Before I get into today’s topic I just want to say a few things. Some may hear this and think that I am being political, that I am taking a side here, but what I am saying applies to both parties equally. It’s not about what about-isms. So fucking tired of talking about one person and the response being – well what about. What about them? You wouldn’t be able to say that in a court of law. Your honor, my client blatantly broke the law, but what about so and so. It’s not pertinent to the case and does not excuse what they did. And at the onset of this episode, I also will say again as I have said in previous episodes, I think Democracy dies in a two party system. Some may say Democracy never actually existed in this country thanks to the electoral college and the word ‘lobbying.’
What does it say about a society when the politicians are working to their grave?
I feel like we need to revamp this country. It’s 2023 and we need to hit the update button. Again, compare it to a computer. How often do we install new software updates to it? Now, we are still beholden to code written over 200 years ago? What else do we still use from that time? Forks? Spoons? Fire?
We need term limits. We need to abolish the Electoral College in it’s entirety or California and New York need 4 times the number of electors. How is it possible that we have had 2 separate incidents in this country where a President gets elected who loses the popular vote but wins the electoral college vote? We can’t let this happen for a third time, that would be a shame on all of us to then continue to call this country a democracy.
Popular Vote is the KISS method. Keep It Simple Stupid. Most Votes Wins, everyone knows the rules, Good Luck.
Also need to do away with Gerrymandering. Re-zoning districts so that it’s more favorable to whoever happens to be in power at the time. I remember that happening to me when I went to go vote once, I went back to where I had voted a few times before and they told me that my voting place had changed. I was so pissed. I had waited a good three hours in line, get up there and they tell me it moved. Fucking Gerrymandering bullshit.
Term limits. The average life expectancy for people living in America in 1776 was 35 years old! It is now 79 Years! Over double! We can’t continue to have career politicians in seats of power for decades. Look at where that has gotten us. A two party system that both benefit via monetary compensation to keep things the way they are.
Look where this two party system has gotten us, from the time of the first civil war until now. Now, where people are to this day still waving the confederate flag. So many people entrenched in their beliefs, they refuse to change.
It takes hot air and cold air to create a storm. Storm that is growing in strength. As this planet gets hotter and hotter so too our tempers.
Look at the correlation between weather and human behavior. Find some interesting trends. Crime rises in the summer, December sees the most suicides, yet we sing it’s the happiest time of the year. Therein lies a black and white example of belief verse reality in America. The month of December. The song, It’s Been a Long December by the Counting Crows is in my top 50 songs of all time, as being from Michigan and experiencing winter depression heavy. It also being the month that my grandfather passed away, one who I never had a chance to meet.
I see what my family went through in terms of credit card bills, thinking they had to keep up and fall into the credit card craze of the 90’s. consumerism. Buy, buy, buy. You can buy happiness. Happiness lies in the next item. I remember I would be so worked up going into Christmas, and looking back at those Christmas Eve nights, I was having an effect of all the anxiety in the house, I would get sick, physically throw up I was so anxious as a kid.
Then going through the years I went through a phase where I totally hated the holiday and wanted nothing to do with it.
Now as an adult I see it for what it really is. Coke and Macy’s came together and created the modern day Santa Claus inspired by Saint Nicholas.
So it’s a belief in Santa Claus which is then tied to another wide-spread belief.
And a funny note about December and celebration of the fictional character Jesus’s birthday, is that according the fictional book the Bible it is so called, is that he would have been more like to be born in August or September as men were coming from the fields which means they were harvesting the crops. So why change it to December 25th as if that were true? But when it’s a fictional character, you can do whatever is best to serve the needs of those in power, it is the King James Edit of the Bible anyway, it was edited to best manipulate the masses and take out stories that could give them hope in rising up to those in power.
I bring all this up as it all ties into the dilemma we are facing in social media. And one that extends now to AI. Of people not being able to tell the difference between a belief and an evidence-based fact.
It’s easier to listen to the belief, makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, comfortable, tells you all you want to hear, makes you feel good to be living the way you have been told to live.
And think about the concept of Santa Claus, it’s adults knowingly lying to their children for years, saying this stranger comes into their house to bring them inanimate objects that are supposed to derive happiness, joy and fulfillment. Yet, billions of pounds of gifts end up in the landfill every year, billions of dollars gets spent on gifts that aren’t wanted.
