We started the space program to compete with Russia's Sputnik program. The "space race" was about national prestige, with funding from the military, because the military expected to benefit from the rocket technologies
But our world was totally changed by the non-military, non-space technologies and scientific discoveries that came directly out of the space program. We started the space program with a simple goal-- beat the Russians in the race to space. But actually, space travel never really took off in a major way, outside of research and exploratory projects. (Don't get me wrong. I'm a very strong supporter for NASA and the space program because of the reasons I state here.)
What did take off was the spinoff of the technologies that were developed to enable safe, reliable rocket launches and astronauts staying alive in space. There are an estimated three thousand satellites orbiting the earth now, some, for military purposes, but many for purposes that affect your life, like television, radio, and wireless phones. That's one technology.
The miniaturization of computer technologies was massively helped by NASA funding. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of spinoff applications and inventions that have emerged from the space program, that have led to many revolutions in the way we live and the way we work.
The Occupy/OWS movement is a bottom-up phenomenon that is a further manifestation of the way that the internet and other technologies have profoundly affected the way the brains of people under 30, maybe even 35 work. People over 50 grew up with movies that included scenes that lasted two, three, even five minutes. Today's movies have scenes that last half a second. I've interviewed many neuroscientists on my Bottom Up Radio show and they've all agreed, the bottom up technologies of the internet, with group chat, instant messaging, commenting on blogs, have led to major changes in the way young people's brains work.
This bottom up change in neuropsychology is at work on the ground, in the sleeping backs, at the tech and media and food and legal aid and medical tables and tents of the Occupy movement locations. It is the bottom up mind that is driving the lack of clearly identified leaders at the OWS locales. It is bottom up seeing, working and relating that is defining the nature of the general assemblies where policy discussions are being held.
Like the space program, we are going to see spinoff "technologies" and social and political change strategies that will rock the planet, producing massive changes.
As I write this article, I get an email from two men in New York and a woman in Los Angeles, talking about occupying the media-- starting with an LA radio station. Their idea-- media are distorting or lying about the news. Occupy them and get the truth out.
I scroll down a few more emails, David Swanson reports that an occupy the senate action yesterday kept senators and their staff from working for several hours and kept visitors from entering the building. I'm not sure how much efforts will be directed to legislators though. Most of the people at the Occupy locales are sick and tired of the failure of elected legislators to represent them, instead protecting the interests of the big corporations. Even Swanson has written about extra-legislative activism, which is where I think most of the Occupy energy and power will be focused.
Others, like former health Care PR exec Wendell Potter, are calling for occupy health insurer actions.
The ideas are going to be coming fast and furious and there are plenty of angry, unemployed students and workers who have the time to engage in "direct actions," what are becoming a key factor in the occupy movement.
The occupy movement isn't even fully out of the birth canal. For banksters and plutocrats and people who defend the corporations that have infested and corrupted government for and by the people, the Occupy/OWS movement should be looked at as a dangerous monster, far more dangerous than they've so far imagined. But it is too late to put it back in the bottle. What started with a self immolated Tunisian who was abused one time too many, and with Egyptians who had thirty years too many of demagoguery has become a world-wide awakening that will do a lot more than just shake the world.
occupier at Occupy Wall Street, NYC photo by Rob Kall
If you want to find out about where a local Occupy Wall Street community is forming, check. There are already over 1200 of them worldwide.
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