Tag Archives: facebook

My cat liberates me from the machine

Technology often separates rather than brings people together.

I wrote this blog post whilst being hassled by my cat Pebbles, who is going nuts for the juicy meal I am eating and sharing with her.  Machines can never beat relationships with a living being.

I wrote this blog post whilst being hassled by my cat Pebbles, who is going nuts for the juicy meal I am eating and sharing with her. Machines can never beat relationships with a living being.

The cat stood on my laptop, then curled up, went to sleep.  I was working at that laptop until that moment.  I looked at the contented sleeping surreal furry thing that ended my ability to work at my computer moments before.  It was cold and the animal used the laptop as a warm place to sleep.  Rather than tapping at plastic keys I was stroking the fur of a living creature.

The sleeping animal on my laptop offered to me an opportunity to reflect upon our love for technology against our relationships with living people and creatures.  The dependency for social media to connect seems to drive people further apart, a growing attitude that relationships separated and run through a gadget or website, managed, controlled and run at the individuals own convenience is now considered normal.

Modern society drives families, friends and communities apart, glued together by a text message, Facebook page and Skype, monitored, recorded and then used against everyone by government and corporate to control and manipulate society.  Gone are the days of letter and telephone to connect loved ones, such actions involved intimacy and work, too much for many people who run their relationships on the fly between the events of their fast paced daily life, now it is instant, public, with little thought or work involved.

Few people experience liberation from the machine by their cat sitting and falling asleep on their laptop, but for me the sleeping cat offered me a reminder, which I shall never forget, that the relationship with living people and creatures is more interesting than through machines.

The question of liberty, control and censorship

Using choice expresses liberty rather than censorship.

Amber my garden fox enjoyed the liberty of choice to come and go from my garden, but there are conditions, such as not eating the cat.

Amber my garden fox enjoyed the liberty of choice to come and go from my garden, but there are conditions, such as not eating the cat.

Because Facebook is happy to host content involving the torture of animals I closed my Facebook account, a subject I wrote about on Liberated Way here and here.  Paul Handover of Learning from Dogs indicated he was closing his Facebook account over the content on animal torture on Facebook, and said why in his own article, suggesting readers might consider doing the same thing. Patrice Ayme in his WordPress article condemned me and Paul Handover as supporting censorship by closing our accounts with Facebook, which brings me to my views on censorship, liberty and control.

Censorship is an action associated with the filtering or blocking of information of any form.  Censorship is a tool, it is neither good or bad, but people use censorship for beneficial or harmful purposes.

As an individual I am making no attempt at control of Facebook, neither telling it how to behave or what to moderate.  I am invoking the liberty of personal choice to disassociate myself as a consumer or user of Facebook because its policy on showing content of animal torture are against my personal values.  I and my corporate business has policies that reject association with those that mistreat or promote animal mistreatment.  Paul Handover and others like him have their own reasons for closing their accounts with Facebook, but they are all invoking liberty of personal choice.

The individual has two key powers of change in this world, one is by setting an example, the second is by making active choices of what we will support.  Those people or groups with no support die, the power I and others invoked by choosing to close our accounts with Facebook weakens it, and if lots of users abandoned Facebook then it will panic and consider a change of direction.  Taking responsibility and making positive choices as to what the individual will support is liberty instead of censorship.

My business has intervention policies which means it does not intervene in forcing control on individuals, groups, communities, corporates or nation states, but it will invoke choice never to associate with them if they for instance mistreat animals or indigenous people such as the Sami.  The policies form a business contract with my suppliers, investors and customers so that they are clear in their minds that in order to do business with me there are values I expect from them.  In the same manner Facebook could change its terms and conditions to ban content of the torture of animals; rather than a form of censorship, the users agree a business contract before posting to Facebook so they understand in order to use a business service that such content is unacceptable. Potential customers of my business retain the liberty of personal choice, if they mistreat animals they will have to go elsewhere to do business, I do not control anyone, they agree a set of values in a business contract or don’t do business with me.

Caring about animal welfare

As individuals it is down to us to look after animals.

I define sustainability as action in harmony with nature, which includes how I or my business treat animals.

I define sustainability as action in harmony with nature, which includes how I or my business treat animals.

As so-called consumers each of us influence how government or corporate treats animals.  Tesco, a British food retail corporate, planned to shoot a wild bird flying around one of its shops, but a consumer outcry forced it to use alternative capture methods.  I could have stopped buying from Tesco had it shot the bird.

For six months I have been experimenting with a Facebook account in order to stay in contact with the creative industry in my town of Colchester.  This experiment came to an end today when I closed my Facebook account due to Facebook allowing content associated with the torture of animals.

My personal company now has an animal policy which means it will refuse to work with either customers, suppliers or investors who causes or supports the suffering of animals.  One potential customer I will refuse to work with under this policy is Colchester Zoo which for instance unnecessarily in my opinion shot three wolves last year that it allowed to escape.  In addition my company might employ animals rather than machines in some of its activities, and such animals would be treated as like an employee, with a focus on positive incentives, health and happiness of the animal.

