Sex and KFC

November 27, 2007

We can no longer trust our major media to report the news properly any more because of corporate interference trying to sell us hot pants and fast food which, you would think, are fairly mutually exclusive items*- if we’re lucky. The other area where it affects us heavily is medicine. It was pointed out long ago by concerned research scientists that if you put combating disease in the hands of profit-oriented companies alone without having government labs involved what you will get is only treatments- not cures. A cure, after all, is only for Christmas- a treatment is for life.

The first truly awful science of my generation was the way AIDS was handled in the 80’s. Cargo-cult science from a doctor of dubious repute connected a retrovirus to a syndrome and transmission to sex and we were told, with the usual enthusiasm of the tabloid media, of the bodies piled high on the streets come the year 2000. Sex sells. Sex kills. Those alive, paying attention and not out shopping for hot pants holding a bucket of KFC would have caught, at the time, the BBC Panorama documentary which questioned the science and pointed out that the odds on contracting the HIV retrovirus, should it exist, from sex was thousands to one**. The threat increased to one in hundreds only if both partners had an open wound on their genitalia. I personally lack the commitment to have sex hundreds of time with my penis bleeding profusely and even if I did I lack the charm, I feel, to talk another person into rigorous sex whilst suffering from severe blood loss.

Lunatic fringe thinker, I, joined only by Nicholas Regush of ABC News, Harpers, a few Nobel Prize winners for chemistry and around ten thousand scientists outside the USA whose income is not dependant on companies making billions from HIV treatments in thinking there is some less than robust thinking here are now re-joined by the BBC.

The method that has been proposed (but never proved) by which the retrovirus kills our T-cells has as much credibility as a trial lawyer representing OJ Simpson or Robert Downey Jnr. according to, for all my dissing Americans, a study led by Emory University in Atlanta. In reporting the story the Beeb, though, fearful of the American treatment of the English language, decided to get a quote from a trustworthy British scientist at Imperial College, Cambridge. Professor Jaroslav (very British) Stark said: “Scientists have never had a full understanding of the processes by which T helper cells are depleted in HIV, and therefore they’ve been unable to fully explain why HIV destroys the body’s supply of these cells at such a slow rate. Our new interdisciplinary research has thrown serious doubt on one popular theory of how HIV affects these cells, and means that further studies are required to understand the mechanism behind HIV’s distinctive slow process of cellular destruction.”

What’s worrying is this: they decided HIV causes AIDS by killing T-cells without ever understanding or proving the process by which it happens. Then how do you know that HIV is doing it, exactly? There is a word for this kind of thing: it is called a guess. Guessing, as you may conclude, is not great science. Guessing is what loses you huge amounts of money at the track. Guessing is what you do when you try and win the lottery. Guessing is not something you want from, say, a person packing your parachute, deciding on the length of your bungee cord or sending you to a foreign country to find weapons of mass destruction. So filling yourself with toxic chemicals to kill a retrovirus which may be sitting around, chilling, and generally showing the activity and work ethic of a procrastinating grandma on a weeks break in Torremelinos based on a guess may be considered to be less than smart.

The problem is the way we demand answers from medicine. Other sciences get to dabble around and have fun trying to make the universe accidentally fold up or putting new elements together to see how big a bang we can get. We, as individuals, don’t really care so we place no pressure on them. But we want to be cured of every tiny ill. Since none of us really believe in heaven any more we are afraid of death, otherwise we would let ourselves be “taken” at the first opportunity. Lying there, measle-infected, “See God,” we could utter, “it’s not suicide- just your will. See you in a minute- put my sexy birds on ice and pour me a Martini.” So we believe in something new: we have faith in medicine. Which is dumb. Medicine is reason and evidence. And profit. When we substitute reason and evidence for faith we end up with faith and prophet. Possibly one called Mohamed, or Jesus, or Dave The Amazing Faith healer. Or GlaxoSmithKline.

It is really our fault. Our brain seeks conclusions to problems and it seeks them quickly. We are designed to suffer anxiety about the unknown because early humans who were not quick to decide the best option when faced with, say, a large and pretty kitty with sharp teeth and savage claws, never got to decide anything ever again… least of all who to accidentally get pregnant at the prom.

So we get betrayed, every day, by our Selves. Our Selves are not something to be trusted. They will fuck with us at every given opportunity making us think our hair looks bad, our hot-pants don’t suit us and make us buy another bucket of comfort-KFC. We tend to believe what will make us happy and accepted rather than what is inconvenient and, quite possibly, true.

