In Romania the current president won the election mostly because of wise use of social media’s powerful networking and influence reach.
Le Monde wrote about this two years ago:
So this is a lived experiment, one that made a few local stars out of unknown social media managers. Mobile communication, friend graphs, instant pulse distribution and constant call to arms brought precious victory percentage to a contender who was poised to come second.
So yes, Facebook can influence an election result. But by that I mean how people use the product “Facebook”. Now, the question about the company itself influencing results on purpose is a weird proposition. But the use of the company’s product can cause a real effect.
Somehow people don’t feel like they can choose. I can choose the Appstore or the Play Store, I can walk or Uber, I can sell on amazon or not, and the terms are upfront and I can bail out.
With government I am born into obligations.
What you buy from the government is the lowest common denominator service, and the product is offered is so disconnected from what you really need. There is no real choice. The political choice hardly finds its way into what we get in return for the contribution: eight years are barely enough to start a reform.
It’s time to recognize that it’s not government vs. the market — government and our market system are the ultimate public-private partnership.
The grand scale public-private partnership is more often about the private sector sucking up on tax money, and the public sector slashing profits by tax sharpening. At small scale this marriage works well, but not so often do governments encourage small players to work with public money.
The central park example in the article is a perfect description of decentralization, of highly organized local government with highly active local members acting as citizens because they feel tangible results of their implication. With the big central government the example fails, it all looks like whim and game, like corruption dues, like ever generating debt.
Surely there is more nuance to why deficits are so big in today’s largest economies, more than greedy citizens wanting free stuff.
I actually wonder, why isn’t the goal of all central governments to eventually give away free stuff (things and services)? That should be the greater goal all over the world: find ways to universalize things. But instead of making it a real goal, we do it in hiding spending other people’s money, and with no care how that money is created before being borrowed (sure, borrowing from China, as in .“the U.S. debt to China is $1.241 trillion, as of June 2016”, should raise a lot of questions to how ethical is to borrow that kind of money).
We incentivize citizens to work more. More value is created, yet so little of that value is returned to society, and from that little we can only make crappy health systems, crappy insurance, crappy utilities, crappy transportation and on and on and on.
I laugh at the libertarian small government ideal. The ideal government is composed of every single citizen of the country. There are ways, some work, some don’t. But the way we’re forced to buy deplorable service and products from low performing governments isn’t ever going to make people happy about giving Uncle Sams of the world the cut of our existence they ask from us by ways of force.
It is not normal to be death and taxes. Death is enough.
But yet you’re fully exposed to government failures, and no one is liable to you.
government is simply a mechanism for collective action.
Yes, this. But this is where Nassim Taleb has it right, the bigger the construction, the weaker the construction.
Collective action at scale must result from synergy, not central planning. Greater goals are a domain of symbiosis, not expert forecasting. These things should be considered practically and action derived from them, but we’re too busy handling trillions forgetting that we hardly even comprehend these numbers.
I have lit candles for a very long time, about 10 years. We did consecration and meditation rituals, my wife and I, and have had candles as symbolic energy always around.
Growing up as a Christian I had a candle lit up constantly in the house, OMG the superstition erupting if that candle ever extinguished.
Now, my feed is filled with candles. I would lit one too. I would.
It’s just that this reminds me, I hope this is received in an empathetic way, of this scene from a Romanian novel where during the war people in Bucharest had a “flower fight” while young men were forcefully recruited to the front.
We light candles for our living, we light candles for our dead. We light candles for good wishes, we light candles for gone wishes. We may light up this planet with candles, there will be great communion, but to what effect?
I love the affirmation though:
“I affirm that I am light. Whenever there is darkness, I will shine.”,
We’re second after Syria at the rate of diaspora increase, so I ask: does population extraction exist as a globalization strategy or effect?
I live in Eastern Europe, a place we like to self promote as CEE, which means Central and Eastern Europe, but don’t be fooled, it is only eastern in everyone’s mind, whatever central part ever was, now it is actually western for at least a decade.
Actually, you know what’s funny? In Europe, the bigger the GDP and the higher the civilization, the more western the country becomes. It is a magic place Europe, from this point of view, no middle ground exists. The Berlin wall collapsed in brick form, but is phoenix like reborn as a sociopolitical mind wall. Your compass doesn’t work in the EU.
