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Author: wangahrah Page 3 of 7

corporations are people too

Corporations are legal entities with rights.  Also, people think they are evil, and not-people, so they shouldn’t have rights.

I’m not entirely certain if those are the right reasons.  I mean, Lex Luthor  is kinda evil, but he should still have rights.  The Joker is evil and crazy, and he still has rights, at least if you are Batman.  Freddy might not have rights, but he’s dead, or maybe not real.  Maybe things that aren’t real don’t really need rights.

Corporations do exist, but they don’t exist.  There’s no such thing.  Corporations are made up of people.  Chances are, you or someone you love works for a corporation…and there’s a strong chance you or someone you love hates the job they have working for this corporation.  We hate getting spammy phone calls, and the person making them hates making them…but you got to pay the bills somehow.  You’re not even a person making the calls…you’re just an extension of the Corp.

It’s a shuffling of responsibility.  The Corporation has to pay a fine.  That doesn’t make sense.  The Corporation doesn’t make money, really.  At least, that money is not realized until it transfers to the hands of people (either in the corp in question, or another one).  The CEO isn’t legally responsible.  The person who made the decision probably isn’t legally responsible. The Corporation is.  Fines therefore hurt the people working for the corporation, and the people with power to do Evil Corporate Things probably have the power to have the consequences not effect them at all.

Corporations may be evil, but if they are, it’s really just humans making poor decisions, usually to pad their own wallet.  You do it too, I bet.  You’re not entirely honest 100% of the time.  Neither is Mr. Manager or Mr. CEO…given a chance to get some extra cash, sooner or later, they’ll probably take it.  When the responsibility is shifted off of them, and to a non-entity, it encourages that behaviour.

The solution?  Stop being evil, clearly.  Move away from thinking about corporations, and remember, they are just people.  Just like this guy.  Doesn’t he make you happy?

Corporations can have a purpose.  The sole purpose should not be to maximize profits.  If that’s the charter, it will end poorly, 100% of the time.  If the purpose is to develop X widget for the good of humanity, a corporation can do great things.  If we look to the unimportant things (that don’t even make us happy), we’ll continue doing unimportant things and not being happy.  If we focus on maximizing good for people in general…we’d have a lot more interesting things going on.

This isn’t anti-captilism, or anti-corporation, really.  It’s just that we are doing it wrong.  If you have the wrong goals, how can you expect to end up right?  Silly limes.  Get a basket.

things i believe, or dont or whatever

I guess I can come out of the closet.  It’s probably one of those situation where everyone already knows I am, but I don’t admit it to the general public.  Actually, I don’t think about it much.  It’s not like it eats away at me.  I know everyone is is just screaming in their heads, “COME OUT AND SAY IT ALREADY”, and I’m just here dragging my feet.  Sorry for taking so long.  I’m pretty much an agnostic.

 

My apologies to the Muslims/Buddhists/whoever.  This will be primarily discussed in its relationship to Christianity, but the thoughts can be applied everywhere.

It boggles my mind a little how controversial agnosticism can be.  Or perhaps it’s not at all controversial, and I’ve just grown up in situations where it becomes very controversial.  At ye olde alma mater [cedarville.edu], one of the hot issues was the matter of truth and certainty, assurance of salvation, etc.  At the core, the question becomes, can we know things with absolute certainty?  Or, can absolute truth be known?

Let me back up.  I write this just as much for my own benefit, as it helps sort and clarify my own thoughts, as I do for you, those who will vote for me in the 2028 presidential election.  I’m not saying I don’t believe in God; I certainly do.  The reasons are due to personal experiences, things I can’t safely attribute to randomness or chance, and specific events which spoke to my own mind and soul.  That’s part of the individuality of God relating to us; some people find God in a cute puppy, others in the workings of the atom.  For me, the intervention of God in my life has, I believe, at all junctions been shown through me by the statements and influence he has had on me through my own father.  On three separate occasions, he has shown uncharacteristic behaviour in a precise way, though not knowing beforehand what effect that would have on me.  Beyond that, all I have learned and known of God had and has been academic…quite important to my growth, but nothing to provide a real root or faith.

