Monday, March 17, 2014


Over the weekend, I was reading the new issue of Time magazine, "The Ideas Issue."  I cannot remember how many Ideas issues this magazine has published in the past, but I found this one a bit underwhelming.  They offered up 10 articles by "bold thinkers" and 27 tweets.  Hmmmmm, really?  Are we so lacking in ideas to improve life on this planet?  Here are the articles that I thought provocative and worth thought:

Camille Paglia's take on reforming sex education for our children in schools.  I like her approach of acknowledging reality and then tackling the issues in straightforward, even-toned ways by putting subjects in their proper places, e.g. anatomy and reproductive biology in general biology courses.

James Dyson's idea for cleaning up our oceans by cleaning up the rivers that feed into them.

William Easterly's proposal to stop sending foreign aid to dictators.  About time, eh?  In five paragraphs he strips away all the "feel good" and political nonsense that usually attends such discussions and gets to the heart of the matter -- free development for these countries.

Yves Behar's idea of wearing sensors to monitor human physical condition all the time.  His article begins, "Chronic disease affects 2 out of 3 adults in the U.S., and...."  I think this is a truly hidden statistic because most people I know think chronic illness is actually not that common.  Sensors connected with your doctors could be valuable, but I would want to insure those sensors couldn't be hacked and my medical information remained private.

While it's interesting to see what kinds of ideas "bold thinkers" come up with, I thought it might be even more interesting to find out what readers are thinking about in bold ways.  Time invites readers to tweet their own ideas at #timeideas.  I need more than 140 characters for mine, I think.  Feel free to add your ideas in the Comments section below.

My idea concerns money.  It's something I've been thinking about for at least the last ten years, i.e. how to abolish money as the primary means of exchange, gaining influence and power, and the acquisition of wealth.  I think this is a global issue and especially affects the wealthy as well as the poor nations.  It's a complex issue, too, that involves human psychology and the fulfillment of human needs such as shelter, food, clothing, etc., economics, and what humans do daily.  I don't think there's any doubt about how the purpose of life has become skewed towards the acquisition of money because money makes possible a comfortable life, so we work to earn money to spend money to work more.  It's a hamster wheel.  As a result, people find themselves working at jobs they don't like in order to live or people who are capable and experienced but considered "old".  And then there's the issue of poverty, income inequality, greed, and terrorism based in part on wanting to bring down the wealthy oppressor nations. 

And no, I do NOT envision the end result as a Utopia.  I think what we really need to think about long and hard is the way in which we value things and if it's possible to change that way of thinking.  I see a society in which money is not a necessity because the basic needs of living a comfortable life are available to everyone no matter who you are.  We no longer need to work in order to earn money, but work in order to better life for people.  We would be valued on our contributions, not on how much we earn, how old we are, etc.  Experience would be valued as well as knowledge and wisdom.  Our reward is continued membership in the community.   

Would there still be the people who are lazy and do nothing?  Probably.  What would happen, though, if we were to start asking those people why they do nothing?  Do they feel they are not capable?  Not educated enough?  Not good enough?  Perhaps it's time to pay as much attention to psychological development as physical development of humans and work toward eradicating child abuse that produces psychologically damaged people in need of treatment as adults.  But maybe there are people who are just lazy hedonists who have nothing more to contribute to society besides children they spawn.  Am I thinking of a fundamental change in human life and intellect?  I think so. 

We need to think about revising the purpose of life.  We've let economics and money take over human life -- something we've done ourselves and so we ourselves can undo it.  It will take time -- I don't expect to see much movement on this in my lifetime especially with so many people who crave power over others in some way but we need to start thinking and talking about it.....


Daughter Number Three said...

Love this:

"Would there still be the people who are lazy and do nothing? Probably. What would happen, though, if we were to start asking those people why they do nothing? Do they feel they are not capable? Not educated enough? Not good enough?"

No one ever asks that, it seems.

Gina said...

Thanks, Daughter Number Three! Yeah, we hear a lot of condemnation of the "do nothings" but never any explanation for their behavior. We say we value human life, but our behavior demonstrates that we actually value wealth and power more.