An Ode To War: A Poem by Michael Wharton
You are a weapon in the war against peace,
They use your fear to control your actions,
On either side they produce vile propaganda,
Take care to examine the motives of factions.
Why fight at all, what is your main objective?
Power, money, control, cruelty and corruption,
Power over the minds of the people and opinions,
Money is the constant for supply and production.
Control over land mass, of which there is finite,
Cruelty to those who disagree with your virtues.
Corruption of the virtues you pretend to uphold,
Evolution's Nature's job we have to let her choose.
We are at peace with war so it seems in the media,
The news is just numbers now, in bite size chunks.
Between targeted product informational programming,
Sold to you by plastic chicks and shredded hunks.
This may be very short and succinct but the topic and subject matter are distasteful and abhorrent, so I kept it concise. I didn't really have to include details of war or its atrocities, as we are all very much aware of the obvious physical realities. I wanted to keep it simple, as war often is; a struggle for resources at the cost of human life.
Internet Censorship: The Internet Is Under Attack?
According to many key sources of internet trends, the recent governmental seizure of control over the internet has been perceived as a threat to global freedom. The internet culture has flourished from what once was the domain of the knowledgeable few, to what is often called "Web 2.0"; user generated and driven content, shared and open to all interactively and easily. Nowadays, most people between their childhood and retirement age will spend time online regularly. They do so to catch up on the latest news, kill time watching funny videos of cats, keep in touch with long lost friends and relatives, etc... The list of activities people perform regularly online is pretty endless, as new applications of the internet are coming along every day. Some of the things people do online are currently illegal, in quite a few countries, and for years now the governments of those (often developed) countries have been trying to figure out how to enforce laws on the internet. From copyright infringement to "Indecent Pornography", it has been a game of cat and mouse, as technology on both sides is developed to outsmart the other.
We were all made aware of this arms race when sites like Napster and The Pirate Bay were legally challenged, when news of sting operations on paedophile and terrorist networks hit the papers. We were glad of our Government's action against those who would harm or way of life. Now however, it is our governments themselves who are threatening our way of life; in a new development in this arms race, we the people are being targeted with internet censorship.
The ACTA has been implemented in several "Freedom Loving" countries such as Australia, America, and now the United Kingdom has followed suit with the Digital Economy Bill (The DEBill is now The Digital Economy Act since it was pushed through parliament... shouldn't have dragged my feet writing this blog...). Now we have internet censorship, blacklisted websites and filtered content.
Internet Censorship: Spreading The Word!
So as far as I can tell, the internet is going to become more strictly controlled, surveilled, filtered and censored worldwide. Copyright piracy, inappropriate porn and terrorist communication are simply convenient distractions, so that dissent can be monitored and controlled. If any of the videos in the internet censorship playlist are removed, or if you can no longer gain access to this page then you will know that I was right.
Since the development of the internet, it has been used to express opinions and information freely with the rest of the world. Don't allow this tool to be used to gag and control you, speak out against this right infringement. Several organisations have interactivist campaigns you can join to let your voice be heard; The EFF, The ORG, 38 Degrees and of course Project Freeweb.
If we do nothing, we are in very real danger of losing access to the "real" internet like other less than free countries with more extreme levels of internet censorship ( an obvious example is the People's Republic of China (oh no, I guess that my site's blocked there now...)). Internet superstars such as Tim Berners Lee and John Perry Barlow have declared their opposition to internet censorship. Internet deity Google have spoken out against the global trend towards internet censorship measures and the state controlling the web. Google even released this handy tool to see how much your internet content is being filtered. We have to all stand together and say "No, we DO NOT WANT internet censorship, filtered content or our internet to be arbitrarily cut off!". Of course as with anything online, you have an overwhelming choice of mediums for interactivism to convey such a message!
Anarchy - A Chaotic Mayhem Surely?
Anarchy is inevitable, that much is known for certain, or at least a wide held belief. Where can one draw order from Chaos? Well according to Chaos Theory, patterns emerge organically in nature and are much more stable than those that we have artificially created. Take this principal from physics to biological evolution and you have the origin of Species Theory being proven. Take it further to sociology and politics and you have Anarchy emerging as the only sensible logical, rational state of Utopia in which we can have world peace. Okay, it's a bit of a leap of faith, although faith is belief in the absence of evidence, this would require belief in the overwhelming presence of irrefutable and undeniable evidence. Money is the deciding point; throughout history, goods have been traded according to both the effort of acquisition and scarcity. When money began to flourish as a means of fair exchange, the problems really started. It stopped being fair for a start, where there is somebody making money, in every case, there is somebody off of whose back that money was made. Financial and managerial hierarchies formed, allegiances were made according to financial benefits to the parties involved. In my opinion, Religion must have facilitated money's rise to power due to self interest (that's if money wasn't the idea of some form of Religion...). There are many interactivist organisations dedicated to Freeing us from the tyranny of money, such as The Really Really Free Market, Buy Nothing Day, the Freeconomy Community or even Craigslist and all of the Freecycle community. These are only examples of the myriad of NPOs (None Profit Organisations) trying to make the world a fairer nicer place without financial divisions through interactisism.
What does this brief history of Politics mean?
