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Deng's Pragmatism

Deng's Pragmatism | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

Deng Xiaoping probably has one of the best models of intra-national economic development I've personally seen.  Yes, he cracked down on all those students in Tiananmen Square.  But his dialogue with the local levels of social organization, the incentivization of growth for local businesses and Party cadres, and the insurance that most capital ended up in the state controlled central bank, where it could be reinvested into business ventures at the public's profit not only worked, but it worked very well within the context of Chinese political and social culture.

 

At the root of Deng's success, I think, is an ideological commitment to pragmatism and practical action to improve the lot of the public through demonstrated best practices derived from a controlled competition over what works and what doesn't work.  People who had winning models win out and are replicated and scaled appropriately up, while those who failed to turn a profit were let go from loans and investment.

 

In China, all that is needed now, is for the government of China to check the greed that is in excess of what the rich need to be wealthy, such that all people can be wealthy and happy.  Deng said that a few would get rich quick, with everyone else catching up afterward.  The few have gotten rich, but the rest have been effectively left behind, as the wealth becomes stagnant and constantly accumulated in the upper echelons of society.  It may be getting to be that time that the Communist Party of China make an effective transition to Market Socialism, where everyone can participate in the economy and have the time and wealth to do so.  After all, there is only so much wealth that one can have before they're unable to spend it within their lifetimes.

 

As for America, we have the freedom to compete for working models.  However, we do not have a necessary check on what is effectively personal or corporate excess, and we need to strengthen our regulatory oversight for quality control of the products that we produce.  We also need to economically penalize companies who move their factory labor out of our country, rather than rewarding them. 

 

In the end, we need to transition to a system that focuses on human well being, health, and quality of life rather than on the amount of financial profit that an individual can earn through self-destructive behaviors.  Those who would take a marginal gain in profit over having clean drinking water should be considered mentally ill and treated as the dangers to self and dangers to others that they are.  Money is important to ensuring quality of life.  Being wealthy enables many health benefits that poorer people don't have.  Yet what is the point of having so much that you're never going to use, while so many who work are denied that quality of life that they earn through labor?  Why do we favor the few over the many?  For what purpose?

 

Think about it.

 

Because this may be a, if not the, transition to Socialism that Marx predicted.  By Socialism, I mean a social-ism, as opposed to the anti-social-ism that we presently have in place.

 

All thanks to a few people's anti-social or delusional brains.  Nothing more.

 

Think about it.

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A Methodology for Research

You must look at each society, community, and their associated economy separately before you can begin to map how each part horizontally and vertically relates to the others.  Each society's social institutions will be different and that will produce different economies within the context of the global system, where they will all integrate in order to form a self-organized economic ecosystem that connects to the well being of a given society and to the well being of the environment and government. 

 

It is helpful, at this stage, to do research into the atoms of the global economic system; the domestic economies and social institutions of each society and country.  However, in order to truly understand the whole, you must zoom out from the atoms to appreciate the molecules and how they're put together and interact with one another, to form the economy. 

 

It's a 4-D thing, in that it works through time and all dimensions of what we'd know of as physical space.  The local levels feed the regions, regions feed the nations, nations also feed regions of nations, and regions and nations form the global world economy, which then goes back in reverse to touch the localities.

 

The equations of micro-economics and Neoclassical economics are bunk, along with their basic principles.  The basic principle logic of business, the entirely for marginal profit mantra, is also bunk to the production of a healthy economy, a healthy business, and healthy people.  It is the delusional individual who would destroy their home and society for the sake of cloth rag.  It is time that we, as a society, ceased accepting those levels of greed, and turned instead to focusing on how to live life, survive, and be well as a species.

 

Think about it.

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How to Leverage Economic Growth for the Public Gain

How to Leverage Economic Growth for the Public Gain | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

The trick to leveraging economic incentives is to let new companies have a few years of net growth (after their initial investments have been paid off) before you leverage any kind of taxation upon the profits.  If their profit streams get larger, you can tax them more, but only so much as to enable them to keep growing.  This way, human nature is allowed to continue to function, vis a vis, greed, yet the public is able to receive its share of the profit (for all the services that governments provides).  No harm is done to the businesses, and society is enabled to flourish.

 

The beauty of intelligent, effective, and empirically grounded governance that serves the public is that the funds don't go to waste without having significant kick back against the government.  In order to have economic growth, you've got to let the true entrepreneurs have the fruits of their labor while not allowing them so much of it that they kill themselves through social, economic, and/or environmental collapse.  It's a balance that has to be reached, and the results, if they're accurate, are more grounded in reason and fact than any of the Libertarian or conservative arguments bemoaning incorrectly perceived arbitrariness of the government.  They may govern the world capriciously, without reason or looking at the social and economic world that they're working on, like a doctor who doesn't bother to do a diagnosis of the patient before operating on them.  But that's not the way that a self-sustaining government works.  It's objective is to always do what's actually best for the patient; the society as a whole.  That requires checking under the hood to see what's actually wrong and how to actually take of it.   Libertarians, conservatives, and ideologues, don't do that, which is what makes them unfit to be in government at the legislative and executive levels.

 

And so, we see here how we can harness entrepreneurial drive to work for the public's good.  You need to let them get rich on their new idea and/or concept.  But, once they are rich, they need to be brought back to Earth, as it were, such that they don't go over the edge into the land of lunacy and wealth that they can't and won't use.

 

Think about it.

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The Value of Economic Liberty

The Value of Economic Liberty | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

Economic liberty, as defined by the ability to earn more than enough to cover your subsistence needs but less than becoming a millionaire or billionaire, is the only universally applicable form of liberty, and is one of the key root forms of liberty for producing a happy, health, and well off society.  Social liberties are all dependent upon the culture and the social environment in which they take root.  They depend on how a society conceives and perceives the liberty (such as freedom of speech or assembly or religion) and then how they execute them in their societies such that it makes sense and is beneficial for their people.

 

But once people have the ability to support themselves and provide for at least most of their wants, their abilities to tangibly live their lives increases several fold, as they don't have to scramble in or beneath poverty for mere subsistence, if subsistence is even possible.  Peace of mind and body can settle in, and people can shape their own lives with the material resources that they have, for better and for worse as well.  The denial of economic liberty to the masses is perhaps the greatest crime against humanity, besides the destruction of our environments and ecosystems for the sake of what are marginal profits for the big business executives and their investors.  They fear death by the mob and yet do nothing significant or substantial to do nothing to make sure that that doesn't happen, through allowing our government to function for the masses, socially and environmentally, and through enabling economic liberty for the masses through increases in pay and benefits to reflect actual productivity. 

 

Now, this doesn't mean that everyone magically becomes independent with economic liberty.  We're all going to still be economically and socially dependent upon one another's actions, just as we've always been throughout time and space.  The millionaires and billionaires always depend and have depended on the sweat and labor of the masses in order to produce their fortunes; no independence or "do it yourself" there.  We're also going to be dependent upon the environment and its condition for our well being and survival, which then trumps economic wealth as defined by having more than you need to subsist.  But the basic principle of enabling as many people as possible to participate in the economy while balancing out incentives for innovation and leadership remains the way to grow an economy and, more importantly, ensure the well being of the whole society (including for the rich who receive less extreme paydays, because the society isn't constantly in agro against them).  The individual companies can do this by giving better compensation packages to their average employees independently on a constant and consistent basis, or they can simply allow the government to determine fair profit sharing legislation that balances a company's need to grow with the economic and social need to appropriately compensate workers for the work that they do.  This is before we get into the prioritization of environmental well being, which is also a necessity for the rich people living in society as well.

 

Amazing that none of these apparently inbred elites have gotten the message from history or nature.

 

Idiots....

 

Think about it.

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A Young Man's Advice to an Old Society

A Young Man's Advice to an Old Society | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

India, you may never really get rid of the caste system.

 

Many of your greatest and most notable figures have advocated for the elimination of the castes, from Buddha (whom you now venerate as an incarnation of Vishnu) to Mohandas Gandhi.  Yet, here we are, in the 21st century, with the caste system in place on a defacto level, and it slowly beginning to creep back into the official, public realm.

 

It seems to be how you are; how you self-organize (and, indeed, it's how many other societies organize on a defacto level).  However, imagine how much nicer it will be if, rather than changing the institutions, you change your attitude with regards to those institutions and your relative places in them.

 

Brahmins: is it fitting of a Brahmin, one who are said to have the most amount of compassion and wisdom, to be disdainful, ignorant, and callous to the suffering and conditions of the dalits and other lower castes?  Isn't it nicer to be nice to other people, regardless of caste?  What is causing you all to collectively not see how your lives and well being are intimately connected to and dependent upon the well being, health, and quality of life of all those who are beneath you in social status?  Who else will carry your corpse to the funerary pyre, to unleash you into the bliss of what will, hopefully, be another Brahmin birth?  Correct me if I'm wrong, but, in Hinduism, being good to all others impartially is the essence of developing good karma for your present and future lives?  Wouldn't it be better to get to know, understand, and effectively help those who are less fortunate than yourselves?  Wouldn't that added level of social cohesion make your lives happier, more meaningful, and spiritually productive?  Is that not the grand lesson that gets repeated by all incarnations of Vishnu?  Why are the priests not listening or are too caught up in their own egos to understand or to wish to understand, the plight of the lower castes?

 

There's a reason why I have a tattoo of a Celtic tree of life on my back.  It symbolizes a functional society, where the inevitably present elite bend down to listen, understand, and help the lower roots of the society, which in turn, causes the lower roots to bend up and support those upper branches.  The tree's leaves provide energy for the roots that seek out nutrients, and the nutrients support the leaves and their production.  When conditions are right, and the tree is happy and healthy, it reproduces and spreads its influence further into the universe, repeating the successful model again, and again, and again, throughout time and space.  Yes, there is evolution.  Yes, there are adaptations.  Yes, things will not always be the same, that's just how things work.  Things change in the cosmological and planetary environment, and so too much the tree of society.  But the essence of this mutual reciprocity?  I think that that's something that is permanent in this universe, at the very least; repeatable across the board, and apart of the winning design that nature has produced.  If a system is going to be self sustaining, it must have some feedback to keep everything in balance.  The wolf cannot eat all of the deer, without causing their populations to dwindle, and the deer cannot become too plentiful, else they'll eat too many plants and spoil the forest.  Parasitism only will get you so far in nature.  And that, my dear friends, is precisely where we are.

 

Think about it.

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Show of force raises Iraq tensions

Show of force raises Iraq tensions | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Thousands of Shia militia loyal to powerful cleric Moqtada al-Sadr parade in Baghdad, raising sectarian tensions amid fighting in northern Iraq.
Eli Levine's insight:

Unfortunately, this article is not specific about with whom the tensions were raised.  The lead implies it's against the Sunni, but if you read the article deeper it's about al-Malaki.  Gotta be careful about the BBC, as it reflects Western interests and Western desires.

 

Interestingly enough, this did not seem to ping on Al-Jazeera.

 

Quite honestly, I wish either al-Sadr or al-Malaki would unifying message for Iraq and act on it.  Al-Malaki may be too far gone, with too much baggage to be accepted as a legitimate leader of Iraqi society.  This leaves al-Sadr to strike the unity between Sunni and Shi'a.  Quite honestly, at this point, I'm not sure he has the will, desire, or awareness to make that happen, if he can make that happen in the first place.

