Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Documentary Suggestions and A Little Rant

I came across a very important and enlightening video on Google the other day. I am not sure what the actual working title is, but the google link calls it Controlling Our Food and I have heard the name The World According to Monsanto. This French produced documentary has an in-depth look at the history of Monsanto, the massive global bio-chem firm which leads the rush into trans-genics (cross-species genetically modified organisms). This is another presentation that I believe must be watched and shared with as many people as possible.

Another video presentation that I am suggesting is Earthlings. This one, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, documents many of the practices associated with the human use of animals as pets, food, clothing, entertainment and research. I believe this MUST be watched by anyone who does not pay significant attention to how animals are treated in their use by humans. I must be clear tho, I do not argue for the total end of animal use. I DO argue strenuously for a much more involved and conscientious relationship between we humans and the other lives with which we interact, especially those that serve our needs directly (I wish I could have found a better way of wording that).

Many people tell me that I should stop watching this kind of thing so much. They say there is nothing I can do about it anyway, so why weigh myself down by reinforcing information I already knew or believed. While this pains me, I understand the sentiment. I understand how easy it is to get lost in a sense of personal helplessness when it comes to some of these massive and incredibly dangerous issues. But, at the same time, we HAVE to be more conscious of these issues. We have to talk about them, painful or scary as they may be. We have to drag them out into the light and deal with them. We cannot hope the right political types come along to make these issues go away. The longer we do so, the less likely it is to happen. The ONLY way these issues get dealt with, is at the local level...by altering our consumption and political choices and by DISCUSSING IT. We can talk about what we believe and what we are doing, without being "preachy" or condescending. We do not have to force our opinions, but we must not close in on ourselves either, hoping that our examples are seen and heeded.

I am saying once again right now, very seriously, that if we don't get very very busy with these discussions as well as our personal efforts....we will run out of time a lot faster than most of us think. So many massive issues are closing in on us with incredible speed.

May God/Goddess give us strength...

Peace to all.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Chickens and Bees

So, I have been saving up a whole lot of ranting, so much that I have not really been able to sort it into any kind of coherent post. I may just blurt out a brief thought by thought rant one of these days.

However, on my mind right now are chickens and bees.

As most people who come across this page are likely to agree, chickens are pretty cool critters. Taken care of, they can be very friendly and quite intelligent. Chickens are also a fine source of food, either in their meat or from their usually daily egg production. While providing this food, chickens are happy to feed partially off of our non-meat household table waste (pigs are also a great waste disposal favorite of mine). Chickens also provide a certain amount of spiritual benefit, when well cared for. Walk into a room full of happy nesting chickens some early evening, most any human soul would be uplifted by their gentle song (keep a wary eye on the roosters tho). One may find this song to be intially chaotic, but speaking softly to the hens will tend to bring a certain cohesion, allowing one to be a sort of conductor. Its a pretty amazing experience if one is open to it.

Bees are another fascinating, tho far more overlooked, creature. Honeybees pollinate our flowering plants and vegetables in the spring and summer time search for food and honey stores. This pollination allows for the production of a large percentage of our global food supply. While other flying insects play a role in pollination, honeybees do the vast majority of the work in assisting human food production. Obviously they are the only flying insect to provide us with vast quantities of vital natural sugars in the form of honey. This vital insect is also experiencing a massive die-off in North America (I am not sure about globally). While the reasons for this die-off are unclear, I tend to blame chemicals and atmospheric clutter (electromagnetic fields, microwaves, etc etc), what is important is that we must stop leaving the responsibility for honeybee stewardship primarily to large scale business interests. Small farmers and acreage owners HAVE to consider either maintaining small honeybee colonies, or at least endeavoring to grow flowering plants and vegetables as well as severely restricting our chemical insecticide use.

Having said all this, my parents are looking at increasing their egg production and are interested in maintaining a couple of bee colonies on our two properties. As such, I am looking for local (to Alberta) natural heritage chicken breeders and honeybee breeders. I would be exceedingly grateful for any leads in either of these areas.

Peace to all, be wary in this dark world and bring light where you can.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Overlooked Solutions

Keeping to the "common sense" theme of the last couple of posts, I came across this article today. Paraphrasing, it seems that scientists have discovered that a type of volcanic rock, peridotite, has strong CO2 sequestering potential. Now, I am in favor of carbon sequestration as one part of managing our emissions, however it would seem that perhaps common sense has once again been ignored.

Why do I say this? Well do a little search engine wandering and look at all the various solutions presented to deal with the greenhouse gas quandary. How many times do you see forests mentioned?

Forests are the planet`s lungs, it`s atmospheric filter. Forests are what altered pre-human atmospheric conditions to the modern state which supports our lives, and so many others. Every day they breathe in tons of carbon dioxide and every day they exhale oxygen, which we humans need in order to live. For centuries now, we have been hacking down huge amounts of forest; to burn for heat and to cook, to clear for farmland, to clear for settlement, etc. Indeed, the last big environmental push was the 90`s bid to save the rainforests. Is it just me or did that kind of fizzle out?

Are not vast tracts of rainforest being lost still to clear-cutting for single season pasturage, and more or bigger cities and for roads interlinking them? Are not huge amounts of boreal forest being cut down to service the paper and lumber industries, or to build roads to oil exploitation sites? Has not a huge portion of the Rocky Mountain conifer forest been lost to insects able to thrive thanks to global climate change, be it man-made or solar caused? Have forest fires not increased thanks to a drier climate in western North America? Sadly, I do not have an idea as to the condition of forests in Russia/Siberia, China, Eastern Europe, etc. I would love to see a graph that showed greenhouse gas increases, alongside global de-forestation activity. I bet they line up nicely over the last hundred years.

Furthermore, I bet one would find correlations to freshwater loss or degradation as well.

Now contrast all of these questions with a few other thoughts. Just how much forest acreage is re-planted every year? Re-forestation was implemented 20-40 years ago and second growth forest (and sometimes 3rd growth) is now being harvested in many places. One will notice that the size and quality of timber has decreased in these 2nd and 3rd growth forests. I have my ideas as to the reason for this, however that is off the point of this post. What are the chances that these young forests are "breathing" anywhere near the same quantities of carbon dioxide as their more mature ancestors? I do not actually know the answer to that, but I think I will see if I can find out. Perhaps others should as well.

The common sense, albeit perhaps only partial, solution that I see here is simple. Get off our asses and plant trees. Do everything we can to slow the cutting of our forests. Create green jobs oriented around developing and strengthening our forests, instead of around exploiting them. Clearing brush to protect from forest fires also provides a fantastic source of compost, natural gas and hot water. Of course we can still use wood, we just need to do it a whole lot smarter. Use wood where it makes sense, and not where it makes sense to use something else. Recycle lumber. Burn smarter, research rocket stoves, thermoelectric stove fans and high efficiency furnaces. And start growing industrial hemp!! LOTS of it. The seeds are some of the best food available to us, and the fibres also some of the best available to us. Develop industrial hemp plantations in de-forested regions where the trees are not returning. Be sure these plantations are as ecologically beneficial, or at least neutral, as possible. Recycle lumber. Form small salvage and reclamation teams that help others tear down old buildings, and then share the salvaged lumber amongst yourselves...or sell it. Find out when your local theatre company is trashing their sets and salvage lumber. The professional companies often have lots to scrap after the closing of shows. Support local woodlots and small scale mills. Recycle lumber.

