Sunday, May 13, 2012

My absence of late, the myth of the lone innovator, patents, and pot

Hello there

I know it has been a while since I have last posted anything. The main reason for this is that I have been back at university, and every time I get inspiration to write a post, I tell myself that i will be giving in to my procrastination habit once again, which this term I have endeavoured to improve upon.

You guys be the judge of how successful my attempt was, considering I am writing this when I have 2 assignments and a test due in the next 11 days.

Another reason I've been silent was that I've simply had so much go on in my life in the last 3 months. I've spent a lot of my free time with my friends the monkey, pixie, snail, vampire et alia. We've done activities like visit the roof of Beattie building, the interior space of the library ceiling/roof, the zoo roof, the zoo floor, the forbidden path at Kirstenbosch, the Beaverlac mountain rocks, the cottage haunted by the c(o)ps and fuck knows where else. This kind of thing has the habit of being so enthralling that I am simply not at home a lot of the time.

Anyway, now that I've finally decided to write this post, I thought I would settle on talking about how important these connections with people that we all have are. The auteur and lone inventor characters in fiction are simply that; fictitious. I'm prepared to make a strong statement here: No one has ever accomplished anything productive without, in some way, shape or form, the assistance of others. People raised in the wild are usually too dysfunctional in society to learn a language past the ability of a young child.  Everything you have ever done or will do was made possible by the assistance you received.

And that is why, if for no other reason, we need to have a creative society that refuses the use of devices like patents. Patents supposedly 'protect' inventors by allowing them to sue anyone that uses 'their' ideas and schematics, but it immediately assumes an adverserial economy where unscrupulous people may attempt to benefit off the effort of others. However, patents limit creativity by restricting who may work on an idea. It wouldn't matter who did most of the work on the idea (and even then it would be a team of supporters as well as the named 'inventor'), it would matter who made it first to the local Patent Office.

What we need is to move past the notion of idea-theft and intellectual property, when we realise that single sources of innovation do not exist. Everything that you and I have ever learned has come to us courtesy of the collective consciousness. Your work on an idea is a gift to the consciousness as a whole, not your ticket to easy profit.

If you still think your life is a self-made, completely independent system, then answer these questions. Do you plant your own produce, grow it, harvest it and eat it yourself? Do you source your own water for your showers and bottle it, and then heat it using electricity you generate yourself? Was your  house or dwelling built entirely by your own hands?

Of course it wasn't. Living such a life would be completely inefficient, in any case. As human beings we are interdependent on one another - so how about we learn to think in ways that promotes a spirit of mutual giving and teaching, instead of  ways that promote adversarial relatons between people? Nationalism, religion and war are overt examples of such promotion, but there exist far more subtle ways too.

The simplest way to state it all is thus: We are in this together, we are on the same side. Now what should we do to make this living thing work?

The final point I wanted to make, was that it would be great if we could raise the consciousness of people to the extent that they understand that we are all one. And I feel that the use of pot, when hanging around with your best friends, is a way to promote this sort of attitude in the collective consciousness. Pot, in my opinion and experience, fosters feelings of togetherness and happiness when in groups of other people, and a contemplative yet kind outlook when alone. When I attended the marijuana march on the 5th of May of this year, one of the crowd's yells was 'It brings people together!' I believe this firmly.

No comments:

Post a Comment