My Utopia – An environmentally conscious nation and government

The modern world we have created full of skyscrapers, fast paced life style and city dwellers have left us very much out of touch with nature. We are so disconnected with the natural cycle and rhythm of the plant and animal world that for years we have ravaged the earth and driven many animals towards extinction. We consume products without thinking about how they were made or what happens to them when we throw them in our rubbish bins.

The sad reality is that although we manage to recycle some of our rubbish, most of it ends up in landfills. Except that is, for Sweden.

Sweden is good at recycling that it now has to buy other nation’s rubbish to recycle. 99% of rubbish in Sweden is recycled and only 1% ends up in landfill. Think about that for a moment. 99% of rubbish recycled. That is an outstanding achievement. But Sweden is still not satisfied and is aiming for 0 waste.

Now that is an attitude that all governments and nations should be adopting. Imagine what that would do to our world. It might just help our battle against global warming.

I will include links to articles for those of you interested in learning more about this. It is a fascinating subject.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/09/02/sweden-recycling_n_5738602.html

https://sweden.se/nature/the-swedish-recycling-revolution/

My Utopia: Politician Free Governments

I was reading an article for one of my Masters degree subjects and came across this paragraph:

Research by Hibbing and Theiss-Morse found that citizens favor reforms that insulate politicians from special interests. They want a government run by non-self-interested experts, a system called “stealth democracy”.

Imagine that – non-self-interested experts running our country. For example – to be the Minister of Economy you must hold a PhD in economics, have worked in the area of economics and finance and be considered an expert in your field by your peers and colleagues. The Minister for Health must be a health professional – a nurse, or doctor, and have worked in the public health sector so they actually know what happens in hospitals and medical clinics. And so on for all of the government positions. Then, just maybe, we might have people who are not so out of touch with reality and whose only skill is not flinging insults at the opposition and lying while looking you in the eye.

Imagine that.

‘What Voters Want From Political Campaign Communication’
by KEENA LIPSITZ, CHRISTINE TROST,MATTHEW GROSSMANN, and JOHN SIDES

Political Communication, 22:337–354
Copyright  2005 Taylor & Francis Inc.
ISSN: 1058-4609 print / 1091-7675 online

My Utopia: phones can track phone scammers

So, I received an interesting phone call yesterday. It was number 4 this week – by the same people.

It always starts the same:

‘Good morning madam, my name is Charlie and I am calling from the Telstra technical department about your internet connection’

‘I don’t have any account with Telstra and I don’t use their services’

‘Yes but Telstra provides the infrastructure that provides your internet services and that is used by other companies’

???

‘ok, even if that’s the case, why are you calling instead of the company I am with? And, I should also tell you I have not experienced any problems with my internet’

‘I need access to your computer’

‘No. And please stop calling.’

Now, this conversation has been repeated at least 7 times in this month, 4 of those times this week. Yesterday they managed to get a hold of my dad (he answered the phone) and had him worried there was something wrong with our internet service. They would not listen to him when he told them we did not have services from their company and would not leave him alone so I had enough.

The next time the phone rang I answered it, and the man repeated the same opening line

‘Good morning madam, my name is Charlie and I am calling from the Telstra technical department about your internet connection’

‘Listen, I’ve had enough of your calls. I have told you before to stop calling. Your continuous calls now constitute harassment and since you say you are from Telstra I am going to report you and your manager to your company. Give me your full name’

At this point he started panicking and the man next to him (both speaking with an Indian accent) started whispering what to say.

‘Give me your name’

‘Uh…yes..yes ok…I will give you my name…i will spell it..it’s Charlie S-U-C-K’

‘S-U-C-K?’ fine. What is your manager’s name?’

‘Y-O-U, S-U-C-K’

‘well, aren’t you clever? aren’t you funny? well how about this then? I’m going to track where you are calling from and report you to the police. Don’t call here again!’ and hung up

I wanted to write this post because there are some vulnerable people out there, like my parents, who might just believe these shifty and lying creeps. I learned this lesson the hard way a few years ago when I fell for a similar trick, (except they said they were from Microsoft) and when I gave them access to my computer they gave me a virus. Thank you ever so much.

In my Utopia, every phone would  come with a tracking device that records these kinds of calls and tracks them down so when you report it to the police, they can find these criminals who prey on people with limited technological knowledge.

To those phone scammers, you may think you are very funny and clever but one day you might end up being scammed on the phone. This is my goodbye to you phone scammers: Y-O-U  S-U-C-K

My Utopia – consideration for others

I have always been an idealist dreamer, even as a child, and I suspect it will never change. Now, as an adult, I often find myself thinking about the state of the world around me and what I would do if I had the power to change it. Usually this is a reaction to something I see or hear or experience that conflicts with my inner sense of what my ideal world is like.

I thought to myself, just wishing the world is different will not make it so. Instead, I am going to try to think of a potential and realistic alternative to the incidents that cause me to dream of my utopia.

The incident that prompted this blogpost occurred a couple of days ago while my father and I were driving around 11 am. It was a busy main street but the traffic wasn’t bad and the cars were all moving along nicely. Suddenly we heard the loud siren of an ambulance several cars behind us so we we immediately moved lanes to clear the way for the ambulance. I am happy to say that most of the cars around us did the same and the ambulance progressed. Not all the cars did so though. some of the cars further ahead did not bother to move until the ambulance had to slow down behind them and halt it’s speedy progress to go help the poor individual waiting for it.

I watched those cars wondering why they didn’t move. They simply kept going, at the speed limit, in a leisurely fashion until the ambulance had been forced to follow them for about a minute and then they switched lanes to clear the way. Their path was not obstructed in any way. They had plenty of room to move into another lane or at the very least speed up because they had a clear road ahead of them. I was disgusted. If it had been their family member waiting for assistance from the ambulance, I’m sure they would have liked cars on the road to clear the way for the ambulance. But no. They were not in a hurry to move.

Well, here is my proposition. Instead of leaving ambulances at the mercy of traffic and obnoxious individuals, why not have an ambulance/police/firetruck lane on every road? In my Utopia, it is logical to have a lane on every street dedicated for the brave people who come to our aid. Cyclists have their own lane. Even buses have their own lanes on some streets. So why not a lane for our social services?

What do you think? should we have a lane dedicated to such services?

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