Sure, let`s look at new ways to sequester carbon (I would love to see carbon sequestered as carbon fibre in farm implements, for example, however let`s think a lot more before trying to compress CO2 into underground caverns as it has not always worked so well with natural gas) but please let`s not ignore the solutions that nature devised all on its own, simply because we are addicted to some of the products they contain.

Just some things to consider.

Peace to all.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

People and Responsibility Update

This is part of what I was talking about in my last post.

Now, I realize this was just one person out of millions...but it is FAR from an isolated occurrence. I have been hearing this sort of comment all over the place for the last few days, from all different sorts of people.

Maybe I am wrong, maybe we do need culling...

Friday, November 07, 2008

People and Responsibility

I have been wondering what is wrong with people. So many of us tend to ignore common sense or have some kind of personally skewed definition of what it even is. I wish I was a better writer/researcher because I would love to write a 21st Century response to Thomas Paine's "Common Sense". For any who have not heard of it, as I had not until a few months ago, it was a letter to the people during the build-up to the Emancipation of the American colonies and the forming of the USA. I believe all, even non-Americans, should choose to devote a bit of time to reading and later revisiting this timeless plea for common sense.

However, we live in an even more complicated world now. Distractions run rampant; television, shopping, toys for kids of ALL ages, food, games, fucking, travelling to Istanbul for 3 days so we can talk like we know the place, etc, etc, etc. For some reason, especially (from my small experience) in the US and Canada, millions and millions of people seem to devote themselves to an almost anti common sense lifestyle. I have moments of being as guilty of this as anyone, but I sure as hell try to avoid it. However, part of the problem is how easy it has been made to ignore common sense.

Part of what led me to today's rant was wondering just how many people think about what happens to products which are not sold. We have monstrous buildings full of contraptions of all sorts. Can they all get sold? Could they even all be taken apart and rebuilt into new products? How many are just scrapped? I saw a comment somewhere which stated that "the law of supply and demand dictates that all products will be sold at some point, at some price". I can't help but be reminded by such people, that most of the world's population once KNEW the world was flat. When did we become so totally devoted to such pseudo-scientific knowledge paradigms?

Is it not closer to common sense to think that research should definitely occur on a grand scale, but that development should be need-driven instead of market-driven, especially when we see how much energy is divested in CREATING markets AFTER product development?

The other thing that led to today's rant is the reaction to Tuesday's election. Over and over I have heard references to the new President-elect as a Savior, a Messiah, even as a King. I cannot help but react with astonishment and a little bit of disgust. Any President, any world leader, any dictator, any politician, any shadowy power broker...is just a human being. They have only that power and that control which WE hand over to them (or which we beg them to take). For such an "advanced" society we certainly provide a lot of reasons to support an elitist belief that most of us are just basically mindless chattel. Why must we keep trying to raise up Kings and looking for Saviors?

Why can we not see that in real common sense are all the answers we need? We have a world in which we can have comfort for all, a balance between labor and leisure. We must remember the value and reward of physical labor. We must ignore the temptation to attain wealth by little other activity than scheming and denigrating others, living or non. Of equal importance, we must help others too weak to stand up to it on their own, and stand up to those who blatantly accept that temptation!

We cannot keep living with our heads in the sand, waiting to be led to glory and salvation. To continue to do so WILL lead to the destruction of all we know, all we need.

As I have said before and will keep saying, yes we need leaders, but we do not need to find leaders, we need to BE leaders. And we need to use common sense.

Peace to all.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


So the Associated Press is apparently reporting that the US presidential race is far closer than it would often seem to be the case. From where I stand, this would seem to be a very odd thing. I have always thought that Obama seemed to have the most public and media support by far. However, this post is not so much about which of them are actually winning. I am no fan of either candidate. As I said during the Canadian Federal Election, I feel that both major parties in both countries are basically two sides of the same dirty coin, although in this particular case, I feel Obama is the elite's "chosen one".

What I am concerned about, is this apparent attempt to make the race seem close. It was the case in Canada too. Most people "had a feeling" that Harper was once again going to have a minority government. Lo and behold, that was the case. Don't most people now seem to "have a feeling" that Obama is going to be the next US President? So why do we need to be made to feel that the race is a tight contest?

Could it be that we're supposed to be focusing on that, and not why the trillions of dollars of corporate banking bail-out money seems to be being hoarded? Could it be to keep us on edge as late as possible? Could it be to get us worried about another stolen election and then to give us a sense of relief when Obama actually wins, all the while the world continues to accelerate in its breaking apart? If so, just how much could this sense of relief be used to bring more people into the Obama "believers" camp?

People, I beseech thee....come together in freedom, equality, consideration and common sense, not in following some righteous-seeming "golden boy".

Here's my little bit of prophetic gibberish, I hope I am wrong......now it's Obama, in a few years it will be Prince William.

Et Tu, BBC?

Last night during my late-night news-wandering I came across this story. It seems that while so many of us are concerned about climate change, inequality, poverty, a looming global depression and other such trivialities, we have been negligently overlooking a major concern. A new generation of kajillionaire inheritance recipients are facing the stress of having to figure out what to do with themselves and all that wealth.

I for one am ashamed that I have wasted all this energy in trying to remain free while doing my part to make the world a better place. How could I have been so selfish? We must all devote our wretched, profane selves to helping these future leaders consolidate and develop their piles of gold so that we may receive the glory of that which trickles down. Long live the King!!

Yep, that's right...I can write horse crap too. I am so disappointed that even the BBC seems to have been lost.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I stumbled across this video on Facebook tonight. I suggest that ALL Canadians watch it, especially given the turnout of our most recent federal election. Mel Hurtig presents some very serious information about the direction Canada has been headed for the past 30-40 years.

For me, watching the video raised a question I have been pondering for a few months now:

Should Canada remain a country or should we break apart into smaller nations, perhaps along provincial borders?

The reason this question keeps coming up for me is that I wonder if we are being overcome by the sheer vastness of Canada. Modern Canada seems a very fractured place. We have long been divided along relatively geographic lines; the west (which is often further broken down into BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan/Manitoba), the east (often broken into Ontario and Quebec), and the Maritimes. Another area of discontent has been between English and French which has, for obvious reasons, manifested as Quebec versus the rest of Canada. That Canada accepts this area of conflict is evidenced by the existence and strength of a Quebec based separatist national party.

I personally feel that Canada should most definitely remain a country and that we must ALL find ways to come to compromises that benefit all of Canada. Our parents and grandparents and their parents built a country that we should be damned proud to live in and to reclaim, even though there were some admittedly horrible moments. We have made mistakes, but I still believe that most Canadians DO want a free but socially oriented Canada. A country that embraces its multiculturalism, including vibrant and strong native communities. A country where all cultures are both proud and active in their heritage, but willing to make compromises to exist alongside other cultures, working together for the strongest future possible for all. However, reaching that point is going to REQUIRE asking the question I have posed. Making any dent in the political apathy in this country is going to require asking the question. Its about time we very seriously asked it of ourselves and each other.

I am thinking of creating a Facebook group dedicated solely to posing this question, but I would ask that anyone who reads this post take a moment to ask the question to all the Canadians you know. Post it on your blog or webpage, send an email to a bunch of people, put it on your Facebook page, whatever. Just ask the question, especially if you care about Canada. You don't need to know the person's answer, just ask the question!

Peace to all.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Just Another Wednesday...uh Thursday.

