Archive for May, 2006

The End of Extreme Poverty

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

Two books that I’ve recently had the pleasure of reading, The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil and The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs, both make claims that extreme poverty could end within 20 years. Both authors are highly-esteemed and world renown in their fields (Kurzweil in technology and Sachs in economics), and both provide reliable and well-researched data to support their viewpoints. Both are very optimistic about the possibilities that are ahead.

While it is of the utmost importance to stay positive and optimistic in everything in life, the promise of peace and a better world will not come naturally. We will need to work to ensure our world will only get better. Thomas Jefferson wrote “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” So too is the the price of peace.

Two things that threaten a bright future for all life are war and totalitarianisms. War could lead to the end of life as we know it due to powerful new weapons. Totalitarianism could lead to stagnation as those in charge do nothing but stay in charge.

It is up to us, the present day humans, to actively struggle for peace, and to actively combat the concentration of power in order to ensure a better life for ourselves and all others in the future. Stay strong. Do not be afraid. Together, we will make it happen.

An Open Letter

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

This is an open letter:

To the successful artists who bitch about p2p and piracy being stealing and hurtful to the industry while they live lives in the lap of luxury; a life that most of their fans will never see.

To the corporate execs and all the shareholders of ever expanding multinationals who are so determined to profit that the consequences of their actions become irrelevant to themselves, but of dire consequence to others.

To the economic materialists who insist on having nothing but the latest and greatest because who they are as a person depends on the stuff they have accumulated, and who would be empty without their possessions.

To all the wanna-bes who only wanna-be what they are told to be; to those who conform to who they think others expect them to be instead of just being themselves.

To the religious leaders and politicians who are more interested in maintaining and gaining power than to serve in the best interest of the people who support them.

To anyone too scared, lazy or content to care about those in the world who are suffering from the things that humanity has the power to prevent…

This is a big “screw you” to anyone who has the necessities of life and doesn’t have the inclination to help the rest of the world to achieve the same.

Anyone can make a difference. Anyone can improve the world. And since anyone can help to improve the world, everyone is responsible for the world, whether they choose to help or not.

The Biggest War of All

Monday, May 15th, 2006

There is a war going on in our world today. It isn’t the war in Iraq, although Iraq is a symptom. It isn’t the war between the haves and the have-nots of the world, either. It is bigger than that.

The biggest war of all is raging inside of every living being on earth. It is a genetic war, the genetic will to power that lives inside all life. It is this war that results in all the violence we see, all the greed, all the injustice, all the poverty and all of the suffering on earth.

This war is being fought inside each of us. The biggest war of all is all inside our minds.

Our genetic codes tell us to always seek power, to always want more, and that no matter what we have achieved, no matter how much power we have gained, it can never be enough. Our very make-up, our core being, our subconscious level, ensures that we always progress by ensuring that we are never satisfied with what we already have.

The only way to fight our genes is with our memes. Our memes – our conscious thoughts – allow us to conceptualize our place in the world and the universe. We can use our power of thought to combat our genetically imposed permanent insatiation, by telling ourselves that we are indeed good enough, that we already have enough, and that no matter what happens, everything will be OK.

Persistent and eternally vigilant self-affirmation – learning to love one’s self – is the most effective weapon in this great war, and the only weapon that is sure to provide long-term satiation and happiness.

Once we gain the ability to silence our genetic drives using the power of thought, be it through meditation, self-introspection or whatever other means, we will no longer be victims in the biggest war of all, for we will have achieved inner peace.

Once enough humans are able to conquer the battle within themselves, we will achieve peace on earth, and humanity will embark on a new phase of existence.

Path to World Peace Found

Friday, May 12th, 2006

There was an uproar in the world’s scientific community when researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Socio-Politics (MISP) made public their findings, claiming to have found a mechanism to end war on earth.

“We are very excited,” said Dr. Marvin Dandroid, director of meme theory at MISP, “This discovery shows a lot of promise.” The renowned institute released a study last week which proclaims to have found a “very simple process for ending war.”

This process, dubbed by the institutes’s research team as “The Peace Path,” states how the process begins at the individual level, with each human being able to contribute to peace on earth. The highly praised study states how the path to peace can be generalized into two steps, which are:

Step 1- Achieve peace on an individual scale.

Step 2- Encourage others to do the same.

The research team found that when individuals are at peace with themselves, they also become at peace with the world. The study concludes that when enough people have achieved peace with themselves, there will no longer be enough support for war to continue.

Dr. Dandroid and his colleagues are optimistic that this discovery will “help bring a new age of prosperity for our species.”

Although it is a simple process, the study notes how “achieving inner peace” and “encouraging others to take action” are both potential obstacles. The study continues on to note how “it took our lifetimes to become who we are as individuals, and it took thousands of lifetimes for humanity to get where it is today, so we cannot expect change to happen overnight.”

Despite facing what some would call insurmountable challenges, the team at MISP remains hopeful, claiming that the Peace Path can help the human race achieve world peace “in less than fifty years.”

There is no Dr. Marvin Dandroid of the Massachusetts Institute of Socio-Politics. The peace path, however, is not necessarily fiction; world peace is only a dream because we have yet to make it a reality.

U.S. Surrenders to War on Terror

Friday, May 12th, 2006

In an unprecedented move, the president of the United States of America, in a press conference held at the United Nations headquarters in New York, declared that the US will no longer be fighting in the war on terror. President Bush submitted that since there is no way to “defeat an enemy that cannot be fought with bullets,” they have no choice but to cease their war efforts.

Bush proceeded to state how US foreign policy will shift focus towards “…construction, rather than destruction,” hoping to improve the United States’ reputation in the world. Bush concluded on an optimistic note, saying “by reallocating our military budget to increase both domestic and foreign social aid, we feel we have taken a good step towards a brighter future for all life on earth.”

This article is fiction, but it could come true if enough people (Americans especially) made it happen.

School’s in

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

There are two subjects that I believe should be taught in school, subjects that are equally important as science or arts.

The first subject : How to be happy

This course would teach us methods to find happiness and satisfaction from within ourselves. Happiness is something we all desire, so we should have a course that helps us to find it.

Topics in this course would include:

Meditation – Learning the techniques of meditation, and all of the benefits that meditation can bring, like a calm state of mind, and a gateway to self-introspection.
Thinking Positive – Learning how to think positive, and how effective the power of positive thinking can be to attaining goals and achieving dreams.
Confidence – Learning how to be self-confident, to be self-assured, and be satisfied with one’s self.

Topics like these would help our children learn the tools necessary to find happiness within themselves, and be able to apply them throughout their lives.

The second subject: Power in Society

This would be a course that is learned at a higher level, say at junior or senior high, for it covers some more complicated subjects.

Topics in this course would include:

Totalitarianism – Learning about the threat that totalitarianism and the impacts on society.
The Concentration of Power – Learning how power tends to concentrate if left to it’s own devices, and how it is up to the rest of society to combat the concentration of power for the good of the whole.
The Power of Technology – Learning how technology can be used to control society.

This course would be designed to ingrain notions like pluralism and true democracy into the social consciousness, thereby ensuring that totalitarianism will be kept in check.

I am sure this second course would not be easy to get implemented, for the topics it covers would create free thinking children, and our education system is designed to churn out mindless automatons to run the system. Still, it would be a good course for humanity.

Thanks for the support!

Sunday, May 7th, 2006

Dear Readers,

Last year, I released a book on to the Internet. I wanted to see if I could focus my efforts solely online, while bypassing conventional mediums like printed media and publicists.

I’m happy to say that it worked! The response was better than I had hoped. I had set a goal of having 1000 downloads of the book, and it only took a few short months to achieve that goal.

On top of my first book’s success, the two short animated movies I released have both been great hits. Sites like YouTube, Google Video and MySpace have proved to be an excellent medium, with total movie views in the thousands, climbing by sometimes hundreds of views a day.

The support and positive feedback I have received from people all over the world has been nothing short of amazing. It gives me strength, courage, inspiration and motivation to know that my voice is being heard.

Thank you all for your support!

Kings and Kingdoms and Peons

Friday, May 5th, 2006

World peace can happen. It is not am impossibility. Some people believe that human nature makes global conflict inevitable. I disagree.

Humans are born tabula rasa, which is a fancy way of saying that we are born with clean slates, ready to be shaped by whatever world awaits us. We are capable of living in virtually any condition. No matter what world we are raised in, we will do our best to adapt, survive and succeed.

Evolutionary scientists believe that we evolved as hunting apes. Therefore, we have both predatory and tribal instincts. If we are raised in a violent world, our violent tendencies will be selected upon and be present in society. If we are raised in a world of peace, our social tendencies would be selected upon, making us peaceful and cooperative. Human nature could just as easily support a world of peace as it does the world we have now.

If there was a world of peace, the human race would be able to sustain it. So, why don’t we have a world of peace right now?

The primary obstacle preventing us from achieving a world of peace is the world we are living in right now. We live in a violent world; a world that is divided amongst nations and religions and races. Just like all the generations of humans before us., we have been taught to hate and fight each other, so we hate and fight each other.

Why are we taught to hate and fight each other? The reason becomes clear if we look at a simplified view of the world.

Picture a King and a kingdom. The King is in charge of the kingdom, which consists of the royal family at the top, and then the peons fit into progressively lower positions with the lowest peons making up the majority of the population at the bottom rung. The King, and his entourage, make the decisions for the whole kingdom, and the decisions are usually in the best interest of the King and his entourage.

The kingdom trains armies of peons, able to fight and die for the kingdom. These peons fight to help expand the kingdom and allow the royal family to amass even more power. The peons do not benefit from fighting, so they have to be tricked into fighting. They are tricked into believing that they are fighting for patriotism, or for their religions, or for other fabricated reasons like for democracy, liberty or freedom. Other kings in other kingdoms do the same, wars are fought, the peons die, all the while the royalty sits back unscathed.

A kingdom cannot survive without the support of its lowest class. As long as the peons keep doing what they are told, and keep doing all the work, and fighting all the battles, the King will be happy and the royal family will remain in power.

If the peons were to unite, they would have the power to dethrone the King and take control of the kingdom, using it to make a better life for themselves. No longer would they have to to take orders from the self-serving royal family. The only remaining threat would be from outside kingdoms. The King and the royal family are aware of this, so they teach their peons to fight and hate each other so that they are never able to unite.

In today’s world, we still have Kings and kingdoms, only instead of being fixed geographically like they used to be, they are now overlapping all over the world. Kingdoms can be found in different types of establishments: in economics, in religious institutions, in military organizations, and in political systems. The peons are still here today, as well. Peons still do all the work and fight all the wars while the kings and the royal family sit on their comfortable thrones of luxury.

And, to complicate things, instead of just kings and peons in a kingdom, we have a hierarchies. This means that we have mini-kingdoms inside of bigger kingdoms, and these bigger kingdoms form up to make even bigger kingdoms with their own kings. Think of small businesses or small religious centers with a few peons with their respective kings. These kings are the peons of even bigger kingdoms with even bigger kings, and so forth.

Today, just like in the past, it is the peons who are the crucial component of the kingdom. If the peons of the world were to unite, they would have the power to dethrone the kings of the world and take control of the kingdoms, using them to make a better world for themselves.

The royal families are aware of this, so they have to ensure that the peons stay divided. Those who get to be mini-kings are secure in their mini-kingdoms, and they only want to make their kingdoms bigger. Those who are the bigger kings have even more power to divide the peons, so they maintain a system that keeps the peons impoverished, uneducated and teaches them to hate and fear each other, thereby ensuring the peons never have the means or the inclination to unite.

The kings of our world today are ensuring that our world remains as it is. We cannot wait for our kings to lead us to peace, since most of them are empowered with things being the way they are. It is up to the peons to stop fighting and hating each other. It is up to the peons to make world peace happen.

