Existence is the most fundamental thing which is taken for granted. When we actually think about it, we all find it pretty mysterious, but I wonder if you realize just how mysterious it really is. Here’s a few things to consider.
The first is Occam’s Razor. A simple logic tool, right?
As anyone familiar with classical political economy knows, true property rights are rooted in self-ownership. You own yourself, and by extension you own what you make through labor or voluntary transactions thereof. Land, however, is not a fruit of labor.
You may have heard of Peter Thiel, the right-wing “libertarian” co-founder of Paypal and early investor in Facebook. He seems to be a magnet for controversy and intrigue, with his penchant for casual misogyny and exoticphilanthropicendeavors. So, who or what is he really?
I have often referred to myself as a progressive but I have felt increasingly uneasy doing so. The word -progressive’, like virtually every other term which refers to a political ideology, has become so broadly applied as to become virtually meaningless.
The healthcare debate is shockingly narrow. We have the do nothing crowd, the privatize it more crowd, the single-payer people, and the public option folks. On the more radical end of the mainstream debates are those calling for more general practitioners, preventive care/incentives, and co-ops. Of the bills pushing through congress now, I have a feeling the public option is the only one with any teeth, but there are a million other non-mutually-exclusive ideas which could be implemented.
Continuing our effort to flesh out the parameters of technoprogressive policy ideas by building our “Technoprogressive Policy Wiki”, we turn now to the problems created by the push to patent everything, including human genes, and shut down all fair use and copying of music, texts and film. IEET intern Ed Miller has been engaged with open source and intellectual property issues for some time, and has taken a crack at a general policy statement on this issue. We welcome feedback. - J. Hughes
(IEET intern Edward Miller is guest blogging at Sentient Developments this month.) There is a long list of crises that we need to face and I won’t waste time boring you by listing them. As our brightest minds admit they were wrong, I hope that I can say, without qualification, that big changes in our thinking are required. Unfortunately, we haven’t made that “Change” even though we now have some new faces in power, and a bunch of old faces out of business or in prison.
The elite capitalist class has undergone numerous makeovers in the past century. From the Organization Man of the 50s, to the Yuppies of the 80s, to the Bobos of the dot-com era. A combination of structural changes and cultural pendulum swings have produced these makeovers.
For instance, as those who were immersed in the counterculture of the 70s made their way into the corporate ranks, they brought with them many of the anti-establishment values, and became the bourgeois bohemians, or Bobos, as David Brooks calls them. People like Richard Branson or Steve Jobs.
Decentralization is the key to the survival of humanity. This should be common sense. We all know that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. There are many examples one could point to. With industrial farming we are now beginning to realize that monocultures are especially susceptible to disease or changes in the environment. Fitness is a fluid concept because environmental conditions are not static. This is true on a civilizational level as well.
Social Ecology is a philosophy which states that environmental, social, and economic problems all have the same root: namely, the way people treat each other. By this same logic, if we can establish new structures and norms by which to operate, we can alleviate many of these problems.
Virtual Reality (VR) has advanced to incredible heights. For those who haven’t kept up with the gaming scene, the newest game renowned for impressive graphics is Fallout 3. Of course, graphics aren’t all that matters to gamers, which is why another one of the hottest games on the block right now is Spore, which looks very cartoonish.
Obama and the Democrats have come sweeping in. Now what? All those fundamental liberal democratic rights which we have been fighting to maintain throughout these past dark years of GOP dominance are now suddenly of much lesser urgency for activists.