The pathology of spiritual toxicity


 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam“Spiritual toxicity” is a poisonous characteristic of a spiritual environment, sometimes known as you. It’s characterized by negativity, manipulative thinking, and in some cases subversion of a spiritual norm. The most common source of spiritual toxicity is media.

You can diagnose the spiritual state of any community by its media. The more extreme, the unhealthier the community. That might sound a bit convenient, in the middle of the fake news environment, but it’s a common factor historically.

The Romans, not famous for their sensitivity, but famous for their murderous politics, managed a level of toxicity which created the hyper-expansive Republic, but reversed to create the decaying ghoul of the Roman Empire.

The Chinese version in ancient history was visible in the First Emperor’s reign. Almost all books were burned by the Legalists, to restrict knowledge. Restriction of knowledge ultimately destroyed the Chin. The end of the Chin in turn later started the period of the Warring States.

Love Chinese culture. I have Chinese immortals in my stories, including one guy who recited a poem. His friends asked, “Ancient?” He said, “Not very. I wrote it this morning.”

These are the practical applications of spiritual toxicity to human communities. This condition is an ongoing threat to humanity. It can cause insanity, inverted logic, and basically retard human development. It’s endemic, as a pathology, and it’s hard to fight if you don’t know how.

The other problem is “spiritual ecology”. The spirit, which for the purposes of this article means the mentality’s driver, exists in a real sense, reacting to influences and contaminants from all directions. It can exist consciously, in attraction or repulsion.

Rather unfortunately, the traditional reaction to spiritual toxicity is morality. Morality is cumbersome, not quick to apply itself, and positively lethargic in new innovations. It’s like sending an elephant to catch a flea. In a spiritual ecology, it’s a floating mass, not an active participant. The spirit acts quickly, and in multiple directions. A moral monoculture, as supplied by most religions, is hardly able to register, let alone stop, spiritual activity. You might as well send a rock to catch a rabbit.

The spiritual ecology is as real as the physical. It affects your personal reality, the one that matters most, directly. A toxic idea may be quite enough to provoke the same Fight or Flight reaction as a maniac with a machine gun.

Even Homo Sapiens, (a species “blessed” with a level of self-incomprehension on an almost unbelievable scale), can be affected immediately by certain types of spiritual toxicity. The Great Mystery Which is You doesn’t mind getting the hell out of spiritually toxic environments, whether it understands them or not.

Paul Wallis books, sydney media jam

This book is all about creative ideas. Nobody has yet died of reading it, but it’s a pretty tough call for those not familiar with working with ideas. “Passive voice”, eh?

That reactive response, however, also brings with it some risks. The equally blessed human ability to run straight in to more trouble is reasonably well known. Reactive responses to spiritual toxicity can be irrational, and more to the point, useless.

A better option is systematic fightback. Ugly, nasty events have a unique character which is pretty consistent and easy to spot. Emphasis on toxic elements in ideas, like anti-Semitism, etc. are usually promoted by a fairly clear type of mentality. Toxicity, like any good pathogen, requires vectors and transmission. Stop either, (or preferably both) and you stop the toxicity in its tracks.

One of the reasons modern spiritual toxicity is so easily spread is that the medium for the vectors is communications. Forget airborne pathogens; this is a lot more efficient in spreading contamination of any kind. This is Digital Plague, live and well and coming to a nutcase near you.

…Or you. Some types of toxicity have sweeteners; sex, money, ego, power… Put it this way; absolute power does more than corrupt. It also takes over the person with the power, who becomes a mere tool of the power.

There’s a huge irony here, too, chuckling quietly to itself. Morality, that choke chain on human honesty, often offends to the point where the immoral is a welcome relief. Spiritual toxicity does well among the spiritually oppressed. The more oppressive the morality, the better it does, in fact.

Humans are natural hedonists, naturally avoid danger, and naturally prefer comfort and safety. (In my view, anything else is basically dishonest.) Morality feeds on these things, in the same way as spiritual toxicity, if not for the same reasons, at least notionally.

The problem, obviously, is how people react to the supposedly non-toxic moral spiritual ecology. This is the Supermarket of the Soul, the bland shiny face of spiritual consumerism. The various washing machines of the soul, like church, dogma, raging lunatics insulting their own belief system with every breath, and other marvels, abound.

