Denmark and Immigration

In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith and who becomes an American citizen and assimilates himself to the nation, should be treated with the exact equality as everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for only one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language… And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.

Denmark has recently passed legislation to make their process of citizenship harder. I find this to be only natural as the influx of refugees begin to flood into Europe in which can only be described as the largest mass migration in European history. It is important for people to understand that common language, cultural ideals, and morality are important for a stable society. There’s no reason for nations to ignore the common bonds the people have among them. As long as there is a reasonable path of citizenship which are fair and reasonable. If there are those who deem them to be unfair then let them make their case. I find nothing unreasonable in having exams to determine aptitude. There are many who come to the west without such a stability who end up being usurping from the hard-working tax-paying citizens. Personally, I believe that future performance is more important than past performance. It’s when societies become too bloated with those who aren’t motivated, have a desire to learn, and are willing to take risks that society becomes stagnant. When those who believe they are entitled to the world, and who feel they are beyond reproach is when one knows that society needs a forceful shift of rejuvenation.

So what Denmark must be careful of is that their exams and qualifications are not excessive. If it ends up shutting everyone out than it is their loss. As a nation, they will decline and erode away if new blood is not allowed to challenge the old. Nature is not the only one who needs to continue to evolve and change functional societies need to as well. Only through this continuous “conflict” can we continue to evolve, and reach a higher form of humanity. It is the only way. Humanity must evolve to survive or it will reach its end. Denmark should be weary that these new laws don’t eventually become something that develops unintended consequences that impedes future productive members of society from living in their country. The greatest national resource any nation has it’s people.

CitizenFour

Recently I got around to watching the documentary CitizenFour. It’s about the first hours of Edward Snowden as he reached out to the press as well his first interactions with journalists of The Guardian. The movie evolves into recording his reactions to the initial release of classified information to the world and thus exposing the programs that exist to spy on the public. I believe people are captivated by not only what information he released to the public, but also him personally. What he did took courage. Many call him traitor now, and he is hated by many all over the world. People like to live in comfort and ease. For a man to forsake his life, wealth, lover, and family for his beliefs does take courage. Doesn’t matter if you think he is a traitor or not it takes conviction to do what you feel is necessary.

Yet I can’t help, but think he was bit naive when it come to trusting the press. As many already know the press has become a mouthpiece for the institution that is the state. You are fed the propaganda you want to believe, and proper facts and unbiased analysis are avoided. I am sure the intentions of The Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post, etc. were pure and some journalists still believe in proper reporting. It is the self-preserving nature of those who are in power of the welfare state who need to make sure that anything that can threaten them be contained.

Computer guys tend not to be the most social, or fluid speakers for that matter. I believe that Snowden stuck with an ideology that existed in his head of what justice and freedom are. He ran with it as someone who believed in the principles of western democracy. If you have been reading my blog you are well aware of the themes I try to convey in my writing. One of those themes is the idea that western principles are decaying fast.

What he failed to understand is that people are networked in. They aren’t going to give up the ease of unencrypted email, Facebook posts, Instagram photos, or Snapchat videos. People aren’t going to bother to create strong passwords or have 5-6 email accounts. Most people don’t even read the terms of service that all software companies force you to agree with. We live in a life of convenience, and luxury.

I once went to see a talk given by the legendary programmer, and activist Richard Stallman. I was hoping to get some technical insight of GNU, but instead became a political speech about promoting libertarianism and that the individual rights of citizens that are being corroded by modern software companies. He had a point, but he is mistaken on what the solution should be. He believes like many before in the need to get politically motivated. In my opinion, only economic collapses get most people motivated. He criticized that “we” tech people always look for a technical solution to the problem, but, in fact, we need to solve it as a political one. Well, I have to say I don’t see the change he keeps yearning for. I see more of the same. I bring up this point because I think Snowden indirectly did the same. He realized there was an issue, and pursued the traditional routes solving the problem. As you clearly see in a sense both have failed. They did have an impact and still do. Yet the sea hasn’t changed color, and we are still drowning in the decay that is the welfare state.
When I started learning about computers it started for the simple fact that I liked video games, and from there my world viewed kept expanding. I started to see the larger role that software and computers were partaking in society. Software is allowing people, and, more importantly, civilization rewrite the rules, and structure of the society. As I get older I realize that as a coder I don’t only have a responsibility to write programs that are technically correct, but that must also follow my morality, and ideology.

There is a battle between software that is closed, and those which are open. Only time will tell which one ends up winning the war. That battle may determine Snowden’s legacy ends up being.

 

Media? Or Joke?

 

Social media puts a lot of pressure on journalists. I sometimes really do feel for them since if they don’t break the story first someone else will beat them to it. If that occurs then what is the point in following mainstream media outlets if anyone can break a story with the power of Twitter, Facebook, etc. What is concerning is how journalists can become so focused on their jobs that they forget that in life people’s lives matter. The spirit of journalism isn’t to break sensationalist stories but instead provide the people with valuable information of the events and issues they may not be aware of. To present the facts, and let the people decide for themselves what they want to believe.

Instead, we have the media giving us “a narrative” a story to follow, and a line of thinking we ourselves did not arrive at logically. Proper Journalism has become replaced with television talking heads who follow a script and emotionally charge the people. Emotion often overrides logic and reason. If you have wishes to influence the people and perhaps lead them. Appeal to the heart more than the mind. Sell the dream and by the time reality sets in it will be already too late. The power of propaganda is historically amazing no matter the medium if you can convince many to follow your “narrative” you have power. With that power, you can wield history.

Japan – A Glimpse Into The Future

I’ve been an anime viewer for a long time since I was a child. I’ve written before of how I enjoy this medium of entertainment, but I sometimes wonder if it was fate that drew me into this medium as it happen merely by accident. I was born into a generation where the western audience was about to explode, and I happen to be involved with a family which had already been early adopters of the medium of what western anime historians typically recognize as the period 1970’s and 80s. This isn’t exactly another post about anime, but instead the point I am trying to convey is that this was the spark of my fascination with understanding an entire different country and later continent. I became fascinated with their history, and culture realizing that in some aspects it wasn’t that much different than my own, but in other ways it truly was foreign. Japan in my opinion gives a glimpse into the future of humanity. A place where economic stagnation is a consequence of decades of corruption, and bad policies. Where there isn’t a true incentive to bear children like before, and thus a declining population rate has developed as it also has in Europe. A world where the visual, and the fantasy become what the human heart desires a world in which reality is something to escape from not embrace. Resulting in a place in which instead of understanding pain, and loneliness we run away from it hiding through easy gratification services for pleasure, and joy. In which visual media keeps us so distracted we never bother to think too much outside of the world that was derived for our enjoyment.

The virtual becomes better than the reality. In my own country this is merely beginning as Netflix being the major chunk of Internet traffic is merely the proof of that fact. In the west there will also be a transition to what has occurred in the east a world in which the digital slowly takes over. In Korea RTS players are treated as kings, in China they are all so hungry for digital media they have become best DOTA 2 (MOBA video game) players, and in Japan you merely have to visit or Google articles about Japanese virtual girlfriends.

The fact the Staples Center sold out for a video game tournament only adds to long list of signals you as well the amazing growth of Twitch.TV. When I was young being a gamer wasn’t exactly widely accepted, but now it is part of the mainstream landscape. Most of today’s information is digested through digital means as most people use applications on their phones, and computers to communicate in this world to define who they are and in extension ‘live’. Slowly we will move from the 2D screen into the 3D realm that once we thought was unimaginable, but that is the yearning. When games like Second Life exist, and are popular I realize that people yearn to live their fantasy, and distance themselves from the bane of their existence. It’s always easier to delude yourself, and play along in the fantasy. Ignorance and escapism are intrinsic human traits. I see a world that won’t be as interconnect as it can be, but instead isolated and fractured. Where people no longer say anything meaningful to each other, but exist frame to frame thus a way of life that is devoid of any true meaning. Does this mean I am saying technology is the root of our problems? No the problems of today are instructively human no matter what the circumstance. Instead what should be obvious is that society, and people are evolving. As a species we are evolving to a much more visual culture where images impact us more than just words. This is nothing nothing new people have been writing about this transition for 35 years now, but before they only had photography, and television to provide as a basis. Now in the dawn of online video, games, streaming, and numerous other applications we all should see where this trend all lead to. It leads to a society in which everything can be compartmentalized. Everything a human could ever need, do, and dream about can be all neatly organized into a serious of different applications. Want to date? There is an application/site for you. Want to write a journal? Service for that as well. Share pictures? Thoughts? Dreams? Pain? It’s all there for the taking. I could go on but I hope you understand the picture I am painting for you. We are entering an era in which culture of all kinds will blend together, and it will be up to the individual to decide how to conceptualize it all. Are we ready for such a world? I think not, and perhaps it’s already here. As more people in the poorer countries become connected to our virtual world we will see the blending I speak of. It’s uncharted in terms of scale, and speed of interaction. In such a world everything will become an image of projection. Who you are, what you believe, and what you do will all become images and those images will tell your story. Not merely your own, but everyone else’s as well.

