August 26, 2011

Quote Of The Month (2)

"Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a**holes"
— William Gibson

August 25, 2011

Sketchzoid #38

A (female) mayor of a small town here in Holland was caught on camera having intercourse on top of a tower (while on vacation).

August 23, 2011

Food Stamp Nation

Almost 46 million people in America are on food stamps, that's roughly 15 percent of the population. The cost of this program (in 2010) was $68 billion, more than a third of the amount the U.S. government received in corporate income tax last year. Taken from this article. A further 3 million people are in jail. $14 trillion in public debt, and from the looks of it no one wants to pay tax. Gee, where is this heading to? If the economy doesn't grow tremendously, people will become more disillusioned and will protest, the government will clamp down on dissent, resulting in a police state with fewer rights for its people.

August 16, 2011

Dutch Zeitgeist HQ

Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending some time with fellow Zeitgeist members at the headquarters in Amsterdam. Well, headquarters is probably a too big a word. Lets just say it's a place where people can come together. The building you see above is called 'het Gespuis' and is owned by a foundation that hosts all kind of political, cultural or otherwise society oriented groups and organizations. Some organizations that share the building; Amnesty International, Turkish Youth Association, Young Democrats and Comite SOS.

The building itself is hundreds of years old and it shows. The ceilings aren't that high and the floors are uneven which gives the inside all kinds of 'compartments' but enough about that. The meeting on saturday involved 10 people and after an introduction of each individual members plans were laid out for upcoming events. In early september the Dutch chapter of the Zeitgeist Movement will be present at the Festival Eldorica, the latter being a 'green' event with music. Preparations are already underway. For anyone that wants to visit, every second saturday of the month the Dutch Zeitgeist Movement holds a meeting in the Spuistraat 47A-1 in Amsterdam at 13:00 hours.

August 15, 2011

Sketchzoid #37

Epiphany Buffett Style

I bet rich people will go: "someone check Buffett's temperature quick!" Read the article here - where Warren E. Buffett suggests rich people should pay more tax and carry more of the burden.

August 12, 2011

Holland FIFA Ranked Nr.1

Yes, the Dutch football team is number 1 in the world. Ole, ole ole ole. Well, the circumstances led to this fortunate position. The previous world number 1 Spain lost in a friendly to Italy while the match England-Holland was canceled due to the unrest in London. I'm not exactly sure how the FIFA does its ranking system and there are different points to be won in friendly matches, qualifiers and the World or European championship itself. I've also read that when Spain wins its qualifier against Liechtenstein next month, a sure thing, it will regain the number one spot regardless if the Netherlands wins its matches against San Marino and Finland. So that part of the ranking system seems a bit iffy. No matter. Being number one in the world is a record for my country and everyone is happy about, only even if it lasts a month.

Update 24-8-11. It's official;

August 11, 2011

Zeitgeist Bank Notes

Yesterday I started making these, Zeitgeist bank notes. Great fun. When folded and put on the ground it just looks like the real thing. The text is in Dutch with a quote from Henry Ford (the one about people not understanding the monetary system). Next it says "money rules the world, but who rules the money?" Followed by 'watch Zeitgeist Addendum and Zeitgeist Moving Forward.' Thought it was rather captivating so yesterday I printed out around 11 sheets and with some cutting you end up with 88 Z notes.

Naturally I immediately tested its effectiveness. Dropped one in my street and I think a neighbor further down the street picked it up and put it in his pocket. Maybe he was disappointed when he got home? Dropped around 3 of them in my city center this afternoon and when I checked later on only one was tossed away again further down the street. The others were missing. I must say that as a Zeitgeist supporter this method of promoting the movies and the movement is both comical and profound. Maybe I should start taping people who pick it up. Below is a sheet of Zeitgeist bank notes in English. (Click to enlarge.) Z notes rule!

August 10, 2011

Dude, Where's My Car? X

So you just got your new Ferrari 360 Spider and you're trying to impress your girlfriend. Parking it near the water for everyone to see but than your brakes don't work and your Ferrari decides to go for a swim.

August 6, 2011

Not The Last Word On Corbett

"The important revolution is the only revolution that will ever achieve anything and that is the revolution of the mind, because unless we understand the system that is enslaving us and unless we know who our enemy is and unless we know what they expect us to do, we will never be able to put up a resistance that matters."

Those words were spoken by James Corbett, who made a name for himself on the internet with his Corbett Report. In my previous blog I remarked on his video 'The Last Word on Utopia' which was (in)directly a critique of the film 'Zeitgeist Moving Forward' and the Zeitgeist Movement. Utopia can never be attained, according to Corbett, and will inevitably lead to chaos and bloodshed. I'm not denying that different ideologies can lead to conflict but it is by no means a guarantee it will happen automatically. Besides, utopia can not be attained and no one is making such claims.

