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Do all roads still lead to Rome?

Discussion in 'Serious' started by VipersGratitude, 3 Dec 2010.

  1. thehippoz

    thehippoz New Member

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    think the reason is because palin has a hard time grasping anything outside the us.. she did put big oil in it's place as governor- I'll give her that.. oil is really the problem we have and until there is progress in stopping it's use- it will always be the big idiot in the room you can't ask to leave

    far as nexxo's views on the us.. again you don't live here- and again your going by what they show you in the news.. people in the states haven't changed for the worse- if anything the young generation now look to be the last of the sane and we should do well until the elementary students today get up in their 30's

    then were probably looking at total chaos.. the children of the kids from the 90's are being taught in schools that have no money.. they grew up on gangsta rap and are basically on the level of- I'll put a cap in yo ass

    [​IMG]

    here's a chickenface he's all knowing! I dunno if I prescribe to nexxo's view of dumb people either- there's a lot of people and as long as they are willing to learn, that's a part of being smart.. it's not how smart you are, it's the role you fill and how well you do it (I rub it you do it)

    also information is key and stealing it can tip the tide in anything, business, relationships, wars.. companies in the corporate world would tell you, leaked information is very damaging to reputation and bottom lines

    thing that troubles me with assage is if you take the law into your own hands, expect to pay if caught.. to say, oh I'm above that is ludicrous.. especially the way he tries to gain fame instead of sticking to this mission he's supposedly all about.. looks to me the only mission he has is to go down in the history books himself- doesn't matter who he hurts or who gets killed in the process..

    people like that aren't people.. think the term is monster (course this is all my opinion of the guy- I don't personally know him)
     
  2. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    Sorry, but Nexxo is right. You're holding out hope for the younger generation to keep things in perspective, but American kids today are falling behind. Basically, it's politics as usual. Obama just effectively raised taxes on the poor while giving an early Christmas present to the wealthy, our education system places greater emphasis on sports than academics, and the biggest things we're worrying about are the (completely manufactured) threat of Shariah law taking over the country and Bristol Palin's run on Dancing with the Stars.

    However, I'm not sure I agree with Nexxo that the Springer Show of political theater is anything new. Dueling politicians have been around since the very idea of government. In America's case, one example would be our 3rd Vice President, Aaron Burr. After he was dropped from the ticket for the 1804 election, he unsuccessfully ran for governor of New York. He blamed his loss on campaign smear tactics, and likened Alexander Hamilton to Lucius Catalina (I guess that was like Godwin's law back then). After the two bickered a bit more, Burr killed Hamilton in a duel. Palin may not actually kill anyone (there's still time), but the rhetoric and playground bickering - complete with references to evil historical figures - is pretty much the same thing politicians have been doing forever, except that we now have Twitter, Facebook, and a 24-hour news cycle spread across various mass media outlets.
     
  3. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    It could well be that the cynicism IS a matter of keeping things in perspective.

    The left (myself included) had our great moment of hope in 2008, and since then reality has set in. Obama and the congress have passed more bills than any congress in history (I think) and have aggressively pushed the liberal agenda, but in the real world nothing much has changed. Citizens United was the last nail in the coffin of believing that our votes meant anything.

    The Right is having their "Obama moment" with the Tea Party and they too are about to discover that real change is beyond their grasp.

    I (again personally) wish he had run out the clock and let all the tax cuts expire, but I also understand that he wanted to get stuff done while he still has a majority in both houses and that this was not the time to deadlock over this issue. Starting next month the political landscape will change drastically and then it will be time for the big fights.

    I'm tremendously frustrated with the way the country is going. I feel like we're going to keep cutting taxes until we're back in the stone age. The reason we have this massive deficit goes back to the Reagan tax cuts of the 1980s and just keeps getting worse every time we cut taxes. The Republican's have demonstrated time and time again that their #1 priority is tax cuts for the wealthy and reduction of services for the poor. This is the central tenant of their political beliefs and it has pretty much driven their policies since 1980. As a society we went along with this and now we are reaping what we have sown.

