The basic rationale for establishing Beta Culture is to provide a balancing force against three “social entities” that are the only current avenues into any sort of future.
As I say it: “There’s the future we might WANT, and the future we’re going to GET.”
The future we’re going to get is the one government, business and religion will get us to. You and I might want a cure for Alzheimer’s in ten years, but if government won’t help fund the research, if universities, hospitals, pharma companies and such won’t DO the research, and if religion blocks the research, there will be no cure for Alzheimer’s. Not ever, unless something changes.
Beta Culture would be a fourth social entity force that would either act directly or act to exert force on the other three, to get us to a livable, likeable future. Think of these entities as boats on an ocean of possibilities. If the only boats we have are THEIR three boats, we will either not get where we want to go, or will arrive on their schedule instead of ours. But if we had a fourth boat, our own boat, we’d have more of a guarantee of getting to the livable future WE dream of.
Even considering it’s me saying it, I always flinch just a bit when mentioning religion in the same sentence as government and business. Governments and worldwide corporations are the massive, powerful forces that run the world, aren’t they? By contrast, we generally see churches and religion as relatively powerless. We atheists are comfortable laughing at poor, weak, doddering religion, expecting it will die off any day now and leave us free of it.
And yet, here religion is, flexing its muscle, influencing the minds of the public and members of Congress to ignore climate change. From Raw Story:
The United States has failed to take action to mitigate climate change thanks in part to the large number of religious Americans who believe the world has a set expiration date.
Research by David C. Barker of the University of Pittsburgh and David H. Bearce of the University of Colorado uncovered that belief in the biblical end-times was a motivating factor behind resistance to curbing climate change.
“[T]he fact that such an overwhelming percentage of Republican citizens profess a belief in the Second Coming (76 percent in 2006, according to our sample) suggests that governmental attempts to curb greenhouse emissions would encounter stiff resistance even if every Democrat in the country wanted to curb them,” Barker and Bearce wrote in their study, which will be published in the June issue of Political Science Quarterly.
David Pakman talks about it.
(Apology in advance: I don’t know how to set this so you’ll only see the first segment, which is the one on global warming. You’ll have to shut the video player down manually at the end, or it will go on to the “bulletproof whiteboard” story and five others.)
We pretty much have to build this fourth boat.