 

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Does Culture Matter for Economic Growth?

Does Culture Matter for Economic Growth? | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
There's been an increasing number of papers concerned with culture and its relationship to economic growth. I happened to just see this working paper by Di Tella and MacCulloch (2014), but the idea...
Eli Levine's insight:

Culture is one of the roots from which economies grow, along with available resources, and technology.  It shapes not only how resources get allocated and how much work gets done, but also what kinds of businesses grow up, how they're run, and a host of other factors that contribute to the development of an economy.

 

It shapes the definitions of each society's needs, wants, wishes, hopes, and abilities/willingness to work towards those need, wants, wishes, and hopes.  It also helps create the architecture, ethic, and logic of governments, which then influences and shapes what kind of society and economy is produced.

 

Most definitely, a field worth looking deeper into, without mathematical equations (especially linear equations), preferably.

 

Think about it.

 

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Learning Favours the Brave

Learning Favours the Brave | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

The challenges we are facing today see to be coming faster at us, more complex to decipher and then re-evaluate how we should respond. To achieve faster response we certainly need to educate the organization more than ever.


Via Kenneth Mikkelsen, Paul Hobcraft, Mark E. Deschaine, PhD
Eli Levine's insight:

And, thus, conservatism becomes even LESS favored as a governing ideology and leadership trait.

 

Society is always on the move and our knowledge of the world is in constant flux.  It's like a treadmill that never stops and may change pace at a moment's notice.  If you keep doing the same thing or if you just try to stop, you're going to trip, fall flat on your face, and potentially take the whole of society with you.

 

The brain type of a conservative, regardless of which political party they may affiliate with, is unfit for leadership and was unfit for leadership in any century or millennium.  They push the same buttons, over and over and over again, without any learning, any observation of the consequences of their actions, and without any adaptation for when the function of those buttons change.  It is a ridiculous brain type, truly, no matter how functional or put together they may be individually and collectively.  And they're going to get us all killed if we allow them to remain in positions of power, consequence, and authority.

 

Think about it.

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The Supreme Path

Eli Levine's insight:

Read each piece in succession.

 

A most astounding work for anyone.

 

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A Path to Success in Iraq

A Path to Success in Iraq | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

In Iraq, we need to weed out, separate and allow ISIS to alienate itself from the general public of the Sunni population of Iraq.  The only way to do this is to provide them with an alternative to the highly unpopular Nouri al-Malaki, who has governed Iraq under strict sectarian lines, rather than as a unified society of peoples banded together by some possibly drunk British diplomat's lines in the early 20th century and a common history of existence together.

 

I do not believe that ISIS will be a healthy alternative for Iraqi society.  I think that their rigorous religious and ideological devotion will drive their people to possible rebellion against them, if given enough time and liberty to do as they're inclined to do.  The may be adapting tactics as we speak to make themselves more appealing than Nouri al-Malaki.  But remember, that if the Sunni had an alternative to Nouri al-Malaki in Baghdad, they may be more willing to switch sides and join with a moderate and reasonable unity government.

 

Extremists and conservatives may get the burst of support in the short term when societies are perturbed.  However, just as the Ayatollahs and conservatives are facing push back in Iran, so too will the conservatives of Iraq face their push back in time.  The key to fighting them is to provide psychologically and physically better alternatives who actually follow through on the appropriate courses of action for the general public and to otherwise leave the society to govern itself according to its own logic.

 

Therefore, I would hope that the US advises al-Malaki to hold elections and resign from power as a gesture of support for the country (which may not actually remain a country, given the historic relations of the societies who were bunched together in that territory by said drunk British diplomat in London.  There is a chance to save Iraq as is.  But it will require the sacrifice of its current leader and attitude towards leadership, neither of which seems actually feasible to play out in reality.

 

Shame.

 

But oh well.

 

Think about it.

Eli Levine's insight:

We go to war again.

 

Hopefully for better reasons and better effects.

 

Think about it.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpO1VV9or2c

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Libertarian Foibles

Libertarian Foibles | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

A government of a society focuses on the systems level of its given society and acts as an agent within the context of the context of the larger societal system that it is apart of on the international level.

 

In the US, the state, local, county, and tribal governments are all actors constrained by the hegemony of the larger federal government.  However, the federal government needs to work with each of these governments and the other actors and agents in a local community (including and not limited to business leaders, non-profit organization, churches, community groups and individual residents) in order to effectively carry out domestic policy.

 

The problem with Libertarianism is that it is only focused on the individual agents' level of existence.  It does not have a system-wide focus or lens that enables its followers to enact or see or desire policies that benefit the individuals living in the context of the larger social, economic, and ecological systems.  In order for the individual to be well and to have an optimal level of well being, health, and survivability, you have to look at the making changes in the larger social system, thus effecting the ways that the agents behave and perceive the world, thus allowing them to actually realize and achieve for their own selves their own individual levels of happiness and well being.  A well funded, well conceived, and well operated educational system with good people filling that system is essential for the physical and psychological well being of the individual living in a society.  A healthcare system that is not for profit and operating to deliver health instead of financial returns on financial investment not only improves worker productivity and public health, but it also improves the ability for the individual to live a life free from the threat of disease and injury that can otherwise ruin their livelihood and well being.  Their religious devotion to "liberty" and "freedom" blinds them and inoculates them from feeling empathy towards the suffering that is created when the system's administrator is laissez-faire and permissive of abuses by private elites or negligence towards the health and quality of life faced by the people to whom the leadership of our society is responsible to.  In seeking liberty without having a functional and effective state apparatus, the Libertarians, in practice, put the cart before the horse and expect a society to operate in a healthy manner magically.

