Tag Archives: peotry

MORE WORDPLAY?

The manipulation and alteration of words and language over long periods of time is a subject that I have written about on several occasions and will do so with more frequency as it becomes more and more of a factor affecting the road ahead of us. This deceitful control mechanism has been used almost continuously since we invented language; it has been an extremely convenient tool in the hands of the few and their ability to maintain control of the reins of humanity up until now. In the roughly 12,000 years since the Neolithic revolution sparked life and gave birth to the dynamic human mechanism called civilization, those few who, for whatever reason, found themselves in the position to observe its birth and development, understood what was most important to understand at that time: first, that a human civilization is not a human quality but a dynamic product of the actions of humanity and that it has only one purpose and objective: to grow, in spite of the fact that nothing can grow perpetually, period; at least nothing that we know of and second; that what civilization feeds on in order to grow, is the dynamic human energy that is the result of everything that everyone does. It does not discriminate as to the nature or origin of the human dynamic energy on which it feeds. It matters not to the dynamic of civilization if the energy that it consumes in ever increasing quantities is the result of war or if it the result of a highly productive collaboration; as long as it is energy. In the understanding of these two key aspects of civilization there was a great discovery to be made. We noticed that there were no rules as to how human activity and its resulting energy were to be structured or supervised. We could literally do anything that we could think of which would result in human activity. This little detail has always been our Achilles’ heel; we have not had any success at administering our own autonomy without succumbing to the temptation of imposing our will over others (the imposition of will is what creates the illusion of power). At the same time, it is always been that any organization or structure given to the activities of humans within a civilization have occurred by the imposition of the will or a “few” who attempt to coordinate their activities with great attention to detail to keep the rest of us in line with their agenda. These impositions and the will they represent became the rules that we structured to guide all of our actions; in order to simply keep up busy. This keeps civilization fed and full and allows for the few to do whatever they want and to use the rest of us to as tools to this end, so long as humans were active. Some of these rules were imposed in a sudden and blunt manner which required some dramatic methods to achieve (since humans don’t deal with change effectively). The incorporation of religion into the fabric of human civilization was such an imposition of will; once the concept of religion evolved to the point where it became an effective tool for control, it was imposed with the subtlety of a hurricane during an earthquake. Other rules/impositions were structured with more careful planning and contain an unusual component for a human mechanism; time. These rules are very proactive and well thought out; in particular, the manipulation of language. The results of these manipulations can not be felt for many years sometimes, which in some ways is almost contradictory to the modern pace of everything which is based on doing everything immediately. I can not pinpoint when or how or who came up with the strategy of manipulating language over time to allow for control of future generations, it may not be possible given the lack of information available to trace related events backwards in time, but it doesn’t matter; we can clearly see the manipulations if we simply look for them, no one made any attempts to disguise these subtle changes in the meaning of words and nuances in inflection and tone which changed the entire understanding of things over time, nobody needed to, we weren’t looking for them. One does not look for what one does not know is there. It took what we’re going through now to create the opportunity to ask the question and once we did, it all became immediately transparent. I hope we can all learn the lessons that can be learned by observing, with such clarity, what we have been capable of doing to ourselves, and in fact, what we have done.

One of the most impacting of these manipulations has been the inclusion and evolution of the words value and worth and the concepts that they represent.

The word and the concept of worth existed well before the word and the concept of value even though their extremely close and intimate linguistic relationship today would make it hard to believe. In fact, the two words, at the point where they became words after going through all of morphological linguistic processes that words go through in order to become words, were born from two conceptually different linguistic origins. Worth the word was born to the family of human judgment lexicons. It stems from the concept morpheme worthy and essentially means worthy of; good or important enough to merit being considered useful or important or an excellence commanding esteem, be it to the world, to a group of people in particular or even just to one person. This is the root meaning of the word “worth” at its point of origin. Some examples of its use are:

“Anagrad is a person who is fair in judgment and compassionate in action; he is worth knowing.”

“Your advice and counsel seem reasonable and useful, it is advice worth taking.”

“The place that lies beyond the trees that lie beyond field that lies beyond the place where we bury our dead that lies beyond the river that lies beyond our planted fields and orchards that lie beyond our homes is far away and a long walk, but its beauty is worth the trip.”

These are all examples of the language lexicon which expresses judgment calls. In all cases, whatever it is that has been determined of worth is of importance to one or more people, which is a fundamental variable in the calculations of value. It would be appropriate today to say that those things in the examples that were considered of worth was because they had value, since excellence of character, usefulness or importance; in fact the word “values” when used to define human behavior are those considered useful or important by a group of people, regardless of what it is that has worth or is valuable. It is important to note that everything related to both of these words existed purely in the realm of human judgment. Over time, the definition of worth began to include a more proprietary nature, indicative of that which left something or produced something important to one or more people, as in: “That ox was worth the 3 slaves and my youngest virgin daughter, it has plowed thrice the area that I could have plowed alone.” This shift in the emphasis of worth began a shift towards a relationship with wealth and money and over time, the dominating definitions of the words were related to their relationship with money. Even though the original definitions describing judgment-based criteria remained in the dictionary, the expansion of those definitions, (which were all related to money) dominated the concept. See the definition of worth here. Worth suddenly was defined as having a value of, or equal in value to, as in money: This vase is worth 12 dollars. In this way, the word worth “changed” from being a noun to a preposition, if fact, in today’s dictionary it is listed as both, with preposition in the key position. Even when referring to its original function as a noun, we can see that the descriptions of things commanding esteem or considered useful or important now included the simple definition: value, as in money. Wow, pretty straightforward, but completely different from its roots, in other words; contradictory.

