One World?

A friend had a lively discussion on Facebook recently regarding the threat to America from a one-world government.  One friend of his asked, “Hey, why are conservatives so afraid of a one-world government?”

It’s interesting to keep this question in mind as we see the clash between the consolidation of media vs. the disruption to old media caused by new innovations.  It’s also very interesting in light of the recent debates about whether the federal government should subsidize traditional media companies that cannot make it in the marketplace on their own.

This person seemed to be honestly asking for a response, so here was the response I posted:

The other key reason to oppose a one world government is related to my friend’s point that the Founding Fathers tried to diffuse power, to divide it between local municipalities, counties, states and the feds, and to divide power between three branches of government. And they didn’t want government to control all aspects of life, just the spheres where individuals couldn’t fairly share the burden and the benefits. For example, it made sense to have a federal army to protect all the states and to have a federal currency…but the goal was to limit the accumulation of power, to limit the centralization of power.

It’s important to keep power divided instead of centralized for many reasons: 1) the market of ideas is better at making good decisions than letting a few people make decisions for everyone 2) Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely 3) Human beings are fallen – if you don’t like that theology, then let’s agree that humans are flawed, and nobody’s perfect. Thus, it’s important that a human or small group of humans does not end up with too much power to force their imperfect ideas on everybody else with no one to counter-balance them or hold them accountable. Who would hold a one world government accountable? Where could an individual go or turn to if they didn’t like the one world government?

As for the negative impact on America from a one-world government – let’s face it, a one world government would not respect our Bill of Rights or the US Constitution, which is the best attempt yet at establishing the Rule of Law according to Rutherford’s classic from the Englightenment, Lex Rex. The rule of law is not the same thing as a group of people making up laws to suit the situation – quite the contrary. The rule of law means that the laws are set in advance, and not written to address specific situations that the law-makers desire. The idea of the rule of law is that the “rules of the game” are set in advance,and all the players figure out how to make life better within the rules. What we have now is that the government lawmakers are akin to a football ref changing the rules in mid-game – it would still be “official” because the ref ruled on it, but it would not be the rule of law, it would be the law of the ref. The ref would be king.

The best book on this is F.A. Hayek’s classic, The Road to Serfdom, which was published from England in 1944. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_to_Serfdom

Hayek was a noble prize winning economist who showed what was wrong with “central planning”. It’s a must read. Here’s a summary from Wikipedia:

The Road to Serfdom is a book written by Friedrich von Hayek (recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1974) which dramatically altered the landscape of political thought in the middle of the 20th century, shifting the terms of debate for millions of people across the political spectrum.[1][2] The Road to Serfdom is among the most influential and popular expositions of classical liberalism and libertarianism.

The title refers to economic and political policies which the author believes to invariably lead to the socio-economic condition known as “serfdom.”

Right around that same time Orwell published 1984 – that’s what will happen when Big Brother controls everything.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four

his article is about the Orwell novel. For other uses, see 1984 (disambiguation).

Nineteen Eighty-Four
1984first.jpg
British first edition cover
Author George Orwell
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre(s) Dystopian, political fiction, social science fiction
Publisher Secker and Warburg (London)
Publication date 8 June 1949
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback) & e-book, audio-CD
Pages 326 pp (Paperback edition)
OCLC Number 52187275
Dewey Decimal 823/.912 22
LC Classification PR6029.R8 N647 2003

Nineteen Eighty-Four (sometimes written 1984), by George Orwell, published in 1949, is a dystopian novel about the totalitarian regime of the Party, an oligarchical collectivist society where life in the Oceanian province of Airstrip One is a world of perpetual war, pervasive government surveillance, public mind control, and the voiding of citizens’ rights. In the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), protagonist Winston Smith is a civil servant responsible for perpetuating the Party’s propaganda by revising historical records to render the Party omniscient and always correct, yet his meagre existence disillusions him into rebellion against Big Brother, which leads to his arrest, torture, and conversion.

As literary political fiction, 1984 is a classic novel of the social science fiction sub-genre, thus, since its publication in 1949, the terms and concepts of Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Memory hole, et cetera, became contemporary vernacular, including the adjective Orwellian, denoting George Orwell’s writings and totalitarianism as exposited in Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm (1945).[1]

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Wireless power, II

No sooner had I clicked “Publish” than I realized the latest issue of Wired Magazine had a short article that updated the state of the wireless electricity efforts around the country.  Wired put it best in their headline: Why Do We Still Have Powercords?  That’s what I keep asking – why can’t somebody figure out how to transfer electricity from the grid to one’s devices without a cord?  Let’s cut the cord.  And after that, let’s make a car that doesn’t need gas, and let’s breed horses that don’t need to eat.  Why not? If you can think it, it can happen.

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/05/ts_burning_powercords/

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Unthought ideas

A good friend encouraged me the other day with this thought:  right now there is a guy somewhere who is toiling away at a job that is uninspiring, at least to him, and he has no idea how he is going to escape.  But in a year or two, this same guy will think of an idea that will turn into a business that will make him enough money to do what he likes doing while providing for his family for the rest of his life.  He can’t see it now, he can’t even think of an idea close to that idea yet.  But he will and his life will change.

Try thinking of things that nobody has yet to think of.  It’s hard.  Usually, the most creative among us, even the craziest dreamers, can think of something new by imagining new ways to combine existing elements.  And that’s usually good enough to really improve upon the status quo.

What new social media vehicles will be used by millions of people in five years, but that haven’t even been thought of by anyone at all yet?

I remember being frustrated by the need to plug electric devices “in” to a wall socket of some sort.  It has always bugged me.  Then about five years ago I suggested to a pretty smart engineer – albeit, a mechanical engineer and not an ee – that it would be great to have wire-less access to electricity to power our computers, TVs, Bose iPod players, etc.  My engineer friend laughed and said that’s impossible, that electricity has to travel over wires, etc.  Since I’m not an engineer but a sales & marketing strategist and new product idea generator without the engineering background, I deferred to his “expertise” and let the subject drop.  But as many of you know, wire-less electricity has been tested at MIT and they are now working on ways to roll it out for public consumer use.  Check this from last year’s Fast Company: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/132/brilliant.html

So what crazy new media will we be using in five years?  Here’s what I’d like to see:  a way to just think a thought and have it automatically load into your Twitter client.  Any way to make that happen?

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