Just finished up four Dead & Company concerts; two at the Shoreline Amphitheater and two in Boulder at Folsom Field. I love this band.
Gore Vidal said the “very definition of liberalism is the discussion of all thoughts”. My thoughts evolve.
I traveled from Eagle to Grant Park in 08 for history. While I think Obama is a good man and I agree that his agenda was primarily blocked, he’s part of the machine. One book that lays this out well is Listen Liberal: Or Whatever Happened To The Party Of The People by Thomas Frank.
Two books that moved me are Silent Spring by Rachel Carson and small is beautiful by E.F. (Ernest Friedrich) Schumacher.
From Silent Spring, Page 99:
“The question is whether any civilization can wage relentless war on life without destroying itself, and without losing the right to be called civilized”. We’ve been waging war on life for years.
Rachel wrote that “the control of nature is a phrase conceived in arrogance born of the Neaderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man”. She believed that use of “insecticides and pesticides were concepts and practices that most part date from the Stone Age of science”.
Schumacher believed that the youth (circa 1970) were rebellious, truculent, and often misguided. He thought they were searching for a new lifestyle. But that it was the duty of the older generation to break out of their narrow ways and offer, to the best of their abilities, and overall view and a prescription for the future.
I think we’re on a speeding train to a brick wall.
It makes no sense to tell our kids we love them, then leave behind a world in which their lives will be chaos. Everyone will be affected by what we’ve done. No amount of money will save a person from where we’re headed.
History is important. It’s illogical to study history then ignore it when it’s convenient or uncomfortable. It’s deeply hypocritical to reference Gandhi in posts or on posters (Apple’s Think Different campaign) then not follow his teachings such as wear Khadi. It’s deeply hypocritical to dance to the music of the Grateful Dead then ignore or not study what Jerry believed in.
Gandhi said, “I want the dumb millions of our land to be healthy and happy and I want them to grow spiritually…If we feel the need of machines we will certainly have them. Every machine that helps every individual has a place. “…but there should be no place for machines that concentrate the power in a few hands and turn the masses into mere machine minders, if indeed they do not make them unemployed”.
Because of our obsession with cheap and free, we’ve handed control of our lives over to a few companies. We’re now minders for the machines — Apple and Google control technology, Monsanto is close to taking over food supply.
We talked about it in my Mom’s kitchen — that technology will make entire gene pools in our country unemployable.
It’s happening. Amazon, which was born from our obsessions with cheap and free, will kill retail for all practical purposes.
Now add in the millions of jobs lost to A.I. and automation. In the not too distant future driving jobs (the #1 jobs category today), hotel (maid service, room service, front desk) and restaurant jobs (food servers) will be automated. Medical technician jobs will be lost.
How will these jobs be replaced?
The tech industry tells everyone that tech creates more jobs. That was sort of true in the Internet age, but not now.
Policy wonks say progress creates jobs. They point to railroads, refrigeration, our highway system, and the buildout of public transportation. But that progress isn’t repeatable.
Republicans claim trickle down is the answer. Trickle down didn’t work in the 80’s, it won’t work now.
The Democrats say, “we need to make the middle class strong”, they point to higher education as the key. But there’s millions of people in our country who come from generations of workers — they don’t want to go to college.
Immigrants from Mexico aren’t here because they want to be. No. They’re here because they can’t grow anything, because their soil has dried up.
We can either stay on the train — carpe diem — or get off. Getting off means making big changes. Most of which will be uncomfortable, because they connect to sacrifice.
– tear down the shopping malls, put up greenhouses to grow food
– quit building homes that serve no other purpose than taking up space
– start building communities that provide their own food and power
– paint every roof in our country white (to reflect the sun)
– if new buildings go up, they have to provide their own energy and provide food for the tenants
– go into the poorest parts of our great nation and start building healthy soil
– put greenhouses on top of buildings
Solar is great, we have solar on our home. But the surest way to sequester carbon isn’t solar — it’s to build healthy soil. Put in stark terms by my friend Brook LeVan, build soil or die.
Don Henley wrote it well in Praying for Rain “it isn’t knowledge, it’s humility we lack”.
The way to stop the train wreck is right in front of us — in songs and books, old and new.