Posts Tagged ‘ Mass man ’

Somebody Has To Be Punished

This is one of the fundamental character traits of Americans – and is one reason why living in America is unpleasant – at least for someone like me. From my earliest childhood I was punished – for reasons I could not understand – but seemed to be – because I was bad.

You can easily detect here the heavy hand of my mother – and, in the background, my father, who let her get away with this – a man who married a woman like his own mother. This was the Midwest in the Thirties, where this pattern was all too common.

We tend to think that the Coasts – the Northeast coast from Boston to Washington,  DC – and the California Coast from San Francisco to San Diego – define what America is – and has – been. And to a large extent this is true. But it is also true that the vast reaches of interior America – such as Texas – have had their influence too – mainly for the worst.

It is here that Puritanical influences – and Religious Fundamentalism – are the strongest. My family were Mormons (although Missouri Mormons) – and that was no accident. Here the traits of Moral Superiority, and the Need to Punish – are strongest.

Ironically, these are the same traits exhibited by Islamic Fundamentalism. Who the American military are now punishing in Afghanistan.

But this is not all. America is now spying on the whole world – with the same motivation – to find the bad guys – and then punish them.

Without thinking about this at all. This is reasoning is unconscious – and will stay that way. The end results are too horrible to be contemplated – a police state enabled by the latest technologies.

This amounts to mass insanity – where the mass amounts to at least 80 percent of the population.

People Have Decided to Not Be Part of Human Society

This is a continuation of my statement People have decided to Not Be. It explains what they have decided not to be part of.

People are highly social animals – and deciding to not be part of human society (as it now exists) amounts to a collective suicide. We are the first animals to become conscious – which gave us tremendous potential – but that potential has turned against us. We can see how things now are – and we don’t want to have any part of it.

Perhaps another species will appear better able to cope with the problems of development – since we have failed so miserably at this task ourselves.

It’s always nice to find someone else who agrees with you – and even helps you understand your position better. I just started reading A God Torn to Pieces: The Nietzsche Case (Studies in Violence, Mimesis, & Culture) by a man I never heard of before: Giuseppe Fornari – an Italian obviously, who is also fluent in English.

He gets right to the point, and speaks of:

The violence lying at the root of human society.

Something that most people are squeamish about – and do not want to recognize. We are – to quote him again:

A melting pot brimming with creativity, discoveries, poetry, genius, and compressed violence.

He does not consider the other main fact of our time – the Rise of the Masses – who provide the bulk of our society. Perhaps he does not consider them worth mentioning. But he ought to at least acknowledge their existence – since they are also capable of great violence – and little else.

The first step in any recovery is the recognition of where we are. Since we are not doing this, the prospects for our recovery are dim.

The Power of the Algorithm

The Computer is stupid – and it has made us stupid too.

This may sound like a strange way to explain the impact of the Computer of our lives – but it gets right to the point. What happened to us as we became more like computers is hard to describe – and not only that – but something no one seems to be interested in. But I am stubborn, and determined to explain it anyway.

Our technologies have always had a huge impact on us – but we have been slow to recognize this. We have felt that somehow we are separate from them – that our souls had always remained pure. That we had used them – without them using us. This is certainly not the case – this has always been a two-way street – with us creating them – and them recreating us.

Once technological innovation took over in the middle of the 18th Century – and got faster and faster – we could not begin to cope with it – and fell further and further behind. With tragic social results in the 20th Century – with two devastating World Wars, and a global population explosion.

The Computer is the last – and perhaps the final – development in a long series of technological innovations in what we refer to as the Industrial Revolution. The first of which was the Sailing Ship – not the Steam Engine, as is commonly assumed. This created a huge demand for sailors to man these ships – and the Industrial Economy – which included Industrial Workers – was born.

We then became obsessed with the Railroads. And then the Automobile. Both of which transformed society completely. I must emphasize this – they transformed society completely. And, as a result, people became more like the machines they were obsessed with.

I am not saying anything  new here – the same thing was noticed by plenty of people – who wrote and talked about it. What they did not observe very clearly – was the compulsiveness of this mad rush to develop the latest technology.

And – even more importantly – the inescapable conclusion that they were getting better – as their technology got better. This was the situation in America in the years after the War – when the Economy was booming.

I remember an article in the Readers Digest – which my parents believed in completely – that said every home would have its own nuclear power plant in the basement to supply all the electricity and heat it needed. That this was ridiculous hardly needs saying – but the attitude behind it – that technology would conquer all – is still with us – and is not questioned.

But I still have not gotten around to talking about the Computer – and its impact on us. Bear with me.

