I was brought to this site by stumpleupon.com to which I am extremely glad I did, but after months of being on here it seems to me that people are just stuck in a rut talking about the most mundane and irrelevant things. Yes religion is boring and should be condemned and put down where ever is necessary but shouldn't we be looking at greater things like the state of the world and how fucked up it is? Lets use our free thinking for something more relevant.
Im currently obsessed by the idea behind the Zeigeist movement. It deals with how society is polluted by a capitalist motion that is simply destroying our social fabric and more importantly our very existence.
Dont you think its time we looked beyond just peoples beliefs and look at the true picture that is being painted of our world today? Things are fucked up, big time. Lets move on to a new chapter ay?
Not necessarily. There are plenty of great ideas queued up already that have yet to be tried. You can add more to the list, but the problem isn't that there is any shortage of ideas for change, but rather the barriers to change need to be removed first. Religion has a habit of being one of those barriers. Though in all fairness it's not the only one.
I was with you completely until you mentioned Zeitgeist.
If that movie franchise (lets call a spade a spade) is what drew your attention to how screwed up we're making things, then I guess that is good. If it is popularizing (in some circles) the notion that change is necessary and possible, that is also good. Unfortunately, that is the extent of the good things I can say about it.
While the movies described a few of the symptoms of our civilization's ills, they failed miserably at identifying any sort of root cause. Even worse was the prescribed solution to the problem. I literally started laughing when they started describing the Venus Project. I thought it was a clever parody and they were going to point out how obviously stupid such an approach would be. Then I realized they were being serious. I don't have any patience for these absurd technotopian fantasies, especially when they don't even address the problem.
There are many myths that form the basis of civilization. Religion is just one of them.
If you are passionate about the issue and earnest in your desire to help, there are a number of authors I'd suggest you read.
Daniel Quinn's "Ishmael" (and the sequels) would be a great place to start for some more higher level critical analysis of the situation.
Derrick Jensen's "Endgame" would also be a great resource, especially if you want to know why certain proposed solutions won't work.
We need more people challenging the status quo. We don't need more hipsters painting "Z"s on their foreheads. ;)
The first time I heard about the Venus Project, I too shunned it as ridiculous. Then I started researching Jacque Fresco and you may think he's bat shit crazy but he is a very intelligent man. I still dont know what to make of the Venus Project if Im honest. Im certainly paying close attention to its founders and that of Zeitgeist. The world is wrapped up by greed and consumerism and it is slowly destroying us. Its been conditioned into us since birth that we must work so hard and for what: materials?!
Im 31 and Im a teacher in Thailand. I have no debts but I own nothing at the same time. Am I happy with that idea? Yes, because nothing therefore owns me. Speaking of debt for example, which owns almost everyone on the planet.
I agree we need more people challenging the status quo and I agree painting "Z"s on our foreheads is not going to help, but you have to agree that if everyone in the world viewed the Zeitgeist idea and turned off Fox news for one night, the world wouldn't be a worse place to live. It would ignite thought in peoples minds, perhaps teachers would teach kids about free thought and questioning the system rather than just accepting it. There is so much potential that a film like Zeitgeist can generate from intelligent minds that haven't been poked at enough yet.
The only thing that would let down a non monetary based system is people themselves. There is too much greed and ignorance in the world and thats primarily through poor education. Jacque Fresco and Peter Joseph are both incredible thinkers and what they both are trying to put across is that humans have slowly evolved wrongly and there is plenty of evidence to support that, however, we are in a time right now where technology can take the stress out of our bullshit lives and if we were educated correctly to respect the land others then a peaceful society isn't out of reach.
I am still however a little pessimistic about the whole zeitgeist thing because you dont have to delve too much into it to understand it has huge flaws. But rather than condemn those flaws, why don't we look at bridging them with solutions? Its gonna take time but it gives a slight hope that there are people in the world like Fresco.
"The only thing that would let down a non monetary based system is people themselves."
That's the thing; the greatest problem of any social system is the people. Our current form of capitalism is in essence another form of aristocracy. We've returned to the same social hierarchies of 500 years ago, but there are now different ways of attaining that power. Instead of simply having political/social/economic/military power based on the accident of birth (which still happens in our society), there is now the opportunity for people to gain power themselves through a less violent means then there previously was.
