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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • the government is not amused by cheap alternative fuel.

    I think quotes like that really sum of the problems of government interference in our lives, not to mention the hypocrisy of governments that want to save the environment.

    --
    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • I certainly understand the frustration with impersonal, authoritarian bureaucracies. I think it's important to recognize, however, that governments are not the only such creatures that affect our lives. The experience of dealing with the local phone company can be just as frustrating. And you have even *less* control over the actions of a company than you do over the government.

      The worst part is when you have to spend every day laboring in a organization that is organized in a dysfunctional, heirarchica
      • Yes, everything people say about government is equally true about corporations, in even creepier ways.

        we *do* need to find ways to organize ourselves to effectively use (not abuse) shared resources.
        I sometimes (and just sometimes) think that the hope for better organization, while well intended, is almost a distraction from getting people to be more compassionate and less legalistic. Maybe the trick is to convince people that organization, rules, and procedures are just the starting points for get

        • Thanks for responding. Makes me feel less like a lunatic. This isn't entirely coherent, but I tried. :)

          People are affected greatly by the situation they find themselves in. Obviously they are not powerless to form themselves, but they can't totally ignore their circumstances. Most people find themselves somewhere in the middle of various heirarchies. They are always aware of how far they could still fall, and the importance of following orders so they don't fall. Popular culture is also full of "upward-looking" imagery, and some of my friends spend time going on tours of houses they will never be able to afford. That sort of thinking leads people to see the heirarchy as a *good* thing, because they see themselves (in some fantasy) at a higher station in the heirarchy, with access to whatever scarce good they're thinking about at the moment.

          This social situation complicates the whole "why can't people just be nice" thing. As everyone is busy maintaining their status in the heirarchy, they don't have *time* to worry about others. And if they do, they rapidly discover that there is little they can do as an individual to change the situation. I've generally seen three reactions at that point:

              1) getting mad, and working with others to try and change things
              2) getting depressed and giving up, or
              3) redefining their values to more closely correspond with the current situation (e.g. convincing themselves that voting Green will solve everything)

          So I think we need to do more than just encourage individual enlightenment (not that I think that's a bad thing!). I think that decentralized, directly democratic structures (where people collectively have control over their own lives) will help us all be "more compassionate and less legalistic."