasing economic globalization, there are fewer and fewer “new markets” in the “new world” sense. As a result, competition over existing markets causes the emphasis for efficient exploitation to snowball. Unless we find another inhabited planet that we can dominate, subjugate, and exploit – we are left to eat our own. This explains the “dollar a day” fallacy which postulates that if the percent of the world’s population living on less than $1/day were to be given, by any means, $5/day…..that $5 would be devalued to such an extent that there would be no real effect on lifestyle.

So….what to do now? I argue that the system described above has given birth to its successor. The global awareness, ability to communicate, and desire to cooperate originally engendered by the 3 systems no longer require the “supervision” of their parent systems. Today, I don’t need a government to send my letter to the other end of the world. I don’t need money to trade my work for a product. I can work with others who truly share my interests, even at a distance, rather than others who merely reside in my local geographic vicinity. The infant alternatives are still in their nascent states – by no means perfect, and still not ready to stand completely on their own, but they do exist and they are growing rapidly – originally in the software community, but expanding to other genres at an ever increasing pace. Old religion is merging with government, while the original messages live on as individuals and small groups discover that spirituality does not require mandated rituals. Money is becoming increasingly virtual and less tangible….less real. It is being replaced by a trade in knowledge and skill – still an imperfect currency, but superior to what we have been using because they cannot be controlled by the ignorant. Government is the last to be affected because it has such a pervasive influence. It is not being replaced – history has shown that replacing governments merely leads to more of the same over time. Instead, it is being ignored. Many many people are existing outside of government regulation – one issue/genre at a time. Eventually, governments will dissolve into their original roles….the distribution of “public” resources. Regulation, enforcement, communication, etc…will return to the control of “we the people”. It has begun. Don’t screw it up with violence unless it becomes absolutely necessary. Violence allows the ignorant to stay in power. In both totalitarian states and violent revolutions the artistic, intelligent, and enlightened are persecuted and suppressed. It is time for the intelligent to turn away from the status quo . Rather than destroying what we have now, let’s just begin to build something better, and allow the old system to implode. It will be difficult. It will be painful. There will be reactions, violence, and more, but we need no longer be ruled by the ignorant, fearful, and greedy. We can make this change.