Reflections on Globalization

{Excerpts from a recently submitted essay}    

      It is easy to ask the question “Does globalization do more harm than good”, take a side and engage in an Aristotelian either/or debate. It is also a childish way of addressing a complex topic. Globalization is here to stay. It is really more important to ask the utilitarian question of how do we gglobalizationo about globalization with the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people and the least amount of harm to the least amount of people?

     Globalization really started as soon as one nation-state began systematically trading with another. Of course it got much more complicated than that with coalitions and trade organizations. The world’s first attempts at globalization were in the Colonialist Age. Google gives us the definition of colonialism as “the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.” Let’s adapt that to “the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial economic control over another country, occupying it through trade and culture, and exploiting it politically” and I think we have a fair understanding of globalization. It has been said that “Globalization is a form of colonialism that prevents the development of third world countries” (http://www.grin.com/en/e-book/287753/globalization-is-a-form-of-colonialism).

     One of the positive aspects of globalization versus its predecessors is that the tools used are much more peaceful and less destructive. Why send in expensive troops when you can send in jobs and sit-coms? We would like to think that this is an ‘exchange of ideas’ and that other countries are sharing equally with us. However for every “Gangnam Style” music explosion or the embracing of authors like Khaled Hosseini, we are exporting billion dollar movie franchises and selling cigarettes to low-income countries at a profit rate never before seen (http://global.tobaccofreekids.org/files/pdfs/en/Global_Cigarette_Industry_pdf.pdf).

 USB Culture Bombs     

Let’s refrain from pure cynicism and mere capitalist bashing though. There is an organization called Flashdrives for Freedom that is sure that the best way to take down the North Korean regime by smuggling in USB drives with American popular culture on them (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/22/flashdrives-for-freedom-north-korea-20000-usb-sticks). Flashdrives for Freedom is certain that when enough North Koreans are exposed to the wonders of Western culture, regime change is sure to follow.

       There is no doubt that globalization has had an adverse effect on Middle America’s economic stance, taking away manufacturer jobs with sustainable wages in exchange for fancy smartphones and cheap prices at Walmart. As a whole for America, globalization has been a boon but it’s hard to appreciate that when Main Street is all boarded up. The demonization of globalization is occurring because the technocrats who are winning at this new global game are neglecting to share with the displaced factory workers. It is the phenomenon of the “McWorld” we read about. Worse, some of these American victims of “McWorld” are falling into the tribalist trap, blaming the ethnic Other for their ills.

      As always, I see the key to a better tomorrow in Education and Democracy. Globalization built upon educating everyone as much as we can will pay for itself. Productivity and success will be our proof as the world learns more about itself and its people stand and contribute for the good of all.

 

Variations of Self

   I am not a proponent of the Single Self theory. We wear variations on the various roles, job-titles and social labels we are given. Masks if you will.  The masks can take on a life and personality of their own and when we are weak-willed and/or merely superstitiously enthralled they can lead us and change us.  Jack Vance touches on this briefly in the first of his Planet of Adventure series The City of the Chasch.  citcha The tribal nomad humans that the hero Adam Reith meets incorporate masks (or Emblems) and the Emblems' personalities into their society.   Reith's first companion, Traz Onmale, wears the Emblem of the tribe's leader (Onmale, the origin of his surname) but Reith convinces him to give it up and escape the tribal life with him.  Be observant of what mask you are wearing when and if your actions are of your core self or the mask.  Learn to exert yourself above the Will of the mask.  Learn to give in to a mask when it best for a situation. 

   This can be used for self-programming.  Uncle Al used to use a large ring, probably some gaudy Masonic thing, and each finger would be assigned personality traits.  He would exercise his Will so that when the ring was on say the vegetarian finger, he would act accordingly.

  This may seem similar on a lower scale to when we fetishize objects into being our "lucky" T-Shirt or "holy" underwear.  However in these cases we think the object comes to us with these special 'magical' properties already endowed, having nothing to do with us ourselves as higher beings.  Like that T-Shirt came from the factory cosmically attuned to help Favorite Sports Team win or your G*d only approves of those in certain mass-produced undershirts. 

The Papa’s poetry

My initial fascination with the internet back in the late 90s and ongoing was the sense that all of humanity's quirks & eccentricities was slowly growing into cyberspace.  What was forming was a huge superconsciousness fueled by porn and cat memes. (For what it's worth, cats currently outnumber porn)   A new evolution of consciousness was upon us.

    As make-your-site places popped up, like geocities and angelfire, you got a true glimpse into people and their individual qabalahs for better or for worse.   I joined in the best I could, in those days of heavy shamanic self-medication, randomly creating accounts, dropping rants and then finds new places to sprinkle with my prose.  It was more personal as the content was created rathered than the recycled posting that happens on social media now. 

   My father-in-law has been going slowly deaf most of his adult life.  Years as a solitary self-employed lumberer tethered him to his own thoughts as the chainsaws help eat away at his hearing. He is retired now.  Recently the Papa and his new bride went and acquired iPhones, stepping bodly into the 21st century, tickled by the thoughts of being able to speak to the computers help in their hands.

    The Papa continues to be a man of nature. The sunrise finds him up and ready for a walk. He drives off to secluded spots with his trusted companion Windy and spends the first several hours of the day getting thick with nature.

     The new iPhone has made this ritual a little different.  The Papa sends out dozens of photos & videos to his children, bride and grandson of his morning explorations complete with the type of in-joke ridden captions you expect from a man who doesn't let the silence stop him from thinking.  When asked he apologized for not putting me on the list but I insisted.  This is what I enjoyed, 21st technology sharing with us the poetry of a man's soul.  The is what the internet, the Great Glass Bead Game, is for.

