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Forum Post: After reading the posts here my views are changing.

Posted 10 years ago on Dec. 23, 2011, 4:45 p.m. EST by randart (498)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I have spent a massive amount of time reading and posting here and in the end I have changed. I no longer think things will end well, with consensus, for our society or the world. Humans are too myopic and obstinate to make the necessary changes to avert collapse of a sick system.

Greed seems to rule the day in every way. I was watching a program on the boob tube about the survivalist types who are selecting land to "survive" the coming madness. They are stocking up on canned goods, weapons, ammo, and all the required things people need if the supply chain fails us. What do they think they are doing? Are they planning on restarting the human race as the dominant species? We all know where that has gotten us over the centuries.

I went out to breakfast with my wife and niece this morning and realized something that sort of sent a chill through the few synapses I have left in my brain. Everyone has a "smart phone". Even children are sitting there texting while "sharing" time with their families. I realized that these little electronic devices are ubiquitous in our society and that they are not social tools but are separating us even further from one another, but we all have to have one. There is something very sinister lurking in this trend but I have not figured it out yet. I remember an ad for some phone a while ago that had the catch phrase, spoken in African American slang to a point, and it went "I know where you at. Where you at?" I thought back then that this was nothing more than a monitoring device used to track us where ever we go.

Why we are the way we are is what it is I suppose. If you want to "survive" then get rid of your phone first. Go underground in society, and prepare to be able to eat one another. That might be the only survival tactic that will work but what sort of society will emerge from this? Only time will tell.



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[-] 2 points by Puzzlin (2898) 10 years ago

Can anyone say Duality.

At the same time things get worse, some will say it's getting better.

When things really are getting better, some will say it's getting worse.

No matter what the discussion, there's the naysayer, count on it.

It surrounds us in everything we do. But sometimes we are right just when we're told we're wrong.

Then in others, nobody is right, if everyone is wrong.

If your looking for absolutes, this life will short-change you!

[-] 2 points by hidden (430) from Los Angeles, CA 10 years ago

If you want to "survive" then get rid of your phone first.

Don't worry, in case of economic collapse, you wont have cell phone service.

Go underground in society, and prepare to be able to eat one another.

What? Hide and compete? F no! Organize and take action!


[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

If 300 million US citizens can be tracked using GPS so what? The government has been able to track you for the longest time. Credit card trails, posting pictures, TV ads for the wanted, etc... The ability to track somebody is nothing new.

[-] 2 points by McE (2) 10 years ago

I often "forget" my cell phone at home when I go out.

[-] 1 points by laurenpihera (10) 10 years ago

I, for one, share your concerns. Human civilizations have all taken a similar road to demise. They prosper, then slowly the gap between the rich and poor becomes greater and greater. The entitlement and privilege of the powerful become all encompassing while the rest of the people are deemed to be beneath them. They refuse to acknowledge that they created a system had a built in catch 22 to keep the masses down. Soon the disparity becomes so great that the masses have nothing left to loose. The powerful continue to compete for more wealth and power, raping the land of resources until a drought or some other challenges besets them. Finally the whole civilization collapses, due to lack of resources, violence, hunger and desperation.

As much as I love the wealth of information, scientific discoveries and conveniences of the modern life, true hunter/gatherer societies -there are only a very few remaining - are much more humanitarian. For the most part, they are very egalitarian, they share rather than accumulate their goods,everyone has a voice in the decision making process, and they truly know each other on a deep level, rather than just a superficial one. No one is denied food or shelter because they were sick and didn't hunt that day or because they weren't as good at bringing down the prey as the next guy. They respect nature instead of trying to dominate it.

As soon as agriculture and herding come into the picture, things change. We only seem to cooperate when we need each other to survive.Otherwise we tend to compete, dominate and judge.

Without a doubt, the system needs an overhaul. But for any system to work, we, human beings, need to rethink our priorities and decide who we want to be - people with integrity who respect and value all beings, creatures and nature; or individuals who seek power and dominance in order to exert control over others, nature and the earth, who harbor a sense of superiority, deeming qualities such as compassion, respect, honesty and cooperation as not merely inconvenient, but the misguided values of the inferior.

However, I am still encouraged that there are people who have committed themselves to trying to make changes in the system by taking action and working together. It takes courage to leave the comfort of one's home and make a stand for change. For a time, I was fearful that no one even realized that there is a problem. But we must remain dedicated and united in our mutual purpose, remain discipline in our methods and approach, and not give up. Change is always slow and painful, but always worth the effort in the end.

[-] 1 points by genanmer (822) 10 years ago

Or you can prepare WITH your community by encouraging sustainability practices. Alleviate and prevent the need to compete with so many people by becoming resilient locally.

e.g. http://vimeo.com/8029815

But I do agree. There are pathocrats running society and living amongst us. Just recognize their fear tactics as a twisted means of obtaining joy through power. And know that not everyone is a psychopath (lacking the capacity for empathy/compassion).


Recognize both the good (caring) and evil (uncaring)

[-] 1 points by mcdynamite (-1) 10 years ago

There is ONE politician who does not answer to corporations. He is running for president right now. This is the answer you have been looking for and the opportunity to turn things around.

Interview with a Lobbyist:

AB SMITH: (laugh) Look, Ron Paul is a problem for a bunch of us. It’s not that he doesn’t take the money, his campaign pretty stated that he will take money from everyone, but he doesn’t care why you donate… he takes the money and pretty much stated “if you are too stupid to know what I stand for, then you deserve to have your money taken from your pocket”

AB SMITH: With him, I could send millions to his pocket, and if he intended to vote against my wishes, that money wouldn’t matter… he would still vote against my wishes. He’s a big problem if he ever made it into office.. thank God it looks like he won’t… not because I don’t like the man as an American.. it’s just that he would make my job hard.


[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 10 years ago

You are among the few who have actually awoke to the real problem. Our technology has surpassed humanity. I went home for a visit last month and had this same conversation with my cousin. He has gone through a divorce and has been having trouble meeting a new woman. He lives in a small rural town and the options are already limited. He made the comment that things have changed. People do not enjoy life anymore. Everyone has their head down looking at their phone.

OWS and movements like it are a direct result of the Internet. We have become too connected in a virtual world. Our problems seem amplified as the world seems smaller. We have lost the ability to connect with humanity. This was predicted to happen decades ago.

The good news is your post proves that more and more people are realizing this. I thought I was the only one who felt this way until I saw my cousin was also struggling. People like you and I are the among the wise. More wise souls are waking up to the problem as we speak. The real movement will come when we reject our virtual lives and return to connecting with the real world. That is coming.

I have begun leaving my phone at home when I venture out for small errands or trips. I don't want to be that connected anymore. At first it was unconsciously forgetting to bring it with me. It started happening more and more. I realized it was no accident.

The best option for you is to share your thoughts on this with anyone who will listen. You will find that you are not alone in your thinking. We are headed for a revolution alright. But it's not about wealth or Wall Street. It's about breaking our addiction to our silly gadgets. Opening our eyes and shedding our technological shackles.

[-] 1 points by orz (83) 10 years ago

All technological shackles? Because "technology" normally includes: all instruments, techniques and practices. This includes cooking devices down to pots and kettles. If the answer is "not all technology," then what makes some worse than others? The Luddites destroyed their looms, favoring their understanding of life prior to industrial labor. It's a fair objection, but the implementation of the machinery seems to be the trouble. In which case, we can challenge those techniques and practices that makes us question "progress" that makes our lives worse.

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 10 years ago

I am talking about devices that create the false virtual world. Hence the term "gadgets" That does not cover cooking devices or space shuttle components. I am not talking about technology as a whole. You know what I am talking about. People are too connected to their phones. People actually have text conversations and complete relationships. How pathetic is that? People take online interactions way too seriously-too afraid of real human contact.

People let the constant 2/47 news cycle affect their well being. This is the same phenomenon as being an addict. When you have moved your entire social life onto facebook, there is a problem. This is part of the dumbing-down of the people.

When I was a child we looked out the window during long car rides. Today, kids look at a fuckin monitor watching Sponge Bob. All this effects the way we interact and treat each other.

[-] 1 points by orz (83) 10 years ago

Free-standing devices do not create a virtual world or change culture. Their use and normalization is contextual, as much as their design is a contingent process that is controlled in deference to experts. We can change the context and interupt at the design level. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HzJ_Jkqa2Q

The problem of virtuality, representation which covers over the real, goes back to an ancient technology: written words. You can see the problem and reaction in Plato's myth of Theuth and the invention of writing. http://www.cobussen.com/proefschrift/200_deconstruction/250_supplement/251_plato_s_supplements/plato_s_supplements.htm

This issue is widely discussed. From McLuhan's "the medium is the message" to Baudrillard's condition of pervasive virtuality: hyperreality. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/baudrillard/

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Absolutely in agreement. It's even worse in Asian countries. In Indonesia, I often find myself eating out with a group of friends or hanging out at their house and everybody is texting others with their cellphones instead of speaking with each other. It's pathetic. I have a cellphone, but I leave it at home. It's a 8 year old model I paid 20$ for. It has no games, just a tiny screen to make calls and SMS. I never had a cellphone in Canada. The only reason I have one here is because they are far cheaper than house lines which are very rare in Indonesia. Cellphones are for business men, not 10 year old children.

[-] 1 points by orz (83) 10 years ago

The problems could be symptomatic of the oligarchy which, with an "invisible hand," determines the technology. But the devices themselves, I'll argue, are not blameworthy.

It's that cellphones cost money, and you promise to a subscription contract that is necessary, because they're "reasonably priced," and so everyone has them, and your employer counts on you as much as your family to have them, because there are no convenient payphones, etc.

In the end, the wealthy make money this way, and the "reality" they create with technology that isn't built to last is a society that has to use the broken tools they make to dig out of debt, or dig our own graves. It isn't the cellphone that breaks up natural human interaction, it's the unnecessary "need" to work/slave for other people's money, so every moment of freedom you have is a commodity. Even the dead silences at the dinner table.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Sorry, I think that conspiracy theory is ridiculous.

[-] 1 points by orz (83) 10 years ago

well, you could attempt to say why. I don't care about ideas that aren't defensible.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Why conspiracy theories are ridiculous? Because they are based on an epistemology that is nothing but pseudoscience. The research is all wrong and doesn't use the scientific method. The people who support these "theories" do so by self-publishing in self-hosted blogs. They never bother publishing in peer-reviewed journals.

I already explained why in many posts. There's no use arguing with these people, they are like cultists, it's absolutely impossible to have meaning discussions with them. Even after being debunked over and over again, they don't change their position. They're hopeless.

[-] 1 points by orz (83) 10 years ago

I know conspiracy theories are ridiculous, along with religions because, for one, they are not falsifiable. I don't put Karl Popper on a pedestal, but it carries some weight. This doesn't mean they are false, necessarily, just because the axioms aren't justifiable. But my question wasn't about conspiracy theories in general, but rather why you think what I've proposed is one. I never referred to conspiring agents, I referred to forces beyond them. And it's a waste of time to listen to someone who misinterprets what I say, then replies not about the subject but some generality.

For my initial point was that cellphones don't degrade our work-life, though the exigencies that require us to engage telephonically do, and those exigencies are changeable, so don't disparage phones as if they were the cause. I talked about capitalism, technology, and efficiency. This isn't a conspiracy theory, it documentably happens everyday.

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 10 years ago

Bingo. People need to turn it off and look at the world going on all around them. I have a cellphone, but cannot find a single reason to purchase a smartphone.

[-] 1 points by stuartchase (861) 10 years ago

There is hope!


The Revolution starts here!



[-] 1 points by infonomics (393) 10 years ago

Randart, I am engaged in a blog-a-thon and your post captured my attention; particularly, one sentence: "Humans are too myopic and obstinate to make the necessary changes to avert collapse of a sick system." If you would be so kind to expound upon the "sick system." To what system are you referring and what in particular makes this system so sick to your understanding? Thanks.

