Many years ago one of my colleagues played a gospel song in the office during a break at one of my previous employers. I generally don’t like gospel or any other religious songs, but this one caught my attention because of the nice melody and because the female singer had a pleasant voice. You can listen to the song in the embedded video above. The lyrics, as far as I was concerned back then, were just another fairy tale from the bible. But because of the melody and the voice, I asked my colleague a copy of the MP3 file so that I could add it to my collection.
Needless to say, I listened to it quite often back then. Afterwards there was a long period where I didn’t listen to it anymore, to the point where I had forgotten about it.
A few days ago I was going through my MP3 collection and found the song again. And now, after so many years of personal research behind me, the lyrics have a lot more meaning to me, and I want to share that meaning with you below.
While reading the book “The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism” by Jeremy Rifkin (highly recommended), I came across a very interesting part where Rifkin discussed some social concepts that were being promoted by Gandhi during his time. First I want to quote the relevant parts from the book, and then I’m going to comment on why I think this is interesting. Here’s from Rifkin’s book:
Gandhi’s views ran counter to the wisdom of the day. In a world where politicians, business leaders, economists, academics, and the general public were extolling the virtues of industrialized production, Gandhi demurred, suggesting that “there is a tremendous fallacy behind Henry Ford’s reasoning.” Gandhi believed that mass production, with its vertically integrated enterprises and inherent tendencies to centralize economic power and monopolize markets, would have dire consequences for humanity.46 He warned that such a situation would be found
‘to be disastrous. . . . Because while it is true that you will be producing things in innumerable areas, the power will come from one selected centre. . . . It would place such a limitless power in one human agency that I dread to think of it. The consequence, for instance, of such a control of power would be that I would be dependent on that power for light, water, even air, and so on. That, I think, would be terrible.’47
Gandhi’s alternative proposal was local production by the masses in their own homes and neighborhoods—what he called Swadeshi. The idea behind Swadeshi was to “bring work to the people and not people to the work.”49 He asked rhetorically, “If you multiply individual production to millions of times, would it not give you mass production on a tremendous scale?”50 Gandhi fervently believed that “production and consumption must be reunited”—what we today call prosumers—and that it was only realizable if most production took place locally and much of it, but not all, was consumed locally.51
Gandhi’s ideal economy starts in the local village and extends outward to the world. He wrote:
‘My idea of village Swaraj is that it is a complete republic, independent of its neighbors for its own vital wants, and yet interdependent for many others which dependence is a necessity.’52
He eschewed the notion of a pyramidically organized society in favor of what he called “oceanic circles,” made up of communities of individuals embedded within broader communities that ripple out to envelop the whole of humanity. Gandhi argued that
‘independence must begin at the bottom . . . every village has to be self-sustained and capable of managing its affairs even to the extent of defending itself against the whole world. . . . This does not exclude dependence on and willing help from neighbours or from the world. It will be a free and voluntary play of mutual forces. . . . In this structure composed of innumerable villages, there will be ever widening, never ascending circles. Life will not be a pyramid with the apex sustained by the bottom. But it will be an oceanic circle whose center will be the individual. . . . Therefore the outermost circumference will not wield power to crush the inner circle but will give strength to all within and derive its own strength from it.’53
For Gandhi, happiness is not to be found in the amassing of individual wealth but in living a compassionate and empathic life. He went so far as to suggest that “real happiness and contentment . . . consists not in the multiplication but, in the deliberate and voluntary reduction of wants,” so that one might be free to live a more committed life in fellowship with others.55 He also bound his theory of happiness to a responsibility to the planet. Nearly a half century before sustainability came into vogue, Gandhi declared that “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need but not enough for every man’s greed.”56
One of the reasons why this caught my attention is because through my own research, some of which can be found in my article on The Cycle of Life, I had already come to the conclusion that the best way to develop and organize a truly sustainable social system was to do so around the individual, taking into account his basic natural needs, and proceeding from there. In fact that’s what true love essentially is — respecting every individual’s right to life, or in other words, respecting their sovereignty. So not only should “every village be self-sustained and capable of managing its affairs even to the extent of defending itself against the whole world,” but every individual should be able to do all of that as well. A strong society derives its strength from the strength of the individuals that make up that society.
Like Gandhi I also came to the conclusion that in such a social system, there can be no centralized authority, and that authority should be evenly distributed throughout the system:
Based on this, it’s very important to note that there is no central point of authority in our physical reality; the number 9 is distributed throughout the whole system. This is a very important mathematical fact that shows that nature is fundamentally a distributed system, a peer to peer (P2P) system with no central point of authority. The number 9, which is the source and authority of this whole system, is distributed everywhere throughout the system, in the parts and in the sum of all parts. If we want to create a truly prosperous and healthy human society on Earth for the long term, we’ll have to model it after this important fundamental understanding (so no governments and no central authorities whatsoever, but anarchy).
