Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Less politics, more community, better society

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Modern politics is turning into an undemocratic farce. Principles of government based on we the people, individual vote, open process and wide participation is turning into a narrow ritual for the few. New vigour is needed, and although the basic principles of one vote one man may stay the same the practical realities must change.

Some good ideas are easily found, namely the way of council and common pool resource administration. Combine this with a broadly based democracy and things will start to improve.

In most countries the political dimension has outgrown the ability to govern. All matters are political matters, there are rules for every little detail and the burden of all these rules are so heavy that society is starting to choke off.  The exception is that when you have rules made specifically to suit your purposes you thrive and all is well. So some few succeed, but the majority is choking or down right suffering. Increasingly the haves are growing powerful and their influence will soon be all-encompassing. The outcome is then that we the people are no longer a force.

The solution is simple to find, but near impossible to realise, and that is to pull a major part of all activity away from political influence, and to realise that politics is not an end in itself and that there should never be any liftetime politicians because their interests will then become fully vested. First we must is to abolish a major part of rules so that people are left to cooperation and their own devices instead. Then we introduce broadly based people’s councils with strong powers in all other political matters.

These councils should be found in all parts of all countries for both local and national matters. They will be based on the the way of council where everybody is allowed to speak (or not) in turn, and participants in councils wil be selected randomly from all walks of life, and will be changed on an ongoing basis. The aim is to start fostering and developing the idea of common or public wisdom, considering deeply all sides of a matter, all ideas that people have in a matter. This has to do with group dynamics and the processes that may start between people physically and spiritually. All competition between parties and person is taken away, and a true consensus is sought. The principles of council should also be introduced in other matters like school, business and organisation as a way of deciding common matters.

Futhermore the principles of management of common pool resources should be adopted whereupon areas of common interest is managed by a group of engaged users of the resource, service or facility that we have. Forests could be managed in this way, and the principles could easily be adopted to a number of fields like fisheries, schools, roads or the internet. Members of the groups should also here be continually changed so as to avoid vested interests.

These methods could reduce corruption, special interest influences, short term considerations or power mongering. They are good and sound principles that have been tried for millennia under other circumstances in many places, and it is time to seek adoption of them in our times and circumstances. All citizens should have the right to call a council in serious matters, to be heard and have their concerns enlightened.

The way we run our societies today is full of negative consequences and this should be changed. The best way to start is to adopt these three principles and let it grow from there.

Being a deeply human being of the Earth

Friday, February 15th, 2013

We are unsure who we are or why we are here, and we have been struggling with that question for almost 3000 years. There will be no peace of mind until we get a basic understanding on this matter, so therefore we must strive to move ahead.

Here are six points to consider in order to move closer to an understanding of yourself and your role on Earth:

  1. You obviously have great powers and potential, but you do not use them rightly. The capacity of a human is greatly underestimated and underutilized, and we can say that the task is to find your ecological self which is a wide concept because through that you will be able to understand your role better. This finding of your own ecological self is entirely of your own making. Only you can decide what that will be.
  2. When we become mature we probably can not avoid identifying ourselves with all the other living beings that are here, and find intense empathy with all other living beings. The simplicity, the connectedness and the beauty of it all will strike you as convincing.
  3. We must seek a wider maturity of the self and include nature in a new concept of an ecological self, in the totality of all living beings. The ecological self is a wide and deep self and it is to be found in an environmental setting.
  4. Life is fully realized in ever increased selfrealization, and the fullest possible selfrealisation is extremely deep and broadly based. Selfrealisation is to see the ultimate being or your God face to face and to understand the totality of the cosmos. This also means naturally suppressing your own ego so that your mature self may emerge.
  5. The process of identification with others in the widest sense is hindered if we hinder the selfrealisation of all other creatures, meaning live and let live, meaning seeking the oneness of all life. So selfrealisation for all is the task ahead of us, working on yourself and letting others do likewise.
  6. The challenge of today is to make possible the joyful existence for all. We must not outdo others in competition, but show care for others and embrace the world. What we must try is to have people be inclined to engage in beautiful acts, to seek and find the immense richness of  free natural behaviour and landscapes.

If we can achieve deep personal realism, we can find right behaviour related to ethical environmentalism.

