Friday, June 10, 2011

2013 - an outline

2013 outline
Robert L. Fielding
Introduction – synopsis
Sailing away from the devastation of 2012 (film) the ‘ship’s head for highland Africa, which is unharmed by the environmental catastrophes that hit most of the northern hemisphere, and the Western world in particular. The ships land and the passengers disembark (Learn about the characters on the journey via incidents that point to how they are and what they are likely to be like later – give them names).
Getting off the ships, each one surveys the land and voices his or her hopes for the future – done in dialogues and in monologues too.
The land is shown – its possibilities and its dangers, plus its indigenous population which is inevitably, outwardly primitive – though they have been living here for thousands of years in harmony – with each other and with the environment – the flora and the fauna (though there will be some who take to the idea of getting rich quickly, at the expense of their neighbors, and this will be exploited by the dodgy types getting off the ships.

As folks settle, they have to reinvent – fire etc, what to eat, how to survive in what, for them, is essentially an alien environment. Some are prepared to learn and do learn, while others pay in coin for help and become dependent, though they are not immediately aware of that fact.

Life is good as it stands, but soon some issues surface – territorial in nature, connected to resources such as water etc.

Narratives in conversations to discover what each would do were they to find themselves in circumstances in which they could start over. They could begin as speculations with people saying what they would do, which could then be compared with their actions, thus exposing any contradictions and exploring the mentality of the protagonists. In that way, the realities of the different types could be authenticated – not by me, the writer, but the actual characters relating the events. A framework/format would need to be sketched out with details of the chief characters along with the point at which each narrative unfolded, and coalesced into a coherent tale of people attempting to begin civilization again, albeit having knowledge of a previous one.

Sections of the story

1. Leaving the devastated regions
2. Arriving in Africa
3. The people
4. Living and surviving
5. Settling in and staying
6. Problems – sins of the fathers vs new ways for a new world
a) Colonizing
b) Greed
c) Land grabs
d) Producing surpluses
e) Producing for real needs
f) Avoiding the pitfalls of the past
7. Rounding off the story

1. Assumptions
a) Things to aspire to
b) The good life
c) What is best for people
d) That anyone can know certain things
e) Wealth is the end and aim of all activity
f) Wealth is the only true way of measuring success
g) People who aren’t rich aren’t successful
h) We know best
i) Primitive people and sophisticated people
j) Education ends when schooling ends
k) The value of education is to make you fit to be employed
l) Western modes of thinking are superior to all others
m) Modernity is everything
n) Old is bad – new is good
o) Everything is written – fatalism
p) Our destiny is fixed
q) The Earth is there for us to do with as we will
r) Some people are superior to others
s) Everything is genetically inherited
t) If everybody does it one way, it must be right
u) There’s only one way – the right way
v) Correctness is an absolute
w) Quotes

The possibly revolutionary idea that having strong views on something is at the root of most, if not all, of our problems. In order to get nearer the truth of any situation, it is necessary to let a discussion run its logical course. Since no one viewpoint is going to prevail, a better, more complete picture can be gained.

If an aggressive, self assured person ‘wins’ an argument, then we have lost; all that person will have succeeded in doing is to convince, through power of argument, power of character – forcefulness and assertiveness, and although we may concede that the power of his argument won the day, I still maintain that the outcome was not the best one – that his winning the argument is to deny other strands of the discussion. The only pointer that leads to successful conclusions to discussion rather than debate, is one in which everyone is prepared to admit that he may be wrong, or at least, if not actually wrong, then not wholly right.

Let’s get to a conclusion which gains unanimity rather than triumph, for triumph suggests loss, and in discussions relating to issues of real importance to our survival, we do not want winners, for if we have them, we also have losers, and we do not want anyone to lose anything – reason unchained to personalities is what is required.

If anyone doubts the value of not holding strong views, as opposed to mutually consensual ones, reached by a unanimity of logic, let him look at where holding strong views and then acting upon them has got us; the Earth is under threat from our activities, and we are under threat from the possible destruction of our planet.

Relativism is the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration.[1][2] The term is often used to refer to the context of moral principle, where in a relativistic mode of thought, principles and ethics are regarded as applicable in only limited context. There are many forms of relativism which vary in their degree of controversy.[3] The term often refers to truth relativism, which is the doctrine that there are no absolute truths, i.e., that truth is always relative to some particular frame of reference, such as a language or a culture (cf. cultural relativism). Another widespread and contentious form is moral relativism. (See also moral relativism, aesthetic relativism, social constructionism, and cognitive relativism).

Relativism is sometimes (though not always) interpreted as saying that all points of view are equally valid, in contrast to an absolutism which argues there is but one true and correct view. In fact, relativism asserts that a particular instance Y exists only in combination with or as a by-product of a particular framework or viewpoint X, and that no framework or standpoint is uniquely privileged over all others. That is, a non-universal trait Y (e.g., a particular practice or convention for example). Notably, this is not an argument that all instances of a certain kind of framework (say, all languages) do not share certain basic universal commonalities (say, grammatical structure and vocabulary) that essentially define that kind of framework and distinguish it from other frameworks (for example, linguists have criteria that define language and distinguish it from the mere communication of other animals).

One argument for relativism suggests that our own cognitive bias prevents us from observing something objectively with our own senses, and notational bias will apply to whatever we can allegedly measure without using our senses. In addition, we have a culture bias—shared with other trusted observers—which we cannot eliminate. A counterargument to this states that subjective certainty and concrete objects and causes form part of our everyday life, and that there is no great value in discarding such useful ideas as isomorphism, objectivity and a final truth. Some relativists claim that humans can understand and evaluate beliefs and behaviors only in terms of their historical or cultural context.

1. Leaving the devastated regions
Euphoria at escape
Sadness at leaving everything behind
Plans – what will we need
Different types of people onboard
Checks and balances
Good guys and bad guys
Over eagerness
Side effects
Reality checker
Common sense vs knee jerks
Specialist advice
Caring vs uncaring attitudes

2. Arriving in Africa
Descriptions on arriving – sea and land
Fear and excitement
Wonder of the new
Over eagerness
Early mistakes
Learning from early mistakes
Meeting the indigenous people
Making enemies
Underestimating people – false assumptions based upon prejudices

3. The People
Language and communication
False friends – sources of misunderstanding
Things in common
Making progress

4. Living and surviving
Living conditions
Difficulties adapting
Familiar features
Coping with the new
Not coping with the new 
5. Settling in and staying
Routines beginning
Old ways staying
Settling in

6. Problems: Sins of the fathers – new ways for a new world
We’ve always done it like this – attitudes that need to change
Lessons learnt the hard way
Clinging to old ways
The shock of the new
A new world demands new ways

7. Colonizing
We are better – they are not like us
Brought up sharply
Taking more than you need
Things – acquiring before living
This land is mine, not yours
Work for us

8. Greed
Want vs needs
Wanting too much
Unsustainable desires

9. Land grabs
Moving in
Giving back

10. Producing surpluses
Pushing it – overproducing
Bargaining and bartering

11. Producing for real needs
What we really need
What we do not really need

12. Avoiding the pitfalls of the past

13. Rounding off the story – some lessons learned
New world ordering
Sensible priorities
Role models

Robert L. FieldingTo be continued