Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Interaction Realisation

Something that Facebook is teaching me... I think quite differently from A LOT of people. I'm finding myself at odds with a whole bunch of people that I actually like and get along with in meat space...

We're coming up election year and I'm finding a whole lot of bollocks about proof.

National's only metric being about finances... They're not doing brilliantly there... but then they're not doing too badly either. So as you'd expect, I'm finding myself at odds with a very right wing agenda. Surely there's more to life than just money. I mean we value our tourism trade right? And that's based upon natural beauty in which case we need to protect our environment.... otherwise why bother with advertising dollars around The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings? And should people get a say about mining in their areas? (think deep sea drilling and fracking etc.) Or should we trust the organisations gaining the most from these activities to be honest and truthful about their practises and the safety provisions put in?

This, to me, is all related to the fact that capitalism doesn't work and will never work because we talk about things such as "corporations". They have rights just like people do. They have a right to privacy. For example, they don't have to disclose where they've sourced their ingredients from or how much people have been paid along the chain in order to produce those goods. Think chocolate with it's terrible record of slavery (this practise still continues) and clothing with it's sweat shops. We as consumers can't make informed decisions based upon ethics and are thusly forced to make decisions based almost entirely on economics because anything that could vaguely be seen as unethical is hidden from us.

But then we've got the rationalists. The rationalists talk about putting together a party for parliament except that I just don't see the point. Firstly, their tagline is insulting.

Basically they say they'll do things with a reason. Hell - every party in parliament is representing reason... You and I may not agree with it but it's still reason. What's the difference? Rationalists want to base the running of the country on scientific proof.

Would this then cut funding towards art? To certain types of art? How do you measure the enjoyment to art in general? Do you have to collect various different pieces of art and show it off and get a meaningful sample of pieces of art and people to measure the enjoyment level (probably via pupillary response i.e. how much the pupil dilates and constricts)? Do we then get only certain types of art funded in the country? And budgets around things that we don't really talk about. My favourite example here is Plunket:

A mother walks in at the end of her rope. A Plunket person tells them to go and have a nap in the back room for an hour or two while they look after the kids.

Now... if you "measure" the value - depending on where you "measure" it, the value changes. To the mother, this act is priceless. She needed it and she got it.

To the person looking after the kids, it's a little bit of money (2 hours work) and a feel good feeling.

To the head office it's a damn cost... 2 hours of pay for probably very little work output.

The only place the value is measurable (how do you quantify "priceless" and "feel good") is where the value is a negative... So my contention is that there's something more. We all know it. We need to be able to acknowledge it.

It's okay to do something nice - just for the feel good feeling. It's okay to act ethically even if it's not a marketing/branding opportunity and could potentially lead to a loss of profits. It's okay to think of people first rather than just the bottom line... We aren't always going to be able to quantify it. Which is a bit of a blackhole in terms of politics.... But it shouldn't be. We should be able to acknowledge this - that the stuff that is good doesn't necessarily have to have measurable outcomes. Usually these things have longer term outcomes - such as employment levels further down the line. It's tempting to try and quantify everything in the present when a lot of the time we aren't going to see measurable results for a few years.

No comments:

Post a Comment