Therefore, in a core, absolute sense, I am not an agnostic;  I do firmly believe in God, though I cannot prove, nor will make any such attempts to prove the existence of such a being.  Furthermore, I believe all attempts to prove such a being’s existence or lack thereof will be flawed and end with nearly no good done.  The only way an individual can react to God is by God reaching them in a way particular to them.  This may be through other people; it may even be through someone else trying prove God’s existence!  I’m trying not to get bogged down in the details.  The point is there exist no proof, objectively, of God or notGod.  Only anecdote.

Beyond this, I don’t claim to particularly know anything about God.  I’ve been raised with excellent theology, have had my mind trained by leadership camps, worldview seminars, Bible degrees, and that which most significantly warps my thought process…a degree in engineering.  My brain is (as of yet) insatiably inquisitive and contrary, even to its own thoughts.  There are many religions with diverse beliefs.  Within each individual religion there are independent sects, often with intra-religious conflicting beliefs.  Most sects of all religions have those considered learned and wise in religious and intellectualism…and I believe they are.  How can so many learned folk be in such disagreement on what is knowable, and on what that knowledge is?

I believe we cannot know much beyond this.  We should pursue knowledge and growing, and we will always find and grow in beliefs…but every belief that you have will be able to be countered by some logic, mindset, theory, whatever.  The reason people believe so many different things is because we cannot prove most things one way or another, so people are drawn to conclusions through a variety of mechanisms.  Some are sound.  Some are not sound.  Two people may believe the same thing…one because of real investigation leading him there, and another simply because they were brought up that way, and have never considered it.  Some people will say 2 + 2 = 4, because of math.  Some will say 2 + 2 = 4 because, it just feels right.  With the same answer, is one person right, and one wrong?  If someone says they believe in God through study and searching, and another believes in the same God because it just feels right, are they both in the same place?  I can’t answer those questions.  Even MATH can foil you. As Mark Twain once said, there are … “lies, damned lies, and statistics”.

Alright, I know this sort of discussion causes one mindset to dance with joy in the brain, and the other to say…what are you saying, and why do I care? Give me real things I can disagree with, you dirty hipster.

Let me share some practical things this leads me to not believe.  I’m not against them.  I just really don’t see any reason for them beyond faith, and the faith it takes for these things is no different than the faith Muslims have about their dogma.  Neither do I see God extending himself to validate the existance of dogma.  Many people feel God working and moving to make his presence known.  I don’t know of even any anecdotes relating to the following:

  • The innerrancy of the Bible (in any form it takes)
  • Doctrine of the Trinity
  • Literal deity of Jesus
  • Being “saved” by the work of Jesus

Really, this is enough to have me stricken from the Christian records.  That’s alright.  Jesus was Jewish anyway, so I don’t mind not being a Christian.  What does concern me…I don’t want to say it scares me, though sometimes it does…is the thought that my lack of dogma would separate me from community.  I am active in a church’s youth group, and I wouldn’t want these things to have them feel that I cannot provide leadership and wisdom.  Kids are in a shitty place, through not much fault of their own, and I like being able to help them.  I wouldn’t even mind being shut out of the church, or rejected by my peers.  I want to be able to show those kids they can make it, and that there is a better path.

Overally, people grow up believing what they grew up with.  Some explore and find other things.  Some don’t.   I’m tired of attributing problems to Christianity or specific beliefs.  It has almost nothing to do with religion or politics, even though that’s where the fiercest battles take place.  It has to do with being human. Humans of all religions and all political affiliations believe different things, but overall, act the same way.

Christianity specifically, and many other religions, place emphasis on faith.  It’s theoretically not a problem that we cannot prove things; we live by faith!  However, how do you place that faith?  On that, there is no barometer.  There are scientific findings that make Christianity look silly.   Common sense seems it should render cults ineffective.  But that’s ok…they live by faith.  If there is no standard, then we cannot judge anything as objective truth, ever…at least, in the world we live in now.  People can live only by faith, and they will believe whatever it is they end up believing.

And you know what? I’m ok with that.  Now, I strongly prefer when people think, explore, and come to thoughtful conclusions through study and communion with God.  Everyone is not like that.  Though I won’t claim the Bible to be true in an absolute sense, it certainly has wisdom, and the body of any community has many parts…all different.