James Corbett (during an interview) talks about the 'revolution of the mind.' I'm very curious what he means by that since he tries to nip another revolution of the mind, the one created by the Zeitgeist Movement, right in the bud. 'Understanding the system,' is another eyeopener. The movie Zeitgeist Addendum and Zeitgeist Moving Forward make it very clear what the system really entails. Yet sadly, we don't see one single word of acknowledgement coming from Corbett on that. Instead we see a kind of guilt by association tactic. Here's the system according to the Zeitgeist Movement;

We live on a planet of finite resources. Our current system is based on global capitalism. The economy relies on growth of itself by cyclical consumption. Infinite growth is impossible on a planet of finite resources. Money in this system is created out of thin air by financial institutions who demand the principal back with interest. The interest is non-existent in the money supply and can only be created by generating more money. This is the Ponzi scheme of capitalism and gives ultimate power to the banks. When a person goes bankrupt everything he or she owns is confiscated, when a bank goes belly up the accountability vanishes in the same thin air or the taxpayer is stuck with the bill.
Capitalism amounts to economic slavery. You have to work and earn your money in order to buy the goods and food which enables you to survive. You go to the bank for a mortgage which allows you to buy a house. The loaned money from the bank, which was created out of thin air by fractional-reserve banking, has to paid back with interest. Trying to own a house will require your time and energy for approximately 30 years if not longer.
Here's what the Zeitgeist Movement advocates. Abolish money! In present day society money is more important than people when it logically should be the other way around. With our current technology and resources every person on the planet can be housed and fed. The resources is what makes an economy and technology itself can free humans.

Sounds like understanding the system and a revolution of the mind to me. Now why did James Corbett didn't get this? The Zeitgeist Movement doesn't advocate establishing an elite (NWO). The whole idea is to free and care for people. Does the current system encompass that?
I'm starting to think that Corbett doesn't understand the system, and what a revolution of the mind really implies. When the bottom line is money, people are going to prioritize that. Yes, people can be selfish and greedy but in a system that fundamentally promotes greed you shouldn't act surprised when you see it in every facet of life. Greed is enhanced by the system. Is it that illogical to assume that by changing the system and environment greed will drastically decrease as well? Maybe James Corbett has a very bleak view of humanity. I don't. The revolution is in the mind. It's the realization that we should help one another and stop being so selfish, because that's the way to break free from the current system.

Extra Cold

Heineken came out with a new nicknack. A (doubled) glass with a fluid in it you can put in the freezer. You poor yourself a beer in it and the brew is extra cold, no kidding. Works fine during a hot day, but I did notice the glass thaws relatively quick (half an hour or so) and it does nothing for a second beer. Oh well.

August 3, 2011

Distant Utopia

James Corbett, the manager and producer of an independent news website, made a rather disappointing video about a "utopian" concept that can be found in the Venus Project and the Zeitgeist Movement. Making the connection between a utopia and the Zeitgeist Movement may not be entirely accurate since the latter makes no claims that such a thing is achievable in the first place. Pursuing a 'resource based economy' is not the same as 'getting to utopia.' Yet the connection is made with many negative expectations and projections.

However I do not disagree with all of James Corbett's statements yet at the same time I get the notion that he (like so many of us) doesn't recognize the root causes. Human nature / human nurture, take your pick, is one thing. That is a whole discussion in itself. What I found most disappointing is the 'standard' surface association and analysis. Planning a society immediately becomes central planning which is very bad because 'they' tried that in communist states with disastrous consequences. It is immediately assumed that such a thing will instantly occur again. (Inhale one puff of a marihuana cigarette and you're a drug addict for life!) That a capitalistic laissez faire societal construct has its own costs is quite often left out of the equation.

Critique is seemingly often one-sided and to be honest I expected more from James Corbett who in fact got his master in philosophy. Having said that it's not unusual even for educated people to be trapped in a particular ideological box. Happens all the time. The sad part is that the philosophy which James Corbett so often displays in his videos is not that far apart from many Zeitgeist members yet a rift is created by the former. We are not your enemy James.

It's very simple. Many (if not all) Zeitgeist members have no intention of creating a society like the one that could be found in Soviet Russia. We simply don't want such a thing. Period. The whole idea is to get more freedom and abundance without having to prostitute yourself in an environment based on profit, competition and greed. The main philosophy of the Zeitgeist Movement is that when you change the environment (which is based on the factors I just mentioned) you take away much of the negative aspects of "human nature." Change the environment and you change "human nature."

You actually think that when a person can get 10 hamburgers for free he will go out hunting for cows and trample on anyone that gets in his way? When all the needs are met, people behave entirely different. That's the whole concept behind the Zeitgeist Movement and if James Corbett wasn't so busy with the perceived communist phantom he might have noticed that. Communism or collectivism is not what the movement stands for. However, it's also not based on pure individualism (maybe a more accurate word is selfism). A balance must be found between individualism and collectivism. Giving too much to either 'ism' will have negative effects.

(To be continued.)