Reading for Understanding

When some read, their goal is to understand, while others want to invalidate that what they are reading is worth their time.

I get it, I do that with junk mail. Perhaps I would read through what i saw as junk mail, if there was a passionate person who really cared about it enough to discuss how it really changed their life in some way. I could be convinced they were worth listening to because they respect my opinion and my time. Respect is the great adaptor for challenging ideas and sharing knowledge. Without respect, ideas cannot pass effectively. The greatest respect is shown through a willingness to also have an interest and listen to my ideas or beliefs. So far, it seems junk mail is only a low cost way to mass market products and services for businesses. The motive seems pretty plain and simple.

There have, however, been passionate people who have come to my door and I do hear them out, and I let them keep coming to talk more and discuss their ideas. Eventually, their passions and motives are made plain and we have a sort of mutual respect for one another, even without agreeing about everything we believe. I am not threatened by hearing or reading about different beliefs and ideas, and I love being around others who have a similar confidence or curiosity about what others think and believe, and what their reasoning is to come to such a hope or certainty in their view.

I only hope to come across this way to those I write to online as well, because there is a sort of coldness to digital communication that many times is taken as disrespect or condescension. I aim to both love and to understand.



I am really impressed at how a small startup can grow and encourage the best ideas to come to fruition. The Internet is a great place to throw ideas out and see what has traction and connect the ideas to people who have means to make stuff happen.

I am less optimistic about the world of politics so far. Nobody in a democracy can agree about how goals are to be met, but everyone has an opinion about how best to get there. And none of the largest ideas can be completed without a majority of people contributing their taxes towards the goal.

But what if our democracy did not consist of people without skin in the game pontificating about how to spend other people’s money, or future money? What if we all voted with our tax dollars as a percentage of our work, time and effort, and not one dime was spent until the goal was virtually funded on paper? I get bombarded by ads and automated phone calls asking me to support or not support this measure or that measure, to generate funds by taxing some evil industry and set up a committee to manage the funds, etc.

What I would prefer would be a secure website where I could choose initiatives to build better transportation infrastructure or hire teachers or establish departments of whatever, and be shown what my total estimated tax bill would be in the following year. All of the priorities and interests of voters would be distilled into only support the programs that have enough support to be actually completed, and the great ideas that were too expensive would not come to pass, and the programs that are knowingly abused would cease to be supported by the general populous. A fourth branch of checks and balances would be set up for the people as individuals, also encouraging active participation in voting. This would not give people with more money more power necessarily in a democracy, but would prevent big expensive programs from starting without the actual means to be funded.

Kickstarter would never work if people could vote with fake money. Neither will our government.