Like junk food, junk morality isn’t good for you, either. It makes you more susceptible to spiritual toxicity, and like junk food, not healthy enough to fight it. The tides of spiritual toxicity, whether absurd assertions or perverse thinking, work on a numbers basis. If one form of spiritual suicide doesn’t get you, the others will.

…So what’s so bad about spiritual toxicity?

One thing, and one thing only. It disintegrates your identity. If you add a contaminant to that organism, it can’t function normally. For the spirit, that’s a type of chronic disease. It affects your thinking, your relationships, and even your relationship with yourself.

Been on speaking terms with yourself lately? Getting along OK with whoever/whatever is you? If so, your levels of spiritual toxicity are low.

If you’re spending a lot of time convincing yourself you’re right about things, that’s a high level. You may be at actual war with yourself on some or many issues.

Symptoms of toxicity include:

  • Self-justification
  • Self-avoidance; dodging you own opinions, for example
  • Frequent conflict with friends
  • Hypocrisy on any level, for any reason
  • A hideous, all-embracing doubt which cripples your decision-making

Interestingly, anxiety, a paralysing dread for no materially identifiable cause, may be a symptom of onset. Ever had that feeling that you loathe something, and can’t define it? That it’s a danger, or hidden threat?

This is spiritual Fight or Flight, incarnate. It’s a survival instinct at the spiritual level. The human spirit, under-educated and largely ignored by spiritual monocultures which enforce conformity, but not spiritual life, (what a surprise) isn’t well armed to manage the threats.

I don’t want to write this idea in to any blind alleys or extended exercises in missing the point. The point is that spiritual toxicity is an active, working poison. Remember that, and act according to your instincts, which have got you through the last few million years.

 

www.sydneymediajam.com

Religion decoded and made useful


 

 

Beliefs are supposed to mean something. In the Golden Age of Meaninglessness, you get a brochure, not a meaningful belief.

Religion is not dogma. It’s not an excuse. It’s not a means of personal moral superiority, however banal and pointless. It’s supposed to be useful. Religion, in most of its original forms, is a codification of both belief and conduct for spiritual benefit. In many ways, it’s just common sense.

The degraded forms of religion we see today are far removed from benefit, despite the fact that religion in some cases is all some people have. The tedious, pompous and often obsessive forms of religion aren’t much use, however, in delivering value.

Religion basics

Consider the basics:

  • “Thou shalt not be a jerk”. This covers all forms of misconduct which cause injury. All religions have this basic tenet.
  • Worship: Worship what, how, and why? Can you have a real religion, based on “Just add worship”? If you have no idea what you’re believing in, how do you worship it? Unless it serves some useful purpose, seems rather unfair.
  • Belief: Humans only actually believe something they trust. They trust it because they’ve seen it proven in some form. Any other “belief”, however tiresomely expressed, is hypocrisy.
  • Religious deities: One god or many? One god and saints, or whatever, the usual format is to break down religious subjects in to examples, parables, with a story and a range of metaphors. This applies from the Bible to folklore. It’s a common teaching method in ancient and modern societies.
  • The soul: The worst defined subject in human history, the soul is the nominal incarnation of self. It doesn’t have ascribed values, material or otherwise. This lucky concept is the recipient of any amount of babble which is supposed to be good for it. If the average soul could get a word in edgewise, it would tell the babble where to go, or demand that the babble explain itself. “Preaching to the speechless” could also be described as incredibly hypocritical and cynical.
  • The Afterlife: This remarkably poorly defined subject is the reward for “whatever”, the mass of bullet impacts and asteroid strikes life delivers to most people. As explained by people who have no idea what it is, it’s a pretty iffy reward. “Bribed with Heaven and threatened with hell” isn’t much of an improvement. It’s an exertion of assumed authority which can backfire, causing resentment and discouragement. Credible rewards are based on something; this dismally expressed topic delivers very little.
  • “Evil”: Evil simply means injury. Evil is a one trick wonder. It causes injury, in whatever form. Any fool can be evil; it’s a devaluation of oneself and a useless range of possibilities.
  • Good: A rather shoddily defined expression which deserves better. Good can relate to acting responsibly, being kind, or, in fact, acting like a normal human being. If you commit an act of kindness, you know why you do it. True good doesn’t big note itself.
  • Moral pretensions: This is the age-old pretension of being good. It’s false by definition. Actual good is also practical, rather than pretentious. To claim to be good is making a necessity out of a virtue; not a great idea of you don’t have that particular virtue.
  • Morality: These supposed “life rules” have to make sense to be effective. Morals are useful, provided they’re practical and applicable to situations. Otherwise, they’re just more spiritual spam churned out by ignoramuses trying to be authoritative.

