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14 April 2012

Zuckerberg, Star Trek and Philippines 2050

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Last week, my friend and I had dinner at a cheap restaurant in a mall. Our meals cost 75 pesos each [US$1.80]. Originally, we planned to watch the movie “Battleship,” but we decided to go window shopping and ended up lamenting at the stuff that we could not buy.  We could afford those things before but since we both made the same decision to give up our high-paying jobs, the whole thing gave us a chilling pain of false nostalgia.

Having experienced rejection from the powers-that-be simply because our artistic work were not deemed commercial, we decided to skip the super-hyped special effects heavy “Battleship,” and opted to have our usual talks at a coffee shop. This is still one of the few luxuries that we keep despite our present predicament.

We talked about Mark Zuckerberg, being the youngest richest C.E.O., and his purchase of Instagram for 1 billion dollars.  That made my friend start talking about “Star Trek” and philosophy. He said that people during the Star Trek milieu are not concerned anymore with the accumulation of money. They value their contribution to the expansion of human knowledge and experience.  You are remembered for your contribution to the positive growth of the human enterprise than for your enormous earnings from your business enterprises. 

We also talked about the suspicious study of an international bank, in which it states that the Philippines would become the sixteenth largest economy by 2050.  If the study were true, would the Philippine be a better country in 2050? Or would we be just a new economic power fueled by materialistic individuals and the drive for instant success.  Perhaps in the future, many Filipinos would become rich, but many might also be poor.  A great economic gap would exist; the “super rich” and the “super poor,” and with very few people living in between. 

As we end our conversation, we review our activities for the day and we felt terrible because none of our actions contributed in any way to the positive growth of humanity. We just bought stuff and help add fuel to the growing commercialization of the Philippines, and the continued degradation of our environment.  It is only a matter of time before the two of us join the ranks of the “super poor” because our current trajectory seems to be heading on that direction. Unless… 

All were not lost. We still ended the night with a hopeful note; we have some few aces left in this world. 


The Star Trek Philosophy
From the CBs Blog

The concept of our civilization proceeding in the positive manner as conveyed in the Star Trek series. That we won't in some way annihilate ourselves but instead progress into a species that will do away with money (and the rampant corruption and ensuing strife that accompanies it). I'm not devoutly religious but I believe that the Holy Bible is correct in it's declaration that "money is the root of all evil." Only a fool would deny that money, specifically the obsessive greed for it, is the root cause of just about everything that is wrong with this world. In the Star Trek reality, everyone who is productive is provided for. Money is no longer the driving force of humankind, allowing for more creative and scientific progress, less stagnation and human advancements to the inclusion of 'boldly going where no man has gone before'. Just think of how many great books and films haven't been published or filmed because it was deemed beforehand that they wouldn't be commercially successful. [For the full article, click here]

(First published in “The Chair” Blog) By Rob San Miguel

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