The problem with the Future... that it's not what it used to be.

Via LT Saloon, via bartblog (blogging since BEFORE there were blogs)


  1. Yeah, I remember when in high school we were told great advances would make our lives easier. Shorter work weeks, cheap nuclear power, stuff like that.

    And that was at this lefty progressive school in New York's Greenwich Village, a place crawling with mournful leftists attracting other leftists, mournful or not, such as Arthur Miller's kids. And Mary Travers was just three grades ahead of me there. And in the grade immediately above Michael Boudin, brother of Kathy, prepped for Harvard. Where he did well enough to be eventually picked by George Bush to a federal judgeship.

    But this was all before Ronald Reagan came along and put some iron in the spine of the far right. Reminding them government is the problem. Not the great entrepreneurial spirit which drives the American machine.

    But GWB II nearly got us there. He threw in God too. And gave us a legitimate enemy to hate. And reminded us we are better than everyone else in the world. (We can always use that.) Though there was something decidedly giddy and hallucinatory about the tale he span. Reagan was far more convincing. And since he's been dead awhile it's easy to canonize his thoughts and words. Saint Ronnie still promises the way!

    What's more, George lacked the Hollywood creds Ronnie had. And now we have the Tea Party movement, auld lang sineing for the dream that was lost. Not even telling us what they want for fear that unleashing all that stuff might make the outside world, ie most Americans, think they are utter jerks. For hating government is acceptable enough. And taxes too. And running a thin skein of fear through the body politic is acceptable too. Inflate out enemies! Make them huge. And let the world know how angry you are. That we are surrounded by Socialists and traitors!

    But don't be specific. That could open a few eyes among those who do not already think you are off the edge to begin with. That might force you to respond, explain how you really feel. Fine convincing rationalizations which make you look good. Very dangerous, that.

    I have nothing against nuclear reactors firing up if it can be done safely. They promised us that too back when a man walked on the moon.

    Some guy on TV the other night put it nicely. We have "junk food politics" today. You betcha!

  2. "At the beginning of World War II the U.S. had a mere 600 or so first-class fighting aircraft. We rapidly overcame this short supply by turning out more than 90,000 planes a year. The question at the start of World War II was: Do we have enough funds to produce the required implements of war? The answer was No, we did not have enough money, nor did we have enough gold; but we did have more than enough resources. It was the available resources that enabled the US to achieve the high production and efficiency required to win the war. Unfortunately this is only considered in times of war.
    ---Jacque Fresco, "The Best that Money Can’t Buy: Beyond Politics, Poverty & War."

    The Venus Project promotes Jacque Fresco's contention that it is now possible to achieve a society in which people would live "longer, healthier, and more meaningful lives" and that poverty, crime, corruption and war are essentially the result of scarcity created by the present world's profit-based economic system.

    While there is a bit of a naive transcendal utopian take to the project, the most elemental basic underlying questions it presents (if not the answers it proposes) is a timely one:

    In greed should we trust, like Milton Friedman asserted it? Or does the profit motive stifle progress like Jacque Fresco contends?

    Regardless of how one may feel about this, one way or the other, one thing is certain: the current economic system is unsustainable.

    What a waste. What a terrible waste of the planet's resources and of humanity's potential.

    But perhaps this is the best that sentient life can achieve on Earth at this point in time in Evolution.