4 thoughts on “We Fear Change

  1. Sure. As I recommended, use a digital antenna on your digital TV and drop cable for broadband Internet.

  2. Most of us are familiar with “…now I am become Death [Shiva], the destroyer of worlds…” uttered by Robert Oppenheimer after witnessing the first atomic bomb test. Fewer know that Shiva is also a creator deity. Just as farmers burn down and till under the chaff to renew their fields and construction companies demolish old buildings to make way for new (and sometimes better) ones, we can tear down our system of government and start from scratch.

    That approach has obvious flaws. The GOP has become so extreme that they appear to be welcoming anarchy. If we descend into anarchy, even a little bit, who do you think will emerge with the power? Not We, the People!

    I don’t think there’s inherently wrong with our system of government. Nothing that can’t be improved or repaired within the system. The electoral process, on the other hand is ripe for a total makeover.

    Despite what we were taught in school, our representative form of government isn’t much different from the parliamentary system that the British were using when we split from them. This is a democratic republic. Back in the late 18th century, it was necessary to send representatives because we didn’t have instant communications. Likewise it was necessary to have an upper house of landed gentry because our proletariat weren’t educated. It makes me wonder if we really need a representative government.

    My conclusion so far is “yes”. While technology makes it possible for the electorate to run government in real time, our once peerless educational system has fallen below the minimums. It wouldn’t be responsible to dump so much power directly in the laps of a largely ignorant public that uses hearsay (eg. Google, Wikipedia) as a crutch.

    One thing that can go away right now is the US Senate. The time (if there even was a time) to have the monied classes there to trickle down their alleged wisdom upon the great unwashed has long since passed. Now, the Senate is just another house of Congress that’s become an impediment to progress. I don’t believe that we should do away with the Senate, but I do believe that it should be reformed as a council of learned advisers to supervise the House of Representatives, vet proposed legislation and perhaps step in break up nonsense trends in the House. Like no-account teabaggers. An organ of government that can dismiss the party of “NO” would prove quite useful.

    Obviously I’m just doodling here, and know there are a lot of serious problems to tackle first. But in an age when we have the capacity to be well-educated and have more direct participation in how we govern ourselves, we really should try to imagine how we could make that work for us.

  3. Changing how we measure GDP would be a good place for a paradigm shift. A number of economists and economically focused social scientists discuss the inherent inadequacy of GDP as an economic indicator for its failure in accommodating societal health overall – the environment, childhood development, poverty, infant and maternal mortality, etc. etc.

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