I have the misfortune of feeling like I need to watch the US Senate hearings with Facebook's Libra talking head.
I have no idea if Libra is going to be good. On the one hand, I don't actually really like the idea that we should have to give our ID to some corporation to prove we aren't a criminal or some such, and allow us to be tracked if some government leech decides that we may or may not be a criminal. I have this problem where I believe intensely in certain things, like liberties, and the belief that someone is innocent until proven guilty, and shouldn't have to do various things because some government organization decides I have to prove I'm not a criminal. On the other hand, the current ways to send money online still kinda suck. If more people used crypto, it would be a lot better, but crypto actually is pretty volatile. Whenever I want to send money online, I immediately want to ask if they have a crypto wallet. When I want to buy something, I often want to pay in crypto. I actually HATE sending money with Paypal in certain circumstances, because it exposes my personal info. Sorry, but I don't want everyone to have my full name and address. Call me crazy.
I also hate Facebook, because they just generally suck when it comes to privacy in general.
And yet, I find myself yelling at the Senators, and even defending Facebook...to no one in particular, because I'm alone in the room. I'm yelling at the TV, bitching at the Senators, because they haven't done their fucking homework. They don't know what they're talking about.
I wish they had watched that talk that I watched the other day on Al Jazeera English. I loved that one girl who I believe was from India. She actually knew what she was talking about, and clearly researched it quite a bit.
When watching the President of the United States, I have recently started to realize that he acts a lot like someone that has to do an oral report and haven't done his homework.
I'm sure most of us have been in that position. We stand up there, talking bullshit, saying nothing, and often saying things that might not actually make sense, if you actually do know what you are talking about.
Usually Senators and Congressmen know a little bit more than that kid on the spot in front of the class that has no idea what he's talking about, Trump, but not by much.
Some Senators and Congressmen are very intelligent. Some perhaps may be closer to average intelligence. Some really do their homework on various subjects. They likely don't have the time to do their homework on everything. But shouldn't they do their homework on most topics? Or have staff do so, and perhaps even have staff write their questions, if they aren't quite sure what they're talking about.
There was one time when I was quite a bit longer when I considered whether or not it would be better if some kind of intellectual elite somehow ran the government. There are of course various problems with this. How do we decide who is the intellectual elite? Can everyone vote equally on who among the intellectual elite decides on laws? Or is there going to be some kind of test? In the past there have been tests administered for voting to try to disenfranchise black voters. Will there be issues with racism in such a system? Will there be issues where certain types of intelligence that may actually be beneficial for legislation will not be respected?
While I could imagine some kind of fictional world where an intellectual elite ruled over the populace...it's hard to not imagine that then there would be issues with classism.
And yet, faced with these legislators that can't manage to understand technology, ask stupid questions, and can't do their fucking homework, I can't help but think about whether or not it would be better if those that decided on what laws we have were perhaps among the most intelligent among us.
Due to the way the United States' Democratic Republic works, individuals really have no recourse to deal with the fact that we have tons of representatives that don't actually represent us appropriately. You can "vote" them out, but that requires that you find someone that people would rather have, and then vote on them in mass. In effect, you are just one voice, and you have to rely on everyone in that representative's district actually paying attention, and voting them out. That doesn't necessarily happen when a representative does something really stupid and votes for or against some legislation you care about, or just doesn't know what they're talking about when asking questions during a historic hearing.
If you are rich or lead a corporation, you kinda have a bit more power. If you really want someone out of office, you can buy ads against politicians you don't like. There are limitations of course, but if you're rich, you can hire someone to help you navigate the legislation to ensure you are on the right side of the law, and ensure a politician you don't like goes down. You can also donate money to politicians to get their ear...even if supposedly you aren't supposed to be allowed to do that...it does kinda work that way. You can also lobby them for specific things...which if it wasn't effective, people wouldn't spend so much money doing it.
But normal people just kinda have to sit back and watch as their representatives don't do their jobs. I'm not sure that some of them really care to actually do their jobs. They don't want to read every law. They don't. They don't want to do the research so they ask intelligent apt questions. Some of them do, sure, but some of them regularly look like idiots, and take a fuckton of time off, and yet they continually get reelected because someone is voting for them that doesn't care about that and just likes them, or just doesn't like the other options.
Maybe a citizen can contact their representative to talk to them about some issue they have...but it's not like you can send them a letter telling them that they're a fucking idiot and asshole for not understanding something or taking the time to research it. That wouldn't really go over that well.
The people being idiots might not even be in your jurisdiction anyway.
And yet, what do we do about it, because the ones that can do anything about it are the same idiots that don't do their fucking research. They don't wanna do research to try to figure out a better system that might ensure that the people in power know what they are talking about and do their research. If they would even want to...which they don't...because they just want to be paid astronomical amounts, much of it under the table.
The older I get, the less I believe in representative democracy, because it just ends up with a bunch of assholes that don't do their jobs. You always have a choice between the lesser of two assholes. Then the stories that make it to the media about what is supposed to matter about legislators is where they put their dick.
If some dick is grabbing girls asses...that matters...especially to the girl. When some guy has been accused of rape, that matters. A certain person who was accused of rape who has a tendency to not necessarily be a friend of women's rights and things in that vein. That matters.
However, when a guy cheats on his wife, while that matters a bit when it comes to their morals and such, it matters far less when it comes to legislation.
But the media doesn't care what matters when it comes to the fitness of a legislator. If they did, they would report when a legislator asks a stupid question, votes on a particularly bad bill, or something like that, that has direct ramifications on their quality as a legislator.
Pretty much every legislator at the time voted for the Patriot Act...and then a bunch of them voted for it again! Almost none of them actually read it...but I sure as fuck hope they read it the second time. This was a piece of legislation that was so horrible that it's vilified by pretty much the entire internet, and used by the media in certain films and such to talk about disapearing people, holding them without counsel. Do we even know how many people were held under the Patriot Act? And yet these legislators faced no recourse for voting for that legislation that so many were against. Holding people indefinitely without counsel is wholeheartedly un-American, and yet they faced no recourse.
This is because the media cares more about if something is scandalous than if it actually is important when considering whether or not someone is fit to lead. And yet they are the ones that determine what people find out most about the legislators.
So, here we are, in a country with legislators that have no idea what they're talking about, and not really a way to replace them with anyone that does....and it does kinda make me wonder about how it could be better...and that's pretty much in any way. Anything different might make it better. It's just so bad...and yet it feels like no one acknowledges that.