Creativity is Unusual Stuff:
It is subversive…
It mistrusts what it sees, what it hears.
It dares (and cares) to doubt…
It acts (even if it errs)…
It infiltrates perponcieved notions…
It rattes established certitudes….
It incessantly invents new ways, new vocabularies…
It provokes and changes points of view.
Humans Vs. The Environment: The Easter Island Effect:
Long long ago on a small little island in the far away southern Pacific Ocean there was a culture that lived on a place called Easter Island. The natives of Easter Island chopped down all their trees to build ever-larger monuments to themselves and their granduer. But what they failed to see beyond their own sea of self arrogance, was in doing so they destroyed their entire ecosystem and so soon perished, never to be heard from again.
The entire human civilization is now pulling an Easter Island on a global scale.
There seems to be a battle brewing, one of what is really to blame for all of the woes of our planet (excluding the fact that there are those whom see nothing wrong in the first place).
The former states basically that due to the pure numbers of our species, damage is laid upon our planet as we need more of everything to survive. Proponents of this idea of thought believe human activity is responsible for much of the damage, and that a reduction in population would automatically result in both less ongoing damage and a greater opportunity for the Earth’s systems to heal themselves. In short, drop the religious thoughts and male oriented thinking of being dominant and stop having so many babies.
The latter say the problem lay not in the amount of people on the planet but in our consumption habits. They point to the relative consumption patterns of industrialized and developing nations (where for example an American consumes 30 times as much of the world’s resources as a person from Bangladesh), and so their thoughts on this matter lay in the idea that restraint in consumption trumps restraint in population growth. In short stop buying shit you don’t really need.
No matter what side of the fence you may rest on, overpopulation, over consumption or perhaps a combination of the two, one thing is for sure taking place, and deny it as much as one wants, all evidence points to this fact: We are (as a species) in overshoot.
A species is said to be in overshoot if the resource requirements of its population exceed the carrying capacity of its environment — in other words, its needs exceed the ability of its environment to supply those needs sustainably over the long term. Humanity is already in overshoot, (estimates range by at least 25% and perhaps by as much as 100% or more).
A reduction in population would help to redress the balance. It would reduce the pressure on the planetary ecosystems we depend on and give them a chance to recover. Unfortunately, as we can all see at the present time, there is no sign that our population will stabilize within the next 40 years, let alone start to decline. As a result, the ecological changes we are inflicting on the planet we need for our survival logically will most likely increase as the years go by. For a species that is already in overshoot, this is a very ominous prediction. As we run into resource limits such as Peak Oil, the underlying damage we have done will assume ever greater importance as our degradation of the world’s carrying capacity is progressively revealed and the damages and changes we see now will only be multiplied as time marches on.
So what is our species to do?
It seems the first logical step is to understand that there is a problem in the first place. The time for people to ignore what is happening has passed us by. No religious belief, no ideas of the domination of our species, no thoughts of our inherent right to succeed in our free market consumption free for all can mask the fact that the planet (in many ways) is dying… and as the planet goes, so does our species.
The population of the world will eventually begin to recede, but we don’t have the luxury of waiting for that time to happen. Consumption patterns of us all needs to be address and readdressed on an individual basis. Waiting for governments to lead will never work.
The earth’s resources are limited.
All persons whom ever existed have and do consume some part of these limited resources.
Humans are altering the environment
Humans like to have babies
Governments have never made laws and changes. The general population has. Nothing comes from a government that does not start from the people (be it one, one hundred or one hundred million)
Try not to forget that the next time you think… I am only one person, what can I do?
Have a few minutes of time to waste between reading tweets, timelines and pins? Why not waste your time on worperhect.
A half joking/half serious, but very interesting idea for writing in an alternative fashion, word perhect takes the idea of post it notes to an online vain. Limited in what you can write on, it is good fun for a few minutes in your onlife life.
Like a Child being taught a lesson, know when to say enough is enough…
The G-20’s decision in November of 2008 not to let any systemically relevant bank perish may have seemed wise at the time, given the threat of a global financial meltdown. But that decision and bad policies by central banks and governments since then, has given over-indebted major banks the power to blackmail their rescuers – a power that they have used to create a financial system in which they are effectively exempt from liability.
