Some years ago I remember reading computer magazines
and making the assumption I understood what I was reading, then months later, picking
up the same magazine and wonder if I had read it, because each of the articles seemed
strange and different to me. What had happened was that in the interim I had experienced
new software and worked with hardware that I had not seen, when I had originally
read the articles and with new awareness the same material was meaningful in yet
a different way.
I realise that in the past, I have discussed the issue of perception and the infinite
expanses of reality, which indeed, was the the prime concern of several Greek philosophers,
as they too struggled with the limitations of the senses, and the limits of their
scientific knowledge, that imposed constrictions on awareness. Nothing has changed,
we are still stuck with the same senses, even with the enhancements we are still
deep in ignorance with regard to the fundamental basics of how things work.
This morning I watched and listened to Colin Powell with extreme interest,
as he expounded on his concerns about the situation with Iraq and the pictures
Judy had taken Sunday night came to mind. (those at the top of this page) The blur
of motion and low light combine to reduce the scene near Birch Hills to the basic
element of colour, form is unimportant in these images, it is the colour that matters.
Could this be the case with Colin Powell and others whom we do not understand?
I guess what I am telling you is that we may need to reduce some of the confusion
we perceive by going to the essential elements of an issue and attempting to determine
what indeed, if anything, is there that is important?
Imagine the intolerable situation for those people who are blessed with increased
awareness, be it sensory or cognitive. How tough it must be for them as they must
feel so lonely as they are suddenly aware of clarified situations that others have
not yet perceived.
Last week as several contributors to this web site were disturbed at the almost inevitability
of a military conflict in Iraq, one writer saw things entirely differently.
Ron Thornton's perspective
was completely and totally opposite to the views expressed by Mario deSantis and I
wondered in a message to Ron how could such a wide diversity of opinion exist with
the same set of basic facts available to each individual? My realisation, that perhaps
my perception was diverse and totally off base also occurred to me. Actually, we
all really need to question ourselves and constantly update the opinions we ascribe
to, as our awareness is based so much upon the facts we think are facts, and the
opinions that we consider valid.
This was the absolutely earth shaking problem that Jonathan Swift was trying
to work out when he assembled his tale "Gulliver's Travels". Consider
if you will, what reality is to an ant and what it is to a Raven. Both are social
animals who interact with others of their species, while the Raven has the cognitive
power to make and find solutions for himself, the ant is reliant upon genetic code
to live out the days of his short life. So we must wonder about the decisions of
the people who decided that their only course of action is or was to kill themselves
while taking as many others to their deaths, as they were able, in Israel, New York
or Bali. What might it be that has developed in their awareness that would lead
these individuals to such a solution?
Expanded awareness is both empowering and a curse. For centuries there have been
those who when political situations tumble into confusion, they decide that the culprits
are those with education and who earn their livelihood with their intellect. The
Boxer Rebellion, Stalin's Purges, the whole Nazi era, American
McCarthyism, the Red Guard movement, Cambodia's Killing fields,
time after time there have been movements that select the educated elite and purge
The limited number of Jews in Europe and their desire to marry other Jews
lead to extensive concentration of genetic lines, which tends to produce a peculiar
problem; a reduction of people with average intellectual capacity and an increase
of people with high ability and an equally numerous number of people with below average
capabilities. In Germany, Poland, and other Eastern European countries this meant
that a significant number of extraordinarily capable people in finance, universities
and all positions requiring highly capable people were Jews. So when Hitler was
looking around for someone close at hand to blame for the economic disaster surrounding
him, the Jews were clearly the "chosen people". Selecting them
as the cause of all trouble was dead simple, they were in charge and those that were
not, were slow minded and a genetic threat in a time when eugenics was considered
a positive thing.
The single most glaring flaw in the society in which we now find ourselves is the
remarkable lack of resources, we as a society as a whole, are devoting toward a meaningful
study of history. In an age when commerce has replaced every known
idol, is worshipped with such devotion by almost all walks of society, the study
of history has become the forgotten social science. Only a handful of historians
are sticking to their calling, in a time when the past fifty years of events and
development has been untouched and remain undefined in terms of what it means to
the big picture. Without the perspective of historical study, decisions and policy
are developed and implemented, based on myths and what amounts to superstition.
As the World Bank imposes the American Way on every under developed
country in the world, it is doing so out of "faith" in an economic
system that doesn't work.
Judy's pictures of the deep blue blurred sky is what we are seeing now, it is foreboding
and we just are overwhelmed with more information than we need and almost no historical
perspective to give meaning to the subtitles of reality. The stock market is
the very last thing of importance, not the first. The declining standard of living
in the third world with its epidemics, civil war and victimisation by dictators and
their American financial support, is not even on our lowest level of awareness, yet
the chaos and unrest, the desperation and the hopelessness, will not go away, but
is the major threat to the advancement of all societies, both rich and poor, world