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I read HN. I live in Belarus (okendoken.com)
29 points by PhilipDaineko on Feb 25, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 6 comments

I think you're overreacting. In some way there are some problems with democracy in Belarus. But I don't think, that people are that desperate as you described. I also think you should don't blame Government, 'cuz there are still some good people out there. I sure, that you don't familiar with all problems, that government is facing. Country has no resources, the legacy, it got from USSR, is miserable. You just must understand, that there is some price for independence. I know that today Belarus is bowing before Russia, but there were some years, it has really independent policy! If you want to start your business there is always a chance and you know it. Nobody will ever do that for you.

If communities like HN have a role they can fulfill, I think it is to keep the information flowing -- throughout the world.

I believe the majority of people want good lives, not just for themselves but for their neighbors. (If nothing else, happy neighbors are more enjoyable to be around.)

(And most people find, ultimately, that the good -- best -- things in life are family, friends, and "the simple things", like good health, a quiet neighborhood, nature to enjoy, kids at play, pets, etc. Oh, and interesting problems to discover and to solve.)

When we know what is (really) going on, we can make informed choices.

Wow, one would think that HN readers would be rather more interested in solving 'big problems', such as this one...

It can't exactly be classed as a political problem: it's psychological, in the sense that a populace 'gets the government it deserves'. A true revolution cannot be imposed, it must emerge from within (for analogy, consider: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synergetics_(Haken)).

Unfortunately, the only field that effectively deals with these types of psychological 'phase changes' is science fiction. 'V for Vendetta' is a clichéd and simplistic example; there are much more interesting ones.

In 'Sam Hall', by Poul Anderson, a government bureaucrat creates an array of false records and news items for an imaginary freedom fighter named 'Sam Hall'. The character is ascribed various revolutionary deeds which gradually become legendary, and thus forms a figurehead around which the rebellion coalesces.

'The World of Null-A', by A E Van Vogt features an amazing battle on Venus in which invading military forces are thwarted by a population that has been trained to think 'super-rationally' (relevant articles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superrationality, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffusion_of_responsibility, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons). The rest of the book(s) is probably quite controversial, but this one account was eye-opening. Closely related is 'Starship Troopers', by Robert Heinlein.

I know that these are limited examples, and are not immediate (nor even realistic) solutions for the situation in Belarus, but, as Otto Von Habsburg said: 'The only thing you learn from history is that no one learns anything from history.'

When a population learns to replace fear with a sense of self-responsibility, and super-rational thought, dictatorships become impossible. The US constitution presented some facets of these notions; but the mass education that could energize such ideas has never been implemented. I wonder why...?

"The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress"

Sounds like you are an agent of positive change :)

Your message on HN means a lot because it gives people around the world a glimpse into the good hearts and minds of Belarusians.

Continue blogging and openly sharing your feelings. I think transparency and communication is the key.

"Out of sight, out of mind". Don't let that happen.

I loved working in Minsk for a couple months a few years ago. It was Nov and Dec and already cold, but everyone I met was full of optimism and warmth. The subsequent crackdown has changed the lives of many friends in the software industry, but I'm heartened by posts such as this.

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