New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Object Permanence

September 02, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Missy Beattie, Politics

Inured to the Propaganda?

by Missy Beattie

The Empire marches on. Next stop and drop, Syria. Accomplishing missions.

The top stories on Google News this morning (Monday) are chemical weapons in Syria and Miley Cyrus’s gyrations and crotch grabbing as she performed “We Can’t Stop.” We. Can’t. Stop.

We can’t stop is the order of the day from the commander in chief whose weapon of choice is a drone. And while polling indicates most Americans oppose US military involvement in Syria, they support intervention if there’s proof of chemical weapons use. I’ve read the comment sections beneath mainstream articles to take the nation’s pulse and those chemicals are “game changers”. On and on it goes with WMD propaganda. We can’t stop till we get enough. Never enough.

I’m seeing dead people.

I’m seeing the war profiteers direct their maids to dial down the thermostats as the planet boils, dial up during the bitterly cold winter that’s predicted, unconcerned about climate change, oblivious to the poor and middle class. I’m seeing them limo their way to board a private plane to paradise while there’s still some sand left on beachfront property. (more…)

Privacy, Security, Sanity

July 16, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Politics, Robert C. Koehler

Caught in a Single, Interlaced Web of Danger and Possibility

by Robert C. Koehler

What I keep longing to hear, in the hemorrhaging national debate about Edward Snowden, whistleblowing and the NSA, is some acknowledgment of what the word “security” actually means, and what role — if any — the government should play in creating it.

“You can’t have 100 percent security and also have 100 percent privacy.”

A moment of silence, please, for the dying patriarchy. That, of course, was how President Obama explained it to the American public shortly after the spy scandal hit the fan. When did we become “the children” in our relationship with the government, irrelevant to its day-to-day operations, utterly powerless as we stand in its massive, protecting shadow? (more…)

Cognitive Assonance

June 20, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Politics, Randall Amster

Congratulations! You’re Being Watched

by Randall Amster

With revelations (yet again) that we are all essentially being watched virtually all the time, we might expect a popular backlash against such a massive and unprecedented intrusion on privacy. Americans may differ on a plethora of political issues, but there’s a common wisdom suggesting broad agreement on core principles such as individual liberty. Alas, widespread pushback against a total surveillance society seems unlikely to emerge, and having the full scope of such a program become publicly known may only increase its acceptability.

Modern America is built on the ethos of the “reality show” — and people want to be watched. (more…)

Life After Facebook

September 21, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Family, Mary Sojourner

Real Connection Takes Work, and It’s Worth It

by Mary Sojourner

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” — Hunter S. Thompson

Writer Hunter S. Thompson was a pro at weird. But he would find Facebook beyond weird. Even as tiny green tree frogs scampered around the edge of his tequila and there seemed to be an aardvark climbing up his leg, he would consider it surreal that contact with dozens of “friends” can morph into two at the click of Delete. That’s the rate of attrition in the five days since I left Facebook — and that’s just the people I shared messages and comments with. Yeah, I knew. Yeah, I’m not surprised. The more time goes by since I last logged into Facebook, the even weirder the few months I spent on it seem. (more…)

Palm Reading

August 06, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Politics, Randall Amster

Will Smarter Phones Mean Dumber People?

by Randall Amster

The road ahead was clearly marked as “closed” and a “dead end,” but the voice from the back seat insisted that we go forward anyway. “My phone says go straight ahead,” counseled the voice, ignoring the driver’s observation that the street was apparently closed. “The GPS in my phone is smarter than you are,” chimed the voice, good-naturedly yet sardonically. Obviously trumped, the driver continued forward — until we inevitably reached the advertised road closure that forced us to turn around and start over.

In itself, such a minor folly is entirely inconsequential and worthy of a little chuckle at best. Yet it’s also indicative of an increasingly prevalent attitude whereby the reliance on “smart” technologies is steadily supplanting human assessments and instincts. By now, such an observation is quite nearly passé, in that we have already given so much of ourselves and our reasoning capacities over to machines in one form or another. But the advent and rapid permeation of personal technologies like so-called “smartphones” raises further concerns that have been less explored during this most recent consumer frenzy. (more…)