Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The greatest evil is done in the name of technology

I wasn't the first to say this but those who did first say it have been forgotten ( J Ellul, B Russell, AN Whitehead)   Its a newer local version of "the best intention".
When everyone thinks  something is a good idea, its dangerous if it doesn't work , or it isn't going to work . Clearly it probably does work in some cases (eg Secondary industry policy ) Our wannabes have been busily legitimizing the dumping of processes that work for processes that don't work - on the basis of one example that does .

How does this happen? Well it happens largely because legitimization is often a matter of faith -esp when we are all struggling to make ends meet. The new faith for many is" in the future" ( therefore what we learn from the past is now less important )  . Many just now believe that the new is always better . Its a matter of faith bolstered up by the reality that in production of goods technology does increase efficiency and efficiency does matter for a large part of the economic sectors-- at least  on the surface . The fact that it doesn't work with ecology and some resource uses is lost in a blinkered majority "declaration /doctrine of truth" .
The dominant belief system across all Parties is in the idea that things will automatically progress . You haven't heard it that way because it sounds absurd  but then as Chesterton said : "religion and romance have a way of really turning things on their head."

Test it for yourself . See how you go defending " the way we do things " You old dinosaur " the majority will say ( as a matter of faith ..??..almost) .
If you want something more satisfying in the way of a faith system , you have to go to the margins , the outsiders and the cranks . ( I hope you don't ALL think of me that way !)    As we know we have the satisfaction of being able to predict how things will work -- most of the time .
take democracy -its always under threat because its not reliable or efficient ( but not everything has to be on the bookkeepers ledger _ who would have children ? ) Churchill summed it up - hands off Its the best of all the options ( and those who experiment at our expense should be accountable should be forced to demonstrate their competence/ not their faith to do so  )

A new conservatism is coming. Lets be a bit more cynical about new processes  than political reactionaries have been in the recent past so that the new religion isn't as inflexible as the current one .
Ask yourself  Would anything be any better in the care fields in our leaders just ensured we were as best trained as possible and LEFT US ALONE from the efficiency freak show .( that was the OLD way - the one without monitoring and relentless  bookeeping by the pedants !- where your reputation counted ,not the number of outputs)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sentimental do gooders do more harm than good

Western culture is build on a faith in Jesus Christ and his faith that we get the best out of people by loving them individually,  not patronizing them or blaming their bad choices on disadvantage :by sharing on the basis of known need .  Keeping the commonwealth takes a miracle based on this faith and the idea of holding individuals responsibility for poor choices .( our law is respected if only just)
Many reactionaries still want to deny this so the only political choice is to offer another faith to civilizations who are losing faith in their careless invention ; breeding dependancy .
"Lets all believe the poor deserve their problems and may get another chance ... in the next life " a sort of less obvious version of "i good, they bad" - very Orwellian.
That way we need never worry or be worried again about the needs of others and keep our natural preoccupation with our own - we can all embrace the faith of Hindus  or the entertainment industry or whatever

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Handicapping yourself

Tony Abbott  makes a telling point to the Heritage foundation today by reminding Americans  that while the symbol and substance of the US is not perfect , we want, need and, have to have it, as both symbol and substance of the best the west has created.  Are we wiser than Churchill in seeing  the glass as half full rather than half empty.
Probably the greatest handicaps are the ones we impose on ourselves.. and then pass on however subtly to others

We can do a lot for each other by encouraging people to believe in themselves .
My summary of the response to " pay teachers more " discussion on "the drum"   is that money alone will not revive the teaching profession but respect for their right to be teachers could.
The audience around us is full of people who  see the glass half empty in us,  or in others

The Greens Party's biggest problem

Seems to be that they want to do surgery without doing the training.The Greens would do a lot more good if they better supported those who study the environment , culture , incentives taxes and behavioral modification .
By adopting the modus operandi of many wannabes they can become as relevant as most wannabes are 10 years after their days of fame /favourite fantasy solution.
The green slide is not over . Minor voices  reflect people with a passion to see the comfort zone of major parties challenged to deal with failure areas . Until thinking Young people and rural producers hear more credible conservation policies from the major parties, they will seek to support individuals who seek to speak to reform.
 That said I thought Joel Fitzgibbon  did a good job of pointing directly to  arrogant errors of the Greens at Labor conference .
Do wonder if Libs do enough reflection  when they keep repeating same mistakes they made last time they were in power.Peter Walsh's new love affair with coops is a quickfix and a distraction.Viclibs and the Nationals  must think deeper about why their rural  constituencies are going mad ;  like the rest of the wannabes - handing out and following false hopes!  Before long our market blinkered polys won't care whether its food , fuel or opium that's grown in our paddocks. That great program on 4 corners on the opium growers in Afganistan this week show how misplaced effort can be . We  go in there with guns and knives , when they need political help/ wisdom  to avoid mere survival stretching economic policies.  
Greens could have even less relevance than major parties because at least the major parties have an advisory stream who take seriously the FACT that goals are easy, getting there is another matter.

