Jay's Lexicon

Power Tools – Tools that shape the world

Everything is a tool of everything else.

We are the tools of Wheat and Grass – http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/214, yet they are also the tools of us. The same applys to religion, our bodies, our minds, rocks, everything.

Everything uses everything else. Everything is a tool, be it physical and tangible or virtual, notional and ideological.

Power tools, are the things that are huge levers over our minds, that can be used to be used to manipulate us to serve a purpose or goal. Some levers are now so large that their original purpose has been lost and they appear to have a mind of their own – See Dawkins on Meme’s and religion.

However if we are conscious that everything is a tool, we can then sieze control of these tools and use them to achieve our own goals. Rather than having goals dictated to us by the memes that we have created.

Below is a starting list of Power Tools

The Media
PR and Propaganda (a fine line indeed)
The Capitalist System
Global and Regional Economics
Community (damaged by the meme of the individual)

Many of these tools are now without clear goal or purpose. What is Our goal, is the greatest question we can ask ourselves, we must then use the tools to meet that purpose.

Note Our Goal, is not to be confused with Why are we here? We are here, deal with it.

The question is How should we be? We won’t agree on everything, but we should start with shared and collective Goals and forget about personal belief systems and thinking about reasons for being.

You live, now create something or be a part of something that makes your life worthwhile.


2 thoughts on “Power Tools – Tools that shape the world”

  1. Mmmm… interesting.

    Reminded me of The People Speak’s slogan, “Tools for the world to take over itself!”:


    This kind of thinking about ‘tools’, in the broadest sense, was really important around the interface between the counterculture and the tech industry in California in the 60s and 70s. Stewart Brand’s ‘Whole Earth Catalog’, which was basically the offline prototype for the web, was subtitled ‘Access to Tools’. Ivan Illich’s ‘Tools for Conviviality’ (1973) was also very influential, inspiring Lee Feisenstein and others around the Home Brew Computer club. (One day I want to write a book about Illich and Brand – they were both massively influential, often on the same people, but ultimately headed in quite opposite directions…)

    “we should start with shared and collective Goals and forget about personal belief systems and thinking about reasons for being.”

    I remember deciding years ago that “It doesn’t much matter what I believe; what matters is what what I believe makes me do!” Another way of phrasing that is “Beliefs matter a great deal, but only if they have consequences; a belief that doesn’t lead to action is just a pompous kind of opinion…”

    Yet when we focus on “goals” and “purposes”, doesn’t that increase the likelihood of “the means justifying the end”? If “everything is a tool of everything else”, that could suggest that we are all bound to be endlessly using and manipulating one another.

    One alternative would be to treat everything as potentially a tool, but also potentially an opportunity for relationship, and to look out for situations in which we have the choice to treat things (and people) one way or the other.

    All a bit deep for a Friday afternoon! (And partly prompted by Stephen Talbott’s ‘Devices of the Soul’, which I was reading on the bus to work today…)


  2. Cheers for the TPS link, really interesting what their doing.

    I’d agree with your point about beliefs, sadly the consequences of action are rarely considered in full when acting on belief rather than knowledge, but that’s a separate discussion.

    Interesting point about the means justifying the end, personally I think that the actions we take should be in line with the end goal. Creative application of knowledge can create other solutions towards an end goal, I firmly believe we are only limited by our own creativity in such respects.
    As for suggesting that we are endlessly manipulating one another, I recognise the dangers of such thinking. However in many respects we are already doing so, such goals may not always be apparent and such uses not necessarily malicious. We also use each other to derive happiness and joy, and such uses are often mutual rather than a zero sum game.

    Yet I would agree in principle that it is undesirable to enter a state whereby people are constantly looking for the use in the people they meet (although networking events are largely populated with people of this tragic attitude).

    Cogs aren’t working too well on a friday and i’m hungry so I hope this makes sense 🙂

    Thanks for adding to my reading list.


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