I overheard an excited 6-year-old say at McDonalds, "I wish school had a playground like that!" Our schools really need a lesson in marketing; shouldn't we, as a society, want to make schools the most attractive (and beneficial) places for our children?
Jason Caldwell, the lead developer at WebSharks, Inc. (a company I recently started consulting for) and a Zeitgeist movie advocate, wrote this bit about how the Occupy Wall Street movement has the potential to awaken a sleeping society and get us all to begin questioning the accuracy of the information we take in.
I agree with his ending point that presidential elections will slowly become more and more meaningless as we recognize that in the age of instant global connectivity, a future system of governance will be that of the people, not a single figure who makes decisions, but a system that recognizes the collective will of those who the system affects.
Before we can really discuss possible solutions in a way that might bring about change, the public majority needs to understand what the problems are. We also need to be more responsible. We, the public, need to do their own research, in order to verify the accuracy of the information we take in, and also to understand the world around us. I believe the Occupy movement may help us accomplish this in the long term. A movement like this causes people to question their existing train of thought, to re-examine their belief system; based on the information that is currently obtainable; and also, based on what is realistically achievable once the current state of affairs is understood by the masses. It also sets a platform for discussion and artistic expression by the people, instead of by Hollywood alone.
Sadly, many people do NOT yet have a good understanding of what our problems are. In fact, many people don't even question some of the establishments we have in place today. The mainstream media puts a selective spin, or party-based opinion on everything, which keeps people quite confused about very serious issues. This leads people to gossip around the water cooler, about varying points of view among pundits, rather than having any serious discussion about change, based on our own personal knowledge and understandings.
In addition to the mainstream media, we have our current form of society, which is very much based on a motive to obtain profit, even on a personal level. Whether we realize it or not, the profit motive has corrupted us all, and we'll have to rise above this societal impulse, on some level, in order to discuss how we get rid of it completely over the long term.
Many of us today are also afraid of being wrong, and so we really don't speak our minds. Creative thinking and artistic expression need to become a larger part of society. We need to be more willing to share our ideas openly, so that others might work with us, and/or contribute to our broader understanding. Being wrong is part of a natural learning process. If we are wrong about something, and we understand that we we're wrong, we're more intelligent because of that occurrence.
I believe there is hope. People are naturally losing faith in their politicians, and in mainstream media corporations that color things to match their larger objectives. As we seek out alternative sources for information; and in our own research, we begin to understand just how complacent we've all been as a society. We also begin to see that it's not politicians or money that we need, as some may suggest. Politicians, bankers and economists are not trained to solve these types of problems. And, given the current structure of society today, it is impossible to reach a position of influence in the world, without having ties to corporate profit-seeking entities, on one level or another; making most of our existing and future leaders untrustworthy.
Our problems today have a very technical and emotional orientation. Our society today, is also too large and too diverse, to be governed by traditional figures, such as a president or a congress, which really serve as an arm of the corporate world anyway. Instead, we need a public majority of intellectuals, which takes education. We need to become the leaders through education, instead of asking others to do it for us ( i.e. an Obama, or a Herman Cain, or a Ron Paul ).
As the public begins to understand our current problems for what they are, and as we begin to accept emotionally how wrong we've been about many things in the past, I believe that a solution will manifest itself out of the will of the people; and I am hopeful that will lead to a positive change, which may improve things over time. In the short term, I think presidential elections should become more and more meaningless, taking place in the backdrop of a larger public movement that is more relevant to our needs and productivity.