 

If the Libertarians wish to have their own country to manage as they see fit, then I welcome the experiment, provided that they do not run interference with those of us who would rather have an effective, functional, responsive, and benevolent state.  Ideology will only get a society so far, while empirical function, research, and calculated action can truly create a world of value to the people who live in it.

 

Imagine a garden, one that is tended to using empirical knowledge about botany and is proactively tended to, and one that is simply allowed to go fallow.  Eventually, weeds will over take the laissez-faire model and the garden that was meant to feed the gardener and his/her family will prove useless to them.  Too much chaos is never a good thing in the short or long term.  That's what Libertarians fail to accept and appreciate, owing to their deviant psychological inclination towards chaos and uncertainty.  The garden that is proactively tended, using empirical knowledge of how things interact and empirically grounded techniques that are developed, improved upon, and implemented appropriately will more likely produce sustenance for the family in question.  Its weeds are kept at bay, its plants are allowed to grow in according to nature (note, that the gardener does not force them to grow in a particular way, but allows them to grow naturally), and its environment adapted to, with the worst bouts of weather mitigated and prepared for with recovery techniques ready to be deployed when appropriate.

 

If you'd rather live in a world infested by weeds, with the productive plants driven out or killed than be my guest.  Just understand that it is only as a result of your own biases and your own brains' inclinations and nothing that you have or had any real control over to begin with.  We are just ticking along with what our brains perceive and do.  No actual freedom present in our world.  Why bother rigging ourselves for self-destruction for it?

 

Just sayin'.

 

Think about it.

Eli Levine's insight:

I don't know how people cling to political ideologies when there are so many truths out there that can be seen, observed by everyone, including the ideologues in question.

 

So many mental gymnastics to maintain belief in things that don't actually work.  It's just as bad as religion without truth, except this infiltrates our secular halls of power and then makes choices based on these incorrect and sub-optimal beliefs that effect everyone else.

 

Unbelievable....

 

Think about it.

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Ukraine to sign EU deal this month

Ukraine to sign EU deal this month | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
The new president of Ukraine says he will sign a controversial association agreement with the EU on 27 June, as fighting rages in the east.
Eli Levine's insight:

I think this is happening way too fast and without having the support and consensus of a third of the country (who happens to occupies the main economic heartland of Ukraine).

 

If I were in Mr. Poroshenko's place, I would be working to build reconciliation and understanding amongst the Russian and Ukrainian people living in Ukraine.  What Mr. Poroshenko is doing, however, is simply asserting Kiev over what actually are legitimate concerns that are held by the Russian-Ukrainian people of the south and east of the country.  What are they going to do if they stop receiving orders from Russia for their goods?  What is going to happen when Russia clamps down on the natural gas supplies that heat and fuel Ukraine's economy?

 

It's amazing to me how silly the Kiev government is acting, considering it's going to need support from both Russia and the EU in order to fix its economy.  Furthermore, I don't see why they're making overtures to be with the EU directly when they know that that is going to push Russia to be more assertive in other areas.  The sanctions that the US is deploying in Russia are being circumvented by the Chinese and other powers.  If anything, this is going to make Russia less dependent on the well being of the West and, thus, make the cost of Putin going against the West cheaper than it already is.  We've given up and, apparently, encouraged Ukraine to give up that influence for the sake of the Ukrainian's perceived ability to beat up on its Russian citizens (which has proven to be not the case anyway).  Ukraine may have very little experience with democracy and principles of democratic inclusion.  However, the West apparently failed to advise them to reach out to their Russian citizens.  Thus, we have chaos in Ukraine when we could have had something closer to order.  Vladimir Putin may be funding and funneling money and resources to the rebels.  However, if the Ukrainian government had included the Russians into the transition process from the start, would there have been any rebels willing to take those weapons in the first place?  If there were rebels, wouldn't they have been turned in by their compatriots for being socially illegitimate and defined as criminals against a legitimate social authority than seen as rebels against an illegitimate one?

 

Think about it.

 

Because this is how you fight insurgencies and rebellions.  It is not through force, but through listening, trying to comprehend, and then making reasoned adjustments that you actually follow through on and carry out.  Force only exacerbates the problem and creates more resistance that eventually does get loose on you.  Even if it doesn't get loose, you're in constant fear of it becoming loose.  Why waste the time, money, energy, and peace of mind to get what usually is something that is beyond your reasonable reach as a governing person or faction?

 

Think about it.

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A Letter to Friends

Dear Conservatives from Any Culture,

 

Greetings!

 

I'm writing this letter as a friend and fellow human being who is concerned about your health.  Lately, it's come to my attention that you've been accepting and believing some very strange "facts" and "truths" about this world and how it can function.  I'm concerned that you all may be just a bit off base with regards to how you're sensing, perceiving, and working with reality for your own sakes, let alone, for all of the sakes of those who are on the receiving end of your decisions, directly and indirectly.

 

Rest assured, that I don't mean to leave the ideological Left out of my critique as well.  Goodness knows there are enough genuinely crackpot ideas out there that haven't been put away.  But it has, as of late, primarily been coming from your end of the political spectrum, especially with regards to the production and development of actual policy makers making actual policy for our society and amongst the societies of the world.  I know that it's actually a bitter pill to swallow and that you're not likely to listen to me anyway.

