Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Individual Thought Patterns

Over at Freedom Guerrilla, we've been talking about water. If you haven't been over there yet, check it out. There's a lot of smart, cool people and a very interesting comments section, which I encourage you to contribute to.

Vertical Searcher has never really been a blog, per se. It's more like a butterfly flitting from one thing to another. For the person who wants to go deep into single subjects, there's a blog for you. Here, however, I prefer to be more like a rock skipping across the surface. I know what's in the depths, but I can't stay mired in them too long. Even molten rock spewing into the ocean eventually cools. The only way to keep my underwater fire going is to come up for air. Vertical Searcher isn't all quotes, sunshine and pretty pictures, it's just easier doing that than sitting here for endless hours trying to impress the masses with how brilliant I am, or convince everyone for the umpteenth time how horrible the world is. I've tried, but I'm not a very good liar.

I have my moments of decent writing, but they only seem to emerge when there's prior input from other people. There are others following this site from around the world who haven't seen that side of me, and I'd like to share it. Thus I've kidnapped Enviro's comment and my own material from FG for today's post. Enjoy.

Kate Griffen who posts here on occasion chided me for not taking advantage of harvesting rainwater in my new “sustainable” home. I hang my head in shame.

However, methods to re-use water (whether thru rain-water harvesting or using grey water for toilet flushing) are pretty pricey, and are fraught with logistical issues. In some parts (fewer and fewer these days) water is still too cheap to worry about going to the lengths (or costs) to conserve. I have come across this on many, many projects.

Buried within this phenomenon however, is a fundamental flaw: in order to be and act responsibly, we seem to need someone else to commodify something (like water) to allow us to justify spending money to be responsible about the something’s use. WTF?! So within there lies the conundrum. We actually need government, or corporations to charge us for water in order to not treat it irresponsibly, otherwise we will/b> waste it.
Is this social conditioning, or something innately human?

In response to Enviro’s query:

"Good question. It does make one wonder at the claim that we are intelligent. I speculate that what we “need” is governments and corporations to assist the scientific community in educating us about the importance of, and responsible use of water, thereby removing the incentive to waste it.

We always ask, “What are people for?” Well, what are governments and corporations for? If they’re not useful to us in this regard, why do we need them? When the primary argument for not doing the right thing is “it’s too expensive,” that’s an artificial barrier to progress which holds people back — the means by which the few continue to enslave the many. The flaw is in our culture’s motives, fabricated from lies that serve neither the individual or collective good (meaning “the good of other individuals”). The flaw is demonstrated by the abundance of ignorant prophets profiting from ignorance at the expense of civilization and life.

“The right thing” is the edification of the human mind, and the elevation of the human condition, whose purpose is to better serve the needs of the planet we live on — and thus ourselves. We can start from the inside, or we can start from the outside, but the needs are the same. There is no social conditioning that we cannot change. If we are to focus on “innate” human qualities, we should become our own natural selection, choosing to shed a skin of bullshit we no longer need to inhabit.

At one point we found it appropriate to live in caves and huddle around a fire. Now we find it appropriate to sit in front of computers and talk to each other. Certainly the future holds many more such steps, and no twisted ladder can stop us if we really want to climb. Thus the innate human quality is to want to see those steps, and continue the ascent. There’s more to be gained from solving logistical problems than avoiding them because they’re “expensive,” because a far more dangerous expense incurs if we don’t.

Why are we here? Because the universe is a wondrous place, as supported by all the evidence we’ve ever gathered about it, and whose many gems include the planet we inhabit — an ideal location for exploring the extreme limits of both life’s inner and outer horizons from our astrophysical “center.” It seems the ultimate evolutionary challenge is for mankind to adapt to itself. Though I’m in the minority, I think we will. I believe in human success. That’s what I’m “for.”

As a bonus, here's the reply to my reply from Auntigrav...

"We have become conditioned to think in terms of price. Greenspan even admitted there is a flaw with this model, but his admission has been mostly ignored because it means there is a flaw in our culture.
This also comes back to the concept of “intention”, and how much people actually think about what they are going to do before they do it. I think that we mostly don’t: we simply follow the easiest path for most things, and that is a natural way to behave. The problem is that we BELIEVE that we are making choices and guiding our way through life when we have actually put a lot of manhours into creating systems of systems that make life automated for us. Need to choose a place to live? Look at the prices. Need to choose a school? Look at the prices vs. the cost of moving. This is Capitalism: the Belief in Money as our ‘decider’. The failure arises when costs are not reflected in the prices which we use to make choices. If we actually lived by thinking and choosing, then education would work. Since we know that education rarely works, then we have to acknowledge that we live in a Price-ocracy, controlled by those few who set the prices and devise systems to externalize costs (income tax codes and advertising). In their eyes, the answer to “What are people for?” is “to make and spend money”. Very simple. Very destructive: especially when the success of those few is worshiped by the many."