Issues

Style of Writing

People encourage me to spice up my writing style, but I refuse because I don't think it's right to exaggerate or dramatically mislead in order to "sell" my writings or better entertain readers. It's more important to be accurate, and to keep things in their proper perspective, rather than dramatically blow things out of proportion.

I don't strive to get the most readers. Likewise, while I've had Google Adsense for years, I don't even run it on most of my pages. It's not about getting the most readers or making the most money. It's about quality, not quantity, of readers and colleagues. And keeping them.

Some of my most popular articles are buried down within a website. This is because I prefer to be organized and keep things in proper perspective. However, it's important to not be too obsessive about staying organized.

On my desktop, I keep a few text files for just writing ideas and thoughts in a free association way. Each is a mix of diverse ideas and thoughts, not organized at all. When I get a thought, I just quickly click on one of these and type it in at the top, and put a line of a few dashes between topics. Sometime later, usually on another day, I go back to these thoughts, choose which ones are worth my & maybe your time, and plug them into the right website in the most appropriate place.

Issues on this page should be moved elsewhere within my writings. Where, I don't know yet.

What is long overdue is a blog-like list of links to everything I've written and edited.

Creativity

It seems to me that diversity, individual creativity and self-initiative seem to be going down, and conformity up, with the advent of internet. Some people call this "homogenization" of cultures, but it seems the same within a particular culture. It started with TV.

With employees and people in general, I am so often astounded with the inability to analyze or solve problems, and the tendency to ask others rather than think oneself.

People who don't watch a lot of TV or constantly surf the web for entertainment seem to have more originality and initiative. Is it that creative people get bored with TV and the usual sorts of things on internet, or is it that less TV and less internet forces people to put out the effort and develop the mindset of entertaining themselves? Or both.

Then there is the issue of peoples' desire to socially conform comfortably, versus willingness and independence to think out of the box.

There are some other elements of creativity and originality that I someday wish to write about in a more systematic, academic format, but that will require researching the existing literature on these topics as well. I usually create something myself first, before being influenced by others' writings, and go back and forth. Meanwhile, I'd like to hear from any readers of this article about originality and creativity.

For me, these are personal issues of who I want to spend my limited social time with, as well as very important as regards employees and strategic partners as regards business progress and success.

I like producers, not pure consumers.

Careless Service

I hear politicians saying there aren't enough good jobs, and it is the fault of our government and politicians, therefore we need trade protectionism, and so on. That is DISGUSTING.

No politician is up there saying that we must provide better quality of services ourselves, better values and education starting at home, better continuing education for ourselves, and take responsibility for our own circumstances, not blame and stereotype others.

Just try getting support or information from service providers. The quality of support is terrible in so many places, though some are excellent. (It is a keen topic of interest of mine how some exceptional organizations maintain quality of service up and down the line.) Sometimes, it's just carelessness. Other times, it's people who just can't analyze and think, and I wonder how their ancestors survived natural selection (rape and pillage inheritance?). Careless, lazy thinking.

From my experience, it seems to have degraded steadily over the past 25 years.

The problem should not be blamed on government. The problem is ourselves, our companies, and the erosion of our societies' values.

I also have a theory on the effect of TV and multimedia, which erodes so many kids' abilities to self-entertain or think by themselves. When bored, just change the TV channels. Become a couch potato. Adopt the opinions of public relations professionals. And so on.

All the violence and sex on TV, which seem to be the most popular subjects, reflect demand from the mass market and tells us a lot about ourselves as a species.

Volunteers and Donors

I have considerable history with fund-raising organizations and people, plus my own. Different appeals and motivations.

PERMANENT requires major investment.

I've known too many ostentatious people who would lead you on just for an ego/status trip for themselves. They get an ego charge to have high members of society beg them for money, and another ego charge by rejecting them. Then a third ego charge thereafter by showing how they can afford to blow huge amounts of their money on vain things.

There is no intellectual or spiritual class in that, only financial class.

Some of these very same people will not accept calls or visitors from organizations like Save The Children because they will feel guilty by rejecting them. Others will accept them and donate a little bit of their money so they feel better about themselves, not so much to save the children. Saving the children may be hopeless for the most part anyway, and they may sense a scam from other organizations, but what counts is what they do with their abilities in this life and their state of mind and intentions. This is just an all too typical example.

Many people have achieved the ability to make a significant difference for humanity, but cannot transcend their distractions, addictions and sociopolitical environment.

I don't believe the saying that "If you do good things to others, then good things will come back to you." It's not only a selfish reason for donating, but there's also no cause and effect. The reason for doing good things is simply love of others, or love of life, or love of the universe. Love. Goodness. Just to be that kind of individual, or merge with that kind of spirit, albeit a minority spirit outside the box but why conform?

It is incredible all the life on Earth we have destroyed and how we are transforming the climate over conspicuous consumption and unnecessary ego / social status things in this throw away gadget society. Comfort is mostly in the head, not one's luxurious environment. "Better is the enemy of good enough", in this case.

It is notable that so many of the charities I have come across are actually not a lot different from scams.

I have a long background in international aid to the poor and disadvantaged, and know a lot of former Peace Corps volunteers who are among the best people on the planet. It's remarkable how luxuriously some of the executives live (normally not former Peace Corps people), and how little of the money gets to the people, often in ways that aren't well thought out, but competent outside analysts and consultants are often shunned.

Some of my shocking experiences with "beltway bandit" USAID and UN programs are noted in my journal article on corruption in USAID and UN emergency food relief. That is just one example, and it was written about because of its timing.