One of those things is: you’re going to die. Get over it. Stop worrying about it. Get laid. And use a condom not because you think you’re going to die from some random infection but because you’re considerate, because you are careful, and because if you have kids they will want you to send them to school and college and will want to borrow your car- which will eat into your drinking money and destroy your social life. Who wants that? Honestly.

*- bridged by the diet supplement market.

**- “Male-to-female transmission was approximately eight times more efficient than female-to-male transmission …The constant per-contact infectivity for male-to-female transmission was estimated to be 0.0009 [Meaning that female-to-male would be 0.00001125 or about 1/10,000]…We observed no seroconversions after entry into the study…No transmission occurred among the 25% of couples who did not use their condoms consistently, nor among the 47 couples who intermittently practiced unsafe sex during the entire duration of follow-up. This evidence argues for low infectivity in the absence of either needle sharing and/or other cofactors” Padian NS et al. Heterosexual Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Northern California: Results from a Ten-Year Study. Am J Epidemiol. 1997 Aug;146(4):350-7

http://www.aras.ab.ca/

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The most important issue about the latest Bin Laden tape has been skirted over and the world at large is just lucky to have such a prescient mind as mine at the ready to catch it: who does Osama Bin Laden’s beard- dye and trim job? It is so wonderfully stylish. He looks 20 years younger. Perhaps only 70… maybe 73.

The lack of hair salons and convenient chemists in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan are legendary, leading to a tourist trade limited to Islamic fundamentalists, opium- questing hippies and Boris Johnson*. One is led to assume, therefore, that over the last 6 years or so Bin Laden has not only kitted out his cave with the necessary dialysis machine for his failing kidneys and video editing studio (running on linux to foil American Imperialism- ahaha ahaha hahahahahah!) but now, too, a hair salon.

Perhaps the US forces in Afghanistan on Bin Laden’s tail should start looking out for particularly well groomed shepherds and, with what one hears about shepherds, particularly well groomed sheep, too. They should consider, and investigate, the possibility that Bin Laden has brought in an image consultant to help with his new promotional idea of “one peaceful Iraq with every Islamic U.S.A. purchased.” It sounds like a television shopping idea to me. But wait… don’t buy now! Could Al Qaeda finally be tapping into the American market’s sensibilities and shopping patterns?

I expect to see the next video with him in a hot- tub with 12 virgins promoting the benefits of an Islamic martyr’s life or, more precisely, death**. Capitalism creeps in everywhere and, as things continue forward, Al Qaeda could allow the infidel to pay for their ignorance with VISA rather than, as is usual, their lifeblood and that of their families, their friends, their aunts, their dogs and chickens.

Look out Pat Robertson… here comes an Obama for the Whitehouse and an Osama for the lighthouse.***

*- running for mayor of London, has stupid hair… do catch up.
**- that, as always, would be in the small print which is read very quickly at the end of the advert and never discernible to anyone.
***- seeing the light: a dig a Christians. Yes, I know it’s lame and doesn’t really work terribly well. So what? It rhymes, it’s 1am in the morning and I, quite frankly, am beyond caring.

I have been waiting for a psychological backlash to the most shallow generation in history: the tweeny label- whores from hell. What we may come to see as the “bling” generation.

Sucked into the advertising mire more than any generation in history. People have sought guidance and self- definition through the ages from Drugs, Religions, Warlords, Pacifists, Prophets, the Famous and the Fatuous. This was the first to start to look to possessions for guidance. The pendulum always swings back and forth and, as usual, at the tip of the conservative end of the swing was an annoying war that finally sends the pendulum back. It has been building, though, for quite some time and just needed (mixing my metaphors badly) a trigger.

I remember well this from fight club, Tyler Durden: Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.

Born in the 70’s I have been through the swing away from the Love, Liberalism and Peace of the late 60s and early 70s to the money- orientated conservatism, large hair and bad pastel suits of the early 80s, through the grunge gender anonymity and unshaven women of the late 80s and early 90s and on to the vicious capitalist label feeding frenzy of the turn of the century.

This global warming thing we finally noticed (I did a school project on it in 1984- took the governments of the world 23 yrs to catch up to a student who spent less time in class than George W. does at work), of course, will not be stopped and I wonder how, at the tip of the green touchy- feely renaissance the other end of society will spin things and what they will place on the table to get society to start the swing back towards conservatism.

Will recreational space flight be it? Immersive computer games to get away from the mess when people get exhausted from over-caring? Or are they smart enough to have worked out enough ways to market the new green movement in such a way that they can profit from it? I think so. I take all 3 but in reverse order.

