If I think about this whole Black Lives Matter issue in my own isolated situation I think another reason why I have not suffered so much from it is because of my built in self defence mechanism that conditions me not to expect anything from anyone including acceptance and approval. No one and nothing can hurt or break me because I have transformed myself from a human to a machine. When I walk into a shop I am already anticipating the shop assistants fear. When I have to work with new colleagues I am expecting a lack of trust or confidence in me and when the police stop me I have already assumed its because I am black.
But regularly the program in the machine gets interrupted when people including some who originally displayed initial prejudice towards me turn around and accept me and become colour blind (towards me at least). That shop assistant treats me with the same respect as any other client and is not looking at me suspiciously as a possible suspect, those new work colleagues look and view me as an experienced tradesperson and readily accept my advice and instructions and that police officer that stopped me checks my licence and insurance papers and says ‘Thank you Sir’ and allows me to continue my journey.
Because I am not expecting this it becomes like a pleasant surprise a bonus instead of what it should be the everyday norm.
Sometimes we become are own worst enemy with the preconceived, self destructive thoughts of how our world views us. Thoughts and attitudes that are sometimes introduced to us by our surroundings, education and mainstream media that focuses on the negative and neglects and ignores the positiveness of being black. Thoughts that we should be actively rejecting are allowed to settle, sprout and grow inside our minds.
In some cases we have already been judged and in others cases we have already convicted ourselves.
Black Lives Matter is not only a message to the whole world but it is also a message we need to continual say and repeat to ourselves.
I do not know what is the matter with me but I am viewing this whole removal of statues thing in a completely different light.
By removing these statues we are inadvertently deleting significant events and personages from our global history. Rulers and influential people that shaped the course of history to what it is and has become today both for good and bad.
Even if we choose to focus on the injustice, racism and evil that they caused, removing the monument will not remove that tragic history and its effects. By removing it, it’s like saying ‘it never happen’. Instead of increasing our awareness and knowledge of real history we end up contributing to even more ignorance.
If you were to take this to a global scale encompassing mankind’s complete known history what about the statues of the Roman Emperors and the monuments of Egyptian Pharaohs to name a few?
Should we not remove these monuments as well because their kingdoms were also based on inequality and slavery? But the very fact that we have reasonably updated and accurate historical records about these monuments changes our perspective, dimensions and viewpoint towards them. We do not feel that we are glorifying them or what they stood for by their continued existance. When we look at them we are increasing our knowledge and understanding of that time period as a part of our common worldwide human history.
What is one of the first things that comes to our mind when we look or think about these statues combined with the Roman Arenas and Egyptian Pyramids?
We see captive prisoners and Christians being fed to the lions in these arenas and envision slaves pulling and moving masses slabs of rock to build the pyramids while being whipped and beaten cruelly. The very existence of these statues and monuments helps us to remember and acknowledge the cruel history that took place back then and
….. keeps their victims alive in our hearts and minds.
Personally I feel that its ‘the government sponsored’ censorship of what is allowed to be taught in our schooling systems history lessons that should be pulled down immediately.
If you really want to show respect to the descendants of slavery and oppression then increase awareness instead of pulling down monuments.
Educate both the children of those that prospered from slavery and the descendants of slaves that suffered from it in uncensored history lessons but also in other school subjects dealing with economics and social injustice.
Change or add a new inscription to these existing monuments that tells the whole ugly truth about who they really are.
If you want to go a step further start erecting some new monuments alongside these existing ones in recognition of both the martyrs and survivors of those time periods.
Permanent landmarks that tell the whole complete unbiased story of where we all came from and where we must never return to.
Knowledge is the greatest enemy of fear, ignorance and racism.
A blog about a London Real interview with Ben Goertzel
‘What’s going to happen in the next 40 years?
(See link at end of blog.)
A very interesting interview where Ben endeavours to answer the above question based on his working knowledge and years of experience with AI technology. He basically states that ‘The Matrix’ is going to become a reality.