[-] 1 points by kofb (17) 10 years ago

We are controlled thru fear- and after a while we all become paranoid.

remember there is nothing to fear except fear itself. Churchill !

every cell phone as of 2005 sold in the usa must have internal cell tower triangulation- if your phone is powered on they know where you are---- dial 911, see!! they know where you are within 20 feet - sleep well your government is watching you.( big brother)-------------All Americans must have a picture id--- which is fed into a face recognition computer data base-- cameras can auto scan you and automatically notify the local mercenary's (cops) to pick you up.

[-] 1 points by IslandActivist (191) from Keaau, HI 10 years ago

Don't forget about the RFID microchips. You could have one inserted as an infant and you'll never know.

[-] 1 points by infonomics (393) 10 years ago
[-] 1 points by kofb (17) 10 years ago

FDR supported all the people- was a fantastic present-- but his wife, Elinore created - the universal declaration of human rights (UN) -- And that document will in time free all the peoples of earth.

[-] 0 points by HarryPairatestes2 (380) from Barrow, AK 10 years ago

911 does not know the location of a cell phone call. That is why they ask where you are located if you are using a cell phone. Only land line calls are traceable by 911.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 10 years ago

They can usually triangulate a cell phone signal. It just takes a little extra time compared to a land line.

[-] 1 points by kofb (17) 10 years ago

They need a minimum of 3 cell phone towers, which in some places is impossible- The law making that mandatory was made by this government, in year 2005- you decide weather it was made to protect us, as when we dial 911- or to know where we are, when ever they want to know. and you don't have to be talking to someone for them to triangulate your location. But your cell phone must be powered on.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 10 years ago

Probably a little of both. I really don't mind though. I lead a fairly boring life, I can't imagine why "they" would want to know where I am. I have nothing to hide anyways.

[-] 1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

yup - the cell phone is a surveillance device.

So is the shaws card that records your buying and spending habits in exchange for a discount on products.

I don't like any of it - but I think some of this can be reversed - if we are focused, and stick to our message, and don't quit before we get there.

I think the only other option is to see the human race return to the stone age. I don't care for that option.

but hey. I've only got one voice.


[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Back in the stone age, or just a few hundred years ago people knew a lot more about others than today for the simple reason that people didn't move around so much and everybody gossiped. Facebook and cellphones don't scare me the least. I feel much more uncomfortable when I go to my wife's small village in Java and everybody knows everything about me when I don't even know their names. In those small villages, word gets around much faster than on any Internet social network or cellphone network.


[-] 1 points by infonomics (393) 10 years ago

Woe unto the Newt for he has erred with his spelling.

[-] 1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

richard -

don't do that.


[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) 10 years ago

Why not? I spent months dealing with this douche bag, I can't have a little fun?

[-] 0 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

sure, you can have fun, but not at the expense of the entire forum post - that's not fair is it?

Just edit down to a single image of newt per post, will ya?

[-] 0 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago


and how does that square with the suicides of high school kids related to cyber bullies?

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

I'm not sure. In Indonesia, there aren't mass high school shootings and suicides like in US even though kids have cellphones (more than in US - asians are crazy about these devices) and use the Internet. Come to think of it, USA is pretty much on a league of its own in that department.

Jerry Springer is one of the few US shows that wasn't copied by every other nation. There's a reason for this. They couldn't find the same types of guests. It's typically USA.


[-] 2 points by Bambi (359) 10 years ago

Hey Spammer.......if you are going to try to annoy people at least spell "incountered" right............That's more annoying than seeing all these pics of Newt's mug

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) 10 years ago

lol. sorry. and it isn't spam. it's not selling anything nor does it link to anything. It's a picture. I may spell bad but you discard the meaning of the words you spell correctly.

[-] 0 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

I think it has everything to do with perceptions of anonymity, accountability and the way the internet facilitates one while making the other appear less likely.

any response?

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

That might play a part to some extent, but I remember conspiracy theories were already quite popular 16 years ago when the Internet was still all but gopher and telnet. I still remember one of my work colleagues back then who couldn't stop talking about Area 51. The Internet helped spread the disease, but it's definitely not the cause.

