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Tony Grist

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Frightening [Nov. 26th, 2016|12:25 pm]
Tony Grist
I'm so tired of being told these are frightening times.

I lived through the Cold War. Now those were frightening times.

Or not.

Every generation thinks it lives in frightening times. What that means is it doesn't feel entirely in control.

What's the worst that can happen? We all die. Well that's going to happen no matter what. Get used to it.

Don't let the media scare you.  Remember they make their money by creeping up behind your chair and going, "Boo!"

There's more to life than politics.

Come off that news site.  Take a walk. Annoy the cat. Have a nice cup of tea.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: Michael John Grist
2016-11-27 08:50 pm (UTC)
I think I'm remembering correctly that a few years back you posted that we hadn't yet seen the events that would define this century. I expect this is them- the backlash to globalisation. I'm starting to think it may actually be the beginning of a new enlightenment. Who's been 'standing in the way' of progress for so long? Pretty much the people who are currently winning power. In the longer term, I think it'll become very obvious that their pure ideas just can't work, and that their world of fake facts is only going to hurt them.

It feels good for them now. But try cutting global trade in pieces and see how their per capita income does. Neoliberalism is the best governing idea yet, better than any that came before, though certainly not perfect. Things are probably going to get more socialist and diverse, and fewer and fewer people will stand in the way. Trump is their last big hurrah- and he's already embracing the status quo (reality) in lots of neoliberal ways.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-11-28 09:49 am (UTC)
Yeah, just as the 20th century "really" began in 1914 so the historians may conclude that the 21st "really" began in 2016.

I don't know what happens next. Things are getting churned up and we won't know the shape of the future until the mud settles. You're probably right that the move towards globalisation will continue- I don't see how that can be stopped given the technology we now have- but perhaps the drive towards bigger and bigger corporations and bigger and bigger super-national institutions (like the EU) will be halted. People like the idea of belonging to one world, but also like to feel they've got some control over their lives at a local level. Somehow these two desires- which seem to pull in different directions- will have to be reconciled.
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[User Picture]From: Michael John Grist
2016-11-28 02:57 pm (UTC)
Being a huge fan of the Star Trek idea of the Federation of Planets, I'm all for bigger and bigger super-national (super-galactic?) institutions. And as for control at the local level, yes, why not have some more of that (take a temporary step backward on free movement of people, for example) as a temporary stop-gap while all countries/cultures equalizes?

Globalization has been like plumbing hundreds of bathtubs together, all containing water at different temperatures, and being surprised when the people in the hot tubs get upset that their warm water is draining away. Globalization needs a system of locks to control that process, until we're all bathing comfortably at the same temperature, at which point what do we need local control for? Everywhere will be local.

Edited at 2016-11-28 02:58 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-11-28 04:04 pm (UTC)
I like that image of the bathtubs.

But someone has got to control the system of locks and who's that going to be? The global elite? No, they want all the hot water for themselves.
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[User Picture]From: Michael John Grist
2016-11-29 10:00 am (UTC)
There's surely only one way to manage anything- and that's with a manager. Which would be the global elites. What we need is stronger institutions and rules to cut down corruption as much as possible. And those rules evolve continuously- so I believe we're getting better at global-management continuously.

Either that or an AI. But can you trust an AI?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-11-29 10:19 am (UTC)
H G Wells envisaged a global elite made up of people he called Samurai who were basically all the cool people- and they didn't receive any reward except for a universal recognition of their extreme coolness.
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From: softtargettime
2016-11-30 04:30 pm (UTC)
H G Wells was the man. Let's do it.
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