Sunday, May 16, 2010

The 'Good Time Phase' Again

We're entering the 'good time phase' again. The phase where we should all just 'get on with it'. This is the phase where we do the same things again, hopefully a little bit better, but probably ending up in the same, but a little bit different, crisis.

B

The Financial Crisis – It Was All Of Us (Or Near As)

Who's to blame?

Us.

'It's just business' - that was the philosophy, the ethics, the 'if there's no explicit rule against then let's do it for a buck' ethos.

There's no point blaming others, just admit the mass 'conspiracy' (complicit and explicit) and go forward, hopefully with a change of ethos reflected in change to our system (or it will just happen all over again).

B

Thai Protests

What is going on in Thailand and why? This English coverage is not enough. We need more information.

I fear the worse, the 'haves' further exploiting the 'have-nots', putting down their protests violently.

B

Drugs, Discord & Reality

Reality vs alcohol, drugs and so on. Does reality stand a chance when you must either live in discord with yourself or with the system you (try to) live in?

B

No Sharing Equals Inevitable Conflict

Could WWII happen again? Hiroshima? Probably not. It'll be something different, but conflict will always happen, unless we share.

B

'The Pacific' (TV)

I want to hear the Japanese side of the story, the German side, the Muslim side, ...

Surely it must be a bit more nuanced than this. I want to hear it from their angle, I don't care if it has subtitles, give it to me.

B

Stupid 'Entry Requirements'

We cannot and must not exclude people by rules and entry requirements. It is damaging. People must be enabled to study and produce on their own terms, in their own ways. Open up access and open up opportunity. Why close people down?

B

Sharing & Caring

Why is it that we teach sharing to our children, but when school ends, this all goes to shot? This isn't right.

Are we doing what is right? Are we caring? Do we know better? Or do we just not know?

B

Keeping Going

If I do start a business investigating and studying (and so and so) our system, how will it pay? Who'll pay? I have to have cred. I haven't got it yet. But commitment pays. That I have got. So I'll keep plugging, keep pushing, keep thinking, keep learning, keep reading, keep writing, keep going.

Who might I approach to 'sell' my system thoughts to…? I guess I could speak, but there's no point until someone's willing to listen. But how will I know until I speak? I've just got to start and keep going. (To be frank I have no interest in selling, just in communicating, in sharing). The financial income…? I haven't a clue, there is probably no financially viable model, certainly not one without sharing. So I'll just share.

B

Job Bullshit

All the jobs are such bullshit. So much unnecessary work. So much waste of human talent. Perhaps I say this just because they don't match me, but do they really match anyone? Why are they advertised as they are?

B

Food

Food is so cheap we have got farmers growing drug crops or being subsidised to grow food.

B

Damned If I'll Give Up Before It's Done

Why do I do this? Why do I care? Am I really helping? Won't it happen anyway, regardless of my efforts? Do we need to be conscious of what we do? It'll probably happen…, maybe…, but that's not good enough is it? And given the resistance…, there is a certain amount of sheer bloody mindedness to this. It's the right thing to do so we should do it, and damned if I'll give up before it's done.

If I'm not right, then I want to bloody know why. I've proffered a theory, it needs to be disproved or accepted, it hasn't been yet (not that it's been really tested, it needs to be).

I'm doing this because it is me and I should be able to contribute as me, everybody should, I passionately believe this.

It would be weird if I were the only one thinking these thoughts – and I'm not, that's how I know I'm on the right track. But the tipping point to mass understanding and mass change has not been reached, and might not be.

When these ideas have been understood they can't be let go of.

I want a world where people are free. Free to choose how they contribute. Where people are free to produce where they see a need. Where people get every chance to make good, not just a second chance. Where the method of contribution isn't predicated into steps, life cycles and job definitions, but is open to every sort.

B

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What Do You Concentrate On?

Everybody thinks, everybody cooks, everybody takes photos, everybody digs holes, everybody looks after money, everybody owns things, everybody buys things, but I do a lot more thinking and writing than anything else. So I am a thinker and writer. That's what I concentrate on. That's how I contribute.

B

Always Question Names & Labels

'Why is that?'

'How is that?'

'In what way?'

Don't suppose; understand, then agree or reject.

