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Elysium as a Solution ? Vol 40

February 28, 2014

If thinking of OJ reminds you of the glove, and not the juice, you must be a Boomer !

I am conflicted as to how the movie Elysium shows us Boomers as a stereotype of inequality, while also showing everyone what the unhealthy pursuit of wealth can bring a civilization. Showing a hospital unable to do what a single machine ( a medical bed in a house ) can accomplish is an interesting way to highlight technology and its accomplishments.

Boomers will see the distance between the space station Elysium and the planet Earth in many different perspectives. We recognize that a great movie director will push many themes in their films, trying to engage us on many levels. Politics, environmentalism, human rights, medicine, technology, robotics, artificial intelligence, man’s inhumanity to man, this movie packs a lot into it. Where to start !

It’s important for Boomers to see Elysium as Democratic Capitalism at its extreme, to realize that no one wants that. For example, using robots as law enforcement would elicit the wrong reactions, forcing humans into predictable ” fuck you ” patterns. By definition, we humans resist being herded – it’s probably what saved us from being the next cows, “milkers” then becoming the wealthy strata. We resist herding as we resist the bee hive, the communistic collective with major inequality.

Being a Western Boomer, but not one of the 1%, it is easy for me to imaging someone in the developing world seeing the movie and making the small leap to thinking that Elysium already exists. An Egyptian, for example, living in the rubble of their day to day existence, sees manicured lawns and day long parties as the West personified in our media. Hopefully, they see the movie as a goal to be worked for, and not as a reason for terrorism, a optimistic reason to build, not an angry reason to destroy. Also, most Boomers must see Elysium as a caricature of our lives, not real, but having tidbits of truth for us to contemplate.

Perhaps the main lesson of the movie is that Boomers need to see that we should help the rest of humanity rise above the rubble and squalor percolating through much of the planet today. Nature, and our natural instincts can, have, and will be overcome. I am not trying to get us to forget our past, on the contrary, but to remember that inequality is something inherent in nature. The fact that we see it growing every day in our society is something for us, as the dominant species on the planet, to work to resist. Our system may not be perfect, but there is no better system as successful. Look at nature, like the bee hive, and study other different successful species. Most have a very steep pyramid of society, like the one portrayed in Elysium. Since inequality is actually the major organizational focus in nature, a small narrow hierarchy can look normal.

In essence, the Elysium society while possible today, is not probably. The movie shows a natural environment, a potential progression of our society if certain conditions, like inequality and technology, continue down certain paths. Boomers would never let this set of circumstances occur, as we would all want to go to Elysium, and would fight for inclusion.

Make no mistake, just like most of the species on this planet, we humans like and want some structure ! We like a certain amount of certainty, some laws to govern our impulses, the same as all species, although our laws have evolved from a general set of natural instincts. Also, we are breeders, and recognize the need to “have a place in society” to be successful. We are physical beings, and without some structure we would otherwise kill each other if we could. We are the most successful species on the planet ( and maybe the Milky Way ), and recognize the need to be humble. We know that ‘EGO’, while a close friend, is still part of the ID and superego, so we may not know the laws, but we recognize that there must be boundaries. We realize that ‘there’, while important in its impartiality, loses to ‘their’ in its emotional quotient. We like complicated, and continually try to make things complicated, but really things are simple – ignore the marketing, the pretty hats, and see the story as it is – basic, and emotional. Lastly, we wander the whole planet, really our whole environment, not just parts we are herded into.

Is the answer to our success as a species in that we force a wide pyramid structure, an inclusive democratic system of feedback ? We know that anyone who picks a historical hierarchy of governmental structure picks the losing structure, so we have growing confidence that, for example, there is no terrorist strategy that can will win long term ( we are even co-opting your kids over to our way of thinking, something the Palestinians taught us, really ).

One should argue that looking at nature for a path forward is the wrong direction. Those are the losing conditions Boomers do not want to repeat. We must discount a cow’s instincts as a losing survival strategy. Why any elephant today is even still trying to be civil is beyond me, when they have no generational knowledge of freedom !

Boomers can and must remold the planet as we see fit. It’s only a vessel of rock, to mold as we need. We are nature’s winners, and if we need to venture off this big rock, then that is our destiny. The real question is, what are we going to conquer next, Mars ?

Perhaps a more interesting question is how we broke out of the mold, and somehow evolved to go where no other species went. How did we accomplish this evolutionary feat ? Is this another offshoot of the popular idea gaining some traction today that our learning to cook separated us from the rest of the pack ? Surely a subject for another blog.

Next on Boomers – wtf !, nudging and why its good for you !

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