Personal space is sacred

Personal space is: body; mind; life; home and personal information.

A cat reminds me personal space is sacred.

A cat reminds me personal space is sacred.

The cat was doing what cats like doing, grooming herself.  The man dumped an apple next to her, and pointed a camera into her face, “smile he said.”  If looks could kill…

I admit I have the same feelings as the cat Pebbles if a random stranger points a camera or smartphone in my direction, I feel a sense of personal violation.  I take personal space seriously, and I defend it aggressively.

A police force in Britain has become the first to trial the latest face recognition software, so that you are identified on CCTV instantly, and linked in seconds to a wide range of government, spy and corporate databases.  You purchased a chocolate cookie, the CCTV spots you and informs your health insurance company, which instantly texts your cellphone that your insurance premium has gone up.  Facebook in a few years will roll out its software that can instantly identify and link photos on the internet; your employer, friends, parents or customers can instantly by pointing their smartphone at your face pull in every photo ever stored on the internet about you.  Scary.

The total invasion of personal space has become a socially acceptable situation for both government, corporate and the citizen.  Pebbles my cat reminds me that at least one little creature holds her personal space as sacred.

Graves in a wood

Nothing lasts but a legacy useful to the living.

Forgotten graves in a wood, the church is long gone.

Forgotten graves in a wood, the church is long gone.

I cycled out to the villages outside of Colchester, coming upon a strange situation by the side of the road.  A wood with graves, and no church.  I entered the wood and saw the many grave markers, many hidden in the undergrowth and woodland, forgotten and unloved.  From a creative point of view I enjoyed an opportunity to take metaphorical photographs on the subject of death and life, the supremacy of nature over humanity and on the subject of mortality.

The most recent of the graves dated 1904.  The church had suffered fire and demolition perhaps a century before, the graveyard abandoned to nature.  Sadly for all those buried in the graveyard there was nobody left in the locality that remembered or cared enough to tend their graves, the deceased abandoned and forgotten.

Death scares most people.  Most people fear being alone or forgotten.  Too many people live their lives out as a narcissistic Facebook profile.  Many people need fame, to live forever, to never be forgotten.  Most people, like those people in the graveyard, will when they die will vanish into obscurity, nobody will care, and no memory beyond some indifferent historical record will mark their passing.

I blinked, then time ate multiple years of my life.  I know when I blink again, I will probably be remembering this blog post thirty years from now as I attend someone’s funeral, reflecting on my mortality.  When I blink again, I will be dead, decomposing in some grave.

Sitting in my garden are ten acorn saplings in pots, my vision is that when I die a couple of great oak trees will live on to mark my anonymous legacy.  It is the harsh reality we all shall die, and most of us will be forgotten a few decades after we die.  The living rarely have time to remember or care about the deceased, since life demands their attention.  The legacy that each of us can leave that will get us remembered is something useful to the living like planted oak trees, because nobody cares about Facebook profiles and grave markers hidden in forgotten graveyards.

Stepping back

Letting events take their course sometimes is the better option.

Stewardship of plants and animals for prosperity rather than exploitation for profit.

Stewardship of plants and animals for prosperity rather than exploitation for profit.

I decided against writing to my local UK Member of Parliament today about a political issue, instead I chose to step back and let events take their course.  In recent weeks there has been in the media reports of an upsurge in social and political protest, be it in Brazil to Turkey, whilst daily further revelations emerge of the degree of monitoring that world governments in concert with each other and the corporates such as Facebook  have been inflicting on their citizens.

All world leaders without exception rather than be bridges to prosperity of their people act like a metaphorical parasitic varroa mite sucking the life out of the bee, in their case the people they fail to steward.  To maintain such a self-serving position world leaders use command and control techniques incorporating restriction, manipulation and monitoring.  To see what happens when these leaders indulge in command and control is to understand a few scientific principles.

The nature of energy is motion.  The universe we exist in has pattern and order thanks to energy systems, without which we would be destroyed by entropy.  These energy systems are under constant attack by entropy, which counter-act entropy through a destruction-renewal cycle that requires the free flow of energy in and out of those energy systems.  Restricted or blocked energy from an energy system causes entropy to engulf the energy system, leading to disorder and breakdown into simpler chaotic systems.

Noting the above science, when you realise our political, social and economic systems are energy systems, it should make sense why we have the events as evident in Turkey, Syria and Brazil.  Our hubristic, ignorant and controlling world leaders use command and control of our social, political and economic systems we depend upon for civilisation, which restricts, even blocks, the flow of energy, undermining the destruction-renewal process, causing the anarchy that is now observable.  Ironically the world leaders react to the chaos with more command and control, paradoxically causing worse disordered outcomes.

At some point I hope that these world leaders get a flash of enlightenment that command and control is a doomed strategy, until then I must step back and watch as social, political and economic systems collapse into chaos.  In reality our social, political and economic systems are expendable, but our environmental systems are critical life support systems, thus my limited resources go to protecting bees, trees and food diversity.