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Original post made by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Feb 23, 2011

Palo Alto actually shines in comparison to states and countries these days.

We bitch and moan here in PA about traffic and trees.

In other parts of the state and the country, people's livelihoods are in jeopardy. Much of it due to stupid policies elected officials agreed to 20 or more years ago. They had the first chance to kick the proverbial can.

We are at the start of a process where we acknowledge we have a problem, actually a set of problems. They will not be solved easily or in one fell swoop.

I contrast what our local and state governments are faced with and of what transpiring across Northen Africa and countries in the Middle East.

Oppressive regimes are getting challenged, and I sense will get toppled. It is the Facebook generation that is bringing it about. Well educated, underemployed people who view their countries' leadership as working from the past and uninformed about the present, let alone the future.

So how come our Facebook generation isn't engaged in our local communities?

Comments (5)

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Posted by opportunities
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 23, 2011 at 11:49 pm

There are enough career or education or family opportunities to keep most of the "Facebook generation" happy or at least satisfied with their lives. The rest of them are not smart or well led or angry enough to start their own revolution. This ain't the 60s anymore when an unpopular war and mandatory draft and very obvious domestic inequality really got the kids organized.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 24, 2011 at 12:41 am

The nature of people these days is changing. The very nature of our lives creates differences that effect even the structure of our brains. 50 years ago we had the family, 30 years ago the nuclear family, and now we have a lot of single people that are isolated and more comfortable interfacing to the world through technology. A study in a book I read said that 30 years ago the average for a person was 3 good friends, confidants, people they could take to and were intimate with. Today that number is between 0 and 1, meaning that most people are completely alone, and our lack of support for community and our lack of social support systems is theorized by some to produce a low-level stress that causes humans to die earlier. See "Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?".

I would say that the technology has been a real tool of political indoctrination, combined with powerful psychological PR and marketing techniques there is little value perceived by our brains, "economically", in complaining or being political, when the framework is mostly about being trained to be selfish. We are so busy trying to compete and survive, being "political" that there is little bandwidth in the brain to devote to depth of knowledge or character.

We are hard at work changing the environment and the genetics of plants and animals, but we don't think about how we are changing the topography of people's minds, and engineering their habits to fit into the market, consumer and producer.

Human beings came out of world where we grew out brain's complexity to deal the first "social network" to compete in our environment better ... the book "Baboon Metaphysics" talks about how primates need to remember complex relationships between populations, because of politics. Today our survival depends on not being predated by our own kind ... that is we have to be political, but we have no reference to real people for that, so we've replace people, with corporations, and become apolitical because there is too much to know, too much history, too many facts, too much noise, and rational study and knowledge is severely undervalued. In other words we are morphing hard and fast away from being democratic in the US.

This has progressed to the point that our "social engineering technology" seems to be only used to manipulate, exploit or trick us in the United States to serving large economic interests that only seems to serve the people who own them at the top. We are not used to cooperating, and our political programming seems to take as a given that cooperation is bad and competes with the shadow authoritarian hierarchy that prefers to remain invisible and unconcsious lest it become a subject of study with words and concepts that develop to analyze the system and its effects on people.


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Posted by svatoid
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Feb 24, 2011 at 7:09 am

Sorry, Paul, if you do not see the differences between the countries in the Middle East and our form of government here, there is no point in even entering into a discussion with you.
Once again, you have started a vapid, meaningless thread.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2011 at 10:58 am

Perhaps the facebook, technology generation should be spying on their online friends and tipping the FBI with suspicious behavior rather than ranting about US government.

The fact that the FBI were tipped off and a Saudi student with terrorist sentiments and plans, is an indication of what can be done with the internet.

Seems to me that since these terrorists can live, study and work here without drawing any suspicion then it is up to all of us to keep our eyes and ears open as in this PC climate, they can't be touched until it is almost (hopefully) too late.


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Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Palo Alto
on Feb 25, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Paul Losch is a registered user.

Svatoid.

Thanks for following my blogs. I encourage to provide a point of view. Critizing mine is fair game, and it would be more useful for you to offer your thoughts, as opposed to calling me on my opinions.


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