Posts Tagged ‘Culture’
Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
After nearly a year of pause (at least in terms of new articles as I’ve still been publishing some references/links), I’ve published two new articles on Libervis.com. This follows after a redesign and a revision that was done recently which is meant to revive this long standing project as one of the key components in my web publishing “agenda”.
Here are the new articles:
The first reflects one of the basic issues that the site’s content is and will be tackling, which is the issue of our mental, cultural and social preparedness for the power of new technologies. Since it gives power to its user which can be both negative and positive technology changes the potential of certain mental, cultural and social norms to affect the society.
Second article is more philosophical, but mainly pertains to the issue we’ve been addressing since the founding of Libervis.com, which is the issue of proprietary software and Free Software and the currently believed paradigm that copyright law operates on. Software is a type of technology whereas copyright law and this “intellectual property” paradigm reflects some social and cultural norms. This has consequences some of which have been outlined in that article.
Libervis.com will continue to actively be used to address issues all across the spectrum that lies between society and culture as we know it and the technology that we use from such a perspective. I think it’s a set of issues which is going to tremendously increase in importance as the accelerating technological evolution continue in face of all the social, cultural and economic turmoil and shifting.
Saturday, December 27th, 2008
I’ve just watched The Day Earth Stood Still in the cinema. I enjoyed the movie, and of course, played with my own thoughts while watching… I sometimes have dark thoughts, almost wishing for a catastrophe, a cataclysm, or at least an imminent threat of one, so peculiar and global that it truly makes the whole world stop.
On closer inspection I never wish for destruction or death, but I still wish something induced people to stop for once in their lives, stop like they’ve never stopped, took a step back from where they were and saw it, saw themselves and the world around them from a different perspective and ask themselves some hard questions they’ve previously been taught and induced to avoid.
I believe that most people, however, do feel that something is in our future that is so significant that it will reshape the world as we know it. Most religions claim to predict it. Certain scientists expect it. Movie industry and culture likes to play with spectacular scenarios of what it might be. And every decade there are movements of people believing a special year is coming, and a special day, the current obsession being around 2012 (unsurprisingly, the movie industry is planning to cash in on this by launching a same named movie: 2012). It’s like most individuals of our humanity have some sort of a inexplicable premonition, in form of an urge to wonder about and expect something….
Looking at the world and how quickly it has been changing in the last century lends further credibility to such mysterious expectations. Two world wars, industrial revolutions, global economic upsurges and depressions, continuing globalization and unprecedented evolution of technology and knowledge… Our world is changing constantly, and at accelerating rates. And it feels like this acceleration must lead towards something.. we may hit the wall or cross a threshold.
The best point that can be extracted from the movie, one which also marked the most significant thought left at its ending is that we change on the precipice, when pushed to the very edge of our current paradigm in fear that we will either perish or face the darkness of the unknown.
I believe something is coming, but I don’t know nor will pretend to know what. Many will swarm to tell me “It’s Jesus!”, “It’s the singularity!”, “It’s Planet X”, “It’s an asteroid!”. You entertain yourself with those best guesses. I’ll wait and see, and meanwhile be who I am and on a mission that I send myself to. Do what is right, no matter what the future holds. And I will remember that only I can say what is right for me.
Tuesday, August 5th, 2008
Monday, July 28th, 2008
I have a feeling that the young generations of today and rebellion go hand in hand. Some would say that it is in the nature of teen age to rebel, but judging from what I hear from my own parents, a story which may be confirmed by many other parents, is that even if they did want to rebel, the voice of obedience was often much stronger. Their own parents must’ve been much more intimidating.
Today, in the age in which rebellions thumping sounds are what we call mainstream music, from hip hop to trance and techno, it looks like the young generation is winning. Only a couple of decades ago this kind of music was frowned upon as mind washing, overly seductive and drug use inducing and people have and probably still are literally forbidding their kinds to listen to it, let alone go to one of those huge parties
Yet the number of these parties and the number of attendants seems to be growing! The once considered “hard” electronic music is becoming mainstream. This music very often invokes feelings of self power and thereby rebellion to anyone who says you can’t do what you really want.
