8:49 PM Comment0 Comments

And Al Gore killed it. He killed it along with 100s of millions of people in the low-lying coastal regions of the world. How? Just like that. In saying the words, "100s of millions of refugees," he sealed their fate. Its not a new idea, many top environmentalists rail against environmental alarmism. The fact is, the masses, can't take it. It will shock us, and move us but at best we'll unplug our cell-phone charger, at worst we'll become jaded by the sheer scale of death, destruction and the seemingly minuscule possibility of salvation. So if education is not the answer, what is?

Its all about media, and granted Al Gore has started to catch on to the new way, slowly. The only way to start a massive social movement, is to make it cool. Look at the 60s for example. There were a few die-hard activists, rebels, "revolutionaries." Some people will claim that the true hippies, in blowing up banks, did not shy away from violence as a method for social change. If only a few people were truly active then why is it that an entire generation of youth was branded that way? They seemed to protest the Vietnam war. They weren't all radicals, or rebels, they were all followers who served the radical cause just as they served the conformist cause in the 50s. Why? Because it was cool.

Nothing sounds better than free love, peace, truth, beauty and individuality. It was marketed incredibly easily. The masses respond to these words because they are strong. Granted Al Gore's words, death, flood, global climate change, refugees, extinction, etc, are strong words which demand response. Unfortunately the masses choose the wrong response, run for cover, continue hiding behind their consumer products, the threat is just too heavy. The only way most people will think twice about climate change is if they are buying a new "green" product from Wal-Mart.

However, the "green" consumer revolution is the ultimately WRONG response to Al Gore's words. The fear of the unknown in people leads them to consume, and corporations found the ultimate way to make them feel better about themselves, provide a product they can hide behind that will effectively remove their fear and guilt. With "green" dish-washing soap, I can continue to use disposable razors, drive an SUV and throw out half my dinner every single night, without having to hide from the wrath of the world's prominent environmental alarmists or worry that my children will blame me for destroying the world.

Regardless, this same marketing technique is what is needed to shake people into movement. No one will protest because "millions of people will die" but thousands will protest because "they love polar bears" or "they are proud to be human." The masses respond to the positive and shy away from the negative, however it may affect them. The same model that made Obama president, "Yes We Can" rather than the Republicans, "but but but, he's a socialist" is what is needed to make people demand environmental action. The vast majority of us are sheep, following a leader. Machiavelli would turn over in his grave, but in the modern world, it is better to be loved, and to preach love, than to preach fear.

The same goes for any cause really. If you want to create passion for a cause, or just the illusion of passion, it is crucial to spin it positively. Through film, television, print, the internet, etc, people can become inspired and awed by the sheer beauty and preciousness of our planet. At this point, it must be said that this extraordinary beauty is fragile, and we must be responsible for its salvation. With this information and passion in hand, the masses can be motivated, moved and not afraid to take action. So relax Al, and you too reader, when you see someone who claims to be an activist but acts contradictorily, don't call them out, include them in your action, encourage and nurture their activism, make them a part of a greater movement. Then environmentalism will be cool, and they will have no choice but to listen.

Don't fear the future, be proud of being human, learn about the world and love your planet.

8:01 PM Comment0 Comments

Should life inspire passion?
Or passion inspire life?
Are they mutually exclusive?
What if your passion is life?

6:03 PM Comment0 Comments

Warning: This blog is long and boring but has brief references to World of Warcraft and Muse.

When looking at economics and industry there are three basic divisions.

Primary Industry: Resource Extraction, Mining, Forestry, Agriculture, Fishing
Secondary Industry: Manufacturing, Construction, etc.
and Tertiary Industry: Retail, Services, Banking

Quaternary Industry: I will be focusing on Tertiary Industry which makes up over 60% of the economic output of developed nations. Specifically I will focus on the sector of the tertiary industry that some have dubbed the Quaternary Industry. The tentatively named Quaternary sector is the sector of the economy devoted to development and sharing of information. This includes a wide range of services from the internet, to research and development, to entertainment, to education. This sector is all about buying and selling information, knowledge and ideas (which in itself seems an odd phrase). Its weird to consider the fact that in a society where we consider thought to be free, something as intangible as an idea can be bought or sold. Aside from that, where is the resource to back it up? Should we be concerned that a majority of our economy is based on immaterial information locked up in peoples brains as well as fragile servers that crap out if a stray dust particle lands on them?

