All posts in Environment

vendetta

What I saw through the fog of tear gas

There are history books, accounts of events, telling us what happened in the past; there are philosophy books, giving us access to various perspectives on how to decipher those events in search for The Truth; there are psychology books, even if still scraping the surface of the human psyche, with some clues about the connection between events, emotions and actions; there are science books, ongoing experiments on the mechanics of that psyche… And then there are stories, stories that transcend through the ages, kaleidoscopes of original ideas, organic quantum containers of the collective consciousness, storing all the knowledge and wisdom of all those books into simple phrases with direct access to our awareness.

Sadly today, I will not tell you such a story, I wish I could; but today, all those books made me see what was hidden before my eyes with such clarity that took all the fantasy away. Today, I will simply tell you what I saw, and I am using the term seeing in the most scientific terms, no metaphors, no hidden meaning. Believe me: “knowing” is not seeing and seeing is definitely not knowing; so each time I use the word, please realize it is not a perspective, it is not an opinion, it is not judgment… Read more…

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The illusion of scarcity. How our survival instinct might lead to the end of our survival.

One of the greatest dilemmas for the human mind is that believing we control it makes us feel, in fact, more in control. It gives us “accountability”, everything that happens to us is a result of our choices…

This belief is deeply integrated into our teachings. It starts with the bible and the story of Eden: how the first man and woman ate the forbidden fruit and came to know right from wrong! The education system is structured accordingly, reinforcing the same message that there is a very precise correct answer to every question, and a specific correct behavior for every setting. Your grades, your acceptance, even the love given to you depends on your capability to recognize what is considered to be correct.

Therefore we are trained to believe that the more failures you have in life, lesser are your grades, credits or social status and therefore more you stay “behind”. The more you stay behind the less you are “accepted”, the less you are loved. The less you feel loved the more you fear not to be loved. The more the fear, deeper the pain. Deeper the pain, stronger the anger. Longer the anger, faster the depletion of emotional and physical resources, fear of death and finally domestication…

Domestication of animals is something that hunter gatherers have been doing since 20.000 years, starting during the ice-age. Through the ages they have perfected the techniques and have been able to rule over herds with very little or no effort whatsoever. The key to domestication has always been the exploitation of the survival instinct. Once the animal believes he has no other chances of survival but to yield, it “brakes”, so by means of restriction of freedom, inflicted pain, fear, hunger, and little treats humans ruled over animals. This process has a name in psychology:  “Operant Conditioning” (heard of Pavlov’s dog?)

Operant Conditioning: A process of behavior modification in which a subject is encouraged to behave in a desired manner through positive or negative reinforcement, so that the subject comes to associate the pleasure or displeasure of the reinforcement with the behavior.

Some very twisted mind, down the road successfully tested the same methods on his fellow humans. Our society is running on a curriculum built by a very experienced animal trainer and this is why it works to the perfection:
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Sustainable Life

Meet your savior :

Sustainable: a method of harvesting or utilizing a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged

This is what nature and its circle of life teaches us. This is the only way that life was always supposed to be. This is how we should create, this is how we should consume.

It is a pity that the human intellect, so amazingly bright and resourceful is so easily blinded or better numbed by abundance and is inclined to see the truth only when faced with an imminent danger or even worse, after the complete loss of what was once abundant.

This behavior is so common among humans that I am starting to think that this has to be a genetic trait. The common sense points more to a global brain washing conspiracy plotted by the ones in power several centuries ago but it is more painful to accept that we all could be unconsciously controlled so easily. Apparently we tend to prefer to believe a lie if told masterfully then face the cold truth.

It is the blue pill, red pill paradox depicted in Matrix. Cipher misses the taste of a juicy steak that he eats in the Matrix even if he knows it is not real. So if given the choice, knowing what the truth is, how many really would have taken the red pill? My guess is not many…

The truth is that it is a simple mathematical fact that resources are finite. In a friendship, if you continue to be the one taking from it, the friend will eventually have nothing to give anymore. In business if you are the employer and continue to be demanding of your employees without giving them equal value in experience or compensation, they will eventually quit, steal or not perform anymore. If you are the employee and you continue to slack and not perform what is expected of you in exchange for a fair compensation, eventually you will be fired and hardly find a better job. If you spend more then you have, you will have eventually people at your door taking all that you have, including your liberties…
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Why employees should be traded as football players, including salary cap!

We live in a corporate world but capitalism is just a word, somewhere down the line somebody gave a total new meaning to it, here is a brief history:

Corporates where born as a necessity of traders specializing in different crafts, providing services to each other basing the value of their service according to supply and demand. Monarchs at that time, afraid of loosing control over wealth production, put into place some laws that would shape the history of human kind: they passed a law enabling them to monopolize industries. They then became partners of the companies they exclusively gave right to operate…

I am not going to discuss here the many implications of these acts. You can read more in Life Inc. a great book, but what I want to focus on how this have shaped the employer and the employee in today’s world.

Companies granted favors from governments are generally led by unscrupulous owners who’s main focus is never to do the job as good as they can but their only goal is the accumulation of wealth and power, for the sake of wealth and power, on the other hand this is the only way monarchies knew how to operate and it is only natural that this would be what the corporate world inherited from them.

This wealthy employer needs employees in order to operate so he triggers another inherited vice: exploitation… He has the exclusive right to produce a paycheck, therefore the real craftsmen have to sell their services not to the value of demand but at the mercy of “the” supplyer!

With time craftsmen loose their craft, employers loose their wealth, employees learn the rules to become new employers, employees adapt their expectations and from craftsman they become mare operators… In the meanwhile the original employer finds a way to once and for all control the “source” of wealth: the central banks are created. He is unaware of having created a Monster!

Controlling the money output and loaning it to the markets in exchange of production makes what was a zero sum game a time bomb… The only way for this system to work was turning producers into everlasting consumers! You know how that story went…

So now what we have is not even the original “employer” anymore but the corporate “machine”, feeding off of consumption and needing more and more. This beast, as all creatures, has basic survival instincts and in order to survive it created for itself the perfect environment to keep at bay the human intellect: standardized education, centralized mass media, distractions of all sorts, the illusion of scarcity and many many more enchantments.

Today we live as zombies, employers and employees all together… Our time has a value set by arbitrary salaries or revenues that reflect the needs of production and not the value of our real human capital. There is no direct incentive for the employee in most places to do better and no incentives for the employer to want their employees to become better.  Biggest business deals are still done by networking, by pulling favors or in lamer terms by kissing ass…

Inheritance is the original sin!

I cannot reverse all this, none of us can. The machine is too big now, very few of us took the red pill, and yet even we still love the taste of a great steak. I have a suggestion though:

There are many things we can learn from sports: Team spirit, discipline, drive, commitment, love, fairness and many many more. It is like we really could save the sports from the faith of human mediocrity. With sports there are traits in player trading and league management that could easily be applied to the corporate world that could lead to human beings relinquishing control over the machines.

Having the best player during his time on the team and the value of creating an asset that later could be traded for money or an equal valued player is a good deal for both sides. This allows the team (the employer) to look at players (employees) as a long term investment and a direct asset of the team (company). Now the better the players the better the team, the better all the teams the better the league (world)…

The only thing that needs to be done in order to understand the value of employees as clearly as players is setting more transparent goals. We know a player’s value for the team because we watch him doing things, we keep statistics, we see him grow, win, loose… See his commitment, his performance under duress… We need to find ways to show and keep track of this things in the corporate world as well. But isn’t this what most best selling success books tell us ? Set your goals, follow trough, be accountable, get feedback, be a team player, review your goals, adjust, succeed… It definitely could be done.

But how to prevent a team of getting all the good players just because it inherited more money, had an early start or simply knows the right people ? Well, in most places including Europe they didn’t and therefore they have unbalanced leagues where the wealthy teams strive and the poor just crawl. Sounds familiar ? We do have a solution though called drafting and salary cap. This is what makes franchises like the NFL or the NBA successful for so many years. It is really hard to monopolize success with this set of rules and the good thing is that the competition is so fierce, the incentives to succeed so high that the only way the quality of the game can go is only up.

Watch the quality of these leagues, you can clearly see a huge improvement every year. It demands perfection and commitment from every player, just the way it should be.

So why don’t we run our industries like this ? We succeeded managing our leagues like that…

The real question is: could the one’s in power accept this new rules and take part in a fair game ? The great thing is that they don’t have to! Let me explain:

The NFL, the NBA or any other league monarchic or not survives only as long as we watch it. The more the viewers the better the league, that is a universal formula. One thing the machine has not calculated is that we ARE the key to turn it off, WE are the buyers, the consumers, the zombies remember ? So the day we really decide things HAVE to change they will… They must…

I think what I suggest is a win win situation in all senses… Don’t you ?

Sadok Kohen

Buying off our way to Heaven (!)

It keeps surprising me how certain patterns never change throughout history when it comes to human nature.

It all started when the first ape understood how to use a club to hunt more effectively and the ape next to him used the same club to hunt the hunter and keep the prey. We tend to be very clever in finding the easy way out. Countless acts of redemption were always made in the name of a Higher Self, the man we “couldn’t” be.

You sin, you pay the priest. You commit adultery you pay the jewelery store. You are never there for your children, you pay the toy store. You eat to much, you pay the gym (and never go). You smoke, you pay insurance (and keep smoking). You don’t have time to care, you pay charity (and keep not caring)… You destroy the earth, you buy carbon offset!! (and keep DESTROYING).

You can actually calculate the value of the portion of the world you just destroyed and buy it back.

Not that I am against carbon offsetting as an end result. I am against the way carbon offsetting (like charity and several other examples) has become a currency were it should have become a place for people to go and reflect and mend the wounds inflicted, therefore taking responsibility for their actions and understanding where the problem really was. By doing this taking a step further to enlightenment and to become part of the “real” solution.

A very simple way to understand how our psychology works is to look at a little experiment they have done in a kindergarten. Parents were always late to pick up their children so the teachers decided to put a per hour fine on parents who were late. Guess what, the rate of being late drastically increased! Once “being late” had a price, parents decided they could afford it!

Can we really put a price on a disappointed child, or on health, or on nature ? Evidently the message out there is that we can. This is why the word sorry became so cheap that everybody could easily afford to say it, under ANY circumstances or even worse, they hire others to say it for them.

The solution, as always, lies inside us. The day we are not afraid to look, we’ll understand that Heaven’s not for sale…

Sadok Kohen