Sunday, July 31, 2016 3:06 PM
It’s very damp and cloudy today—but not as hot, so I shouldn’t grouse. I am so glad that there’s only a hundred days or so until the election—I’m tired of being tortured by the media—no reasonable person at this point could take Trump seriously as a candidate, or even as a man—he is seriously dangerous to our mental health, never mind our country. I love Hillary—but go ahead and hate her if you must—just don’t vote for the GOP’s psychotic demagogue, please (even they don’t like him).
That’s where I am with this election—no more finely reasoned arguments, no more he said-she said—the question has been answered many times in many ways and I’m done. Trump can issue as many more lies and as much more bombast as he likes—I’m not listening anymore.
So, let’s get back to ourselves. Forget the candidates. What would I like to see happen? That’s my new question. I’d like to see us build and renovate and repair. I’d like to see us hire and train and start new businesses and invest in new things, new ideas. I’d like to see us get serious about cryptography, hacking, firewalls, malware, and all the other threats of modern business and warfare—maybe a whole new branch of our military devoted to cyber-defense, with enough funding to tempt the top mathematicians and coders to civil service.
I’d like to see better training and oversight of the police—especially in trouble zones where police brutality against minorities is endemic. I’d like to see pot legalized, and other addictions treated as illnesses, not as crimes—and I’d like to see our prison system shrink down to where it is no longer a profit-center. In fact, it would be nice if our prisons could become actual rehabilitation centers that prepare inmates for re-entry into legit public life, preferably with voting rights and a chance at employment.
I’d like to see free public health care and free tuition to local and state colleges. I’d like to see the rich have to pay more taxes—or any taxes, come to that—same with corporations. I’d like to see a full bench on the Supreme Court. I’d like to see legislators get elected who will pass laws—any laws—and it would be nice if they didn’t shut down the effing government, too—as long as I’m wishing.
I’d like to see a lot of changes in the world. But change is hard—if it wasn’t hard to change, I’ve have abs instead of a pot-belly. But I can dream, can’t I?
I’d like to see community shops that are partially social settings—places that offer internet, coffee or other beverages, newspapers, maybe hot food—places where you don’t have to buy anything to hang out there—perhaps a sort of partially public-funded ‘town square’ for the twenty-first century. Maybe there could be a bunch of low-cost housing nearby, and bus stops or subway stations. Imagine a mini-mall that’s more about community than commerce.
What choice do we have? All commerce is happening online mostly now—and, absent Pokemon Go, everybody is sitting at home. We have to find new social interactivities or we’ll all end up in closets with VR headsets our only window on reality.
And there’s something else the 21st century needs—we have to face the fact that working for a living, in an age of automation, robotics, and partial AIs, is an outmoded concept. We have to start thinking in more socialist ways—we have to accept that everybody deserves a decent life, and an occupation—even when all the old work is being done at the push of a button, and is owned by a handful of autocrats. I’ve talked about this before—it’s just common sense, with a teaspoon of extrapolation.
‘Earning one’s way’ in life is an old tradition—it won’t be easy to work out how we all live in a world where we don’t have to work—where we can’t work—and it’ll be even harder to convince the super wealthy that they don’t own the Earth or the Human Race. But I can dream, can’t I?