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Perspectives

Originally published Jun 5, 2014

Divide and Conquer

My friends, today we ponder a precarious new development with unprecedented potential to propel us to the highest reaches of political power.

This blatantly foolproof, beautiful plan requires the participation of every person on the planet.

The way I have planned it, the plan is quite simple. Firstly, we must divide the people. We must face them with countless distractions, hinder their communication, make them all face the same direction: FORWARD!

Lastly, we conquer their minds. We will engineer the cheapest of material goods and then force them to slave away for hours, weeks, years, running the gears that drive their very own economic mechanisms round and round in countless concentric circular spins! We will trap them in their own personal prison cells, within their powerless insignificant brains.

They will spend the entirety of their lives scurrying helplessly after the fiat paper currency we have generated out of thin air.

They will never know a life devoid of its empty allure.

Lecture (unknown author)

I come from a different age (born 1930) but the lessons might be useful.As a child one could work out how just about everything  operated.You could take things to pieces and put them back together.Finding out how something worked meant focussing on it and getting the satisfaction of knowing how to fix it, or knowing that it could not be fixed.One understood how the world worked, and all things had a purpose.Nowadays things keep their secrets in boxes.I do not know how my computer worksor my cameraor my phoneor my caror my clockI no longer understand how the world works.When something goes wrong I must renew it or give it to someone who will fix it, but not tell me what was wrong in any meaningful way.I am at the mercy of the world and its time saving contraptions.They do not save me time and never didThe vacuum cleaner replaced the broom (which I understand and which never broke). Vacuum cleaners are forever being improved on. They are better than a broom at doing things I don't need doing.In consequence I no longer have to concentrate on doing anything.You are suffering from 'Technoitis' where your attention span lasts only as long as it takes to play solitaire on your computer.You will waste time writing to Quora because it is easier than fixing those things you have put in the cupboard to do later, and never will.Nor will you sort out those papers and documents that need scanning and catalolguing.Nor will you transfer all those CDs to your hard disk, which is on your 'to do' list, and has been for years.Nor will you learn that new program that will save you much work, because you know that by the time you have learnt it, it will be out of date, and in any case, not do what you expected it to do.You have become  zombified. You suffer from 'long eye' (staring into the far distance) at nothing in particular.And 'Short eye' (staring at your computer screen).Like all those of your generation, you live in rooms and offices, so have no horizon.Your world is curtailed by walls covered in meaningless items that you have to block out so they do not fill your brain with unwanted baggage.The shiny objects covered in buttons and icons all feel the same.You suffer from Touch Starvation. You have never known the feeling of different types of wood, or cloth.You have not had the sensory satisfaction of feeling the earth, the many textures of the paper you write on; the satisfaction of writing with pen and ink, the licking of the stamp and envelope to the letter as the climatic end to the note you send.Your senses, developed over thousands of years, are deprived.They have nothing to focus on.Robots will replace your sensory skills, telling you what your body already does.You will get perfectly prepared and cooked food, instead of doing it yourself and feeling the haptic haven of dipping your hands into the bowl and mixing the ingredients as they exude the smell of future delight.If you want to focus on things, then abandon your toys of false innovation. They may save you time, but for what?Artists focus on drawing a single lineMusicians focus on getting the right sounding noteEvery skill comes down to focussing on the sense of what is 'right'.So you cannot focus until you know what is right.So, first you must have a purposeand then you must know what that purpose requires to be achievedand then you must decide that you intend to achieve itand then you set about achieving itand in the process you will become focussedand then you will be able to apply that focussing to anything

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