Monthly Archives: November 2012
The Mildly Amusing Action Squad had another sitin at the US consulate in Melbourne today.
Fre Bradey Manning. Let Julian go! End the wars! No more blood for oil!
How can a group of people bring about a fundamental shift in society? Can we analyse civil movements with mathematical metrics to improve the efficiency of strategies and the definition of goals?
The occupation in Melbourne is still in its Early Adaptor stage, although it seems to resonate enough with a potentially ‘critical’ mass that can bring things to a tipping point. Allow me to set out some hypothetical numbers while forgetting about ideological bullshit. Melbourne has roughly 4 million citizens, which means if 5% of the population constitute a ‘critical mass’, it would take 200.000 Melbournians to liberate this city from its oppressors (if the same thing happens globally).
200.000 sounds like a lot, it’s probably more than the ‘alternative’ parties count as members in whole Australia. But occupy isn’t a political party, it’s more like a life style choice. So metrics from other areas of life might better reflect such a number can be achieved or not. For simplicity’s sake and inspired by sometimes shaky optimism, I assume that theoretically 200,000 could be convinced to commit their alliance to the idea of leaderless, consensual direct democracy.
Between now and 200,000 Melbourne occupiers lies the growth of the movement. Growth happens cyclical, linear or exponential. Although most systems and structures based on exponential growth constitute a big part of the problem, a phase of exponential growth is required to save this planet before the greedy few have wrecked it entirely.
Time for some calculations. Let’s take 100 people, committed to contribute to the growth of the movement. The goal for each of them is to find a single ally per week. Even for people with a daytime job this sounds like an achievable target. In a linear model, it takes 2,000 weeks (roughly 38 years) to get our magical 200,000 together. A job for a lifetime, a Sisyphus task. Farewell, Mother Earth, will be late for your rescue as we got sidetracked supporting the system of destruction.
Now let’s bring some magic in, exponential growth. Our 100 people win allies, not consumers or subscribers, and show their alliance by doing the same. After a week there will 200 ‘members’, after two weeks 400, and so on. Now guess how many weeks it’ll take with this growth rate to get to 200,000. Don’t peer ahead and spoil your fun. I happily distract you for a while – isn’t distraction the real opium for the masses, be it sport, politics, porn, drugs, drama and media?
Already after two months the barrier to 10,000 allies is broken, and the numbers will jump within the next month (after 12 weeks) over the 200,000 mark. Even with only 10 people as starting point it would take a mere 19 weeks to grow to a number where even a 10% mobilisation rate would exceed the size of most rallyes that took place in recent history in Melbourne.
While this might sound like a pyramide scheme, there’s an essential difference. In a flat hierarchy, everybody is allowed to take their share from the gains of the operation. The idea of property, especially of land, contradicts the common interest, especially in highly populated world. And alliance (or membership) wouldn’t necessarily mean membership fees (do we really need money on an abundant planet?).
Before we can agree how to heal the planet and to evolve mankind the system of madness needs to be stopped. Dr. ABC, first of all, remove the danger. 200,000 people in Melbourne’s streets would certainly bring many things to a stop, and initiate a wave of civil disobedience that potentially brings back justice into society.
I’m sure we all have seen this movie, some scenes were actually shot in Sydney. Could you be living in a matrix right now?
I think just about everyone has seen this movie and it has some very interesting allegories in it. Perhaps it’s ‘The Wizard of OZ of our time’.
Our protagonist has the feeling things are quite as they seem, and begins searching for answers. After a while he is given the option of finding out the truth or giving up his quest forever.
This is the red pill or blue pill scene.
After deciding to take the red pill to discover the truth, he wakes up to quite a surprise. He is naked hard wired into in a personalized vat of refined oil having been asleep all his life. There are countless thousands all around him asleep in dark, mechanical, sterile world in similar vats. Enormous quantities of energy are being extracted from them as they slumber unaware that they are being treated as slaves, little batteries in a giant machine…
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“The polarization of the country has gotten so extreme, that people want to force you into being either a phony “patriot” or an “apologist” Nuanced political dialogue or creative expression have been hamstrung by the decay of political speech and it’s infantilised our national discourse. I can’t go for that and I won’t write that way.” Bruce Springsteen, 2012
At the center of Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics is his own personal and eloquent dismantling of the American dream, which he witnessed turning into a nightmare over the course of his life. (He calls it the distance between the American reality and the American dream) His own success story, to him, is just a lucky anomaly, while countless other people have suffered increasingly over the last 30 or so years. In one of his early songs from the seventies, “the Promise”, he sings :”I feel like I’m carrying the broken spirits of…
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One of the criticism of Occupymelbourne was the overwhelming diversity of messages coming out and the lack of central themes.
Well we did encourage people to speak their minds, and there was, and still are many things wrong with our city, state, country and world.
We feel this was one of the messages that deserved more traction as it was central to the economic injustices of the ‘bail outs’ and assorted corruption of the finance juggernauts we know as banks.
So we’ll leave it to this occupier Simon, who may be changing his family name to “Where-does-money-come-from?”
How deep does the rabbit hole go?
UPDATE: Tecoma vs McDonalds wil be on the 7.30report tonight, on ABC1
“Paediatrician Dr Joel Freeman personally removing the NO MACCA’S orange ribbon sign from the garden fence this morning. Police officers from 4 separate stations came on his demand to demolish a beautiful garden built by the community and evict ONE peaceful protester. What an extreme waste of tax money and resources. We loved our garden but do not need it to keep up the objection to this pox on our town. McDONALD’s!! We are strong and we will not give up!!!!!”
“This Morning Paediatrician Dr Joel Freeman came to town. Closed off the garden, believing it will shut us down. Police packed up the garden and then stood back and supervised as Freeman moved through the crowd desperately wishing to agitate and aggravate, unsuccessfully. Police stood back, some shaking their heads in disbelief at the scenario, some even sharing stories with protesters of how much they resent neglecting their obligation to the Hills on account of regularly being called down to Macca’s FTG to deal with anti social behavior, drunk, disorderly and drug affected customer, fights, and dangerous driving in the car parks and streets. They don’t want it either.”
From “No McDonalds in the Dandenong Ranges” Facebook Page
Documentary > The One Percent
In this hard-hitting but humorous documentary, director Jamie Johnson – of the super wealthy Johnson & Johnson family – investigates The One Percent, the tiny percentage of Americans who control half the wealth of the US. His findings are unexpected: His thesis is that this wealth in the hands of so few people is a danger to our way of life. No great society has survived such a massive wealth gap; who knows if ours will? Including personal interviews with Robert Reich, Adnan Khashoggi, Bill Gates and Steve Forbes, he compares them to the real world visiting dilapidated housing projects in an attempt to reveal the human toll of unfair economics.
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<or this one on you tube>