Adapted from Arne Naess Thinking like a mountain, NSP

The rottenness of the company construct must be resolved

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Most people work in companies as this is deemed the easiest way to get a job, it offers many kinds of challenges, the possibility of getting a good salary if you succeed, many kinds of occupation and so on.

For managers it is the best way of running a business today.  It is efficient, structured, flexible, the structures are easy to establish and change, finance is available and hiring and firing people is not difficult.

For investors it is so that they can buy and sell companies easily and their metrics are easily understood. Strategic alliances can be formed and disbanded with no hassle. If companies are well run they are an investors dream. To make companies well run you just push hard and persistently and the money rolls in.

Companies are like machines, and it is quite easy to forget the humans involved in all the routines, the techniques, the hard work and the conformisms required to make a company a success.

The big companies of the world are getting bigger all the time, and we now have companies that are present in many locations all over the world, they are significantly powerful, some are economically bigger than many states, many have hundreds of thousands of employees, have become a political force and are hugely important in many communities.

The pressure for continued growth as expressed in size, shareholder value, profits and fights against regulations of many kinds make companies enter a new phase of development, and some negative overtones have emerged.

But all in all we may easily conclude that companies have been a major success, gradually being built over the last few hundred years.

Many companies are now entering a new phase where self-interest is more pronounced than before. The pressures on the company have increased, and they are of many kinds.

Increased competition have made it harder to make money, so has more regulation and rules, the is a constant need for innovation, increased welfare among employees have made it harder to employ people, the increased mechanisation of jobs are dehumanising and boring and technical development are creating new ways of doing business at an astounding rate.

The distance between global headquarters and local businesses often make cultural differences an issue, and higher educational levels and insistence on freedom of enterprise make new forms of employment and cooperation necessary. The differences between localities are slowly disappearing.

The company man now want a piece of the cake, not just wages as he has ideas and tools to perform in new ways. This is about education, new technology and growing wishes for less servility and more independence.

Many companies are now so powerful and big that they have become dangerous in many ways. They won’t abide by rules, they just do what they want as profit is threatened.  Their inherent logic is becoming too strong, and many people in such companies are becoming dangerous too as they will do most anything to achieve their goals. They are under heavy pressure to achieve their goals and to do what they are paid for – regardless.

So there are signs of development in the form of new organisational varieties, more cooperation, more sharing, more thinking and acting about human values.

But the road ahead is not clear as too many companies are pursuing fully self-centered strategies. A more human world is needed, a world where reason, sharing, equality and cooperation are the new paradigms. Much more needs to be done, much more to put a human face on the way we do business.

The water of your life is in your body. If it is good your life is good.

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Nutrition is about many things, and water is truly significant.

Most of us use water from public pipes, believing that the water we drink and wash with is fairly healthy. A large number of people have no water on tap and have to make do with whatever they manage.

But consciousness about water quality standards is getting increasing focus, and rightly too as it is very important regarding your health and your longevity.

Ideally good water from public networks is what everybody should have. That is cheap and convenient, possibly even healthy. Many are near that ideal, but once again we should raise our consciousness about what we really use.

Bottled water is big business because it it deemed safer, better in some way. Many people get water filters – there are many kinds -to make sure their water is Ok. Some people even have water filters on their showers to make sure.

Water as we use it now are of many kinds because the water standards vary widely. Pollution is an issue, and substances added to the water is another.

The sources of water are surface water, groundwater and rinsed water from public systems. Water contains many minerals and metals, bacteria, microbes, pollution from soil or industry, leakage of various kinds.

Water is special because it can hold many substances, it may be clean or not clean, it may be dangerous to your health, even toxic or it can be good for your health.

Everybody must have ample water as our bodies comprise about 75% water. If we get too little water our health is affected. So we must drink water, depending upon the size of your body about 1.5 – 2.5 liters pr. day.

Health effects of lack of water are tiredness, bad digestion, premature aging, pains and aches in many parts of the body. Health risks from bad water is heart attacks, cancer, chronic diseases.

Water facilitates circulation of fluids, lubrication of joints, helps stabilize body temperature, it holds dissolved minerals to be used by body tissues.

Water containing calcium and magnesium is called hard water, which results in less cardiovascular disease.

In some places abpout 2100 chemicals have been found in drinking water. This is clearly not acceptable, and regulations should be put into place.

