Wise Innocence Is a Trick We Aspire to Master

Jorge Luis Borges said that Judas was actually a more exalted hero than Jesus. He unselfishly volunteered to perform the all-important villain’s role in the resurrection saga, knowing he’d be reviled forever. It was a dirty job that only an egoless saint could have done. Jesus suffered, true, but enjoyed glory and adoration as a result.

Let’s apply this way of thinking to the task of understanding the role that seemingly bad people play in pronoia.

Interesting narratives play an essential role in the universal conspiracy to give us exactly what we need. All of us crave drama. We love to be beguiled by twists of fate that unfold the stories of our lives in unpredictable ways. Just as Judas played a key role in advancing the tale of Christ’s quest, villains and con men and clowns may be crucial to the entertainment value of our personal journeys.

Try this: Imagine the people you fear and dislike as pivotal characters in a fascinating and ultimately redemptive plot that will take years or even lifetimes for the Divine Wow to elaborate.

There is another reason to love our enemies: They force us to become smarter. The riddles they thrust in front of us sharpen our wits and sculpt our souls.

Try this: Act as if your adversaries are great teachers. Thank them for how crucial they’ve been in your education.

Consider one more possibility: that the people who seem to slow us down and hold us back are actually preventing things from happening too fast. Imagine that the evolution of your life or our culture is like a pregnancy: It needs to reach its full term. Just as a child isn’t ready to be born after five months of gestation, the New Earth we’re creating has to ripen in its own time.

The recalcitrant reactionaries who resist the inevitable birth are simply making sure that the far-seeing revolutionaries don’t conjure the future too suddenly. They serve the greater good.

This is from the concept of Pronoia – Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia is available at Amazon

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Positive Chart #3 – Income Spent on Food

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This chart shows the percent per capita of disposable income spent on food in the U.S. from 1960 to 2012.

If you focus on the blue line, ‘Food at home,’ you can see that over the last 50 years, the percent of our disposable income spent on food has dropped by more than 50 percent, from 14% to less than 6%.

This is largely a function of better food production technology, distribution processes and policies that have reduced the cost of food. We’re demonetizing food rapidly.

Positive Chart #2 – Child Labor is on the Decline!

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This chart depicts the actual and projected changes in the number of children (in millions) in hazardous work conditions and performing child labor between 2000 and 2020.

As you can see, in the last 16 years, the number of children in these conditions has been reduced by more than 50%. As we head to a world of low-cost robotics, where such machines can operate far faster, far cheaper and around the clock, the basic rationale for child labor will completely disappear, and it will drop to zero.

Why the World Is Better Than You Think

 

We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded by negative news from every angle. If you turn on CNN (what I call the Crisis News Network), you’ll predominantly hear about death, terrorism, airplane crashes, bombings, financial crisis and political scandal.

  • I think of the news as a drug pusher, and negative news as their drug. There’s a reason for this. We humans are wired to pay 10x more attention to negative news than positive news.
  • Being able to rapidly notice and pay attention to negative news (like a predator or a dangerous fire) was an evolutionary advantage to keep you alive on the savannas of Africa millions of years ago.
  • Today, we still pay more attention to negative news, and the news media knows this. They take advantage of it to drive our eyeballs to their advertisers. Typically, good news networks fail as businesses.
  • It’s not that the news media is lying — it’s just not a balanced view of what’s going on in the world.
  • And because your mindset matters a lot, my purpose of my work is to share with you the data supporting the positive side of the equation and to give you insight to some fundamental truths about where humanity really is going. The truth is, driven by advances in exponential technologies, things are getting much better around the world at an accelerating rate.

NOTE: This is not to say that there aren’t major issues we still face, like climate crisis, religious radicalism, terrorism, and so on. It’s just that we forget and romanticize the world in centuries past — and life back then was short and brutal.

Here is one of ten charts highlight these truths – By Peter Diamandis – We will be posting them all in our upcoming posts.

 

Living in Absolute Poverty (1981-2011)

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Absolute poverty is defined as living on less than $1.25/day. Over the last 30 years, the share of the global population living in absolute poverty has declined from 53% to under 17%.

While there is still room for improvement (especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia), the quality of life in every region above has been steadily improving and will continue to do so. Over the next 20 years, we have the ability to extinguish absolute poverty on Earth.

9 more charts on abundance to come!

 

 

Arizona’s New Immigration Law – The Facts and How You Can Help

“Every Generation has the obligation to free men’s minds for a look at new worlds… to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation” – Ellison S. Onizuka, American Astronaut.”

