Archive for the ‘ Morality ’ Category

Capitalism is Money Making More Money

Capital is Money. And Capitalism is money organized to make more money.

Money making more money, makes more money available. This creates a society with big advantages, and big disadvantages.

Lots of money is available for big projects – transportation (railroads and steamship lines) – and for manufacturing (for making factories). These combinations make nations powerful – and also make for income inequality. More power is created, but this power is not equally distributed.

Something else is necessary to make all this work – to lessen the inequality, and make bigger pieces of the pie available for everyone. And this something else has to be, to begin with – an awareness that this something else is needed.

Once we know what is needed, we can try different ways of making it happen. Always keeping in mind, what we want to do. Make a better world.

Ignorance is the Secret Glue that Holds Everything Together

I am still obsessed with my struggle to understand what is going on. The answer for most people is simple “Don’t try to understand! Powerful, secret forces are managing the world, and it is best to leave them alone.”

I’m sure they are right – powerful forces are managing the world – or more correctly, mismanaging the world. And they do not want their operations exposed.

We can take that as our starting point – something is messing up the world. Next question “What is it?”

I can only speak from my personal experience in the last half of the 20th Century – and a very unpleasant experience that was. I kept asking “What is going on? And I kept getting the same answer “Nothing is going on, or at least, nothing important. Have a good time, and stop asking questions!”

And I kept seeing company after company, organization after organization – go under.And everyone kept ignoring this.They seemed to feel their most important asset – was their ability to ignore this.

And they were right, as far as their individual survival was concerned. If they noticed, they were shot down in flames – as an enemy of How Things Worked. I could only conclude that I was a horrible person – since I noticed what was going on.

If I could rewind time, back to 1960 – what could I say to the people then? I could only say “Something is wrong, and badly wrong – and we got to do something about it!” But I was trapped in my career as an Electronic Engineer, in the Cold War – making all kinds of money, doing nothing.

I was miserable, but I could not understand why. I was wasting my life, but no one seemed to think this was important.

Something else was important – but no one knew what that was – or wanted to know what that was.

Better Than Real

This is another world entirely, where people can do whatever they please, without fear of retribution – because they are above all that. In this world, people do not matter, and the strong can do whatever they please – and everyone else will be part of whatever they set up.

What I am describing is the world of Business, and the Office. That is, in a word, inhumane – and run by people who are that way also. They have their minds set on greater things – and not on human things.

They regard people as a foreign species, that can exploit as they please. There are some limits to this, of course. The people must be kept satisfied with their lot in life – or they will rebell. But this can be easily done by the Media, that keeps them entertained.

They have established two classes of people – people who are better than real (who have all the advantages) and people who are less than real (who have much less). Reality still exists – but only in the fine line that separates the two. Everything else is either black or white.

One thing else is required – they must not be aware of all this, and must live in ignorance of it

The Machine Made Us Powerful

I have asked myself “What is a machine?” And hit a blank wall. We don’t know what this is – even though we know one, instantly, when we see one. That is, whenever we see power in action. And we immediately want to be part of that action.

I have just defined The Machine by describing its effect on us. I don’t have to define Power, because we know instinctively what that is – and even know some of its dangers.

We know it is dangerous stuff, and should be handled carefully. This was obvious to the early Christians – and they went out of their way to avoid it. For them, being Pure was more important than being Rich.

In our time, however, the two have become confused, and our thinking has become muddled. Quite to our satisfaction. We like to think we can be Powerful and Ethical at the same time – easily. When this is certainly not the case.

I will take America as an example – since I am an American, even though I now live in Costa Rica.

Americans were thrilled when they became powerful late in the 19th Century, when they became a colonial power – with the acquisition of the Philippines from Spain. This was morally indefensible – and even militarily indefensible. But military Power translated easily into Economic Power – and the decline in Ethical Power was not noticed.

Americans no longer think of Ethical Power at all – and assume that it doesn’t even exist! I see the results of this all the time – with products and services that don’t work – and companies that don’t care – if they don’t work! I just put two new digital cameras in the trash this week.

