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Monday, March 11, 2013

My analysis of the film/documentary “Surviving Progress”

My Analysis of the film/documentary “Surviving Progress."

  The movie Surviving Progress is setup in the genre of a documentary that functions to provide informative messages that the planet is slowly sending out messages that the world has to change to save itself from the inevitable self destruction that it is destined for.  This movie is filled with questions that are critical to our very existence and it tries to communicate these facts and use credible people like its famous executive producer Martin Scorsese, along with notables Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks, Ronald Wright (author of ‘A Short History of Progress’), Michael Hudson (economic historian/and former Wall Street economist), Jane Goodall, Margaret Atwood, and Stephen Hawking to convey the message to the viewer.
  The title ‘Surviving Progress’ itself describes the essential meaning of this presentation that immediately generates one’s interest to a point of curiosity.  It alludes to the reality of our past civilization that has become valid concerns for our present civilization and subsequently the future.  The content is explicit and is first exhibited with the first image viewed once the video is loaded into your communications device and display a large metropolitan and very modern city with many high rise structures and buildings that are crammed together in the limited space of a crowded city, all surrounding a gray and shiny waterfront that shows this metropolis brightly lit but without a natural rainbow color scheme.  The title is display in large bold white letters that get the viewers attention right away.  Added to all of this scenery is introduction of music sounds of a piano that continues to play the same musical notes over and over as if it was a constant thought pattern to build apprehension as to what may be coming next.
  There are clear affective responses with the many messages and emotions conveyed about the disparities of the situation on our planet by the credible individuals that are used to communicate these thoughts about the parts of the world that are affected with a history about the past civilizations that should warn us about the future civilization to come.
  This documentary explores the progress in our modern world and attempts to guide us through the major progress traps facing our world in the arenas of technology, economics, consumption, and effects on the environment of our civilization.  It uncovers some of the progress traps that have destroyed past lives and brings to light some of those that lie embedded in our own civilization.  The documentary states a belief that we as humans have reached a crossroad in the development of our intelligence, but we may not be wise enough to get ourselves out of the trouble we have created to avoid it destroying our future.  It attempts to define progress and make a distinction between good progress and bad progress which is believed to be made clearer that they change both in nature and human society and becomes increasingly more complex as change proceeds.  How we dilute ourselves in believing that these changes always results in improvement from the human point of view.  That we have currently reached a point in which technological progress at increasing our economy and numbers threatens the existence of humanity.  The question of “What is progress?” is a question that sometimes stumps many people at first and it has to be contemplated more deeply at first thought.
  The movie terms a phase:  ‘Progress Traps,’ that can define human behaviors that seem to be good, and seem to provide benefits in the short term but ultimately lead to disaster because they are unsustainable.  One example per Ronald Wright would be going back into the Old Stone Age   when our ancestors were hunting mammoths.  They reached a point where their weapons and hunting techniques got so good that they destroyed hunting as a way of life throughout most of the world.  These people discovered how to kill two mammoths instead of one and they had made real progress, but then they discovered that they could eat better by driving 200 mammoths over a cliff and collect them in piles had fell into a progress trap.  They had made too much progress and as time passed there were less and less mammoths to hunt.
  Today we are essentially the same as our Stone Age hunters.  We are running 21st century software/knowledge on hardware/our brains today that has not been upgraded by evolution for 50,000 years and this is what lies at the core of many of our problems.  This is because our human nature is back in the hunter gatherer era of the Old Stone Age.  Whereas our knowledge and technology, in other words, our ability to do both good and harm to ourselves and the world in general has grown out of all proportion and we allow economics to supersede our ability to clearly focus on the things that makes us different from primates and that is the ability to resolve questions by asking ourselves WHY?
  We are still that ice age hunter that though that there was always going to be that big mammoth around the corner is similar to today’s stock trader who believes there is always going to be a big killing on the stock market in a week or two.
  This documentary concludes by bringing to our attention that just like during Roman times, the concentration of irreversible wealth was moved to the wealthiest at the top of the economic pyramid.  This is what progress has meant ever since.  It has meant that you will never get back what we take from you.  This is what brought on the dark age and it is what is threatening to bring on the dark age again if society does not realize that if it lets the wealth concentrate in the hands of the financial class, that this class is not going to be any more intelligent and long term in deposing of the wealth as its predecessors in Rome or any other Oligarchy with wealth and political power attached to it will.  Per Michael Hudson (economic historian/former Wall Street economist).
Copyright/Reported by Claude Evans 314-475-0744   email:  ce0604@yahoo.com

Take a Women's Studies class and open up your mind..

