Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Joe Rogan Talks About the Planet

Rogan's perspective is similar to the thesis put forward by Dr. Warren Hern, which I wrote about in an earlier blog post here. Dr. Hern's research papers dating back to the 1990s can be found on his web site here - http://www.drhern.com/en/news-a-publications/30-population-environment-and-ecology.html

Photo above shows the metastatic state of the human cancer on the host planet. Courtesy of http://megacancer.com/2015/07/18/the-beginning/

I don't take pleasure in using cancer as an analogy to the current state of overpopulation of human beings on the planet. I am called to talk about it because I continue to run into people who say the destructive forces mankind has unleashed on the planet are just fine because there's always Mars, or that the altered landscape in the Canadian tar sands fields doesn't bother them, and even looks sort of artistic!

Mankind's separation from nature is trending at extreme levels presently. Never a dull moment in this day and age. But "artistic"?

Here's an excellent summary of how the human cancer has come to this stage in just a few hundred years, really, just the last 200 years... brought to you by an entity that has literally fueled the process:

Monday, December 28, 2015

Slap Mother Nature in the Face

The Motorola Brute is designed to ‘beat’ Mother Nature by being able to withstand “extreme temperatures, blowing rain, dust, shock, vibration, pressure and humidity…”

Sounds like a device that's climate-change proof!

Manly man slaps Mother Nature in the face, digs holes into the Mother, and sells a military spec phone he proudly calls "Brute"!

Don't fall into that hole, manly man, not long until Mother Nature kicks your brutish butt!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Here, You Have Watches. There, We Have Time

No Better Place to Meet Yourself
by Moussa Ag Assarid

Moussa Ag Assarid (MAA): I don’t know my age. I was born in the Sahara desert, with no papers. I was born in a nomadic camp of Touaregs, between Timbuktu and Gao, in the north of Mali. […]

J: What do they do for a living?
MAA: We shepherd camels, goats, sheep, cows and donkeys in a kingdom of infinite and of silence…

J: Is the desert really so silent?
(MAA): If you are on your own in that silence you hear your heart beat. There is no better place to meet yourself.

J: What memories do you have of your childhood in the desert?
MAA: I wake up with the Sun. The goats of my father are there. They give us milk and meat, and we take them were there is water and grass. My great-grandfather did it, and my grandfather, and my father, and me. There was nothing else in the world than that, and I was very happy!

J: Really? It doesn’t sound very exciting.
MAA: It is. At the age of seven you can go alone away from the camp, and for this you are taught the important things—to smell the air, to listen, to see carefully, to orient with the Sun and the stars…and to be guided by the camel if you get lost. He will take you where there is water.

J: To know that is valuable, no doubt.
MAA: Everything is simple and profound there. There are very few things, and each one has enormous value.

J: So that world and this one are very different.
MAA: There, every little thing gives happiness. Every touch is valuable. We feel great joy just by touching each other, being together. There, nobody dreams of becoming, because everybody already is.

J: What shocked you most on your first trip to Europe?
MAA: I saw people running in the airport. In the desert you only run if a sandstorm is approaching! It scared me, of course.

J: They were going after their baggage, ha ha.
MAA: Yes, that was it. […]

J: What do you dislike the most here?
MAA: Many people here have everything, and it is still not enough for them. They complain. In [the modern world] many people complain all the time! They chain themselves to a bank; many people are anxious to have things, to have possessions. People are in a rush. In the desert there are no traffic jams, and do you know why? Because there nobody is interested in getting ahead of other people!

J: Tell me about a moment of deep happiness for you in the desert.
MAA: It happens every day, two hours before sunset. The heat decreases, there is still no cold air, and men and animals slowly return to the camp, and their profiles are painted against a sky that is pink, blue, red, yellow, green.

J: That sounds fascinating.
MAA: It’s a magical moment… We all get into the tents and we boil tea. Sitting in silence we listen to the sound of the boiling water… We all are immersed in calmness: with the heartbeats tuned to the rhythm of the boiling water, potta potta potta…

J: How peaceful.
MAA: Yes…here you have watches; there, we have time.