I`ve been listening to and discussing the Alex Jones radio show an awful lot lately it seems. I think he might remind me of myself, if I had no self-censoring. However, I mention his radio show again today for a couple of specific reasons.

First off, the lovable and very giving Willie Nelson was on for nearly an hour`s worth of phone interview. Willie has protested greedy big banking and corporations for decades and paid the price for it as well, yet he does not back off. Listening to this interview made me regret not trying to arrange a moment to speak with him the last time he performed here.

Of greater interest to me, however, and perhaps to many others, was the return of Naomi Wolf to the show. Ms. Wolf was on for at least an hour and it was quite interesting to listen to their interaction. With all her little gasps and cries of astonishment as she learned scary tidbit after scary tidbit, I thought she seemed surprisingly `belle-ish` to Alex`s `truth cowboy` persona. Very interesting conversation that also made me chuckle a few times.

A new piece of technology came to my attention for the first time during her phone interview today, as well. The TASER Shockwave is a new military/police toy that kind of reminds me of a nasty uber-jellyfish gun. Nature mimicry gone horribly awry (more reasons to avoid a sheerly technocratic society). As the brochure says:

"With the push of a button at a stand-off distance of up to 100 meter, the Shockwave unit deploys multiple standard TASER cartridges that are oriented across an area arc. Full area coverage is provided to instantaneously incapacitate multiple personnel within that region."

Something tells me this will be a big seller for TASER over the next few months as more and more people lose their jobs, homes and any way of feeding themselves.

At this point, since I finally have the comfort of knowing a few people (thank you!) now read my blathering sometimes, I wanted to pose a question. In another interesting sync moment the other day, Alex Jones mentioned a sense of time moving quicker and quicker lately. He was specific enough to mention that this was not even the same kind of quickening that seems to come naturally as part of aging. I know that I have been feeling this as well, for at least a year now. I wonder if this is the case for anyone else?

Peace to us all, brothers and sisters.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

20 Minute Bits of Hope

I just love TED.com.

I have learned some very scary things there, but it is also a site of great hope and inspiration for me. The site was introduced to me by someone I barely know. How it came to be shared is quite an amazing little bit of what I will call "stunning universal irony" but is far too personal a tale to share completely. Suffice it to say, it was a surprising little nudge along the path of my re-awakening.

I have not been visiting the site a great deal lately, as I was not seeing many new presentations and I found myself focusing in different areas. Today, however, I had a look and discovered a recent addition. As with so many Ted presentations ( I will list a few suggestions later), I found this one incredibly moving. In this presentation, Eve Ensler (creator of the Vagina Monologues and V-day) discusses our current focus on security.

The very short interview at the end of the presentation is of particular interest to me. The thought that Ms. Ensler shares, regarding grieving, is a thought I have frequently. I am very much the same way, tho I have thankfully not had to face anywhere near the amount of horror that she and other women have had to face.

I admire Ms. Ensler's work a great deal, both theatrical and humanitarian. I have even worked on a production of the Vagina Monologues...an interesting experience in itself. The woman who directed this production was quite a powerful individual, but one who I feel embodies my one criticism of Ms. Ensler's message. In recognizing and utilizing her own power and creativity, this particular woman had a rather incessant knack for running roughshod over others, especially men. While I completely agree that it is wrong to denigrate women as is the case in so much of the world, I cannot support a return to a matriarchal society (which Ms. Ensler seems to advocate) anymore than I can support continuing a patriarchal. What I support is learning to appreciate the value of BOTH genders, in our society. What I support is striving for balance, for understanding that we are both a part of nature and, through our consciousness, apart from it. That we are both individuals, male or female (or both in some cases), AND part of a completely androgenous collective.

A few of my other favorites on Ted:

Jill Bolte-Taylor discusses neuro-anatomy, her own stroke, and human consciousness. This was the first presentation I saw, and it had me in tears...but happily so, upliftingly so. It still gets me every time.

Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute discusses why and how we must win the Oil Endgame. My one problem with Mr. Lovins is his seeming devotion to the current consumption and profit based system. I love the carbon sequestration potential in carbon-fibre technology, but the energy cost remains quite high. If his numbers are right, however, we should be listening a lot closer than we seem to be. His connection to the military is a bit worrisome tho, to me anyway.

Majora Carter is one of the true hopes in the world, I think. Her warning of continuing racial and class segregation in talking about a sustainable world is an incredibly important thing we have to remember. Everyone should hear this woman speak. I`ll go so far as to say `the hell with Barack Obama. THIS woman should be America`s President.` I don`t care what color her skin is, or the fact that she is a she. She puts all the candidates to shame. Except like all true leaders, I doubt she would feel up to the job. But just imagine a world with such REAL leaders.

Start with these, see what else you find.

Peace to all.


I thought I would add a couple of examples of presentations I am not so crazy about as well.

Paul Rothemund shows a glimpse of the future of genetic engineering. It would seem that Gene Roddenberry wasn`t so far off with his `replicator` technology. However, I think this post highlights mankind`s recent trade-off between intelligence and wisdom. This is of great concern to me and, I wish, to others.

Stewart Brand thinks 2 Billion people living in squatter cities is a good thing. It`s only 3 minutes long so I`m not going to say anything else, other than this 3 minutes made my skin crawl. No wait, I am going to say more...this is what people are to elitists like this guy. Energy cells. Sure, I think the human population is at a dangerous level but I will never agree that we are livestock that need to be managed.

Aubrey de Grey
does not believe death is supposed to be part of life...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

After a Good Sleep

Yep, I got a good sleep. I went to bed disappointed and certainly worried but managed to not fret. Maybe this is because I had so prepared myself for the overall outcome that we saw in the Canadian Federal General Election yesterday. Maybe its because I've always known that things are going to have to get a lot worse than they even are now, for real and proper change to occur...and maybe its because I know it might already be too late. Maybe its because of a lot of things.

But I woke up recognizing a few more rays of hope that I did not last night. Yes, voter turnout was disgustingly low, but an awful lot of people voted their little hearts out. To me, it seemed that in a whole lot of ridings, numbers for parties alternative to the Big 2, were up. I was personally happy to see that the strategic voting push did not really work. I wanted people to vote their beliefs...and many of those who showed up, did just that.

On top of this, I don't think that many of those who voted for the CP's did so out of complete support for the Harper regime. I think they did so out of fear. Fear of the unknown that we all face, fear of how to proceed, fear of change.

As for those who did not vote, we don't need to bash them too much. What we need to do, I think, is keep providing our examples and TO KEEP TALKING. And I do mean talking, not yelling. We need to keep nudging more people awake, and reminding them that the time is coming when their vote will make ALL the difference.

As I've said, the "change we need" is not going to come out of our government buildings. Perhaps this was the case, once upon a time. We are now at a time, similar to the Dark Ages, when the change is going to come in kitchens and fields and living rooms and playgrounds and backyards.

Now, for anyone who really needs a laugh...have a listen to today's Alex Jones radio show at Infowars.com. Its a great "debate/conversation" between Alex and the creator of the Zeitgeist internet films. It's a humorous and sad argument, really, between two "truth movement" leaders who I feel are sooo close, and yet still so far from truly grasping the future we need so desperately. It's a good laugh, but its also rather poignant at times if you can get past the childishness.

I hope others will have a listen and share their thoughts.

Northern Oblivion

I'm not sure how I should feel now, exactly.

One one hand, I am desperately thankful that the Conservative Party did not win their majority government, but on the other hand they still came damn close to it. I never thought I would be thankful for the Bloc Quebecois, and I am still not sure that I am, but at least they saved us from a potentially massive PC majority government.