When there's a crisis, you just don't get that sense of urgency among the wealthy elite. When the New Orleans disaster met with little response, it was no surprise. You can bet that the executives didn't spend much time thinking about it from 5pm Friday until 9am Monday, except maybe how to make more money off the disaster. That is par for the course.

On the other hand, so many donors are often careless and clueless people who just want to donate to relieve some guilt, or to brag about it in social circles, or believe "if you do good things for others, then good things will come back to you". I don't want to discourage them from donating to any group, corrupt or not, since their money will still be better put to use that way than blown otherwise (such as conspicuous consumption). I am usually on the side of the humanistic organization, be it corrupt, mismanaged, or otherwise seriously flawed, instead of the usual selfish and clueless donor side. However, there are exceptions when I think that some truly good person is being conned. However, that's rare, as good people can normally see right thru cons. There's an old saying that con men are the easiest to con, and there's no shortage of rich selfish people who are clueless on the nonmaterial front.

I was astounded that CNN founder Ted Turner donated a billion dollars to the UN. He must have been too lazy and disinterested to deal with the alternatives. He said "A billon's a good round number." He was, of course, lined up to be given great awards by the United Nations Association among much fanfare at the moment. It's better than nothing ;-), but it seems questionable to donate it to the UN. (See a BBC and CNN coverage.)

Other great donors seem to be much more involved and lower profile in deciding where their donations go and how it's spent, such as George Soros, the Bill Gates Foundation, and others. In fact, Gates retired and is focusing on his foundation.

In contrast, Turner somewhat wisely challenged other rich people to "compete" with him to give money away. However, just throwing money at problems is wasteful.

What's really needed is some sort of management consulting company consisting of experienced businesspeople from top to bottom to make sure their money is spent transparently, efficiently, effectively, and sustainably within those communities.

The Demise of Our Species

As discussed on my website at www.PERMANENT.com , there is a serious threat to our species by the development of biotechnology and nanotechnology, e.g., some individual in a lab somewhere genetically modifies the Ebola or bird flu or HIV virus to make it more contagious or more deadly or more robust, and it spreads around the world like an extremely contagious virus within the right rate. It would at least be the collapse of civilization, and could be the end of our species.

In the earth's history, there are entire species which have become extinct suddenly, with no environmental clues, and it is suspected that it may be a virus. There are many small colonies of animals which have been wiped out by a virus.

Introduce our world travelling species...

Look at malicious computer viruses and worms. Who writes these things, and why? It is the nature of our species. Like spammers and scammers every day, except virus writers have nothing to gain except malicious damage to the world.

Now consider advancing biotechnology, and nanotechnology, and the power of an individual.

This is the reason and urgency for www.PERMANENT.com -- to get our species off the planet and survivable out there, because we won't survive the technological age down here, for sure.

(Notably, I am astounded at how many con men send me emails asking if I would give them my domain permanent.com for a small donation to my cause... or as a student with an idea which they don't specify... and so on. Delete.)

Government

There's also a lot to be said about big Congressional and Presidential panels, too -- big egos do the talking, and just a few staffers do all the writing. Afterwards, reports go onto the shelves where they mainly just collect dust while little is done. Get them away from the group, and they also falter. It takes money, but then who gets the money? The people who really care and are willing to do the work, even for low pay? No. Corruption. Contractor friends get the money, who can talk the talk but hardly walk the walk. I've got real life stories to tell about that...

While government does some good and necessary things, it is terribly inefficient at cutting edge matters, including its contractors, and I think the vast majority of potential solutions are in the non-governmental organization (NGO) community. We just have a shortage of good leaders in this world, as well as good people mobilized in the trenches. There are a lot of good people out there, but they aren't being mobilized or managed well, and there's a shortage of money ... except what's being blown on the big polished operations with P.R. and connections.

This is why we come far short of our potential.

Overview

There are huge numbers of good people in this world (partly because there's 5 billion of us), but they are a small percentage of our population, genetically and sociologically. They are poorly mobilized and organized.

There are also a lot of crazy people, and the power of the individual is increasing. This won't change until we genetically engineer ourselves, but the same technology will destroy us before it improves us, e.g., a supervirus technologically engineered, not natural.

With the advance of technology, there is a very high risk that the bad side of business or humanity will make us extinct suddenly by biotechnology or nanotechnology, probably by accident, but if not then by design by someone.

Governments cannot solve this problem. (Many problems governments cannot solve.) That is impractical idealism. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

This is why I don't focus on humanistic projects on earth much anymore. It will all be moot in about 20 years. We must get our species off the planet self-sufficiently. That's all that matters. www.PERMANENT.com

Meanwhile, I spend more than half my waking hours just trying to make enough money to support myself, my company, and all our dependents ... very frustrating.

(However, with my instinctual compassion for others, and thoughtful morals of what is right and wrong, I can't just go out and maximize income for myself by having salesmen in my company sell sell sell, advertise misleadingly or provide careless business services and neglect paid-up customers like objects for quick money or cash on a massive scale. I see a lot of rich western exporters and mainland Chinese people around Asia who do this, plus internet digital tigers with little more than website fronts with careless advertising and brokerages, and various others, who have relatively easy lives financially, with light conscience, just business is business. I can't do that, just not that kind of life. Nor can they "get" what I do, and some cluelessly ask "why" I care...)

I take responsibility for all my own shortcomings, and look for ways to improve myself (not excuses). Anything is possible, and it's just a matter of whether I'm good enough. And maybe some luck.

Comments are welcome.




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