Tag Archives: beliefs

229. Poor Management Threatens Human Survival

29 Apr

The irony of our times is that good management of critical processes could have solved all of the worlds problems, and provided happiness for everyone, yes, every person on Earth. Here is a list of problems, presented briefly, that could have been solved with good management and using existing knowledge.

Climate-change. Much of this science was developed decades ago, but like children, few were willing to make changes with long-term benefits. There are numerous discussions of potemtial and current climate disasters.

Poverty. There are enough resources on Earth to provide food, shelter, clothing, and entertainment for everyone. We have poverty because national leaders become greedy in office, and hoard resources.

Covid-19. President Obama had a group working on pandemic solutions, which was abolished by the next president. Inexperience and lack of knowledge led to millions of deaths, worldwide. And suffering may continue for many more months or even years. Ultimately, we need science to provide a broader protection from many disease variations.

Expansionism. Leaders of several major countries have goals of expansion, the conquering of other nations by military force. In current times, we must add cyber and political agression. Weaker nations are vulnerable.

Beliefs. I have no problem with people who wish to practice religions. Much in this area is beneficial. But, unfortunately, differences in religion sometimes leads to major violence and many deaths in wars. Also, the beliefs of Qanon, Proud Boys, Neo-Nazis, KKK, and others are bizarre and dangerous.

Science. A part of every population does not trust science, in general, and ignores beneficial processes. Science can help with food production, medical advances, technical advances, and many of the problems listed in this blog. Genetically altered foods have proven to be safe and beneficial.

Voting. It is sad that many of those who could benefit most from good government, often are fooled into voting for leaders that will not help them.

Endless wars. The US and several other nations have tried to correct the governments of other countries. While these efforts are often done with good intensions, good results are often lacking, and sometimes matters are made much worse. A study of history could have helped.

Rich donors. Extremely rich people in a country often have a major influence on tmportant decisions. These decisions often benefit them, but are dangerous for the rest of the population.

Democracies. Most of us would never have predicted that the USA could move
towards a dictatorship. Yet, in 2020 we were very close to this. Traditionally, the US has provided a great example of good government. Poor management of the election process almost resulted in a permanent disaster.

Food resources. Proper management of the oceans is important for keeping them as a source for food. Management of land useage for food is also important. Ultimately, good sources of protein may be more effectively provided by industrial processes.

Summary. Our current world, which is crowded with human populations, must now be carefully managed to avoid extensive human suffering and deaths. Much of tradition is no longer effective in solving problems. We must think clearly and objectively in finding the best solutions. Most of the topics above, are extensevely covered in my blogs, and many other writers have good ideas that must be explored. Our serious world problems can be solved.

174. Our Education Affects “Reasoning” Ability

8 Jun

I was recently reminded of a problem in education: that children (and adults) are actually trained in what I call “magical thinking.” The reminder was a recent TED talk by Kate Bowler, entitled “Everything happens for a reason” — and other lies I’ve loved.  Many people could benefit from her illuminating piece.

Most of us are trained in various types of magical thinking. Examples are that life has “purpose” and “meaning” and that our actions should be guided by pleasing a higher power.  This is supported by the fact that ANXIETY is so much a part of our biological makeup. We create comforting attitudes to decrease our fears. Like many others, Kate Bowler‘s magical thinking was not questioned until faced with a horrible disease;  she got cancer. The bottom line is that this kind of thinking generally makes us feel better, and so is reinforced, just like we eat to avoid hunger and drink to avoid thirst, we pursue faulty thinking to avoid anxiety.

Being highly educated and logical is more difficult than “magic,” but it also works, and we are not so shocked when bad things happen. My solution is better education, which emphasizes logic and science. Many people have found joy in really understanding how the world works. When you study the origins of the Universe and the origins of life, science helps in understanding these issues. We don’t have final and exact answers for these “origins” but what is known suggests plausible explanations. When the above author, Kate Bowler, was young, what if some authority figure had asked her this question: how can you be sure of your beliefs and understanding of life? Where is the evidence? What are the details? Can we live without unsupported beliefs and just focus on what is observable and logical? (Note, although logic and science are important, I also recognize the role of love, kindness, sports, arts, music and other human factors.)

Along these same lines, I would ask this question: can we really make decisions and think in ways that are truly independent? Or, are we totally controlled by our original structure (DNA, etc.), all of our learning experience, and various environmental influences? For most people, beliefs are learned from parents, teachers, religious leaders, and/or peers — and regardless of events, may persist for entire lives.

 

15. DEBACLES: COSTLY AND UBIQUITOUS

8 Oct

So much of what I see in our world is ridiculous and disturbing. Here is my list of debacles in several areas that affect us all:

1. Conflict of interest. A judge is very careful to recuse him/herself if there is any possibility of bias. Yet our most important professions are filled with conflict of interest. We rely on the decisions of professional people, when the decisions profoundly affect their income:

A rich congressman decides on how much, and in what way, to tax rich people.

A congressman must decide on issues affecting his campaign contributors.

A surgeon decides on who is appropriate for surgery.

Psychoanalysts provide therapy that lasts for years of profitable services.

Psychiatrists and even GP’s readily prescribe unnecessary drugs without considering safer and non-addicting methods.

When I was changing dentists, one of them counted two cavities, another dentist zero, and another six cavities, within a few days.

Generally, all health care providers have biases that affect their income — but, of course, some are better than others, and some I have known are very ethical.

Lawyers often tell their clients, in civil areas, to do things that create more conflict and hence more income.

I am sure that if you think about it, there are countless other examples (like auto repairs).

2. Many people simply “believe” what certain authority figures say. For example, a person says that he is conservative, meaning he does not like change. Certain authority figures are “known” to be conservative. He therefore believes and likes whatever they say. The problem is that there is no research or other verification for what the “expert” is saying. It is a fact that politicians tell many lies. We know this for certain because two of them will often make contradictory assertions . One of them must be wrong. Yet many people simply believe whatever is said and that just encourages more lies.  All citizens and especially voters must develop sound methods of lie detection. This has been and will be the subject of further blogs. But briefly, it is important to study history, learn about financial supporters, become familiar with all relevant issues, look at written material (such as budget proposals), see what others say about statements, and try to understand the motivation behind a statement. Unfortunately, many persons do not have the ability and/or the time to do this, and as a result will vote destructive politicians into office.

3. In my previous blog I discuss one of the worst debacles. It a failure to appropriately tax and otherwise control very rich people that are draining our country of resources and funds (please read). These rich people are like “corporate raiders” (or actually are the raiders) that could lead our country into financial ruin.

4. There are enough resources in the world to comfortably feed, clothe, and house all of its population. The debacle is that we allow leaders of nations to distort this process and prevent the resources from reaching those who need them.

5. Many people in the world are killed because of violent revenge. There is often a “tit for tat” mentality so that every abuse must be met with revenge, thereby stimulating more abuse. Countries have feuds with other countries. There ultimately must be an end to such things. However, I do recognize the complexity of many situations and recognize that measured, brief retaliations may in some cases, be appropriate.

6. Wars are fought over “holy” lands. Millions die because of questionable “beliefs.”

7. Young people are encouraged to compete in many areas, often by parents that feel inadequate. Obviously some competition can be enjoyable and safe, whereas other types lead to crime, greed, and the squandering of resources.

8. I watch many TV shows devoted to news and opinion. I am amazed by the fact that so much time is devoted to speeches and quotes of the most bizarre and ignorant persons.

9. Similarly all media devotes massive amounts of time to killers of several people. It must thrill the masses to hear all the details of such events. Besides the fact that there is too much of this, and other important news items are neglected, it tends to encourage deranged people seeking this type of “fame.” Severely disturbed people feel that by murdering several children, they can finally get attention that they have longed for. I submit that by limiting this type of extensive coverage, we could reduce the number of these horrible events. Further note: there is no law or procedure that can completely eliminate these murders because large populations will always include a few extreme individuals of every type. (But, some laws may reduce the number of victims.)

10. Briefly, a few more debacles regarding the management of our planet: ignoring climate change, deforestation of large areas, poor management of drinking water resources, over-fishing areas of the oceans, etc.

11. In our USA national government, there are so many safeguards and checks-and-balances that even the best legislation may be prevented. The current party in power often continues these rules for fear of what might happen if the other party takes over. The answer is to gradually ease-up on the safeguards, until a proper balance is achieved. For example, in the U.S. Senate there is a 60% rule. Why not use 55% or 53% as the rule. Why not limit Senate speeches to 30 minutes.

In the movie: “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, Keanu Reeves as the alien, determines that Earth humans are barbarians and not worthy of existence. As I listened to his reasoning, I had the horrible feeling that much of what he said is true, at least for a good percentage of the population. The sad part of all this, is that most of our serious problems are caused by people who, for whatever reason, are poorly educated and make bad decisions for the planet and themselves. (In future blogs I hope to propose some solutions.)