The more I think about it tho, the more I realize I do not feel good at all.

There's just no way to feel good about the fact that Canada showed it's worst ever turnout for a Federal General Election. This shows an electorate that has has given up, or just does not care. Personally, I find it completely unbelievable that Canadians could be SO cynical and/or apathetic at such an important time. More than 40% of Canadians seem to fit within these categories now.

There's no way to feel good about the fact that such a large portion of CBC election coverage was satirical. Satire most definitely has its place, but mixed into the journalistic coverage? That shows an electorate that is obviously far more interested in being entertained than in being involved.

Following the public comments on the main election article on the CBC website, I do not see much more hope. There are the typical ignorant, close-minded comments that one sees everywhere. It still amazes me that such a large amount of people just cannot fathom that the environment HAS to take precedence over the economy and the status quo devotion to constant economic growth based on endlessly accumulating debt instead of on actual production of goods and services. Even a great deal of seemingly intelligent individuals cannot seem to grasp this.

It's all just more proof of how we have almost completely lost touch with logic.

No matter how I look at this, I cannot help but feel like we have apathetically taken one more huge leap toward the cliff.

Yet I still hope and I will keep working. Peace to all.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's On

It's about 15 minutes to the closing of polls here in Alberta for the 2008 Federal Election. 15 minutes til they start counting the votes at what many, myself included, think is a crucial time in Canada (and the world)'s current history.

Most people foresee yet another Conservative Party minority government. I cannot help but tend to agree. I would not be terribly surprised to see the CP's gain a few more seats than last election, but I have a hard time imagining many people will change their voting patterns in times of such uncertainty. It will, however, be interesting to see whether the call to vote strategically (both the ABC lobby and the Vote for the Environment lobby seeming to be pleas to vote against the Conservatives) make any real difference this time around.

I do find it interesting that this election seems to be mostly about Mr. Harper, Conservative Party Leader and incumbent Prime Minister. Now, more than any Federal Election that I recall, this election is about Party leadership, not so much about Party platforms. I will likely post about this in more detail soon.

In the time it took to write this, the 15 minutes has passed and the counting shall begin. I will sign off with this thought. Given the state of Canada and the world, can we look to the outcome of this election with any real hope? I do not think so. We've got some tremendous troubles on the horizon to overcome, but I do not think the necessary changes will be initiated in our Parliaments, Legislature's, etc.

Crap, the first announcement is in and Elizabeth May did not even win a seat. Ill offer my congrats now to the Cons. Look out tho, more and more of us are watching closely.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Darkness Descending

Deeper and darker. Naomi Wolf thinks the US has gone police state pretty much completely now. I find it very difficult to disagree. If so, we Canadians better start thinking about pre WWII Poland and Czechoslovakia.

I hear New Zealand is nice this time of year.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Mental Conditioning in Eco-marketing

A few weeks back I watched a program called Aftermath: World Without Humans. This is a link to a teaser clip, although I have not yet been able to find a full version online. I have always found this type of production to be quite fascinating, and indeed it was a very interesting watch, yet in reflecting on the substance, I have a few questions and/or issues with this one.

First off, this documentary presents a rather rosy planetary recovery from massive nuclear and chemical catastrophes. It suggests that nature would flush out radioactive and chemical fallout, with no long-term repercussions, in less than 250 years. Now, while I accept their assertion that rain would wash most radiation into the earth, I find it bothersome that there was NO suggestion whatsoever of long-term genetic ramifications due to radioactivity or chemicals. Not only that, I would think there would HAVE to be some sort of ramifications to that amount of radioactivity and chemicals in soil and water tables. The Chernobyl meltdown was referenced, yet no mention was made of the current and ongoing genetic effects being seen in that area. I found this to be a very curious omission.

Secondly, there is significant reason to believe we have already passed the tipping point in the march towards irreversible global climate change. Even in this production, where the suggestion is made that near-total ecological recovery could be made without the presence of humanity, there was no mention of polar ice cap or glacial regeneration, nor the receding of deserts. I KNOW many areas would recover, but it is exceedingly difficult to believe that recovery would be so complete or so rapid.

While it is possible that these specifics were simply omitted for time considerations, I am not sure this was the case. Given my understanding of the use of psychology in mass media, I think it is more likely that this production was yet another bastardization of ecological issues by controlling elites intent on clearing the planet of the masses, allowing natural areas to regenerate for the benefit of the remaining few. I think it more likely that it was preparation for the sleeping masses, an explanation of why we will need to be forced off the land into massive cities, of why we must accept eugenics and other fascist controls.

The issues of over-population, over-consumption, resource exploitation and dedication to the model of constant economic growth ARE issues that desperately need to be dealt with, but I just cannot accept that fascist control and eugenics are the best way to achieve change. What is desperately needed is real evolution in human consciousness, an acceptance that stewardship does not mean exploitation, a realization that all things are connected.

Be well and good to each other, Sisters and Brothers.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Considering Life and Entropy

I discovered an interesting little article tonight which philosophizes on the relationship between life force and entropy.

I wanted to comment because my intuition tells me that there is a slight mistake and, though it may seem small, I feel it has significance. I believe it is a dangerous misconception to automatically see death and/or decay as entropy...as a force for destruction. I actually believe that death and/or decay are often actually part of life force itself. This is hard for human consciousness to accept, since death and decay often mean suffering, either to those dying/decaying or to those observing. But on the grand scale of things, individual death and decay often lead to new and more various or complex forms of life.

Entropy is, to me, more associated with a more permanent destruction. The recent struggle by mankind to dominate, exploit, and control each other, and nature itself, seems to be a powerful force of entropy which could very well leave the Planet Earth a Mars-like wasteland. When it comes to human actions, we can be directly (purposely) or indirectly (through ignorance) entropic. Greed and/or hunger for power are strong forces of entropy, for example, for to accumulate personal wealth or great amounts of power generally means the suffering of others.

Now, this is not to say that I completely disagree with the article's author or philosophy. Quite the opposite is true, especially after adding the "tweaks" I have mentioned.

Peace to all.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Again with the Signs and A Small Failure

My mind continues to churn. I've been writing at this post for 2 hours now and this is the 4th start. I have to share this ongoing experience but I'm still sorting it out myself. LOL.

What has it churning so much is that when I got up this morning and checked today's guests on the Alex Jones Radio Show, lo and behold, it was David Icke. Considering the revelations alluded to in yesterday's post, this was quite the fascinating coincidence and unsurprisingly turned out to be a moving listen. Over and over, I heard my own thoughts paraphrased and sometimes almost word for word. I really do suggest that everyone listen to this portion of today's broadcast.

I'd love to give my own synopsis of the broadcast and its implications, but I am afraid my thoughts are still churning too heavily and I think I will just let the experience happen without devoting TOO much energy to analysis at this point. Suffice it to say, and I know how weird this sounds, it is like I can actually feel my consciousness evolving. More and more I feel like I understand how my consciousness can have an effect on reality. More and more I understand that the scope of reality which I can perceive at this time remains a tiny percentage of actual reality. More and more I understand just what an incredible creation is human consciousness and physiology. And more and more I understand that the forces of entropy NEED humanity to remain semi-conscious...and why this is the case. It is their food, and there is getting to be a lot of it. This is where the feeling of accelerating "badness" comes from.

This leads to the small failure. While at the very beginning of the 4th start of this post, the phone rang. It was yet another telemarketing call, this one a marketing research study for Remada Inns. I listened to the lady's opening spiel and when she paused, I think my statement was " no, no no...thanks!" and then I hung up. I gave in to frustration. I created a little bit more food for the forces of entropy. I realized immediately after hanging up, that what I should have done was simply tell the lady that I was sorry she needed such a job and offered some advice, simply ignoring the real reason for the call. I had no need to listen or participate in the real reason for the call, but I definitely could have done something to make it a more positive experience for both of us. I hope I can learn to do better.

Peace to all.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Leap Forward

Along my quest for knowledge, full consciousness, enlightenment...whatever it should be called, I came across one of the most fascinating videos I have ever seen. It can be found in 16 10-minute parts on Youtube. I recommend it to anyone seeking a deeper consciousness.

My reasons for saying this are plural. First of all, I believe in "signs". I believe we are shown clues as to what we should pay closer attention, if we are paying attention and open-minded enough to see them. In this case, one of the main "signs" for me was that the main fictional character in the story, which accompanies and provides context for much of the information presented in this documentary, is played by Marlee Matlin. Marlee Matlin is a brilliant, as well as deaf (tho I doubt it ever held her back) actress. I first saw her in some romantic drama when I was around 15 years old. I found myself enchanted by her "presence", and since then have seen her here and there, always in fascinating and thought provoking roles. Discovering her in this production, I immediately had a strong sense of "this means something, I better watch closely".

Since I had quite accidentally stumbled across this documentary, I really had no idea of what it was going to be about. I had actually discovered it via a link on a blog which lead me to one of the sections of the documentary which had been posted on Youtube. This section dealt with quantum physics and the "double-slit experiment". Having decided to have a look at more of the entire presentation, I soon learned that it was about a much larger topic indeed.

What is being discussed is human consciousness and it's seemingly direct connection to quantum understanding. I have been hearing quite a lot lately about the potential for human consciousness to affect "reality" for some time from the likes of David Icke and various others. I have always had a hard time accepting their suggestion that what we can imagine, we can achieve...without exception. I always felt that this was kind of a "new agey" attempt to avoid actual work and any kind of physical or emotional suffering or struggle. Basically, it seemed like so much more snake-oil. So now having so accidentally stumbled across this particular documentary about that very topic, from a scientific standpoint, it seemed clear to me that I should listen closely, that perhaps I had been missing something in my earlier assessments of this philosophy...another "sign".

I have always felt the inter-connectedness of all things on this world, and also felt that applied throughout the universe. I have always felt that to truly understand this inter-connectedness is to come as close as the living mortal can, to seeing and understanding God. Now it seems that the proof that the scientist in me needs, might actually exist.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

More Sleight of Hand?


So, while global media headlines are dominated by global economic instability, US and other nation's federal bail-out bills and the US election, this headline goes almost totally uncovered. As of today:

"Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks."

Now to me, this is much bigger news than a proposed $700 Billion bailout of a failing economic paradigm, especially since around twice that has been spent on bail outs or purchases which did not require legislation for some reason. When the military is tasked to "coordinate defense support of civil authorities", a large step has been taken towards becoming a blatantly fascist state. This statement may land me in hot water but it seems to me that a government which uses terror, military or financial or otherwise, to influence the will of the public, is a terrorist organization itself. Fear, guilt and greed (and others yet) have been used over and over throughout history, to control the masses...usually as empirical societies broke down. For me, to see this accelerating, so blatantly, in North America, is a fairly obvious sign that our corporate, maximum profit and consumer based New World society...is crumbling around us.

Another important aspect of this story, is that "The at-home mission does not take the place of scheduled combat-zone deployments and will take place during the so-called dwell time a unit gets to reset and regenerate after a deployment." Now, given what we know about undiagnosed and untreated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder how often are peaceful protesters going to be physically seen as insurgents by some poor shell shocked Middle East veteran? I dunno, maybe I just worry too much.

To me, public outcry over this move should be as intense as that over the financial bailouts, if not more so. To my understanding, this is National Guard duty, at best. Of course, aren't most of the National Guard details on duty in Iraq and/or Afghanistan?

So what does this mean for Canadians, now? This is some information on how Northcom affects Canada. To my understanding, this means we now have a good idea which US troops we will first see deployed actively on Canadian soil (probably securing some freshwater source) under the guise of North American security. Of course Canada needs to be defended from hostile interests, but...('nuff said I hope).

Once upon a time, I would have watched all of these proceedings from a rather detached point of view, but now that Canadian activity is so heavily linked to US activity...often even controlled by it, Canadians and many other nations can no longer remain detached. Once again tho, I guess we just have to see how things go. For the record, I do hope I am dreadfully wrong to be concerned...but I do not think I am.

Peace to all.

Friday, September 12, 2008


The first portion of the attached "news" report has been used as "proof" that Global Warming is a hoax perpetrated by Al Gore and his supporters.

Now personally, I think that anyone quoting Fox news as proof of ANYTHING has some personal issues that may well be beyond sorting out.

Having said that, I am NOT an avid supporter of Al Gore's version of "the sky is falling" routine, but this article DOES contain a pretty significant flaw. Sure, those 4 "major global tracking outlets" probably did register a huge temperature drop over the past year. Considering we have posted several record high global temperatures over the last decade (ratcheting up the global temperature), it is little surprise that there could be a year of "record" cooling. Indeed, most rational arguments about global climate change possibilities do not talk of warming alone. The generally accepted term is Global Climate change, for this very reason.

Yes, there will be people, like Mr. Gore appears to be, who will strive to profit mightily from this situation, just like there are those who seek to profit mightily from the sheer exploitation and mindless consumerism which generally has drastic ecological ramifications. It is right to heavily question the sort of conflict of interest that the article mentions, but to suggest that only one party OR the other is involved in such dealings is a bit naive. The arguments back and forth seem to be, to me at least, a great distraction from the real issues at hand.

As for the second article in the posting...ethanol as the remedy to climate change is as erroneous a suggestion as the suggestion that humans have no environmental impact at all. Ethanol has its benefits and its drawbacks, the article mentions a potentially huge drawback. But the biggest reason ethanol is an albatross is the fact that we could devote the entire planet's food production capabilities to ethanol production and not even make a dent in global fossil fuel production. Algae may be the only plant matter than could be grown in enough quantities to replace fossil fuel usage, AND it looks like we can produce enough of it without affecting food production quantity at all. The capital cost of developing this process on a large and/or small scale is the greatest force working against algal biofuels, but it seems to me that it took enormous resources to develop the fossil fuel industry as well.

Peace to all.

Friday, August 01, 2008

My own backyard

I do a lot of complaining, I realize that. I'm sure many people get sick of hearing me complain about this or complain about that, tho in my own defense, it is rarely just for the sake of complaint itself. There's just a whole lot of things, small scale to large, that I think need significant improvement.

The first is me.

Like any human being, I am chalk full of imperfections...some of them quite significant. I generally try to point out, when I'm complaining about something, that I realize I am far from perfect. I thought I'd just take a moment on this blog, though, to point the finger specifically inward.

The first foible that I must share, is one of the biggest possible. I am a smoker of cigarettes. Sometimes lightly, sometimes quite heavily. This is the thing I am least proud of about myself. Why I remain a smoker is probably a sum of a few of my other foibles. It is a nasty circle too, because working on those other foibles tends to cause stress which tends to lead to more smoking. And without fixing some of those other foibles, quitting this evil and disgusting habit is an unlikely prospect.

Foible #2 is the fact that, for all my enviro-pushing, I still use bottled water. And not even an innocuous brand...no, I drink Dasani bottled water...a Coca-Cola product. I also slug back far too much Coca-Cola itself, I must admit. I don't like this habit but it seems to be a lot easier to deal with than the water issue.

Next is the fact that I have let myself get sadly out of shape. I am not so far gone as many individuals, but 3 flights of stairs and I'm out of breath for 5 minutes. As I grew up on a fairly manual farm and played some seasonal sports, I was in pretty good shape, in regards to muscle and cardio. This is no longer the case, and at late 34 it will probably take me a year of hard work and no smoking to get anywhere near where I used to be.

I also have too much of a temper. This is not to say a violent temper, as it takes a great deal to lead me to a violent temper. It is to say that I let myself "get worked up", which makes rational thought difficult or near impossible. I often think I have made significant progress in this area, but then something happens to show there is still a LONG way to go.

The next two will be listed together, as I think they are the core of my flaws, and perhaps of everybody's flaws. They are lack of willpower and lack of focus. Most of the projects I am working on require a significant amount of both of these things, and I can be desperately out of balance with both. These are probably my weakest areas, overall, and I HAVE to address them in order to have any hope with the others.

Obviously this list could be a lot longer, but these are the main personal issues that I feel are huge priorities in my life right now. These are the main things that I complain to myself about, regularly.

Just thought I'd share.

Be well Sisters and Brothers

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Like dogs over a dirty bone...

I've spent a great deal of time lately, trying to find solutions to the multitude of truly large problems in our world (either in my own mind or that others have come up with). The main problems I am concerned with currently are environmental and social oriented. We live in a world that seems on the verge of environmental and social collapse. As I search for these solutions, the concern of "cost" keeps coming up.

Over and over again, potential solutions are poo-poohed because they would be too expensive. We can't afford excellent education and healthcare for everyone. We can't tax or regulate those who profit the most from industry, lest they stop being industrious or relocate. It seems that solutions are only valid if they don't require us to consider any significant changes to the status quo. And the status quo seems to be; less than 1% of the global population controls or owns some huge percentage of global resources and wealth. The rest of us fight over what is left...

Now I know that not all is lost. Philanthropy does exist, truly benevolent human spirits exist. The problem is, they seem to be getting less and less and holding less and less sway. Unfortunately, philanthropy is also more and more tied to specific religious or politico-economic beliefs or practices.

But the simple facts of the matter are these....those in power and with great wealth tend to always want MORE power and wealth, and within current understanding, basic resources in our world are limited. These facts mean that no matter how hard we work and strive, not everybody can achieve unlimited amounts of power and wealth. It doesn't matter what religion or "school of economic thought" you belong to, our inability to grasp these facts as a population is the reason we have war and social inequality and economic manipulations that lead to crashes, and the current environmental/ecological dangers.

We humans REALLY need to step back and re-look at a few things and damn fast.

The economic system we've been using for 250 years is NOT WORKING. All free market capitalism really does in the end, is funnel power and wealth into the hands of fewer and fewer individuals. Sure, it can be made to sort-of-work in a subtle corporate-fascist environment such as we currently see. The lesson the powers-that-be learned in the 20th century was that the jackboots had to be traded for briefcases, that true power is gained through psychology instead of force.

The political systems used in most of the world are not working either. Over and over in literate history we see humanity eventually seeking control and direction even when it might seem to be wanting individuality. In the west and especially in North America, most are kept content by the possibility of achieving "middle class" status. We find individuality in which soft drink or fast food we can choose, or being sure our home looks a little different than the homes on either side of us. We find freedom in being able to have our own little space and our own things.

Here in Canada, that little space is a room, an apartment, a house, a farm...all just for ourselves or our immediate family. In India or Africa or many other places, that little space is often a corrugated steel shanty, usually shared with a bunch of other related or unrelated people, somewhere in the middle of a squatter-metropolis.

Finding "freedom" this way has meant the commodification of everything around us...even the water and air we need to live. Finding "freedom" this way has come to mean that solutions to problems must fit within the realm of cost-ratios and profit margins.

Every day I hear that the solutions to these monumental problems we face, are always soooo expensive or even too expensive. What if there was access to the wealth and resources that these so very few have gathered to themselves? Many of the resources have been squandered in their easily accessible form, but the building blocks for that matter still exist. If we can get past our incessant need to acquire more wealth or power than our neighbour, we can achieve so much more than we have.

It's time we realized that even if not every single member of society meets a certain level of "productivity", we still have huge potential as communities of differing sizes. A good example is our overall attitude towards seniors. Once members of society stop being "productive", we generally lose most interest in their wellbeing. They better have saved up enough when they were "being productive".

I refuse to accept that fighting over what someone else ISN'T doing at any given moment is a successful way to make sure the community or society itself is as efficient as possible. I refuse to accept that fighting like dogs over leftover bones (for the scraps left behind by the powers-that-be) is the ideal model of human society.

It's time we all had a little more concern for our neighbor and a little more willingness to share and a lot less satisfaction in having "more" than those around us. It's time we realize that there are more important "costs" than monetary.

This has been a SoapBoxTech rant. Be well all.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another idea to save the world

As most people are now aware, there needs to be a sincere and strong push towards addressing the climate change issue. However a deeper look at the situation shows that climate change is perhaps but a symptom of a much deeper problem. This problem seems to be the underlying structure of our society itself.

I have set up a Facebook group called "What the hell is happening to our world?" where some information about this problem has been presented and where I hope this problem can be discussed. But for those who are already aware and at all decided about it, I think I have PART of a solution.

Much of the conversation about the environmental aspect of this problem is in regards to reducing our "carbon footprints". Another keyword that is far more important, however, is "sustainable". The real push, probably the only real solution, is in a deep emphasis on sustainability, and an acceptance of the "interconnectedness" of ecosystems. This means requiring that even our global economy is predicated on sustainable practices.

In researching sustainable living, I came across a very interesting project in the UK, the Hockerton Housing Project (this can be google searched very easily, and I will add a link on my group). I saw how this project was set up on an acreage type plot, and I realized that it could be expanded into a communal or cooperative agricultural operation.

I also realized that such an operation (in the current economic situation) would have to generate fairly significant income. Obviously no families get rich from farming, therefore it would have to encompass some sort of industrial operation as well. In some areas, part of this industrial operation could well be in the form of windfarms (with grazing land below). Anther possibility is large scale greenhouse systems which could provide basic organic produce to a local market, year round.

The main area I would like to focus on, is joining the push to develop industrial hemp into a massive global economy. As many are advertising, the industrial potential of hemp is staggering. The capacity for sustainable paper-making alone could allow a shift from destructive logging, to fields of carbon sequestering and renewable hemp plants. It's dietary potential might be of great benefit as well, given how robust a crop plant it is and how significantly nutritious are the seeds.

A good example of a company working at this, is Stemergy Inc. in Ontario (google Stemergy).

