« Remedy du Jour -- July 21, 2012 | Main | The Assumption Of Technological Progress »



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Can't wait til the election hullaballoo gets into full swing, everybody claiming that their candidate will fix all all the problems in the world. They sweep their new candidate in and nothing changes. But of course then it's all because the other side is being obstructionist. Not one of the brain dead public will stop and think to themselves "Hmmm, maybe there's more to our problems than we thought. Maybe we can't fix it by voting. Maybe there's more to it than political parties."


Looks like a good film, and I do feel for the pain of these people who were happily asleep in the matrix on the "Blue pill" when their lifestyle hit the wall. But, these Americans are mourning the loss of things that most of the world never had. If this HBO programme ever airs outside the US, it will be viewed with schadenfreude.

Even in New Zealand, the 99% do not have air conditioning or clothes driers (can't afford the electric bills after paying $2 a litre for petrol). This winter people are putting bubble wrap on their windows to keep their houses warmer. In the summer you can see (literally) million dollar homes with clotheslines and open windows. But at least we are better prepared for collapse, not as far to fall.

Anywhere But Here Is Better

Points well made Joy.

The reason I have such a low opinion of our species is that up until recently when we passed the tipping point, there were enough resources to share around with everyone across the planet. Of course some people would do better financially, purely because of luck, effort and brainpower. But if we had learned to share opportunity more fairly, the human world would have remained much more balanced - instead of the obscenely huge gulf between super-rich and dirt-poor we have today.

This gulf isn't just between individuals. It's also between countries. To the rest of the world, the US is obscenely rich, by dint of gobbling up huge global resources so that Americans could run gas-guzzling cars, keep air-conditioning going all summer, fund militarisation to eye-popping levels, eat too many calories, and - the biggest crime of all - throw away mountains of usable items including precious food and water.

Now that the US middle class is being decimated, whole swathes of intelligent Americans are feeling the drastic pain that, as you say, has been a constant factor of life for billions elsewhere. So, yes, there is little sympathy outside the country. Nevertheless, there's no point blaming Americans in particular. They just happen to be this era's top-of-the-pack Homo sapiens exhibiting typical Homo sapiens self-obsessed behaviour. The German Nazis, the British and the Romans operated with similar flaws in their imperialism (to name but three failed enterprises), and the Chinese are now attempting to follow suit, sans wisdom as per usual.

There's no miracle cure - only a hovering question mark as to whether or not we adapt to a more sapient human species smart enough to share the planet equitably with all life forms, or drive ourselves towards extinction through this mindless pursuit of ultimately empty materialism at the expense of the biosphere.

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