In Romania you are in the East. You are in the eastest of the East, because any more east and it is Russia. Unless you still hope or root for Ukraine or count Moldavia as a country. Anyway.
By too much of a good thing I mean that we’re part of the EU, and that is good. But, you see, we’re in that second hand part of the EU, the poor countries part. There is no shame in that. The US has second hand states, not everyone lives in California or Texas or NY. It’s OK. What it isn’t OK is that you can buy your way out of this country, and by doing it you have a zillion odds to be much better off, whatever you do.
We’re no Mexico, we’re no Bangladesh either. It is weird, apparently we’re better off. No cartels, and no 10 dollar a month jobs. But at the same time there is this other thing: people leave. En masse. The problem is we have nobody around left. This place is running on leftovers. As soon as anybody levels up they leave.
In Romania we witness population extraction at its finest.
You see, in Romania it doesn’t matter if you are doing well financially, because we’re in the middle of an authentic twenty first century exodus: we are the runner up country concerning immigration into Germany and Denmark, and second in the overall increase in diaspora size in the World, bested only by Syria. Syria!
Because of the exodus there is no one left to attend to this place. Literally.
No doctors, but also no plumbers. No nurses, but also no construction workers. No programmers, but also no baby sitters.
Entire generations of old and new doctors, women and men, left for salary increases of tenfold. Hard to counter offer. At the uneducated end, about all serious, hardworking and good people work for companies that move them in group contracts all over Europe. Au pair and care taking jobs swept away women like a giant depressurization hole. Infrastructure and real estate pulled men like magnets. Opportunity mesmerized all the educated men and women.
It is not only about the money. It is also about overall quality of life. The quality of life in Romania is very, very low. But not because it is as bad as say, … Thailand or Pakistan. It is good in the demagogic sense. You earn your paycheck, the paycheck is good. But the country doesn’t do what you pay your dues for! You vote but you can’t compete with half the population in rural areas, those areas prince Charles adores, manipulated without shame into what to vote.
You cannot trust the police to have the capacity to protect you. We have too little police, that is why all those globe trotters touting the coolness of this land can do undoable things here: there is simply not enough law enforcement for anything petty. Unless you rape or kill or kidnap, you are filed at the bottom of the stack.
In Romania when you call 112 (our version of the 911) you need a script:
my chest hurts
I can’t breathe
I am thirty years old
I have my children at home
That makes you a red code. Young, heart attack, has kids. Or whatever. Otherwise your ambulance will place you on hold. It doesn’t matter what exactly you are and what you feel, this is your ticket for a slight chance. Because that’s all you get, a slight chance. We had a great artist die this week because the ambulances are staffed with the worst, no one wants those jobs.
This place is ran by people who do nothing to stop population extraction, although it appears to be a very serious issue. You must learn medicine, program your own software, build your own house, fix your own car, change your own pipes … if only we’d be able to fly our own planes.
A couple of years ago we lost a plane. Our national emergency flight recovery service failed to provide any kind of accurate data, it was some local simple people who ventured on the mountains nearby to find the wreck.
We had a pretty draconic school system producing people poached all over the world. For about twenty six years we’ve reformed the shit out of it, that it now produces simpletons who fail national tests, each one in two students. Everyone who makes a decent living by European standards sends their kids to private schools. We sure did copy the US here bit by bit.
Prince Charles is thrilled of this country. It doesn’t help, he is thrilled of exactly what we try to fix.
People right here on Medium love its second world charms, cheap booze and semi legal prostitution. You see, were prostitution legal we’d be too first world to be “exotic”. Were booze as expensive as it should be, darn us savages.
Population extraction makes for an aging population. It is a dangerous thing for a NATO member, home to some fresh US missiles pointing at Kremli … the sky! Population extraction fails the US plans to keep favorable political actors in power, but boy does it benefit the UK (hypocrites), France or Germany.
We Romanians are sick of what westerners like so much, the freedom, the loose regulations, the bad busses and trains that never take you anywhere on time, the “vibrant” nightlife which is actually a big coverup for shady business. We had too much of this “won freedom”, “original democracy”, “balkan capitalism” and we flee.
