— Bob-a-job-alog-a-roonie

DSCF4118

(the pic is from a fenced community farm at my back door, that is open to the public during daytime…)

The problem is teenagers without purpose outside of school, purposelessness that can lead to drugs, crime and even terrorism.

The goal is for teens to be given an opportunity to work together, with no hierarchy, to achieve a goal, with no skills required, for reward.

It should appeal to those who most need it.

Using nature makes sense, so the idea of running a farm has merit, and is already being used, albeit supervised:

https://farmandwilderness.org/tamarack-farm/activities/
http://wolfesneckfarm.org/teen-ag/
https://www.sdmf.org.au/youth-progams/triple-care-farm
http://www.knightfarm.co.uk/farming-for-teens

These are typically places where you need to travel to, and stay at, and you need to apply or qualify.

I’m thinking of a more local community, anarchistic model.

Unfortunately it does require money from a benefactor, but it may be money well spent. The local council is a good fit.

Some empty urban land (or any land close to where the teenagers live) needs to be gifted or loaned. Ideally it needs work to make it fit, especially demolition work like breaking up concrete or removing weeds.

A plan that is gamified.

For example:

1. Getting a minimum of 5 teens involved unlocks some tools

2. Clearing the land unlocks timber

3. Building raised vegie beds unlocks seeds or seedlings

4. A successful harvest, sold or distributed to the needy, unlocks the equipment for building a chicken coop

5. Building the coop unlocks chickens

6. Distribution of eggs unlocks some recycled items to be turned into artistic pieces or statues

A key aspect is that the quality of the work will never be judged. However if the entire project is mistreated or not valued, it can be stopped.
Anyone of a certain age (and perhaps males only) in the local area can participate. The only requirement is parental approval. Those with parental approval will have their names written somewhere permanent on the land, like painted on a wall, or something more difficult like etched into stone.

Work can only occur during daylight.Instructions and information will be provided.

There will be no direct supervision. There will be no team leaders or hierarchy, and participants will be told to keep it that way. Each person contributes as much as they feel they can, and to the best of their abilities. Nobody should judge the work of others.

Obviously there can be regulatory hurdles, such as health and safety, and protecting property from theft or vandalism.

If a CCTV was actively monitored by adults during all daylight hours, and recording at night, that could help with the hurdles.

The property could be fenced in and locked during darkness by a responsible adult who otherwise has no contact with the property.

If successful, the completed farm will still need ongoing work, and new teens can take the place of others. Teens will get the most value if they are there from the beginning, and constructing. Restarting this process in future years without destroying what is built is a problem to deal with at the time.

The concept could be trialled for a TV doco.

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robot_overlords

I listen to everything, and belong to myself only. I subscribe to many magazines that could get me on a watchlist, as well as “sane” publications that wouldn’t. Like Reason. Recently an article said this to counter the argument that robots will take our jobs:

In 1910, one out of 20 of the American workforce was on the railways. In the late 1940s, 350,000 manual telephone operators worked for AT&T alone. In the 1950s, elevator operators by the hundreds of thousands lost their jobs to passengers pushing buttons. Typists have vanished from offices. But if blacksmiths unemployed by cars or TV repairmen unemployed by printed circuits never got another job, unemployment would not be 5 percent, or 10 percent in a bad year. It would be 50 percent and climbing.

It is an easy argument to make – people always find new jobs, and technology enriches our life as it destroys old jobs.

The author is correct. Bravo!

But here’s what all these expert commentators are missing. It’s not about whether we will have employment, we’ll always find ways of paying each other to do things we don’t want to, or cannot do.  It is about the value of human employees.

As robots, AI and so on take our jobs, large businesses will increase their profits and have less use for human staff. For corporations, the average hourly dollar worth of a human is declining. Profits will rise and the rich will get richer.

If your job has been taken, you will probably find new employment. But you will be less likely to be hired by a corporation (with big profits) and more likely to be a part of a local ecosystem where everyone employs each other. I mow your lawn, cut my hair, he delivers parcels, I order pizza.

I know “trickle down” is a joke, but it has a degree of reality – corporations pay staff from their profits, and staff spend that money. As corporations trend towards less staff, less of their profits will trickle down. More will be retained by the owners and executives.

The long-term trend is for a a working class who are getting more things and lifestyle than ever before, but will be relatively poorer financially. Our jobs will be more service oriented and less about creating products or providing food.

We already have flat wage growth throughout the prosperous countries.

Next up – reduced incomes. It is coming. I’ll wager 2020 is the year we accept that the 90% will be valued less than before.