Well in short, it means that until Religion and money are ultimately removed from society, Anarchy will always have strong opposition from those who currently have power. Those with political power who may somehow agree with the ideals of Anarchy, have no real power to promote it as a means to a utopian end. There is no way to democratically vote for a state of Anarchy, I see this as wrong and almost dictatorial. In states where there is an entry for none of the above candidates in the ballot, this is simply taken as a protest vote and not a meaningful dissolution of parliament option.
Technology Is Evolving Towards Anarchy
Obsolete is the technology of mining and burning fossil fuels that do not replenish. We now know that the Carbon Dioxide released is warming the planet to the point where methane deposits in the world oceans could melt ending much of the life on this planet incredibly quickly. This is alarming as the last time this happened it wiped out 95% of all life on earth. Science and technology are key to preventing this potential apocalypse, not one particular technology or science, but an advanced amalgamation of all of the latest developments in green energy and manufacture. The hydrogen fuel cell is set to replace the internal combustion engine as a means of effectively powering our road and aerial vehicles. Soon enough the means of producing the Hydrogen will be available cheaply from wind and solar energy in and around the homestead. At this stage an individual dwelling will have no need for energy from the national grid and will become self sufficient and green. Other technologies set to influence the political arena are geothermal energy, high rise farms, nano-scale replication and manufacturing (essentially the ultimate form of recycling, put in your old phone, it gets taken apart to its molecules and reassembled get the latest model printed out), and of course stem cell research and gene therapy (potentially curing deadly diseases like cancer and HIV). My interpretation of the effect these technologies will have on humanity is not unique to me. Many libertarian Freedomists or advocates of political and economic Anarchy believe that these technologies will bring about an end to money's totalitarian reign over us. These technologies are a decade, or less, away but in my opinion they could be here sooner if we change our combined political and financial attitude. There are lots of examples of projects like The Venus Project and even mainstream efforts like the Greensburg GreenTown Project , these projects could be done faster and better if money were not a factor in the decision making process.
How Can I Get Involved In Advocating Anarcho-Capitalist-Libertarianism?
My Utopian vision of the future, is somewhat identical to the world John Lennon described so vividly in his most famous song; Imagine. The journey from here to there is fraught with perilous downfalls, with temptations for greed and self service. To ensure we make it safely we need to ensure we do not lose our footing and slip back into a possessive consumerist culture. Short of what Anarchists all over the world are already doing (which in my opinion only gives credence to the consensus of the masses that we are all a bunch of violent destructive simpletons who hate the police), you can stop consuming as much and try to become greener with regards to technology. Become part of a movement, whatever one you like, that is doing something that you can see is shifting paradigms towards a utopian vision. Or something like that.
Why Don't Some Drivers Indicate Correctly?
I am a humble pedestrian, occasional cyclist but never a driver, so maybe it will be hard for me to understand the effort involved in remembering to indicate. I know some of the Highway Code, I was thinking about taking my test some day, but the way some people drive just makes me think too much about dying at the hands of a moron. I personally find this off-putting.
Of all of the initial lessons one learns when mastering the art of driving, mirror, signal, manoeuvre is a mantra too quickly forgotten on the roads. Those flashing yellow lights are for warning all other road users of your intentions, those you are aware of and those you haven't seen. On many occasions, this negligence has lead to me being stood directly in front of a car making a turn towards me, while I was crossing the road, on one occasion it didn't quite stop in time and gave me a bump. What was really galling was the fact that these drivers seemed so indignant and defensive of the idea that it was their fault for not signalling.
Maybe it's a generational thing, in my experience younger drivers tend to be more guilty of failing to signal. Older drivers tend to indicate every time; my Dad for example indicates round car parks because it has become so second nature to him. This leads me to believe that it may have something to do with falling out of the habit due to some form of encumbrance, such as not being able to indicate for some reason. I noticed that upon looking into the window of the cars that don't indicate, about a 30% were ON THE PHONE, 40% were sticking their left gear changing hand somewhere else (up their nose, on the gear lever, on their face, drinking HOT coffee, TEXTING!). At least another 20% were resting their right arm out the window, the other ten were miscellaneous in case you were wondering.
What Can Pedestrians Do About It?
I have personally confronted drivers about their failure to indicate or being on the phone, sometimes a simple dirty look is enough to evoke a look of shame and apology. Sometimes they get out of their car and harass you verbally for telling them how to drive, but the advantage of being a pedestrian is that I can walk away, they are making a journey of some kind and usually want to get along, in their car. Maybe if it was the norm for people to be openly critical of other's stupidity things would be better. As for now I am the one with a chip on my shoulder from being bumped over by a car driver in this situation.
Now I am finally blogging about it, maybe I can convince people of why it's important to signal at all times to get into the good habit. Mirror, SIGNAL, manoeuvre is not just for when you see other cars around, but all the time, for the people you don't see (like in your blind spot) too.
I started a Facebook Group about this after I nearly got hit again, and shouted at the middleaged lady driver only to get the finger for my wisdom. Please join it and invite your friends, it's open to all and only takes a minute!
In summation this current trend in bad driving could be due to many of the other bad driving factors I have seen, or it could be a phenomenon of its own. This does not matter, what really matters is that it stops being so prolific. We need to scold drivers with a simple phrase that will put them right back in the learners seat; Mirror, SIGNAL, Manoeuvre!