When We Eat The Gods

Humanity is entering an interesting point in human history where information technology is expanding at a rate in which has never been seen before. The power of the computer has yet to be fully realized, and the transformative power of it has yet to reach its peak. Never before in human history have we seen these kinds of developments. All of the great thinkers before us could not fathom the world we live in today and many of us who are live today could not envision the world as it is. If you asked people in the 1970’s that something like the internet would exist in almost every home and every electronic device only few would share your vision. For the future is unpredictable in its timing and behavior for us who try to understand it can only look at our past and present knowledge. We can only see what is before us and based on our intellect can deduce the trends that exists and the realistic events than can occur. Humanity has had a long history of development, prosperity, and decline. For some reason on this planet a species like ours was allowed to flourish and exist as if the evolution was meant to be. Often religious people take this and run with it, for “we are the chosen people” and “we are God’s image” messages that often are preached in religious circles.

This article is not to debate if these are right or wrong but only to state that even if one believes this is correct or incorrect one cannot debate that it there is something special/peculiar about our species. What is interesting to note is that it is a strong possibility that we may be entering an entirely new era or transition point where eventually humanity as we know it will not be the “king  of the pyramid” but instead something else entirely will be put its place. Now I cannot tell you exactly what will take place and there are many other writers/futurists who will have just as many theories based on logic and luck. To foretell this far in the future often one is lead into failure, but nevertheless I will make the attempt. I make this attempt because unlike other thinkers I actually do not believe I will see this reality but merely the beginning of it. So I will be able to realize if I was correct or incorrect, but I will say this that many of the issues of the past that have plagues humanity will be brought to the surface and depending on how it turns out the actions and reactions of those events will forever change the history of our said universe. Let’s begin with the fundamental aspects of our species. Humanity has made progress it has developed but now we are seeing the limits of what humanity can bring. Humanity is contradicting, corruptible, and irrational far too often for its own good. For all the good aspects humanity can bring such as community and creativity it is clearly evident we are still very immature as a species.

Let’s look at the paradox of our own species living circumstances, we all know deep down(yes even the global-climate deniers) that if we over populate and over consume that living life on this planet as it is will be disrupted. Perhaps we can survive such disruption but why would we take just a gigantic risk with our own survival? This goes beyond any form of discrimination/division,  but the very survival of our entire species. The logic is simple if we place a rat in a large room, and give it resources to live on and let it multiply exponentially eventually the isolated system(like the earth is) the species will have to decrease its population in order to survive(reach an equilibrium with its ecosystem) and if the resources are still available maintain its survival if not it will merely die out because it had over extended its living capacity and thus became an irreversible decision. I do think technology and science can help build solutions and create a more sustainable human future, yet I think it is the human aspect of excess and need that is lead us down this dangerous road. It is my firm belief that if this is not openly addressed in open discussions it can very well lead us to our eventual downfall. It is not only the environment where the issues lies but also within our own societies and cultures which has become so destructive to each other. We have created a society that is very shallow and lonely.

A society where many are disillusioned, exploited, and depressed  a culture where instead of recognizing common ancestry and that all life is interconnect and our diversity as a species and the biodiversity we live is something beautiful and to be cherished instead we hate upon each other we pay no attention and often discriminate not only each other but also ourselves. If you truly reflect on it is truly sad but it should also drive us to move beyond this to evolve and bring forth our species best qualities. All too often it is merely wasted and human potential is only used to live in a sort of fantasy world which has no true value nor purpose where it should be used into shaping our future to create a better tomorrow. A hard and difficult task, one with many pitfalls yet a mission that was trusted upon us.

The Singing Man

I am all for freedom of speech and expression. I also understand that we as people are constructed to behave a certain way in certain situations. Like how no one laughs during a funeral even though maybe something random and funny happens. Out of respect for the deceased and their family we must stay silent. I write this because I was once on a bus minding my own business enjoying the ride. When a pretty chubby African-American man sat in front of me. Completely normal expect for the fact that he was dancing in his seat and singing. And no he was not “whispering” he was singing at full voice. At first I found this very annoying but after a while I just found it humorous. Especially since I saw how the other people on the bus reacted. I found it especially humorous how a mother got up and grabbed her child’s hand and walk to the front of the bus(I was sitting pretty close to the back).