Chlorine and fluoride are not acceptable substances in drinking water. Both are harmful to our health, and fluoride have no beneficial effects related to dental helath.

Water is also used for washing, showering and absorption of chemicals take place through your skin. We also inhale water steam when washing and chemicals contained in the water may be absorbed.

From many sources there now seems to be agreement that the main factors to watch are

  • hardness – content of calcium and magnesium where a good value is 170 mg/L
  • total dissolved solids TDS with 300 mg/L
  • pH alkaline of 7.0 or higher

Discussions about water standards are just beginning, and knowledge is building. Our administrative systems for handling of water matters should also be evaluated. Perhaps some sort of common pool resource management should be considered.

So check out your water, both what it contains and also what it not contains. Your life and your health depend upon it. If you don’t like it you must fix it.

Communication, information, exchange, control

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

The ITU has recently held a meeting in Dubai about international telecommunication.

CDNet writes: “The US, UK, Canada and Australia walked away from negotiations on Thursday, over fears that the finalised text of the new ITRs could be interpreted as giving the ITU, a UN agency, control over elements of the internet. This was in turn seen as a way of giving governments greater powers of censorship.”

The ITU is a UN unit and here is what they say about themselves:

“ITU (International Telecommunication Union) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs.

We allocate global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develop the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strive to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide.
ITU is committed to connecting all the world’s people – wherever they live and whatever their means. Through our work, we protect and support everyone’s fundamental right to communicate.”

Another organisation ICANN is doing the specifics of the internet.

They say about themselves: ”What Does ICANN Do? How Does ICANN Work?


Through its By-laws, processes, and international meetings, ICANN provides the arena where all advocates can discuss Internet policy issues. Almost anyone can join most of ICANN’s volunteer Working Groups, assuring broad representation of the world’s perspectives. Hearing all points of view, searching for mutual interests, and working toward consensus take time, but the process resists capture by any single interest – an important consideration when managing a resource as vital as the global Internet.

Multi-stakeholder model.

ICANN’s inclusive approach treats the public sector, the private sector, and technical experts as peers. In the ICANN community, you’ll find registries, registrars, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), intellectual property advocates, commercial and business interests, non-commercial and non-profit interests, representation from more than 100 governments, and a global array of individual Internet users. All points of view receive consideration on their own merits.ICANN’s fundamental belief is that all users of the Internet deserve a say in how it is run.

To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer — a name or a number. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination, we wouldn’t have one global Internet.

In more technical terms, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) coordinates the Domain Name System (DNS), Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions. These services were originally performed under U.S. Government contract by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and other entities. ICANN now performs the IANA function.

Besides providing technical operations of vital DNS resources, ICANN also defines policies for how the “names and numbers” of the Internet should run. The work moves forward in a style we describe as the “bottom-up, consensus-driven, multi-stakeholder model”

It is time for some reflection on the internet and global communication.

Recent issues have been

  • formal government control, the right to check what is going on
  • repression of exchange of opinion, debate
  • cybercrime
  • cyber-security for business, government
  • sensorship on many levels, mediacontrol
  • the influence of private interests of many kinds
  • corporate control of the internet, owning the internet, pricing the internet
  • diversification of the price structure, fast lanes, distance costs
  • allowing anonymous presence
  • access to the virtual territory of a country, working from outside a country for political or commercial reasons
  • several systems

The internet is clearly a common pool resource and should be worked like one. This means that the users, of which there is a multitude, should decide the future development of the internet. The ITU must be seen as part of the political system and they can have their say, but the diversity is too great for a political body to run this,  and the interests of freedom and independence should prevail. Many must be heard and many must have their individual ways.

Politics must therefore clearly be kept out as this is about the right to communicate, to have effective interchange. Nobody dictates where air is, where water is, who can use the roads, and everybody can have electricity etc. It is important to establish a long term, even permanent, will to make this a truly open and common resource.

Nobody should be allowed to interfere with an equality-based free internet. ICANN or a similar unit should supervise the net.

We must not lose what it has become, and it must progress further to the benefit of all stakeholders.

Chinese peaceful rise 和平崛起 to the top of the world

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

The Chinese are in the process of establishing a new leadership group for the country that is in the middle of the world. 7 men are now establishing themselves in the new roles they have been given.