Big banks’ ability to extort such an arrangement stems from an implicit threat: the financial sector – and with it the economy’s payment system – would collapse if a systemically important bank were ever pushed into insolvency.
But it is time to call the bankers’ bluff: maintaining the payment system can and should be separated from the problem of bank insolvency.
Above all, the G-20’s decision to prop up systemically relevant banks must be revisited, and governments must respond to the banks’ threats by declaring their willingness to let insolvent banks be judged accordingly.
A market economy (as so many countries tout their systems to now be) must rest on the economic principle of profit and loss. This is not about whether this type of system is right for our species… or in fact even really works… this is about facing up to the realities of what we have today and understanding what we need to do.
An economy with neither bankruptcies nor a rule of law that applies equally to all is no market economy. The law that is valid for all other companies should apply to banks as well.
Half empty? Half Full? Pessimist? Optimist? Let’s ask a person of Physics
Traditionally, the optimist sees the glass as half full while the pessimist sees it as half empty. But what if the empty half of the glass were actually empty—a vacuum? (Even a vacuum arguably isn’t truly empty, but that’s a question for quantum semantics.)
The vacuum would definitely not last long. But exactly what happens depends on a key question that nobody usually bothers to ask: Which half is empty?
For our scenario, we’ll imagine three different half-empty glasses, and follow what happens to them microsecond by microsecond (well not really but in a sense)
In the middle is the traditional air/water glass. On the right is a glass like the traditional one, except the air is replaced by a vacuum. The glass on the left is half full of water and half empty—but it’s the bottom half that’s empty.
We’ll imagine the vacuums appear at time t=0.
For the first handful of microseconds, nothing happens. On this timescale, even the air molecules are nearly stationary. For the most part, air molecules jiggle around at speeds of a few hundred meters per second. But at any given time, some happen to be moving faster than others. The fastest few are moving at over 1000 meters per second. These are the first to drift into the vacuum in the glass on the right.
The vacuum on the left is surrounded by barriers, so air molecules can’t easily get in. The water, being a liquid, doesn’t expand to fill the vacuum in the same way air does. However, in the vacuum of the glasses, it does start to boil, slowly shedding water vapor into the empty space
While the water on the surface in both glasses starts to boil away, in the glass on the right, the air rushing in stops it before it really gets going. The glass on the left continues to fill with a very faint mist of water vapor.
After a few hundred microseconds, the air rushing into the glass on the right fills the vacuum completely and rams into the surface of the water, sending a pressure wave through the liquid. The sides of the glass bulge slightly, but they contain the pressure and do not break. A shockwave reverberates through the water and back into the air, joining the turbulence already there
The shockwave from the vacuum collapse takes about a millisecond to spread out through the other two glasses. The glass and water both flex slightly as the wave passes through them. In a few more milliseconds, it reaches the humans’ ears as a loud bang. Around this time, the glass on the left starts to visibly lift into the air.
The air pressure is trying to squeeze the glass and water together. This is the force we think of as suction. The vacuum on the right didn’t last long enough for the suction to lift the glass, but since air can’t get into the vacuum on the left, the glass and the water begin to slide toward each other. The boiling water has filled the vacuum with a very small amount of water vapor. As the space gets smaller, the buildup of water vapor slowly increases the pressure on the water’s surface. Eventually, this will slow the boiling, just like higher air pressure would. However, the glass and water are now moving too fast for the vapor buildup to matter. Less than ten milliseconds after the clock started, they’re flying toward each other at several meters per second. Without a cushion of air between them—only a few wisps of vapor—the water smacks into the bottom of the glass like a hammer.
Water is very nearly incompressible, so the impact isn’t spread out—it comes as a single sharp shock. The momentary force on the glass is immense, and it breaks.
