Category Archives: Saving the World

This Was Your Life: The Global Warming Denier

This is the 34th episode in an ongoing series in which Loki and his supernatural friends taunt the recently deceased at the gate to the afterlife.

See who else Loki and his friends have taunted:


Modular floating islands could solve extreme poverty, refugee crises and pollution

There are currently about 100 million people who are living homeless because they had to flee a war zone, and there are just as many homeless people living in “peaceful” countries. A billion people live on less than $2.50 per day, and two more billion people live below the poverty line because they don’t have access to resources or opportunities.

Despite the world spending over $100 billion dollars on humanitarian aid and trillions more on public infrastructure, poverty is only getting worse, because traditional cities separate people from sources of jobs, food, water, utilities, entertainment and education. The current housing system is designed to make real-estate more expensive, the more conveniently located it is, which means the poorer you are, the more expensive, dangerous, discouraging, unhealthy and opportunity-less your life will be.

If every country pooled $50 trillion, they could solve extreme poverty and refugee crises by building a self-sustainable apartment complex/office building in the shape of a ring, 100 miles in diameter, where every resident will have immediate access to food, water, shelter, jobs and transportation. As long as predatory capitalists don’t take over the city and raise prices and lower wages to extortion levels, every resident would be able to live fear-free for life.

400 dollar house

A project of this size would face many hurdles. One of the biggest would be, where to build it? One solution to that problem, is to build it on water. This approach would be more expensive, but the benefits might outweigh the cost.

It wouldn’t take much engineering to build a floating city. Instead of building a huge, floating base and then putting a city on top of it, build hollow modules that connect together. Then, a big wave wouldn’t knock any houses or businesses over, because everyone would be living and working “underground.” The surface area could be used to grow food and raise animals.

All you need to make a floating house is a boat hull. You could cast them out of concrete. Engineers have been building hollow concrete boats and caissons for years.

The technology could be easily adapted to mass producing floating houses. Or you could make the hulls out of fiberglass or steel. It might be more expensive, but it would cost less to build a modular fiberglass bobber house than to build a shack in Honolulu or New York City.

Even the sturdiest buoy city would be capsized by a mega wave on the open ocean eventually, but instead of building a monolithic island in international waters, you could connect a line of modular floating homes along the coast of a relatively protected body of water, like the Caspian Sea or the Great Lakes.

If this mega structure were built in the Mediterranean Ocean, you could create a walkable path from Africa to Europe. Refugees wouldn’t use it to invade Europe, because they would already have ocean-front property and everything they need to raise a family. You could use that path as a new trade route, and the new most popular tourist destination in the world.

We wouldn’t need to fight over one location for the project. The governments of the world could build one hundred module factories around the world and gradually build a chain around every protected body of water. Life might be so idyllic, the majority of humans will flee the mainland and leave it to Mother Nature.

I believe the environmental benefit of a floating civilization would outweigh the risks. Since all the food, water and utilities would be created in-house, less packaging and transportation would be needed to get the necessities of life from their point of creation to consumption. The modules could be equipped with traps that filter pollution out of the water, and the hulls of the boats would provide new artificial reefs for fish to eat from.

This idea is crazy for being outside the norm, but not because it’s unfeasible. The richest 1,200 people in the world have over $50 trillion sitting in their bank accounts not doing anything. That’s more than enough money to house every refugee and homeless person in the world off-land. Even if governments footed the entire bill themselves, the money they’d save in humanitarian aid and social services would pay for itself quickly. Plus, it would create jobs, lower unemployment, food scarcity and realestate costs.

Sadly, that’s why the governments of the world would never conspire to build this. If governments cared about their people, they wouldn’t have invested their tax dollars on building unsustainable habitats to begin with. The rich need the poor to live in constant fear and danger, because that gives them the leverage to exploit the helpless. Our cities are designed to create scarcity, because it lowers workers’ and consumers’ bargaining power, which allows businesses to raise prices and lower wages. Extreme poverty and refugee crises exist because the global economy is designed to oppress and exploit the poor.

It’s almost impossible to get rich without gouging your customers and/or employees. So most rich people would be acting contrary to their past behavior if they donated their fortune to building a self-sustainable floating refugee camp, but there are a lot of philanthropists out there with more money than they know what to do with. Hopefully some of them find the motive to give back to the world they’ve taken so much from.

If compassion and foresight won’t compel the rich to mass-produce floating city modules, greed should. The first person to streamline the process will become the Donald Trump of the seas. After Trump runs America into the ground, building a new nation at sea might be his only hope of redemption. Granted, being the greedy sociopathic narcissist that he is, his city would probably be full of slaves serving masters. However, if he can establish and improve floating island technology, it would be worth it as proof of concept. Then better people can copy his architecture and build the humanitarian communities we’ve been waiting for.