Virtual Economies: Its an idea I've toyed with for years, since I saw the first online communities pop up. It is the idea that virtual goods and information could be bought and sold from an online world that could in theory develop its own economy. Of course we aren't talking a world-class currency (yet) but these do exist. Second Life is a virtual world which boasts its own virtual currency and economy. Citizens, who comprise a wide variety of nationalities pay in for the services which the Second Life world supplies and some companies even make money from Second Life services. Essentially Second Life has imports and exports as well as an internal economy despite being a completely virtual non-existent world. Other examples of virtual economies are not so complex, like online MMoRPGs such as World of Warcraft where virtual economies develop out of the illegal trade of in game items for real money. These pay to play games reflect a different side of the virtual economy though.

Entertainment: The entertainment sector of the quaternary industry revolves around a lot of services, including music, video games, and movies. In most cases these economic interactions represent the end of the line with final sale and with an increasing dedication to digital media there is no resale value in these purchases. Essentially in the past 10 years entertainment has become a service, and in some cases just a transfer of information, rather than a tangible product. This is entirely due to the internet which has even gone so far as to remove certain facets of entertainment from the economy almost entirely as pirating the latest Muse CD becomes more and more popular to the frugal consumer.

The Internet: This is the least tangible of all. Imagine this, you pay a subscription to a website that gets paid by advertisers who are selling domain names and server space to a company that sold the web design to the website you're currently viewing. Cyclical and confusing is the nature of the internet economy. It is based solely on the growth of the internet which at the present moment, almost every industry in the world depends on. Almost all business interactions (legitimate or not) rely on the internet in some way. Companies put money into the growth of the internet and in turn the receive services which potentially make them money. Other companies, some of the wealthiest, Google, have made the majority of their money solely on the internet, their goods and services locked up in servers and data. If I had to hazard a guess how much money is locked up in the internet I would have no idea where to start, considering the vicious cycles I outlined above and the fact that all industries seem to now rely on the internet.

The Implications:
-most of our economy is based on fragile things knowledge, data, info., etc.
-we don't have any concrete resource to back up these services
-these are entirely new untested, unquestioned industries except for education

Concerns: Should we be concerned for the economic stability of such a system? If billions of dollars are on the line is the threat of cyber-terrorism significant? What back-ups are in place in the event of cyber-disaster? Can we maintain the internet economy? There is little economic theory on the subject, maybe because its not a problem. I have only a vague understanding of economics but it seems to me that too much money is tied up in services that cannot be backed up with resources. If you want to be guaranteed a job in the event of a cyber-disaster, go into the primary or secondary industry, preferably on a local scale.

These are the unintelligible, unorganized thoughts on current economics by an average blogger, hope you enjoyed.

7:55 PM Comment0 Comments

I suppose there are many reasons for polygamy. First and foremost is the traditional feminist view that polygamy is simply a result of patriarchal misogyny in a chauvinistic society. It is a way for men to control women and oppress and suppress them. In this ideology polygamy is portrayed as the ultimate way to objectify women; females become collector's items. Are there positive attributes to polygamy though?

Some would argue that polygamy does not show a disrespect for women, rather the opposite. While on the surface it seems that women become objects most polygamist marriages only exist provided the man is able to provide equally for his new and his old wife. While in a world with large feminist influences this seems wrong condemning women to be the dependents of men, in most polygamist societies the women are not fully capable of providing for themselves. So is a man in the wrong for taking on more than one wife? In polygamist societies a man is highly respected based on the number of wives he has, not because he is living some erotic polygamist fantasy but because he is capable of caring for so many people in his life.

Along with the current moral implications of plural marriage in the world, the past and origins must be taken into consideration. What is the societal imperative for polygamy? Well without digging too far it is evident. What conditions would make it important that one man marry many women? Polygamy exists in many primitive and sometimes warring societies. These are societies where men are scarce; gone off to be killed in warfare or in the hunt. However, women in polygamist societies are much safer and stay at home where they provide caring for families and cook for men. Because of this the gender demographic can become skewed. The only logical solution, in which marriage is imperative to community, is for men to take on multiple wives.

However, the unfortunate truth about modern polygamy is that it is not done out of necessity. Many young males are forcibly excommunicated to reduce competition for wives as gender demographics are more equal in modern polygamist groups, such as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Groups such as these seem to be dominated by chauvinist patriarchs who wish to maintain a needless hierarchy. While this is not morally accepted these groups do experience certain benefits. Polygamists enclaves tend to enjoy a higher sense of community as they all tend to rally around the a small number of patriarchs and the a small set of surnames, so simple personal events such as funerals can host 1000s of people in an otherwise small town.

Maybe there will be imperative for polygamy in our society one day. It is possible that with another World War the Western World could see a dramatic decrease in the population of males proportionately to females. In such a case plural marriages will begin to look more appealing. Though if past conflict is any indication, and with present trends of reduced casualties in modern warfare, I doubt we'll see a significant downturn in male population proportionately to women for quite some time.

The Party Prophet. Blogger FAQs