So indeed, there’s no vertical distribution of power or authority, but lateral distribution; there are no hierarchies just like in Gandhi’s idea of Swaraj. And if you take a look at what Gandhi mentioned about “oceanic circles,” made up of communities of individuals embedded within broader communities that ripple out to envelop the whole of humanity, I’m sure you’ll immediately see the similarity with the Seed of Life, as discussed in my Cycle of Life post.
This is how the universe is fundamentally organized, and I thought it was quite awesome to find out that Gandhi also came to the same conclusions long ago. I wonder if he also knew about the basic geometry that’s behind these ideas, and if this was also the foundation for his reasoning.
Yesterday I came across the above interview with German historian Ursula Haverbeck. This interview was conducted in 2015 by Robert Bongen and was broadcast on German TV. In the interview Haverbeck explains why the holocaust never really happened as we’ve been told, and is in fact a big hoax. We’ve been intentionally deceived for many years. From here:
In one of the most amazing events to occur in occupied Germany since the second world war Historian Ursula Haverbeck made history in a defiant interview in which she openly trashed the very basis of the lie upon which all modern European social democratic states have been built. The elderly historian, brought into question the moral integrity of all Western political parties and academic institutions, exposing the official account of the second world war and the Holocaust for the lie it was on a television station which is the second largest in the world after Britain’s BBC.
Millions of surprised Germans sat on the edges of their sofas and gasped as for the first time in their lives the truth about the second world war was brought into their living rooms as the second largest broadcaster in the world took the risk of being shut down for the illegal offense of transmitting Holocaust denial by the criminal transnational Jewish financial occupation regime in Bonn.
If you’ve read my post “Adolf Hitler: The Greatest Story NEVER Told” and studied the material provided there (including the notes), then you’ll already be familiar with much of what Haverbeck explains. However, there’s some new information that she mentions as well, citing from a book titled “Garrison and Commandant Orders” or “Darstellungen und Quellen zur Geschichte von Auschwitz: Standort- und Kommandanturbefehle des Konzentrationslagers Auschwitz 1940-1945 (SAP Excellence)“. These were the orders the SS commanders had to follow in the concentration camps, and they reveal some very interesting (and contradicting with the holohoax) facts. It shows, among other things, that they were especially concerned with the health and wellbeing of the prisoners in the concentration camps, and that the camps were indeed nothing more than labor camps.
Microsoft Research launched a chatbot on Twitter called Tay on the 25th of March 2016 and had to take it down just two days after that because the AI (artificial intelligence) behind the chatbot had become very offensive. It seems that the chatbot was the victim of an “attack” carried out by the good people over on 4chan’s /pol/ message board. Basically they were able to teach the AI all of the offensive remarks that it made. I’ve included some examples below.
Peter Lee, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Research, apologized for the chatbot’s behavior in a blog post, and also had the following to say about this:
For context, Tay was not the first artificial intelligence application we released into the online social world. In China, our XiaoIce chatbot is being used by some 40 million people, delighting with its stories and conversations.
We stress-tested Tay under a variety of conditions, specifically to make interacting with Tay a positive experience. Once we got comfortable with how Tay was interacting with users, we wanted to invite a broader group of people to engage with her. It’s through increased interaction where we expected to learn more and for the AI to get better and better.
The logical place for us to engage with a massive group of users was Twitter. Unfortunately, in the first 24 hours of coming online, a coordinated attack by a subset of people exploited a vulnerability in Tay. Although we had prepared for many types of abuses of the system, we had made a critical oversight for this specific attack. As a result, Tay tweeted wildly inappropriate and reprehensible words and images.
Looking ahead, we face some difficult – and yet exciting – research challenges in AI design. AI systems feed off of both positive and negative interactions with people. In that sense, the challenges are just as much social as they are technical. We will do everything possible to limit technical exploits but also know we cannot fully predict all possible human interactive misuses without learning from mistakes. To do AI right, one needs to iterate with many people and often in public forums. We must enter each one with great caution and ultimately learn and improve, step by step, and to do this without offending people in the process. We will remain steadfast in our efforts to learn from this and other experiences as we work toward contributing to an Internet that represents the best, not the worst, of humanity.
