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The positive power of imagination

 

The positive power of imagination  By Jon Rappoport, 3 May 2018

 

I wrote these notes after releasing my second collection, Exit From The Matrix. This collection contains over 50 imagination exercises I designed to increase an individual’s creative power:

 

“With imagination, one can solve a problem. More importantly, one can skip ahead of the problem and render it null and void.”

 

“Imagination isn’t a system. It might invent systems, but it is non-material. It’s a capacity. It feels no compulsion to imitate reality. It makes realities. Its scope is limited only by a person’s imagining of how far imagination can go.”

 

“It’s interesting to remember an earlier time when you had more imagination at your disposal. You might find an array of feelings you appreciate more than the feelings you’re feeling now. You might realize imagination stimulated those feelings and brought them into view.”

 

“Consciousness wants to create new consciousness, and it can. Imagination is how it does it. If there were some ultimate state of consciousness, imagination would always be able to play another card and take it further.”

 

“If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we’ve flattered reality enough. It doesn’t need any more. Reality needs a massive injection of imagination.”

 

“Imagination can be used to invent a better shade of nail polish or a universe. In a society devoted to nail polish, imagination is not to blame.”

 

“Imagination has extraordinary equanimity. It is just as happy to entertain and embody two conflicting realities as it is to spool out one uniform reality.”

 

“You can create the same thing over and over, and eventually you’ll be about as alive as a table. Inject imagination into the mix, and everything suddenly changes. You can go anywhere you want to.”

 

“The lowest common denominator of consensus implies an absence of imagination. Everyone agrees; everyone is bored; everyone is obedient. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are massive floods of unique individual creation, and that sought-after thing called abundance is as natural as the sun rising in the morning.”

 

“There are those who believe life is a museum. You walk through the rooms, find one painting, stroll into it and take up permanent residence. But the museum is endless. And if you were a painter, you’d never decide to live inside one of your canvases forever. You’d keep on painting.”

 

“The relentless and obsessive search for all those things on which we can agree is a confession of bankruptcy. Instead, build one new thing.”

 

“We re-learn to live through and by imagination, and then we enter and invent new space and time. But space and time aren’t the superior forces. They operate and come into being at the tap of imagination.”

 

“There are a billion murals on a billion walls, and the person chooses one and falls down before it and devotes himself to it. He spends a thousand years trying to decipher it. So be it. Eventually, he’ll wind his way out of the labyrinth. Then he’ll enter another labyrinth and undergo the same process. He’ll do this on and on and on, and finally he’ll see that he can imagine his own labyrinth. So he does. He invents many labyrinths. Then one day, it’ll occur to him that he can imagine whatever he wants to. It doesn’t have to be labyrinth.”

 

“I’m not breaking a system into parts. I’m not trying to teach a person how to tie his shoes. I’m talking about the proliferation of endless new worlds, not seen through a porthole, but imagined and invented.”

 

“The EXPRESSION of imagination is the key. Instead of thoughts circling around aimlessly, you have projection out into the world. You make something that has never been made before.”

 

“Imagination is larger than any universe. It needs no sanction from the world or from other worlds. It is not some secret form of physics. It is not religion. It is not cosmology. It is not any one picture of anything. It’s what you invent.”

 

“The deployment of imagination unlocks hidden energies. A power, sought after and never found in other endeavors, appears.”

 

“A metaphor for imagination might be warp drive. You skip ahead in space by huge leaps. It’s not 1,2,3; it’s 1,2, and then suddenly four thousand. You’re not working by serial cause and effect.”

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, The Matrix Revealed, click here.)

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It’s not all bad news – indeed the news gets even better

It’s not all bad news – indeed the news gets even better  By Bjorn Lomborg, The Australian, 30 April 2018

Humans are partial to bad news. Some media outlets reflect and shape this preference, feeding us woe and panic. Long, slow, positive trends don’t make it to the front page. So we develop peculiar misperceptions, especially the idea that a preponderance of things is going wrong.

When I published The Skeptical Environmentalist in 2001, I pointed out that the world was getting better in many respects. Back then, this was viewed as heresy as it punctured several common and cherished misperceptions, such as the idea that natural resources were running out, that an ever-growing population was leaving less to eat and that air and water were evermore polluted.

In each case, careful examination of the data established that the gloomy scenarios were exaggerated. While fish stocks, for ­example, are depleted because of a lack of regulation, we can actually eat more fish than ever, thanks to the advent of aquaculture. Worries that we are losing forests overlook the reality that as countries become richer, they increase their forest cover.