China is growing in many ways, both economically and politically. The challenges are huge and there are all sorts of expectations built into what we think China will do.

The new leadership is

  • 习近平 Xi Jinping
  • 李克强 Li Keqian
  • 张德江 Zhang Dejiang
  • 俞正声 Yu Zhengshen
  • 刘云山 Liu Yunshan
  • 王岐山 Wang Qishan
  • Zhang Gaoli

The new leaders are the 5th generation of leaders. They are all well educated, well travelled, well cultured and are obviously stepping forward as part of a well planned process.

Major areas of concern now seems to be economics and finance with China in the process of taking over the role as the biggest economy in the world from the US. Internally corruption has had some attention and is expected to be an area of hard work.

China 2030
Building a Modern, Harmonious, and
Creative High-Income Society
The World Bank
Development Research Center of the
State Council, the People’s Republic of China

The report “China 2030 - Building a Modern, Harmonious, and Creative High-Income Society” has been made in cooperation between The World Bank and Development Research Center of the State Council, the People’s Republic of China. Here we find indications of the lines of work to be pursued by the new leaders: the importance of adapting to local initiative and interregional competition; integrating with the world; adjusting to new technologies; building world-class infrastructure; and investing heavily in its people.

The challenges of China are many and the new leaders seem well set to do good work. The major challenge seem to be to enriching the nation and improve social welfare, liberalizing the economy, unchecking the state monopolies, balancing exports and internal consumption, modernity as related to technology, blogging, internet.

The relation between China and the US/the West is in a cautious state. The West has traditionally needed enemies to be “normal”. Among the enemies now are Iran, Venezuela, Northern Korea, Zimbabwe. China is cooperating with these countries, and many others. The Chinese role in Africa comprising huge investments is under attack in western media, but that could be part of a public relations campaign.

China is hunting for resources like oil, gas, minerals, metals and there will be future conflicts of interest in this area.

Arctic policy is being downplayed now, and the opinions in China are diverse on this theme.

The South China Sea area is also contested and much needs to be clarified there. The power balance in Asia is shifting as Asia rises, the US has to turn its focus this way now.

Must there be a strategy based on enmity, of high-spotting, of stress and strain or will the West and the Chinese meet the challenges maturely? Maybe not as Australia, China and the US is planning joint military exercises in order to improve security and stability in the Pacific. The rest of nearby nations might be interested too?

The new leadership of mr. Xi seems to want to present themselves as accessible and personable, with reasonable security and formalities.

Attention will be given to Chinese culture and thinking too: Confucianism, Daoism, Legalism, Deng , Mao etc.  Chinese leadership philosophies and practices will be scrutinised, measuring Chinese ideas versus Western ideas.

To name some obvious challenges we have the condition of underdevelopment that is seen in many parts of China, urbanizing, economic entrepreneurship versus state monopolies.

The concept of peaceful rise 和平崛起 has been put forward. China wants to be seen as a nonthreatening global power, a good neighbour fostering stable relations.

The question of Taiwan is still there, and leadership jealousies will also be watched closely.

The people of China will probably go forward as part of ongoing processes, and infusions of new good leadership will most likely be helpful too. The sad memories of Mao’s cultural revolution with tens of millions dead are still lingering, but is now kept tightly subdued. When the government of a country can enact such an upheaval people must beware.

So now we look forward, we are all watching, so you better do well. The US is surely working hard on its security policies that they call their global strategies. The US– China Strategic and Economic Dialogue established in 2009  must surely continue.

Calm sailing everybody, please. Remember that China is different.

The climate challenge has not been taken well. Deep ecology is a much better case to work for.

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

The climate challenge has turned into politics and scientific consensus has been blown away. This way nothing much will happen. The present DOHA climate meeting will produce nothing – or maybe a trifle, a prolongation.

Global warming is a hypothesis about the future of the Earth’s climate. The IPCC has postulated that in a 100 years time the temperature of the Earth is likely to or will probably rise by about one degree Celsius. There is a kind of consensus now that the average temperature rise since measurements started about 100 years ago is about three quarters of a degree Celsius.

The temperature discussion has gyrated wildly into claims that this increase already has happened and that the nearterm increase will be 5-10 degrees centigrade. No documentation of this is offered.