Destination Happiness. It’s in the next gift, it’s in the next vacation. Chasing, chasing, the little hamster on the wheel, feverishly chasing the next hit of serotonin. Oh it’s in the next thing I will open, that I know for sure!
Oh no, don’t tell Jonny that Santa isn’t real! We have to keep it a secret. Hehe.
Then wonder why Jonny then goes on to the IPad and starts to believe more lies and more lies. Then Jonny, as a 17 year old minor, gets driven by his mommy across state lines with a weapon of war to protect property he cares more about than human lives. And then Jonny gets propped up by others, who believe what little Jonny did was right for their cause, and they want to continue to use him as a prop. Jonny may even have electability, and with no term Limits, Jonny Could get into Congress and serve a 60 or even 70 year term. Think of the power he could gather in that time.
It starts with little lies over the course of someone’s life. So many that it’s hard to keep up with in calling them out. And since it’s already reached the tipping point, most people hear about calling it out and instantly dismiss it. Again, it’s such a powerful pull to live in the comforts of belief, why face harsh realities? Those are cold and desolate, distasteful, put a bad taste in my mouth to think of it, why is their black oil oozing from the gills of my grilled fish? I don’t understand it, why is the power out again? What do you mean storm surge took over my vacation home and we don’t know when the water will recede? I don’t have time to deal with those things right now, I have a deadline to meet, I have a new social media app to keep scrolling.
As a fiction writer myself and someone who loves Art. I am all about escaping the harshness of reality. Living in our Dreams. At the same time, we have to consciously know when we are doing that, we have to know when we are diving into a fiction. And as media has become more invasive on our lives, there has been a massive blurring of the lines here. Televisions, Computers, Phones, Social Media, now artificially intelligent media. The graphics on them getting better and better each month. We are going to see the same problems magnified.
I have been writing my thesis paper for the past 10 years, Users with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Like that seen in the film Shutter Island. Where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character is sitting on the steps at the end of the movie, his doctor begging him to realize the evidence-based fact that he is Andrew Laeddis, yet he fails and still thinks he is Teddy Daniels, leaving his doctor at a loss. They have no other choice but to bake his brain.
It's an uphill battle going against lifelong beliefs, because the more people hear something, the more they take it to be true.
This also ties directly into the climate crisis we are facing. Look at how many say it’s a hoax, as they continue to get slammed by record-breaking storm after record-breaking storm. Water in their lungs they will still scream, it’s a hoax!
It’s also the reason that the former president has to face jail time for what he did. Evidence-based facts have to mean something. There has to be accountability.
In saying that as someone who thinks we do over police. America has by far the highest incarceration rate in the world and that is by design. I think one of the gravest actions this country is taking right now is building more prisons for profit than colleges. Prisons for profit, these companies which you can buy stock in through the New York Stock Exchange. Think of that. What does that say about a society? A society that has the highest incarceration rate in the world, by far, it’s not even close the percentage of Americans that live behind bars in this country, yet people on the fourth of July cheering Freedom! I love my freedom!
I saw more cops on the road driving from New York to Michigan than I ever have. There honestly was a cop very mile of that road, either waiting to pull someone over or already pulling someone over. Predators on the road because it’s all about money, it’s a business, why else would there be laws for seat belts and speeding? Do you think they actually care about your safety? Not if it didn’t mean more ways to make money. They lurch, hiding behind bushes, sit at the bottom of hills, bottom of mountains as was the case with me when I was driving to Telluride Film Festial in a rental car with out of state liscence plate and the cop had his lights on for the person in the lane next to me, who then switched lanes to pull me over, I glanced over and sure enough that other person had in state liscence plate. They knew it was better to pull an out of state way out here in the mountains, as I was more likely to just pay it than fight it, which I tried to do through Ticket Clinic yet since it was so far out there it was cheaper to just pay the ticket. And while I was pulled over noticed that there were about 12 or 13 other cop cars in seeing eye distance, that were waiting at the bottom of the mountain to pull someone over or already had someone pulled over and of course this was right before getting to the Festival which of course they knew was happening. A fucking speed trap that they have probably been sitting at for years!