The word value however, was born a noun. See the definition of value here. Here we can see that right off the bat, the #1 definition of value is “the relative worth, merit or importance; the value of a queen in chess. Here I would argue that this definition describes a preposition, it is still a judgment call, but it had to be put in there I guess to preserve the “integrity” of continuity, if nothing else. This was quickly cleared up in all the rest of the definitions, where value is defined as monetary or material worth, as in commercial trade and the worth of something in terms of the amount of other things for which it can be exchanged or in terms of some medium of exchange. Perhaps this last definition was a last ditch and desperate attempt to scream out “Hey! It’s not only money that has value; it can be other stuff too.” perhaps in the hopes of disguising the actual and total link between value and money. Maybe it was assumed that we don’t understand that the only medium of exchange in the world is money, or at least the only one worth exchanging. Do you see how they become intertwined in a knot of confusion, misdirection and deceit? Perhaps this slipped by a lot of people, after all it was designed to and we are not taught to question the dictionary, but after covering the other mandatory uses of the word “value” (like in mathematics, for example), we come to the 16th definition of the word, in which it becomes a verb, used with object and is defined as “to calculate or reckon the monetary value of; give a specified material or financial value to…” It doesn’t get much more direct that than that. Value is how we “reckon” the monetary value of….. Those things that have worth, obviously. We don’t walk into a store and say: “Excuse me, what’s the value of that painting?” We say “Excuse me, what is that painting worth?” In practice, if not in fact, they have becomes synonyms. The worth of a thing is defined by its monetary value. They essentially mean the same thing, so why keep both words? It’s simple, because worth still maintains an element of human judgment as part of its function, and that is what makes it possible for something to be worth more than what its value may be. Value is a specific measurement in terms of money; so is worth, but the latter kept a partial definition as a function of judgment, which may alter the value of a thing if the individual or group considers it important enough. This is what has allowed for a smooth-talking salesman to show someone a bottle of flax seed oil (for example), a consumable product with a value of roughly $1.00 per pint, then pick and choose the right words that will raise the importance of that oil to the potential buyer and suddenly, the same pint of oil is worth $20.00 to that person at that moment, as a result of a judgment call based on the explanation (story) they were hearing. This is why we kept the word worth in modern day language, it justifies the excuse that the value of a thing may be a fixed number in the Universe, but the monetary expression of that value is whatever a person considers it to be worth. This results in a direct and flagrant contradiction of definitions in the dictionary, and it’s also the excuse for the con, the play on words that allows for astuteness to be considered more important a quality than intelligence and capriciousness to win out over logic: because in the end, the worth of anything is a result of individual judgment. How extremely convenient a variable to use in altering the calculation of value used in economics and commerce; and how devastating.

Just ask yourself this and consider the significance to today’s world:

It used to be that the worth of a thing was determined by what it produced and held, since it has always been a law of human dynamics that the “worth” of a nation or even a person, was measured by what they produced and held (as in owned). That worth was then translated into its equivalent value in money and that resulted in its “net worth”; it was also what allowed for human beings became ‘for sale’ without technically being slaves. In short, the value of what someone or something was worth was measured by its ability to produce things of value and hold things of value, thus increasing their financial worth, which has become the only measure of value important to us.

Today, in 2011, a person, a company or even a country is only worth as much as its ability to pay the value of what it OWES, given that the aberration of the value of things caused by the use of individual judgment to allow for things to be worth more than their value resulted in an enormous fracture in the calculations of value. People began to exchange more money for something they desired than the value of that thing, as established by our own reckoning, this difference could not be financially reconciled because it was born of judgment and not accounting and therefore, over time, we were committing to exchange more than what we had (our net worth ) for virtually everything, allowing for the birth of CREDIT AND DEBT. Today, even those few people and entities that still produce things of value today do not have their worth enhanced by the value of the things they produce. If whatever a person or company or country produces isn’t immediately converted into the money representing its value – in the form of assets, which can be attached, taken or legally foreclosed upon, then they are considered “worthless”. Production of goods and services has become pointless, only the converted monetary value of a thing in the form of an asset is worth anything. A person can produce a million dollars worth of goods and services every day, but unless they convert that production into money and the money into assets, (which can be taken, or litigated or foreclosed upon) then that person is considered worthless by virtue of “insolvency”.

In conclusion, what began as considering anything that was seen as useful to have worth; today the only thing that is useful is money, which also happens to be the only thing we consider to have value. The only thing worth having is money, since that determines the value of what you can pay towards your DEBT, and everyone knows that a person isn’t worth anything until they owe money and thus establish credit, which creates value by allowing us to BUY money at an enormous markup, which in turns diminishes our worth and in the end, no matter what anyone does, we all end up owing everything that we may be worth to someone else.

There you have it: Value and worth; an incredibly detailed mind-fuck that, over time, made people worthless while maintaining money valuable. What an amazingly brilliant construct. We are capable of so much. If only we could figure out how to use that capacity collaboratively to make us ALL happy, instead of allowing for a few to feel the rush of imagined power at the expense of the rest of the suffering of the rest of humanity.

We can do better.

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MATH HUMOR?

If you have a really bad cavity in a molar, you would probably need a root canal. But if you also have another identical cavity in the same molar but on the other side,  that would require a square root canal, wouldn’t it?