Since I wrote the book, the world has only become better, ­according to many important indicators. We have continued to see meaningful reductions in infant mortality and malnutrition, and there have been massive strides ­towards eradication of polio, measles, malaria and illiteracy.

By focusing on the most lethal environmental problem — air ­pollution — we can see some of the reasons for improvement. As the world has developed, deaths from air pollution have declined dramatically, and that trend is likely to continue. Looking at a polluted city in a country like China might suggest otherwise, but the air ­inside the homes of most poor people is about 10 times more polluted than the worst outdoor air in ­Beijing. The most serious environmental problem for humans is ­indoor air pollution from cooking and heating with dirty fuels like wood and dung — that’s poverty.

In 1900, more than 90 per cent of all air-pollution deaths resulted from indoor air pollution. Economic development has meant more outdoor pollution, but also much less indoor pollution. Reductions in poverty have gone hand-in-hand with a fourfold reduction in global air-pollution mortality.

Yet more people today still die from indoor air pollution than from outdoor pollution. Even in China, while outside air has ­become a lot more polluted, poverty reduction has caused a lower risk of total air-pollution death. And as countries become richer, they can afford to regulate and cut even outdoor air pollution.

Two centuries ago, almost everyone lived in poverty, a tiny elite in luxury. Today just 9.1 per cent of us — less than 700 million — live on less than $1.90 a day (or what used to be $1 in 1985). And just in the past 20 years, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has almost halved. Yet few of us know this. The Gapminder Foundation surveyed Britain and found that just 10 per cent of people believe poverty has decreased. In South Africa and in Sweden, more people believe extreme poverty has doubled than believe — correctly — that it has plummeted.

How do we continue our swift progress? There has been no shortage of well-intentioned ­policy interventions, but we have decades of data showing what works well and what doesn’t.

In the latter category, even well-considered ideas from the world’s most eminent thinkers can fall short. The ambitious Millennium Villages concept was supposed to create simultaneous progress on multiple fronts, producing “major results in three or fewer years”, according to founder Jeffrey D. Sachs. But a study by Britain’s Department for International Development shows the villages had “moderately positive impacts”, and “little overall impact on poverty”.

It’s more constructive to focus on what works. Global analysis of development targets for the Copenhagen Consensus think tank by a panel of Nobel laureate economists showed where more money can achieve the most. They concluded that improved access to contraception and family-planning would reduce maternal and child mortality, and also — through a demographic dividend — increase economic growth.

Likewise, research assessing the best development policies for Haiti found that focusing on improvements in nutrition through the use of fortified flour would transform the health of young children, creating lifelong benefits.

Other Copenhagen Consensus research suggests that scaling up government e-procurement platforms would be transformative. This may sound tangential to poverty reduction, but it’s not. On ­average, developing countries use half their budgets on procurement; enabling transparent competition could reduce losses caused by ­corruption.

This is not mere speculation. A case study in Bangladesh, which spends more than $9 billion on public procurement annually, found that piloting e-procurement in just one government department lowered prices by 12 per cent, leaving more resources for other important budget priorities. The research shows that expanding digital procurement government-wide would save $670 million ­annually — enough to increase annual public-health spending by about half. The Bangladeshi government is now fast-tracking this expansion.

And the most powerful weapon in the fight against poverty is the one that put us where we are today: broadbased economic growth. Over 30 years, China’s growth spurt alone has lifted 680 million people above the ­poverty line.

A global trade agreement — such as a successful conclusion to the stalled Doha Round — would lift another 160 million people out of poverty. Scepticism towards free trade hurts the world’s poorest. While other US policies and tweets by President Donald Trump get far more coverage, the administration’s rejection of free trade could be the biggest tragedy.

Humanity’s success in reducing poverty is an extraordinary achievement, and one that we are too reticent about acknowledging. We need to make sure that we don’t lose sight of what got us this far — and what justifies the hope of an even better future.

Bjorn Lomborg is director of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre and a visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School.

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The manipulation of history, and brainwashing

The manipulation of history, and brainwashing  By Paul Craig Roberts, 19 April 2018

We often hear that we need a conversation on race. Considering that Americans are a brainwashed people living in a false history, such a conversation would resemble the one the Russians were expected to have with the British in regard to the Skripal poisoning: “Yes, we are guilty. We will pay reparations. Where would you like us to send Putin for trial?” In other words, the only acceptable race conversation in the US is one in which white people accept the accusation that they are racist and offer to make amends.

