Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The news is the problem, not the people

From today's Reuter's newswire:

Humans are damaging the planet at an unprecedented rate and raising risks of abrupt collapses in nature that could spur disease, deforestation or "dead zones" in the seas, an international report said on Wednesday.

Absolutely. But who's to blame?

The study, by 1,360 experts in 95 nations, said a rising human population had polluted or over-exploited two thirds of the ecological systems on which life depends, ranging from clean air to fresh water, in the past 50 years.

Untrue, since a declining population, that of the first-world, and more specifically a tiny percentage of it, the priviledged class, are pushing all of this destruction, as hard and fast as they can, to profit as quickly as possible from it.

Note that the report says nothing about rising population. The Reuter's reporter added her own Malthusian spin to the story. The report actually says that the poor suffer the most from ecological degradation.

It's pretty disheartening when the major newswire can't even read a press release without spinning it against the poor.

Actually the report itself is trade-and-development-oriented, and seems to be concerned with making the world safe for sustainable profit. The crisis-inspired opportunities for large & lucrative contracts are listed in great detail. Even though they've understated the crisis, the report is clearly also a fear-mongering effort, spearheaded by the World Bank, to scare people into a catatonic state about the future ... ripening the fields for the reaping of short-term profit, and sowing the seeds of obedience: "there's nothing to worry about. The World Bank is dealing with poverty and ecological destruction. You can go back to work, pay your taxes, open a Bud, watch a movie. We'll take care of things. We are certified leaders."

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Deception is the root of poverty

In the news: a telephone conversation between Bono & Wolfowitz. This is an extension of Bono's appearences at places like the World Economic Forum, the World Bank, etc. I have no idea if Bono is actually interested in eliminating poverty, but he's never uttered a word, at these festivals of power & priviledge, about the actual cause.

People would not be poor if a minority didn't profit from it. That's true in the US, and throughout the world. The resources of the world, which should belong to everyone, are stolen from them, by force, continually. The resources are abused & destroyed, wasted for short-term profit, and the poor have no access to even the most basic of them.

Stopping poverty would only require stopping this theft. There's no way to resolve poverty as long as the world is structured to maximize profit for the priviledged & powerful 0.1% of the population.

But this isn't talked about. The poor know it, and they are the majority. When things get so bad that they cannot live, they try to stop it ... but they'd prefer to just live their lives.

The amazing deceptions used by concentrated wealth & power to distract the educated classes, are not easily uncovered by textual analysis.

On the website of the World Bank: "The World Bank Group’s mission is to fight poverty and improve the living standards of people in the developing world." The complete opposite is true -- it's the purpose of the World Bank to institutionalize poverty, so that a suffering labor pool is cheap to hire, and easy to profit from. It is the job of the World Bank to make loans which benefit the rich, and which are paid for by the poor. And it is the role of the World Bank to insist that governments do not try to change this situation.

How can all those well-meaning people at the World Economic Forum be so easily deceived, one might ask? Because the real nature of these institutions is almost too terrible to believe. Still, the actions of these institutions can be made transparent, and then it wouldn't be hard to build a model of what is going on ... the emotional distance of computer models, created from real data, could save us yet.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The privatization of truth

The age-old deception of government: hide your own crimes, and invent or highlight the crimes of your antagonists. This is used everywhere, all the time. It's a basic tool. It's also pretty easy to see through, with a bit of research.

But finding the truth has become much harder in the past century ... the economic causes of war have always existed and are always visible, but the analysis of a specific event is very difficult, because the causes are hidden inside of private companies.

Perhaps Lebanon's former PM was killed by Syrian interests, or by US interests, or by someone else. But unless you know specifically what's going on around money, profits, contracts, resources etc., it's impossible to find the immediate, true motive. And unless you can find the motive, you can't find the culprit. Any police detective will tell you the same thing.

It's the privatization of truth.

Consider how difficult it would be to make a computer simulation of the Earth, right now. Most of the environmental & cultural destruction, most of the pain and suffering, and most of the plans & data regarding these, are in private hands. We can see the effects, and to some extent the physical causes, but the specific guilty parties aren't always visible. We know the larger cause -- maximizing profit. But unless transparency is required by the majority, we'll be in the dark as we all slowly boil to death.

The available public data is not well-organized. High-detail modelling of finance, resources, development & profits, including names and deals, based on current data on the web, could be invaluable. If we point out the destruction, it would help us to justify the alternatives.