The concept of a global average temperature is doubtful as the geographical, seasonal, purely local and incident related variations are great over time, or year by year.

At present there is about 400-440 ppm of CO2 in the air around us, and it is estimated that the amount produced by humans is about 15-25 ppm or about 5%. The correlation between CO2 and temperature is not precisely known.

The biggest emitters counted by CO2 emissions per head are now the industrialized nations led by the US, but the biggest polluter is probably China. The general situation is that emissions continue to increase.

The situation is best described as lacking a decision of resolution.

The temperature measurements are done by several organisations like IPCC, NASA, NOOVA, UK Met Office. A new contender is The Berkeley Earth Project. They are intent on making a scientific data picture of the Earth that can be part of a consensus. It appears previous data are not precise, have systematic biases, the number and placing of measurement points are not well set. Sooner or later the right temperature situation will emerge?

Then geo-engineering comes up, may as an indication of the impatience of some people.   Technologists say they can solve the CO2 conundrum by engineering the Earth in various ways. A businessman named mr. George has fed the algae in the sea so that they can eat CO2 and by doing this he has caused a stir. The morals, ethics, governance principles, effectiveness, consequences are not clear.

It is also clear that known geo-engineering is already taking place all over the world. Remember also claims that spraying of the air already is done in secret projects via planes flying in many parts of the world, but this has never been substantiated.

Geo-engineering projects often take the form of one or more of  these:

  • administering precipitation changes
  • air capture
  • solar radiation management
  • ocean mangement
  • structures, landscaping
  • water management
  • radiation issues

The confusion in this area is now massive. Geo-engineering is a rogues business at the moment as the international agreements are simply not there. The Earth is a common resource for the people of the world and we need some sort of common resource management if this shall be good for us. The law, the science, the ethics, the politics, the technology are not in the least clear and wee should keep off until these matters have been looked into. Elin Ostrom has said much sensible about common resource pool management, she even got a Nobel prize for it.

The realism concerning effectiveness seems absent. Managing resources like the Earth’s water and air  is a massive undertaking requiring huge machinery, the scale of which has never been seen before. The consequences of mistakes can be devastating and catastrophic.

And what if the scientific basis for it all is lacking – there is no need to take away CO2?

Whatever happens we must see to it that the scientific basis is there. The first thing to do must always be to reduce emissions if they are too high to be sustainable. Geo-engineering can never be more than a supplement to reductions.

For the time being forget geo-engineering.

Global warming is possibly not the main issue as there are many more emissions and issues to handle. The real issue might be deep ecology, or the sustainability of the  cosmic system, environmentalism in a much wider sense than global warming.

Making the Earth thrive is what the issue is..

Crystallizing the public mind

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

It has been said that no word has been so twisted as the word propaganda. The overtones are negative, but it still is practiced massively and at an advanced level in the modern world. It is a potent tool and it works well.

Propaganda is imperceptible, it is anonymous, it is clever, it is continuous, sometimes it is blatant, it has many forms – more than you can imagine, it is common, it is steadfast, if you expose it it changes its form – it is called public relations or publicity or advertising, but it is propaganda and it is directed at you personally in order to make you have certain desired attitudes. It is also directed at everybody else so that in sum it is making you behave like most other people. Propaganda makes you one of the masses, your mind has been crystallized into what the instigator of propaganda has intended.

Propaganda has become somewhat tainted as a concept and the modern words that are used are public relations or even information practices. But whatever the dress, it is wolf all the same so let propaganda be the name.

The definition of propaganda is not precise – it can be many things. It has to do with psychological action, education, public and human relations, but ends up by making you and the masses conform.

Mr. Bernays from the US is one of the fathers of public relations. He talks about crystallizing the public mind so that people think alike, and there is no confusion in society about what to do. Mr. Bernays has also written a book called Propaganda.

Mr. Ellul from France has written extensively on propaganda or the formation of men’s attitudes.

There is no doubt about it: We are all the aim of propaganda. It has been used consciously for centuries. The Germans had a propaganda ministry during WWII . The Turks or Osmans used advanced processes to overtake others including information that they would be taken and continuously playing janissar music until a military victory was achieved. Many governments, companies, organisations, individuals have been and are using propaganda to form opinion, to help us understand better what it is all about, and to do the right things.

