Congressional Pay for Performance

Edit Post ‹ anon0sean —

No Taxation Without Representation?
How about No compensation Without Proper Representation?

I was looking at a chart the other day showing how real GDP (defined therein as economic growth, less debt, and not even taking into account quicker-rising inflation) has fallen, significantly.
That chart is showing real GDP as falling by some -45% from 2009-2013.

And though this chart is Russian Authored (not a dig on Russia, but meant for disclosure purposes), I can’t find error in the numbers.     

Similarly, along with wages, consumer purchasing power has also decreased significantly.
Though wages are showing an increase of some 3.3 – 3.5 % (through Mar. 2020, though highly-disputed by fact of the massive manipulations of numbers that have been occurring since before 2007-2008, but increasing even more significantly since then), real inflation is likely closer to  6% – 10% (the lower number accounting for anomalies stemming from the economic impacts of recent lockdowns).   

So the “average” and “common” Americans are losing pace to both inflation and debt.   

Why should Politicians maintain their wage structure when so many Americans are losing pace?  

This system helps nullify incentive for proper political representation.  And, as will be shown below, only Politicians, the top-wage earners, and the largest corporations, are benefiting from this current structure.                  

No taxation without representation” is a political slogan originating during the 1700’s that summarized one of 27 colonial grievances of the American colonists in the Thirteen Colonies, which was one of the major causes of the American Revolution. In short, many in those colonies believed that, as they were not directly represented in the distant British Parliament, any laws it passed affecting the colonists (such as the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act) were illegal under the Bill of Rights 1689, and were a denial of their rights as sovereign citizens.

The Assembly of Massachusetts Bay … was the first which ever took exception to the right of Parliament to impose Duties or Taxes on the Colonies, whilst they had no representatives in the House of Commons.

So what is “Representation”?
It is merely the act of participating in the process of voting?


As per the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, proper political  “Representation”,  there exists at least four different views of political representation: formalistic representation, descriptive representation, symbolic representation, and substantive representation.

But as per Political Theorist Hanna Pitkin (The Concept of Representation 1967) provides, perhaps, one of the most straightforward definitions: to represent is simply to “make present again.” On this definition, political representation is the activity of making citizens’ voices, opinions, and perspectives “present” in public policy making processes.

This is more akin to the formalistic form of representation.
It holds that Representatives can and should be held accountable.
It provides the ability of constituents to punish their representative for failing to act in accordance with their wishes (e.g. voting an elected official out of office) or the responsiveness of the representative to the constituents.

But the voting process by itself has proven inadequate, as I will discuss.
Thus, there must be other forms of punishment in absence of proper representation.

I have written preciously of the erosion of the representative process.
Currently, there are about 22 Lobbyists per Member of Congress.
Yet, as per the 2010 U.S. Census, in the House, there are an average of over 709,000 Constituents (defined herein as all people) per each Representative.
In the Senate, the proportion is even worse, with 3,270,000 constituents per Senator.

So, not only are Lobbyists, those influencers whom exist largely as people seeking special interest, extremely over-represented, but as employees/contractors of those special interest firms, they maintain far greater presence amongst Politicians than does the common Constituent.

If there’s any question as to why corporate, CEO, large shareholder special interests and wealth have grown so much more than that of the average citizen, this is one of the main reasons.

Worse, even the process of voting those non-representative Representatives out, is moot, as all incoming Representatives will engage in the same disproportionate system.
New Members of Congress will similarly be inundated with greater Lobbyist presence, and a continually growing Constituent base, of which they can never fully nor properly represent.

Many have written of the growing influence of special interest politics, and this is why that is occurring.

Many occupations, like Sales, Consulting, small business Owners, and such are compensated most often based on performance.

The worse their performance, the lower their pay.
The better their performance, the better their pay.

Thus I propose the same for Members of Congress.
When the economy tanks, or under-performs, the less their compensation should be.

When You Have Complete Dependence, You Have No Independence

Relinquishing all control, but expecting others to give you latitude, is largely pointless.
By giving others power over you, those others tend to latch onto that power, often even craving more.
Power corrupts.  Absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.
-Lord Acton to Bishop Creighton in a series of letters concerning the moral problem of writing history about the Inquisition-

I have always been fascinated with history.  But more with the stories behind the narratives.
Given the events of recent, with protests and civil unrest, centered largely on oppression, abuses of power, and such, I get to thinking about how it is people get placed in those situations of submission, of oppression, of dependence and obedience in the first place.

And what I see is populations of people whom have willingly, albeit perhaps not fully consciously, ceded control, relinquished independence, to others.
those others, to whom that control has been ceded, then proceed to establish systems to continue to acquire additional powers, and control.

In the early 1900’s, wider discussions began in the U.S. on the power of JD Rockefeller, and of his vast control over much of the industrial sector, via his control of Standard Oil.
But numerous reports show that Congress largely failed to act to prevent that vast acquisition of power, even continuing to allow it to continue to increase.

Fast forward to current era, we have a congress that is holding hearings on anti-trust issues regarding so-called Big Tech companies.
But nothing meaningful is coming from those congressional hearings.
And meanwhile, the power of those Big Tech companies continue to increase.

On a side note, at least in current era, many of those lawmakers in congress are actively invested in those Big Tech companies.
They have become reliant on those investments in those Big Tech companies, thus increasingly reliant on those Big Tech companies, and those whom control them.

More power, more corruption.
More corruption, more power.
It has become a vicious circle.

I don’t know for sure, but I suspect the same largely occurred in the early 1900’s in the case of Rockefeller & Standard Oil.

I don’t believe the idea or concept of using power to create systems to gain more power is new.

The Inquisition, that period referred to in Lord Acton’s letters, was reportedly a period of large controls of information.
The book The Cheese and the Worms refers to the prosecution of the Miller, known as Menocchio.
During Menocchio’s trial, his reading and sharing of banned books is presented as evidence of his charged heresy.

That period of the Inquisition was reportedly a period of great control, of most everything.
The book Economic Origins of Roman Christianity states:
The Roman Catholic Church, a principal world religion today in competition with other Christian faiths, had, by 1600, achieved dominance over huge swaths of Europe. A virtual monopoly in these areas, the Church captured and set rules for marriage as a religious institution, manipulated capital markets, engaged in military campaigns and pogroms to suppress competition in a variety of ways, and effectively controlled some civil governments and leaders with threats of excommunication and non-support.

The tragedy of seizing vast amounts of property is the most obvious but perhaps not even the worst part. Some occupations became suspect, such as map-making which was essential to navigation and trading.

Inquisitors regarded the printed word as a vehicle for heresy and so they seriously hampered communication. In addition, when a person was accused of heresy by the Inquisition, all of their debts became null and void. Because no merchant could be certain of the religious orthodoxy and reliability of another, it became difficult to trust others enough to allow them to go into debt to you.”

Again, the underlying theme being the near total control, of most everything.

Systems were created by the church to ensure greater continuing control.   

Constitutional Attorney John Whitehead, of the Rutherford Institute, often writes that the path toward authoritarianism and tyranny are a slippery slope,
that a relatively small first step leads to a chain of related events culminating in some greater, significant (usually negative) effects.     

And though the Slippery Slope argument is often regarded as a logical fallacy, and often creates logical fallacies, Slippery Slopes can indeed, be real, i.e. the Slippery Slope argument is not always a logical fallacy. 
For example, the concept of warning one to not placing all their eggs into one basket is perhaps similarly a warning of a Slippery Slope.
When gathering eggs (following the narrative), carrying only one basket versus two, may likely be more convenient.
And someone, in doing so, may gain greater confidence in the number of eggs they can carry in that one basket, gradually increasing number, gradually increasing confidence.
Until that basket is dropped, likely damaging all the eggs.
Those small first steps, increasing capacity in the basket, and gaining confidence of that process, led to greater consequence.

Perhaps a slightly silly example, but hopefully it demonstrates that Slippery Slopes can indeed be real, not just fallacies.

Perhaps a better example lies the beginning of this essay, that of Rockefeller and Standard Oil.
They were allowed to continue to acquire more wealth, and more power, until it became dangerous, and nearly uncontrollable.

In the 1490’s,  Spanish Jesuit priest, Scholastic, historian Juan de Mariana, reported that people “…were deprived of the liberty to hear and talk freely, since in all cities, towns and villages there were persons placed to give information of what went on.” Some people regard this time period as the “Spanish Inquisition” and claim that it existed more under the secular authority of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella rather than the authority of the church.   

In the book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Seven Years Concealed, the Author Harriet A Jacobs wrote that she wasn’t aware of her status as a slave girl until it was revealed to her by others, once she began socializing with more people.

I WAS born a slave; but I never knew it till six years of happy childhood had passed away. My father was a carpenter, and considered so intelligent and skilful in his trade, that, when buildings out of the common line were to be erected, he was sent for from long distances, to be head workman. On condition of paying his mistress two hundred dollars a year, and supporting himself, he was allowed to work at his trade, and manage his own affairs. His strongest wish was to purchase his children; but, though he several times offered his hard earnings for that purpose, he never succeeded. In complexion my parents were a light shade of brownish yellow, and were termed mulattoes. They lived together in a comfortable home; and, though we were all slaves, I was so fondly shielded that I never dreamed I was a piece of merchandise, trusted to them for safe keeping, and liable to be demanded of them at any moment.” (p. 11-12).