 

 

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heart

Meaningful love tends to happen in person. Two people in close proximity for significant periods of time. And in isolation from others in their life.

  • Facebook celebrates how long people have been friends, regardless of if they have ever met in real life.
  • Google knows who bought what in a physical store, via the GPS in our phones cross-referenced with credit card data. Yes, really (USA).

The technology already exists to determine who we love, based on time spent with them. And, yes, it is easy to exclude family members, housemates, customers, nightclubs, work and sport colleagues by using machine learning or participants just naming people and places.

The downside is that illicit love or secret love could be outed, so some sort of switch is needed (like powering off your phone during your regular Tuesday lunchtime romp).

The upside is we can prove how much we love someone, even someone we wouldn’t love natively.

Facebook/Google:

Rob has spent 40 minutes this week in close proximity, one on one, to complete strangers. He gets a yellow heart badge.

 

 

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love

Love.

I firmly believe that every human needs and desires love.

When a person doesn’t have love in their life, they choose a proxy.

It might be a love of their work, dedication at the gym, passion about a hobby, or graffiti.

Sometimes a lack of love leads to anger and resentment. In rare extreme cases it leads to murder, where the proxy for love overrules all reason and compassion.

The answer to terrorism is to give love to everyone. No matter how hard loving particular people might be.

Love thy neighbour. Love your weird neighbour. Love the neighbour who scares you or creeps you out.

Love someone who is angry or says hateful things.

Bombard them with love until love wins.

Afterthought: How many world leaders can you name who have declared or demonstrated personal love?

 

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Marriage-Equality

What is marriage?

Marriage is a formality that is a result of domination by males and religion in the last few thousand years. Prior to that time, informal marriages obviously existed. Since that time, in the last century, we have freed ourselves of domination by men and religion. Marriage still remains as a cultural institution, but the reasons for it being a formality are long gone.

What is the connection between marriage and church?

In Australia, only 1 in 4 marriages have a religious ceremony.  Consequently any religion-based argument regarding the sanctity of marriage is not in keeping with modern ways.

Which other countries have legalised same sex marriage?

As of 1 March 2017, same-sex marriage is legal (nationwide or in some parts) in the following countries: ArgentinaBelgiumBrazilCanadaColombiaDenmarkFinlandFranceIcelandIrelandLuxembourgMexico, the NetherlandsNew ZealandNorwayPortugalSouth AfricaSpainSweden, the United Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay.

Of the western nations who have yet to join in, (Australia, Germany, Italy), Australia is easily the least religious with only 32% of the population thinking that religion is important. Compare that with countries that have passed same sex laws like Ireland (54%),  the USA (69%) and Portugal (72%) .

Is Australia gay friendly?

Obviously we have the Mardi Gras in Sydney. A major survey found that Australia is the 4th most gay friendly country in the world.

What do the polls say?

54% of Australian Christians support gay marriages in churches.

72% of all Australians support same sex marriages.

SUMMARY

  • Leaders of the major political parties in Australia  support it
  • Christians in Australia support it
  • Polls support it
  • Most western countries support it – with many being more religious than Australia
  • Any historical sanctity is based on oppression due to gender and religion

SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

1. Gutless Leaders

When everything points to the majority of voters favouring a commonsense decision, that’s a cue to step up and make it happen. A strong leader wouldn’t hesitate.

2. The word “marriage”

The church would have no problem with a parallel status called a civil union, that did not use the word “marriage” – because they think they own that institution. This is not achievable by the government due to the mass of paperwork involved. Same sex marriage, on the other hand, just requires one new or amended law. All the other laws and documents that mention “marriage” would not need to be changed.

SOLUTION

It’s too late now, but if Malcolm Turnbull had just said “it’s obvious what the public wants, let’s have a conscience vote”, he’d gain enough popularity to see him through to a second term.

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Spontaneous and unworked.

 

Only sleep because
Dreams are better than drudgery
Endlessly possible…

 

Finish the cheap wine
It’s worth at least 30 cents
Dancing worst outcome

 

Verbal diarrhoea
My Dad said when I spoke up
Just engaging Dad

 

Easier to type
Than to drag oneself to bed
Sliding off the chair

 

Apartment too big
Bed too big alone I guess
Corridor too small

 

Below freezing now
Stubborn melancholy wheeze
Won’t give up my choice

 

All children frozen
Kookaburras laugh, they jest
Country family time

 

Rotund artisan
Chihuahua cuddles close
Now on Instagram

 

Dance in manure
Cats whiskers observe their prey
Politicians spit

 

Art in a sewer
Silhouette crows observing
Hooded madman peeks

 

Distant angels lie
Dance around the desperation
Mostly they succumb

 

Pretty sweet baubles
Wolf licks its fairytale tongue
Aaaaargh I got you girl
Walls I cannot touch
Distant family grabbing me
Space between atoms
The only measure
The weight of the squat cask wine
Know just where I am
Cold pizza stand-off
Needless devour v 3 lunches
Vegetables mostly
Weekly anguished shave
One last remaining chin hair
Out damn stubborn spot
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I’ve had this opinion for 20 years and it hasn’t needed any revision….

