02020-07-26 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

Change is good. Change is bad. Never change. You gotta change. Enduring without change. Times are changing.

We use the word CHANGE a lot. Too much, in fact. Change is one of those things we love or hate and sometimes we love and hate it at the same time. Change feels dizzying, disconcerting, overwhelming, but also exciting, promising, natural. Some people appear to never change. As an adult they look very similar to how they looked in kindergarten, or they wear the same brand of clothing at fifty that they wore at fifteen. Others seem to change too much! They almost appear as slippery like an eel in the water.

Some people believe that nothing ever really changes, that individuals can’t change at all and are doomed to make similar mistakes over and over. Others are champions of change and take on new attributes constantly.

We say that every journey starts with the first step. Similarly every change starts with one idea. A good idea is like a virus and can infect many people. In addition many ideas have multiple points of origin and can therefore spread even faster. The funny things is after an idea spreads, and eventually reaches a tipping point in society, it becomes nearly impossible to imagine life without that change. In hindsight it seems so inevitable, so necessary and natural. How could we have ever NOT seen it this way?!

In the recent past, ideas that seemed at first impossible and a few years later quite natural were gay marriage and the legal use of marihuana. I believe the next ideas of change will be suicide, the right to comfortably end your own life, especially when very ill, and UBI, a Universal Basic Income. I believe that both of these ideas, which at present are nowhere near reaching a tipping point of acceptance, will be adopted within ten years. Perhaps it will take a little longer for UBI, but it will happen no later than fifteen years from now, that is before 2035. Twenty years from now no one will understand why it took us so long to accept these two ideas and create the changes to implement them.

I could be wrong, but those are my two long bets. What are yours?


Brian Eno in an interview with Apartamento Magazin in April.

They took a small city in Canada. I think it was about 4,000 people. And for two or three years they were on a universal basic income. They could still have jobs if they wanted to, but they were provided with enough money to keep them alive. Three results kept coming up. One was a dramatic increase in community engagement; people started getting together to do things, like fix up that little park that was a mess, or stop cars going down those streets, little things like that where people started caring about their shared experience. That to me is absolutely the most important thing. The second thing is that the prescription of psychoactive drugs, tranquilisers and so on, went down. People were reporting much less mental anxiety, psychosis, and loneliness. And the third thing is that educational achievement improved. The last one is a bit mysterious. It’s thought it’s because the parents were more at home and helped kids with homework. There haven’t been many UBI experiments, but those three results keep coming up. I agree, it’s not without problems. The question is whether it’s better than what we’re doing now. And to that I can answer with absolute certainty: yes.

Link to a recent BBC article about the Canadian experiment

1 Comment

  1. JaneParhamKatz

    My long bets for change during the next 15 years. These are my wishes, I suppose, but there is movement toward the first two. Not so much toward my education wishes.

    1. Medicare for all in the United States. This is already in other countries. Here it has started as a suggestion by such as Bernie Sanders and has influenced nearly all the progressive-thinking politicians.
    2. No more fossil fuel powered cars. This is on the way.
    3. Make music and art required courses in public schools from K through 12. There used to be much more of these subjects in schools. And I mean classical and all genres of music and art, not just playing with rhythm instruments and drawing stick figures. I was living in California when Governor Reagan pushed every year to remove music from public schools, and as President he also pushed every year to defund the Endowment for the Arts, and Endowment for Education.
    4. Return Latin study to public schools and also require students to learn fluent Spanish. Might as well teach excellent English, as well.

    Studies have shown that children who learn piano and languages have a greater capacity for concentration and thinking. (I would have to look this up to quote.)

    There is an overall principal in these wishes. Something like…a great society is one where everyone is healthy, well fed and supplied with basic needs (UBI), and through appreciation for art and great music have a sensibility to care about others, rather than attempt to dominate them and use them to feed their raging greed. A have and have-not society is miserable for all, even the haves. Remember noblesse oblige? Like Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. There are many wealthy humanitarians these days, but there are also many who want to take it all for themselves and stomp on the “others.” I don’t know why.

    And how about this: there have been a number of cases where classical music played on loudspeakers in communities cut down on crime:

    “In 2004 in London, England, the British Transport Police piped classical music into London Underground stations in some of the area’s most dangerous neighborhoods. After playing the music for six months:
    • Robberies were cut by 33 percent
    • Staff assaults decreased by 25 percent
    • Vandalism went down 37 percent
    “This is not the first time that classical music has been used to deter crime. In 2001, police in West Palm Beach, Florida installed a CD player and speakers on an abandoned building in a crime-ridden neighborhood. After playing classical music — mostly Mozart, Bach and Beethoven — 24 hours a day for about three months, shootings, thefts, loiterers and drug deals decreased.” (

    So much to study on this and the effects on young people of exposure to art.


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