The current issue of People magazine has revealed what le tout Washington knew anyway: that Barack Obama has been having an affair with Jennifer Aniston. This intrusion took place despite the president’s creditable attempts at discretion: putting aside the normal trappings of office, he travelled to Ms Aniston’s flat in the evening and left in the morning (after bagels had been brought by the Secret Service) on a scooter, wearing a helmet with the visor down to conceal his face.
We are taught that our own creativity will be celebrated as well, and that if we have good ideas, we will succeed.
It’s all a lie. This is the thing about creativity that is rarely acknowledged: Most people don’t actually like it. Studies confirm what many creative people have suspected all along: People are biased against creative thinking, despite all of their insistence otherwise.
If someone had designed a work regime perfectly suited to maintaining the power of finance capital, it’s hard to see how they could have done a better job. Real, productive workers are relentlessly squeezed and exploited. The remainder are divided between a terrorised stratum of the, universally reviled, unemployed and a larger stratum who are basically paid to do nothing, in positions designed to make them identify with the perspectives and sensibilities of the ruling class (managers, administrators, etc) – and particularly its financial avatars – but, at the same time, foster a simmering resentment against anyone whose work has clear and undeniable social value. Clearly, the system was never consciously designed. It emerged from almost a century of trial and error. But it is the only explanation for why, despite our technological capacities, we are not all working 3-4 hour days.
Ultimately, however, the existence of qi, acupuncture meridians, and the Triple Energizer is no more inherently plausible than that of demons, the four humors, or the healing power of God. It’s just that Mao swindled us, taking advantage of a principle identified by G.K. Chesterton in 1925:
I am convinced that if we could tell the supernatural story of Christ word for word as of a Chinese hero, call him the Son of Heaven instead of the Son of God, and trace his rayed nimbus in the gold thread of Chinese embroideries or the gold lacquer of Chinese pottery, instead of in the gold leaf of our own old Catholic paintings, there would be a unanimous testimony to the spiritual purity of the story.
There is indeed a shortage of primary care providers in America, along with an appallingly large underserved population. But as Mao realized, solving such problems is a daunting task. In America it would require increased funding for medical care, unpopular regulation of the medical industry, and substantive lifestyle changes. It’s easier to believe in miracles, panaceas, and natural healing powers. Nowadays one of the most popular alternative solutions, enshrined in the Senate resolution, is a gift from Chairman Mao.
An ancient Roman bridge spans the Wadi al Murr in Mosul, Iraq, 1920.Photograph by M. V. Oppenheim, National Geographic
See Also KCWR Design and Architecture 20 Aug 2013:
Should Architects Design for Solitary Confinement?
A hunger strike in California state prisons calls for an end to indefinite solitary confinement in Security Housing Units, known as SHUs. Raphael Sperry has challenged fellow architects to ban the design of SHUs. Beverly Prior responds, reflecting on a career designing for incarceration. Joe Day sees societal values mirrored in the growth of both American prisons and museums.
BLACK ROCK CITY RC/UAV GUIDELINES AND INFORMATION
Hello fellow RC pilots and hobbyists! Black Rock City has a very crowded airspace, so we want you to be aware of some of the things you might encounter in the air above the city. There is a very busy airport, skydivers, long blinky strands of balloons, and many artworks that may extend up into the airspace above the city. Below are some fresh guidelines put together by a few volunteer RC pilots and fellow Burners who want to encourage the safe and responsible use of radio control unmanned aerial vehicles (RC/UAV) on the playa.
* Note: The media form says you don’t need to register for personal use, but that exemption does not apply for UAV pilots.