The Computer gave us a new way of computing (or calculating) – much more powerful than anything before it. It gave us a slave (a very stupid slave) that would do whatever we commanded it to do. These commands were called an algorithm – a series of commands – do this, then this, then this – a Computer Program.

Doesn’t sound very impressive, does it? But hidden behind this was a whole new way of life we have not comprehended in the least. Which I have tried to explain – and been completely ignored.

Once some very clever people figured out how make this inherently stupid thing do clever things – and appear intelligent – it became our latest obsession. And we promptly began to serve it. The Computer Industry – and the Post-Industrial Economy, was born.

The transfer from the Machine world (which involved our bodies) to the Computer world (which involved our minds) was a quantum jump. And one we were completely unable to comprehend – or to cope with.

We now live in a world we do not control. Business (empowered by the Computer) controls us – and robs us blind. And we see nothing wrong with this backwards slide into a new Dark Age.

Where the vast majority will be unemployed and unemployable – since the Computer does not need them.

Objectification

What a strange word! Object + ification. In my dictionary, it means the process of turning people into objects. A process that has been going on for centuries, but has accelerated greatly in the our time – the time of the Computer, the ultimate object.

I had been trying to decide what people had become – but couldn’t find the right word. This morning, I realized I had had the right word right in front of me for some time – objects. They have become objects. And to see what this means, you only have to look at the people around you.

There is only one problem with this – once you become an object, you lose the ability to understand yourself, and others like you. That is part of what being an object is. You are no longer human.

For some reason, I have no idea why, this did not happen to me. I had no great desire to be human – in fact, I could see that it was a considerable disadvantage – and being human even made me suicidal for a time – but I landed in Costa Rica, where people are more human – and gradually got used to being this way.

Which is definitely different, believe me. People can instantly detect who I am, and react accordingly. Back in the Computer Industry I was eliminated – I became unemployable. They didn’t want anyone around who was critical of them. Even though this was what they desperately needed – someone to show them how they had gone wrong. Their train had gone off the tracks, and had no way of getting back on them.

The change was simple enough – they became objects – but this needs some explaining.

In my parent’s day the objects were relatively simple – cars and houses. You were your car and your house. And, if you were a small businessman (such as a family farmer) you were also your business. Most of the Gringos who come down here are determined to be small businessmen down here. But this is impossible – every possible small business is already owned by desperate Ticos, and they usually go out of business as fast as they go into it.

The Tico economy as a whole is on the skids – and is not likely to improve. The only way to survive is to bring your income down with you, and live off of it. But I am getting off the subject – which is about objects.

The latest kind of object (the software object) is much like a little automaton – something that does certain things, on command – a functionary. One that never asks “Why?” but just does it, no questions asked.

My last job was the perfect example of this. They claimed to have a proprietary expertise that would revolutionize the entire software industry. They even got a software patent for it – which shows how stupid the patent office was. Everyone in the company parroted the company line – because they all wanted to get rich in a hurry. By selling their customers vaporware – something that didn’t exist. They got away with it for quite a while – long after they fired me for knowing too much – but eventually the word got around – and the company (like many others in the dot-com boom) faded too.

The basic idea here – which was widespread in the software community – was that objects – and Object-Orientated Programming  (OOP) were the solution for everything. This was nothing but mass insanity – but insanity of a very particular kind. It assumed that objects, in the programming sense – which were programmed to perform certain tasks – somehow had intelligence bred into them.

In a way, this was true. Application Frameworks became available – which defined and organized all the objects required to do a large task – such as making blogs. It could do this because it hid most of the work involved – and only exposed the things that it wanted to expose. But this made for serious security risks – the experts who were supposed to know everything were under pressure to work faster (because they were so expensive) and in their hurry they overlooked some serious problems.

The result was a whole new industry that found these bugs – and charged for the fixes they provided. If the customer as NSA, it could keep these a secret – so it could exploit them in the quiet.

The Wikipedia entry for Object-Orientated Programming goes into this in some detail – probably more than the average reader wants to know. But take it from me – in the Nineties software companies went crazy over the stuff. And ignored what anyone could plainly see – that software companies were failing right and left. Everyone was moving from company to company as fast as they could. And everyone was working hard at not noticing this.

Why? Because objects are stupid.

Technology as a Religion

One of the attractions of religion is that it makes you feel better.  And the main attraction of the religion I grew up in (we were Missouri Mormons) was that it made you feel better than anyone else. This was the main attraction of Mormonism from the start. And also its biggest problem – other people did not like being looked down on – and reacted violently to them.

Mormonism was an American religion – born and bred in the USA. And it was a religion of the masses – the people who were not people – but who wanted to be important. The minute they read the Book of Mormon they knew they had found what they were looking for – a religion built for them. One that taught them they would triumph – and the whole world would eventually be theirs.

The same thing Ortega y Gasset noticed in the Thirties – although he probably never met a Mormon in his life – only Fascists in his native Spain – which are much the same thing. As are the Evangelicals.

Gradually, the Mormons changed from being radical outcasts to the most conservative, main-stream workers possible. And became the fastest-growing church in America.

To summarize what I have just said – religion makes you feel better – it makes you a better person – you are no longer the person you were – you are a new (and greatly improved) being.

This is the same thing technology does. It makes its adherents feel they are much better than they were before – new beings, in fact. When in fact, they are greatly degenerated humans – incapable of much of anything. They have put most of what they are into their things – instead of themselves. They no longer have a self.

This will no doubt surprise you. You have been told, over and over, that our latest triumph – the Computer – will save our souls. And that we must serve it with all our strength.

At this point I must remind you that what I am talking about is our Collective Unconscious. Which can not be perceived directly – but its results are plain for all to see. I worked for 20 years in the Computer Industry – and could see how crazy it was – and could see it was getting worse, not better.

At this very moment, I am writing with my new, high-powered notebook computer attached to the high-speed Internet. And my words will be saved on the Cloud. For free, it seems – but behind the curtain, my writing, and everyone else’s is being carefully examined – and the results sold to the highest bidder. And then used to control us. And we cannot see anything wrong with this. Why turn down a freebie? Why not be controlled by something else?

We have become a global culture of thieves – where everybody steals from everybody else. And we can see nothing wrong with this.

This has become our religion – but a very degenerate one – reminiscent of the Roman Catholic Church before the Reformation. The technology here was the printing press – which made the Bible (in many languages) available to everyone. And to this day The Bible is what most people believe in.

The Global Power Structure That Has No Power

The power I am referring to is the power to motivate people. Whether we like it or not – people power is still where it’s at. If it’s not there – we haven’t got it.

You have heard of Globalization – which is supposed to be the next big thing. But I am here to tell you that this next big thing is nothing. Literally. I could go into a long dissertation about something and nothing here – and I am listening to a book right now called Why is there something instead of nothing? that does just that. But I will spare you.

Let me start again. The world (the human world, that is) for the last three hundred years or so has been obsessed with making money. But we (and especially the young) are no longer much interested this. It doesn’t turn us on any more. And if it doesn’t interest us – it is going nowhere. 

Let me put this yet another way. We all know about booms and busts. Everybody gets excited about something (it gets hot) then they lose interest in it – and it gets cold. These cycles (what used to be called the Business Cycle) used to take years. Now they are lucky to last for a day.

This indicates, to me, that they no longer have any substance. There is nothing behind them.

People still want money as much as before – but they no longer want to work for it. They will steal whatever they can lay their hands on (legally) but will only pretend to be working. And this applies to companies, as well as individuals. Everybody. You don’t have to be a genius to see where this leads to.

I have been speaking so far about motivation – or the lack thereof. And I continue to believe this is the most fundamental problem.

But this can also be seen in more concrete ways – we are running out of gas (oil). All the development of the last three hundred years or so was fueled by fossil fuels. Energy reserves left over, by accident, from millions of years of plant life.

And climate change is fast upon us. We can deny it all we want – but it is a fact.

The overall result (and that is all that counts) is this:

Progress is running out of steam.

If You are Good, You Get Stomped On

If I learned anything in my childhood and working life – I learned this. All in all, it was a terrible time to be alive. As America became more and more high-tech – it became more and more antisocial. And more controlled by the Organization.

It has only occurred to me recently that being good does not mean being helpless  – which I am sure was part of my early programming. Good people did not threaten the way things were. They were, in fact – helpless. And that was what it meant to be good.

Just thinking about it now is enough to give me a temper-tantrum. I feel like throwing myself face-down on the floor – like a small child -and screaming and pounding on it – or for that matter, anything else. I am determined not to be helpless – if I have to kill the whole world.

As I saw it – it was either kill or be killed. And I am sure I was not the only person – child or adult – that felt that way. We were determined to destroy the world (including ourselves) – and we succeeded in doing just that.

At this point I must make a careful distinction between the conscious and the unconscious. A distinction we often do not make. We have pushed more and more of our functioning into our unconscious – where it cannot be controlled by our conscious minds. And this includes the collective unconscious – which, most assuredly does exist.

This is sometimes referred to by scientific types as our Memes. But even many Scientists are reluctant to admit its existence. As Susan Blackmore says in her excellent book The Meme Machine. Or as Ortega y Gasset says in The Revolt of the Masses – which has also been carefully ignored.

Or as I am saying right now – we have become helpless – and consider that a huge improvement over our former stubborn individual selves.