Whole Earth

“We are as gods, and might as well get good at it.” Amazingly, that quote is from the Whole Earth Catalogue of decades ago – before the personal computer. The Catalogue was sub-titled, “access to tools”, and did indeed suggest ways and means of doing things that were advanced, seeming almost radical at the time: a screw that drills its own pilot hole, for example. Stuff that made enormous sense once you knew it was possible.

Today, almost any piece of information can be accessed online at will. Websites enable collaboration, communication, and exchange of goods and services. We seem to live in the information age. The key is to ask the question, to seek the information. It is there, and essentially free.

Yet we live in an age of increasing inequality, at risk of global warming, global pollution, global overfishing, global famine – with world leadership interested only in austerity – for the 99%, not for themselves. We have the absurdity (imho) of a nomination for Presidential candidate, in our neighbour to the south, in which it would be fun to grab a few people off the street and ask them which of the eight original candidates they would trust to park their car, or drive a bus in traffic, or make a difficult legal decision. Yet one of these will end up trying for the job of leading the United States.

The absurdity of superPACs has been exposed by Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, and there is a CRS (Congressional Research Service) report on the superPAC. This report can still be found by going to www.fas.org and searching through the archives of Secrecy News blog. So all of congress knows, or should know, that a couple of legal decisions has made it possible for elections to be swayed by large, unlimited contributions whose reporting requirements aren’t that timely. I know this, and anyone signed up for Secrecy News eMails should also know it.

But nothing is going to be done about it. A mediocracy has captured the means of gathering and spending money, and it does not care about the other 99% or the 99.9%. It is in charge, intends to stay in charge, and doesn’t care about non-members.

We are as gods, and darn well should try to get good at it. Sadly, I will end with a quote from Shakespeare, Julius Caesar:

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.

The meek shall inherit the earth? Not at this rate.

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