Such were the unusually fortunate circumstances of my early childhood. When I was six years old, my mother died; and then, for the first time, I learned, by the talk around me, that I was a slave. My mother’s mistress was the daughter of my grandmother’s mistress.” (p. 14).

The point being that those systems of control, instituted by those in control, work to maintain control.
By controlling the narratives, controlling the prohibition on “..the liberty to hear and talk freely, since in all cities, towns and villages there were persons placed to give information of what went on.“, those in control can manipulate & control perceptions.
Perceptions that keep those controlled, under control of those creating those systems of perception.

And thus the Slippery Slope continues.

I had previously considered processes like slavery processes of active restraint.
Where slaves were constantly chained, and thus constantly aware of their enslavement.
But enslavement can take many other, more covert forms.

By first working to enslave one’s mind, their bodies and wills and labor can more easily be enslaved, without their awareness of such.

Which beings me right back to our current era.
In this, yet another age of such vast concentrations of wealth, and thus such vast controls of sources information (referring to the revelations of the covert operations of Big Tech), I see a society that is most wholly enslaved, completely dependent on others, the neo-feudal Lords, via their relinquishing of that control.
That Slippery Slope in action.

As stated in the very first sentence, Relinquishing all control, but expecting others to give you latitude, is largely pointless.
By giving others power over you, those others tend to latch onto that power, often even craving more.

Where there is total dependence, there is no independence.

Those protesters, whom are demanding back control of the control they have largely, voluntarily relinquished, are perhaps better-off spending their time starting with themselves, first.
Stop giving up control in the first place.

Rather than expecting  those, whom have likely been corrupted by that power of control, to give up that power on their own volition, instead, stop giving it up, and take control of your own life back.

Living in an Age Where 2 = 327,000,000

This will be short and sweet.

I had an out-of-town friend come to visit the other day.
He was telling me how worried he was about “covid-19”.
About how he refused to travel anywhere, fearing infection, and how he refused to socialize with many people.

I rolled my eyes.
I then showed him my negative RT-PCR test results for “covid-19” (I took the test solely to get the results, solely for the disclaimers regarding the absolute inaccuracy of that test).

The disclaimer on that RT-PCR states:
An IgG positive result may suggest an immune response to a primary infection with SARS-CoV-2, but the relationship between IgG positivity and immunity to SARS-CoV-2 has not yet been firmly established. Antibody tests have not been shown to definitively diagnose or exclude SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Positive results could also be due to past or present infection with non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strains.

So, reading the first two sentences, these tests are just leading to presumptions, as they do not “definitively diagnose or exclude…infection”.
Then upon reading the last sentence, these tests are often detecting antibodies from any number of coronavirus strains.

Thus beyond mere presumption, these tests are largely meaningless.

My friend, remaining unmoved by empirical evidence, shrugged.

I then asked him, “How many people do you personally know whom have been diagnosed as “positive” for “covid-16”.
He stated, two.

I then asked, “And what has been their tales of living with that ‘infection’?”
He stated, one of those people described it as a mild cold, the other a mild flu.

I simply asked him to consider that.
I questioned how he could possibly presume that everyone is either “infected”, or at-risk of “infection”, based on such a small number that he witnessing, via his personal observations.

His only rebuttal, “Well the media and government keep saying it’s still really bad”.

But stop, and consider the absolute absurdity of those people whom assume that what has happened to a minute two people, in their personal experience, is true of over 327 million (in the example of the U.S.).

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the current state of humanity across the world.

People whom can no longer employ high-order cognitive skills (like logic, common-sense, reasoning, and such), cannot rely on their own observations, let alone verifiable facts, but are wholly reliant on the words of supposed authority figures.

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
Joseph Goebbels
(Joseph Goebbels was reportedly a fan of the “Father of Spin”, Edward Bernays).

Not Even Amongst the 1% of the .0001%

Think Donald Trump is a sovereign, immune to the influence of the “Deep State”, the cabal of billionaire & ultra-powerful neo-feudal Lords?
Think again.

For sake of argument, let’s assume Trump is worth $8 billion (though likely a highly-inflated number).

There are some 630+ billionaires in the U.S. (over 800 by some estimates).
Their combined net worth some est. $3.4 trillion (usd).

That puts Trump merely amongst the bottom .2% amongst that group of .0001%.

Globally, as of 2018, there were over 2,200 U.S. dollar billionaires worldwide (over 2,800 by some estimates), with a combined wealth of over US$9.1 trillion.

Thus on a global basis (as U.S. policy is not limited only to U.S. billionaires), Trump is merely amongst the bottom .08% of that group .0001%.

And this is just factoring in the personal wealth of those billionaires.
It doesn’t factor in the tens of trillions they actually control, via their large control over the largest investment banks, which now exist as the largest shareholders of the largest “competing” corporations, in most every single industry.

A true Cartel.

Philosopher and Author of The Social Contract Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote:
Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. One thinks himself the master of others, and still remains a greater slave than they.

Money IS used as power.
This is a primary way the true ruling Elite use to control national “leaders”.

The U.S. in No Longer a Country Bound by Laws of Governance, but A Corporation Driven by Corporate Charters

Corporatocracy – refers to an economic and political system controlled by corporations or corporate interests.
As such, it is similar to a plutocracy, which is a society that is ruled or controlled by people of great wealth or income.

But the U.S. is no longer a country bound by the laws of governance (i.e. The Social Contract), let alone a representative government, but is now simply a corporation, driven solely by corporate charters, directed by its largest shareholders, and exists merely as a source of profits for that plutocracy.

Every Politician, regardless of party or rhetoric, is simply a CEO, Executive, Manager and/or Board Member of that corporation.
Each answerable only to that plutocratic ownership, whom have amassed the massive concentration of wealth, and assets (including corporate assets, like the media), to make or break their political careers.

Similar to the Praetorian Guard system of ancient Rome, Politicians exist as virtual modern magistrates.  Only elections of such are either entirely farcical, or controlled and manipulated by the neo-feudal Lords whom comprise that plutocratic class.

Talks and rhetoric of election reform, election meddling, and/or interference/fraud are just distractions, promulgated from the top (the plutocrats, and/or their Agents), taking away from the true nature of the abuses of, and control by this power structure.

When “Partisan” Politics Devolves into Revenge Politics

Even despots accept the excellence of liberty. The simple truth is that they wish to keep it for themselves and promote the idea that no one else is at all worthy of it. Thus, our opinion of liberty does not reveal our differences but the relative value which we place on our fellow man. We can state with conviction, therefore, that a man’s support for absolute government is in direct proportion to the contempt he feels for his country.
-Alexis de Tocqueville-

The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.
Hannah Arendt

The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.
Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?
Tyranny of the “left” often results in opposite reactions, that of tyranny of the “right”.
Tyranny of the “right” often results in opposite reactions, that of tyranny of the “left”.

Fascism can, and does occur on “both” sides (I say “both” given the human constraints of Dichotomous Thinking, lumping things into mere polar opposites rather than recognizing there are many stages in-between).
Though many try to define it as merely a “far-right” ideology.

The U.S. currently has a president seeming hellbent on revenge against many of the policies of the former president, and who’s followers have become blindsided by seeking revenge against the “other side”.

And the resultant response by “Never Trumpers” will likely be as swift and extreme.
And it will happen.

“Partisan” politics always eventually swing.

Basic concepts of humanity and common sense say it’s best to get along, and work with each other, to help everyone (or as many as possible) win, or most everyone will eventually lose.

Revenge politics has not only reared its ugly head, but it is now charging.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, he’s normally a rather level-headed guy.
He self-identifies as “Conservative”, but he holds many classical “Liberal” values, like freedom, liberty, independence, and other such.

He was never really a Trump fan, and I was shocked when he mentioned he was developing more personal support for Trump, in growing disgust for many words and actions by the “left”.
Especially, growing protests (mainly those violent & destructive protests), and growing disregard for many things (I always question authority, but I also use common sense when confronted with it).

But this friend has admitted that he is adopting more radicalized ‘right-wing” thinking, in response.

Upon talking to him more about this topic, I reminded him of his remaining true “Liberal” values.
I told him that a person can be both “Conservative” and “Liberal” at the same time.
A person can espouse ideologies of “freedom”, ‘liberty”, “independence”, whilst also embracing forms of order, of tradition, and other such.

But I see mere party identification, or “identity politics” as driving greater extremism, and greater drives for revenge, from both sides.

An essay I enjoy quite a bit, The Authoritarian Personality in the 21st Century accurately noted that groups tend to develop their own psychologies.
That members of groups, in search for acceptance and that identity, tend to try to outdo each other in terms of adherence to perceived norms of that group.
Just supporting an ideology, like gay rights, or whatever, isn’t enough.
To demonstrate loyalty, group members tend to take it the next step further, to demonstrate more group loyalty than the next group member.

Radicalism & extremism result.

Those breaking windows, starting fires, overturning cars, etc. are unlikely to engage in the same acts on their own accord, outside that group influence/psychology.

I also have a good number of friends and acquaintances what identify as “left-leaning”.
And I’m beginning to notice a similarly disturbing trend on their part of looking to force everyone to do and think as they want.