3 Lives

We all live three lives: a public one, a private and our secret life.  Most of us tend to work on one/the other or both of the former and ignore or work around the latter.

When we are in a relationship, at first we only share our private lives.  As the relationship deepens, we cannot help but be affected and effect each other with our secret lives.  This is not conscious.

This hidden part, this is where are neuroses, our 'demons' tend to be buried.  Our secret lives are secret for a reason. We are protective, if not ashamed of them and having someone so close to your inner core is frightening.  This is partly why familiarity breeds contempt.

To further a or any relationship, it our duty as a Lover to strengthen our 'inner core' as it were in order to deepen the relationship.  Tame our neuroses, lay the demons down on the talking couch.  Keep time for yourself to dwell in the 'crazy' continue to have a third secret life.  But temper yourself into your private life so that you be Love & Healing for those who share private lives with you.

I think they do it on purpose

A thoughtful piece by Jesse Walker:

http://reason.com/archives/2015/03/15/what-we-mean-when-we-say-conspiracy-theo/

Having lived through the neo-conservative revolution with it’s “stay on message” media philosophy, I tend to see shifts in media truespeak as orchestrated. A perfect example is the brilliant slander of the term “political correctness” to hurl against someone who calls you out on your bigotry.

 

The constantly quoted blind spot

I have never read To_Kill_a_Mockingbird and at this point I probably never will.

This refusal defies all my laws of bibliography and synchronicity.  I work in an environment where I hear it mentioned at least once a day, Seriously, like the library has no other books on race relations.  I never read or watched The Help. or The Butler.  or 12 Years a Slave no matter how many well-meaning patrons push it at me.

I don’t need to forgive anyone for America’s race relations. And I won’t.  You never forgive, you change.  Just like any other personal relationship.  I am not sure that I am comfortable being in a personal relationship with my American heritage, merely because of the vehement 24% that will take offense to this sentence much less my life. At this point I am required to defend myself by saying how much I love my country. Which I will not because of Mathew VanVlack, who taught me the Erasmus quote “I am human, therefore nothing human is alien to me” back in High School. Obviously this Cartesian thread took us different places. He was a good friend.

Wilson, Maslow, and the fallacy of insignificance

colin-wilson-with-poster-1956Colin Wilson was an important thinker in my limited intellectual word.  He took the existentialist crisis head on & sought tools against it.  He understood Uncle Al’s declaration that “Know thee that existence is pure joy”, while embracing The Great Work as did Gurdjieff.  His works explored both mysticism & deviant criminology in an effort to understand the vast possibilities that is human existence.

I was never the reader of novels that Colin was, I have no desire to tackle Proust & my one foray through Joyce’s Ulysses was enough. It was more his interpretations of his beloved reads that I found inspiring.

One of the great Silver keys given to Wilson by Abraham Maslow, who shared with the Colin the work he had done on “peak experiences” .  Dr Maslow insisted that these “peaks” were spontaneous & beyond our control.  Wilson begged to differ & in his 1971 opus “The Occult” postulated ‘Faculty X’, a superior sort of intuition that could be part of mankind’s next development.

Let us keep in mind that Mr. Wilson was not a scientist but a literary critic and armchair philosopher.  Nevertheless I find his speculations absolutely fascinating.

Overdrive Media Console on Nook HDs

I’ve seen several people run into problems when using the Overdrive Media Console on the Nook HD to borrow eBooks from the library.  They download the book fine read the first page and then when they go to advance the book automatically skips to the next chapter.  The problem only happens when Overdrive is downloaded from the Nook Store.  The solution is to delete Overdrive, download Google Play from either the Nook Store (if still available) or a browser.  Download Overdrive from the Google Play.   Set up as before and should work fine.

Some applications just work differently from Nook Store vs Google Play.  Twitter on the Nook HD needs to be the Nook version.  I will update if/when I learn more.

Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress

BeggarsInSpain(1stEd)   Recently a woman bragged to me about her daughter.  The daughter had been fascinated by computers since childhood.  She ended up going into internet security and the Department of Homeland Security paid for her education.  The young child who would admonish her parents for not having strong enough passwords now puts her whole life on Social Media with her omnipresent smartphone.  Wasn’t she concerned about privacy, her mother had asked.  It sounded like the daughter shared with her mother the idea of the Singularity, explaining that once the technology was possible, having as much of her personality as possible on the Web was paramount.

We will deal with the idea of the Singularity later.  For some reason, the conversation reminded me of this book, published 1993.   The premise of the books involve genetic engineering where some children of the rich are made Sleepless, genetically modified so they can go without sleep.  While the rest of us waste 8 or more hours a day, the Sleepless are learning and evolving past us.

The subject of Objectivism is a main theme in this book.  When human beings are not born equal should they be treated equally? Should the superior (Sleepless) be held back by the um, Sleepful?

Frankly Objectivism tends to be just another excuse for discrimination and false superiority.  As if class, race, wealth, language, creed, religion, gender, sexuality and, lets be honest, facial symmetry have been enough ways for humans to judge each other not-worthy.

The Sleepless and the Sleepers is an interesting concept, especially when used an analogy for the technologically advanced and the technophobic.  As usual it is important not to let the analogy collapse into Bigotry.

 

Audible corrupts Chrome

For a while I was having a problem with my Chrome Browser.  Whenever I opened it, I was told it hadn’t shut down correctly and would I like to restore.  I traced this back to the day I downloaded and installed Audible Manager to take advantage of a free audiobook offer.  Research showed I was far from the only person that this had happened to.

In order to fix this I had to uninstall Audible completely and completely uninstall Chrome before reinstalling.  Merely resetting Chrome did not work.