February 21, 2018

Reprogramming Bad Consumer Code Redux

I feel tainted by putting corporate logos on this blog, but I couldn't resist the power of this image. Artwork by Steve Cutts.

After our last post "Reprogramming Bad Consumer Code", reader and frequent comment participant, Madeleine, asked, "Yes, reprogramming is essential, but how to achieve it?"

That is the question, isn't it?

As Madeleine knows, the best thing voluntary simplicity has going for it is that it is a "thing of comfort and peace" compared to a regular 9 to 5 lifestyle plugged into a consumer pod that sucks the life, time, and money right out of you.

That alone makes me wonder why people aren't rushing  enmasse out of the malls and straight toward the simple life.

Of course, there are many reasons that people initially find consumerism appealing. Many of those are institutional, systemic, and therefore difficult to avoid. However, there are ways to achieve a thorough reprogramming to get back to a more self-reliant, life-affirming, pre-consumer code.

Here are a few I have been thinking about.

Reprogramming The Consumer Brain

Question authority. Question everything.

Practice non-participation in the current economic system, as much as possible.

Free yourself from a 100% reliance on money by doing things like growing a garden, cooking your own food, bartering, and sharing.

Live with fewer material things. This makes possible a joyful engagement in the elegant simplicity of a life of just enough, free of endless desires and disappointments.

Educate yourself on the industrial military complex, and the industrial health complex, and the industrial food complex. And the industrial consumer complex. The industrial everything complex. Learn what happens when we participate in these sick systems with our votes and our money, and allow them to continue.

Read broadly rather than narrowly. Good books as well as good journalism. Read non-fiction and fiction. Every public library is full of the antidote to today's narrow revisioning of reality. The net opens up an amazing array of investigative tools.

Vet all information sources. Doubt the validity of mainstream narratives. Be curious, be sceptical. Analytical. To that, add your intuition and feel what makes sense to you.

Steer clear of organized anything. Don't put yourself in a pod, to be used and controlled by others.

Resist cultural programming and peer pressure. Do what you want to do. Assert your rights as an autonomous individual. Question anyone that wants to limit your experience of an open, unfettered existence.

Express and revel in your creative capacity. Allow yourself to think differently. See differently. Feel differently. Create the life you dream of.

Use mindfulness to become an observer of your own mental state and life. Take a step back. How does it all look? Is it a thing of comfort and peace? Is there joy? Harmony? Love?

Supplement your child's education with life lessons at home. Parents are children's primary teachers, whether this is recognized or not. Children learn a lot by observing parents and others. We should act accordingly. What message are we sending our children with our behaviour?

Think freely. Don't think. Continually improve your thinking, and not thinking.

Share good consumer-free code with everyone you meet.

February 19, 2018

Reprogramming Bad Consumer Code

Consumerism and advertising has force fed  bad code into our brains.

I thought of a new R-word for the times. Reprogram. It might be the most important of them all.

The culture of consumerism, and its propaganda wing, advertising/marketing, has injected some bad code into our collective consciousness. And as  they say in the coding world - "garbage in, garbage out".

We can reprogram that bad code with a better script that is more efficient, does more work, and is more logical and fair. This code is ancient and time-tested. It works.

The ultimate code for humans on this planet is that which leads to frugality, thrift and simplicity. It worked thousands of years ago, and it still works today.

We have to think beyond Recycle, Reuse, and Reduce. We need to quit repeating bad code and producing the garbage that results. It is time to get serious and do a large scale reprogramming.

Simple in - simple out.

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