Take a Women’s Studies class to help you be more aware.

Gender, sex, oppression in American society can be and is sometimes a delicate issue, especially when we sometimes try to prove to ourselves that we can be gender neutral with most aspects of the changing face of acceptance and tolerance when it comes to issues of inequality and equality for each and every individual picture we may see.  My recent college class on Women’s Studies has and is stretching my mind I believe, in a positive way to see many things about sex and biology that I had not considered in the pass.  Even though I have always considered myself open and progressive, I can now see I have a lot more to learn and I am open for it.  While I know bigotry exists in all forms, I am disturbed by the many organizations of hate that exist to deny freedom to live a happy life of our choosing.  Further, some social organizations related to sexual differences can/will help us relate to individual sexual identity.  This may help individuals have a more clearer biological sex distinction in contemporary mainstream society.  Especially as it relates to masculinity and femininity as learned by what was the previous dominated and influential male environment.  The same environment that has controlled and taught most of us what we have been totally brainwashed to think and feel about identity.  This environment still exists in most parts of the world, sometimes undercover in the name of religion and law to restrict happiness and individual rights as guaranteed under law and in the U.S.  Gender expressions, performance, biology/culture, socialization and intersectionality roads that cross with all these subjects can and has made America, the world, a changed society that has and is constantly striving to move forward by most progressive fair minded and younger thinkers that have come to a conclusion that sex and gender is not as important as the abilities and characters of individuals within the society.   I believe the blind are more and more starting to remove their blinders to look all around and not in one direction, or even two directions.

Copyright/Reported by Claude Evans 314-475-0744  email: ce0604@yahoo.com  www.uponthedownstroke.blogspot.com

The video "Capitalism Hits The Fan" is worth a look..

Capitalism Hits The Fan video has a very interesting relative point of view..

The video by Richard Wolff, PhD. discusses the economic meltdown in America.  He emphasizes that there are three things the economic system is not:

  1) It is not a financial crisis because this conclusion would limit the economic breakdown because he
       believes banking is not where it started;

 2) It is not temporary; and

 3) It is not quickly or easily fixable as was tried with the Bush Administration in the American White House
      by putting stimulus dollars in place.

Dr. Wolff goes on to emphasize how in past decades, Americans had been enjoying risings wages and prices for goods and services that was not out-pacing wages.  Those workers had.. steady gains in wages and a rising standard of living in American society which is and always has been a society of consumption.  Then real wages stopped rising in the 1970s and it has never went up since that time.
He explains that one cause of this pattern is that businesses replaced workers with computers and other technologies.  Businesses discovered in the 30 years (1935 – 1975) that the U.S. was able to produce for the rest of the world, and then suddenly the rest of the world (other countries) caught up and passed the U.S. in production.  They out-produced America with industrialization improvements.  Then many America corporations and businesses started exporting American jobs by moving production out of the U.S. in the name of that extra dollar in the corporations pocket.  This is a crisis of a system by Main Street and Wall Street.  Wages for average workers in America then became flat, but production was rising.  The corporations then increased wages for executives (very, very large increases) that were at the top of the American corporations.  The profits, the money was then put in the banks.  The banks and corporations hoarded the money and would not use the money for American jobs.
Also during this time-frame there was a rapid change, a massive movement of women into the workforce that competed with the already male dominated workforce.  With this surplus of workers (men and women now competing) in the 1970s, wages stopped rising.  So in order for working people to cope with wages not rising they started working more hours by about 20% more per year compared to 30 years prior.  This working more hours has a cost attached to it for the American families.  Cost like less discretionary time at home, less time with family and kids, less time for social functions, but we still wanted more stuff/more consumption.  In order to get more stuff the American working class started borrowing more.  They borrowed against the house, they would increase unsecured credit card debt as in no other time in our history.  American debt exceeded annual income and this is why it was not a temporary problem.
When the business community, the banks, and large corporations recognize the debt consumption habits of Americans they found ways to make more money for themselves by loaning their employees money.  This was an employers dream come true.  They could loan money to the employees and process
the charges and interest directly.  The workers would get further into debt and the corporations, the businesses; the companies could collect the interest from the same wages being paid to their employees for the cars, houses (mortgages) and etc.  They pushed the debt on the American people that had to now work more hours because they were consumers that wanted the houses, the cars, the vacation trips that they usually could not afford except by going into debt could/would get for them without the help of the banks, employers, and extended credit/debt could get for them.
In my opinion,  when American corporations start to increase wages, production, manufacturing, and update industrialization once again, and put that hoarded money that is sitting in banks and other financial institutions to use for Americans, real wages would rise and more employment could be available for all genders.