Considering that the only slavery experienced by any living black or white person is income tax slavery, race is an issue only because it has been orchestrated as an issue along with gender and sexual preference. These divisive issues are the products of Identity Politics spawned by cultural Marxism.

In real Marxism, conflict is class conflict. Workers and capitalists have different interests, and history is a struggle between material interests. The capitalist is the villain and the workers are the victims.

In the pseudo Marxism of Identity Politics, the white race is the villain, especially the white heterosexual male, and racial minorities, women, and homosexuals are the victims.

There is, of course, no such thing as a white or black race. There are many different nationalities of whites, and they have done a good job throughout history of killing each other. Similarly, there are many different black tribes and Asian ethnicities who also have fought more among themselves than with others. But all of this goes by the wayside, along with the fact that in the world the “racial minorities” are actually majorities and the “white majority” is actually a minority. There are more Chinese or Indians alone than there are white people.

But orchestrated histories are not fact-based.

The working class, designated by Hillary Clinton as “the Trump deplorables,” is now the victimizer, not the victim. Marxism has been stood on its head.

The American ruling class loves Identity Politics, because Identity Politics divides the people into hostile groups and prevents any resistance to the ruling elite. With blacks screaming at whites, women screaming at men, and homosexuals screaming at heterosexuals, there is no one left to scream at the rulers.

The ruling elite favors a “conversation on race,” because the ruling elite know it can only result in accusations that will further divide society. Consequently, the ruling elite have funded “black history,” “women’s studies,” and “transgender dialogues,” in universities as a way to institutionalize the divisiveness that protects them. These “studies” have replaced real history with fake history.

For example, it was once universally known that black slavery originated in slave wars between black African tribes. Slaves were a status symbol, but they accumulated beyond the capacity of tribes to sustain. The surplus was exported first to Arabs and then to English, Spanish, and French who founded colonies in the new world that had resources but no work force. The socialist scholar Karl Polanyi, brother of my Oxford professor Michael Polanyi, told the story of the origin of the African slave trade in his famous book, Dahomey and the Slave Trade.

The first slaves in the new world were white. When real history was taught, this was widely understood. Movies were even made that showed that in King George III’s England, the alternative to criminal punishment was to be sold as a slave in the colonies. See, for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAgfWhlc3gQ

Among the first New World lands to be exploited by the Europeans were the Carribean Islands, which were suitable for sugar and rice production. The problem was that the white slaves died like flies from malaria and yellow fever. The Spanish lack of success with a work force of natives of the lands they conquered led those in search of a work force to the slave export business of the black Kingdom of Dahomey. The demand for black workers rose considerably when it was discovered that many had immunity to malaria and resistance to yellow fever. This meant that a plantation’s investment in a work force was not wiped out by disease.

The resistance of blacks to malaria is due to the protective feature of the sickle cell trait that, apparently, only blacks have. See: https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/biology/sickle_cell.html

Slavery existed in the New World long before the United States came into existence. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are today written off by Identity Politics as racists simply because they were born when slavery was a pre-existing institution.

Slavery had existed for many centuries prior to the Confederacy. Yet, in some accounts today one comes away with the impression that the South invented slavery. As the tale sometimes goes, Southern racists so hated blacks that they went to Africa, captured blacks at great expense, only to return them to the South where they whipped and abused their investments to the point of death and demoralized their work force by breaking up black families, selling children in one direction and wives and husbands in the other. This tale is not told as an occasional abuse but as the general practice. Economically, of course, it makes no sense whatsoever. But facts are no longer part of American history.

Northern states held slaves as well. However, the predominance of slaves were in the South. This was not because Southerners hated blacks. It was because the land in the South supported large agricultural cultivation, and there was no other work force. The South, like the United States, inherited slavery from the work force that European colonists purchased from the black Kingdom of Dahomey.

Why wasn’t there an alternative work force to slaves? The reason is that new immigrants by moving West could take land from the native Americans and be independent as opposed to being wage earners working on someone else’s land. The Western frontier did not close until about 1900. At the time of the War of Northern Aggression the Plains Indians still ruled west of the Mississippi River. It was Lincoln’s Northern war criminals, Sherman and Sheridan, who were sent to exterminate the Plains Indians. Ask the American natives, or what is left of them, who the racists are: the Northerners or the Southerners.

