|--- BLOG ---
|I spent last week waterskiing at
the Flaming Gorge,
on the border of Utah and Wyoming. I've been using so many
vacation hours over the past several months that I had to work the
weekend before so I could take the time.
You gotta love flexibility
|Trevor shot this. It's my new desktop now.|
|We spent a lot of time skiing, but those pictures get boring pretty fast, so I'll only post a couple of those shots.|
|Trevor has become one of the strongest skiers I've ever been in a boat with. You gotta admire the stability he has rippin across the wake.|
|Small towns always have something worth laughing at.|
|Four days in a lake, and Rachel still looks like a super model. This shot was dark so I had to play with the colors, and now it looks like it was clipped from a magazine.|
|This shot is three times as good as any other shots (because there's three of me in it). We played around a bit with my new camera. Unfortunately, we were playing with the shutter speed as well, so it's all out of focus, but I think it's postable anyway.|
|I bought the Canon SD 400. That's the tiny 5mpx Elph. The funny thing is, independently, my Dad bought the exact same camera, as well as my professional photographer of an uncle.|
|A whole slew of my cousins also came
out. It fun being able to follow the lives of so many of us.
Unfortunately, I didn't shoot too many pics of everybody else.
|Short hikes around a lake are always fun.|
|The running price of high performance jet fuel is $2.41 a gallon. I just spent $2.75 a gallon putting the lowest octane gas into my car. What's wrong with this picture?|
|Part of the reason we’re so lax about
slipping schedules in Military Aerospace is the feeling (fact?) that we
don’t have an immediate threat. During the cold war, it was more
important that we have some sort of capability in space right away,
than to have optimal capability a few years later. Now, we still feel
safe if our space systems aren’t in operation by their deadline, so
we’re more concerned about doing it right than doing it on time.
On the individual level, the concern about your career being destroyed feels much more real than the concern about your country being destroyed. On the project level, the concern about the mechanism failing is much more real than the concern about the military failing. On the corporate level, the concern about your company failing is much more real than concern about the economy failing.
People are motivated by their greatest concern / fear, and their greatest desire. During the Cold War, we had both concern and desire motivating the whole aerospace industry. Now, resultant from the previous generation’s success, we are left predominantly to desire as the only motivator. It is common and natural for a large group of people to share a common concern / fear, but rare for them to share a common desire.
Fundamentally, everybody in a large group, at the most basic level, shares the same fears and desires. It is in the concrete manifestation of these fears and desires that we see variation. However, due to the nature of fear and desire, fear tends to focus collective behavior, while desire tends to diversify collective behavior. It is natural for each individual’s fundamental fears to respond to a prominent threat, resulting in a collective concrete fear. Desire on the other hand, expands exponentially in opportunity for concrete manifestation. The more people act on their desires, the more opportunity they open up to pursue other desires.
With every success in desire leading to another multiple of opportunity, it is highly improbable that a large group of people will continue to seek after the same line of desire. It is by this multiplication of opportunity through successful desire that a society naturally keeps itself “balanced.” This is manifest in the simultaneous proliferation of both Technology and Entertainment within the Western Nations. In this use, Technology is the means to control and predict our surroundings, while Entertainment is the enjoyment and consumption of the things of life that we enjoy. Scarcity of resources naturally encourages the balance, wherein each individual seeks desires that are within their personal means to create and acquire.
On the flip side, when a civilization is motivated by fear, we get the tremendous imbalance seen in the Communist Nations. They were a match for the Western Nations in terms of military technology, but lagged further and further behind in the proliferation of Entertainment (note that quality of entertainment is different than proliferation of entertainment). In unison, they lagged further and further behind in the proliferation of consumer technology (entertainment, as we’re speaking of it here, is predominantly proliferated through consumer technology). They were continually striving for control and predictability of their lives, but had little to spare for enjoying their lives.
This contrasting result between the Communist and Capitalist systems is the inevitable outcome because of the principles on which the societies operate. Desire thrives in individuality, while Fear thrives in collectivity.
The Communist ideal is to discard individual desire in preference for the collective desire. This can never work because it is impossible for one individual to embody the expanding collective desire of a society. For desire to take a concrete form requires consciousness of something to be desired. Expanding consciousness is the medium through which desire naturally expands. It is impossible for any individual to be aware of the expanding realm of consciousness. Only an all knowing, ever present god could do such a thing.
Since one individual cannot adequately direct the expanding desire of a society, they end up directing the focused fear of a society. It is possible for one person to embody the collective fear of a society. Like Desire, Fear is a function of consciousness. Unlike desire, Fear is consuming of consciousness instead of expanding. The focal nature of fear allows a collective fear to be shared by every individual. The most prominent threats to existence are easy to be afraid of, as soon as a person becomes conscious of them. It is easy to organize people around a common fear, because it is easy to make them conscious of the most prominent focused threats.
Collective fear does exist, and it is the only motivator that can be adequately defined for a society through a single individual (or small group of individuals).
Collective Desire does exist, but it is as vast as the society itself, and is thereby indefinable within a society at any given moment. Desire is best defined by and within each individual.
I was going to carry this on with the mechanics of how Desire functions within the Capitalist society… but I’m not interested in writing anymore. Maybe I’ll write it later.
Desire, both collectively and individually, requires energy input from the individuals. Fear already has energy input from the external threat, and only requires responsive energy. Fear is easy to inspire in people. Desire… that’s more difficult to inspire. But that’ll be something for later.