Instead of focusing on disaster, it would be more helpful if the Good of the world focused on improved Qualities of Living — biological, financial, psychological, social, spatial, spiritual — near and far. We need healthy communities globally as well as a healthy planet, and where there’s open conflict, we are collectively failing at both.
There’s the word from my low on-high seat, but I believe there’s some truth to having our obsessions and worries controlling our destinies in place of strong good possibilities and dreams appropriate to our individual and global existential challenges. If the latter attitude were prevalent across cultures, we would be chasing large fires with plantings conducive to producing a right human-healthy planetary atmosphere.
And why not?
Why not view natural destruction as opportunity for lending nature a hand on the positive side?
In Afghanistan this past month, people, notable people, people in positions of great responsibility and power, allowed or enabled corruption and greed to overtake better judgment and ceded power — for the time being — to the most absolute, fanatical, narcissistic, and ruthless of malign actors who will now proceed to destroy modern education at its outermost reach and with its Draconian views dishearten its population. The Taliban, so expert in barbarism and terror, will probably fail at every modern challenge and task, further inviting into their medieval sphere greater and more controlling powers, one criminal, the other dystopian, when modern Afghani People could just as well run circles around their malignancy and regain for themselves a more authentic contemporary dignity and freedom.
And why not?
Why not view the Taliban as the egregious insult to universal dignity, freedom, prosperity, and security that it has proven itself to be?
Afghanistan, should it reenter a politically coherent and cohesive phase, would be wise to help its latest burden fly off the rails on its own.
While the Taliban debate their 7th Century beliefs and Afghanistan goes dark, figuratively if not literally (but that’s a real possibility), the more advanced worlds as well as the Taliban might with to reconsider the Qualities of Living involved in the management of any geopolitical space (again biological, psychological, social, spatial, spiritual): where on earth does God, nature, or the universe, for that matter, protect air, soil, and water quality? Ask the same about security for persons and property? Given that we are all part of a gregarious species, what are “social freedoms” and what might the best societies offer in latitude and range for the full suite of our human enthusiasms, interests, and shared as well as dissenting values? What are our best options in our spiritual existence in relation to choice and reason?
Are forced confinement, control, and the delivery of feudal-medieval darkness really the best the Taliban’s Kabul might do?
While the Taliban appear on track for that, the world has changed and will continue changing beyond them for the better and by the most progressing of contemporary democratic standards. Perhaps all, including the Taliban themselves, would do better to dwell on transformations more suited to defending and serving earth and her human cargo — i.e., all of the rest of the world — than to a now deeply impoverished 7th Century system of belief and hypocritical religious egotism.
Anyone who thinks that the 21st century Taliban is a new version is delusional. Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid publicly stated, “Women will be afforded all rights within the limits of Islam [Shariah].” However, they have not explained what they mean by “the limits of Islam,” given their messages are not in sync with their actions on the ground. What form of education will be provided and will women’s rights be safeguarded as before? Will women be able to maintain their positions in media and government?
Even if the Taliban stick to their words, they would still fall short of their obligations under international human rights law. The Taliban’s way of justice translates to harsh punishments, including public executions and beheading of accused murderers and adulterers. It is very unlikely that they will accept any form of criticism, which is incompatible with the universal declaration of human rights.
Qualities of Living (QOL) anywhere involve complex economic, political, psychological, and social arrangements, the same that have states adjusting infrastructure and tax-related variables to attract business (see Foxconn, Wisconsin for an egregious example of bending over frontward) and put populations and jobs together with the help of appropriate transportation systems, none of which are ever without local, state, and Federal government support in one form or another.
It’s good that California is losing population while the host of America’s “activists” and economic developers wrestle with basic floor-level habitability and standards issues.