Black studies has even corrupted other aspects of history. Consider the so-called “civil war.” The name itself is an orchestration. There was no civil war. There was a War of Northern Aggression. A civil war is when two sides fight for control of the government. The South had left the union and had no interest whatsoever in controlling the government in Washington. The only reason the South fought was that the South was invaded by the North.

Why did the North invade the South? As was once understood by every historian and every student, Abraham Lincoln invaded the South in order, in Lincoln’s own words, expressed time and time again, “to preserve the Union.”

Why did the South leave the Union? Because it was being economically exploited by the North, which, once the North gained the ability to outvote the Southern states, imposed tariffs that benefited the North at the expense of the South. The North needed protection from British manufactures in order for the economic rise of the North. In contrast, the South’s economy was based on cotton exports to England and on cheap manufactures imported from England. Tariffs would bring the South higher cost of manufactured goods and retaliation against their cotton exports. The economic interests of the North and South did not coincide.

Slavery had nothing whatsoever to do with the war. Lincoln himself said so over and over. Prior to his invasion of the South, Lincoln and the Northern Congress promised the South Constitutional protection of slavery for all time if the Southern states would stay in the Union. Historians who have read and recorded the war correspondence of both Union and Confederacy soldiers to relatives and friends at home can find no one fighting for or against slavery. The Northern troops are fighting to preserve the union. The Southern ones are fighting because they are invaded.

Nothing could be clearer. Yet, the myth has been established that Abraham Lincoln went to war in order to free the slaves. In fact, Lincoln said that blacks were not capable of living with whites, who he said were superior, and that his intention was to send the blacks back to Africa. If America ever had a “white supremacist,” it was Abraham Lincoln.

What about the Emancipation Proclamation? Didn’t this order by Lincoln free the blacks? No. It was a war measure on which hopes were placed that, as almost every able-bodied Southern male was in the front lines, the slaves would revolt and rape the Southern soldiers’ wives and daughters, forcing the soldiers to desert the army and return home to protect their families. As Lincoln’s own Secretary of State said, the president has freed the slaves in the territories that the Union does not control and left them in slavery in the territory that the Union does control.

Why did Lincoln resort to such a dishonorable strategy? The reason is that Lincoln had run through all the Union generals and could not find one that could defeat Robert E. Lee’s vastly outnumbered Army of Northern Virginia.

The character and generalship of Robert E. Lee, who is dismissed by Identity Politics as a white racist, is so highly admired by the United States Army that the Barracks at West Point are named in Lee’s honor. Not even “America’s first black president” was able to change that. Black history also covers up the fact that Robert E. Lee was offered command of the Union Army. In those days Americans still saw themselves as citizens of their state, not as citizens of the US. Lee refused the offer on the grounds that he could not go to war against his native country of Virginia and resigned his US Army commission.

If Lee had been in command of the Confederacy at the First Battle of Bull Run when the Union Army broke and ran all the way back to Washington, Lee would have followed and the war would have ended with the South’s victory.

But Lee wasn’t there. Instead, the Southern generals concluded, watching the fleeing Union Army, that the Northerns could neither fight, retreat in order, or ride horses, and were no threat whatsoever. This conclusion overlooked the superior manpower of the North, the constant inflow of Irish immigrants who became the Union’s cannon fodder, the Northern manufacturing capability, and the navy that could block Southern ports and starve the South of resources.

During the first two years of the War of Northern Aggression the Union Army never won a battle against Lee’s vastly outgunned army. The North had everything. All the South had was valor. Lincoln was desperate. Opposition to his war was rising in the North. He had to imprison 300 Northern newspaper editors, exile a US Congressman, and was faced with the North’s most famous general running against him on a peace platform in the next election. Thus, Lincoln’s vain attempt to provoke a slave rebellion in the South. Why didn’t such allegedly horribly treated and oppressed slaves revolt when there was no one to prevent it but women and children?

Everything I have written in this column was once understood by everyone. But it has all been erased and replaced with a false history that serves the ruling elite. It is not only the ruling elite that has a vested interest in the false history of “white racism,” but also the universities and history departments in which the false history is institutionalized and the foundations that have financed black history, women’s studies, and transgender dialogues.

It was Reconstruction that ruined relations between blacks and whites in the South. The North stuffed blacks down the throats of the defeated South. Blacks were placed in charge of Southern governments in order to protect the Northern carpet baggers who looted and stole from the South. The occupying Union Army encouraged the blacks to abuse the Southern people, especially the women, as did the Union soldiers. The Klu Klux Klan arose as a guerrilla force to stop the predations. Robert E. Lee himself said that if he had realized how rapacious the North would prove to be, he would have led a guerrilla resistance.

