DEMOCRACY SHUTS MOST PEOPLE OUT

Fun video explaining the fallacy of democracy as it stands today and why it does not stand up to scrutiny as a fair system for all.

A system I would very much like to see adopted by a western society would be based on meritocracy rather than democracy. A system where by people would be elevated into positions of power and influence based upon demonstrable ability and skills that make them the most suited to fulfill the specific responsibilities.

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Sourced from: http://blog.cgpgrey.com/the-problems-with-first-past-the-post-voting-explained/

IGNORANCE + ARROGANCE = SELFISH SUPERIORITY

I am offended by many things in this world. I’m afraid as my eyes are opened wider, and my intellect expanded, and my world-weary experience grown exponentially, I find myself offended by more and more of the injustice, ignorance and arrogance around me.

A particular offense which most people willfully ignore is when a religious person, who succeeds in something, or enjoys some good fortune at the expense of others, thanks and praises their monotheist, their God.

What arrogance must these people have to assume that an omnipotent and omniscient deity would choose to bestow upon them a meaningless award or a lucky bet at the horses or a profitable deal at work instead of paying a single bit of notice to the millions dying of AIDS in Africa, for example.

That they really believe God is so free of time and energy that he would choose them and their greedy success, superficial reward or financial fortune over the millions of innocent lives being destroyed by disease, war, violence, and poverty, is disgustingly offensive to me.

And it should be offensive to everyone else too.

Instead of turning the other cheek and accepting those with the power of influence to continue to propagate this ridiculous act, such as Hollywood actors at the Oscars or a sports superstar pointing to the heavens after making his team win, the world should expand its knowledge of what is happening outside their front door and realize the ugliness of their religious arrogance.

Ignorance and arrogance combine to produce the greatest ills in our world today. All religious superiority comes from those two traits combined. So does political superiority. Wars are started because of these two traits. Poverty is allowed to continue because of these two traits. Borders and division, separation and rejection of the other all exist because of ignorance and arrogance.

What is the alternative?

Equal education for all. A true, non-agenda-serving education. An honest education.

A meritocracy, where people are given more power based on their proven ability to lead in certain areas, rather than leaving the running of our countries to the privileged who care not for the common person at the bottom of the pyramid. But for now, all the power is wielded by those designed to wield it, not those who have demonstrated the correct responsibility and aptitude.

George W. Bush was shooed in to the Presidency of the United States not because he was supremely intelligent, not because he had proven an immense care and passion for guiding people to a better life for all and certainly not because he could be trusted beyond doubt with the responsibility over people’s lives and livelihoods. He became the President because his father has been the President.

Did he feel sick as he snapped up all the rewards and adulation that his privileged life had brought him, at the expense of countless more people struggling through poverty in his own country? Did he vomit his own greed and illusion of superiority, while the New Orleans victims cried over the lost of their loved ones as well as their homes and belongings? Did he rip his own heart out in anger at the injustice of his sweet, sweet position, while he sent dumb, easily led soldiers, with the countries manipulated backing, into a meaningless war full of lies and misdirection?

No. He played golf.

And it fits, that Mr Bush is a devout Christian who no doubt thanks God everyday of his life for ‘choosing’ him.

I do not believe in a monotheist, nor in any of the three Abrahamic religions that dominate the west, but even if I did I wouldn’t be able to bring myself from cringing at the shame of a person thanking God, actually believing a deity would treat them so much better than another who may have also prayed to him/her/it.

That would then mean that God was a spiteful, mean old critter, ruining lives and allowing people to die while picking the few he liked to help. A miserly, sadistic entity, with an omnipotent control over the earth but sitting and just watching as the vast majority live in pain and poverty, subject to disease and violence and injustice. If I was a religious man, I could not believe that God was this way and still worship him. But yet, the privileged do. Ignorance and arrogance.

Once you have learned that you are neither superior, nor inferior to other people, merely luckier in the gamble of birth and privilege, then you start to realize the injustice of this world. Nothing is fair, everything is contrived and controlled and tipped on the uneven balancing scales to either benefit somebody or hinder somebody.

Once you have learned this, arrogance is exposed for the ugly, selfish and destructive trait that it is.

Ignorance and arrogance. Remove those shackles from your thinking, and truly embrace the prospect of a better world.

BEHIND THE MICROCHIP CURTAIN

Modern cyber vigilantes ‘Anonymous’ describe themselves as Hacktivists who “never forget and never forgive”. In a surprising step, following their attack on security firm HBGary, the legion of hackers have seen the stolen information they released adopted by another altogether more ‘accountable’ group.

In the fallout from Aaron Barr’s resignation, the CEO of HBGary, a group of Congress members have revealed an intention to use the electronic documents against HBGary Federal and two other federal technology contractors, Berico Technologies and Palantir Technologies. The charge; plotting to attack, discredit and frame pro-union groups opposing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The tactics outlined in excruciating detail by the stolen documents show the three federal defense and intelligence firms, dubbed Team Themis, plotting to trick Chamber of Commerce opponents by planting false financial information for them to find. The scheme relies on the opponent rushing to expose the document, only for it to be proven fake afterward. The embarrassment in shouting from the rooftops, only to find out afterward that the evidence was fake, would discredit the opponents.

There were other tactics planned, but one that was already in motion according to the stolen secret documents detail the practice of destroying personal information belonging to anti-Chamber activists.

In a letter dated 1st March, 2011, and revealed by The Washington Post, Congress members have called for an investigation into a “dirty-tricks campaign that included possible illegal actions against citizens engaged in free speech”

Referring to Team Themis, the letter describes the intricate plot as “deeply troubling”, before asserting that “tactics developed for use against terrorists may have been unleashed against American citizens”.

The troubling question from an ethical point of view is; if the documents were seized through other illegal methods such as violence or burglary, would they be so readily adopted by politicians in order to gain a leg up? Or does the invisible nature of a cyber attack, allow the illegality to be brushed under the motherboard?

The same group of House Democrats who so readily compared the planned underhand tactics from Team Themis to those developed for use against terrorists, seem happy to ignore the fact that this information was gleamed through tactics just as underhanded. A great big stinking elephant; relatively ignored because when the heavy door needs opening, the elephant’s strong trunk comes in use.

In the same way that some people may view the illegal pirating and downloading of movies as frustrating, but the physical robbery of a DVD store much worse, it seems the methods used by Anonymous have allowed those with an agenda to leap opportunistically on the fruits of their labor without condemnation. Without approval either, merely an ambiguous glance.

Along with the ethical questions arising from the irony of Congress utilizing information obtained through illegal schemes to announce their outrage of another group’s illegal schemes, are the questions regarding the nature of Anonymous.

The group see themselves as an organic collection of cells with members coming and going, dividing up into different factions and acting on multiple ideas as and when the opportunity and need arises. Rather than a vigilante group coerced by a leader with a game plan, they prefer to be seen as a modern Iron Curtain of bytes and code.

The Iron Curtain seemed like one monolithic entity, satellites of an organized movement overseen by dictator, be that Khrushchev or a Tito. Once the curtain was lifted however, one could see that the Eastern Block consisted of separate groups, all with their own goals and motivations.

Anonymous stand behind the Microchip Curtain. But with this veiled identity, masking one and all behind the group’s separate activities, it becomes tricky to pin down which type of vigilante these hacktivists are.

Anonymous enjoy the security of anonymity despite their anger at hidden truths and their relentless pursuit to expose it all, creating a fear of that scariest of words, ‘transparency’, for corporate and established America. They have attacked Visa and Mastercard and launched all their attacks from a safe zone, immune to counter-attacks themselves.

Time will tell whether these cyber vigilantes are a broadband Batman, uncovering the seedy underbelly of a bureaucracy in turmoil, or instead a wireless Joker, “Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh and you know the thing about chaos… it’s fair”

With a alarming ambiguity related to the fairness of chaos, perhaps the members of Congress should also be watching their backs. A visit from Anonymous would really upset the established order.

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY – MEANING OF THE MONOLITH

Perhaps the most richly intelligent, secretly conspiratorial and multi-layered movie ever to reach a wide audience, 2001: A Space Odyssey is the film I hold in the highest esteem.

 

Here, a detailed film analysis sheds fascinating light on what Kubrick was doing with this amazing work.

 

Created by CollativeLearning.com

 

REFUSE TO FEEL INFERIOR

“I refuse to feel inferior to someone else. No one is superior over me, they only have skills more developed than mine. My skills could be developed to be equally good, given time and effort. They may be better than me given a specific task, but as a person they are not superior to me. So, I refuse to feel inferior to someone else.”


