Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dave Rat Blog - Decision Time

There are several common societal things things that I find the opposite of enjoyable. The year end holidays are all good, humans all shopping at the same time making tons of traffic crowding everything, bummer. People stopping to assist someone in distress, cool. People lacking the self control and unable to resist the urge to slow down to look at an accident on the other side of the freeway, dumb and really annoying. Free society where we can vote, awesome. Being bombarded with fear based political advertising and sneaky shallow tactics to undermine the competitors, embarrassing. The fact that those tactics actually are effective, depressing.

I find the polarization of the political parties disheartening. Competition, good. Being a closed minded stick in the mud and undermining the betterment of the country in order to blindly support party lines, infuriating.

Some thoughts

If you make a mess you should clean it up. The country belongs to the people. Applied to a corporate level, people selling products that directly or indirectly damage the world we share should take that into account and be responsible for cleaning up the mess their products make. We as people should hold the corporations, businesses and individuals accountable, government is the tool we elect to accomplish that task.

We live in a balance, the world will never be free of conflict. To pretend conflict can be eradicated is as useful as trying to teach sharks to be vegetarians. Conflict can be mitigated and international sports like football (soccer) or the Olympics are a good examples of a controlled way that conflict has been redirected into competition. 

If the division between the 'have's' and the 'have not's' is too great, uprisings will occur and tip the scales in differing direction. It is the responsibility of the have's not to abuse the have not's. Lack of financial rules can give the greedy too much power, occupy wall street is an example of an uprising. People can argue about whether or not they agree, but the fact that the uprisings will manifest remains.

We can never walk so softly as to not create friction. With every step perhaps an insect dies, we displace critters by having a place to live, many die either directly or indirectly to supply the food chain and regardless of our occupation, somehow somewhere it effects others.  To live in comfort and prosperity means turning on the actual or metaphorical air conditioning when it gets too hot. As we know, turning on the air conditioning makes it nice and cool for those inside and even hotter for those outside. 

Two opposing views can be simultaneously correct. This concept seems to be the foundation of nearly all of the ongoing societal issues and almost every argument is actually just a discussion about differing perspectives. In fact nearly every question and perhaps every question can be answered with a yes, a no or  a maybe and not be incorrect unless very distinct perspectives from which the question is being viewed are defined. "Is recycling important?" Yes, from a global view. Perhaps no from a viewpoint of a struggling  nation and maybe from a personal perspective depending on where you are in your life, where you live and which items are being considered to recycle. Ultimately what people argue about is whether their underlying perspective is more valid than someone else's. 

A recession is like a forest fire, it is likely to happen sooner or later, we try and prevent them and the more the economy blooms, the more there is to burn up.  If the fire is mild, it just scares away the critters (job layoffs) and burns up the grass and underbrush (businesses) and leaves the trees mainly intact (government). A large recession burns up a lot of everything and a bunch of trees as well.  Then when the fire is out, first to spark back is the grass and soon after the bushes and other plants.  Give it some time and when there is enough foliage, the critters start to return, leaves are sprouting and the forest is coming back to life. Yet, like the trees, the governments cash flow is the last to burn and the last to replenish. This is why the government is so slow to react as delayed tax collection masks the economic issues for months or years from the governments perspective. When eventually budgets run thin, the government finally has the justification to act. Then the local, state and federal governments will be scrambling for cash long after the recession has ended.  Just like gazing upon the post fire regrowing forest, we have a choice of perspectives.  Either we focus on all the burned down trees and how many of the critters have not returned or we notice the fire is no longer a burning threat and the green sprouts of life are everywhere growing.

Overly greedy people spend their lives watching their backs as resentment builds against those that climb upon the heads of others to succeed. This is part of the balance.

If you give away too much control, you may not have the power to focus energy in a positive direction. I remember when I worked for a another band back in the late 90's and that kept pushing for low ticket prices. Because of the low ticket prices, the tours were not as profitable so not pay their touring crew very well, no retainers even though every show sold out. I actually got into a fairly lively discussion with the guitar player and my position was that while I am against corporate greed, if they charged a few dollars more per ticket, they could have paid their crew better and take a significant lump sum of the excess earnings and support the causes that they were very vocal about supporting.

Alright, enough of that, how about some pics.

Building SoundTools Rat Sniffers in house, our first big run of 250 hand assembled units.

Houston Seminar friends

120,000 Watts of power and a Ronnie

Minnesota Seminar, there is something so cool about sound humans everywhere. Perhaps a camaraderie amongst people whom have chosen a craft of using ears instead of the much more common eyes as primary career focus.

The march of the ducks!

Think, care, vote!

Dave Rat


  1. Very well written and insightful!

  2. Thank you Dave. Well said and thanks for your visit to Minnesota, it was a pleasure.