“You ever notice in the bar someone always says to you, “Hey, can I buy ya a drink?” Say, “No thanks, but can I have the money instead?” Tell him you’re saving up to buy your own goddamn bar.”— George Carlin
“After Twitter and Instagram in 2009 and 2011 respectively, Snapchat posed the latest, real threat to Facebook’s omnipresence. To Mark and Facebook, seeing people stop to post a photo to Snapchat instead of Facebook must have been disturbing, and therefore Snapchat needed to be bought. But the very fact that Facebook needed to buy Snapchat is perhaps why Snapchat needed to say no. In posing a real threat to Facebook, Snapchat proved that it may have that one elusive thing that no money can buy: the ability to change how people behave, to become central to their relationships with one another, to re-architect human contact, to be masters of the human domain. The ability to shape the world’s culture is something that Facebook has and doesn’t want to lose, and as evidenced by the buyout offer and rejection, Snapchat has and doesn’t want to lose either. And this, to a founder of a hot startup, is how 3 billion dollars becomes meaningless.”—Why Founders Don’t Sell — on startups — Medium (via buzz)
The great genius of American and British society has been to to isolate individuals enough, make people so isolated, that they can’t do anything. They’re all sitting there somewhere.
There was a study of the European community’s life patterns, how long do people sleep and all those kinda things. One of the questions they asked is how long do people watch TV? Britain broke the record. 90% of the population watches 4 1/2 hours of TV.
Well that’s the perfect way to isolate people. You can have complete freedom, everything, all democratic rights, but as long as every person is glued to the tube, you can’t talk to anybody, you can’t get together, you can’t pool your resources. You may have your own crazy ideas in your head. Like in your own head you think, “Yeah, the Vietnam War was an atrocity,” but as long as that happens, you can’t have democratic forums and that’s what’s being achieved in advanced industrial societies. That’s what’s being called “the triumph of liberal democracy.”
It really struck me when he said, “they’re all just sitting there somewhere.” He’s right, all of us, your bosses, your family. We’re all here just sitting there somewhere, not making any meaningful impact to anything.
The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and secret proceedings.
We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.
That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence—on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.
Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.
No President should fear public scrutinity of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.
I not only could not stifle controversy among your readers— I welcome it. This Administration intends to be candid about its errors; for as a wise man once said: “An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors; and we expect you to point them out when we miss them.
Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed— and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First (emphasized) Amendment— the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution— not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and sentimental, not to simply “give the public what it wants”—but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.
This means greater coverage and analysis of international news— for it is no longer far away and foreign but close at hand and local. It means greater attention to improved understanding of the news as well as improved transmission. And it means, finally, that government at all levels, must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security…
And so it is to the printing press—to the recorder of mans deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news— that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.
“The problem, of course, is that niceness is overrated as a virtue. Many cultures are nice. The Southern antebellum aristocracy was marvellously well-mannered; its members left tasteful calling cards, entertained gracefully, and conducted their personal affairs with the utmost discretion. But they had few other virtues; in fact, it was the practice of niceness that helped to keep other values, such as fairness, at bay.”—
I quoted the Trilateral Commission’s view of the education system, namely it’s a system of indoctrination of the young. And I think that’s correct, it’s a system of indoctrination of the young. That was the way the liberal elites regard it and it’s more or less accurate.
The education system is supposed to train people to be obedient, conformist, not think too much, do what you’re told, stay passive, don’t cause any crises of democracy, don’t raise any questions, and so on. That’s basically what the system is about.
Even the fact that the system has a lot of stupidity in it, I think, has a function. It means that people are filtered out for obedience. If you can guarantee lots of stupidity in the education system, like lots of stupid assignments and things like that, you know that the only people that will make it through are people like me and most of you I guess, who are willing to do it no matter how stupid it is because we want to go to the next step. So you may know that this assignment is idiotic and the guy up there couldn’t think his way out of a paper bag, but you’ll do it anyway because that’s the way you get to the next class. And you want to make it, so on and so forth.
Well, there are people who don’t do that. They’re people who say, “I’m not gonna do it, it’s too ridiculous.” Those people are called behavioral problems or something like that. They end up in the Principle’s office or in the streets or selling drugs or whatever. And all of this is a technique for selection for obedience.
I don’t know how to prove this but I have a feeling that when you go to the elite universities you find more obedience and conformity. Probably because you were getting the students who were better able to do it. All of that is functional; that’s the way it works. And it works right through graduate school.
There are exceptions. By the time you get to graduate school it’s already a little more varied because some real contradictions develop in the system.
The problem is you can’t have progress this way especially in the sciences and engineering that’s a problem because the corporations need science and engineering. If you don’t have innovation you’re really in trouble. So they have to encourage creativity and independence because you can’t get anywhere by copying what somebody else told you. You have to challenging things all the time challenging everything, thinking new thoughts and so on. And there you’ve got a real contradiction.
It’s hard to train people to be creative and challenging and so on and make sure somewhere else in their lives they’re conformist and obedient and never think. So you have problems.