There are a few terms I use consistently and the more discussions I have, the more it is apparent that my definitions might not be the same as someone else’s definition. Whenever there is a contentious or loaded term I will link it to this page. As my lexicon develops further I will add to this page.
Abundance: The state where a given resource is in plentiful supply. Given this state of plenty people psychologically don’t feel the compulsion to take amounts in excess of their needs. Also, along with efficiency and preservation, it stands as one of the major threats to profit. Contrast with scarcity.
Access Abundance: Access to all the means of survival for everyone on the planet. It is the desirable state of affairs where all needs (not necessarily all wants though) are provided for. It is an unprecedented level of prosperity that has only been technically possible relatively recently in human existence. We have the knowledge to get to this state but our values and entrenched institutions provide a formidable barrier.
Believe: While commonly taken to mean passionately/adamantly espousing a viewpoint, I use it to mean holding a position beyond reason. The problem is that the term belief and its derivatives are so entrenched in our lexicon that it is actually awkward to substitute the preferred word, think instead (i.e. “I don’t believe in evolution; I think [in] evolution”). Where possible I try not to use the word believe because of this irrational connotation, but since its use is still widespread I might lapse and use it in appropriate circumstances.
Bogey-man: Colloquial term for any trumped-up concern meant to not only divert attention in a particular direction but to foment fear among a population, thus rendering them easier to control and deceive. Often used in conjunction with othering.
Comedian: One who tells the truth but who is not taken seriously. See statesman.
Competitive Deselection: A more accurate term for conspiracy which properly situates so-called “conspiracy theories” within the context of a a competitive socio-economic system. In reality, any conspiracy is a move to consolidate power thus increasing advantage; a behaviour which the system reinforces and incentivizes. We see this behaviour at the individual level all the time, yet the idea that it could happen at the state or institutional level seems implausible to the point of ridiculousness. When you accept this behaviour happens at all levels, the world starts to make a lot more sense.
Consciousness: Omni-present in the universe, we are receivers of it rather than generators of it.
Conspiracy: A term commonly used derisively to discredit any any account other than the official one put forward by the state commercial entity and its media apparatus. However, conspiracy is much more accurately defined as competitive deselection, a definition which takes into account the intrinsic corruption and incentivized malfeasance of our current scarcity-based socio-economic system. See competitive deselection.
Distance: This term, popularized by Lt. Col. David Grossman in his book, ” On Killing,” refers to the perceived figurative distance between two human beings which makes it acceptable for one to kill (or otherwise injure) the other. This illusion of distance can be perpetuated on many different grounds, although “moral distance” (i.e. “We’re good and they’re evil”) is more common as of late because racial distance (i.e. “let’s kill those gooks“), religious distance (i.e. “let’s kill those Muslims”) and social distance (i.e. “I have no qualms about sending these peasants to their deaths”) are not politically correct or widely acceptable in the multi-racial, multi-religious societies of the western world. Interestingly, many well-intentioned issues-based activist groups tend to unwittingly perpetuate distance between themselves and their “oppressors” by fostering group solidarity among their particular demographic.
The great irony is that by identifying a party as your enemy, you identify yourself as an enemy as well. Both “sides” are then completely justified in using any means available to bring about the figurative or literal demise of their opposition.
Efficiency: Streamlining a process to produce an end-product of the highest possible quality, in the shortest amount of time, with the least amount of transport distance, with the least amount of wasted resources. Contrast with Market Efficiency.
Emergent: Typically used in the phrase Emergent Knowledge to denote our current,ever-changing levels of knowledge and know-how as a species. Usually juxtaposed against our contemporary methods and entrenched technologies to illustrate the degree to which progress is held back by the profit mechanism specifically and fear of scarcity more broadly.
Empirical: Factual knowledge based on repeated observation; the kind of knowledge gained from applying the scientific method.
Fact: Snapshot of our current levels of understanding that have only a finite lifespan of relevance. The longevity of a fact’s relevance and accuracy is dictated by the rate of developments within the field it describes, and very often facts which were accurate at one point are greatly altered if not completely proven false as our approximations of reality get closer and closer to truth.
However, it is wishful thinking to assume that facts only refine and get closer to truth in a linear fashion with the passage of time. In our current socio-economic system, interests related to profit, prestige and power consolidation often lead to the creation of facts which are not representative of anything except the interests of the parties which created them.
Should not be mistaken for truth. Contrast with fiction.
Fiction: Reductively viewed as non-factual stories with no bearing in truth. In reality, the popularity of fiction is attributable because it contains massive amounts of truth presented through either relatable characters and situations, and/or allegories which reflect the audience’s own human experience back at them in a meaningful way.
While a fact that is relevant today could very well be proven false tomorrow and lose its relevance, the relevance of fiction typically has much greater longevity. This is because its relevance is directly proportionate to its relatability to human experience, and thus the truth it presents to the audience. For example, a technical manual full of current facts about a certain product will be rendered more and more obsolete and irrelevant as time goes by and the tech improves or is abandoned with new iterations. However, a story like Star Wars, bereft of facts though it may be, is still relevant because people can and will perhaps always be able to relate to the archetype of the young person who dreams of more than their boring existence. Should we ever get to a point in our development where young people no longer feel the urge to go out and have adventures, then perhaps Star Wars will fall into obscurity, no longer being representative of the truth of human experience,
“Fighting for Scraps From the Table” (Rather Then a Seat): A colloquial term used to describe any well-intentioned action that attempts to gain social justice/rights/a greater share of resources for any disenfranchised group. These attempts are typically misguided for two (2) reasons: 1) They accept scarcity as a pre-condition of existence by unquestioningly working within the obsolete, restrictive framework of an inherently flawed, scarcity-based/scarcity-imposing socio-economic system to get more from what is essentially a finite pool, and 2) Working to advance one group’s interests within the scarcity-based system necessarily takes advantage from or imposes responsibilities/duties upon another group, leading to resentment, division and mistrust.
