Archive for April, 2010

How do you live your life?

Monday, April 26th, 2010

What you do and don’t do creates a trail or trace. The sum of what everybody does is our culture and gradually becomes our history. The mass of ordinary men and women are the actors in this play or run of events. You are an important person whether you follow the stream or act independently. The sum of activity tells the story. The spread in the group tells another.

We have democracy, urban/rural areas, administrative systems and some self-controlled activity.

We make the world as we consume through dwelling, cooking, looking at art,  produce by going to work to make goods or deliver services.

There is intelligence in what you do, what you consume and what you produce. You are intelligent as you constantly interact with others as you watch TV, go to games, work in the garden, go on holiday, buy lots of stuff, eat, move to another environment ….. All the time a composite picture is emerging.

What are your own reasons, tactics and strategy? Are you happy or are you being pushed into something you do not want? We may be tightly controlled or we are free to make our own arrangements – find products and methods suiting your own purposes. You may use your networks, take part in rituals, are you flexible, do you take chances?

We are all at the margin in that you don’t say much if you don’t want to, and you can evade the big processes by not taking part. Just pick bits that are useful to you, and let the strong do the rest for you. If you can’t abide you opt out.

So we have to move forward in order to develop and what you do is constantly taken hold of and summed up, and fed back to you. Constraints of many kinds – technical, economical, administrative – may reduce the choices available, but we are always trying and testing possibilities based on our preferences. We want to use the system as it is for our own good.

You always have an inner – thinking, reasoning -  and outer – activity – life that has to be reconciled. A balance must be struck.

You participate – voluntarily – and as you do this you design the social world. As we see around us the challenge is to move more people in the world into this process of checks and balances so that they can control their own life. People must have choices and be able to follow their desires to live.

The future of society and personal wellbeing

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Our society is characterized by work. We spend our time working, our life is our work. The measurement of merit is about being economic well to-do. Almost all achievement is measured in economic terms. Status in society follows the money. Society becomes divided into many levels and  some people are at the bottom or outside looking in.

Some people have left this trail, but for most it holds true.

Ideally people should also be rated according to human values like care, compassion, ethics, morals, creativity. People are hugely different in all matters, but this does not allow us to exclude some according to prevailing criteria.

Also all people should be respected for what they are independent of  terms like intelligence, character, attitudes, health, circumstances like suffering, pity, being homeless, jobless, elderly.

We no longer care – we provide welfare by paid people. Care is work, we become clients and this creates distance. Just do your work, there is no need to care. But who cares for you if you are just lonely, but not yet a client? How do we integrate the public and the private spheres – make it one?

This is a big matter as it is about making a society and integrating all people in it. Nobody should fall outside, and we should not place people in classes according to one or more criteria like job, money, power, health, age, creed, opinions and so on.

The present system creates fear in many people of loneliness and poverty, loss of job and income, exclusion, and reduction of egos.

Participation is the key – we must all be able and allowed to participate and use our abilities in one way or another. The strict work regime is not for everybody, like working in a big organization. Small scale activity should have a rebirth, so that people can use their creative and other abilities outside big companies or bureaucracies. Working should be more social in that we work for each other, requiring new methods of measurement and remuneration, like maybe not for profit only. Maybe compassion, love and care given are criteria for measurement of activity and standing in a new society?

Reducing time spent on traditional work should be called for, allowing other activity – not necessarily more leisure – to be part of our lives.

We should also make room for many kinds of society: a so-called primitive society with low material standards may be very satisfying in other respects. Western civilisation must not crush everything else.

The challenge is there to be taken – a good society for all – regardless. Everybody must have a place.

Intangibles of the world: our cultural heritage must live

Monday, April 26th, 2010

All over the world there are ways of doing things that should not be lost. The UNESCO is doing a great job in documenting and taking care of these intangibles all over the world. They have the Intangible Cultural Heritage project that is becoming a force to reckon with.

Our heritage is also about our future and the way we are going to live.

Our cultural heritage is found in all areas of life: languages, dances, tapestry, rites, calligraphy, lacemaking, ceremonies, rites, funerals, narratives, etc.

This project is a great way to take care of valuable expressions and customs and make the world a richer place.

Mass media, globalisation and a common culture have slowly been putting pressure on this heritage.

The world is rich, varied and local and should continue to be so.

So what do you do? Follow the customs of your area, start playing an instrument, do some dancing, make some handiwork, start telling stories or something else that you fancy. Both you and the society you are part of will benefit.

Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage

Progress in medicine and a better longer life.

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Traditional medicine seems to need infusions of ideas. Many diseases are not cured well enough  – cancer is the biggest, but also allergies,  arthritis, rheumatism are not doing so well. Treating brain disorders like epilepsy is another dark area of medicine. Traditional drugs often have severe side-effects. There are lots of non-treatable diseases.

Medicine is complex and has elements from chemistry, physics, biology, bacteriology, virology, genetics, pharmacology, nutrition/metabolism, physical training.

More than 25 years ago Linus Pauling produced some new ideas and were hit hard – no such thing thank you! But his ideas were not only about vitamin C, but favors a broad approach to health and how to live longer and better.

Time has maybe cooled some of the opposition and we may be ready to progress now.

He introduced the term orthomolecular medicine that seeks to achieve optimal biochemical balance in the body by using substances that are naturally occurring in the body – especially vitamins and nutrients. He asked what is the proper or correct dosage of vitamins and nutrients in the body – all the different parts of the body, like eyes, ears, mouth etc.

Traditional medicine may be called toximolecular medicine.

He advocated the use of rich multivitamin supplements as a basic tool. He also challenged the dosage, advocating using much more than before. He wanted us to reduce the use of sugar to near nothing, and that nutrition should be broadly based. Physical activity should also be part of the routine. This will lead to a better and healthier life and very likely much longer too.

Now this thinking seems to converge into a new regime where such ideas are more accepted. But there still is resistance of various kinds – so if you want to live better and longer – start thinking for yourself.

The Establishment is not going to help you – and that is rather surprising: we don’t want illness, do we?

It seems Pauling was a modern man – and courageous!

To the North Pole!

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Things are getting hotter near the North Pole in several ways.

The temperature is rising and the ice is disappearing. You can move about up there like never before.

The powers to be are trying to find their positions in the area. There is oil and gas at the bottom of the sea – most likely lots of it. Russia has already positioned a permanent flag made of titanium at the bottom of the sea near the Pole. The maps are being drawn, the continental shelf is measured, sonic booms are heard all over, the submarines are moving around.

The principles of division are hotly debated, mostly behind closed doors, rules are being laid out, and quotas will be allocated.

The US, Canada, Denmark, Russia, Norway are all in there already, and the referee is the UN. Sensible process so far it seems, but who knows what will happen when the final countdown begins. Big power or dialog based on international law? Maybe we need some new laws also?

Transparency is not allowed at the moment – the doors must be closed – don’t show your hand – who are these people jockeying for positions on behalf of whom?

So then follows the south China Sea, the South Pole area, and what about the bottom of the Pacific – not a word so far – is it too deep: Excitement all around us.

Maybe we should postpone the end of big oil a few (hundred?) years?

Thinking about your brain lately?

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Research into the functioning of the brain is going full steam – new discoveries are made all the time. What areas of the brain does what is better understood all the time. Research into biological computers may also influence how we see the brain. But basically we still know too little to say how the brain in a deep sense functions.

Your brain follows your development as a human being through your life. It changes and adapts as you grow, experience, learn and grow old. Your brain can be changed by accidents, illness, what happens to you in many ways, your learning.

We are probably born with some intelligence in our brain – fear of reptiles, ability to feel pain ….. Some people even say morality is inbred.

You develop a personality which is natural to you, but you can control that to some extent, and it can change through what happens to you.

We have senses – see, touch, hear, taste, smell and intuition (?). What comes through our senses is transformed via interfaces into signals to our body so they can be made useful to the body processes.

We have feelings of joy, pain, fright, wellbeing and probably deeper feelings too.

We can reason, deduct, combine. The brain can propel you into action.

There is memory that goes far back and some memory is recent.

We have consciousness – we can feel that we are, and some say what is right.

There is hidden activity and some say extrasensory activity.

The processes are complex, many have tried to explain the workings of the brain, e.g. Freud.

Food and exercise is deemed to influence the working of the brain.

The biology, mechanics, physics, anatomy of the brain is being researched into – future discoveries will be legion.

Science fiction literature like “Dune” shows us humans with specially developed brains that can act as computers, stimulants that can enhance the brain, coupling of brains via picture communication.

Watch this space – the brain is gradually becoming better understood.

So here is the challenge: Thinking of the brain as a tool – your main tool – how can you ensure that it is in good working order and performs impeccably? How can you improve it – that must be possible to do:  exercise it, feed it, increase storage capacity, learn ever more stuff, improve your abilities, achieve better thought control ……

There is also the question of what is inherent capacity/DNA and what is free will?

Intelligent planet?

Monday, April 5th, 2010

We are placing intelligence like small computers, logic circuits, sensors, RFID into all things. We could interconnect these systems and make a totality of it.

Monitoring the temperature, air moisture, particles and gases in the air, speed of traffic, number of cars and people in many places, flow of water ….. are done routinely today.

Buildings, means of transport have computers, municipal systems can be monitored and controlled for a number of variables, appliances, your dress can have intelligence….

Hospitals, energy production, factories, chains of supply….

Your personal portal where you can find all about yourself – plan, control, anticipate, interact, automate, check efficiencies, economics ….

We have the monitors and intelligence in place as many things are digitally enabled and connected through the internet. Data are created continously and may be used for simulation, control, analysis, adaptation, starting and stopping, controlling efficiency and economics.

Money movements could be similarly controlled.

The running of everything can be made smooth: we can plan, predict, adjust, react via the systems.

How far should we go? Local systems for all with the possibility to connect into a world grid? Mandatory or voluntary?

We are moving in the direction of integration, efficiency, optimalisation – watch it – value creation for all must be upheld.