B

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Things Are Really Good And Getting Better

Steven Pinker presentation on 'The Myth of Violence' (http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker/)

Violence has and is decreasing, because of the state (primarily, according to Pinker). But perhaps not so much through 'enforcement' as through education, economic growth and redistribution. And when we say 'through the state' we can just as well say through us organising, as the state is our grandest organisation (my comment).

It's funny how some of these TED speakers (and 'thinkers') want to show that things are so much better than they were (so we shouldn't complain?). This seems to be an anti-change message, almost an anti-improvement message. Yes, things are better than they were (thank goodness!), but we can also see that things could be a lot better than they are, and this inspiration, drive, imperative (call it what you will) is a good thing. We shouldn't downplay it.

B

Barry Schwartz On 'The Paradox Of Choice'

http://www.ted.com/talks/barry-schwartz-the-paradox-of-choice

My responses:

But there is nothing wrong with variety. Variety reflects our diversity.

We can make decisions, I don't have a problem with that. Perhaps it requires greater self-discipline, I don't have a problem with that.

If you don't want the device to go off, turn it off.

Hold back, what you want will become available if it isn't right now (or invent it yourself).

B

Barry Schwartz On 'Our Loss Of Wisdom'

http://www.ted.com/talks/barry-schwartz-our-loss-of-wisdom

It is not "service", but aid - we collaborate and help each other, we don't to need to serve each other. (My comment – Barry talks "service")

Rules and financial incentives are what we turn to when things break, but other incentives, 'wise' incentives, can work. (My comment – Barry stresses "no incentives", but I think he's acquainting all incentives with financial or material incentives, which doesn't have to be the case. 'Wise' incentives are essentially not financial, but personal. These incentives are brought to the fore by marginalising or removing financial incentive.)

Rules create mediocrity. He's right there, especially in that they quash innovation by anyone.

The right thing to do. Always an (or the most) important consideration.

Good speaker.

We all need to learn respect for ourselves and each other, and ensure that we never expect more respect than we give. (My comment.)

B

GAPMINDER & Google Public Data Explorer

Dynamic time series data against a cross-tab of two variables. Very interesting.

http://www.gapminder.org/
http://www.google.com/publicdata/home

There is astonishing information in this. Income distribution is particularly fascinating (http://www.gapminder.org/downloads/income-distribution-2003/). Incomes have grown and while the distribution has not changed much (with exceptions) they have grown as a group. Japan's income growth looks to have been especially even and fair.

Of course stats are virtually always never by individual, and the individuals picture is much more complex with respect of income and wealth (e.g. high income to low income, great wealth to no wealth).

On the data available: What about stress/happiness by income, mental health by income (etc), prison population by income (etc)?

Why aren't mental health, crime and prison population data available?

Plus where's the data on public debt? And money supply? It's almost as if the data that might not give such a positive picture is not available.

B

Community – Learning

The church was the center of community and of adult learning of ethics and virtue. What is now?

We have schools, recreational activities, cafes and bars, but the bars and cafes aren't terribly social (not for meeting the community).

Village. Belonging. A sense of belonging is a requirement of community relationship.

Schools, particularly primary. To belong to these you must have young family. These do provide some sense of community, but it is not regular like church and is only open to parents of young children. Most persons are not members of this community, particularly young adults and old adults.

B

Monday, May 10, 2010

Success

Being successful is being able to do what you want to do, being able to contribute how you want to contribute.

That's success to me. That's the struggle for me.

Work-life balance is meaningless when your life is your work and your work is your life. My contribution is my life (this is not related to pay, though hopefully there is some financial security) and is in every aspect of my life.

It's funny, I've always known what I wanted to do, unfortunately there's never been a 'job' for doing it.

B

The 'Stress' Of Friends

It's not lack of friends, it's the overwhelming expectation to have friends, that causes stress. Without this expectation there is no stress, as then friends can come and go, and we don't try to control it or blame anyone for it.

The pro-social pressure that some apply (to others and themselves) is totally unnecessary. Be happy with yourself, you don't have to be social, look to what you would like to do, not what 'society' seems to imply you should do – ie. you don't have to have a party on your birthday or at Christmas, that is only a social expectation, it needn't be your expectation, so forget 'expectations' and actually choose what you would prefer to do.

B

The Nut

I don't think I've cracked the nut of how to communicate the common purpose or what it means.

But I want to keep going, to keep answering the hard questions so I can expose and resolve my doubts and any dilemmas (if they can be resolved).