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IT IS TIME…

I read.  I see.  I feel everyone else, because we can do that if we try.  I listen and most of all I participate because it’s our world and you are all “my people”.  Not mine in the possessive sense, but mine in the way that one refers to the people from their home town; like if one said; “I’m from Key West, FL; my people are kind-hearted and practical by nature.”  In this sense, I would say “I’m Human, my people are the most wonderful thing to behold; we are a giant family of variety, spread out all over the face of our Mother Earth.”  We are all we have and we must remember how beautiful we are and how fragile we can be.  A few of us have also twisted the same qualities that make us so wonderful to behold into tools for inequity and manipulation.  This was possible for many years because our family was dispersed all over Mother Earth and for a long, long time, it was easy to make it difficult for all of us to talk.  So we didn’t.  We listened to what the few told us about whom and what we were and we obeyed and followed; what else was there to do?  We were baptized in the religion of conflict and educated in the school of differences; we were taught that we were different.  Those people from over there are not like us.  They don’t eat what we eat, or talk like we talk or dress like we dress or think like we think….wait a minute – the only reason I eat what I eat and talk the way I talk and dress the way I dress and think the way I think because that’s all my parents knew when I was born and where I grew up.  Those people from over there or from anywhere are no different than anyone else, we are exactly the same and if we eat differently or talk different or think differently it is only because that is what we were taught and not because we are different.  What we were taught was convenient for the few, without regard for the damage that it would cause.  We can see this now.  We can look back and see the road already travelled and observe the mistakes and wrong turns made along the way and we can make sure not to repeat them.  We must be responsible if we are going to attempt a happier world and a happier life for all of us.  This responsibility includes how and what we communicate.  Language is a critical human dynamic, without it many things would not be possible, including what I’m writing at this moment.  The critical importance of language to humans is the very reason why it has been manipulated and re-worked so many times over so many years.  It should not be a surprise that a sentence or even a single word has power and if that power were manipulated, the results could be disastrous.  I’m here to tell you that our languages have been manipulated and altered to the point of having two parallel and contradictory paradigms; this horrifying fact is common knowledge and we don’t even realize it, that’s how powerful words are.  We know the two as the literal and the figurative. The what and the what?  How can a word or a sentence have a literal meaning and at the same time a figurative meaning?  How can a word or a sentence officially mean one thing but in practice mean something else?  That’s what literal and figurative signify.  Why did we have to invent two new words when there was already one word that has the same significance:  hypocrisy.  This linguistic hypocrisy has been used, once and again, to warp the truth of a thing, to change the nature of a thing or even to alter actual events.  People have been imprisoned or even put to death for something that was said and that is unacceptable, no word or words in existence can be worth someone’s life, yet we all know things like this have happened.  We must, all of us, make sure not to allow things like that to ever happen again.  Language and words are a very important part in the changes occurring today.  We are all part of the change and we are coming together as one big family.  We still speak different languages however, so must help each other whenever possible to understand what is said or written in whatever language it is spoken or read.  Right now is a good time to start.  There is a word that more and more people are using more frequently every day and in every venue.  As we realize that it is all of us who are the world and not the few who claim to be, we feel empowered and lose the fear of speaking out, as it should be.  This does not mean we can stop paying attention.  This word, if used in any number of particular ways can be used against anyone in the worst of ways.  In some places in the world, even today, the mere mention of this word is punishable by death.  That’s right; a word can kill you.  It should not come as a surprise that what allows this word to have the power of life and death is that it has been manipulated and altered. I offer this tiny observation as knowledge to all of my people of the world, so that we can help each other to move forward and not allow ourselves to go backwards, especially by the use of trickery in our languages.

The word in question is anarchy and all of its various forms which include anarchist and anarchism.  This word has been tampered with and altered in linguistic terms and regardless of the language used to speak it, the result is the same.  The proof of this is in the very instrument used to manipulate the word: The Dictionary.   First let’s do a quick mental exercise.  Think of the word anarchy and then focus on what the word brings to your mind.  For the most part, if anyone hears the word; anarchy, what comes to the mind of most people is an image, the image of lots and lots of people, running around and screaming, in total disarray and chaos, wreaking havoc and wanton destruction everywhere they go.  The image is of relentless looting, pillaging and raping without any control and without anyone in charge to stop it.  That’s what we think of when we hear the word and that’s what the few or the convenient will understand whenever they hear it or read it and it WILL be used against many people who are not thinking about destroying or looting anything.  Anarchy has the distinction of being a manipulated/altered word and it makes common sense to make sure that all of us know this so that no manipulations of meaning can occur.   Let’s take a look at the Dictionary and see what the few have done to the language that we use; in this case it’s English, but do the same thing in any language and you will see the same result.  Here’s what the dictionary tells us about the word:

an·ar·chy

   [an-er-kee]

–noun

1. a state of society without government or law.

2. political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental control: The death of the king was followed by a year of anarchy.

3. a theory that regards the absence of all direct or coercive government as a political ideal and that proposes the cooperative and voluntary association of individuals and groups as the principal mode of organized society.

Here we can see that the word has three distinct meanings, the interesting thing is how each one either contradicts the other(s) or how some of them simply lie to create a false definition.  We can see that the word is listed as a NOUN.  It has 3 syllables.  If we look at the word’s linguistic morphology it is composed of two morphemes with a common Greek root.  –an is a prefix meaning without and archy, from the Greek +arkh- (leader) as derived from the base word arkhein (to rule).  Simply put, anarchy means without a ruler (leader).

This simple definition is expanded upon in the first definition of the word in the dictionary: [1. a state of society without government or law.] Here we can see the substitution of the words government and law in the place of leader or ruler. Technically, however, society has nothing to do with it, nor is it a state of society, it is simply the absence of a ruler or leader.  If we let this slide, this first definition would be accurate enough since there are hardly any rulers in today’s world, they have all been replaced by governments and law, with are both much more convenient since neither can die nor be killed or anything else that a human can suffer from but not an ideal (supposedly).  Simple enough.

Now let’s look at the second definition and here we can see the alteration in the definition of a single word.  It explains that anarchy is [political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental control].  What does this mean?  Are we to understand that the absence of a government (in this case any one of the –isms:  capitalism, communism, socialism, fascism or totalitarianism) automatically results in social disorder?  Wait a minute!  Isn’t that the mental image that comes to everyone’s mind?  If anarchy is political and social disorder, then it is not a noun, I’m not sure what it would be, maybe somewhere in the family of adverbs, since disorder in this case is written in the literal sense (another altered word) and describes an action.  Aren’t those verbs?  How can the same word mean the absence of government and at the SAME TIME be used to define what is supposed to happen in the absence of government?  That’s just a little too convenient.  It’s kind of like what my dad told my mom the night they made me; he said: “Honest, honey.  Just the tip.  I promise!  Just the tip.” – right.  Anarchy DOES NOT MEAN the chaotic and lawless disorder that occurs in the absence of government, that’s looting and pillaging.  Rape doesn’t technically fall into that category, but for some reason if the absence of authority is even implied, men begin to rape women, so to a great degree the manipulation of this word shares in the responsibility of what results from the manipulation; the rest of the responsibility falls on the shoulders of my fellow males, who very conveniently might just believe this and actually think that it is okay to rape, as long as there is no government. What?  Like this hasn’t happened in our history?   This second definition is … bullshit.  Simple and pure bullshit, yet we bought it, hook line and sinker.  As a result, if anyone attempts to use the word anarchy, even in an academic sense, they are taken for “promoters or anarchism” and can be arrested.  All because of this second definition which is a simple fabricated lie.

