The Dead Crow, And Politics

The dead crow.

Bang! Goes the DBKL crow shooter.

My deceased maternal grandfather was an ex-serviceman, and he fought communists in the jungle.

No, that is not my grandfather in the picture. 😀

He retired, and would go on these crow-shooting sessions, and get paid for each crow shot.

And yes, I have seen his shotgun. You don’t see one in the average Malaysian home!

Which brings me to an interesting pontification, a reflection if you will.

Recently, I do not remember how, I came about to read about Che Guevara, who I quote Wikipedia, was an “Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist”. He travelled Latin America, seeing the condition it was in, and formed his ideas then, and it shaped his mission in life.

Some simplify him to being a violent communist.

I’d say my political stance is that I prefer everything to be done for the benefit of living beings (is that wide enough a blanket statement?)

Capitalism is great, yeah – you work more, you earn more, but it does come at the expense of some due to greed.

Egalitarianism is great – equal oppurtunity for all, everyone has the same rights.

I don’t think socialism is all that bad, either. The idea that we all work for the benefit of all is good, though it arguably causes no innovation, and that people not aligned with the idea will not work. I fancy the idea of decentralized power, and less power tiers… but there will always be leaders because followers can’t figure stuff out themselves. (Unless education advances until everyone figures it out… or we become The Borg*).

And isn’t communism ironic, being that there is no higher class, that there is a State that controls everything?

The world’s most famous photo is Guerrillero Heroico, a portrait of Che Guevara when he was at a funeral, looking brave in the face of adversity. The photographer, Alberto Korda, did not claim any royalties or payment for the picture, because he believed that the picture should be shared for the benefit of all, to spread the revolution.

Which brings me to another tangent.

Open source and free for all, versus closed source that you’d have to buy. Or patents, to lock your ideas as money.

So Microsoft and Apple are obviously capitalists.

Google, on the other hand, what are they? Some kind of egalitarian pseudo-socialist entity? They give their services away for free, for the benefit of all, and break borders. Their idea is that information is free and will eventually float in the air.

Of course, they are incentive-driven also – they sell ads in these services. And who pays for these ads? The capitalists!

So I am grateful for the Google model (or the free TV/newspaper model). Though they still need the capitalists until we can figure something out.

While I am not going to install Linux anytime soon (unless you count Android as a Linux system) I do really like the idea of open source. One programmer decides to make a cool program or library, because there isn’t one, and knows his/her efforts will help programmers all around the world. Then somebody else improves on it, and puts the improvements in! This utopian idea allows for collaborative innovation.

Of course, programmers still have to pay for food in a capitalist non-utopian society, so they still have a day job.

I recently helped out by doing unpaid work for a NGO, and have become a bit more charitable than before. Though I’d have to say I could only do so after earning a bit more.

I wonder if Bill Gates just wanted to write some cool programs and ended up being the richest man on Earth. Fortunately with the excess, he has given a load to charity. Unfortunately, Bill isn’t like the coolest dude you’d want to look up to.

What about Steve Jobs? Sure, he could’ve been donating anonymously, but with his cult of personality, could he at least donate some money and make that act known publicly? His followers would follow, inspired by their leader, and that would benefit more people (instead of just having another Starbucks coffee while playing games on their iPads.)

* Footnote – I quite like the idea of The Borg – a fictional society in Star Trek, where the members are humanoids with cybernetic links to a shared network. Which is really quite like Twitter except you see the tweets of everyone on the network!

So imagine you wanted to know where the bus B79 was because you wanted to get to a restaurant. A thought stream could go like this:
You: Where is this B79 bus? I’m craving for an awesome cheeseburger.
Borg on the road: Hey I see it in front of me, at latitude 3 11 2.3 longitude 101 23 6.9.
Borg who travels a lot: Oh, that would take about 15 minutes to get there.
Borg friend: Hey can I join you for a cheeseburger? Oh wait I read your mind already, yes I can.
Borg friend 2: Yes me too!