When the bottle is struck, it’s pushed suddenly downward. The liquid inside doesn’t respond to the suction (air pressure) right away—much like in our scenario—and a gap briefly opens up. It’s a small vacuum—a few fractions of an inch thick—but when it closes, the shock breaks the bottom of the bottle.
In our situation, the forces would be more than enough to destroy even the heaviest drinking glasses. The bottom is carried downward by the water and thunks against the table. The water splashes around it, spraying droplets and glass shards in all directions. Meanwhile, the detached upper portion of the glass continues to rise
After half a second, the observers, hearing a pop, have begun to flinch. Their heads lift involuntarily to follow the rising movement of the glass. The glass has just enough speed to bang against the ceiling, breaking into fragments…
The glass has just enough speed to bang against the ceiling, breaking into fragments…
which, their momentum now spent, return to the table
And so my dear half empty/half full thinkers… the lesson of this little tale? : If the optimist says the glass is half full, and the pessimist says the glass is half empty, the physicist ducks
Lessons on how to not be selfish in Death:
A person should be buried only half a meter, or two feet, below the surface. Then a tree should be planted there.
One should be buried in a coffin that decays so that when you plant a tree on top the tree will take something out of their substance and change it into tree-substance.
When you visit the grave you don’t visit a dead person, you visit a living being who was just transformed into a tree.
You say, “This is my grandfather, my grandmother, my spouse, my daughter, my co-worker, my friend., the tree is growing well, fantastic.
You can develop a beautiful forest that will be more beautiful than a normal forest because the trees will have their roots in graves
You can give back to a planet you take so much from. You can continue the cycle of a planet we seem to have forgotten need a complete cycle to be healthy.
In essence, you can go on and live (again) in life.
Random Thoughts for a Rainy Day (because it is always raining somewhere)
…on the illusion of the thought.
The world is but the surface of the mind, and the mind is infinite. What we call thoughts are just ripples in the mind. When the mind is quiet, it reflects reality. When it is motionless through and through, it dissolves and only reality remains. This reality is so concrete, so actual, and so much more tangible than mind and matter that compared to it even a diamond is soft like butter. This overwhelming actuality makes the world dream-like, misty… irrelevant.
A Dose of Sanity: Part Twenty-One
…And then it hit me…
The American culture of today offers young Americans (and more and more the youth the world over), the “choices” of fundamentalist religion and fundamentalist consumerism.
All varieties of fundamentalism narrow one’s focus and inhibit critical thinking.
While some progressives are fond of calling fundamentalist religion the “opiate of the masses,” they too often neglect the pacifying nature of America’s other major fundamentalism.
Fundamentalist consumerism pacifies young Americans in a variety of ways. Fundamentalist consumerism destroys self-reliance, creating people who feel completely dependent on others and who are thus more likely to turn over decision-making power to authorities, the precise mind-set that the ruling elite loves to see.
A fundamentalist consumer culture legitimizes advertising, propaganda, and all kinds of manipulations, including lies; and when a society gives legitimacy to lies and manipulative-ness, it destroys the capacity of people to trust one another and form democratic movements.
Fundamentalist consumerism also promotes self-absorption, which makes it difficult for the solidarity necessary for democratic movements
You recycle, you reuse, you may even (think) you shop locally…
But how ethical is your diet?
As our climate continues to change, our population increases and our food becomes more and more concentrated in the hands of a few, a crash of our already broken down, pushed to the max system of production, distribution and selling may not be far off, and not unlike the scale seen in the financial crash that is still rippling the world over.
Food is the next big looming crisis. Let’s deal with the issues now in an honest, open and frank forum and stop thinking it is still only an issue of the “have not” states.
Our heads were ALL in the sand on the economic front, lets not make the same mistake with one of the things we actually do need to survive as a species.
Occupy Something… (Besides this sense of higher moral ground).
Ever since the Occupy movement began and spread around the globe, I have been waiting. Sure, I knew that in the beginning there would be a great deal of both positive and negative coverage (well it did seem to take the mainstream media of the United States a long time to actually cover it, but eventually they did, and I will speak more about that later). Sure I knew that in the beginning the feeling of something exciting was happening would permeate many a person and drove them to do things that they may otherwise never have thought they would do. Sure I knew that in the beginning people would think that this time something really could be done, really could change and really could bring about a shift.
