Thursday, February 23, 2012

Where the Action is... Are You Stuck With Out of Date Thinking?



It used to be that, long ago, you needed to be near the samurai warlord in order to wield any power; you had to be "where the action is." It used to be that way in the west too; if you weren't near the king or in the king's court, you couldn't influence any decisions and you had little power to influence society.




It has been this way for thousands of years; you either had to be near or in a seat in government or the church or you had zero influence in decisions that moved society.


It started changing in 1450 when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. As technology has gotten better and better, the ability to influence society and change people's lives has gotten easier and easier - farther and farther - away from the traditional seats and centers of power.


This is probably how the saying, "the pen is mightier than the sword" came into existence.


Still, all through the Industrial Revolution and even up until the last twenty years, being involved and being able to change an archaic system such as our political one has still required being in the center - but changing and influencing society as a whole, and being able to change how the average man and woman thinks and feels, has changed completely with the advent of the Internet.


Maybe Rasputin wasn't a really bad guy


I would submit to you that, today, you can change and influence society much more when you are not in the center. Just look at things like Anonymous taking down the Greek government sites, Wikileaks, the Twitter and the Occupy Wall Street Movement and the overthrow of governments in the Middle East for evidence of that.


The Internet has shown us the you no longer need to be in the center of action. You no longer need to be in the big cities in order to have a big influence and change things... You no longer need to be sitting at a desk or physically in that meeting... You can be far away and have a great impact. The Internet has become the great equalizer. The Internet allows everyone and anyone to be able to have some say, some control in what is happening. That's why it scares the hell out of the old center of power and that's why they are doing whatever they can to control it.


Many people think that they must be in the center in order to influence people, thinking and actions. In our modern day Internet, this sort of thinking is proving old fashioned and out of date.


Are you stuck with out of date thinking? Or can you free yourself?


Thanks to Paco Pil and Seth Godin for the inspiration for this post!

10 comments:

Mr. Nobody said...

Greetings Mike,


It used to be that, long ago, you needed to be near the samurai warlord in order to wield any power; you had to be "where the action is." It used to be that way in the west too; if you weren't near the king or in the king's court, you couldn't influence any decisions and you had little power to influence society.


I still think violence, or the threat of violence, backs most power throughout the world. Sure, those in the media have some sway, but how much does the media do, especially in are modern two-way gov-media street, that doesn't in some way, support or reinforce power, and the status quo?


It has been this way for thousands of years; you either had to be near or in a seat in government or the church or you had zero influence in decisions that moved society.

It started changing in 1450 when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. As technology has gotten better and better, the ability to influence society and change people's lives has gotten easier and easier - farther and farther - away from the traditional seats and centers of power.


Thanks for the subject of the printing press. Again, look at the difficulties authors and printers with unusual ideas have had almost since the invention of the printing press. Again because it has had the potential to both delude and wake people up.


Still, all through the Industrial Revolution and even up until the last twenty years, being involved and being able to change an archaic system such as our political one has still required being in the center - but changing and influencing society as a whole, and being able to change how the average man and woman thinks and feels, has changed completely with the advent of the Internet.


The internet since the early to mid 90's has been promoted as another force for good that would help free humanity, yada yad yada... I don't know if it is true. In the Soviet era,, information had to be controlled. In our modern era, it seems more important to surveill those who view the information. As some of the Wiki founders believe, the internet is the greatest surveillance tool ever invented.


I would submit to you that, today, you can change and influence society much more when you are not in the center.


It is only when one is not in the center, when the possibility of change can happen.


Just look at things like Anonymous taking down the Greek government sites, Wikileaks, the Twitter and the Occupy Wall Street Movement and the overthrow of governments in the Middle East for evidence of that.


Which I tend to think why all those things were suppressed before they had a chance to gain too much power. Look at how fearful the powerful seem to be towards people in tents in parks...


The Internet has shown us the you no longer need to be in the center of action. You no longer need to be in the big cities in order to have a big influence and change things... You no longer need to be sitting at a desk or physically in that meeting... You can be far away and have a great impact. The Internet has become the great equalizer. The Internet allows everyone and anyone to be able to have some say, some control in what is happening. That's why it scares the hell out of the old center of power and that's why they are doing whatever they can to control it.

Mr. Nobody said...

(cont'd)


That's why it scares the hell out of the old center of power and that's why they are doing whatever they can to control it.


Again, it sounds good, but I don't totally “buy” it.

It looks like most of the media, including the internet, is a self-referential fun house mirror. It both reflects and distorts. If one looked at what the average US of Canadian internet user does on-line, I don't know if would be the least bit encouraging.

Facebook Youtube, Netflix, email, Amazon.com, eBay/Yahoo, porn. What would that be, 80-90% of internet traffic/use? The internet is not real life, yet so many people view the internet as being better and more important than real life.

The US and big business to a major degree, controls the internet. If you upset them, woe be unto you. If you want some more information, I could go into some detail via other channels.

An enormous amount of money and power is used on control to maintain the status quo. The powers-that-be, whether in a boardroom or country, don't seem to want happy, healthy, wise, intelligent, stress-free people. That is because the people tend to become aware about how rotten things are in Denmark, and the rest of the world. Then they might actually want to change things.

Instead, it is wiser for the rulers to keep people miserable, ignorant, dumb, and stressed. Let us say US citizens are one of the most manipulated and propagandized people on the planet. They also have some of the worst job security, some of the highest cost and yet worst quality health care, a mediocre educational system, and finally some of the worst OECD numbers in terms of poverty and crime. With all of those problems that US citizens have to deal with, it's amazing that US citizens protest at all.

The internet may only be a tool, but a powerful one for propagating ideas. Both to enlighten and delude.


Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?
-Stalin

mikeintokyorogers said...

Mr. Nobody,
Yes, 80~90% of all Internet users are watching porn or whatever....94 ~99.99999999% of all TV viewers are doing nothing. 1% (maybe) of all Internet users are blogging and creating content or reporting "alternative" news. I'd submit to you that, in eastern Japan alone, there are more bloggers than there are radio and TV stations in the entire world. 1% of Internet users are creating/writing content. 0.000001% of all TV "users" are creating content.

The internet may be for enlightening and deluding, but the fact remains that creation of content has been taken out of the hands of the few and given to the many. Once again, that's why it scares the shit out of the Powers that Be and that's why they keep trying to control it.

That's why there's SOPA (people know about that one) and ACTA (few know about this outside of Europe): http://erkansaka.net/archives/14564

mikeintokyorogers said...

Here's another great example of how the Internet has changed the balance of money power: http://bit.ly/zgSQJF

Mr. Nobody said...

Mike,

Please disregard my earlier comment about US citizens not wanting war.

Here is a commencement address ca. 2003 that almost caused a riot, because Mr Hedges talked about war, it basically cost him his job...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAWMgYyAtHU

Maybe that saying, you can lead an American to knowledge, but you can't make him think, is true...

mikeintokyorogers said...

Mr. Nobody,
This doesn't surprise me at all... I've witnessed stuff like this from my very own university educated family... I despise those people and that country. They will get what they deserve. The only interesting part of this entire thing is that there is a woman doing hand language so that the deaf can hear what Hedges is saying... I would wager to you a hundred dollars that it is just about only the deaf in the audience of these Americans that have the ability and compassion to actually "hear" and understand the message...

Mr. Nobody said...

Hi Mike,

One can only hope it was the fact that the media was propagandizing US citizens so heavily, especially around the invasion of Iraq. Hopefully the majority have changed their ways. Remember "freedom fries?"

That being said, when most people I have seen don't like something, they give the "slow clap," or make shocked "ooohhh" noises as if they were punched in the stomach, or finally, simply leave. The incivility to the speaker was quite shocking.

One can hope that certain people get what they deserve in this life, but it usually doesn't happen. Justice doesn't appear to exist in the world, it only exists in the human heart.

About getting what they deserve...


Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

Mencken

mikeintokyorogers said...

I think the American people are in the midst of getting what they deserve right now... They'll be getting it for the next decade or two at least...

Mr. Nobody said...

Are they pulling the rest of the world down with them? How will the EU and JP go?

mikeintokyorogers said...

Mr. N.
Japan and the EU are in serious trouble. I recommend stocking up on food and water... This is going to be a bad summer...