It’s Twitter in your brain – I see smashpOp lining up to be assimilated already!

I don’t buy the idea of a violent Borg (except unless its shared ideals was to assimilate everyone because they believe it is a good state to be in… “hey why aren’t you on Twitter?” sound familiar?) So a violent Borg would then, after assimilating everyone, become a peaceful Borg, and having shared collective thought, cured cancer and all illnesses so they could live forever. They might just decide to kill themselves, like how the Q (a race in Star Trek which can be anywhere, any time, knows everything) felt that such a life was pointless.

Ah, but how did I get so far from this, the dead crow?

6 thoughts on “The Dead Crow, And Politics

  1. shootkk Post author

    You mentioned that capitalism is tainted by greed. Well, so is communism. If not for greed, how did countries like North Korea and Myanmar get dirt poor citizens with filthy rich leaders?

    We won’t find a solution until one can ditch the idea of individualism. Only when one can be completely selfless will there be hope for socialism or a central consciousness like the Borg to ever work.

    Can you imagine being a Borg and something like this happens:

    You: Where is this B79 bus? I’m craving for an awesome cheeseburger.
    Borg on the road: Hey I see it in front of me, at latitude 3 11 2.3 longitude 101 23 6.9.
    Borg who travels a lot: Oh, that would take about 15 minutes to get there.
    Borg friend: Hey can I join you for a cheeseburger? Oh wait I read your mind already, yes I can.
    Borg friend 2: Yes me too!
    Borg entity 3: What? Cheeseburger? They suck! Let’s not eat cheeseburger. How ’bout pizza!
    Borg entity 4: Yeah, pizza! Down with cheeseburger!
    Borg friend : Who asked you? Oh wait, we’ve all here in the same mind. Crap! I say cheeseburger!
    Borg entity 3: Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!

    And the war in your collective mind goes on and all the Borgs will be catatonic, unable to function until the war is won by one thought or the other. But then how will one thought prevail over another?

    And don’t get me started on Open Source! It’s a great idea on paper but in the real world, it rarely works as well. Ever have the experience where you try one solution posted by someone on the net and it don’t work and you try asking for help? Rarely will you ever find it in a timely fashion if at all.

    Linux is free, it’s reliable so what’s not to like – they say. Yeah well, try integrating Linux and it’s numerous incarnations of the same software in your environment while having no formal channel for support and you will know why sometimes it’s easier to pay for software.

  2. Albert Ng Post author

    smashpOp: LOL! See you on the network later.

    shootkk: LOL good points! Communism fails and gets an ugly face because of the implementation (but the same is said about religion.)

    I’d say the Borg understands why any other Borg has a craving and respects that. Though this is the early iteration of The Borg – if one Borg influences another Borg, they will all end up eating the same thing because of contagious cravings. But medical Borgs would influence all others to only eat the healthiest, safest, easy to produce and most energy-efficient food.

    So would Borgs have different jobs? Quite likely – a Borg understands why it needs to do what it needs to do, though ironically they would be replaceable with one other. They know though that they need 10 hands at the food factory.

    True, Linux is a pain when it comes to support, which lets Linux supporters monetize by selling support. I’ve called Microsoft tech support before, and they couldn’t solve my problem either despite me buying their software. 🙁

  3. JaccoW Post author

    Or in short; Even all the greatest minds will not find the "perfect" choice. If both options are equally good, a choice has to be made. And no choice, is a choice too.

    On-topic: Why was the crow shot?

    They are one of the smartest birds alive? Compasionate, tool-users and able to recognize their own reflexion!
    Humans would probably be the same if there were another dominant species.
    Ripping open trashbags and eating everything. 😉

  4. Albert Ng Post author

    JD: LOL with a queen somemore!

    JaccoW: I don’t know man. Even in the world of birds, a brother goes down!

    Trash is yet another example of how much we still have to mature from our state of incomplete development.

    In my (later expanded) theory of the shared thought – The Borg would understand why a choice is made even if they do not like it.


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