I recently discovered a web site called “Making a Huge difference”, that’s proclaimed mission is to make the world a better place. It sounded great, a group of like minded people that I could team up with and really make a difference to this absurd world.

As Usual, reality was disappointing.

What I found was lots of posts by academic  Don Quixote types, with titles that I didn’t really understand or desire to read. A few were about the sites problems and one gem about exclusion, but most were vanity essays on trivial concerns. The main objective of most essays was not really about making the world a better place, but trying to show how clever the author was and rack up as many positive comments as possible. The impression I got (based on limited time browsing, so could be completely cynical and wrong) was that the site had been set up by someone wanting to sell a book or two and promote educational courses, but it had ended up totally out of control as every one pitched in  a totally unstructured manner..

I posted a few of my thoughts, received the expected ticking off and decided to leave them to it for a couple of weeks, to see what develops.

Why was I disappointed. My view is that, Ideally, a forum should be a criticism free space where anyone can come up with an idea, however wacky, and then it gets debated, examined, thrashed about and developed, to see if it is good idea. If it gets through this phase it should be put on a list of items for implementation, in priority order (not ease of achievability). My basic priority list would be, but yours may differ:-

1) Reducing fossil fuel usage
2) Preventing wars 
3) Promoting human rights
4) Promoting good Governance

Once  priories have been set, then they could be put into sub groups for a plan of action to be developed, and once this is completed, the actions could be implemented, by all of the web sites users. Thus all users contribute, develop a plan, action and share the successes. Much happiness ensues.

As “Making a Hugh Difference” didn’t seem to have any chance of achieving anything useful, except selling a few books, I have decided to continue to pester all and sundry with my correspondence and keep posting most on my blog under my own name.  I use my own name because before I post or submit anything, I ask myself, what is its purpose? would I say this to their face?  and will I be proud of what I have written in a few weeks time? Hopefully this cuts out me added more nonsense, that is all too common on the internet.

Whilst I fully expect my efforts have little impact on a world of 7 billion people, most of whom are also tapping away into their computers, I put my faith in the butterfly effect, that a single butterfly may one day create a great storm. The probability is extremely low, but Chaos theory says the probability isn’t zero, Which It would be if I did nothing, so I keep on, keeping on. It gives meaning to my pathetic insignificant little life!

However, what would happen if our single butterfly, flapped its wings in unison with another? The chance would double. And if it flapped in unison with 10 others, 1000 others, 7 billion others…… wouldn‘t the storm be much more likely to occur?. The more butterflies the better the odds, and then it’s time to place your bets for real change.

Percy Shelley. wrote the following in The Masque of Anarchy in 1819 (I stress I’m not an anarchist, we still need competent, selfless leaders, so the rest of us can enjoy ourselves).

Rise, like lions after slumber,
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth, like dew,
Which in sleep hath fallen upon you,
Ye are many - they are few.

No one would publish this or his manifesto, it was too dangerous to the powers that be to print. But if Shelley were alive today, or there was someone of his equal alive, she or he could self publish on the internet and soon his many would be working together against the few. Butterflies, all flapping their wings in unison, not to create chaos or a storm, but to make the world a better place. Wouldn’t that be effective?.

Where are the modern day Shelley’s? Like Diogenes with his lamp, I’m still searching.



 

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Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 8:32 PM

I liked this commentary even if I disagreed with a lot of the bottom line conclusions. Since we have an inferential gap that could be quite large, I don't expect everything you say to make sense to me.

You are probably directionally correct so I have strong upvoted this to encourage you to continue writing.

I don't have the energy right now to get into the object-level but feel free to share future draft posts as your thoughts develop. If I have a spare moment, I'd be very happy to share any feedback I have on your future thoughts with you.

(all good humor tends to be pointing to some angle of the truth that needs time to become nuanced enough to be more widely legible)