A significant aspect of my belief in the need for this kind of change is sociological. I believe, from my own experience, that an agrarian lifestyle instills a deeper connection with nature than urban living (certainly now) does. There is reason to believe that this deeper connection is intrinsically more healthy, mentally and physically, than that currently available though urban living...even with urban advanced medicine. The truth of the matter seems to be that our advanced healthcare is ok at treating us once we are sick, but not too good at prevention or often at actual healing...especially in terms of mental health (the World Health Organization estimates that at least 1/4 of the global population is clinically depressed). This is not meant to be an attack on doctors or nurses or anything like that, tho I am happy to attack big Corporate Health. It is simply a broad assessment of the current state of affairs as a whole. But back on the direct topic, it would seem odd that so much of humanity has abandoned agrarian living.

The migration to cities has been primarily out of the search for a higher standard of living. The reality is that agricultural practices have not advanced much over the last couple thousand years. Farming remains hard and relatively poor work so the biggest change has been the constant migration of humanity from farming villages to city living. Most western agriculture is now either corporate (BAD!!) or by the family that is willing to do what it takes to retain that lifestyle as long as possible. Both of these approaches have left very few people living on the land. And those who do, do so largely unsustainably. The use of technology has usually only meant even less people were living on the land. This will be discussed in much greater detail in the project outline, but I want to make some attempt at keeping this brief.

Basically, I believe that hope for the future lies in making our considerable technological advances work alongside ancient tried and true practices. Considering this overall necessity, while trying to come up with a viable plan for the future of our family farm, led me to trying to create a project to investigate the potential of reforming a village type society in our world. This is not to replace, but to supplement the urban aspect of society.

Technology now seems to be at a point where larger groups of humanity could return to existing directly on the land, interacting with nature and still having the ability for significant social activity. We actually could choose to abandon the current system, for one based on sharing (of work and profits) and free time for self education or just plain leisure.

I'd love to know what others think. If you are or know anyone who might be interested in knowing more, or being involved with developing this idea...either let me know, or send them my way.

I should also mention that the project here would also involve the preservation and restoration of a major Northwest Alberta marsh lake which is home to thousands of birds and other kinds of wildlife. The local County is currently developing and expanding their landfill site which is directly on one edge of this lake.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bye Bye Internet

So here we are, a couple weeks after Bildeberg '08, and already the crap is rolling in.

This morning I woke up to some local radio DJ yokels discussing some new complaints by the big 3 in US internet providers; Time Warner, Comcast, and AT&T. Apparently file-sharers are once again causing a real problem to these guys. It seems that terrorist activity online has been less than "they" thought it would be, so now file-sharers once again need to be vilified.

This time they're saying that "heavy users" are making it hard for anyone else to be active online. The price of upgrading servers must be getting out of hand, therefore not allowing the bandwidth "supply" to grow alongside the bandwidth "demand". Damn, and here we were led to believe that the price of computing is growing less as processing grows in sophistication. Oh, dear god, are we looking at Peak Interwebbing due to over-filesharing?!?!

Perhaps they've stumbled onto the solution to the fuel price crisis!! Just increase the cost exponentially depending on how much fuel someone uses per day or per week or what have you.


Is it a sham?

It's never easy to believe these huge corporations when they say that their restrictions are "for the good of all" as is the argument here. I understand many ISP's already offer a tiered bandwidth kind of billing system where users of less or "typical" bandwidth can pay lower fees than those users who want higher speeds and bandwidth capacities. And, if this was about profit, wouldn't they just alter their rates and let us find out when it happens? Why warm us up this way?

So, what is this about really? Could it possibly be that the corporate and banking "elites" feel more and more of the population waking up to their crap? Could it be that they are starting to feel real resistance from BOTH sides of the political spectrum? Could it be that alternate media sources online are waking enough people up and now its time to cut off our last best forum for global information sharing?

I'd like to think so. I'd like to think the bastards are getting scared. I really don't think this tho. I think this is just one more preparatory step. Get set folks, it's gonna be a rough 4-7 years.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Can a Macdonalds and Walmart society responsibly

I`ve heard many people, both highly educated and not so much, refer to our modern western society as the most advanced and developed of any human society in history. So far, archeology tends to support this thinking, and I think its probably fairly accurate in many considerations.


The World Health Organization released a report recently (according to a presenter at ted.com) which stated that as many as 1 out of 5 humans on the planet are clinically depressed. We live far longer than our ancestors, yet the majority of suicides happen after the age of 65. This information suggests that those of us who believe this advancement may be something of a thin crust formed over a vast sea of lava, may need to find a way to be heard.

What I`m getting at is....we`re fooling ourselves.

Most of us in this western society have been convinced that the only way to be a worthwhile, productive member of our society, is to get through school, get a job and then start racking up debt . At the same time, in order to provide ways to rack up this debt, we`re brought to believe that we are in control of our lives because we can choose a car from hundreds of different styles, and we can have a meal in 5 minutes that we chose from any numbers of prepackaged options and live in a house personally designed for us, complete with 3 stall garage. We`re given the chance to identify with our heroes by wearing the same kind of shoes or shirt or having the same hairstyle. We`re given any number of ways of handling our human emotions (most of them costing more than most humans in the world can afford), other than just accepting and facing them.

Basically, we are led to produce and consume as much as possible, in order to power the machine of PROGRESS.

So here we are; about 1.5 Billion of us living comfortably, consuming our gargantuan quantities and the other 3.5 Billion trying to scrape out some kind of existence all the while hoping to attain our western levels of `development`. The more rational and educated of us are finally beginning to realize that this cannot continue, yet onward it goes. We pick issue after issue to champion, rarely stopping to look at the big picture. In my lifetime it has been gorillas, the rainforest, various starvations, and now "global warming". These are obviously important issues but the reality is that the number of issues, globally speaking, is almost unfathomably immense...and we probably cannot even fathom all of them. The reality is also that most of them are interconnected.

That might be a good time to get into the potential connectedness of ALL things, but I don`t see myself getting into that philosophical topic, just in a blog.

What I do want to get at is the title of this blog. Can our western society, as it operates now, primarily following the free market economic model, correct the worrisome future we currently see? Is a society that produces the amount of mental disease that ours does, properly suited to managing our present, neversay our future?

I think the most current reference point is the current approach to dealing with the future of climate change. First of all, the media and government seem intent on narrowing our focus from global climate change, to global warming and then focusing even further on CO2. Even the most public champion of global warming, Al Gore is very careful to "reassure" us that the solution can be found in our current system...that we will not have to make any significant changes to our thinking or living. There is no discussion from him at ALL, that this current system may in fact be the largest culprit in climate change, neversay the rest of the list of issues that we face. Instead it`s straight to inventing carbon credits and assuring us that the Market will handle the problem.

Now I`m not going to rail on against our current system of the free market economy. I`m simply going to say that I personally believe it is a faulty system that takes advantage of negative human traits such as greed and the hunger for human power. I believe that it CAUSES bigger problems than it solves via technological advancement untempered by wisdom and philosophy and a commitment to human equality. I`m going to suggest that we need a new system.

I believe that at least part of the solution to so many of these global issues lies in a fundamental shift in economy. It is time that we began to shed the chains of consumerism and exploitation. It is time that we used the technological advancements that have been made, but relying on wisdom and common sense in how we apply this technology...rather than primarily relying on monetary cost. It is time that we woke up and shifted to an economy based on industrial hemp and algae, rather than fossil fuels and trees. It is time that we faced our emotions and our personal pains, and just lived.

I am quite serious in suggesting this change in economy. We have the capability to form smaller, more agrarian style communities that are sustainable and self reliant. This is in contrast to the current model, which leads us to nearly total urban living, where agriculture is as corporate as industry. These new communities could be engineered to leave wild areas alone, as well as finding a better balance between industrial Man and nature where we DO have to perform human activities. Its just not rational to suggest that 6, and soon 7 Billion people can live in a totally "wild" planet, so as much as I would like that, it is not a reasonable solution.

