Friday, March 20, 2009

Zeitgeist - Orientation

The video The Zeitgeist Movement: Orientation Presentation was just released. I thought this to be the least emotional of the 3 Zeitgeist videos I have seen. It is more directed to the rational senses. The presentation style is that of a multi-media presentation, well structured, and straight to the point. Some say that the style is adapted from the Crash Course.

I liked it. The video shed more light and details on a possible solution. The focus was on the solution rather than the problem. It suggests actions that we must do as a society more so that immediate actions we must take as individuals. Clearly a lot of personal action items can be deduced if you agree with the proposed social change that is required.

In a nutshell, the suggested direction means handing decision making (based on a scientific process) over to machines and eliminating politicians, advertisement, etc. in the resource-based economy.

I am always very weary when someone wants to give too much power to technology. In my opinion mankind is too arrogant and too frequently using technology against nature. We use technology to turn sea into coast line, we construct skyscrapers on fault lines, we harness nuclear power, etc. Frequently we see with disastrous results what happens when something fails, and something always fails once in a while. Dams break, earthquakes turn buildings into dust and nuclear waste will pollute our planet for 1000s of years. This is what comes to my mind first when someone says "we master technology, let's use more technology". Handing over decision making to technology/computers? The key is that we must use technology in synergy and in imitation of nature and not against nature.

Is the suggested society possible? Will people accept it? According to the Venus Project few people will work, most work will be done by machines and all resource will be free (energy, water, food, housing, etc.). We will live without money. My wife said: "Like in the garden of Eden, just picking the fruits from the trees, no money, no work, just 24 hours of spare time a day". Sounds like everybody would want that. No work and everything is free. But what about the guy who (as an example, say) wants a big private swimming pool and since the resource based economy will provide only public pools is rejected to have one. What will he think about the system? He will hate it. What about the guy who is a power addicted person who needs to dominate other people to feel good, you know, the typical boss-behavior in a company ordering other people around. He will have nobody to control and order around, so he will not be happy. What will he do? Protest?

Clearly for this system to work where one would gain so much (independence, free time, no worries about resources, a fairer allocation of resources) one would also have to give up things: since all will be treated equal to some this will be seen like communism, some will have to give their special rights.

Using technology in conjunction with nature, to nurture nature, that seems very much an admirable goal. Eliminating special interest groups and money seems a good social direction. What I ask myself is not if I would like it. I think I would. What I ask myself is: Is it doable? Is it?

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