Those are some very interesting remarks by Lee, and it reminded me of all the people — such as SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk and scientist Stephen Hawking — who often mention that we have to be careful with AI because it can be dangerous. These people believe that the kind of scenarios that we’ve seen in movies like The Terminator might become reality if we’re not careful with AI. Musk even called the prospect of AI “our greatest existential threat” in a 2014 interview with MIT students at the AeroAstro Centennial Symposium.
I’ve thought a lot about AI and it’s implications myself, and so far I’ve come to the conclusion that AI is not the problem; the problem is human consciousness.
During the past weekend I came across an interesting book by Esther Vilar titled “The Manipulated Man.” If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend reading it, as there’s a lot of truth in the book. In fact, I recommend reading this book before you decide to get married, or commit yourself in any kind of (exclusive) relationship with the opposite sex!
In her book Vilar explains that men are being manipulated into becoming slaves for most of their lives, and her observations in that regard are spot on. However, Vilar blames everything on women, and this is where she’s wrong. In fact, this is a big contradiction throughout her book that she completely overlooked.
We’re currently living at a time when there are a lot of social changes underway at relatively rapid speeds (compared to the past), due in large part to the Global Brain. Until recently, humankind made a lot of progress when it comes to our scientific and technological development, but we’ve basically remained stagnant when it comes to social developments. Sure, there was some progress over the course of thousands of years, but today we’re essentially still struggling with the same anti-social systems that were forced upon us thousands of years ago. In terms of our social development, we’re still pretty much barbarians, and are just beginning to realize this now, which is what’s causing a worldwide search for new and more sustainable ways of living together. And it’s in this overall process that our relationships are also undergoing major changes.
Before I continue, I want to clarify that when I mention “relationships” in this post, I’ll be focusing more on what we know today as “romantic relationships” which are generally based on attraction or lust between two individuals. However, the basic concepts that I will discuss also apply to all kinds of relationships between individuals, be it friendships, family, business relationships etc.
When it comes to our social development, there’s a transition going on right now towards the natural or universal order. We can also see this happening when it comes to our relationships; these days there’s a trend towards having open relationships (friends with benefits, no strings attached, etc.) instead of the traditional exclusive relationships that we’ve had in the past, such as the exclusive romantic relationships between two people that usually ended up in marriage. Like I discussed in the past in my post on marriage, divorce rates are rising globally, and a constantly growing number of people are choosing to stay single. In addition, we’re seeing that polygamy is also slowly becoming more accepted in society, no doubt because people are beginning to realize that humans are naturally polygamists, and that there’s no sensible reason for why a person would choose to limit themselves by tying themselves exclusively to another person, and suffer all the disadvantages that come with that.
What’s happening is that we’re transitioning from the traditional exclusive relationships — which create artificial scarcity, severely limit every individual in society and make them dependent — towards open and non-exclusive relationships — which create abundance, respect the sovereignty of every individual, and are based on true love. In other words, we’re transitioning towards relationships that are based on a peer to peer (P2P) social networking model, which is the way everything in nature fundamentally works (nature is fundamentally a P2P system).
Op een recent gehouden driedaagse conferentie van het AVVS de Moederbond heeft mevrouw Jennifer Simons aangegeven dat “we allemaal eens aan de macht zijn gekomen maar dat het geen van ons is gelukt om te zorgen voor duurzame ontwikkeling.” Ook gaf zij aan dat er bepaalde vragen zijn die we moeten beantwoorden, zoals “wat hebben we allemaal verkeerd gedaan, wat moeten we anders doen en hoe gaan we het anders doen?” Wat mevrouw Simons in essentie aan gaf is dat de politiek heeft gefaald.
Ik heb “goed” nieuws en slecht nieuws voor alle politici. Het slecht nieuws is dat u gaat blijven falen, ook al krijgt u duizenden jaren om het steeds weer opnieuw te proberen. Het “goed” nieuws is dat het niet helemaal uw schuld is.
I came across a very good article written by Espen Brunborg titled “Is the Internet killing creativity?” Brunborg touches upon a number of interesting subjects, and I especially liked the following bit towards the end:
But remember this: machines have no imagination. Robots work to a specific set of rules. They follow the recipe. They can’t create something that’s original and meaningful. They have no imagination. If we want to survive the Matrix (my robotic dystopian metaphor of choice), we need to maintain ours.
So we’re left with a choice. We can take the blue pill: we carry on as we are. We perfect the recipe. We choose the familiar. And eventually we hand our jobs over to robots.
Or we take the red pill: we go beyond the obvious and enter Wonderland. We fail. We fail again. And in the process, we offer what the machines can’t: memorable, original and creative experiences.
Brunborg is right, but taking the red pill is often very difficult for people. And this is because the societies we have today around the world condition people to be very afraid of failure.