Of course, California’s compassion, generosity, and wealth have done their job in attracting both labor and predatory elements, but with regard to the latter and the impoverishment and ravaging of the seemingly marginal, the state that also glamorizes its demimonde (see, for example, the film _Barfly_ or, really, just about any modern product playing up the mix of crime and wealth) has drawn exactly what is has created and invited. — I saw Patrick Moynihan years ago at a subcommittee hearing in D.C. on growth, and he noted that the difference between Columbia, Maryland and Calcutta, India was . . . government and planning. He was right. I would add culture and the vision in total of our own humanity. — Sweep California’s social issues off the rug or under it has seemed to me the persistent conservative stance. Perhaps (as complement to other “Turning Point” businesses picking up the broken pieces), engagement with corruption and crime, distribution of population, site-locating of new financial hubs elsewhere (!), and development of small homes communities for those looking for their next California in the interior, would be the better way to go.
For America’s 328-million souls, the “report card” is not that awful but what comes of a kind of geospatial political affliction in population affects the entire nation. Those you seem to need to label as enemies are your fellow Americans, and many among them appear to be engaging issues you just don’t want to see.
The meme’s featured fellow is actually . . . rather clean cut — great teeth, clean clothes, finely photographed!
My confession: life’s a lot cozier and secure viewing the world from my desktop as opposed (for this moment at 65+ at which I need to work on my own “fitness level” before further adventure’s forth) to playing a male Dorothea Lange — and what she saw was the economic migration out to California. However, two examples among the more brave with friends and partners: Mark Horvath documenting the homeless via his work published on Invisible People TV; veteran war photographer James Nachtwey via a Time “Special Report: The Opioid Diaries” (2018). In the world far from the armed and gated bastions of wealthy Californian conservatives — at least a few, I’m sure — “Turning Point” has a different meaning. However, there’s much more than the narcotics trade at work within California producing conditions for social ills and outbound migration. Issues: affordability, crime, desperation, greed, and — out of practical necessity as well as individual personality factors — plain old cold-shouldered inhumanity.
What is to be done?
For improved Qualities of Living (QOLs) for any Area-Squared, has to balance population with variables associated with basic physical and psychological security, and for the troubled floors of myriad urban and rural economies, the only process answer for that is to know who has come from where with what purposes at heart — know thy community — and start to encourage the development of distributed alternative resources for living reasonably, lawfully, and with hope.
I would add here the necessity of serious criminal “filtration” associated with the end-to-end channels of the Transnational Crime Industries. Suffice it to say there are currents and pools of “dark money” all over the world, and all of them scrape from off the streets of the world. With regard to that theme, BackChannels would rather write fiction.
The data provided by LAHSA showed that 31% of those leaving the shelters went back to the streets and 35% to unknown destinations. An additional 13% found other temporary housing, either with friends or family or in a program; 4% checked into a mental hospital, detox program or nursing facility; 2% went to jail; and seven — less than half a percent — died.
Fewer than half the placements in permanent housing included supportive services, such as case management and housing assistance. Most were in subsidized rentals or with family or friends.
Well, they’re not “invisible” anymore, and they’re providing impetus for innovations in basic minimum housing design, shelter placements and programs, and perhaps thinking about “client” autonomy, character, and drift.
We’re going to approach a point (here on earth — Mars seems still on some distant horizon for me) of diminishing returns for both technology and conventional “economic development”.
Someone is going to have to be visionary about a future in which the “Return on Investment” will be measured by Improved Qualities of Living (biological, financial, psychological, spiritual) x Area-Squared (or, if you prefer, Cubed). 🙂
For the present, we are all stuck between greed and human needs — and we’re being overtaken by criminality and greed.
Rome is failing.
I hope we are all tired of medieval politics.
it’s time to create something better, healthier, new.
Play with engines, life support systems, navigation, and time long enough, and for some, the future may well be on Mars.
We Earthlings, however, should we avoid the fate of the dinosaurs, expect to remain here on Earth in comparatively comfortable and secure conditions better than the baselines known to the present. More comfort, not less, please, and less conflict, God willing, as the “payment” for that nonsense continues to rise.
