Tag Archives: protests
Did you ever think it was silly when you hear people say, WE’RE WITNESSING HISTORY! My first thought was always, “GEE, isn’t every waking moment ‘witnessing history’?” I know, I’m just parsing words. What they surely mean is that we are witnessing milestones, tipping points if you will.
Remember the good ol’ days of the internet, say 8-10 years ago in ancient internet times? We had these quaint things called ‘chat rooms’ and ‘message boards’? I thought that was so cool. Leaving a message that somebody on another continent could read. Wow. Not quite what Kubrick envisioned in 2001 A Space Odyssey. But to me, very cool. My Aunt and Uncle were Kansas dairy farmers who just got electricity and plumbing in the mid 1950’s.
So what’s the big milestone? The Iranian (so-called) election, or rather the way it is being exposed! A phony rigged election in a theocracy, I have no doubt that will happen again. The milestone is that we have reached the age of super-connectivity. An exponential proliferation of connectivity, made possible by; Emails, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, del.icio.us, Digg this!, Linkedin, Reddit and RSS feeds.
Not to mention the old fashioned thing you’re reading now, a blog post. Many blogs are networked to ALL of these, making them accessible practically everywhere. And, here’s the Big Brother part, the proliferation of cheap mobile devices that access any or all of these in virtually real-time.
No longer can an oppressive nation publish strictly controlled press releases and suppress the truth for any period of time. Even though the Iranian govt has tried, the networks have just become overwhelming! Just as electrical grids are re-routed when one connection fails, modern networking has proved to resistant to attempts to block and disrupt the flow! I believe that the 2009 Iranian farce elections should be held as an epic moment, just as Tienamen Square is now.
The Iranian people were not allowed to be counted in their own country, dismissed as mere ‘motes of dust’. They will not be dust to the rest of the world. Their voices have become a swarm on every network possible. The age of governments hiding their deeds behind ‘iron curtains’ is over. We, the citizens of the world can be the antithesis of the Owellian Big Brother. Let North Korea’s people be heard next!
Okay, enough playing politics for NOW. For more about networks – Continue reading
Scientists think they’ve found the origins of human empathy in studying orang-utans. They found that laughter is contagious and important for animals that live in groups. “Empathy helps one communicate with social partners … It helps form social bonds and it’s supportive in terms of cooperation.”
Another study examines our potential for violence and finds, “Contrary to popular belief, we are born violent. Until the age of three, our impulses run riot. There is no stopping the urges which come from the emotional centre in our brains.
But as we grow up, we start to develop the part of the brain that allows us to control our aggression – the pre-frontal cortex.”
What causes some people to not control their tendency to be violent? What allows others to remain passive, calm and peaceful? What part does our culture and our experiences play? We know laughter is contagious. Is violence also?
When you read stories like those telling of the people gathering to protest at The University of Notre Dame tomorrow, you can’t ignore the mass hysteria, how much greater the threats of violence are because too often violence creates violence. Does being a part of a group who are furious give permission to behave in ways we might find unacceptable as an individual?
Apparently, 18% of the inhabitants of Texas want to secede from the United States. Other than opening the door for other states to follow, which I’m sure, even if voters reached a majority the federal government would quash in no uncertain terms.
But let’s look a the consequences of such a move; should it be allowed to take place, and indeed passes. Texas has no personal income tax, but it does impose 60 other taxes ranging from tobacco to retaliatory taxes. Texas would lose any tax money it receives from the federal government, so the imposition of higher taxes to pay for basic infrastructure would surly follow such a move. They could also require any visitors to obtain travel visas, and the federal government could impose the same on anybody leaving the state. I could go on and on, but it seems to me any state wanting to secede from the union would be creating more problems than the ones they are trying to get away from.