Idea: A tool to facilitate understanding. Sharing ideas in a collaborative way is generally positive and leads to progress and greater knowledge. However, in our competitive socio-economic system, there is an unfortunate necessity to hoard ideas and try and claim ownership of them in order to make money from them. This has a very stultifying effect on the progress of our knowledge and understanding.
Intellectual Materialsim: Holding onto an idea past the point of reason. Wanting
-isms: Various schools of thought, political positions and religious associations which are internalized by adherents and become part of their identity. This is a detrimental outcome as a school of thought tends to be a great limiter of inquiry and becomes a truncated frame of reference. Also, by formally a position, one necessarily sets themselves at odds with others who have formalized an opposing position. This enables othering and serves and simply another divisive line in the sand to separate people.
Examples of -isms would be atheism, capitalism, communism, Li
-ist: Suffix for someone who identifies as an adherent to a certain school of thought. There are others, such as -ian, -ic, –al, and -er, but the principle is the same. See -isms.
Jeet Kune Do: See Bruce Lee.
Joseph, Peter: Creator of the Zeitgeist film series and widely recognized as the founder of The Zeitgeist Movement. His activism continues to inspire today and is notable for taking a systems approach to social change. Has had a major influence on my worldview.
Lee, Bruce: (b. 27 Nov 1940 – d. 20 July 1973) Hong Kong/American martial artist, actor and philosopher. His martial arts philosophy, Jeet Kune Do or The Way of the Intercepting Fist, was an “anti-style” he developed in response to what he felt was a slavish devotion to martial arts forms and styles which had outlived their usefulness. By stripping away all of the non-essential details he worked out a practical and effective martial art that was reflective of the practitioner’s abilities and the circumstance’s demands. Needless to say, this stripping away of non-essential details is applicable in other areas, not least of which are resource management and academia.
Market Efficiency: Maximizing profit through minimization of cost. This often has a deleterious effect on people and environment, as common cost-cutting measures would be improper disposal of waste, utilization of dangerous materials and lax safety standards.
Materialism: 1. Wanting a good more than you want the utility the good provides. 2.Rooting your identity in the possessions you have acquired. 3. Defining the worth of yourself an others by possessions, brand associations, and conspicuous displays of affluence.
Natural Law/Resource-Based Economy (NL/RBE): A global system of resource-management and preservation espoused by groups the The Zeitgeist Movement and The Venus Project. An NL/RBE sees the resources of the world as common heritage to every human being and transcends artificial national barriers to allocate resources where they are needed, with abundance for all and no price tag.
Nature/The Natural Order:
Non-Violence and/or Non-Participation:
Othering: The practice of identifying a particular demographic as a threat to whatever demographic you identify as, in order to foster group solidarity and create a sense of united purpose. While this can create great camaraderie and trust among your chosen group, it inevitably makes hatred and direct violence toward the other much more palatable through the creation of distance.
Ownership: See external restriction.
Preservation: Explicit enemy of profit. Preservation concerns resource-management and not using the means of access to life in a wasteful fashion. A cursory glance at growing landfills, the Pacific garbage gyre and the looming depletion of (easily accessible) hydrocarbons makes it clear that in our current socio-economic system preservation is simply not a priority. Rather, it is antithetical to the prevailing ethos infinite growth an profit maximization.
Petro-Chemicals: See hydrocarbons.
Politician: See statesman.
Reductive: Making generalizations about a whole based on a fragmentary knowledge or minor features taken out of context.
Ruppert, Michael C.: Former LAPD officer who was kicked off the force in the 1970s for refusing to help the CIA ship drugs into South Central. Over the next 20 years he exposed CIA activities and made something of a target of himself before founding From the Wilderness, an internet-based alternative media outlet in the late 1990s. Adept at decoding mainstream media headlines, Ruppert and FtW notably exposed the Pat Tillman cover-up and predicted the debt collapse of 2008. FtW shut down for good after a mysterious (and thorough) burglary left all of their computers destroyed and their office in ruin.
Since then, Ruppert was the subject of the 2009 documentary, Collapse, about the end of hydrocarbons. He now resides in Colorado, and is the subject of a six-part Vice documentary called Apocalypse Man.
Scarcity: The basis of our socio-economic system, the maintainer of high prices, and the powerful sub-conscious fear of everyone in the system. Scarcity has been a reality of human life for all of recorded history, and while actual shortages have been largely overcome through human ingenuity, things are kept artificially scarce so teir price remains high. The upshot of this of course is that we are by and large, still living on a subsistence level.
Scientific Method, The:
Social Capital: The ability of people in a given sample to trust one another> The sample is usually a national one, and there are studies showing that greater levels of social capital exist in countries with lower stratification.
Statesman: One who lies and necessarily deceives to maintain a position of primacy on the regional or world stage. In spite of this consistent, provable, pathological deception, the words of the statesman are, on the whole, taken very seriously. See also, comedian.
Trans-Morality Epoch, The:
Trust: See Social Capital.
Wants: Infinite and culturally programmed. These are the things (typically consumer goods and symbols of status) that we can live without but are conditioned into desiring directly through advertising, and indirectly through the inherent stratification of our scarcity-based socio-economic system. See needs.
Well-Intentioned: A derisive term that I use perhaps more condescendingly than I should. Typically applied to issues-based advocacy, and any gestural activism which doesn’t take a systems approach when looking at the causes of whatever disenfranchisement it is combating. A classic example of a well-intentioned approach would be fighting for change within the current socio-economic system, using traditional avenues like courts, monetary expenditure, protest and violence to get there.
Zeitgeist Movement, The: