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« Working like you don’t need money: the Chinese in PNG | Main | From the Kundiawa News – 50 years ago today »

16 April 2014


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Over population coupled with increasing inequality between the rich and poor. As you say Paul, it points to a dystopian future.

If you follow Naomi Klein's arguments it seems that the Americans through their adoption of the Friedman model of unfettered capitalism are hell bent on making it worse.

The other purpose of the two unrealities that I describe is to offer the great unwashed something to keep them occupied so that they don't see what's going on.

If PNG reverted back to a rural utopia they would become a prime target for invasion, not just economically, as is now the case, but physically. The gurus from the Chicago school would have a field day.

Perhaps we are the last of a lucky generation.

I'm not complaining about being in that situation. As an insulin dependent diabetic I would have been dead years ago if it were not for technology.

It's when I look at my grandchildren that I get worried.

and yet Phil.... If blokes like you can see through this miasma of techo appeal, perhaps others can as well and yet don't want to complain.

In the society you and I inhabit, no one should suggest the conditions are not better than say 1,000 years ago or even 100 years ago. Perhaps we have indeed reached the tipping point where we are now headed for another 'Dark Ages'?

It is postulated that the world's resources cannot support the current world's population at the current standard of the western world. Yet this is now an accepted norm that those who know about it and subsequently constantly aspire to via computerised contact. So who wins and who loses?

If you and I hoped for a peaceful, healthy and productive retirement we might be lucky or we might not. Our children will find that dream ever increasingly hard to sustain however as the US is now finding the reality of maintaining, inflated expectations.

Peter Kranz's utopian world of village life is all very well until you get sick, can't feed yourself and can't defend your land and resources from marauding enemies.

Who decides the balance between the two alternatives? Those who are prepared to manipulate us as you suggest or those who have the intestinal fortitude to determine their own future?

It's the world we live in. It's no use whinging. We have to shoulder our responsibility just like all those other generations have had to do or lose the battle and be annihilated. If our ancestors had lost we wouldn't be here pontificating today would we?

I like this write and it may trouble my muse.

The Manipulators 'are in the business of making monkeys';

They educate us in depravity, they domesticate us in poverty;

They mislead us and maroon us; they amputate us from reason;

They lead us to self-destruction.

I heard the same comments in Moresby and chuckled about them too John.

While that sort of fake window dressing carried out for Charlie and his doxy may sound trivial it does, in fact, work well in changing people's attitudes.

I think what Powes Parkop is doing with his buai ban and general clean up is an exercise in mass psychology.

When I was running the Aboriginal Heritage Branch in South Australia we had terrible trouble with graffiti, especially at painting and engraving sites.

We found that getting the graffiti off quickly was crucial to educating people. Providing visitor books for people to scribble their rude remarks in also helped.

The same approach to the graffiti artists on social media will work too. Get the nasty ones off quickly and as people see everyone else behaving they will do so too. Much better than expensive defamation actions.

Phil - I read the article over the Easter weekend.

I need to mention this, that when Prince Charles and Lady Camila visited Port Moresby in 2012, a plethora of activities (road maintenance, pot holes patching etc) had to happen quickly overnight before the royals touched down.

Interestingly the maintenance and facelifts happended along the part of the official routes of the royal couple. So the informal sector participants were pushed to one side or hidden, artificial facades were put up etc.

Given the improvements made overnight on some of the roads and transport routes, many people were commenting if a royal visit could be made every quarter. In that way roads and other public facilities will be maintained regularly.

That is the unreal world, or pretentious world, for in the real world potholes do not get filled soon enough, roads do not get maintained, important buildings or landmarks do not get a facelift quickly enough.

Phil Fitzpatrick, a thought provoking article.

Explains a lot in the metaphysical geography of contemporary PNG society.

Thank you Phil for a reflective and philosophical piece which striked chords with me.

I often wonder if there was a "Day after Tomorrow" scenario, who would be the better off?

In Australia, if electricity and water and sewerage were cut off it would be treated as a major catastrophe, but in a PNG village it would be business as usual - light a fire, go to the creek, light some candles.

It amazes me that a lifestyle my grandparents took to be normal has been all but forgotten in modern life. "Getting and spending we lay waste our means".

Who is the wisest? An old village man like Bubu Pius, or a wannabe statesman like Bob Carr who complains about the food in business class?

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