Religion in practice

Paul Wallis books, sydney media jam

This book is all about creative ideas. Nobody has yet died of reading it, but it’s a pretty tough call for those not familiar with working with ideas. “Passive voice”, eh?

If you’re thinking that a lot of this is just common sense, you’re right. The original sources of religions were directly involved in practical needs. Why would a farmer, 5000 years ago, believe anything that wasn’t common sense? Imagine telling a subsistence farmer that they need a whole new range of things to not only do, but believe unquestioningly. Not very appealing, is it?

What use is self-promotion by others to people in real need? The original sources of the major religions were positively minded, from Confucius to the latter day religions. The Confucian idea of turning society in to an extended family, in fact, applies as well to the Warring States era as to modern times. Everyone knows extended families work well, too.

The original sources were practical people. None of these people were mere talkers. Jesus and Buddha were fundamentally teachers, and good ones. (For the non-press-release version of Jesus, read The Gospel of Thomas.) The Prophet Mahomet would go out and plough people’s fields himself. Moses was a lawgiver and a source of a code for people who needed cohesion. It’s a very practical approach to living in a wilderness/desert.

Believe what you will, but be aware that none of these sources was anything but useful. If religion diverges from usefulness, it’s obviously not as it was intended.

This wasn’t McReligion. You couldn’t just order a god to go with a side dish of pretensions like you can now. The original sources promoted responsibility, not excuses and evasions. They also weren’t obsessed with materialism.

Some of the best exponents of religion are practical in the sense that their every conscious moment is devoted to helping others. This help in turn benefits others indirectly. Some of them aren’t even members of a religion. They simply practice it, and make themselves very useful in the process. If religion is the process of putting useful things in to practice, however, they qualify as religious people.

You don’t have to be a saint to be a practical religious person, with or without a particular religion. You don’t have to preach about something you barely understand yourself to be effective and practical.

You don’t have to be a jerk, either. However fashionable being a petty little attempt at a real person may be, the jerks are always the useless, the greedy and the mindlessly addicted selfish, causing injury to others.  The one trick wonder is only that and no more.

Believe what you trust, not just any old garbled dogma. Put in to practice what you believe, and avoid injury to others. How much simpler could it get?

 

www.sydneymediajam.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worshipping money, ice and excuses – Addiction, the new norm


 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media JamWhat’s the difference between money, ice and religion? Addiction. They’re totally different things, but they promote the same behaviours, including murder, fraud and human rights abuses. The pitiful, babbling money addict is the same as the inarticulate ice addict and the ridiculous, verbose fanatic using religion as an excuse for crimes.

Historically, this is pretty normal. After a battle in ancient Greece, the Spartans discovered a Persian camp full of luxuries. The Spartan general, Pausanias, from memory, said: “Look, they’ve come to steal our poverty!”

The same could be said about the relationship between the money-addicted and the world ever since. The super-rich apparently can’t think of anything else to do except become richer. It’s a self-sustaining addiction, attracting the greedy, the oblivious and the wannabe addicts.

Not all rich people are stupid, delusional, numbers-addled fools believing every idiot sycophant they hear or see. Quite the opposite, in many cases. Many of them become rich through talents and competitive skills. They outwit their competitors. They innovate.  Many are genuinely socially conscious and try to help. The culture they naturally create, however, is nothing like that.

Job page 23In this culture, money is the rationale for everything. There are no other considerations at all for those operating the hate machine called money. The means, in effect, has become the end. Intentions may be good, but this culture only promotes itself. It recognizes nothing but itself as relevant.

The separation of the financial sector from the real economy is a case in point. The global economy is a numbers marathon, in which clowns compete to produce good numbers to promote themselves. Extravagant, useless operations are carried out mainly to generate money for those involved, not for useful, productive economic or financial reasons.

