We were chatting, just the other day, about how people seem bent on doing things that from “this side of sixty” look really, really stupid. Naturally, no one listens to us, of course, but we at least will feel a lot better if we jot some of these down because “stupid” is a habit ~ a bad one.
Today we present our take on thirteen ways to avoid stupid.
THE WORLD HAS JUST CHANGED
In general, the world changed at about 4:59 PM on Friday March 9th. This is something George has been following without really knowing how it would appear, but now it has. What has happened is that the Internet passed a turning point with more than 70-million views of the documentary KONY2012 expected by the time you read this.
This represents a HUGE change in the fundamental way in which human society will work going into the future and as much as the internet has changed our lives so far, expect at least that much change again, and likely in only half the time.
This long-form video going viral is likely to be this century’s version of last century’s “Ask not what your country can do for you . . .” It represents an amazingly broad consensus-building in a space of less than a week ~ a truly and impressive coming together of mass consciousness for the first time ever.
To be sure, 58, or even 60-million is not the largest number of eyeballs on an event. The moon landing in 1969 was viewed by 500 to 600-million people worldwide. Even this benchmark was later eclipsed by the Prince of Wales / Lady Diana wedding (750-million) but this past week’s event ~ unlike those previous affairs ~ is participatory in nature.Let us explain. In the case of moon-walking, neat as it was to watch, there was no participatory response in this sense; we could not hop a bus down to the Cape and go be part of the action. Similarly, 750-million onlookers saw the wedding that gave the world Princess Diana. But who participated? Most certainly we watched and in the moment were thrilled but there is no one we know personally that was actually a part of the event.
But this week is different: this week we see millions of people coming together around an “action point” and thus, we expect “It will be done.” And our best guess is that is most certainly will be done by year’s end. What Uganda’s government, the CIA, our military and surrounding countries could not agree to fix is now in process of being fixed by a new global mass consciousness.
No doubt other causes will arise and other points of action will emerge ~ such as we have seen with Anonymous and WikiLeaks. But this one is different: A mainstream manifestation of mass consciousness. One the government can’t label, because it is simply right.With it, the world stands on the brink of a new kind of revolution ~ the kind which no one planned on ~ the kind no one foresaw. Terms like “slacktivism” are being applied vigorously, even now, by deniers of the transcendent change that arrived; those paradigm defenders who enjoyed the “old way.”
But a new global persona is emerging that had already telegraphed that it would bring with it a kind of global mass consciousness, and for its opening “action act” we have to admit we’re impressed as hell.
As the number climbs toward the 100-million views level ~ and beyond ~ something very powerful will have happened that maybe no one expected: The whole planet, or at least the “wired” occupants, will have gone through something of a planetary ascension. To take on what’s wrong, and as a group, commit to doing what’s right. And in doing so, humankind is announcing quite clearly that a game-changer has occurred and that a shift as great as those historical markers ~ the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and Industrial Revolution ~ may have just happened.
Smart people will see it early and participate in new ways. Stupid people won’t.
Still, massive change isn’t here yet, or more correctly, it is, but it’s going to take a while to navigate to a new global way. For now, a short recap of other ways not to be stupid, while the global mass consciousness slowly becomes self-aware is in order.
One of the major causes of human misery is ill health and despite the obviousness of it all, people still put real crap into their bodies. Obesity is at epidemic levels and the reasons are both obvious and treatable.
The first move on the road to health could be ending your sugar intake to as near zero as possible and read some good books out there on diet. Not diets as in “fad” but diets and in what our ancestors usually ate.
Robb Wolf’s “The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet” is a good start, but for dessert might we offer “The Maker’s Diet.” On this second one, the reason is not to encourage hard fasting, but we’ve read some anecdotal reports that people who have gone for some period of time on water-only diets (shipwrecks and the like) end up being much more healthy over the long term than people who gorge three (or more) meals per day and are seriously overweight.
We’re also keen on two other aspects of eating: “The Blood Sugar Solution” is all about the disease prevention that comes from limiting your intake of sugars. Although it has received relatively little publicity, the abstract of the paper “Sweeteners and Risk of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes: The Role of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages” will make you want to ditch soda pop in a hurry.
Gobbling down fruit sugar (fructose) won’t help either, since in a report “What’s Really Making Us Fat” just out The Atlantic cites researchers who consider fructose an obesogen ~ something that makes people fat.
Then there is the matter of excess wheat in modern diets. "Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health" fits right in with our discussion of our ancestor’s diets.
People may have made bread, and such, back in ancient times but the wheat industry has gone overboard and increasing occurrences of celiac sprue disease seems to be taking place. Estimates of wheat dysfunction range from as little as one person in 1,800 to as frequent as one in one hundred ~ or less.
Main symptom? Loose stools and extended belly.