B

What Is My Dream Job?

My dream job is analysing our system for how it might be improved so as to make a difference in life for everyone, to enable everyone to fulfil their potential how they wish.

My dream job leads to real change and a real improvement in our system so that people are free at all stages of life and opportunity is truly shared.

I am doing my dream job.

B

Academic & Leader Elitism

This is the idea that society be led by a small bunch of 'leaders' and 'academics' rather than by the activities of us all. An idea promoted, expounded and reinforced by the academics and leaders themselves, justifying their unequal share of the income of our society.

"As ideas permeate down from the academic ivory tower to the street, the pub and the cafe, we can see them begin to affect wider culture and the way we live our lives." Silent Legacy: The unseen ways great thinkers have shaped our culture, Henderson & Fox (2008)

The leadership training camps, the organisational books (all written almost exclusively to management although they comprise the minority of an organisation), the selection of staff by academic qualification and academic 'excellence', the shoving down our throats of people's academic achievements, in general the attributes of a tiny proportion of the population made to legitimise their unequal share of wealth, fame and power.

Some people are so academic they even put footnotes on their letters to their daughters. Everything is in reference and referenced to something else. It's sickening. Why can't these people just explain themselves what they mean? You would think they have their own words, but they seem to feel it more important to impress us with their learning than to simply explain their meaning. Anyone brave enough and articulate enough to expound their own thoughts without reference and quotations, should not be impressed.
http://www.maxim.org.nz/index.cfm/policy___research/article?id=1977

That said, the author of the 'letter' above has his heart (and mind) in the right place (although he works with the devil).

B

What Are You In Business To Do?

This is the question to ask no matter what type of business, what type of thing, what type of contribution you make.

'What are you in business to do?' That's what you need to perform against. It's the measure of that performance, from the mouths of those who receive your contribution, that you need to take and use.

But what you are in business to do is your decision. In the beginning you are the creator and the one who sees the need. You are the original customer, client and consumer, who feels the need so greatly and feels so inclined to meet it that you do meet it. 'Is it enough, what more can I do?', always ask yourself and improve. Listen to those that buy your product and feedback (your customers), those that don't buy aren't interested and aren't relevant – you want to listen to those that are do buy and are interested, their feedback is constructive.

B

Benefit VS Income

The unemployment benefit is a disincentive to working, because you lose it (and because the work choice is constrained to 'jobs' by the administrators of the benefit).

The base income is an incentive and an enabler of work, because you don't lose it and because you choose the work you do, which doesn't have to be a 'job'.

B

Mockery Quote – "Mockery Is A Rust…"

"Mockery is a rust that corrodes all it touches." The Joke, Milan Kundera (1967)

B

Manufacturing In The UK

It may be time to see that the traditional concept of full employment in 'jobs' is not desirable, efficient or productive. It maybe time to see that the traditional concept of 'work' itself needs to be reassessed, and that the concept of 'unemployed' is now, if not ever before, invalid.

"We have to accept that we can produce more with less labour. Instead of continuing to aim at full employment, we should count our blessings and begin to pick the fruits of increased productivity through scientific and technical progress." http://www.globalincome.org/English/Global-Basic-Income.html

B

A Quiet Room By A Fire, In England

"…a quiet room by a fire [in England]." Merry, p791, LoTR

That's what I want.

B

Direct Discussion, Not Discussion Via Other's Ideas

It always bothers me when people who want to talk to me, ostensibly about my work and the ideas in it, bring up the work of other person's as if this is somehow enlightening in the understanding and discussion of my work. It simply isn't. It's hard enough to discuss my work and ideas, along with the thoughts of the converser, without bringing up the ideas of another of whom we almost certainly both understand differently.

If people want to discuss my work with me they need to make their own points, not reference other person's works. I can help add to the clarity of other's understanding of my work by directly discussing the ideas, but it does not add to that clarity to mention third parties, whether others deem their ideas to be similar or not. Direct discussion, direct comprehension.

Let the academics 'put it into context', I don't want any part of that. If other's think it is the same as other writers I have read, then they probably don't really understand it.

What I say is just what I say. It does not need reference to others. It is not what others say, it cannot be extrapolated rightfully into what others say. It is what I say, and what I say is only what I say, no more.

B

Support

Support. Interesting that the female filmmaker on Hardtalk talked about the support of a (marriage) partner for filmmakers – partners making it possible for the filmmaker to do their work that doesn't bring in any income. If we had a shared income, then filmmakers, and all other labour that doesn't bring in a regular income, could contribute.

(It'd be like we were all married! Ha!)

Supporters. Without a shared base income, the people of a system are not supported to contribute.

B

Knowledge & Understanding

Fulfilment of the thinking animal, of the thinking species.

B

Locality – Geography & Scale

People do congregate in settings where they can congregate with similar people in person, which demands a certain scale of population in a local geographical region. However, the more people there are online the more congregation is also enabled online, and hence the less local geography and scale matters, but it still does matter (a lot). It's difficult to evaluate other people without being able to see, hear and smell them. And it's still just nice to meet (in person) occasionally, that isn't easy when others are 2,000km away.

B

Public Research Data – Private Application Delivery

The state funds public research and makes it freely available. Private citizens ('businesses') can then package and use the data and make it commercially available (but everyone can access the core data-tables themselves for free). Google Earth is an example of this kind of freedom, as was my Labour Market website.

The same could work for the NZ governments scientific research into agriculture emissions – it could work for anything really.

Of course, how much income private individuals can earn from repackaging the data (adding 'value') is an open question. Probably not that much, but then much is probably too much. In a sense, having no part of the process patentable, makes whatever price is obtained from delivery fair, and where it isn't fair this unfairness can quickly be corrected by another using the data to develop their own application and compete.

B

Copy & Improve (Incremental) – Think & Create (Substantial)

Copy & improve – surely that is the quick way to rapidly evolve something? But how often is the 'improvement' actually an improvement? Sometimes the original conception, particularly if much time and thought has gone into it, has a purity of function and appearance that later change (probably particularly by another) leads to a lesser variation (even when there is an improvement on one measure it starts to gain weaknesses in others, because it is no longer conceived as a completed, self-reinforcing entity).

B

Debate Speeches

My best 'speeches' seem to come in debate. Debate sparks me, it gives me something to bite on.

B

Bad Experiences

I've had some bad experiences. I don't look on them with regret (they weren't my mistake), but I wished they'd never happened.

B

Regrettable Mistakes

I regret the mistakes I have made, particularly those that have ever hurt others.

B

Employment

Our current economies' employment systems work on inefficiency and waste to create employment.

If we allowed people to create their own employment there wouldn't be any 'unemployment', and people would be contributing their talents where they saw a need.

B

Do What You Think Is Right For You, What You Want To Do

It doesn't matter what other people think, you've got to do what you think is right for you, which is what you want to do.

B

EXPECT FLEXIBILITY IN THE SYSTEM

I always have this proclivity to shape myself into the system instead of expecting the system to shape itself to me. A good system is flexible. I should expect this flexibility, not the reverse.

B

Lost Potential

So much potential is lost to so many. It's not right. It's not fair. It has to change.

B

Greatness

"Greatness isn't measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals."

Dr Dorothy Height, "Godmother of the Civil Rights Movement"

B

Not All At Once, But At Least We Know Where To Go

I don't say we can do everything in the manifesto at once, but it is something to aim for…

B

A Shared Base Income Includes Health & Education

A shared base income funds everyone, including health professionals and teachers.

B

Health Shortages & Training

Why aren't we training more health professionals? There's agreed to be a shortage around the world, but we still have over-the-top academic grade requirements for people entering health training. These requirements do little to nothing in regard to ensuring the quality of health professional, but immense damage to the worthy people wishing to train in health, and immense damage to the delivery of health through health professional shortages.

B

I'm On A Collision Course With Our System

And I wonder if most people just wouldn't understand it. But it's my job to articulate as well as I am able, to make a convincing argument.

B

I Will Never Retire

If I can do the work I want to do I will never retire.

If we can do the work we want to do we never wish to retire, we keep contributing. That's what a shared base income will enable, plus this, that and the other thing.

B

Security For Ourselves, As We Are

These TV programmes suggest people don't think at all.

"Be loyal, kind and generous to friends and family…" But how does that work with people trying to be themselves? And how does that fit with friendships that turn foul? With relationships and family that split? That is a na├»ve outlook if every there was one.

First of all we must look after ourselves, and reject harm to ourselves, then we can do whatever we can for others... But without safety and security for ourselves, as we are, we are compromised.

I need to find security for myself to be myself.

