Friday, February 20, 2009

Big Changes?

It's been strange to observe the entertainment industries responding to the advance of technology with various degrees of self righteous paralysis. The weird thing is that these industries - music, film, television, video - are all very new and were originally born out of technological change and cultural shifts.

It's strange that these large media companies have been so resistant to change. The music industry is a shambling zombie of an object lesson but TV and Film still seems resistant to the internet and many to many communication.

But then we seem to think that whatever is happening now will always be. Things can't change THAT much.

That's one of the problems with the neocons. They came up with some theories in the 80s and then applied them 20 years later. They assumed that oil was and had to always be the only energy source and they assumed that the world would always love the US no matter what.

Oh and they assumed that we were a freedom loving democracy just cuz we were. Not because of what we did and didn't do.

Maybe that a problem on the other side. Most people, (including myself) don't understand how fragile democracy is. In history and in the world today democracy is the exception and not the norm. Dictatorships and oligarchies are much more efficient. Plutocracy and kleptocracy seems more likely. When this nation was started there were naysayers who pointed out that democracies only last a couple centuries (Greece and the Netherlands being the examples they cited). After about 200 years the people realize that they have the keys to the treasury and they grab all the money without any consideration for the future.

No new taxes anyone?

Finally I just heard this on the radio. Economic growth is a brand new phenomenon. Only about 200 years old. We don't know how it really works. The normal state of humankind, in time and in the present, is abject poverty.


Actually I believe that we are in the midst of a painful realignment but that democracy and the middle class can survive.

But I might just be thinking that things can't change THAT much.....


  1. Unfortunately, the media has us programmed to respond to fear-based initiatives that cause us to filter our worldview through negative channels which the big media companies supply. For a more positive perspective on what is happening in our universe right now, check out Christopher Witecki at

  2. Wow, you're on the very same wavelength as Trusten and I are.

    The economic growth piece is really interesting particularly since our economy is really a bit of a fiction with "financial services" and whatnot instead of hard goods. I've been saying for years that our economy is a house of cards, and now finally, we are starting to see that more clearly.

    There seems to be some universal truth about stability breading fear of change or something like that. I see it in myself as I get older and settle down and in various companies that grow to the next level. Regarding the latter, I recommend another trip to the library to check out "Small Giants: Companies that Choose to be Great and Not Big" by Bo Burlingham.

    I often find myself spiraling back to one or two issues. Population, being a big one. In times of plenty we multiply and use more resources, just like other species. Painful realignment would seem inevitable. (For some reason, Bill Peet's "Wump World" just popped into my head, not a direct parallel, but fun nonetheless.)

  3. If we had saved money during this past period of growth (and when I say we I mean me, our family, my city, my state and my country) we would be in much better shape right now. People used to be more frugal and smart about money but the last couple decades have rewarded nutty behavior.

    Let me say this....I love Bill Peet. LOVE him. My favorite was (apparently) his first - Hubert's Hair Raising Adventure.

    Thanks for reading Margaret!

  4. the irony of the times ... finally make enough money to put some away for the kids ... stock market tanks ... i feel like we went through the rabbit hole and emerged in a tea party painted by salvador dali. thx john! it's fun to see the world through your kaleidescopic mind!