As a compromise, an island-loving billionaire like Mark Zuckerberg, could build a modular island factory, produce a string of islands, and after all the agriculture jobs are filled, train new residents as computer programmers, give them jobs that generate a profit, and keep a portion until the cost of construction is repaid, then give the employee ownership of their module.

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How to solve extreme poverty and every refugee crises forever

The most popular Youtube vlogger is Pewdiepie, a Swedish man-child who posts videos about playing video games and acting silly in his computer room. Pewdiepie currently posts about one blog each weak, which means, in the time between each of his posts, at least 1,900 civilians died horrible war-related deaths somewhere in the world, and that’s a very conservative estimate.

The civilians who survive these conflicts are only technically lucky. Over 22 million people are living in foreign countries right now because they’ve had to flee the apocalyptic death, destruction and destitution in their birth-land. That’s not counting the 65 million people who have fled their homes but haven’t left their country. This means there are about 100 million people who are homeless because they would die if they went home.

That number doesn’t count the 100 million people in the world who are just old-fashioned homeless, or the 1.3 billion people who have homes and jobs but are working themselves to death while starving in a shit-covered tin hut with no water, electricity or sanitation.

In conflict zones, it’s hard to get real numbers how many people are suffering, but we know that over 3 billion people live on under $2.50 per day. These statistics don’t highlight a few isolated travesties. Almost half the population of the world lives in extreme poverty, and there are still several billion more who make more than $2.50 per day and live below the poverty level.

Basically, if you have running water, air conditioning, heat, a bed, pornography and an education, you’re one of the most privileged people in the entire world. Drop to your knees and thank God if  the worst problem in your life is that nobody loves you.

If you factor in all the money countries and nongovernment agencies spend on humanitarian aid each year, the cost easily eclipses $100 billion dollars each year. The world could afford to spend more money to fight poverty, but it spends over $2 trillion on the militaries which are displacing people. So tax payers are spending more money on creating humanitarian crises than solving them.

We already spends trillions of dollars every year on infrastructure that is supposed to help people live functionally, but it hasn’t solved the problem because it addresses the problem in a round about way that creates more problems than it solves. All the roads, plumbing and power lines haven’t saved the poor in Detroit or any other major city in the world.

This makes the problem seem unsolvable, but the solution is really very simple. All people need to be happy and healthy are food, clothing, shelter, water, electricity, jobs, transportation and access to markets. If you built a ring-shaped apartment complex with 100 million condos and offices, then dug a man-made river encircling the entire building and used that to water gardens and orchards, you could give the people living there agriculture jobs and a never-ending supply of food and water.

With those problems solved, some workers could specialize in other jobs, which they could reach by walking across the hallway in their apartment complex. Every business would be connected by one road that would never get congested. The bigger you make the diameter of the circular building, the more external markets it would have access to.

Basically, the complex would operate like a secular monastery the size of a major city. You could also think of it as a permanent, self-sustaining refugee camp. As long as the residents don’t have to pay rent, receive an equitable percentage of the profits their work produces, and aren’t overcharged for the goods and services the monastery sells, then everyone will always have everything they need, and nobody would live in destitution or fear thereof.

How would you pay for such a mega project, and who would build it?  It costs about $120 per square foot to build a traditional house, but if you built the refugee camp/monastery using earthbags, you could bring the construction cost down as low as $10 per square foot. Since all that dirt will need to be dug up anyway, you can use the dirt from digging the reservoir/water channel/moat around the complex.

It would take thousands, if not millions of people to build a structure the length of a small country, but earthbag construction is relatively simple. You could simply have the 100 million refugees do the work and then move into the home they built when they’re done. Then they would have a sense of ownership, pride and shared identity with their fellow coworkers/neighbors.

The richest 1,400 people in the world have $5.4 trillion dollars just sitting in their bank accounts, not doing anything. If each apartment unit in the earthbag megastructure is 500 square feet and costs $10 per square foot, you could build 1 billion, eighty-five million units with $5.4 trillion. This figure doesn’t take all the building costs into account, but to put this in perspective, it costs $1 billion per mile to dig an underground tunnel to reduce traffic congestion. You could build a mile of earthbag apartments with a road, gardens, utilities and an aquaduct for far less than $1 billion per mile, especially if you built it in the middle of Africa, Russia or China where property values are low.

We have the money to end extreme poverty in less than five years. We just need to stop spending it on constructing and repairing inefficient cities full of economic dead zones, and build a mega-home that fills all its residents’ basic needs.