In the future, if we have to move people from untenable geophysical space — perhaps in relation to desertification — to more plentiful space we might be able to do that. Or we may be able to transport more of plenty to more challenged space. Why not? Perhaps some of this day’s conflict-driving cultural issues will have become archaic.
What might be the best basic “Qualities of Living”?
I’d rank “Personal Security” — or freedom from insecurity — highest on any list but leave much else to readers who have already chosen their personal areas of public battle, e.g., clean air and water, open space; durable and reliable built space; affordable, fair, and open transportation systems; affordable and reliable energy for all we humans do and need to do; political and social inclusion in stable enterprise and responsible governments; etc.
Qualities of Living x Area-Squared.
One block of urban space; a square mile of rural space; whole regions; whole states: how attractive, good, livable, survivable may the same be made on a public basis? How about a private basis, and that whether apartment, beach shack, mountain hut, or mansion?
At the moment, the “progressive” or “progressing” future seems a damaged idea as barbarism lifts off in the “New (and Fascist) Nationalism”.
However, where one sees a problem and may accurately define it, one may address the same.
We had been talking about South America, the promotion by the Left of anti-western and frequently anti-Semitic ideas.
The only defense against indoctrination: critical independent reasoning and research.
The Left leverages the sense of hardship and resentment known to “the masses” — or just plain too many people. To undermine that leverage, the responsible wealthy have indeed to program some to produce a less discomfited but more positively motivated general population.
QUALITIES OF LIVING
Physical Comfort and Security
–basic reliable clothing, food, housing
Psychological Comfort and Security
–basic responsible autonomous personal decision making: aesthetics; ethical, moral, social: dignity and freedom.
Political and Social Comfort and Security
–basic human rights and defense / freedom from criminal enterprise and intent
For the most part, those who are affluent or reliably employed enjoy the positive attributes of the above dimensions, and so much so that we don’t even think about them. We have our “basics” covered and our public security institutions and systems, so we believe, “have our backs”: we are free to be ourselves, to work as we may or must, and in a manner of our choosing.
Where the above are lacking is where the Left / Far Left finds leverage: injustice, insecurity, insolvency (III).
The three “I’s” involve always degraded personal security and the extension of that out to related family and community.
Well recognized universally: many forms of crime committed against persons may be also crimes committed against the state. In the case of murder, for example, whether or not anyone else cares about the deceased, the good state cares.
Where the state cannot defend the natural and right interests of The People — the dignity and freedom of the lawful — the Left / Far Left finds purchase in the interests of the same.
Conservatives, of course, may know abuses too but when empowered without restraint are the more likely to abuse their dependents and labor because . . . they can — too much money, narcissism, and will may produce a ferocious power giving way to the worst expression. Then “absolute power” becomes the power to visit suffering on others with impunity. In that regard, Far Left and Far Right authoritarianism bleeding into fascism may produce similar conditions, and those who would be free and possessed of dignity would from the moderate ranks rise and separate themselves from either extreme to battle back excessive political and social control and exploitation.
To translate sentiment in real political effect, I apply a banner concept: “Improving Qualities of Living” – physical, psychological, spiritual | matched to cultural expectations and potentials | measured x place x population x area x region.
“Good feeling” may not be all about economics or materials (reference: _Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes_) or perceptions having to do with dominance, but general well being and security for most humans, from rain forest to concrete canyon, is possible and much can be done to obtain some improvements globally.
I’ve wanted to establish and elaborate on a page devoted to “Qualities of Living” but doing so has proven an expanding and unwieldy blob: cultural happiness, alas, is “complex, multidimensional” and I’ve no wish to do social science with it.
Nonetheless, places may be visited in just the manner described — x area x population x culture — and some assessment made as regard to the health of the spirit of the community. As much becomes the subject of inquiry in a blog seemingly devoted to tracking conflicts and the manner in which they live in the mind.
So I will get to work on “qualities of living” as a concept and dimension those with good will may focus on while going about more specific business within the business of making things a little bit better for others on the planet.