There is only one problem. People who love this kind of music, and despite criticism from their elderly go to these parties, often go only to get themselves “wasted” or to “have a good time” or even to find a (sex) partner…
It could be more, however, if the mentality of rebellion is brought a step further. I could say that the rebels have the music, but still lack the determination and a target. The electronic music culture seems a little like the anti-globalist movement, but with a twist. They both love to make lots of noise wherever they go. They both come in great numbers and they both have a sense of rebellion in them. It’s just that anti-globalists, when they come to one of their “parties”, that is, protests, shout and scream and wave signs and flags and even sometimes do material damage in their agitation towards the perceived enemy, the target, the powers that be, like the G8 group or the Bilderbergs.
Their problem? What the hell is their solution? They have the target alright, but they seldom offer anything they fight FOR. Like, who would they replace the G8, the Bilderbergs and the worlds corrupt governments with??
The electronic music culture of rebellion is similar. They’ve got that kick (pun not intended), but it’s not channeled towards anything but “wasting” themselves. Many on those sensational trance parties talk about “energy”, “love” and “connectedness”, but where do they channel these things? Maybe this energy could be channeled towards a particular shared goal? Maybe the electronic music culture of rebellion needs to define a target and a goal of its own. We feel rebellious, but who are we rebelling against and what are we FOR?
Bottom line is, I’m essentially advocating a merger between what is essentially entertainment and activism. Both have enormous power within them. Entertainment, like electronic music in this instance, can get people incredibly energized, fired up and excited. Activism needs exactly these elements to fuel its campaign for a particular cause. Merging the two is an explosion waiting to be detonated.
I will, in fact, probably be working on this sort of thing. My last post was incredibly vague and impulsive, but it does have something to do with what I am talking about here.
The culture of rebellion will be powered up. Ingredients are there. We just need to mix them up.
Saturday, July 12th, 2008
Something is going to happen today, a mass of people who finally woke up from their apathy are going to march for their freedom in Washington DC, USA. As a country which used to be considered a beacon of freedom, it is today one of the examples of a police state, and the way people usually react to these gradual yet disastrous encroachments of their liberties is apathy, because they feel lost or disempowered. “What can I do anyway, right?”
Well, Ron Paul is no savior, but he has done something incredible nevertheless. He has been the only US president candidate which actually shows genuine care for the issue of freedom and presents a message that is truly different from what has become a norm in US lately. This helped show people that there may yet be a chance, if only a last chance, for them to actually slow down or stop the encroachments to their freedom.
A sign one guy in a video I am about to link says it best: “Ron Paul cured my apathy”.
Indeed, apathy, which leads to ignorance, settles in when there is a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness, but if you are in USA today you can feel vibrant and alive and you can march with hope and energize your activist spirit. The masses of young people are waking up.
But I’ll stop rambling and show you what is it that brings me to tears.
Please digg this video.
It starts with some powerful and motivating scenes of people being abused by their government and flashes back to WW2 germany. The comparison is more fitting than you may think if you just do some research.
It brings me to tears because I care about freedom. I don’t know how else to put it. It is baffling how have we let our governments invade our lives so much, yet we have seen it time and again on TV, on the internet, new freedom depriving laws, news of people being abused and arrested for the most benign of reasons, for crimes which contain no v of violence in it. This shit piles up until we become numb. Even I become numb, cynical and angry.
That video may be propaganda, but it has a way of being an emotional outlet, inducing the kind of reaction that convinces me, yes I do care. I care to the tears. I care so much I would want to go there and march with the rest, if I only could.
But I will be watching for the news from the freedom front tomorrow in Washington. And I will be hoping that they send a shockwave of voices saying: “We are not giving up, we are paying attention and we are going to take our freedoms back”. And then, there is more hope we can go even further, not just 90% of freedom with minimal government, but 100% of it in a true voluntaryist society.
But it all starts now, or every moment that you choose. Maybe you’ll want to choose July 12, the Revolution March.
And again, please Please spread this video to help motivate more people.
