….I agree only in so far as it is laudable. Where I would say we differ, is that this IS reality. These are things actually happening now (and have been happening for years) and are a consequence of behaviour elicited by complacency and the non-action of those who aren’t at the “end of the line” of the processes that cause such things.
To label it as a vision, rather than a viewpoint with a basis in fact, is very drab. I would equate it with the current (although very politically nebulous and otherwise tricky) situation in government and NGOs whereby the subject of this is debated and analyses are carried out and more debate on those and re-evaluations and more analyses etc etc. The same attitude and reaction by many to the people who are there pointing it all out to others.
An illustration of this would be along the lines of:
Yourself, G. and I (for example), are standing on a riverbank watching as the ground beneath us steadily falls into the fast-flowing river. I’ve been shouting at you two to pay attention and help my deal with it for a while. After a little while longer you two notice that the ground directly beneath your feet is shifting. Now you begin to pay attention, but your interpretation of how its going is different and you aren’t taking what I’ve been saying necessarily at face-value - you accept it but do nothing about it. So you debate with each other and argue the finer points of why it is happening and what should be done about it. You both agree that individually it doesn’t appear that you can help the situation. I disappear and the situation becomes more serious but it’s too late - you later realise that collectively if we’d have involved ourselves, worked together and moved we would have avoided the danger.
Very thin example I know, but the point is that giving a rather “non” answer as - its a vision, what is needed is a road map - is a bit defeatist. (I only say this as it is the meaning of written words as I don’t have the context or intonation of voice to derive further meaning from it).
We are consumers and so users of “the line”. We create demand and wastefully use what we buy (through thoughtlessness of our use of it - not through actually wanting to use/consume it) and it is provided by a very large ‘question mark’, apart from the labels we find on the stuff identifying where it all comes from, and it disappears into ‘question mark’.
I sent it originally as something thought-provoking; to point out that mindfulness of how we interact with things is important, as it has a very strong effect to whatever is “down the line” of whatever process we initiate or use. (I actually forgot the article I sent you so re-read it again to make sure!). It was more of a minor wakeup-call in order to evoke a re-evaluation of perception - even small things that one person does (or doesn’t do) can affect those around him and stretch even further.
The video I sent you (I think, if I remember correctly) about the food and plants scheme around the small town in the north - is a very interesting idea and a great step toward self-sufficiency and a greater ecology within the build environment - but (due in very large part to social media and the internet generally), this was one town that tried an idea and now there are several communities around the world who are trying similar things out. Similarly, the guy who saves rain water in storage tanks for washing things and/or drinking so he doesn’t have to pay large bills (because water is free for christsake) or who puts grass and greenery on his roof because it insulates his house better and promotes the local ecological system - his neighbours like the idea and follow suit, or hits the news and others follow.
A small drop can create big ripples - I have researched Copenhagen’s waste-disposal system, which takes all non-renewable rubbish to a plant which then uses it to produce most of the heating for the city. Even the plant itself is carbon-neutral and has ecologically friendly systems built-in (and a ski-slope on the roof). I would love to see a similar system in London or Reading for instance. But these ideas come from people who think about their situation, make a plan for themselves and implement it as far as possible - innovation is created and then is often taken up by others and expanded to include larger and larger areas.
Of course the article refers to a greater problem (a very macroscopic perspective agreed), which can be solved quite easily - but then once comfortable we are almost completely unwilling to sacrifice any of it until it’s taken away from us. The system we have is broken as all hell - economics is a terrible, terrible system. I returned a book recently on “The Economics of Environment and Natural Resources” - it wanted to tackle the problems not being addressed by organisations and governments through an economic approach. It did this very well and could instigate some change within the current system - but I saw very early on that the problem here wasn’t that we struggle to “value the environment or its processes due to its complexity”, it was that this approach is the problem - you can’t put a monetary value on the environment and ecosystems for christsake! Something that only becomes relevant after the fact, by the way, in quantifying damages for destruction already caused! (Ineffectively too!)
This is an example of course, but the economic system and economics generally, as an approach, is something that can only put money as its value and it puts it first (I mean right up front). So we see the destruction we cause, either im- or explicitly; create an effective solution; see the cost of it and go “Oh no, can’t do that. It’s not cost effective!” - as though the money should be the problem. [“If you care more about your money than your environment, why not sit there and count your money whilst holding your breath”]. The article rightly points out this flaw and should act as a call to action not debate - particularly when we have solutions as it is. The game we play, especially now, is not a “let’s wait and see until they come up with something that’s cheap and looks nice” thing - it’s a “oh shit we better do something right now with what we have and know”.
We certainly have the infrastructure to facilitate changes, the tools and available knowledge (good old internet) - but it is meaningless if we do nothing about it. It’s why I would really like (and enjoy) planning and implementing a re-development of things in and around the house. If I could spit-ball some solutions with you and mum when I’m back that would cool, I can bring ideas to the table and you seem to inexplicably know how to do everything handyman-related, so it is possible to implement them.
Sorry about the rant. I believe it’s important that we do something at least (more often than not these changes turn out to be highly cost-effective anyway and save a lot of money!). This article is an illustration of the wrong point of view - not a conjured vision, but an example of and pointer to what is wrong currently. I think it should be taken with a pinch of salt of course, because there are many things (other than that mentioned) to address; but this should be considered and give a person at least a tiny bit of vim in order to make changes.
I agree with her at the end particularly, whereby we should use the Bhutan’s system of Gross National Happiness to value and grade things by, rather than money - but that’s something that will have to come about through steady, nation-wide perspective change than just you or I agreeing with it however.