Copyright/Reported by Claude Evans cell: 314-475-0744 email:  ce0604@yahoo.com

Machiavelli and his "Power Politics" started it all..

Machiavelli       “Power Politics.”

Niccolo’ Machiavelli was an Italian political philosopher based in Florence during the renaissance that was a founder of modern political science.  He was born May 03, 1469 in Florence, Italy and died at the age of 58 on June 21, 1527.  During his lifetime he was in a diplomatic council that was responsible for negotiation and military affairs.  During his lifetime he also devoted himself to study and to the writing of political treaties that earned his place in the development of his political philosophy that was his main passion.  Machiavelli advocated “power politics” for the leaders of the any political structure with the main idea of a new prince (as the leader was called) to rule his subjects which would have to be different from a hereditary –prince that carefully retained power by maintaining the socio-political institutions to which his subjects/people were accustomed.  The new-prince needed to first stabilize power in order to build a strong and lasting political structure.  The new-prince needed to achieve stability and security in the face of moral corruption.  Public and private morality had to be separate in order to rule.  To achieve this required that the prince/leader be concerned not only with reputation, but he must be willing to act immorally and exercise brute force, deceit and other characteristics to achieve his ends as has been stated by Machiavelli’s quote of “the ends justify the means.”  He would have to advocate for necessary violence for the transfer of power and willing to add new legal institutions and rules to reach those ends regardless of criticism.  He would have to advocate force to eliminate political rivals, to purge previous rulers, and also to coerce resistant populations.  Machiavelli’s’ “The Prince” was the manual to acquiring and keeping political power.
The “Machiavellian” principles have been used in modern political societies/systems in American and European politics, first in France and it can be argued that it is the model for leaders and leadership in American achievements throughout our history to lead us to be the most powerful nation on earth.
We can prove this political theory was followed throughout American history first by how America was started by up-rooting the native Indians by pushing them off and out of what was their land originally by brute force (killing, destroying and taking) with no regard for the Indian cultures well being.  American success was achieved by any means necessary to take.  Then once power was established by the new Americans, it’s influence was felt all over the world by creating the strongest military and military power on earth by lying, making and breaking alliances, promises, rules, or even misleading others to achieve world power and political control.
America first established a new government with military power and a new constitution that broke away from our forebearers.  American leaders created new laws, became self-governed and gave it’ s citizens united and equal power to lead a nation for a more perfect union that did achieve stability for this new government that was willing and did act immorally, exercise brute force where the “ends justified the means.”
The American Revolution is a case in point, the civil war, WWII, etc. etc. which helped America act effectively in preparation for our modern society/country of the day.  We did create a constitution with a republic under god and indivisible, but when needed, god was easily put to the side to get to our ends, our achievements, with the ends justifying the means anywhere in the world.  When Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan, when the Twin Towers were attacked and destroyed by our enemies, America got into a war in both instances to avenge the wrong that was done to us.  Our politics and propaganda became engaged to justify the wars we entered into to achieve the necessary ends to maintain American strength that is associated with the Machiavellian political philosophy.  "Machiavellism" has been duplicated in American principles of warfare and diplomacy that has been incorporated into our ideas, principles, ethics, and consideration for legitimate authority because we have the power.  It further verifies that in America, if we obey the rules we can and have achieved safety and security for all, but not without having a strong government leadership that will do almost anything to maintain it.
Copyright/Reported by Claude Evans 314-475-0744 email me at ce0604@yahoo.com

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Will You Be Ready To Start?

"Get on the Starting Line and Be Ready to Go...."