Propaganda is probably first and foremost a sociological thing, it is not really about each one of us at all, it is about forming the decisions we collectively take. At the same time the propagandist must not forget the individual. Modern propaganda is therefore a complex powerful force and there is normally not much you can do to resist the impulses created.

If you want to find out what it is about, how you can resist it you must be very alert and determined and work hard. Propaganda is often soft and slippery and will lure your mind.

In a democratic society conscious and intelligent manipulation of what we usually do is done all the time. People we don’t see or have ever heard of are working to govern us, mould our minds, form our tastes, suggest ideas, show us effects. Many people are making a living rom propaganda.

The propagandist say that propaganda is required if society shall function well. The public mind must be focused or things will fall apart they say.

The propagandists see themselves as the key people of society, a small number of people placing themselves above us. These people understand us so well that they can guide us in the direction they want. Force is no use, elegance does it.

The plurality and diversity of society is slowly taken from us as propaganda fosters only one mindset, one way that is desirable, all others are suspect with negative connotations. The big issues are chosen for us and they are high-spotted so there is no doubt. Our minds are continuously targeted on behalf of policies, products and ideas.

Behind it all is competition in all its forms, the few are allowed to win by their competitive strengths which are capital, leadership and aggressiveness.

The results are widespread manipulation, use of huge personal egos and massive activity of all kinds – shows, competitions, advertising, stars, gifts….

Some say propaganda is indeed invisible government. Its technical means are well developed and they will get us all into the mindset of a few but big choices. Ideas are touted persistently and the technological society makes it possible. A common design is made for us, the possibility of global oneness is there with huge winnings made possible. Technologically we are developing fantastically and we are surely moving.

The themes of propaganda are racial, religious, social, political, sex, economical and the advantage of a coordination is obvious. The propagandist want an organized coordination of all things resulting in a group mindset and simplified mass thinking.

Yes you have seen it coming: We are being massively manipulated, and the means used are comprehensive, artful, knowledgeable – the media, the advertising, movies, activities of many kinds.

It is all really about power and domination, social issues, money. We are being used by others and we behave as if we like it. Our lives are shaped by others.

It could be otherwise – your life could be your own, made by you yourself. Don’t think or worry about propaganda, think deeply about yourself, choose and decide it all yourself, move in your own direction, be a creator of diversity.

War is an unstoppable force and it is easier than ever to kill people

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

The history of humanity is the history of wars. It is a sad story because it has been long and gruesome and it is not about to end anytime soon. The willingness to kill is not abating. The ease with which we can kill is now greater than ever. 60 million people were killed in WWII, and lately millions are being killed in numerous wars all over the world, they are many and just will not end.

A newly developed rocket system from Norway can be fitted to planes of many kinds, it can be launched from boats at sea. It will probably sell in thousands. The media is full of reports of innovation in weapons. The jobs and the money are the main issues. Morals is no longer on the agenda.

The latest is the build up of bases for drones or global hawks that can survey the Earth from a height of 60000 feet or twice the height of commercial planes. In Afghanistan drones are equipped with weapons too, and the Israeli shield against rockets from Gaza can shoot down most incoming missiles. The Chinese have built a cruiser and a fighter plane has successfully landed on it. And there is a cyberwar coming up.

There is continuous innovation in weaponry, there is no end to that, there is continuous killing and there is no end to that. Making and selling weapons is big business, the size of the business is huge, profits can be taken quite easily. Everybody that wants to kill has ample supplies of weapons, and the big shootout represented by a new world war is looming.

Sitting back in a cool and logical frame of mind surveying the situation one can justifiably say that this is a picture of an insalubrious world.. The leaders of the world are at the moment making the world insalubrious.

The main force behind this is the US. It is a permanently militarized nation, just like Israel, many Arab countries. The US military budget is about 50% of the world’s military budget, as well as being far too big for the US to sustain for much longer. Many  nations have huge exports of weapons. The total worth of weapons procurement is probably  more than a trillion dollars worth (Wikipedia Arms Industry).

It is all about security now, it is not so much about occupation any more, it is about security and stability, it is about making wars to be able to stop wars they say (Obama).

