You can’t handcuff the truth

Today I was watching Terzake and comtemporarian ecstatic Balkan philosopher Slavoj Zizek was up for discussion. Apparently he had been on stage in the Ghent Bozar theater yesterday. It was packed. Indeed, with the crushing credit crunch upon us, people are looking for hope and a bright future. Hope and warmth is exactly what Slavoj brings us and that’s why he’s deemed a hero in Occupy circles. Truth be told, he might be a visionary to me too. The Slovenian intellect really seems to understand where we are at ideologically. We are trapped today in a capitalistic ideology. And it is overly democratic. Spoiled I would even say. Well, let me give you some examples: you have to have an opinion. It is so wrong to be indifferent today. You can do whatever you want. Slavoj on his end illustrates this with a very tasteless story. There is apparently a surgeon in New York whose speciality is to cut the penis in two, so you can have sex with two women. Now that is in stark constrast with the efforts we are putting in healthcare. Just giving 2 more percent is impossible because then we will lose our competitivity.

So Slavoj puts forward the opinion that it has become time for us to change our priorities a little bit. I think he is right, i don’t think we need to do drastically change our system. But things need to change evidently. And that is exactly what the Occupy movement also “stands” for. These people intuitively feel something is wrong. In the past people only fought for one specific issue, like the Iraq war or racism. Slavoj says that Occupy is the first mass movement that people vaguely have the insight that something is structurally wrong with the system as such. He sees OWS as a begin, a first mass movement for people to think and then to act.  Speaking of Wall Street:  ironically I think we can see it as a metaphor for a gardened street where a lot of wild, criminal and uncontrolled things happen. More: we use Twitter everyday to communicate. How chaotic, unsustainable is this medium? It is the same as everything inherent to our society: an utter mess on steroids.  There are simply no boundaries anymore. No structures, too little sustainability. Too much of everything. We have to reinvent ourselves. Rationalize. There is too much coupling. Of course being interconnect is good, but you have to think how one thing leads to the other. I think the first theories are already conceptualizing Slavoj’s ideas. I mean, in Information Technology it is so obvious that things are wrong. We don’t invest in high quality software but leverage on the latest trends . This has to stop. Normalized Systems is the cure. Our overwhelming democratic society is sadly overdue.

Is it still stealing when it is already stolen?

I just came back from watching new movie In Time. The trailer was so kick-ass. I was blown away by the idea of time as a currency and the additional element of genetical engineering: you don’t age after 25, but everyone has just one year after to live. And the movie really lived it up to my expectations. The story is actually quite simple. The world is divided in different time zones with different wealth. It is about a working class man named Will Salas played by Justin Timberlake. In a bar he notices Henry Hamilton, who has over 100 years worth of time still left. But as he is spending all his remaining time on liquor and girls, Will helps Henry to escape from a gang lead by Fortis who is after him because of his unusual spending behavior. Henry however chooses to end his live and gives away all his time resources to Will. By then his mother runs out of time, so he is left on his own and follows his dream to the rich New Greenwich time zone. But the Time Keepers get notice of the one hundred year anomaly and think that Will is behind the alleged murder of Henry Hamilton. Meanwhile, in a casino, Will wins a game of poker against powerful financial banker Weis. He also meets Weis very beautiful daughter Sylvia, who invites Will to a party. However, the party is soon over when the Time Keepers track Will down. But not just yet, as Will is able to get away with Sylvia. The story then is basically a cat and mouse game where Will & Sylvia eventually manage to return time to the poor.

A few ideas and thoughts.

  1. It is about a new world order where transparency is important: time is displayed on your arm and can be seen by anyone.
  2. It is true that you can get away with stealing from your own people. Think about undeclared work, people evading taxes. However, stealing from the rich will get you nowhere. You will definitely lose that lawsuit.
  3. New Greenwich can be compared to Wall-Street. Time Keepers represent todays regulators and bureaucrats. They have to keep the routine going.  The movie is very present-day with the financial crisis still looming around and the OWS movement taking over our nations. I don’t think this movie would be so appealing in the golden sixties.
  4. Maybe we should reconsider the value of time. Using your time well is important. To my readers: I really often find myself with a lack of time as there is so much to do and I never get bored.
  5. There were some cool ideas. Generosity versus greediness.  Darwinian capitalism: the survival of the fittest. A world where every second counts and the poor die while the rich live forever

All in all: the movie topic is very gripping to me, there is some mild humor in. Moreover, anti-hero Justin Timberlake does some great acting and innocent Amanda Seyfried (Sylvia) just looks stunning.  Would rate it a 7 out of 10 and one of the best movies seen so far this year!