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Hello, welcome to Futureworld


by Harry Heidelberg
Harry's's archive is here
We've arrived in Futureworld now.  In this new world, the people will be empowered by technology to redress the power balance. For a long time, the powerful have been concentrating control.  Media in Australia is less diverse, less independent, and less interesting than ever. Politics seems more cynical than ever and business seems more ruthless than ever.  Media, politics and business work in ways that only a short time ago were considered unthinkable.

Here in Futureworld we fight back.  We fight back in unconventional ways.  Convention is a guide for us on how not to do things.  Money becomes a means, not an end.  Ethics, loyalty, trust and transparency remain core.  They should be a commodity but they are not.  Commodities that are scarce become valuable.  We will now only trade in the priceless commodities.  Quite simply, we are priceless and what we believe in is priceless.

Webdiary_beginsFive years ago, Webdiary was the innovator.  There were few examples like it globally and none locally.  The spirit of innovation continues with Margo Kingston's Webdiary pushing new boundaries in independent media.  Click on the thumbnail to check out how Webdiary looked back in 2000!

Our dream has always been of a lively and independent space where Australians from all walks of life and of varying political persuasions will gather.  The community we (and by "we" I mean everyone) have created is unique. People talk about virtual communities.  Aspects of the technology make our Webdiary Community virtual but the technology is only a means, not an end.  In every sense, our Webdiary Community is very real.

To the many who have indicated their willingness to help in establishing the new platform you are showing your confidence and faith in the idea of the Webdiary Community.  You are showing that you believe independent media can be created and can reach a wide audience.  You are showing that you believe that independent voices not only empower the individual but also empower Australian democracy.

Many of us have political differences but the values we share are enduring.  The shared values are at the core of this project. I like to think of it as a project because to me it always seems to be a work in progress.

That doesn't mean we don't have milestones though.  Last month we celebrated our 5th Anniversary, and this month, the most signficant milestone in our history, the move to Futureworld.  Futurewold is just a generic term I use for the move to independence. 

Our beginning is now.  The past five years has been a prelude.

Following are some quotes from Goethe to remember as we step confidently into Futureworld:

Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.
We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.

A leaf that is destined to grow large is full of grooves and wrinkles at the start. Now if one has no patience and wants it smooth offhand like a willow leaf, there is trouble ahead.

Austere perseverance, hash and continuous... rarely fails of its purpose, for its silent power grows irresistible greater with time.

Certain flaws are necessary for the whole. It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks.

Deeply earnest and thoughtful people stand on shaky footing with the public.

Each indecision brings its own delays and days are lost lamenting over lost days... What you can do or think you can do, begin it. For boldness has magic, power, and genius in it.

Freedom consists not in refusing to recognise anything above us, but in respecting something which is above us; for by respecting it, we raise ourselves to it, and, by our very acknowledgement, prove that we bear within ourselves what is higher, and are worthy to be on a level with it.

How can we know ourselves? Never by reflection, but only through action. Begin at once to do your duty and immediately you will know what is inside you.

Look closely at those who patronise you. Half are unfeeling, half untaught.

One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.

The person of analytic or critical intellect finds something ridiculous in everything. The person of synthetic or constructive intellect, in almost nothing.

There is no past that we can bring back by longing for it. There is only an eternally new now that builds and creates itself out of the Best as the past withdraws.

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re: Hello, welcome to Futureworld

Harry, children believe the internet is real. They are the ones that should be asked about it, as they were born into the Internet age and that is all that they know.

My 6/7 year old son and I were talking about Neo-pets, a game on the computer where you have pets that you have to look after etc. and I said to my son that neo-pets was only a game on the internet and it wasn't real. To which my son smirked and responded with: "This is the game" - meaning life!. And then he told me that he believed that a giant hand was pushing us around by the head as we played the game, and that the computer game is real - he said that everything has to be something.

I asked him to tell me about the black hand of the giant that he believed was playing us. My son asked my why I thought the hand was black? And that the hand wasn't black it was of light skin colour.

He told me that he believes we are controlled and we are being played and money is what rules.

Maybe we are the players in a game. Maybe we need to do something to change the rules as the rules appear to have been put in place to protect and make money for those that designed the game and not for the benefit of the players.

One thing for sure, if it is a game, it isn’t a fair game.

re: Hello, welcome to Futureworld

Oh dear, Jolanda. Sounds like your poor son is destined to be a troubled artist (not that there's any other kind). You'd better give up that dream of retiring on the fortune he makes as a stockbroker!

Why not ask him to write a piece for Webdiary? You don't need to have had a lot of life experience to have thought-provoking ideas.

re: Hello, welcome to Futureworld

Hi Harry, good to see that you're still contributing to the WD debates and that you're still on board.

We've had our differences over the years, but your commitment to the project and to 'futureworld' as you describe it is laudible.

Looking forward to disagreeing with you again soon!!

re: Hello, welcome to Futureworld

If we are satisfied with unimaginative, uninspiring and lying 'leaders', with highly selective memories, then why is anyone surprised that everything seems to be going pear-shaped? If our leaders don't reflect the values we try to impart to our children then we've made a mistake, have we not?

re: Hello, welcome to Futureworld

Hi Tom, Well you pegged him. I can see my son as a troubled artist too. He is already troubled. He really doesn't feel safe in today's world. He is scared, terrified actually. He is very emotionally intense and very sensitive and he has extreme emotional reactions to negativity etc, that affect him physically - he finds it a very cruel, aggressive and violent world. He realises how very different he is, and he cannot understand why so many people are allowed to be so mean and cruel.

I think he would make a good actor, he certainly has the look but I don’t know if he could deal with it emotionally, and given that he plans on never leaving home anyway, well it really doesn’t matter if he doesn't make a fortune. Our goal is just to have him want to go outside the front door and join into society and feel safe.

I think that sometimes people don’t realise just how much war and all the discrimination, racism, bullying, violence, aggression and hate affects our youth psychologically, emotionally, socially and physically.

Don’t worry, however, I have an older son who has become ruthless and I will retire on the fortune he insists he will make, if he gives me any that is, and I know he will always look after his little brother, if need be. This little brother is lucky because he also has two older sisters who adore him. He has family who love him dearly and will always be there to help protect him and care for him.

Not all kids are that lucky.

re: Hello, welcome to Futureworld

Neil Maydom, I agree that we have made a mistake but I personally think that it doesn't matter who is voted in, at this stage, they are all the same.

I believe that the system is conspiring to only produce a certain kind, the kind that are unimaginative, uninspiring and lying with highly selective memories. That is unless you are 'in the know' that is. The system wants to produce those that only remember what they have been programed with and are loyal to their leaders or are too poor to be counted anyway.

Call me paranoid if you want but my experience is that they are trying to turn people into robots. Yes, sir, no sir, anything you say sir. I can only hope that the people realise what is happening before it is too late. You only live once and we should all be entitled to make the most of it.

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