We greens on the ground have the hardest task of all because, unlike the major parties who waver ,- we believe in BOTH resilience AND degradation and that if no balance is held ( often isn't) PEOPLE and the land SUFFER UNECCESARILY.  Afgans would,  just like us,  rather grow food than fuel for the rich.
We believe to hold the balance between exploitation and use is good for people in every country on the globe .but who is really on target here ?
Ask any rural person anywhere whether the politics of "care " works out where they work!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Co sleeping .Our reasonableness has its limits

Why do so many new parents think its OK to have a baby sleeping in their beds.? 
because they think its natural -" to listen to and not ignore the child " . Are natural arguments very deep or consistent or just used for convenience or in desperation - it is natural for a child to bash another child?  Why sit on anger when its quite natural ?
In the absence of a clear philosophy of considered resistance and faith ( eg to believe in hard edge cliffs you can't see but others have seen ) ,stoicism, determinism  and giving in become the norm . This state of mental incompleteness is not good or complete because tension is necessary for sustainable growth and development .

One hopes, as a realist, that irrationality or incomplete arguments are exposed .Because we all treasure our own reasoning we OFTEN ONLY  see the reality of incomplete logic in anothers failures and when the connection with their ideas is clear.  
, I am positive most existing parents would be very pleased to hear the judge state the facts this week;  incomplete arguments have been exposed. Irushinality (copyright EA 18 july 2012)
Over half the SID deaths are cosleeping related, so its extremely risky for the baby to be there in bed  .Experience and objectivity are clear. Reality can and is not being promoted in some so called health and welfare magazines  who promote this new idea 
 .Why ? Are we truly rational creatures?The idea that we can trust magazines and organisation s who say they care to really care also gets a much needed shakeup - too easy to offer advice .everyone likes to put their bit in .

Why does idealism from time to time prevent us from accepting the real risks of life . As 95% of parents only want the best for their children and know that kids can go astray , anything that might prevent the alienation of parents and children is likely to be given consideration.Need doesn't necessarily drive solutions as some who promote progressive and evolutionary imperatives insist.

Sound moral drives have  therefore great power .We don't yet know a way to ensure our children make good choices , so naturally we would like to know if we could do more ; Previous generations of westerners had it easy ;"the problem is innate and related to their God given freedom " .
This generation have another idea;" If we think its not innate our focus will be on changing the environment" .Fine but how far do you go ? give them the best environment What cotton wool with candies ?
We may feel its only right to experiment   But like any moral choices just How you implement them is controversial . Surely its our preferenec for simple choices that can drive us to chose 1 line of reasoning rather than another . and a simple environmental reason seems to have the greatest clout  for many .
What if the issue is so complex  that no simple  line of reasoning can be followed . Are the environmenatl justifications just a bit too easy  So why do some advocates bring up stuff about " 2 cave" families ,it being unnatural . To call something "Unatural". ( like bottlefeeding)in 2012 is clearly to call a curse on the idea.Interestingly these natural comes first ideas are not new and have become prominent if not permamnet in previuos generations .  "The environment "now has too much weight attached to it ( cf heredity) .
 We can only keep the balance between nature and nurture here, as we have done before by ensuring we don't put nurture in a dominating position ?

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Nobody home at the health clinic

Just spent a week trying to remind our State polys why the Feds have made a jump on them over the environment (Windsor /Oakeshott legislation) .
The States , unlike when I was was working with them,  no longer have anyone responsible or coordinating environmental advice, and according to one key operative yesterday said "they couldn't manage to do that anymore " .-nice compliment for me for decades of effective coordination but affirms my assertion that the States have instituted their own powerlessness in recent years ( at least Victoria)  . The polys have been stupid enough to allow a whole lot of bodies to throw their bit in, but noone is responsible for drawing it together . The shire are handed the chalice but that doesn't work and they know it  .Members of present Victorian govt , unlike QLD , have yet to wake up to the time bomb they have been sitting on since they took office.
As for decreased funding problems to some sectors - its inevitable because the persons ( new management class) who let pollies rule over them didn't think scientifically carefully or deeply about the science profession they were trashing.
 Landcare, coined its name from Medicare and while it was great to be able to give landholders a sense of ownership of conservation, real farmers  didn't need to be told - they already knew that well . Landcare would be a problem because it was too obvious and looked easier than coercion and prosecution of the ignorant , careless ,lazy and ripoff RE elements etc ( always does ) For the politicians and quickfixers it retains its appeal - it seemed an easier kind ( they like the Devil, carelessly translate ease to efficiency) a sort of  "do what you feel like "version of health care.
My early concerns proved correct in the sense that our coercive influence in  group projects could and did decline .This has left such groups vulnerable to the very valid criticism that they are NOT objective about risks in their own area- the budget cuts to Landcare groups will continue because this is true and too much private benefit /shallow targets  have been funded (Whiteboard affair in Hawke's time  ).
Like doctors, we earth health practitioners can't say our clients can be trusted to be objective about their health or their eco resources . If ecology and environmentalism is to WORK   it must be  about objectivity and sound foundations.For too long now its about fads .
If you look closely you will see that the educational focus of government has declined and both Labor and green policy are NOW very coercive. Their reliance on warm water taxes ( everyone pays )and cost driven pressure points  is in itself unsustainable( how much does a packet of cigaretes have to cost before people stop  smoking ?)  .

 It now costs more to buy water than to treat the wastewater( vic)
Governments  are, like wannabes in media with their committed projects ,  now desperate to find ways to motivate people see ABC websites exploring the latest bandaid .Objective Care ( even coercive care) is the most effective because its sees the hard choices with benefits at the end ( what study and science does ) and it is proactive and preventative to boot .
Much of the fear and desperation amongst the wannabes  is NOT about the state of the environment but an expression of desperation in the state of the mind (esp amongst the powerful) .
These sound foundation professional matters are things are being lost to our collective wisdom on the subject of env, if not to health care. You heard it first on blogger on 9th June 2012 . ask questions/post please.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The HUB solution

Is it a real solution or a new name for old idea that did actually work at much less cost ?
On a day after the PM chants repeatedly about her offering to drip feeding money into the accounts of all of the people , HUBs are announced as  solution to problems in some indigenous communities in the Northern Territory .Something unsustainable about that and the idea that HUB as propsed will be properly funded  long term.
The cost of health care can kill.   ABC journos - talk to real community leaders on these property areas !
I wonder what the care ratio will be and whether the hours will be be beyond 9am -5pm and on weekends , when the problems arise .
We are happy to hear this news from the ABC,   but are the people on the stations?
I just talked with someone who poo poed the  idea of missionaries in such communities; So easy to knock the previous encumbent .  This was the sort of armchair repeat talk that undermined , a generation ago,  the commitment of white aussies to support hubs in some of those areas . Look up Hermannsburg.  They trained people to care for people and the carers were called Pastors . Pastors are a sustainable support system .
Pastors are on call,  and look after as they do world wide,  and for centuries  groups of 40 -100 people .
HUBS which are committed to care are welcome,  but lets not pretend people are going to replace pastoral care . Govt's can't even get drivers out to the richest woman in the world' s mines . and with both major parties hooked on the drip feed of money riven solutions,  I wouldn't hold my breath  about more care and more time.  The cost of health care can kill.   ABC journos - talk to real community leaders on these property area  !
The proper ratio of political announcements to people announcements is at least 1:2

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Cutting Edge Careers

Who cares ? what clothes should we be wearing?
Our politicains, like our people, are completely confused about what this skill set can be . Unwilling to ditch the destructive and depressing faith in progress idea that" it will all just happen" the people are more and more exposed to a mythical mix of determinism greed and old new clothes waste on the subject.
A wiser generation would unpick the childlike faith in technologically driven progress and decide what they wanted for their people ( invisible clothes merchants come and go)
A wiser generation would insist that our children do physics and chemistry and not assume one can do good science without them(Biologists are not coping with the complex eco challenges they find in trying to work with nature leading to a less scientific and practical approach to working with nature) .
We need to decide to train people to work together ( physics chemists,geol ,sociol,economists ) to really maintain and develop the boundaries of resilience protection that our forefathers established for us .  New technique fascination and short circuits must again come second to tough specific  training and skill development .
As a practical onground ecologist in Australia for over 3 decades,I have witnessed the politicization of my profession -clearly eroding its credibility.( groups like to grab the high moral ground without putting their feet down in places that work ;
Unlike engineering etc ,the conservation movement runs the risk of meaning all things to all men . To properly challenge mere convenience, conservation must maintain a hard edge in both mythos and logos; something that will attract young people to restudy the ways men can live well with nature