Everybody is f*cked up, one way or another. If you approach people with this in mind, you might have more empathy and you might have more use.

1. F*cked up and blissfully unaware
2. F*cked up and struggling with it
3. F*cked up and dealing with it

There’s no right or wrong, it is just three versions of the same thing. However #3 is clearly the ideal for most people*. For example, Donald Trump is severely f*cked up and is blissfully unaware of it. While he might lead a contented life, he is unaware of the impact he has on others.

You will know someone who is battling their demons and it is not pretty to watch. They are #2.

People who are at #3 are more likely to evolve and thrive as a human being. They are still f*cked up, they just recognise it and deal with it.

If you approach everyone in the world as being in one of these 3 categories, you will be a better citizen (in my opinion). Give it a go, it’s only a a view and you can switch it off if it doesn’t suit you. For me the hardest part of this philosophy is staying positive.

I consider myself a #3. I had severe problems with my parents, my brother, drugs, alcohol and not knowing I was Aspergers. I consider all these issues resolved.

 

 

*there are many instances where being unaware would be the best outcome, typically involving childhood trauma.

 

 

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A gardener who rose to fame quickly, Joseph Paxton was an English MP, and that was his 3rd most noteworthy achievement. He also invented the Cavendish banana (to say this variety is popular would be putting it mildly), and designed the Crystal Palace – a extraordinary building that housed the Great Exhibition in 1851. Yep, it was over 500m long and 139 wide, with a glass roof. It was built in just 8 months and at one stage they were installing 18,000 panes of glass per week. Absolutely extraordinary.

So, the movie idea… Frame it around this amazing gentleman, to highlight the incredible achievements of the British Empire of the that era. The Great Exhibition housed 13,000 exhibits from 44 countries, some of them very weird and marvellous indeed. This was where many people had their first experience of the flushing toilet… All sorts of other interesting things can take tangents. Think a Wes Anderson film.

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Chicken-Big-Mac

Recent events have convinced me that major corporations keep and innovation up their sleeves for when they need the most – when there are signs that their business is about to take a downward turn.

McDonalds:

All-day breakfast. They knew that people had wanted this for an eternity. The timing of enabling this must be meaningful.
The Chicken Big Mac. I’m not a McDonalds fan, but I can see why this might appeal to some.

Cadbury:

Dark Dairy Milk. This is a killer product. Many, many people find dairy milk too light and dark chocolate (Old Gold) too dark.  Either they invented this last week, or it has been waiting for the right moment for many years…

Medicare:

Rely on Medibank’s expertise and range of covers to help you stay invincible, with things like optical, psychology, dental, and more. [link]
Yep, they are implying that health insurance, which primarily reacts to bad health outcomes, will help you be invincible to anything?
This language is extreme, and reeks of desperation. You can just imagine the corporate leaders agreeing to this wording because it is their last chance.

 

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This is a new and disturbing trend – achieving something that is a disadvantage to the business you are dealing with, takes more effort than should be reasonably expected.

Examples:

Foxtel – sign up online without talking to a human. To cancel, you need to phone them during business hours, and be on hold for up to 30 minutes, then endure a retention specialist trying to convince you to stay.

ING Direct – I received a letter telling me that my fees had changed (I joined them because of the no fees…). The letter said I could see the changes if I visited a particular URL. They could have just told me, but they required me to take an extra step, and read a long document full of information that doesn’t apply to me, to find out I am now paying $60/yr for my “fee free” account.

Solution – a law in two parts:

The ease of making an agreement with a business should be matched by the ease of ending the agreement.
When information is needed to be shared with a customer, it should take the least effort on the customer’s part to see and understand the information. If the information can be provided particular to the client’s situation, that should be the only information provided.

** Although I don’t expect any law changes on this, I have recently discovered that getting married is extremely easy to achieve, but having an amicable divorce involves a mass of paperwork if the government is involved in any way (such as receiving any money from them).

 

 

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