Last month I told you about a novel I had read that fascinated me. Now I am here to tell you that both the first book, Daemon, and its sequel, FreedomTM , are must-read books for individuals who are concerned about the way the U.S. is moving . . . . or not moving.
When I say the U.S., I do not just mean the U.S. Government. I also mean U.S. and multinational corporations that are loyal only to their bottom line, private U.S. military contractors (otherwise known as mercenaries), the U.S. economy, U.S. buying/consuming habits, and the knowledge, involvement, and activism of the U.S. citizenry.
Daniel Suarez, the author of these books, is a systems consultant and programmer. He knows about the software and devices that run our lives. He has consulted extensively on data security to Fortune 1000 companies. The technology described in his books is all current and real . . . and very frightening. His stories successfully make the point that our identities are so tied into the computer systems that run modern life, that our civilization could not survive without them. As we move toward digitizing our medical and mental health records, we simultaneoulsy decrease errors and increase our vulnerability. Long-term loss of electrical systems in a dozen major cities globally could destroy our entire way of life, including our food distribution system. Even a short-term loss of electricity can throw us into major disarray. But not necessarily . . .
A key element of FreedomTM, is that sustainable communities that are not totally reliant on centralization of resources can survive even major disruption. Sustainability is defined on Wikipedia as “the capacity to endure.” It is the ability to survive based on a balanced and reasonable use of resources that does not deplete those resources.
Currently, the concept of sustainability is enjoying popularity in some government circles. The EPA, HUD, and DOT have developed a program for developing sustainable communities. These programs focus on housing and business development in urban and rural areas and how to do it in a way that contributes to the well-being of everyone involved, including wildlife and the earth.
Not-for-profit organizations and think tanks focused on a sustainable future have been appearing over the last decade. Philosophical and spiritually grounded individuals have long taught of the need for changes in how we think and live that will result in our well-being. Even some businesses profess sustainability as part of their business mission.
But without action from concerned, educated, and involved individuals, none of these movements will gain the traction they need to affect how we live.
I have long believed that an informed community is also an activist community. When I take the time to educate myself about the events and issues of the day, I am also motivated to examine those events in light of my own beliefs and values. When the values I hold dear are threatened, I take action. At least, that is what I used to believe. I know a few people who do that, but not very many. I do not share the political values of the Tea Party. I do share their belief that it is the responsibility of citizens to express their opinions and to become involved in the political process . . . after educating themselves about the issues.
I know, I know…you don’t have time to breathe. You already work in healthcare, most of you in the mental health community. You take care of other people as part of how you make your living, you certainly cannot consider taking the time to learn more about what is happening in our country and worldwide so you can become even busier. Getting involved in your community or becoming activist about issues that concern you is just out of the question.
And yet . . . unless more of us take the time to become such activists, we may not have day-to-day activities to be concerned about.
I hope you will read these books when you can. They are very good reads . . . extremely entertaining and very informative. Just view them as a treat to yourself.
Then decide what you need to do.