 

But that's a big part of my point: you don't listen and you don't care to listen about the needs, thoughts, opinions, desires, and wants of the rest of the social world that is around you.  I mean, toddlers are taught to "listen to their bodies" in order to help them figure out potty training and how to alert adults to when they're ill.  It is not apparent that you all have made the next step to listening to the social and ecological world that is around you for cues as to what is needed from you when you sit in seats of power, consequence, and authority.  As a matter of fact, you tend to proactively disregard those messages which cue you and yours in to what you and yours need to do when you're in government to maintain a reasoned balance amongst everybody and the environment, and then impose your own vision of what you'd like done over those evident and apparent needs of the general public relative to the environment that is around you.  I'm telling you all this as a friend, and as someone who doesn't want the world to be self-eliminate because of your disinclination to accept, work with, and adapt to facts that are around you and are apparently apparent to everyone else who is living on this planet, in this society, and in the context of our environment and universe.

 

Please, for the love of goodness and all that is holy, sit down and cease to control the reigns of society, or else I will not guarantee your individual and collective safety as the public fumes at the dysfunction, ineffectiveness, and callousness towards the public that you all have generated.  Crops are going to start dying off, because of YOUR environmental policies.  People aren't going to be able to afford to buy the basic necessities of life in spite of working over 40 hours a week at multiple jobs, thanks to YOUR labor and economic policies.  And when all is said and done, you will all be left with your more amoral and "pragmatic" friends in the business and financial community with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.  You can either go quietly into mandatory psychiatric treatment, or you can be mowed down by the mob like Qaddafi was just 3 years ago.  Personally, I don't care at this point so long as you're all removed from power.  You're all dead people anyway.  The only thing you have an inkling of control over is how you're remembered and, in your cases, how you go down.  We can either label you and your ideological progeny as dangers to themselves and dangers to others, or you can be wiped out by the public you had so much contempt for.

 

This is Governing 101.  If you don't like running the risk of being killed in office, don't bother running for office.  If you're not going to govern a society in such a way that you won't be able to square that basic requirement for survival, then please, let other people have a shot at it.  You're only digging your grave deeper, and the public will remember what you did to them.

 

Think about it.

 

-Eli Levine

Eli Levine's insight:

This is the simplest and nicest way that I can put it.  Life is sometimes the price for poor governance, and these conservative and ideologically types don't seem to get it.

 

Thus is how it was, is, and always will be.


I can't cry anymore.

 

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Beware of unregulated dietary supplements – Consumer Reports News

Beware of unregulated dietary supplements – Consumer Reports News | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
No, Amoxilina is not the antibiotic amoxicillin. It’s a dietary supplement marketed mainly to Hispanics. Last week, the Food and Drug Administration said that four children in Texas were hospitalized after parents mistakenly gave the supplement to their children. While...
Eli Levine's insight:

You know.  There's a reason why and how we have a government to oversee our economy, our businesses, and our society.  If the laissez-faire market system worked in favor of everyone, this would self-correct instantly and no one would be harmed in the process of sorting things out.  This is clearly not the case, which prompts the need for government to effectively and transparently oversee our food, water, medicine, supplements, and anything else that the business world tries to get us to buy.  I'm not calling for price regulation or any other aspects of centralized market planning.  I'm calling for standards of safety and honesty, such that the consumer can make an honest and informed decision about what to buy and what to buy.

 

Sadly, the industry is excellent at the two things that really matter: false advertising and Congressional lobbying.  This is evident by the last time the FDA tried to regulate dietary supplements in the late 1980's and early 1990's and how they're responding to the incidents with Dr. Oz (who is probably sponsored by the industry anyway).  This leaves the public demanding that government "stay out" of dealing with parasites who are allowing people to die and then effectively buying up political influence in Washington to prevent things from changing anyway.  Americans are in an abusive relationship with our Capitalist overlords and ladies.  It shows when we collectively resist policy and personnel changes that may actually help us in the long and short term, physically and psychologically, for the sake of an incorrect perception and the machinations of the private industries who take control over our world.  It's sad, pathetic, and ultimately the fault of Americans' own stupidity and misperception of the world that is around them and trying to get them to choose a better path for their own sakes and benefits.

 

We're not so much the land of the free and the home of the brave, but the land of the too stupid to form a solid and accurate view of the world in which we're living, and the land of the too scared to take that extra step away from the corporatists and Capitalists who currently rape, abuse, pillage, and destroy their own world for the sake of their own marginal "profit".  Oversight of industries and institutions that are, according to their own unchanging logic, destroy themselves, their societies, and their environments, is not a bad thing for anyone, including for the industry's members.  It's just money, after all, and it's money that you're not spending and will not be able to spend on top of that. 

 

Americans have consigned themselves to the fate that they're going to receive at the hands of the Capitalists, industry leaders, executives, investors, and sham politicians.  I will always be present to help, when and if they allow me to.  But this abuse is the fault of the abused, because if the abused were to take an effective stand against the abuser and leave the abusers in the dust, things would be different. 

 

"Did you exchange, a walk on part in a war, for a lead role in a cage?" -Pink Floyd, "Wish You Were Here".

 

Sad.

 

Think about it.

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This map shows which export makes your country the most money

This map shows which export makes your country the most money | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Australia makes the most money from coal. Who knew?

 

Using data from the CIA Factbook, we labeled every country in the world by its highest valued export, a.k.a. the commodity that makes the country the most money in the global market. Click on any of the maps below to see an enlarged version. 


Via Aykut Kibritçioğlu
Eli Levine's insight:

Very cool and interesting.

 

Think about it.

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The Perennial Problem People in Our Society

The Perennial Problem People in Our Society | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

You're an ideological fool, or worse, a shameless money grubber, if you think that government ought to be laissez-faire about the well being of society and the nature of the economy.  I for one enjoy having some order, predictability, and standards when it comes to my doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, and other certified positions and professionals, because it's better to ensure they're competent first than to let the market "work" its way out, to the tune of lives, assets, and liberties lost by shams and hacks.  Are there going to continue to be people getting into positions they're not really inclined for?  Absolutely.  However, not only does government limit and actually minimize the effects of these hucksters from getting into places they really shouldn't be, it also gives us legal recourse to go after them when they do do harm onto other people, such that we can do more than pound sand or go after them with violent methods.

 

I also like that government can improve standards of living in a society by enabling people to take on educational opportunities and trainings and to get preventative and post-incident medical care when they need to at cost, rather than have to finagle with an unaccountable and for profit insurance company.  I also like that government can maintain and support public works that the denizens of the free market investment club would not take on owing to the lack of return on investment that they expect for everything that they do.  I also like the public services that WE pay for, such that we can live in a safer, more organized, more sustainable, and better quality world than we would otherwise be in if we were to go "laissez-faire".

 

There are many things that government cannot do in a given society.  It cannot force a people to be anything other than who and what they are, and they have to obey the physics of economies, societies, and environments in order to improve and maintain the quality of life for its citizens.  This being said, you are an unimaginative ideologue if you see nothing for government to do in our social and environmental worlds, when there is so much poverty, anger, ill will, and bad health being generated by its current set of laissez-faire and pro-business profit policies that it is pursuing.  All of these services come at a cost from the society; there is no truly free lunch here.  If the rich have a problem with being taxed so much relative to the rest of society, perhaps they should shift some of their income down to their workers so that we all can share more equitably in the burden of paying for that which we ALL depend on for our well being?  Perhaps they should put profit in its respective place relative to health and well being, and view positive returns on investment past a few years as a luxury that can be used for greater social and personal good than sitting around in some account, collecting low-return interest on low-risk and unproductive investments?  What good is a profit if it fails to provide value to the whole of society?

 

Idiots, money-grubbers, and ideologues.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the perennial problems that help increase our misery in this world through insisting on being apart of the government in places of consequence, authority, and responsibility.  Until they stop running, we decide to not elect them, or until we label them as the mentally ill and self-harming people that they are, we will never be able to truly realize our potential in this world.  We'll just muddle on with their bs added to the normal bs that humanity and the universe dishes out to us.

 

Think about it.

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What ISIL’s English-language propaganda tells us about its goals | Al Jazeera America

What ISIL’s English-language propaganda tells us about its goals | Al Jazeera America | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Group’s growing English-language propaganda seeks a more global audience, and reveals its more lofty ambitions
Eli Levine's insight:

This is and was my worst fear.

 

They're aiming to out govern al-Malaki, and to provide an alternative to his seemingly ineffective, inefficient, and sectarian-based government.

 

If they were REALLY clever, they would be open to Shi'a and Kurds as well, and treat them kindly on a permanent basis as they march into their territory.

 

What this means is that we're not going to be able to dislodge them militarily or covertly.  ISIS could end up being the democratic choice of the public of Iraq, and that would mean that any act of aggression against it will be seen by the society as an act of aggression towards its own self.  The only thing we would be able to do is wait for ISIS to corrupt itself or cross social lines to make them illegitimate in the eyes of the public.  Only then could we make a move against them on their home turf.

 

This is why it's so important that we protect our own homeland as much as we can.  We can't chase terrorists down world-wide and we sometimes give rise to them through our meddling in other peoples' affairs to "protect" ourselves.  It is better to protect one's own house and to see to its internal affairs, than it is to go into other peoples' houses to meddle, connive, and contrive.  That doesn't mean that we should be passive or ignorant about world affairs.  It just means that we need to be a Hell of a lot more RESPECTFUL and COMPREHENDING of other peoples' cultures, tastes, and sensibilities in their own light.

 

We can justify action against ISIS for now, as protecting our country from the possibility of attack from a jihadi state.  However, we may need to ditch al-Malaki and throw our support behind whomever will be a more unifying character for Iraq.  This could mean al-Sadr.  This could mean anyone with enough street cred and respect amongst all Iraqis to unify a force against ISIS.  However, this may also mean that we're going to have to talk (not negotiate) with ISIS and to establish a dialogue with them, if they're going to be a player in the region's future.  Hopefully their conservative and autocratic ways will alienate the public away from them.  Until that time, we've got to be cognizant of how much support they actually have at any given time, and to wait for the winds to change in our favor.

 

Power corrupts.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.  That's the kind of stuff that they're going to be wielding.  And that's how they're going to alienate themselves from the larger social public.

 

Think about it.

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The Future of Organization - YouTube

Aiming to eliminate the compromises in organizational life. Covering some interesting and provocative ideas, spanning human rights, complexity science, the d...
Eli Levine's insight:

Sometimes I wonder if I'm on the right track or not intuitively and in my own way, or whether I'm completely off course with how things actually are working in reality.

 

In government, I see it as a very simple process of finding out where the problems are in society and working with all members of society to resolve the problems.  I see it as a collaborative process where there is mostly listening to what is needed with a critical, but open ear, and then following through on those needs using empirically based and tested techniques to resolve the problems.  It's trying to understand how economies work, and how the global economy works, rather than how businesses work, and how it all relates and connects to the environment in which we all have to live, on the localized through global levels.

 

I don't know how to MAKE the organization of the government work better, other than to let it work naturally and then intervene when it is needed to improve function and the quality of results.  This then improves the chances of legislators and executives getting elected, and then, for administrators, improves the chances that they a) do a good job, b) leave a solid legacy behind and c) maintain the ability to keep their job and improve their career.

 

I'm going to take criticism with a critical ear, because sometimes people have good advice to offer, and sometimes, people are just incorrect and spouting off at you.

 

What do you think?

 

Think about it.

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Inappropriate Inaction

One has to really wonder about the rich in this world.  They bellyache, whine, and worry about being overthrown or killed by the people they have shown very little sympathy, empathy, or care for these past odd several millenniums, and then do nothing significant to remedy the situation.  It's as if they're waiting for their nannies to make things better for them; to wipe their a*ses and tell them that it'll all be "ok". 