It still seemed a bit far fetched especially when he compared those who would choose not to be fused into the mainframe AI server would become as insignificant as squirrels foraging around in the city parks. But then it suddenly dawned on me that in another way ‘The Matrix’ has already been in existence for a number of years and we already have withdrawel symptoms when we occasionally choose to disconnect from it. It has become a necessity.
I would put it somewhere between four to six on the ‘What we need for survival’ scale being only preceded by toilet paper, oxygen, water, food, clothing and some form of shelter be it a cardboard box but definitely within mobile internet range or free public wifi. This last requirement should soon become obsolete…due to the ongoing worldwide implementation of 5g network.
I was also not sure if access to health care, a job and human interaction should precede or succeed the need for a ‘Matrix’ connection on that survival scale because its getting to the stage now where if we do not have some form of electronic identity that can be easily accessed and controlled online….we don’t really exist. The same goes for the job thing from applying through ‘The Matrix’ through to being employed and getting paid via that medium. Come to think of it our primary channel of human interaction and communication is through that self same ‘Matrix’ connection. Skype was one of the pioneers in using the internet as a cheaper form of human communicating via an internet connection in comparison to land and mobile telephone lines and wireless services. Eventually Skype got pushed into the background in the private consumer sector by the Messenger services of Hotmail, Facebook and Instagram. I think the major winner became Whatsapp with its exclusive mobile application and complete independence from any desktop computer operating system. The Lockdown has only served to increase our dependance on all these channels and now platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams are replacing Skype as the primary channel for conference calls, business meetings and employee employer information events. Even the sports, dance and leisure sectors are turning to ‘The Matrix’ to be able to resume some of their lost business activities, activities that previously did not need an internet connection to connect, train and motivate their students.
Another example of The Matrix@work is in the whole gaming industry. Add up the number of living hours, days, weeks and yes even years spent gaming online by a very significant segment of the human population. It’s not only the gaming in itself but it is also the ‘online experience’ that is already being elevated to the next level with the growing development and use of “Virtual Reality” technology. It is no longer about killing monsters or reliving World War One & Two in games like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Minecraft because games like Grand Theft auto brought the fantasy or historical gaming world into our present every day world of reality. So instead of going out to steal a few cars and having a shoot out you can now be ‘Michael De Santa’ in the comfort of your own home and live the life of one of the baddest criminals in the neighbourhood in The Matrix.
Gamers our already living in a parallel world where they have become part of a community that seems to be creating civilisations, building fortresses and defending their virtual empires from neighbouring opposing kingdoms. Cryptocurrency is nothing new to the gaming world because they have their own and use it to engage in virtual trading and business deals in and outside their gaming world. This is how some gamers make money in addition to professional gaming events, they exchanging their accumulated game currency for real dollar bills.
Gaming involves experiencing every conceivable human emotion from ecstatic joy and laughter to uncontrolled fits of anger and hatred. From romance and sexual arousal to being in complete awe at the incredible visual effects, colours and panoramic scenery to periods of deep dark depression when you not only failed to get to that next level after hundreds of hours of gaming but you also got demoted to a lower level. These emotions can be experienced individually or in group with fellow gamers but the the intensity of those feelings do not seem to be any different to those experienced in the real world.
But we non-gamers cannot judge or laugh at them either. It’s not that we do not go out into the real world to enjoy real human interaction, road and city trips and nature in general it’s just that we have developed this obsessive need to record and share every outdoor activity that we engage in with our virtual audience via ‘The Matrix’ . If we cannot or do not share it, it almost feels as if we did not do it. We need to constantly sacrifice our personal privacy to appease ‘The Matrix’ god so that it will accept our offer and bestow upon us the prize of approval establishing that this or that activity did actually take place in the real offline world. Its almost seems that if we cannot Instagram it …. it’s not worth doing.
It already has so much control and influence on our lives that when it turns on us negatively online it results in problems and issues offline.
This negative aspect comes in the form of active abuse where people react negatively to our comments and posts with some receiving a barrage of name calling, hate messages and even death threats. But some abusers take the negativity to the next level by carrying out one of the most deplorable acts of cruelty in the interconnected world of ‘The Matrix’ …..
they unfriend you!!
But sometimes the passive forms of abuse can be worst. At least when they are threatening to kill you you know that you are alive and are being noticed but when no one reacts to anything that you post or comment on, it feels as if you are either invisible or have already died. Everyday you keep checking your online status to see if anyone has responded to that post or comment you made and once again no reaction, nothing, nada, rien, niets, niente, not even one like. This sometimes unintentional passive form of non reaction has been known to lead to serious cases of depression and anxiety. Some have even taken more drastic measures ……. termination of their social media account!!
Can you imagine that?
but let’s be honest now going back to those squirrels in the park, what facial reaction appears on our face when we discover that the person we are casually talking to has not got a Facebook account, Instagram, SnapChat or at least a Whatsapp application on his or her means of mobile communication!!.
Our life in the real offline world has become fully entwined in what happens or does not happen to us in the virtual world of ‘The Matrix’.
There are so many other ‘Matrix’ connection facets that have completely change how we live, work and play but this was meant to be a recommendation to check out Bens interview. The level of that conversation and everything associated with the AI projects he works on are on a totally higher intellectual scale in comparison to my simplistic blog. The only area where I would even dare to disagree with is the tense being used in that interview;
” ‘The Matrix’ is not coming, it’s already here!!”
It’s just a another working day in a simple suburban town somewhere in Belgium. Its cloudy, cold and damp and you can almost feel it through the photograph, with the droplets of rain still resting on the body and windscreen of the car revealing the last recent shower.
But all off this just fades into insignificance as we behold the stunning appearance and beauty of this employee, a woman that somehow does not seem to belong in this background that she finds herself in, smiling very subtly, holding a lovely bouquet of flowers that although seemingly small are filled with just the right combination of colours perfectly arranged to match her hair, makeup and outfit.
I wrote this originally to share a link to a great blog I just read, but this ended up into a mini blog in itself with a few additional pieces of personal advice scattered in between.
All credits to mr-stingy though for his original blog and the flow of inspiration that came from reading it.
View this as a the ‘warm up’ or ‘supporting act’ before the featured performer or headliner comes on stage.
“Still reading, studying, learning & growing.
For newbies in the world of investing, stock markets and starting that online business.
One of the most realistic articles I have read thus far (29th May 2020).
(despite a bit of profanity which I personally felt was unnecessary in getting the brunt of his message across)
What should your main priorities be right now?
Well it’s your job, your existing skills and setting aside that ‘Emergency Financial Fund’ (see initial image), if job or skill fails. Secondly I would personally add Self Improvement skills such as mindset, work ethic, etc, combined with real financial education (..’RICH DAD Poor Dad’ …style).
Self improvement and education is a life long learning process but once you have at least established a starting block level of knowledge and skill then you can commence your ‘Entrepeneural Journey’ while you continue to learn and grow through experience, because as Robert Kiyosaki continually emphasizes in his books ‘you learn by your mistakes’, ‘you win some and you learn from some’, if you know why something went wrong and learn from it, you won’t make that same mistake again. You only really lose when you give up.
Remember we are talking about capital that is left over after putting away your emergency fund (see initial image). Unless you have acquired a very good knowledge of how to use debt effectively then it is safer to avoid going into unnecessary debt to accomplish your ventures. That would also nullify somewhat the original emergency fund that you had set aside if you defaulted on your lean. (see initial image)
There is a fine line between being blinded by optimism and being guided by a realistic viewpoint. You need to take any and all possible outcomes into consideration.
Success can be equally dangerous as failure if you are not grounded and prepared. It’s not just about creating a sustainable and constant cash flow. In the end our primary goal in striving for financial freedom is to be happy. That can only be accomplished when our purpose and goals include and center around attaining physical, mental, emotional and spiritual prosperity.
A state of being that can keep us afloat even when the money doesn’t.”
Oh yeah the link to “mr-stingy” original blog that I wanted to share with you!
When the initial threat of the Covid-19 infection entered Europe I automatically started practicing ‘social distancing’ to the extent that I prematurely stopped all my fully paid for dance lessons that I was attending and I stopped going to salsa parties. I was not so much afraid of getting infected myself. I was more frightened of me being responsible for any initial infection amongst my family, friends and work colleagues thereby putting them and their livelihoods in unnecessary danger.