I’m not being entirely truthful.  It drives me batshit insane when people act illogically, and rejects the clearest indications of things we can know because of their beliefs.  As a brief example, take global warming.  Bringing up global warming will be near-immediately rejected in certain circles.  However, all indications provide evidence that the earth is, in fact, warming.  Put aside your beliefs for a moment. Accept that evidence clearly shows this is true.  After that, you can be on the same page to discuss why the world is getting warmer.  Please, don’t close your eyes.  Don’t be dogmatic.  Let both your faith and your intellect intertwine.

I reject a lot of things.  Reject is strong word.  Perhaps I really just mind less and less.

I’ll tell you what I do believe in.  God, loving him, and loving other people.  I can’t tell you why.  But I’ll try and show you, even though I suck even at it.

even cthulhu can be cute

occupy, yourmom

In the background for most of yesterday, I watched theotherr99 on ustream.  It was pretty interesting watching people marching around NYC too occupy and protest and whatever else people feel like doing or saying nowadays.

Sometimes, I get the feeling many of the protesters are just in love with protesting.  Listening to the speeches, seeing their hand waving, hearing “the people’s microphone”, and so on.  I’m glad people are standing up for what they think, but the VIBE I get is they’re happier to be involved in a protest than they really care to get anything done.  They enjoy their processess, and how they are different.

One speaker said how this was a “war on education”.  What?  I thought the complaint was they were told to educations, they did, and now they can’t get jobs that they wanted.  Isn’t THE SYSTEM encouraging people to get educated, and the issue is the rising cost and elevated debt students come out with?  It has nothing to do with a war on education.  I bet the 1% is just trying to occupy your wallet.

Also, everything gets “occupied” now.  Stop that, please.  Think about what you mean; don’t just pick up words.

I’m VERY pleased that people are taking to the streets.  I think that’s great.  Historically speaking, the kind of change they are looking to implement only happens when things start to get violent.  Why would anyone listen to these people?  Government can ignore them, the media minimizes them, and even the average strained American thinks they’re a bit bonkers.  We all agree that the political/industrial complex is an issue.  These people are standing and speaking against it.  It’s just that their thoughts don’t match up to most American’s thoughts.  They’re not the 99% of America, but 99% of them probably represent America’s young adults, who were trained to think in a certain way.  Their training was based on a lie, and now they’re pissed.

I do think it would be great if non-occupiers looked on the protesters with compassion.  There’s a much larger narrative than can simply be solved with “get a job, lazy kids!”.  They have serious loan problems (not that I’m saying part of the blame is not their own!), slim prospects for living the life they were “promised”, and things are not fair.

I was brought up being taught something along the lines of, “Work hard, apply yourself, excel, because it’s the right thing to do.  You’ll probably get screwed over in life anyway.”  When I was some some number of years old, less than 10, my parents “hired” me to weed the front shrubberies, or rocks, or who knows what.  I knew I was going to get paid, and I was excited.  So I spent all day working, and my dad came out, looked around, and said “Good job!”.  He reached into his pocket, pulled out whatever change he had there.  He used that as an opportunity to tell me never to accept a job unless I knew what the payment terms were.  Pretty often in life, we don’t know enough about what we are doing to be realistic about the expectations, so we’ll get screwed over again and again.  It’s a reality, but most kids don’t know that, and most of the protesters are still kids who are getting smashed with the realities of life.  It’s definitely harder for them to succeed than it was for their parents, but “fair” isn’t ever going to be on the map.

However, I don’t think things are yet bad enough to force change.  I think they’ll get there.  It’ll be interesting to watch.  Sometimes I wish I was old, so I could have more experience seeing and understand the broad strokes of history.

oy

Sometimes, I feel very sad. It’s a deep, unsettling, omni-life-sad.  Sometimes, (especially) atheists may say things about religion or god or belief in such things is a crutch.  It really is.  I don’t know what else to fall back on, except my belief in god being real and me having a real purpose in life, and the purpose is quite simple; to love god and love people.  Any schemes or dreams that I have are, in the broad scale of the universe, insignificant.  Neither myself nor anyone can really accomplish anything of cosmic significance, for many definitions of cosmic significance.  The cosmos doesn’t know, and doesn’t care about you.  I’m not talking about the happy pappy “EVERY LIFE YOU TOUCH IS SIGNIFICANT” area.  Sure, people are important, but a comet could smack the earth into the sun like golf ball going into, the sun, and galaxies and physics and math and gravity would keep on spinning.

Lately, I’ve been super motivated.  Until the past day or two of blah-ness, I mean.  I’ve learned a lot, grown a lot, studied a lot.  Learning learning learning, and theoretically I love it…but I keep coming back to all is meaningless.  We have no inherit value except what is imbued in us as creations of god.  I don’t particularly know what that means at this point, but I believe it to be true.  So what if I understand politics, economics, history, psychology?  I don’t even know what to do with it.  I’ll keep learning though.

Does it matter how big I get? Is there any relevance for me in the world? I struggle to connect with everyone around me, even/especially my family.  And it’s not some sort of fucked up insane family…we are pretty a snapshot of a standard happy nuclear family.  I’ve always done my own thing, and that isolates me from the world I live in.

Things ain’t so bad.  I just need outlets and connection and community.  Meg helps keep me sane and growing, even though it’s work loving someone so different from yourself.

EMO

community

I’ve just finished reading Life, Inc. by Douglas Rushkoff.  I’ve summarized a little on my life wiki, but it spurred a decent amount of thought.

I’d like to start out with trying to figure this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocKFSLsZnUo

Hmm. Do people cheer because they want people dead?  Or because Perry takes a strong stance on harsh penalties?  Either way, I struggle with the timing of their cheering.

People in society has been disconnected from each other, and I feel the above reaction points to that.  Actually, I just wanted to address that clip, and this seemed a decent way to say my thoughts on it, and loosely related it to the book I just finished.

So, Life Inc.  Our lives are dominated by a corporate mindset.  Forget about the corporations themselves; focus on the mindset it has given us.  Many people would rather pay for moving people, rather than have to deal with those pesky people they know.  We give money to support causes, instead of participating in a cause.  We live our lives by proxy…we watch reality shows for our personal interaction, we vote for the candidates who espouse our beliefs (instead of getting involved to make a difference), and continually abstract our interactions.

I know, this isn’t true for you.  YOU get involved, right?  But most people don’t.  The key to a grassroots movement is individuals acting how they should.  So get involved.  Talk to people.  Choose being part of a community over being a consumer.

 

911 (or 119 over the pond)

I pulled up to the library for some new propaganda material, and the area around the municipal building was a mess of emergency vehicles.  The road I typically turn on to was blocked by police cars and an ambulance, and there were many more down the road, along with some fire trucks and uniformed emergency officers.  I parked on a road a bit away, and proceed into the library.

On my way out, they started the event.  I wasn’t sure what was going on at first.  We haven’t quite mastered the concept of actually speaking into microphones properly,  so it was pretty difficult to hear what was going.  Side note: please do NOT lower your normal speaking volume, and talk directly into the microphone.  Technology is no excuse for poor diction or speaking skills!

It turned out to be my town’s 911 memorial.  They had acquired a piece of metal from one of the towers, which was the center of the memorial.  I’m normally the guy who wants nothing to do with these types of things; not because I’m against memorializing big events, but because we do such an atrocious job of memorializing, spout all sorts of nonsense, and commercialize it.  I was feeling exploratory and open minded, so I stayed for the whole thing.

It was nice enough, but I was saddened slightly in ways I wasn’t expecting.  First of all, I have vague memories of elementary/middle school.  My mom was somewhat active in my hometown’s political happenings, especially the official town National Day of Prayer event.  My experience was that this was a community event, which means kids from local schools sing, read things, etc.  They started off the memorial with a singing of the national anthem…I was hoping/expecting for someone to be actually singing, but it was a recording.  They played Taps, and I hoped for someone to be on a brass instrument nearby…this too was a prepackaged recording, as was “God Bless America” as they raised high the American flag, and closed out the proceedings with “Where Were You” (insert sad face here).  The only thing live was the bagpipe players in the honor guard.