If you plant, say, strawberries, there is no one to pick them up. You pick them up yourself, with help from family and whatever is left, let them rot. But the Spanish strawberries and oranges and whatnot are all harvested by Romanians.
A myth: Microsoft’s second most spoken language is Romanian. Romanian tech scene: outsourcing all the way.
The free market over here is completely free. Like in almost libertarian level free: no regulations because of no enforcement. We have had this problem: disinfectant material in all Romanian hospitals had a ten times lower concentration. The key man committed “suicide” in the middle of the investigation. I won’t repeat news headlines but this particular incident is horrific for me. Oh and the one where we couldn’t house and treat in aseptic conditions 146 people who got burned in a club that caught fire, in no hospital in the entire country. In a club that caught fire because no one enforces the laws, the safety laws!
Population extraction is not a strictly Romanian phenomenon. It is common in many places. But hey, we’re second place in a fifteen year span at this. Bragging rights?
Too much globalization too. There is nothing left in our production lines. We output just about nothing significant. That is another reason people leave.
Population extraction works in favor of a state Church. We have one. We’ll have a two hundred million euro cathedral. I don’t care, but it is funny nonetheless. Population extraction makes a perfect colony country, a place where cheap workforce is produced “naturally” and whatever is not extracted is a marketplace for European surplus.
Fact: it is very hard to find stuff which is not especially produced for Romanian and other poor markets. Brands mean nothing here. From cigarettes to chocolate. Fanta tastes worse. The one chance you’ve got is when supermarkets, discount stores and corner shops, which are all international commerce chains, bring in stock surplus. That is when the mockery is even crueler when you buy the same thing from the same brand and it is ten times better suddenly. You look at the label, and you know: no Romanian instructions on the packaging.
My biggest future fear is old age. As I am young, paid well, healthy and hopeful: I manage. This is what we Romanians do best natively, we manage. But when we get to feeble to do this we’re faced with the emptiness of a system that we’re paying to exist, an old age stolen by a global experiment that no one seems to monitor anymore.
It is way better to question me and my ideas than to simply block me, which happened for reasons never spelled 🙂 So don’t be sorry, be proud actually because I know I explain as if I know everything, but this is how my voice sounds inside my conectome 🙂
I had a friend who nick named me “let me tell you”. 100% truth.
They say advice is a form of nostalgia 🙂 and apparently you have had your full glass of lived experience so, probably, this listicle’s only role for you would be to have you write a beautiful reply 😀 Your writing skills are far from stifled rest assured.
Lived life is never shallow
Your experience is as deep as your humanity, so unless under your skin I’ll find an alien tin, there is nothing shallow here but deep perspective 🙂
Aww didn’t mean to be silent, just “planning” to reply my style with standalone articles. I am here sister sharing the country, have always been here, and schooled by our own special “system” of thought repression. Never studied nor lived abroad :). There, my grand reply in a few sentences hahaha.
1. Before you believe — learn how to pray Belief is a permanent state rooted in prayer. The other way around, if the prayer is rooted in belief, you’re only playing a trick on life, a way of cheating the experience by removing yourself from it, by proclaiming your divine ancestry and complaining about the temptation of the world. Mind that life will always outbid you if you try to trick it. Belief is rooted in prayer because prayer is how your ego speaks to your identity, a search for a reply, a scream of the pain of being aware of your solitude.
2. Before you shut up — learn how to talk Being silent doesn’t make you a wise human. Just a silent one. Only when you open your mouth and bear the consequences of your speech, does your silence gain any value.
3. Before you earn — learn how to spend Most of those who squander fortunes fall into the trap of wasting because they don’t know how to spend, that is why with consistence and persistence one can learn what worth means which is learning how to spend.
4. Before you think — learn to write By learning to write you will enter a self discovery process. Writing is the true way of externalizing your inner voice, not speaking! And when you read what you write, you will start to make more sense of yourself. That in turn will help you think better because your identity will be more silent in your head.
5. Before you try — learn to give up Give up claims! Give up expectations! Give up control! Only after — try. Trying without learning to give up can be extremely tiresome.
6. Before you live — learn to die Acknowledge that life is not eternal. Pay attention to each and every day, and don’t forget you’re speeding into a sudden end, don’t forget that your generation too shall pass like all those before it. This acknowledgement is the true drug that makes one high on life.