On the other hand, ethical behavior is common in software development. Software companies are not, as a rule – but software developers have to be. Their success depends on other developers using their code and services – for free!

This has made the US the leader in Software Development. I am now learning the Microsoft .NET software platform that anyone can use. This benefits Microsoft, obviously – but everyone else also. It’s a win-win situation.

This is something new in the world – the realization that everyone can benefit from this kind of development!

In fact, I am taking a MOOC on this now – OxfordX: OXBSG01x From Poverty to Prosperity: Understanding Economic Development

Being Stupid is Smart

Being stupid is part of a complex of behaviors  that people have adopted:

  • Being ignorant
  • Being stupid
  • Being helpless
  • Being murderous

This is the battle zone for the affluent (or developed) life. People living in undeveloped countries are desperate to join it, having no idea of what is behind the fancy packaging.

I hesitate to publish this, because it will not help me make friends and influence people, as Andrew Carnegie promised.

But, on the other hand, it may help people who are in danger of being trapped by these enticing promises. I have known a few of them, and they have not done too well.

 

The Decision to do Everything Wrong

This is my reaction to being an American, in America, for most of my life. I didn’t like this way of life, but Americans could not imagine why. They were of the opinion that America was perfect. And that is why so many people from so many other countries were so desperate to be there.

The problem here is in the human mind, that seems to think of opposites as identical – with very dangerous consequences.

Americans think doing everything wrong, is the same as doing everything right. And nothing on earth will convince them otherwise.

I ended up in Silicon Valley – one of the craziest places in a crazy country. But no one there could understand why I didn’t like it. And I didn’t either – I thought there was something wrong with me, and I became suicidal.

I had plenty of therapists – the Valley is loaded with them – but not a single one thought the Valley might be the source of my problems. This idea was forbidden to them – and they would not venture into forbidden territory. And get blown to pieces.

Twenty years later, and living in another country – I can see they would not have been blown to pieces. But they still cannot see this. A belief, for people living anywhere – is a fact of life, and they do not question it.

This belief is simple: “America is perfect, and must not be questioned!”

To be proper Americans, they have to limit their thinking – and not question anything fundamental. And they know instinctively which beliefs are fundamental.

They cannot be good for America, and they cannot be good for themselves.

The Death of Ethics

Ethics, or Morality, is something only people have – and is one of the things that make us human. And should be one of the things we cherish the most.

But we do not – and seem to regard any discussion of this problem, as an abstract argument that does not involve us. Without being aware of it – we have lost much of our humanity!

I have said this many times, to no effect. People do not seem to care if they have become less human – in fact, I think they consider this an improvement. They have become better than human – by incorporating the latest technologies into their personalities.

This is inevitable, we have often adopted the latest technology, and made it part of us. The first technology being our human language – an awesome development that made us capable of including many other technologies – some good, some bad.

How can a technology be good or bad? By its effects on us. We should carefully consider if any technology is good or bad, before adopting it. But we do not – a successful technology is simply one that is irresistible – and we adopt it without thinking. about how it will affect us.

Only after it becomes powerful, we might think about dealing with its effects. Although by then, it may be too late.

Take, for example, America in the 19th Century – and the invention of the Penny Press. Anything could be printed – for a very low cost. And the public prefered scandalous subjects that entertained them – without making them think. There was better writing – by the American Transcendentalists, for example – but the Mass of the People were not interested in them.

No one took a look around them – and remarked on how decadent the people had become. They just rushed into the Civil War, instead. If Americans been capable of rational, humanistic behavior – this would not have happened.

Fast-forward one hundred years, to the middle of the 20th Century. When we were overwhelmed by another technology – Television. I can remember this well. The result was another society – under the control of another technology, they could not resist. This was followed quickly by the Computer – that in the form of the smartphone, was irresistible. This was Heaven on Earth – in the palm of your hand!

No one asked if all this was good for people – they were not capable of asking such a question. People had vanished behind more important things – that were definitely not people.