Jul 18, 2009 - Blog    1 Comment

I refuse to be sheeple

In a world full of sheeple?Digg.com is a “place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web”. Equal parts timeliness reflection of what the world is interested in, xkcd comics, and other items from the most remote portions of the Internet. I sat down to read a few links / sites and must say that what I found was a very odd collection of items. Some random musings and quotes from what I saw, what it made me think and what I think it says about our current path towards A Better Tomorrow:

ScienceDaily.com – Male Sex Chromosome Losing Genes By Rapid Evolution

By comparing the DNA of the X and Y chromosomes in eutherian mammals to the DNA of the non-sex chromosomes in the opossum and platypus, the team was able to go back in time to the point when the X and Y chromosomes were still swapping DNA, just like the non-sex chromosomes in the opossum and platypus. The scientists then were able to observe how the DNA of the X and Y chromosomes changed over time relative to the DNA of the non-sex chromosomes. “Our research revealed that the Y-specific DNA began to evolve rapidly at the time that the DNA region split into two entities, while the X-specific DNA maintained the same evolutionary rate as the non-sex chromosomes,” said Makova.

The report talks about the relative importance of the different parts of each DNA but doesn’t offer conjecture on a number of interesting questions this raises. What happened many millions of years ago that caused the X and Y chromosome DNA to split into two entities? Why did one DNA evolve while the other stayed basically identical? Could it have been something similar to what some people hypothesize might happen in 2012? Theories which posit that, “during this time, the planet and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation rather than an armageddon, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a newer sociopolitical age for the global community”.

Having finished reading The Forever Machine, I could see a scenario where evolution happens by choice on a progressionary level that we could barely imagine today. Something that leads to a similar divergence in the genes of humanity which would have far-reaching implications. The Jump 225 trilogy wondered down some of these paths as technology integrated into all levels of the human condition. Hopefully if that is to be the path before us, the choices that lead us there are made with the impact it could have on 7 generations of our children in mind.

Daily FinanceJournalism Online, would-be newspaper savior, gathers steam

What Journalism Online’s offering is more flexible and compelling than it may have sounded at first. Far from a one-size-fits-all approach, the company allows news outlets to customize their pay schemes with 15 different variables. Publishers will be able to do everything from selling monthly subscriptions to charging micropayments for individual articles with a sliding pricing scale based on the timeliness of the news. “What we’re giving them is a set of dials they can constantly turn,” says Brill. “In no case is is simply charging or not charging. It’s not simply a pay wall goes up around everything.”

I think that the recording and movie industries have been business cases on display long enough to show that suing your clients to support a dying business model is too much a case of biting the hand that feeds you. The more one seeks to control information, the more will slip through your icy grasp. I support the concept that people should get paid a fair value for their services. However, I see the driving desire to change how that value is determined through events such as the Pirate Bay trial. This Journalism Online sounds like it is attempting to offer the path of least resistance by simplifying the execution process of requiring / accepting pay for content of a written nature.

While that is an admirable goal, I would like to believe – and my experiences are starting to bear truth to the fact that – the more you share your efforts freely with the world, the more you will be rewarded for it inkind. This past weekend I attended an event where I felt a huge connection with all the people of the planet. The more positive energy I could project, the stronger the feedback I received that I was walking on the right path. I felt that I – and everyone I encountered – had the potential to make a better tomorrow. We need not be sheeple, but instead an agent of change. The question remains…What is it that most people want and is that goal state something that is sustainable for the entire population to strive towards?

Salem NewsYou Can Now Legally Use iPhone to Find Cannabis

This week Apple releases a new iPhone and iPod Touch application which allows users to locate cannabis resources worldwide including the nearest medical cannabis collectives, doctors, attorneys, organizations, and other patient services in the states, such as California, that have passed laws allowing medical cannabis.

This is a bold example that typifies the generational shift that our culture is facing. Technology that augments human interaction is radically altering our capability to access and interpret information respond to it through new mediums of communication. While I find it interesting that a significant number of people who have grown up with access to this evolving technology happen to share a number of belief systems noticeably different from our most recent ancestors, it is really just another side to the same concept which the vanguard of society is struggling with on many fronts: How important are our freedoms to us?

  • Freedom from violence and persecution?
  • Freedom of assembly and voice?
  • Freedom to access information?
  • Freedom to modify software?
  • Freedom to make choices for ourselves and not be negatively impacted by the choices of others?

Everyone in the world struggles with these freedoms – some more than others. All I can do is work to make my tomorrow better, hope that my efforts in some ways help others and that they do / feel the same way. Bright lights might get snuffed out before their time, while others may fade away.

The Internet is enabling individuals to connect with others who share their interests / passions on a scale not seen since the invention of the printing press drastically changed our ability to share knowledge:

The immediate effect of the printing press was to multiply the output and cut the costs of books. It thus made information available to a much larger segment of the population who were, of course, eager for information of any variety. Libraries could now store greater quantities of information at much lower cost. Printing also facilitated the dissemination and preservation of knowledge in standardized form — this was most important in the advance of science, technology and scholarship. The printing press certainly initiated an “information revolution” on par with the Internet today. Printing could and did spread new ideas quickly and with greater impact.

The question is, what choices can / should we make (with or without technology) that will have a positive impact on our own environment without negatively impacting others? For that, I think we should take the wisdom of peoples such as David Holmgrem to heart and find ways to “creatively re-design our environment and our behaviour in a world of less energy and resources”. I’m quite sure if we do that, we will be on a great road to a better tomorrow.

1 Comment

  • [...] I follow were sharing were such an interesting mix that they deserved further follow-up. Like past summary review posts it gives a little look at what types of information are flying through my echo chamber of [...]

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