The US drones are being spread around, NATO has them, drones are used in Afghanistan, there are bases in Australia…. Nobody knows any longer where they are and will be. Maybe other nations have drones too. Drones can easily be turned into robots that are dispatched from a base, carrying its own intelligence and doing a predetermined job. The risks are unfathomable and this is a cynical game.

The history of wars is one of  bows and arrows, horses, shielding, spears, swords, explosives, engines for planes and vehicles, automatic weapons, telecommunications, flamethrowers, toxic weapons, radars, drones, atomic bombs, helicopters, starwars, shields, atomic subs, guided missiles, lasers, neurological substances, cyberwars, robots that kill, advanced control and guidance systems.

There is profits to be had, there are jobs in the thousands so this will just keep on rolling. The politics and public relations efforts are joining in building great forces powering it all.

What we can do, each of us? Turn your attention elsewhere, think of good deeds to do for yourself and your nearest, work hard to have a good life. There is not much else you can do till your time comes. Do not worry, it is no use.

This is big, you know.

Costa Rica abolished its army in 1949. They are are probably using their money for better things than military expenses: The budget previously dedicated to the military now is dedicated to security, education and culture”. President Eisenhower said that for the price of a destroyer you could build several thousand houses for people.

What do you think?

Your brains are working all the time, but we do not know how they do it, or what will happen.

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Neurological science is evolving. But there is mystery in there too as we also keep asking questions about why did she do that, why did he not do that. The reason is that we do not have deep knowledge of the machinery of the brain. Many things are hidden from us. We do not seem able to look into the souls of people. The presence of non-physical brain properties are not generally accepted.

The science of brains is full of wide open spaces.

Knowledge about our brain and mind involves many sciences – neuroscience, medicine, psychology, psychiatry, technology, mathematics and now the humanistic people are also claiming part in the development of  mind- and brainknowledge. A unified approach may be coming to better integrate the whole field into a science that may truly progress?

The truth about brain research is that we know very little that is a fact. Media are overflowing with statements about the brain and its functionality, but the scientists that will verify these “truths” are hard to find.

What we know is that our brains are buzzing all the time, the brain never sleeps, it is always there doing its work, and no part of it is ever at rest. Claims that we could use our brains better, that there are unused parts in there and that there are brain properties we have not found yet are everywhere, but the facts about such things are elusive.

Teaching, management, training all rely heavily on facts about the brain that are difficult to verify. Courts are often asked to judge the mental state of people, we visit psychologists en masse so they can help us be “normal”. Assessing the brain and its state  is constantly done by observation by experts. But measuring the brain objectively is still a far way off. The best we can hope is that the experts are sensible people making few mistakes.

The origin of thoughts, memories, decisions, love, fear, hatred, feelings, pain is not clear. The use of MR machines show reactions in the brain as response to input, but the true  and repeatable effect is not always certain. We can not “see” illnesses like schizofrenia.

We know that people react to propaganda, and when propaganda is well executed many people will follow the leads set out. This must be due to psychological mechanisms that is switched on in the brain, making the message received difficult to resist. The concept of the masses is often used, although we all consider us independent individuals.

Stimulation of the brain, improving the brain functions in positive ways are difficult as nobody seems to know the sure ways to do that. We know that many drugs will affect the brain function, make you more focused or more relaxed and even doze you off.

Learning processes are fairly well understood, repetition works when learning new stuff, practice works, and logic thinking works when you are  learning new matter. Putting in hooks to learn also helps, making small rules to lead you on.

We know that the brain has centers for important functions like speech, feelings, fear etc.. Language is placed in a given location, logic in one half of the brain, feelings and emotion in the other half.

Questions of consciousness, the possibility of higher levels of  consciousness, free will are all uncertain matters. Some people see ghosts, we seek help from shamans and healers. Mind reading and hypnosis are all popular and surprising.

What is quite sure is that humans are not mindless zombies controlled by some force, we are capable of showing a large measure of free will – if we put our minds and brains to it.

It is still early days, remember that you people of all levels of consciousness, understanding and degrees of free will, but sure knowledge is coming our way – just watch this space! In any case it is good to know that your brain is always there to help you, if you avoid …. well you know there are many things that can change your mind and affect your brain.

So do your best to understand yourself, try to see how you function, spend a little time doing that every day and you will have a good chance of living reasonably well.