Looked at dispassionately neither side of the swing has any better claim to sanity. From the one side of rich warmongers and authority to the poor vegan touchy- feely side there is plenty of nonsense. But if there is nonsense to be had I prefer the pendulum at the point where we stop caring too much about possessions, allow dull people to take drugs to make them more interesting, stop caring too much about our jobs and start enjoying our sexuality more but women still shave their armpits.

Pools have a shallow end and a deep end. So, sometimes, do I.

Since I read revelations for research into my last piece I thought I would do an abridged version for people who don’t have time to read the whole thing. Like the “study helpers” students use in College and University.

Here you go: Revelations (abridged)

There is God, the Good Guy and The Beast, the Bad Guy.

The Good Guy has a book called “the book of life.” It is sort of like the membership list on an exclusive country club.

Sometimes God is a sheep. It isn’t explained but it’s probably ineffable.

God (the Good Guy) tells everyone he’s going to kill them.

The Beast (bad Guy) stands next to all the armies of man to help defend them.

God (the Good Guy) kills absolutely everyone including The Beast (the Bad Guy).

People on the membership list get into the Country Club (called Heaven). No dogs allowed*.

People in the Country Club have a very good time as long as it’s PG rated.

PS: If you fuck with the text of Revelations you are in deep shit.

*- 22:15 Outside are the dogs

Who needs structured entertainment when you have the Vatican? I have been off the case of these lunatics for a few months now since making fun of them is just so easy. But I think this deserves a mention.

This is the Lentern speaker, chosen personally by the Nazi Pope, that, according to The Times “has in the past given a clue to Vatican policy.” Not that we needed the appointment of a 78yr old conservative loony to Lentern speaker after they chose a Nazi over a black man as the new Pope.

He tells us a few things about the Anti-Christ the average thinker without a hotline to Jesus might not have guessed off the cuff. Firstly, it turns out that he will be a pacifist. Yes, you heard it here first. Might is Right and the devil, rather than taking the hindmost (which I never understood), is a pacifist.

“An arch-conservative cardinal chosen by the Pope to deliver this year’s Lenten meditations to the Vatican hierarchy has caused consternation by giving warning of an Antichrist who is “a pacifist, ecologist and ecumenist.”- Times, UK

Popping over to the Bible’s revelations, as I do on a Sunday afternoon, I get a slightly different picture. After you get past the bit in the beginning that seems a little overly-concerned with house-hold furniture(ref#1) and some mention of keys which leads me to visions of a drunken night on the town and a wife keen on IKEA you come across a bit that seems to indicate pacifism is not high on The Beast’s agenda:

“17:11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is of the seven; and he goes to destruction.
19:19 I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him who sat on the horse, and against his army.”

Ignoring the obvious mathematical issues in 17:11 our biblical buddy suffered from the sentence does seem to indicate some sort of violence on behalf of The Beast at 19:19 rather backs that up. Perhaps someone might have mentioned this to Cardinal Giacomo Biffi aka “Biffi the Pacifist Slayer.”

Beelzebub’s buddy on planet earth, his right hand man will also be an ecologist from the tips of his horns to the cloves on his little hoofy-woofies. So it’s time to start sinking those Greenpeace ships now. It’s probably a good bet that the whales, those evil mammals that Greenpeace are so keen on, are in on this too so best we give the Japanese Sushi swallowers those killing rights back as well.

Finally the Devil’s formal representative in his Earth Consulate will be and ecumenist. An ecumenist is someone who tries to find common ground between people so they can get along and join together in peace.

The guy he was quoting, the bloke of whom which he was a fan, the bloke backing him up as it were, was a bloke called Solovyov. Solovyov believed that his mission in life was to move people toward reconciliation or absolute unity or “sobornost”. Sobornost is a Russian word for co-operation between multiple forces. It is frequently translated as “togetherness” or “integrality”. Ecumenity, if you will. We think Biffi wasn’t paying attention in Sunday School.

So, Biffi the Pacifist Slayer is yet another loon in a long line of loons inhabiting the Vatican. It is beyond me to find this anything beyond amusing any more. These are some of the most entertaining people on the planet, haemorrhaging disciples throughout the civilised world like a victim in a Wes Craven movie.

What I really want is a reality show set in The Vatican. Now there’s a show with dollar signs written all over it. I would watch it. Religiously.

jester

ref#1
Revelations 1:12 I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. Having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands.
Revelations 1:20 the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands

Sources
http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=23229
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article1459003.ece
http://trulyequal.com/2007/03/02/the-antichrist-will-be-a-liberal/
http://www.awitness.org/biblehtm/re/re1.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Solovyov_%28philosopher%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sobornost

sa_flag.jpg1. THE MIRACLE COUNTRY
2. The ANC
3. The opposition parties
4. The people

1. THE MIRACLE COUNTRY

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First let me say I see South Africa as The Miracle Country. Never in my lifetime has how bloody the struggle for democracy usually is been more evident than in Iraq right now.

My knowledge of history isn’t brilliant it being more a hobby than a serious study but I am hard pressed to think of another country that reached democracy peacefully. Well, fairly peacefully. England: war. France: revolution. America: 2 wars. We had 20 years of bombings aimed mostly at infrastructure, not people, but nothing compared to what these countries and much of Africa, Europe, South America or Asia has had to endure to achieve the same.

A minority population in a cushy position under a controlled media that had been telling them for 40 years that should they give up their power they would be murdered in their beds or, at best, lose everything they had voted to give up that power simply because it was the right thing to do. The did the right thing and decided to let the chips fall where they may.

If that wasn’t miracle enough the majority population, when they reached power, took no retribution for what was essentially 40 years of slavery. An essentially communist movement looked at the world and saw communism failing and moved their ethos toward social capitalism.

Rather than mass trials, death penalties or jail sentences for the Apartheid Regime we had a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The principle being that the truth was more important than punishment. Political Crimes on both sides would be forgiven if they were confessed and proved politically motivated rather than for self-gain.

Wealth was not torn from the hands that held it but instead affirmative action was adopted to make sure we did not end up in a future revolution. The government turned to the population and asked for patience for change. This after 40 years of struggle and, what’s more, they got it. Radical parties like the PAC who want immediate redistribution of wealth or the FF who want a return to white power have decreased in power since our 1994 elections, not increased.

This newly formed democratic government set up a police force to police itself. A unit dedicated to corruption the like of which I am hard put to find in existence anywhere else in the world. A force which really investigates and really gets convictions. We have jailed dishonest politicians and fired our deputy president on corruption charges. How many countries can say the same in recent years?

I do not want you to get the impression that South Africa is perfect, some Utopian Ideal, because it is not. Far from it. But regardless of our faults we must not forget our Miracle. The Miracle that is the people of this country- of all colours and religious convictions. People who have made decisions with reasoned brains regardless of their education. People who have proved that by their nature they are concerned with the welfare of their neighbour. People who are trusting but not stupidly so. A people who watch their government with an eagle eye and implement the basic, correct, question of Democracy so perfectly put into words by Janet Jackson many years ago.

“What have you done for ME lately?”

..part 2, The African National Congress to follow.

String Theory, Gravity Theory or M Theory depending on which flavour or nuance you subscribe to describes the interconnectedness of all things. Even the most basic of physics students knows the experiment whereby you hit an atom and two electrons with different spin come out. Then if you change the spin on one the spin on it’s sister changes immediately whether they are on opposite sides of the room or planet. Such is the most basic idea of “holistic physics”.

Which means all humans, all creatures are connected on some level, even Britney spears and the Dalai Lama. I mention this only because many are mystified by Britney’s most recent foray into fashion. Some, even me, have been buried by scepticism and paved over by cynicism and said that any celebrity who shaves their head in the window of an expensive hair salon in hollywood is only out for attention- not having a nervous breakdown or becoming lesbian. Not that you could blame the girl for considering it- marrying Kevin Federline has to be all the motivation you need. Not even the most right-wing Catholic, vengeful God would send her to hell for it after that trauma.

In her sharp turn away from latex catsuits and tweeny schoolgirl outfits Britney has tried to don the lesbian/ new-age feminist/ neo-nazi look so fashionable in boot camps, right-wing terrorist cells and Bhuddist Temples. It is this final one where I think our dear Britney has found her home. She has decided that the next Dalai Lama should be a girl and she is the incarnation. After all, we have always been awed by her depth and caring counsel. Her nurturing of the youth (in their bedrooms, alone) and caring for the retarded (Kevin Federline).