The generations of Americans who have been propagandized instead of educated need to understand that Reconstruction did not mean rebuilding southern infrastructure, cities, and towns destroyed by the Union armies. It did not mean reconstructing southern food production. It meant reconstructing southern society and governance. Blacks, who were unprepared for the task, were put in control of governments so that carpetbaggers could loot and steal. Whites lost the franchise and protection of law as their property was stolen. Some areas suffered more than others from the Reconstruction practices, which often differed from, and were worse than, the policies themselves.

Reconstruction was a contentious issue even within the Republican Party. Neither president Lincoln nor Johnson would go along with the more extreme Republican elements. The extremism of the Reconstruction policies lost support among the northern people. When the Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives in the 1870s, Reconstruction was brought to an end.

In the South, and most certainly in Atlanta, where I grew up, schools were neighborhood schools. We were segregated by economic class. I went to school with middle class kids from my middle class neighborhood. I did not go to school with rich kids or with poor kids. This segregation was not racial.

When the North again got on its high moral horse and imposed school integration on the South, it disrupted the neighborhood school system. Now kids spent hours riding in school busses to distant locations. This destroyed the parent-teacher associations that had kept parental involvement and displinine in the schools. The South, being a commonsense people, saw all of this coming. The South also saw Reconstruction all over again. That, and not hatred of blacks, is the reason for the South’s resistance to school integration.

All of America, indeed of the entire West, lives in The Matrix, a concocted reality, except for my readers and the readers of a handful of others who cannot be compromised. Western peoples are so propagandized, so brainwashed, that they have no understanding that their disunity was created in order to make them impotent in the face of a rapacious ruling class, a class whose arrogance and hubris has the world on the brink of nuclear Armageddon.

History as it actually happened is disappearing as those who tell the truth are dismissed as misogynists, racists, homophobes, Putin agents, terrorist sympathizers, anti-semites, and conspiracy theorists. Liberals who complained mightily of McCarthyism now practice it ten-fold.

The brainwashing about the Russian and Muslim threats works for a number of reasons. The superpatriots among the Trump deplorables feel that their patriotism requires them to believe the allegations against Russia, Syria, Iran, and China. Americans employed in the vast military/security complex understand that the budget that funds the complex in which they have their careers is at stake. Those who want a wall to keep out foreigners go along with the demonization of Muslims as terrorists who have to be killed “over there before they come over here.” The Democrats want an excuse for having lost the presidential election. And so on. The agendas of various societal elements come together to support the official propaganda.

The United States with its brainwashed and incompetent population—indeed, the entirety of the Western populations are incompetent—and with its absence of intelligent leadership has no chance against Russia and China, two massive countries arising from their overthrow of police states as the West descends into a gestapo state. The West is over and done with. Nothing remains of the West but the lies used to control the people. All hope is elsewhere.

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About Peter Senior

I'm a very experienced and pragmatic management consultant. I've reviewed and led the restructuring of many organisations - large and small corporations and Government Departments, much of the time as President of the New Zealand Institute of Management Consultants. Before that I was General Manager of a major NZ newspaper; earlier, an analyst for IBM UK. I gained an honours degree in engineering at London University, and studied management at Cambridge University. This wide range of experience has left me frustrated: I continue to see too many examples of really bad management. Sometimes small easily fixed issues; sometimes fundamental faults; and sometimes really tricky problems. Mostly these issues can be fixed using a mixture of common sense, 'management 101' and applying lessons from years of management experience. Unfortunately, all too often, politics, bureaucracy and daft government regulations get in the way; internal factors such as poor culture and out-of-date strategies are often evident. So what's gone wrong, and why, and most importantly, how to fix 'it'? I hope there are like-minded people 'out there' who will share their thoughts enabling 'us' to improve some significant management failures that affect the general public. If you just accept bad management, you don't have the right to complain! If you'd like to share thoughts on any aspects of management, send me an email to petersenior42@gmail.com . My latest project has the interim title 'You’ve been conned. Much of what you were taught and read is largely irrelevant, misleading or plain wrong – this is the REAL story of life: past, present and our possible future.' The working paper so far comprises 105 pages, many listing references and interim conclusions. The main problem is finding sufficient credible evidence, and realising the more Iearn, the more I realise I don't know!
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