DigitalThoughts / Looking back, looking forward
Exactly a year ago, I uncharacteristically made a trio of resolutions for the then-coming 2011. As the year winds down, the biggest surprise is that I managed to accomplish all three of them!
As early as February, I managed to find work. Sorry, no details. Just know that this is my dream collaboration, the kind that rarely happens.
Sometime in early summer, I started making art again. We're talking 3D renderings, not drawings as planned, but it's close enough. And while fame and money are still a while away, I consider myself pretty darn successful for a dabbler.
Then just as December rolled around, I unexpectedly wrote a story, my first in years, therefore taking care of my third resolution for 2011.
All in all, it was a very good year for me. Not so for the rest of the world.
Let's see, between the US narrowly dodging total economic collapse, and the EU still in danger of suffering such, it should be clear by now that this isn't your average financial crisis we are in. We will not see the world economy "recovering" -- a total reinvention is called for.
But the worst is yet to come. As I'm writing these lines, two swords of Damocles are hanging over the US, and by extension the world. Two laws, specifically. One is called SOPA, which if adopted will make the Internet as we know it illegal. No, I'm not exagerating. Of course, that will not mean the Internet closes down, but it will make every single one of us a criminal. And you know what happens when everyone is a criminal: then nobody is, but laws do lose any validity.
The second law is called NDAA (the National Defense Authorization Act), and if signed in the present form it will legitimize indefinite detention of anyone in the US without so much as an accusation, let alone a trial. If you have friends and relatives over there (or you happen to live in the country) now it's a good time to start worrying.
Suffice to say, China has recently praised the US for its attitude towards the freedom of speech and human rights in general...
So what about the coming year?
I'm not making specific resolutions this time. The pace of changes is accelerating, and I'm not sure what the world will look like by March, let alone next December. At least the people are waking up; successful boycots against Bank of America and GoDaddy are evidence that voting with one's wallet does work, and that means the fight is not one-sided.
But it is a fight; it should be obvious by now that the ruling elite of the civilized world no longer serves the people, but considers us cattle instead. If you can read these lines at all, it is likely that your worst enemy right now is your own country's government. Society is a contract by definition: you voluntarily give up some of your liberties and the sweat of your brow in exchange for security and help when you need it. The moment society stops doing its part, but keeps taking from you, it's time to ask yourself why aren't you just living in the jungle.
The good news? Society is us. You, me, our friends and families, that corner store clerk who always smiles to you, classmates, coworkers... And for all the controversy, the Occupy movement has proven that us ordinary people can provide services such as shelters and medical care for the poor, which local authorities somehow can't, despite taking all those money from us. Adhocracy, a concept first theorized by Alvin Toffler four decades ago (and which I've first encountered in science fiction) is now a reality, and it works!
Turns out, it's not about the money but a real willingness to do something tangible. No wonder creatives and makers are feared. Talking is child's play. But doing good deeds, no matter how small, can change the world.
I intend to spend 2012 doing good deeds. What about you?
P.S. Did I mention that the EU council has adopted ACTA? Yeah, so much for democracy and human rights...