Today, more than ever, we have a way to unite. Never before have we been more connected than we are today. The Internet can serve to unite the voice of humans everywhere. Together, we can take back the reigns that control our destiny, and make the kingdom of earth owned by everyone. We can seize the power to redistribute the wealth and power of our world, eliminating the lowest of the peons and the greatest of the kings, eliminating extreme wealth and extreme poverty.

We have the power to make a better world for ourselves, and for everybody.

(I use the term “King” here for the sake of the example, but todays kings can be men or women. Also, if you are not a king and you are not royalty, then for the sake of this argument, you are a peon. Please don’t take this as demeaning or derogatory… for I too am peon.)

Thinking positively about the future of the world

Friday, May 5th, 2006

The power of positive thinking is well known to everyone who is successful. When we put our minds to something and believe in ourselves, we will do well in whatever task we set forth for ourselves. A confident, optimistic attitude can make most everything a breeze.

I’ve been writing about issues like world peace and a better world for several years now, and when I discuss these issues, I’m met with a lot of confrontation. People who say it will never happen. People who think that I am dreaming of a Utopia.

If we brought peace to our world, it wouldn’t be a Utopia. Life will always be struggle. World peace won’t change the fact that we all want more for ourselves. But peace will only make it easier for everyone to get more. Instead of our world’s resources going towards warfare and destruction, we will be able to focus on progressing our world. In a world of peace, the collective power of the global village would be able to run the world for the betterment of all life on earth.

If enough people believe that world peace cannot happen, we can be sure that it won’t. So, when it comes to issues like world peace and a better world, the only way it will happen is when enough people are optimistic and believe it can happen. If enough of us believe and want world peace to happen, it will.

Changing the way we get news

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

Imagine this: we turn on the 6 o’clock news, and the first twenty minutes are all positive, uplifting stories. We hear about how the world around us – locally, nationally and globally – is improving. Even if the world has not changed at all, our perception of the world has improved. Instead of being bombarded with sensationalist news that gives us the impression that the world is falling apart, we get the opposite effect – thinking that our world is improving.

Why is news not like this right now? News is corporately owned, just like the rest of the media. For a news source to profit, it needs to sell commercials, and to sell commercials it has to attract viewers. Our society loves sensationalist news. It is a fact of life: atrocities, violence and debauchery stimulate us. A story about a 10 car pile-up is way more interesting than an increase in charitable donations, which is why the news always starts with the hottest stories first.

However, if we were to take away the commercial aspect of the news media – ads in newspapers, commercials on the radio and TV – then we take away the need for ensationalist news. If all news media sources had the same regulations and the same enforcements, one news source could be as reliable and unbiased as any other.

We have government regulations that keep our water supply safe to drink (usually), and ensure that our food is safe to eat (mostly), as well as laws that try to keep our air clean. Our news information has the ability to shape our perception of the world – why don’t we have stricter regulations to ensure that such a vital resource is as clean as possible? I feel that it would take relatively few resources to ensure that all news sources are as unbiased as possible.

One may argue that without the commercial revenue, news media is no longer feasible, meaning they won’t be able to afford to produce and release the news. But if we remove the requirement for sensationalism, presenting the news would take much smaller budgets – there would be no reason to have the prettiest spokespeople, computer graphics and the rest of the catchy, flashy aspects of the news media. Just news, plain and simple.

I am not suggesting that we have to restructure the majority of the media, nor am I saying we should get rid of commercials entirely. All I am suggesting is to implement new regulations for all media outlets that provide news – enforcing a policy (for as long as the news is being shown) of no commercials allowed, no endorsements, and (ideally) no private agendas, with all information regulated and monitored by watchdog organizations with the power to stop misinformation from being propagated.

Now, I know that our information can never be totally pure or accurate, as there is only so much we know to be true, but our news should strive to maintain the integrity and ideals of true journalists – unbiased, objective and untainted. I also know that there is no way to please everyone – but it is possible to ensure that all sides of an issue get relatively equal representation, across the board.

Information is too essential a resource for it to be tainted by a corporate agenda; regulated and standardized news media is a possibility that we can make happen.

-This is an excerpt from chapter 2 of my book.