    My generation (I'm 32) grew up in the 80's and saw that job security was dead. We watched our parents get laid off en masse so CEOs could get bigger bonuses. This was the era of "Greed is good". We went through the Savings and Loan crisis which was basically a dry run for the current housing crash and no one paid any attention because the big guys were making tons of money. Through it all the power of business grew and grew until now no one really feels that the will of the people means a damn anymore. The democrats have been sold out, the republicans lied to and now the government doesn't work for anyone but the corporations.

    Given all that, you can see how we might be a little cynical and apathetic.
     
  4. zatanna

    zatanna New Member

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    i've been rather obsessed with the wikileaks phenomenon of late, not only with the recent spate of cables but to what i consider the wholly reactionary and distressing response of my government. apart from gathering just about every bit of at least quasi-reliable information i can find about the organization and the response to it the world over, and thinking critically about it as my time has allowed, i've been beset with a persistent mix of exhilaration and unease and my perspective has, somewhat unexpectedly, but irrevocably, changed.

    in the words of e.e. cummings "the eyes of my eyes have been opened." i'm receding from the notion of continuing the good fight my "liberal" forbears and mentors have established as doctrinal and considering, albeit for the first time seriously, that chucking baby out with the bathwater isn’t such a bad idea considering the body politic in the u.s. today is an overgrown oaf afraid of drowning in a foot of water. i’ve not abandoned a healthy dose realism even in my most idealistic of political leanings, but the current administration's response to wikileaks is crushing even my most conservative hopes. it's downright pathetic and insulting to read such eloquent and heraldic speech by the secretary of state, only to read the daily reports of actions to the contrary by our government. the utter hollowness and sham of invoking such powerful words with absolutely no intention of even attempting to live by them, is like a kick when you’re already down.

    i consider myself familiar enough with how u.s. government works to know that these are deteriorating times not only for the typically unconnected, disenfranchised, "lower classes," if you will, but even for the relatively educated, somewhat comfortable, work-a-day, if not wealthy, u.s. citizen. even on a local, and definitely at the state level, having well-connected friends and a cadre of influential lobbyists for your cause at the legislature is not optional. victims’ harrowing testimonies are not enough. letters of support had best be signed by political notables before you even think about taking your cause to the state capital, to mention nothing of obstacles faced at the federal level.
    so the creeping thought of the virtual revolution galvanizing and perhaps acting as a harbinger for permanent, positive changes in the global political landscape, especially as wikileaks seems poised to either usher in badly needed leverage for the"people"or seal our fate with goliath, has me a bit on edge.

    i agree with nexxo that the information which has now been revealed may not bring governments to task, but what of our past efforts to do that? have they made the kind of difference mrs. clinton mentioned that “benefits and unites us all?” on the contrary it would seem our leaders are only more brazen in their subterfuge.

    our speech and the freedom to share information are our power. we must protect them and duly consider the costs if we do not.
     
    Nexxo likes this.
  5. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    Saw this today - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19255246

    A lot has happened since this thread was abandoned more than a year and a half ago, most notably The Arab Spring.

    So I thought I'd resurrect it to see if anyone's opinions have changed, or evolved, since then...Or if we believe, as the BBC puts it, we should continue to "shut up and be governed"
     
  6. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    Well if anything, the dissemination of information is a good thing. That said, because it's so readily available, the dissemination of misinformation is much easier to achieve. It's all down to how we use that information and if we even choose to use the information or not. It's all out there. But most of us simply do not know what to do with the information.

    A personal aside: I recently got into tube-testers. Calibration specifically. I got my hands on a military manual, and some third party advice and information. Now most people wouldn't even think or bother to look it up. But it's there. And thanks to the internet. The moral? I myself would never have looked it up if not for the fact that I needed to. If there's more possibility of actual transparency, good.
     
  7. Cutter

    Cutter New Member

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    Great thread. Loving the discussion here. But darn it guys, this sort of thing keeps me up too late on work nights!

    Good discussions between Nexxo and Vipersgratitude especially. Repped you both. Couple of things I have to add my tuppence on though:-

    Nexxo - your comment about "to see the average reading age, check out the Sun". A fair point, but, for all that we deride the tabloid press, my own view is that the tabloids do have their good side. Simplistic language, focus on boobies/bums/football, simplistic arguments. But for all that, if they encourage people to read, that can only be a good thing. Literacy is better than illiteracy.

    Vipersgratitude - your comment about "The reason people don't vote is because they are disenfranchised."

    Agreed. Where I disagree is on why people are disenfranchised.

    Your comment about "The reason they are not actively involved in the community is because of the dog-eat-dog influence of free-market capitalism (Thatcher essentially broke the belief that community-based activism can make a difference)."

    Ahh. Poor old Maggie. How long is it she's been out of power now? Almost a quarter century? You'd think people would stop blaming her for everything. My own view is that she did what needed to be done at the time and has been crucified for it. I mean, unelected trade unions dictating to the rest of the country? That needed to be stopped. Ditto money being poured down the drain on propping up industries producing shoddy goods at twice the price of foreign competitors.

    Sure, she made some awful decisions (introducing poll tax in Scotland first to test it out, and her presentation wasn't the best) but overall, she did what had to be done.

    The problems we're having just now in the UK are, IMHO, down to the fact that we don't have any conviction politicians who will do what needs to be done to sort things out. They all just want to get re-elected, so promise us they can give us all we want, for free. Too many of us want to believe that and therefore vote for these charlatans.

    Your comment about "The reason is The Man, be he in the private or public sector, is too powerful to engage. The reason is not - People is dumb, innit?"

    Agreed with the first part (jury still out on the second part IMHO). And therein lies the rub. Stray too far to the left or right, and the problem becomes the same. Centralised power, Zil lanes, special shops for the higher ups.

    IMHO, what we need is a way of really cracking down legally on wrongdoing and bending rules by politicians and civil servants. I'm not just talking of the odd sacrificial lamb thrown to the tabloid wolves. I'm talking real penalties (big fines, jail time, disqualification from holding *any* public office (quango sinecure or otherwise)) for infringements in public office, rigorously enforced. Something we see all too little of unfortunately.

    That's the real problem. People are despondent because they see polticians getting away with behaviour which would see us lesser mortals jailed or facing mega fines. That then leads to "they're all bar stewards" mentality and an "i'll vote for none of them" approach.
     
  8. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    "There's nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come" ~ Victor Hugo

    Although I haven't been posting, I've been thinking about all the problems and opportunities that exponentially accelerating technological advancements present since I started this thread. More specifically I've been shaping my life to the eventual goal of building an eco-home or perhaps even an eco-village. Not a hippy commune, and not entirely off-the-grid, but a node in the network where all basic living needs can be provided through automation, and where the inhabitants do not have to sacrifice any modern conveniences. I believe this is the first step in weening ourselves off the current centralised system which, like Rome, sucks all the wealth towards the centre until it's eventual decadent collapse. Hopefully I'll soon be starting a small digital manufacturing business to fund this endeavour, but more on that in a few months...

    The plan is to use open-source solutions like wikihouse, automated farming, renewable energy, etc to provide all basic provisions....leaving the fab lab at the centre to provide the rest. A flat-packed answer to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It's only partially altruistic, the main motivation is to create an oasis from the storm of inevitable transition to an economy more suitable to our technology level. This, however, is a relatively short-sighted goal. It doesn't address the issues that society as a whole will face, and I only have so much time in a day. One of the fantastic things about bit-tech is that it has a wide range of (mature) individuals with diverse skill-sets. We have at least one psychologists, a few people in financial services and engineers of all kinds. The cafe society, for all it's faults, also provided just this - a place for people of diverse backgrounds to meet and innovate. I propose we start thinking of solutions, because frankly - Who else is going to? Almost everyone I put these ideas to don't deny them, but they reject them anyway because the route from their current state of mind the solution is overwhelming.