Sorry again! Watch some more TED videos - really great app - self education is the best education!
ThEme TUnE: Katy Perry - Wide Awake (Xilent Remix (Deren’s Drum Cover) [A friend of mine and his awesome drum skillage! Link below]
I am a prolific reader and currently powering through 10 books at once on four separate topics. As my book collection is reaching the stage of obscenity, I would like to take the chance to share some of the wonderful series of literature I now possess. Each and every book is well recommended:
[These are in no particular order or preference – merely a list. Or merely not a list, but a profound treatise on the exponential increase of knowledge, spewing forth from the form of symbols on paper or the pixels of a screen to the chemical hard-wiring in your mind to ripple through your consciousness and spill over into society and inception each truth and insight contained within each tomb presented through the pixels before you. Or just a list……]
- The Republic, Plato
- The Meditations, Descartes
- On Liberty, John Stuart Mill
- The Book of Tea, Okakura Kakuzo
- The Way of Zen, Alan Watts
- Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu
- The Book of Chuang Tzu, Chuang Tzu
- Thus Said Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche
- Beyond Good and Evil, Friedrich Nietzsche
- Introducing Philosophy, Dave Robinson, Judy Groves
- The Art of War, Sun Tzu
- The Analects of Confucius, Kung Fu-tzi
- The Rig Veda, (Various Authors)
- The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff
- Blink, Malcolm Gladwell
- Thinking Fast and Slow, David Kahneman
- Memetics, Tim Tyler
- Dream Psychology, Sigmund Freud
- The Psychology of the Transference, Carl Jung
- The Economics Book, DK Publishing (Multiple Contributors)
- The MBA, Jason Kaufman
- Getting to Yes, Roger Fisher and William Ury
- Winning Arguments, Jay Heimrichs
- Freakonomics, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
- Super-Freakonomics, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
- Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith
- The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx
- The Food of the Gods, Terence McKenna
- The Teachings of Don Juan, Carlos Castaneda
- A Separate Reality, Carlos Castaneda
- Journey to Ixtlan, Carlos Castaneda
- Chaos, Creativity and Cosmic Consciousness, Terence McKenna, Rupert Sheldrake, Ralph Abraham
- The “Teach Yourself” Series
- The “Colloquial” Series
- Foreign Language Guides, “Verbs” Series, Barron’s Publishing
- In Search of Schödinger’s Cat, John Gribbin
- Introducing Relativity
- Introducing Chaos Theory
- The Character of Physical Law, Richard Feynman
- Why Does E+MC²?, Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw
- Chaos, James Gleick
- Any David Gemmell novel (particularly the Troy Series)
- Any John Grisham novel
- Any Trudi Canavan (particularly the Age of the Five series)
- Phillip Pullman’s incredible Northern Lights, Subtle Knife and Amber Spyglass
Health / Medicine:
- Gray’s Anatomy – Medical Textbook for Students
- Western and Eastern Medical Traditions (I forget the name and author, but any book that illustrates both in a concise manner will be close!)
- The Great Gatsby, Scott Fitzgerald
- Odyssey, Homer
- Iliad, Homer
- Eirik the Red’s Saga, Various Authors
- Beowulf, Anonymous
- Paradise Lost, John Milton
- The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexander Dumas
- The Three Musketeers, Alexander Dumas
- The Writings of Cicero, Marcus Tullius Cicero
- The Old Man of the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
- The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli
Reading is a wonderful phenomenon – even in fiction we can learn or change our perspective, or relocate our mind for a just a little while.
Educate yourself. Read and be awed. Be critical. But above all be open to what is out there and form your own ideas. But don’t let what you read define you – you are you and what you make yourself to be.
Theme, in the form of song: On the bean – Bakermat (Petite Fleur Remix)
I’m in mid-wobble,
Bent steps, mid-hobble.
I’m stuck with an itch,
An insufferable bitch,
I bark in protest – how rich.
Reject the usual pitch, that Abercrombie and Fitch, shit.
The inelegant consumerism, unrecognised darkness in ‘im,
That grows and flows, with each purchase,
who could possibly stand this?
Blind to his faith, an all-consuming wraith,
Who picks up the pace, you can see it on his face!
Oh with such woe, does it grow and grow.
It does permeate and still ingratiate,
itself in each and every soul,
Blind and wobbling like a foal, without a goal or an aim,
To scream out and proclaim:
Just look at this shit, this stuff!”
To steady, be free and to see, how this darkness is readily killing me!
Detaching from all-consuming society,
Without influence, seen in stark sobriety,
This concept she’s grabbing me.
This bitch, she kicks like a horse
Not like before, at the start of this course
Without pretence, it’s hard to invent with no sight or scent,
Loss of sense, I tell you hence – shun this malignance
And let go
Of the concept.
You are a dog chasing his tail in the fog,
Of your mind
A knife can’t cut itself, are you blind?
Reach out, unknown,
Without a sigh or a groan
Lifting the veil will inevitably reveal,
That there is no symbol or seal
That what is, just is
It’s not mine, hers or his.
It is the Tao, a great whirling howl,
A thing and a nothing,
No thing can bring, more reality
Just reach out and see!
Leaving the body
Leaving at the panes
The pains of the day.
Replacing raw emptiness
With glimmering dew.
All to the sound of a breeze
Amongst the trees,
And planes, easing their way
To a place that may
Simply be the same.
What a sight to behold,
Before you - a Kingdom
Of fading gold,
and behind you -
That again it will be so.
The appropriateness of sun on a Sunday
Beautiful poem, wish it was the same here.