The parallel with addiction and junkie lifestyles is unavoidable – Do anything to get your fix. Doesn’t matter if it’s suicidal or not, or contaminates the markets and everything else – There’s your rush, baby. Drab little bastards roaming the spreadsheets and junkies stealing whatever’s available are basically the same thing.

The parallel with religion is similar – Institutions preaching free markets and paedophiles preaching salvation are different only in terms of use of particular words. Whatever it is, the current crime becomes an article of faith. They don’t believe (and probably never have believed) a damn thing of what they say; but that’s the market, so that’s what they do.

Deflation – The death threat to money addiction?

Ad hoc Threat-Hamster coverA new terror, deflation, now stalks the global markets. It’s as bad as not being able to score for a junkie or atheism for a God-spruiker. It devalues the assets used for addiction.

In financial terms, deflation means a reduction in prices. Good for those who can’t afford anything, like most people, but bad for the addicts. Values going down means withdrawals. Real losses, in fairness, are possible, but the psychological effects of “less money” are adrenalin generators. More money must be obtained, if for no reason other than bigger numbers look better to the addicts. You can hide and feel safe behind big numbers, but not behind reducing numbers.

Ironically, deflation is being made more likely by exactly this sort of behavior. Money addicts, naturally, don’t think about what other people can afford. Deflation is most obvious in the tech appliances market, where prices start huge, and go down almost instantly after product release.

The fear of deflation, not at all surprisingly, is highest in markets where insane prices have driven up the cost of living to absurd levels. That’s most of the Western world, Japan, China, and India. About half the world’s population, in fact. Deflation can hit these markets like a super volcano, causing a financial nuclear winter which could go on for years. The Wall Street crash of 2008-9 could be a gentle breeze, compared to the possibilities of hyper-deflation. Assets could become worthless or nearly so, and unsaleable at even a fraction of a good return on investment.

Didn't know that, eh?

Didn’t know that, eh?

The junkie reaction to “no gear” is to find other sources. The usual source is politics. Economic stimuli, or “defibrillation for dead markets”, will jump-start the rotting corpses, and they can stagger on for a few more years. Politics, therefore, is the solution for everything.

In case you’ve ever wondered why America’s ever-more-irrational politics float like toilet paper in a public toilet, when these nutcases should be flushed like everything else, that’s why. The free market drags its bones to Washington, and in a libertarian/conservative/whatever rage of self-righteous demands for more money in the name of “capitalism”, drives the economy in whatever way this raffle turns out.

As a matter of note – Capitalism has never been about sending people broke. The original idea was that the more money people have, the better things become for everyone. It worked, for a while, and it’s where modern liberalism comes from – Better economics equals better living and more equity. Social justice wasn’t even part of the equation until social injustice, the natural result of depriving large numbers of people of money, became so chronic.

The money addict culture, however, doesn’t need logic. It needs money. It doesn’t need to see anything but numbers. The world could blow up, and they’d still be buried in Column 12 of a statement somewhere. This culture, if honest about nothing else, is honest about its priorities. Money first; life fits on the to-do list around 252nd.

Junkies are similar; oblivious to everything but their addiction. Religious fanatics turn everything in to a crusade/jihad. They don’t know how to see the world any other way.

Excuses – The new addiction

Excuses are now a currency. These aren’t normal excuses. They’re usually not even stated. They’re a type of logic which removes blame, diverts responses to crises, and basically preserves the delusions of the addicts, financial, junkies and religious.

They’ve become a sort of secondary tier to the addictions, with similar behaviors. Now, preserving the safety of the excuses is part of the ritual of addiction. In the 2008-9 market meltdown, the unstated excuse was “We did everything wrong, we knew it was wrong, but if we go, you go.” The other related excuse factories went along – It’s all they know how to do. Few people can remember a time when they did anything else.

Beliefs are supposed to mean something. In the Golden Age of Meaninglessness, you get a brochure, not a meaningful belief.

Beliefs are supposed to mean something. In the Golden Age of Meaninglessness, you get a brochure, not a meaningful belief.