Just as Trump and his fans look to overturn more from the Obama regime, now so are many I know on the “left” desiring to overturn policies and actions of the Trump regime.
And increasingly by force (either via physical or mental coercion).

…the aim and end of both the speech in the mind and the speech in the utterance is friendship, towards oneself and towards one’s neighbour respectively; for the former, ending through philosophy in virtue, makes a man harmonious with himself, free from blame from himself, and full of peace and friendliness towards himself.
-Plutarch- That a Philosopher Ought to Converse Especially with Men in Power.

One of the True Effects of “Trickle-Down” Economics

Shit runs downhill, not up.

Trickle-down economics, also called trickle-down theory, refers to the economic belief that taxes on businesses and the wealthy in society should be reduced as a means to stimulate business investment in the short term and benefit society at large in the long term.

But it often results in greater accumulation of wealth amongst the top class.
We are living in an era where just three men, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg, hold more wealth than 160 MILLION Americans at the bottom.

Jeff Bezos, recently identified as the first $200 BILLION man, is worth about double that of Zuckerburg, who’s worth is estimated at some $100 BILLION.

There are about 630 billionaires in the U.S.
Collectively, their wealth topped $3.4 TRILLION.

A billion is 1,000 million.

Thus a “simple” billionaire, a person with $1 billion, is worth 1,000 times that of a “simple” millionaire, a person with $1 million.

Many millionaires are now considered “poor”, as compared to those billionaires.

Where groups like occupy were blasting the 1%, the bottom of the 1% were complaining of their 1% “problem”, the .001%.

But this is all relative, of course.
That bottom of the 1% are poor only when compared to the top 1%.
They are still relatively quite wealthy when compared to the bottom 99% of the population as a whole.

Hence, one of the true effects of “Trickle-Down” economics.
And the very nature of greed.

To put it all in perspective:
The threshold for membership in the 1 percent in 2014 was an annual household income of $386,000, excluding any capital gains, according to Chicago Booth’s Eric Zwick.

The 0.1 percent, 160,000 families, in 2014 made at least $1.5 million a year.
The top 0.01 percent, 16,000 families, had annual income of $7 million.

Yet few look downwards, and appreciate what they do have compared to those with less.
Most prefer to look upwards, comparing themselves to the top.

Few appreciate what they do have.
Why else would billionaires continue to seek-out more wealth?
What can $200 billion buy that $100 billion can’t?
And yet, most all billionaires are eager to become the world’s first trillionaire.

But it also goes further.
This isn’t just a problem with “capitalism”, it’s also a problem with “socialism”.

By looking upwards, and considering what you don’t have, as compared to those with more, one always wants more. 
Greed prevails.
If  however, people chose to look downwards, and consider what they do have as compared to those with less, greed may not prevail.

“Socialists” are often those whom advocate the taking away from those with more, and redistribution to those with less.
But, often those same advocates of that system don’t want what they have taken away, to be redistributed to those with less.
They again, instead choose to only look upwards.

This “Trickle-down” economic outlook and system are destructive.
It drives people to always wanting more, and always wanting to best their peers, thus never ending their quest for more wealth.

If Bezos were to stop his quest for more wealth, his peers, like Gates, Zuckerburg, Buffett, et al, would eventually bypass him as the wealthiest man.

Who wants to be second?
Most strive to be first.

That “besting” becomes a never-ending race.
like Democles Sword, the wealthiest face an imminent and ever-present peril faced by their positions of wealth.
There’s always someone looking to best them, to “dethrone” them.

As in the tale of Democles,
Though having much fortune, always having to watch in fear and anxiety against dangers that might try to overtake him. Damocles finally begged the king that he be allowed to depart because he no longer wanted to be so fortunate, realizing that with great fortune and power comes also great danger.
(though the real point of the story of Democles is that happiness is fragile, but that point is lost where greed is prevalent).

Seemingly the only sense-of sense-worth these wealth hoarding individuals can find is in having more than others.
Their false sense of self-worth is actually a quest for for a merely fleeting legacy.

Who knows the names Callias (the wealthiest man of Athens, c. 449 BC)?
Or of Hismenias (the richest of Thebes)?

But that never ending quest for more wealth, and that hoarding, create scarcity for most everyone else.

Capital and wealth have to exist in limited quantities in order to create “value”.
Things that are unlimited, and freely available, have little “value”.

Thus the more a few hoard, the greater scarcity they create via that limitation in quantity.
The less then that more people have available to them.

But the consequences of that scarcity continue to run downhill.
As those millionaires feel left further behind, in comparison to the billionaires, they likely look to squeeze those below them (as they hold little power to squeeze those above them).
The Middle Class thusly gets squeezed, and fall further behind the millionaires.
They too, then look to squeeze those below them.

I’m astounded at the number of Middle Class individuals I know whom complain of the welfare received by the poor.
The see their wealth disappearing, again as compared to those above.
Yet say little of the corporate welfare received by the ultra wealthy.

Shit runs downhill, not up.

I was recently viewing the pages of an organization who’s purported mission is to fight inequality.
Yet their two top Executives were receiving over $300,000 in yearly income.

The median yearly household income in the U.S. was ~$61,937 in 2018 (census).

Inequality is subjective.
From a top-down view these Executives are living in “poverty”.
Yet from a bottom-up view, they are quite wealthy.

I see the effects of “Trickle-down” economics similar to the effects of the corporate or military power structure.
In the corporate structure, the top Executives boss the Middle Managers around.
Those Middle Managers boss the lower Managers around.
Those lower Managers boss the “front line” employees around.

In the military structure, the Generals boss the Colonels around.
The Colonels boss the Majors around.
The Majors boss the Lieutenants around.

People virtually powerless against those above them, looking to control those below them.
The lower levels hold essentially no power, but receive much of the burden of the blame.
The lower levels often taking to turning on each other, under the pressures of that blame, rather than banding together.

Shit runs downhill.

But thus perhaps the reason people seek wealth & power in the first place.
It’s a lot easier to effectively attack those with less.

Humorist Will Rogers jokingly advised in a column in 1932:
The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover was an engineer. He knew that water trickles down. Put it uphill and let it go and it will reach the driest little spot. But he didn’t know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellow’s hands. They saved the big banks, but the little ones went up the flue.

The economist John Kenneth Galbraith wrote:
…the trickle-down approach to economic policy—what an older and less elegant generation called the horse-and-sparrow theory: ‘If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.

Akin to shit running downhill.

Having wealth is not the same as being superior to it, nor is possessing luxuries the same as feeling no need of them.  From what other ills then does wealth deliver us, if it does not even deliver us from the craving for it?

…wealth infects us with the desire for gold and silver and ivory and emeralds and hounds and horses, diverting our appetite from the necessities of life to what is difficult, rare, hard to procure, and useless.

Those on the other hand who part with nothing, though they have great possessions, but always want greater, would strike one who remembered what Aristippus said as even more absurd. ‘If a man eats and drinks a great deal,” he used to say, “but is never filled, he sees a physician, inquires what ails him, what is wrong with his system, and how to rid himself of the disorder; but if the owner of five couches goes looking for ten, and the owner of ten tables buys up as many again, and though he has lands and money in plenty is not satisfied but bent on more, losing sleep and never sated by any amount, does he imagine that he does not need someone who will prescribe for him and point out the cause of his distress?‘”

So too with money-getters: he who is in want and destitute would perhaps call a halt once he got an estate or discovered a hidden treasure or was helped by a friend to pay his debt and get free from his creditor; whereas he who has more than enough and yet hungers for still more will find no remedy in gold or silver or horses and sheep and cattle, but in casting out the source of mischief and being purged. For his ailment is not poverty, but insatiability and avarice, arising from the presence in him of a false and unreflecting judgement; and unless someone removes this, like a tapeworm, from his mind, he will never cease to need superfluities — that is, to want what he does not need.

When a physician visits a patient lying limp in bed, moaning, and refusing food, and on examining p15 and questioning him finds no fever, he pronounces the disorder mental and departs. We too, then, seeing a man absorbed in money-getting, moaning over his expenditures, and sticking at nothing base or painful that brings him money, though he has houses, land, herds, and slaves together with a supply of clothing, what are we to call his trouble but mental poverty?

-Plutarch- On the Love of Wealth

The “Celebrated” Versus the “Uncelebrated.

I reach out to and write to a good number of people.
From Authors, to Essayists, to Politicians (national and local), to Attorneys, to Scientists, Researchers, Doctors, Corporate Executives, etc.

I’m a big fan of the art of communication, of dialect, of conversation and even the oft dreaded debate.
Plus, I find it every responsible citizens civic duty to express their thoughts, concerns and opinions to elected representatives.

What I have found is those “uncelebrated” individuals, those without the fancy titles and or positions, to 1) Be the most responsive; and 2) Be the most intelligent and provide the most thoughtful replies.
By far, the least responsive and least intelligent are the “revered” members of society, the Politicians, the Attorneys, the Scientists, the Researchers, the Corporate Executives, etc.

Those whom are most presented to us as the “smartest”, often seem seem lost, and/or unable to discuss complex matters with logic, common sense, and intelligence.
Often, the most I get from those “celebrated” individuals, are a few words, words largely of inconsequence and/or devoid of wit.