…. But that was in the beginning. What I was waiting for was the other shoe to drop. The other shoe called reality. For you see, while I am a firm believer in many of the ideals of the Occupy movement, what I think many of them (those on the front line.. and believe me, I have a great amount of appreciation for what all of them have and continue to do) fail to see (or don’t want to participate in) is … the system. And unfortunately those failures to understand that sometimes you have to “play the game”, is what could be the downfall of this movement and block it from ever reaching the heights and aspirations it could and wants for itself and the globe as a whole.
Occupy wants, well, many things, but above all there is a fundamental idea that there needs to be a better distribution of the wealth of the world, and a more accountable way for what they term the 99 percent to be part of the entire pie. What they fail to see is that by circumventing a lot of the things they don’t like… like certain types of organization, like sponsorship, like money, they are loosing a part of the movement that they will need to take it to the next step. I applaud the idea of not wanting to go down that path, of staying true to the ideals of the movement, but again, I have to say… it is time for a deep seeded reality check.
Occupy Wall Street… the idea… was floated by a magazine that I have read (sometimes with amusement, sometimes with opposition to the single-mindedness of some of the ideas within but always with a sense of understanding and being akin to the principles behind the magazine) for longer than probably some people (if any are) who are reading this have existed on this planet. Adbusters, the little Canadian wanna-be anti corporate magazine that could, was the spearhead of the idea.
So let’s look at this magazine for a moment. While the magazine generally does not have advertising in their pages, they do charge for the magazine. As a person whom lives on the other side of the globe from its place of its inception, I can attest to the fact that even this magazine is not immune to the inequality of how much is charged for it from country to country. I have purchased it in a few different countries, and I can say that to buy it on the magazine stands here… if you can find it… it is DOUBLE what it would be to buy it in Canada or the United States, and the price then fluctuates again depending if I buy it in another Asian country, in Europe, and so on. While this is not necessarily the actual fault of the magazine itself, they do understand that this does occur but they do want their magazine to reach the widest audience possible, (hence the reason they have an American Edition and so forth). My point being, is… they do CHARGE for the magazine, for they understand that in order for the message to be heard, they need structure, organization, a way to pay their employees, etc. In other words, while they do believe in a change to the capitalist system we have now and an end to the consumerist society we all live in, they do also participate in it (if only to get us to look at how we participate in it). They do understand that they cannot change the entire way our world has function in one magical swoop of their desire for it to be so. They have… in a sense, grown up. Become a middle aged entity (like myself), that desires change and desires more equality in many things… but also understands that the system itself (using it to ones own advantage) may be the best way to go about bringing that change they so desperately feel is needed. But they also know that it is not going to happen overnight.