The picture below has the aquifer in the center of the building instead of a moat around it, but it still illustrates my proposal.

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How to Survive the Trumpocalypse

how to survive the trumpocalypse

I compiled a collection of blogs I’ve written into an E-book entitled “How to Survive the Trumpocalypse,” which is available on Amazon. Below is the introduction and links to all of the blogs:

INTRODUCTION

This book is a collection of essays I posted my blog, TheWiseSloth.com, between 2010 and 2016. The tagline of the website is, “Enlightenment for the masses,” and its mission statement is, “to provide editorial, philosophical, instructional, inspirational and satirical posts in the form of essays, lists, comics, and fiction, which tend to be irreverent, humorous and controversial.”

I choose the topics I write about by asking myself, “What are the most important questions people need answers to?” So I’ve spent years writing about the root causes of people’s biggest problems, which often boil down to politics and economics.

When major events happen in the world, readers will E-mail me to ask for my perspective, and during the 2016 presidential primaries, I received several requests to explain the candidates and the election in general. In response I wrote three essays and three comics analyzing the candidates and the political process. In them I predicted Hillary Clinton would be America’s next president, and I only planned on writing one blog about her victory, because I didn’t have anything to say about her that I hadn’t already said about Barack Obama.

I’d never considered writing a blog about Trump’s presidency, because he was just a bad joke that got taken too far. Then, all of a sudden the joke turned real and wasn’t funny anymore. The internet buzzed for days after the election with people asking what it means that Trump won. How did it happen? What will he do next? What do we do next? Nobody had any idea, myself included. I needed answers to these questions for my own closure.

Initially, I assumed I’d be able to cover the topic in two or three posts, but the end of the rabbit hole turned out to be ten blogs deep. The first four attempted to explain what it means that Trump is president. The last six answered the question, “What should we do about Trump?”

By the time I finished, I realized I had enough content on an important enough topic to make a short book, but after compiling the blogs, I felt the finished product raised more questions than it answered, such as, “How did this happen? What are the stakes? What would happen if we did nothing? Why was I wrong about Hillary Clinton? How far can we question the government? What else can we do?” Since I had already written dozens of posts over the years addressing those questions, I went back and added them to complete the narrative.

The blogs aren’t listed in the chronological order they were written, but each chapter heading includes the date it was originally posted on The Wise Sloth and how many days that was before or after November 9th, 2016, the day of the Trumpocalypse.

Since the essays were originally written to stand alone, some of the information in them is repeated, but it’s presented from different angles in different contexts, which shows how it fits in the bigger picture.

“How to Survive the Trumpocalypse” is divided into seven sections: “Obama’s legacy,” “The root of America’s problem, “What poverty looks and feels like,” “Problems in American culture,” “The Trumpocalypse,” “The moral imperative of civil disobedience” and “What do we do now?”

The book begins with three essays written about/during, Obama’s presidency, because I want to establish immediately that Trump is just a symptom of a bigger problem, which is that America has taken capitalism to its most predatory extreme. All of the essays in the next three sections illustrate how, for the poorest of the poor, life in America has been apocalyptic since 1776.

The “Trumpocalypse” section, which includes all the essays I wrote about/during the 2016 presidential election, leads to the conclusion the reason November 9th, 2016 is such a significant date, is because it was the day America’s economic/political system reached its inevitable conclusion by crowning a corrupt, unqualified, mentally unstable billionaire as its supreme leader. In other words, the system officially endorsed the root of the problem to be the solution.

The government crossed a line allowing Trump to become president. Worst case scenario, the Trumpocalypse was an official declaration of war on the poor. Best case scenario, it was a confession of failure. Either way, now more than ever, every American needs to reassess their perception of reality and start thinking and acting differently, which is why I included the section about civil disobedience.

The solutions I propose in the final section are far-fetched, but I didn’t set the bar so high because I’m naïve. I did it because America has a drastic problem that requires drastic solutions, and lowering the bar isn’t one of them.