It’s quite sad, really.

I have come to the conclusion that the exact wrong people are largely in office, in possession of the greatest wealth, and in positions of power.

But I was recently conversing with a woman, whom was telling me about a book she read and really enjoyed, but she apologized, stating that the book was not published, and thus perhaps lacked credentials.

I immediately opined that she should not apologize, that simply lack of interest from a publishing house does not determine the validity of written works.

I’ve known a number of Authors, and most complain of the influence on their works by the commercial interests of those publishing houses.
Their works are often highly-edited for content.
Content that may offend, deleted or revised.
Content that is too “eccentric”, often removed.
Content, even truthful, that may result in lawsuit, deleted.
Content that criticizes and/or contradicts other subsidiaries or entities related
to these publishing houses, censored.

In other words, most published works are highly-sterilized at best, pure propaganda at worst.

But the same can often be said of those “celebrated” individuals.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in his book The Social Contract, wrote:
Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. One man thinks himself the master of others, but remains more of a slave than they are.

Most of those “celebrated” individuals are supported by, and thus held accountable to their own Masters.

Publishing houses are one example of those masters.
Publishing houses often have hundreds, if not thousands of different Authors to choose from.
Thus they hold most of the cards against Authors.
Authors that refuse their demands, are easily replaced.

Political parties are another example of those Masters.
I’ve seen first-hand how political parties will easily abandon candidates and/or office holders for refusal to comply with party dictates.

I’ve mentioned this quote in other essays, but Philosopher, Thinker and Educator Bertrand Russell wrote:
Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

And yet those “celebrated” individuals often lack those eccentricities.
They are often expected to maintain the status quo, for their particular industries, parties, employers, etc.

Another quote I often refer to comes from Charles Darwin, whom stated:
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge“.

This insight by Darwin serves as the basis for the Dunning Kruger effect.

But many of those “celebrated” individuals often suffer from inflated egos.
They often hold positions of status, even often approaching celebrity.

With that often follows confidence in one’s abilities, one’s knowledge.
A false confidence, backed by ignorance.

I’ve worked fairly extensively in PR and Marketing, and such.
I know how hard certain organizations and entities work to promote those “celebrated” individuals, whom in turn exist to represent & promote those organizations and entities.

“News” organizations, for example, work hard to present their Reporters, Anchors, Writers and such as “experts”.
That perceived “expertise” then lends credibility back to those “news” organizations.
That often leads to more viewers/readers, and greater trust and loyalties.

But that promotional activity of those organizations employees, also often leads to a false-sense of authority, and expertise.

Recycled People Products?

Wait , what?

Back when I was 13 years old, I created a fictitious company called Recycled People Products.
The concept was a social/political commentary on the figurative herding of people (I visited a call-center once and was amazed at the cubical-conundrum, practice & mentality of “caging” workers, like they were chickens), and their reduction to use similar as mere farm animals, by those merely seeking profit.

Just as farm animals are largely caged, abused, relegated as mere commodities, via milking, herding & grazing, for egg & meat production, then picked-clean after death for leather, feathers, fat for rendering, and so forth.

Imagine a future, where humans are treated in the same manner.

Where humans are simply herded, gathered for cheap labor, perhaps for gene extraction, or similar, then simply picked-apart after death for leather, bones for tools, or dishes, or bone-char, or bone-meal, fat for rendering, and so forth.

We are close to that horrifying future.

In that fictitious company, it’s very purpose to recycle dead people, for supposed “beneficial” use, for the profit of a few.
It was presented as the solution to the growing population problem.

Too many people on the planet?
No problem, just put ’em on a farm, use them for cheap labor, then for products after their early death from that intensive labor.

Turn ’em into profit-centers, from birth to death.

Humans have found unique uses for dead animals since known recorded history.

Humans have found uses for skeletal remains since prehistoric times.
You may be familiar with bone arrowheads, fish hooks, and jewelry, but you may be surprised to learn how bones have found their way into the everyday lives of both ancient and modern people.

Musical instruments.
There are plenty of musical instruments that include bones as part of their design.

Bone-based China.
Unlike true porcelain, which contains only minerals, the ceramic material known as bone china includes bone ash.

All living things need phosphorus, and bones have a lot of it. This is why bone meal, as ground-up bones are called, has found its calling as plant fertilizer.

Numerous companies across the globe are already turning cremation remains in to diamonds, for keepsake purposes.
Why not expand the purposes and uses of those synthetic diamonds made from human remains?

Gelatin and Glue.
Most gelatin is made from the byproducts of the meat and leather industries, usually bones and skin.
Gelatin and glue are closely related.
Animal glue has a long history, so why not glue similarly made from humans?
But just imagine the possibilities.

Humans are far under-utilized as possible commodities.
*Authors Note – This is NOT an actual call for the commodificaton of humans.
This is pure sarcasm.
This is solely a commentary on the current horrifying state of affairs of human existence.

Logan’s Run is a novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. Published in 1967, the novel depicts a future society in which both population and the consumption of resources are maintained in equilibrium by requiring the death of everyone reaching the age of 21.

When people reach this Lastday they report to a Sleepshop in which they are willingly executed via a pleasure-inducing toxic gas.

But whereas in Logan’s run the method of death would be both expensive and unnecessarily wasteful of those remaining limited resources, the promotion and use of Recycled People Products would appeal to and benefit those primarily concerned with profit.

Baby Boom Goes the Dynamite

I strongly dislike, and hesitate to lump all people of any race, nationality, generation, etc. into a single group, of a similar mind, but to a large extent, Baby Boomers are failing the U.S.

Largely not intentionally, mind you, but via covert methods of the Elite and propagandists.

From the massive Ponzi Scheme that has become the U.S. economy; to extremely expensive & failing healthcare (identified by Johns Hopkins Medical College as the 3rd leading cause of deaths for Americans, with an estimated ~250,000 deaths/yr via preventable medical error); to massive pollution of our water, air, soil, food, etc.; to a failed democracy (non-representative republic, more an Oligarchy); to extreme wealth & income inequalities; to a truly modern Dark Age (heavy reliance on corporate propaganda rather than true knowledge backed by empirical evidence); and so on….

I was recently reading an essay from a fellow that grew-up in the 60’s-70’s, and whom describes himself in the following manner: “He writes from an anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist perspective.”

And yet, while reading his essay regarding what rightfully called the “Architecture of a Totalitarian Police State”, that essay was full of links to for books he referenced, including his own book which is for sale via Amazon.
I asked this fellow if he realized that was emerging as one of the largest Defense Contractors for the U.S.?
If he knew whom the largest investors of were, and was aware their largest institutional investors were similarly invested in other large “Defensive” firms like Boeing, Northrup, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and others?

This fellow, a Boomer whom grew and continues growing weary of the U.S. military and surveillance state, from decades of highly-destructive interventionist policies, is actively supporting a company that is directly engaged in the military and surveillance state.

I thought to myself, how can someone claim to be an opponent of a totally corrupted system that they actively support?

The Baby Boomer generation was defined largely by the Hippie movement.
That movement itself defined largely by the slogan “Question Everything”.

I’m a post-Boomer.
But I’ve always had that “Conservationist”, back-to-Nature, independent spirit.

Yet sadly, most aging Boomers and old Hippies I know, rather than changing that completely corrupted system, have changed themselves, in participation & support of that completely corrupted system.
And sadly merely fooling themselves about their existence.

Political Philosopher and theorist Hannah Arendt, whose work deals with the nature of power, authority, and totalitarianism, once wrote:
The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.

Under conditions of tyranny it is far easier to act than to think.

But it seems now that so many Boomers and old Hippies have inherited money, they have lost their “radical” and/or “revolutionary” spirit.

They now have much more to lose.

They have succumbed to that completely corrupted system.
They have become the neo-Conservatives, coming to defend the institutions and systems they once fought against.

They largely just act within systematic tasks assigned by that completely corrupted system, rather than think.

I’m certainly not casting blame.
The Baby Boomer generation was as misled as has been every generation since.

They have been raised in a era that has been pushed on, forced into growing dependence.
Their retirement and investment accounts are controlled by an evil Elite.
Their jobs, their sources of income & sustenance,  increasingly reliant on a growing corporatocracy, which is rotten to the core.

Their politics increasingly dominated by wealthy special interests.

Even schools and educational systems driven more by propaganda and profit than by true knowledge or intellectual growth.

And so here we are, in current era, facing rising authoritarianism, fascism, totalitarianism, greed, growing divides, a rapidly failing Republic, the exact wrong people in office and largely in possession of the power & wealth than should be.

They have largely & most completely lost touch with their true nature, their spirituality, their relationship to Nature, their ethics, morals, common sense, and such.

Essentially the exact opposite of what the Hippie movement sought to achieve.

The shysters have largely won.

Talk minus action = ZERO.

It’s not enough to simply call-out the malfeasance of that completely corrupted system, but instead to take proactive measures.
To refuse to participate and support that completely corrupted system.

Mere convenience has supplanted more sustainable & just ideologies & actions. exists simply because it is easy & convenient.
Yet that ease and convenience are further enriching the true ruling Elite, those whom have created and promulgated that completely corrupted system, for their sole benefit.
I recently read that now maintains a whopping 20% market share of the entire U.S. retail market.
And that’s just growing.
Meanwhile, small business is dying a quick death.