B

Unemployable - Unexploitable

No stability, no reliability. I'm becoming unemployable by the corporation of control, and that should be a good thing.

B

BE UNREALISTIC

The only way to do unorthodox work is to be unorthodox.

The only way to do work that doesn't fit with the system is to work outside and against the system, to expect the system to be flexible, to not conform to the system.

B

Expect Nothing, Try & Try & Try

Expect nothing, but keep trying and trying and trying.

Expect nothing, but never stop trying. Go for it.

B

Don't Be Silent - Identify Harm

Don't be silent, reject disrespect with verbal identification. And express your opinion. Don't be scared.

B

Trying To Do Things

Trying to do things faster than they can be done is impossible.

Trying to do things faster than they can easily be done is unnecessary and fraught with difficulty and error.

Trying to do things faster than they can reasonably be done is unreasonable.

B

For Myself Is Also For All

I work for myself and for people in general.

I determine my work (my fulfilment) and my work (my fulfilment) contributes to fulfilment in general, because 'my fulfilment' is part of 'general fulfilment'.

B

Where Do We Go From Here? King (1967)

"I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective - the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: 'The Guaranteed Income'."

"We have come a long way in our understanding of human motivation and of the blind operation of our economic system. Now we realize that dislocations in the market operation of our economy and the prevalence of discrimination thrust people into idleness and bind them in constant or frequent unemployment against their will. The poor are less often dismissed from our conscience today by being branded as inferior and incompetent. We also know that no matter how dynamically the economy develops and expands it does not eliminate all poverty."

"We are likely to find that the problems of housing and education, instead of preceding the elimination of poverty, will themselves be affected if poverty is first abolished. The poor transformed into purchasers will do a great deal on their own to alter housing decay."

"Beyond these advantages, a host of positive psychological changes inevitably will result from widespread economic security. The dignity of the individual will flourish when the decisions concerning his life are in his own hands, when he has the assurance that his income is stable and certain, and when he knows that he has the means to seek self-improvement. Personal conflicts between husband, wife and children will diminish when the unjust measurement of human worth on a scale of dollars is eliminated."

"Two conditions are indispensable if we are to ensure that the guaranteed income operates as a consistently progressive measure. First, it must be pegged to the median income of society, not the lowest levels of income. To guarantee an income at the floor would simply perpetuate welfare standards and freeze into the society poverty conditions. Second, the guaranteed income must be dynamic; it must automatically increase as the total social income grows."

"The contemporary tendency in our society is to base our distribution on scarcity, which has vanished, and to compress our abundance into the overfed mouths of the middle and upper classes until they gag with superfluity. If democracy is to have breadth of meaning, it is necessary to adjust this inequity. It is not only moral, but it is also intelligent. We are wasting and degrading human life by clinging to archaic thinking."

Reverent Martin Luther King Jr, Where Do We Go From Here? (1967)

B

'Progress & Poverty' Henry George (1879)

"The fact is that the work which improves the condition of mankind, the work which extends knowledge and increases power and enriches literature, and elevates thought, is not done to secure a living. It is not the work of slaves, driven to their task either by the lash of a master or by animal necessities. It is the work of men who perform it for their own sake, and not that they may get more to eat or drink, or wear, or display. In a state of society where want is abolished, work of this sort could be enormously increased."

Henry George, Progress and Poverty (1879).

B

So Many Costs Of The Wrong Way

Two-and-a-half million heroin addicts in Russia. Thirty thousand will die this year. This is one of the costs of the wrong way.

Is it ever good enough to say that because things have got better we can stop trying to make things better? Certainly not yet anyway.

B

Fear Mongering Journalists

Perhaps they just think they are expressing the fears of the public, but I wonder if they aren't just stoking them.

B

One Day

You can't look for understanding or approval from anyone else. You just put out and put out, and maybe, one day, someone will think, "Hey, that's pretty good."

B

Friday, May 7, 2010

Surveys & Polls No Longer Work

Survey and polls can no longer be trusted. They are useless. People have wised up. They (we) now use them to send a message of what we want and don't want, not what we're going to do.

Witness the UK election polls post-debate, business confidence surveys, ... these no longer say what we're going to do, they say how pissed off we are; they deliver a message of no confidence in the government or the electoral system, at least as much as we can via a blunt device that doesn't ask the questions, and thus allow the responses, we really want to give.

B