My goal isn’t to convince you to believe everything I say. I just want to educate and inspire you. I use a conversational tone and try to inject humor and wit while discussing big topics so you’ll be more likely to read the entire book, think about America’s problems differently and look for solutions nobody has thought of yet.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 Obama’s Legacy 

1. Americans, You’re Not Represented In The 2012 Presidential Election
2. What Four More Years Of Obama Means
3. Why Obamacare Made Me Facepalm

The root of America’s problem

4. The Fundamental Problem With The Economy
5. The Cost/Benefit Analysis of Economic Oppression
6. The Downside of Economic Growth
7. Poverty Is The Root Of The World’s Biggest Problems, And Predatory Capitalism Is the Root Of Poverty
8. What’s Wrong With America’s Tax System
9. The Legacy Of A Billionaire
10. Seven Steps To Becoming A Billionaire

What poverty looks and feels like

11. Why Are Americans So Violent And Unhappy?
12. Life Is Hard Because The System Is Inhumane, Not Because We’re Weak
13. You Might Be Depressed Because The System Sucks, Not Because You Suck
14. What It’s Like To Be Poor
15. The Lottery Is A Microcosm of America
16. Advice For Young Workers
17. How To Escape Poverty
18. Is It Lazy To Not Want To Work?
19. How Predatory Capitalism Warps The Way We Define Maturity
20. This Is How We Live Now: Part 1
21. This Is How We Live Now: Part 2
22. This Is How We Live Now: Part 3

Problems in American culture

23. It’s Time To Stop Guilt Tripping Poor People Into Saving The Environment
24. How Pop Culture Warps Our Perception of Reality
25. You’re Delusional If You Still Believe America Is The Land Of The Free
26. Americans Need To Learn The Difference Between Socialism, Communism And Capitalism
27. The Issue of Race In The Occupy Wall Street Movement
28. A White Man Explains The Context Of The Black Lives Matter Movement
29. It’s Time To Stop Guilt Tripping White People
30. American Cops Are Delusional If They Can’t Understand Why Civilians Hate Them
31. An Intervention With The Police
32. We Need To Talk About Ordering Cops To Beat Up Protesters
33. My Experience With The TSA
34. Is It Moral For Police To Enforce Laws They Believe Are Unjust?

The Trumpocalypse

35. Right Wing Entertainment News Is Making America Worse
36. What I Think Of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton And Bernie Sanders
37. Why It’s Delusional To Vote In America’s 2016 Presidential Primaries
38. Why The 2016 Presidential Primaries Should Make Us All Sad And Scared
39. Why Did Americans Vote For Trump?
40. What Will Trump Do Now That He’s President?
41. Why I’m Glad Trump Won
42. Why Americans Shouldn’t Accept Trump As President
43. How Donald Trump changed my understanding of American politics

The moral imperative of civil disobedience

44. Patriotism Is Not A Virtue
45. Why You Should Not Have Faith In Your Government
46. Why And When You Should Have A Problem With Authority
47. Self-Subjugation Is Not A Virtue

What do we do now?

48. What Should Foreigners Do About Trump?
49. What Should Republicans And Democrats Do About Trump?
50. What Should Racists Do About Trump?
51. What Should Cultural Isolationists Do About Trump?
52. What Should Minorities Do About Trump?
53. What Should Rich People Do About Trump?
54. The Cost/Benefit Analysis of Terrorism
55. Three Things That Won’t Change America, And Six That Will
56. Ten Solutions To Most Of America’s Problems
57. Collapse Is The Product of Unsustainability. Sustainability Is The Product Of Sustainability
58. Why I’m Not Sure We Need Another Occupy Wall Street Style Protest
59. Our Political Model Won’t Change Until Our Economic Model Changes
60. The Quality Of Our Leaders Reflects The Quality Of Our Higher Education System
61. It’s Time To Stop Oppressing The Academically Disinclined
62. A Novel Approach To Taxing The Rich
63. If You Want Everyone To Vote, Then Make Voting Work For Everyone
64. The World Won’t Get Better Until You Stop Being A Consumer Whore
65. The World Won’t Get Better Until You Stop Being A Vidiot
66. Why The World Sucks And How To Save It
67. We Need To Talk About Utopia
68. Conservative Americans, You Don’t Need To Overthrow Your Government To Make The World A Better Place
69. An Open Letter To Generation X
70. My One Point Solution To The World’s Problems


A white man explains the context of the Black Lives Matter movement

Black Lives Matter is an activist movement, originating in the African-American community, that campaigns against violence toward black people. BLM regularly organizes protests around the deaths of black people in killings by law enforcement officers, and broader issues of racial profiling, police brutality, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system.” Wikipedia

Like Wikipedia’s definition, most media coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement focuses on the issue of cops killing black men and vice versa, which could mislead foreign observers to conclude police brutality is the crux of the issue. More accurately, it’s the straw that broke the camel’s back. Black Lives Matter is a new banner for an old movement, and if you want to understand the movement today, you have to know its historical roots.

The African American community has been justifiably simmering with resentment and anger since the 1600s. Being a second class citizen will do that to you. Even after the emancipation of slavery in 1863, Jim Crow laws continued justifying blacks’ antipathy towards the American government (and the white people who ran/supported it) until those laws were abolished in the 1950s. Then it still took until the 1990s for discrimination to be completely criminalized.

