NIMBY

First time I ever heard of this acronym was in Cities: Skylines. In the game, this is a policy you can enact to prevent loud noise at night. In reality this is much more as a phrase for anyone who opposes a service within their neighbourhood.

Living in the big city, whether people say it or not, has become a bit of an oxymoron. Here homelessness and public transit are the top two people like to address but don’t necessarily want to physically change.

The transit system here is fairly archaic, most of the system was developed in the 60’s. With a sprawling city without an upgraded transit system, it has been crowded. So now with old stations being updated, a lot of people are really against the stations from expanding to accommodate more routes or making it more accessible. With a lot of people throwing opinions and hate for every plan, I doubt any meaningful progress so far.

The homeless issue is a bunch of sociological problems; drugs, shelter, food, safety. A lot of local NGO’s  try to keep these people alive while the city tries to find ways to bring these people back into society. The biggest problem especially in winter is shelter. Recently, my local city wants to open a new shelter near my neighbourhood. However Once that hit the news, everyone went ape about not wanting it near them. That goes the same with safe injection sites. I understand both sides of the stories and I honestly don’t know who’s in the right because both arguments are valid.

“No In My BackYard” has become something I want to avoid personally. It’s a phrase that doesn’t progress an issue and usually throws an issue to someone else.

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Don’t Burn The House Down

I’ve been trawling the political news in the past month and the world seems to be alight with borderline hate speech and free speech. It’s even making me nervous since every culture has suffered it’s troubles but a few are open to kill and hurt everyone to feel superior.

We as a people were born to treat all with fairness and justice, no one is better and no one can take away who you are as a human being. It’s disturbing and rightly eye opening to the intolerant language being propagated in society. I always want to look into the future but seeing the squabbles over race, how can we ever meet to the challenge something new and different? Economically, we’re addicted to petroleum and only dancing around alternative energies. Politically, we’re still divided by ideologies and geographic bias. How can we justify change when we can’t even make the changes within?

Someone once told me society is a house. A house everyone wants to live in, it can be built and be torn down. However there is only one house and we all must live in it. The house might be cramped but when you burn the house down, no one can live in the house. What is the point of living in a house if you were going to burn it down?

I guess I’ll leave it there for this week. Something to think about.

Grounded

This week was interesting, I’m not into politics but I do follow what’s going on in the world. Judging by the controversy behind the newly President-Elect, he seems an unpopular fellow with some. From all the news and articles streaming out of the United States, it just sounds like another Civil War is igniting but I doubt it’s the case.

It is an interesting change in power as the the last term served  was focused on erasing gaps and borders, rooting the republic back to the beginning of a just and open governance for the people. This week has been ominous and synonymous  with the end of that dream, trading for hard capitalism and the power to the 1%. As much as I lean to the latter, I still have hope no matter what their new government will do.

A democratic nation is a nation of choice, do not choose to hate but choose to hope. Hope for a better future, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for all your dreams. When you believe in something, then there is something still worth fighting for; but not fight with swords and steel. Fight with the yearning in your heart for the just and hopeful. Whether you don’t stand for them, stand to believe in those without a voice to have a voice.

As a student to American history, the people do possess one power no leader can ever take. The power to change, use that power for the good and just for all. Not of one creed or race, but for all. The United States of America is only strong as those who are willing to endure and fight for those of very little, the very weak and the very lost. Give them more, get them strong and help them find the way.

This will be an interesting 4 years coming up and no one knows how  it will turn out. But we all must endure it together.

Canadian Concerns

To preface this post, I would like to say I’m not a political person. I know I’m not very active in taking sides to any issues, for the most part I sit and watch how my last has really mattered. The irony about my last vote was I wasn’t even a necessary one.

I believe the last election was about 4 years ago when a Canadian federal election was called. Though I still have faith in the system, in a way I don’t have faith in it either. I strongly believe democracy can get a lot done, there is so much finger pointing and bickering that I could’ve became a grade school teacher and seen less of it. Fact is I have about over 6 weeks to decide who is the next prime minister for the next 4 years. The next 42 days changes what happens in the need 2000 and plus days until the next election.

Without divulging which party I selected last year, I did choose one that stood by on some critical issues. The large one I followed was veteran affair. I have a firm belief people who serve the armed forces in this country should be entitled to something at the end of their service. They may be faceless to some however for me from what I’ve seen and read beyond the headlines, no one can ever outwork these people. All of us may complain of an 8 hour day at a low wage, these guys work themselves to the ground to ensure security at home and abroad and providing a face for the Canadian public on the world stage. If I could, I would owe them all a pint however I rather vote to put some of my tax dollars into making sure they get a well deserved retirement.

