The vital role of "the news" is to provide factual information about the world and empower people to make rational decisions about the course of their lives. Nearly all of our corporate-owned media does the opposite. • The corporate media ignore context, covering news like gossip & entertainment. Their primary purpose is selling their owners’ products. • They promote a national religion of consumerism. • They serve as a PR tool for the two factions (democrats and republicans) of the ruling class (607 billionaires and their empire). • FOX and a few others take this a step further, acting as pure propaganda machines on the level of N Korean State TV. Almost nothing on FOX is factual. That’s not hyperbole. According to Politifact only 10% of stories on FOX are completely true.
SURVIVORS GUIDE TO EARTH is a call to action. For all of us. And those working in media. To get focused on 6 big-picture topics.
1. OUR HOME
Our home. We live on the bottom of an ocean floor. That ocean is made of oxygen. And our ocean is shallow. It’s a short 60-mile trip from here to outer space. Our home is a thin little onion skin wrapped around a tiny orb floating in an infinite mystery. And our delicate little habitat is getting rather warm. There are some good ideas how to reverse that. And they involve economics.
Economics is a science. Not a religion. It has a purpose, which is to understand how to manage the distribution of our best ideas and resources for the good of the human species. When we get it right, we’re like a big happy family, and the aliens are less likely to colonize us for food. To apply our best economic practices, we need good politics.
In 2020, the word “politics” implies factions wrestling for power. The word “politics” is from ancient Greece. Aristotle used it to describe the affairs of cities in a book he called - brace yourself - “Politics.” Politics are our social systems for governing and managing our economic practices. Their purpose is to ensure people have equal access to the resources of this world and the autonomy to determine their own destiny. They determine how we resolve conflict and defend against tyranny. From households to nations. And that requires good communication.
The purpose of our mass media is to report and share important information back and forth, connecting people and their representatives at the local, regional, national and global levels. Scientifically sound, factual information is required for rational, informed decision-making and accountability. For the mass media to be useful, humanity must be its highest value. And our humanity is best understood through our culture.
5. human culture
The arts are our earthly pathway to the fundamental essence of what it means to be a human being. The arts are a magic portal allowing us to step into each other’s shoes and laugh, sing, dance, hurt, learn and feel our oneness. And our collective myths are our metaphors for life. But culture is not only the arts. It’s science, cooking, gardening, mathematics, medicine, architecture, city planning, and any inspiration that ennobles or benefits life on earth and enables us to be more conscious and connected through our talents and abilities. We all share the same needs. Food, shelter, security, health, belonging, love and a life of purpose. That’s why the foundation of our culture should never bow to an idol of money. Money is here to serve our humanity. Not the reverse. Which brings me to the last item of interest.
Due to problems misunderstanding the first 5 items we’ve just discussed, the word “God” reeks of snake oil for about 1/3 of Americans. And “spirituality” can smack of self-help programs, which is not helpful. So, let’s use the word “goodness.” Goodness is using our passions in balance for fuel but not letting our desires be our masters. Goodness reminds us the highest good is not our selves. If we take too much credit, we’re led to hubris — legendary for ruining all good endeavors. Goodness means we focus on our own faults more than others’. And take the highest road we can. Goodness means we have a lot to learn. Let us remain in a state of wonder, humility and reverence. Anything else is quite unreasonable. We are here for a short time. We are guests. It’s pretty clear what the point is: to take care of each other and our home. Which brings us back to 1.