Archive for February, 2012

Topics to return to

14 February 2012

I wanted to write these down before I forgot.

These are all topics I think of quite often, but never get the chance to write about. I am not yet a sought-after commentator, and most forums and blogs don’t ask these questions. You could probably write a book about any of these topics, and for all I know, someone has.

Looking for a job in a full-employment economy.

Edward Bellamy was a socialist who lived and wrote in the late 1800s, and on into the early 1900s. What most thinkers were actually talking about back then was some form of technocracy. They saw the possibility of applying “modern” engineering concepts to various social problems. Their arguments were in terms of efficiency and similar values.

Bellamy wrote a book entitled “Looking Backward” which we had on our living room bookshelf when I was a boy, and which I read at that time. I enjoyed the book very much, as many others have done in their turn. It presented Bellamy’s ideas in the context of a melodramatic story line involving a man waking up after sleeping for 100 years to find his home town of Boston re-organized into a kind of Utopia. He asks questions and his new friends explain the new system to him. It is based on the assertion that competition is wasteful. When society finally decides to turn away from it, everything starts working much better.

It is in that spirit that I have sometimes wondered how the problem of finding a job could be handled better.

On earth today, there appears to be no agency, authority, or company that is really interested in matching up individuals with suitable employment.

In a system where jobs are kept scarce, labor is expected to “compete” for the jobs that are available. Since the competition paradigm is seen as a bit Neanderthal in the world of the college-educated people who run our current system, overt mention of the concept is seldom made, though “advice for job seekers” seems quite full of it.

Most of us don’t like the idea that we would have to beat others down just to become employed, although obviously someone likes the idea, because that is exactly what we often end up doing. If you, like myself, were not raised to play football, then your taste for the modern “job market” may be a little sour.

But,as Bellamy would have noted, this “system” (or perhaps the lack of one) is very wasteful.

I spend most of my job-hunting time on Craigslist. I look through the entire listing, usually a few hundred per day, to be sure I don’t miss any that I might be interested in. The job ads are listed by title, which gives me almost no information about the job, the employer, or the qualifications. There is no way to look up jobs based on exact job (because the wording is so variable), employer (they often don’t say), or qualifications.

“Job boards” are supposed to be websites that aggregate job listings, compare them to job seeker profiles, and farm out “matching” listings to the job seekers. However, all they really do is searches on the job titles based on key words you provide. I have even received e-mails from individuals who work for these websites regarding specific jobs that they think I would be interested in. But there is no evidence that they are using any human thinking process to do this.

 

What would a society be like that actually worked to keep its members productively employed? What if we used our computer systems to ACTUALLY match people up with jobs and then helped them get into those jobs? This, it seems to me, would be a society that would have some chance of surviving.

Politics: Where have all the leaders gone?

What I have noticed in this most recent Presidential race is that politicians rarely talk about politics. They are properly named, as their jobs involve handling power, but they almost never talk about what they really do. Instead they talk about economics, education, jobs, security, development.

Of course, all these activities have their place in a government. But: What about the problems of POWER?

Most of these people are lawyers, so they know about law. But if they have studied Political Science, they sure don’t act like it.

Most of the games of life operate on this basis: If you have something I want, then I will try to find a way to get powerful enough so that I can take it from you. Such games are not concerned with “fair trades.” They are concerned with winning and losing.

When a lion kills an antelope to eat, it exercises it power to accomplish this. When a man kills a pig to eat, he does similar. When a man kills a man to steal something from him, this is considered illegal – usually. Thus, the power we most object to in society is the power of criminals, and that is the main reason we have governments.

When was the last time you heard a politician discuss his plans for depowering criminals?

These people have obviously lost their way. Now criminals run governments and use our own police and armies to steal from us. This situation is very close to its endpoint. And the key to ending it will have to do with POWER.

The importance of spiritual knowledge

For some time now, apparently, spiritual knowledge and ability is not given any value in society. We seem to have lost grasp of the fact that this is the only reason societies survive; the only reason that life exists!

Living has been reduced to a set of machine actions when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. If you conduct your life as a machine would, you will soon be as dead as a machine is. Few seem to realize this.

If you refuse to confront and appreciate the spiritual world, you are missing out on about 90% of what makes things run in this universe. I can only suggest to you that perhaps the answers to improving conditions lie in the realm of the spiritual.

 

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