This puts American race relations in an awkward position today. There are white Millennials who never lived during a time when discrimination was legal. Simultaneously, there are elderly blacks who still remember being forced to drink from segregated water fountains.

So to white children, the struggle for equality can look like ancient history, but in the black community, the wounds of the past are still fresh, and new ones are being created every day. Even though we now live in a time when African Americans can become celebrities, billionaires or even the president of the United States (twice), at least 27% of African Americans still live in poverty, more than any other race in America. Blacks are also at least 3 times more likely to go be shot by police and at least 5 times more likely to go to prison than any other race. Obviously, something is still wrong.

The murders of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin, which inspired the Black Lives Matter movement, blew the problem to the forefront of the national dialogue by dumping fuel onto a 400 year old tire fire of resentment and anger that has been a part of African American culture so long, it has become a cornerstone of their cultural identity, which you can see erupting throughout black culture.

Black comedians habitually fill standup routines and movies with derogatory jokes about white people. Black people call each other “nigger” to spite white people by taking ownership of the term, and despite their intolerance of racial slurs, they’ve invented a whole slew of Caucasian ones they use openly. Black Christian preachers still lecture congregations about how evil the white man is. There are black-only magazines, holidays, music labels, television stations, clubs and clothing lines that blacks use to distance themselves from whites. White racism is such a strong force in the African American community, members are often punished for acting too white. To the extent a black man is likely to be hassled by the cops if caught in all-white neighborhood after dark, a white man caught in an all-black neighborhood after dark is likely to be killed.

With so much bad blood bottled up, anyone paying attention to the history and institutionalization of black backlash wouldn’t have been surprised when, on July 8th 2016, a Black Lives Matter protester shot 14 police officers, killing 5, and admitted he was “targeting white people, specifically white officers.” The shooting didn’t come out of nowhere, and realistically, we can expect more of the same until black America’s grievances are settled.

Many white American Millennials are surprised black people have so much animosity towards them, because they’ve spent their entire lives apologizing to them, treating them with respect, giving them special privileges and walking on egg shells around all minorities. They’ve grown up celebrating black celebrities, making black friends, living with black roommates, obeying black bosses and voting for black politicians. Yet, for all their efforts, they’ve been told that no matter what they do or think, it’s impossible for white people to not be racist. So they’ll always be presumed guilty of subconscious racist microaggressions. Furthermore, white guilt is a form of racism, and it’s impossible for black people to be racist.

If the white population is sitting around subconsciously conspiring to oppress black people, then why do least 26.6% of Mexican Americans live in poverty, which is within 1% of African Americans? Other estimates put the percentages of African Americans and Mexican Americans living in poverty at 38% and 35% respectively, but that still means there are more Mexican Americans living in poverty than African Americans.

If nothing else, this indicates blacks aren’t exactly being singled out. It also raises the question, if anyone should care about blacks lives, then isn’t it equally important for blacks to care about Hispanic lives? Even if blacks are slightly more oppressed, ignoring the plight of Hispanics, and calling dibs on the first place in line to get saved, is just as callous as ignoring the suffering of poor Asian Americans, and putting them third in line just because a higher percentage of Mexican Americans live in poverty.

Poverty isn’t just for minorities either. While at least 3.6 million black children live in poverty, so do at least 4.2 million white children, and their pain is as real and important as anyone else’s. The fact that a bunch of other random people just happened to be born with the same skin color as them doesn’t negate their plight.

Most impoverished white children will never recover physically or emotionally enough from the trauma of growing up poor to escape poverty. Like their black counterparts, they’re only theoretically eligible to become president someday, but for all practical purposes, they’re doomed at birth to work like slaves their entire lives for barely enough to survive, living perpetually paycheck to paycheck, in constant fear of their car breaking down and wiping out their entire life savings. Their employers, and the customers they serve, treat them like second class citizens, and all the hard living they endure, inevitably takes its toll on their bodies, killing them prematurely.

If black people feel like nobody is listening to their cries, imagine how ignored poor white people feel. Not only does nobody care, but the whole world is explosively passionate about their indifference, especially blacks, who should care, because it raises the question, how can white people be the source of oppression when whites are being oppressed by the millions?

Black people should be equally concerned with the fact that police kill twice as many whites as blacks. If there’s a conspiracy to shoot black people, what purpose does the enormous pile of white bodies serve? Police killings shouldn’t be a divisive issue, because black and white victims are two sides of the same coin. Black and white Americans should be complaining about their piles together.

As important as it is for Black Lives Matter to raise awareness of how far blacks are from achieving the American Dream, the movement also needs to raise awareness in the black community of the long-ignored truth that white people don’t live in Whitopia. Rich people do. Everyone else, regardless of color, are varying degrees of wage slaves living in varying degrees of ghettos.

Take a long moment and think about this: Almost half the children in America live near the poverty line, and the percentage is always growing, which proves America has a systemic problem, but it’s not race-related. Every poor person in America is under the same boot. Only acknowledging one race’s plight is myopic and can only make solving the systemic problem less likely.

This is almost beating a dead horse, because Black Lives Matters organizers have already acknowledged all lives matter and clarified it’s nevertheless time for America to get off the pot and do something about their complaints.

yes black lives matter

A Redditor summarized the concept eloquently, “Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don’t get any. So you say “I should get my fair share.” And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, “everyone should get their fair share.” Now, that’s a wonderful sentiment — indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad’s smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn’t solve the problem that you still haven’t gotten any!”

The analogy would be more accurate if it read, “Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family. Your uncle gives half the people at the table less than half a portion, but he gives you the least. Then, he keeps most of the food for himself. So you say, “I should get my fair share.” When everybody else says, “What about our empty plates?” You say, “Your plates aren’t the issue. Mine is.” Your comment dismissed everyone and didn’t solve the problem that half the people at the table are starving.

If everyone in America owes it to African Americans to acknowledge their suffering, then African Americans owe it to all of America’s races to acknowledge theirs. As it stands, blacks are demanding everyone reach out to them with an open hand while they hold a closed fist and belligerently refuse to reciprocate what they’re asking for.

Ultimately, every race in America has the same problem. The best way to solve it might not be for everyone to get behind one race, but for every race to get behind each other. Instead of singling one race out for rescue, everyone works in tandem as a unified front.

But before the black community can accept that, someone needs to answer the million dollar question you’ve probably been screaming the whole time you’ve been reading this:

Why are African Americans disproportionately screwed by the system, and is it racially motivated?

Obviously, before the Emancipation Proclamation, the American government, in tandem with the white population, intentionally conspired against, and oppressed, blacks. White Americans born between 1863 and the 1960s were guilty of gradually lesser degrees of conspired oppression. Baby Boomers were the last generation to live in a time with discriminatory laws, and a significantly low number of white Boomers’ decedents still believe in racist creeds. Any conspiracy to oppress blacks ended with the Millennial generation.

Part of the reason it looks like blacks are still being singled out is because the target was taken off their backs about 20 years ago. The white archer is gone, but the arrow is still freshly lodged in the victim’s body.

The arrow is a metaphor for the ghetto. That’s what’s responsible for African Americans’ disproportionately high rates of poverty, violent crime, incarceration and police altercations. The simplest way to explain why/how is by looking at how the same thing happened in other racial ghettos.

The Native Americans, the native Hawaiians of Oahu, and the Maori people of New Zealand were all forcibly relocated off their tribal lands to isolated geographical locations. Since they’d naturally settled in the most fertile, convenient places before white men came along, they were sent to more inconvenient, inhospitable areas. They still could have lived off the land as they always had. It would have been tougher, but they could have made a go of it, but they didn’t have a chance, because capitalists (who just happened to be white) came and introduced the concepts of money and ownership.

Suddenly, everything cost as much money as possible, and the only way to make money was to own a business or work for a business. But employers paid as low of wages as they could get away with, and it costs money to start a business. Even if a Native American, Hawaiian or Maori could start their own business, it would be in an isolated economic wasteland where none of their customers had any money because there weren’t enough jobs to go around. Relocating was easier said than done, because that required money they didn’t have, and more importantly, abandoning their family, culture and heritage.

Once all the land around their homesteads were developed into suburbs with no jobs, options became even more scarce. The higher businesses raised prices, the more the ethnic poor became hopelessly chained in place with debt. The bleakness of their circumstance became a perfect recipe for stress, hopelessness, depression, anxiety, resentment, anger, desperation, violence and drug abuse, all of which became epidemic in their communities.

Since businesses didn’t want to move into areas where people were being driven to extremes by economic oppression, jobs never came to their ghettos, which meant they would always be opportunity-less economic wastelands full of drug addicts who gave up hope and desperate young men who figured out crime pays limitlessly more than minimum wage.

That’s the story of every ghetto in the world, and that’s what happened to African Americans the moment they were settled into theirs. Anyone of any color who lives in those geographical locations will experience the same thing, but not because any racist mastermind is actively tinkering with their lives. The concrete does all the work.

This is why attacking police officers and white people won’t change anything. It doesn’t create job opportunities or lower the cost of living. If the Black Lives Matter movement never amounts to anything more than a white witch hunt, its momentum will be wasted lynching scapegoats, and its only long-term impact will be to distract poor Americans from the real source of their problems: America’s predatory financial system and its control of the government. Until that’s addressed, most Americans, particularly anyone living in a ghetto, can expect to live in poverty and suffer all the horrific consequences that come with it… together.

White people aren’t the enemy. CEOs are. They were the ones who owned the cotton plantations and had the capital to ship slaves across the Atlantic ocean. They were the archers who put the target on African Americans backs. Now America has billionaire CEOs of every color, even black ones, oppressing their wage slaves indiscriminately. To modern business owners, everyone is a disposable resource who is worth less than the products they make.

Since Caucasians are the largest group of poor people in America, they’re actually the most logical ally (and most illogical enemy) for the Black Lives Matter movement in its struggle against the financial system.

However, joining forces with white people to organize bigger protests will only result in the corporate-controlled government deploying bigger columns of riot police to brutally shut down the assemblies the same way they did the Occupy Wall Street movement, which was mostly white. If protesters respond to violence with violence, the only result will be the government justifying further militarization of the police force and erosion of everyone’s civil rights.

The American government doesn’t care about protests. All it cares about is money, because money is power, debt is slavery, and debt-slavery yields the highest, most long term profit (ergo power) margins.

If the poor can pool their resources and build self-sufficient communities that provide free food, water and shelter to its members, then the rich will lose their leverage over the poor and thus their control.

If Americans can coerce their government into prioritizing spending taxes on the necessities of life for all citizens instead of a more high tech police state, then everyone will be free from the desperation and indignity of poverty.

There are multiple approaches that could work, but the goal of the Black Lives Matter movement must be systemic financial reform or it’s just hacking at the branches of income inequality.

If you want to hear about Black Lives Matter from the black point of view, listen to these men:

 

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Wisdom is asking the most important questions, and it’s a moral imperative.

Knowledge is having the right answer to a question. Wisdom is figuring out the right answer to the right question. The more you know, the wiser you can become, but until you use a piece of knowledge in a question, it’s just inert information in a data set waiting to be queried. You have to ask yourself questions and use the knowledge in your brain as the variables in the equations in order for your knowledge to serve a purpose.

The more important the question, the more valuable it, and the knowledge required to answer it, becomes, but tallying the sum total of your knowledge is futile. The only thing that really matters is you came up with the best answer to the best question to have the most positive affect on your life. If you’re doing that, then you’re moving forward in life and shouldn’t have time to rest on your laurels anyway.

You can appear wise if you happen to know the right answer to a lot of random questions, but if the question is unimportant, then the only people who would praise you for mastering futility are fools. That’s not the definition of genius. That’s the definition of insanity.

Nobody will ever ask you all the most important questions in life. You’re the only one who can do that for you. If you don’t make a habit out of asking yourself, “What is the most important question I can ask?” then you’re a ship lost at sea, not because you can’t sail, but because you don’t.

Wise people appear to be two steps ahead of everyone else because they’ve already asked themselves the most important questions before they came up, and they’re focused and driven because it doesn’t take external motivation to do what’s most important to you. Far from needing a push, you’ll make excuses to justify doing what’s really most important to you. It takes motivation to act against your beliefs. That’s why there are so many backsliding religious people. Religion is hard to do because it requires a lot of cognitive dissonance to believe in something that fails the test of truth.

Since thinkers have already taken it upon themselves to thoroughly question what’s logically most important in life, they’re more likely to be working towards a logical end goal. People who don’t make a habit of asking themselves, “What’s most important in life?” are unlikely to be toiling towards or defending a logical goal. That’s ultimately how you measure the difference between wisdom and foolishness: by the value of the end goal. You can accomplish everything you set out to by being clever as a fox, but if your goals are unimportant, then you’re just the world’s sharpest fool.

So ask yourself, “What’s the most important question I can ask?” Think about that for the rest of your life. While you’re doing it, bear in mind, the only way to answer a question is to ask more questions, and the more skilled you are at asking questions, the better answers you can deduce. So initially, the most important question you can ask yourself is, “How do you ask a question?” Like most questions, there are a lot of answers, and some are more useful than others. If you need a place to start, I wrote a guide which offers one perspective, and there are thousands more  on Amazon.

As you question your way to enlightenment, you’d be wise to question your answers. Our brains trip us up with schemas, biases, logical fallacies, and all sorts of other reasons to be irrational. To make enlightenment more difficult, many of life’s questions have multiple right answers. Some questions have answers that can’t be proven, but have to be asked anyway. And the most important question you can ask right now may not be the same as anyone else. Plus, no matter how much we learn about life, our understanding will always be at least 99.9% incomplete.

