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We live in a time when shelves are kept for decoration’s sake filled with books chosen for the color of their binding rather than to read the words inside.

We live in a time when middle class families support their personal shopping expeditions to retailers and groceries buying food that spoils uneaten because it was bought to hoard rather than use and brand new goods sit idle without purpose.

We live in a time when outdoor play space, a yard and swings mean very little to the families who have them because there is no shade to protect from the excessive UV rays and cool down the excessive heat when it is nice enough to be outside. And, it is easier to be playing video games anyway.

We live in a time when extraordinary amounts of money are no longer available in communities to start or foster businesses because those funds are being used to play the stock market, to buy exotic and often risky products from Wall Street as well as to hoard in remote investment vehicles suggested by paying a broker to decide.

We live in a time when houses and buildings with apartments, condominiums and living spaces are bought and never lived in by the buyers because they are purchased as an investment which does no more than to increase the square footage price to the people who need places to live.

We live in a time when those with the most kitchen space, kitchen gadgets, cooking equipment of the highest grade are rarely in their homes to cook and would prefer to eat out anyway, so they do. Most would prefer not to clean it up regardless, eating out most meals, most days for almost any or no excuse.

We live in a time when people know more about their favorite team’s players stats than the stats on their stock broker, investment broker, insurance company, bank, doctor, lawyer or any other business they deal with and don’t care until it is too late to ask.

We live in a time when people have more information and yet don’t make the connections about what that information means in application, nor the principles involved in that knowledge, rendering it useless in many ways.

We live in a time when the most resourced among us do the least to provide and those with the greatest amount of excessive gains are the least willing to be any real participant in any of the vast communities available to them.

We live in a time when facts are skewed by opinion without any regard for the implications of that misuse of will and judgment which creates an abundance of applied misjudgments on a truly staggering number of other things, some of a life threatening nature to themselves and others.

We live in a time with better weather forecasting than has ever been possible and people who choose not to believe the facts being presented whether it is about severe rain and extreme cold coming or about climate changes that are occurring.

Their very identities have become wrapped up in choosing to believe what they want to believe or not, and misled to some extent by those they consider beyond question, these same people are running their cars into flooded roadways, ignoring extreme cold warnings and dressing themselves and their children improperly resulting in frostbite and illnesses, and passing out from heat stroke when it could have been avoided.

In New York City and many other places, there are the new wondrous developments of technology and what it can do resting side-by-side with adults who are educated and literate but don’t understand any of it, not its uses, not its accessibility to them, not how to learn what can be done with it – nothing.

Now people have started to become accustomed to using their smart phones to look up things on the internet and yet, have no idea that online learning courses are available to them, that they could build their own websites and blogs, that vast resources from all over the world are standing in front of them on their computer, laptop, tablet – or phone.

Most people capable of jumping into almost any video game platform (as adults right now) seem skittish when it comes to “playing” with 3d modeling or computer graphics programs, online learning courses, wikipedia, youtube video editing and production, using other kinds of cameras and technologies, exploring robotics or science videos online. It is beyond the imagination to understand their unwillingness to even touch it.

And, most of all – what I find extraordinary about this time in which we live – is not the inventions and discoveries that are amazing. It is that those inventions, innovations, and discoveries must go through a financing and funding process that looks more like feudal Europe than America today.

It denies us many of the innovations that would improve our lives and stuffs money into the pockets of those whose work it isn’t at the expense of those whose work it is by using their investment into these startups in order to get a greater return in a shorter period of time than any other source would give them.

It means that in two – three years, when a business should be focusing on expanding its market reach and establishing a greater viability for their product, invention, innovation or discovery, those business owners are having to run around and find second round seed money and new funding sources to continue because initial investors have pulled their money out plus a significant return on their money on top of that amount from all the resources owned by the new business.

This finance process has destroyed more businesses than it has made whole and successful, but the investors and funding sources benefit doing it this way because they have all the return and none of the responsibility, work, or sacrifice. It has destroyed entire industries that would have been of great service to mankind from solar energy to alternative fuels to sensors that detect the chemicals of bombs to a desk sized laboratory for field testing samples that uses nano-technology and web apps to new alloys, new concretes and new materials, among many, many others.

So, we live in a time of wonder and horror, of the brightest most amazing things and some of the stupidest mankind has ever seen. We let generations of Americans who we’ve paid to educate languish rather than bringing them forward to greater excellence in the world. Why is that? Why is any of it?

And on one final note, an educator on twitter the other day was complaining about parents not helping their children learn leadership skills in the US. Well, yeah, of course not. The Kardashians and reality tv shows have proven one thing if nothing else, that leadership skills and intelligence, education and fortitude are not those qualities that make for a rich, rewarding and successful life in America. Our children can see that for themselves and most of them are simply trying to figure out how to plan the right celebrity to screw and post it on “dah web.”

  • cricketdiane, 04-07-16