My recent activities have been influenced strongly through my use of social networks. The opportunities to be distracted are exploding and it is easy to lose focus. I try to find a balance in listening and sharing. As much as I see social networks as a powerful means they cannot replace real world experiences. So take your notebook or iPhone and get your butt out of this chair!
Recently, I travelled to Egypt and then the Maldives, giving me time to contemplate. The filthy chaos of Cairo and the tranquility of the Maldives showed me the extremes of the human condition in less than 3 weeks. Strangely enough, both are countries that are strongly influenced by Islam and still they could not be more different. Both the repelling treatment of tourists by Egyptians and the attractive, humble servitude of Maldivians gave interesting food for thought. Obviously these countries are very different in their history and geography which shaped their people. They obviously adapted.
My travel contemplations inspired the following writing.
2009 marks the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s ‘On the Origins of Species’, based on an idea too discovered during a voyage – his on the HMS Beagle, mine on a Nile cruiser. Many don’t realize that ‘survival of the fittest’ – the most used term about the theory of evolution – was not coined by Darwin but by economist Herbert Spencer, who in 1864 in Principles of Biology first used the phrase to draw parallels to Darwin’s ‘natural selection’. Till today Darwin is heavily opposed by religious faiths of all flavors. The Merriam Webster Online Dictionary lists FIT as: adapted to an end or design; suitable by nature or by art; adapted to the environment so as to be capable of surviving. Survival of the fittest has been politically misinterpreted as a capitalist ‘survival of the strongest’ by suggesting that it means the socially weak can be left to perish by natural selection. Executives use it to justify growth by any means to dominate rather than nimble adaptation. Fittest means however the most adaptable and therefore we carry in our genes the need for altruistic cooperation.
That human property is now being misused because scientists and politicians use fear and guilt to manipulate us into wasting money on research and CO2 pollution credits. A recent study on CO2 output was published by the International Energy Agency IEA and uses clever statistics to put the blame on industrial nations. In recent years the most growth in CO2 output has however come from developing countries. So the Western world shall reduce its industrial output while we feed the third world so it can continue to explode in population? The study contains no estimates how much CO2 is produced by other sources. I will not further elaborate on the ‘climate change – global warming – CO2 footprint’ mania that is spread by the fear-mongering media, fueled by overzealous, research budget hungry scientists and used as a smoke screen by politicians who lack realistic programs. Scientists are VERY FAR from understanding the energy budget of our planet and its influence on a complex adaptive climate. We do not know what causes the changes we are seeing! The climate models are pure guesswork.
Should we therefore pollute without regard? Absolutely not! With coal producing nearly half the energy related CO2 it is the green parties fault that we do not use more nuclear power plants. But once again we jump to conclusions and ecologists demand that we need to reduce our CO2 output to survive. Should there be a human induced climate change it is much rather connected to OVERPOPULATION. And certainly, long before this planet would develop serious problems with its climate, it certainly WILL BE unable to feed its populace. Before the Maldives might sink into the rising oceans, their inhabitants will have starved to death, unable to pay for the rising price of grain or rice. India and China will not have left fish in the oceans for Maldivians. The destruction of the rainforests is an ecological tragedy.
As much as I would prefer to be able to stop my accusations and offer an immediate solution, I would not be much better than the CO2 pundits. There can’t be a simplistic solution to a complex problem. The superficial morality of today puts the intention before the achievable result. Who in his right mind can propose that helping this planets population to grow beyond survival is a humane endeavour? The problem will not be solved by feeding hungry children to grow up without education and multiply beyond their own means to survive or by giving Africans with AIDS free medication so that they can spread the disease better. The only solution is give those people the knowledge to improve their own life so that they don’t need give birth to five children because only one or two might survive. If we feed them, they simply will adapt to being fed.
Why is no one taking the clues from sociobiology to see that population pressure and famines lead to violence? China was being blasted for trying to enforce single children families to keep population growth under control. So pardon my lack of enthusiasm for socialists including Barack Obama, righteous scientists of all kinds and CEO’s who proclaim corporate social responsibility as a marketing program. CO2 credits are perfectly useless except for showing CSR. The challenges ahead won’t be solved by the people who take our money so they can solve it. We the people are the only ones who can make a change and it won’t be taking the bycicle to work.
Information Technology could be The Noble Sword that enables humans to adapt better than ever before through access to knowledge. Empowerment of individuals by technology can change this world. Mobile phones already enable societies to leapfrog generations of political progress. There are those who dislike that kind of progress. Scientists hate Wikipedia with a vengeance because it robs them of their monopoly to control what is acceptable knowledge.
In the end it is all about financial power and money. Tax authorities are given free access to our bank accounts and request preemptive data mining on bank customer data to identify possible tax evasion. We have a neo-communists trend, where governments hand control and surveillance rights of the Internet to the police forces, to ‘protect us’ from terrorists and child pornographers. Global media businesses lobby governments – which is no more than legalized corruption – for across-the-board copyright monitoring. Global pharmaceutical and so-called life science corporations lobby for patent laws so they can own this planets DNA pool. The shareholders of these large corporations will not allow executives to act morally. So ask yourself, what do we need to change as a first step? Where do we need to cut the money supply that allows all this to happen?
Look, I am not offering an alternative but I am asking for people to cooperate in finding it. I am trying to make YOU aware, that Information Technology is just about to become the most powerful means for political and business domination and control. If we don’t take the right steps NOW we will be in for a long bad turn. What other obvious, clear signs do you need that scientists, politicians and executives are out of their depth – if not worse! Citizens vote and consumers buy and they are in control. Taking matters into our hands is not anarchy, but it is what true democracy and free markets is all about. But I admit, that – like Martin Luther King – all I have is this dream. You need to make it happen.
So stop thinking in MINDLESS QUICKFIXES and start to vote with your purse.
PS.: Don’t get me wrong. I don’t compare myself to Darwin or King, they simply inspire me.