About the Author: Moussa Ag Assarid is the oldest of thirteen children in a nomadic Touareg family. Born in northern Mali in 1975, he moved to France in 1999 to study Management at the University of Montpellier. The above is excerpted from an interview with VĂ­ctor Amela.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A Story on Storytelling

I think human beings are great at telling stories. We have always had a flair for the art of storytelling. I am not saying humans are the only species that tell stories, nor even that we tell those stories better than other species. A paleontologist might hear a hundred human-told stories and still think the story told by a fossil dug up five months ago beats them all.

This is because much of what goes on in storytelling has to do with the listener. And this is exactly what makes me wonder how the act of storytelling might have evolved over our history – the identity and role of the listener. To be honest, as much as I like writing, I’m always uncomfortable knowing that I don’t know the reader. Traffic data and visitor analytics don’t scratch the surface. Such impersonal information doesn’t come close to the kind of rich highly personal rapport our story telling ancestors had with their listeners.

The tribal storyteller of yore lived an altogether different reality from the modern storyteller. They were part of the tribe, they lived with their fellow tribesmen, and they knew each and every one of their listeners in a very personal and intimate way. They knew, much better than any modern storyteller can hope for, the way their stories came across to their listeners. The gap between what they said and what the listener heard was arguable small. In any given tribe, the members all had the same creation stories, the same day-to-day life, similar routines, the same environs and knew the same people and their stories, all of which provide for a far richer context. And isn’t context everything for proper communication? Isn't a common foundation of understanding the basis for accurate transmission of thoughts and ideas? In such a setting, stories have an easier time getting passed down through hundreds of generations almost verbatim. This is how we have lived for 95% of our time on Earth.

Things have changed so much lately that the most popular stories of today, like those mentioned in the scriptures, classics, fables, etc. find multiple interpretations. Every now and then, someone comes out with a new interpretation that they claim is more accurate considering the times that the stories first emerged in. Much is lost in translation, much else is mixed in and what ends up being passed down is neither here nor there. Even stories invented in modern times have messages that vary widely. Not to mention the influence of the state, the ruler, the king, the PR department and other entities that has been vital to what and how anything is said or written.

The modern storyteller hopes that the words he speaks or writes land on the audience just as he meant them but the takeaways vary widely given the diversity of context. Words don’t mean the same thing to everyone anymore. Being multi-lingual or multi-cultural robs the modern man of being rooted solidly in any one context. The challenges for the storyteller and the listener abound. So if I feel a certain uneasiness writing these words, not knowing exactly who is reading, what their background is, and how they are interpreting it, well, I tell myself it’s just one of those many modern problems humanity is facing! It’s not unique to me. It’s a problem human beings find themselves facing in the last 1% of their time here.

It also makes one wonder what storytelling might have been like before the advent of language. In some ways, the invention of language might actually have compromised the quality of story in a way that’s hard to fathom today. To some, this sounds like rubbish, so I will not go there now but will elaborate on this in a comment below.

On the whole, I’d imagine not more than 10-20% of those who read my writing get what I attempt to say. It’s not as if we’re writing children’s books here, after all! :) What worries me though is the possibility that some walk away with an interpretation that’s not personally helpful in their life, not true to their evolution, and not meaningful given their personal context. I have wondered if writing long blog posts on the Internet might be a rather unwise thing to do, given what I know about us all being cultural mutts. Anyone with an Internet connection is an oddity of sorts.

I write because sometimes I just want to write and reach out to that 10% of fellow men and women who do connect. It’s selfish but I’ve made some good friends through writing. Isn’t that what storytelling has partly been about? To gain a sense of “shared reality” with others? How many times have you read a comment or article and gone, “that’s it, exactly IT… just what I wanted to say, and better than I would have said”. Ah… the joy of striking the right chord with another! A balm for a lonely planet!

Sunday, December 6, 2015