We’re all on lost on our own seemingly futile journey customized to our own life, but we’re also all in the same boat. We’re studying the same data set and sharing the stakes. So a lot of our goals/questions will line up. Sometimes corroborating your answers with someone else is proof you’re on the right track. Other times it’s a sign we’re all making the same mistake.

One thing most of us can agree on is, if a lion is charging at you, then the most important question you can ask yourself is, “How do I not get eaten by this lion?” because if you die, then you’re out of the game. So to the extent that life is valuable, it’s important for you to ask yourself, “Am I about to die?” If the answer is “yes,” then the next most important question you can ask is, “How can I prevent that?” If the answer to the first question was “no,” then the next question you need to ask is, “Are other people about to die, and if so, how can I prevent that without getting myself killed in the process?”

You may be a murderous psychopath who views other humans as soulless piles of atoms, or you may be a sociopath who measures the value of others by how you can use them to get what you want. You may be a religious zealot who measures the value of other people by how many of your favorite prophet’s rules they break, or you may be an abused, broken child in an adult’s body, who hates the world for everything it’s done to you. No matter what you think of anyone else, the bigger picture is that we’re all in this together. It takes a collaborative effort to advance humanity. The more people die, the fewer allies we have to accomplish mankind’s long-term goals. We can’t survive, let alone colonize new planets with utopian village theme parks if we don’t work together, but first we have to save each other.

We all need to survive, and right now the sky is looming with apocalyptic threats so obvious you can’t take your eyes off them. The answer to the question, “Is something coming to kill us?” is “Yes.”

I’ll save you some time decoding the matrix of cluster fucks that are strangling the world. The lynchpin of the world’s problems is poverty. Understand that and everything else will fall into perspective. Fix it, and all its satellite problems will fall away.

But what happens after we fix all the world’s problems and establish utopian settlements on Mars? What’s the next most important question we should ask ourselves then? We’ll see when we get there, but one question we should be prepared to ask is, “What’s the greatest threat to the perfect world?”

It would be logical to prepare ahead of time for an asteroid or futuristic Hitler, but the root of all evil is ignorance. If you build a perfect city and fill it with fools, the first thing they’d do is tear it all down with sincerely good intentions. We’ll never live in anything resembling utopia until everyone is wise. That doesn’t mean we all agree on the same answers, just that we’re all talented, self-driven question-askers who are asking ourselves the most important questions.

Before we become wise enough to live in utopia though, we have become wise enough to create it. Plus, if we all became as genius as possible, we wouldn’t even need to solve half the world’s problems, because we’d be smart enough to not do those stupid things in the first place. This means, the most important thing we can do to create and protect utopia is to learn new things and ask new questions today. The better learning resources we have, the faster and further we can improve ourselves.

This means it’s of paramount importance everyone do something to improve education. There are some free online schools, that could use donations, but every nation in the world should be putting money in a single fund to create one online school with the budget of a small country. If your politician isn’t talking about something like that, you should tell them to start or replace them with someone who does.

With or without the perfect education tool, it’s still up to the individual to decide to teach themselves by any means necessary. It’s a moral imperative everyone asks themselves every day, “What’s the most important thing I can teach myself today?” because you won’t grow until you do, and when you don’t grow, the world doesn’t either. The less you grow, the more the world is full of idiots.

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It’s worth speculating what would you do if you became an uberman and all the world’s problems were solved. What’s the most important question you can ask when there’s no threat to distract you… or when death is unavoidable? You’re here, and you’re going to die eventually. There’s more to life than just surviving and preparing. If you only live for tomorrow, you put off living indefinitely. There’s value in the moment, and there’s value to who you are independent from what you can do for society.

Whoever you become is who you have to live with. Who you are is how you experience reality right now, and for the rest of the fleeting moments in your life regardless of anything going on anywhere outside your skin. There’s no point training to be the perfect problem solver, student, worker, artist, citizen or parent if you’re not becoming the perfect you. I could be wrong, but sooner or later, the most important question you can ask yourself may be, “How do I become more me?”

What do you do after that? Well, if you can be your favorite you in the present moment, then afterwards, you’ll have the perfect past to look back on.

Everything I’ve said up to this point may feel more like a guilt trip than an inspirational speech. Nobody can just jump up, become an ubermensch and build an intergalactic empire, but I’m not begging or demanding you to carry a burden. I’m pointing out what an opportunity life is. Every question you ask is a step forward, and the more steps you take, the farther you get. Climbing that mountain yields at least three rewards: the experience of the journey, getting to see above the clouds and being able to say you did it. That’s life, and it doesn’t happen on accident.`

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