Now, the third definition is really a whopper.  It says  that anarchy is [a theory that regards the absence of all direct or coercive government as a political ideal and that proposes the cooperative and voluntary association of individuals and groups as the principal mode of organized society].  Here we go again.  A theory?  That’s not a noun, but wait a minute…read the whole thing, slowly, then come back here.  Let me ask a question: Isn’t the principal mode of an organized society supposed to be based on the ideal that individuals and groups cooperate so as to make sure that direct or coercive governments are always absent?  Isn’t this what we call Democracy?  When did this third definition get put in there?  I don’t remember seeing it 15 years ago.  Now, suddenly, someone would have us believe that anarchy = democracy?  That is what #3 is saying.

Now we are completely confused.  It is officially impossible to know exactly what anarchy means, but someone will surely come up with a way to use it against someone else, when it becomes convenient.

Let’s further this a bit by looking at the definition of the word as seen in the:

World English Dictionary

anarchy

— n

1.         general lawlessness and disorder, esp when thought to result from an absence or failure of government

2.         the absence or lack of government

3.         the absence of any guiding or uniting principle; disorder; chaos

4.         the theory or practice of political anarchism

This dictionary wins the first place prize for hypocrisy and bullshit.  Look at the very first definition.  This would have us believe the there doesn’t actually have the absence of government for there to be anarchy, it just hast to be thought absent.  In other words, all one has to do is to think that there’s no government and then they can begin the looting and the pillaging?  How grandiose of the authors of that reference book.

I don’t think I need to detail how definitions numbers 2, 3 and 4 contradict each other.  It is so disgusting that it leaves a foul taste in one’s mouth.  The “powers that be” have completely destroyed any coherence to the meaning of the word “anarchy”, so it can never mean whatever anyone actually is trying to say; it will always mean what’s convenient to the few.

It would make sense to simply not use the word anymore.  Even in the dictionary, it has been defined into contradictory obscurity, and can only result in trouble.  For the sake of establishing a single definition, a suggestion might be that the concept held in the mind of a person who might otherwise use the word anarchy to communicate the same is as follows:

The practical possibilities that result when all humans participate in the coordination and function of living together as a global community, where the authority and the regulation of day-to-day human life is shared by all humans in an environment of productivity and happiness for every single human being.

I don’t think there’s a word for that is there?  Why can’t we give it one?  Maybe we can call it Humanism.  I don’t think saying that word will get anyone killed.  What do you think?

I love you all; each and every one of you. 

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Declaration of a Human

This Declaration was born was January 1, 2010. It is living document and like all living things, it must be born.  This Declaration was born as it was being written. It doesn’t matter which one of us wrote it; what matters is that it lives by virtue of the human experience and therefore it is authored by all of us and moves with us.  We are all its parents. What is being declared is done so under the only authority possible in order for it to be true; it was written by a Human Being.  The common thread that binds these words to all of us is our humanity, therefore this Declaration is not written in representation of any group, organization, school of thought or any of the myriad of concepts, ideas, ideals, beliefs or other things that we created and are so fond of representing, in fact it represents no one; it is making a declaration that stands for every single one us, but in the end this document is merely a collection of words grouped together in single document.  It is a human expression, not a representation of our humanity.  Nothing, not a document and especially no person can represent another person; that is absurd concept.  Humans can’t be represented by other humans; that violates the laws of physics, only the interests of one or some individuals can be represented by others, and we are all paying the price for being so confused about something so simple.  This Declaration is written because it needs to be written, so it can be read by others.  It is written so it can be born.

This Declaration has a single purpose:  to communicate with clear and inarguable understanding, some basic things that are common to us all, but which we forget.  It’s easy to do when the rest of us forget as well; for example, we forget to think.  Perhaps it’s because we gave life and validity to many concept and ideas that we created and by doing so, we invalidate them and turn them into an aberrations, like what we did with the concept of representation. If a person can’t speak because they are mute, then another person can be their voice, if they agree as much and the speaker becomes the representation of the other’s will to speak.  If a person can’t walk because they are injured or infirmed, than another person can be their legs and carry them, if they agree as much and the walker becomes the representation of the other’s will to walk. No one can be the representation of another’s humanity and their ability to think however, and even if any one of us, or all of, agrees as much, one person’s humanity cannot be the representation of another person’s humanity.  That would be inhuman.  A person can exist and be human if they lose the ability to speak or to walk, for example but no one can exist without thinking, even though it might appear that way today.  So many of us want to believe that we actually don’t have to think if we agree to have a representative to whom we delegate our thinking. That is a severely flawed human construct which has done an almost unbearable amount of damage to all of us.  Believing that we do not have to exercise our ability to think, the very thing which defines our humanity, beyond our own individual desires is to resign our humanity.  Even worse; if, out of ignorance or even by imposition, we should ever believe that we can transfer our responsibility to think to any other one of us so that we are free to think only of ourselves, then we would living in our world, today, because that’s what we all think we believe.  We are many because it is necessary, otherwise there would only be one of us.   What each one of us does contributes to that which is the human condition, which is defined by what all of us do.  We forgot this, too.  These are things that we already know, somewhere inside of each one of us; each and every one of us.   These words are not for one of us or a few of us or about me, it’s about us, all of us. All of us, by the way, includes the roughly 3.5 billion of us (that’s half of all of us) for which there isn’t enough of whatever is required for a person to be civilized, so we ignore them.  Half of us have no home, no dreams, no jobs, no money, and no food and not even a cup of potable water, yet we ignore them.  We call them the poor or the unfortunate and lie to ourselves by thinking that poverty or homelessness or fear is a disease or something.  We appease the guilt by feeling sorry for them and occasionally donating some of what the rest of us value above all else; money, as a gesture of solidarity and philanthropy (because, after all, it’s money) and then we just forget about them and ignore them.  It is what we do, and each one of us knows this in our hearts.  We may be able to act like we don’t, but if this were true, then why can we look into our own eyes when we look into a mirror?  We know this as well; not talking about it doesn’t make it go away; just ask the person looking back at you from the mirror

We are all we have.  This Declaration is about us because it’s all about us, it always has been; it’s just hard to remember sometimes.  What matters is that we read these words, so we may remember what we already know; that being human comes naturally; if one of us forgets something important, we help each other to remember.  It’s not a matter of right or wrong, it’s simply what we DO, just like what we do (or at least what we know we should do) if the person walking in front of one of us trips and begins to fall: you help them.  You reach out and steady them so they do not fall, or catch them if they are already falling or otherwise act to help them.  It doesn’t require thinking, that’s just what you do.  What requires thinking is convincing oneself that it’s NOT what we do.  Each one of us knows this.  Afterward, we may continue walking, or stop and chat, or whatever else we decide, it’s entirely up to us.  Everything that we have ever done, we have done because we chose to and we made those choices because we can.  We can even choose to not do what we know we should do, even though we don’t know why we know we should.  Somehow, we just know.  These words have the same purpose; they stand for what any one of us does when another needs help; we offer our humanity to them.  If you have forgotten what it feels like, don’t worry, it will come back to you once you make the choice to remember.

We find ourselves at a point in the human experience where we must make choices. When it comes to making a choice, only the ability to choose is important.  In the end, no single thing in our perception is any more or less important than any other thing, we choose the importance that we give things, because we can.  We all live together in the civilized world that we chose to create and from which we are all running, before it kills us. If I, as an individual who is also part of the Human race, choose to look beyond what I have been taught and what I thought I believed; namely, -that I am the center of my own universe and as such that I am the most important thing in the universe-, then I might see something else besides myself.  Most of us only see ourselves individually and in our own mind; everyone else is just something that has to be tolerated somehow.    Waking up and looking beyond the tip of one’s own nose is a no simple task.  It is hard to leave the comfort of one’s own importance.  It is hard because in order to do so, it must be true and we know when it’s true.  Some truths are very hard to accept and we may choose not to accept a truth.  That does not change the truth, however.  We also know this. We all find ourselves ending up in that place where “I” come first and there we stay, regardless of circumstances.  I found myself there as well and thought the same thing.  I was wrong.  This is simply the truth.  It is my truth, which also happens to be our truth, for we are all connected by our humanity.  Truth is also free, it’s costs nothing and cannot be sold or bought.  There is never the need to create an incentive for truth; it is its own incentive.  When we forget this, what we are left with are the unpleasant illusions that are the result of the lies we have chosen to tell ourselves since we realized we could choose what we tell ourselves and others.  Everyone feels the same exact way and we all know this, yet we actually believe that as long as nobody knows what “I” think, then we are safe.  We believe this very much.  “Nobody knows what I’m thinking.  Nobody knows my intentions or what I really want.  I can think only about myself and act otherwise.  No one will know.”  We choose to believe that as well and the very second that we do, we lie to ourselves and THAT is messy. Yet we still believe no one will know.  Each one of us knows and yet we hang on to those lies because it is all we know and we have made a mess because of it.  We’ve been doing this to ourselves for a long time now.  So long that we seem to have forgotten that we chose this; we choose, or transferred our right to choose, everything that exists today and which is killing us, inside and out.  We just forgot, so we believe that those choices are a separate and independent “reality” with life, power and authority. This is why each one of us feels alone, even though we are many; we dare not share the privacy of our true thoughts with anyone, it would be unbearable to see ourselves reflected in the eyes of another person, yet they are actually reflected in the eyes of every other person.  There are almost 7 billion of us, and the vast majority feels utterly and completely alone and afraid, and those who don’t may be completely lost.  This is true and we all know it is so, until we remember that it is a choice. So then, why have we done this to ourselves?  Why have we chosen to accept it and to perpetuate it? In the end, it’s a choice: an individual choice.  Nothing can change that; nothing can change the reality that we are a collective made up of individuals.  We simply don’t know how to reconcile the two:  “I” and “us”.   We can choose to remember that we have a choice and then make some choices.  We can choose to look at ourselves in a mirror, with no one else there, and simply choose to stop lying to ourselves. This world that we have created is not normal, it is a horrible and inhuman place and it is this way because that is what we chose to accept.  It’s time to choose to give everything another try. It must be a true choice; we know when it’s true.  It’s a hard choice.  To see any one of us is to see us all and we are all the same.  The price of one instant of the truth is hefty.  Once we drop the self-deceit, what is usually there, waiting to burst forth is FEAR and ANGER.  It is logical to be angry.  For the vast majority of us, life is unfair, unpleasant and painful, and it’s okay to feel anger but it’s never okay to give anger free reign, we all know this as well.  If we look hard, we can see that it is there, in that tiny space between what is and what will be, that we find ourselves now.  We can no longer hide inside our own arrogance or guilt.  Everything that we have ever done has ruptured the sack that we hid it all in and it no longer requires deep introspection or concentration to see and feel heavy burden of the sum total of all the individual lies we’ve told ourselves for thousands of years.  We can’t hide all of the atrocities we’ve either committed or allowed to be committed anymore; we can see it in each others eyes every time we look at each other.  We all know this. I repeat we all know this.  The safety we felt by believing that “no one would know” what was in our minds and hearts is gone. We share the responsibility for what we’ve done to ourselves every time it beats us over the head.  Our choices have put us in the position where we have no choice but to see and feel what those choices have made of the human condition.  We all know this and to some degree we’ve known this for a long time, we’ve just never talked about it.  We’ve made it very hard to talk to each other, but over time, we have begun to talk to each other as “people” and not “one of us talking to one of them”: there is no “them”, remember?  We have technology now, so it is possible to communicate with many other people in many different places; at first through our televisions and now through our computers, which have also allowed for us to talk, and we have used these things to talk to one another.  The very humanity we are sharing through our computer screens and cell phones have created a giant room where we can all see each other, and it turns out that we all see the same thing.  All of us do, except for a small handful that can’t let go of their addictions.  We’ve seen how our choices have made us suffer and how they have become an obstacle to happiness and joy.  We have made ourselves suffer by choice.

We have forgotten that other than ourselves, we created everything that wasn’t already here and those things make up our civilization. These things all have one thing in common: like the concept of representation, they create the illusion of authority and the acceptance that there is a requirement to obey the results of their functions, which once again, we created.  Things like wealth, and authority and sovereignty and hierarchy, and debt, and value and social position and rules and science and art and everything else that isn’t a part of the natural earth or us.  We created all of these things. Most of the things that we created were created by only a few of us and it was a very long time ago, but they were just choices made with a little inspiration.  Whenever a human adds a little inspiration to a choice, we create something.  Things like agriculture and money, music, greed, literature, selfishness, compassion, carelessness, envy, government, religion, medicine, laughter and everything else we know.  We are capable of so much.  That is why we get angry when we face our own truth; that we have made bad choices and have done nothing about it, while all the time having the ability to choose something else.  I was angry, very angry.  I was angry at myself and at you and at everybody.  I felt I had no choice but to be angry until I realized that I have a choice.  We all do, and through that choice I am no longer limited to “me” living in the universe of “I”, I can see that “I” am one of “US”, and that WE are what is important.  It is by virtue of all of these facts that the following first DECLARATION is made:

I forgive myself. For waiting until now to make this choice and for anything I may have done or not done, consciously or not, when I knew that I shouldn’t have.  I forgive every one of us who did nothing or who did everything that contributed to the sad and inhuman state of humanity today.  I choose to do so freely and truly, with full knowledge that to lie to myself brings about only destruction.  If I can do this, then we all can. We can forgive ourselves and each other – for the past, and therefore create the possibility to choose a different future.  In the end, it’s only a choice; our choice.

We can do better. This DECLARATION stands as a living testament to this fact.

The rest is up to us, all of us.

End of part 1.

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Wakey, Wakey; Eggs & Bakey!

March, 2011.

2011. Sometimes, I just say it and repeat it: 2011. It doesn’t feel like 2011, does it? Maybe it’s just my generation, but every time I remember that it’s 2011 I expect to look out my windows and see the world of “The Jetsons”, don’t you? Further, I would add; isn’t that what we were supposed to expect? The first science fiction movie that I can remember seeing with a foreseeable future date was the same one for most of us;”2001; A Space Odyssey” set the stage for what we all expected to find 40 years in the future. 2001, as seen from a 1968 film is an “it could happen” scenario. Now it’s 2011, so what happened? Where are all of the domed flying cars, or the Star-Trek doors that go “shshshshup” when they open or close? Where are the futuristic looking spandex-ish body suits we’re supposed to be wearing or at the very least; where are the giant circular space stations with artificial gravity? That was all supposed to be here by 2011!

I’ve heard opinions from the academic community based on the idea that the internet changed the focus of technological development. I think the argument is pretty weak; the future we had all envisioned was extremely computerized, in fact all of the great science-fiction writers included something very internet-like in their descriptions of the future, albeit these “world-net” type of systems had “supporting roles” in the story of the future and were never what made the future, the future. Nonetheless, given our nature, it could have been a possibility, but it wasn’t. Something did happen during our march towards passenger flights to Mars and tele-transportation booths, however. All you need to do is look at our own history and it is pretty hard to miss, kind of like a huge zit on the tip of someone’s nose. Something happened to all of us during the 1980’s. Humanity lost what little sanity it had left after 12,000 years of lying to ourselves about everything. What happened? Our addiction to money spread to record levels, fueled by our own greed and ignorance and it created an imbalance in the rules that govern human civilization resulting in a fracture. This fracture grew to the point where it all shattered the framework of civilization, turning it to dust and leaving us where we are today. It was money. Think about it, you’ll figure it out. During the 1980’s, the future, the space stations and pretty much everything else was pushed aside to make room for the never-before-seen excesses in the amount of MONEY that could be made if one was either beyond having a conscience or just plain stupid. Now, it’s 2011 and most of us are already making our peace with the FACT that it’s all just a stone’s throw away from going to shit. Our childhood, our education, our jobs, our lust, our dreams (of money) and goals (of money) will become an irrelevant part of a forgotten past quicker than we can possibly imagine unless we WAKE UP from whatever warm and cozy delusion we’re all either hiding in or trapped in, and get our shit together. Yes, it is that bad; so much so that even the most heartless, cold and Machiavellian jerk in the world is having trouble keeping a straight face. This is our wake up call. Don’t shake your head, or let loose a pretentious guffaw, or cringe with fear or consider yourself above this. Please read this carefully and seriously for it is all very real and it is here. We have had ample time to assimilate the situation, analyze it, talk about it and complain about it, but if we don’t consciously come to some sort of consensus to the contrary, then we will lose everything that we know. How? Because the RULES are already changing. I’m referring to the rules that govern human civilization. They become obsolete as old civilizations die and new ones absorb the old ones. This is nothing new; these rules have been periodically re-written since we became civilized. They have always been written and re-written by a small group of us, for their benefit, at the expense of everyone and of the future and it’s happening once again. Let me put this succinctly; we are about to concede to having all of the rules that govern our daily lives and those of our descendants re-written by a small handful of us. These rules would be structured so that everything favors them and concentrates all of the power, authority and wealth in the world in them, just like they are now, but on a global and therefore absolute scale. They would be cruel, unfair, inhuman and oppressive while simultaneously being absurd, laughable and ridiculous. There is every indication that these rules would also eliminate human rights and any other kind of individual rights, justice, artistic expression as well as pretty much any kind of individual expression or voice as we know them today. The words may still be used, but they would represent the rights of authority, the individual’s right to be governed, justice for and among a small elite and expressions of obedience and loyalty. These things are already occurring, and if we choose to accept them, they will become tomorrow’s laws and those who would call themselves leaders would in fact become our owners, if they haven’t already; and all of this would happen with our consent, by virtue of our indifference, ignorance or absence. It’s happened before, several times since we became civilized, and each time it was just another cycle of this thing we call civilization resetting itself after the flawed dynamics that we feed it inevitably fail. This time, however, it would be different, very different. Even with the understanding that no one can predict the future, any of the possible futures that can be calculated based on the current trajectory is vile, ugly and inhuman. Nobody seems to get this point, but we are no longer a collection of randomly placed groups of people, spread out among the various continents, with each group thinking that they are the center of the universe and if they weren’t they were at least sovereign and separate. Human civilization is no longer a regional phenomenon, growing dynamically and either absorbing or surrendering to other human civilizations as they collided. Regardless of what we want to think, we currently have a single, global human civilization and that handful of people waiting to re-write the rules to their comfortable advantage are very aware of this. This next step in the human story is one that we will all take together, whether we like it or not. If we take this step with indifference, ignorance, prepotency, self-righteousness or any other self-serving attitude or worse, if we resign our right to participate in taking that step and assign or transfer that right to someone else, then we resign our very humanity and will become whatever that small handful of people decide that we should be. Here’s a simple question: If you were one of them, what would you do with all that power? That is simple arithmetic.

None of these things have happened yet, however, which means we have yet to make that choice which in turn means that we can still choose something else, if we so desire. If anyone might say, in response to the previous sentence, that it couldn’t be that simple, then they would have failed to realize that it is that simple. What will happen is whatever we choose, it is that simple. We will either choose to throw away what little humanity we have left or we will choose something else and either choice will be exactly that simple and take a fraction of a second to become our reality. This leaves us with a unique and difficult task: to understand that we can choose something else and then act on that knowledge. This is a tall order indeed. The circumstances and variables that are present in the world of today do not favor communication for any other purpose than to convey carefully scripted propaganda to the masses, to impose a constructed and false reality on our young, in the guise of education, or to simply give orders. There are no forums where any issue that does not favor the status quo can be shared, debated or discussed and even if there were, it is extremely difficult to find any real information to fuel these interchanges. Given these circumstances, how would we possibly even begin to contemplate a different choice than the one most of us have in some way already accepted as our only choice: to give up. I don’t know how, but I’m about to give it my best shot.

If we are going to give ourselves any chance at all at something different than what we see heading right for us, there must exist the common understanding of what exactly it is that is happening. Let’s start there.

What exactly is happening?

If you are reading this then you either have or have access to a computer with an internet connection and you probably know what a blog is and as such there exists an overwhelming probability that you have noticed that something is wrong. If so, then you would have noticed correctly, if not then you’ve definitely got too much porn in your internet diet. Something is wrong, very much so. There is a problem with one of the “rules” that governs one specific human mechanism. The problem is that we broke this rule by imposing physically impossible math into its definition and the mechanism that subsequently fractured and collapsed as a result, is called money. This is a highly summarized and abbreviated description of the problem, which has enough history, variables and details to fill a book. This is probably why I wrote one; I’m editing it and I promise to make it available as quickly as possible. This is a blog, however, and this post is already a long one, so I will write as brief an explanation as possible without losing the point, or you, along the way. For some, it may come as a surprise that civilization has rules and that one of these rules pertains to money and further still, that money is a human mechanism; nonetheless this is the fact of the matter.

I won’t go into too much detail about the “rules” we have for civilization as there are enough details involved to form a new branch of Social Anthropology on the subject. For the purpose of this post, it’s enough to point out there are very broad and general rules that we impose on ourselves. These are the rules that establish the validity and make real things like “sovereign countries”, “economics” and the premises for “acceptable behavior”. Time has shown us that we’re terrible at writing rules for large groups of people but we’re seasoned experts at writing rules that benefit the one(s) writing the rules. In the same way, we put a lot of emphasis on enforcing the rules that we write but we’re terrible at following them. One of these rules established the use of money as unit of representation of the value of wealth. Wealth, which had always been FOOD, until we forgot as much, was much too tedious to carry around in the course of trading for other types of food. This is what the “people in charge” did. Call them nations or empires or kingdoms, these were the first small group of people who got to write the rules for all of us. They traded FOOD with each other because food was the first and the most important thing to ever be valuable to us. Before we developed agriculture, we would walk around looking for food and usually starved to death. Agriculture allowed for us to MAKE food instead of FINDING food, nothing else in our history has ever been so valuable. Food defined the wealth of a nation or empire and therefore its power. Food was too valuable to risk losing to the elements or to human error, so we wrote a rule that said that there would be money, and that money would represent wealth and that money would be used in transactions as the representation of wealth and value, to facilitate trade. So what happened with this rule? The best description that explains WHY this happened can be found in a passage from Aristotle’s Second Book of Politics which warns us that “…money is not wealth; it is merely the representation of wealth.”[sic] It very well may turn out that this passage may be the wisest thing ever written by one of the wisest humans that we know of and remember, just as it may very well turn out that not heeding his words would one day cause the failure of the very rules he was trying to help establish. We confused money with wealth, that’s what started this whole thing. It’s hard to pinpoint when we became thusly confused; but it’s been a while. The first concisely documented historical records which clearly indicate the widespread existence of this confusion are from 11th century Europe, but it may have been earlier. It is another and much simpler matter entirely to piece together how this confusion occurred; in fact the result of this confusion is how gold became gold. Gold is the most recent thing that we selected to be used as money and represent wealth. The wealth that gold represented was, and had always been food. We selected gold to be used as our money because it was a soft metal and easily malleable into coins and such. This made it much easier to trade and conduct business; it was much more convenient to transact a business deal where 50,000 bushels of barley were traded for 5,000 barrels of cow’s milk by using gold as money to represent the barley and the milk instead of hauling all that barley and milk to the place selected for the business of the trade to take place only to sit around and risk being lost to any number of things while the deal was negotiated and finally consummated. Are you still with me? Let’s go back to our confusion over money and wealth. Once again, the only math required to figure this out was simple arithmetic. Here we are, sometime after selecting gold to be our money. Gold was actually a good choice for the role of money, we took to the concept of using gold like fish to water, and then, for just a moment, we lost our minds, or at least acted as if we had, and suddenly forgot that gold only represented wealth, and while we were at it, we forgot what made up the wealth that was represented by money-gold. What we handled daily was gold, what we transacted was gold and what we paid for things with was gold. After a while we forgot the whole representation of wealth thing; what we knew was gold and that whatever could be bought and sold occurred through the use of gold and then, suddenly and in an instant, gold not only became the instrument through which we traded wealth, it became wealth by definition and as such became the thing considered valuable above all else. Gold became gold, taking the place of food as that which was valued above all else as by doing so, became wealth and the measure of wealth. As early as the renaissance, there were fiefdoms, kingdoms and nations who measured their wealth in gold. At this point we had promoted gold from the role of money to that of wealth itself. In time, we took this initial “confusion” and did what we do best; we turned it into a nightmare. Think of it. Gold became wealth AND it was that which represented wealth: we had actually done it; we warped the rules of civilization and perverted the rules of money by doing so. By making wealth that much more accessible and portable (which food wasn’t) we also restructured the function of wealth, which we adjusted to allow for the introduction of individuals into the equation. Where originally wealth was that which was valuable and represented the negotiating power of a nation or kingdom it suddenly became the measure of individual success. The concept of wealthy people became part of our norm and then we turned it into the only reason for incentive and motivation, making money the most desired and coveted thing in the entire world. We then took it one step further; by the end of the 20th century, humans measured practically everything in money. We have million dollar smiles, billion dollar babies, two-dollar haircuts, hundred thousand dollar boobs and there isn’t anything that we couldn’t measure with money at this point. Whether we admit it or not, money is the ultimate inspiration, the main motivation, the principal purpose for all actions and ultimately the only thing that matters to almost everyone. It would not be inaccurate to state that we have taken the concept to the point that we measure humanity in money: a person is worth only as much as the money they have. This is what we have done. Now, let’s focus in on the problem.