So all hail string theory and Britney- the new incarnation of the Dalai Lama. Get that incense and start chanting!

jester

Modern Philosophy

February 14, 2007

My other site dictum.wordpress.com, has just published it’s first philosophical paper. For anyone who reads my drivel but does not know about it a basic synopsis here, copied from the front page:

Ever felt like all your taught behaviours didn’t feel right? Ever been surprised at your thoughts and how they differ from what you have been told you were meant to be thinking? Fantastic, welcome to the club. You are a human being of the 21st Century brought up on philosophies created by mad old men, many sporting beards and all with no real friends who have been deliberately putting the wind up society over the past 4000 years (or thereabouts).

The philosophy is based on a public vote on whether people relate to quotes or dictum (authoratative pronouncements) from famous people we might actually like if we met them. Mae West. Hemmingway. Ghandi. Oscar wilde. Charile Sheen. etc…

The first paper is appropriate to February 14th, dealing with sex and relationships.

jester

dry_riverbed_200×293.jpgI was 12 years old in 1984, the year I wrote a school project outlining the case for global warming due to “greenhouse gasses” as well as ozone depletion by CFCs* and how they were different issues but interconnected nonetheless. Of course there were no resources back then. It wasn’t in the scientific magazines or newspapers or anything.

I had to go out in the back yard and conduct my own experiments with weather balloons measuring emission levels at different atmospheric pressures. I took a 7 month trip to the antarctic, learning how to run a team of huskies in the process, to get ice samples down to 14 metres to measure historical greenhouse gas levels. Yes, I must have been an adventurous little 12 year old to have such startling, new science at my fingertips in 1984.

Being 12 I would not have used very big words nor would I have used particularily complex language in my description of the evidence. I realise, now, that global warming and rising ocean levels is my fault entirely. If only this irresponsible 12 year old had sent his simple report to the US Senate, Congress and business lobbies- written in terms they could comprehend, action might have been taken and the US might have used it’s international clout to effect international change in emissions. As it is, all they had was access to the very best scientists, technology and informational resources that money could buy (or could be threatened out of people with military action or torture).

“But everyone knows that scientists speak in odd and confusing terms. They have always got those funny sums and are so stupid that they can’t even do them with numbers- they have to put letters in instead. I mean, obviously the blokes at NASA need them, especially them ones that look at the stars, and were accordingly budgeted vast resources to hire 12 of the very best astrologers money could buy- one to specialise in each of the 12 signs of the Zodiac. But really, other than astrologists they’re all just guessing stuff. Really. Aren’t they?”

That, ultimately, turned out to be the problem. A scientist, unlike an astrologist, seldom claims absolute knowledge over a domain. They work in a combination of facts and probabilities. Fact: increased levels of carbon emissions in the air lead to the heating up of the planet and disturbance of it’s weather patterns. Fact: levels of carbon emissions in the atmosphere are increasing. Fact: we produce a lot of carbon gas emissions. Probability: is that we are affecting the carbon levels in the atmosphere, leading to global warming, rising sea levels, devastation in the third world and most tragically- another fucking movie sequel: this time to “Waterworld” by Kevin Costner.

Businesses didn’t want those to be the facts and talked to their marketing companies and, well, since when has marketing worried about facts? So “big business” are the culprits? Yes. And we were the culprits, too. The information was there. What of our consumer culture, the famous self-correcting nature of capitalism? We, the caring public, would of course stop buying items that weren’t eco-friendly, wouldn’t we? We, the educated 1st world masses would keep up to date with international news and scientific development rather than watch a rerun of Will and Grace! We would keep ourselves informed. We would save the day…

We have known for a long time about global warming, put it out of our minds and have leveraged our children and grandchildren for a $10 discount on a television. The same way we are leveraging the lives of people in poor countries for that self-same $10 discount on sneakers, footballs, T-shirts, iPods and DVD players. It is something we will continue to do for years to come. I, personally, see no way of stopping it.

The ideology of capitalism is no less entrenched than the ideologies of Christianity and Islam in our world. What will make people tell their legislators: “I will pay $10 more, I want to look after the interests of my neighbour today”?

*- and that ozone depletion may well be a cyclical thing merely exacerbated by CFCs.

Playing the Long Game

January 31, 2007

The jester gets dull and preachy about egalitarianism*, long game plans, sex and public nudity. Except for the bits about sex about public nudity.

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We in Democracies are familiar with the societal short game plan. The short game plan or ‘Short Game’ has come about because our democracies are based on the rights of the individual rather than the good of society as a whole. For instance: our system of law is based, in theory if not in practice, on the premise that we would rather 100 guilty men walk free then an innocent man go to jail.