Mankind does now have the ability to live as we were taught was possible 50 years ago. We can live in a world where we do work, and produce, but where our lives are not devoted to production. We can be healthy and happy, and live in decent comfort AND equality.

If this thought should interest anyone, I am currently working on an outline for this sort of community and hope to be able to share it soon. Having grown up on a family farm, I know the spiritual benefits of an agrarian lifestyle. However I also realize the inefficiencies in the family farm; the lack of financial feasibility in the current economic system, the difficulty in getting time away, the constant heavy labor from sunup to sundown, the need to have lots of children to help with the work but then with limited ability for all these children to acquire their own similar farming setups, etc etc.

that`s all for now. Be well, Brothers and Sisters.

Friday, May 02, 2008

what about wisdom?

I watched a video on google the other day, from 2006. It was a final cut of a show called "Building Gods" and was about the future of humans and artificial intelligence, or AI. I'm sure anyone who would discover this blog would also know about AI so I'm not going to get into explaining it.

I do want to discuss something I found particularly bothersome about this video and about the ongoing discussion about humans and AI, in general. The presentation itself was about the possible futures for human/AI interaction and philosophies thereof. Basically, it was allowing a few people with specific insight into this area, to provide ideas as to where AI could go and offer their or other philosophies of why this should or should not be the case.

Here lies my problem:

Every one of them spoke of the potential for increases in human intelligence through interaction with AI and most definitely for unlimited possibilities in artificial intelligence itself. Indeed, the suggestion was that because of the level of intelligence that can be created in the near future, which would become self perpetuating, these beings would evolve into gods.

But not one person mentioned Wisdom specifically, at any level.

Isn't infinite wisdom one of the basic tenets of God-ship?

Now I admit, one could argue that the very topic of the presentation is the discussion of the wisdom of any of the potential outcomes. This MIGHT be true, but none of the speakers who actually work at developing AI mentioned thoughts of the necessity for this AI to be able to develop or process wisdom.

What was recognized and discussed was that AI makes use of logic...but I do not personally agree that infinite mathematical logic would be the same as infinite wisdom. At this point, I choose not to try to argue this point of view but if there is interest I may well attempt to do so.

But in looking at our current western society, we cannot even really quantify wisdom any longer. The closest we might come is the granting of degrees in philosophy, but isn't that just developing the ability to consider wisdom...as opposed to developing wisdom itself? Semantics CAN be important, after all.

I would even make the argument that our current western society tends to shun attempts at attaining wisdom. Rather than being respected and aspired to, such attempts are now mostly seen as "boring" or "crazy" or, more usually, a "waste of time". The reasons for this are many, and the subject of other and future blogs, but it is simple fact.

Since my reader list seems to remain at zero for now, I'm going to stop for now. Looking forward to replies tho.

Be well all.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My first blog post

Good day, fellow English speaking denizens of Planet Earth. I wish I could include all the other languages as well, but I just don't have the capability of learning more right now...much as I would love to. Does anyone know if direct Blog translations are available?

I don't know if anyone will come to read these posts, other than myself, but I certainly hope they draw some interest. The focus of my comments is likely going to tend towards suggesting that any readers join in the effort of "nudging our neighbors awake" however, knowing my brain, I suspect this will tend to lead to a great deal of different topics.

Before I get too far along tho, I want to strongly suggest that anyone who has not seen the documentary The Corporation...take the time to do so before reading too far into this blog. It can be downloaded and/or watched for free on Google video. It is an excellent starting point for many of the issues I wish to discuss on this Blog.

I will start off by attesting to the fact that I am a Master of very few, if indeed, any subjects. I make my living in the theatrical field, but I have always been drawn to learning in a variety of areas; history, spirituality, biology, sociology, English, psychology, theatre, movies, music, and the list can go on. I will say here that I have always had difficulty conversing with a great number of people who seem to be only interested in "popular" culture, and while my interests do cover those areas...they are certainly not what I want to talk about all the time. I really really really do not want to ALWAYS be discussing what Britney/Paris did, or how shitty work was today, or how lovely the carpet and sofa go together. I will be the first to admit that recreation is NEEDED, but it cannot replace common sense and social responsibility. The very freedoms that are part of our society, are DEPENDANT on that responsibility.

On this subject, I have come to believe that when it comes to social/cultural awareness there are four types of people in the "western developed world":

1) Those who believe opinions on issues are best formed by "experts" and that the rest of us should usually heed those "experts".
2) Those who form opinions based on their own learning, who devote significant time to learning about various issues and topics, in order to develop informed and educated opinions.
3) Those who form opinions based on suspect foundations, who read news headlines in single sources alone and listen to like minded pundits in order to develop comfortable, personally gratifying opinions.
4) Those who just seem to strive to avoid developing any sort of real opinion at all on significant issues.

It is my feeling, and I am most interested in hearing other thoughts, that the vast majority of us still fall into the 3rd and 4th, or least socially responsible, categories. It is also my belief, that while it is the most difficult, category 2 is the only truly socially responsible and therefore personally responsible choice AND IT IS THE ONE WE SHOULD ALL STRIVE TO BE.

I haven't used the best English in that statement, I realize, but I'm trying to be as brief as possible and I am no longer the human thesaurus I once was (that was a joke, I hope I'm not that vain).

There are an awful lot of important issues at this very moment, in our "western developed society". These issues are not all restricted to only affecting our society, either. Most, if not all, of these issues reflect on or directly impact the rest of the world in some way. The most obvious, is that in their effort to "develop", the rest of the world looks to our previous example as to how to accomplish their "development".

Now, along with these issues, We in the "western developed world" have an almost immeasurable list of distractions to keep our focus away from these important issues. Most of us from the upper end of the Lower Class, through to the bottom of the Upper Class, are kept running in our "rat wheels" (kept servicing our debt and playing the stock market and being adult children with our toys...) so that we do not have the time or wherewithal to keep abreast of world or even community events and issues. Most of us believe our little voices have no effect on the big picture (in government and such), yet we're completely dedicated to the "knowledge" that our individual cheers help our favorite sporting team achieve victory or that our individual vote helps some other shmo become the next "American Idol". Millions believe that "knowledge" so much that they PAY to cast their votes for that shmo, but they will expend no energy in trying to be sure that government serves the people and not the other way around. Many extend this argument to suggesting that we are being mass mind controlled into this situation, but I am not convinced that this is such a directly planned endeavor. I do, however, accept its possibility. I do not argue that the media, primarily television, plays a huge role (be it conscious or not) in keeping us distracted.

This subject could fill volumes, and it will probably lead to many posts here as I know it does on other blogs. This is where my hope lies...the fact that I have read the words of many others on the good ol' interweb, who are awake and thinking about the world around themselves.

In future posts, it is very likely that I will make reference to, and suggest that people read the words of many of these individuals. I also suggest that we peruse the words of people who speak against our own beliefs. One should always be as aware of the "enemy's" mind as is possible. Plus, some of them can be pretty funny. Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly terrify me sometimes, with some of what comes out of their mouths, but then I notice the dark comedic aspect and I can laugh (albeit while shaking my head at the tragedy of it).

Anyway, I think this is a sufficient introduction to my mind. I hope it leads to some good discussions.

Be well Brothers and Sisters.