In this environment, not doing your job is more important than doing it. You may have to abstain from even appearing informed about, or slightly interested in, your own work. Any appearance of competence, objectivity, or the ability to navigate a crisis is suspect. Ignorance isn’t just the expected response to whatever new addiction-driven insanity is hitting the fan; some, at least, of the ignorance is expected to be genuine.

You can’t just look like an idiot any more; you’re expected to be an actual idiot in fully functional idiot-mode, all the time. Like junkies and other criminals, the less you know, and the stupider you act, the better. The more you scream your religious clichés, the less of a threat you are to the other fanatics.

The appearance of stupidity is an ancient trick, literally thousands of years old. Success is measured by how many people you can convince you’re an idiot. It’s hard for some people, but others are good actors. Bernie Madoff’s friends discovered they’d never actually met him. The churches let down their entire client base with child sex abuse, and the only real issue is money for compensation, not their exalted position as the world’s least credible hypocrites.

Paul Wallis books, sydney media jam

This book is all about creative ideas. Nobody has yet died of reading it, but it’s a pretty tough call for those not familiar with working with ideas.

So many people wonder why apparent idiots are rich. Simple – They’re not actual idiots, at least not in the usual sense. They stop being idiots when they walk out the door. What they do afterwards may be idiotic, but it’s planned idiocy, to achieve goals. Never mind turning the world in to a toxic waste dump or marketing maniacally dangerous products, it makes money.

Addicts are sometimes clever. The same way the two dimensional ultra-capitalists proclaim their rights while denying those rights to everyone else, addicts use relationships to make money. Everyone knows it’s totally fake; but it often gets things done that the other people in the relationships don’t want to do. The cleverness isn’t in this obviously bogus acting charade; it’s that they make a living and satisfy their addictions, however, dismally and inelegantly. The real bottom line is very ugly.

Some people are professional jerks on that basis. It’s their only real skill set and it’s important to them; it’s either that or deprivation of their junkie fix. They even take courses in being jerks – Management science is now basically the science of being a jerk. The fake elitism, the image of success; it’s all fodder for the money junkies.

Give someone a piece of shit and tell them it’s priceless; someone will believe it. The rest, not too astonishingly, is the tale of human history. If you’re hoping to become a real person, just avoid that process. You’ll feel a lot better.

 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam, Paul Wallis books

What does the universe do?


 

corporate dynamicOne of the strangest things about science, religion and philosophy is that one question is never asked – What does the universe actually do? If that question, the function of the universe, has ever been asked, nobody seems to have answered very coherently, and certainly not consistently.

There’s a reason for that – All these disciplines are infested with the sort of people who if told Mary had a little lamb, would spend years proving there never was anybody called Mary, and that lambs can’t possibly ever have existed.

Better res image

An image of the universe – Not quite so easily defined, is it?

The Three Stooges of Human Thought, in fact, usually stick to dogmas like Mommy’s apron. They also act like kids proudly reciting things learned in kindergarten. If trained to think in such a way, you’ll think in that way, despite your better judgment or information which contradicts dogma. You may be able to dig your way out of the dogma(s) but it’ll be a struggle, particularly against fanatical dogmatists.

So a gigantic space, when observed, produces gods, physics, and theories, right or wrong. If someone says the Earth is flat, that statement will be believed. This isn’t exactly the mentality required to figure out what the universe does.

So-

  • What’s its function?
  • It processes a lot of matter and energy – Why, and what’s the holistic effect of all this matter/energy operation?
  • Does it have cycles of activity?
  • How much of its activity is observable?
  • Where is it going, and why? (How it behaves in movement is of course important; but why is the most likely indicator of its functions. How would you express, or model, the evolution of the universe? Might tell someone a lot about what it’s doing.)
  • Are we in a huge accelerator, or a vortex, or what?
  • How do we interpret the extremely complex shape of the universe, and in relation to exactly what, outside it, which may affect its behavior?
The cosmic microwave background - Not all that self-explanatory, either.

The cosmic microwave background – Not all that self-explanatory, either.

Functions are the best indicators of future actions and possibilities. If the past of the universe is fascinating, we may also note that what it’s doing now is perhaps more immediately relevant. So asking what the universe does is rather fundamental to understanding it.

If you remember the story of the exploration of the light spectrum, you’ll also remember that theories have a tendency to follow knowledge – or the lack of it – around like little lambs. Theories are usually only as good as their knowledge base. Sometimes predictions are right, but mostly they’re wrong, or progressively obsolete as new knowledge emerges.