Since about March 2006 I have been early retired from my first career in the Telephone Industry after working for almost thirty (30) years in a multiplicity of departments, in many capacities, working next to older people that had far less education than myself, some of which told me stories of getting hired at a time when they could just walk up to a work crew on the street that was maybe laying down underground cable or putting up poles for aerial cable and request a job from the foreman that was in charge of the crew. If the foreman thought you could do the job he would hire you on the spot, then the employment paperwork would be done at a later time. This was a time when for the most part the only thing that was important was that you could do the job, and/or sometimes..if your brother, sister, or other relative worked for the company already. Nepotism was not always against federal and state laws then. As time passed and the years moved on the requirements changed and the demands increased in order to be selected for a good paying entry level position in the same industry. You now had to take and pass a test that you never got to see the results of. You had to have some kind of education, a high school diploma, some trade school training, or even in some cases some formal college education to be considered. Today, these past requirements are not enough mainly because of the unemployment levels that exist today that allows employers to demand the best educated workers with college degrees from accredited Universities in America, some with advanced Graduate Level education that would not have been required in a full employment USA in the past for the same level or position being filled. Employers can pick flexible potential qualified employees and choose who they want to work for them. Those with the ability to do what is demanded of them to do (never mind what your major was/is in college) are now..part of the selected few. If the potential employee wants the job and has the potential to succeed at the job and is deserving of the valuable salary/pay and benefits to be receive for your sowing, then most of the time it is easy for the potential employee to accept the requested requirements for working at that entity especially with all the competition in the current employment state. In times past, the previous simple job requirements that I was told about when I was a very young Telephone Industry worker are long gone in the current 2010 economy. You have to be ready, especially the younger new potential employees. Potentials must keep their minds sharp, their records clean, they should research the entities they may have to interview for, they should always practice a healthy lifestyle that includes a clean body, and now is the time to clear all the skeletons that could hold you back. You must know and understand that some employers research some of the social websites for your names, connections, and character flaws that could give them the reason(s) to trash your application. The potential employee must reflect a clean character that is better than the competition. Nothing..should slow you down not even that funny email address. You must be ready in all areas now! Will you be ready to start?
--Copyright Claude Evans 314-475-0744.   05/25/2010 ce0604@yahoo.com.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Buying Into the Dream(s), Your Dream(s), and Our Dream(s).

There are people that could come into your life that could be and will be, slowing you down from your potential achievements, and wasting your precious time. There could be traps set just for you because these predators know that, “You are good a catch.” These people will attempt to derail your dream(s); your purpose, and your progress up to that point in time, leaving you like a ship without a rudder that will meander all over the water with no speed, and no direction.
If your party is not “Buying into the Dream(s)” you should seriously consider getting with those that do “Buy into the Dream(s),” Your Dreams!
You could be doing a disservice to yourself if you allow people and parties that will lie to you in ways you would not have imaged. People that attempt to slow your roll, to hold you back, possibly ruin your life, and your goals on the way to your attempt at great achievements. These types of people have never had direction, speed, or positive purpose in their life except that weak loser mentality that needs someone else to bring down the gutter with them. They are like a drunk that does not want to drink alone.
Do not fall for their lies, their deceit in their attempt to hurt, harm, and maybe kill your dream(s). Do not allow it to happen! These losers will try to convince you they are on the same page you are on in your life, but they are not. They will attempt to tell you they want those same things in life you want, but the truth is they do not.
What they are doing is admiring your previous preparations that put you in a full stride that is moving you forward in ways they could never understand. This is only their attempt to ride your back while you are striving for your dreams, your goals, because they do not have a dream, a purpose or goals like yourself. These individuals recognize themselves as weak and you as strong. They see you climbing for those stars and they try to hitch a ride. Be careful for the hitchhiker could pull you down and under the ground. They could hold you back with that negative energy.
At a later date you could find yourself wanting and wishing you could have, and should have, shook them off in time. Now is the time!
Buy into your dream(s) with people that are on the same page as you. People that have shown you, by example that they can and will compete at the same or higher levels to reach or exceed shared dreams and goals together with you.
You would do yourself a better service if you follow your dreams together with like-minded dreamers. You will not regret it, when you reach for the stars and Buy into the Dream!

Copyright Claude Evans 314-475-0744.  06/06/2010 ce0604@yahoo.com