Posts Tagged ‘1984’

People with No Vision

March 21, 2010

“If God had intended Man to fly, He would have given us wings.” A rather narrow sentiment spouted by many otherwise good and intelligent people over a century ago. It turns out God DID give us wings, we had only to stretch our imaginations a little further and build them.

Quite a few areas of human endeavor have encountered this same sentiment, as close-mindedness is not confined to any one field of endeavor.

I remember a computer mechanic years ago talking about the 64K ram in a computer. “No one is ever going to need more than 64K to write a program,” he stated with confidence. “That’s plenty of memory to create a program to do anything.”

What was sad is that at that same time, NASA was using programs much larger than 64K. Today, I don’t know of any program on the market that could be under 64K, but I could be wrong.

Our species makes its greatest strides when certain people can expand their vision – see outside the box – and spread their vision to others. But only certain others, as most people are going to be of the kind who express the negative, doubting sentiments. It’s not to say there’s anything wrong with those people as they usually have the same stability in other areas of their lives – and we need some very stable people, too.

Still, the thrill of discovery is good for invigorating the species.

Ignatz Verbotham once said, “If God had intended for Man to do anything but copulate, He would have given us brains!”

That might be a good catch-phrase for the intelligensia, but there’s a lot to be said for people who don’t crave the adventure of experiment and discovery. They are the solid people who keep the society working smoothly.

The darker side of this type of person is seen in the robotic masses of 1984 or Brave New World, but we should not forget that they are the ones who have kept the wheels of society going so that the inspired ones can do what they do. If there was no stable environment for one to develop their keen interests, there would be fewer and fewer leaps of the human imagination.

It is like the astrological sign Libra: these people are often seen as stuck-in-the-mud. But stability is the upside of the trait.

I don’t think we should institutionalize either extreme. We truly need both.

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Slavery is Freedom…

January 18, 2010

The Bush Administration set out to establish a continual war in the mid-east and around the world (and the present administration is happy to oblige). Hmmm, now why does that sound so familiar? Because it was one of the characteristics of the Government of Big Brother in the George Orwell novel 1984. The premise of “spreading democracy” is about the same as in the novel and seems such a “noble cause”.

Bush might have a bit of a problem keeping an army in the field (even with his special recruitment tactic, i.e. NCLB) since many Iraqi Freedom soldiers had to purchase their own armor, and some even their own uniforms, and then most of veterans had to purchase identity theft protection after the VA lost their personal data. All the money that administration threw at the war effort and the spending was still so wasteful… but I get that is typical rather than the exception.

Still, the bigger issue to deal with here is the “spread of democracy…” Which form? And how can we be sure it is right for the people over there? Certainly we have done well by it, but if our country had been developed in 1776 based on the template we are currently using, I don’t think we would have come so far.

And now in some of the democracies we have set up, we find out we don’t approve of their elections – as in Palestine. We could then be fighting against democracies we established, negating the work we did in establishing it. (Hey, that sounds vaguely familiar as well… Haven’t we already done that? Once, or twice maybe, or three…)

So, who are we to decide what is right for others? The Catholic Church tried that for over a thousand years, forcing their religion on everyone or killing them, and you can see where it has brought us. The idea that it will ever regain status as the “universal church” is a very slim wager.

Diversity is to be found in all areas of nature and the world seems to prosper from it. Perhaps we should take a lesson from that and stop trying to clone ourselves forcible onto the world populations. I figure we can allow diversity in our relations with others as well. If we force everyone to fit our vision alone, slavery would be freedom… but not any freedom I would want.