Hence the “beyond reasonable doubt” ideal in the USA and the “preponderance of evidence” in the UK. So an OJ Simpson can walk free at least some of the time and in return we demand that we are never, ever incarcerated for something we did not do. If we were worried about the good of society first our legal systems would convict on “the balance of evidence.” If you look 51% guilty then off you go. No more dodgy Presidents or Prime Ministers.

The Short Game Plan has landed us with the war in Iraq, reality television, poverty in Africa, global warming, a failing format in first world education and Oprah as the highest paid entertainer on the planet. Our prediliction to judge purely on how things are affecting us now leads us to vilify George Bush, Tony Blair, Christians, UFOlogists, Saddam Hussein, Ricky Lake and my Aunt Mildred and her Stupid Blue Hair.

But 100 years from now how much will any of these things matter and if they do, what might the world think? Historically we can see what a difference small decisions might have made that could have had a huge effect on history: Moses remembering his map before leaving the house and not having to rely on Gods directions; Adolf Hitler’s mom giving him a hug from time to time; the English leaving the criminals in England and emigrating to Australia’s sun and surf instead of the other way around (England would be winning the cricket, for one).

In 100 years the middle east conflict may have escalated and result in the death of everyone except 3 men, 4 women and a goat named Ahmed who all decide this religious intolerance thing was a dumb idea and just a fad anyway, begin wearing bright colours and start a commune, vindicating George and Tony and their invasion of Iraq.

Ricky Lake’s trash talking not-at-all-coached guests may inspire North Americans to finally switch off the TV and read a book instead if only to make absolutely sure they do not become those people on television.

In 100 years time Christine, Jesus Christ’s sister may have popped down, much to the embarrasment of the atheists and apologised for the delay in the second coming, “which was meant to happen, rather dramatically, on the eve of 2000 but my brother has been bogged down designing an 180 hole golf-course in heaven since 1998 and you know how these projects get out of hand…”- which is why she diceided to step in and organising everything. She is very upset that the whole egalitarian society-thing hasn’t been properly sorted out yet and what’s all this worry about drugs: when “Dad” made all the animals and plants for man he just wasn’t just screwing around. And not to worry all you athiests, satanists, reborn christians and other hated groups: it was universal peace and love and understanding, not a private club. Oh, and chuck that book you’ve been using, it’s way too full of inane, mysoginistic bullshit.

In that same future My aunt Mildred may have had her “Blue Hair keeps out the alien voices” theory proved right as UFOlogists announce they have made contact with their first alien, Steve, who works ‘in accounts’ near Betelgeuse IV and is sorry for ruining all those crops but he thought they were insured and “didn’t the patterns look pretty, though.”

So, hindsight is not really 20:20. Hindsite is long-sighted. Things get clearer the further away from them you get because the context gets broader.

In the 20th century we have been raised less and less over subsequent generations to look at the big picture or long game plan. Time was, even in the west, when planning was done not only for the children but the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Building wealth and security was something you did over multiple generations. It’s not long ago that clothed and fed with a roof over your head meant pretty well off. Poverty did not wear, as it does now in the first world, $100 or even $50 sneakers.

To my point: Every movie I have ever seen portraying an ideal future, a utopia, shows an egalitarian* society. All with equal access to amenities, all with little time spent working and more time spent thinking or creating as robots take over most menial labour, no concept of wealth or anyone being above another in power. Influence, status and respect based on behaviours (whether they be physical, intellectual or creative achievements) rather than accumulation in wealth and power. I, certainly, could live with that.

The standard capitalist argument is that an egalitarian society creates no incentive or drive and is therefore doomed to fail. If people are not allowed to achieve wealth and power as an aim then they will get lazy. This agument is a failure in the face of evolutionary-driven mammalian behaviour. Mammals use status to find a mate. Remove wealth and power as aphrodisiacs and people must concentrate on social achievement of whatever kind for status. Status drive becomes a positive influence rather than a negative one.

So, can anyone out there conceive, by thinking a long game, how we get from where we are and our current direction, to there? For the first time ever there are societies that can afford advanced egalitarian societies. Capitalism has driven first world economies to that point. But to actually get to an egalitarian state will require the overhall of negativity toward social programs. All of these are caused by the negative marketing attached to communism. The detach between socialist ideals and communist ideals need to be broken permanently.

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* e·gal·i·tar·i·an [i-gal-i-tair-ee-uhn] Pronunciation Key

Show IPA Pronunciation

adjective

1. asserting, resulting from, or characterized by belief in the equality of all people, esp. in political, economic, or social life.

–noun

2. a person who adheres to egalitarian beliefs.