The American experiment was originally intended to create a more just and equal society where more people could have more say in what happened to them as determined by their government. Now, we have gerrymandering and an inclination to continue re-electing our local legislatures that keep a privileged elite in power for decades and decades at a time even if term limits are two years. It requires millions and millions of dollars to run for public office. Polarization has come to a head where either there is a stalemate in the legislature or the minority party simply gets run over.
The people who were part of the system eventually broke the system. The problem isn't greed, materialism, or consumerism. It is people being unable to rise above their instinctual inclinations regarding social hierarchies. In a sense, Fresco and Joseph are correct in the idea that we have evolved "wrongly," but wrongly only in the sense that we don't act in ways that promote a more efficient use of resources for the aims of strictly benefiting all people's lives and reducing the total amount of needless suffering. We adapted rightly for a tribal environment of pre/early civilization, but our technology has progressed to the point where we must adapt anew because we face new dangers and environmental pressures. Our bodies can't adapt fast enough so it is behavior that must change. Behavior changes by chance, trial and error, or education.
That is the fulcrum from which change will happen, our understanding of the world, ourselves, and how it all relates. Education, unfortunately enough, is a luxury and good teachers are in short supply. Good teachers and a good education is more likely to occur in a developed and wealthy country, which in our current state of the world has arisen from the profits of capitalism. Capitalism has the potential to be a transitory form to a other social systems to include (but definitely not limited to) a more rational society.
Whether we get to that more rational society is another matter.
Eh, I don't know. I just have so much fun denigrating religion. I'll let someone else carry the relevant issues cross.
im not understanding this climate change issue. isnt the climate gonna change anyway whether we help or not, the earth is gonna change. we cant stop it. we may can slow it down. personally i dont believe in man made climate change and if the world is gonna change then oh well we will just adapt and the world will keep spinning. plus we cant do anything if almost all the world is religious and the ones that are closet atheist are afraid to come out because of a plethora of things. we have to fight this religion virus in order to help set our other problems in motion, which are mostly caused by religion.
Tom, in past eons, climate on the earth has changed many, many times - the entire area that is now the Great Plains, at one point in Earth's past, was a giant inland ocean, which then was fine, because no one lived here - imagine if it happened again.
The important point to consider, is that with the buildup of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere, the time can come, if nothing is done, that those gasses will continue to allow heat to build up in our atmosphere that won't escape out into space. As more heat is added and less escapes, the time comes when the earth can heat to the point of extinguishing life. Life, especially vegetation, helps regulate earth's gasses - without it, Earth could become another Venus, with all of our seas evaporated and a temperature of 800-900 degrees.
True, the Earth will keep on spinning, but good luck adapting to that.
The solar flares are simply part of the sun's 11-year cycle - it goes from a very quiet, inactive period, to one of intense electromagnetic activity, then gradually back to quiet again. It does this every 11 years, and this cycle is no more intense than any other has been.
RE: Greenhouse gasses can't be the main cause.
Normally, Tom, plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, but because the people in the rainforest regions live in poverty, they're cutting those forests to survive, and to turn the land into farm land and grazing land for cattle. The more trees we lose - our "air-purifying machine" so to speak - the more carbon remains in our air.
Ever notice how hot the inside of your car can get on a hot day, if you leave the windows up? That's because the longest rays of light, the infra-red, are also the hottest. As the sun passes by your car window, all wavelengths enter your car, but the infra-red rays get trapped there and the heat builds up as new ones enter. On a 90-degree day, it can get as hot as 130 in your car with the windows up. The greenhouse gasses are trapping infra-red rays of sunlight, just as the closed windows of your car would, and just like your car, the planet is heating up. Clearly you are internet savvy - look up how much ice has melted from both North and South Poles and ask why. And while you're at it, ask yourself where all of that extra water is going?
I don't mean to sound PO'd, and I'm not PO'd at you, Tom, just at what greed and ignorance are doing to this incredible planet.
Here we are, excited at the prospect of space travel and of alien contact, when actually, why would we need to go to another planet, when we can't even take care of our own? And as for alien contact, if they're anything like us, they'll hit this planet, do a rape and run, stripping it of all of it's remaining resources, and begin looking for yet another planet to exploit.
Tom, it's the fatcats in the oil industry, the auto industry, the electric and heat industries, those in the lumber industries, that lose profits if we implement stringent energy policies, as well as all of the politicians whose careers are supported by those fatcats - THEY're the ones who are keeping things from you.
May 2012 global temperatures second warmest on record: