Discuss creativity. Recall the week 6 assigned video, RiP! A Remix Manifesto. Does there seem to be a concerted effort to limit, discourage or even prevent creativity among the general public? Are art and other forms of creativity neglected? Should it be taught more in schools and funded better for the general public? Or is there today abundant opportunity for cultural expression? Does art even serve a function in an industrial worldview? Or does it only serve a purpose within commercial advertising and limited to select artists? Should art and other ideas be intended only for commercial consumption? Is there a connection between creativity and productivity, in the terms we discussed in class? In other words, are we preventing communities from creating for themselves in the same way that we may be preventing communities from producing for themselves? Is the privatization of ideas in science, industry, medicine, and music destroying culture and society similar to the way that the privatization of natural resources is destroying the environment?
I feel like the intial plan was not to limit, discourage or even prevent creativity but to protect it. But because of the nature of copyright it eventually did do all those negative things. I never really thought of copyright to be such a negative thing and never realized how prevalent it is in our modern music today. Art and other ideas should be intended for all uses not just for commercial consumption. Creativity and productivity does share a connection. If we stop communities from being creative then there would only be tradition methods that may not be optimal and therefore there would be a lack of productivity of improvement. Privatization of ideas in all those industry is not destroying them but it is harmfully affecting their productivity, it’s not like copyright destroys all creativity and inspiration it just limits it.
Discuss the collective consciousness of today’s America. How do we identify ourselves? What distinguishes us from the other peoples of the world – from our own perspective or from that of other people? Is it all about freedom and opportunity? Recall last week’s assignment and consider the Schwarz and de Tocqueville readings. Consider also any of the optional audio recordings or videos that you may have heard or viewed. Recall earlier discussions on cultural creation, values, and being an empathic civilization. Does our self-identity match the evidence? What would be a more realistic identity for America? Would it be more honest to identify ourselves as a mass consumption society? Consider the significance of being more truthful with the assessment of who we are as a people. The aspirations of freedom and opportunity are held in high regard throughout much of the world. Mass consumerism, on the other hand, is not. Do you believe that mass consumerism is a reflection/an outcome of the extraordinary freedom and opportunity experienced by Americans? Or only that it is portrayed that way? Does mass consumerism erode culture and social capital and render them useless survival mechanisms for a people? It seems to disconnect a people from their history and their land. Consumerism can be transplanted anywhere and at any time. How similar are we to Nietzsche’s Last Man, if you are familiar with that famous work? Americans may be in the best position of any people to address the problem of climate change and the other complex problems we face as a civilization. Yet Americans seem to be contributing the most to these problems. What does that say about our self-proclaimed identity with freedom and opportunity? Or with being brilliant scientists and innovators? Do we justify our greedy, excessive and wasteful lifestyles with proclamations that we are the envy of the world? Suppose that Americans begin questioning who they are? Would we have a better success at addressing climate change, hunger, poverty, refugees and war if we admitted our faults and shortcomings? Would young military recruits be less likely to sign up to go to war if they thought they were defending mass consumerism rather than freedom and democracy? Is it more likely that we can have lasting international agreements on addressing climate change?
Our nation views ourselves as strong, leaders, powerful, wealthy, and the most free country. I feel like we are too in over our heads. We focus on our military might and forget about things like healthcare and education. We focus on short-comings instead of the long-term. We believe that no other nation is as free as we are yet this is entirely untrue. We are a greedy, vain, and selfish country. We push our values on everyone and reflect a mass consumerism society. We produce so much waste and consume so much materialistic things. I feel like many people in our society do not question how things are done and why they are. We are hypocrites. One this one occasion I was at a market and overheard some guys talking about how they hunted pigs over the weekend, cooked them, and brought them home. A lady nearby also overheard their conversation and was upset at them wondering why they would kill such an animal and that they were crazy for killing, skinning, and eating the animal. But every time that lady who was buying meat eats meat she is paying for someone else to slaughter animals for her to eat. Yet it is okay because she is so far from the killing yet responsible. I thought this was an amazing realization because I had never thought of that. That every time I eat meat I am paying for someone else to kill and animal so that I can consume it. Maybe if we made people have to kill animals themselves to eat them there would be more vegetarians in the world… Much more.