Human beings will NEVER agree totally on all things, and, in my thoughts, I would never want them to. I enjoy the diversity of our thoughts, it is what drives me in many ways and keeps me reading, traveling, writing, thinking and the like. So while I too sometimes desire this change to come about in some magical fashion outside of the system we already have, the reality is, that is not going to happen unless the world de-evolves into anarchy. Now some may love the idea of this occurring, but again, let us clear our heads for a moment. Anarchy does not and will never work as a way of leading an existence in our world. Human beings need structure and in some ways need laws and direction in order to function to their fullest capacity. It is the system we have now, with all of its faults that has helped to bring about some of the greatest things of our evolution as a species, and it is this system that continues to do those things
Let’s leave this idea for a minute and look at the media coverage of the Occupy movement. In the beginning, especially in the United States, it seemed the coverage of the movement was … lacking. There could be many reasons for this occurring, but again, it seems to me one of the biggest reasons is that the structure of the news (how it is gathered, packaged, reported etc) has itself changed as well, and again, the Occupy movement needs to understand this. I mean really understand it. Not just fight against it. Play their game a bit, Understand that middle of the road Pat and Joe are more akin to listening to someone whom is not screaming demands all the time, face covered in a black mask and the like. (humans get very affronted when someone seems to just demand, demand, demand… even if their demands are warranted). News, like it or not has become a commidity, so, use it to change it. While the past decade has seen the deterioration of real talking into thirty second rants of exploitation and pandering and talking heads screaming about this and that, I don’t think this is the way to go. While it may seem to be the way at the end of the day, true level-headed, reality based intelligence (I really believe) wins out in the end, only if because at the end of the day, it is the level headed that have the patience to sit through all the emotion and the rants, to see through the thoughts of the heart vs. the mind and get to the real heart of the issues. That is what needs to be done with Occupy. It is a great idea for everyone to have a voice, but again, let’s speak to reality. Spending your whole time just listening to those voices and never really deciding on anything because your afraid that someone will not agree with what you are doing will result in… well… nothing. This is a place where Occupy (especially in the United States, the seeds of its existence) seems to really have dropped the ball. Other movements in that country (the so-called Tea Party comes to mind) have been much more successful because they have decided to play the game, to not just talk, and to understand that action … within the system… must occur in order to bring about the change they desire. They have come to see that they must work with different groups, not necessarily totally like them in their actions, but in the fundamental idea of what they desire, in line with each other. From what I see of what has occurred in the United States over the past few years, they have been very successful so far in forwarding many of the things they desire, even thought they too seem to hate the system as it is. They have been good at using it to their own advantage.
I know that many may see that as a total lack of principles to their own moral code, a type of pandering in its own right, but lets again look at the reality of our species. Many of the ways in which we function are riddled with paradoxes and catch 22’s. Change comes about (it seems to me) when one accepts these realities and uses them to ones understanding … and ultimately to their advantage.
Occupy seems to be at that point in its evolution the world was at after they were hooked on the drug Barack Obama sold to us all in his slogan “Change”. After the reality of the real world set in, and the drug did not produce all the “change” it promised (or perhaps many people just assumed it to promise), the disillusion became too much and people once again began to look for something else that could appease their desire for something different. They began to look for a new fix. They believed in something, and when what they believed in became diluted, the purity of the drug became less than the initial effect it gave them, they began to look elsewhere for something that was more pure to their own thinking… to get them high again.
That, my friends is never going to happen, unless we all choose to splinter and begin to live in our own little worlds. living only with those whom are like minded in all ways. Now that may be fun for awhile and it may be something that many think would be a great thing, but I do believe there would come a day when those whom thought that way would realize they were missing something. That spark, that difference, that diversity that makes us such a frustrating species in so many ways… but also one of total fascination, intrigue and desire.
So to Occupy I would say… the time has come to really take it to the next level. The protest, the sit-ins, the shut-downs (and so forth), they were just the beginning. Now it is time to really get organized, to really move into the next phase of change. Don’t be afraid of one whom may have money who desires to really be with you and to use that money to help you. Not everyone whom has money is hell-bent on keeping the system we have now. There are many out there that desire change, desire a different way of going about doing things in the world, but don’t feel the need to circumvent the system we have now to do it. Don’t ignore that group, embrace them, and understand they can be your allies, not someone else you need to change in thought. It might not be what one wants to hear, but there are certain ideas of inequality that are going to take… money… to make them right again. After all, again, I must state, we live in the reality of the world we have all created. We cannot wipe it clean and start a-new in one full swoop. The results would be catastrophically bad for us all. And so, understanding that money is needed, but that money CAN bring about change, if it is done in certain ways, needs to be embraced.
Sometimes the most like minded people are those whom you seem to think you have the least in common with. Sometimes understanding that desiring the same outcome or the same thing does not necessarily mean taking the same path to get to that place. But it takes more than just an understanding of this. It takes a willingness to work together… differences and all… to succeed in those goals. This is the place I see that Occupy needs to really concentrate on now. And I wish them all the best in that venture. It is the hardest thing for humans to do sometimes, but if the movement ever really wants to make a change, and not fade into the sunset, it is a place they will need to go, and if they do, they may be surprised the people (and entities) that will follow.