Tuesday, 28 January 2014

End of the Show

While news worldwide is constantly depressing, careers in supervillainy are poised to rise. For as systems fail, there will always be those who benefit from the chaos. From politicians advocating martial law to terrorists to criminal masterminds, there's always those who seek power. The problem is, in their rush to control the world, they may have destroyed that which they sought to preserve.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Positive Disruption

What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil.
Read more at http://quotes.dictionary.com/What_is_done_out_of_love_always_takes#sYyik86eErBgMeYV.99
 "What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil." -Friedrich Nietzsche


Sometimes, systems can be disrupted or exploited in ways that may not be apparent at first, but may actually be refinements of its original purposes. Manipulating data mining algorithms may increase traffic to certain sites, or spread news stories that help/hinder business interests and advertising. Other times, a new technology or paradigm may threaten an old and corrupt order. Or perhaps simplest of all, it can be used to find love. Consider this a preemptive Valentine's Day post.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Gates of Tomorrow, Problems of Yesterday

"Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule." -Friedrich Nietzsche


Sometimes, stupidity is a non-survival trait. From Darwin Awards to idiotic politicians to would be neofeudal overlords, stupidity and incompetence seem to rule the roost. This is not due to the individuals necessarily being stupid, not at all. There are very good professionals and clever people employed by governments, universities, and corporations. The problem is, the institutions they work for either ignore, misinterpret, or perform the wrong responses.

For example, climate change is reported to pose a grave threat to human civilization. The "brilliant" response? Send intelligence agencies and cops after environmental protestors, despite the fact it would make more long term strategic, economic, and political sense to encourage a shift to relocalized food, utility, and power sources. Now, such a movement would cost money, but given the titanic costs of maintaining a failing infrastructure, tax loopholes for fossil fuel exploitation, and accounting tricks to rig the stock market, it pails in comparison. Politicians expertly cater themselves to short term interests at almost a  complete and total ignorance of the long term.

This may be the tragic result of human awareness, which focuses mainly on immediate gratification. As the Boomer generation used to living beyond its means shuffles off this mortal coil, they're leaving a political, legal, economic, and environmental trainwreck behind them.

Each generation likes blaming their own youth for their own problems, but also uses every dirty trick to maintain their dominance. If immortality were made practical and cheap for the masses, one wonders if a gerontocracy run by Boomers would be a fusion of 1984's surveillance state and Brave New World's mindless hedonism. Tomorrow's problems have their roots today, all because of lacking the urge to be a good ancestor.*

*=Not necessarily an ancestor in the sense of having a family, but being an ancestor in the sense of leaving a positive contribution to the world for the future.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Crowdfunding Utilities

As existing utility companies and monopolies try to offer higher prices for worse service, there is the possibility of nonprofit organizations raising money through crowdfunding. Traditionally, taxation served this role, but due to privatization and abuse of eminent domain, today's utilities are tomorrow's failing infrastructure. (This is not solely an American issue, as Europe, the UK, and other nations are largely following the same pattern.)

As the cost of local wireless and utilities continues to drop, and existing infrastructure becomes difficult to maintain, the demand will rise for local alternatives. Crowdfunding may not raise the money that taxation does, but even larger companies may find advantage in making donations (as well as the modern equivalent of charities and philanthropy). Now, an impressive task would be to crowdfund the principle needed for a minimum income program. Of course minor updates would be needed to keep up with population growth and inflation/deflation, but overall, some things may be better in the hands of nonprofits.