Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Red Pill Blue Pill

In the film 'The Matrix', the choice is given to take either the 'Red' pill, or the 'Blue' pill. The blue pill lets you believe in the world as you have grown up to see it, but the red pill will transport your understanding of the world to how it really is.

Well, today, I'm offering you the chance to take the red pill!

You see, the 'world' that you live in is, not so much a lie, as a severe distortion. You (and I) are used to thinking that the world that we live in is the same world everyone lives in.

And therein lies the lie.

Your everyday world (and mine) is actually more like a gated community, separated from the majority of the world and acting in a very insular way.

Firstly, to be fair, the reason we see our 'world' as the real one is because we control and consume the major media outlets. So our 'News' is largely a navel-gazing exercise. We read about ourselves, we watch TV about ourselves, we listen to radio talking about ourselves and we visit websites geared to ourselves.

Yet we are the minority.

Now, I've made several claims here that I really need to back up, so I've used figures released in March 2011 by Nielsen Online. (Found at www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm)

Broadly, just 30.2% of the total worlds population (now 7 billion) use the internet. To turn that around just under 70% of the world do not use the internet. The reason I'm picking on the internet first off is that it is the vehicle that most media people (and most companies) use to measure what they call 'the world'. For example, there's a lot of press given to the (unreal) claim that one gadget or another (e.g. iPhone) will 'change the world'. To believe this sort of hype, you'd have to completely ignore the fact that even less people use internet connected phones than use the internet in general, bearing in mind that internet users are in the minority anyway.

You may be rolling your eyes now and yelling at my blog that this is just marketing at work. Yes. Yet that's the way we think. We think that the world is 'connected' and that we're all in the same boat, living the same sorts of lives. We lie to ourselves, because we're too tired, too lazy, too brainwashed to think beyond the hype.

I'm in Australia, where just 60% of people use the internet. That's right, 4 out of 10 people I pass in the street don't use the internet. If you are reading this in Nth America (even more inclined to think they are 'the world') over 20% of your fellow Americans don't use the internet. If you are in Europe, almost half are not connected. In Asia, less that 25% are internet users. And in Africa, almost 9 out of 10 people don't use the internet. It all adds up to more than 2/3's of people in the world aren't online. At all.

So much for 'our world' being the norm.

So what's my point exactly?

Just this. Open your mind. Don't swallow blindly all the claims we hear/read/see every day that the way we live is the way the world really works. Get your brain out of the gated community and see the world as it really is.

Oh yeah, are you a Christian? Agnostic? Muslim? 'Middle-class'? Home-owner? Well, you're in a minority.

Have a nice day :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Life is....

If you spend much time trawling the internet, or hanging out on social media sites, you will no doubt have come across things like these....

Pithy one-liners that try to be the answer to life...

As a designer, I have to admit they present themselves well, altho the style is copied again and again - just include a teen girl, some bokeh light-play, pastel colours and try to use helvetica.

Where they fall short is the actual advice. None of these quotes will answer the quandaries that the world faces.

So what, if anything, will?

In Matthew 22, Jesus gets tested by the religious leaders of the day as they try to trap him: Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law,tested him with this question:  “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

One word. One word that covers the ills and evils of people, that can turn the misfortunes of individuals and nations into blessings.


Not justice, or even mercy, not self or even sacrifice. Love.

On an individual level, love will replace selfishness with care for others, will make kindness and compassion shape our words and deeds, will open our eyes to the worth of every person.

On a psychological level, we would eradicate depression, anxiety and fear. Love would calm and reassure us.

On a social level, we would have no crime, we would have no need for law. We would have no need for lawyers, courts and jails. 

On a national level, love will stop the displacement of whole communities of people, wiping out the worldwide problem of refugees. Love will redirect the trillions spent on war into food, health and education needs. Love will negate the warped need to have 'Homeland Security' treat us all as suspect.

The words revenge, selfishness, jealousy, hate and terror would not exist.

On a spiritual level, we would be able to understand God, who is Love. We would be able to commune with God and be fearless in His presence.

For love is not a warm fuzzy feeling, but a fiery burning force that works through action. Love is a verb.