J.D. Moyer

sci-fi writer, beat maker, self-experimenter

Month: May 2012

Your Mind is Being Controlled by Alien Invaders

We’ve voluntarily created our own non-human enemy entities.

You might be familiar with David Icke’s theory that reptilian overlords control planet Earth by masquerading as powerful celebrities, like the Queen of England.

While Icke is clearly unhinged, the truth is even stranger.

As Charlie Stross has pointed out, “we are now living in a global state that has been structured for the benefit of non-human entities with non-human goals.”

The non-human entity is the corporation, a powerful entity devoid of empathy, incapable of long-term holistic thinking, and ruthless in the pursuit of profit.

These “alien invaders” use mind-control via television and other media formats (not just advertising, but also cultural norms implicit in the programming or “content”). What kind of beliefs do they implant in our subconscious minds, in order to ensure their own survival?

1. Your self-esteem should be determined not by your values and behavior, but rather by the brands of the products you own.

2. Your expendable income should be entirely dedicated to purchasing corporate goods and services, as opposed to additional leisure time, charitable giving, or goods and services purchased from local non-corporate providers.

3. You should attribute less value to goods that are old, even if they are in excellent condition and function perfectly.

4. You should accept as “normal” products that deteriorate or break after a few years (or less).

5. “Loyalty” to a particular brand or corporation is a positive value with meaning.

6. Economic growth is a positive quality. Reduced consumption of goods and services is a bad thing, even if unemployment is low and quality of life is high.

7. Quality of life, the environment, and everything else is less important than economic growth and corporate profits.

8. Corporations deserve the same rights as human beings, and need those rights to function efficiently and effectively.

9. There are no viable economic alternatives to corporate structure in its current form.

10. You should not be alarmed that corporations control the planet, buy off politicians, bend the law to serve their own needs, and extract wealth from the remaining middle classes into the hands of the 0.01% richest global elite.

I’m generally a political centrist, and I think free-ish market with reasonable regulations in democratic societies are a pretty good idea. But the current situation is deeply alarming.

How do we fix it? Corporate charter reform is a good start. Corporations should not have free speech, but they should be free, and in some cases required, to sometimes put other priorities (like the environment, worker health, and public safety) ahead of the bottom line.

How do we stop corporations from controlling the political process and buying off politicians? Stop allowing corporations to finance political campaigns or hire lobbyists. If corporations have extra money, they should give it back to investors in the form of dividends, or invest it in R&D.

/rant.

What's Holding Us Back as a Species? (Part II – Unpacking Assumptions)

One way to look at it.

In a recent post I contrasted the utopian visions of the “Libertarian Space-Men” vs. “The Gaia Collective.

The “Libertarian Space Men” value free market principles, private property, technological progress, and personal freedom. This group defines human progress in terms of economic growth, (galactic) expansion, increasing intelligence, and an ever-improving capacity to understand, predict, and manipulate reality.

The “Gaia Collective” values environmental conservation and repair, sustainable living, peaceful coexistence, and spiritual growth. This group defines human progress in terms of ending war, lifting all people out of poverty, compassionate treatment of the young/old/infirm, humane treatment of animals, and a sustainable way of life with minimal impact on Earth’s geology, climate, and ecosystems.

The two groups are not so much opposed to each other as they are to “future-by-inertia,” which is the future we’ll get if we continue business as usual, pursuing short-term interests while ignoring long-term consequences. Almost everyone, including myself, is a member of the future-by-inertia group on at least some days. Like most people, I burn fossil fuels, use electricity, consume products, eat ocean-caught fish, and so on. Business-as-usual, which leads to a possibly dystopic future.

My best guess for what future-by-inertia looks like (the future we’ll get if neither the Gaia Collective nor the Libertarian Space Men have much of an impact) is a 100-year dark age during which energy demand outpaces energy supply. Not the end of the human race, but an ugly stretch that will include population decline, continued environmental degradation, continued poverty and war, and declining standards of living in terms of education, healthcare, leisure time, and expendable income for most of us (with many exceptions and bright spots).

What Beliefs Do We Hold Re: “What Has Gone Wrong?”

As a species, we’ve picked the planet’s low-hanging fruit. First we ate all the mega-fauna, then we chopped down most of the planet’s forests for fuel. We found and burned the easy-to-get oil and coal, we’ve eaten most of the fish. Lately we’ve noticed the atmosphere itself is warming up, with a strong possibility of disrupting stable climate patterns that we’ve become accustomed to.

On the other hand, there are many reasons to be hopeful. We know how to live with less environmental impact (even if we don’t always do so), most nations/tribes/groups peacefully coexist (and intermingle/share cultural wealth), and there are new technological miracles everyday that expand our understanding of reality, open up new creative spaces, and expand the realm of what is possible.

I’ve already looked at different concepts of “human progress,” including the possibility that all human progress is illusory. But what about “anti-progress”? What kind of assumptions do we hold about what’s holding us back as a species?

I’ve revealed one of my own assumptions by looking at the human timeline through the lens of reckless resource depletion (megafauna, forests, oil, coal, fish).

What are your own assumptions regarding what is “wrong” with humanity? What is preventing us from taking a great leap forward into an age of global peace, prosperity, and discovery?

Let’s unpack a few of the possibilities, and look at the evidence for each.

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The Rise of Ecotopia

Ernest Callenbach, the author of Ecotopia, passed away on April 16th at the age of 83. I read Ecotopia in my early teens, during a family vacation in rural Oregon. Reading the worn paperback in small cabin in the woods that we had built with our own hands — the Ecotopian Pacific Coast secession fantasy seemed present and possible to my impressionable mind.

Tomdispatch.com recently published this essay forwarded from Callenbach’s publisher — his final commentary on the world as it is (and how it could and should be). In relation to my last post, Callenbach was an early/founding member of the Gaia Collective.

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