Power

One of the basic inconsistencies of democracy is that only people who want power (or money, as a means to power) will become candidates. There are exceptions. There are people in politics who are truly altruistic. But they are so few and far between that one can practically discount them in the statistical sense. Many people who’s goals seem altruistic, or at least „good“, are still power-people. They want to rule you, and God help you if their goals aren’t congruent with yours.
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If you must be ruled, it is better not to be ruled by people who want power. A person who wants power is simply interested in exercising and furthering that power, not in serving the people, which is what elected political officials should supposedly be doing in a democracy.
Like all big political systems run by human society, democracies tend to become corrupt over time. Because humans are the crazy little aggressive curious apes that they are, they will exploit any system for their own individual benefit. And how do you expect a system they created themselves to resist that? I don’t see any way out of this contradiction. It’s a basic and inherent flaw in all human political endeavors.
It makes me think we really shouldn’t be living together in such large numbers, since there seems to be no really effective way we can govern the human need for acing the other fellow out, to control the human penchant for outwitting the immediate environment. Since we no longer live in a natural environment, since we have made/become our own separate environment to some extent, in which often the only opponents are other humans, this survival skill is exercised on other humans. Not exactly conducive to systems that truly have the interests of society as a whole in mind, or to protecting the rights of the individuals and minorities against the majorities in said society, is it now? It’s almost as if humans simply weren’t built for that.
I don’t think you can actually find a truly honest candidates for high office. There is nobody who hasn’t made deals on the way up, it’s a given, they wouldn’t be where they were if they weren’t hand in glove with corruption. They are where the money is, and have been there for some time, before ever being seriously considered as candidates. If they were at some time honest, you can be sure they have long since been brought to fall by then.

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Wading In Deeper

D’you ever wade in to the mire? You ever feel like your life is a fucking swamp, and you’re waist deep…? and maybe you’re sinking. You’re not sure… is it quicksand, or just plain too bloody deep? Shit, don’t…! Oh fuck, I can see it in your eyes, you’re going to go on. Soon it will be up to your neck. You know: you’ve got to go on. Wade in deeper. And you will not beg, or pray, dammit, you’ll wade in and go down or go on, as fate will have it. Gut it out. Stubborn. Curiosity got the cat they say, but what gets the human? Mulishness.
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Musing At Work

At least here I have a view. Dirt. Piles of dirt, piles of gravel, more piles of dirt. Logs, lampposts and power lines. And buildings, half finished, surrounded by trucks and bulldozers. It’s better than nothing. Better than nothing better than nothing better than nothing better than nothing. My mantra for the day. The expensive machinery clatters and kerchunks impressively in the next room, doing my work for me. God, it’s all so exciting. The dirt outside is wet. It’s raining. The machinery calls me. After a time I can no longer ignore it’s insistent quavering beeps. Even machines need help sometimes. I watch the rain some more. Clatter. Kerchunk. The phone doesn’t ring. A truck comes and dumps a pile of dirt next to the others. More excitement. Better than nothing, I remind myself. Better than nothing better than nothing better than nothing. I take the sandwich out and eat it.

Giving People What They Want

Did you ever, just for the hell of it, give people what they want? Did you, just to see what happens, say, yes! let’s do that! Yes, fuck me, though it’s crazy! for example? Go ahead, strip and jump in to the river in the middle of the night, why not? Yes, touch that wire in order to find out if the voltage is high enough to kill you, haha! Here, have another drink! Are you giving, or are you daring them to take what they want?
Who takes a dare sucks eggs, we used to say. Well, I suck eggs every damned Easter, so…?
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Third Thoughts

Oh, oh, oh. They’ll get you, those second thoughts. The second thoughts are right bastards, but, in fact, it’s the third thoughts that will bring you down. Second thoughts, well, you can toss them off with a round turn, if you have the knack, but then… on come the third thoughts. Those are the ones that fuck your brain. Wheels within wheels within wheels.
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Technology

I love technology, and I hate it. I’ll be damned if I can understand it even when I do. It’s a fucking labyrinth sometimes, and I wonder at it, because technology should be usable like bloody a damned car. And this is coming from someone who loves computers and has been using them for over a quarter century, for Christ’s sake. I grew up with technology, but that doesn’t mean I accept it without question.
Today, when people think of technology, they think of computers, but in fact technology is much, much more than that. It’s all around us. It’s in the little chips in our cars. Where are they? Tried to repair a car yourself lately? Twenty-five years ago you still could, with a basic understanding of how motors work and a manual. Try that now.
I can still repair my bicycle without the assistance of a computer, thank God. The Germans have a euphemism for bicycles: wire-donkey. Yeah, I like that. I bet, even a hundred years from now, that I can still repair a wire-donkey, assuming I’m alive, which I won’t be, thank God. Well, thank alcohol, perhaps, or just plain entropy.
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But don’t forget, even bicycles are a form of technology. And they are fairly complex, actually. It’s just that they’ve been around for so long that the knowledge of how to deal with them has become common knowledge. If you gave a bicycle to a caveman he wouldn’t know what to do with it, much less how to repair it. But you wouldn’t know how to deal with the technology that was commonplace for him either. Could you repair his spear if it was broken? You probably couldn’t even throw it properly. But you could learn to do so, because the technological principles inherent in these things can be understood by any human of average intelligence. And if you showed him how to ride the bike he’d be off chasing dear on it in no time flat.
What bothers me about modern technology is that it is so complex, so riddled with hidden functions, that no one but a specialist can even attempt to understand it. Often enough even the specialists are stumped.
I’ve had to work with computers and highly technical machines for most of my professional life. How often have I turned to technical support because of rebellious machines only to find they can’t help me? Too often, that much is sure. My approach in such cases, when all else failed, was a sort of intuitive trial and error process. I solved the problem myself then, as often as not, but it wasn’t as if I’d really known what I was doing or had understood why exactly it worked. To my mind, that is not how technology should be.

„Quotable“

You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.
– Albert Einstein
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