The Noosphere And Digital Immortality: Complexity And Collective Unconsciousness

The Matrix

Where do we go when we die? It is a question that is as old as time itself I suspect. But there are seismic shifts in consciousness and technology that I think will alter what we define as death and afterlife.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin writing about the Noosphere (and also the Omega Point) foresaw a complex sphere of human thought.

The Internet before the Internet: “the noosphere emerges through and is constituted by the interaction of human minds. The  noosphere has grown in step with the organisation of the human mass in relation to itself as it populates the earth.”-Wikipedia

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John Faulkner Delivering History (And A Speech)

John Faulkner delivering a speech

Senator John Faulkner has been a hero of mine for some time. Faulkner’s constant and principled examination at Senate estimates hearings during the dark Howard years of Government were a bright spot for Labor and for me.

He is well described as “the conscience of the Labor Party.” So it was with great pleasure that I went to see him deliver the third annual Wran Lecture.

Much has already been written about his speech, and written better than I could ever hope to replicate, and all of it true, as was his speech.

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Beware Journalists Bearing False Dichotomies

Burning Trojan Horse

Over the last decade what we define as news has changed, and changed in ways that serves the interests of those who seek to sow doubt and maintain the status quo.

News now frequently consists of false dichotomies that are served up as hard hitting debate between two equals.

Journalism as a profession has abdicated its analytic responsibilities, abdicated reason and fact.

This is not an indictment on journalists individually, but the environment in which they now operate. “If it bleeds, it leads” mentality has been around for some time of course, but now the question of whether the person is actually even bleeding at all is not asked as often as it should.

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A One Sided Class War

Class War Protest Sign

Income redistribution is not class warfare, but draconian industrial relations laws certainly are.

The funny thing is that only one of these situations is actually ever called “class warfare” and it is not the one you would think.

That’s right, class is still alive and well in the upper class, and not in the working class. When ever a Labor Government seeks to redistribute wealth or means-test subsidies, various wealthy groups and their party, the Liberals, shout “class warfare” from the rooftops.

The term is a powerful one, it conjures up the Marxist boogeyman and imagery like the photo above. And it works.

When the current Labor Government wants to do something self evidently fair as means testing a benefit, the Liberal Party says it is class warfare and it must be stopped.

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Google Wallet: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité?

Google Wallet logo

Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood is a pretty good motto for a revolution (I’ll leave out the bit about dying), and Google is definitely revolutionary.

Gmail has singlehandedly got an entire generation accepting cloud computing as the norm. No mean feat.Google Wallet on the other hand is not revolutionary nor is it embodying that revolutionary motto when it should.

I like it, I want to use it (when it finally lands in Australia), and I think it will catch on, but it won’t be revolutionary… yet.

The reason is in the name. No not Google, the other bit, Wallet.

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Labor: Death of the Titans, Rise of the Olympians

Gough Whitlam after the dismissal

Have we witnessed the last of the Titans of the Labor Party?

It is a question that resonates with me, as we move further in to the 21st century, and Labor is in the doldrums.

I was having a drink with some friends recently and one was talking about the great Labor figures of a bygone era; Gough Whitlam, Jeff Shaw, Gareth Evans, Frank Walker, Paul Lander, Lionel Murphy and Bert Evatt.

I am too young to remember these men in any great detail (and I am not a history buff), but according to my friend each of these men were Titans of the Labor Party, who stood above the rest with greatness and vision.

And so I received a lesson in Labor history from someone who has lived it.

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From The Future, Our Past Will Be In HD

Citizen journalist

When we look back at this time from the future, it will be in high definition and it will be voluminous.

Everything we do now is full screen, high definition and everywhere. Libya on every news channel, Middle East uprisings tweeted, geotagged, blogged, and reported in exquisite detail from every angle.

Looking back even to something as monumental as World War Two, there are enormous gaps of real footage, history even from 1945 is still personal. Personal accounts, records of conversations between leaders and so on.

This will not be the case in 50 years time looking back at the current period. We are experiencing the first of an infinite era of high definition history.

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Bridezilla Revisited

Bridezilla attacks

I have of course heard about the Bridezilla phenomenon, but until recently I had no direct relation to it other than what Hollywood gave me.

Thanks to a friend on mine, that has all changed.

My friend was invited to the wedding of one of her high school friends, this friend seemed normal enough, hang out occasionally, etc. Getting an invite to the wedding not out of place.

Until the crazy came out.

First it was the boyfriend that wasn’t invited because “only people she had met” could come. But soon Bridezilla’s (BZ) real reason for the invite happened: Party planning.

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Is Poverty Silenced Speech?

Silenced people

The US Supreme court in Buckley v. Valeo ruled it seems that money equals speech.

By this rationale, rich people are capable of more speech than poor people. As ability to buy speech is hampered by their inconvenient and optional poverty.

Does it not follow then, that the Bush Tax cuts that benefit the rich are increasing the exertion of the First Amendment?

But by the same logic, increased taxes on the poor via regressive taxes, decreased educational opportunities (that lead to higher income, hence speech), disinvestment in health care etc is actually an attack on freedom of speech?

Are the poor well represented in lobbying firms, in Congress, in the halls of power, I think not.

Those with speech, as it were, are those with money.

So if the Supreme Court can take such a broad view of money, equating it to speech, then can’t we the people take that a bit further with social policy? Probably not, but it would be nice.

Old World Ways Of Business In The Age of The Internet

Old ship

I love emerging technology, there I said it. But what I don’t love is the crappy compromises that I have to make when buying it, just because I live in Australia.

For some reason, technology companies operate their product release cycle as if the internet doesn’t exist. Let me explain a few examples of this double dipping that is almost as bad as George Lucas is with his trilogy.

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Faith Versus Trust

Trust sign

A few months back I read an article about climate denialists, and since then I have been giving some thought to faith versus trust in the broadest sense.

I think that the linguistic battle has been lost, faith is no longer secular, and to have faith in science is no longer to trust in it.

As the author has written previously, science replaced religion as people’s frame of reference, we put faith into science as we had God before it. This was very comforting to a newly emerging industrial, technological and economic Western World.

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