The law has been amended to require that an individual can only be subjected to an immigration inquiry when the questioning officer is engaged in a lawful interaction with that individual. As Shikha Dalmia argues, this is less of a restriction than a sugar coating over the previous law. While eye-contact is no longer sufficient cause for an officer to demand proof of citizenship, Jay walking, littering, loitering, or failing to signal for a full 500 feet before making a right turn would be more than enough. Given Arizona Sheriffs’ fondness for race based round-ups, this amendment does little to sooth concerns about fairness and equal protection before the law.
First there are some general impacts related to Arizona’s law which will occur regardless of your opinions on the matter.
Tourism- Is a vital component of Arizona’s economy. Spending directly related to tourism amounted to $18.5b in 2008. This generated approximately $2.6b in tax revenue. An estimated 1.4b of which goes to state and local government.
Labor market- Illegal migrants are a necessary component of the existing labor market. While this is far from an ideal situation, it is the current one. The Arizona day labor market depresses wages, to be sure, but it also enables a vast number of minimum wage jobs to exist due to the capital flow freed up from labor costs at the bottom. This should be reformed with temporary work visas and an increased quota for mexican migrant immigrants but in the short term this law threatens to seriously harm the industries of the state. Arizona is already struggling to stay competitive, now they will struggle harder.
National Reform- This law is justifiably a reaction to the vacuum left by Bush’s failure at immigration reform. No thinking human being could possibly lay the blame on Obama for this one. Regardless of your position on health care, you have to admit that it took every ounce of political capital he had to push it through. It would have been a ridiculous political move for him to have put immigration reform on the agenda before or during that debate as it would have guaranteed the failure of both. Remember that it was the Republican party which was so divided over immigration reform in the past at the same time when a republican president saw the wisdom of reform. Now the same republicans that stopped immigration on the federal level have rammed through an extremist version of their own bill.
The Hispanic Voting Bloc- may have just ruined republicans chances of sweeping middle range democrats out in the midterms. I’m not going to say that concerns me, but it should concern the party. Middle of the road voters want pragmatic laws that will do the country good, not political granstanding timed to boost electoral images at the expense of citizens rights.
Mexico- It’s that gigantic country just across the street, and it’s pissed. Rumbles of diverting trade from arizona would exacerbate the harms already mentioned. They seem unlikely to take the form of overt legal condemnation, but as we’ve already seen, boycotts don’t need state backing to cost a state 8 figures in a month. Keep in mind that Arizona is dependent on trade with Mexico. If that relationship were to become any more strained.
But it would be unfair to simply present the predictions I lend credence to. Here are a few of the main talking points used by the supporters of the law followed by reasons why they don’t hold up to empirical analysis.
 
Public resources. (i.e. Health and Education)
Law Enforcement- As of Fiscal 1999, the 24 counties along the Mexican border spent a combined $102m on services provided for and related to illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico.

These are the factual impacts of the law no matter what side of the line you stand on.

Other Sources You Should Read:

Go no further than this article right here.

How You Can Be Apart Of The Student Movement Against This Bill

1. Like this page on facebook

2. Tweet these #hashtags on twitter (#SB1070 and #LegalizeAZ )

3. Go to Dream Activist to find all the other ways you can be apart of the movement

Arizona’s Immigration Law (SB1070) – Is It Racist?

Well, yes and no. The law does not explicitly state that “all those of brown skin or accented speech shall be detained and asked to demonstrate their legal status in this state”. Anyone who didn’t sleep through their freshman history class would know such explicit statutes are not necessary for a law to be overtly racially targeted. Remember poll taxes and literacy tests. Neither stated that a pollster was required to test and tax every black person or that the law was passed in order to keep blacks from voting, but those were the realities of the laws’ implementation.

So while the law does not say that those of hispanic origin shall be targeted, that seems the reasonable prediction given the situation in Arizona. Consider the following:

We’ve already watched Sheriff Arpaio launch massive racially targetted “crime-supression sweeps” in the name of combating illegal immigration (even as illegal immigrants are repeatedly shown to commit less crimes than white citizens). We’ve already seen a widely supported governor of the state refuse to recognize MLK day as a holiday. We’ve already seen ethnic studies banned in the state’s public schools and teachers with accents fired.

In other words we’ve seen actions taken by this particular state and its political class that seem to indicate a certain…defensive reaction to a perceived ethnic crisis. It is not that they hate Hispanics per se. Rather it seems that the politicians in question -and presumably their constituents or at least their subordinates – are of the opinion that the immigration question is a racial one.

That being the case, how are we to react to the current law? When law enforcement individuals in the state have already set precedent for grouping legal hispanics in with illegal ones in enforcement actions, how are we to expect liberties to be protected?

The fact is that this law does not provide for the fairness and equality before the law that is the foundation of our nation. Our pride in our liberty begins with our freedom from unwarranted and arbitrary invasions by the government.

When walking down the wrong street being the wrong color becomes probable cause for detainment, we’ve ceased to command the ethical heights demanded of us by our founding fathers. We cannot, as defenders of liberty here and throughout the world, allow ourselves to be overcome by fear or selfishness when deciding what is right. We must be better than that, we prove ourselves to be those proud and determined americans who did not surrender to fear when the world was threatened but stood up as its strongest protectors. We must recognize that the laws are the means by which we have secured our own liberty from past oppressions and never fail to uphold that tradition.

My grandfather fought for the freedom of people he had never met who spoke different languages then he did, believed in different gods than he did, and looked very different than he did. Instead of leaving them to those who would use the law to discriminate and harm he took up arms so that they could.

We’ve seen all of these things in the name of an American identity based in amnesia and xenophobia.

This is an America that I want nothing to do with. I want an America whose laws aren’t knee-jerk politicized grandstanding. I want an America whose police aren’t modeled on the gestapo and the committee for state security. I want an America that understands how the law must limit the powers of police so that we may all remain free.