Re: ZEITGEIST and The Huffington Post
Here is a Q&A from the ZM Website. It’s long but it can help. Enjoy.
In a resource-based economy, we surpass the need for money which is the basis for most corruption. The society we envision makes all goods and services available for everyone without a price tag. This is what the function of government could be, by surpassing the need for politics in the management of human affairs. At present, governmental decisions have always been subject to the influence of the power elite. The cybernated complex would only manage and improve the distribution of resources, to provide clean air, clean water, and all of the amenities that enhance human life. Again, it does not control people or manage the lives of individuals — on the contrary, it could encourage the development of individual initiative and creativity far beyond that of our present-day money- oriented culture.
There are many who fear the installations of cybernated systems. This fear is unfounded. It is not technology that is to be feared. Our concern should be with the abuse of this technology, rather than with the inanimate technology itself.
It is this question which is probably the least best answered, there are other things I find difficult to grasp, but this answer doesn’t quite go far enough in my opinion. Money isn’t the root of evil. It is a tool used by those who wish to control others. If there was no money, they would find some other way to control people, like through the computers. After all, someone has to program the computers. ZM doesn’t seem to have taken seriously the need for checks and balances, accountability. It is dismepowering because it gives away our freedom to make decisions and gives away our responsibility.
I like approaches which encourage us to take back our responsibility and our authority and cease to continue to allow ourselves to be ruled by others.
The other thing I dont like about the ZM is that it seems to lack positive action I can do now in my life to make things better. I know nothing about computers and advanced technology so I feel disempowered by the approach, not empowered. In fact, those that know anything about future technologies are a tiny minority of the planet’s population. ZM seems to think giving all the power to this tiny elite to create computers which will run our livesfor us is a good idea. In my mind that is a distinctly BAD idea!. Maybe the world will end up being fully automated, maybe not, but I am not in a possition to influence that. I know that I do want to grow my own vegetables and will resist the automation of my garden, however inneficient it may be, it gives me pleasure and a connection to the universe which virtual reality, brain implants and drugs can’t do.
I don’t want everything provided for me, I want to spend time with the earth, nurture it and be nurtered with it whilst working together with nature to produce abundance. If technology includes a fork and a shovel, count me in, but I wouldn’t let my wheelbarrow decide what I should be planting.
Technology is just one aspect of our existence. societies have existed very happily for thousands of years in the amazon with just the few hand tools which are available to them. They are not better of with shoes cos it makes their feet soft, they are not better off with any of ‘our’ technologies because they all serve to destroy their ageless cultures. There is nothing that we can give them that will improve their existence, it has been in perfect balance with the jungle for 10,000 years or more, it is Western technology which has massacred their peoples and habitats. We should be learning as much as we can from them, their magic, their spirituality, their skills, their medicine, healing powers. There are shaman in the jungle more impressive than all the technologies the West has ever produced or will ever produce. And this goes for all the peoples of this planet before the West with their Guns, Germs and Steel (http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/guns-germs-and-steel/) destroyed the natives (nearly) everywhere.
ZM seems to assume that it is obvious that technology has been the constant progressor in human history and that it is obvious that this should continue. I would like to offer the alternative view that technology has been at the heart of seperating humankind from our deep connection to the universe by burning witches, killing shamans and shooting medicine men.
Without trying to say we need to get rid of technology, I would like to point out the inherent Western-centric perspective of it that ZM holds and the inherent inequality in power that those with technical skills will have over the rest of us in the formation of a ZM society. The notion that: you can’t argue with us because more intelligent computers have computed the best decision is not the future that i’d like to build.
the idea of replacing oligarchy with techarchy doesn’t enthuse me.