Ironically, the value of theories depends on what you’re theorizing about.  If you’ve never asked the question “What does the universe do?” you’re likely to lack much of an idea of how to answer the question.

How many physical functions can you see in this one picture? Everything, in fact, from individual atoms and subatomic particles to macro structures, and all working together.

Consider a furiously expanding, accelerating, universe in which super massive black holes abound, vast amounts of energies and matter are processed continuously on a mathematically colossal scale, all of which quantum physics tangles together like a raindrop.

Merely accepting these facts gets no closer to understanding them. Questions, particularly those outside the normal frameworks, get useful answers. Acceptance gets nothing but current knowledge, which is inevitably superseded.

A few examples:

  • What if black holes are super aggregators, creating a secondary, much more “refined” universe using this one as material?
  • What if the non-universe around this one reacts to it the way two fluids interact, without joining, or perhaps by one mixing with the other?
  • What if dark matter is a secondary product of universal functions, and the non-dark matter universe has simply been converted in to another state? (Not entirely out of the question – Black holes effectively remove matter from the “normal” state; why wouldn’t another process do something similar?) Where does that leave current theories, and where are the new theories to explore that theory?
  • What if entanglement is some sort of core function of the universe, which can be used to interpret macro-universal behavior?
  • Do universes merge? If so, how would they do it?
  • What acts as an attractor to a whole universe, pulling it in so many directions?

These aren’t even particularly advanced questions – They’re simply extrapolations of observed facts, with some possibilities added.

I don’t want to turn this blog in to a soap box for my own theories, which are many, and subjected to regular panel beating on a more or less daily basis. It’s purely to ask that one question, because I have a feeling if nobody asks it, it’ll never get answered.

cropped-LOGO-with-Sydney-Media-Jam-edit-300PPI.jpg

 

 

Why do people continue to wallow in outdated ideas? A theory


 

Wasp2If there’s one thing the internet does better than anything else, it exposes the sheer antiquity of so many common issues. Hopelessly out of date ideas fester. Ridiculous mindsets seethe. There’s a reason for that, and nobody’s going to like it.

I’ve spent a lot of time listening to “debates” on subjects my parents and their friends were talking about decades ago. It’s incredible to watch these dino-ideas lumbering around, so long after their time. To say that I’m less than impressed is a massive understatement. Genetics, space, science, arts, race, religion, you name it – The reinvention of the wheel of debate about ideas is now a global industry. It’s also arguably the most destructive force on Earth, in terms of improving the human condition.

Why do these hopelessly impractical old ideas still exist at all?

This book is all about creative ideas. Nobody has yet died of reading it, but it's a pretty tough call for those not familiar with working with ideas.

This book is all about creative ideas. Nobody has yet died of reading it, but it’s a pretty tough call for those not familiar with working with ideas.

Why are all these old ideas brought out of their endless closets and paraded around like newborn babies? The technologies have changed, sure, and added some traction to meaningful debate, but these debates aren’t meaningful. They’re obsolete.

They’re also hysterical. It’s axiomatic in human history that ideas are discovered by geniuses, developed by hardheads and cynics, misrepresented to fever pitch by ideologues, and perverted by morons. It’s a particularly dull process.

What’s not usually considered in the process, however, is the very different knowledge bases from which ideas are developed/exploited/lost in hysteria:

  1. The geniuses, rabble that they are, have what could be called “inspired” sources of knowledge.
  2. The hardheads and cynics have pragmatic knowledge bases.
  3. The ideologues are either mindless acceptors of whatever ideas happen to be around, or thinkers with different views based on their usually very eclectic knowledge bases.
  4. The morons simply adapt ideas to their own mindsets and knowledge of whatever degree of obsolescence. “Everything’s OK because a chicken told me so” more or less covers this vacuum.

Symptoms of dysfunction – The knowledge bases of ideas

Mass Media page 1

Media “ideas” – A disease which doesn’t even know it’s a disease.

The knowledge bases, not surprisingly, reflect a lot about the individuals and groups using them. What’s not generally understood is that you can practically track a person’s whole life story by their ideas.

These knowledge bases are sourced from an early age, in specific environments. How you learn says a lot about who you are.