I also don't agree that conspiracy theorists feel safer when anonymous. I think it's the opposite, they usually want to be heard. They feel like they are special and helping the world. Many of them publish their own sites and use their real names. Look at Lazar.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 10 years ago

Is that why you use your real name?

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

I don't use my real name for various reasons. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, I'm not trying to sell a product like yourself, and I'm not here to win some kind of prestige. I'm just here to have interesting discussions. Unfortunately, you don't see to be able to engage in the like. The only thing that fuels you is the fantasy that one day you will have a popular website. You haven't yet realized how crappy your sites are so you still confabulate that this might one day happen. So, you just come here and waste everyone's time. I don't think I ever read anything from you that was well thought, well written, and well research. You only post one liners. Mostly quite boring I might add.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 10 years ago

lol. really? having dealt with narcissistic personalities most of my life, I recognize your attempt at an emotional jab as the defense mechanism that it is. If you feel quantity trumps quality, again you fail. It's tragic that we never see ourselves as we really are but rather how we wish others to see us. If you try hard, you can learn to at least fake humility. Unfortunately you would have to admit you lack something before you find the motivation to seek it.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Such a wise man you are richard. Lol!

[-] 0 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

you are allowing the twin discussions we are currently having to blur.

on this thread we had been discussing the stone age

vs the rise of the internet - it then turned to comparison by you of small town life vs the internet, and your claim that the internet feels more comfortable.

The whole issue of conspiracy was on the other thread

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Indeed, I got confused between the threads. I guess I'm not scared of the Internet because I grew up with it and know how it works. I don't use Facebook much and know what I want to share and what I want to hide. I also know that you can be traced quite easily with your credit cards or other means. Nobody ever talks about this. Privacy has become a bit deal in the age of Facebook, but Facebook doesn't force you to disclose any of your information unlike the banks (if you want to use a bank). I find the whole issue quite ridiculous.

[-] 0 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

obviously you have not been the subject of a determined stalker.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Actually, I was stalked for a few months once and it was quite scary. It culminated when I left for my Christmas vacation, and upon my return the person stalking me called a mere 30 minutes after I had entered my house.

It had nothing to do with the Internet at all. It was some guy who somehow got my number and traced it to my address then followed me a few times. Very scary. Stalking has existed for centuries. It's nothing new. Definitely not something that started with the Internet.

[-] 0 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

the growth of technology has provided for an expansion in the means to stalk, and do so without ever physically approaching your subject directly.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Sure. I agree. It's like conspiracy theories and information overload. These problems existed before the Internet, but the Internet aggravates them. The Internet is not the cause of these problems, but it certainly enables them to proliferate much easier.

[-] 0 points by MASTERdBATER2 (56) 10 years ago

One step ahead of you brother ; )

[-] 0 points by turak (-812) 10 years ago

You're just beginning to wake up: that's all.

The commercial culture you are born in has been systematically isolating people for hundreds of years and destroying all communal social activities: turning people into anti-social robots designed only to consume products and throw them away.

Don't use the internet culture as any guide to how sick your society actually is because this culture of internet forums is the WORST of your culture: not the best.

When people come together in person without using any machines: you instantly revert back to a better more human framework and environment.

[-] 0 points by Farleymowat (415) 10 years ago

I watched a documentary filmed in UK. A man wanted to see if he could, "get lost". So he hired some private eyes to find him. 19 days is all it took.

[-] 0 points by survivor514 (65) 10 years ago

Dont forget to trash your harddrive and cut up your credit cards

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) 10 years ago

Most of what you are feeling stems from a fear of the unknown.

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

I'm sure we will still be seeing improvements in societies and the way they organize themselves. However, don't look at USA for examples of this. It won't happen there. USA was a leader a long time ago on this front, but it has been surpassed quite a while back. Countries like Canada, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, etc... are much more sane. USA has major problems in terms of paranoia. The future does not lie in this country. It is not a model to look up to or to emulate. Ironically, USA could be a much better country if it emulated its northern neighbor or a few other wonderful nations out there. Unfortunately, this won't happen. For some reason, Americans always think they are doing things the best way. They have myopic vision. Extremely myopic.