Saturday, June 14th, 2008
The reason is quite simple really. The more capable you are to think independently and cognitively the less susceptible you will be to being controlled. If you can’t think for yourself then anyone can fool you and anyone can make you believe anything at any time. I can only feel sorry for you at that point, but no, this time I will not blame propaganda or the person who is trying to convince you of something.
I will blame you.
Propaganda is, quite simply, a tool. It can be used to convey any message or idea, whether I think it’s good or bad. The only thing that differentiates it from an educational film is that aside from your reasoning capabilities it also appeals to your emotions which can in many cases actually be a good thing. Involving emotion into the matter is what makes people passionate and energized about something. It is also a way to get people who usually don’t care about a particular thing to start caring.
Propaganda is therefore like technology. You can’t blame it, you can’t ever blame a “thing” anyway. You can only blame a human being, the producer of a propaganda movie if you believe that the idea he is conveying is the wrong one or the viewer of propaganda for being too willing to accept what is being conveyed without thinking independently about it and researching the facts.
Besides, there is no such thing as an universally wrong or an universally right idea. There is only what is real and what is not. If you have an idea which makes you act in a particular way, reality will always kick in with the consequences of your action. If you dislike the consequences then you might judge your idea as a wrong one. If the consequences are good then you might be on the right track. And the only one who can decide if the consequences are good or bad is you, with consideration to what your desires and goals actually are.
The problem with people in Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Soviet Union or Mao’s China is not so much propaganda as much as the willingness of people to accept its message almost without questioning. It is ignorance and intellectual laziness. If Hitler’s propaganda was to convey the ideas of individualism, individual sovereignty, freedom, rights to life, liberty and property and people blindly accepted it, I would be willing to bet that they would all be better off because such propaganda would have the same exact message I am trying to convey with many of my posts: think for yourself.
And that would be an example of propaganda which, EVEN when accepted blindly, actually created what can by most people probably considered a good outcome, because everyone is an individual, alive and to a point selfish – and everyone wants to be free of force.
Ideally, of course, they would accept such propaganda only after they have thoroughly questioned it which is excellent because then those who do accept and adopt the idea will do so not only on basis of an emotional appeal, but on the basis of reason, making their enlightenment all the more profound.
In other words, the ideal way to tackle your exposure to propaganda is with the prioritize reason over passion mentality. This doesn’t mean that the emotional appeal shouldn’t entice you to explore the idea further. I mean, if it works for you then go for it! It just means that the emotional trigger should be secondary. It got you intrigued, it got you excited.. to stop at that and turn yourself into an immediate true believer now would be a mistake though. You still need to think it through, do some research to see if the trigger of reason would switch to green for the newly discovered idea too.
Propaganda is especially useful for small grassroots movements who are having trouble convincing people to even give them a chance, to at least try and hear them out. So if making an emotional appeal can get people to listen who can blame them for trying it? They aren’t forcing you to believe anything after all and they aren’t the ones who can brainwash your mind if you don’t let it. You can proclaim them as “evil” if you end up disliking the idea they conveyed (though in my opinion that’d be a foolish proclamation as I don’t believe anyone is inherently evil) or you can praise them for “opening your eyes”, but in both cases it is you who is responsible for what you end up believing in and the consequences of actions you undertake in pursuit of such beliefs, and nobody else!
Monday, March 10th, 2008
There is something wrong in the world and there always has been something wrong in the world. However, we likely wouldn’t know about that should there have been no people to blow the whistles, to speak against the current state of things (that being “the system”, “the establishment” or whatever). We would come to accept the current state of things as normal and all the negative effects on our life as mere “facts of life” as supported by “common knowledge” and “common sense”.
So called “conspiracy theory” movements are gaining strength. The Free Software and Free Culture movement are providing a shelter from digital restrictions on individual freedoms. The anti-war movement organized the biggest anti-war protest in history in 2003, not so long ago. The internet is doing wonders in rising support for an otherwise completely unlikely president candidate in USA: Ron Paul (albeit whether this would get him elected is highly doubtful).
All of these are symptoms of corruptness of our world. It is the immune system of our societies fighting back at the cancer that is developing in them. You do not have to agree with Alex Jones or David Icke on everything. You might even consider them frauds trying to earn their fortunes on people’s hunger for some sort of a change. However, if everything was fine and if people really didn’t have anything to rally against, they wouldn’t have the success that they had.