Be aware of the link between health and chronic inflammation as George recently discussed on the Urban Survival site. While it’s true that lots of people having root canals done end up with heart disease, causality is not proven and things like root canals may be symptoms of systemic issues. Although it has been out since 2006, Jessica Black’s "The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book: Protect Yourself and Your Family from Heart Disease, Arthritis, Diabetes, Allergies – and More" lays out what should be obvious.
Note: None of these items should be construed as medical advice, and you could consult your health care professional. But a change of diet is preferable to most diseases and the Two G’s are all over the healthy eats program. It is one of the few things that deserves seconds.
Cook and eat basic foods. There is no point in eating junk ~ if you’re willing to take the few minutes cooking takes, it’s much better to eat real food than preservative-laced food which we’re both dead-set against.
Timing of home-buying is always a difficult thing. Obviously the Housing Collapse has been very hard on America since mid-2008 and the outlook remains clouded. We can only offer a few general points to consider. The main one is the stability of your employment situation. If you have a job and enough money saved for a down payment, you’re one of the few. But before you launch in to home ownership in perilous times like these, consider the question in advance: How would you pay for your home for a year or two if it took that long to return to work after firing, layoffs, or an unexpected serious health issue?
One way to look at timing is to look to see if consumer confidence is returning. Most recent numbers from the Federal Reserve indicate that revolving debt (e.g. credit cards) is actually running at a negative 4.4% annualized rate for the January 2012 preliminary report. That means retail is very weak in early 2012 but spending on mobile homes, college, and other non-revolving kinds of debt are up.
Still, since government has been “watering down” the actual purchasing power of the US dollar by about 3¼ percent per year since 1913, home ownership is still a very good way to lock in your housing costs, but we’d suggest that if you’re buying in today’s market that you look particularly hard at bank-owned properties and foreclosure sales as those may represent the best prices.
If you don’t have the money, don’t own a car. Although that seems simple enough, a huge number of young people ~ raised in suburbia ~ have the wrong-headed idea that a car is a necessity. They’re not. A modest car will cost you $300 per month for the payment, plus gasoline, plus $100 per month (or more, depending on your driving record) and even then incidentals such as occasional major repairs should be anticipated.
Both G’s tend to think of cars as long term commitments so buy something you’ll like, and remember that while a two-year old car can make sense because it has been partially depreciated, the tradeoff is that used car financing is percentage-wise higher, and if the car has 40,000 miles, or more on it, you have to figure at least tires and brakes ~ often right away ~ and then start salting money away for repairs.
Those are costs that don’t crop up for several years with a new car, so unless you need the room for some reason, the Corolla, Smart, Sentra size makes sense.
Airline travel is getting more expensive as fuel prices have gone up. Shop the specials, last-minute deals and try some of the outfits like PriceLine.com.
The flip side is cruise deals have been really good as the lines try to hang onto customers through the downturn. As a result Gaye and Survival Hubby have had some wonderful cruises at bargain prices.
If you think you are sick, then go immediately to the doctor. Between us, we’ve seen lots of small problems turn into big ones because people put off getting what turned out to be urgently needed care. If you can’t afford it, most medical institutions have provision for free (charity) and inexpensive (reduced rate) care. Still, even if you have money, make sure you demand the same rate as large insurance companies get for the same services. Otherwise, on the back-end, it’s harder to argue.
Keep current on all service packs, updates, and especially on antivirus programs. It only takes one virus, one time, to make your carefully arranged digital life fall apart. As cool as the mass consciousness of the ‘net is, there are plenty of dark alleys left. Until the mass consciousness emerging figures out how to deal harshly with anti-humans ~ service packs, updates, along with firewalls, malware blockers and antivirus programs are still very much needed.
The emerging Net Consciousness will be subject to both hijacking and regulation attempts. The reason? Think of it as a kind of intellectual version of “To the Barricades!”
We think this is a kind of portal ~entryway ~ to a different kind of life experience where many of the old rules ~ like the ones here ~ will still work and, for that matter, be necessary. But at a different level, if we’re all to work toward a better world, the net has ~ through accident or design ~ given us a way.
But guard your consciousness closely in this strange new world. Some of the old ways of not being stupid are still important, but new ways of not being stupid are likely soon to emerge.
Hang on and enjoy the ride,
The Two G’s ~ George & Gaye
Introducing Strategic-Living: a practical and useful online magazine providing inspiration and guidance as we make our way through the maze of changes that are coming our way. In collaboration with my friend and colleague, George Ure, Strategic-Living will offer a synthesis of Urban Survival and Backdoor Survival with much more detailed tips, tools and strategies for creating a vibrant and sustainable lifestyle wherever your path may take you. Think of Urban Survival and Backdoor Survival as your roadmap and Strategic-Living as your detailed guidebook. Here you will find articles and photos, diagrams and how-to’s, and a healthy dose get-out-there and do it with kick-in-the-ass inspiration.