As a young person, it’s definitely hard to find jobs these days. To be honest there are only two jobs I feel qualified for; one I must have qualifications or I am overly qualified. I think this is the bottleneck we face where employers are hiring overqualified students for menial labour. Preach all you want about unemployment being at this percentage all you want, we still have our future working in jobs where they don’t benefit society. These engineers and scientists are our taxi drivers and burger flippers. These are the kids we have to put our best foot forward if we are to make a lot of changes to ourselves. This change could be anything from the environmental and technical sectors. One of those unemployed or underemployed folks could be developing a method to get us as a species into space more efficiently but they’re holding on a job that does not fit the degree. Most of my readers have read about my employment problems in the past and I know there is something we can do about this. At the time of this post I checked the unemployment; it’s sitting around a 6.5%. Doesn’t sound much at first, however you consider that with a number like 3 million, you soon realize 6 percent is a lot of people still out of a job. Even worse is the fact the number doesn’t even account of underemployment, those people who are still working but can’t necessarily pay for everything they need. This is indeed a scary thought that someone somewhere is being ignored because the governing body decides they’re already well off. As compartmentalized as the government is, employment a major one effects industry, economy, labour. The people must come first before we can go anywhere.

Though these are a couple and I am just one of millions who are going to vote, I want every young Canadian who is eligible to vote. Don’t slack off and not vote or pass your vote off at a random person. Make it out to the voting because there are issues that concern this generation, our generation. We are only getting older and if we don’t act now, the future can get only worse. 

Observations of Society

Doing this again because my rage-o-meter is rising. There are just some things I have realized from things I’ve read and seen around me. Writer note: these opinions are my own and may not reflect to real life institutions or organizations. Seriously I wish I could be right but I doubt my stereotypical views could ever be right.

Note sure if you guys do this, but whenever I’m bored I would look up random terms into Wikipedia. It would be some irrelevant term just to find out what I could possibly learn from the world’s compendium of knowledge. This week, I just felt like typing in “imprisonment” into Wikipedia for the kicks. To be honest, it was something interesting reading the opportunities for reformation of prisoners compared to the opportunities presented to anyone else. Surprising from reading about imprisonment, I made comparisons with livelihood outside imprisonment. The “interesting” moment was when I thought imprisonment was much more convenient than being free. Trading away your freedom, you gain access to services and good that would cost a lot of money outside the prison system. Though it wouldn’t be the finest food or education, you would have access to a meal, a bed and a college education. With all your freedom, the only gain you gain is freedom itself. You can do whatever you want when you want. The downside is the the capital expense for freedom; which for the term, quite oxymoronic. Down to basics, the question was reduced to “Would you rather live in a confined space but you get a place to live, eat and time to work out or live and do anything legal but you would have to pay for everything?” I leave that one to you, readers. Feel free to post your answer in the comments.

While we’re on the topic of freedoms, I still can’t get around the fact that an organization owns someone’s intellectual property and can act upon their behalf. We are into an era where we can share and disseminate information. Not just fully but expediently to the point where the original point comes down to the original person who created it. This comes back to intellectual properties over the internet and the discussion of media or profit when distributing online or other mediums. Piracy was a major keyword floating about on the internet for the better part of last decade and it’s a misnomer unless we’re talking about Somali piracy. Primarily, online “piracy” doesn’t cause physical distress or coerced into surrendering good or funds. The only way this would be true if an organization decides to force another organization to submission through force or “financial compensation”.  From the news articles, some businesses have genuine intentions to distribute data between users and the users choose what they wish to distribute. In a sense these agencies, conglomerates and lobbyists; aren’t they the real pirates for going after online services because of their users?

How the internet is now was created from what was created in the past but would never be the same as the future. This is indeed change but I mean in terms of how the internet we have now is not the same we had in the early years and will never be like this in the future. The liberties of the internet are being limited by each government removing the internet as a communication innovation into more of a surveillance and espionage tool. If not the government, then it is for the malicious users and organizations to use it for the exact same thing. This difficult position where the only positive solution is a unilateral treaty to prevent non-consented surveillance and militarization of the internet. The only solution for the future is to preserve what we have the in past on the internet while allowing as many people the ability to access it as freely as possible. This would be a no-win scenario for agencies but would allow the internet to ebb and flow as it wants. This way it doesn’t hinder any rights and liberties of a country, we still have businesses still data mining but it would be on a consensual basis between their organizations and their users.

That’s all I got for now. Until next time, use Wikipedia more!

Aliens Or Us?

Assuming the fact aliens did visit our little Blue Dot and have left or died many, it does beg the question why they would come visit us? Time and time again people encounter extraterrestrials and seem to be shrugged off as hoaxes and crazy people. I present to you the idea if these encounters were true and aliens have interacted with us. The question is truly why are they here? What do they want from us?

For a technologically advanced species compared to us, they seem to travel a long distance just either probe us, draw pictographs and buzz over some of the oddest places on Earth. Good guess about these aliens if they have visited us is likely curiosity. Whether they are like us or not, they are probably studying the living interactions on our planet. Manned or unmanned, they are here to see how our species and the species we cohabit the planet interact. As a third person perspective, this can only conclude primarily is the dominant intelligent species. Secondly it is likely whoever they are, they would find the dominant intelligent species has aerospace capabilities; if they’re exosolar, then our technology is primitive and would likely pose no offensive capabilities. From human accounts of how the military are to investigate these UFO’s. If they can differentiate between civilian and military, they can reduce our nature to be fairly hostile to near xenophobic. In my opinion, I can understand why they rarely would want to set foot on our planet if they can handle our atmosphere. If they tried, the first thing would be armed men surrounding you before subjecting you to involuntary examinations. That alone in our ethics is an act of war; which means committing to a hostile stance. Unfortunately this reinforces us as a hostile and xenophobic species and yet we devote our resources to look for extraterrestrials to only be ignored. Assuming they did visit us and have the capabilities to receive our signals, I doubt we seem likely candidates to have first contact. Pessimistic as it sounds, this seems to be the most likely result if they have visited us before. However there is a good in all this; our capability to change and innovate among ourselves. No doubt if a society were to develop space travel, it would have to pass on knowledge and understand to benefit everyone.

Aside from having that ability, the society should learn from it’s mistakes and learn to improve upon how it deals with itself. The past decade has shown positive and negative progress. We have expanded our reach for a world information network but there are internal forces who wish to privatize this information and service. We contribute our best to eradicate social problems and disease. In the end of it all the good we can potentially do,we potentially do a lot more to hinder ourselves. If we can surpass all doubt, it would be our sad redeeming quality for an extraterrestrial race to see our world. Our nature to learn and change is what will get us to meet our stellar neighbours.

What if that is not enough and we have to show them we can travel on an interstellar level? Then that is when we will have official contact with another species. Sounds like a Star Trek destiny if they have some expectations from us. Ever since societies have formed, each has dealt with politics which grew to handle their society. When we do make contact or they make contact with us; we should be ready to deal with problems which does not affect just one nation or one planet, but many worlds in around other stars. The question is when are we ready for the step forward to govern our entire world under one form of government. The way I see it, we are still fragmented in nations with it’s own demands and need. There are even governments with deep hatreds for other nations which a wrong move can result into a war. As I stated; they would see us as barbaric and hostile.

In the end at the moment, we are uninteresting to any interstellar traveller that may come across our watery world. So maybe it’s our fault, no one is answering our calls if they’re out there but we can try and better ourselves and prove to them and us we can join a larger community of many world.

Human Oddity – Change

When I was in high school, I was always fascinated by history. Reading about the ancient times, the renaissances and the wars of old. The interesting thing about human society is it’s ebbs and flows. Regardless of where we are in the world or what era we live in, there are 3 things which happen in order. In much of the same ways, we are live in between one of those moment and the new one. The world turns, even looking inward to our own lives; the 3 remain the same. The Resolution; the dust settles and adopt the new ways or resents them. The Pause; the plans are made on both sides to move the future to where they see fit, for greed or other reasons. The Revolution; the plan is in action and both sides stand to engage their enemies until one stands firm which brings us back to The Resolution.

It’s hardly intricate, but yet repetitive. Each moment in human history seems to revolve around this cycle. From the extent of my memory, look back on the old world. Take The European Renaissance as our example. The Resolution; after the plagues and wars, many sought out the ideologies of peoples millennia ago. Leading to The Pause, the rise of a new era of art and science; people started to looking through telescopes and looking at the world in a new light. Then which lead to The Revolution; the world before disapproves of how these people were looking at things which contradict how they thought the world worked before. 

One more closer to our time? Early 20th century, new technology and the world slowly embracing machines to take them to places. To us, trains and automobiles seem mundane and slow; to them, it was quick and the new age. This was The Pause, right before the great wars in Europe; The Revolution where both side sought to change the world in their own right. With it was the enhancement of these technologies including planes, including new ideas of treating others. The world facing a new bloom of technology with The Resolution it brought, the war’s technology went home and brought us back to The Pause of the mid-1990; though even then, it wasn’t a quiet time. A new Revolution of human rights and mutual  agreements where we began to women and races as equals and the “old world” arms proliferation reached it’s peak and realized it’s potential of mutual annihilation. Then once more, The Pause which bestowed our generation’s greatest advancement; the freaking Internet. In hours, information can be sent and received everywhere at any time. Meaning a sharing of ideas on society and the slow mistrust of once again “old world” influences. A bygone generation’s way of holding down power while we wait for the oncoming generation’s Revolution. We can already see this happening around the world. Ever since the turn of this century, everyone has been fighting for change and those who haven’t are being seeded the very idea which will spark that change.

In my opinion, this revolution won’t be about challenging the world’s ideologies of religion or science. It won’t be fighting over who’s right or wrong. And it won’t be over who controls what anymore. From what I’ve seen and read, this Revolution is about freedom; whether it is protecting what is already ours and fighting for the freedoms we as humans need. Even in the most civilized places will become the battleground to challenge those who oppose freedom and those who dare seek to gain control of them. This revolution will not be about winning or losing, but how much freedom before it turns into anarchy or totalitarianism. It is in my opinion going to be a fine line this generation will cross to test the limits of the old world’s ideologies on freedom while some will be claiming their own. It worries me to think the capabilities a population of billions to do. An anonymous person once said, “Some men want to watch the world burn.” It is only a matter of time this smoking tinder becomes a forest fire.

Until next time, change doesn’t happen overnight but is forged like a sword and tempered in fire.