The Economic Innovation Group is reporting that the number of new small businesses has decreased from an average of 400,500 per year from period 2002-2006 (down from 421,000/yr from period 1992-1996) to just 166,500/yr since 2010.

And those small businesses hat remain are largely reliant on larger corporations like to (or Ebay or any of the number of online marketplaces that have either outright owned by, financed by, or invested in by the same cartel) even sell their products anymore (with the continuing collapse of the retail market).

Mob rules.
Pay to play.
Much the Mob, will only allow small business to exist as long as they get their “piece of the action” from that small business.

Yet no real protection for those small business exist. can easily replace failed vendors with new vendors looking to sell.

But it goes way beyond
Again, Amazon is largely owned by the largest investment banks, whom similarly own the largest “competing” corporations, in most every single industry.

The Baby Boom generation has been used by those investment banks, and the Elite that largely own & thus control them, to fund that massive Ponzi Scheme.

With the decline in small business, more percentage of the wealth & income going to the .001%, or .00001%, inflation continuing to outpace wages, etc., more people have been drive towards investments to try to outpace rising costs of living.
Yet their investments have simply been used to fund that fraudulent market, again, for the sole benefit of those .001%, or .00001% whom control those markets.

It’s become a vicious cycle of dependency.  But a dependency of false beliefs & false trust.

An entire generation has been duped, and continues to be duped, right along with subsequent generations, whom are falling into the exact same traps.

The “Father of Spin” Edward Bernays wrote his book Propaganda in 1928.
It’s been reported he often bragged about learning to use psychology, like that promulgated by his Uncle Sigmund Fraud, to control the minds, habits, and beliefs of the masses.
His works and PR/propaganda campaigns spawned an entire industry of manipulation.
The Baby Boom generation grew up in that societal structure of near-total propaganda.

You either become part of the corrupt system, as an Enabler, or you get left out entirely.

Worse yet, that dependency begets greater dependency (the vicious cycle in action).

Where you have complete dependency, you have an absence of independence.
Where there is no independence, there are neither liberty, nor freedom.

Marxian economist, Richard Wolff wrote the book Democracy at Work, which focuses on the lack of democracy in the workplace, the economy and in politics.
He relates how the first has resulted in the other two.

I generally detest “socialism”, but I can’t reasonably argue with Wolff’s premise.

More people have been relegated as mere serfs.
Becoming more highly-dependent on the neo-feudal corporate Lords, whom largely own and thus control most everything in this era of extreme wealth concentration.

More people have been relegated to mere systematic tasks at work, in the larger economy, and now in that oligarchy.
Like in pro sports, they’ve largely become just passive spectators.

Again, in the words of Hannah Arendt, “Under conditions of tyranny it is far easier to act than to think.
More people simply act, in the spheres of those mere systematic tasks.
Increasingly. they simply do what they’re told to do, and how to do it.
For the benefit of a few.
From work, to investments, to participation in politics and government.

I get frustrated when I see those whom have become dependent, those whom have relinquished most all control to those neo-feudal Lords, as they then complain of that loss of control over their lives.

You can’t willingly surrender your liberties and freedoms, then wonder why those that you have surrendered those liberties and freedoms to proceed to abuse their powers.
“Power tends to corrupt,” said Lord Acton, the 19th-century British historian. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Boom Goes the Dynamite!

The implosion of all those things that were supposed to make the U.S.  great.

Covid-19 – the Leprosy of the 21st Century

Biblical Leprosy: Shedding Light on the Diseases that Shun.

Biblical leprosy is a broader term than the leprosy (Hansen’s disease) that we know today.
The Hebrew tsara’ath included a variety of ailments and is most frequently seen in Leviticus, where it referred primarily to uncleanness or imperfections according to biblical standards.

References to leprosy have a different emphasis in the New Testament.
They stress God’s desire to heal. Jesus freely touched people with leprosy.
While people with leprosy traditionally suffered banishment from family and neighbors, Jesus broke from the tradition. He treated lepers with compassion, touching and healing them.

But let us not be too quick to remove pain in our lives (whether physical, emotional, social, or spiritual pain). It may be nature’s megaphone to get our attention that something is seriously wrong and that we should flee to better habits and practices.
But more on that later.

Let’s first talk about the issue of shunning.

It has been widely reported that “covid-19” has infected some 3.4 million in the U.S.
And though this number is perhaps inaccurate (for example, the disclaimer on the PCR test notes that the antibodies of several different strains of coronavirus are being detected, not just “covid-19”), that 3.4 million still only represents 1.03% of the population.
And yet it seems so many people are so paranoid that everyone is infected.

The act of simply not wearing a mask can, and often does, elicit response and looks of fright and horror.
It’s seemingly assumed that everyone is infected, or suspected of infection.
All based on 1.03% (and again, that number likely highly-inflated).

The U.S. is reportedly a nation of 65% “Christians”.
People that proclaim to follow the teachings of a fellow named Jesus.

Now, going back to the third paragraph here, “Jesus broke from the tradition. He treated lepers with compassion, touching and healing them.
So why are so many people in the U.S. shunning others they merely suspect of infection of “covid-19” (well, coronavirus, really)?

Imagine if we apply that 1% as assumption of everything, to everything.

Stuck Between the “Socialists” and the “Capitalists” – A Difficult Place Indeed

Between a rock and a hard place.
Meaning a difficult situation.
Facing a choice between merely two unsatisfactory options.

The dilemma of being in a position where one is faced with two equally unwelcome options appears to lie deep in the human psyche.
Language always reflects people’s preoccupations and there are several phrases that express this predicament. The first of these quite literally conveys the uncomfortable nature of the choice between two lemmas (propositions), that is, ‘on the horns of a dilemma’.
Other phrases that compare two less than desirable alternatives are ‘the lesser of two evils’, ‘between the devil and the deep blue sea‘, ‘between Scylla and Charybdis’, ‘an offer you can’t refuse‘ and ‘Hobson’s choice‘.

Being between Scylla and Charybdis is an idiom deriving from Greek mythology, which has been associated with the proverbial advice “to choose the lesser of two evils”.

Scylla and Charybdis were mythical sea monsters noted by Homer; Greek mythology sited them on opposite sides of the Strait of Messina between Sicily and Calabria, on the Italian mainland. Scylla was rationalized as a rock shoal (described as a six-headed sea monster) on the Calabrian side of the strait and Charybdis was a whirlpool off the coast of Sicily. They were regarded as maritime hazards located close enough to each other that they posed an inescapable threat to passing sailors; avoiding Charybdis meant passing too close to Scylla and vice versa. According to Homer’s account, Odysseus was advised to pass by Scylla and lose only a few sailors, rather than risk the loss of his entire ship in the whirlpool.

We currently seem to be stuck between the self-imposed limitations and extremes of the mere, seeming polar dichotomies of “socialism” and “capitalism”.

I put these two terms in quotes, as there is no real standard, universally agreed-upon definition of either.

But let’s start beyond that fundamental problem.
“Socialists”, which ever specific ideologies they may believe in, seem to embrace an idealistic notion that “socialism” will bring equality.

Capitalists, on the other side, seem to hold, falsely, that “capitalism” is the equivalent to “free markets”.
That “capitalism” is synonymous to freedom.
Yet that too is often merely an idealistic notion.

There exists a fundamental problem of each system.
Every single system can be manipulated and controlled by those with the desire to do so.
Basic ideologies can and will be changed.
Thus there are no inherent nor guaranteed bases of each.

There are numerous forms of “socialism”.
From Marxism, to Democratic, to Mutualism, to State, and too many to list.
But, one of the central, primary tenets of “socialism” is central control and planning.

Examining the etymology of “capitalism”.
-ism = an attachment to something.
Thus in the strictest sense, “capitalism” is basically an attachment to capital.

But allow me to sidetrack here quickly.
In many nations with “socialist” economies, such as Russia, China, India, N. Korea, Vietnam, and others, there are classes of wealth-hoarding ultra-wealthy billionaire “capitalists”.
A commonality between these national “socialist” economies is that those billionaire “capitalists” use their wealth to massively influence governance and public policy of those nations, often to acquire even more capital.

Thus one must use caution before haphazardly categorizing “socialism” and “capitalism” as dichotomous, polar opposing opposites.

They can therefore both suffer from the exact same flaws.

But that leads me back to the topic at hand, of being stuck between those criticizing “capitalism” and calling for “socialism”, and those criticizing “socialism” and calling for “capitalism”.

It seems there is little common sense on either side of the fence.
Neither are recognizing the inherent deficiencies of their ideologies.
Neither are recognizing the fact regardless they system they believe or design, that system can likewise be corrupted.

I’ve written before about the consequences of the constraints of mere “Dichotomous Thinking“, which is mere ‘either/or”, “this or that” thinking.
It is the seeming human tendency of reductionism to merely grouping things into polar opposites.

Those constraints of mere Dichotomous Thinking affect the debate over economics, i.e. “socialism” vs “capitalism”, as it does an already large number of other topics.

But perhaps more importantly, that polarized debate results in more people being forced to supporting and choosing merely the lesser of two evils.

Between a rock and a hard place.
Stuck between the idealisms and  ignorance of both the “socialists” and the “capitalists”.

I’ve humorously written that a “socialist” is a person whom believes the wealth and possessions of others with more should be redistributed to others with less, but those “socialists” don’t want what they have more of distributed to those others that have less.
Whereas a “capitalist” is a person whom believes they should be free to accumulate and hoard as much as they want, but then use their hoards to influence public policy to prevent others from doing the same.

Life is No Fun Anymore

Most everyone is so serious.
Most everyone is so concerned.
Most everyone is so stressed out.

More people are seemingly working more, and having less fun.
Even outside of work many people are having to face severe stresses.

Too many are too worried that merely being outside poses a hazard or threat to their health & well-being.
too many are too worried that merely socializing in person with others poses a hazard or threat to their health & well-being.

Many activities have been canceled.
Many events have been canceled.
Many social functions have been canceled.

Many of the very things that so many people have come to rely on for relaxation and stress relief are now presented as dangerous activities.

And that is a serious problem.

Goose Stepping Towards Neo-Taylorism

Taylorism – aka Scientific Management, is a practice of standardizations, process controls, and work-flow efficiencies largely developed by Frederick Taylor back in the late 19th century to early 20th century.

A main principle of Scientific Management was “to unite high wages with a low labor cost.”
And that “Each man in the establishment, high or low, should daily
have a clearly defined task laid out before him.”

And that “Each man’s task….should be given such standardized conditions…“.

And though the concept of Taylorism/Scientific Management has reportedly become obsolete, and abandoned, that concept is instead now largely playing out in the daily lives of most every single human being, in aspects of both their professional and personal lives.

Every thing we do as humans is being standardized.
All our actions, all our thoughts.

This essay could similarly be called “Goose Stepping Towards Total Conformity“, and/or “Goose Stepping Towards Total tyranny“, and/or “Goose Stepping Towards Total Authoritarianism“.

I had a dream the other night, wherein I was working a B2B Outside Sales job, a job I have done extensively in the past, and have most thoroughly enjoyed (I love meeting people, and I love presenting solutions, in a consultative manner, not in a forced or strong-armed manner.  I love the freedom of being able to present in my own manner, not reliant on some script, but dealing with people in a personal manner).
Sales jobs, in real life, have always meant freedom to me.
The freedom to plan one’s own day, and activities.
The freedom to present ideas and solutions to businesses, based on their specific needs.

And old adage of Outside Sales is that in that sales personality exists people whom prefer to ask forgiveness than permission.
The freedom to act as one sees fit, for particular situations.
If you make a bad decision, you explain the factors you considered in your decision.
But an underlying factor is that ability to make decisions, and act in freedom.

But in this dream, all the functions of that job were completely scripted.
From the businesses I visited, which were all merely franchises, to the people we met, whom were all just employees of that mega-corporation that truly operated that franchise (let’s face it, franchisees are not truly independent, they most always have to follow rigid guidelines set up by the corporation), to the products, and methods, and details of their daily activities, etc.
Even the franchisees had lost all control of their own daily schedules, the corporation had set our appointment with them, and they just had to follow that pre-set daily rigid schedule, that was determined by the corporation.

I remember in that dream, the franchisee saying “I didn’t know we had an appointment (for that sales call), but if the corporation set it up we have to follow that schedule”.

It was like living in a completely mechanized world.
That sales call was just a mundane, systematic task.
People, individuals, had lost complete control of their lives.

The corporations were controlling everything.

Everything good about sales was gone.

It was like standing at an assembly line.  Performing one tiny task, at a conveyor belt, of a larger operation.
Doing the same thing, again, and again, and again.
No deviation, no variety, no thinking.

I awoke realizing that is how our society in general is shaping up.
Every single activity we engage in is determined by the “corporations”.

Truly small, independent businesses are dying out.
Even the number of large companies is rapidly declining.

As things continue to consolidate, coming under greater control of those whom have more, we have fewer choices.

In real life, in Sales, I can recall visiting with franchisees, and often hearing their frustrations over not being to engage in marketing the way they wanted to market.
I had one franchisee in particular, whom had a passion for education, whom wanted to sponsor a program I designed highlighting the achievements of local schools and educators, but whom was not allowed, as per company policy.

The company dictated that all marketing activities of their franchisees originate solely at the corporate level, and just conform to corporate standards.
Much like the products and services he offered were similarly dictated by that corporation.

No deviations.

Every thing we do as humans is being standardized.
All our actions, all our thoughts.

It reminded me of a quote I had read about John D. Rockefeller:
I don’t want a nation of thinkers, I want a nation of workers.
And though the quote perhaps wasn’t a direct quote from Rockefeller, it serves to demonstrate his character (and that of others with the mindset).

Rockefeller, the world’s first billionaire, lived around that same time as Frederick Taylor, and in that era of Taylorism, aka Scientific Management.

It’s reported that Forbes first began tracking the wealthiest individuals in around 1918.
The early 20th century is also noted as a time of extreme wealth concentration, perhaps the second greatest concentration, just behind modern times .

I’ve always been somewhat of an efficiencies nut.
Whilst I do appreciate standardized processes, from an efficiencies standpoint, I more appreciate freedom, and individuality.

Rigidity in standards and efficiencies in machinery and architecture is one thing.  But rigidity in standards and efficiencies in humans is completely different.

Rigidity in standards and efficiencies in humans doesn’t account for the human psyche.
Nor of human emotions.

In Sales, I never turned to scripts.
Even in training Sales people, I always encouraged individuality.
I may have given trainees guides to help them out, but I always insisted they make the job their own.  That the inject their own personalities into that job.

Interact with your customers.
Be flexible.  But also be knowledgeable and prepared to answer questions, overcome objections, create unique solutions and ideas.

One of the major flaws of Taylorism/Scientific Management is the lack of humanity.  The lack of individuality.
It is all about systems, and processes, and efficiencies, not about thinking, just doing.

It conjures images of the “company town” for me.
A place where practically all stores and housing and such are owned by the one company that is also the main employer.

Where citizens can do only what they’re allowed to do, as per company planning.

Company towns are often planned with a suite of planned amenities such as stores, houses of worship, schools, markets and recreation facilities.

Company towns, for me, are a symbol of loss of freedoms.

Company towns began to form largely at around that same time/era as wealthy industrialists like Taylor, and Ford, and Rockefeller.

Just as those wealthy industrialists often served and existed as virtual dictators, company towns too often suffered from that same image and function (or perhaps better called malfunction).

company towns sometimes failed politically due to a lack of elected officials and municipally owned services. Accordingly, workers often had no say in local affairs and therefore, felt dictated to. Ultimately, this political climate caused resentment amongst workers and resulted in many residents eventually losing long-term affection for their towns; such was the case at Pullman [IL].

Yet creativity is an important human function.
Humans, innately, need to be able to deviate, based on mood, desire, circumstance.

I written elsewhere about how a loss of liberty in capital results in a loss of liberty of person.
Money is often a strong source of power.

I am generally a strong believer in and staunch supporter of Free Market economies.
I believe freedom in commerce equates to freedom in spirit.
It breeds creativity, and fosters innovation.

The Town of Pullman experienced failure due largely to these lack of freedoms.
Thus resulting in the Pullman Strike of 1894.
A national commission formed to investigate the causes of the strikes found that Pullman’s paternalism (typically a symptom of company towns) was partly to blame and labelled it “un-American”.

The U.S. was founded on the ideals of liberty, freedom, independence, individuality, etc.

Thus that resultant loss of freedom seemingly inherent in Scientific Management is perhaps indeed “un-American”.

And yet that push for Scientific Management, of most every aspects of our lives, is seeming to stage a comeback, at the behest of the new breed of wealth seekers and hoarders.

Large Degrees of Concentrations and the Reductions of Diversity

It’s been widely reported of the high-degrees of concentrations of capital in the contemporary world.

It’s similarly been widely reported on the vast loss of diversity of species across the world.

And though the two may seem unrelated, I see a pattern.
And it goes far beyond just wealth and Nature.

Ideas and opinions are seemingly becoming ever-more concentrated, with lesser divergence and lesser variety.

We’re even seeing a rise in Nationalism, across the globe, as more people seek to identify with a specific race or nationality, seeking to exclude others, and refusing to recognize the inter-mixing that has been occurring for centuries.

Information too is being highly concentrated.
More and more media are largely owned by the same cartel of largest investment banks, which are largely owned by the billionaire class.

Studies have shown how “open collaboration projects”, like various Wiki sites, are largely being edited by just a few users.

We are severely limited in the availability of food choices at grocery stores.
As more product lines are coming under ownership & control of a few large manufacturers, their diversity of offerings is rapidly declining.

I’ve seen a drastic decline in the availability of underground arts, media, thought.

Too Many People Have Too Little Time to Think, but Too Much Time to be Led by Others.

Thinking has seemingly gone out of style.
Most people have gotten into mere routine.
At their jobs they engage merely in systematic tasks.
Ditto at home.  They simply rely on the directions of others.

There have even been a number of studies showing how Doctors are experiencing burnout, as they are increasingly disallowed to perform their diagnostic duties, and treat patients in their ways, by their best opinions, but instead fall under the demands of the insurance companies that are reimbursing them.
Don’t do what the insurance company says, and you won’t get paid.

Many Mechanics are falling under the same system of control.
With the rise in the trend of home repair, auto repair and appliance insurance, more Mechanics and Repair Persons are being forced to diagnosing and repairing those homes, autos and appliances according to certain well-defined procedures, as demanded by those insurance companies underwriting those repair policies..

It’s not supposed to be that way.

Simple training is replacing more advanced and formal forms of education and knowledge.
More and more, people, even supposed “experts”, are expected to just comply and obey, rather than think.

At home, most people are so burnt out from performing those menial systematic tasks all day long at their jobs, that they just want to relax, not think, as thinking takes even more time & energy away from them.

They can’t explore, nor discover, nor invent, nor create. nor learn.
All activities involving thinking.

But they still have time to follow.

As they relax, watching their televisions, or listening to the radio, or browsing the internet, or perhaps reading the newspaper or magazines, they’re still being covertly led.
Those media are most wholly designed to get people to act in certain ways.

Politics is a good example.
People have merely become passive spectators in a realm where they should exist as active participants.
That system, that has created those menial systematic tasks, lead people simply to supporting the very few establishment candidates they are told they can support.

2016 was a good example.
2020 is proving to be an even better example.

Two, highly disliked candidates, that are forced upon us, giving us merely a “choice” of the lesser of two evils.
Tens of millions of voters that didn’t prefer either of the finalists were forced to voting for only one of two highly disliked candidates.

Like the Doctors being forced by insurance companies to perform procedures or prescribe medications they would rather not endorse, but are forced to.
By those insurance companies largely being owned & controlled by the same cartel that largely own & control those pharmaceutical companies.


Welcome to the Present – The Contemporary Primitive Era

What is “primitive”?
How is “primitive” defined?

Websters definitions of primitive include:
• Assumed as a basis.
• Of or relating to the earliest age or period.
• Belonging to or characteristic of an early stage of development.
Of, relating to, or produced by a people or culture that is nonindustrial and/or often nonliterate and/or tribal.

But those definitions themselves require further definition.
Basis.  Earliest.  Early stage.  Nonindustrial.  Nonliterate.  Tribal.
What do those mean?

In a defined period of say 100 years, the first ten may be considered the earliest.
But stretch that to 100,000 years and the first 10,000 may likely be considered the earliest.

Tribalism is often considered as a basis for human social origins.
Yet humans still engage in very tribal social behaviors.

Thus the contemporary era can be linked or related to earliest periods.

Other sources define primitive as:
• Relating to, denoting, or preserving the character of an early stage in the evolutionary or historical development of something.

Truth is that the word “primitive” is wholly subjective.

Many often look at “preindustrialized” societies as primitive.

But, at every stage of human development, every contemporary era was at the height of human development.
Even “cavemen” were the most evolved and most advanced during their time.

In another 100,000 years, peoples of the future will likely look to our civilization and society as “primitive”.
If/when people can simply transport themselves anywhere they want (think Star Trek type transporters), our modes of transportation today will seem quite primitive.
Just as modes of the distant past seem to us today (can you imagine having to travel cross-country by horse?).

Even concepts like “industry” are subjective.
Caves were as industrial to cavemen as homes, apartment and office buildings are to us today.
And doubtless that in say 100,000 years in the future our industrial capabilities will evolve drastically.
Those homes, apartments and office buildings will seem quite primitive.
The grandest structures today will likely seem as antiquated and primitive as stone structures of the ancient past.

Dating back to 3,500 to 2,500 BCE, the Megalithic Temples of Malta are some of the oldest structures in the world.
They are admired today for their mere existence and test of time, but not so much for their construction.
They are outdated, not modern.
Thus “primitive”.

Most, if not all of our current structures and systems will someday in the distant future fall into the same category of being seen as “primitive”.

Yet we consider ourselves as the most advanced.
Just as peoples of the past similarly considered themselves.

Primitive is a relative concept.

Just as many today like to ponder how difficult it must have been living in the past, to those in the past it was the height of modernization.
Those in the future will ponder how difficult it must have been for us to live in our primitive culture of today.

Automobiles, really?
People actually used to have to drive huge hunks of metal, at super-slow speeds, across long distances?
How long did it take to travel across the U.S.?
Several days?
In the distant future it’ll take seconds, if even that long.

Even airplanes will be viewed the same.
When people can easily transport from New York to Los Angeles instantaneously, flying will be seen as a gigantic hassle.  One that took a really long time.

I was talking to a college Professor the other day about Germ Theory of disease.  He was stating his full confidence in contemporary knowledge.
I stated & reminded him that Germ Theory is still just considered a theory, and that former theory, Miasma, existed in belief for some 1,600 years prior.

He replied that yes, but that Miasma was limited to “primitive” thinking, and that we are much more advanced today, and thus better able to understand the truth.
He stated that we have a much more advanced belief system today, thus belief in our current theory must be true.

But therein lies the problem.

Doubtful that people of the past looked at Miasma Theory and stated “It’s likely not correct, but it’s the best we have.”
No.  Instead, they would have maintained as full a belief in that theory as we hold in our contemporary theory.

Yet we largely maintain reliance on our current theory.

Just as we look to disproved theories of the past as ‘primitive”, civilizations of the distant future will also look to our contemporary theories today as “primitive”.

There could be, and likely is, a true cause of disease we can’t begin to imagine today.

What we think today as supposed disease causing germs, my in fact be completely wrong, even completely backwards.

I was reading about the Murine Norovirus in mice.  Though widely believed a contagious pathogen, other research has shown it could improve some of the animals’ structural and immunological deficits.

Similarly, seeming viral or bacterial “pathogens” we view as harmful today may in fact hold positive attributes.

Perhaps in the future, more “civilized” societies will look at our era and wonder what in the world we were thinking.
“I can’t believe those primitive animals were taking antibiotics to destroy biota that were actually benefiting them, whilst those antibiotics were doing extensive damage.”.
“How primitive!”.

It has been written that prior to the studies of Hippocrates in ~460 BC-370 BC fever was viewed as a disease in itself, rather than as a symptom of disease.
Contemporary scholars generally view fever from an organismal and evolutionary perspective note the value to an organism of having a fever response, in particular in response to infective disease, i.e. fever evolved as a defense mechanism.

The Lost Art of Conversation

Conversation – Communication; Discussion; Dialogue; Exchange; Expression; Dare I say Debate.

I’m noticing so few people want to talk, to one another.
Sure, there’s no shortage of people wanting to express & force their opinions, at and towards others, but only as a one-sided oration, not as a conversation.

Those attempting to engage in two-sided communication, especially when presenting divergent ideas, thoughts & opinions,  are often left frustrated, shut out, shut down, tuned out rather than heard.

So many people seem to have so much trouble engaging in friendly exchange of ideas, especially opposing ideas.

So many people just want to get mad at anyone expressing opposing views, rather than maintain any semblance of understanding.

Yet a free, open exchange of ideas is a foundation of true democracy.
People can largely only come to find the truth when considering numerous possibilities, ideas, opinions, etc.

Debate has become an ugly word.
It has become synonymous most solely with argument.

From talk shows to political “debates”, verbal exchanges have largely become vicious, heated,  over-emotional, and tinged with anger.
It seems most people want to yell, or talk over others, rather than listen.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

People can talk, they can listen, they can engage in back-and-forth dialogue.
And they should do each, in approximately equal proportions.

Rather than just argue, people can ask.
If someone hears something they don’t know, or agree with, or understand, rather than fire back with doubt, or insult or anger, they can ask.
If I say something you don’t necessarily agree with, you can ask me for my source, my data, my evidence.

I try ask people questions all the time.
I like to learn.  I am a knowledge seeker.
If someone can enlighten me on anything, I am thankful.

I want to know where people are getting their opinions, their information.
I like to investigate further for myself.
I frequently learn relevant & truthful information just from first listening to other people.

I enjoy conversation, when there is a true exchange of ideas.
Recently I was talking to a friend, we were discussing some topic du jour (some bit of “current event” based  topic of the day), but rather than talk just about what the media and society in general were focused on, this friend presented a different take on the topic.
Where the topic had become subjected to the usual polar-opposing views & fights,
he presented an idea that I hadn’t thought of, nor had I heard from anyone else.

It was refreshing.
His idea made far more sense to me that anything else I had been hearing from the usual two -sided right.
It was new, and different, but also contained elements of both of those other sides, like a compromise.
It was an idea that should be heard, and should be considered.

In my idea of a conversation, of an exchange, people consider each others views, ideas, opinions, and information, not just listen, but actually consider them, than add their take, their ideas.
Rather than immediately just shut down another’s ideas or opinion, first give it or them some consideration.
It may be eccentric, or oppose you’re current views, but still consider.
Ask if you have questions.
Few can fully comprehend anything they hear from others, thus ask for clarification or more info.

Rather than just replying with a firm “no”, try replying with “perhaps”, or “maybe”.
A firm “no” often implies confidence.
Confidence often implies ignorance (refer to the Dunning Kruger effect).

Then perhaps use their ideas & opinions in correlation  to your own.
Or consider their views and offer examples, from your own experiences, and/or from your knowledge, as to why you may or may not see things their way.

And realize that just because something hasn’t worked in your experience, or at one try, doesn’t mean it can’t work, ever.
There are many different ways of doing different things.

Successes are often bred from failures, even repeated failures.

Many people tried to create flying machines throughout history, and most had failed.
But others took the same general idea, did things differently, and made it work.

Likely all ideas and opinions can follow this same example.


Authoritarianism Begets Authoritarianism: Personal Powerlessness and Creeping Authoritarianism.

Authoritarianism seems to be everywhere today.
More and more people I know and encounter just want to tell others what to do, and how to do it.
I’m noticing a rise in general intolerance.
So many people seemingly need their voices heard, their ways accepted, at the expense of all other voices and ways.

Authoritarianism and intolerance frequently go hand-in-hand.

I see it on the “left”, I see it on the “right”.
I see it from those accusing others of engaging in authoritarianism, but seemingly unaware of their own actions engaging in the same.

As example, with the Covid-19 pandemic narrative, as stores mandate face coverings, store employees, even those with a tendency to not want to wear coverings, are now eager to tell customers that they have to wear one.
But that act is seemingly done so, not out of genuine care or concern, but simply out of desire to tell others what to do, likely to gain back some sense of control.

There has been much written about how those whom have lost control of their own lives seek to exercise control over others.

But it’s everywhere.

I’ve written before that authoritarianism begets authoritarianism.
The more people are told what to do, and how to do everything, the less they have to think about the ethics and the consequences of their actions.
I’ve done a lot of corporate and employee training, and often one goal of that training is to get employees to get into habits, patterns of performing systematic tasks, repeatedly.
By doing so, there is less room for individual error.  There is usually more efficiency.
But it also comes at a cost.
When there is need for deviation from those tasks, most of those people get lost, unsure how best to act, what functions to perform.

Employee training I’ve done is a great example.
Many organizations tend to rely on scripts for their Sales, even Customer Service and Technical Support personnel.
Yet scripts can’t possibly cover every single circumstance, every possible variable, every scenario.
I’ve noticed those employees that most rely on those scripted actions and responses, are the most lost in times of situational deviation.
If the script can’t direct them, they cannot think through the situation on their own.

The more people are told what to do, and how to do it, the more they have to be told how to do everything.

But that sense of powerlessness manifests in other ways.
Many people begin to turn their attention to telling others what to do, taking personal power away from those people, whom then do the same.
Ad infinitum.

Others believe that a control issues stem from personal insecurities.
A person full of insecurities has to exact a positive sense of self by bossing around  other people because their self esteem is too low to do it for them to be their own bosses.

Both causes are perhaps related.
A loss of personal control can likely easily create insecurities.

Question Authority? Question Everything? Start With Your Own Thoughts, Opinions, Biases and Ideas First.

The slogan “Question Authority” reportedly became popularized in the 1960’s, via Timothy Leary.

However, Leary’s philosophy was foreseen in concept by C. Wright Mills in his 1956 book, The Power Elite. Quoting: “Authority formally resides ‘in the people,’ but the power of initiation is in fact held by small circles of men.”

But aside from questioning only authority, even the “anti-authority” needs to be continually questioned.
Just because a view or opinion may be wrong, doesn’t necessarily mean the opposite view or opinion is correct.

There are perhaps a infinite range of possibilities between two opposing views.
• Each could hold elements of truth.
• There could be a completely different truth, lying completely outside those two opposing views.
• There could be a completely different narrative outside the officially promulgated story.

The concept of questioning everything is likely as old as humans themselves.

Among others whom have expressed the same notion (note, many of these are unsourced, and thus perhaps misattributed.  Again, just because a number of people have written that these folks said these things, doesn’t make it true. Until I find the actual sources, I realize these too may have fallen into the trappings of “pop-culture”.  Therefore I provide them only as possible reference):

I would rather die having spoken in my manner, than speak in your manner and live.

It is the first right of every citizen to question authority.
—Benjamin Franklin—

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
–Albert Einstein–

Benjamin Franklin, ever the optimist even at the age of 81, gave what was for him a remarkably restrained assessment in his final speech before the Constitutional Convention: “…when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views.”

Thus Franklin noted that even those “freethinkers” are also most often constrained in their own thinking via prejudices, passions, opinions, local interests and selfishness.

Hence, rather than fall into a habit of just simply questioning others, there is reason it is import to first question ourselves.

From Bertrand Russell:
The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:
1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

Charles Darwin, during his voyages, findings, observations and discoveries, was frequently criticized for those observations.
Darwin, in his book The Descent of Man wrote “ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

I write this because I’ve tended to associate with the more anti-authoritarian types.
Those more prone to questioning authority, and acting in more eccentric ways.

But I’ve also noticed that while most of those people are good at questioning authority, or questioning others, most rarely also question themselves.
As noted by Franklin, they each also have their own biases and prejudices.

Perhaps one of the worst mistakes we can make is relying too much on our own beliefs, biases, our prejudices.
The cognitive bias of Confirmation Bias should always be at the tops of our minds.
Just because we like to think something, or like to think we know something, or like to believe in the concept of something, doesn’t make that thing (or things) any more real, or true.

Cognitive dissonance occurs when a person holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values; or participates in an action that goes against one of these three, and experiences psychological stress because of that.
Thus not many people like to even consider ideas or thoughts that disrupt their own beliefs.
There is a good degree of comfort in having something to rely on.
By holding onto our own beliefs, we can find some semblance of relief, of gaiety.

Yet that/those beliefs can fall into the same category of fallaciousness and untruth as those that we question of others.
Those others are likely simply doing just as we are, relying on their own confidence in their own beliefs.

Another quote by Bertrand Russell that I really like is:
A habit of basing convictions upon evidence, and of giving to them only that degree or certainty which the evidence warrants, would, if it became general, cure most of the ills from which the world suffers.

I choose to structure my level of belief and/or non-belief of everything on what I consider a sliding scale of belief and conviction.
I refuse to fully believe, or disbelieve, in anything.
I’ve developed a theory which states that unless something is rendered absolutely impossible, via physical or natural law, that thing is indeed possible, regardless of improbability.

Thus don’t reject anything, unless it is absolutely impossible via physical or natural law.
This closely follows other principles & theories, such as the Improbability Principle,  the Law of Truly Large Numbers, and others.

Thus for everything, I place it on that sliding scale of believability.
I may, based on best available evidence, choose to believe something 80%, whist disbelieving it 20%.
But I also always look for new, and additional evidence/information to shift that scale.
Just because I may, for example, believe 80% that memories may exist at the atomic level (refer to Cleve Backster’s concept of Primary Perception), I realize, and continually look for evidence, to the contrary, and/or to the affirmative.

One of my hobbies is looking for and considering the relevant information that may make me change my mind on anything I may feel strongly about.

I continually question others, but I also like to continually question myself, often first.
I am a knowledge seeker, first and foremost.
I would rather seek the truth, than believe I already know the truth.

A Nation/World of Doers, not Thinkers.

Most everywhere I go I see a nation of mere doers, not thinkers.
Those that can only do as they’re told to do.
Those that are extremely limited in their cognitive abilities.
Not those that can think, not in abstract ways, nor in diverse ways, nor in divergent ways.
Where did the true “out-of-the-box” thinkers go?

Most everyone I know limits themselves to cognitive reductionism.
They think a “choice” between merely a few options constitutes a true choice.
The vast majority limiting themselves merely to just choosing between one of two.

Worse yet, they truly think that they think.
When one doesn’t know what true divergent thinking is, they don’t understand it.
Thus they don’t know they’re not engaging in it.

They’re guided by guides – pop-culture, authority, teaching, media, propaganda, etc., but think those ideas promulgated by others are their own.

That is why the standard strategy of manipulation is to make it appear that the people, or at least a large group of them, ‘really made the decision.’ That is why even when authority is available, men with access to it may still prefer the secret, quieter ways of manipulation.”
C. Wright Mills in his 1956 book, The Power Elite noted that “It is in this mixed case—as in the intermediate reality of the American today—that manipulation is a prime way of exercising power.”

Many of the greatest ideas, inventions, philosophies, and progressions have come from truly eccentric and divergent ideas.
Yet most of those ideas had originally come under extreme attack, largely rejected  for their eccentricities, their “oddness”.

Relatively few have a true vision for true deviation.


There was once a time when FLAT EARTH was considered

There was a time that geocentrism was considered ABSOLUTE fact.

Charles Darwin was criticized and labeled a fraud for his
observation & reporting of the existence of carnivorous plants
(like the venus fly trap).
Contemporary science of his time held a strict belief in the
hierarchy of species, and disbelieved that plants could prey on insects.

Germ theory of disease is still just a theory.
It replaced the former miasma theory.
Regarding criticisms of his observations, Charles Darwin wrote that:
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does

This observation by Darwin serves as the basis of the Dunning Kruger

Those with lesser knowledge of a topic or subject tend to overstate their confidence in that topic or subject.

A quick search for DISPROVED THEORIES returns hundreds of results of now debunked former beliefs, beliefs that were once held as absolute.

Yet those now debunked beliefs were held to the highest regard, as the truest truths.