Sunday, April 11, 2010


I found the following Toronto Star article very depressing:

but, not just because of the usual story about the incompetence that we are constantly greeted with by our Ontario institutions.

Any one whose has spent time in Toronto knows that we are surrounded by a vast array of bumbling bureaucrats. That they somehow manage to take the simplest things and turn them into laughable jokes, with ease. You'd be laughing if you were so busy getting frustrated with it all.

Ontario specializes in having our employees turn off their brains. In that way, we get a large number of perfect automatons, able to quickly and efficiently screw up any task, large or small. More optimally, they do it while somehow managing to blame it all on upper management. It's a gift.

No doubt our artificially intelligent droids are happily entrenched in their own mindless misery. We're good at that, here too.

But this story goes beyond our usual hopelessness.

Way back, when we put in our driving laws, it was for the sole purpose of making sure that the 'weaker' drivers were at least able to work within the road system to a minimum standard. That is, we were already having problems with people who couldn't drive properly, and a testing system that was too lax.

So they made it harder to pass. They made it 'graduated' into two steps.

We might expect from these changes that someone whose was barely capable of driving would now be prevented from getting on the roads. That is after all, why they made things so complicated, why they created all of the annoying rules and process. Why they charged so much money to get tested.

But as the article clearly shows, all you need to do is spend 'more' money, and 'presto blamo', you've got your license. The G test, which should involve a highway, should really test people's ability. Doing it in some small town in northern Ontario tests almost nothing. Solves nothing.

Now, I was always one of those people that grew up believing that our society in Canada was not like those in the third-world. My naive view was that we have, and tolerate little corruption. Mostly we're a clean and organized society who have honor and decency in our interactions. We believe corruption is bad.

OK, after I bit I figured out how naive I was, but at least, mostly we're not out there paying off people left, right and center to get what we want or need. The chaos of the third world is not here. We'll at least that is what I hoped.

If we establish a set of rules to control driving, then we allow them to be subverted, all we are really doing is institutionalizing corruption.

That is, if you don't want to take your test in the 3rd world, you pay off some person in the Ministry to avoid it. In Toronto, instead you have to pay off the Ministry for the tests, the independent testing company, the driving instructors, and their company. It is one heck of a big payoff, but still a payoff.

All these parties are working in conjunction to collect 'funds' that help you avoid playing by the rules. It is corruption, pure and simple, even if we created a system to legitimize it.

Renaming something rotten, doesn't make it less so. If you don't like the rules, all you have to do is pay someone to avoid them.

Congratulations Ontario, into sinking right down to the depths of any good third world country. Real impressive.

If we not going to take our rules seriously, then I suggest we get rid of them. We claim freedom, but we are drowning in a sea of broken and poorly implemented rules. State sponsored, institutionalized corruption is an obvious result of our disorganization. Expect no less.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Learning Disorder

Most people begrudge learning.

They fight it, all the way from kindergarten right up to high-school. If they're destined for a higher education, they take the fight with them to their new institutions.

Fear, frustration and fatigue: learning to most people is to be tolerated -- barely -- but avoided whenever possible. There are moments with brief openings, possible opportunities, but beyond that is a high wall setup to protect oneself from outside forces. Outside information.

Later in life, long after the learning has ceased and the career has stagnated, what passes for debate is more often people just trying to validate what they know. They aren't open, they aren't interested, they aren't flexible. They aren't discussing. Instead they've locked themselves into their small subset of what they believe is the truth, and they'll just keep digging in farther.

Most people out of school don't want to learn new stuff. Perhaps, they don't mind a few trivialities, little fragments of infotainment, but anything and everything that might possibly cause them to reconsider their foundations is off limits. Hated, despised, feared. To be shouted down.

There are of course, some very few that keep learning their whole lives, but they are rare. Still, they're more aware than the rest of how precarious our knowledge rests on the edge of reason. We're awash in more mis-information than truth, more spin than reality, more lies than facts. In an age where we could know anything, but never really know the quality of that knowledge, getting stuck on the first set of facts through the door just seems like a bad lifetime choice. Flexibility is the only way to see through all of the organizations mis-representing themselves, and their efforts. All of the people out for their own interests. A bit of distance is required.

But, I guess it is embedded so deep into our being that each new shift in paradigm, culture, thinking or understanding still needs twenty to thirty years to really get rooted, precisely because that's how long it takes for one generation to cede the stage to the next. Only a real change in people will cause a real change in knowledge. Ideas are sticky.

Most people live their entire lives without realizing how wrong they are.

Friday, April 2, 2010

All the Good Ones

Selfish, greedy, cheap, 
rude, irritable, indifference,
slimy, smarmy, arrogant,
jerk, dirt-bag, creep,
sneak, hostile, nasty,
angry, mean, hateful,
jealous, vengeful, cruel,
heartless, soulless, merciless,
liar, thief, murderer,
brutal, killer, destroyer,
sadistic, tyrannical, and depraved.

Without them, who'd be left?