Again these institutions, tying themselves to money. Why does it have to be a financial hit for speeding or a seat belt? Why is it financial? I know there are options for community service etc. not the point, there is still that financial burden, why? Why does there need to be this transaction of money and why should a financial transaction be an incentive to pull people over like that for a police force? It’s a way for the city to make money? There has to be a better way than that. Ok crazy speeding, and reckless driving, sure pull that over, but going 75 on a 65? Really? Who the fuck is that hurting. The ones that are really hurting, are the ones driving 55 on a 65, or slower! That is what is fucking up traffic and causing more accidents. Again, belief verse evidence based fact.
People have this fear of AI, oh no it’s going to take over, oh no. it’s only magnifying a problem we already deal with! If we don’t start addressing it immediately it’s only going to get worse. We have to overcome these obstacles that have been holding us back for generations.
We have to grow. We have to take the next step. We have to face hard truths. We have to differentiate between beliefs and evidence-based facts. Artificial Intelligence has already been around in social media, what do you think controls what you see on the timeline? That is a computer studying you and your habits, giving you things on the timeline that you are most likely to engage with.
The onus is on all of us. It’s not on these centralized platforms, we can’t let them govern themselves which has really been what they are doing. They are spending billions bribing politicians, I’m sorry in America it’s called Lobbying and it’s perfectly legal because OF COURSE IT IS! Of course the politicians are going to say they are allowed to make an infinite amount of money for as long as they possibly can, even though they are mentally dead!
We have to get more younger people elected. This cannot be who is running our country in 2023. In what time in human history has it been the elderly, nearly deceased who are running things? When has that every been the case?
In order to evolve we have to quickly adapt to change. The rapid pace that social media and technology has advanced has far surpassed any government in power today. They have been outsmarted by these tech companies and their lawyers and have passed laws which will keep them powerful for quite some time, unless legislation gets passed, which right now, with a near 50/50 split – is a great way to keep things the way they are. Do you think it’s only SBF who donates to both sides of the aisle? No he was just an idiot and did it the wrong way, especially after Citizens United passed in 2009. Look at the concentration of wealth in that time.
Completely squeezing everyone out of their savings, making them work 60-80 hours a week, artificial inflation to keep the stock holders happy. That’s the real AI people should be worried about, Artificial Inflation. Many of these companies have seen record profits during and after the pandemic, raising prices because they fucking can. Who is going to tell them otherwise.
We get them to believe that it’s because of the pandemic, that’s why we are raising the prices.
Again, beliefs verse evidence-based facts.
Are we all mindless consumers? Ah, what can you do about it? Ah, voting doesn’t matter. Yes it does and the fact that you can actually believe that, is the trick they try to pull. If it didn’t matter why would the spend Billions of their precious dollars every election cycle. Money and power. Votes are the key to that power and to a lot of that money.
The country desperately needed a third party candidate to win and they had their chance and failed to choose the right one. Now look at this decades, century long mess we are in.
I think we need to rebrand. We need to make DC a state, come up with a new American Flag Design and like the one we currently have, make it a nationwide drawing contest among the youth in schools. Let’s bring excitement back to education and art in particular.
I actually had the chance to meet the guy who drew our current Flag Design. He was 17 at the time, went to Lancaster High School in Ohio. 1958, after Alaska and Hawaii were added.
That is what I am talking about! That is what we need. We need to rally around the arts, we need to rally around teachers as they are helping ensure the youth can remain competitive in the future. And right now, we are failing our youth. American kids are falling behind in almost every area, if we don’t address this soon, this could be catastrophic for GDP. We are moving to an ever increasing global economy, as someone who has been in the virtual Web 3 space, I can tell you that this is only going to get more prevalent. If the youth in America can’t compete on a global scale they will not land important jobs that will then lead to less in taxes collected, etc. then it’s just a snowball effect, infrastructure, even less money for schools, even less to take care of the weak and sick, veterans, our defenses our most beloved over bloated military. Spare me!
A listener for the show sent me a message saying I should run for president with these takes. I laughed, but I don’t limit myself either. I am still a couple years away from being eligible anyway. Whatever will be will be. I am going to be like water and just flow into different mental and physical states as needed.
The journey isn’t long, it’s right now and it’s infinite. Go Further. Further into the future that lays itself out before you. Growing pains, one step at a time.
And if this my last episode ever, and one of these times that will be true, so I want to say it now, because if not now, when? But I just want to say before I go, one last thing and if it’s the last thing I ever say I want it to be this -