24 March 2006

Some Inchoate Thoughts

inchoate: n. Newly begun, incomplete, not organized.

It seems that every conversation We have on this Island centers around problems: jobs are scarce or unsatisfactory, Our government sucks and its government (at the Federal level) is turning into 1984's Big(oted) Brother, food costs rise, energy costs are soaring, water quality is nonexistent, the educational system is a fetid dead horse...the list seems endless.


My thought process was hovering around that topic when these steps clicked together in an instant:

----1) Every problem has a solution.
----2) What if the problem can be avoided?
----3) What if We simply solved it at the personal level?
----4) Would I be willing to try that?

Notice the personalization at the end. It's very important, for unless I'm interested, I won't pursue the matter. (This standard applies as much to My writing as to My work, and I'd be surprised if it didn't apply to yours.)


Let's make a brief list: government, jobs, education, water, food, energy. No particular order, just a portion of Our daily diatribe. Here, in the briefest of fashions, are solutions to these:

Government: Ignore it as much as possible. Ignore their "news", the "politologists", the press conferences, for they are all the loathsome blither-blather of muck-brained sheep. Vote if you wish, pay taxes, but to every degree possible, ignore and avoid the government. What's truly important will filter to you through family and friends you trust. The rest is garbage.

Job: Start your own business, using the Internet. That avoids all the red tape the local Fools throw at you to show they have power like intestines have gas. By focusing on yourself and your career, you take away the power others have to keep you insecure as to your present and future options.

Education: If you have children, seriously consider homeschooling. At least get a computer, a broadband Internet connection and a lengthy list of age-appropriate websites for your children to explore. Don't think a private school is automatically better: some small public schools are strong educational centers. If nothing else, take a direct and consistent interest in your children's schooling: it will pay off for their future. As for yourself, add one new skill every 3 months. Define what you need or want to learn and start learning. Use any method (books, tapes, classes, workshops, seminars, barter, apprenticeship, volunteering, etc.) but keep learning.

Water: Stop buying bottled water. It's a scam and an expensive one, at that. (In general, spending less on everything is a good idea, but here it's a must.) Find the best water purification system (reverse osmosis is considered a top choice) at the lowest price. Use Consumer Reports or other similar sources to help you choose. Change shower heads, faucets and toilets to more efficient models. (If you learn to do that yourself, you've just added a paying skill!)

Food: According to urban gardeners, 100 square feet can grow enough food to substantially reduce your grocery bill and enhance your diet. It is also good exercise, a great educational experience and a potential income source. Given the propensity for houses in Puerto Rico to have tiny yards and flat roofs, roof gardening is actually quite easy. The point is to reduce food costs, but the ancillary benefits (including a cooler house if you put a garden on the roof) are large.

Energy: Brighter lights that use less energy are common now. Use them. Turn off the TV and other "white noise-makers" you keep on for no other reason. Do you really need a gas-guzzling SUV (and its high monthly payments)? Solar water heaters save money. Clean air conditioners take only a few minutes, but can save you hundreds of dollars a year. Use a timer to reduce the water heater's "ON" time.

These steps and many more are possible at the personal level. It's a matter of choice. But their true impact happens at the community level, when some 150-200 people come together, especially when you look at jobs (business support through bartering, trading, niche market support such as guilds); food (crop diversity); water (communal wells, irrigation, sewage recycling); energy (windmills, solar energy) and education.

I haven't thought all that through yet, but then again, I don't have to. There's bound to be be plenty of information out there on all these topics and how they can be applied.

If We choose to.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

1 comment:

Joe from Cupey said...

You always hit it right on the button!
If you run for office I'll give you my vote.