 

People have expressed their grievances very clearly to the rich over these past recent decades and years.  They're unhappy that economic opportunity is lacking, in spite of record high profits and executive compensation packages, that the government that the rich have paid for is not acting on behalf of the wishes and needs of the public, and that the environment is being neglected and destroyed for the sake of these executives' and investors' profits.  You'd think a common sense investment would be to give some of the net profits back to the workers who produced it, steward the environment that we ALL depend on, and allow the government to respond effectively for peoples' needs.

 

But NO!

 

They can't or won't handle even THAT proposal.  Thus, the rich create a self-fulfilling prophecy in which they die for the sake of marginal financial gains that they cannot use in business propositions that the probably shouldn't be making in the first place.

 

Where's the disconnect that prevents them from taking these common sense steps to freeing themselves up from the burden of an untimely death?  Is money REALLY that valuable to them?

 

Honestly.....

 

Think about it.

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Southern Culture

Southern Culture | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

The thing about the South in the Civil War, was that they were fighting for the RIGHT to have SLAVERY as a social institution.  SLA-VER-Y, based purely on ethnic and racial lines, not LI-BER-TY, based on inclusiveness.

 

Now, the Southern "culture" is about promoting a new kind of SLA-VER-Y, wherein people are not compensated for the work that they do that builds on the wealth of society.  They RESTRICT our DE-MO=CRAT-IC institutions to make it be so, and then PLUNDER the EN-VI-RO-MENT, in which we ALL have to make a living.  It doesn't matter where the historic lines were or who's involved in it now.  The present state of our economy and environment is a product of the Southern strain of American culture; unresponsive, unadaptive, and callous towards the actual state of well being of the social and environmental order in which they find themselves.  This is a SOUTHERN problem, even when it is present in the Northern states. 

 

I for one, am SICK of this ANTI-SOCIAL, UNDE-MO-CRAT-IC, and CARE-LESS culture pervading OUR government, OUR society, and ruining our ACUTAL state of PHYSICAL and PSYCHOLOGICAL well being.  It's just laziness, inefficiency, and carelessness all around.

 

And people STILL will buy into it!

 

Let them take their own country.  Let them show to the world what happens when the SOUTH, regardless of state lines, is allowed to self-organize without the help from the NORTHERN culture of inclusiveness, respect, efficiency, and care about the world beyond a myopic vision of one's own self.  At this point, I don't care if they all die due to poor social management.  It'll just be less baggage for us to carry around in the long term, should they so choose to remain unresponsive and unadaptive to the changing situation that is around them, not to mention, indifferent to the suffering of the people around them.

 

There's no excuse for it anymore.  You're either a callous bigot, who won't accept facts and information from the world around you, or you're a human being, who embraces the hard truths of the world around you, and makes changes according to that for your own sake at the very least, for everyone's sake at the very most.

 

And to think we may have to fight a war to keep these ignoramuses from spoiling our world.

 

Think about it.

Eli Levine's insight:

To my Southern friends, here is your choice:

 

Adapt, or risk killing everyone and everything that you value.

 

Think about it.

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Carnegie Mellon Student Gives a Lift to Lessig's Ideas

Carnegie Mellon Student Gives a Lift to Lessig's Ideas | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Lawrence Lessig is one of the most astute systems thinkers on the planet. Carnegie Mellon student Jordan Harrison decided to help bring Lessig's ideas alive visually, with this video.

Via Coffee Party USA
Eli Levine's insight:

No duh!

 

And yet the ideologues and conservatives see nothing wrong with it and actively encourage it!

 

Worth spreading.

 

Idiots....

 

Think about it!

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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, June 26, 2014 12:33 AM
I agree with the idea that Lessig is one the most astute systems thinkers on the planet. Take a minute to look over the visualizations created by student, Jordan Harrison of Lessig's ideas.
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What I Would Teach

What I Would Teach | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

The common problems in societies are conservatives and ideologues.  Not only do they lack the compassion and empathy needed to effectively govern a society and act within the larger world around them, but they also lack the sense and the willingness to explore problems with their beliefs and propositions.  This then means that they produce sub-optimal policy, which then leads to sub-optimal results within the given society that they're wielding influence in.

 

If I could have one wish with regards to politics and governance, it would be to perpetually and sustainably eliminate the influence, power, and control of conservatives and ideologues in a society.  I would teach people to recognize good governance and good governors/legislators/statespeople for their actions, not their words, and to draw causal links between certain behaviors, policies, and actions and the benefits that they yield for the public.  I would teach the public how the mechanics of societies work and what to expect from a governing body based on the public's expressed needs, desires, and interests.

 

At the very least, I would teach the people who would want to govern and administer the world how to act in their own self interests by adapting to changing conditions, new knowledge, and demands made by the public, rather than overriding these concerns and issues for some opinion that they may have about this, that, and the other thing.  It's fine to have hypotheses when we lack the awareness, know-how and knowledge.  Just ground them in reality and don't be too upset if they get proven to be wrong.

 

Honestly, how hard are those concepts?

 

Think about it.

Eli Levine's insight:

May all beings be happy.

 

And may I lead them into a position where they can better achieve that happiness.

 

Think about it.

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US to send military advisers to Iraq

US to send military advisers to Iraq | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
President Obama says the US is sending up to 300 "military advisers" to Iraq and may take "targeted military action" against Islamist insurgents.
Eli Levine's insight:

I would concur with this action and add air support in coordination with Iranian and Iraqi ground forces.  If only al-Malaki would step down as leader of Iraq to win back the Sunni population.  Above all things, I think, Iraq needs a unifying figure to lead it with sincere unifying actions to follow.  ISIS is a common threat to everybody in the region, even for the Saudis who fund them.

 

After all, what's to stop these demons from going after the opulent and often times hypocritical Saudi royal family after they're finished in Iraq and Syria?  What would stop a hero's welcome from becoming a bloodbath in Riyadh? 

 

Perhaps the US should quietly make that point to the Saudi King and his subjects?

 

I doubt we will.  Interpersonal relations does not seem like it is an actual strong point of US strategy.  All we know is guns versus bigger guns.  No strategy, no diplomacy, no politicking added into the mix.

 

Just some thoughts.

 

Think about it.

 

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Force: The Action of the Weak

You know how I know how to effectively fight an insurgent or revolutionary force?


Because I've studied the histories of countries and societies, seeking what worked and what hasn't worked at producing long term stability and positive relations within a given society.

Force only spoils the relationship and can only be skin deep in terms of its success rate. It only is a short term solution and it leaves the whole society angry and broken amongst itself and towards the faction or group within the society that is causing the initial conflict through their actual actions. The only way to definitively crush a rebellion is to make sure the rebel factions have no legitimacy and no friends or empathy from the rest of the society around them. You can only crush militarily an armed and isolated group who is perceived by the general public as causing the problems. Otherwise, the authorities will never have peace or rest, and exacerbate the situation until they are forcibly removed from power and position within their society or they genuinely and effectively correct the problem(s) that they're causing within the society. 


If you admit your mistakes, take action that effectively changes the situation, and genuinely comprehend, listen to, and respect the wishes and needs of the public, you will achieve something that no leader can ever achieve through force, even if it means your stepping down from power.  You only get power because people give it to you; you never receive it automatically or through a position or title.  Not really, never actually.

Such as it was that the peasants of Europe rose against the feudal landlords to establish their imperfect Republics and Democracies. Such as what happened to the Chinese Emperors when they ran afoul of their own people, or the hunter-gatherers of the world when confronted with hostile and hyper-aggressive individuals within their group.

Such was the Englishman's experience everywhere in the world. The put downs did not break the will of the people they conquered, and it did not stop them from gaining independence (by hook or by crook) and the whole of the empire from collapsing.

Such was it was in Ireland. Such is what it is everywhere. Such is how it will be in the future, no matter what you may do to make it actually be other.

Think about it.

Eli Levine's insight:

If history, across societies and times, confirms this to be the case, then it could be a natural law of society and a natural law of governance.  We seem to think that there are no links between action and effect, that we can do anything when we and if we have power or more power than another person.  The obligations are the same, the consequences of your actions remain in place that you have to live with.

 

Therefore, it's technically in no one's interest to use force against another element or person in a society so long as they lack the legitimacy to do so.  Even then, if illegitimate people use legitimate force against legitimate people, they tend to lose that power and authority through their own illegitimate actions, behaviors, and perceptions.

 

Thus, governing is a science and an art, where there are natural laws and better and worse options on the objective, empirical level.  The art is in the communication with and handling of the public and people in the public, the science and technicalities are in the actual actions that are taken.  The best politicians are like family doctors, who work regularly with the people and patients who fall under their care.  The best policy makers and advisers are like surgeons who do technical work and less public relations.

 

You cannot force a people or a person to follow a certain procedure or regimen in medicine without causing severe harm and trauma for that group of people or individual.  The same applies in politics, governing, and international relations.

 

A shame more people don't think about things like this.

 

Think about it.

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Economic vs Business Management

Economic vs Business Management | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

Managing an economy is different from managing a business, just as managing your individual self is different than managing the whole of human society and ecosystem that you're of, in, and around.  There is such a thing as excess for the individual, just as there is such a thing as excess for the business within the economy. 



A business is, after all, just one actor composed of actors within the context of the whole economy.  The maximum well being for the business, separated from the economy and society, is not the same as the maximum well being of the economy itself, especially when the economy is made relative to the average person living in society.  This is how we see high company profits (good business health) while the economies themselves are lagging behind in growth and the societies are generally lacking in well being and health.  The economy is about people who are living in the society; a business is just concerned with their specific task(s) and making as much money as possible from those tasks.  It is the failure of the business class to recognize this distinction that is, ultimately, going to cause the implosion of their world and everything that they value.

 

Since businesses are inclined to, eventually, peel away from going for the well being of the public for the sake of their own well being, it takes a separate institution to make sure that it all works cohesively together for the general public as opposed to just the business entities.  The society can either form into a mob whenever business interests reneg and drag their feet at fulfilling the social contract, or it can form a legitimate authority in a government whose members recognize their own well being as being intimately linked to people and their well being who can carry out and enforce these principles separately and independently from the business interests.  The businesses and business class will kill themselves off if they don't evolve into entities and individuals who will, at the very least, accept the necessary constraints from government for the sake of society.  It is for their sake that profit sharing, environmental regulations, health and safety laws and financial oversight is put into place, such that they do not kill or harm the rest of the social and ecological world in which THEY ARE APART OF.

 

If the business interests wish to have the whole of the world, and to kill it off in order to have their little piece of it, I say "let them have it all", just as the woman on trial in front of Solomon did for her baby.  I love this society.  I love this planet,  I love this universe, in spite of everything that it dishes out to me and to beings around me.  I know it will live on in whole, though much more worse off, under the reign of businesspeople, conservatives, and ideologues.  I leave it to the universe to judge what is the best course of action.  I have had no reason to believe in miracles that actually last.  Maybe one day the universe will prove me wrong.

 

Think about it.

 

Eli Levine's insight:

This is the key difference between how a government and its members ought to think about business and how a business person will think about his/her business.

 

One just eats.  The other has to maintain balance.

 

Think about it.

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