This was the short rant I espoused in a restaurant with a long-time friend, while discussing an old head-teacher that I found particularly demeaning during my high school years. 

My friend, a man with morals and good intentions, with a big heart and a generous nature, was a Muslim. His wife wore a Hijab, he prayed five times a day and together they lived a fairly Islamic life, whilst still contributing to a multi-cultural society in a sort-of western way. We became friends during our teens, when school life thrust us together. I doubt as adults, we could have met and formed a friendship in the same way.

He was an enigma to me. Here was a man that I appreciated and respected for many facets of his personality, but lived his whole life willingly in a hierarchical system. The opposite from me. And so it was, in reaction to my “refuse to feel inferior” speech, that he looked at me puzzled, surprised and possibly a little offended.

He stumbled through his words, but the gist was something like “But you must accept there are the greater and there are the lesser in all areas” I also sensed that he thought I was a bit arrogant, assuming I was so special that no one was above me.

Here lied the misunderstanding between my way of thinking and his. Despite all his excellent qualities, his belief system was still heavily indoctrinated and influenced subconsciously by his religion; Islam.

Islam, like the other two Abrahamic religions (Christianity and Judaism) are very much dependant on submission to the hierarchical system.

Taking Islam as a specific example; women are inferior to men (men don’t have to cover themselves up so as not to ‘tempt’ women), men are inferior to Imams, Imams and all Muslims are inferior to Muhammed and Allah, and all non-Muslims are inferior to all Muslims. This full participation and unquestioning submission to their ‘place’ in this system results in all practicing Muslims believing they are all inferior to an obsessed-over prophet and an oppressive deity, and superior over every person who doesn’t subscribe to worshipping Allah and following the irrational rules laid out in the Qur’an.

Here was my friend, subconsciously believing he was better than me because I didn’t worship Allah and had committed these sins; I have a tattoo (covering the skin with permanent marks is sinful), I drink a glass of wine sometimes (alcohol is a sin), I play a bit of poker (gambling sends you to hell) and I do not agree with the idea of a monotheist who created the earth and human beings. Although I have no criminal record, do not use violence towards others, and treat people with respect and dignity, I will burn in hell for eternity because of these sins, apparently. 

The big confusion in this conversation was that my friend assumed because I refused to feel inferior to another person, that I actually believed myself superior. Nothing could be further from the truth; I believe all humans to be equal, and that our differences are only the product of environmental, sociological and educational upbringings.

A religious sports star who points to God in Heaven after winning is not only putting himself in an inferior position ranked well under God, he has by that very gesture but himself above, ranked higher, superior to his opponent/fellow competitors. He is saying “I am better than the others, because God loves me more than them, because he made me win and made them lose”

A non-religious sports star wins the medal, scores the goal, or sets the new record, and knows the success was down to his/her hard work, dedication and persistence. They are not ‘superior’ than their competitors in any way apart from they have honed their skills further. They have not been picked to be special. They are not sitting higher up in the pyramid. And next year, their opponent could have worked harder, trained with more dedication, and win instead of them. There is no divide right to superiority other others, and they know this. 

I looked at the surprised and dismissive look on my friends face and felt his reluctant judgement. I asked him straight out “Do you really believe that I am going to hell because I am not a Muslim”. After much mumbling, stumbling over his words, and hushed excuses, he did agree that the Qur’an states I am going to hell, and that he has no choice but to believe it.

I paused and then said “That is why I refuse to feel inferior”

HARLAN ELLISON ON GOD

Harlan Ellison is a sci-fi writer of, as he explains it, ‘speculative fiction’. He is a card carrying Atheist, having been born into a Jewish family. Here he rants on religion as only Harlan can.

DAVID LYNCH ON TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION

David Lynch gives a talk on creativity and the consciousness, exploring the use of transcendental meditation.

Carl Jung, the 20th Century psychologist spoke of the ‘transcendent function'; a process by which the unconscious brain creates an antithesis to a thought in the conscious, and then attempts to bridge the gap to dialectically reach a further, improved understanding.

Explore your unconscious, to continually expand your conscious.

This is agreed upon. However, the scientific principals behind the “pure consciousness” desired through Transcendental Meditation are not only analogous, but are claims without backing from expert Physics communities outside of the Maharishi International University.

There may be much to gain from meditation from a psychological perspective, but understand that the scientific parallels to the Unified Theory are considered heavily flawed by many reputable sources. Just bear this in mind.

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