A place to explore life's mysteries and solutions to it's challenging problems

Archive for the ‘Discernment in the age of information overload’ Category

How the OWS movement gets teeth – part 2

leave a comment »

More raw thoughts on how the revolution gets some teeth:

Dawn is breaking in my mind on some things and I just realized…all you Starcraft, Warcraft, real-time strategy players out there guess what?

Resource allocation, real-time strategy, we all should be fucking wizards at this shit!

Here’s where I’m going with this.

In order to do what I suggest in part 1 you need to have access to smart phones, data plans, internet access etc. all of which requires you allocating a portion of your financial assets towards companies that may well be your ‘enemies’.

So you shell out so much of your gold, stone, meat, wood etc. in order to build up your army and defeat the opponent.

In this game most of your purchasing power is spent enriching those you are trying to defeat (namely those specific corporations that put profits before people).

The goal is to shift the allocation of these financial resources towards, specifically, those corporations that put people and the environment before profits.

i.e. fair trade, sustainability etc.

The “blind & ignorant of social impact impulse buy” is your worst enemy, but the friend of those who put profits before people.  They are counting on all of us, to actively or passively or ignorantly (it doesn’t really matter) pass off responsibility and blame to them (it’s not our fault the company I buy from is unethical etc). 

It actually benefits them if we pass off blame to them, because ironically we then feel less or no guilt about the purchase…we get what we want and they get what they want and nobody worries about being accountable to a higher standard because they say “We’re just providing what the customers want” and we say “We’re not responsible for what the companies do with the money they make from us buying their product”. 

We both pass the buck and some poor laborer in a 3rd world country is left holding the bag…and it’s full of disease riddled water and chemical toxins that are poisoning their world at an alarming rate.

I’ve actually seen this flaunted with a perverse pride on rants on amazon.com.  Someone started a thread asking “are amazon products fair trade?”…and more than a few had comments like “Who cares!  As long as I get a product that is what I want at a price that is cheap!  Those people wouldn’t have any work at all – even if they are working for what seems like pennies to me, it is better than the alternative of no income at all!” 

Pretty disgusting….

Is ‘our’ generation up to this challenge? 

First we must embrace that responsibility for the social and environmental impact of our purchasing decisions rest on our shoulders.

Then we must arm ourselves with the tools and information we need to make socially and environmentally responsible purchasing decisions. 

Imagine the power we wield if we do this effectively, collectively, and with consistency?

Who is in charge then? 

The mighty collective of socially and environmentally responsible, informed consumers that’s who. 

The corporations will have no choice but to give in to the pressures of such an empowered collective force for change, else they risk perishing. 

In this connected, technology rich world no corporation can offer any legitimate excuse for not being able to provide the transparency, accountability, and social and environmental responsibility that we as the collective consumers should be demanding (and if we are not demanding it than we are as soulless as those who put profits before people). 

 That being said in this connected, technology rich world no individual can offer any legitimate excuse for not being able to acquire the information necessary to make purchasing choices that are socially and environmentally responsible. 

The gauntlet has been laid down…

Want to prove to me your factory overseas provides safe working conditions, fair wages, etc.? 

Offer transparency and access that the technology rich, digitally connected world can offer. 

Not willing? 

Okay, I take my business elsewhere. 

We need to start demanding, putting our foot down and truly throwing our weight around…but first we need to collectively wake up to the fact that we have that power.

More later…drumming things up, keeping the wheel cogs of my mind turning…


Written by mindopenwhy

October 23, 2011 at 10:44 pm

How the OWS movement gets teeth – part 1

leave a comment »

The middle class in America is about to find it’s power…

And America and the world will be changed for the better because of it.

An example of what I am thinking about:

“You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the iPhone application store…”




ShopNoGMO is a shopping guide that helps you avoid GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) in the foods you buy at your grocery store.”


Now my thoughts in raw form:

It is time to leverage the power of social media, mobile technology, and networking to effect real, meaningful change in how we consume.

The problem – too many of the products and services we buy are connected to practices we wouldn’t support (environment, fair trade issues, mergers, job slashing for profits, etc.).

It is our money that feeds the inequity, that fuels environmental destruction, that keeps alive the corporatocracy.

We have within our grasp the power to wake up, arm ourselves, and make the necessary changes in our purchasing decisions to radically alter the landscape.

We need to crowd source…use mobile tech to scan products and get info on their ‘status’…crowd source by assigning research to a network of volunteers who will seek out the facts on products with missing or incomplete information…cross reference to verify.

It’s difficult…because of the reality of ministers of misinformation who lurk among us.

We need to gain the upper hand by creating trusted networks…let it start with ‘us’ instead of ‘them’.

This is one arena where the local grass roots media comes into play – people on the ground checking things out – armed with digital technology to reveal what is hidden and bring what is in darkness to light.

What is absolutely fundamental – transparency.  If a company refuses to offer completely and authentic transparency it serves as a black mark that conscientious consumers will see as a sign that all is not well and that they should take their money to a ‘trusted vendor’.

Caution – fake advocacy groups exist, often with names that sound promising – for example, the name may sound like “People for the Responsible Use of the Earths Resources” but they may be a front group for ‘people who use the earths resources for their own personal gain only’.

“Advocate groups have a bad habit of selectively reporting only the information that flatters their causes”


“Danger Will Robinson!”

Discernment is crucial in the information age.  What sources of information can be trusted?

Again transparency is fundamental?  Are they willing to disclose full and completely accurate info about funding etc?  Who sponsored the study?  Where does the money trail lead?  Does it lead back to some corporate entity with a vested financial interest in the public perception of something?  Or a truly independent consumer group? 

And if the trail is impossible to discern red flags automatically go up.

Written by mindopenwhy

October 23, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Tron found to be surprisingly relevant and entertaining

leave a comment »

Watched the new “Tron” movie the other night.

Expected to be not very impressed, but surprisingly I enjoyed this film, finding it both visually impressive and with a relevant and meaningful story line.

Now I may just have to watch the original just to get more of the backstory…

Moral of story: Don’t be that parent who get’s lost in a virtual world for 20 years and misses out on the kid(s) growing up.  It might be really cool in there but you’ll end up realizing that the virtual world will always be there when you have time for it, but the moments with your kids only come once and then the opportunity is gone forever.

Dang, well so much for that quantum physics experiment I was going to start in the garage…

Time instead to start that list of “Things the kids keep bugging me to do, but I always have some lame excuse as to why now is not a good time”.

Managing the flood of digital information and entertainment may be one of the greatest challenges for those of us who grew up as the digital revolution unfolded, especially those of us raising kids who are born into a digitally saturated world.

Most of us are still learning how to manage all this, let alone figuring out how to teach our kids the best strategies for managing all the ups and downs of information/media/entertainment/visual stimuli overload that comes with the digital age.

Written by mindopenwhy

June 14, 2011 at 3:20 am

%d bloggers like this: