Archive for the ‘ Morality ’ Category

Ethics in Latin America

The differences between Latin America and North America are many – and originated with the Reformation – that separated Northern Protestant Europe from Southern Catholic Europe. Latin America got its culture from Spain and Portugal at this time, and retained this culture – while Europe itself was changing.

The 15th Century culture they inherited from Spain and Portugal was ruthless – so ruthless it shocked their parent countries. But they tolerated this, as long as it supplied huge amounts of silver and gold. When this supply ended, they forgot about their American colonies.

They developed into corrupt, violent countries. There were attempts at reform, but they usually failed. One exception being Costa Rica, where I live.

Latin America is now inferior in almost every way – including ethically. Latinos know they are inferior (and are sensitive about this) – but have not tried to understand why. Except for their intellectuals, who understand their differences very well.

I must state also that they have a huge advantage – they still like people, and that is why I am living here. But let me return to my subject – the disadvantages of their culture.

In Latino culture in general – cheating is considered a normal part of life. In North America, it is an abnormal part of life. And this difference is what prevented their development of an advanced economy.

Their schools should be telling their students about these matters, but they are not.

Latinos seem to think they can become better, by adopting American popular culture – wearing American clothes and playing American music – at full volume.

It does not occur to them, that they have to change themselves.

Physically Disabled Woman with a Sharp Mind


You gotta watch this.

This gal is so disabled she has to get around in a mechanized chair – but she is successful in every way, and travels frequently in her job.

The Computer has Made People Worse

The combination of the Computer and Capitalism has not improved the Human Race. They have created an authoritarian business ethic, that has made most people less important. As a result, they do the smart thing – they identify with this shift in power – so they can get some of it for themselves. And overlook any ethical considerations this involves.

And, most important of all – this change has destroyed people’s ability to understand what is going on. They have become stupid, as the Computer has become smarter.

The Computer is better at understanding Data – and the more of it there is, and the more complicated it is, the better. Precisely what the human mind is not good at. And this what makes Computerized Capitalism so powerful.

The world has become more complex, no question about it. But it could still be understood – if people wanted to. They don’t – they just want to destroy it. Because it has destroyed them.

This, it seems to me, is the central dynamic of our time. A vast orgy of destruction, that no one wants to see. Everyone is saying “I’m not responsible, someone else is;”

Which is simply a lie.

Bad Guys Have some Huge Advantages

And they know it! And everyone else knows it too! This would not be true in a good world – but we live in a bad world!

That last sentence bears repeating:

We live in a bad world!

But people are strangely reticent about this – and prefer to believe just the opposite – that the world is good, even though they know this is not true – and acting as though it was, is a sure-fire recipe for a disaster.

They know this – but they know that can get away with it. Things may not be so good tomorrow – but tomorrow has not come yet.

Building systems that help humans

O’Reilly Radar

Building systems that help humans, designing better tools through user studies, and balancing the demands of shipping software with security

This gal is on a software high – a drug trip that doesn’t damage her brain. I am reading about a drug trip of another kind in How to Murder Your Life: A Memoir.

I’m not doing either one. My only drug is caffeine – and I can’t understand the latest stuff in software – a weird mix of brilliant ideas, and bad products.

You can quote me on that.

Power Destroyed America

We all know:

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely

Lord Acton, 1834-1902

But Americans have not applied this to themselves. Which is a pity, because it applies to them especially.

America emerged from WWII, the strongest nation in history – and let this to go to their heads. I can remember this well, since I was twenty in the Fifties – when our power peaked out.

We ruled over the largest empire ever seen – although we would never admit this. And we destroyed it – and are still destroying it. Then our Computer made the Global Economy possible – which is destroying itself also.

I can summarize this easily – too much power created a reversal of values. What had been good became bad – and bad became good. The worst kind of people gained power – and used it to their advantage.

And no one noticed this.

Two things happened:

  1. The wrong people assumed power, creating a terrible we refused to see it.
  2. And as a result, we became unable to see anything – or anything important, and we knew instinctively, the difference. This is Mental Illness on a vast scale.

Who were the wrong kind of people? That depended on where you looked. In the Computer World, that I worked in for twenty years – they were easy to see. They grabbed power in any organization  (usually a corporation) and used it to their advantage, to make lots of money.

To track them down – all you had to do was follow the money. This is not to say that money is bad – only people who have too much of it. And they (and the people who serve them) are not hard to spot.

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.