Question of Convictions

People convinced of something were always attracting my interest. Sometimes I felt kind of envy, sometimes curiosity. Because the way they have found their something was always obscure. There were times I thought there is no “way” at all, that people are just born with it. Or without. Me without. I was never convinced of anything. Convictions scare me. Most appalling tragedies of XX century were connected with convictions. But most striking scientific achievements were too.

Convictions look good on the third hand. They simplify the appearance. I guess they may help in focusing all the efforts on something. But the price can be high. And the oddest thing is the you can easily overlook the price.

The question stays on: should I have any convictions at all? Maybe humanness should be one?

Categories: General Problems

Rethinking Education Pt.18: Dullness Against Genius

What is the probability that a randomly selected newborn child will become genius? What is the probability that a randomly selected genius will commit a suicide?

Society that minimizes the chances for genius is probably a doomed one.

Determinancy and algorithmic behavior are expected of educational system. But when everything is planned there is very little place for future. Future is not something predicted, planned and awaited. Rather it consists of unexpected events. Genius is unexpected.

Although genius seldom receives a favor of mass, today society disposes of very effective tools against it. And no matter how paradoxical it can seem, education is at the top among these tools. Educations teaching so many pointless things ends up with people who prefer dullness. People who prefer dwelling in a special kind of slumber, lulled with TV ads, antidepressants, stock chart statistics and supermarkets.

They try to find a peace of mind (it is by the way instructive to think of reasons peace of mind became so demanded), and stopping to think at all is the shortest path there.

As long as chairs are comfortable they can stop caring about destination point of the train of life. Indeed, as long as competitive salary each month appears on the account one holds in some respected bank, he is welcome to stop thinking.

But if one day respected bank will collapse and staff reduction will appear instead of salary, there will be no time to learn to think.

And there will be no Superman, no Angel A, nobody to rescue the life.

Categories: Education

Climate Change: The Invincible Enemy

Some time ago I’ve read an article in Telegraph beginning with an advice to dump all shares of alternative energy companies if you own any. Author believed that evidence of fraud can change minds. Well, to change a mind there should be one.

“Climate change” designers had played very well with feelings of being in danger and other tools of mind control. And it will be very naive to suppose that a lonely speech can compete with mass media monster. I write with a goal to be aware, to analyze the meaning of confrontation.

The major confrontation is a classic one: on the left are rich countries with U.S. at the head, on the right are poor ones. Carbon dioxide emissions are a false front. For third world introducing a constraint on emissions is the same as introducing a constraint on the development of all kinds of industries. It creates a total dependency, sustainable dependency. Apparently it sets the scene for political control, for pulling the money strings. In the long run this is a rush for resources. Developed countries oversaturated with induced necessities became colossi with feet of clay. They implicitly but very strongly depend on owners of natural resources – gas crises had shown the situation very well. In such conditions many territories owned by poor countries became tasty morsels and the battle rages on. In the beginning there were weapons in exchange for resources, than atomic power plants and other technologies. Today they offer monetary support that means another dependency – on the external currency – that will create a temptation to level down internal currencies and further decrease competitiveness of internal industries because of labour migration.

And all this is due to climate change. The invincible enemy, one for all. Do you know which enemy is the best? One that does not exist. You can always pretend you are fighting, organize global conferences translated on hundreds of languages, issue laws, request financial support.

Because the enemy you are fighting is so global, so complex, so dangerous. After the fine-tuned media treatments nobody will doubt the importance of fighting with this invincible enemy. Nobody will raise objections, because we are all in danger. Nobody will ask “why?”, because “no nation, however large or small, wealthy or poor, can escape the impact of climate change”. Nobody will think deeper, because we are already out of time. Nobody will listen the critics, because “the future of human civilization is at stake”. Nobody will take a scientific look because “this is not fiction”.

Otherwise, people now join movements to save the planet. Save the planet, the planet that is around for billions of years – doesn’t it sound stupid? TV shows that it does not. People buy printed T-shirts, get involved in countless discussions, scream on streets, smash shop-windows, set cars on fire. They are saving the planet. Haven’t they watched George Carlin?

Why don’t just say the truth? The truth is always around. Hardly there are much people who truly and studiously care about the nature. And it is natural, because people are educated that way. From the other hand mostly everybody cares about own comfort. And I think these panic is nothing but “don’t touch my comfort place of living” expression caused by fears and feelings of insecurity that are persistently forced in people with help of mass medias covering corpses in evening news.

Categories: General Problems

A bout de souffle

Categories: General Problems

Best Before 1900

If it could be possible to label shelf life recommendation on the ideas I would put “Best before 1900” on the idea of progress.

Progress is historically associated with society. In XX century mankind finally had its chance to see society in action.

No earlier century has witnessed as much killing. Population increases provided more people to kill; technological developments provided more efficient means to do so; and expanding media coverage informed more people about such killings and horrors as the century proceeded.

From An Age of Progress? by W. G. Moss

John B. Bury

When I look at the portrait of John Bury, author of a classic work The Idea of Progress: An Inquiry into Its Origin and Growth written in 1920, I feel the presence of Victorian XIX century, colonial prosperity, steam ships, nobility, respectable people having time to dream ideas. This image has very little in common with XX and XXI centuries.

Yet silver-screens are still talking to us about progress and taxes to pay for it. Minds are in the grip of western thinking, or western religion if you will, a working model of control, but its shelf life is over it seems.

Society that consumes spoiled control model will go out of control at a certain time. And when it will happen simply replacing the control model will not fix anything, because problem can never be solved at the level it appeared. Upcoming debates at UN Climate Change Conference on CO2 emissions and other topics will probably confirm above statement.

Categories: General Problems