That, in turn, usually relates to socio-economic environments. An extremely unfashionable, but usually pretty accurate, view is that the poor and undereducated are literally decades behind the times. (Many people do react very effectively to these situations, and bravely get themselves out of these environmental graves, but these knowledge bases tend to stick in socio-economic classes.)

This unsightly situation even affects whole nations. Growing up in Australia, I was told by my parents at about age 4 that Australia was usually 20 years behind the US in many areas of thinking and cultural/technical development. How true that was, I learned very soon, to my utter, and in some cases ongoing, disgust.

However, in my observation, the basic rule holds true – Those in disadvantaged circumstances tend to be either unaware of more advanced thinking and ideas, which aren’t directly relevant to them. People raised in those environments, however, are also likely to bring with them the outdated ideas and mindsets of their origins.

Outdated ideas – The plague affecting the world

Mass Media page 5This may seem like a rather expedient, not to say downright snobbish, viewpoint at first glance. The problem is that outmoded ideas do persist, and they are truly toxic. America, the home of the Big Idea in modern history, is awash with absurd anachronisms. Western culture, in its superficial obsession with technologies and fads, lugs around old sitcom ideas and clichés as role models, career paths, and a lifestyle.

(Racism and hate, two of the nastiest and most destructive idea spectrums on Earth, are good examples. Logically – It’s none of your damn business who someone else’s ancestors were. The rest of the world wasn’t born for your, or anyone else’s, approval. Yet that insular, impractical, useless range of ideas is the sole basis of so many so-called ideologies, poisoning the human environment for centuries.)

It’s hard to imagine a more useless scenario. These ideas aren’t just out of date – They’re major liabilities in practice. New ideas are too unfamiliar for easy processing in this museum of thinking. That slows down their adoption.

Mass Media page 3Hiding behind “norms” of thinking is also the working basis of anti-intellectualism. This is idea-phobia, as much as a totally dysfunctional approach to reality. New ideas take over; if you’re behind the eight ball when they kick in, you’re likely to stay there, be left behind, or have to undergo an arduous, thankless, process of catching up.

It’s not a pretty picture, and it’s not that simple. It’s quite natural, and reasonable, to hold on to ideas you like; these tend to be trusted ideas, perspectives, and useful ways of thinking. Ironically, in this putrid mess of anachronisms, some older ideas stand up quite well.

The problem is that some people can’t make the distinction between the utterly useless ideas and the ones that still hold true. They’re certainly not trained to think like that. Basic thinking, like metaphysics and core rational logic, have been left out. How do you criticize an idea with no working logic to help you? You can’t use a calculator on these things.

Education is a mixed blessing in this regard. You can teach, sure, but any teacher will tell you that some ideas simply aren’t learned, let alone taken up as working models. Many ideas simply aren’t understood, simply because they’re too far removed from individual realities.

You have to wonder why this book is STILL so far ahead of "debate" so many years later. A classic case of the current thinking being so far behind previous thinking.

You have to wonder why this book is STILL so far ahead of “debate” so many years later. A classic case of the norm being so far behind previous thinking.

You could argue that religions persist simply because they’re inaccessible ideals. The human mind doesn’t seem to mind grabbing hopeful ideas, however vague and badly expressed. Political “ideals”, (contradiction in terms) however much proven to be no more than hot air, are accepted as options for various reasons, with whatever level of belief. People in hideous circumstances don’t refuse hope, however insincere those offering it may be.

(One of the reasons I don’t make a habit of attacking the religions despite plenty of provocation and seemingly endless just causes is because sometimes they’re all some people have. Much as I despise the hypocrisy and general practical uselessness of religions, who’s to begrudge people a little peace and hope?)

So – Ideas of all ages, in one unholy, impractical potpourri of mutual abrasions. Progressive people often don’t get old style thinking. Old style ideas seem ridiculous. Old style ideas, in turn, often ignore anything which conflicts with them.

Bottom line – Outdated thinking will persist and continue to obstruct, until new ideas are made more accessible, and above all, more meaningful. Media can do that, and usually doesn’t. Nor do the “intellectual elites” seem to be particularly useful in that regard. Our heroic “thought leaders” seem to feel that their ideas have precedence, regardless of their own total lack of achievements in the wider world. Marketing can promote new ideas, and usually does so incredibly badly. You can promote a Playstation game in a future world, but not a real human future? Grim.

If you want people to understand new ideas, explain them. Show them to be practical in real terms. Make the ideas usable, not some distant manifestation of yet another inaccessible fountain of wisdom outside personal experience. Get on with it. Humanity can’t live in a state of built-in mental constipation forever.

LOGO with Sydney Media Jam edit 300PPIStill cursing lack of progress on updating SMJ. Will try, but not optimistic.

 

Society as a crime


 

Wasp2Most human beings would be fully justified in seeing the modern society in which they live as a potentially lethal, round the clock, enemy. This is a world where nothing that needs doing ever gets done. Anything that doesn’t need doing is practically compulsory, and expensive. There are plenty of reasons for doing nothing, all bad ones, and mainly about money.

Health is a case in point. As though any amount of dollars or ideological spin equates to hundreds of millions of dismal lives. It’s evolution in reverse – The unsolved problems are dictating life or death survival for billions of people. In the past, a society, like a tribal society, was a survival mechanism. Now, it’s the thing most likely to jeopardize your survival. Pick a subject; evaluate how your society handles it, and see if you can find a way out.

Society  as hypocrite

Society, in all its tedious ugliness and vacuous incompetence, expects people to contribute to it, while contributing nothing at all to people except ever-increasing risks and reduced rewards for effort. Crime, corruption, greed, actual psychosis in societal administration, it’s all there, and it’s all yours. Lucky you. You could say the society is a crime, and it’s pretty damn hard to prove otherwise.

Ads_Cover_for_KindleThe environment in which most people live is choked with toxic cocktails of chemicals, dubious quality food, and social environments which are as much a form of torture as the average school. You get to mix with people, and their psychoses and diseases, whether you like it or not.

Double standards are now a true commodity market. The same society which inflicts unnecessary disasters demands a double standard of behavior for just about everything, at the most basic levels and starting from childhood:

 

  • You’re supposed to keep your room and your home nice and clean and tidy, but it’s OK for others to hyper-pollute your entire planet and turn it in to a gigantic, unsanitary breeding ground for new diseases.
  • You’re supposed to admire success, but very few people actually achieve it to any significant extent.
  • You’re supposed to respect a meritocracy, then work for people who make careers out of nepotism and sycophancy.
  • Your own performance is subject to rigorous scrutiny, but not that of corporate or political leaders and their charming little associates who can send nations bankrupt, turn social maladministration in to a decades-long game show, or start World War 3.
  • Religions demand belief in their teachings, and then systematically fail to practice any of those teachings themselves for thousands of years.
  • People are supposed to be honest, while everyone else lies their butts off at the expense of honest people.
  • People in societies where poverty is a major problem usually have minimal, if any access to ways of improving their lives. The solution? Breed more people to make access even tougher.
  • Intelligence provides the driving forces for all products, designs, fashions, transport, technologies, games, media, science, medicine, and new breakthroughs. If you’re an intelligent person, however, you are usually actually hated and denigrated at the very least. That’s OK with society because some 5 second attention span peasant jerk said so on some worthless chat show or media outlet.

These are the social starting points for kids being born now. Just about everyone has a few strong opinions about things they would rather never have done, or known about, or had to endure.

This society is a formula for making sure life is as unpleasant and difficult as possible for everybody. It’s a formula for mass failure. How and why are people be expected to “contribute” to something which is apparently trying to make their lives in to horror stories?

There’s an easy fix for this pseudo-society and its pseudo-people. Opt out. Do everything differently; just don’t do what it does.

Consider this range of options:

  • Free food.
  • Free housing.
  • Free education in anything you like.
  • Free health care.
  • Free communications.
  • Free private and public transport.
  • Free choice of lifestyle.
  • No disenfranchisement of the right of self-determination.
  • The only law – Just don’t hurt anyone else.

Impossible?

No.

Just not tried yet. Presumably, when all the other options have failed with their usual inelegant lack of grace, someone will realize how easy it is to do these things.

As for contributions to this society – For myself, the only thing I’ll contribute to it is to piss on its well-deserved long overdue grave.

LOGO with Sydney Media Jam edit 300PPI