However I was also initially against the wearing of face masks in public due to the terrible shortage in the hospital and caregiving sectors. Wearing a mask on the street seemed like a selfish act taking it away from those who needed it the most in the front line battle against this disease. Additionally the official policy on national and international levels such as the W.H.O. repeatedly told us that wearing a face mask in public served no real purpose. But now public health policy has changed advising us to wear face masks in public in general. The new slogan being
‘Wearing a facemask is not for your protection it is for others’
When you wear a mask it shows your solidarity and concern for others around you because you may have already been infected without showing any symptoms. We have now entered a situation where we begin to feel guilty and selfish if we don’t wear one.
However for some strange reason I am now having difficulty with this line of reasoning and the fact that this is going to become a part of my daily attire in general public life.
One reason has to do with what they told us initially when they obviously knew otherwise. The reasoning behind the ‘little white lie’ being that they had to maintain this viewpoint to protect the rapidly diminishing supply does not change the fact that it was ‘a lie’ or just basic misinformation coming from our official sources. It does not seem to be a very good way to build and maintain trust with an audience. It also shows how much confidence and trust they have in the general public. They do not believe in the common good spirit of the community as a whole in a crisis situation. However the facts have clearly proven otherwise. There has been a large show of human solidarity, self sacrifice and support for one another with many donations of face masks being given to those institutions that needed it. I personally believe that if they had just told us the simple plain truth in the first place that a large percentage of the general public would have still donated any facemasks that they possesed and refrained from buying and hoarding masks that they did not have.
This only causes us to question current information being published and leaves us wondering about other information that we are not being told.
What adds to our confusion is that unofficial sources and individuals (the so called fake news sources) were advising people to wear masks in public in direct contradiction to official government statements. We are now also hearing of reports of possible manipulation of Covid-19 death rate statistics. If this is true why would anyone want to manipulate these statistics? In our current news climate it almost seems that this virus is responsible for every fatality taking place on the planet right now. Covid-19 is finishing of the job that other illnesses, diseases and basic life expectancy would normally do. It seems that even someone that dies in a car accident is tested for Covid-19 and if he or she is positive then they can add that to the statistics as well. (Note I said ‘it seems’ I am not saying that this has been done)
The psychological fear factor that has been generated by these statistics and constant official news reporting seems to be causing more harm than the virus itself. How can our bodies fight against any disease if it is already riddled with so much fear?
We all need to realise that despite coming into the information age we have now entered the age of misinformation where we cannot automatically accept and trust anything we are being told from any source official or unofficial. We have check, double check and compare. We have the capacity to think and the right to question, especially things that will affect us directly sooner or later.
All of a sudden this mask that was originally designed as a tool of personal safety and protection seems to becoming a tool of control and a symbol of prevention of freedom of speech. Because whenever anyone does questions current government policy or offers alternative solutions many are quickly silenced and censored in the name of public health and safety and avoiding of unnecessary social unrest.
When I observe how some react a horrible gut feeling keeps surfacing within me that says; they have created a monster to validate all these unprecedented restrictions of our basic human rights and freedoms. Lockdown, control of our movements, our activity, social and family interaction. They have created a virus that can be used as a scapegoat for the long overdue global recession that is now inevitable while destroying so many jobs, livelihoods and businesses that will make millions of people completely dependant on the state for financial and physical survival. They have literally taken away our fundamental human rights and freedoms turning this facemask into a symbol of mass control instead of its original purpose of personal protection.
You don’t like wearing a mask? No problem the vaccine is coming. Yes if the the mask does not work they can always just vaccinate us into submission.
Believe it or not I am not totally against vaccinations I have personally been vaccinated and I allowed my children to be vaccinated as well. If I base my limited knowledge of history concerning life expectancy and health then I feel that the development and science of medicine has played a major role in our general and long term health and well being. My main concern and issue is with the vast amounts of profits that are associated with and generated with the development and sale of vaccines. Profits that go to a very small group of people. What initially served as a pure noble desire to improve and save lives has now been tainted by big business and profits. Money and profits nurtures greed, dishonesty and corruption and infect the program negatively.
In addition to this is the complete exemption from liability. Based on some reports concerning vaccine programs in various countries where groups of people including children have unwittingly served as guinea pigs for the testing of vaccines that have not only failed but initiated horrific side effects. The sponsors and promoters being completely free from any legal or moral responsibility.
I also do not understand why very little attention is being given to how we can possibly reduce at least the severity of symptoms by taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally and psychologically. Yes I am talking with a certain amount of ignorance as regards how these viruses attack us and that sometimes the severity is related to an overreaction of our immune system. We still have so much more to learn about these viruses but we also still have so much more to learn about the full effectiveness and side effects of existing vaccines never mind the development of new ones. Finding the perfect balance is no easy task but this should never justify imbalance, a seemingly blatant refusal to examine alternative solutions and remedies and with seeming disregard for our fundamental human rights, freedom of choice and freedom of movement.
I hope I am wrong. I do not want to believe that individuals or organisations would purposely do something like this. Whatever the real truth is we found ourselves in a situation now where we do need to take precautionary measures now and support any long term sustainable remedy, treatment or even a vaccine in the future that has been thorougly tested in a ethically correct way. A place where I can fully get my head around wearing a face mask in public because the emphasis is on ….
protection and not control.
I don’t want to influence, I want to inspire.
I don’t want to manipulate, I want to motivate.
I don’t want to scare, I want to encourage.
I don’t want to control, I want to cooperate.
I don’t want to resist, I just want to understand.
My next reading assignment. I have not even started the main body of this book and the preface is already blowing my mind. This is a book where I will apply the above mentioned quote even more intensely, taking my time while I bath in the sensation of attaining knowlegde and enlightenment through the act of reading.
When this whole lockdown pandemic is over and we can finally fully grieve and mourn the hundreds of thousands of victims that have been abruptly taken away from us, while we breath less polluted air and as we stare into clearer smog free blue skies, accompanied by a live musical orchestra of feathered musicians. …. (known as birds in the local lingo) singing amongst the various trees that are now in full bloom, while feeling the warm (but slightly less harmful) rays of the sun as it touches, penetrates and gradually starts to tan our somewhat bleak looking skin ……..
…..after being in confinement in our homes where we were forced to think and meditate over our insane and hectic lifestyles, with some of us finally waking up to the reality of what we have been doing to this planet all these decades, and realising the vanity and fragility of the very luxuries and riches we were striving for, realising how we were also contributing to the pollution of our atmosphere not only with plastic cups but also with our constant desire and thirst to travel and explore every accessible part of this globe…….
……..being forced to realise how little we really do need to be truly happy and content despite being confined to our fixed national, county, city and town governed geographical locations, scattered across this ever growing virally infected global planet of ours……….
………… that happiness for some involved just being with their spouse, family or extended family members, best friend or pet. That being able to possess, practice, listen or express their faith in prayer, or spirituality through meditation, or listening to their endless personal Spotify playlists or better still being able to play, write and compose new music through their beloved musical instrument or instruments. Or just being able to go for a ride, walk or run within their local community, parks or immediate neighbouring countryside that somehow still gave them a feeling of being that fearless traveling explorer that has just discovered a new world and continent….just down the road from his her her house….but without the sacrifice of time, traveling expenses, bagage, passport and the cost of that tent, hotel or luxury holiday resort. Some experiencing full satisfaction by being totally engrossed in their domestically based botanical garden with pots full of tomatoes, herbs and spices claiming nearly two thirds of their balcony space.
…..while for others the definition of happiness means ……… a lifelong supply of toilet paper, coffee, and a high speed internet connection.
….but why am I getting this feeling that when we are finally set free and by some miracle some of us can have the opportunity to go back to our old jobs, lives and routine…….. that some of us will still hesitate …….and that some of us …….won’t go back…..
…..don’t mind me just thinking aloud…… it applies to me just as much as anyone else ……..it’s just a feeling , it’s just a vibe in the moment …..that will probably disappear …..a feeling that will quickly dispersing back into the thin….. newly polluted atmosphere.