The problem lies with us. We can fool ourselves, and lie to ourselves and create false realities for ourselves (which we’ve become pretty good at), but we can’t fool PHYSICS or MATHEMATICS, which is exactly what we attempted to do and how we created this problem. This part is actually the simplest to explain and therefore the shortest. You should be able to do the math rather easily, if not, please let me know so I can clear it up. Don’t forget, this is not an opinion that follows, it is a list of historical facts and they happened like this, in chronological order.

1945

World War II was over. The Allies had won. The U.S. assumed the mantle of “head honcho” in the world. Time was not wasted; all of the countries in the world were summoned to a meeting held in New Hampshire, at the Bretton-Woods Hotel. The Bretton-Woods agreements established the world’s first global money policy. Among other things, the agreements:

  1. Fixed the price of Gold in U.S. Dollars. (Don’t forget, gold was already the official currency of the world and had been for a while, in fact all of this occurred after the “great confusion” when gold was confused with wealth, and won.)
  2. Established the U.S. Dollar as the official reserve currency of the world and by doing so, tied the currency of every country in the world to the U.S. Dollar.
  3. Extended the “gold-standard” to the U.S. Dollar by making it the definitive global currency.

AUGUST 15, 1971

The events leading up to this date are probably completely lost at this point, but at some time, someone had to have figured out that there were now more people in the world than there was enough gold to sustain the role of money. In order to have value, wealth, must have a singular and inarguable characteristic: It must be limited in supply. Another way of saying this is that in order to have value, a thing must be either unique or exist in an exhaustible supply. This is what makes a valuable thing valuable. You don’t need to be an economist to know this. This being the case, it seems that nobody bothered to ask the question: “How will our national or global economy continue to grow with a finite supply of gold and an infinitely growing number of people?” We would decide soon enough. In a speech made just before the markets opened on August 15, 1971, President Richard M. Nixon announced his decision to, among other things, impose a 90-day wage and price freeze, put a 10% import surcharge in place and sever the link between the U.S. dollar and gold by ending the convertibility of paper dollars to gold. These decisions would later be known as Nixon Shock and even today, in the light of everything that has happened, still receive much too little attention. It is extremely convenient that no one has pointed the following out in simple, concise and understandable English, but these actions, taken without consulting anyone (not the U.S. Congress, or the U.N. or anyone else in the world) had the following effects:

1. These decisions were a shot to the back of the head to the Bretton-Woods Agreements, killing them instantly. To this date, however, not one of the Bretton-Woods Agreements have been amended. Most of the countries in the world made public choices to not participate anymore, but the U.S. was not one of them. Technically, the agreements remain in place, with gold as the official currency of the world and the U.S. dollar as the reserve currency.

2. These decisions created fiat money, also known as inorganic money or un-backed money. Simply put, it is money that has the value that the issuing government declares, because they say so. These acts started a domino-like tumble towards worthless paper money by allowing the Federal Reserve to print worthless fiat dollars and introduce them into circulation. This is the same type of money used in the recent Wall Street “Bailout”, as well as other “bailouts”, like the 1987 stock market crash. The Fed simply printed money and pumped into circulation: worthless money; fiat money. The dollar and subsequently gold, became value-less because they were no longer backed by anything.

JANUARY 2008

It took some time, but eventually, the math catches up. This is the point where the amount of fiat currency, or inorganic currency or whatever you choose to call it, exceeded 50% of all the currency in circulation. Immediately, upon hitting the 50% mark, everything in the world that had value (starting with real estate) lost half of its value. The “Sub-Prime mortgage crisis” was only one view of what actually occurred and it was a pretty cheesy story actually. What really happened was simple math. The second that more than half of all the money in circulation consisted of worthless money, everything that was considered valuable lost half of its worth. It’s pretty straightforward math. From there, it’s been downhill, to where we are today.

At present, it’s anyone’s guess as to how much “real” currency is left in circulation; the fact is that it doesn’t really matter. The math is fractured and has permanently and irrevocably broken. We will not be able to fix what we did to money and value, but we can simply redefine it and move forward before we let the specter of what we have done dominate us. We let so many things that simply do not exist dictate our very real lives. Things like credit and recessions and especially debt. Debt does not exist, it is a faulty calculation based on a systemically flawed mechanism which has been exploited. If we don’t wake up and make some choices, we will all be slaves to debt and through this debt; our very humanity will be forfeit, in perpetuity. It is very important to pause at this point and re-iterate how impacting the role of debt is to our future. The debt; this enormous amoeba-like monster which threatens the very quality of life for everyone is not even real, yet it will be used as the springboard for launching the excuses that will consume virtually all conversations over the next two years and set the stage for the re-writing of the rules: rules in which debt is a major character.

In closing, most of you who might be reading this may be asking: “So, what do we do now?” There is no single or simple answer to that question. The first thing we must do is to TELL EVERYBODY. Repost this in your blogs, share with others via e-mail, bring it up in community meetings and discussion groups and take it home with you, no matter where you live. Distribute this information as widely and freely as possible. This is not an American problem; it is a human problem that affects the entire world, regardless of what country you live in. We also have the responsibility of remembering those things that have never worked and therefore become useless. Protesting leads to violence and violence is simply unacceptable, under any circumstances. Activism leads to having a target painted on the forehead of the activists, grass roots movements, like all movements, are doomed to obscurity and fighting within a system that is already severely flawed is useless.

There you have it, the simple truth and a simple explanation. The rest is up to all of us.

We can do better!

Frank Vidal

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