Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wisdom vs Ignorance

Let us first talk about ignorance.

In the first place, we all really do not know. Now, the question is: what do we do when we do not know? To pretend that we know when we do not know is foolishness. To acknowledge that we do not know is wisdom. I think Confucious said that.

In the world of economics, do we know what we are doing? We really do not know, except for one thing - that we know hunger and we fear hunger. We become resolved never to be hungry again. I think this is the resolve of ancestors which are then passed down the generations, and the way that hunger issue is resolved is called culture - the established way for the tribe to survive.

In ancient societies, the survival of the tribe is closely associated with the health of the environment. To submit and respect the environment is the means to survival. Human beings are taken to be nothing, to be at the mercy of the environment.

In modern societies where power comes from science and technology, our ability to modify materials is mistaken to be our ability to create and to control the environment. We do not know that our tendency to pursue a fixed method until a crisis forces us to change. (Clever people love to parrot "Crisis means oppportunity.") When a crisis hits, we cannot control the situation and the only thing that we can do is to adapt, given the changed environment or "new paradigm."

The creation of megacities is the modern way of living where the only asset seem to be real estate, not the environment. Value in real estate is defined by the volume of the money supply that the central bank creates. It is no wonder that at a time of inflation, everybody tries to stand their ground in a city environment, comforted when surrounded by concrete.

Agriculture technology has advanced to such a state that it is more dependent on science and technology rather than age old farming traditions. Higher yield requires input from the city folks and the margin that the farmers make will be defined by the disposable income of the people in urban centres. Farmers become slaves to city folks whose access to food is determined by the paper/electronic money issued by the central bank.

If farms could go organic and produce sufficient variety within a rural community, they could technically isolate themselves from the cities. In an environmental crunch, the farming communities will survive and city folks will die.

If the rural areas are denuded and rebuilt with concrete, then the society is being extermination by the greed of a few people whom they have tricked into voting to be the guardians of society. Greed breeds ignorance.

Wisdom is to see what is at hand and enjoy it, even if it is nothing. Knowledge, learning and philosophy at the end of the day boil down to the acknowledgement that we are nothing, here just for a moment to enjoy that moment of bodily 3D existence.

Economic wisdom is to have food for the stomach two or three times a day, leisure to procreate or, if not, then recreate or just create. Creativity is nothing but a shameless way of using up one's spare time, which is plentiful when one is not caught up accumulating savings in monetary terms to pay for a car that will crumble within a few years.

We abandon activity or even economic activity when we have lost energy due to sickness or old age, when we could see we have no future. Many of us are now living our live energetically because we have a future - that is the least that we can console ourselves when, in reality, we have none. It's a question of perspective - where we are in our life cycle. Ask all the old folks in the homes.

Youth is filled with energy of life and youth breeds ignorance.
Wisdom resides among the old folks.

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