I thought to myself “Like he is going to attack anymore, he’s lost in the music.”  Perhaps it was the mothers instinctive fear for herself and her child that made her move. My question is where did this fear come from? The man was not armed he was not attacking anyone or seem to be antagonizing anyone near him. In my opinion is that is just never one reason by itself, and that are many contributing factors. One of the factor’s is most probably race but in my opinion by just observing the situation I do not think it played a large part in this scenario. Even though it is trained by the “white society” to show crime and poverty in African-American community in the United States this man who sang freely did not dress like a typical “gang-banger” as the modern term would denote.  No what I observed was a women sacred because a man was not acting in a social norm of what society would deem “appropriate.” I do not claim to be an expert bus rider, but I believe I have ridden more than my fare share and have seen social behavior that is often deemed out of context , but none so far as a simple or powerful as the singing man. I believe she was scared as many would have been because he simply did not “conform” his behavior, but yet western societies believe they are “free” and “open-minded” yet that is far from the truth.

We as a species are only as free as we are allowed to be. A man who is simply singing and dancing something that has been done by our species  for ages is seen as “inappropriate” and bad behavior because it is in the wrong “context.” If he were doing this in his own home or among those who also understand him they would just merely accept it. Yet it is like walking naked on the street it is seen as criminal behavior because humans have been socially trained to believe so even though it is our species most natural state. It is not how we mate? It is not how we are born? This is where the lines of nature/nurture becomes blurred. How can we determine what is truly learned behavior and what is truly natural behavior. It is this questions of learned behavior and natural behavior which I will continue to discuss in my writings along with the more power application of learned behavior which is often leads to conformity.  In reality the power of human culture itself is that of the conformity of every individual to be apart and respect the system (society) itself. For the singing man with no care but the joy of music is actually freer than any one of us.

Prism of the Mind

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Albert Einstein.


In today’s modern world information overloaded is a very relevant issue. If you walk into any library one can be overwhelmed by all of the knowledge one can potentially acquire. Now with the World Wide Web the information can now seem like it is infinite. I believe that gaining intelligence from information technology will be a key for the next two decades. It can often seem very daunting when a one tries to pursue all of this knowledge. We are often scared of engaging in this life long challenge, because often new ideas can conflict with our own. So therefore, it becomes easy to just not question. It truly is the easiest path to follow, but on the other side there is knowledge which is a form of power and with that power comes responsibility. This is a lesson that is not discussed very often. That pursuing the truth and focusing on the development of the mind is a challenge that is perhaps the hardest in life. A person may climb one mountain to only to find another. During this engaging process new insights of not just the self but the world as a whole is achieved. When the mind is young the mountains are much easier to climb because there are small and the mind is full of eagerness to learn. As one gets older the mountains become taller, and steeper. People become stagnant and less mobile. The mind becomes less like water and more like rock that is stubborn and unwilling to change.


We live in a diverse world where people have multiple interests and it is easy to get a general picture of the human society and culture by merely watching, listening, and seeing for yourself. I think people today are complacent and stop at a certain mountain and stop questioning and asking. That is because it is easy to follow that easy path. It is easy to ignore and hate. To fear and destroy. To think that it is not possible and that it could never happen. That today never changes and that everything is built in stone. We want and expect easy answers and choices in life. If we do A we should receive B. Everything in a orderly and linear progression. We only trap ourselves in such thinking. Thus it becomes an everyday challenge to push beyond those limits. It is a difficult journey and it has no end. Perhaps knowing that there is no tangible award is what discourages many.


Knowledge is infinite. Knowledge is not lost but merely never discovered. Discovery of knowledge is an evolutionary process. As a species we have more knowledge in our fingertips than compared to fifty or a hundred years ago. Yet just like the analogy I made with the mountains after every mountain we as a race open new doors of possibilities. We merely answer one question just to have even more questions. We sometimes ask when will we have all the answers? Will we ever?


Therefore it is easy to just stop and feel secure in certainty. Why venture into the darkness when we are safer in the light? Why take the blue pill(Matrix film reference if you have not seen it my apologies, but you should watch it) and seek the truth when it is not ideal? Humans are often said to be curious beings and in my opinion that is true to some extent. The question we should ask is why and when do people stop being curious? When do we stop our own curiosity? And how?


History, sociology, physics, language, and art are in fact all one. All these interconnected because if you study one of them long enough you realize that you cannot have one without the other. We live in an emergent world where the mathematics, language, and the image can bring color and description to this world. The constant evolution of information makes the world we live in a constant flux and thus provides many dangers because it can be constructive as it is destructive. The Light and The Dark, the battle in between in that “little gray” area which is the very battleground of reason and discussion. I would not have it any other way. Why would we wish for a world with easy answers and everything is known and solved. How can one live in a world with no mountain to climb. This is why I am certain that next year will be different than today. It is because every moment in time is special. Who you are now in this very moment you are reading this article can never be replicated ever again. The person who you were before is different than who you will be in the future. I may never reach the ultimate mountain top, but that’s okay. What is important is not the end nor the goal, but the journey itself.