Furthermore, despite sometimes dubious story arks presented by these people, many of the things they say do reflect the truth as I see it and some of the reactions they awake in people are indeed ones that should awake. I once recently read a comment about libertarians from someone who doesn’t necessarily agree with them. He said, and I paraphrase, that a good thing about libertarians is that they serve as a detector of bad government behaviour since they put government at so much scrutiny. My point is that even when you disagree with the general context surrounding a particular political faction or a campaign, there may be some things about it which are worth picking out and recognizing as good effects.
This is why I advocate inquisitive exploration and open minded analysis of everything, as long as you are capable and well trained (by yourself) to resist classical propaganda appeals. This way you can separate the stuff that makes sense to you from the stuff that, as some aptly say, alarms your “bullshit detector” (which too must be well trained).
However, open minded exploration must be combined with another incredibly important thing: self-determination. You must respect yourself, believe in yourself and be confident. You must discover who you are and what you want to be in order to know the context of your interests and your exploratory journey. Here is the thing. No book, no newspaper, no TV station, no internet podcast, no holly book, no government and no leader deserves an absolute trust. The only one you must trust is yourself.
To borrow a saying from the movie idiocracy: “Either lead, follow or get out of the way”. I think there is quite a bit of wisdom to those words. What I would urge everyone to try to choose among these three options is “lead”. Seriously, I want everyone to be leaders!
You might ask how is this possible? Someone must be a follower, right? Well, there is nothing about this piece of wisdom which denies the possibility of combining either of these three options. What I advocate is a certain way of prioritizing where “lead” comes first, “follow” comes second and “get out of the way” comes third. For example, when exploring someone’s presentation of “truth” you must think like a leader, the leader of yourself and determine whether it is a good idea to lead yourself to the following of this new “truth”. Just the same, when you are considering “getting out of the way”, this is the mind set which should be employed. Following something or someone as well as getting out of the way (possibly submitting to a sort of ignorance) are options that should be picked with much more deliberation than they usually are.
You must be a leader.
Imagine a nation of such leaders, self-determined, confident, curious and open minded. Who is going to pull one over their eyes? How can they be manipulated? They can’t. This is why I believe this mentality of leadership, when adopted by ideally everyone in our society might be one of the fundamental pillars of positive world change.
That said, going back to the real world as we see it today, here is an interesting observation. Why are “conspiracy theorists” like Alex Jones and David Icke so full of propaganda material appealing to ones emotional triggers? Could it be because the majority of our society has become so numb to intellectual rationalism that there is no other way to reach them other than propagandist emotional appeals? If this is so (and I would be willing to bet it is), then it is certainly a sad state of things. These common people are essentially like remote controlled drones – you only need to press the right switches for them to move.
It is hard to tell who is guilty of turning them into this. Is it the system (media propagated culture of consumerism, culture of desire etc.) they help fuel or is it themselves for letting it happen in the first place? It may really be both, since it is hard to see things ever being much better in the past. If anything people have been even more ignorant and conforming. However, one thing that seems to be different and most scary about the present culture of conformism and ignorance is that they believe they are free and that everything is just fine.
And this is because they failed to grow up into leaders of themselves and are still nannied by the corrupt system they live in and perpetuate. It’s time to make kids into adults and turn this movement of sub-humanism into intellectual super-humanism.
Disclaimer: Again, I have to say that sub-humanism and super-humanism do not refer to inherent state of human beings. We are all simply human. Instead, I refer to the aspirations which may be towards sub- or super-. This is not about eugenics and not about trans-humanism, nor do my views condone treating people as less or more human. Perhaps I will get tired of these disclaimers and come up with alternative terms. Feel free to make suggestions.
Disclaimer2: The fact that I realized and acknowledged these notions does not necessarily make me an end result of these “super-humanism” aspirations. I wouldn’t even claim to be a very good leader of myself. I have my problems and I am, after all, a mere human. However, I think it is the realization that matters as the first step towards making yourself more superb. I am on my journey. I hope you will or already had started yours.