    As such I believe the first item on the agenda should be education, however, I do wonder if this is already solved. The STEAM fields push, along with supporting businesses such as Raspberry Pi, may mean that this generation's children will grow up knowing what is possible. Is it enough to just hope that their parents are aware of exactly how important these skills are?

    The next is economic. While I've made some in-roads to finding small local solutions, the problem of centralised power and the "might is right" potential for those in power to outlaw decentralised challenges to that power remains. It also doesn't solve the problem of inadequate governance systems. In a globally connected market, how do we (safely) create a global system of laws to govern it? Could it be decentralised? Could it be algorithmic? This one still overwhelms me despite a decade of consideration. After that - Who knows? What are your suggestions?
     
  9. Archtronics

    Archtronics Well-Known Member

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    Admittedly I havent had the time to read the whole thread but its highly unlikley your going to see local decentralised power within this lifetime.
     
  10. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    The coming years will see a massive paradigm shift in popular assessment of how the world actual works, and one of the main obstacles in talking about it now is that we don't really have the vocabulary to.

    I don't believe we will see complete decentralisation. There must be a single global set of laws governing our current single global market. From where the power to enforce those laws is derived is still in question. Hence the musing about algorithms; A New World Order scares me, but who writes the algorithm?

    What we should be pushing for is a decentralisation of dependency for basic needs - Shelter, food, water, energy, etc. Most of the resources required to fulfil them simply fall from the sky, and the others just need some processing. This removal of dependency, and consequent empowerment, may be enough to tame the potential dangers of globalised centralised power. It's about finding a balance relative to our technological progress.
     
  11. Archtronics

    Archtronics Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure there will be a lot of discussion in the coming years and I don't disagree with your point.

    but just from a technological aspect its going to be a long time before we are able to provide even the basics on a local level for the current population size so I doubt we will ever live long enough to see it.
     
  12. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget that the pace of innovation and change increases exponentially. This is a product of the fact that, the more technologies we have at our disposal, the more potential interactions there are between them.
     
  13. Archtronics

    Archtronics Well-Known Member

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    Roughly speaking yes but it’s still far to slow to achieve that sort of advancement, let alone for it to become cheap enough for everyone to use it.
     
  14. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    If we're talking about universal implementation then I agree. However all that's needed is a working example that can be easily and cost-effectively replicated. The greatest enemy to universal implementation will be the rentier class, however during revolutions they tend to get decapitated - If not from their body then from their wealth. Don't think I haven't thought this through, and don't forget that "Can't be done!" adds nothing of value.
     
  15. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    There's a reason mankind, in general, has slowly been moving towards ever more centralised systems and it's not because someone or something is telling them to organise themselves in such a manner.
     
  16. Archtronics

    Archtronics Well-Known Member

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    Anything can be done but It takes time and investment, especially complex problems that require advancements in several areas at once. I guess space companies are your best hope for a working example within our life time although I doubt you will ever get to live that life.
     
  17. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    And you believe that reason is? C'mon now, don't keep us in suspense. Use your words... :p:

    Or is that the Industry 3.0 way of thinking about it? We are entering the fourth industrial revolution, where matter itself has the potential to be a non-rival good, with the potential go viral just as quickly and effortlessly as any other other digital media. I also think you're overestimating the scope of this thread. It isn't to create a road map to utopia, but to anticipate future societal problems and imagine what the solutions could be.
     
  18. Archtronics

    Archtronics Well-Known Member

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    I’d say it’s the human way of thinking about it, the problems will be the same in the future as the present, the details change but the problems remain the same.
     
  19. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    It wasn't the human way to travel to space, before we did it.
     
  20. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    Me wordily, oh OK, here goes. :D

    The same reason we've always come together in groups, be them small tribes or unions of entire nations, we know we can achieve more as a group and the bigger the group the more you can achieve.

    From cavemen coming together to hunt prey many times the size any single man could deal with to sending humans to the moon, a collective is always capable of doing more and the larger that collective the more it can achieve. That's not to say it always does, just that it's capable, if the will to do so is there.
     

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