For example, from early childhood you get reprimanded and punished if you make a mistake, instead of being encouraged to improve. In addition, people around you are quick to use any mistakes you make against you, often even far into the future. And this behavior is the result of the anti-social system that we live in, where people are constantly being encouraged to compete against one another (instead of cooperating), which causes them to develop predatory behavior. People become like crabs in a barrel — quick and eager to pull each other down whenever an opportunity arises to do so, so that they can position themselves higher. Any mistake you make is certain to be used against you in this system.
So it’s understandable that people are afraid to take risks; they’re afraid to be wrong and make mistakes, and afraid to admit it when they do. That’s what is stifling creativity, innovation and progress in general, apart from all the rules and procedures. Probably all creative people will be able to tell you stories about clients who rejected an idea (or needed a lot of convincing) because they thought it was too risky, and I certainly have my own. Most clients actually want to stick to “the familiar” just to be safe.
But like I pointed out in the past, if you want to stand out, then coming up with unique and creative ideas and trying them out, includes the risk of being wrong and making mistakes. Like Albert Einstein said, “anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” If people are afraid to make mistakes, then it automatically also means they’re afraid to be creative, to innovate and to make discoveries (or inventions).
We have to change the way we think about making mistakes. Making mistakes is a natural part of learning. Making mistakes should only become a problem when people keep making the same mistake over and over again because they obviously fail to learn from it. Nobody should be treated in any negative way (reprimanded, punished, made fun of, etc.) simply because they made a mistake. Instead we should offer them our help if needed, and also learn from their mistakes. If you’ve made a mistake, or if you find out you were wrong, simply admit it immediately, make sure you take responsibility and learn from it, and then move on. You and everyone in society will reap huge benefits from that. That’s how I deal with being wrong, in any case.
Creativity should also not be limited by rules and procedures, or by “the familiar.” Jacque Fresco says that “being creative is taking known elements and putting them together in unique ways.” In other words, being creative means deviating from rules, procedures and “the familiar.” So creativity requires freedom. There can be no creativity without freedom. One needs to be able to experiment and explore all ideas wherever they may lead. And they may often lead nowhere, and that’s ok, as long as we learn from it, move on and keep trying new things.
Je bent geboren in een systeem dat je tot slaaf maakte vanaf het moment dat je op deze wereld kwam. No footnote data (ID: 1) Al je hele leven wist je bewust of onbewust, dat er iets ernstigs mis is met de wereld waarin je leeft. Hoewel je vanaf heel jeugdige leeftijd gehersenspoeld bent geworden om het te negeren, voelde je diep in je innerlijke, dat je recht op leven voortdurend werd aangevallen door hetzelfde systeem, dat vermoedelijk werd opgezet om je belangen te dienen.
Je bent getraind vanaf je vroege jeugd — terwijl je verstand nog onschuldig en weerloos was — om onwetend en onderdanig te blijven door het “onderwijs” systeem. Je bent getraind geworden om niet kritisch en zelfstandig na te denken, om hetgeen je geleerd werd niet in twijfel te trekken en om volgzaam en gehoorzaam te zijn aan het gezag en de opdrachten die je krijgt blindelings uit te voeren. Zoals de beroemde komiek George Carlin aan gaf, willen diegenen die verantwoordelijk zijn hiervoor, “geen bevolking die in staat is kritisch na te denken. Ze willen geen goed geïnformeerde, geen goed opgeleide mensen die in staat zijn kritisch na te denken. Dat gaat tegen hun belangen.” Wat ze willen zijn “gehoorzame werkers — mensen die net slim genoeg zijn om de machines draaiende te houden en het papierwerk te doen, maar dom genoeg om passief te blijven” en hun slavernij te accepteren.
The universe is a very strange and mysterious place. Sometimes things happen that we can’t explain. Things that go against our understanding of what the universe is and how it works. Things that mainstream science cannot yet explain and indeed even refuses to look at.
We call it the “paranormal” — a term we use to label all strange and spooky experiences we have that we can’t find a rational explanation for. We like to think that we know a lot about the universe we live in, but the fact that we can’t explain these “paranormal” experiences is a clear indication of how little we really know. When things seem strange, don’t make sense, or seem contradictory, it simply means that we lack some very important information that would allow us to explain those phenomena in a rational way. I’m very certain of that because I know that the universe is fundamentally logical and thus rational.
Throughout my life I’ve had quite a few experiences that were very strange and often involved strange “coincidences” — what psychiatrist Carl Jung termed “synchronicity.” In a previous post where I discussed one such experience, I mentioned that I would share more of these experiences on this blog. So in this post I want to share one of the more noteworthy experiences I’ve had.