There was only perhaps 30-40 people in attendance, along with 50+ emergency officers in uniform standing in rank.  From what I could hear, there were three people from my town who died during the events of 9/11, and apparently their wives “have to live 9/11 every day”.  I would have preferred to hear from the wives as to how they are holding up after 10 years.  Even after intense tragedy, life does move on, and people rebound in an amazing way.

One final thought: Separation of Church/State.  The even opened with a prayer from a local priest, and ended with a prayer from a rabbi.  A majority of Americans are religious, in one way or another.  Most who do not attended a religious institution with any regularity still claim to believe in God.  Some are against these sorts of religious demonstrations at politically sponsored events…I don’t know how you could have a community even without them.  It should be a reflection of the people, and, regardless of my feelings on the subject, I believe it was.

fair lawn 911

Fair Lawn 911

more fud

Recession part 2, huh? Maybe its FUD, maybe its real.

It’s the fault of the US healthcare system. It’s the fault of unsustainable wars. It’s the fault of capitalism.

Corporations are posting records profits, but you don’t have a job. It’s not really a recession, it’s just the people that have no money and can’t get jobs.

It’s the corporation’s fault. That’s OUR fault. We buy from Walmart. We choose cheap over quality. We buy clothes, toys, electronics manufactured for pennies by de-facto slaves in developing countries. We have systematically driven labor out of our country. Look at how cheap luxuries now are…air conditioners, TVs, phones. Did you think that was sustainable? You did not protest. You allowed it to happen.

Yeah, the government had some role. The corporations had some role. The American way is traditionally independent, and the people take charge. You’re not doing that. So it’s your fault.

Make thoughtful purchases. Live thoughtful lives. Understand we are in a global economy, and cheap comes with a price.

get learned

1. It’s amazing how you can make something less-dirty simply by cleaning it.

2. It’s amazing how you can understand how something works better simply by learning about it.

The first point was proven to me by cleaning my bathroom a bit.  My toilet still does a bit of the leaky leak, but that should be fixed this evening.

The second point is more in regards to finance and banking, prompted by the DEBTPOCALYPSE.

It’s not this guys fault, really, but it’s nice to blame him.  Frankly, he asked for it by running for president.

Through the Khan Academy, I’ve been getting myself lurned.  I’d suggest checking it out.  It’s open-sourced education via Youtube videos on a wide variety of topics.  Hopefully, it takes off in a good way…self educating has never been easier.  Maybe it’s bad to make self-educating easier, and will create a long term deficit in the number of people who really explore new concepts, but I have no problem using it as a springboard.

Instead of ranting about one thing or another, I’ll distill it down to how it’s adjusted my thoughts on America’s financial situation, which also is indicative of the world’s economic state.  I will also be drawing some connections to ister Buckminster Fuller’s opus, Critical Path [amazon.com].

Important concepts that I am the first to ever realize

1. Gold, precious metal, or any physical commodity that serves [little to no] purpose in and of itself for value is to be understood simply as a representation of wealth.

Wealth used to be represented by real value, which is to say, milk.   Or a goat.  Or me building you a house.  Just kidding, I won’t build you a house.  If you have a cow, it can produce milk if it is cared for and fed regularly.  What it takes to sustain a cow is sustainable and renewable.  The cow will graze, drink water, make baby cows, and produce more milk.  The baby cows will grow up, produce milk, or maybe be slaughtered for fun in a bullfight.  I can start with two cows, and with proper care, my wealth will increase.  In the same way, trees grow, value can be added, and the level of wealth in the world can continuously increase.

Assume that all the gold in the world was already mined, and no more could be artificially created.  We now have a static level of gold.  We’ll call it 100 gold, mined by our orc peons in the mines.  Nothing I can say or do will make the gold create beautiful babies.

Our papermoney used to be tied to gold.  Until recently, I believed our papermonies should be linked to the actual value in gold.  After considering the implications of the above, this doesn’t need to be the case.  Papermoney reflects wealth, not an amount of gold.  However, the amount of gold in the world CAN be tied to wealth…you just need to divide the value of gold up more and more, and it gets more purchasing power as the ratio of wealth to available-gold increases.  Boom, deflation.  I could buy one hamburger with one gold today.  Tuesday, I can buy two hamburgers with one gold.  This is the goal of all humanity; more hamburgers.  Inflation only lets you buy a slider instead of a full burger for one gold. You can see it’s a very complicated gold-for-beef system.

Anyway, the point is, gold is not money, papermoney is not money, wealth is money.  Wealth can be tied to a number of things; right now, its not.  Go learn more about it yourself.

2.  Fractional reserve banking doesn’t have to be so bad.

It’s just a higher level of abstraction.  If you don’t know what it is, go find out.  However, it seems FRB has led to numerous bubbles that pop.  Therefore, it’s bad.  Just like socialism is always bad.  Always.  I don’t believe that, actually.  FRB allows for investments to generate MORE wealth. The issue is that the wealth that is generating is just based in our own financial system.

If you use FRB to invest in real wealth-generating endeavours, it allows for, more wealth to be generated!  Instead of one hamburger-producing plant, you get two!  Double the economic output, and if you didn’t have a FRB system, it would have been much more difficult to start up.  Finance used to build up finance…well, talk to the current economic situation to find out what that’s like.

 

I apologizing for deciding to stop defining terms and concepts.  No I’m not.  This is America, take some responsibility for yourself and learn.

anecdote

anecdotal evidence is not reality.

but anecdote will influence you more than reality.

armed with this knowledge, SYNERGIZE!

nuculur pwr

I go through brief moments when I question electricity.  Do we need it?  Is it useful?  SHOULD we have it?  All our modern first-world lives depend on electricity.  Every job I’ve had shut down when the power went out.  In college, when power went out (or the internet was down…) everyone shambled out of their rooms and actually socialized a bit.

Even our tiny luxuries are tied to electricity…industry, mass production, and even the design of modern products depends on computers for design, email for communication, telephones…even if we feel like we could live off-grid, we still have some form of generating power (and those solar cells don’t manufacture themselves, nor grow on trees.

Although leaves grow on trees, and trees seem to do ok…).

Then there’s the damage that  burning fossil fuel does. I don’t have any numbers here, but I’d encourage you to use your Google-fu to find some statistics.  Global warming, pollution, chemicals dumped into water, dinosaurs slaughtered in cold blood with no regard for their hardworking ways.

I think about getting off the grid.  Then I realize, there’s not necessarily anything wrong with ELECTRCITY.  I like having the AC on when the temperature approachs 100° F.  I like my computer.  I like the internets, and being on them.  I don’t particularly like how our architecture is based in opposition to what nature wants to do, but that’s a whole other train of thought.

Anyway, the point being, power generation can be “easy” and pretty safe.   It might not get that way for awhile, but we have to try.  I’m pretty sure the answer is nuclear power.  Go here [world-nuclear.org] for some info on the economics, and browse around wherever you’d like

–delay several days–

Well, I started writing this on June 17th, and now its June 23rd.  I guess I’ll finish up, but I probably forgot my point if I had any to start with.

I’ve talked before (at least in my head) how I question things like, bringing electricity to third world countries.  Refrigeration can be great; it can also remove a culture from the concept of fresh food.  This isn’t necessarily a universal truth…I’ve been told many Europeans are much better with the fresh food concept than Americans are.  It can make life in regards to food a lot easier, but does that make it BETTER? I don’t know.

The BIGGEST issue regarding electricity is the amount of pollution and ecological damage it causes.   No, I changed my mind.  The earth is pretty resilient.  It can recover from pretty much any disaster we throw at it in, max, 50 years or so.  The biggest issue regarding electricity is the source.  Fossil fuels won’t last forever; then where do we go?  It takes fossil fuels and rare earth metals to create solar panels…that needs to be played with and come to a point where we can build solar panels based purely on solar power, otherwise it will never be a long-term solution.

The medium term solution is, I think, nuclear power.  Except then, we’re out of uranium.  So maybe, solar long-term.  So the question isn’t renewable energy generation, it’s energy storage.  Batteries are hard to make though,  and require power and non-renewable resources.  So we need alternative forms of energy.  But we haven’t thought of anything yet.

Nevermind, I give up.

 

this is what chernobyl is really like

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